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Title: The Finished Mystery

Author: Charles Taze Russell

Release Date: June 17, 2014 [Ebook #46016]

Language: English

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***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE FINISHED MYSTERY***

Studies in the Scriptures

Volume VII

The Finished Mystery

The Winepress of God's Wrath and the Fall of Babylon.

By

Charles Taze Russell

(Published Posthumously)

Edited by

C. J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher

850,000 Edition

And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to Heaven, and swore by Him that liveth forever and ever, who created Heaven and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that the time should be no longer delayed; but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the Mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the Prophets.—Rev. 10:5-7. At the end it shall speak and not lie.—Hab. 2:3.

Copyright 1917

Peoples Pulpit Association

Brooklyn, N. Y., U. S. A.

International Bible Students Association

Brooklyn, London, Melbourne, Barmen

1918


Contents

Cover Art

[Transcriber's Note: The above cover image was produced by the submitter at Distributed Proofreaders, and is being placed into the public domain.]

[pg 002]

TO THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS THIS WORK IS DEDICATED

In the Interest of
HIS CONSECRATED SAINTS
Waiting for the Adoption
And of
All That in Every Place Call Upon the Lord
“THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH”
And Of
The Groaning Creation; Travailing And
Waiting for the Manifestation of
THE SONS OF GOD

POSTHUMOUS WORK OF PASTOR RUSSELL

His Last Legacy to the Dear Israel of God (Matt 20:9)

“To make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God.” “Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself; that in the dispensation of the fulness of the times He might gather together in one all things, under Christ.”

Eph. 3:4, 5, 9; 1:8-10

[pg 003]

Publisher's Preface

Since the days of the Apostles, Christian people have been looking for the coming of our Lord Jesus in great power and glory; for He said that He would come again and receive His Church unto Himself. He further pointed out that for some time prior to the completion of the Church He would be present, gathering out from Babylon and from the world the truly consecrated, and that during His presence “the Mystery of God” would be finished.

Through St. John the Lord Jesus revealed the fact that the Church would be developed during seven distinct periods, or epochs; and that for each of these epochs He would have a special angel, or messenger, to serve the other members of the Body. It follows, then, that the messenger to the last, or Laodicean, epoch would declare the Presence of the Lord and the time of the Harvest of the Gospel Age. The great Master laid special emphasis on the importance of the messenger to the seventh, or Laodicean, period of the Church, saying that such an one would be “a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord would make ruler over all His Household, to give them meat in due season.”

Those consecrated Christians who have read and fully appreciated the Truth as contained in the preceding six volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES readily see and agree that Charles Taze Russell was the messenger of the Church of Laodicea. In the mind of every one who believes the Bible the evidence set forth in this volume will establish that fact beyond the question of a doubt.

In the light of Divine Prophecy, now being daily fulfilled and made clear to “the watchers,” the following from the pen of Pastor Russell is further proof that he was sent of God to this generation. Long years before the beginning of the trouble now upon the nations he wrote:

The four exhibitions of the Lord, given to Elijah, represent, we believe, four manifestations in which the Lord is about to reveal Himself to mankind, the first three of which will prepare men for the final one, in which will come the desired blessing to all the families of the earth. These are:

(1) The mighty winds rending the very rocks. Blowing winds seem to be used in Scripture for wars. The wars, whose dark clouds have threatened the civilized world so ominously for the past thirty years, have been miraculously hindered to give opportunity for sealing [pg 004]the Lord's consecrated people in their foreheads (intellectually) with the Present Truth. We are therefore to expect that when these winds of war shall be let loose, it will mean a cataclysm of warfare which shall divide kingdoms (mountains)—prefigured by the mighty wind shown to Elijah (1 Kings 19:11), which rent the rocks. But God's Kingdom will not follow the epoch of war; the world will not thus be made ready for the Reign of Immanuel. No; a further lesson will be needed and will be given. It is represented in

(2) An earthquake. Throughout the Scriptures an earthquake seems always to represent revolution; and it is not unreasonable to expect that an era of general warfare would so arouse the lower classes of Europe and so discontent them with their lot (and especially with the conditions which would follow such a war) that revolution would be the next thing in order. (Rev. 16:18.) But, severe though those revolutionary experiences will be to the world, they are not sufficient to prepare men to hear the voice of God. It will require

(3) The fire from heaven—an epoch of Divine judgments and chastisements upon a maddened but unconverted world, wild in anarchy, as other Scriptures show us. The results of their wars, revolutions and anarchy, in the failure of their schemes, will have a humbling effect, and will prepare mankind for God's revelation of Himself in

(4) The still small voice. Yes; He who spoke to the winds and the waves of the Sea of Galilee will, in due time, speak peace to the peoples. He will speak with authority, commanding the observance of His long neglected Law of Love. And whosoever will not hear that Prophet shall be cut off from among His people.(Acts 3:23.)—THE WATCH TOWER, July 1, 1898, p. 308.

Looking back to the prophetic testimony respecting the Times of the Gentiles, we perceive that our Lord's words, Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the Times of the Gentiles be filled full, give the intimation that the determined times, or years, in which the empire of earth would be in the hands of Gentile governments was a fixed one from the Divine standpoint. And if, as we believe the Scriptures to teach, Gentile domination was provided for up to October, 1914, it would seem but a reasonable interpretation that Divine power would not be exercised to their dethronement until after the time allotted for their reign had ended—October, 1914.—THE WATCH TOWER, July 1, 1904. p. 198.

In 1879 Charles Taze Russell began the publication of THE WATCH TOWER, of which he was the sole editor as long as he remained on earth. THE WATCH TOWER was, and is, the first and only journal declaring the presence of the Lord Jesus. Pastor Russell being the messenger to the Laodicean Church, and occupying the position of the Lord's special servant to give the Household of Faith meat in due season, it was to be expected that he would bring forth from the Lord's great “Storehouse” the needed spiritual food for the Church, in harmony with [pg 005] God's will. By the Lord's grace he wrote the six volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, which writings, aside from the Bible, have gladdened more hearts and thrilled Christians with greater hope and joyful expectation than have any other writings extant. These books have been properly designated “Keys to the Divine Plan of the Ages.” These “keys” have been placed in the hands of thousands of Christian people throughout the world, and have enabled them to unlock the Lord's Treasure-house, the Bible, and there to see some of the “treasures of wisdom” and knowledge of God! Some have been able to use these “keys” more effectually than have others. “God hath set the members in the Body as it hath pleased Him.”

Time and again Pastor Russell said that the Seventh Volume of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES would be written; and it was expected that he would write it. The Scriptures show that the Seventh Volume must be published. Pastor Russell passed from the earth, and the Seventh Volume remained unpublished. In his last moments he said, “Some one else can write the Seventh Volume.” For any one to arrogate to himself the authority to write and publish the Seventh Volume would, we believe, seem presumptuous before the Lord. Whom, then, would the Lord have to write it?

Pastor Russell was a man of unusual modesty. Great men usually are modest. The examination of the contents of this book will disclose the fact that it deals with Revelation and Ezekiel; that the Lord long ago caused to be recorded therein, in symbolic language, a history of the Church, particularly the closing earthly experiences thereof; that therein He set forth that He would uncover the frauds, deceptions and blasphemous teachings and practices of the church nominal—both Catholic and Protestant; that in the last days He would then make bare the unholy alliance between the unrighteous ecclesiastical systems and the corrupt political elements of the earth, which religious systems have prospered and grown fat in the name of Christ; that the Lord pronounces His indignation and wrath against all such Babylonish systems and marks their utter destruction in a Time of Trouble such as the world has never known and will never again know; and that the earthly creature made prominent therein above all others is the messenger of the Laodicean Church—“that wise and faithful servant” of the Lord—CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL. In view of the facts stated, is it at all surprising that the Lord spared him the publication of the Seventh Volume?

But the fact is, he did write it. This book may properly be said to be a posthumous publication of Pastor Russell. [pg 006] Why? Because to him the Lord gave the “key”; to him was given the privilege of making clear to the Church in its last years the “Mystery of God”; to him was granted the privilege of hearing from the hands of the Lord to the Household of Faith “meat in due season” for the special development and sustenance of God's dear little ones. This service he has faithfully performed. This book is chiefly a compilation of things which he wrote and which have been brought together in harmonious style by properly applying the symbols which he explained to the Church.

By his last Will and Testament Pastor Russell designated George H. Fisher, of Scranton, Pa., as one whom he would approve as a member of the Editorial Staff of THE WATCH TOWER—the most important journal published on earth. For many years Brother Fisher has been consecrated to the Lord, a careful student of the Bible in the light of the Message brought from the Lord by the messenger to the Laodicean Church; and for some time he has made a careful and prayerful study of the Book of Ezekiel.

When Pastor Russell was with us he gave direction that the BIBLE STUDENTS MANUAL should be prepared by Clayton J. Woodworth, also of Scranton, Pa. This Manual was published by this Society, and has proven a great blessing to the Household of Faith. The preparation of that Manual required a critical examination of everything Pastor Russell had written; and thus Brother Woodworth was enabled to become more familiar, probably, than any one else with the explanation of the Scriptures which had been given by Brother Russell. In this manner the Lord seemed to have qualified him for some special work. With the “key” which Brother Russell, as the Lord's servant, had placed in his hands, Brother Woodworth, by the Lord's grace, has been enabled to bring together everything that Brother Russell wrote on Revelation, and to explain and harmonize the other parts of that book with the Divine Plan; also, to treat similarly, the Song of Solomon.

It seemed pleasing to the Lord that Brothers C. J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher should prepare the Seventh Volume, under the direction of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY. While both residing in the same city, they have worked separate and apart from each other, not even comparing notes. The reader will be able to judge how fully the work of each harmonizes with that of the other and with the Divine Plan, thus giving further evidence of the Lord's direction in this matter.

Pastor Russell long ago said, in substance, that the Seventh Volume would not be for the development of the Church; that the preceding six volumes of STUDIES IN [pg 007] THE SCRIPTURES contain the necessary spiritual food for that purpose. Asked why, then, it would be written, he replied, It will probably be given to the Church in a time of direst need, for her comfort and encouragement.”

Who amongst the consecrated this side the veil does not realize that the Church is now in that time of “dire need of comfort and encouragement”? The hour of fiery trial and great testings is upon God's people, and there is need for their comfort and encouragement. The Lord has promised “grace sufficient” and help for every time of need for those who love Him and come confidently unto Him. We believe that as the Lord's dear children throughout the earth read the contents of this book and see how wonderfully He has shielded them from the storms of human passion and from the snares of the great Adversary; and that when they see that the unrighteous, wicked systems of Babylon are now crumbling under the mighty hand of God—which bespeaks the early deliverance of the last members of the Body from this vale of tears into the glorious light and liberty of the saints—that then they will be greatly comforted; that then they will take new courage and “gird up the loins of their mind, be sober and hope to the end for the grace that is to come unto them quickly;” that with exceeding joy they will lift up their heads, because the hour of deliverance is at hand! To all the truly consecrated who read and appreciate this book we believe that the words of the Master, “THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND!” will sound in their ears like clarion notes upon the clear morning air, giving courage and strength to those who are growing weak in faith, and more courage to the stronger ones. We believe that every one who appreciates this volume will have a burning desire to grasp his weapon and go forth to the smiting of the Jordan, giving praise to the Lord for the privilege.

Some will murmur and find fault with this book; some will grow angry, and some will join the persecutors. But, we believe, every saint whose heart is filled with love for God and for His people will rejoice and give praise to the Lord for this further evidence of His blessed favor.

The publisher takes pleasure in presenting this, the Seventh Volume, to the remaining members of the Church, and to all who may read with profit to themselves and to the glory of the Lord Jesus and our Father. As the Lord has sent forth the other six volumes, His blessing has accompanied each. That His blessing may be upon this volume, to the comfort and encouragement of the dear saints in the hour of direst need, is our prayer!

WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY.

[pg 010]

Explanatory Note

This posthumous work of Pastor Russell (arranged for use as a textbook) is much condensed, including the extracts from the Pastor's pen, all of which are referred back to his works. The abbreviations used are:

A, B, C, D, E, F. The six preceding volumes of “STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES”
(Citations to E in italic figures refer to old editions, figures in ordinary type to later editions.)
B. S. M. ... “THE BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY.”
H. ... “What Say the Scriptures ABOUT HELL?”
P-D. ... “PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION” Scenario.
T. ... “TABERNACLE SHADOWS.”
S. ... “SPIRITISM” Pamphlet.
Z. ... “ZION'S WATCH TOWER,” followed by year and page.

The citations to REVELATION and EZEKIEL refer to the comments herein, as well as to the Bible text.

Other abbreviations used are:

Barnes ... Barnes' “Revelation.”
Brit. ... “Encyclopedia Britannica.”
Buck ... Buck's “Theological Dictionary.”
Coffin ... Coffin's “Story of Liberty.”
Cook ... Cook's “Revelation;” a compendium of the presentations of seventy-two leading commentators on Revelation, in all languages and all ages of the church.
Edgar ... Edgar's “Pyramid Passages.” Vol. II.
McC. ... McClintock and Strong's Encyclopedia.
Mosheim ... Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History.
S. B. D. ... Smith's Bible Dictionary.
Smith ... Smith's “Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation.”
Weym ... Weymouth's New Testament In Modern Speech.
[pg 011]

The Revelation Of [St.] John [The Divine]1

Revelation 1—The Message For This Day

The Revelation of Jesus Christ.—John the Revelator and the Prophet Habakkuk have foretold that the understanding of this revelation, given in 96 A. D., is set for an appointed time, the end of the age; and that, at this time, now, when the predicted “Faithful and wise servant” would be present with God's people, the vision would be made plain.—Rev. 1:10; Matt. 24:45; Hab. 2:1-3; 1 Pet 1:13.

Which God gave unto Him.“The declaration that ‘the Son can do nothing of Himself,’ if it were not backed up as it is by a score of other testimonies from the same interested and inspired Teacher, is a contradiction to the common thought of Trinitarians, that the Son is the Father.”—Z. '99-45; John 5:20; 12:49; 17:7,8.

To shew unto His [servants] SAINTS.2“Our Lord Jesus has promised us that, as the Elder Brother (of the Gospel House of Sons), whatsoever the Father shall make known to Him He in turn will make known to us.”—Z. '99-45.

The things.—The shifting scenes of Church and State, the history of the Gospel and Millennial Ages.

Which must shortly come to pass.—Which began at once, in St. John's day, and will continue until the completion of all that he foresaw.

And He sent.—He did not come Himself, but acted with the dignity becoming Him who is now the express Image of the Father's person. “Dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, nor can see.”—Heb. 1:3; 1 Tim. 6:16.

[pg 012]

And signified It“Our Lord's revelation, which God gave Him after He had passed into glory, He sent and signified [signified, told in signs, symbols, etc.] to His Church.”—B. 203.

By His angel.—The “angel” of Rev. 3:14 represented this messenger who appeared to St. John. Our Lord's promise in Luke 12:44 is not limited to activities on this side the veil.

Unto His servant John.“This simplicity, common to all the Apostles, commends them to us as men of humble mind—the very kind we should expect our Lord to use as special messengers to His people.”—Z. '16-343; Rev. 19:10.

1:2. Who bare record.—Previously, In the Fourth Gospel, and in the three epistles bearing his name.

Of the Word of God.—The Logos. St. John has had more to say of the Logos than had any other Apostle. “In olden times certain kings made addresses to their subjects by proxy, the king sitting behind a screen, while his word, or spokesman, stood before the screen, and addressed the people aloud on subjects whispered to him by the king, who was not seen, and such a speaker was termed the King's logos.”—E. 94-85.

And of the testimony.—The daily words and deeds, during the three and a half years of His ministry.

Of Jesus Christ.“The Faithful and True Witness.”—Rev. 3:14.

[And of all] WHAT things [that] SOEVER he saw.—St. John's powers of observation were acute. His Gospel contains records of twenty-two events or teachings not mentioned by the other Evangelists.

1:3. Blessed is he.—Singular.

That readeth.—Correctly interprets the symbolisms.

And they.—Plural.

That hear the [words] WORD of this prophecy.“All who have read and understood even a part of the teachings of the book were blessed as promised. It was an important aid to Luther in deciding that the Papacy, of which he was a conscientious minister, was ‘Antichrist’ ”—A. 27.

And keep.—Keep the eyes upon, observe (so the Greek Indicates).—Rev. 22:7.

Those things which are written therein.“There is a blessing upon those who read this revelation, even though they do not understand, and a special blessing upon those who hear and understand the words of this prophecy, and who conform their lives to the things therein written.”—Z. '16-343.

For the time is at hand.—The fulfilments began at once, in St. John's own day.

[pg 013]

1:4. John to the seven churches.—Not merely the seven literal congregations mentioned in Verse 11 and elsewhere, but to the epochs of the Church as a whole, from Apostolic days until now.

Which are in Asia.—In the Orient, the East, the early path of the sun. Before the Sun of Righteousness can illuminate the world of mankind, its rays must first have passed through the Church, the first to greet and welcome the New Day.

Grace be unto you.—May favor, unmerited, be your happy portion.

And peace.—The Lord's special legacy to His Church.—John 14:27.

From Him.—Our glorified Lord and Head.—Rev. 1:8.

Which is.—Now self-existent, like the Father.—John 5:26.

And which was.—The Logos, the Father's Agent in the creation of all things (John 1:3), and subsequently, as man's Redeemer, “made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.”—Heb. 2:9.

And which is to come.—In glory and great power at His Second Advent, “until He shall have set judgment in the earth.”—Isa. 42:4.

And from the seven spirits.—Lamps of fire, or eyes. (Rev. 4:5; 5:6.) “In this symbolical picture the eye of the Lord is represented as seven or complete, all-seeing, everywhere, all-knowing. This is our confidence, this is our rejoicing.”—Z. '05-318; Zech. 3:9, 4:10.

Which are before His Throne.—Which are “sent forth into all the earth.”—Rev. 4:5.

1:5. And.Kai, even. For a similar use of the word see the expression, “God Himself and our Father” (1 Thes. 3:11), which, in the Diaglott, is rendered, “God Himself, even our Father.”

From Jesus Christ the faithful Witness.“Who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession.” (1 Tim. 6:13.) Our Lord's admission to Pilate, “I am a King; to this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world” (John 18:37), was the direct cause of His death. The accusation set up over His head was, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.” (John 19:19; Matt. 27:37.) Similarly faithful admissions may end the earthly careers of the feet-members of His Body.

The First Begotten of the dead.“The First-Born of the dead ones.” (Diaglott.) (1 Cor. 15:20; Col. 1:18; Acts 26:23.) “This verse clearly teaches what the creeds of Christendom ignore; namely, that our Lord was the first to experience a resurrection to perfection and eternal life in the full sense of the word.”—Z. '16-343; Acts 13:33, 34.

[pg 014]

And.—Even.

The Prince.—The King-Elect, now ruling in their hearts.

Of the kings of the earth.—His associate kings, “The kings of the East.” (Rev. 16:12.) “All are to be awakened from the Adamic death, as though from a sleep. They will then be under the care of the Royal Priesthood, whose experience with sin, and whose victory over sin, well fitted them to be helpful toward those over whom they will reign, as Kings as well as Priests. (Rev. 5:10.)”—E. 487, 478.

Unto Him that [loved] LOVETH us.—Our Lord's love for us is ever-present.

And [washed] FREED us from our sins [in] BY His own blood.“That it was the death of the Man Christ Jesus, His ‘blood,’ that secured our release from sin and death is most unequivocally stated in many Scriptures. See 1 Pet 1:2; Acts 4:12; 20:28; Rev. 5:9; Rom. 5:9; Heb. 13:12.”—E. 458, 446; Matt. 20:28; 1 Tim. 2:6; Rev. 14:4.

1:6. And hath made us.—And will make us during the Millennial Age.

[Kings and] A KINGDOM, priests.—The work of a priest is that of intervention and of instruction in righteousness. It logically implies subjects and a future work of salvation.—1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 5:10; 20:6; 22:5.

Unto God and His Father.“Unto the God and Father of Himself.”—Diaglott. Rom. 15:6; 2 Cor. 1:3; Eph. 1:3.

To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.“He shall have dominion also from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth;... and let the whole earth be filled with His glory; Amen, and Amen.” (Psa. 72:8, 19.) “For ever and ever” is literally “for the ages of the ages.” The Millennium and subsequent ages are the ages of the ages.

1:7. Behold, He cometh with clouds.“While the clouds of trouble hang heavy and dark, when the mountains—kingdoms of this world—are trembling and falling, when the earth—organized society—is being shaken and disintegrated, some will begin to realize that Jehovah's Anointed is taking to Himself His great power and is beginning His work of laying justice to the line and righteousness to the plummet.”—Z. '16-344; Matt 24:30.

And every eye shall see Him.“He will not be visible to natural sight, but to the eyes of understanding, as these shall open to an appreciation of the punishments and blessings which will flow to mankind from His Reign. Our King will reveal Himself gradually. Some will discern the new Ruler sooner than will others. But ultimately ‘every eye shall see [Greek, horao, discern] Him.’ ”—Z. '16-344.

[pg 015]

And they also which pierced Him.“And I will pour upon the House of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem [the Jewish people], the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son.”—Zech. 12:10.

And all kindreds of the earth shall [wail because of] BEWAIL Him.“At the time of our Lord's Second Advent the world will be far from converted to God; for ‘all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.’ Christ comes before the conversion of the world and for the very purpose of converting all mankind.”—Z. '16-344.

Even so, Amen.—We cannot stop the clouds of the Time of Trouble, or the tears of disappointment, and later, of repentance; and we would not if we could. The trouble and the tears are a necessary preparation for the blessings which follow.

1:8. I am THE Alpha and I AM ALSO THE Omega.—Alpha is the first letter, and Omega the last letter, of the Greek alphabet.

The Beginning and the Ending.“Our Lord's great honor is shown in that He was not only the first of God's creation, but the last. From this we are to understand that the great Jehovah did not directly employ His own power in creating either men or angels; but that He delegated His power to His Only-begotten Son.”—Z. '93-115.

Saith the Lord GOD.—But not the clergy; they will have none of this doctrine.

Which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.“It is since His resurrection that the message has gone forth—‘All power in Heaven and in earth is given unto Me.’ (Matt 28:18.) Consequently it is only since then that He could be called the Almighty.”—Z. '93-115; Rev. 1:4; 16:5-7.

1:9. I John, who [also] am your brother.“Instead of adding titles to his name, as Reverend, Bishop, Overseer of all the Churches in Asia Minor, we find John introducing himself as ‘your brother.’ ”—Z. '01-187.

And companion in tribulation.“He was sharer with Christ, as a member of His Body, in His afflictions, in His endurance; and the brother of all fellow-disciples, sharers of the same sufferings, and prospectively of the same glory.”—Z. '01-187: Matt. 20:23.

And [In] the kingdom.—Now, while “the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence;” and later, when “the Kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High.”—Matt 11:12; Dan. 7:27.

[pg 016]

And patience [of] IN Jesus [Christ].—When Saul persecuted the saints, he persecuted Jesus. When St. Paul suffered as a Christian, it was as part of the “dying of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 9:5; 2 Cor. 4:10.) What St. John cheerfully endured was endured by Jesus.

Was in the isle that is called Patmos.“At the time of this vision St. John was a prisoner, exiled to the Isle of Patmos, a penal colony of those days [a convict quarry]—a rocky, barren island in the Ægean Sea. The crime for which he suffered this banishment was his faithfulness as the Lord's mouthpiece. St. John, the beloved disciple, in some measure, or degree, represented the last living members of the Body of Christ (John 21:20-23)—a class that see with the eyes of their understanding the visions and revelations which the beloved disciple saw in symbol in a trance. If, then, St. John's exile in any degree represents ostracism which the Lord's followers may expect in the close of this Age—a complete isolation from others and a treatment implying that they are prisoners—they may take comfort from the thought that our Lord's favor and revelation to St. John more than offset his persecutions.”—Z. '16-343.

For the Word of God.“St. John, with remarkable modesty, passes over his previous service for the Truth (Rev. 1:2), which had brought him his persecution, and lightly passes over the persecution itself, merely noting that he was in the island because of his fidelity to the Word of God.”—Z. '01-187.

And for the testimony of Jesus.—As recorded in the Gospel according to St. John and the three Johannean epistles.

1:10. I was in the spirit.“Visions are not realities, although symbolically representing them. (Dan. 7:1; Matt. 17:9.) The visions granted to St. John, recorded in the Revelation, are in no sense to be understood as realities.”—Z. '16-343; Acts 10:10.

On the Lord's Day.“According to our understanding of Bible chronology we today are living in the early dawn of this Day of Christ; and it is here, properly enough, that we begin to see the wonderful things of the Divine Character and Plan. But to see and to understand we must be ‘in the spirit.’ Only those who have become New Creatures in Christ can be expected to appreciate spiritual things; and this is the class which the Apostle John represented.”—Z. '16-343.

And heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.“The fact that its location is mentioned implies that it has a symbolic meaning. It signifies that the beginning of [pg 017] this Message was not in St. John's day, nor in the future, but that the things revealed had already commenced and were already to some extent in the past. As some features of the Revelation show, the voice from behind went back to the time of our Lord's earthly ministry.” (Z. '16-344.) “As John heard a voice behind him and looked in that direction, so we who now are having the realities find that the Message is behind us, and turn and look toward the past to see the fulfilment of the various features of the Divine Plan and to hear and understand the Message given to His people by the risen Lord.”—Z. '05-168.

1:11. Saying, [I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last: and] What thou seest, write in a book and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia.“There are many reasons for concluding that while the messages were given to the seven churches specified and were applicable to them, they should properly have a still wider application to the whole Church of Christ, the number seven representing completeness, and the order representing different epochs in the history of the Church. To think otherwise would be to attach more importance to those comparatively small churches of Asia Minor than they would seem to have deserved, and would have implied an ignoring of other churches more numerous and more influential; as, for instance, the churches at Jerusalem, Antioch, Corinth, Colosse, Philippi, Thessalonica, etc. Furthermore, the details of the messages given to these seven churches apply to and fit historically the one Church of the living God, over every member and branch of which the Lord has a care. This thought, that the seven represented completeness, we find emphasized in the other symbolical representations—in the seven golden candlesticks, the seven stars, etc.” (Z. '05-168.) Colosse (Col. 1:2), Miletus (Acts 20:17) and Hierapolis (Col. 4:13) were churches in Asia, not here mentioned. The Asia mentioned is the westernmost province of Asia Minor.

Unto Ephesus.—The Apostolic Age of the Church.

And unto Smyrna.—The Church during the period of persecution by Pagan Rome.

And unto Pergamos.—The Church during the period of the rise of Antichrist.

And unto Thyatira.—The Church during the Dark Ages, the period of Antichrist's glory, and persecution by Papal Rome.

And unto Sardis.—The Church in the dawn of the Reformation.

And unto Philadelphia.—The Church in the period of reformation by sects.

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And unto Laodicea.—The Church in the time of the Lord's Second Presence.

1:12. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me.“The Apostles saw in symbol what the Lord's people may now see with the eye of faith and understanding. He saw One like a son of man—like a man, like a priest, as implied by the clothes described—walking amongst seven golden candlesticks, caring for them, trimming the wicks, seeing to the supply of oil, etc. Thus our Lord Jesus, our glorified Master, has directed respecting His people's affairs, inspecting and caring for the Church as a light-bearer, a candlestick. Alas, how poor the wicks have sometimes been! How feeble the light that has sometimes shone out! How much trimming has been necessary!”—Z. '16-344.

And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks.“The Golden Candlestick, or Lamp-stand, which stood opposite the Golden Table, and gave light to all in the ‘Holy,’ was of gold—all of one piece hammered out. (Exod. 25:31-37.) It had seven branches, each of which held a lamp, making seven lamps in all—a perfect or complete number. This represented the complete Church, from the Head, Jesus, to and including the last member of the ‘little flock’ that He is taking out from among men, to be partakers of the Divine (gold) nature.”—T. 115; Rev. 1:20; Zech. 4:2; Matt. 5:14-16.

1:13. And in the midst of the seven candlesticks.“The union, the relationship between them, being supplied by our Redeemer, the antitypical High Priest.”—Z. '16-344.

One like unto the son of man.“This symbolical picture has precious lessons for us, more valuable than an attempt to describe to our minds the appearance of our Lord as a Spirit Being, ‘dwelling in light which no man can approach unto,’ and which we cannot appreciate until we shall be changed to ‘be like Him and see Him as He is.’—1 John 3:2; 1 Cor. 15:50-53.”—Z. '16-344; Dan. 7:13.

Clothed with a garment down to the foot.“The glory of Christ was manifested in His own person, in His own ministry, and in that of His Twelve Apostles, His representatives—St. Paul taking the place of Judas; with their death the body of Truth was almost veiled throughout the eighteen centuries intervening, until now.”—Z. '16-344.

And girt about the breast.—The support of the garment at the breast, instead of the neck, left the arms and shoulders uncovered, representing that the early Church was favored with the light of the true Gospel for a considerable time after our Lord and Head had completed His earthly ministry.

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With a golden girdle.—Gold is a symbol of the Divine nature; the girdle a symbol of service. (Rev. 15:6.) Throughout the Age the Lord has been serving His Church. “Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching; verily I say unto you that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” “I am among you as he that serveth.”—Luke 12:37; 22:27.

1:14. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow.“The head, with its white hair, is not to teach us that our Lord in glory has the form of a man, with white hairs, but merely suggestive and symbolic of knowledge, experience, wisdom.”—Z. '01-188; Matt. 17:2.

And His eyes were as a flame of fire.“His eyes like a flame of fire tell us in symbol that our Master is all-seeing, omniscient; that He is not deceived by outward forms and ceremonies; but that He can, and does, read every thought and intent of the heart.”—Z. '16-344; Rev. 19:12.

1:15. And His feet like unto fine brass.“The feet, described as like furnace-refined copper, seem to say that those who belong to the Body of Christ, and whom the Lord would use in His service, ‘the feet’ members of the Body, must, in their contact and dealings with the world, be refined, purified, clean—‘Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord's house.’ ”—Z. '01-188; Ezek. 1:7.

As if they burned in a furnace.“In the end of the Age, the feet members of the Body of Christ will be illuminated by the Truth and will shine forth—not like the Head, but as polished brass. We have shining upon us with almost burning brightness the focused rays of Divine inspiration and revelation from the past 6,000 years. How it should consume in us all the dross of selfishness! How it should purify us! How humble it should make us!”—Z. '16-344.

And His voice as the sound of many waters.“The many waters signify peoples, nations and languages, as elsewhere explained in this book. Thus our Lord, present with His Church, speaks to her and through her by many tongues, in many languages.”—Z. '01-188; Rev. 19:6.

1:16. And He had in His right hand.“This One whom we thus know, thus recognize, as the Instructor and Caretaker of the candlesticks, we are also to recognize as having in His right hand—in His favor as well as His power—seven stars, the angels, the messengers, of the seven Churches. That they are in His right hand seems to teach us that these should be considered as in some special sense under the Master's guidance, protection and care in the interest of the Churches which they represented.”—Z. '16-345; Jer. 22:24.

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Seven stars.“Apparently the stars represent special ministers, or servants of the Church. In Revelation 12:1 the Church is pictured as a Woman crowned with twelve stars. These stars evidently represent the Twelve Apostles as the special lights of the Church. Similarly, in the picture before us, the seven stars which the Lord holds in His right hand seem to represent special light-bearers in the Church—in each of its seven phases, or stages, of development. It will be noticed that the messages to the various Churches are sent by these stars, messengers, angels, as though our Lord would have us understand that the appropriate message for each appropriate epoch in the Church's experience would be sent by the Lord through a particular star, or messenger, whom He would especially commission as His representative. Our Lord Himself is represented by the great light of the sun; and His special messengers in the Church throughout the entire period of the Gospel Age are consistently enough represented as stars.”—Z. '16-345; Rev. 1:20.

And out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword.“No part of the description could more thoroughly convince us that the description of our Lord given here is symbolic. As a symbolic picture, it speaks to us of the Word of the Lord, the Sword of the Spirit, ‘sharper than any two-edged sword.’ (Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12.) It reminds us that our Lord's words are not one-sided, not directed merely against sin in one class, but that His Word is sharp, cutting in every direction; that sin is reproved by Him as much when found in His most earnest followers as when found elsewhere. It assures us that none need attempt to pluck out the mote from his brother's eye without first getting rid of the beam in his own eye; and that if we do not show mercy to those who are our debtors we must not expect mercy from Him who has purposed to extend His mercy toward us. How heart-searching is God's Word when we understand it—not merely as a compendium of rules and regulations, but when we catch the spirit of it! Then we come to see that its requirement is love out of a pure heart; first, to the Heavenly Father; secondly, to our Lord and Head; thirdly, to all His brethren; fourthly, to the world in general, groaning and travailing in pain, waiting for the blessings of the coming Day of Christ; and fifthly, toward our enemies also, sympathetically realizing that they are warped, twisted and blinded through the deceitfulness of sin and through the machinations of the great Adversary.—2 Cor. 4:4.”—Z. '16-345; Rev. 2:12, 16; 19:15, 21; Isa. 11:4.

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And His countenance [was as the sun] shineth AS THE SUN in his strength.“And his face was as it were the sun.”—Rev. 10:1; Acts 26:13.

1:17. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.“So great was the splendor that St. John fell as dead, just as Daniel did in the presence of the mighty One whom he saw, and just as Saul of Tarsus did before the majesty presented to him. (Dan. 10:4-11; Acts 9:3-9.) So it is symbolically with the Christian, when once he gets a glimpse of the glories of the Divine Character. When once we get a true view of Him with whom we have to do, as the great Heart-searcher and Caretaker of His Church, we fall before Him, humbled to the dust, realizing that we are imperfect, that we cannot stand before our Master, that we are unworthy of His blessing.”—Z. '16-344; Ezek. 1:28.

And He laid His right hand upon me.“As our Lord touched St. John gently, raising him up, so He has spoken to us comfort, peace and love, assuring us that we have a High Priest that can be touched with a feeling of our infirmities, One who is able to sympathize and mercifully to assist.”—Z. '16-345.

Saying [unto me, Fear not]; I am the First and the Last.“We must recognize that our Lord is the One who was the beginning of the creation of God and the end of it, the One by whom are all things, next to the Father in everything pertaining to the affairs of the Universe.—Col. 1:15; Rev. 3:14; John 1:1-3; 1 Cor. 8:6.”—Z. '16-345; Rev. 1:11; 2:8.

1:18. I am He that liveth, and was dead.“The Lord now liveth, and in order to appreciate this we understand that He was dead for parts of three days—not merely apparently dead, but actually dead—His soul poured out unto death, made an offering for sin.—Isa. 53:10-12.” (Z. '01-189.) “It was because Christ's soul (being) was dead that the Apostles could declare that unless His soul, being, were made alive again by a resurrection there could be no hope in Him as a Savior and a Life-giver.”—Z. '01-122.

And behold, I am alive for evermore, [Amen].“Death has no more dominion over Him. (Rom. 6:9.) Neither sacrifices of the Mass nor death in any sense or form ever will be needed. His work is perfect. ‘It is finished!’ ”—Z. '16-345; John 19:30.

And have the keys of [hell] DEATH.“He has the key, the power over death, in order that those who have not yet gone into the tomb, but who are under the death sentence, may all be ultimately delivered into the full liberty of the sons of God—righteousness and life everlasting.—Rom. 8:21.”—Z. '16-345.

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And of [death] HELL.“These words imply that the Lord's people go to Hades, and that the hope when going down to Hades, to oblivion, is that in due time our great Redeemer shall unlock this figurative prisonhouse of death and bring forth the captives. This is the significance of the statement that He has the keys—He can open; all power is given into His hand. In preaching at His First Advent, He declared this to be the Gospel. (Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18.) How full of meaning are these Scriptures when viewed from the proper standpoint; how confusing and absurd when viewed from any other!”—E. 397, 378.

1:19. Write THEREFORE the things which thou hast seen.—John was personally familiar with the first epoch, then already in the past. What he wrote of that epoch (Rev. 2:1-7) serves as a guide to what follows.

And the things which are.—John was writing in the second epoch, already in its persecution era.—Rev. 2:8-11.

And the things which [shall be] MUST SHORTLY COME TO PASS hereafter.—The five remaining epochs of the Church, and the Kingdom to follow.

1:20. The mystery of the seven stars.—Every true reformer must go contrary to the current of his times; and, in proportion as he has the Master's spirit, he cannot fail to be, like Him, a man of mystery to his own generation—“a Stone of Stumbling and a Rock of Offense”—to those who have not “ears to hear.”

Which thou sawest in My right hand.—Small wonder that these great reformers seemed almost to have charmed lives!

And the seven golden candlesticks.“The Candlestick, or Lampstand, represents the nominal, rather than the true Church. This is shown by the fact that in addressing each of these churches the Lord finds fault with the many and approves the faithful few.”—Z. '16-344.

The seven stars.“The star-light is the Heavenly light, the spiritual enlightenment or instruction. The lamp-light is the earthly light, representing good works, obedience, etc., of those who are exhorted to let their light so shine that it will glorify their Father in Heaven.”—Z. '16-345.

Are the angels of the seven churches.“The title is borrowed from the Jewish Synagogue, in which the angel, or messenger of the assembly, was the person who presided over and arranged the meetings for worship.” (Cook.)—Mal. 2:7; Hag. 1:13.

And the seven candlesticks [which thou sawest] are the seven churches.“Alas! The Master evidently found but few good works, little glorifying light shining out from His earthly representatives in many of the seven epochs of the history of the Church.”—Z. '16-344; Rev. 1:12; Zech. 4:2.

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Revelation 2—St. Paul, St. John, Arius And Waldo

2:1. [Unto] BY the angel.—The special messenger in the Harvest of the Jewish Age was St. Paul. A Hebrew of the Hebrews (Phil. 3:5), he was a free-born Roman citizen (Acts 22:25-29), highly educated (Acts 22:3), spoke Greek (Acts 21:37) and Hebrew (Acts 22:2), and was presumably a member of the Sanhedrin at the time of St. Stephen's death. (Acts 7:58; 8:1; 26:10.) Chosen before his birth (Gal. 1:15), he was supernaturally inducted into the Body of Christ (Acts 9:1-22) to take the place of Judas (Psa. 109:8; Acts 1:20), was privately instructed in the fullness of the Gospel (Gal. 1:11, 12, 17), was specially commissioned to explain this Gospel to the brethren at Jerusalem (Gal. 2:1, 2), did not hesitate to correct the erring Peter (Gal. 2:11), was acknowledged by St. Peter as filled with Heavenly wisdom (2 Pet. 3:15, 16), wrote over half of the books of the New Testament, carried the Gospel into Europe (Acts 16:9), supported himself with his own hands while he preached (Acts 20:32-35), and suffered almost unbelievable hardships of every description—besides having “the care of all the churches.” (2 Cor. 11:24-28.) What a service and honor, here and hereafter, Judas missed by his love of money! St. Paul was beheaded by Nero, A. D. 66.

Of the church [of] IN Ephesus.—The first age of the Church began at Pentecost in the spring of A. D. 33, and ended in the spring of A. D. 73. “It may be proper to mention also what things occurred that show the benignity of that all-gracious Providence, that had deferred their destruction for forty years after their crimes against Christ.” (Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History.) “On the 15th of Nisan, i. e., of April, in the year 73 A. D., the first day of the Easter festival, the same day on which, according to tradition, the God of Israel had led His people out of Egyptian bondage into freedom, the last bulwark of Israel's liberty had fallen, and Israel was delivered into bondage.” (Cornil's History of the People of Israel.) “Masada attained great importance in the war with the Romans.... With the fall of Masada the war came to an end, on the 15th of Nisan, 73.” (The Jewish Encyclopedia.) “The capture of Masada, a Jewish fortress on the southwestern shores of the Dead Sea, put a termination to one of the [pg 024] fiercest struggles recorded in history (73 A. D.)”—Morrison's Jews Under Roman Rule.

“Judea was not entirely subjugated; for three strong fortresses were still in arms: Herodium, Machaerus, and Masada.... The heroes agreed to this proposal (of their leader Eleasar) even with enthusiasm, and on the first day of the great Feast of the Passover (A. D. 73), after slaying their own wives and children, they all perished on their own swords.” (Graetz's History of the Jews, Vol. 2.) “Eleasar accordingly persuaded all his people during that night to kill their wives and children and then themselves, but to burn all their treasures first. The next day the Romans found only 960 dead bodies, whilst but two women and five children hid themselves in caverns and were discovered. The Easter of the year 73, just seven years from the beginning of the great movement and 40 years after Christ's crucifixion, saw this end of the whole tragedy.” (Ewald's History of Israel, Vol. 7, which is entitled “The Apostolic Age,” and which Prof. Ewald makes to end with the year A. D. 73.) Josephus also relates that Masada fell on the 15th of Nisan, April, A. D. 73; but the quotation is too lengthy to be inserted here.

The meaning of the word Ephesus is “permission,” which, understood as “approval,” harmonizes well with the tradition that the meaning is “desirable.” Anything that has approval is desirable.

Write.—St. Paul wrote a third of the New Testament.

These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand.“In the first chapter we have a description of ‘One like unto a son of man.’ Some one or more of the features of this description are mentioned in connection with each of the successive stages of the Church.”—Z. '16-346; Rev. 1:16, 20.

Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.“We could not doubt the love and care of our glorified Head even if He had given us no explicit declaration on the subject.” (F. 401; Rev. 1:13; Lev. 24:2-4.)

2:2. I know thy works.—The early Christians “took joyfully the spoiling of their goods” (Heb. 10:34); in “great trial of affliction” they abounded in joy, and in “deep poverty” were liberal “beyond their power.” (2 Cor. 8:2, 3.) They were living epistles, “known and read of all men.”—2 Cor. 8:2, 3.

And thy labor.—Considered as betrayers of the Jewish faith; living in the midst of heathen idolatry, without railways, steamships, automobiles, bicycles, telegraphs, telephones, printing, postal service, electricity, gas, or kerosene—in the midst of densest ignorance and basest morals—the [pg 025] early Christians traversed the seas and lands of the known world, braving floggings, stonings, hunger, thirst, cold, nakedness and martyrdom, that they might tell the good news of the coming Kingdom.—2 Cor. 11:24-27.

And thy patience.Hupomonee. “An endurance of wrong or affliction with contentment, without rebellion of will, with full acquiescence in the Divine Wisdom and Love.”—Z. '01-115.

And how thou canst not bear them which are evil.“How much earnestness it produced in you! what an apology! what indignation! what earnest desire! what zeal! what a punishment! In everything you proved yourselves to be pure in this matter.” (2 Cor. 7:11, Diaglott.) “Sufficient for such a person is this punishment, which was inflicted by the majority; so that, on the other hand, you ought to forgive and comfort him, lest such an one should be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I entreat you publicly to confirm your love towards him.”—2 Cor. 2:6-8, Diaglott.

And thou hast tried.—Made experiment of, Greek implies.

Them which [say they are] CALL THEMSELVES apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.“Giving out that himself was some great one,” like the clergy of other times, Simon Magus sought “also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit,” but learned that he had “neither part nor lot in this matter” because his heart was “not right in the sight of God.” (Acts 8:9-24.) Also, there were “certain men which came down from Judea” (Acts 15:1, 2), the “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” in Corinth (2 Cor. 11:12-15); “Hymenaeus and Alexander” (1 Tim. 1:20); “Philetus” (2 Tim. 2:17); those who would “pervert the Gospel of Christ” in Galatia (Gal. 1:7); “Phygellus and Hermogenes.”—2 Tim. 1:15; Acts 20:28-30; Rev. 2:6.

2:3. And [hast borne and] hast patience.Hupomonee, constant, cheerful endurance.

And ALL AFFLICTIONS AND HAST BORNE for My name's sake [hast labored].“And hast suffered on account of My name.” (Diaglott.) “As concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against.” (Acts 28:22.) The natural course is, hatred, slander, then murder. (Matt. 5:21, 22.) It is said that Peter was crucified with head downward (A. D. 70); Andrew was crucified on a cross decussate (X); James was murdered by Herod (A. D. 44), (Acts 12:2); Bartholomew was first flayed alive and then crucified with his head downward; Matthew died a martyr (supposedly); Thomas was impaled on a spear; [pg 026] James the son of Alphaeus was thrown down from the Temple and was then stoned, and his brains dashed out with a club; Simon Zelotes was crucified; Paul beheaded.

And hast not fainted.“Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due time we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Gal. 6:9.) “Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”—Heb. 12:3.

2:4. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee.—The Lord's nominal people of the Apostolic Age.

Because thou hast left thy first love.“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.”—Gal. 1:6.

2:5. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen.“Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazing stock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.”—Heb. 10:32, 33.

And repent, and do the first works.“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.”—Heb. 10:35.

Or else I will come unto thee [quickly], and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.—The nominal church was in grave danger of being disowned and rejected. “By far the larger proportion were not consecrated to death, not of the Royal Priesthood, but merely Levites, doing the service of the Sanctuary, but not sacrificing.”—T. 118.

2:6. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes.“Conquerors of the people”—the clergy.—Rev. 2:15.

Which I also hate.—When the Lord's people hate the idea of a class that seeks to be “lords over God's heritage” (1 Pet. 5:2, 3), they hate something that the Lord hates.

2:7. He that hath an ear.—To receive and understand the voice of God through His Word.—Matthew 11:15; 13:9, 43; Rev. 13:9.

Let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.“If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept [observed, ‘heard’] My saying, they will keep yours also.”—John 15:20.

To him that overcometh.—See 1 John 2:13, 14.

Will I give to eat of the tree of life.“All the trees in Eden were trees of life, and the overcomers of the Gospel Age shall have full liberty to partake of ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ when the knowledge will be of benefit to them, and not bring a curse.”—Z. '16-346.

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Which is in the [midst of the] Paradise of God.“Paradise, the garden of God, was applicable as a name to the Garden of Eden, in which our first parents resided while they were still in harmony with God, before their disobedience; and the same term is Scripturally applied as a name to the new earth when restitution blessings shall, during our Lord's Second Presence (the Millennium), have brought it to perfection as the fit abode of those who, under Divine favor, shall then prove worthy of life everlasting. It is this same Paradise of the future on this earth that our Lord referred to when addressing the penitent thief, and that is elsewhere referred to as ‘the third heaven’‘new heavens and a new earth.’ (2 Cor. 12:2, 4; 2 Pet. 3:13.)”—Z. '01-198.

2:8. And [unto] BY the angel.—The mouthpiece of the Lord to the second epoch of the Church was St. John himself. He was the one whom Jesus specially loved (John 13:23; 20:2; 21:7, 20); to him Jesus committed His choicest earthly possession (John 19:26); length of days were implied in the Lord's statement, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” (John 21:22.) He died at Ephesus at the age of 100, four years after writing the Apocalypse. Polycarp, Ignatius and Papias, his disciples, record that he was a tower of strength to the Church when the Roman Emperors Nero, Domitian and Trajan were endeavoring to destroy the hated sect. When all his capacity to work was gone, and he had no strength even to stand, he used to be carried into the Christian assemblies where he would repeat the exhortation, “Little children, love one another.” “The end of the commandment is love” (1 Tim. 1:5); and it is significant that the epoch of the Church especially under St. John's faithful and loving care receive no reproof whatever from the Lord.

Of the church in Smyrna.—Greek, myrrh. The word means “bitter,” and, as applied to the history of the church from A. D. 73 to 325, is peculiarly appropriate. This era comprised persecutions under Nero, when Christian women were soaked with tar and burned as torches to light the path of his chariot; under Domitian, in the year 95, when 40,000 suffered martyrdom; under Trajan in the year 100; under Antoninus; under Severus in the year 127, when beautiful and amiable young women were stripped naked before insulting mobs and gored to death by wild cattle; under Maximinus in A. D. 235; under Decius in 250, when all Christians were driven from their estates; under Valerian in 257; under Aurelian in 274; and under Diocletian in A. D. 303.

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Write.—St. John wrote more of the New Testament than any other except St. Paul.

These things saith the First and the Last.“In no other sense or way could He be the First and the Last than as the only direct creation of the Father, through whom all else was created. Any other view would be in conflict with the Scriptures. (Rev. 3:14; Col. 1:15; 1 Cor. 8:6; John 1:1-3, Diaglott.)”—Z. '16-346; Rev. 1:11, 17.

Which was dead, and is alive.—This, in itself, must have been a message of comfort and hope to the suffering martyrs.—Rev. 1:18.

2:9. I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty.“Some of the most sublime pictures of Christian endurance that the world has ever seen were enacted during the Smyrna period of the Church.”—Z. '16-346.

But thou art rich.“The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich.”—Prov. 10:22; Luke 12:21; 1 Tim. 6:18; James 2:5.

And I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not.“ ‘They are not all Israel which are of Israel.’ (Rom. 9:6, 7.) ‘He is not a Jew which is a Jew outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart.’ ”—Z. '99-68.

But are the synagogue of Satan.“Sold under sin, by our first parent, Adam, his family became ‘slaves of sin’ through the weakness of heredity. (Rom. 5:12, 21; 6:16-23; 7:14; 8:20, 21.) In this captive condition they have been blinded by the god (ruler) of the present evil world (condition) who puts evil before their minds as good, and darkness for light. (2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 6:12; Isa. 5:20.) He has general control; first of the masses through ignorance; and secondly, of the more intelligent through pride, selfishness, etc.”—E. 205, 189.

2:10. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer.—Some were covered with the skins of wild beasts and torn in pieces by devouring dogs; some were tortured in red-hot iron chairs; the throats of Christian infants were cut; and edicts were published in all places against the Christians, who were exposed, without protection, to the common rage.—Matt. 10:22.

Behold, the Devil.“It is because there are such beasts as lions, bears and leopards, with known characteristics, that governments were likened to them; and so, it is because there is a Devil, with known characteristics, that the fourth empire is likened to him.” (A. 259.) The Devil used the Roman empire as an instrument.

Shall cast some of you into prison.—Restrain your liberties and opportunities for service.

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That ye may be tried.“Those who have read the history of this period can understand the depths of these words.”—Z. '16-346; Jas. 1:2, 3; 1 Pet. 1:6, 7.

And ye shall have tribulation ten days.“The ten symbolic days refer to the last and most severe persecution under the Roman Emperors—that of the reign of Diocletian, A. D. 303-313.” (Z. '16-346.) “This persecution continued from February 23, A. D. 303, to June 13, A. D. 313. It began in Nicomedia, and became universal. Some were impaled alive; some had their limbs broken, and were left to expire. Some were roasted by slow fires; some suspended by their feet with their heads downward, and, a fire being placed under them, were suffocated by the smoke. Some had melted lead poured down their throats; the flesh of some was torn off with fingers and toes. Houses filled with Christians were set on fire. Numbers of Christians were tied together and thrown into the sea. Seventeen thousand were slain in one month; and during the continuance of this persecution in Egypt alone 144,000 Christians died by violence, besides 700,000 that died through the fatigues of banishment or the public works to which they were condemned. Coins were struck, and inscriptions set up recording the fact that Christian superstition was now utterly exterminated.”—McC.

Be thou faithful unto death.“It is required of all consecrators that they shall ‘die daily,’ and that the end, with us as with our Lord and Head, shall be literal death. As it is written: ‘I have said, Ye are gods [elohim—mighty ones], all of you sons of the Highest; yet ye shall die like men, ye shall fall like one of the princes’—not like Prince Adam, convicts; but like Prince Jesus, participators in His death. (Psa. 82:6, 7.)”—F. 444.

And I will give thee a Crown of Life.“The Apostle James speaks of the same crown and calls it the Crown of Life. (Jas. 1:12.) The Apostle Peter speaking of the same calls it the Crown of Glory. (1 Pet. 5:4.) The thought at the bottom of each of these expressions is the same; namely, the custom in olden times of running races and the giving of a crown to the successful runner at the end of the course. Our reward will be the Crown of Life in the sense that we shall get life on the highest plane, inherent life, immortality. It will be a Crown of Righteousness in the sense that only those who are approved of God as righteous will thus be rewarded and glorified—the righteousness of the Lord fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.”—Z. '03-190; Rev. 3:11; 2 Tim. 2:15; Isa. 62:3; Phil. 3:14.

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2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; he that overcometh.—The overcomer of this Gospel Age only.

Shall not be hurt of the Second Death.—His victory is eternal.

2:12. And [to] BY the angel.—The messenger whose testimony was of special value to the Church while the Papacy was rising into power was Arius. He “maintained that the Son of God was totally and essentially distinct from the Father; that He was the first and noblest of those beings whom God had created—the instrument by whose subordinate operation He formed the Universe; and therefore inferior to the Father both in nature and dignity.” (Buck.) “The controversy spread like a flame throughout the empire. Accordingly the first ecumenical council was held at Nice, A. D. 325, consisting of 318 bishops, most of whom were from the East. The gist of the question to be settled by the Council of Nice lay in the argument of Arius: ‘The Father is a father; the Son is a son; therefore the Father must have existed before the Son; therefore once the Son was not; therefore He was made, like all creatures, of a substance that had not previously existed.’ The creed, as finally adopted, condemned the heresy of Arius and fixed the doctrine as it has been held in the church to this day. Of all the bishops only Thomas of Marmarica, and Secundus of Ptolemais, held out against the threat of banishment by the Emperor. Arius was excommunicated and banished, and his books burnt.”—McC.

“From the time the Nicene Creed was promulgated and accepted, A. D. 325, there was practically no more Bible study for over twelve centuries. During all that time Bible study was considered unnecessary, because the Apostolic Bishops had formulated the creeds as proper statements of the Church's faith. To study the Bible would have meant the studying of how to fight against the Emperor and the bishops.” (Z. '15-253.) “As a result of the failure of these bishops to stand by the Word of the Lord, God's people for centuries have been confessing a Divine trinity, which is incomprehensible; and meantime been neglecting the trinity taught by the Bible, which is more reasonable. If the trinity of the creeds was questioned, hands were lifted in horror, and the questioner was told that the subject was a mystery, which he could not possibly understand, but to doubt which would mean his damnation! The mysterious proposition was sometimes stated to be 3 × 1 is 1; but others stated [pg 031] it differently, 1 × 3 is 1. No wonder if some of the more intelligent specimens of our race declared themselves incapable of understanding such mathematics, and too honest to confess and profess what they could not believe!” (B. S. M.) The witness of Arius created a profound impression. “The doctrine was carried, in the fifth century, into Africa, under the Vandals; and into Asia, under the Goths. But it sunk almost at once, when the Vandals were driven out of Africa, and the Goths out of Italy, by the arms of Justinian. However, it revived again in Italy, under the protection of the Lombards, in the seventh century, and was not extinguished till about the end of the eighth. Arianism was revived in the West by Servetus, in 1531, for which he suffered death.”—Buck.

Of the church in Pergamos.—From Purgos, a tower or citadel. “The name was originally given to a remarkable hill, presenting a conical appearance when viewed from the plain, and strongly fortified by nature and art.” (S. B. D.) Concerning the literal city of Pergamos, of which the rising Papacy was the antitype, we read, “The sumptuousness of the princes raised Pergamos to the rank of the first city of Asia as regards splendor. It was a sort of union of a pagan cathedral city, a university town, and a royal residence, embellished during a succession of years by kings who all had a passion for expenditure and ample means of gratifying it.”—McC.

From the witness by Arius in 325 to the witness by the next special messenger of the Church was the long period of 835 years; and during all that time the Papacy was slowly rising, pushing itself higher and higher. “The first ecumenical council of Nice (325), in its sixth canon, makes only an incidental mention of the Roman bishop. The first pope, in the real sense, was Leo I (440-461). The bishops of the African and the Spanish churches submitted to his demands, and he gained an important foothold even in the East. In Gaul, however, he met with a most determined resistance. Gregory I (590-604) saw that the bishops of Rome could not enjoy the ecclesiastical supremacy at which they aimed until they threw off their political dependency. The triumph of the Catholic Church over Arianism in Spain greatly promoted his plans; but he did not as yet actually possess the power of the mediaeval popes. In the seventh and eighth centuries a series of important events gave the popes a high and influential position among the secular governments of the world. The actual power was, however, for several centuries, not commensurate with their claims and aspirations. In 1073, Hildebrand (Gregory VII), after being for [pg 032] about twenty-five years the guide of the Papal policy, boldly set forth the theory of a theocratic rule of the pope over all the nations of the world. The period from Gregory VII onward is an almost continuous conflict between the popes and the secular governments, during which the former, with an iron firmness, endeavored at first to destroy the direct influence of the princes upon the church, and secondly, to subject all secular governments to the church. This conflict was ended by the Concordat of Worms (1122), by which Emperor Henry V, after the precedence of the governments of England and France, surrendered ‘to God, to St. Peter and Paul, and to the Catholic Church, all right of investiture.’ ” (McC.) The Pergamos (“earthly elevation”) era ended in A. D. 1160, as will be shown.

Write.—Arius' writings were destroyed by Constantine.

These things saith He which hath the sharp sword with two edges.—How the sharp sword, God's Word, wielded by Arius before the Emperor and his brother elders at the Nicean Council, must have cut some of them to the heart when they saw the gentle and aged man (Arius was old at the time the controversy arose) banished into the Balkan mountains, one of the most inhospitable places in the world!—Isa. 11:4, 49:2; Hos. 6:5; Eph. 6:17; 2 Thes. 2:8.

2:13. I know [thy works, and] where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is.“During this period, the true Christians were tested and proved by the introduction and development of Pagan and Papal ideas. The Pagan priests, unwilling to lose their positions of honor and influence amongst the people, while nominally professing Christianity, brought their former ideas with them into the Christian Church.” (Z. '16-346.) The word seat is rendered throne in Lu. 1:32, and refers to Satan's “hellish parody of the Heavenly Kingdom.”—Cook.

And thou holdest fast My name, and hast not denied My faith, [even] in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyr.—Throughout all the western part of Europe the Bishop of Rome finally came to be called the papa, or pope, or Father of the church. “Whoever denounced this attempt to disobey the direct command of Jesus (Matt. 23:9), received the promised persecution. (2 Tim. 3:12.) This class in Pergamos is commended by our Lord under the symbol of ‘Anti-pas, My faithful martyr.’ In Greek, anti- means against, and papas signifies father.”—Z. '16-347.

Who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.—We can give but a partial list of the popes who served from the condemnation of Arius to the end of the Pergamos epoch; but it will be instructive to those who trust in human ordination and are in sympathy with the efforts of [pg 033] present-day clergy to get some of the special spirit that is supposed to be imparted by the laying on of hands of these “successors of St. Peter,” or those to whom they imparted their “authority.” “Saint” Gregory I, pope 590-604 A. D., was the great-great-grandchild of Pope Felix II. When Phocas murdered Emperor Maurice and ascended the throne, Gregory wrote, “The Almighty has chosen you and put you on the throne. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth leap for joy.” Phocas was not ungrateful and in return established the supremacy of the see of Rome over all the other sees. Gregory was the discoverer of Purgatory, it having been revealed to him by means of “apparitions” and visions. See middle of page 127.

Honorius I, 625-638, has been condemned as having taught a heresy ex cathedra (officially). The interest in this lies in the fact that in 1870 the Vatican Council declared the infallibility of all the popes in their ex cathedra utterances. But the pope who declared Honorius a heretic did it ex cathedra also. Hundreds of “learned” volumes have been written in the effort to make this pretty snarl clear to the Roman clergy. It is clear enough to others. “Saint” Agathon, 678-682, claimed to be a miracle worker. He was the infallible pope who denounced the doctrines taught by infallible Honorius I. “Saint” Nicholas I, 858-867, “tamed kings and tyrants, and ruled the world like a sovereign; to the wicked and unconverted he was a terror.” So says a Catholic historian. John VIII, 872-882, must have seriously offended one of the “brethren” at the Vatican; for that dignitary first tried to poison him, and as the poison did not work quickly enough, he finished the job by breaking John's head with a hammer. Stephen VII, 897-898, was offended because his predecessor had at one time gotten the papal throne away from him. Accordingly, his first act was to cause the body of Pope Formosus to be exhumed, mutilated and thrown into the Tiber. Subsequently one of the “brethren” strangled him.

Christopher, 900-903, boldly deposed his predecessor, Leo V, declaring him unfit to reign, which was doubtless true. Leo died “of grief” in prison less than forty days after he had ascended the throne. He probably had something given him to help his grief along. Christopher himself was murdered by his successor. Sergius III, 904-911, having murdered Christopher, ascended the throne and emulated the kings of earlier days. His concubine Marosia bore him several children. John X, 915-928, and Leo VI, 928-929, were both killed by Marosia, to make room for others in whom she was interested. John XI, 931-936, was the son of Marosia by Pope Sergius III. One of the “brethren” [pg 034] poisoned him. John XII, 956-964, was murdered while in the act of committing adultery. He was of licentious habits, associating with women of every station, and filling the Lateran with the noisy profanity of a brothel. Among his mistresses was Joan, popularly known in history as Pope Joan. She was a brilliant woman and actually exercised the chief influence at Rome during John's pontificate. Benedict VI, 972-973, was strangled or poisoned by one of the “saints.” Boniface VII, 984-985, was elected just after the tumult caused by the death of Benedict VI, but had to leave town to escape a similar fate, on account of licentiousness and cruelty. He remained away eleven years, returned, put Pope John XIV in prison, starved him to death and ascended the throne in his place.

Gregory V, 996-999, was poisoned by one of the “regularly ordained” clergy. Benedict IX, 1033-1045, the boy pope whose parents bought the popedom for him when he was twelve years old, was the worst monster that ever held the papal throne. Some, however, claim that honor for Alexander VI, 1492-1503, who had seven acknowledged bastards and many mistresses. Alexander tried to poison nine cardinals at one sitting so that he could sell their offices for the benefit of his brood; but a stupid servant gave him the wrong glass and he departed this life ahead of time. Benedict's vile conduct caused the Romans to expel him from the city. Silvester III was regularly elected to take his place; but after three months Benedict came back and resumed control. Shortly afterward he sold the popedom to Gregory VI, so that he might be free to marry an Italian princess. At one time there were three popes living in Rome contemporaneously, and the city was filled with brawls and murders. A fourth, Clement II, was elected, but after he had served nine months, a friend of Gregory put something into his food besides the regular seasoning; and he never awoke again. Thereupon Benedict came back and reigned three years longer.

2:14. But I have a few things [against thee].—Against the nominal church of the Pergamos epoch.

Because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam.—Balaam was a mouthpiece of the Lord, but unworthy. He desired to curse God's true people, because of the money there was in it, and finally seduced them by fornication (symbolical of union of church and state). The name Balaam means the same as “Nicolaitanes” (conquerors of the people), and refers to the money-loving, power-loving clergy. We have already noted the efforts to obtain worldly power (spiritual fornication) which characterized the Pergamos epoch. Its history also shows that the [pg 035] clergy of that time were quite as fond of money as ever Balaam was. John XX, 1024-1033, tried to sell the Roman primacy over the Eastern church for a pecuniary consideration, but failed to make the sale. “Benedict IX, when a boy of twelve years (A. D. 1033), was elected pope intercedente thesaurorum pecuniae ”; i. e., his relatives provided the collateral necessary to secure the office for him. Gregory VI, who had had great repute for sanctity as a priest, obtained the papal chair (A. D. 1044) by purchase from Benedict IX, “who abdicated to marry a girl of noble family.” “At a council at Lyons, the archbishop and forty-five bishops confessed themselves simoniacal” (guilty of buying and selling church offices). In the reign of Lucien II, 1144-1145, the people, hoping for some relief from an intolerable condition, paraded the streets of Rome with a banner, “Caesar should have the things that are Caesar's and the priest the things that are the priest's.” Lucien thought this was a reflection upon himself, and went out in person to put down the “revolution.” The people stoned him to death.

Who taught Balac to cast a stumbling-block before the children of Israel.“Guided by Balaam, King Balac communicated with the leading people of the Midianites, and urged that their wives and daughters should apparently fall in love with the Israelites, and introduce them to the sensuous religious rites practised by Midian. The scheme was successful. Some of the leading wives and daughters of the Midianites attracted some of the leading men of Israel to adultery, and to idol worship and orgies.” (Z. '13-297; Num. 24:14; 25:1; 31:16; 2 Pet. 2:15; Jude 11; 1 Cor. 10:8.) The words “cast a stumbling-block” are properly rendered, in Rotherham's translation, “throw a snare.”

To eat.—Appropriate to themselves as truths.

Things sacrificed unto idols.—Doctrines twisted, distorted and mutilated to make them agree with creed-idols.

And to commit fornication.“Papacy perceived its own great power over the peoples of Europe, all of whom at that time ignorantly and blindly acknowledged the Roman Catholic faith. While the kings of Europe were comparatively weak, the suggestion came, ‘Now it must be God's time for setting up the Messianic Kingdom, because now we have the power.’ The answer of others was, ‘Not so. The Bible teaches that Jesus will set up His own Kingdom at His Second Advent in power and great glory, and that the virgin Church will become His Bride and Joint-heir by the power of the First Resurrection.’ The answer to this was, ‘So once we thought. But we have waited for the coming of Messiah for over 800 years; and now we have the thought that He probably wishes us to set up His [pg 036] Kingdom for Him, and in His name to reign over the kings of the earth.’ ” (Z. '16-53.) “So these Pagan priests taught the Church to indulge in spiritual fornication, and thus brought upon her the withering blight of God's wrath.”—Z. '16-346.

2:15. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, [which thing I hate] IN LIKE MANNER.“The ‘doctrine of the Nicolaitanes’ (conquerors of the people) seems to be the theory of lordship or headship in the Church. (1 Pet. 5:3.) At their councils there was a bitter fight for supremacy. It was settled only by a division of the Church; the Eastern, or Greek Church, accepting the Patriarch of Constantinople for its head; and the Western, or Papal Church, acknowledging the Bishop—Pope or Father—of Rome.” (Z. '16-346.) “The sins to which Balaam allured Israel were a type of the sins to which the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes now seduce thee.”—Cook.

2:16. Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly.—Ere you reach the earthly heights to which you aspire.

And will fight against them.—The unfaithful and unrepentant church nominal.

With the sword of My mouth.—With the Scriptures, in the hands of a faithful servant. Such a servant came at that very time, as we shall see.—2 Thes. 2:8; Heb. 4:12.

2:17. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.—Not many have had the “hearing ear.” “There's just one here, one there.”

To him that overcometh will I give [to eat] of the hidden manna.“Manna was the bread which came down from heaven as a life-sustainer for Israel. It represented the living bread, Christ Himself. One peculiarity of the golden pot of manna ‘hidden’ in the Tabernacle, marking it as the same and yet different from that supplied to the Israelites in general, was that it was incorruptible; hence it well illustrates the immortal, incorruptible condition promised to the Church.”—T. 122; Ex. 16:33, 34; Heb. 9:4; John 6:49, 50.

And [will give him] a white stone.“In ancient times the Greeks and the Romans had a custom of noting and perpetuating friendship by means of a white stone. This stone was divided into halves, and each person inscribed his name on the flat surface, after which the parts of the stone were exchanged. The production of either half was sufficient to insure friendly aid. Thus the divided stone became a mark of identification. There is an individual and personal relationship between the Lord and the overcomers, who may be said to receive the mark of identification—the antitypical white stone—now, in this life. This mark is the sealing of the Holy Spirit.”—Z. '12-315.

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And in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.—The new name signifies a new relationship to Jehovah.—Gen. 17:5, 15; 32:28.

2:18. And [unto] BY the angel.—The messenger to the fourth epoch of the Church was Peter Waldo. “Peter, an opulent merchant of Lyons, surnamed Valdensis, or Valdisius, from Vaux, or Waldum, a town in the marquisate of Lyons, being extremely zealous for the advancement of true piety and Christian knowledge, employed a certain priest, called Stephanus de Evisa, about the year 1160, in translating, from Latin into French, the four Gospels, with other books of Holy Scripture. But no sooner had he perused these sacred books with a proper degree of attention, than he perceived that the religion which was now taught in the Roman church differed totally from that which was originally inculcated by Christ and His Apostles. Struck with this glaring contradiction between the doctrines of the pontiffs and the truths of the Gospel, and animated with zeal, he abandoned his mercantile vocation, distributed his riches among the poor (whence the Waldenses were called poor men of Lyons), and forming an association with other pious men who had adopted his sentiments and his turn of devotion, he began to assume the quality of a public teacher, and to instruct the multitude in the doctrines and precepts of Christianity.

“Soon after Peter had assumed the exercise of his ministry, the archbishop of Lyons, and the other rulers of the church in that province, vigorously opposed him. However, their opposition was unsuccessful; for the purity and simplicity of that religion which these good men taught, the spotless innocence that shone forth in their lives and actions, and the noble contempt of riches and honors which was conspicuous in the whole of their conduct and conversation, appeared so engaging to all such as had any sense of true piety, that the number of their followers daily increased. They accordingly formed religious assemblies, first in France, and afterwards in Lombardy; from whence they propagated their sect throughout the other provinces of Europe with incredible rapidity, and with such invincible fortitude that neither fire nor sword, nor the most cruel inventions of merciless persecution, could damp their zeal, or entirely ruin their cause. All they aimed at was to reduce the form of ecclesiastical government, and the manners both of the clergy and the people, to that amiable simplicity and primitive sanctity which characterized the Apostolic ages, and which appear so strongly recommended in the precepts and injunctions of the Divine Author of our holy religion.

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“In consequence of this design, they complained that the Roman church had degenerated from its primitive purity and sanctity. They denied the supremacy of the Roman pontiff, and maintained that the rulers and ministers of the Church were obliged, by their vocation, to imitate the poverty of the Apostles and to procure for themselves a subsistence by the work of their hands. They considered every Christian as, in a certain measure, qualified and authorized to instruct, exhort and confirm the brethren in their Christian course. They at the same time affirmed that confession made to priests was by no means necessary, since the humble offender might acknowledge his sins and testify his repentance to any true believer, and might expect from such the counsel and admonition which his case demanded. They maintained that the power of delivering sinners from the guilt and punishment of their offenses belonged to God alone; and that indulgences in consequence were the criminal invention of sordid avarice. They looked upon the prayers and other ceremonies that were instituted in behalf of the dead, as vain, useless, and absurd, and denied the existence of departed souls in an intermediate state of purification. It is also said that several of the Waldenses denied the obligation of infant baptism. They adopted as the model of their moral discipline Christ's sermon on the mount, which they interpreted and explained in the most rigorous and literal manner; and consequently prohibited and condemned in their society all wars, and suits of law, and all attempts toward the acquisition of wealth.”—Buck.

“Waldo's translation of the four gospels into French was the first appearance of the Scriptures in any modern language. The possession of these books soon discovered to Waldo that the Church was never designed to be dependent on a priesthood, even for the administration of the sacraments; and he became so obnoxious to the church that he was anathematized by the pope. No longer safe in Lyons, Waldo and his friends took refuge in the mountains, and there formed those communities from which the simple doctrines of Christianity flowed out all over Europe. Provence, Languedoc, Flanders, Germany, one after another tasted of the refreshing waters. Waldo traveled in Picardy, teaching his reformation doctrines, hundreds of years before Luther was born. He finally settled in Bohemia, where he died in 1179, the same year in which his tenets were denounced by an ecumenical council. The Waldensian Church was a light on the mountains during the Dark Ages.”—McC.

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Of the church in Thyatira.“Thyatira seems to mean ‘the sweet perfume of sacrifice.’ It was the period of Papal persecution.” (Z. '16-347.) From the time of Peter Waldo's witness in 1160 until the next special messenger to the Church appeared, 1378, was a period of 218 years.

Write.—The first translation of the Bible into a modern language—French—was the work of Waldo.

These things saith the Son of God, who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire.“To watch over His faithful ones as they wandered through the dark valleys or hid in the darker caves of earth.” (Z. '16-347; Rev. 1:14.) His eyes search out every secret thought.—Rev. 2:23.

And His feet are like fine brass.“To walk by their side as they scaled the rugged mountains or wandered footsore and weary, seeking a place to plant the seeds of Truth.” (Z. '16-347; Rev. 1:15.) His feet “trample to fragments everything impure.”—Cook.

2:19. I know thy works.—The Lord remembers that Peter Waldo was the first to translate His Word into a modern language.

And charity, [and service,] and faith, and [thy] patience, and thy works.—The Lord remembers that Peter Waldo literally “sold all that he had and gave to the [Lord's] poor.”

[And] thy last works to be more than the first.—(Diaglott.) “So general and widespread became the so-called heresy that Innocent III determined to crush it out—‘exterminate the whole pestilential race’ was the language of which he made use. The commission he gave to the authorities was to burn the chief of the Vaudois (Waldenses), to scatter the heretics themselves, confiscating their property, and consigning to perdition every soul who dared to oppose the pope. Joined with ‘His Holiness’ in his relentless persecution of the Waldenses was Dominic, the father of the Inquisition. Such has been the history of the Waldenses all through the ages—subject to untold suffering from persecution; then enjoying, in the quiet valleys of Piedmont, comparative tranquility for a time; then assailed by their ever-relentless foe, the Roman Catholic Church, which has spared no pains, by fire and slaughter, and the horrors of the Inquisition, to put an end to the unfortunate victims of their violence.” (McC.) How evident it is that the followers of Peter Waldo have given a larger witness by their sufferings (their “last works”) than they did by the first works (the translation of the Gospel into French)!

2:20. Notwithstanding I have [a few things] MUCH against thee.—The fourth epoch of the church nominal.

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[Because] THAT thou sufferest that woman Jezebel.—The Roman Catholic Church, as shown in parallel below:

“Elijah was persecuted for fidelity to truth and righteousness. “The Church was persecuted for fidelity to truth and righteousness.
“His principal persecutor was Jezebel, the wicked queen of Israel, who is mentioned by name as the type of the enemy of the saints.—Rev. 2:20; 2 Kings 9:7. “The principal persecutor was the apostate Church of Rome, which claims to be a ‘queen’ and ruler over Spiritual Israel.—Rev. 18:7.
“Jezebel's persecuting power was exercised through her husband, Ahab, the king.—1 Kings 21:25. “Papacy's persecuting power was exercised through the Roman Empire, to which she was joined.
“Elijah fled from Jezebel and Ahab into the wilderness, to a place prepared of God, where he was miraculously nourished.—1 Kings 17:5-9. “The true Church fled into the symbolic wilderness—or condition of isolation—to her place, prepared of God, where she was sustained.—Rev. 12:6, 16.
“Elijah was ‘three years and six months’ in the wilderness, and during that time there was no rain, and a great famine was in the land.—James 5:17; 1 Kings 17:7; 18:2. “The Church was three and a half symbolic years (a day for a year—1260 literal years) in the wilderness condition, during which there was a spiritual famine because of the lack of Truth—the living water.—Rev. 12:6; 11:3; Amos 8:11.
“After the three and a half years, 1260 days, when Elijah returned from the wilderness, the errors of Jezebel's priests were manifested, the true God was honored, and copious rains followed.—1 Kings 18:41-45. “At the end of the 1260 years the power of the Truth and its witnesses was manifested (A. D. 1799); and since then the Truth has flowed at the rate of millions of Bibles every year, refreshing the world and bringing forth fruit.”—B. 256.

Which [calleth herself] SAITH SHE IS a prophetess.—Claims to be an infallible teacher, but really has no right to teach at all—“I suffer not a woman [a church] to teach, [pg 041] nor to usurp authority over the man [Christ].” (1 Tim. 2:12; 1 Cor. 14:34; F. 270.) “False prophecy, fornication and idolatry are symbolized by the woman Jezebel.” (Cook.) Jezebel was a prophetess of Baal.—1 Ki. 16:31-33; 21:25.

[To teach and to seduce] AND TEACHETH AND SEDUCETH My servants to commit fornication.—Union of church and state.—Rev. 2:14; 2 Ki. 9:22; 1 Cor. 14:34.

And to eat things sacrificed unto idols.—Reverence the creed-idols set up by the various ecumenical councils.—Rev. 2:14.

2:21. And I gave her space.Chronos, a “time,” 360 years. As noted in comments on 2:20, the prophetic “time, times and a half a time,” or three and a half times, or three and a half years, or forty and two months, or 1260 days, represent 1260 years. A single chronos or “time,” therefore, represents 360 years.

To repent [of her fornication].—Of her unfaithfulness to the Lord. During all this time “the virgin Church was enduring the hardships of the wilderness; while the apostate Church sat on the throne of her royal paramour.”—Z. '16-347.

And she [repented not] WILL NOT REPENT OF THIS FORNICATION.—The Lord foreknew that after 360 years more of living with the kings of earth, and endeavoring to gain dominion over them, the Roman Catholic Church would be unrepentant. The 360 years from Waldo's message in 1160 ended in 1520. Luther's 95 theses were placed on the church doors at Wittenberg October 31, 1517. “These he proposed not as points fully established, but as subjects of inquiry and disputation. The learned were invited to impugn them, either in person or by writing; and to the whole he subjoined solemn protestations of his high respect for the apostolic see, and of his implicit submission to his authority. No opponent appeared at the time prefixed; the theses spread over Germany with astonishing rapidity, and were read with the greatest eagerness.” (Buck.) Luther was summoned in July, 1518, to appear at Rome within sixty days. He wrote a submissive letter to the pope, requesting a trial in Germany. Meantime the German Emperor died; and the pope, absorbed in the choice of a new emperor, paid little heed to the Luther controversy.

“From the reason just now given, a suspension of proceeding against Luther took place for eighteen months, though perpetual negotiations were carried on. The manner in which these were conducted having given our reformer many opportunities of observing the corruption of [pg 042] the court of Rome, its obstinacy in adhering to established errors, and its indifference about truth, he began in 1520 to utter some doubts with regard to the Divine origin of the papal authority, which he publicly disputed with Eccius, one of his most learned and formidable antagonists. The papal authority being once suspected, Luther proceeded to push on his inquiries and attacks from one doctrine to another, till at last he began to shake the foundations on which the wealth and power of the church were established. Leo then began to perceive that there were no hopes of reclaiming such an incorrigible heretic, and therefore prepared to pronounce the sentence of excommunication against him. The college of cardinals was often assembled, in order to prepare the sentence with due deliberation; and the ablest canonists were consulted how it might be expressed with unexceptionable formality. At last it was issued, on the 15th of June, 1520. Forty-one propositions, extracted out of Luther's works, were therein condemned as heretical, scandalous, and offensive to pious ears; all persons were forbidden to read his writings, upon pain of excommunication; such as had any of them in their custody were commanded to commit them to the flames; he himself, if he did not within sixty days publicly recant his errors, and burn his books, was pronounced an obstinate heretic, excommunicated, and delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh; and all secular princes were required, under pain of incurring the same censure, to seize his person, that he might be punished as his crimes deserved.” (Buck.) With the excommunication of Luther, “the fat was in the fire”; and it was useless for the Roman Catholic Church to try to stem the tide of the Reformation. Her period for repentance ended with the “chronos,” 360 years, June 15, 1520.—See 3d paragraph, page 41.

2:22. Behold, I will cast her into a bed.—Not a bed of ease, but a bed of pain. See Diaglott. There where she sinned she shall suffer.

And them that commit adultery with her.—All the powers that receive her legates or that maintain representatives at the Vatican. Knowing her character, they are equally guilty.

Into great tribulation.—They are getting some now, and will get more soon.

Except they repent of [their] HER deeds.—This teaches that the present situation in Europe is the direct result of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

2:23. And I will kill her children.“Both Romanists and Protestants now freely own the relationship of mother [pg 043] and daughters, the former continually styling herself the Holy Mother Church, and the latter, with pleased complacency, endorsing the idea.”—D. 28; Isa. 57:3, 4. See p. 111.

With death.“They shall be as though they had not been.”—Obad. 16.

And all the churches shall know.—When their secrets are laid bare by the unfolding of the deep things of God's Word.

That I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts.—In olden times the mind was supposed to be located in the reins (kidneys); and the prophecy assumes the same position. Thus David says, “My reins also instruct me in the night seasons”; “In the night his song shall be with me.” (Psa. 16:7; 42:8.) “My reins within me are consumed with earnest desire for that day.” (Job 19:27, margin.) The metaphor is appropriate to the theme.—Psa. 7:9; Jer. 11:20; 17:10; 20:12.

And I will give unto every one of you according to your works.—The light of Truth blazes most fiercely against the ecclesiastical organizations whose offenses have been greatest. As for the Papacy, “her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”—Rev. 18:5, 6; Matt. 7:16, 20.

2:24. But unto you I say [and unto] the rest in Thyatira.—Waldenses and others outside of the Papal system.

As many as have not this doctrine.—Spiritual fornication, mixture of church and state, the special subject of the message to Thyatira.

[And] which have not known.—Comprehended, realized, entered into.

The depths of Satan.—Rome, pagan and papal.

As they speak.“So to say,” i. e., “Satan” is a name applicable to Rome, as describing its characteristics.—Rev. 2:10.

I will put upon you none other burden.—The Lord only requires of His people obedience to the light due.—1 John 1:7.

2:25. But that which ye have already.—The truths described in 2:18.

Hold fast till I come.—Some of the light which shone upon the Waldensians has never been entirely extinguished.

2:26. And he that overcometh.—Effectually resists efforts to entice him into disloyalty to the Lord.

And keepeth My works unto the end.—Continues in the faith (John 6:29; 1 John 3:23), despite the unions of church and state. Christ's works are opposite to Jezebel's.—Rev. 2:22.

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To him will I give THE power [over] OF the nations.—How like our God! The sacrificed Christ gets the very prize for which Satan aspired.—Isa. 14:13, 14; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Rev. 3:21; 5:10; Psa. 149:5-9.

2:27. And he shall rule them with a rod of Iron.“God's Kingdom will not be established by a vote of the people, nor by the vote of the aristocracy and rulers. He ‘whose right it is,’ He who bought it with His own precious blood, will take the Kingdom,’ will ‘take unto Himself His great power and reign.’ ” (D. 518). “The nations will be ruled by irresistible force—‘every knee shall bow, every tongue shall confess’—and obedience will be compulsory.” (D. 636.) “In His day the humble and righteous, and they only, shall flourish. (Isa. 28:17; Rom. 14:11; Psa. 92:12, 13.”—C. 369.) “The only liberty that will be granted to any will be the true and glorious liberty of the sons of God—liberty to do good to themselves and others in any and in every way; but nothing will be allowed to injure or destroy in all that Holy Kingdom. (Isa. 11:9; Rom. 8:21.) Because of its firmness and vigor, it is symbolically called an iron rule.”—A. 302; Rev. 19:15.

As the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers.“The stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which smites and scatters the Gentile powers, represents the true Church, the Kingdom of God. Not the people, but the governments, are symbolized by the image, and these are to be destroyed that the people may be delivered. Our Lord Jesus came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them. (John 3:17.) The stone does not become the mountain until it has smitten the image; and so the Church, in the full sense, will become the Kingdom when ‘the day of the Lord,’ the ‘day of wrath upon the nations,’ will be over.” (A. 255.) “This smiting and breaking properly belongs to the Day of Vengeance, and though the power and rod will still remain throughout the Millennial Age, their use will probably be unnecessary.”—D. 637; Psa. 2:9; Dan. 7:22.

Even as I received of My Father.—The Father (Justice) decrees their unworthiness to continue longer. Their iniquity is come to the full. Four hundred years from October 31, 1517, end Oct. 31, 1917.—Rev. 2:21; Gen. 15:13-16.

2:28. And I will give him the Morning Star.“I am the bright and morning star.”—Rev. 22:16; Matt. 13:43.

2:29. He that hath an ear.—An ear attuned to the Harp Divine.

Let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.—Not many are able to appreciate the sweet old “song of Moses and the Lamb” when they hear it.—Rev. 15:3.

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Revelation 3—Wycliffe, Luther And Russell

3:1. And [unto] BY the angel.—The next important messenger to the Church was John Wycliffe. “It was in 1378 A. D., the year of the ‘Great Schism of the West,’ when two popes were elected, one in Rome and the other in Avignon, that Wycliffe came out as the great Doctrinal Reformer. Workman, in Dawn of the Reformation, writes: ‘Wycliffe's spiritual earnestness was shocked, his theory destroyed by the spectacle of two popes, each claiming to be the sole head of the Church, each labeling the other as Antichrist. To Wycliffe, the year of the Schism, 1378, was the crucial year of his life. He first urged that both popes should be set aside as having little in common with the Church of the Holy God. From this position of neutrality he quickly passed into one of antagonism to the Papacy itself.’ In his Mediaeval Church History, Archbishop Trench says: ‘The year 1378 marked the turning-point in Wycliffe's career. Hitherto he had concerned himself with matters of mixed ecclesiastical and political import, but henceforth he devoted himself exclusively to doctrinal matters and came out as the Reformer. He began in earnest the translation of the Bible into English, and took the next decisive step by an open attack, forced upon him by his studies of the Bible, against Transubstantiation.’ Wycliffe thus attacked the very bulwark of Antichrist's stronghold, for the doctrine of Transubstantiation, or the sacrifice of the Mass, annulled the true sacrifice of Christ. Because of this, the Papal system became in God's sight the ‘desolating abomination.’ (Dan. 11:31.)”—Edgar.

Of the church in Sardis.“Sardis is said to mean that which remains, as if it signified something out of which life or virtue had gone. The nominal church during this period had a form of godliness without its power. Sardis was the remains of the true Church, which had been driven into the wilderness; but when the persecution began to subside, her zeal also abated.”—Z. '16-347.

Write.—Wycliffe wrote the first translation of the Bible into English.

These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God.—The seven lamps of fire (Rev. 4:5), or seven eyes [pg 046] sent forth into all the earth (Rev. 5:6); i. e., perfect knowledge.—Rev. 1:4.

And the seven stars.—How each of the Lord's messengers was kept! St. Paul had (supposedly) eight years of liberty after his first imprisonment, planted the Gospel in Spain and revisited the scenes of earlier labors; St. John is said to have been thrown into a caldron of boiling oil, but escaped unharmed and died of old age; Arius died a natural death; as did Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Martin Luther and Charles T. Russell, although all had reason to expect martyrdom at the hands of ecclesiasticism. The year that Peter Waldo died, his tenets were condemned by an ecumenical council. “Wycliffe preached unmolested; but the Council of Constance (May 5, 1415) condemned his doctrines, and in 1428 his remains were dug up and burned; the ashes were cast into the adjoining Swift, which, as Wordsworth poetically remarked, conveyed them through the Avon and the Severn into the sea, and thus disseminated them over the world. His doctrines, carried into Bohemia, originated the Hussite movement. The New Testament was published about 1378, and the entire Old Testament was completed shortly before his death.”—McC.

I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest.—Many who admired Wycliffe were not real Christians. A man not willing to go to the stake for his religion has none.

And art dead.—Spiritually.—Luke 9:60.

3:2. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that [are] WERE ready to die.—Many among Wycliffe's admirers lost faith and love, and to that degree died, while others had some spiritual life. These the Lord desired to awaken, to strengthen, to encourage.—Eph. 5:14.

For I have not found thy works perfect before MY God.—Revised Version reads, “For I have found no works of thine fulfilled before My God.”

3:3. Remember [therefore] how thou hast received.—Received the entire Word in the English tongue.

And heard.—Wycliffe was the author of more than 200 works, chiefly tracts, on the Ransom.

And hold fast, and reform.—(Diaglott.) Had Wycliffe's labors been properly appreciated, the Reformation would have been set forward 150 years.

If therefore thou shalt not [watch] REPENT.—Change your course of conduct.

I will come on thee as a thief.“Many today have the Sardis characteristics. To such this is a warning. Seven [pg 047] times our Lord's Second Coming is described as being thief-like, stealthy. Those who are asleep will be awakened only after His work of destruction has progressed. His presence will be recognized by the sleepers only as the noise of spoiling the Strong Man's House gradually increases.” (Z. '16-347; 1 Thes. 5:2; Matt. 24:43; 2 Pet. 3:10.) “The stealthiness of the thief, not the violence of the robber, is implied in the original.”—Cook.

And thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.“Failing to realize the fact that spiritual bodies cannot be seen by human eyes without a miracle, some cannot understand how He can be present while ‘all things continue as they were since the beginning of creation.’ (2 Pet. 3:3, 4.) Thus they are unable to understand the signs of the times' revealing His return.”—Z. '16-347.

3:4. BUT thou hast a few names [even] in Sardis which have not defiled their garments.—But have given due heed to the Message of the hour, the Ransom.

And they shall walk with Me In white.—Fully covered by the robe of Christ's righteousness.

For they are worthy.—None who trust in sacrifices of the Mass or in other sacrifices than that of Calvary, can ever be worthy in God's sight.—Matt. 10:37.

3:5. He that overcometh, [the same] THUS.—The test, apparently, was on the question of transubstantiation.

Shall be clothed in white raiment.“The pictures given of the Heavenly Father represent Him as clothed (Psa. 104:2); and the pictures of our Lord represent Him as clothed. The angels who appeared at the time of our Lord's resurrection are represented as clothed in white. Our Lord said: ‘Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ (Rev. 16:15.) The glorified Church is represented, not as taking off the robe of righteousness, but continuing to walk in white raiment, not as now, in a robe of reckoned righteousness, but in a robe of actual righteousness.”—Z. '14-11; Rev. 19:8.

And I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life.“In the book are written the names of all those who have made with the Lord ‘a Covenant by Sacrifice.’ The name of each of these is entered in the Lamb's Book of Life, when he starts to live the new life. If they are faithful, their names will not be blotted out; and they will attain all those glorious things which are promised to those who love Him supremely. (Rev. 3:21.)”—Z. '15-119; Rev. 13:8; Psa. 69:28; Dan. 12:1; Phil. 4:3; Lu. 10:20.

But I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.“In the end, the overcomers will each [pg 048] be so grandly developed that the Lord will not be ashamed to confess any of them and to say, ‘Here is one of My followers. Here is another. They have walked in My footsteps and have overcome.’ But He will be ashamed of any who are ashamed of Him or of His words. (Luke 9:26.)”—Z. '15-119; Luke 12:8, 9.

3:6. He that hath an ear.—A spiritual ear. “My sheep hear My voice.”—John 10:27.

Let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.“Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound.”—Psa. 89:15.

3:7. And [to] BY the angel.—The next messenger to the Church was Martin Luther. “There is considerable similarity between the work begun on Pentecost and that of Luther. The Reformation was, in a sense, the beginning of a new era, a dawning of light where all had been darkness, a new start in the way of Truth.”—Z. '16-347.

Of the church in Philadelphia.“Philadelphia means brotherly love. This stage of the Church's history began at the Reformation; and there are many still living who possess the characteristics described.” (Z. '16-347.) The exact point of time at which the Philadelphia epoch of the Church began was at midday, October 31, 1517. It was at that hour that Luther nailed his ninety-five theses on the church door at Wittenberg. “Nailing up that paper was the beginning of a great division in the Church; of thrones tumbled into the dust and kings with them; of empires rent asunder; of lands desolated by war; of massacres and horrible outrages against the lives and liberties of men; of thirty years continuous war in Germany; of Paris and the vine-clad valleys of Italy drenched in blood; of fires kindled all over England for the burning of men, women and children; of men hurled headlong from precipices, roasted over slow fires, starving in dungeons, subjected to every form of cruelty—but with all this, the advance of justice, truth and liberty, the beginning of a new era in human affairs.” (Coffin.) “The theses ran through all Germany in fourteen days, for all the world was complaining about the indulgences; and Luther became renowned, because at last somebody had come who took hold of the thing.”—McC.

Write.—Luther wrote the first translation of the Bible into German.

These things saith He that is [holy] TRUE.—The direct reference is to Christ (1 John 5:20); but characteristic of Luther was his great love of truth. When the Papal legate came demanding that he recant, he replied, “I stand by the truth. I will not take it back.”

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He that it [true] HOLY.—See Mark 1:24. Luther's special message was “Justification by faith”real holiness. One of the theses on the door was, “Those who truly repent of their sins have a full remission of guilt and penalty.”

He that hath the key of David.“All power in Heaven and earth.” (Matt. 28:18; Luke 1:32.) Luther's theses were antagonistic to the system actually ruling all over the world. When a representative came warning that his death would surely follow failure to recant, and asking him where he could go when all had orders not to harbor him, he replied, “I will abide under the cope of heaven.”

[He] AND that openeth.—See Luke 24:32.

And no man [shutteth] SHALL SHUT.“No doubt all the powers of Satan were exerted to close the door then opened; but ‘He that is true’ had said, ‘which no man can shut.’ ”—Z. '16-347; Isa. 22:22.

And shutteth and no man [openeth] SHALL OPEN.—The door of opportunity for the Roman Catholic Church to repent swung shut the day Luther was excommunicated. (Rev. 2:21.) “Luther was not in the least disconcerted by this sentence, which he had for some time expected. He renewed his appeal to the general council; declared the pope to be that Antichrist or Man of Sin whose appearance is foretold in the New Testament; declaimed against his tyranny with greater vehemence than ever; and at last having assembled the University he cast the canon law, together with the bull of excommunication, into the flames.”—Buck.

3:8. I know thy works.—A striking feature of Luther's character was his promptness to do whatever he saw to be the Lord's will. When the great test came, Luther said to Erasmus: “You desire to walk upon eggs without crushing them.” Erasmus replied: “I will not be unfaithful to the cause of Christ at least so far as the Age will permit me.” “I will go to Worms,” shouted Luther, “though the devils were combined against me as thick as tiles upon the housetops!”

Behold I have set before thee an open door.—See 1 Cor. 16:9; Acts 14:27.

[And] WHICH no man can shut [it].“While the Roman pontiff thought everything safe and settled, and all pious and good men were nearly in despair of the religious reformation, so earnestly desired, a certain obscure and inconsiderable monk in Saxony, a province of Germany, suddenly opposed himself single-handed with incredible resolution to the power of Rome. This was Martin Luther.”—Mosheim.

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For thou hast a little strength.“Compared with the mighty hosts of their enemies, the little band of Reformers had but ‘a little strength;’ but they knew that they had the Truth, and they fully trusted the Giver.”—Z. '16-347.

And hast kept My Word.“Whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.”—1 John 2:5.

And hast not denied My name.“If we deny Him, He also will deny us.”—2 Tim. 2:12.

3:9. Behold I [will make] HAVE MADE them of the synagogue of Satan.—The opponents of the reformers were already of the synagogue of Satan.—Rev. 2:13.

Which say they are Jews.—Claim to be Israelites indeed, saints.—Rev. 2:9.

And are not, but do lie.—Papacy is one of the two systems of rulership (imperial power being the other) congenitally “spotted like a leopard,” as far as the Truth is concerned.—Dan. 11:27; Rev. 13:2.

Behold I will make them to come.“All nations whom Thou hast made shall come.”—Psa. 86:9.

And worship before thy feet.“The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet.”—Isa. 60:14; 49:23.

And [to] THOU SHALT know that I have loved thee.—See Eph. 2:7.

3:10. Because thou hast kept the word of My patience.—My patience-enjoining word.—Matt. 10:22; Lu. 8:15.

I also will keep thee.“As to the Philadelphia stage of the Church, and their being saved from the hour of temptation, we think possibly the Lord meant that some of the Church of that epoch would live over into the present period, and that they would not be subjected to the special trials of this hour. For instance, we think of a very fine old gentleman, who was about ninety years of age at the time we are about to mention. He was pastor of a church. He seemed to receive Present Truth with a great deal of joy and spoke it forth with much zeal. But he was surrounded with so much opposition at home, and in the church to which he was attached as a minister, that he could not seem to trust to his mental judgment. This Scripture which we are considering has rather comforted our mind with respect to him and others like him.”—Z. '15-200.

From the hour of temptation.“ ‘The hour of temptation’ has been the Harvest time. The majority of professing Christians of the world—probably more than three-fourths—have lost all faith in the Bible, and fallen into [pg 051] Evolution, Higher Criticism, Christian Science, Theosophy, Spiritism, New Thought, etc. They are not able to stand in this ‘evil day.’ ” (Z'15-199.) Additionally, “so far as we are able to judge, the same conditions prevail today amongst Bible students which the Apostle pointed out to the Elders of the Church of Ephesus. (Acts 20:28-32.)”—Z. '16-328.

Which shall come upon all the world.“We believe that this temptation to headiness and strife is spreading gradually in every direction; and the Master assured us that unless these days would be cut short by the establishment of His Kingdom in the hands of the Elect, no flesh would survive.”—Z. '16-327; Rev. 7:1-3; 16:14; Matt. 24:21.

To try them that dwell upon the earth.“We understand that the spirit of selfishness and ambition, which is driving the nations insanely to war for commercial supremacy, will increase more and more, and will involve everybody.”—Z. '16-327; Rev. 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 14.

3:11. [Behold,] I come quickly.—To Smyrna (73-325 A. D.) and Pergamos (325-1160 A. D.) nothing was said about Christ's Second Advent; to Thyatira (1160-1378) the Message was, “Hold fast till I come”; to Sardis (1378-1518) it was, “If therefore thou shalt not reform, I will come on thee as a thief”; to Philadelphia (1518-1874) it was, “Behold, I come quickly.” How evident that these messages to the Churches are epochs drawing nearer and nearer to the climax of history, the Fifth Universal Empire, now come at last!

Hold that fast which thou hast.“The Miller movement was a separation, as between those who kept the Word of God with patience and those who lost their faith in His Word. The Philadelphia Church, which patiently passed through so severe a trial of their faith, would not be subjected to the later test.”—Z. '15-199.

That no man take thy crown.“Unfaithfulness may lead to the blotting out of some names and the giving of their crowns to others.” (F. 165.) “It is our expectation that this work of going out and coming in will continue until the last member of the New Creation shall have been found worthy, and all the crowns everlastingly apportioned.”—F. 95; 1 Sam. 16:1; Rev. 2:10.

3:12. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar [in] TO the Temple of my God.“During the Philadelphia period the faithful have either been obliged to come out of the nominal temple or have been cast out. The reward promised such is that each will be a pillar in the eternal Temple—a part which cannot be removed while [pg 052] the structure exists.”—Z. '16-347; Gal. 2:9; 1 Kings 7:21, 22; Jer. 1:18; 1 Cor. 3:17; Eph. 2:19-22.

And he shall [go no more] NOT GO out.“During their trial state their names were cast out as evil; they were not recognized as Christians. All this is to be reversed. ‘The Lord knoweth them that are His.’ ”—Z. '16-347.

And I will write upon him the name of My God.“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads [intellects].”—Rev. 14:1; 22:4.

And the name of the city of My God.“And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.”—Isa. 62:12; Ezek. 48:35; Jer. 23:6; 33:16.

Which is New Jerusalem.“Glorious City of Peace! whose foundations, laid in justice, can never be moved, and whose builder and designer is God! It is in the light which will shine from this glorious City (Kingdom) of God that the nations (people) will walk on the Highway of Holiness, up to perfection and to full harmony with God.”—Rev. 21:2, 10, 24; A 295.

Which cometh down out of Heaven from My God.“A city is a symbol of a kingdom or dominion, and so God's Kingdom is symbolized by the New Jerusalem, the new dominion coming from Heaven to earth. At first it will consist of only the Bride of Christ.”—A. 295; Heb. 12:18-22.

And I will write upon him My new name.“ ‘Our Righteousness of Jehovah.’ How appropriate is this name to the work and office of our Lord Jesus! Did He not stand as the Representative of God's righteousness and suffer the penalty of Justice as man's Ransom—that God might be just, and yet be the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus? Surely no name could be more appropriate. (Jer. 33:16; 23:6; T. 102.) And that this name will be appropriate to the glorified Church all can readily see: she not only shares her Lord's sufferings for righteousness, ‘filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ’ (Col. 1:24; 1 Pet. 5:9), but is also promised a share in all the glories of her Lord, as a wife shares her husband's honors and name.”—E. 45, 42; Isa. 9:6; Rev. 2:17; 19:12.

3:13. He that hath an ear.“Having eyes, see ye not? And having ears, hear ye not?”—Mark 8:18.

Let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.“Let these sayings sink down into your ears.”—Luke 9:44.

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3:14. And [unto] BY the angel.—The special messenger to the last Age of the Church was Charles T. Russell, born February 16, 1852. He has privately admitted his belief that he was chosen for his great work from before his birth. His mother died when he was nine years old; and at the age of eleven Charles formed a business partnership with his father, himself writing the articles of agreement under which they transacted business. When he was but twelve years of age, his father found him in the store one time at 2 a. m., poring over a concordance, unconscious of the lapse of time. We give some extracts from his autobiography:

“We begin the narrative at the year 1868, when the Editor, having been a consecrated child of God for some years, and a member of the Congregational Church and of the Y. M. C. A., began to be shaken in faith regarding many long accepted doctrines. Brought up a Presbyterian, indoctrinated from the catechism, and being naturally of an inquiring mind, I fell a ready prey to the logic of infidelity, as soon as I began to think for myself. But that which at first threatened to be the utter shipwreck of faith in God and the Bible, was, under God's providence, overruled for good, and merely wrecked my confidence in human creeds and systems of Bible interpretations. I was led gradually to see that though each of the creeds contained some elements of Truth, they were, on the whole, misleading and contradictory of God's Word. Among other theories, I stumbled upon Adventism. Seemingly by accident, one evening I dropped into a dusty, dingy hall in Allegheny, Pa., where I had heard that religious services were held, to see if the handful who met there had anything more sensible to offer than the creeds of the great churches. There, for the first time, I heard something of the views of Second Adventism, by Jonas Wendell, long since deceased. Thus I confess indebtedness to Adventists as well as to other Bible students. Though his Scripture exposition was not entirely clear, and though it was very far from what we now rejoice in, it was sufficient, under God, to reestablish my wavering faith in the Divine inspiration of the Bible, and to show that the records of the Apostles and the Prophets are indissolubly linked.

“When in 1872 I came to examine the subject of Restitution from the standpoint of the Ransom-price given by our Lord Jesus for Adam, and consequently for all lost in Adam, it settled the matter of Restitution completely, and gave me the fullest assurance that ALL must come forth from their graves and be brought to a clear knowledge [pg 054] of the Truth and to a full opportunity to gain everlasting life through Christ. The years following, to 1876, were years of continued growth in grace and in knowledge on the part of the handful of Bible students with whom I met in Allegheny. We progressed from our first crude and indefinite ideas of Restitution to clearer understanding of the details; but God's due time for clear light had not yet come. During this time, too, we came to recognize the difference between our Lord as ‘the Man who gave Himself,’ and as the One who would come again, a Spirit Being. We saw that spirit beings can be present and yet invisible to men.... It seems that not long after their 1874 disappointment, a reader of The Herald of the Morning, who had a copy of the Emphatic Diaglott, noticed something in it which he thought peculiar—that in Matthew 24:27, 37, 39, the Greek word parousia, which in our Common Version is rendered coming,’ is in the Diaglott translated presence—evidently the correct translation of the Greek. This was the clue; and following it, they had been led through prophetic time toward proper views regarding the object and manner of our Lord's Return, and then to the examination of the time when the things indicated in God's Word as related to Christ's parousia should take place. Thus God leads His children often from different starting points of Truth. But where the heart is earnest and trustful, the results must be to draw all together.

“There were no books or other publications setting forth the time prophecies as then understood. So I paid Mr. Barbour's expenses to come to see me at Philadelphia (where I had business engagements during the summer of 1876), to show me fully and Scripturally, if he could, that the prophecies indicated 1874 as the date at which the Lord's presence and the Harvest began. He came, and the evidence satisfied me. Being a person of positive convictions, and fully consecrated to the Lord, I at once saw that the special times in which we live have an important bearing upon our duty and work as Christ's disciples; that since we are living in the time of the Harvest, the Harvest work should be done; and that Present Truth is the sickle by which the Lord would have us do a reaping work everywhere among His children. I inquired of Mr. Barbour as to what was being done by him and The Herald. He replied that nothing was being done.”—Z. '16-170, 171.

Pastor Russell took the place of Mr. Barbour who became unfaithful and upon whom was fulfilled the prophecies of Matt. 24:48-51 and Zech. 11:15-17.

[pg 055]

“In 1877 Pastor Russell called a meeting of all the ministers of Allegheny and Pittsburgh, showed them the Scriptures which indicated our Lord's presence and urged them to investigate and proclaim the message. All of the ministers of the two cities were present; all of the ministers of the two cities refused to believe. In the same year he determined to give up secular work and devote his entire time and fortune to the work indicated in the Scriptures as incident to the close of the Gospel Age and change of dispensation impending. As a means of determining whether his course was in harmony with the Scriptures, and also as a means of demonstrating his own sincerity, he decided to test the Lord's approval as follows: (1) Devote his life to the cause; (2) Invest his fortune in the promulgation of the work; (3) Prohibit collections at all meetings; (4) Depend on unsolicited contributions (wholly voluntary) to continue the work after his fortune was exhausted. In 1881, 1,400,000 copies of Food for Thinking Christians were distributed free at the doors of the Protestant churches in the United States, Canada and Great Britain on three consecutive Sundays, by A. D. T. messenger boys.”—Obituary.

As to his education we quote his own words: “As respects my education in Greek and Hebrew: Not only do I not claim very special knowledge of either language, but I claim that not one minister in a thousand is either a Hebrew or a Greek scholar. To be able to spell out a few Greek words is of no earthly value. Nor is it necessary longer to study these languages in order to have knowledge of the Bible. Our Presbyterian friends have gotten out at great cost Young's Analytical Hebrew, Chaldaic, Greek and English Lexicon Concordance, which any one may procure. And our Methodist friends have issued a similar work—Strong's Analytical Concordance and Lexicon. And there is a still older one entitled Englishman's Hebrew, Chaldaic, Greek and English Lexicon and Concordance. Additionally, Liddell and Scott's Greek Lexicon is a standard authority. The prices of these are not beyond the reach of the average man. By these works scholarly information respecting the original text of the Bible is obtainable. I have all four of these works and have used them faithfully. Very few college professors, even, would risk to give a critical translation of any text of Scripture without consulting these very works of reference, which are standard. Additionally I remind you of the many translations of the Bible now extant—all of them very good. I have all of these and find them useful in comparison and study of any text—one [pg 056] sometimes giving a thought which another may not. The other day, for curiosity's sake, I counted Bibles in different translations, etc., in my study, and found that I have thirty-two.”—Z. '14-286.

As to his ordination we quote him again: “There are two ordinations proper. One is of God; one of men. The ordination of God is the begetting of the Holy Spirit. If any are preaching without this ordination, they are doing something that they are not authorized to do. There comes, however, another special ordination of those who are called ministers of the Gospel, in which class I count myself. This is ordination by the Church, and is recognized by all denominations everywhere. By some it is considered a mere form, by some it is performed with great ceremony, by others with less ceremony. But to our understanding, each congregation should have those whom it has chosen ordained in a Scriptural way—by the stretching forth of hands—by a vote. Whoever has not been ordained in these two ways is not an ordained minister of the Gospel in the Scriptural sense. First, the Divine ordination is necessary; second, the earthly ordination is necessary. By the grace of God I have both of these.”—Z. '15-358.

As to his doctrines we quote him the third time: “To us the Scriptures clearly teach that the Church is the ‘Temple of the living God’—peculiarly ‘His workmanship’; its construction has been in progress throughout the Gospel Age—ever since Christ became the world's Redeemer and Chief Corner Stone of His Temple, through which, when finished, God's blessing shall come ‘to all people,’ and they find access to Him. (1 Cor. 3:16, 17; Eph. 2:20; Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:29.) That meantime the chiseling, shaping and polishing of consecrated believers in Christ's Atonement for sin progresses; and when the last of these ‘living stones,’ ‘elect and precious,’ shall have been made ready, the great Master Workman will bring all together in the First Resurrection; and the Temple shall be filled with His glory, and be the meeting place between God and men throughout the Millennium. (Rev. 15:6-8; 21:3.) We affirm the pre-existence of Jesus as the mighty Word (Logos)—Spokesman—‘the beginning of the creation of God,’ ‘the First-Born of every creature,’ the active Agent of the Heavenly Father, Jehovah, in all the work of creation. ‘Without Him was not anything made that was made.’ (Rev. 3:14; Col. 1:15; John 1:3.) We affirm that the Word (Logos) was made flesh—became the Babe of Bethlehem—thus becoming the Man Jesus, ‘holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.’ As we affirm the [pg 057] humanity of Jesus, we equally affirm the Divinity of Christ—‘God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name above every name.’ (Heb. 7:26; Phil. 2:9.)

“We acknowledge that the personality of the Holy Spirit is the Father and the Son; that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both, and is manifested in all who receive the begetting of the Holy Spirit and thereby become sons of God. (John 1:12; 1 Pet. 1:3.) We affirm the resurrection of Christ—that He was put to death in flesh but quickened in Spirit. We deny that He was raised in the flesh, and challenge any statement to that effect as being unscriptural. (1 Pet. 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:17; 1 Cor. 15:8; Acts 26:13-15.) That the basis of Hope, for the Church and the World, lies in the fact that ‘Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man,’ ‘a Ransom for all,’ and will be ‘the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,’ ‘in due time.’ (Heb. 2:9; John 1:9; 1 Tim. 2:5, 6.) That the Hope of the Church is that she may be like her Lord, ‘see Him as He is,’ be ‘partaker of the Divine nature,’ and share His glory as His joint-heir. (1 John 3:2; John 17:24; Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4.) That the present mission of the Church is the perfecting of the saints for the future work of service; to develop in herself every grace; to be God's witness to the world; and to prepare to be kings and priests in the next Age. (Eph. 4:12; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.) That the Hope for the World lies in the blessings of knowledge and opportunity to be brought to all by Christ's Millennial Kingdom—the Restitution of all that was lost in Adam, to all the willing and obedient, at the hands of their Redeemer and His glorified Church—when all the wilfully wicked shall be destroyed. (Acts 3:19-23; Isa. 35.)”—B. S. M.

The amount of work that Pastor Russell performed is incredible, and it is doubtful whether it was ever equalled by any other human being. When he was in his twenties he was refused the lease of a property because the owner thought he would surely die before the lease had expired. For fifty years he suffered constantly with sick headaches, due to a fall in his youth, and for twenty-five years had such distressing hemorrhoids that it was impossible for him to rest in the easiest chair; yet in the past forty years he traveled a million miles, delivered 30,000 sermons and table talks—many of them 2-½ hours long—wrote over 50,000 pages (of this size) of advanced Biblical exposition, often dictated 1,000 letters per month, managed every department of a world-wide evangelistic campaign employing 700 speakers, personally [pg 058] compiled the most wonderful Biblical drama ever shown; and with all that, he found time in the course of each year to personally aid thousands with his fatherly counsel. At one time his writings were subjected to an analysis of 20,511 Scripture expositions. These were assembled in Biblical order and disclosed but six points of inquiry, all easily harmonized. No writer, not even excepting the writers of the Bible, have ever had such critical readers. His works have been published in 35 languages. During the last eight days of his life he had appointments in California, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and New York; and though for several days manifestly dying, with cystitis (caused by excessive travel and speaking), he declined to cancel any engagements, and went out of this life October 31, 1916, on a railroad train en route to his Kansas appointment. At the age of 30 he had accumulated a fortune of over $300,000, but died penniless, his own fortune, as well as all the large sums contributed to the cause, having been used up in the Master's service. He was beloved everywhere by those who “follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.”—Rev. 14:4. For further particulars of Pastor Russell's service of God's people see Memorial Number of Zions Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence.

Of the church [of the Laodiceans] IN LAODICEA.—It is significant that in the first epoch of the Church there were Nicolaitanes (nikon ton laon), “vanquishers of the people,” a clergy class who succeeded in pulling the wool over the eyes of the common people; but that the last age of the Church is Laodicean (laos dike), “justice for the people.” We find we get along much better without the clergy than we did with them. The Laodicean period of the Church extends from the fall of 1874 to the spring of 1918, three and one-half years of preparation, and forty years of Harvest. “The parallels affected merely the nominal Jewish House there and the nominal Christian House here. Both were rejected because of failure to be in the right condition of heart for the truths that were due to them—both rejected for destruction. The Jewish System was a Church-State affair, paralleled here by the great Church-State systems of Europe, whose destruction began in 1914. Let us remember, however, that the three and a half years of Jesus' ministry were more a time of preparation of the Apostles to be the instruments for the harvesting and a sharpening preparation of the Sickle of Truth for the later work, which began at Pentecost. Prior to Pentecost, there was no ‘garner’ into which to gather the wheat.”

[pg 059]

“Jewish And Christian Parallels

“Jewish-Nominal Church Christian-Nominal Church
A. D. 29-33 A. D. 1874-1878
“They knew not the time of their visitation.”
“A. D. 33-36 A. D. 1878-1881
The Most Holy anointed, Divine favor prolonged for three and a half years to complete the 70 weeks of favor promised to Israel, their rejection being deferred.
“A. D. 36-73 A. D. 1881-1918
Because of the overspreading of abominations, He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, or utter destruction—until all that God has predetermined shall be accomplished.—Dan. 9:24-27.—Z. '16-264. See pages 594, 595.

The foregoing is Pastor Russell's last expression on the subject of chronology; and we believe that it was designed to be of great value to the Lord's people at this hour. “The Apostles, the Prophets and the angels all desired and sought earnestly to know what time the Spirit of God indicated through the Prophets. And this interest on the part of His children is ever pleasing to God. He called the inquiring Daniel greatly beloved, and answered his inquiry so far as was consistent with His Plan. Such inquiry should not be regarded as an improper prying into the secrets of God. God would have us quickly discern the Truth as it becomes due.” (B. 17.) “Let none, then, of the truly consecrated under-value these prophetic time-evidences, which were designed to guide our words and deeds in the early dawn of the Millennial Day. These prophetic time-proofs were largely God's means of drawing the attention of the writer more carefully to other features of the Divine Plan.”—B. 31.

Daniel “understood by books” (Jeremiah's prophecy) the length of the great captivity of the children of Israel. (Dan. 9:2.) At Christ's First Advent there was but one time-prophecy calling attention to that event (Dan. 9:24-27), yet all the people “were in expectation” of it (Luke 3:15.) In the year 1190 the good monk Joachim declared that the Papal system was Antichrist, that the history of mankind is divided into three ages, and that in the year 1260 the Papacy would give way to a new system in which the whole world would be “one vast monastery.” “In 1260 the Council of Arles pronounced all followers of [pg 060] Joachim heretics.” His application of the correct principle, “a year for a day,” made in the very depths of the Dark Ages, is one of the most pathetic incidents in the history of mankind; but his study of time-prophecy brought him peace and joy of heart. He was an opponent of the prevailing “doctrine of the Trinity.” William Miller, in the year 1829, was privileged to see (approximately) the correct date for the setting up of the abomination of desolation (539 A. D.), and for the beginning of the Time of the End (1799 A. D.) Morton Edgar, author of Pyramid Passages, has found foreshown in the Great Pyramid of Egypt abundant evidence of the accuracy of the Bible chronology of Pastor Russell and the supplements thereto supplied by Dr. John Edgar, deceased. These findings are set forth in his work, Pyramid Passages, Vol. II, of which we recommend sections numbered in the following table. For convenience we give the citations to Pastor Russell's works in which the same items are discussed. The Pyramid is still there, and the measurements can be made by anybody. Pastor Russell's chronology was written before he ever saw the Pyramid.

Date Foreshown Event Pastor Russell's Works Sections of Pyramid Passages
Fall 4127 B. C. Fall of Adam. Z 04-343 25-30-58
Fall 3127 B. C. End of Adam's 1000-year day. Z 04-343 25-28
Fall 2473 B. C. Flood. B 42 24-30
Fall 2021 B. C. Birth of Isaac. B 231 45
Spring 1813 B. C. Death of Jacob. B 218-232 16-17
Spring 1615 B. C. Exodus and giving of the Law. B 42 11
Spring 1575 B. C. Entrance into Canaan. B 42 43-46
Fall 626 B. C. Last Jubilee. B 185 50
Fall 607 B. C. Desolation of the Land. B 51 19-46-48
Fall 455 B. C. Nehemiah's Commission. B 67 51-52-53
Fall 2 B. C. Birth of Christ. B 54 10-43
Fall 29 A. D. Baptism of Christ. B 60 10-24-43-58
Spring 33 A. D. Death of Christ. B 61 10-11-14-32-45
Fall 36 A. D. Conversion of Cornelius. B 71 51
Spring 1378 A. D. Wycliffe. Z 05-185 37
Spring 1521 A. D. Diet of Worms. Z 05-180 38
Fall 1846 A. D. Evangelical Alliance. C 95-119 14-52
Fall 1874 A. D. Second Advent of the Lord. B 173-247 16-32-50
Spring 1878 A. D. Favor to Jews and sleeping Saints. C 233 17-28
Fall 1914 A. D. End of Times of the Gentiles. B 73 19-48
Fall 2875 A. D. Restitution completed. Z 04-344 37
Fall 2914 A. D. Dominion restored to mankind. Z 04-343 58
[pg 061]

The chronology as it appears in the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES is accurate. The year 1914 brought the end of the Times of the Gentiles, but not the end of the Harvest work. Have the teachings of the Parallels lost their value? Not at all. The point not previously noticed is that the Jewish polity was not to be destroyed in Jerusalem only, but throughout all Judea. Nor does Judea mean all of Palestine. The actual depopulation of the whole of Palestine did not occur until the year 135 A. D. (corresponding to our year 1980), on the ninth day of the month of Ab, the anniversary of the burning of the Temple under Titus. On that day came to an end the insurrection of Bar-Cocheba, the false Messiah, who wrought his own destruction and that of 580,000 of his followers, when he attempted to regain control of Judea and Jerusalem. The struggle was of five years' duration having begun in 130 A. D. “It was the effort, under the leadership of Bar-Cocheba, to regain their independence, that brought about a repetition of scenes enacted under Titus, and resulted actually in the depopulation of Palestine. The whole of Judea was turned into a desert; about 985 towns and villages were laid in ashes; fifty of their fortresses were razed to the ground; even the name of their capital was changed to Ælia Capitolina, and they were forbidden to approach it on pain of death; thousands of those who had escaped death were reduced to slavery, and such as could not be thus disposed of were transported into Egypt.”—McC.

When the Lord gave His wonderful prophecy in which the destinies of nominal Fleshly Israel, nominal Spiritual Israel, and the Israel of God, are set forth, it was in answer to three definite questions: When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy Parousia, and of the end of the Age?” (Matt. 24:3.) The Lord did not ignore their question. He answered it with a reply that sweeps the history of twenty centuries. He showed that the end of Fleshly Israel foreshadowed the end of Spiritual Israel. Fleshly Israel had three ends; the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70, the complete subjugation of Judea in A. D. 73, and the actual depopulation of the whole of Palestine in A. D. 135. Which did He mean should be the end that would be a guide to His followers? Not the end in A. D. 70, foreshadowing 1915; for the Harvest of the Gospel Age is still in progress. Not the end in A. D. 135, foreshadowing 1980; for the Harvest is the end. He must have meant the end in Judea, even as He said, “Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains.” (Matt. 24:16.) See also Matt. 2:22; 3:5; [pg 062] Mark 1:5; Luke 1:5, 65; 3:1; 7:17; Acts 11:29; Rom. 15:31, and especially John 7:1-3 and 1 Thes. 2:14-16.

The data presented in comments on Rev. 2:1 prove that the conquest of Judea was not completed until the day of the Passover, A. D. 73, and in the light of the foregoing Scriptures, prove that the Spring of 1918 will bring upon Christendom a spasm of anguish greater even than that experienced in the Fall of 1914. Reexamine the table of the Parallel Dispensations in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. 2, pages 246 and 247; change the 37 to 40, 70 to 73 and 1914 to 1918, and we believe it is correct and will be fulfilled “with great power and glory,” (Mark 13:26.) It was entirely impossible to foresee whether our Lord meant that A. D. 70 or A. D. 73 should serve as our guide to the time when the Jewish polity came to an end, until after October, 1915, had passed. Moreover, we have seen the promised signs, “upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth,” and we have the Lord's words for it that having seen those things “the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand,” “even at the doors,” and our “redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:25-36; Mark 13:27-30.) It is possible that A. D. 1980 marks the regathering of all of Fleshly Israel from their captivity in death. It is just 70 years beyond 1910, the date when Pastor Russell gave his great witness to the Jewish people in the New York Hippodrome. See page 551 (1).

But if the time of nominal Zion's travail (Isa. 66:8) is due to occur in the Spring of 1918, and if we are now but the “one day” (one year) distant from that event which the Prophet mentions, what should be our expectation regarding the experience of the “little flock” meantime? “The symbolic travail, in the above prophecy, is a reference to the great Time of Trouble—the travail that is to come upon the nominal Gospel church, Great ‘Babylon,’ from which some are to be counted worthy to escape. (Luke 21:36.) This is indicated by the preceding verse, which locates the time of this prophecy as synchronous with that wherein is heard ‘a voice of noise [confusion] from the city’ [Babylon], and ‘a voice [of truth and warning] from the Temple’ [the elect Little Flock of consecrated and faithful ones], and ‘a voice of Jehovah that rendereth recompense to His enemies’—in the great Time of Trouble. The travail that is coming is to be upon nominal Zion—‘Christendom,’ ‘Babylon’; and it will be a great and sore affliction—‘a Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation.’

[pg 063]

“But the marvelous thing the Prophet here has to record is that a Man-child is to be born out of Zion before this travail comes. This is a striking reference to the fact, elsewhere clearly taught, that the ripe wheat of the Gospel Church is to be separated from the tares, that they are to be exalted and glorified before the burning, the consuming trouble, shall come upon the latter. This Man-child is, therefore, the Little Flock—the true Zion in God's estimation, the Body of Christ; as it is written. ‘There shall come out of Zion [the nominal Gospel Church] the Deliverer [The Christ, Head and Body], and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob [the Fleshly Israel, or Zion].’ (Rom. 11:26.) This is the Man-child that is to bless all the families of the earth. (Gen. 28:14; Gal. 3:16, 29.) The birth of the Man-child is the First Resurrection. Blessed and holy are all they that have part in the First Resurrection. Such are now begotten of God by the Word of Truth, and quickened by the Holy Spirit (Jas. 1:18; Eph. 2:1; Rom. 8:11), and in due time—before the travail—they will be born in the glorious likeness of Christ. The birth of this Man-child began over eighteen hundred years ago with the resurrection of Christ Jesus. There the Head of this Body of Christ came forth; and as surely as the Head has been born, so surely shall the Body come forth. ‘Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth and shut the womb? saith thy God.’ (Isa. 66:9.) Ah, no! ‘the Man-child, The Christ complete, the Great Deliverer, shall come forth.’ ”—Z. '94-135.

“But,” says one, “where is the fiery chariot that is to accomplish a cleavage between the Elijah and Elisha classes?” We offer the suggestion that the fiery horses are lurid prophecies; the horsemen are Ezekiel and John, and the chariot is the vehicle in which their Message is brought to the Elijah class. And do the Elijah class take to that vehicle? They do. And why? Because “the sheep follow Him; for they know His voice.” (John 10:4.) The separation between the Elijah and Elisha classes will be brought about in a perfectly natural way, by some using the chariot which the Lord provides, and others recognizing it, but not attempting to use it to mount to the skies. And what should we expect such a fiery chariot would do when caught up into the heavens? The answer is prophetic, “The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved;” “The heavens shall pass away with a great noise;” “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf [pg 064] falleth from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig-tree.” (2 Pet. 3:12, 10; Isa. 34:4.) Evidently the circulation of the penny will have something to do with the burning of the tares!—Matt. 13:40-43; Isa. 21:9.

Forty days after Christ's resurrection His ascension occurred. This confirms the hope of the Church's glorification forty years (a year for a day) after the awakening of the sleeping saints in the Spring of 1878. The seven days before the Deluge may represent seven years, from 1914 to 1921, in the midst of which “week of years” the last members of the Messiah pass beyond the veil. The Great Company class shall be cut off at its end—the fact that we see the first half of this week so distinctly marked would lead us to expect three and one-half years more of witnessing by the Great Company class; for it seems to be the Heavenly Father's way to accomplish His work by weeks and half weeks, from the very beginning of creation until now. The covenant with Abraham, 2045 B. C., was half way (2081 years each way) between the fall of Adam, 4127 B. C., and the conversion of Cornelius, A. D. 36. The last observance of a typical jubilee by Israel, 626 B. C., was half way (2500 years each way) from the end of Adam's Day, 3127 B. C., and the beginning of the Times of Restitution, A. D. 1874. The captivity, 606 B. C., marks the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles, half way (2520 years each way) between the end of Adam's 1000-year day, 3127 B. C., and the end of Gentile Times, A. D. 1914. The captivity, 606 B. C., marks a point half way (3520 years each way) between the fall of man, 4127 B. C., and his full restoration to Divine favor, A. D. 2914. Christ's death, A. D. 33, marks a point half way (1845 years each way) between the death of Jacob, 1813 B. C., and the restoration of favor to Israel in 1878 A. D. The death of Christ, A. D. 33, was half way (three and one-half years each way) between His baptism, A. D. 29, and the conversion of Cornelius, A. D. 36.

Chronological Chart of Revelation

The awakening of the sleeping saints, A. D. 1878, was just half way (three and one-half years each way) between the beginning of the Times of Restitution in 1874 and the close of the High Calling in 1881. Our proposition is that the glorification of the little Flock in the Spring of 1918 A. D. will be half way (three and one-half years each way) between the close of the Gentile Times and the close of the Heavenly Way, A. D. 1921. The three days' (three years—1918-1921) fruitless search for Elijah (2 Kings 2:17-18) is a confirmation of this view. We shall wait to see; but we shall not be indifferent while we wait, lest peradventure another, more zealous, take the [pg 065] crown we have. The time is not long: but if we have to go on for fifty years, why should we care? We are the Lord's. Let Him do as He will with His own.

Illustration
The Seven Messengers To The Church

Write.—Pastor Russell was the most prolific writer of Biblical truth that ever lived.—Ezek. 9:2, 3.

These things saith the Amen.—The same word translated “verily” in the Gospels and so often used by our Lord as a solemn prefix to some important announcement.

AND the faithful and true Witness.—Trinitarians witness that Christ and the Father are one in person. Christ Himself witnesses, “It is also written in your Law that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of Myself, and the Father that sent Me beareth witness of Me.” (John 8:17, 18.) Christ was one, and the Father was one; and one plus one are two. (This lesson in mathematics is for Doctors of Divinity; school children will not need it.)—Rev. 1:5; 19:11.

AND the Beginning of the [creation] CHURCH of God.—Either reading is correct. Our Lord was the Beginning of the New Creation, but, more than that, He was the Beginning of all creation. “He is the Image of the invisible God—First-born of all creation; because by Him were all things created, those in the heavens and those on the earth, visible and invisible—whether thrones, or lordships, or governments, or authorities: all things were created by Him and for Him, and He precedes all things, and in Him all things have been permanently placed. (Col. 1:15-18.) Hear also the word of prophecy concerning the Only-Begotten, not only declaring His coming exaltation as King of earthly kings, but describing Him as already being Jehovah's First-born, saying, ‘I will make Him, My First-born, higher than the kings of the earth.’ (Psa. 89:27.)”—E. 95, 86.

3:15. I know thy works.“The Laodicean Church has much zeal, but not according to knowledge. She claims that her principal object is to convert sinners, to bring forth spiritual children. The Prophet puts these words into the mouth of nominal Christians when they awake to a knowledge of the situation: ‘We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the earth fallen (become converted).’ (Isa. 26:16-18.)” (Z. '16-347.) The literal city of Laodicea was distinguished for the raven blackness of the fleeces (black sheep) there to be had.

That thou are neither cold.—Making no pretense whatever to be exponents of God's Truth.—Luke 7:36-50.

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Nor hot.—Full of warm, loving devotion to Christ.—2 Tim. 3:5; Ezek. 5:6.

I would thou wert cold or hot.“Ephraim is a cake not turned.”—Hos. 7:8.

3:16. So then.“The Spring of 1878, corresponding to the date at which our Lord assumed the office of King, rode on the ass, cleansed the Temple of its money-changers, and wept over and gave up to desolation that nominal church or kingdom, marks the date from which the nominal church systems are not the mouth-pieces of God, nor in any degree recognized by Him.”—B. 235.

Because thou art THUS lukewarm and ART neither [cold nor hot] HOT NOR COLD.“Retaining the forms of worship and faith in a Creator and in a future life, but viewing these chiefly through their own or other men's philosophies and theories, and ignoring the Bible as an infallible teacher of the Divine purposes. These, while retaining the Bible, disbelieve its narratives, especially that of Eden and the fall. Retaining the name of Jesus, and calling Him the Christ and the Savior, they regard Him merely as an excellent though not infallible Exemplar, and reject entirely His Ransom-sacrifice—His cross. Claiming the Fatherhood of God to extend to sinners, they repudiate both the curse and the Mediator.”—C. 167.

[I will spue thee out of My] REFRAIN THY mouth.—She is bidden to hold her peace. She needs to study, not to teach; and so the following verses indicate.—Hos. 5:6; 9:12.

3:17. Because thou sayest I am rich.—I have all the spiritual light that exists in the world. “I have much goods laid up for many years.” (Luke 12:19.) “I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.”—Rev. 18:7; Hos. 12:8; 1 Cor. 4:8.

And Increased with goods.“Laodiceans count their numbers and their donations by millions, and say, ‘We are rich as never before.’ Alas, that they do not realize that these are earthly riches of the kind which our Lord declares are no evidence of His favor during this Gospel Age, but rather to the contrary! And they see not the true riches which the Lord admires, and which are the foretaste of His favor and the coming Kingdom wealth.”—Z. '01-56.

And have need of nothing.“They will not own that they have departed from the right ways of the Lord: in their own estimation they are rich and increased with goods, spiritual as well as temporal, and have need of nothing.”—Mal. 3:7; Z. '92-261.

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And knowest not that thou.—Of all others, so the Greek indicates.

Art wretched.“To our eternal disgrace, the United States leads all civilized countries in homicides—over 8,000 yearly. There are twelve murders in New England to one in London; in California seventy-five to one; in Nevada 245 to one.” (Z. '08-83.) “Each nation feels that theirs is the greatest talent, theirs are the finest guns, theirs the best everything; and it is this feeling of self-sufficiency that led the nations into the present conflict. They think that they are so good and so great that God could not help giving them the victory.”—Z. '15-174.

And miserable.“How blind we all have been not to have noticed: (1) That the numbers of the heathen in proportion even to the nominally Christian doubled last century; (2) That if we could bring all the heathen up to the standard of our most civilized nation it would mean that God's will would be less done the world over than it is now.”—Z. '08-83.

And poor.“The Laodicean Church is poor in that she has so little of the Master's Spirit, so little of the Truth and of the Spirit of the Truth.”—Z. '01-56.

And blind.“She cannot see afar off, cannot see either the High Calling of the Church or the blessed provisions of Restitution for the world in general.”—Z. '98-128.

And naked.“The clergy, under the name of Higher Criticism and Evolution, are rapidly denuding her, making her naked, taking from her the robe of Christ's righteousness, and leading her to trust, not in the precious blood of the Redeemer, but in an evolutionary process which needs no Savior, which denies that there is, or has been, any sin to make atonement for.”—Z. '01-56.

3:18. I counsel thee.“Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel and afterward receive me into glory.”—Psa. 73:24.

To buy of Me.“Not until we lay hold by faith upon the exceeding great and precious promises is there any of the ‘gold’ of the ‘Divine nature’ in us. This treasure can be purchased only at the cost of entire consecration, or sacrifice of all that we have, to Christ”—Z. '96-44; Prov. 23:23; Matt. 13:44.

Gold tried in the fire.“If we would purchase the ‘gold tried in the fire,’ it must be at the cost of faithful and constant submission to the discipline of the Lord in fiery trials. How otherwise can the dross be eliminated? There is no other way. Wherefore, think it not strange; let the fire burn; let the dross be consumed; and see to it, beloved, that in the heat of the flame you remove not the ‘living sacrifice.’ ”—Z. '96-44; 1 Pet. 4:12.

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That thou mayest be rich.“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.”—2 Cor. 8:9; Prov. 10:22; Lu. 12:21; 1 Tim. 6:18; Jas. 2:5; Rev. 2:9.

And white raiment.“The robe of Christ's imputed righteousness, which so many are now discarding, to appear before God in their own unrighteousness.”—D. 42; Rev. 19:8.

That thou mayest be clothed.“A glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.”—Eph. 5:27.

And that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.“Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”—Rev. 16:15; Matt. 22:11-13; Isa. 47:3.

And anoint thine eyes with eyesalve.—From the Great Physician. (Mark 2:17.) “Complete consecration and submission to the Divine will as expressed in the Scriptures.”—D. 42.

That thou mayest see.“The ‘master of the house’ or ‘householder’ of the present dispensation is not our Lord, but our Adversary, the Devil—‘the god of this world,’ ‘the prince of the power of the air,’ ‘the prince of this world,’ who now ruleth in the children of disobedience, blinding the minds of all that believe not.”—D. 611; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; Psa. 13:3; 19:8; John 9:6, 41.

3:19. As many as I love.“As many as are honest and at heart loyal to God.”—Z. '92-59.

I rebuke and chasten.“ ‘My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him; for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.’—Prov. 3:11, 12; Heb. 12:5-8.”—Z. '96-44; Job 5:17; Jas. 1:12.

Be zealous, therefore, and repent.“The lawyer who makes legality his test instead of justice; the merchant who is satisfied simply to conform to the code of his trade, whose excuse for any dishonesty is, ‘They all do it’; the ‘gentleman’ or ‘lady’ who puts good form and manners in the place of sincerity and kindliness of heart, and politeness in place of courtesy—all are alike animated by the ecclesiastical conscience. It was this ecclesiastical mind and this ecclesiastical conscience which crucified Jesus Christ (Rt. Rev. Chas. D. Williams, Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Michigan.)”—Z. '15-339.

3:20. Behold, I stand at the door.—Some of the Scriptures, which, when understood in their connections and significance, prove that the Lord's Second Advent occurred in the fall of 1874 are as follows: “Speak ye comfortably [pg 069] to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.” (Isa. 40:2; B. 227.) “And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double.” (Jer. 16:18; B. 218.) “Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee.” (Zech. 9:12; B. 224.) “The fourteenth day of the second month, at even, they shall keep it.” (Num. 9:11; Z. '98-68.) “And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins.” (Gen. 25:24; Z. '94-63.) “And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren. And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai an angel of the Lord.” “Wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the Wilderness forty years.”—Acts 7:23, 30, 36; Z. '11-215.

“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” (Dan. 12:12; C. 83.) “Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement.” (Lev. 25:9; B. 187.) “As long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.” (2 Chron. 36:21; B. 195.) “In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt.” (Isa. 19:19, 20; C. 315.) “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us.” (1 Pet. 3:21; Z. '05-181, Diagram.) “In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, he made a proclamation.” (Ezra 1:1; Z. '05-185.) “This house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.” (Ezra 6:15; Z. '05-185.) “This Ezra went up from Babylon.... And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king.” (Ezra 7:6-8; Z. '05-185.) “In the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king.”—Neh. 2:1; Z. '05-185.

Besides the above Scriptures, time-proofs of the Lord's Return, are the fulfilments of the promised signs: The Gospel has been preached in all the world for a witness: (Matt. 24:14; A. 91); the abomination has been seen in the holy place (Matt. 24:15; D. 572); the flight of the saints from the antitypical “Judea” has occurred (Matt. 24:16; D. 573); the great tribulation has commenced (Matt. 24:21; D. 540); the false Christs are with us (Matt. 24:23; D. 580); the eagles have gathered to the carcase [pg 070] (Matt. 24:28; D. 610); the sun and moon have been darkened (Matt. 24:29; D. 590); the Man of Sin has been revealed (2 Thes. 2:8; T. 86; B. 271); the Elias has come (Mal. 4:5; B. 251); the regathering of the Jews has begun (Jer. 31:8; Z. '06-84); the refining of the sons of Levi progresses (Mal. 3:1-3; Z. '05-378); the true faith was nearly extinct in the earth (Luke 18:8; Z. '06-265); the doctrines of devils are rampant (1 Tim. 4:1; F. 621); the perilous times and all associated evils are here (2 Tim. 3:1-7; Z. '99-99); the Lord God has given the sinners water of gall to drink (Jer. 8:14; C. 158); the mighty angel has roared, “Come out of her” (Rev. 18:4; C. 155); the running to and fro is in evidence (Dan. 12:4; C. 63); the antitypical Josiah has kept the great Passover (2 Chron. 35:19; Z. '05-180); the land shadowed with wings has played its part (Isa. 18:1; Z. '04-230); the watchman has stood upon his tower (Hab. 2:1; C. 89); the wheels within wheels are made clear (Ezek. 1:15); the Prophet has come to the rebellious house (Ezek. 2:3); he has eaten the book of her fate (Ezek. 2:9); the seven years of astonishment are finished (Ezek. 3:15); the sieges of 390 years and 40 years are at an end (Ezek. 4:5, 6); the image of jealousy has been disclosed (Ezek. 8:3); the man with the writer's inkhorn has performed his task (Ezek. 9:2); the removing is at an end (Ezek. 14:21); the sword has been doubled the third time (Ezek. 21:15); the point of the sword has been made bright (Ezek. 21:15); ecclesiasticism has been delivered unto brutish persons (Ezek. 21:31); the desire of the faithful servant's eyes has failed (Ezek. 24:16); the stilled voice is speaking again.—Ezek. 33:22.

The seven thunders have uttered their voices (Rev. 10:3); the seven last plagues have been poured out (Rev. 15:6); the voices of the three signs have been uttered (Exod. 4:3-9; Z. '07-276); the ribband of blue (the Vow) has done its work (Num. 15:38); the tares and wheat have been separated (Matt. 13:30; C. 139); the net has been drawn to the shore and the fish sorted (Matt. 13:48; C. 214); the ambassadors of peace have wept bitterly (Isa. 33:7); the foolish virgins have had their sound sleep (Matt. 25:5; C. 92); the seven seals have been opened (Rev. 8:1); the seven angels have sounded (Rev. 10:7; B. 149); the nations are angry (Rev. 11:18); the winepress of God's wrath has been trodden (Rev. 14:20); the horses and chariot of fire have come for Elijah (2 Kings 2:11); the chariots are running like lightning (Nah. 2:4; C. 272); the mighty angel has flown in the midst of heaven (Rev. 14:6); the false worshippers have been tormented [pg 071] with fire and brimstone (Rev. 14:10); Behemoth and Leviathan have been beheld doing their work (Job 40:15-23; 41:1-34); the secret of the Lord has been shown (Psa. 25:14; Z. '97-255); the Lord is judging His people and gathering His saints (Psa. 50:4, 5; D. 75; B. 164); the lightnings have enlightened the world (Psa. 97:4; A. 171); the hills have melted like wax (Psa. 97:5; D. 551); the banner has been lifted on the high mount (Isa. 13:2; D. 40); the tables are full of vomit (Isa. 28:8; Z. '07-91); the dumb dogs have failed to bark (Isa. 56:10; F. 287); the silver has been cast into the streets (Ezek. 7:19); the nations have all been shaken (Hag. 2:7; D. 528); the rain, floods and winds have come on Christendom (Matt. 7:27; Z. '06-95); the King has come in to see the guests (Matt. 22:11; C. 197); the speechless one has been bound hand and foot and cast out (Matt. 22:13; C. 201); the Master is reckoning with His servants (Matt. 25:19; F. 419); the seas and the waves are roaring (Luke 21:25; D. 551); the 144,000 are standing on the sea of glass singing (Rev. 15:3; C. 237); the Devil has risen up against himself (Mark 3:26; F. 641); the blood, fire and vapor of smoke are here (Acts 2:19; D. 592); the brethren are not in darkness and all others are (1 Thes. 5:4; B. 121); the teachers having itching ears have turned unto fables (2 Tim. 4:3; 4; F. 287; Z. '07-308); the twenty-four elders have cast their crowns before the throne (Rev. 4:10); the predicted scoffing has taken place (2 Pet. 3:3; B. 167); the laborers have received their penny (Matt. 20:8); and these are but 88 of the proofs hastily collected.

And knock.“The knock, or proclamation of the Lord's Presence, as indicated by the Old Testament prophecies, has been given since 1875 and is still being given.”—Z. '04-124; Lu. 12:36; Cant. 5:2-6.

If any man hear My voice.“The knock is to be the evidence of the Presence; and the servants are not to know in advance, but are to know at the time of the arrival and that without seeing.”—Z. '04-123.

[And] I WILL BOTH open the door.—When once we give the Lord a welcome to our hearts, how He does open the doors to joys we ne'er before knew!

[I will] AND come in to him.“If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.”—John 14:23.

And will sup.—Take the evening meal.—Lu. 12:37.

With him.—The Master Himself is feasting on the same joys of the Father's Plan that delight our own hearts.

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And he with Me.“This serving of the servants by the Master should be understood to be an individual work, and not merely a collective service and feast.”—Z. '04-124.

3:21. To him that overcometh.“Let us not avoid the Gethsemane moment if it come to us in the Lord's providence, but let us also with strong cryings and tears look up to Him who is able to save us out of death by the glorious First Resurrection; and let us remember that if we abide in His love, He is able and willing to bring us off conquerors, yea, more than conquerors through His own merit.”—Z. '06-348.

Will I grant.—If they prove faithful unto death.

To sit with Me.“With the early Church, the promises of Kingdom honor and joint-heirship with the Master were strong incentives to faithfulness under present trials and persecutions, which they had been forewarned to expect.”—A. 285.

In My Throne.“God's appointed means of blessing the world and causing the knowledge of the Lord to come to every creature.”—A. 91; 1 Cor. 6:2; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 2:26, 27; 22:1.

Even as I also overcame.“God sent an angel to comfort and minister unto Him; to assure Him still of the Divine favor, and thus to give Him fresh courage, strength of mind and steadiness of nerve to endure all that was before Him, even unto death. The bitterness of the mental conflict was now over, and the light of Heaven shining into His soul chased away the deep gloom that had hung over Him like a funeral pall.”—Z. '06-348.

And am set down with My Father in His Throne.“The thousand years of the Millennial Reign will constitute but a beginning of the exercise of the glory, honor and immortality of these New Creatures. At its close when the Kingdom shall be delivered up to ‘God, even the Father,’ and to mankind as the glorified agents of the Father to rule the earth, a still larger sphere for the exercise of their glory, honor and immortality will open before the New Creation.”—F. 69; 1 Cor. 15:24-28.

3:22. He that hath an ear.“Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.”—Matt. 13:16.

Let him hear.“For verily I say unto you, That many Prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”—Matt. 13:17.

What the Spirit saith unto the churches.—Unto the seven epochs, ending, respectively, in A. D. 73, 325, 1160, 1378, 1518, 1874 and 1918.

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Revelation 4—The Author Of The Plan

4:1. After this.—After this first panorama of the seven stages of the Church had passed.

I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in Heaven.—It is only as the Lord, who holds the key, opens the door to the understanding of Heavenly things, that we are able to comprehend them.—Matt. 3:16; Ezek. 1:1; Rev. 19:11.

And BEHOLD the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me.—See comments on Rev. 1:1; 7:2.

Which said, Come up hither.—Not that St. John went to Heaven at that time; he was merely given a vision of Heavenly things. (Rev. 11:12.) “The seer now obtains a higher spiritual standpoint.”—Cook.

And I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.—The Divine Plan for the permission of evil.

4:2. [And] immediately I was in the spirit.—In a trance condition.—Acts 10:10; Rev. 1:10.

And, behold, a Throne.—The Throne of the Heavenly Father.—Isa. 6:1; Ezek. 1:26-28.

Was set.—Permanently established. The same word as in, “This Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel.” (Luke 2:34.) “I am set for the defence of the Gospel.”—Phil. 1:17.

In Heaven.“Whither the Forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus.”—Heb. 6:20.

And One.—Jehovah, “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:3), the Author of the Divine Plan for the permission of evil, in the recreation of a perfect human race, and in the creation of a race of gods, sons of Himself. “God designed to permit evil, because, having the remedy provided for man's release from its consequences, He saw that the result would be to lead him the more to love and honor his Creator, who is the source and fountain of all goodness, and forever to shun that which brought so much woe and misery.” (A. 124.) “Not only are men benefited to all eternity by the experience gained, and angels by their observation of man's experiences, but all are further advantaged by a fuller acquaintance with God's Character as manifested in His Plan. Had sin not been permitted, the sacrifice of our Lord [pg 074] Jesus and of His Church, the reward of which is the Divine nature, would have been impossible.”—A. 135.

Sat on the Throne.—Of the Universe. “All can see the propriety of the Almighty's decision that He shall be recognized as the Center of authority, wisdom, justice, love and power; for this is the truth, and anything else would be untruth and to that extent evil, injurious.”—E. 57, 52; Rev. 7:10; Dan. 7:9.

4:3. And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper.“And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper.” (Rev. 21:18, 19.) “A precious stone, variegated with divers colors, and of a very hard quality; some have been found of a sea-green color.” (Diaglott note.) “The ancient jasper thus appears to have been frequently translucent, but the modern is opaque.” (McC.) The jasper, therefore, is supposed to refer to the modern rare and beautiful green-tinted diamond. The diamond is the hardest substance known, excelling in brilliancy and beautiful play of prismatic colors. The crystals of which it is composed are bounded by eight equal equilateral triangles; twenty-four angles in all, constituting a perfect double pyramid, set base to base. How adorable, how sublime, how perfect is our God! How impossible to describe Him! To know Him aright will require eternity. The jasper seems especially to illustrate His glory, perfection and prescience. (He uses twenty-four elders—prophecies.)

And a sardine stone.“The sard, which is a superior variety of agate, has long been a favorite stone for the engraver's art. On this stone all the finest works of the most celebrated artists are to be found; and this not without good cause, such is its toughness, facility of working, beauty of color, and the high polish of which it is susceptible, and which it retains longer than any other gem. The sardius is the stone now called the carnelian, from its color, which resembles that of raw flesh. It is supposed to stop hemorrhage when laid on a fresh wound.” (McC.) The sardius seems especially to illustrate God's love, His memory of His creatures, and His purpose of a resurrection for all smitten in Adam and redeemed in Christ. Will God forget to raise any of His blood-bought? “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands.”—Isa. 49:15, 16.

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And there was a rainbow.“The rainbow has always been an emblem of peace. It appears on the cloud as the storm passes away. It contrasts beautifully with the tempest that has just been raging. It is seen as the rays of the sun again appear clothing all things with beauty—the more beautiful from the fact that the storm has come. It is a pledge that the war of the elements has ceased, and that God smiles again upon the earth. The appearance of the rainbow around the Throne was a beautiful emblem of the mercy of God, and of the peace that was to pervade the world as the result of the events that were to be disclosed to the vision of John.” (Barnes.) The rainbow is characterized by seven colors—perfection. (Ezek. 1:28.) It represents not only the bow of promise for mankind, but the peace of God. It is His Plan. “From His own vast inherent resources of power and wisdom, springs the peace of God. But not from this source alone is the Divine peace; for peace is the certain concomitant of inherent goodness. God is the impersonation of every virtue and every grace; consequently He has the blessed satisfaction and peace of conscious moral perfection as well as inherent wisdom and power.” (Z. '95-153.) “During the seventh millennium, according to the Divine purpose, it will be the joyful privilege of our Lord Jesus to fully manifest to all creatures in Heaven and in earth the Father's glorious character. Then will the Father rejoice in the grandeur of His finished work and in the everlasting peace and happiness of His family in Heaven and in earth, ‘reunited under one head.’ (Eph. 1:10, Diaglott.)”—Z. '95-155.

Round about the Throne.—Justice is “the habitation of Thy Throne.” (Psa. 89:14.) “God's law is stern Justice, with no allowances, ready to consume as a fire everything blemished. Who cannot see that if God could deal with sinners, and condoning their sins, accept their best endeavors, though imperfect, there would have been no necessity for a Redeemer? And thus, to all eternity, there might be danger of sin on the part of those who had not already dabbled in it. Seeing this, it does not surprise us that God, in the interest of all His holy creatures, as well as for His own pleasure, decides that He will recognize nothing short of perfection in any creature, and makes Justice the foundation of His Throne.”—E. 481, 472.

In sight like unto an emerald.“The same with the ancient smaragdus; one of the most beautiful of gems, of a bright green color, without any mixture.”Diaglott. “The emerald, of bright green color, ‘was the most precious gem in the Roman jeweller's list.... The Romans were plentifully supplied with the true emerald. The smaragdus [pg 076] of Nero's age must be restricted to the true emerald, perhaps including the green ruby.’ (King.)”Nat. Hist. of Precious Stones. The color of the emerald, green, signifies everlastingness. “From everlasting to everlasting thou art God.”—Psa. 90:2; Ezek. 1:28.

4:4. And round about the Throne.—Encompassing it on all sides—always in mind—never out of sight.

[Were] SAW I four and twenty seats.Thronoi, thrones, places of highest exaltation—the twenty-four angles (viewpoints) of the diamond.—Rev. 4:3,10.

And upon the seats [I saw four and twenty] elders sitting.Personifications of the testimonies of twenty-four Prophets (Heb. 11:2), who foretold things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. Not the Prophets themselves are here referred to. They are not in Heaven. “David is not ascended into the Heavens.” (Acts 2:34.) Daniel still “sleeps in the dust of the earth.” (Dan. 12:2, 13.) None of the Prophets are in Heaven: “God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Heb. 11:40.) But from the time that “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21), the utterances of Enoch, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Job, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi and John the Baptist, have been witnesses before God that there shall be “Times of Refreshing”“Times of Restitution.”—Acts 3:19-21.

Clothed in white raiment.—All of these men considered themselves unworthy to be God's mouthpieces. Jacob said, “I am not worthy of the least of all Thy mercies, and of all the truth which Thou hast shewed unto Thy servant.” (Gen. 32:10.) Moses said, “Who am I that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exod. 3:11.) David said, “Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that Thou hast brought me hitherto?” (2 Sam. 7:18.) Solomon said, “I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.” (1 Kings 3:7.) Isaiah said, “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.” (Isa. 6:5.) Jeremiah said, “Ah, Lord God! behold I cannot speak: for I am a child.” (Jer. 1:6.) Daniel said, “This secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have.” (Dan. 2:30.) And John the Baptist said, “I have need to be baptised of Thee, and comest Thou to me?” (Matt. 3:14.) But the Lord knoweth them that are His (2 Tim. 2:19); and whatever they may think of themselves, if they are [pg 077] God's mouthpieces, they are clean. Isaiah's utterances are spotless in the sight of God—clothed in white raiment.—Isa. 6:6, 7.

And [they] had on their heads crowns of gold.—The glory of God—Love, God's highest attribute. If there are any prophets that do not have something to say about God's loving arrangement for Times of Restitution, then they are not holy. Judged by this standard, how many of the clergy of our day are holy?—Acts 3:19-21.

4:5. And out of the Throne proceeded lightnings.“How apt is this figure! Truly like lightning flashes in the midst of the gloom and perplexity of this cloudy day, come to men remarkable glimpses of the great principles of Truth and Righteousness. A flash of lightning from the obscured Throne discloses here one error, and there another, and another. It is remarkable that these lightning flashes are continually calling attention to the Word of God, to the Golden Rule. It seems remarkable, too, how often in these days of war and stress worldly men are drawing attention to the prophecies of the Scriptures.”—Z. '16-339; Rev. 8:5; 16:18.

AND VOICES.“As a result of God's lightning flashes which are enlightening the world, there are ominous mutterings of dissatisfaction, unrest. The lightning flashes are revealing the corruption in the world, the dishonesty in high places; with conflicting ideas, voices, theories and threats, ‘the nations are angry,’ ‘the heathen [Gentiles, peoples] rage,’ and the whole earth trembles from the din of a wordy conflict and from the blows which even now are beginning to arouse the world.”—Z. '16-340.

And thunderings [and voices.]“We hear the thunder tones of judgment that ‘call the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof’ (Psa. 50:1); we see the whole earth now in the shaking process which will eventuate in the complete overthrow of all existing institutions, systems and governments. Present events indeed speak in trumpet tones.”—Z. '16-340; Ex. 19:16; Rev. 8:5; 11:19; 16:18.

And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the Throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.—Perfect knowledge.—Rev. 1:4; 3:1.

4:6. And before the Throne.—In the earth, and everywhere throughout the Universe.—Rev. 5:6.

There was AS a sea of glass.“The troubled surface which Daniel and Isaiah beheld (Dan. 7:2, 3; Isa. 57:20) became when seen before the Throne of God, calm and clear; reflecting as from a mirror, every fulfilment of the Divine purposes.” (Cook.) (Rev. 21:18, 21; Ex. 24:10.) [pg 078] The sea (godless conditions about them) has been a means of purifying earth's future priests.—1 Ki. 7:23-26, 38, 39.

Like unto crystal.—Indicating that nothing escapes God's notice; all is transparent. “For centuries skeptics have been disposed to smile incredulously at the words of our Lord, ‘Enter into thy closet; and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.’ (Matt. 6:6.) Now that an electric ray can be passed through opaque substances, such as paper, wood, cloth, leather, aluminium, animal flesh, etc., can these scientists any longer mock at Christians for ‘credulity,’ because we believe that ‘All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do’? (Heb. 4:13.) ‘He that formed the ear shall He not hear? He that formed the eye shall He not see?’ Now we begin to see how it is that ‘There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.’ ”—Z. '96-27; Ezek. 1:22.

And in the midst of the Throne.—Woven into its very fabric.

And round about the Throne.—Completely encircling and enveloping it.

Were four beasts.“Living ones” (Diaglott.); the four immortal attributes of Justice, Power, Love and Wisdom.—Ezek. 1:5, 6.

Full of eyes before and behind.—Seeing clearly everything that will ever occur in the future, and everything that has ever transpired in the past.—Ezek. 10:4, 12.

4:7. And the first beast.—Justice was the attribute first manifested toward our sinful race. “God has found it necessary to perform the unpleasant duties of discipline; and though all the while His fatherly love was preparing to bless the deceived and fallen ones when the purposes of redemption should restore the repentant to His favor, Love must be veiled while only stern, relentless Justice could be manifested. This has been no happifying duty.”—Z. '95-154.

Was like a lion.—The characteristics of the lion illustrate this attribute: The teeth are of the highest carnivorous type, adapted to seizing and holding firmly. Although occasionally seen abroad during the day, especially in wild and desolate regions, the night (Psa. 30:5) is the period of its greatest activity. The usual pace of a lion is a walk; and, though apparently rather slow, yet he is able to get over a good deal of ground in a short time. As a rule, he kills only when hungry or attacked, and not for the mere pleasure of killing.—Ezek. 1:10; 10:14.

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And the second beast.—Power, exhibited in the Flood, was the second of God's attributes manifested to man. “God, the Creator of all things, is also the competent Sustainer of all things. In silent grandeur, from age to age, the whole physical Universe fulfils His will, without a suspicion of disorder or mishap; and the same Power is pledged for its sustenance throughout the eternal future.”—Z. '95-153; Ezek. 1:10.

Like a calf.—With the Hebrews the calf (young ox) was the emblem of Power, the attribute of God with which they were principally acquainted. As an agricultural people, they were brought in frequent contact with it, the strongest of all the domestic animals. They were brought out of Egypt by a “mighty power and a stretched out arm” (Deut. 9:29); and when they sought to make a representation of it, the form selected was a golden calf.—Deut. 9:16-21.

And the third beast.—Love, exhibited in the Father sending His Only-Begotten Son to die that we might live, was the third of God's attributes manifested to man. “Our recovery cost the sacrifice of the dearest treasure of His heart, and the subjection of this Beloved One to the most abject humiliation, ignominy, suffering and death. Ah, did the Father let Him go on that errand of mercy without the slightest sensation of sorrowful emotion? had He no appreciation of the pangs of a father's love when the arrows of death pierced the heart of His beloved Son? When our dear Lord said, ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death,’ and again, ‘Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt,’ did it touch no sympathetic chord in the heart of the Eternal? Yea, verily.”—Z. '95-154.

Had a face [as] LIKE a man.—The embodiment of love. (A. 174.) “Close your eyes for a moment to the scenes of misery and woe, degradation and sorrow that yet prevail on account of sin, and picture before your mental vision the glory of the perfect earth. Not a stain of sin mars the harmony and peace of a perfect society; not a bitter thought, not an unkind look or word; love, welling up from every heart, meets a kindred response in every other heart, and benevolence marks every act. Think of all the pictures of comparative health and beauty of human form and feature that you have ever seen, and know that perfect humanity will be of still surpassing loveliness. The inward purity and mental and moral perfection will stamp and glorify every radiant countenance.”—A. 191; Ezek. 1:5.

And the fourth beast.—Wisdom, as exhibited in the Father's Plan, now unfolded before our delighted gaze, is [pg 080] the fourth, and complete, manifestation of God to man. “He is never confused, bewildered, perplexed, anxious or careworn, or in the least fearful that His plans will miscarry or His purposes fail; because all power and wisdom inhere in Him. The scope of His mighty intellect reaches to the utmost bounds of possibility, comprehends all causes and discerns with precision all effects; consequently He knows the end from the beginning, and that, not only upon philosophical principles, but also by intuition. As the Creator of all things and the Originator of all law, He is thoroughly acquainted with all the intricate subtleties of physical, moral and intellectual law, so that no problem could arise, the results of which are not manifest to His mind. ‘God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.’ (1 John 1:5.)”—Z. '95-153.

Was like a flying eagle.—Of all known birds, the eagle flies the highest and with the greatest rapidity. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:9.) The ones attracted to Present Truth are the eagles, the far-sighted ones that “behold the land that is very far off.” (Matt. 24:28; 2 Pet. 1:9; Isa. 33:16, 17; Psa. 103:5.) In the training of its young the eagle manifests wisdom of high order: “ ‘As an eagle stirreth up her nest’ (she mixes the thorny outside with the downy inside, so that the eaglets will leave it and learn to fly), so God, by His testing providences makes the place of rest one of unrest to us, and thus lures us out to trust ourselves to His care and guidance over untried ways.”—Z. '04-116.

4:8. And the four beasts.—Justice, Power, Love and Wisdom.

Had each of them six wings about him.“Above it stood the seraphims (Justice, Power, Love and Wisdom): each one had six wings, and with twain he did fly. And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isa. 6:2, 3.) “The vision of Isaiah is a prophecy of the future, when the ‘glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together’ in the establishment of the Kingdom of God during the Millennium. (Isa. 40:5.) Only from this prophetic standpoint would the words of the seraphim be true; for the whole earth has never yet been filled with the Lord's glory; but on the contrary, the earth is full of sin and violence, and every evil work.” (Z. '98-305.) Six is a symbol of imperfection, and in the light of the foregoing seems to refer to the six thousand years of the permission of evil, the theme of the entire Book of Revelation. For the first two thousand years, from the fall to [pg 081] the covenant with Abraham, God's face was almost entirely hidden from man. For the next two thousand years, until the death of Christ, it was not apparent how the place of God's feet, His footstool, should ever be made glorious. (Isa. 60:13; 66:1.) But since then, for two thousand years, God's Love has been manifest to all, and “the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19), to set up the Kingdom, the Golden Age, for which we all so long have prayed. (Matt. 6:10.) The wings operate in pairs.

And they were full of eyes within.—Nothing has transpired, or will ever transpire, without God's knowledge. In the past six thousand years, whether hidden or partially revealed, God's Justice, Power, Love and Wisdom, have been in touch with all of earth's affairs.—Ezek. 10:12.

And they HAVE NO rest [not] day and night.—Not eternal idleness, but eternal work in the interest of others will be our reward. “My Father worketh until now, and I work.” (John 5:17.) “I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work.” (John 9:4.) “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” (Eph. 2:10.) “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do.” (Phil. 2:13.) “We are laborers together with God.” (1 Cor. 3:9.) “Workers together with Him.” (2 Cor. 6:1.) “Who shall change the Body of our humiliation, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious Body, according to the working whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself.”—Phil. 3:21.

Saying, Holy, holy, holy, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY.—The Sinaitic MS. repeats the word “holy” eight times. (See Rev. 4:3.) In the seventh thousand-year Day God will bring all things to perfection through The Christ, yet it is the eighth Day that marks the complete separation from the old order of things. The Jewish child was circumcised on the eighth day (Luke 1:59; Phil. 3:5); seven days a sheep was to be with its dam, and on the eighth given to the Lord (Exod. 22:30); the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles was to be a holy convocation unto the Lord. (Lev. 23:36, 39.) In the eighth thousand-year Day of mankind's history on the earth, circumcision of the heart will be complete in all, all the sheep will have been turned over to the Father, and the holy convocation of eternity will have begun, “the grand epoch when there shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more pain and no more dying, because God's work of creation shall then have been completed so far as this earth is concerned.”—F. 51.

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Lord God Almighty.—Jehovah. This scene is located in Heaven, where even the Son Himself is subject unto the Father.—1 Cor. 15:28.

Which was.—The great First Cause.

And is.—The great “I AM.”

And is to come.—And evermore shall be.

4:9. And when those beasts.—Justice, Power, Love and Wisdom.

Give.—Shall eternally continue to give, so the Greek indicates.

Glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the Throne.—Their united testimony to the perfection of His character in all its attributes, as they are now doing, since His Wisdom has been unveiled.

Who liveth for ever and ever, AMEN.—And will forever use those attributes in the blessing of all the willing and obedient throughout the Universe.

4:10. The four and twenty elders.—The personifications of the messages of the twenty-four Prophets who foretold the coming Kingdom of God.

Fall down before Him that sat on the Throne.—Unitedly bear witness to His perfect ability to foretell the future.

And worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, AMEN.—Magnify His perfect Justice, Power, Love and Wisdom.

And cast.—Shall eternally continue to cast, so the Greek indicates.

Their crowns before the Throne, saying.—(1) Enoch was the first of the holy Prophets; and according to the Apostle Jude he prophesied of the coming reign of Christ and His glorious Bride, to judge the world, saying: “The Lord cometh with a myriad of His saints, to execute judgment.” (Jude 14, 15.) That there shall be such a glorious and blessed Judgment Day, full of hope and joy for all the world, the Apostle Paul says is definitely decreed in the counsels of God, “whereof He hath given assurance,” grounds for confident, joyful anticipation, “unto all men.” (Acts 17:31.) When that happy time comes, “the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (Isa. 26:9), and “the poor of the people will be lifted up” (Psa. 72:2-4, 12-14.) It will be the long-promised poor man's chance.

(2) Jacob was one of the holy Prophets; and in Gen. 49:10 he says, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.” The sceptre means the right to rule, the title to power; and Shiloh means peacemaker. So this prophecy is merely another way of saying that Judah would be the ancestor of the great Lawgiver, the great “Prince of Peace” into [pg 083] whose hands God, in due time, will “give the heathen for an inheritance,” “that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve Him with one consent.”—Psa. 2:8; Zeph. 3:9.

(3) Moses, as a historian, recorded God's original purpose to give man dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:28); His declaration to the serpent that the Seed of the woman should bruise its head (Gen. 3:15); the promise to Abraham that in him all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Gen. 12:3); that Abraham's inheritance should be an earthly one (Gen. 13:15); and an everlasting one (Gen. 17:8); that all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him (Gen. 18:18); that in his Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen. 22:18); to Isaac, that in his Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen. 26:4); to Jacob, that in his Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed (Gen. 28:14); to Jacob again, that he should be a joint-heir with Abraham and Isaac of the land of Canaan (Gen. 35:12); by the sacrifices after the day of atonement was typically shown the perfection of mankind in the Millennium (Lev. 1:5); by the glory appearing unto all the people was foretold their future release from sin and death (Lev. 9:23); by the acceptance of a goat as a sin-offering for the people we see blessings of life for the world after the Church's career is finished (Lev. 16:15); and by the sounding of the jubilee trumpet, the proclamation of liberty to the captives and the return of every man to his possession, we see the world's restoration to the image and likeness of God. (Lev. 25:10.) As a Prophet, his declarations show that throughout the Gospel Age God would raise up a great Prophet and Deliverer like unto himself (The Christ), to whom shall all the people give heed in the Millennial Age (Deut. 18:15, 19); and that this great Deliverer then would set before them life, if obedient, and death, if disobedient.—Deut. 30:15.

(4) Samuel, as a historian, recorded Hannah's prophecy, “The Lord killeth and maketh alive; He bringeth down to hell and bringeth up.” (1 Sam. 2:6.) This is one of the first places in the Bible where we are shown that what goes into hell does not necessarily stay there. Another instance, in which Samuel foretold pictorially the coming of the better King, was in the case of the coronation of King Saul. Saul had been selected king, but had an attack of bashfulness; and when they had searched, they found him behind the baggage. The record is, “They ran, and fetched him thence; and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward. And Samuel said, See ye him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him [pg 084] among the people? And all the people shouted and said, God save the king.” (1 Sam. 10:17-24.) Saul was God's choice for king; his name means “desired,” and in this he typified Christ, the “desire of all nations.” This incident looks forward to the time when all the people of the world will say of Christ, “Oh! who is like unto our God? Lo! This is our God; this is our King; this is the One we have waited for; He is head and shoulders, as a ruler, above all kings and rulers we have had.”

(5) Job, after the Sabeans had made off with his oxen and asses, after a bolt of lightning had burned up his sheep, after the Chaldeans had stolen his camels and murdered his servants, after a whirlwind had blown down his house and killed all his children, after he was covered with boils from head to foot, after his wife had gone back on him, and after his three remaining friends tried to prove to him that he was a hypocrite, prayed that he might go to hell and stay there until God's wrath should be past, and that then God would remember him in resurrection. (Job 14:13-15.) Job records Elihu's prophetic statement that when the Messenger of the Covenant has returned, death will cease and men not need to go into the tomb. (Job 33:19-30.) Job also describes the steam engine—stationary, railway and marine.

The following is a corrected translation of Job 40:15 to 41:34, with comments thereon from the pen of one of Pastor Russell's followers: “Behold now one with great heat [the stationary steam engine], which I have made to be with thee; he will consume fodder [peat, wood, coal] as do cattle. Behold now his strength is in his loins [boiler plates], and his power is within the parts bent in a circle [boiler shell] of his belly. His tail [smoke stack—opposite the feeding end] will set upright like a cedar; the couplings of his leaping parts [connecting rods, pitmans] will be clamped together. His bones are tubes of copper; his solid bones [grate bars] are as hammered-out bars of iron. He is the greatest of the ways of power. He that made him [the Lord] can make His sword [Word] to approach unto [reveal] him. [Isa. 27:1, 2.] He shall rest under thin shelter [steam jackets] within a covering of fibrous reeds [jute] and clay [mortar]. The willows of the valley [the trees overhead] will enclose him around about Behold [as a pumping engine] he will drink up an overflowing river without much exertion; he will cause the people to trust [that their cellars will keep dry], though a Jordan should rush forth over its border. He will gather it up in his fountains by means of traps and with a perforated nozzle.

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“Thou wilt lengthen out leviathan [the locomotive] with a hook [automatic coupler] or with a snare [coupling-pin] which thou wilt cause his tongue [coupling-link] to drop down. Wilt thou not place a ring [piston] in his nostrils [cylinders] or pierce through his cheeks [piston-ends] with a staff [piston-rod]? Will he make repeated supplication unto thee [to get off the track]? Or will he utter soft tones unto thee [when he screeches with the whistle]? Will he make a covenant with thee, that thou mayest take him for a servant forever [without repairs]? Wilt thou play with him as with a bird [make him whistle at will]? Or wilt thou bind [enslave] him for thy maidens [so that you can take them to a picnic or convention]? Companies [of stockholders] will feast upon him [his earnings]; they will share him among speculators. [Psa. 74:14.] Thou wilt fill his skin with pointed irons [bolts], and his head with a cabin of fishermen [a cab similar to the cabins on fishing vessels]. Place thy hand upon him, be mindful of the conflict [raging within the boiler] and thou wilt add no further questions. Behold, his confidence [boiler] being deceived [not properly supplied with water], shall not at once his mighty form be spread asunder [by an explosion]? There is none so bold that he will stir him up [to run at his very highest possible speed], and none who will then place himself before him [to be run over]. Who will compete with this one and endure [pass him on the track]? Under the whole heaven, none, unless [one like] himself.

“I will not pass in silence his members, nor the cause of his mighty forces, nor the beauty of his equipment. Who can strip off the facings of his jacket? Who can penetrate between the double lap of his shield [the overlapping sections of the boiler plates]? Who can force open the doors of his shield [the boiler ends]? The circuits of his teeth [rows of rivets] are formidable. His strength depends on courses of shields [sections of plates] closed up tightly with a seal [calked]. They shall join one upon another so that a hiss of air [steam] shall not escape from between them. One to the other shall adhere. They will be welded together that they cannot be sundered. In his sneezing [when he puffs from the cylinders] light will shine, a flood of light pervading the mass of vapors: and his eyes [headlights] will be as the eyelashes of the morning [as rays of light from the rising sun]. Out of his mouth [fire-door] will leap forth flaming torches, and [from the smoke stack] glowing sparks will slip themselves away. From his nostrils [cylinders] will issue forth vapor as from a boiling pot or caldron. His inhaling [pg 086] [forced draft] will vivify burning coals, and a flame will leap forth from his mouth. Within his neck abideth strength, and a desolation will dance with joy [become a prosperous community] at his presence. The separable parts of his body are connected together; all will be made fast upon him; nothing will be shaky. His heart will be indurated similar to a stone, and will be firm as a piece of the lower [rocks]. When at his full speed the most courageous will fear [lest], from accidents, they lose themselves. When dryness exalteth him [or renders him furious], he will not have power to withhold; the curved vault [fire box] being caused to tear away, and also the armor. He will esteem iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood. The archer cannot make him flee; missiles [of war] will be turned unto him as chaff. The [strokes of a] hammer will be esteemed as chaff; he will rejoice at the poking of the fireman. Hewed [or notched] timbers of the craftsman [ties] are under him; he will spread an embankment [or trench] upon the mire. He will [as a marine engine] cause deep [places] to become as a boiling pot [about his propellers]; he will make the sea to appear like boiling ointment. He will make a path to shine after him; one will think the deep to be growing gray. [Psa. 104:26; Isa. 27:1.] Upon the earth there is not his like—he that is [so] constructed that he can fear nothing. He can oversee [control by his work] all that which is great; he is indeed king over all conceptions of power.”

(6) David foresaw a time when all the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Him (Psa. 22:27); that after this dark night of weeping will come a morning of joy (Psa. 30:5); that the meek shall inherit the earth (Psa. 37:11); that those who are now the King's enemies shall be converted and praise Him for ever and ever (Psa. 45:5, 17); that wars shall cease to the ends of the earth and the Lord alone be exalted (Psa. 46:10); that the ignominious shall come forth from the grave and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning (Psa. 49:14); that the Lord will be the confidence of all the ends of the earth (Psa. 65:5); that His saving health will be made known among all nations, that all the nations shall praise Him, and that He will judge and govern them righteously at the time the earth shall yield her increase (Psa. 67:1-7); that the people shall be scattered that delight in war (Psa. 68:30); that peace shall come to the people, that the poor shall be delivered from the oppressor, that the flesh, which, as dried grass is ready to die, shall be given new life and that the fruits of the earth shall [pg 087] shake like a forest (Psa. 72:3, 4, 6, 16); that the poor and needy will be delivered out of the hand of the wicked (Psa. 82:4); that mercy and truth will meet, righteousness and peace kiss each other and truth spring out of the earth when righteousness looks down from Heaven (Psa. 85:10, 11); that all nations the Lord has made shall come and worship before Him and glorify His name (Psa. 86:9); that He will say, Return, to the men He has turned into destruction (Psa. 90:3); that the world shall be established so that it shall not be moved (Psa. 93:1); that the heavens, earth, seas, fields and trees of the wood shall rejoice because the Lord is coming to judge the earth with righteousness and the people with His truth (Psa. 96:11-13); that all the earth shall join in a joyful noise to the Lord, songs of praise, harps, psalms, trumpets and cornets, while the seas, floods and hills clap their hands because He comes to judge the earth (Psa. 98:4-9); and that the foundations of the earth have been laid so that it shall not be removed, but be forever the home of a perfect, happy human race.—Psa. 104:5.

(7) Solomon declared that the upright shall dwell in the land and the perfect shall remain in it (Prov. 2:21); that the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth (Prov. 11:31); and that the earth abideth forever.—Ecclesiastes 1:4.

(8) Isaiah prophesied that in the last days the Lord's Kingdom will be established on the ruins of all earthly kingdoms, and all nations will flow into it to learn His ways, at which time they will beat their swords into plowshares and spears into pruninghooks and learn war no more (Isa. 2:2-4); that of the increase of that new Government and of peace there shall be no end (Isa. 9:7); that nothing in the Kingdom will be permitted to hurt or destroy, all evil dispositions of men and animals being done away with, the poor and meek being lifted up and the earth being filled as full with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isa. 11:4-9); that Christ will become the standard-bearer of the people, that His rest will be glorious and a highway there provided for the remnant of the people (Isa. 11:10-16); that the whole earth shall be at rest and quiet and break forth into singing (Isa. 14:7); that at the time the pillar to the Lord Is recognized in the world, the world will return to the Lord and He will be entreated of them and heal them (Isa. 19:22); that the Lord will make to all people a feast of fat things, doctrines of joy, well refined, will destroy ignorance and superstition, swallow up death in victory and wipe away tears from off all faces; it will cease to be a rebuke to a [pg 088] person to admit that he belongs to the Lord, and all the people will say, Lo, this Is our God; we have waited for Him and He will save us, and all the high fortresses will crumble into dust (Isa. 25:6-12); that when the Lord's judgments are in the earth the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness; that then the trusts shall perish utterly and the dead shall live (Isa. 26:9, 13, 14, 19); that judgment will be laid to the line, the truth sweep away the refuge of lies and the agreement of the preachers on the hell question will be disannulled (Isa. 28:17, 18); that the spiritually deaf shall get their ears open to understand the harmonies of God's Word and the eyes of the blind see out of obscurity and out of darkness, and the crops in the field be so large they will look like a forest (Isa. 29:17, 18); that the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, the ears of them that hear shall hearken and the tongue of the stammerers be ready to speak plainly; that the skyscrapers will be turned over to wild asses, along with the forts; that the people shall dwell in righteousness, quietness and assurance forever (Isa. 32:3, 4, 14, 17, 18); that the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick, because the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.—Isa. 33:24.

Furthermore, he declared that the wilderness and solitary place shall blossom as the rose, the weak hands and feeble knees be strengthened, the fearful be encouraged, the blind have their eyes opened, the deaf have their ears unstopped, the lame made to leap as an hart, the tongue of the dumb made to sing; in the wilderness shall waters break out and streams in the desert; an highway shall be there by which the unclean may be cleansed of all their sins amid joy and gladness everlasting (Isa. 35:1-10); that all the crooked and rough places will be straightened out (Isa. 40:4); that rivers will open in unexpected places and the deserts become a forest of useful trees (Isa. 41:18, 19); that all the prisoners in the great prison-house of death shall be brought forth (Isa. 42:7); that the new spiritual powers shall pour down righteousness and the world of mankind eagerly take it in, to their salvation and everlasting joy of heart (Isa. 45:8); that God created the earth not in vain but formed it to be inhabited (Isa. 45:18); that the Lord will establish the earth and cause the people to inherit the once desolate heritages, with the result that they shall be joyful and break forth into singing (Isa. 49:8, 13); that the redeemed of the Lord (all mankind) shall return from the tomb and gain salvation with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads and sorrow and mourning shall flee away (Isa. 51:11); that the feet are beautiful which proclaim good tidings of good and publish salvation because [pg 089] the King has come to reign (Isa. 52:7); that the mountains, hills and trees shall rejoice with verdure, and instead of thorns and briers shall come up fir and myrtles (Isa. 55:12, 13); that the Lord will make this earth (His footstool) glorious; violence, wasting and destruction shall cease, and the people shall all be righteous and dwell in the land forever (Isa. 60:13, 18, 21); that the stumbling stones shall be gathered out of the way, and the standard of Truth be lifted up for the people (Isa. 62:10); that one who dies at a hundred years shall be considered but an infant; that the people who build houses shall build them for themselves and live in them forever among their own vineyards and other works of their hands (Isa. 65:20-22); and that all nations and tongues shall be gathered to see God's glorious character in its true light.—Isa. 66:18.

(9) Jeremiah foretold that in the good times coming mankind should no more walk after the imagination of an evil heart (Jer. 3:17); that the nations of all the earth shall come to the new order of things and cheerfully admit that the teachings of the clergy were chiefly lies and vanity (Jer. 16:19); that the new Shepherds will really feed the Lord's sheep, and they shall no more be dismayed or lacking (Jer. 23:4); that the Lord will give the people a heart to know Him, and they shall return to Him with their whole heart (Jer. 24:7); that the children shall come again from the land of the enemy; that the children shall no longer suffer for the sins of the parents, and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know Him from the least even unto the greatest (Jer. 31:16, 29, 34); that the Lord will give the people one heart and one way and make an everlasting covenant with them, and not turn away from them to do them good; and they shall not depart from Him (Jer. 32:39, 40); that mankind will fear and tremble at all the goodness and prosperity Jehovah shall bring to them when He has pardoned all their Iniquities and transgressions (Jer. 33:8, 9); that they shall be at rest and at ease with none to make them afraid (Jer. 46:27); that the Moabites and Elamites shall return to their former estate (Jer. 48:47; 49:39); and that in those days the penitent, together, going and weeping, shall seek the Lord their God and ask the way to Zion, saying, Let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall never be forgotten.—Jer. 50:4, 5.

(10) Ezekiel foretold a coming time when the Lord will take away the stony heart out of the people and give them hearts that are warm and tender (Ezek. 11:19); that the Sodomites, the Samaritans and the Jews—who were twice [pg 090] as bad as either of the others—shall all return to their former estate, and the Lord will establish His covenant with them and be pacified towards them (Ezek. 16:55, 61-63); that it will no more be true that the children suffer for the sins of their parents (Ezek. 18:2); that it will not be necessary then for anybody to die (Ezek. 18:31, 32); that the people shall dwell safely and build houses and plant vineyards with confidence (Ezek. 28:26); that the Lord will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land; and that the people shall dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods, the shower will come down in its season, there shall be showers of blessing, the trees shall yield their fruit and the earth shall yield its increase and the people shall dwell safely and none shall make them afraid (Ezek. 34:25-28); that the Lord will put His Spirit into the people and cause them to walk in His ways, will increase the corn, multiply the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field, and the land that was desolate shall become like the garden of Eden (Ezek. 36:26, 27, 29, 30, 35); that the people shall have one Shepherd and walk in His statutes and do them (Ezek. 37:24); and the Lord will not hide His face from them any more when He has poured out His Spirit upon them.—Ezek. 39:29.

(11) Daniel foretold that the God of Heaven shall set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed, but which shall break in pieces and consume all other kingdoms, and which shall stand forever (Dan. 2:44); and the Kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the saints of the Most High as an everlasting dominion.—Dan. 7:27.

(12) Hosea prophesied food in abundance for the beasts of the field and the fowls of heaven with the creeping things of the ground; and that the Lord will break the bow and sword and the battle out of the earth, and make all to lie down safely; and that it shall come to pass in that Day that Jehovah will hear the new powers of spiritual control and they shall hear the cries of men (Hos. 2:18, 21); that the people shall fear the goodness of the Lord in the latter days (Hos. 3:5); that after the fifth and sixth thousand-year Days are past the people will be raised up and live in the Lord's sight (Hos. 6:2); and He will ransom them from hell and redeem them from death, and destroy hell altogether.—Hos. 13:14.

(13) Joel prophesied that the Lord will cause the pastures to spring, the tree to bear her fruit and the fig tree and the vine to yield their strength, and whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered.—Joel 2:22, 32.

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(14) Amos was the next one of the holy Prophets; and we have an inspired comment on one of his prophecies by the Apostle James in Acts 15:14-18. James says, “Simeon [St Peter] hath declared how God at the first [in the conversion of Cornelius] did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name [the Bride of Christ]. And to this agree the words of the Prophets [Amos 9:11, 12]; as it is written, After this [after the Bride of Christ has been selected], I will return and will build again the tabernacle [the house, royalty or dominion] of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up [re-establish the Kingdom of God on earth]; that the residue of men [all the rest of the world of mankind] might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.”

(15) Obadiah was the next one of the holy Prophets; and in the last verse of his short prophecy he says, “And saviors [it is in the plural and refers not only to Jesus the Head, but to the Church, the members of His Body] shall come up on Mount Zion [come up into the Heavenly phase of the Kingdom], and shall judge the mount of Esau” [judge the world]. “Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?”

(16) Jonah was the next one of the holy Prophets; and in the fourth chapter we have an interesting picture of events now transpiring before our eyes. Jonah walked into the city of Nineveh and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” The prophecy was fulfilled in forty literal years. But when Jonah saw that things were not coming out as he expected, he was very angry and said to the Lord, “That is just what I might have expected; for I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and I said so before I left my own country.” Jonah went out, sat in the hot sun on the outside of the city, and began to sulk. The Lord took pity on him and caused a gourd to grow up over him, to shelter him from the hot rays of the sun. And Jonah was exceeding glad because of the gourd. Then the Lord prepared a worm to smite the gourd; and a strong east wind blew up and the gourd withered. Jonah's shade was gone, and he was angrier than ever. The Lord said, “Doest thou well to be angry?” and he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, even unto death.” Then the Lord said, “Jonah, thou hast had pity on the gourd that sprung up in a night and perished in a night; and should not I spare Nineveh, that great city wherein are more than six score thousand [pg 092] persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand?”

We live in a day when a class have been preaching that the world is to be destroyed; and, like Jonah, they have not properly understood their message. The kind of world that is to be destroyed is Satan's world, Satan's empire, arrangement, or order of things—not our literal earth. The word world does not always refer to our literal earth. For instance, when the Apostle James says, “The tongue is a world of iniquity,” he does not mean that we have inside our jaws a little planet that turns over every twenty-four hours, that has spring, summer, fall, winter, snowstorms, rainstorms, and a moon revolving about it, with once in a while a comet and a shower of meteors thrown in for good measure. When they think about the Panama Canal, and the wonderful works of irrigation which are causing the desert to rejoice and blossom as the rose, and all the other wonderful achievements of our day, these people are beginning to see that they have made a mistake and are now about where Jonah was when he said, “That is what I might have expected, for I know that Thou art a just God, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.” They are now outside the city, and the scorching light of Present Truth is pretty hot. Meantime the church trust is growing up to keep off the heat. We are not to have anything to do with this church federation. “Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy.” “Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word and it shall not stand; for God is with us.” (Isa. 8:10, 12.) Pretty soon something will happen to the church trust, and their shade will be gone. Then the Lord will say to them, “Oh, you need not feel so badly! You are not the first people that ever made a mistake. You have made lots of them, to be sure. You have had pity on the church trust which grew up in one year and blew up in another year; and should not I spare the poor world, that as far as their knowledge of right and wrong is concerned do not know the difference between their right hand and their left hand?”

(17) Micah has written of the coming of the Kingdom of God in the earth, accompanied by the rebuking of strong nations afar off; that then they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; that nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree [not the landlord's]; and none [be they doctors, landlords, employers, sheriffs, or undertakers] shall make them afraid; that all people [pg 093] will walk in the name of our God, and that the first dominion [lost by Adam in Eden] will be restored to Christ, the Tower of the Flock.—Micah 4:1-5, 8.

(18) Nahum was the next one of the holy Prophets; and after prophesying in the last verse of the preceding chapter about the coming of the King with His good tidings of peace to the sin-burdened earth, he next tells (Nahum 2:3-6) of an interesting thing that will be a matter of common everyday experience at the time the Kingdom is established. He describes a railway train in motion [not an automobile, as some think], and if we will be at the trouble to put ourselves in the Prophet's place we can see just what he saw in his vision and what he has so interestingly described. First, the Prophet stands looking at the engine coming toward him, and then says, “The shield [the thing ahead of this great warrior—the headlight] is made red [shines brilliantly], the valiant men [the engineer and the fireman] are dyed scarlet [when the flames from the firebox illuminate the interior of the cab at night, as the fireman opens the firedoor to throw in the coal]. The chariots [the railway coaches] shall be with [shall be preceded by locomotives that, at night, have the appearance of] flaming torches, in the Day of Preparation.”

Next the Prophet takes his place in the train and looks out of the window, and, seemingly, “The fir trees shall be terribly shaken [the telegraph poles alongside the track seem to be fairly dancing]. The chariots shall rage in the streets [a railway is merely an elaborate, scientifically constructed street, or highway], they shall jostle one against another in the broad ways [the clanking and bumping of the cars together is one of the significant items of railway travel]. They shall seem like torches [a railway train at night, rushing through a distant field, looks like nothing so much as a vast torch, going at flying speed], they shall run like the lightnings.” Next the Prophet sees the conductor coming for his ticket and says, “He shall recount his worthies [the conductor spends his entire time, almost, counting and recounting his passengers, keeping them checked up, etc.]; they shall stumble in their walk [try walking on a rapidly moving train]; they shall make haste to the wall thereof [to the next city or town] and the coverer [the train shed, the station] shall be prepared [the baggageman, expressman, mail wagon, hotel bus, intending passengers, and friends to meet incoming passengers, will all be there waiting for the train to come]. The gates of the rivers shall be opened [the doors of the cars will be opened and the people will flow out] and the palace [car] shall be dissolved [emptied].”

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(19) Habakkuk was the next one of the holy Prophets, and in Hab. 2:14 he says, “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” In places, the water in the Pacific Ocean is seven miles deep. Imagine a condition in which the knowledge of the glory of God is like that in the earth! It will be as impossible for a man not to know about God as it would be for one to be down at the bottom of the ocean without getting wet.

(20) Zephaniah foretold that the Lord will starve all the false gods to death; for all men will worship the one only and true God, even including the heathen we have worried so much about (Zeph. 2:11); that after the present inequitable condition of society has passed away—been devoured, not with literal fire but with the fire of the Lord's jealousy—there will be no more sectarianism, but all the people will be taught the pure Truth and worship the Lord with one consent; the liar and deceiver will no longer be abroad in the land and the people will eat and rest without fear of disaster, dispossession or death.—Zeph. 3:9, 13.

(21) Haggai was the next one of the holy Prophets, and he says in Hag. 2:7, “The desire of all nations shall come.” In Rom. 8:19-22, the Apostle tells us what is the desire of all nations. He says, “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain, waiting for the manifestation [showing forth] of the sons of God.” It is in the plural, and means not Jesus only, but all of the Little Flock. The groaning will not be in vain; for in the same passage the Apostle says the outcome will be that the groaning creation shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into a glorious liberty from sin and every evil thing.

(22) Zechariah prophesied that many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that Day and be His people and He will dwell in the midst of them (Zech. 2:11); that when every man dwells under his own vine and fig tree every man will love his neighbor and his brother (Zech. 3:10); that the coming Kingdom will be a Kingdom of Truth, the people will be God's people and He will be their God in truth and righteousness; the ground shall give its increase and the heaven its dews and the Lord will do well to the people and remove their fears (Zech. 8:3, 8, 12, 15); that the inhabitants of one city will go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of Hosts; I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts and to pray before the Lord (Zech. 8:21; 22); that the battle bow [pg 095] shall be cut off, that the Lord shall speak peace to the people; corn shall make the young men speak, and new wine (better doctrines) the maids (Zech. 9:10, 17); that the Lord shall be King over all the earth and men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction, but all shall be holiness unto the Lord.—Zech. 14:9, 11, 20.

(23) Malachi foretold that from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same the Lord's name shall be great among all peoples; and in every place heart adoration shall be offered to His name (Mal. 1:11); that the devourer will be rebuked and not be permitted longer to destroy the fruits of the ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field; injurious parasites, germs and microbes will be a thing of the past. Crops will be abundant everywhere (Mal. 3:11); and The Christ, Head and Body, will arise with healing in their beams, nourishing and bringing the willing to perfection with the same care as is given to stall-fed cattle—now receiving more attention than human beings.—Mal. 4:2.

(24) John the Baptist was the next and last of the holy Prophets, for Jesus said, “The Law and the Prophets were until John.” And John, we are told, turned and looked at Jesus, and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.”—John 1:29; Matt. 11:9, 11.

4:11. Thou art worthy, O Lord OUR LORD AND GOD.“The proper view of the matter shows us the Heavenly Father perfect in all the attributes of nobility of character; perfect in Justice, so that the just sentence of His righteous Law cannot be infracted, even by Himself; perfect in wisdom, so that His plan and arrangement, not only with respect to man's creation, but also with respect to man's salvation, the Atonement, etc., were all so complete that no contingency or failure could arise, nor any necessity for change of the Divine Plan; as it is written, ‘I am the same, I change not, saith the Lord,’ and ‘Known unto the Lord are all His works, from the foundation of the world’; perfect also in His Love, than which there could be no greater love possible, and yet that Love is in full balance and accord with the other Divine attributes, so that it could spare the sinner only in harmony with the just program marked out by Divine Wisdom; perfect also in Power, so that all His good purposes, good intentions, just program and loving designs, fully co-ordinated, shall be executed, and bring the originally designed result; as it is written, ‘My Word that goeth forth out of My mouth shall not return to Me void; it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.’ (Isa. 55:11; Mal. 3:6; Acts 15:18.)”—E. 37, 34.

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To receive glory.—All the glory, Greek.

And honor and power.“Could this Scripture ever be fulfilled, could the Divine character ever be appreciated by intelligent, honest, just and loving hearts, if in any corner of the Universe there were such orgies and tortures of His creatures as the creeds of the Darker Ages have set forth? Surely not!”—B. S. M.

For Thou has created all things.—The all things, the Universe, Greek. “Across the vista of ages He saw in His purpose the glory of an intelligent creation in His own likeness, established in righteousness and worthy of His gift of eternal life. He therein foresaw the mutual pleasure of the Creator and the creature, and with a peaceful patience He resolved to wait for the glorious consummation.”—Z. '95-154.

And for Thy pleasure they [are and] were created.“He desired that love should respond to love, admiration to admiration, virtue to virtue, and grace to grace, in the Creator and the creature, as face answers to face in a glass. In this natural attitude of the Creator and the creature generous benevolence and filial gratitude combine in mutual happiness. God is happy in the realization and in the exercise of all the noble traits of His glorious character, which happiness is enhanced by appreciation of the same on the part of His creatures, and by manifestation in them of the same qualities and dispositions of mind and heart. And likewise man must both realize and exercise the noble endowments of his nature and form a character modeled after that of his Heavenly Father and meeting His approval, if he would find that true happiness which consists in the approval of his own conscience and of his Creator and Judge, in whose favor is life, and at whose right hand there are pleasures forevermore.'—Psa. 16:11.”—Z. '95-167.

Sun of my soul, my Father dear,
I know no night when Thou are near.
O! may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide Thee from thy servant's eyes.
Shield of my soul, though tempests rage,
And 'gainst me hosts of foes engage,
My refuge and my fortress Thou,
Before Thee every foe must bow.
Thy grace and glory Thou dost give
To those who near Thee ever live;
And no good thing dost Thou withhold
From sheep which stray not from Thy fold.

Illustration
Hindrances To Christian Progress

Illustration
The Thinking Public Declines To Endorse The Modern Political Preaching
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Revelation 5—The Executor Of The Plan

5:1. And I saw in the right hand.“The Divine Plan, known only to the Father, Jehovah Himself, was kept in His own power—in His own hand—until some one should be proved worthy to know it, and become its executor as Jehovah's honored Agent and Representative.”—E. 39, 36.

Of Him that sat on the Throne.“He that sits upon the Throne is Jehovah. The scroll in His right hand is His Plan for human redemption, sealed from all until One should be found and proved ‘worthy.’ ”—Z. '97-150.

A book.“Not the Bible, but the Divine Plan, with its times and seasons.” (Z. '16-252.) “This was the Mystery, the Secret of the Lord, unknown to any one but Himself—His plan for the salvation of the world.”—Z. '97-256.

Written [within] IN FRONT.—The writing in front is the fulfilment of everything prophesied on the outside. Every word of every prophecy of God's Word is sure of fulfilment. “Seek ye out the book of the Lord, and read; no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate; for My mouth it hath commanded, and His Spirit it hath gathered them.” (Isa. 34:16.) “That scroll contains a record of everything that is happening now, and all that will occur throughout the Millennial Age, down to its very close—down to the time when every creature in Heaven and in earth and those in the sea, shall ascribe praise, honor, glory and dominion to Him that sitteth upon the Throne and to the Lamb forever.—Rev. 5:13.” (Z. '09-243.) “Among the Orientals the lines began from the right hand and ran to the left hand; with the Northern and Western nations, from the left to the right hand; but the Greeks sometimes followed both directions alternately.” (McC.)

The Word is plainly written on the outside, where all may read the words, but cannot understand their significance without Divine aid. Meantime, from age to age, the events foretold occur in the manner predicted. The manner of the writing, some of it from left to right and some from right to left, enables the fulfilments to follow the prophecies exactly, item by item, to the last jot and tittle. Write a word on a sheet of paper and then turn the paper over and look at it, holding it in front of a good light. Thus it is with the Word of God. The prophecies [pg 098] look strange until the due time has come for holding them up to the light, and then they become clear. What could be only imperfectly deciphered until the hindering seal is broken is no mystery after the seal is broken, because the book or scroll or chart can be turned about and held to the light. The fulfilments are seen to fit the prophecies. If the lines are not clear, then for some reason we are looking upon that much of the record from the outside and not from the inside.

And on the backside.“Excepting the bare promise (written on the outside of the scroll) of salvation through the Seed of the woman, nothing could be known of the wonderful scheme for human restitution until the Son of God, having left the glory of the spiritual nature, took our nature and by the sacrifice of Himself redeemed us from death. Then, having His righteousness imputed to us by faith, we are counted worthy to look upon the scroll as He opens the seals one after another.”—Z. '02-332; Ezek. 2:9, 10.

Sealed with seven seals.“The things that were sealed were not proper to be understood by our Redeemer until He had received the all-power, after His resurrection. The execution of God's Plan was then given into His hands.”—Z. '16-253.

5:2. And I saw a strong angel.—Personification of the Law.

Proclaiming.—In types and shadows, pictures, figures and symbols.

With a loud voice.—From the fall of Adam onward.

Who is worthy.“The inquiry compassed the period from before Jesus came into the world up to His resurrection from the grave. God had given the most honorable One of all the host of Heaven the first opportunity to prove His worthiness to loose the Scroll of God's great Plan, and to fulfill its provisions. And He did not allow the privilege to go by. He accepted it.”—Z. '16-252.

To open the book.“The inquiry, ‘Who is worthy to open the book [scroll] and to loose the seals thereof?’ had long been made: for four thousand years, from the giving of the promise that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, it had been the query—Who shall be esteemed, by Jehovah God, to be worthy to perform His gracious purposes, and thus be honored above all others as Servant (Messenger) of the Covenant of Grace?”—Z. '97-150.

And to loose the seals thereof.“John in the symbol hears the proclamation, ‘Who is worthy to open the Book and to loose the seals?’—who is worthy to have committed to his care the execution of the great Divine Plan, wonderful for its wisdom and love, and its lengths and [pg 099] breadths and depths and heights past human comprehension—that he may open it and execute it?”—Z. '97-256.

5:3. And no man in Heaven.—No angel had been proven worthy. “Which things the angels desire to look into.”—1 Pet. 1:12.

Nor in earth, [neither under the earth].—No man on earth was worthy. “There is none righteous; no, not one; for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”—Rom. 3:10, 23.

Was able to open the book.“In the picture John looked to see who the worthy one might be, but none was found worthy.”—Z. '09-243.

Neither to look thereon.—In the light of this Scripture, who can dare, in his own strength, wisdom or righteousness to interpret the Word of God or take any part in the execution of the Plan?—Heb. 12:18-29.

5:4. And I wept much.“It seemed to John too bad that God should have some great, wonderful purposes which might come to naught because no one was worthy to be the Divine executor.”—Z. '09-243.

Because no man.—No being in the Universe.

Was found worthy to open and to read the book.“When silence prevailed, and none was found worthy either in Heaven or on earth (representing the condition of things prior to the First Advent), John began saying to himself: Alas! we may never know God's gracious and wise plans for the welfare of His creatures, because none is found worthy to know or execute them.”—Z. '97-150; John 1:27; Matt. 8:8.

Neither to look thereon.“So it was that, even our Lord Jesus, prior to the finishing of His sacrifice, as He then declared, did not know all about the Father's plans, times and seasons (Mark 13:32.)”—Z. '97-150.

5:5. And one of the elders.—The deathbed prophecy of Jacob. It is the identification of this elder that enables us to recognize the other twenty-three.—Rev. 4:10.

Saith unto me.“Judah is a lion's whelp. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.”—Gen. 49:9, 10.

Weep not: behold, the Lion.“The Holy One, and the Just.”—Acts 3:14; 22:14.

Of the tribe of Juda.“The great prize, for which Israel had been longing for centuries, was won by the Lion of the tribe of Judah. (Heb. 7:14.)”—B. 85.

“For an illustration of latter time assumptions, note the fact that a late pope, upon ascending the throne, took the title of Leo XIII, and shortly after subscribed himself ‘Leo de tribus Juda,’ i. e., ‘The Lion of the tribe of Judah.’ ”—B. 316.

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The Root of David.“It was not the pre-human Logos, nor yet the man Jesus, that was David's Lord and David's Root; but the resurrected Messiah.”—E. 151, 136; Isa. 11:1; Rom. 15:12; Rev. 22:16.

Hath prevailed to open the book.“When our Lord Jesus had proven His loyalty to the Heavenly Father by His obedience, ‘even unto the [ignominious] death of the cross,’ then and thereby He did prove Himself worthy of every confidence and trust.”—E. 39, 37.

And to loose the seven seals thereof.“Great was the favor bestowed upon the Just One of the tribe of Judah, in being permitted to open the seals; and great is the privilege of those who are permitted to look thereon as the seals are opened.”—Z. '02-332; Rev. 5:2; 6:1.

5:6. And I beheld, [and lo,] in the midst of the Throne.“In the bosom of the Father.”—John 1:18.

And of the four beasts.“The express image of His person.”—Heb. 1:3.

And in the midst of the elders.—The central theme of all their prophesies.—Rev. 4:10.

Stood a Lamb as it had been slain.“It was not possible for Him to know the completeness of the Divine Plan until after He had demonstrated His worthiness by His obedience unto death, even the death of the cross.”—Z. '06-39; Isa. 53:7; John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32; 1 Pet. 1:19.

Having seven horns.—Perfect power. “All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth.”—Matt. 28:18; 1 Sam. 2:1, 10; Deut. 33:17; 1 Ki. 22:11.

And seven eyes.—Perfect wisdom. “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”—Col. 2:3; Zech. 3:9; 4:10; Rev. 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 2 Chron. 16:9.

Which are the seven Spirits of God.—Or lamps of fire.—Rev. 4:5.

Sent forth into all the earth.—See Rev. 1:4.

5:7. And He came and took the book.“To Him was the scroll or book entrusted, that in due time all the wonderful provisions of the Divine Plan might be fully executed in the glorification of the Church and the blessing of all the families of the earth.”—Z. '06-39.

Out of the right hand.—See Rev. 5:1.

Of Him that sat upon the Throne.—Jehovah. If Jesus and His Father are a Trinity, “One in person, equal in glory and power,” how is it that one has to come to the other for something, or how can He come to Himself and take something He already has and give it to Himself?

5:8. And when He had taken the book.—His worthiness to do so having been proven by His resurrection to the Divine nature.

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The four beasts.—Justice, Power, Love and Wisdom.—Rev. 4:6, 7.

And four and twenty elders.—Messages of the four and twenty Prophets.—Rev. 4:10.

Fell down before the Lamb.—Gave their joint homage and adoration to the Conqueror of sin and death.

Each having [every one of them harps] A HARP.—Yielding the most exquisite harmony that ever fell on mortal ears.—Rev. 15:1-4; 4:10.

And golden vials.—Incense cups, “spoons,” similar to those used at the Golden Altar.—Ex. 25:29; 30:1-9.

Full of odors.—The sweet fragrance of patient hearts, precious in the Father's memory, pleading for love and wisdom Divine.—Psa. 141:2; Ex. 30:34-38; Lev. 16:12, 13; Lu. 1:9, 10; Acts 10:4.

Which are the prayers of saints.—Every one of which, by the Father's arrangement, has been made in the name of the One here honored.—John 16:23; Eph. 2:19.

5:9. And they sung a new song.“This means that the Divine Plan as a whole was here made known to Him—for He already had knowledge of much of this—but all things were now given Him.”—Z. '16-253; Psa. 40:3; Rev. 14:3.

Saying, Thou art worthy to take the book.—Worthy of “a name which is above every name.”—Phil. 2:9.

And to open the seals thereof.—Disclose the wonderful method by which the Father will develop the saviors of the world.—Obad. 21.

For thou wast slain.—He had sacrificed His will, but this was not sufficient. “God wished Him to sacrifice not only His will, but actually to lay down His human life. When all His testings were completed at His death on the Cross, God gave Him a name to which all should bow, both in Heaven and in earth.”—Z. '16-252.

And hast redeemed.Agorazo. This word signifies to purchase in the open market.”—E. 443, 429; 1 Cor. 6:20; Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19.

[Us].—Oldest MS., with evident propriety, omits us, since the Divine attributes and prophecies were not redeemed.—Z. '97-151.

To God.“What say the Scriptures respecting the sacrifice of Christ, the offering which He made? Do they say that it was made to Satan or to Jehovah God? We answer that in all the types of the Jewish dispensation, which foreshadowed this better sacrifice, which does take away the sins of the world, the offerings were presented to God, at the hands of the priest, who typified our Lord Jesus.”—E. 461, 449.

[pg 102]

By Thy blood.“If the blood of bulls and of goats ... sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal spirit, offered Himself without spot to God.”—Heb. 9:13-15.

Out of every kindred.“In thy Seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.”—Acts 3:25.

And tongue.“Every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”—Isa. 45:23.

And people.“The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the people see His glory.”—Psa. 97:6.

And nation.“And in thy Seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”—Gen. 26:4, 22:18; Rev. 14:6.

5:10. And hast made [us] THEM unto our God [Kings] A KINGDOM.“It will be the Kingdom of the saints, in that they shall reign and judge and bless the world in conjunction with their Lord, Jesus. (Rom. 8:17, 18.) The Kingdom class proper will consist only of our Lord and His ‘elect’ Little Flock.”—D. 618.

And [priests] PRIESTHOOD.“The Divine provision for a ‘Royal Priesthood’ implies weakness, imperfection, on the part of some whom the priests are to help, and instruct, and from whom they are to accept sacrifice and offerings for sin, and to whom they are to extend mercy and forgiveness.”—E. 486, 476; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6; 20:6.

And [we] THEY shall reign.“But before the Royal Priesthood begin their reign, they must ‘suffer with Him,’ sharing in the antitypical sacrifices. (2 Tim. 2:12.)”—T. 26.

On.Epi, over.—Rev. 6:16.

The earth.“The Kingdom and dominion, even the majesty of the Kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and all rulers shall serve and obey Him. (Dan 7:27.)”—D. 618.

5:11. And I beheld.—John beheld this in vision and will behold it in reality.

And I heard.—John heard in the vision, and will hear in the reality.

As it were the voice of many angels.—Besides the angels, the Great Company are in this happy throng. The events to the end of the chapter have their fulfilment in the future.

Round about the Throne.“In the circuit of Heaven” (Job 22:14), the circle of the Universe.

And the beasts.—Justice, Power, Love and Wisdom.—Rev. 4:6, 7.

And the elders.—The prophecies.—Rev. 4:10.

And the number of them.“Whose number no man knoweth.”—Rev. 7:9.

[pg 103]

Was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.—The number of the Great Company will apparently exceed one hundred millions. Num. 4:46-48 and Ex. 28:1 indicate but one priest to each 2,860 Levites, which would make the number of the Great Company approximate 411,840,000.—T. 118, 119; Dan. 7:10.

5:12. Saying with a loud voice.—The Great Company will be very enthusiastic workers on the other side of the veil, for they really love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30), and need only to be liberated to give full expression to that love.

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.“Our Lord Jesus demonstrated before the Father, before angels, and before His ‘brethren,’ His fidelity to the Father and to the Father's Law, demonstrating that it was not beyond the ability of a perfect being, even under the most adverse conditions.”—E. 134, 120.

To receive power.—The Great Company class humbly realize that their faithfulness and zeal was not sufficient to warrant their own exaltation to power.

And riches.—They realize they did not lay up all the Heavenly treasures they might have done, but hid their talents in earthly pursuits.

And wisdom.—They realize their own unwisdom in seeking the praise of men and that the Christ Company, though apparently fools for Christ's sake, were really the wisest of the wise.

And strength.—They know that they used their own strength for the support and maintenance of institutions which really hindered rather than helped the Bride to make herself ready.

And honor.—They know that, as a class, they sought and obtained the honor that cometh from men, but failed to properly seek the honor that cometh from God only.

And glory.—They know that they failed to meet the high conditions of self-sacrifice, and were therefore unworthy of the high reward.

And blessing.—They feel that the blessings which the Lord gave to them were thoughtlessly appropriated to themselves and their families, with hardly a serious thought about the needs of the Lord's dear family; and that appropriately, the chiefest of all blessings, the privilege of extending God's blessings to the needy world, should go to those who most earnestly “by patient perseverance in well doing (did) seek for glory, honor and immortality.” (Rom. 2:7.) Thus they reverence the Lamb, and His Bride, for they are one.—Rev. 19:7.

5:13. And every creature.—After the destruction of the [pg 104] incorrigible at the end of the Millennial Age (and this, in itself, is a blessing to those who refuse to make a right use of life).

Which is in Heaven.“Let all the angels of God worship Him.” (Heb. 1:6.) “Worship Him, all ye gods.”—Psa. 97:7.

And on the earth, [and under the earth,].—All mankind.—1 Cor. 15:25.

And such [as are] in the sea.—The class that continues to be “in the sea,” i. e., not under religious restraint, will cease to exist. They no longer are, but even their terminated existence will be to the praise of the One who died for them on Calvary; for they will have had a perfect chance.

And all that are in them.“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth.”—Phil. 2:10; Eph. 1:10; Col. 1:20.

[Heard I] AND I HEARD THEM saying, THE Blessing.—The myriads of happy beings, on all created planes of intelligence, from the highest to the lowest, in Heaven and earth, acknowledge with joy the source of all their blessings.—Rom. 9:5.

And honor.—By that time all will have come to see what a great honor has been conferred on any creature to receive the unspeakable boon of life on any plane, and will gladly own its fountain.—1 Tim. 6:16.

And glory [and power] OF THE ALMIGHTY.—Each will have come to know the glory of life on his own plane. “There are celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.”—1 Cor. 15:40, 41; Rom. 16:27; 1 Pet. 4:11; 5:11.

Be.—Be ascribed to.

Him that sitteth upon the Throne.—Our Father and Friend.—1 Chron. 29:11.

And unto the Lamb.—Our Redeemer and Brother.

For ever and ever.“For the Ages of the Ages,” Greek.

5:14. And the four beasts said Amen.—Justice, Power, Love and Wisdom unitedly declare this to be the happy outcome.

And the [four and twenty] elders fell down and worshipped [Him that liveth for ever and ever].—The prophecies plainly declare that neither men nor devils can in any wise thwart this perfect ending of the Plan which began so strangely and still progresses—the perfection, through suffering, of the Little Flock, the Great Company and, indeed, the world of mankind itself.—Rev. 4:10.

[pg 105]

Revelation 6—Six Seals And The Papacy

6:1. And I saw.“God does not display His plans to satisfy mere idle curiosity. If we would comprehend what is revealed within the scroll we must be sincerely desirous of knowing the details of God's Plan in order to an earnest co-operation with it. Such, and such only, are worthy to know, and such only ever come to see, in the sense of understanding and appreciating, the deep things of God written within the scroll. Such are the righteous for whom the light (Truth) is sown. This worthiness is inquired for not only at the beginning, but all along the path of light. If we are not found worthy by the various tests applied from time to time, we cannot proceed in the path of light; and unless the unfaithful ones arouse themselves to greater diligence and watchfulness, the light that already is in them will become darkness. And how great, how intense must be the darkness of one cast out of light! (Matt. 6:23.)”—Z. '02-332.

When the Lamb opened.“The opening of the seals has progressed during all the Gospel Age. It has required all of the present Age and will require all of the next Age to complete the Plan. We may suppose that the Lord Jesus was made aware of all its features after His ascension to the presence of Jehovah. The Master declared that as the Father revealed them unto Him, so would He reveal them unto us.”—Z. '16-253; Rev. 5:5-9.

One of the SEVEN seals.“Each seal as it was loosed permitted the scroll as a whole to open a little wider, and a little wider, thus permitting ‘the mystery of God’ to be a little more clearly discerned.”—Z. '97-257.

And I heard [as it were the noise of thunder].—The roar of a Lion.

One of the four beasts.—Justice, typified by the Lion.—Rev. 4:7.

Saying, AS IT WERE THE NOISE OF THUNDER, Come and see.—Come and see Infinite Justice permitting one of the greatest acts of injustice ever perpetrated.

6:2. And I saw.—John beheld in vision the first strange and wonderful feature of the Divine Plan for the permission of evil as it related to epochs of the Church beyond his own epoch—that of Smyrna.

[pg 106]

And behold a white horse.—The doctrines, teachings of the Lord and the Apostles recognized as the one and only rule of faith and practice of God's Church.

And he that sat on him.—The Bishop of Rome, the embryo Pope, the personal representative of Satan.

Had a bow.“They bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not Me, saith the Lord.”—Jer. 9:3.

And a crown.—Great honor and authority in the Church.

Was given unto him.“Under the reign of Constantine (who murdered his own son in the same year in which he convened the Council of Nice) the opposition of the empire to Christianity gave way to favor, and the Imperial Pontifex Maximus became the patron of the professed but really apostate Church of Christ; and, taking her by the hand, he assisted her to a place of popularity and splendor from which she was able afterward, as the imperial power grew weak, to put her own representatives upon the religious throne of the world as Chief Religious Ruler—Pontifex Maximus.”—B. 290.

And he went forth conquering, [and to conquer] AND HE CONQUERED.—Thus we see the apparent defeat of Infinite Justice in this first epoch. Apparently, God forsook His Church, having jeopardized all its interests by placing the power in the hands of a self-seeking ecclesiastical system. But worse things are coming!

6:3. And when He had opened the second seal.—Revealing the second period of the history of the Antichrist.

I heard the second beast.—Infinite Power. See Rev. 4:7.

Say, Come and see.—Come and see Infinite Power consenting to a thing apparently in victorious opposition to it.

6:4. And I beheld and lo there went out another horse.—A creed-horse, quite different from the Scriptures which it misrepresented.

That was red.—The color of sin—imperfection. “Though your sins be as scarlet.”—Isa. 1:18.

And power was given to him that sat thereon.—The same rider, the Antichrist.

To take peace from the earth.—To embroil in controversy those who were under religious restraint—in other words, the entire professed church of God.

And that they should kill one another.—Depose and destroy one another as teachers, by inveighing the Roman power against all offenders.

And there was given unto him a great sword.—As the Lord has a great and powerful sword, the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17), and as it [pg 107] is represented as coming out of His mouth, so the Papacy has a great and powerful sword, in opposition to the Sword of the Spirit, and it, too, comes out of Papacy's mouth. [The word here is different from Rev. 1:16 and refers to the butcher knife—Gen. 22:6, 10.] “The pope (each pope in his turn) is the head of the false church, which is his body, even as Christ Jesus is the Head of the true Church, which is His Body. Since the head is the representative of the body, and its mouth speaks for the body, we find, as we should expect, this feature of Antichrist prominently referred to in the Scriptures. In Daniel 7:8, 11, 25, and Rev. 13:5, 6, the mouth of Antichrist is brought specially to our notice as a leading characteristic.”—B. 304.

This period, beginning with the year 325 A. D. and extending to the year 539, was the period of formation of creeds. “Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings.” (Josh. 10:24.) Once they were very powerful, but they are quite harmless now. The Lord (Joshua-Savior) has humbled them all by His own Sword of the Spirit in the hands of Pastor Russell.

“Neither Luke in the Acts of the Apostles, nor any ecclesiastical writer before the fifth century, makes mention of an assembly of the Apostles for the purpose of forming a creed. Had the Apostles composed it, it would have been the same in all churches and ages. But it is quite otherwise.” (McC.) So much for the well-known “Apostle's Creed,” which, it is alleged, “comprehends the leading articles of the faith in the triune God.”

But this was not triune enough, so the Nicene Creed improved the matter, A. D. 325:

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, Only-begotten, that is of the substance of the Father; God of God; Light of Light; very God of very God; begotten, not made; of the same substance with the Father; by whom all things were made, both things in Heaven and things in earth; who for us men and our salvation became flesh, was made man, suffered, and rose again the third day. He ascended into Heaven; He cometh to judge the quick and dead. And in the Holy Ghost. But those that say there was a time when He was not; or that He was not before He was begotten; or that He was made from that which had no being; or who affirm the Son of God to be of any other substance or essence, or created, or variable, or mutable, such persons doth the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematize.

Fifty-six years later, at the second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, A. D. 381, the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed was put on the market:

I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven [pg 108]and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose Kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spake by the Prophets. And I believe in the one catholic and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

This did very well until the fourth Ecumenical Council, A. D. 451, when the Chalcedon Creed was worked up. But very little is said about this creed nowadays; for “the two parties in the council were roused to the highest pitch of passion, the proceedings, especially during the early sessions, were very tumultuous, until the lay commissioners and the senators had to urge the bishops to keep order, saying that such vulgar outcries were disgraceful.” However, we give it for what it is worth:

We confess and with one accord teach one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, perfect in the divinity, perfect in the humanity, truly God and truly man, consisting of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the manhood; in all things like unto us, sin only excepted; who was begotten of the Father before all ages, according to the Godhead; and in the last days the same was born, according to the manhood, of Mary the Virgin, Mother of God, for us and for our salvation; who is to be acknowledged one and the same Christ, the Son, the Lord, the Only Begotten in two natures, without mixture, change, division or separation; the difference of natures not being removed by their union, but rather the propriety of each nature being preserved and concurring in one person and in one hypostasis, so that He is not divided into two persons, but the only Son, the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, and one and the same person.

A merciful oblivion has hidden the name and the date of authorship of the next creed, the Athanasian, the cream of all the creeds; but it was probably manufactured by Satan for use about 539 A. D. By 570 A. D. it had become very famous. “The creed is received in the Greek, Roman and English churches, but is left out of the service of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America.” The nature [pg 109] of this creed may be judged by the following extract from an 1855 issue of the Church of England Quarterly:

The Athanasian Creed finds few real lovers as a portion of a public service. No one supposes that it was the work of Athanasius. [Athanasius originated the monastery-convent system. He was the Bishop of Alexandria and friend of the Emperor Constantine who caused the banishment of Arius.] No one is now, at least among us, in any danger from the errors it denounces; for no one believes that all the members of the Greek Church are necessarily consigned to everlasting damnation; and thus, every time the creed is read, the officiating minister has solemnly to enunciate what neither he nor any of his hearers believes. It is true that by distinguishing between the creed itself and the damnatory clauses he may save himself, mentally, from declaring a falsehood; but surely this is reason enough for the removal of the creed from our Liturgy. We have had too much in our Church of mental reservations. So far as the doctrine of the Trinity is concerned, it is abundantly insisted on in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds.

It seems almost incredible that any one seriously believed the following amazing statements:

Whoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith, which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all one; the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal. As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty. And yet there are not three almighties, but one almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet there are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords, but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say there be three Gods and three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after other; none is greater or less than another. But the whole three persons are co-eternal together, and co-equal. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity. Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that [pg 110]he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of His mother, born in the world. Perfect God and perfect man, or a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood. Who, although He be God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into Heaven; He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty. From whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again in their bodies, and shall account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic faith which, except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

This put an end to the business of creed making, Satan's powers of concocting gibberish to take the place of the Bible having been temporarily quite exhausted. But a thousand years later the “Creed of Pope Pius IV” was issued in the form of a bull in December, 1564. “All bishops, ecclesiastics, and teachers in the Romish church, as well as all converts from Protestantism, publicly profess assent to it.” It follows:

I, A. B., believe and profess with a firm faith all and every one of the things which are contained in the symbol of faith which is used in the Holy Roman Church; namely, I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose kingdom there will be no end; and in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Life-giver, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who, together with the Father and the Son, is adored and glorified, who spake by the holy prophets; and one holy catholic and apostolic church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins; and I expect the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. I most firmly admit and embrace apostolical and ecclesiastical traditions, and all other constitutions and observances of the same church. I also admit the sacred Scriptures according to the sense which the holy mother church has held and does hold, to whom it belongs to judge of [pg 111]the true sense and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures; nor will I ever take or interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the fathers.

I profess, also, that there are truly and properly seven sacraments of the new law, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and for the salvation of mankind, though all are not necessary for every one—namely, baptism, confirmation, eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders, and matrimony, and that they confer grace; and of these, baptism, confirmation, and order cannot be reiterated without sacrilege. I do also receive and admit the ceremonies of the Catholic Church, received and approved in the solemn administration of all the above-said sacraments. I receive and embrace all and every one of the things which have been defined and declared in the holy Council of Trent concerning sin and justification. I profess likewise that in the mass is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; and that in the most holy sacrament of the eucharist there is truly, really and substantially the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that there is made a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, which conversion the Catholic Church calls Transubstantiation. I confess, also, that under either kind alone, whole and entire, Christ and a true sacrament is received. I constantly hold that there is a purgatory, and that the souls detained therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful. Likewise that the saints reigning together with Christ are to be honored and invocated, that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be venerated.

I most firmly assert that the images of Christ, and of the Mother of God, ever Virgin, and also of the other saints, are to be had and retained, and that due honor and veneration are to be given to them. I also affirm that the power of indulgences was left by Christ in the Church, and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people. I acknowledge the holy catholic and apostolic Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all churches; and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman bishop, the successor of St. Peter, prince of the apostles and vicar of Jesus Christ. I also profess and undoubtedly receive all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred canons and general councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent; and likewise I also condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies whatsoever condemned, rejected, and anathematized by the Church. This true catholic faith, out of which none can be saved, which I now freely profess and truly hold, I, A. B., promise, vow, and swear most constantly to hold, and profess the same whole and entire, with God's assistance to the end of my life; and to procure, as far as lies in my power, that the same shall be held, taught, and preached by all who are under me, or are intrusted to my care, by virtue of my office. So help me God, and these holy Gospels of God. Amen.

The less Bible, the more Creed, and the thicker and blacker the darkness! Bible students will not fail to notice the progressive darkness of these creeds. Incarnation is first mentioned in the third creed, mariolatry in the fourth, and trinity and purgatory in the fifth.

In the Millennial Age the creed-formers will feel like adding a postscript to their work, reading about as follows:

[pg 112]

“P. S.—We have had our eyes opened and now see that Jesus was the Alpha, the Beginning of the creation of God, and the Omega, the Last of the Father's direct creation (Rev. 22:13; 1:8); that as the Logos, or Representative of the Father, He was a God (mighty one) but not the God, Jehovah (John 1:1); that all things were made by Him (John 1:3); that Jehovah sent His Son to save mankind (1 John 4:10); that the Logos was made flesh (John 1:14) and in the days of His flesh (Heb. 5:7) became poor (2 Cor. 8:9), lower than the angels (Heb. 2:9), a servant (Phil. 2:7), a man (Phil. 2:8); that while a man He did not have all wisdom (Luke 2:52) but admitted the Father's greater power (John 14:28) and knowledge (Matt. 24:36); that as the Father had previously said that He would give His own personal glory to no one (Isa. 42:8), so Jesus admitted He and the Father were two separate persons (John 8:17, 18); that He admitted He had not the glory of the Father (John 17:5) and expected the same unity between the Church and the Father as existed between Himself and the Father (John 17:21-23); that when He died He was really, truly, completely dead, as dead as though He had never previously existed (1 Cor. 15:3; Rev. 1:18); that God raised Him from the dead (Acts 2:24; Gal. 1:1); highly exalted Him (Phil. 2:9) to Divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4); making Him the express image of Himself (Heb. 1:3); but that even since His resurrection our Father is still Jesus' Father and our God is still His God (John 20:17); that a thousand years hence Jesus will still be subject to the Father (1 Cor. 15:28); that to us there is but one God (1 Cor. 8:6) and that every doctrine that confesseth that Jesus Christ when He came in the flesh came as anything more or less than a fleshly being is the spirit of Antichrist which dictated every one of the creeds aforementioned (1 John 4:3).”

6:5. And when He had opened the third seal.—Disclosing the third epoch in the history of Antichrist.

I heard the third beast.—Infinite Love.

Say, Come and see.—Come and see the apparently complete triumph of the powers of darkness and the apparent inaction of Infinite Love in permitting it.

And I beheld, and lo, a black horse.—Complete disregard of the Scriptures by clergy and people alike, and in their place the ugly creeds and bulls of popes and councils.

And he that sat on him.—The same rider, the Antichrist.

Had a pair of balances in his hand.“Balance joined with symbols denoting the sale of corn and fruits by weight, becomes the symbol of scarcity; bread by weight being a curse in Lev. 26:26 and in Ezek. 4:16, 17.” (McC.) [pg 113] During this period the common people could have in their own tongue only a few words or verses of the Scriptures; and for these they were obliged to pay large sums to the clergy, who alone had the ability to translate from the dead languages, or even to read at all. As the services were in Latin the people were starved spiritually.

6:6. And I heard AS IT WERE a voice.—The voice of the Lord Jesus, the Guardian and Caretaker of the true Church.—Matt. 28:20.

In the midst of the four beasts.“In the midst of the Throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb.”—Rev. 5:6.

Say, A measure.“The word chenix denotes a measure containing one wine quart and a twelfth part of a quart.”—Diaglott.

Of wheat.—The true children of the Kingdom.—C. 137.

For a penny.“A denarius was the day-wages of a laborer in Palestine (Matt. 20:2, 9).” (Diaglott.) These wages, a little more than a quart of wheat for a day's work, show how great was the effort, in those dark and terrible days, to find some “grains of wheat.”—Amos 8:11.

And three measures.—Three chenices, three quarts.

Of barley.—Spiritual adulterers and adulteresses, courting the friendship of the world. (Jas. 4:4.) Barley is the symbol of the adulteress as wheat is the symbol of the virgin.—Num. 5:15; Hos. 3:1, 2.

For a penny.—For a denarius. It was three times as easy to find the faithless as the faithful.

And see thou hurt not the oil.—The supply of the oil, the Holy Spirit of full submission to the will of God was low; the light of the true Church was feeble indeed.

And the wine.—Wine is a symbol of doctrine, true or false, and its accompanying joys. In this case it refers to the true doctrines of the Kingdom. But little knowledge of the coming Kingdom was prevalent then, and the joys of the Church were proportionately small. (See comments on Rev. 2:12-17, synchronous with events of second and third seals.)

Lest it be supposed that the Roman Catholic church is now different from what it once was, and that at present it is holding to the Scriptures, we quote the following from Strength of Will by E. Boyd Barrett, of the Society of the Jesuits, approved by the Roman Catholic censor, Remy Lafort, and approved by John, Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, November 24th, 1915:

“Catholic ascetics teach us, in this matter, first of all to have a clear and definite view of the object we propose to ourselves—let us suppose that it is to overcome [pg 114] the passion of anger. Now the resolution, ‘not to give way to anger’ would be far too broad and too great. Applying the principle, divide et impera,’ we content ourselves with resolving ‘not to give way to external manifestations of anger.’ But here again, our resolution is too broad and too great. We again apply the principle, divide et impera,’ and resolve ‘not to give way to angry retorts.’ This resolution is pointed, definite and intelligible—it means that cross and peevish remarks must not occur. A time limit may now be added in order to make the resolution still more well-defined: 'Until the last day of this month I will not make an angry retort.' Possibly, it might be advisable to limit this resolution still more, by conditions of place or circumstance, adding ‘in such a place or to such a person, or during such a ceremony.’ ” Simple! All you have to do is to keep dividing.

6:7. And when He had opened the fourth seal.—Disclosing the history of the Papacy in its fourth stage, the period synchronizing with the Thyatira and Sardis epochs. See Rev. 2:18-29; 3:1-6.

I heard the voice of the fourth beast.—Infinite Wisdom.

Say, Come and see.—Come and see what would seem to be the most unwise thing the Lord could possibly permit to happen to His Church.

6:8. And I looked, and behold a pale horse.—The ghastly and horrible teachings that God's true people must be “exterminated.” “The ghastly green of terror and of death. The word is used of grass in Rev. 8:7; 9:4; Mark 6:39.”—Cook.

And his name that sat on him was Death.—Still the same rider, the Papacy; and an apt description of its chief claim to recognition during the pre-Reformation period.

“Pope Innocent III. first sent missionaries to the districts in which the doctrines had gained foothold, to preach Romanism, work miracles, etc.; but, finding these efforts unavailing, he proclaimed a crusade against them and offered to all who would engage in it the pardon of all sins and an immediate passport to Heaven without passing through purgatory. With full faith in the pope's power to bestow the promised rewards, half a million men—French, German and Italian—rallied around the standard of the cross, for the defence of Catholicism and the extinction of heresy. Then followed a series of battles and sieges covering a space of twenty years. The city of Beziers was stormed and taken in 1209, and the citizens, without regard for age or sex, perished by the sword to the number of sixty thousand, as reported by several historians. The blood of those who fled to churches, and [pg 115] were murdered there by the holy crusaders, drenched the altars and flowed through the streets. It is estimated that one hundred thousand Albigenses fell in one day; and their bodies were heaped together and burned. The clergy thanked God for the work of destruction, and a hymn of praise to God for the glorious victory was composed and sung.”—B. 335.

And Hell followed with him.—All the people killed by the pope went to hell, and he himself went there also; but none of them went to the kind of hell to which the pope thought he was sending them. They went to the Bible hell, which is a place quite different from what is supposed. The average man believes in hell, but thinks few people go there and that nobody knows much about it. The Bible is the only authority on the subject, and no one can know anything about it, aside from the Bible. When we consider Christ's statement that unless a man loves Him more than “father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26), and reflect that probably not one professed Christian in a hundred has reached either this standard or the other one which He set in the same chapter, that “Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33), it should make us willing to consider carefully what is to become of the 9,999 out of every 10,000 of earth's population that do not meet these conditions.

We all know that “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psa. 9:17); but how many of us know that they will be re-turned there; that the passage, correctly translated, reads, “The wicked shall be returned into hell, all the nations that forget God”—showing that there are nations which go into hell once, come out of hell, learn of God, forget Him and are returned there? We may all know (Jude 11) that Korah, or Core, went to hell; but how many of us know that he was accompanied to this place by his house, with all his household goods, and two other establishments similarly equipped? (Num. 16:32, 33.) We may all know that the Sodomites went to hell (Gen. 19), but how many know that they were accompanied by the city in which they lived and that there are other cities there? (Matt. 11:23.) We may all suppose that many heathen warriors of long ago went to hell, but how many of us know that they took with them their weapons of war, and that their swords are there now, under their heads, with what is left of their bones? (Ezek. 32:27.) We may understand that the wealthy go to hell, but how many know that in the [pg 116] same place are sheep, gray hairs, worms, dust, trees and water?—Psa. 49:14; Gen. 44:31; Job 17:13-16; Ezek. 31:16.

We may all know that bad men go to hell, but how many of us know that the Ancient Worthies, Jacob and Hezekiah, fully expected to go there, and that faithful Job prayed to go there? (Gen. 37:35; Job 14:13.) We may all wish to keep out of hell, but how many of us know that David said there is not a man that liveth that shall deliver his soul from its power, and that Solomon says, thou goest there, whosoever thou art? (Psa. 89:48; Eccl. 9:10.) We may think that those who go to hell go there to stay forever, but how many of us know that Samuel said, “The Lord killeth and maketh alive; He bringeth down to hell and bringeth up” out of hell, and that David said, God has the same power to aid those in hell that He has to bless those in Heaven? (1 Sam. 2:6; Psa. 139:8.) We may think that those who go into hell never come out, and that there is no record that any have come out, yet there are at least two persons in history who have been in hell and come out of hell. One is Jonah, who prayed in hell and was delivered from hell (Jonah 2:2), and the other is Christ, whose soul went to hell, but “His soul was not left in hell,” for God raised Him up out of it. (Acts 2:31.) And when Christ came out of hell He brought with Him “The keys of hell” and now has the power and the right to set all its captives free. (Rev. 1:18.) We may suppose that hell is to last forever, but the Prophet speaks of its coming destruction, and John the Revelator says that it is to be made to “deliver up the dead” which are in it, and it, itself, is to be destroyed. (Hosea 13:14; Rev. 20:13.) The last passage cited affords the explanation of the whole subject, for in the margin opposite Rev. 20:13 the translators have explained that the word “hell” means “grave.” Reversely, in the margin opposite 1 Cor. 15:55, the translators have explained that “grave” means “hell.” The terms are interchangeable and the meaning is the same. In every place foregoing in which the citations appear in italic type, the translators have rendered Sheol or Hades by “grave” or “pit” instead of “hell.” In the margins of the old family Bibles, printed before Pastor Russell was born, we are told in seven places, and in both ways, in both the Old Testament and the New, that hell means the grave, and the grave means hell.—Psa. 49:15; 55:15; 86:13; Isa. 14:9; Jonah 2:2; 1 Cor. 15:55; Rev. 20:13.

And power was given unto them.—To his Holiness, the Pope, and all the cardinals, bishops, archbishops, priests, inquisitors, kings and rulers.

[pg 117]

Over the fourth part of the earth.—Over Europe, but not over Asia, Africa or America.

To kill with sword, and [with hunger] FAMINE and [with] death.—The destruction of New Creatures by wresting of the Scriptures and their spiritual starvation are here in evidence; but there was also a literal fulfilment. “Human and Satanic ingenuity were taxed to their utmost to invent new and horrible tortures, for both the political and religious opponents of Antichrist; the latter—heretics—being pursued with tenfold fury. Besides the common forms of persecution and death, such as racking, burning, drowning, stabbing, starving and shooting with arrows and guns, fiendish hearts meditated how the most delicate and sensitive parts of the body, capable of the most excruciating pain, could be affected; molten lead was poured into the ears; tongues were cut out and lead poured into the mouths; wheels were arranged with knife blades attached so that the victim could be slowly chopped to pieces; claws and pincers were made red hot and used upon sensitive parts of the body; eyes were gouged out; finger nails were pulled off with red hot irons; holes, by which the victim was tied up, were bored through the heels; some were forced to jump from eminences onto long spikes fixed below, where, quivering with pain, they slowly died. The mouths of some were filled with gunpowder, which, when fired, blew their heads to pieces; others were hammered to pieces on anvils; others, attached to bellows, had air pumped into them until they burst; others were choked to death with mangled pieces of their own bodies; others with urine, excrement, etc., etc.”—B. 346.

And with the beasts of the earth.—The evil governments. “Kings and princes who trembled for the security of their crowns, if they to any extent incurred the pope's displeasure, were sworn to exterminate heresy, and those barons who neglected to aid in the work of persecution forfeited their estates. Kings and princes, therefore, were prompt to comply with the mandates of the Papacy, and the barons and their retainers were at their service, to aid in the work of destruction.”—B. 333.

6:9. And when He had opened the fifth seal.—Disclosing the Reformation in the days of Luther. See Rev. 3:7-13.

I saw under the altar.—Altars were originally made of earth. (Ex. 20:24.) To see under the altar is to see underground, in the tomb, the grave. At the bottom of the brazen altar all the blood of the victim was poured.—Lev. 4:7; 8:15; Heb. 8:5; 13:10; Phil. 2:17; 2 Tim. 4:6.

The souls.—The beings of those who had died. These souls were not in Heaven.

[pg 118]

Of [them] MEN that were slain.—Spiritually beheaded (some of them literally, also).—Rev. 20:4.

For.Dia, “through” or “by means of.”

The Word of God.“Of His own will begat He us with the Word of Truth.” (James 1:18.) It is this Sword of the Spirit that cuts us off from the world.—Heb. 4:12.

And for the testimony.“And through the testimony”; through the Word of God. The word dia is here used again. It is the Word that does the beheading.

Which they held.—As witnesses in their hearts (Rom. 8:16) and to which they adhered at any cost.

6:10. And they cried with a loud voice.—Not actually, but in the same way that the voice of Abel's blood cried from the ground.—Gen. 4:10.

Saying, How long, O Lord.—How long will it be from this particular time, the Spring of 1518?—Rev. 3:7.

Holy and true.—See Rev. 3:7; 1 John 5:20; Mark 1:24.

[Dost] WILT Thou not judge.—Deliver us from the tomb. The judges of old were deliverers.—Judges 3:9-11.

And avenge our blood.—Cast off from all favor a system of nominal Christianity which is not Christianity at all.

On them that dwell on the earth.—On these that are “Of the earth, earthy.”—Rev. 17:5; 3:10; 8:13; 13:8, 14. “The answer is given by the angel of the waters. See Rev. 16:4-7.” (Cook.) Quite true. The answer is in Vol. III of Scripture Studies.

6:11. And [white robes were] THERE WAS given unto [every one] EACH of them a white robe.“God's grace cannot admit to heavenly perfection those who have not robes of spotless righteousness. How gracious is the provision of our God in thus presenting us with the Robe which covers all the repented-of blemishes of the past as well as the unintentional and unwitting imperfections of the present!”—Z. '11-342; Rev. 3:4, 5; 19:8.

And it was said unto them.—Not actually, but by the teachings of the parallel dispensations, which show that as Christ was raised from the dead in A. D. 33, the sleeping saints would be raised 1845 years later, in the Spring of 1878. See Rev. 3:14, 20.

That they should rest yet for a little season.—Greek Chronos, 360 years. See Rev. 2:21. This is the item which Pastor Russell had in mind in the following footnote: “When, in a succeeding volume, we examine the wonderful visions of the Revelator, it will be clearly seen that the time here pointed out by the word ‘henceforth,’ as marked by events, synchronizes closely with 1878, as indicated by the prophecies herein noted.” (C. 241.) Luther nailed the proclamation on the church door at Wittenberg [pg 119] Oct 31, 1517, which was already one month into the year 1518, Jewish reckoning. But it took some time for the news to travel to all parts of Europe. Three hundred and sixty years from the Spring of 1518 brings us to the Spring of 1878, when we understand that God's promise made to the sleeping saints was fulfilled. They were raised from the dead, and Babylon was cast off.

Until their fellowservants also.—The other members of the Little Flock, all bond-slaves of Jesus.—Gal. 6:17, Diaglott, footnote.

And their brethren.—Fellow-believers, the Great Company.

That should be killed BY THEM as they were.—Similarly make covenants of consecration to the Lord.—Rev. 6:9.

Should be fulfilled.—Should be filled full, completed in number. “The Gospel age is for the very purpose of calling those who shall participate in the marriage feast. If, therefore, it be true that we are in the end of this Gospel age, it implies that a sufficient number of worthy guests have been found, or, to reverse the proposition, if a sufficient number of worthy guests have now been found, it proves that we are in the close of this age. It was after the wedding had been furnished with a proper number of guests, that ‘the King came in’ and began the inspection of the guests. This, we have elsewhere shown, marks the date April, 1878.”—Z. '98-137.

6:12. And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal.—Disclosing the events leading up to and associated with the Lord's Parousia, presence.

And, [lo,] there was a great earthquake.Literally, the great Lisbon earthquake, Nov. 1, 1755, which extended over 4,000,000 square miles; shocked all Africa and Western Europe, including Scandinavia and Greenland; slew 90,000 persons in Lisbon and many thousands elsewhere; destroyed every church and convent in the city; caused a tidal wave 60 feet high; split mountains from top to bottom; sunk an immense area to a depth of 600 feet and threw sailors to the decks hundreds of miles at sea. It is believed to be the most severe earthquake shock ever felt on the earth. Symbolically, the American Revolution, 21 years later (the underlying cause of the French Revolution); the most successful and most extraordinary movement upward of the lower strata of human society that had ever been seen in the world up to that time. God has so written Revelation that those who will not accept the symbolical significance of what is expressly declared to be a symbolical book (Rev. 1:1) may find literal fulfillments, and thus lose the light they would otherwise get.

[pg 120]

And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair.Literally in the dark day of May 19, 1780, which extended over 320,000 square miles. (D. 587.) Symbolically, the light of the papal heavens (the pope) became darkened when Napoleon fined the Pope ten million dollars, organized the Papal territory into a republic and took the Pope a prisoner to France. (C. 41, 55.) Symbolically, too, the light of the true heavens, the Gospel light, the Truth, and thus Christ Jesus, has become hidden from view of many by the denial of the clergy of our day that we were bought with the precious blood and by the teaching of the theory of Evolution.—D. 590; Joel 2:10, 31.

And the WHOLE moon became as blood.Literally on May 19, 1780. Symbolically, the creeds (the moon of the papal heavens) have become repugnant, though still hypocritically professed. Symbolically, also the light of the Mosaic Law (the moon of the true heavens) has been made to appear evil by the claims of the clergy that the typical sacrifices were bloody and barbaric.—D. 590, 592.

6:13. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth.Literally, the meteoric shower of Nov. 13, 1833, covering 11,000,000 square miles. (D. 588.) Symbolically, the bishops and the priestly stars of the papacy fell from their positions of power and influence over the minds and consciences of the people. Symbolically, also, the Protestant pulpit stars make a great display in coming down from spiritual things to the Christian-citizenship-politics level.—D. 595.

Even as a fig tree.“The fig tree in this prophecy may be understood to signify the Jewish nation. (Matt. 24:32.) If so, it is being signally fulfilled; for not only are thousands of Israelites returning to Palestine, but the Zionist movement, started recently, has assumed such proportions as to justify a Convention of representatives from all parts of the world to meet in Switzerland to put in practical shape the proposal for the reorganization of a Jewish state in Palestine. These buds will thrive, but will bear no perfect fruit before October, 1914—the full end of ‘Gentile Times.’ ”—D. 604.

[Casteth] CASTING her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.—The immature fruits of the Zionist movement were dashed to the ground by the great war. Thousands of the Jews already in Palestine were deported to Egypt at the breaking out of the war. At this writing the British are besieging Jerusalem and the Turks are driving the Jews into the desert to perish rather than permit them to remain and come under British control. Out of this turmoil Zionism will soon start afresh and the Jews become the actual rulers of their native land.

[pg 121]

6:14. And the heaven departed as a scroll.“The ‘sure word of prophecy’ indicates very clearly that the various Protestant sects will form a coöperative union or federacy, and that Catholicism and Protestantism will affiliate, neither losing its identity. These are the two ends of the ecclesiastical heavens which, as their confusion increases, shall roll together as a scroll (Isaiah 34:4) for their self-protection—as distinct and separate rolls, yet in close proximity to each other.”—D. 258; Psa. 102:26.

When it is rolled together.“It will be impossible to re-establish the present order, (1) because it has evidently outlived its usefulness, and is inequitable under present conditions; (2) because of the general diffusion of secular knowledge; (3) because the discovery that priestcraft has long blinded and fettered the masses with error and fear will lead to a general disrespect for all religious claims and teachings as of a piece with the discovered frauds; (4) because religious people in general, not discerning that God's time has come for a change of dispensation, will ignore reason, logic, justice and Scripture in defending the present order of things. It will be of little consequence then that the ecclesiastical heavens (the religious powers, Papal and Protestant) will have rolled together as a scroll. (See Isaiah 34:4.) The combined religious power of Christendom will be utterly futile against the rising tide of anarchy when the dread crisis is reached. Before that great army ‘all the host of heaven [the church nominal] shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll.’ ”—D. 551.

And every mountain.—Kingdom.

And [island] HILL.“Little hills” refer to governments less autocratic than monarchies; but “hills” sometimes refer to the sharpest, highest, most jagged mountain peaks, and then mean the most autocratic of all governments. This is evidently what is meant here.

Were moved out of [their] THE places.—Did not occupy the same position as before with reference to the people. The places were never “theirs,” but belong “to Him whose right it is.” (Z. '05-253.) In recent years Turkey and Persia have been granted parliaments; China, Russia and Portugal have become republics; and other countries have become vast socialist communities.—Rev. 16:20.

6:15. And the kings of the earth.—The aristocracy.

And the great men.—The clergy. (Rev. 18:23, comment.) Rendered “lords” in Mark 6:21. See Job 12:2.

[And the rich men,] and the chief captains, AND THE RICH MEN.—The high military officers. Rendered “high captains” in Mark 6:21. The magnates and financiers.

[pg 122]

And the mighty men.—The labor organizers.

And every bondman.—Member of a labor organization.

And every free man.—Other worker (if not a bond-slave of Christ).

Hid themselves in the dens.—See Isa. 2:19-21.

And in the rocks of the mountains.“As the trouble increases, men will seek, but in vain, for protection in the great rocks and fortresses of society (Free Masonry, Odd Fellowship, and Trades Unions, Guilds, Trusts, and all societies secular and ecclesiastical), and in the mountains (governments) of earth.”—B. 139; Jer. 3:23; Hos. 10:8.

6:16. And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us.“The Greek word epi, here used, is generally translated on, but has also the significance of over (Rev. 5:10) and about, and is so translated many times in the common version. The thought is that of protection, not of destruction. The common view of this passage, that it teaches that wicked men will get faith enough to pray for literal mountains to fall, is absurd. The real fulfilment is already beginning: the great, the rich, and no less the poor, are seeking to the mountains and rocks and caves for shelter from the darkening storm of trouble which all see is gathering.”—B. 139; Hos. 10:8.

And hide us from the face.—Of Justice, now about to demand an accounting for our stewardship.

Of Him that sitteth on the Throne.—Jehovah.

And from the wrath of the Lamb.—Whose followers we have falsely professed to be.

6:17. For the great day of [His] THEIR wrath is come.—The wrath of the Father, the Son, and the glorified saints.—Rev. 2:26, 27; Isa. 13:6-19; Zeph. 1:14-18.

And who shall be able to stand.“The answer through the Prophet is, 'He that hath clean hands [an honest life] and a pure heart [a conscience void of offence toward God and man]: he shall ascend into the mountain [Kingdom] of the Lord and stand in the holy place.'” (Psa. 24:3, 4; D. 582.) “Oh, what sorrow it gives us at times to behold some not standing well the testing of this hour, some who are developing tendencies of weakness, disloyalty to the cause, ambition for name and fame or position, desire to be greatest, tendencies to lord it over God's heritage, and who, unless recovered, will be surely cut off from membership in the Body, even though, as the Apostle declares, they may be saved so as by fire, as members of the ‘great company.’—1 Cor. 3:15.” (Z. '06-309; Psa. 76:7.) The only ones who will stand are the twelve tribes named in the next chapter.

[pg 123]

Revelation 7—Seventh Seal And Great Company

7:1. And after [these things] THIS.—After the events disclosed by the opening of the sixth seal had already been amply fulfilled, but not signifying that further, more elaborate and final fulfilments on an immense scale will not take place later.

I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth.—The Little Flock, commissioned to carry the message of Present Truth to the remotest outposts of civilization. “They shall gather together His Elect from the four winds.”—Matt. 24:31.

Holding the four winds of the earth.“The winds of the earth referred to here are, of course, symbolic. The thought is that the winds from the four quarters—North, East, South and West—are being held back, and that when the restraint is withdrawn they will rush together, and the result will be a whirlwind. Certain Scriptures tell of a whirlwind that will be raised up from the coasts of the earth. See Jer. 23:19; 25:32, 33; 30:23, 24. We do not understand that this will be a physical whirlwind, but this symbolic expression is used to convey the thought of a severe strife of the powers of the air. These ‘powers of the air,’ or ‘winds,’ are not powers of natural air, but are the powers referred to by St. Paul when he speaks of Satan as ‘the Prince of the power of the air,’ (Eph. 2:2.) Those spirits who have been under the control of Satan—the fallen angels—were to be restrained until the Judgment of the Great Day. (Jude 6.) The letting loose of these winds, or air powers, would seem to show that God will let go His hand of restraint; that He will have to do with the permission of the terrible trouble that will come. This outside influence will exercise a baneful effect upon men, when finally granted the liberty. These fallen spirits have been under restraint for these many centuries, but they have exercised their influence to whatever extent they have had permission. If they had had unlimited power they would have wrecked the world long ago; but they have been restrained. Apparently God will soon cease to restrain the fallen angels, and they will then proceed to vent their fury upon humanity, so that the whole earth will be full of violence, the same as in the days of Noah. [pg 124] The power manifested by the demons when loosed, will, we believe, be with a view to the injury of mankind. We do not know but that many of our readers will have a share in that injury. We have every reason to suppose that, if these fallen angels shall get loose, they will vent their first anger upon the Lord's people.”—Z. '14-166.

That the wind should not blow.“As soon as the power that is now controlling them shall be removed, we shall have a reign of evil all over the earth. The evil spirits will do all the evil that is in their power, and this will constitute the trial of all the fallen angels—the lifting of the restraints to see whether they will go contrary to the Divine will. All who thus manifest their alliance with evil in any way will become subjects of the Second Death; while others who show their loyalty to God will mark themselves as worthy, presumably, of everlasting life. It may be something in connection with the saints that will constitute the test of these angels. This will be the key, the secret connected with the awful Time of Trouble which the Bible tells us will mark the conclusion of this Age and which will constitute the forerunner or beginning of the New Dispensation. (Z. '11-359.) THE TEST IS ON.

On the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.“Symbolically, the earth represents organized society; the sea represents the disorganized masses (Dan. 7:2; Lu. 21:25; Rev. 10:2, 8), and the trees represent the Household of Faith. The letting loose suddenly of the fallen angels will account well for the suddenness of the coming trouble, which everywhere in the Scriptures is one of its particular features—‘in one hour’; ‘suddenly as travail upon a woman’; ‘as it was in the days of Noah,’ and ‘as it was in the days of Lot’ ”—Z. '11-157.

“There is only one way, so far as we can see, in which these fallen angels can have a trial, their trial consisting in having a fuller opportunity to sin, if they so desire, or an opportunity to show, if they wish, that they are sick of sin and desire to return to harmony with God. We cannot think that God will allow this trial of the angels during the Millennial Reign, for then, nothing shall hurt; nothing shall destroy; Satan will be bound and all evil influences will be restrained. No; it cannot be then. And in order to be tried at all, these fallen angels must have certain liberties granted, to prove them. Otherwise, where would be their trial? Consequently, reasoning along this basis (2 Peter 2:4), we reach the conclusion that the trial of these fallen angels is in the near future—perhaps to some extent already begun. In what way?” (Z. '11-358.) He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!—1 Cor. 6:2.

[pg 125]

7:2. And I saw another angel.—The Messenger of the Covenant; our Lord Jesus at His Second Advent.—Mal. 3:1.

Ascending from the east.“This speaks symbolically of the Sun of Righteousness and its full light of Divine truth and blessing scattering the shadows of sin, ignorance, superstition and death, and healing and restoring the willing and obedient of humanity.”—D. 653; Luke 1:78; Mal. 4:2.

Having the seal of the living God.—The seventh seal.

And He cried with a loud voice.—Pastor Russell was the voice used. Beautiful voice of the Lord: strong, humble, wise, loving, gentle, just, merciful, faithful, self-sacrificing; one of the noblest, grandest characters of all history “I lift my pen, not in defense of any doctrine, creed or dogma, but in defense of a man, in defense of fairness, justice and righteousness. Pastor C. T. Russell, of Brooklyn, N. Y., stands out prominently as a target for the pulpits and religious press of the country today. I believe there is no one more bitterly persecuted, harshly condemned, woefully misrepresented and misunderstood than this fearless, conscientious man of God. No infidel writer, such as Hume, Voltaire or Ingersoll, ever suffered such ruthless attacks as have been made upon Mr. Russell. Whether this persecution and misrepresentation is due to prejudice or ignorance of this man's real character and writing, is not for me to say, but I believe both are elements that play a part in the widespread criticism uttered both from the pulpit and the press. Naturally, men will resent any attack made upon the creed of their persuasion, for they hold to their religious creed and affiliations with more tenacity than they realize, until some strong mind, backed by Scripture proof, begins to uproot their doctrine by showing their inconsistencies and errors. This is what Mr. Russell proceeds to do. As a logician and theologian he is doubtless without a peer today. In his research for Biblical Truth and harmony he is without a parallel in this Age. Without a blemish in his character, with the loftiest ideals of God, and the possibilities of man, he towers like a giant, unmatched. His defects fade into insignificance. He has been too busy spreading Divine Truth, as he honestly sees it, to waste time in frivolous speculation in matters not in some way connected with man's future state, as outlined in ‘The Plan of the Ages.’ Unselfish, liberal and courteous to Christians of all denominations, but fearlessly condemning, in unmeasured terms, the errors and inconsistencies in their creeds, as he sees them, he ranks with immortal benefactors, and is stamping his opinion on the world as no other man has [pg 126] done since the days of the Reformation. Efforts to throttle the press to prevent the publication of his sermons have repeatedly been made. Why this opposition? Why would any one oppose investigation or revelation and searching the Scriptures? Why? What right has any one to prevent free thought, free speech, or the freedom of the press? What manner of men are we? Let men, preachers or what not, beware of blocking the way of such a man. Jesus said, ‘And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in Me, it is better that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.’ Mark 9:42. Better be like Gamaliel in the days of the Apostles, when St. Peter and others were on trial. Gamaliel rose up and said, ‘Refrain from these men, and let them alone, for if this work be of men it will come to naught; but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, for ye fight against God.’ ”—Prof. S. A. Ellis.

To the four angels.—The church in the flesh, the Harvest workers.—Matt. 24:31.

To whom it was given.—By completing the Harvest work and thus releasing the restraints on the evil spirits.

To hurt the earth.—Throw order-loving peoples into desperation.

And the sea.—So enrage the masses, not under religious restraint, as to make it impossible to control them.

7:3. Saying, Hurt not the earth.—Do not complete the Harvest work too soon, and thus allow the demons to invade the minds of men until the appointed time. (Many writers claim that this has already happened to the ex-Czar of Russia, to Kaiser Wilhelm and to the chief of modern “evangelists.”)

Neither the sea.—I will see to it that the work of Harvest shall hold in check those not under religious restraint until the work of Harvest is finished and the demons are released, when, maddened by the obsession of the evil spirits, there are no lengths to which the godless will not presume to go. All Bible Students, followers of Pastor Russell, know how urgently he has warned for forty years that this deluge of evil spirits is sure to come.

Nor the trees.—See Rev. 8:7. Have you enjoyed this work thus far? Are you convinced it is of the Lord—prepared under His guidance? Have you carefully and prayerfully read the comments on Rev. 7:1? Then brace yourself for the truth that it is evidently God's purpose soon to allow the minds of many of His little ones to become an open battle ground, upon which the fallen angels shall be judged, and the manner in which we meet the tests will prove our worthiness of crowns at the same [pg 127] time that it proves these disobedient spirits unworthy of life on any plane. This is something with which some but not many are yet familiar. Truly, we know the Apostle in writing of this evil day says, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wicked ones in heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). Truly, we know the Lord Jesus, at the First Advent began His ministry with forty days of conflict with the Adversary, who all that time sought to sway His mind (Matt. 4:1-11). Truly, we have reason to believe He must have had other terrible battles when He spent all night in prayer, and especially when He was so depressed in the garden of Gethsemane. But without actual experience it is quite impossible to conceive of the intensity of such struggles as Eph. 6:12 suggests. The base of the brain is seized as in a vise. Interpretations of Scripture, ingenious, but misleading beyond description, are projected into the mind as water might be projected through a hose. Visions may be tried, wonderful illuminations of the mind as by a soft but glorious greenish or yellowish haze. Seductive suggestions may be made, based on circumstances of the environment. Offers of inspiration may be made. The privilege of sleep may be taken away for days at a stretch. All this is with the object of forcing the unfortunate into at least temporary insanity so as to destroy his influence and, if possible, his faith in God. Failing in all other attempts, the mind may be flooded with thoughts that are vile beyond description. THEN REMEMBER THE VOW.

The fact that Jehovah intends some unique experiences for the antitypical Isaac may be judged from the fact that between Isaac's conception (Gen. 17:19 and 18:10) and his birth (Gen. 21:1) occurred the destruction of Sodom (Gen. 18:16 to end of 19th Chap.) and Abraham's denial of Sarah (Gen. 20). But reading the latter account, the child of God is comforted with God's care of His little ones (Gen. 20:3) with the assurance that none of Satan's plans can mature (Gen. 20:18) without the Lord's permission. Isaac was a type of the complete Christ; and if now The Christ is complete, as we believe, and ready to be born into the Kingdom, we should not be surprised at anything that might look like our repudiation at the Father's hands. If He pours the cup, it will only be because He knows that we can drink it, and because He wishes to prove to angels and to men that we are worthy of the honors He is to give us.—Lu. 22:42, 43; 1 Tim. 1:16.

Till we.—You “four angels,” Harvest workers in the flesh, and Myself, the Lord of the Harvest.

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Have sealed the servants of our God.—See Rev. 19:20; 14:1. Satan is a diligent student of time prophecy (Luke 12:39); but not having the Holy Spirit he is unable to reach accurate conclusions. Seeing a definite Plan, and a definite time for every important feature of that Plan, his aim has ever been to thwart the purposes of the Almighty. This attempt to destroy the Seed began with the death of Abel and still continues. No doubt Satan believed the Millennial Kingdom was due to be set up in 1915; and no doubt, also, he knew that seven years prior to the time of the setting up of that kingdom the restraints upon the evil spirits would be lifted. Be that as it may, there is evidence that the establishment of the Kingdom in Palestine will probably be in 1925, ten years later than we once calculated. The 70 jubilees, reckoned as 50 years each, expire October, 1925. (B. 186.) Gen. 15:1-16:3, read connectedly, indicates that Abraham's vision as to when he would receive the Kingdom was not granted until ten years after the Covenant was made, or 2035 B. C. The ages of the animals offered aggregated eleven years, which, applied prophetically, on the scale of a year for a day, equal 3960 years, the length of time from the date of the visions to A. D. 1925 (Z. '07-79). It seems conclusive that the hour of Nominal Zion's travail is fixed for the Passover of 1918. (See Rev. 3:14.) That will be 7 years prior to 1925. At that time there is every reason to believe the fallen angels will invade the minds of many of the Nominal Church people, driving them to exceedingly unwise conduct and leading to their destruction at the hands of the enraged masses, who will later be dragged to the same fate. The great war now raging is most certainly the work of evil spirits, and the Kaiser is not the only clever ruler who has been deceived by evil spirits, as history will sometime show.—Lu. 12:56.

If our reasoning is correct, we inquire whether there was any indication of a move on Satan's part 7 years prior to 1915, showing that he expected the restraints to be removed from the evil spirits at that time; and we answer that there was something very definite indicated at that time. In the Vow, advised by Pastor Russell in that year, and in the experiences of many, for and against it, it is plain that the Enemy then attempted to come in like a flood, but was held back—restrained until the sealing work is done. (Matt. 10:25; Luke 22:42-44; Heb. 12:4; Isa. 63:3.) After the demons have been turned loose on the swine class, we shall see what happens. (Matt. 7:6; 8:31-34.) Those now fearful that they might learn something will be terror-stricken then for a different reason.

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In their foreheads.“The storm is held in check until the faithful servants of God are ‘sealed in their foreheads’ (Exod. 13:9; 28:36, 38. Deut. 6:8; Ezek. 9:4-6; Rev. 14:1), i. e., until such are given an intellectual appreciation which will not only comfort them, and shield them, but also be a mark, seal or evidence of their sonship, as indicated by our Lord when He promised that the Holy Spirit should show to the faithful ‘things to come.’ (John 16:13.)” (B. 169.) When the demon test comes, those who have the mark of sonship (Ezek. 9:2-4) will know it and will stand the test, while all others will surely fail. A letter from one of the Bethel workers, written shortly after Pastor Russell's death, says: “About three months ago I asked several questions at the table, the last one being as follows, ‘Since I now see that the Jewish Time of Trouble did not end until the year 73 A. D., as I fully proved to myself by consulting the historians, what then are we to expect in the parallel year 1918?’ Brother Russell put the question to three prominent brethren, all of whom replied that they did not know, but were willing to wait and see. When he called upon me I said, ‘Since the year 73 A. D. saw the complete overthrow of nominal Natural Israel in Palestine, so in the parallel year 1918, I infer we should look for the complete overthrow of nominal Spiritual Israel; i. e., the fall of Babylon. (Rev. 18.)’ Brother Russell replied: ‘Exactly. That is exactly the inference to draw.’ ” The conclusion of the Church's career comes first. (Rev. 3:14.)

“If you see the ‘door’ of opportunity for sacrifice and service open before you, enter in. But enter quickly; for the night of darkness and of intense opposition to the truth will ere long be upon us and will hinder you from engaging in the service. ‘The morning cometh, and also the night.’ ‘The night cometh in which no man can work.’ When that is true, you may know that ‘the door is shut.’ that all the wise virgins have entered in, that all have been proved, and that all vacancies have been acceptably filled. All the special ‘servants of God’ having by that time been ‘sealed in their foreheads’ (given an intellectual appreciation of God's Plan), the four winds will be loosed and will produce the great ‘whirlwind’ of trouble in the midst of which the remnant of the Elijah class will be ‘changed,’ and exalted to Kingdom glory.”—C. 225.

7:4. And I heard the number of them which were sealed.“We have every reason to believe that the definite, fixed number of the Elect is that several times stated in Revelation, namely, 144,000 ‘redeemed from amongst men.’ ” (F. 179; Rev. 14:1.) This is the equivalent of one saint fully developed for each five days of the Age.

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And there were sealed 144,000.—On this point one of Pastor Russell's coworkers has well said: “That this is not a symbolical, but an exact number, seems certain from the fact that, in the same chapter reference is made to another company, also spirit-begotten. In the 9th verse we read: ‘I beheld, and lo, a great multitude which no man could number.’ It is not probable that this multitude is so great that no one could actually count them, but rather that none can state their number, God having left it indefinite.”

Of all the tribes of the children of Israel.“As a name, Israel signified ‘The people blessed of the Lord,’ ‘The people of God,’ ‘The Lord's people.’—2 Chron. 7:14.” (D. 654; Gal. 6:16; Rom. 9:6-8.) Each of the saints is reckoned as belonging to one of the twelve tribes of “Israelites indeed,” which tribes bear the names of the twelve patriarchs of natural Israel. In every family each child is beloved for some characteristic peculiarly its own; and in the meaning of the names of the children of Israel we may recognize certain of the qualities which make each overcomer precious in the Father's sight.

7:5. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand.—Juda signifies Celebrated, lauded, praised. Nothing is more praiseworthy than justice, noble-mindedness, the doing to everybody as one would wish to be done by. Our Lord was the Just One of the tribe of Juda. All who knew Pastor Russell intimately, recognized that justice was the foundation principle of his character. The mention of the Lord's tribe first shows that there is a Divine order in the arrangement of the names, inasmuch as that order is different from the order of the birth of Jacob's sons. Doubtless the brightest crowns will be worn by those that are wholly without self-love, either in heart or in life.—Gen. 38:12-26; 43:3-10; 44:14, 34; 46:28.

Of the tribe of Reuben [were sealed] twelve thousand.—Reuben's name signifying See ye, a son, provided in my affliction or The Pity of God, seems to refer to the five-talented brethren who make their calling and election sure. To be possessed of ability and means to get the fullest enjoyment out of life, and to sacrifice it all gladly, requires a standard of character so high that the Lord expressly states that not many attain it. (1 Cor. 1:26; Gen. 37:21, 22, 29, 30; 42:22, 37.) A taint of love of the world (spiritual uncleanness) is all that prevents from attaining the very highest place.—Gen. 35:22; 49:3, 4; 2 Cor. 7:1.

Of the tribe of Gad [were sealed] twelve thousand.—Gad's name, signifying A troop of children cometh, seems to give the third highest honor to those faithful men and women who have been blessed of God in bringing many [pg 131] of their own descendants into the Divine family. Instances are on record where as many as twelve children in one family have all come into the light of Present Truth and consecrated, as a result of the life and teachings of a noble father and mother. There is a family interest on the part of the Heavenly Father in every family that rightly seeks His face. Not a crown is available for others, so long as even one child of one of the consecrated is ready to run for that crown. “The promise is unto you [first], and to your children [next], and [after that] to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord your God shall call.” (Acts 2:39; 1 Cor. 7:14.) “Of the childhood and life of the patriarch Gad nothing is preserved. At the time of the descent into Egypt, seven sons are ascribed to him, remarkable from the fact that a majority of their names have plural terminations, as if those of families rather than persons.” (McC.)—Gen. 46:16; Num. 26:15-18.

7:6. Of the tribe of Aser [were sealed] twelve thousand.—Aser's name signifies Happy. “And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.” (Gen. 30:13.) Apparently the fourth highest place of honor goes to the happy Christians. Wherever else the long-faced saints go they do not get into the Asher tribe. “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say rejoice. Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.”—Phil. 4:4; 3:1; 2 Chron. 20:22.

Of the tribe of Nephtalim [were sealed] twelve thousand.—Naphtali's name signifies Great wrestlings, and suggests that the fifth highest place will go to those who have especially sought the face of the Father in prayer. By his birth Naphtali was allied to Dan, the class that goes into the Second Death. (Gen. 35:25; 49:17.) The suggestion is not strained, then, that here is a class that has overcome largely because they have so much appreciated, and have used to such good purpose, the privilege of seeking the Father's face in prayer.—Luke 11:5-13; James 1:5; 3:17.

Of the tribe of Manasses [were sealed] twelve thousand.—Manasseh's name signifies Forgetting, “For God hath made me forget all my toil and all my father's House.” (Gen. 41:51.) The sixth honor apparently refers to a class having naturally very strong human attachments, for the dear ones of their earthly families, and yet love the Lord still more. Great is the love, great the faithfulness of those that hear and heed the Divine proposal: “Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's House.”—Psa. 45:10.

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7:7. Of the tribe of Simeon [were sealed] twelve thousand.—Simeon signifies Hearing. “Because the Lord hath heard that I was hated, He hath therefore given me this son also.” (Gen. 29:33.) This suggests that the seventh place of honor is reserved for those who have been hated in their home circles because of faithfulness to the Word of the Lord. The Lord saw that the beauties of their characters would only shine forth to the best advantage if they were made ready in just such environment. How sweet, how beautiful, is the patient heart developed under such conditions!—Rom. 5:3; Col. 1:11, 12; 1 Pet. 1:7; 4:12; 5:10; Rom. 8:17; 2 Tim. 2:12; James 1:12.

Of the tribe of Levi [were sealed] twelve thousand.—Levi's name signifies A joining. “This time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have borne him three sons.” The next honor is apparently reserved for those who have literally sacrificed all their possessions in this world in order that they might be more closely joined to the Lord and His service. Levi had no inheritance in the land, as a tribe, and as an individual the only event recorded in the life of the patriarch is one of destruction of the unfaithful.—Gen. 34:25-29.

Of the tribe of Issachar [were sealed] twelve thousand.—Issachar signifies There is reward, or He brings reward. “God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband.” “Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: and he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear.” (Gen. 30:18; 49:14, 15.) This seems to signify that the next honor goes to the zealous, those who joyfully undertake, in the Lord's name and cause, to work hard for the glory of His name.—1 Cor. 15:58.

7:8. Of the tribe of Zabulon [were sealed] twelve thousand.—Zebulun signifies Habitation or Dwelling. It signifies the blessed satisfaction that comes to those who, like the Master, during their earthly pilgrimages have not known where to lay their heads; but, although they have wrestled with poverty throughout life's little day, have nevertheless held faithfully to the Lord, serving Him, with limited education, strength, talents and opportunities, in hope of finally reaching “The Home where changes never come, nor pain, nor sorrow, toil nor care.” What a homecoming they will have! In the Father's House of many mansions theirs will be the happiest home.

Of the tribe of [Joseph were sealed] BENJAMIN twelve thousand.—Benjamin signified Son of my Sorrow originally, but the name was changed to signify Son of the right hand. The youngest of Jacob's children, he seems [pg 133] in some aspects to typify the Great Company class (Z. '81-1-7), but succeeds in gaining the higher reward, probably because of being the companions of those that occupy more advanced positions in the Body. Thus the humble-minded and faithful servants and companions may and do fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ, even though their personal sufferings be slight.—Heb. 10:33.

Of the tribe of [Benjamin were sealed] JOSEPH twelve thousand.—The Sinaitic MS. mentions Joseph last, with peculiar fitness. Joseph was one of the most beautiful characters of the Bible. His name signifies Whom may God increase. He had so many virtues that it is inadvisable to attempt their enumeration, but the story is told at length in Gen. 37-50. He is one of the very few characters named in the Bible about whom nothing uncomplimentary is expressed. He well represents all the other members of the Divine family, all of whom have attained the Divine likeness in their hearts and given expression to that likeness as well as the frailties and weaknesses of the flesh would permit.

It will be noticed that the tribes of Dan and Ephraim are omitted from the foregoing list. Dan evidently represents the class that goes into the Second Death. The name signifies “God hath judged me.” (Gen. 30:6.) We know that all God's judgments are just and look for the reason for Dan's rejection. Jacob prophesied that it would be Dan “that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.” (Gen. 49:17.) Horses are symbols of doctrines. Dan evidently represents a class tampering with doctrines, resulting in the overthrow of the New Creature. A study of the history of the tribe of Dan confirms this. Originally Dan was given one of the choicest parts of Palestine, one of the most fertile and the most secure. It was completely embraced by its two brother tribes Ephraim and Benjamin, while on the south-east and south it joined Judah, and was thus surrounded by the three most powerful states of the whole confederacy. The Danites however failed to conquer the land originally assigned to them (representing the failure of the New Creature to gain the victory over the mind of the flesh) and chose another inheritance to the far north (Judges 18:1-31). This selection of the farthest north resembles Satan's similar choice (Isa. 14:13) and suggests that the Danite New Creatures were led away from their original inheritance by ambition. The context shows an unreasonably high valuation of their own judgment and a wilful interference with the priestly office, and this we may judge has [pg 134] been a frequent offense of those who commit the great sin that lies just beyond the sin of presumption. (Psa. 19:13; 2 Sam. 6:6, 7.) THE TEST IS ON; take heed! take heed!

The half tribe of Ephraim represents the Great Company, mainly to be found in the Nominal Church. They are more or less intoxicated with error (Isa. 28:1, 7), they fear to let go of their idols of creeds and catechisms (Hos. 4:17), they are, in a way, half-baked Christians, not wholly devoted to the Lord—“Ephraim is a cake not turned.” (Hos. 7:8.) From first to last the prophecy of Hosea is eloquent with Jehovah's pleadings to the Great Company class not to miss the great prize of Immortality.

7:9. After this, I beheld, and lo, a great multitude.—When the Apostle tells us in 2 John 8, “Look to yourselves that ye lose not those things which we have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward,” he is teaching that a Heavenly reward may be gained that is not as full as if a course more pleasing to the Heavenly Father is pursued.

Instead of teaching that the saved of our race will all be saved to the same thing, the Scriptures show two degrees or kinds of Heavenly salvation, and two degrees or kinds of earthly salvation. In the second chapter of Genesis the stream which went forth from the Garden of Eden was divided into four parts. This is a Scriptural recognition of the fact that from Adam, the original fountain of life, will flow four streams: The Little Flock, who are to sit down with Christ in His Throne; the Great Company, who are to stand before the Throne, having the palms of martyrdom but without the crowns of glory; the Ancient Worthies, the Jewish fathers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Daniel, etc., who are to be made princes in all the earth; and the world of mankind, who will constitute the subjects of the Kingdom over which the Ancient Worthies will rule. The same lesson is taught in the division of the Levites into four camps, each located on a different side of the Tabernacle. (Num. 3:15; F. 128, 129.) It is also taught in the Apostle's statement in 2 Tim. 2:20, that in God's great House there will ultimately be found four classes of vessels to His praise.

The question for the saints is not as to which of the earthly classes may ultimately include them, for they have given up their earthly hopes in exchange for Heavenly hopes. The question is whether they shall be wise virgins, faithful students of the Word, building with the gold, silver and precious stones of Divine Truth instead of foolish virgins (pure of heart) (Matt. 25:2; C. 91; F. 75) who build faith structures with the wood, hay and stubble of human tradition. The Apostle says the fiery trials of life will [pg 135] try every man's work so as by fire, and intimates that those who do not build wisely shall suffer loss—not go into eternal torment, but fail to gain the great reward which otherwise might be theirs. (1 Cor. 3:15; T. 69.) The question is whether as branches in Christ the Vine, to go onward to fruit-bearing, or as other branches, to be principally devoted to leaves (professions), or tendrils (feelers after earthly honors and emoluments). (John 15:2; F. 78, 170.) Christ said of a similar class in His day, “How can ye believe [effectively] which receive honor one of another, and seek not the praise which cometh from God only!” The question is whether we are to be termed children of disobedience (Col. 3:6; Z. '99-140) because, though God's children, we have failed to mortify, or put to death, our earthly and sinful tendencies; whether we are sinners against the covenant we have made with God to lay down our lives in His service (Psa. 1:1; Z. '00-281), whether, like Lot's wife, we look back to the earthly good things we have given up (Gen. 19:26; C. 194), or whether we retain the singleness of heart and purpose, without which the prize of the High Calling cannot be gained.

The question is whether, as babes in Christ, we shall wink at the unscriptural divisions of God's people, into followers of Paul or Apollos, Cephas or Luther, Calvin or Wesley (1 Cor. 3:4; D. 17); whether, like Rahab, we shall be in the citadel of error when it falls, or like Joshua who caused it to fall (Josh. 6:25; Z. '07-267); whether, like the fitches and cummin, we shall easily divest ourselves of the entangling associations of life, represented by the pods from which the fitches and cummin are so easily shaken, or whether we shall be like the “bread-corn” which requires a vast amount of threshing before it will let go of the close-clinging chaff. (Isa. 28:27; Z. '84-1-4.) The question is whether, like the rejected members of Gideon's army, we shall forget our mission, and bury our heads in the waters of truth; or whether, with equal appreciation of its message, we shall remember why the Lord gave it to us, and shall drink of it, with our eyes out over the horizon, seeking to serve, to spend and be spent in the Master's service. (Judg. 7:6; Z. '07-331.) The question is whether, like Caleb and Joshua, we shall retain our confidence in Him who has called us, and bring back true reports of the land we hope ere long to possess, or, whether we shall be of the larger company that through fear and faint-heartedness never enter in. (Num. 13:31; Z. '07-251.) Shall we rejoice to lay down our lives for the Lord's brethren, or shall we, through fear of this sacrificial death, be all our lifetime subject to bondage? (Heb. 2:15; [pg 136] T. 70, 71.) The question is whether we shall be like the servant who hid his Lord's talent in the earth (in earthly enjoyments and pursuits) (Matt. 25:24; Z. '01-61; Z. '06-318), whether we shall be double minded, having some idea of attaining heavenly things and some idea of getting all we can of earthly things (Jas. 1:8; Z. '07-316), whether, like Obadiah, we are merely friendly toward the Truth and those who stand for the Truth, but conceal our interest for fear of the consequences to ourselves and our families.—1 Ki. 18:3; Z. '04-221.

If, in these tests of faith and character, we come off victorious in the Lord's sight, we shall not need to be of those who wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb, in the great tribulation with which this Age will close, but shall keep our robes unspotted so that they will not need such a general cleansing. If we have fled to the Lord before the winter time of His disfavor has come upon the man-made systems of our day, we shall be spared the rigors of the flight, of which He said, “Pray that your flight be not in the winter [of 1917-1918 (?)]” (Matt. 20:10; D. 578), and we shall be spared, too, the bitter disappointment of saying at that time, “The Harvest [the time of special favor] is past, the summer is ended and we are not saved” [not saved with the chiefest salvation, with the salvation to which we aspired]. (Jer. 8:20; D. 578.) In the time of Zion's travail these children of God will all be delivered. (Isa. 66:8; Z. '94-135.) Let us be glad of our hope that we shall be of the Man-child delivered before that travail comes. Let us hope we may not be of the lambs (Isa. 34:6; D. 17) or the goats found together in the nominal sheepfolds when the time has come to wind up present ecclesiastical systems. All down the Age, some of God's children have been “turned over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord” (1 Cor. 5:5; T. 69, 71), because they have not lived up to their covenants. The sufferings of the scapegoat class, turned into the wilderness, dying of thirst, hunger, snake-bites, thorns, briars, burrs, fleas or attacks of wild animals, were far greater than those of the Lord's goat, killed sacrificially. (Lev. 16:7-10; T. 60.) Those who withhold from the Lord what they have promised Him suffer far more than those who fight manfully the good fight of faith and lay hold with both hands on the hope set before us.

The Great Company class will say “Alleluia” as soon as they perceive that the Church is complete. (Rev. 19:1; A. 240; F. 128.) But like Rebecca's damsels of old, they must go the same long journey as the Bride class, only to [pg 137] be received as servants in the end. (Gen. 24:61; Psa. 45:14; F. 121, 171.) Shall we enter fully into our inheritance now, while the door is still open to do and dare in the Master's Cause; or shall we be like the class mentioned in Ezekiel 44 that finds the door shut because the start is made too late, and must know that forever the Heavenly Priesthood, the prize of the High Calling, is closed, and that the most that can be then attained is the place as keepers or servants in the Temple? (Ezek. 44:1-14; Z. '05-269.) Let us rejoice if we are heirs of salvation at all; but let us resolve, by God's grace, that we shall, in the words of our text, “Look to ourselves, that we lose not those things that we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward”—all that the Father is pleased to give to those who love Him supremely.

“What we see going on about us seems natural to our minds. The way in which other people spend time and money is a temptation to the Lord's people which must be steadfastly resisted. For us to do what others do, and to devote to the Lord's service only what the world considers a reasonable day's work, would not be fulfilling our Covenant of Sacrifice at all. Those who seek merely to do right, and to put in eight hours or so a day faithfully, after the manner of the world, will be judged from this standpoint; and they will merely obtain a place in the Great Company. They are not fulfilling the conditions of the Covenant of Sacrifice.”—Z. '14-71.

“We do not think we should understand the Scriptures to teach that the Great Company will attain to the same degree of spiritual development as the Little Flock. They fail to display that love and zeal which the Lord has set as the mark for participation in the Royal Priesthood.” (Z. '14-68.) “In determining to sacrifice themselves piecemeal when and how they and their friends might please, is the primary mistake.” (Z. '96-191.) “While the living members of the Bride are being separated from others by the Truth, the ears of this class are dull of hearing and they are slow to believe and slow to act.” (A. 240.) “In one parable the Lord styles this class a wicked and slothful servant. He does not deny him the honor of being a servant, He does not charge him with becoming an enemy. He is counted wicked and slothful because, having undertaken certain responsibilities as a servant, he has failed to manifest the proper spirit of earnest devotion.”—Z. '07-315.

Which no man could number.“Whose number no man is able to tell (i. e., it is not a foreordained or fixed number—none were called to be of this company.)”—Rev. 5:11.

[pg 138]

Of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues.“As the number of the Bride of Christ is to be 144,000, it would be reasonable to think that each number of this class may have 144,000 to look after, as 144,000 x 144,000 equals 20,736,000,000 (twenty billions seven hundred and thirty-six millions), evidently just about the right number to be cared for—144,000 would be quite a host for each individual of the Bride class to look after. So we can see the necessity for the work of the Great Company.”Question Meeting.

Stood before the Throne.—Not in the Throne, as in the case of the Bride. (A. 214.) “The Scriptures inform us that as that which is begotten of the flesh is flesh, so that which is begotten of the Spirit is spirit. That is to say, that whoever has been begotten of the Holy Spirit has experienced a change of nature so radical that it would be impossible for him to share a resurrection with the world on the human plane.”—Z. '07-316.

And before the Lamb.“Since their hearts are loyal to the Redeemer, and since they maintain their faith in the precious blood and hold fast and do not deny the same, therefore the Lord Jesus, the Advocate, the Captain of our Salvation, who leads the Very Elect to glory through the steps of willing sacrifice, will lead these to a spiritual blessing—to perfection on a lower plane of spirit-being—because they have trusted in Him and have not denied His name or His work.”—F. 169.

Clothed with white robes.“They let slip their opportunity for becoming members of the Bride; but they are, nevertheless, virgins, pure in their heart-intentions.”—F. 127; Rev. 7:14.

And palms in their hands.“The palm is especially the symbol of martyrdom. The palm of martyrdom has become in the language of the Church, a classical and sacramental expression. In the diptychs, the acts of the martyrs, and the martyrologies, we read, ‘He has received the palm of martyrdom’—he has been crowned with the palm of the martyrs.” (McC.) Many of the martyrs of the Dark Ages were undoubtedly of the Great Company.

7:10. And [cried] THEY CRY with a loud voice.—In grand and happy chorus of exultant praise and thanksgiving over their final deliverance.—Rev. 19:1-3.

Saying, Salvation.—Our glorious and unmerited boon of life on so high a plane.

To our God.—Be ascribed to Him as the Author.—Psa. 3:8.

[Which sitteth] upon the Throne.—Jehovah.—Rev. 4:2; 5:13.

[pg 139]

And unto the Lamb.—The Tower of the Flock, Christ as the instrument of salvation.—Micah 4:8.

7:11. And all the angels.—The beautiful sons of the morning who shouted for joy in the dawn of earth's creative week 48,000 years ago.—Job 38:7; Lu. 2:9-14; Matt. 4:11; 28:2; F. 51.

Stood round about the Throne.—With eager joy welcoming this new addition to the family of God.

And about the elders.—The prophecies, many of which have pointed out this second and greater company. But notice the exquisite nicety of the Word of God and the Wisdom of our Father! Not all the elders do mention the Great Company, and therefore the designation “four and twenty,” in this instance, is omitted.

And the four beasts.—Justice, Power, Love and Wisdom.

And fell before the Throne on their faces.—No wonder such humble characters “always behold the face of the Father.”—Matt. 18:10.

And worshipped God.—There is no self-seeking among the angels. When an angel appeared to Manoah and his wife, and Manoah sought to know his name, he left an everlasting lesson in his reply, “Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?”—Judges 13:2-23.

7:12. Saying, Amen.—So be it! We are not at all jealous. We are delighted to have these new helpers in the Heavenly realm.

Blessing.—The praises and blessings of all who owe their existence to His goodness.

And wisdom.—To continually and forever unfold some new and wonderful features of goodness and grace towards the work of His hands.

And thanksgiving.—From “every creature which is in Heaven and on earth.”—Rev. 5:13.

And honor.—To the Name so long and so unjustly and foully dishonored, by the eternal torment theory.

And power.—Restrained for thousands of years, but now about to be exercised in man's behalf.—Psa. 76:10.

And might.—The ability to accomplish fully all His purposes.—Isa. 55:11.

Be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.—Be ascribed to Jehovah for eternity.—Rev. 5:13,14.

7:13. And one of the elders.—The prophecy of Isaiah 1:10-20.

Answered, saying unto me.—Under symbolism of Sodom because of their identification with spiritual Sodom's work and hopes.—Rev. 11:8.

What are these which are arrayed in white robes.—Who are these of whom it is said, “Your hands are full of blood. [pg 140] Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings before mine eyes,” etc.?—Isa. 1:15, 16; Rev. 7:9.

And whence came they.—Why are they figuratively represented as stained with blood?

7:14. And I said unto him, [Sir,] MY LORD, thou knowest.—It is doubtless contained in your prophecy.

And he said unto me.—In Isa. 34:5, 6, “My sword shall be bathed in Heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of My curse, to judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs.”—D. 17.

These are they which came out of great tribulation.“ ‘The tribulation, the great one’—the twofold article being specially emphatic. See Rev. 3:10; 6:17; Matt. 24:21.” (Cook.) “They are those,” he said, “who have just passed through the great distress.” (Weym.) “The slaughter of this day of vengeance is said to be of the ‘lambs and goats.’ (Isa. 34:6.) The lambs would represent the tribulation saints.” (D. 17.) “The Great Company will pass through a great tribulation, with a view to effecting in them a proper penitence for sin and a proper appreciation of the Divine standard of truth and righteousness. This class, particularly large in the present day, will be delivered over to the Adversary—to suffer in a Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation—the great time of trouble with which this Age shall end. Such of them as fail to respond to those tribulations and to seek the Lord will die the Second Death, but such as respond faithfully will be counted as overcomers.” (Z. '07-232.)

“Many such are now being closely bound in with the various bundles of tares for the burning; and not until the fiery trouble of the latter end of the Harvest period shall burn the binding cords of Babylon's bondage shall these be able to make their escape—‘saved so as by fire.’ They must see the utter wreck of Great Babylon and receive some measure of her plagues.” (C. 364.) “Sad disappointments attach to the experiences of this company: it is because they fear the reproaches of Christ that they shirk present privileges and opportunities for walking with Him in white in the ‘sufferings of this present time:’ behold, they not only miss the present joy and rejoicing of those who are faithful, but eventually they must come through still greater sufferings, if they would attain even to a lower place. Although loving the Lord and His people, they are somewhat ashamed of them and hide, as it were, their faces from them, in the presence of the worldly: and behold the Master at His Coming for His ‘Bride’ cannot confess their names in the presence of the [pg 141] Father and the holy angels.” (Z. '97-162.) “These will be helped out of Babylon when she is falling, and will flee in the winter-time, saying in the words of the Prophet, ‘The Harvest is past, the Summer is ended [Winter has come], and we are not saved.’ (Jer. 8:20.)” (D. 578.) “These, surely, we cannot expect to see shielded from the very trouble which the Lord declares they need; and which in special mercy He will inflict for their perfecting.”—Z. '96-191.

And have washed their robes.—Spotted and soiled by contact with the world.—Z. '97-161.

And made them white in the blood of the Lamb.“Not that their sufferings will wash their robes, but that in their sufferings they will learn to appreciate as never before their relationship to the Lamb of God and to His atoning merit, and by faith will be permitted to apply the same to their own cleansing.”—Z. '07-233; 1 John 1:7.

7:15. Therefore.—Because, in the final test, they suffered martyrdom and cleansed their robes rather than deny the Lord.

Are they before the Throne of God.“With the world in the next Age, the Lord's power will be represented through the Great Company class, under the Bride. They will be a great police force, looking out for the whole people. They will have enough to do; for God has guaranteed that ‘nothing shall hurt or offend in all His holy Mountain’—Kingdom (Isa. 11:9). That will mean a careful supervision. Yes, indeed! How will they hinder wrong-doing? If a person were about to speak blasphemy or slander, the tongue might be instantly paralyzed. Very easy! A policeman right on the spot!—not waiting until the offender had done the mischief and then punishing him, but fixing him so that he will not get the chance to do it, and punishing him for trying to do so.”Question Meeting.

And serve Him day and night in His Temple.“Although they can never be the living Temple of which Christ is the Head (Rev. 3:12; 11:1), we are told they shall be servants in that Temple; and although they shall never sit in the Throne, they are highly privileged to serve ‘before the Throne.’ Grand and glorious privileges will be theirs.”—Z. '97-162; Rev. 22:3.

And He that sitteth on the Throne.—Jehovah.

[Shall dwell among] KNOWETH them.—To be known of the Lord is to be the sure recipient of blessings. Not to be known or recognized of Him is the greatest of all calamities. God keeps a record of His friends (Mal. 3:16) but no record of His enemies; and therein lies their ruin. “I never knew you; depart from Me.”—Matt. 7:23.

[pg 142]

7:16. They shall NOT hunger [no more].—Poor things, how hungry they have been! How the light has shone in their poor, hunted, starved faces, as they have listened to Pastor Russell, by the tens of thousands; and yet, when the lecture was over, they have wearily gone back to the “husks,” from a sense of duty to the memory of some man, dead for hundreds of years, who would, if alive today, be a follower of the Reformer, Charles T. Russell, because he followed Christ.

Neither thirst any more.“The waters of Truth shall no longer be brackish with error, being healed at the very spring by a clearer understanding of the Word of God.”—B. 266.

Neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.—During the Harvest time the Lord's people, illuminated with the light of Present Truth, have been shining forth, not with any brilliancy of their own, but with much of the coming splendor of the “Sun of Righteousness.” Coming in contact with them, it has been inevitable that the Great Company class should frequently be singed, unable to answer the Truth, and should feel considerable heat. Their condition has been aptly described by the Prophet, “It shall be a vexation only to understand the report.” (Isa. 28:19.) “As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.”—Amos 5:19.

7:17. For the Lamb.—Jesus Christ, their eternal Friend—“The same yesterday, today, and forever.”—Heb. 13:8.

Which is in the midst of the Throne.—Authority, rulership.—A. 92; Rev. 5:6.

Shall feed them.—Be their shepherd. (John 10:1-28; 21:16.) They will not have immortality. Their lives will always require to be sustained, as in the case of the angels.

And shall lead them unto [living] fountains of waters OF LIFE.—They will not have within them the “well of water springing up unto everlasting life,” as will the Bride class, but may freely take of the “Water of life” which flows forth from the united well-springs of the Fountain and its 144,000 associates.—John 4:14; Rev. 22:1, 17; Ezekiel 47:1-5.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.—There will be tears at first that will require wiping away, when they see all they have missed. Nevertheless, “With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought into the King's Palace.” (Psa. 45:15.) And it is a good place; there we leave them, to bask in the sunlight of His presence forevermore. We shall know them all, then, even as we shall be known by them.—1 Cor. 13:12.

[pg 143]

Revelation 8—Four Preliminary Reformations

8:1. And when He.—The Lord Jesus, whose privilege it is to open them all.—Rev. 6:1.

Had opened the seventh seal.“The seal of the living God.” (Rev. 7:2.) The opening of the seventh seal is progressive. The opening and unfolding of the Truth goes on as the saints are sealed. By the time the saints are all sealed in their hearts and minds with the Present Truth, the deepest features of the Truth itself will have been disclosed. “The time will undoubtedly come in the near future when the number of the Elect will be complete. Then only such vacancies as might still occur by some falling out would remain.” (Z. '14-68.) “God's people down through this Gospel age have been privileged to know something of the ‘Secret of the Lord’—the Divine Plan. But not until the last seal is broken, does the scroll fly wide open, permitting the ‘Mystery of God’ to be fully disclosed; as it is written: ‘In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the Mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the Prophets.’ (Rev. 5:1; 10:7.)”—Z. '97-257.

There was silence.“Assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the Lord our God hath put us to silence.” (Jer. 8:14.) “They (the clergy) somehow realize that neither reason nor Scripture supports their false doctrines, and that the wisest method is to keep silent, in the shadow of old superstitions and under the protection of so-called Christian governments.”—C. 158.

In heaven.—In the nominal ecclesiastical heavens.

About the space of half an hour.—On the scale of a year for a day this would mean but a week, and indicates that, as soon as the full number to complete the Body of Christ have been sealed with the Present Truth, persecution in a public way, and on an unprecedented scale, may be expected to begin almost immediately. (This verse should properly be included in Chapter 7.)

8:2. And I saw.—As the next vision of the grand series. Something never seen until the seventh seal is broken and the Mystery of God finished.

The seven angels.—Instrumentalities suitable for the work to be performed.

[pg 144]

Which stood before God.—Featuring the Reformation.

And to them were given seven trumpets.—Bugles with which to blow bugle-blasts of liberty from the oppressions of the papacy, leading up to and including the final blast of “Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”—Lev. 25:10.

8:3. And another angel.—Not the “voice of the Lord,” mentioned in the preceding chapter, but the corporate body—the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, which Pastor Russell formed to finish his work. This verse shows that, though Pastor Russell has passed beyond the veil, he is still managing every feature of the Harvest work. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is the greatest corporation in the world, because from the time of its organization until now the Lord has used it as His channel through which to make known the Glad Tidings.”-Z. '17-22; Rev. 14:18; 19:17.

Came and stood.—Waited before the Lord, after the Pastor's death, ready to do the Master's will.

At the altar.—The Brazen Altar, the place of sacrifice. (Ex. 38:1-7; Lev. 16:12, 13.) The fire for the sacrifice at the Golden Altar was obtained here and then carried to the Golden Altar where the incense was crumbled in it.

Having a golden censer.—Censers, or fire-pans, were of two forms, with handles and without. In this case the kind with the handle, used only on the Day of Atonement, is the one referred to. The incense was burnt while the high priest held the censer in his hand. Thus, in this prophecy, the great antitypical High Priest identifies Himself with the work of the Society, and places in its care—holds in His hand—the fire-pans, the things that lead us to the place where we sacrifice ourselves. Thus seen, the censer represents teachings, understandings of the Word; for it is our understanding of the Word which leads us to offer up all we have in the Lord's service.—Num. 16:6, 7.

And there was given unto him much incense.—The heart's best endeavors of the faithful fellow-members of the Body.

That he should offer it.—To Jehovah, through the Son.—Rev. 5:8.

With the prayers of all saints.—The Society is the only entity in the world answering to this description. It alone has offered on its behalf the prayers of all the saints, in harmony with the clause of the Vow which reads, “Daily will I remember at the Throne of heavenly grace the general interests of the Harvest work—the dear co-laborers at the Brooklyn Tabernacle and Bethel, and everywhere.”

Upon the golden altar [which was] before the Throne.—The [pg 145] offerings take place “before the Throne,” on this side the veil.—Rev. 1:4; 5:6; Ex. 30:1-10.

8:4. And the smoke.—The fragrant, sweet perfume.

Of the incense.—Life's dearest ties, sacrificed in the Master's cause.

Which came with the prayers of the saints.—In harmony with the Vow of faithfulness.—Psa. 141:2; Luke 1:10; Acts 10:4.

Ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.“An odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.”—Phil. 4:18.

8:5. And the angel.The Watch Tower Society through its proper representatives.

Took the censer.—The Seventh Volume of Studies in the Scriptures, Divinely provided.

And filled it with fire of the altar.—Coals from the altar signify burning truths; and such the Lord's prophecies always are, when rightly understood.—Isa. 6:5-8. This is a plain intimation of God's purpose to use the Society in further unfoldings of His Truth as it becomes due. “We believe that the Lord will not scatter, but will ‘turn His hand [power] upon the little ones,’ in this dark hour of trial (Zech. 13:7).”—Z. '17-30.

And cast it.—Greek, “Deliberately hurled it.”

Into the earth.—Among order-loving people.—Ezek. 10:2; Luke 12:49.

And there were [voices and] thunderings.—Seven Volumes of Scripture Studies,” this one being the last of the series. (Rev. 10:3, 4.) Thunders are symbolical of controversy, and this volume may cause some. Particularly is it to be expected that the clergy will thunder against whatever Truth it contains. Thunder is caused by the flashing of lightning through the heavens, opening them up, as it were. Immediately after the flash they come together with an angry roar. Thunder, of itself, never does anybody any harm.—Rev. 16:18.

And voices.“These voices have been circulated here and there throughout the whole civilized world, not by worldly agents, not through book-sellers, but by those who have themselves been blessed by the light, and who desire to render a service to the Lord and to the Truth, and to lay down their lives for the brethren by taking to them the glorious and encouraging message now due to the Lord's people.” (Z. '02-118.) Voices also symbolize discussion, contention.

And lightnings.—See Rev. 4:5; 11:19; 16:18.

And an earthquake.“The term earthquake is used to symbolically represent revolution—it is in this sense of [pg 146] the word that it is used throughout the Book of Revelation. What we are to look for then will be a great revolution, the great symbolic earthquake, the great shaking of the present institutions which will overthrow everything that is not of the Lord's establishment and approval. Perhaps the symbolical earthquake will be accompanied by a literal one.”—B. S. M.

8:6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets.“We, in common with almost all expositors, recognize that the seven trumpets of Revelation are symbolical and not literal.”—Z. '02-116; Josh. 6:4.

Prepared themselves to sound.“Christian people in general understand that five of these trumpets have already ‘sounded’ and are in the past—we would say six. It is admitted that those that have already ‘sounded’ have not been literal blasts of a bugle on the air. But literal things are so much more easily received by the natural man that many advanced Christians, Bible students and ministers, are really expecting some day to hear what is sometimes denominated ‘Gabriel's horn,’ shrill enough and loud enough to awaken the dead.” (Z. '02-116.) As thoughtful Christians we should expect that, as this period is that in which the great sects have risen, its history should pay particular attention to them, and thus we find. The Reformation particularly affected “three parts” of the papal dominion, Germany, England and France.—Rev. 8:7-10.

8:7. And the first [angel] sounded.—The movement began, which later developed into the Lutheran General Synod, Lutheran United Synod South, Lutheran General Council, Lutheran Synodical Conference, United Norwegian Lutheran Synod, Ohio Independent Lutheran Synod, Buffalo Lutheran Synod, Hauge's Lutheran Synod, Eleisen's Lutheran Synod, Norwegian Lutheran Synod, Danish in America Lutheran Synod, Icelandic Lutheran Synod, Immanuel Lutheran Synod, Suomai Finnish Lutheran Synod, Finnish National Synod, Finnish Apostolic Synod, Norwegian Free Lutheran Synod, Danish United Lutheran Synod, Church of the Lutheran Brethren and Independent Lutheran Congregations.—1 Cor. 3:3.

And there followed hail.—Sharp, cutting, hard truth, contained in Luther's 95 theses nailed on the church door at Wittenberg.

And fire.—Destructive judgments upon the papacy. Luther sized up the Papal system of “Heads, I win; and tails, you lose” in a few words when he said, “The Romanists have with great dexterity built themselves about with three walls, which have hitherto protected them against reform. In the first place, when the temporal power has pressed [pg 147] them hard, they have affirmed and maintained that the temporal power has no jurisdiction over them—that on the contrary, the spiritual is above the temporal. Secondly, when it is proposed to admonish them from the Holy Scriptures they said, ‘It beseems no one but the pope to interpret the Scriptures,’ and thirdly, when they were threatened with a council, they invented the idea that no one but the pope can call a council.”

Mingled with blood.—Blood is a symbol of death-dealing doctrine, and this teaches that Luther did not get entirely free from error. The following illustrates this point: “There gradually developed a group of radicals who were convinced that Luther had not the courage of his convictions. They proposed to abolish the idolatry of the Mass and all other outward signs of what they deemed the old superstitions. Luther's colleague at Wittenberg, Carlstadt, began denouncing the monastic life, the celibacy of the clergy, the veneration of images; and before the end of 1521 we find the first characteristic outward symptoms of Protestantism. In January 1522, Carlstadt induced the authorities of Wittenberg to publish the first evangelical church ordinance. The service of the Mass was modified, and the laity were to receive the elements in both kinds. Reminders of the old religious usages were to be done away with, and the fast-days were to be no longer observed. These measures led Luther to return to Wittenberg in March, 1522, where he preached a series of sermons attacking the impatience of the radical party. In 1525 the conservative party, which had from the first feared that Luther's teaching would result in sedition, received a new and terrible proof, as it seemed to them, of the noxious influence of the evangelical preachers.

“The peasant movements which had caused so much anxiety at the diet of Augsburg in 1518, culminated in the Peasant Revolt in which the common man, both in country and town, rose in the name of God's justice to avenge long-standing wrongs and establish his rights. Luther was by no means directly responsible for the civil war which followed, but he had certainly contributed to stir up the ancient discontent. He had asserted that, owing to the habit of foreclosing small mortgages, ‘Any one with a hundred gulden could gobble up a peasant a year.’ The German feudal lords he pronounced hangmen, who knew only how to swindle the poor man. Yet in spite of this harsh talk about princes, Luther relied upon them to forward the reforms in which he was interested. The peasants demanded that the gospel should be taught them as a guide in life, and that each community should be [pg 148] permitted to choose its pastor and depose him if he conducted himself improperly. More radical demands came from the working classes in the towns. The articles of Heilbronn demanded that the property of the Church should be confiscated and used for the community; clergy and nobility alike were to be deprived of all their privileges, so that they could no longer oppress the poor man. The more violent leaders renewed the old cry that the parsons must be slain. Hundreds of castles and monasteries were destroyed by the frantic peasantry, and some of the nobles were murdered with shocking cruelty. Luther, who believed that the peasants were trying to cloak their dreadful sins with excuses from the gospel, exhorted the government to put down the insurrection. ‘Have no pity on the poor folk; stab, smite, throttle, who can.’ The German rulers took Luther's advice with terrible literalness, and avenged themselves upon the peasants, whose lot was apparently worse afterwards than before.”—Brit.

And they were cast upon the earth AND THE THIRD PART OF THE EARTH WAS BURNED UP.—Luther's teaching had the effect of transforming the order-loving German people into anarchists.

And the third part.—The German part.

Of trees.—Trees are symbols of saints. “St. Paul gives us the picture of a tree, the roots of which push down deep into the knowledge of the Divine Plan, while the tree of character grows higher and higher, developing and maturing the rich fruits of the Holy Spirit of God; for instruction is a form of construction.”—Z. '14-312; Isa. 61:3.

Was burnt up.—Hindered from standing alone, and absorbed into the Lutheran system.

And all green grass.—Natural men of independent thought.—Isa. 40:6, 7.

Was burnt up.—Similarly absorbed into the Lutheran system, a welcome substitute for papacy's intolerable yoke.

8:8. And the second [angel] sounded.—The Anglican church movement began.

And as it were a great mountain.—England in the time of Henry VIII. Mountains symbolize kingdoms.—Dan. 2:35; Jer. 51:25.

Burning with fire.—Aflame with another great movement destructive to the papacy.

Was cast into the sea.—Was suddenly thrown into a condition of isolation from the papacy—no longer placed under religious restraint to it.

And the third part of the sea.—The English part.

Became blood.—The much-married Henry VIII., founder [pg 149] of the Anglican Church, and the second great sect-founder, has some slight blemishes on his escutcheon also. “Henry VIII. himself stoutly maintained the headship of the pope, and as is well known, after examining the arguments of Luther, published his defence of the Seven Sacraments in 1521, which won for him from the pope the glorious title of ‘Defender of the faith.’ By 1527 the king had become hopeless of having a male heir by Catherine. He was tired of her, and in love with the black-eyed Anne Boleyn, who refused to be his mistress. The king's agents secured the opinion of a number of prominent universities that his marriage was void, and an assembly of notables, which he summoned in June 1530, warned the pope of the dangers involved in leaving the royal succession in uncertainty. Henry's next move was to bring a charge against the clergy, accusing them of having violated the ancient laws of praemunire in submitting to the authority of papal legates (although he himself had ratified the appointment of Wolsey as legate a latere). The clergy of the province of Canterbury were fined 100,000 pounds and compelled to declare the king their singular protector and only supreme lord, and, as far as that is permitted by the law of Christ, the supreme head of the Church and of the clergy.

“The following year, 1532, an obedient parliament presented a petition to the king (which had been most carefully elaborated by the king's own advisers) containing twelve charges against the bishops. For the remedy of these abuses parliament turned to the king ‘in whom and by whom the only and sole redress, reformation and remedy herein absolutely rests and remains.’ [These charges were answered by the clergy, but the answer did not suit the king so on the 15th of May, 1532.] The king's most humble subjects, daily orators and bedesmen of the clergy of England, in view of his goodness and fervent Christian zeal and his learning far exceeding that of all other kings that they have read of, agree never to assemble in convocation except at the king's summons, and to enact and promulgate no constitution or ordinances except they receive the royal assent and authority. [Then Henry divorced Catherine and married Anne Boleyn and the English Reformation was officially launched.] The king had now clarified the ancient laws of the realm to his satisfaction, and could proceed to seize such portions of the Church's possessions as he deemed superfluous for the maintenance of religion. [On the 30th of July, 1540, three Lutheran clergymen were burned and three Roman Catholics beheaded, the latter for denying the king's spiritual supremacy. The king's ardent desires that diversities of minds and opinions [pg 150] should be done away with and unity be ‘charitably established’ was further promoted by publishing in 1543 A Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for any Christian Man, set forth by the King's Majesty of England, in which the tenets of mediaeval theology, except for denial of the supremacy of the bishop of Rome and the unmistakable assertion of the supremacy of the king, were once more restated. The First Prayer Book of Edward VI was issued in 1549 and was followed in 1552 by the Second Prayer Book and] ‘The foundations of the Anglican church were laid.’—Brit.

8:9. And the third part.—The English part.

Of the creatures.—The clergy “apostolically” of the Church of Rome, but actually doing business under Henry VIII. Be it noted that they were not counted worthy of being called “men.”

Which were in the sea.—No longer under religious restraint to the papacy.

And had life.—The apostolic succession, from the line of popes, etc., described in Rev. 2:13 comments.

Died.—Were excommunicated by the pope, lost their “apostolic (?) succession.”

And the third part.—The English part.

Of the ships.—Independent bodies of Christian worshippers called Lollards, followers of Wycliffe.—Mark 4:36; 6:48-51; John 6:21.

Were destroyed.—Compelled to acknowledge Henry VIII as head of the Church or lose their lives. “Thus, when the English Reformation of the 16th century commenced, it derived a new impulse from the earlier Lollard movement which it was destined to absorb into itself.”—McC.

8:10. And the third angel sounded.—The Calvinistic movement began, which later developed into the Northern Presbyterian Church, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Welsh Calvinistic Church, United Presbyterian Church, Southern Presbyterian Church, Associate Presbyterian Church, Associate Reformed Southern Presbyterian Church, Reformed Synod Presbyterian Church, Reformed General Synod Presbyterian Church, Reformed Covenanted Presbyterian Church, Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States and Canada, Dutch Reformed Church, German Reformed Church, Christian Reformed Church, Hungarian Reformed Church, and Congregational Church.—1 Cor. 3:3.

And there fell a great star from heaven.—John Calvin tore a large-sized hole in the Catholic firmament when he started the manufacture of a firmament of his own.

Burning as it were a lamp.—The precipitation of the Calvinistic movement in France and Switzerland was as sudden as the Anglican movement had been in England or the [pg 151] Lutheran movement in Germany. In 1533 Francis I, King of France, “anxious to conciliate both German Protestants and anti-papal England, invited some of the reformers to preach in the Louvre,” as an offset to a fierce attack that had but lately been made upon them, caused by the mutilation of a statue of the Virgin. On the festival of All Saints, Cop, the rector of the University of Paris, was to deliver the address, but Jean Cauvin (Calvin) persuaded the rector to read an address which he had written. It was a defence of the new evangelical views and so aroused the Sorbonne that Calvin and Cop were both obliged to flee from Paris. Calvin went to Basle, Switzerland, and in 1536 wrote and published the first great textbook of Protestant theology, Institutes of the Christian Religion. He did his best, but his best was not very good.

And it fell upon the third part.—The French part.

Of the rivers.—Channels of religious instruction.

And upon the fountains of waters.—The Word of God. Although Calvin misunderstood and misapplied them, yet he constantly appealed to the Scriptures as the support for his theories.

8:11. And the name of the star.—Calvin is entitled to the honor of having at one time been a papal star. “He was from the first educated for the Church, and before he was twelve years old was presented to a benefice in the Cathedral of Noyon. Six years after this he was appointed to a cure of souls at Montville, and thus, although not yet twenty, and not even in the minor orders, he was enjoying the titles and revenues of a cure.”—McC.

Is called Wormwood.—What an ideal name for the doctrine which has caused more bitterness against God than any other doctrine ever taught, and for the man who roasted Servetus at the stake.

And the third part of the waters.—Many portions of the Scriptures, misunderstood, misconstrued and misapplied.

Became.—Were made to appear in the eyes of many.

Wormwood.—Bitter as gall. “None now would justify Calvin's course in sentencing Servetus to be burned. Others burned at the stake usually had the fuel piled at their feet. The flames were inhaled with the smoke, and the victim was speedily unconscious to suffering. For Servetus Satanic ingenuity arranged the burning fagots at a distance. He literally roasted alive, in horrible torture, nearly five hours—in the name of God, of Jesus, of Righteousness, Truth, Justice, Love, Christianity and Civilization.” (P. D.)—Jer. 9:15; 23:15; 9-40; Deut. 29:18.

And many men died of the waters.—Lost their manhood, reason and common sense by becoming Calvinists.

[pg 152]

Because they were made bitter.—Because the Scriptures were made to appear to teach what actually they do not. “It seems remarkable that only now are we realizing that a man so deficient in the spirit of his Master as to murder his brother, should not be an accepted teacher of the Word of God and its spirit. Only now are Bible students realizing that Brother Calvin was not the inventor of the doctrine of election, but merely of the doctrine that all the non-elect would suffer everlastingly. Now we see that the terms, ‘the elect,’ ‘the very elect,’ are Bible terms! and that those who make their calling and election sure, will be glorified in the First Resurrection. Now we see that the Elect will be associated with Jesus in His Kingdom, which will bless the non-elect—‘all the families of the Earth.’ ”—P. D.

8:12. And the fourth angel sounded.—The Baptist sectarian movement began, resulting in Baptist Churches North, Baptist Churches South, Baptist Churches Colored, Seventh-Day Baptists, General Baptists, Separate Baptists, United Baptists, Baptist Church of Christ, Primitive Baptist Church, Primitive Colored Baptist Church, Old Two Seed in the Spirit Predestinarian Baptist Church, Church of God and Saints of Christ, Mennonites, Six Principle Baptist Church, Free Baptist Church, Freewill Baptist Church—not forgetting the Selfwill Baptist Church, which also has a large membership, but is not listed.—1 Cor. 3:3.

From an examination of history “It does not appear that the Baptists were formed into any stability (as a sect) until the time of Menno, about the year 1536. About 1644 they began to make a considerable figure in England, and spread themselves into several separate congregations. They separated from the Independents about the year 1638, and set up for themselves under the pastoral care of Mr. Jesse; and, having renounced their former baptism, they sent over one of their number to be immersed by one of the Dutch Anabaptists of Amsterdam, that he might be qualified to baptize his friends in England after the same manner.” (Buck.) “Menno Simons, born in 1492 at Witmarsum in Friesland, at the age of 24 entered the priesthood. Doubts about transubstantiation made him uneasy; some of Luther's tracts fell in his way, and he was comforted by Luther's dictum that salvation does not depend on human dogmata. Hence he began to study the New Testament. The question as to the right age for baptism came up; he found this an open matter in the early church. Then the execution, in March, 1531, at Leeuwarden, of the tailor Sicke Freerks, who had been rebaptized in the previous December at Emden, introduced [pg 153] further questions. Menno was not satisfied with the inconsistent answers which he got from Luther, Bucer and Bullinger; he resolved to rely on Scripture alone, and from this time describes his preaching as evangelical, not sacramental. Anabaptism of the Munster type repelled him. A brother of Menno joined the insurgent followers of Matthyzoon and was killed at Bolsward, April 1535. Blaming the leaders by whom these poor people had been misled, Menno blamed himself for not having shown them a straight course. Accordingly on the 12th of January 1536 he left the Roman communion.

“Among the so-called Anabaptists were four parties, the favorers of the Munster faction, the Batenburgers, extremists, the Melchiorites and the Obbenites. For a time Menno remained aloof from both Melchior Hofman and Obbe Philipsz. Before the year was out, yielding to the prayer of six or eight persons who had freed themselves from the Munster spell, he agreed to become their minister and was set apart January 1537 to the eldership at Groningen, with imposition of hands by Obbe Philipsz. Menno repudiated the formation of a sect; those who had experienced the ‘new birth’ were to him the true Christian church. His Christology was in the main orthodox though he rejected terms such as Trinity which he could not find in Scripture. Of the introduction of Anabaptist views into England we have no certain knowledge. Fox relates that ‘the registers of London make mention of certain Dutchmen counted for Anabaptists, of whom ten were put to death in sundry places in the realm, anno 1535; other ten repented and were saved’. In 1536 King Henry VIII issued a proclamation concerning faith agreed upon by Convocation, in which the clergy are told to instruct the people that they ought to repute and take ‘The Anabaptists' opinions for detestable heresies and to be utterly condemned.’ Thomas Fuller tells us from Stow's Chronicles that in the year 1538 four Anabaptists, three men and one woman, all Dutch, bare faggots at Paul's Cross, and three days after a man and woman of their sect were burnt in Smithfield. The early English Baptists, while they utterly rejected the baptism of infants, were as yet unpledged to immersion and rarely practiced it.”—Brit.

And the third part of the sun was smitten.—Though not apparently so stated in any confession of faith, it is a prevalent view among Baptists that the Old Testament has been entirely fulfilled. Believing thus they lose the force of a large part of the Gospel Message, typified by the sun.

And the third part of the moon.—Similarly, they do not [pg 154] see the force of the teachings of the Law Dispensation, as in the Tabernacle arrangements, etc., in their application to the Church.

And the third part of the stars.—The teachings of the true light-bearers, the Apostles, cannot be fully appreciated except in connection with the prophecies of the Old Testament.

So as the third part of them was darkened.—If pressed to estimate the relative worth to us as New Creatures of the writings of the Old and New Testaments, we would admit that the writings of the New Testament are worth perhaps twice as much to us as those of the Old Testament because they contain the message addressed to the New Creation, but we want all three thirds of the Word.

And the day.—The Scripture teaching of the coming Millennial Day.

Shone not for a third part of it.—At least a third of the light we get on the subject of the Lord's Millennial Reign is from the Old Testament.

And the night likewise.—The same is true of the world's dark night of sin and death, and the darkest feature of that night—the Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation. The Old Testament has much of light and instruction on this subject.

8:13. And I beheld, and heard an [angel] EAGLE.—One of Pastor Russell's humble followers (Matt. 24:28) apprehending correctly the significance of the three woes.

Flying through the midst of heaven.—Beginning with the papal heavens and then in their order of development, the Lutheran heavens, Anglican heavens, Calvinistic heavens and Baptist heavens (and others shortly.)

Saying with a loud voice.—With considerable plainness of speech.

Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth.—Great distress and perplexity of mind to all supporters of Satan's Empire.

By reason of the other voices.—Later movements in the ecclesiastical heavens described in Chapters 9 and 10.

Of the three angels, which are yet to sound.—The four great denominations—Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian and Baptist—were formed in swift succession within twenty years from the time Luther nailed the theses on the Wittenberg door. But the work of forming new movements away from papal bondage did not stop there.

Ye curious minds, who roam abroad,
And trace creation's wonders o'er,
Confess the footsteps of your God,
And bow before Him, and adore.
[pg 155]

Revelation 9—Two Ineffective Reformation Woes

9:1. And the fifth angel sounded.—The Wesleyan movement began, leading up to the Methodist Episcopal Church, United American Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church, African United Methodist Protestant Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Methodist Protestant Church, Wesleyan Methodist Church, Methodist Episcopal Church South, Congregational Methodist Church, New Congregational Methodist Church, Zion Union Apostolic Church, Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, Free Methodist Church, Reformed Methodist United Episcopal Church, and Independent Methodist Churches.—1 Cor. 3:3.

And I saw a star.—John Wesley became a star in the Anglican heavens in 1728, at which time he was ordained a priest by Bishop Potter.

Fall from heaven unto the earth.—For many years Wesley had no thought of forming a sect; and yet, unconsciously, he began to do so from the time he was ordained. He was then in Oxford University, where “the completeness of his self-devotion to the service of God, combined with his rare moral courage and superior strength of character, caused him to be recognized as the leader of a group of under-graduates which was nicknamed the ‘Holy Club’ by the ungodly of the University, who derided its members for their rigid rules and charitable practices by calling them ‘Methodists.’ ” (McC.) “He fully accepted the recognized teaching of the Church of England, and publicly appealed to the Prayer-Book and the Thirty-nine articles in justification of the doctrines he preached. Methodism began in a revival of personal religion, and it professed to have but one aim, to spread Scriptural holiness over the land. Its doctrines were in no sense new.” (Brit.) The work in the Western World, particularly in the United States, grew to vast proportions. “The preachers in the South determined upon administration of the sacraments, and a committee was chosen who ordained themselves and others. The Northern preachers opposed this step and for several years the Connexion was on the verge of disruption. Wesley perceived that the Society would disintegrate unless effective [pg 156] measures were speedily taken, and, aided by two presbyters of the Church of England, (one of whom was James Creighton) early in 1784 he ordained Thomas Coke, a presbyter of that Church, as Superintendent.”—Brit.

His brother Charles heartily disapproved of this and wrote the following (which does not, however, appear with his other hymns in the Methodist hymnal):

So easily are bishops made
By man or woman's whim;
Wesley his hands on Coke hath laid,
But who laid hands on him?

In 1787 the American Conference changed Mr. Coke's title to “Bishop.” Mr. Coke tried to introduce this title into the English Conference of which he was president, but the English Brethren could not accept it, despite his great earnestness in the cause. It must have been a strange sight to see a bright man like Wesley engaging those two presbyters of the Church of England to help him ordain somebody to a higher office than any of them had ever held. But the plan worked. All Methodists believe that Bishop Coke, the first Bishop of the Methodist Church received some “apostolic succession” from the original line described in comments on Rev. 2:13. These brethren have grieved that Pastor Russell did not get his ordination from the same source.

And to him was given the key of the [bottomless] pit OF THE ABYSS.—Wesley was given the key to nothing and to nowhere.

9:2. [And he opened the bottomless pit].—Wesley opened nothing. He did interpret Rom. 8:21 as meaning that the lower animals would go to Heaven, but that was an error. He was honest enough, however, to object to using the word Trinity because he did not find it in the Bible. “Christian Advocates” please note.

And there arose a smoke.—Confusion—a blinding haze.

[Out of] OVER the pit.—In the “air,” the ecclesiastical heavens.

As the smoke of a great furnace.—Methodism was no ordinary smudge.

And the sun.—The true Gospel.

And the air.—The Anglican Church.

Were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.—Methodism damaged the Anglican communion as much as it did the Truth.

9:3. And there came out of the smoke locusts.—An immense number of followers.—Judges 7:12.

[pg 157]

Upon the earth.—Among order-loving people.

And unto them was given power.—To attend an old-time Methodist meeting and witness the “getting the power” was to see the sight of a life-time.

As the scorpions of the earth have powers.“A well-known injurious insect of hot climates, which is shaped very much like a lobster. They are carnivorous in their habits, and move along in a threatening attitude with the tail elevated. The sting, which is situated at the extremity of the tail, has at its base a gland that secretes a poisonous fluid, which is discharged into the wound by two minute orifices at its extremity. The scorpion makes a painful wound in men and beasts which produces fatal results unless speedy remedies be provided such as scarifying the wound or sucking out the poison.”—McC.

9:4. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth.—Men of independent thought.—Rev. 8:7.

[Neither any green thing.] Neither any tree.—Saint.—Rev. 8:7.

But [only] those men.—The unconverted.

Which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.—Methodists understand that to be converted from being a sinner means to have the seal of God in one's forehead. All the energies of that church are devoted to gathering in goats to the sheepfold.

9:5. And to them it was given that they should not kill them.—No such sane and merciful sentence as “The wages of sin is death” has any place in Methodist theology. Wesley was born at a time when the original meaning of the word “Hell” had become hidden, and was saturated with the later teachings that it signifies a place of torment. He threw his whole heart into the work of spreading this error throughout the earth.

But that they should be tormented five months.—In symbolic time, 150 years. (Rev. 2:21). Wesley became the first Methodist in 1728. (Rev. 9:1). When the Methodist denomination, with all the others, was cast off from favor in 1878 (Rev. 3:14) its power to torment men by preaching what Presbyterians describe as “Conscious misery, eternal in duration” came to an end legally, and to a large extent actually.—Rev. 9:10.

And their torment.—The torment of those tormented by the tormenting doctrine of torment.

Was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.—See Rev. 9:10.

9:6. And in those days.—Throughout the 150 years of widely prevalent “Methodist hell-fire”.

[pg 158]

Shall men seek death.—Would be glad to know that “The wages of sin is death.”—Rom. 6:23.

And shall not find it.—Because all the texts which plainly teach that “All the wicked will God destroy,” were perverted to mean “All the wicked will God immortalize in hell.”

And shall desire to die.—Real men would prefer to die and stay dead rather than forever companion and worship the greatest devil of the Universe.

And death shall flee from them.—They were told that men only seem to die, although touch, hearing, sight and smell all bear eloquent testimony to the contrary.—Rom. 6:23; Ezek. 18:4; Gen. 3:19; Psa. 115:17; Ecc. 9:5; Psa. 37:10, 20; Ecc. 3:19-21; 1 Cor. 15:13, 18; Dan. 12:2.

9:7. And the [shapes] LIKENESSES of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle.—The battle-cry of the old-time Methodist was “All at it, and always at it”.

And on their heads were as it were crowns like gold.—Those born of the spirit, changed from human conditions and made like the Lord, have received the very highest blessing, the “Crown of life”, the Divine nature. Gold is a symbol of Divinity. To receive a crown of gold is to be born of the spirit. All old-time Methodists felt certain that they were “born of the spirit” when converted, no begetting or quickening being necessary. But here is pointed out that these good people had “as-it-were” crowns instead of real ones.

And their faces were as the faces of men.—They were not “Born of the spirit” as they supposed.

9:8. And they had hair as the hair of women.“If a woman have long hair it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” (1 Cor. 11:15.) The Church's glory is her wedding robe, the robe of Christ's righteousness. It is to the credit of old-time Methodists that they trusted for salvation in the precious blood of Christ.

And their teeth were as the teeth of lions.—Lions are able to chew and swallow almost anything. When the conference at Baltimore in 1787 turned John Wesley's Superintendent into a Bishop, the Methodist people swallowed it all; and to this day most of them really believe that their clergy are a Divinely appointed institution, despite the fraud perpetrated.—Joel. 1:4-6.

9:9. And they had breastplates.“Breastplates of righteousness.”—Eph. 6:14.

As it were breastplates of iron.—An iron breastplate would be a good one but an “as-it-were” breastplate would need examination. It was not uncommon for old-time Methodists to deceive themselves into thinking they [pg 159] had not sinned for years. Those who had such breastplates wore the “As-it-were” variety.

And the sound of their wings.—When engaged in “getting the power”.—Rev. 9:3.

Was as the sound of chariots.—The noisiest vehicles known in the Revelator's day.

Of many horses running to battle.—The old-time Methodist hell-fire revival was in days gone by the noisiest place on earth, excepting the camp-meeting. Those good old days have long since gone.

9:10. And they had tails.—Followers—class-leaders.

Like unto scorpions.—The old-time class-leader was an invaluable adjunct of the Methodist Church. Upon him devolved the duty of requiring each probationer to attend the class-meeting and report his spiritual progress weekly, whether he had made any or not. After each report it was the class-leader's duty to squirt in a little more of the poisonous doctrines from the two orifices referred to in comments on Rev. 9:3. From the “heaven” orifice came the doctrine “If you are good you will go to Heaven when you die”—and from the “hell” orifice came the message “If you are bad you will go to hell when you die.” It was all very simple. Everybody was simple in those days.

And [there were] stings.—Revivals in which the attendants were stung, doctrinally and financially.

AND in their tails [and] WAS their power [was] to hurt men five months.—One hundred and fifty years, from Wesley's ordination in 1728 to the casting off of Methodism in 1878.—Rev. 9:5.

9:11. [And] they [had a] HAVE THEIR king [over them].—The same king as exercises general rulership over all the ecclesiastical affairs of this present evil world.

[Which is] the angel of the [bottomless pit] ABYSS.“The prince of the power of the air.”—Eph. 2:2.

Whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon.—And he is “a bad one,” sure enough.—2 Cor. 4:4.

But in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.—That is, Destroyer. But in plain English his name is Satan, the Devil. As a means for preventing people from seeing the Truth, Methodism has been as efficient as any of the five systems previously described, or any that follow. All have been sadly misled and deceived by our great and wily Adversary; “Taken captive by him at his will.”—2 Tim. 2:26.

9:12. One woe is past.—Methodism was the first woe of the epoch leading up to and associated with the Time of the End. It was a serious blow to the pretensions of the Papacy, but its days of usefulness have long since passed.

[pg 160]

And, behold, there come two woes more [hereafter].—One outlined in the remainder of this chapter and one in Chapter 10. It was the discovery of Methodism as the first woe that led to an identification of the four movements of the Reformation proper which preceded it.—Rev. 8:7-13.

9:13. [And] AFTER THESE THINGS the sixth angel sounded.—The Evangelical-Alliance-Spiritism movement began in 1846-1848 culminating in the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America. The following great denominations which comprise 90% of the Protestant Church membership are represented in this council: Baptist (North), Free Baptist, Christian, Congregational, Disciples of Christ, Evangelical Association, Evangelical Synod, Friends, Lutheran General Synod, Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal (South), German Evangelical Synod, Colored Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Protestant, African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, Mennonite, Moravian, Presbyterian, Presbyterian (South), Welsh Presbyterian, Reformed Presbyterian, United Presbyterian, Protestant Episcopal, Reformed Church in America, Reformed Church in the U. S. A., Reformed Episcopal, Seventh-Day Baptist, United Brethren in Christ, United Evangelical, National Baptist Convention.

Illustration
Methodism

Illustration
Babylon Perplexes The World

Although these sects are the only ones now members of the Federal Council, yet, in hatred of the Truth, and darkness in regard to God's Plan, the following are also entitled to membership: Evangelical Adventists, Advent Christians, Seventh-Day Adventists, Church of God, Life and Advent Union, Church of God in Jesus Christ, fifteen kinds of Baptists named in comments on Rev. 8:12, four kinds of Dunkard brethren, the Conservative, Old Order, Progressive and Seventh-Day German varieties, four kinds of Plymouth Brethren, three kinds of River Brethren, the Brethren in Christ, Old Order or Yorker and United Zion's Children, Catholic Apostolic, New Apostolic, Christadelphians, Dowie's Christian Catholic, Christian Union, Church of Christ Scientist, Winnebrenarian Churches of God, Colored Churches of the Living God, Christian Workers for Friendship, Apostolic, Church of Christ in God, Churches of the New Jerusalem, General Convention, General Church, Church Transcendent, Communistic Societies, Shakers, Amana, Churches of Christ, Apostolic Faith Movement, Peniel Missions, Metropolitan Church Association, Hepziba Faith Association, Missionary Christian Association, Heavenly Recruit Church, Apostolic Christian Church, Christian Congregation, Colored Voluntary Missionary Society, Hicksite Friends, Wilburite [pg 161] Friends, Primitive Friends, Friends of the Temple, German Evangelical Protestant, Latter-Day Saints, Reorganized Latter-Day Saints, twenty-one kinds of Lutherans shown in comments on Rev. 8:7, Swedish Evangelical Missionary Covenant. Swedish Evangelical Free Mission, Norwegian Evangelical Free Church, twelve kinds of Mennonites, Bruederhoef, Amish, Old Amish, Conservative Amish, Reformed, General Conference, Church of God in Christ, Old Wisler, Bundes Conference, Defenceless, Brethren in Christ, sixteen kinds of Methodists shown in comments on Rev. 9:1, Union Moravian, Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene, Other Pentecostal Associations, twelve kinds of Presbyterians shown in comments on Rev. 8:10, 11, Christian Reformed, Hungarian Reformed, Reformed Catholic, Salvation Army, Schwenkfelders, Social Brethren, Society for Ethical Culture, Spiritualists, Theosophical Society, Old Constitution Brethren, Unitarians, Universalists, etc.

Their “faiths” are quite as varied as their names, but without exception they deny the central truth of the Scriptures (1 John 4:2, 3) that when Jesus Christ came to earth He came as a man only, devoid of immortality or Divinity, that when He died He was as dead as though He never had lived, and that by that death He bought for Adam and his race the Restitution of all things foretold by “the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began.” (Rev. 4:10.) The common ground upon which they stand is this, their denial of the Ransom, their affirmation of Spiritism, in some form, and their adherence to the principle of Federation. All of these things are condemned in the Scriptures but the Scriptures will never be allowed to stand in the way of those who live by shearing the wool from the sheep. (2 Tim. 4:3, 4; Deut. 18:10, 11; Isa. 8:9-22.) The latter passage is full of the deepest significance at this time.

“Christian Heralds” that refused to publish advertisements of Pastor Russell's books now give space to advertisements of godless, Christless, Buddhist, demoniacal books, glorifying the New Thought system of mind worship, the boot-strap system of religion by which men, by cultivation of the will, lift themselves into money, piety and immortality, and by making assertions to and demands of the alleged “sub-conscious mind” invite and receive the assistance of evil spirits, and finally come under their control. Modern “Christianity” is Buddhism.

“The Rev. Dr. Day, Chancellor of the Syracuse University, recently, in an address to the Y. M. C. A., is reported by the public press to have said: ‘Wouldn't you rather live in America than in Heaven? I would. I'd like to [pg 162] go to Heaven when I can't be here. In fact, I think I'd be rather discontented in Heaven till I got adjusted. You can get anything you want here. You can live under forty odd governments, meet all the nations of the world, eat all the fruits of the world and get any kind of climate that you choose. So America is the beat place to live; but I think when a man can't stay here any longer he ought to steer for Heaven,’ ” (Z. '08-196.) Having concluded to stay here as long as possible, “Christians” are now flocking by thousands to the purchase of works which will show them how to use spiritism to take advantage of their fellow men. The religious and other periodicals are now filled with advertisements of these books. We quote a few extracts to show their Satanic character:

“It is necessary to control others, to discover their plans. This you may be able to do if you have developed your inner faculties. We show you how to so develop your intuitional nature that you are able to detect the feelings of others; to penetrate their secret motives; and to discover what they try to conceal. The Golden Rule must be followed in controlling others. ‘Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you.’ There comes more and more the power of seeing the future, so that more and more true becomes the old adage that coming events cast their shadows before. Health in time takes the place of disease; for all disease and its consequent suffering is merely the result of the violation of law, whether consciously or unconsciously. There comes a spiritual power which, as it is sent out, is adequate for the healing of others the same as in the days of old.”

“Many omniscient men and women will soon walk the earth. Omniscience and Freedom are the goal of all, and in this Great Age of Light many Egos are approaching the blessed omniscience state.”

“Suddenly it seemed that the top of my head had been lifted, and I became aware of an immense increase of personal consciousness. I became conscious, I say—I know what I am writing—of the vast sky above, and the mighty deeps below, and the wide sweep of present human life, and the long forward and backward stretch of human history. It seemed that I could sense the All. Since that day all is well. Life is deeper, richer, stronger—assured, fearless, and saturated with perennial vital interests.” (What really happened to this man was that he became obsessed by demons.)—Rev. 7:3.

“The strength of these delusions lies in the grave errors mixed with truths long held by Christian people, because of the ‘falling away’ from the pure faith of the Apostolic [pg 163] Church, foretold in the Scriptures. Among these errors none is designed to open the heart and mind to these delusive and destructive theories of today more effectually than the general belief of the first lie—‘Ye shall not surely die.’ (Gen. 3:4.) The general acceptance of it results from a failure to understand the Bible doctrine concerning life and immortality, which were brought to light by our Lord Jesus through His Gospel of salvation from sin by His Ransom-sacrifice. The advocates of these false doctrines are surprisingly alert and active everywhere, especially in the United States, where thought is most active and where liberty often means license. Hundreds of thousands have embraced these errors as new and advanced light. The extent of their success is not fully apparent to many; for their success lies in a still hunt for prey. Their advocates are to be found in almost every congregation of every denomination, and especially among the more cultured; and the ‘angel of light’ feature is seldom neglected. The nominal churches are already permeated, leavened with these false doctrines. The Scriptural prophecy that ‘a thousand shall fall at thy [the true Church's] side, and ten thousand at thy right hand’ (Psalm 91:3-14), is now fulfilled before our eyes.”—Z. '15-343.

And I heard a voice.—William Miller, from A. D. 1829 to 1844.

From [the four horns of] the golden altar which is before God.“The Golden Altar in the ‘Holy’ would seem to represent the ‘little flock,’ the consecrated Church in the present sacrificing condition.”—T. 120.

9:14. Saying.—By pointing to the near fulfillment of the 2300 days.—Dan. 8:14.

To the sixth angel which had the trumpet.—The Evangelical Alliance-Spiritism movement. The Alliance proper was organized Sept. 2nd, 1846, at the end of the 2800 years. The spiritism feature began January, 1848. The two have been growing towards each other ever since until now they are substantially one and the same thing.

Loose the four angels.—Four errors in the nine fundamental principles of the Evangelical Alliance. We give the erroneous clauses by number: (3) “The unity of the Godhead, and the trinity of persons therein.” See Rev. 6:4; 5:7. (5) “The incarnation of the Son of God.” (8) “The immortality of the soul.” (9) “The Divine institution of the Christian ministry” (i. e., the clergy).

Which are bound.—Hindered from gaining fullest expression.

In the great river Euphrates.—The world of mankind.—B. 209, D. 24.

[pg 164]

And the four angels.—The four great errors of trinity, incarnation, immortality and lordship over God's heritage.

Were loosed.—Given greater liberties than ever before.

Which were prepared.—Each sect for itself, and in its own time.

For [an] THE hour.—The hour of judgment, 1918.

[And a day] and [a] month, and [a] year.—Thirteen symbolic months, the 390 years of Protestantism's siege of the Papacy.—Ezek. 4:5.

For to slay.—To make nominal Christians of, to take away the manhood of.

The third part of men.—According to the World Almanac for 1917, the total number of Christians in the world at the beginning of the twentieth century was 571,400,000, of whom one third, 177,800,000, were Protestants.

9:16. And the number of the army of the horsemen.—In round numbers, at the time of identification.

Were two hundred thousand thousand.—Approximately two hundred millions.

[And] I heard the number of them.—Heard, heeded, or noted, the count as given in the World Almanac, as correct. This is a tribute to a journal notorious for its ignoble, unjust and dishonest attacks on Pastor Russell. “Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee.” And have you noticed, on the same principle, that nearly all the encyclopedic references herein are to the great standard Protestant works to be found in every capable minister's library? How is it that they do not know these things?

9:17. And thus I saw the horses in the vision.—Horses are symbols of teachings. It is the doctrines a man has been taught that carry him along to do things. “As a man thinketh, so is he.” The man and his beliefs are inseparable.—Joel 2:4. (The four kinds of horses of Zech. 6:1-8 seem to refer to four companies of saved ones. Red, the Ancient Worthies; black, the Little Flock; white, the Great Company; bay, the world of mankind.)

And them that sat [on] UPON them.—The total Protestant church membership.

Having breastplates of fire.—Keeping the doctrine of hell-fire well to the front in their teachings.

And of jacinth.“The hyacinthus of the Romans is invariably blue and lustrous. This description suggests the blue flame which issues between the fire and the brimstone, represented as ‘smoke’ in verse 18.”—Cook.

And brimstone.—Yes, indeed, plenty of brimstone went along with the hell-fire.—Rev. 14:10.

And the heads.“The ancient and honorable, he is the head; and the prophet that teaches lies, he is the tail.”—Isa. [pg 165] 9:15. “In a genus of serpents or ophidian reptiles called amphisboena the tail and head are equally obtuse, and the scales on the head so similar to those on the back as to render it difficult to distinguish one extremity from the other. Hence these reptiles have been supposed to have the power of creeping backwards or forwards with equal facility.” (Cook.)—Isa. 29:10-14; John 4:22.

Were as the heads of lions.—Able to swallow the most ridiculous and impossible theories.—1 Chron. 12:8.

And out of their mouths issued fire.—Sermons full of hell-fire.

And smoke.—See Rev. 9:18.

And brimstone.—O yes, surely; plenty of brimstone, to go with the hell-fire.

9:18. By these [three] PLAGUES was the third part of men.—The Protestant third of Christendom.

Killed.—Deprived of reason, manhood and dignity.

By the fire.—The sermons full of hell-fire.

And [by] the smoke.—Smoke is a symbol of confusion. The following is an extract from an article on the brain written by a well-known physician and alienist:

“To illustrate how effectually such conceptions served to block all progress in the science of life we may quote one instance from a ponderous volume in my library with the date 1618 on Physiology and Anatomy by Hilkiah Crooke, Physician and Professor on Anatomy and Chirurgery to His Majesty, James I. Speaking of the origin and growth of hair, he says: ‘The immediate matter of the haires is a sooty, thicke, and earthly vapour, which in the time of the third concoction (distillation) is elevated by the strength of the action of naturall heate, and passeth through the pores of the skin, which heate exiceateth or drieth this moysture of these sootie and thicke vapours, for the vapour being thicke, in his passage leaveth some part of it selfe, to wit, the grossest, in the very outlet, where it is impacted by a succeeding vapour arising where the former did, is protruded and thrust forward, so that they are wrought together in one body. The straightness of the passages of the skin were through the matter of the haires is anoyded, formeth them into a small roundness, even as a wyre receyeth that proportion whereof the whole is, where through it is drawne.’ One great office of the hairs of the head, therefore, Crooke perceived to be to lead off ‘the vapors which otherwise would choke and make smoaky the braine,’ though how hopelessly choked the brains of all bald heads hence would be he does not mention.” A study of the foregoing leads to the conclusion that the various churches must have been founded by [pg 166] bald-headed men, and the smoke being unable to find its way out through their scalps naturally had to come out of their mouths!

And [by] the brimstone.—Yes, indeed; plenty of brimstone.

Which issued out of their mouths.—Especially when an evangelist firm is in town looking for shekels.

9:19. For [their power] THE POWER OF THE HORSES is in their mouth.—Assuredly, assuredly; it certainly is not in the Scriptures.

And in their tails.—Followers, “Workers,” class-leaders.—Isa. 9:15.

For their tails were like unto serpents.—Bright enough to know better.

And had heads.—Wills of their own—unlike the “Beheaded” saints (Rev. 20:4.)

And with them they do hurt.—Damage the cause of Truth.

9:20. And the rest of the men.—Those ordinary “good fellows” (and bad ones too), men of the world who had too much sense to swallow what is taught by any of the sects.

Which were not killed by these THEIR plagues.—Who remained “unconverted” to the mass of errors masquerading in the name of religion.

Yet repented not of the works of their hands.—Failed to turn their money, brains and service over to the nominal church, but continued on in their own way.

That they should not worship devils.—Joining, if they choose, the Masons, Odd Fellows and other secret organisations teaching a debased form of religion.—Lev. 17:7; Deut. 32:17; 1 Cor. 10:20.

And idols of gold, and silver and [brass] COPPER.—Having their affection set upon currency in hand and in the bank.—Psa. 115:1-4; Dan. 5:22, 23.

And stone, and of wood.—Giving their attention to earthly affairs, improvements in real estate, etc.

Which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk.—But are more or less permanent, tangible and fixed.

9:21. Neither repented they of their murders.—Teaching hell-fire keeps nobody from being a murderer or a slanderer.—Rev. 21:8.

Nor their sorceries.—Use of drugs, Greek. Teaching hell-fire keeps nobody from being a drug fiend or pseudo-philosopher.—Rev. 21:8.

Nor of their [fornication] WICKEDNESS.—Teaching hell-fire keeps nobody from being a wicked man.

Nor of their thefts.—Teaching hell-fire keeps nobody from engaging in “high finance.”

[pg 167]

Revelation 10—The True Reformation Woe

10:1. And I saw another angel.“The Messenger of the Covenant,” the Lord Jesus.—Mal. 3:1.

Come down from Heaven.—At the time of the Second Advent, Oct. 1874.—Rev. 3:20.

Clothed with a cloud.“ ‘He cometh with clouds;’ and while the clouds of trouble are heavy and dark, when the mountains (kingdoms of this world) are trembling and falling, and the earth (organized society) is being shaken, disintegrated, melted, some will begin to realize what we now proclaim as already at hand—that Jehovah's Anointed is taking to Himself His great power and beginning His work of laying justice to the line and righteousness to the plummet. (Isa. 28:17.)”—B. 138.

And [a rainbow was] THE HAIR upon His head, and His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire.—See Rev. 1:14-16; 7:2; 18:1.

10:2. And [He had] HAVING in His hand.—In His power, given to Him by the Father.—Rev. 5:7, 5.

A little book open.—The Present Truth message.—C. 89.

And He set His right foot.—Exerted the strongest power of restraint.

Upon the sea.—The masses not under religious control, who, without the Lord's control of the situation, would have long since swallowed up the present order of things.—Rev. 7:1-3; Luke 21:25; Psa. 46:2, 3.

And His left foot on the earth.“Throughout the Scriptures, earth, when used symbolically, represents society; seas, the restless, turbulent, dissatisfied masses of the world.”—A. 318.

10:3. And cried with a loud voice.—Pastor Russell was the voice used.—Rev. 7:2.

As when a lion roareth.—Symbolical of Justice.—Rev. 4:7; Amos 3:8.

And when.—In 1881 A. D.

He had cried.—With the first great cry, Food for Thinking Christians,” 1,400,000 copies given away, free.

Seven thunders.—Seven volumes of “STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES.”—Rev. 8:5.

Uttered their voices.—Were foreseen as necessary to the complete statement of the Plan, and the fulfillment of this and other Scriptures.

[pg 168]

10:4. And [when] WHATSOEVER the seven thunders had uttered [their voices], I.—Pastor Russell as a representative of the John class.

Was about to write.—Intended to put on paper at once.

And I heard a voice from Heaven.—The guidance of the Heavenly Father, directing and overruling, knowing that the results would be better if the interest of His little ones were sustained by expectancy throughout the whole time of Harvest, rather than to give them all the light at once.—John 16:12.

Saying [unto me], Seal up [those] WHAT things [which] SOEVER the seven thunders uttered.—Do not immediately disclose their full contents.—Dan. 8:26; 12:4, 9.

And write them not.—Observe how the Lord retarded the publications: Vol. I was published in 1886. “In sending forth this first volume of the MILLENNIAL DAWN, it is but proper that we apologize to the many friends who have waited for it so patiently since promised.” (A. 3.) Volume II was published in 1889, and III in 1891. “Some have urged greater haste in the writing and publishing of the several volumes of this series, and, to a large extent, I have shared the same feelings of impatience; but my observations of the Lord's dealings and leadings and unfoldings of His Plan are gradually convincing me that He has not shared our impatience. Indeed, I can clearly trace His hand in some of the hindrances encountered and can realize by the delay I have been enabled to grasp the subjects more thoroughly, and to present them more fully, than if the work had been hastened more. Not only has this delay worked for my good and yours, but in another way also. It has afforded time for a more thorough digestion of the truths of each volume, and thereby has given to the faithful student the very necessary preparation for that which was to follow. And not only so, but it has also given opportunity for practicing the lessons learned, and for exercising the talents of each in spreading the advancing light before others of God's saints.” (C. 12.) Volume IV was published in 1897, V in 1899, VI in 1904 and VII in 1917. This makes a total lapse of 36 years from the publication of FOOD FOR THINKING CHRISTIANS to the last volume of the SCRIPTURE STUDIES. Meantime the Harvest work grew to a movement of vast proportions; and Volume VII was delayed.

10:5. And the angel which I saw.—The Lord Jesus, since 1874.—Rev. 10:1.

Stand upon the sea and upon the earth.—In control of the masses not under religious restraint as well as order-loving society.

[pg 169]

Lifted up His RIGHT hand to Heaven.—The seventh angel was in that hand when He did so.—Rev. 1:16, 20.

10:6. And sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever.—By Jehovah, His Father and our Father, His God and our God.—John 20:17.

Who created Heaven, and the things that therein are.“The heavens declare the glory of God.”—Psa. 19:1-6; Neh. 9:6; Rev. 4:11; 14:7.

And the earth, and the things that therein are, [and the sea, and the things which are therein].“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.”—Job 38, 39, 40 and 41 chapters.

That there [should be] IS time no longer.“There shall be no further delay.”—Weym.

10:7. But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel.—Pastor Russell was the seventh angel.—Rev. 3:14.

When he shall begin to sound.—In the autumn of 1881, at which time FOOD FOR THINKING CHRISTIANS was circulated, and the General Call ceased.—Rev. 11:15.

The mystery of God [should be] WAS finished.“The great unfolding of the Divine mystery we are expressly told was reserved until the close of the Gospel Age.” (Z. '97-255.) “The Plan ceases to be a mystery, because there is no further object in perpetuating its secrecy. The greatness of the mystery, so long kept secret, and the wonderful grace bestowed on those called to fellowship in this mystery (Eph. 3:9), suggest to us that the work to follow its completion must be an immense work, worthy of such great preparations. What may we not expect in blessings upon the world, when the veil of mystery is withdrawn and the showers of blessing descend! It is this for which the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now, waiting for the completion of this mystery, for the manifestation of the Sons of God, the promised ‘Seed’ in whom they shall all be blessed.—Rom. 8:19, 21, 22.” (A. 87.) “While the door stands open, it indicates that any believer who is anxious to enter and ready to comply with the conditions may yet do so, even though the general ‘call’ or invitation to enter is no longer sent out. The opportunity to labor and sacrifice has not yet closed though the general call ceased in 1881.”—C. 213.

As He hath declared to His servants.—The Harvest Workers.

AND the Prophets.—Daniel (12:4-12) and Habakkuk (2:1-3).—Rev. 1:1.

10:8. And the Voice which I heard from Heaven.—The Heavenly Father's voice.—Rev. 10:4.

Spake unto me again.—By His Holy Spirit.

[pg 170]

And said.—Through the Bible, His Word, His Voice.

Go take the little book.“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.”—2 Tim. 2:15.

Which is open in the hand of the angel.—The Lord Jesus. Rev. 10:1, 5.

Which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.—See Rev. 10:2, 5.

10:9. And I went unto the angel.“In coming out of bondage to human traditions, creeds, systems and errors, we are coming directly to our Lord, to be taught and fed by Him, to be strengthened and perfected to do His pleasure, and to stand, and not fall with Babylon.”—C. 167.

And said unto Him.—By my act in obeying His command.—Rev. 18:4.

Give me the little book.—Take me into Your confidence; give me Your Holy Spirit; show me, as promised, the “things to come.”—John 16:13.

And He said unto me, Take it, and eat it up.“It is absolutely useless for us to pray Lord, Lord, give us the Spirit, if we neglect the Word of Truth which that Spirit has supplied for out filling.”—E. 245, 225; Ezek. 2:8.

And it shall make thy belly bitter.—Lead to self-sacrifice, with its attendant sufferings, but create an appetite for more. “The after effects are always more or less blending of the bitterness of persecution with the sweetness.”—C. 89; Ezek. 2:10; 3:14; Dan. 8:27.

But it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.“O the blessedness.”—Dan. 12:12; Psa. 19:10; 119:103.

10:10. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it up.“Thy words were found and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.”—Jer. 15:16.

And it was in my mouth sweet as honey.“So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that roll. And it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.”—Ezek. 3:2, 3.

And as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was [bitter] FILLED.“It satisfies my longings as nothing else could do.”

10:11. And [He said] THEY SAY unto me.—The Scriptures do the saying.

Thou must prophesy again.—Continue to proclaim the Message of Truth Divine.

Before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.—Until it has been fully testified to all.—1 Tim. 2:6. The concluding word of this Scripture suggests that the last witness of the church in the flesh is, like their Lord's as alleged malefactors, before earth's rulers.

[pg 171]

Revelation 11—The Time Of The End

11:1. And there was given me.—The John class in the Time of the End.

A reed like unto a rod.—The Lord's Word is both a rod to lean upon, (Isa. 11:4) and a reed with which to measure. (Jer. 1:11-12). The word here tendered “rod” is rendered “staff” in Matt. 10:10; Heb. 11:21.

[And the angel stood, saying], HE SAITH.—It is the “reed” or “rod” itself, the Divine Word, that does the saying.

Rise.“At the exact ‘time appointed,’ 1799, the end of the 1260 days, the power of the Man of Sin, the great oppressor of the Church, was broken, and his dominion taken away. With one stroke of His mighty hand, God there struck off Zion's fetters, and bade the oppressed go free. And forth came, and are coming, the ‘Sanctuary’ class, the ‘holy people,’ weak, and halt, and lame, and almost naked, and blind, from the dungeon darkness and filth and misery of papal bondage. Poor souls! they had been trying to serve God faithfully in the very midst of the lurid flames of persecution, clinging to the cross of Christ when almost every other truth had been swept away, and courageously endeavoring to emancipate God's ‘Two Witnesses’ (the Old and New Testaments), which had so long been bound, and which had prophesied only under the sackcloth of dead languages.”—C. 122.

And measure the Temple of God.“That symbolic Temple which is The Christ.” (T. 70.) “The mention of worshippers proves that the measuring is symbolical. To measure is to separate for sacred purposes; what is excluded from the measurement is, accordingly, more or less mingled with evil. Hence, in this place, what is measured—the true believer typified—is to be exempted from the Judgments in which what is not measured (ver. 2) is involved.” (Cook). “If the direction be understood figuratively, as applicable to the Christian Church, the work to be done would be to obtain an exact estimate or measurement of what the true Church was—as distinguished from all other bodies of men, and as constituted, and appointed, by the direction of God; such a measurement that its characteristics could be made known; that a church could be organized according to this, and that the accurate description [pg 172] could be transmitted to future times.” (Barnes.)—Ezek. 40:3; Rev. 21:15.

And the altar.—The Golden Altar, within the “Holy”, the true Church, as sacrificers.—Ex. 30:1-10.

And them that worship therein.—The several volumes of Scripture Studies and the booklet Tabernacle Shadows are devoted to the “measurements” herein prophesied.

11:2. But the court which is [without] WITHIN the Temple leave out.—The court here represents the same thing as is represented in the Court of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the condition of progression toward complete Justification.

And measure it not.—Devote all attention to the higher privileges of the “Holy”. The “Court” was merely provided as a proper approach to the “Holy”. Acceptance of Christ as one's Savior, appreciation of His work at Calvary, and washing one's self in the water of the Word as represented respectively by the First Gate, Brazen Altar, and Laver of the “Court” are not the things to which we are particularly invited; but consecration to God's will, illumination by His Spirit, appropriation of His promises and sacrifice of our all, acceptable to the Father through our great High Priest, represented respectively by the Second Gate or Door, the Candlestick, Table of Shew-bread and Golden Altar of the “Holy”, are the things to which we were called: so that we might pass the Third Gate or Veil, actual death of the body, and finally become a part of The Christ, represented by the Ark of the Covenant, of which our Father is the Head.

For it is given ALSO unto the Gentiles.—With the deliverance of the Little Flock, the condition represented by the “Holy” ceases. This leaves the Great Company still in the “Court” and the special objects of Gentile wrath as their kingdoms fall into ruin. “Being denied the liberty accorded to the Priests, these will have merely the standing of justification, which, if they maintain, will constitute them worthy of eternal life. But that life will not be human life, because they gave that up in order to become Priests. Their failure puts them out of the Holy condition back into the Court condition.” (Z. '11-22.)

“After the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom, this distinction between the Church proper, joint-heirs with Christ, and the larger company of antitypical Levites, will be perpetual, and the services of the two will be different. The former will be a Priesthood corresponding to that of Melchizedek—a Priest upon His Throne. The work of the latter will correspond more to that accomplished by the Levites; namely, teaching the people, etc., as servants [pg 173] of the Priests, from whom they will receive their directions.”—Z. '14-79.

And the Holy City.—The embryo Kingdom of God.

Shall they tread under foot.“The Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.”—Matt. 11:12.

Forty and two months.—1260 years from papacy's establishment as a temporal power, 539 A. D. to 1799 A. D.—B. 91, 310; C. 50, 64; Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 12:6, 14; 13:5; Jas. 5:17.

11:3. And I will give power unto My Two Witnesses.“The Lord refers to the Old and New Testament Scriptures, and faithfully they have borne their testimony to every nation.”—D. 258.

And they shall prophesy.—Teach.

A thousand, two hundred and three score days.—1260 years, from A. D. 539 to 1799.

Clothed in sackcloth.“Kept covered in dead languages.”—C. 50.

11:4. These are the Two Olive Trees.—Sources of the oil, the holy Spirit.—Zech. 4:1-6; Rom. 11:17.

And the Two Candlesticks.“The light of the world, during all the darkness of the past.”—D. 652.

Standing before the [God] LORD of the earth.—Jehovah. “The earth is the Lord's.”—Psa. 24:1.

11:5. And if any man will hurt them.“And if any man desireth to hurt them. The present tense here points to the continued enmity of the world to the Church, during the entire course of the Witnesses' testimony.”—Cook.

Fire proceedeth out of their mouth.“I will make My words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.”—Jer. 5:14.

And devoureth their enemies.“History supplies the illustrations—the fire that consumed the opponents of Moses (Num. 16:28, 35), and that which came down at the word of Elijah. (2 Kings 1:10, 12)”—Cook.

And if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.“Therefore have I hewed them by the Prophets; and I have slain them by the words of My mouth.”—Hos. 6:5.

11:6. These have power to shut heaven.—The literal heavens and the spiritual heavens.—1 Ki. 17:1.

That it rain not.—That there be no literal showers, or spiritual showers of blessings.

In the days of their prophecy.—Literally in the three and one half years in Elijah's day in which there was no rain (James 5:17) and spiritually in the three and one half times, or 1260 years, from A. D. 539 to 1799 in which [pg 174] the showers of blessing were withheld from the world.—Rev. 2:20.

And have power over waters.—Literal and symbolic.

To turn them into blood.—Literally as when Moses turned the waters of Egypt into blood (Exodus 7:21.) Symbolically during this Harvest time in which the Heavenly Harvest truths have become “bloody”, repulsive, abhorrent, symbolizing death where they should be received as a blessing.—Z. '07-279.

[And] to smite the earth with all plagues.—Literal and symbolic.

As often as they will.—Literally in the plagues which Moses poured out upon the Egyptians (Exodus 7 to 11.) Symbolically in the spiritual plagues, the seven last upon Christendom.—Rev. 16.

11:7. And when they shall have finished their testimony.—In the dead languages, about the time of the end of papacy's power to persecute.

The beast that THEN ascendeth out of the [bottomless pit] ABYSS.—The government without a foundation; revolutionary France during the “Reign of Terror.”

Shall make war against them.“In 1793 a decree passed the French Assembly forbidding the Bible; and under that decree the Bibles were gathered and burned, every possible mark of contempt was heaped upon them.”—Smith.

And shall overcome them, and kill them.“All the institutions of the Bible were abolished; the weekly rest day was blotted out, and every tenth day substituted for mirth and profanity. Baptism and the communion were abolished. The being of God was denied, and death proclaimed an eternal sleep. The Goddess of Reason, in the person of a vile woman, was set up, and publicly worshipped.”—Smith.

11:8. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street.—France.

Of the great city.—Christendom, the Old Roman Empire.—Rev. 14:8; 16:19; 17:9, 18; 18:2, 10, 16, 18, 19, 21.

Which spiritually is called Sodom.“ ‘Remember Lot's wife!’ is our Lord's pointed warning. How intensely forceful it is as a caution to God's people here, in the close of the Gospel Age. When we learn that Babylon is doomed, and hear the Lord's message, ‘Come out of her My people that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues,’ it is indeed like the voice of the messengers who hastened Lot and his family out of Sodom, saying, ‘Stay not in all the plain; escape for thy life; escape to the mountain lest thou be consumed; look not behind thee.’ (Gen. 19:17). Christendom is ‘that great [pg 175] city [Babylon] which spiritually is called Sodom.’ ”—D. 607, 608; Rev. 17:5; Isa. 1:9, 10; 3:8, 9; Jer. 23:14; Ezek. 16:48, 41.

And Egypt.“Egypt is recognized as a symbol or type of the world of mankind, full of vain philosophies, but ignorant of the true Light.”—C. 315; Ezek. 23:3, 4, 8, 27.

Where also [our] THE Lord was crucified.—Catholic France, through its connection with the papacy, is a part of the old Roman Empire, in another part of which our Lord was slain. In another aspect France is identified with the death of the Lord. Anything done to the least of one of the Lord's little ones is counted as done to Himself. When Saul of Tarsus persecuted the Lord's saints, the One who met him in the way said, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.” (Acts 9:4, 5; 22:7, 8; 26:14, 15.) A plot was laid in France to destroy all the Protestants; and on Aug. 24, 1572, sixty thousand were murdered, and the streets of Paris literally ran with blood. The Protestants were in Paris under a solemn oath of safety, to celebrate the marriage of the king of Navarre. Admiral Coligny, a Protestant of great ability and prominence, was basely murdered in his own house, and his head was sent to his holiness, the Pope, as proof that he was really dead. The “Holy Father of Fathers”, the “Vicar of Christ”, the “Chief Pastor and Teacher”, was so pleased that “bells were rung, and guns were fired, bonfires were set ablaze; and Gregory XIII, attended by cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and a great throng of prelates, marched in procession. A Te Deum was chanted, and the Pope commissioned the painter Vasari to paint the scene of the massacre, and employed an artist to engrave a medal commemorative of the event. The preachers in Rome delivered eloquent orations, and a messenger carried a golden rose to Charles as a present from the Pope.”—Coffin.

11:9. And they of the people.—The Protestant people.

And kindreds and tongues and nations.—Of other parts of Europe.

[Shall] see their dead [bodies] BODY.“As if though silenced in death they continued witnesses still.” (Cook.) Take note of the horrible effect upon France of their effort to exterminate the Scriptures. “The more deeply the French Revolution is considered, the more manifest is its preeminence above all the strange and terrible things that have come to pass on this earth. Every ancient institution and every time honored custom disappeared in a moment. The whole social and political system went down before the first stroke. Monarchy, nobility and [pg 176] church were swept away almost without resistance. The good things of this world,—birth, rank, wealth, fine clothes and elegant manners,—became worldly perils, and worldly disadvantages. The people waged a war of such extermination with everything established, as to abolish the common forms of address and salutation, and the common mode of reckoning time, abhorred ‘you’ as a sin, and shrank from ‘monsieur’ as an abomination, turned the weeks into decades, and would know the old months no more. The demolished halls of the aristocracy, the rifled sepulchres of royalty, the decapitated king and queen, the little dauphin so sadly done to death, the beggared princes, the slaughtered priests and nobles, the sovereign guillotine, the republican marriages, the Meudon tannery, the couples tied together and thrown into the Loire, and the gloves made of men's and women's skins: these things are most horrible.” (T. H. Gill, The Papal Drama.)—D. 537.

Three days and an half.—See Rev. 11:11.

And [shall not] suffer NOT their dead bodies to be put in [graves] A GRAVE.—On the contrary, this very attempt “served to arouse Christians everywhere to put forth new exertions in behalf of the Bible.”—Smith.

11:10. And they that dwell upon the earth.—The people of France, then infidels, without any hopes except for the present poor earth-life.

[Shall] rejoice over them, and make merry.—Literally fulfilled when the Assembly proscribed the Scriptures.

And [shall] send gifts one to another.—Literally fulfilled, the gifts being expressions of joy over the sudden “liberty,” “a custom usual in times of festivity.”—Neh. 8:10, 12; Esth. 9:19, 22.—Cook.

Because these Two Prophets tormented.—By continuing to proclaim the coming Reign of Christ and His Church.

Them that dwelt on the earth.—The classes whose hopes and destinies are earthly.

11:11. And after three days and an half.—Three years and one half.

The Spirit of life from God entered into Them.—In a symbolic sense They were “raised from the dead.”—Ezek. 37:5, 9, 10, 14.

And They stood upon Their feet.—See Ezek. 37:10. “In 1793, a decree passed the French Assembly suppressing the Bible. Just three years after, a resolution was introduced into the Assembly superseding the decree, and giving toleration to the Scriptures. That resolution lay on the table six months, when it was taken up, and passed without a dissenting vote. Thus, in just three years and a half, the Witnesses ‘stood upon their feet.’ ”—Smith.

[pg 177]

And great fear fell upon them which saw them.“Nothing but the appalling results of the rejection of the Bible, could have induced France to take her hands off these Witnesses.” (Smith.) “In the light of the foretold character of coming events of this battle, we may regard the French Revolution as only the rumbling of distant thunder, giving warning of an approaching storm; as a slight tremor preceding the general earthquake shock; as the premonitory click of the great clock of the ages, which gives notice to those already awake that the wheels are in motion, and that shortly it will strike the midnight hour which will end the present order of affairs and usher in a new order,—the Year of Jubilee, with its attendant commotion and changes of possession.”—D. 535.

In comments on Rev. 3:14, reasons are given for anticipating the deliverance of the Little Flock about Passover, 1918 [possibly on the Passover day, as a result of activities by the tribe of Dan. (Jer. 8:16.)] There we noted the Lord's use of the half-week principle. In this prophecy, we have the same principle. The French Revolution is Divinely provided as a picture of events now at hand, and we therefore expect three and a half years of proscription of the Truth, from the spring of 1918 to the fall of 1921. This will give the Great Company splendid opportunities for martyrdom and allow another three and a half years, to the spring of 1925, for the world to think the matter over, by which time, doubtless, they will be quite ready to listen to the voice that speaketh from Heaven.—Heb. 12:19.

11:12. And they heard a great voice from Heaven.—The voice last referred to—the Lord Jesus Himself, the “voice,” the “Word,” of the Heavenly Father.

Saying unto them, Come up hither.“The Two Witnesses of God, the Old and New Testaments, ascended to heaven, the place of honor and power, as the Scriptures symbolically represent the matter.”—Z. '15-199.

And they ascended up to heaven.“The British and Foreign Bible Society (which has distributed 230,000,000 copies of the Bible) was established in 1803; the New York Bible Society in 1804; the Berlin-Prussian Bible Society in 1805; the Philadelphia Bible Society in 1808; and the American Bible Society (127,000,000 copies distributed) in 1817. Bibles by the million, in over 300 languages, are published yearly and sold at low prices, and many thousands are given away to the poor. It is difficult to estimate the wide influence of this work. Its quiet teaching is the greatest of all levelers and equalizers.”—C. 51.

[pg 178]

In a cloud.—In a time of trouble, the French Revolution. The exaltation which the Word of God received as a result of the French Revolution is as nothing compared with the exaltation which awaits it after the “Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation.”

And their enemies beheld them.—As the enemies of the Word of God were compelled by the stern logic of events to consent to its restoration in the French time of trouble, so the Lord's enemies, and the enemies of His Church, will be compelled to submit to the Reign of Truth when their forces have been exhausted in the Battle of the great Day of God Almighty.—Luke 19:27; Isa. 54:11-17.

11:13. And the same hour was there a great earthquake.“In the symbolic language of Revelation, the French Revolution was indeed a ‘great earthquake’—a social shock so great that all ‘Christendom’ trembled until it was over; and that terrible and sudden outburst of a single nation's wrath, only a century ago, may give some idea of the fury of the coming storm, when the wrath of all the angry nations will burst the bands of law and order and cause a reign of universal anarchy. In fact, the French Revolution seems referred to by our Lord in His Revelation to John on Patmos as a prelude to, and an illustration of, the great crisis now approaching.”—D. 531.

The French Revolution lasted ten and a half years, from June 17th, 1789, when the Assembly began its reign, until Napoleon seized the government and caused himself to be appointed First Consul, November 9th, 1799. This coincides well with the thought previously expressed (Rev. 7:3) that all phases of Babylon will not be disposed of until about ten and a half years from the fall of 1914. The Assembly was in control from the first, but did not execute the king until January 21st, 1793, three years and one-half from the time the trouble started. The Assembly continued in control until June 25th, 1795, six years from the time the trouble began, when the government was intrusted to five persons under the name of the Directory. It was on October 4th of the same year that Napoleon cleared the streets of Paris of the mobs, and from that point onward his star began to rise. Some interesting developments in connection with the setting up of the Kingdom may occur in 1920, six years after the great Time of Trouble began. It would not be strange if this were so, when we recall that after forty years wandering in the wilderness the Israelites came into possession of the land of Canaan after a further six years. As these matters are still future we can but wait to see. [pg 179] We anticipate that the “earthquake” will occur early in 1918, and that the “fire” will come in the fall of 1920.—1 Kings 19:11, 12; Z. '98-207, 208.

And the tenth part of the city fell.—The French part of Christendom; one of the ten toes of the image seen by Nebuchadnezzar; one of the ten horns of Daniel's beast and John's dragon.—Dan. 2:41-43; 7:24; Rev. 12:3.

And in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand.“And by the earthquake were destroyed seven thousand names of men.” (Diaglott.) “France made war, in her revolution of 1793-98, on all titles of nobility. It is said by those who have examined the French records, that just seven thousand titles of men were abolished in that revolution.”—Smith.

And the remnant were affrighted and gave glory to the God of Heaven.“Their God-dishonoring and Heaven-defying work filled France with such scenes of blood, carnage, and horror, as made even the infidels themselves tremble, and stand aghast; and the ‘remnant’ that escaped the horrors of that hour ‘gave glory to God’—not willingly, but the God of Heaven caused this ‘wrath of man to praise Him,’ by causing all the world to see that those who make war on Heaven make graves for themselves; thus glory redounded to God by the very means that wicked men employed to tarnish that glory. For the statistics and many of the foregoing thoughts on the Two Witnesses, we are indebted to an exposition of the subject of The Two Witnesses, by the late George Storrs.” (Smith.) “And here I gratefully mention assistance rendered by Brothers George Stetson and George Storrs, the latter the Editor of The Bible Examiner, both now deceased. The study of the Word of God with these dear brethren led step by step into greener pastures and brighter hopes for the world.”—Pastor Russell's Autobiography. Z. '16-170.

11:14. The second woe is past.—In the narrative of Chapter XI are briefly summed up the three most important events of the Time of the End. Between the French Revolution and the great Time of Trouble occurs a most significant event, which leads up to and is the direct cause of the great Time of Trouble. That event is the second woe. It is described in detail in Rev. 9:14-21. But for this the great Time of Trouble would never have been necessary (Mal. 4:6); but it is necessary now, as necessary as was the Flood in Noah's day, and for the same reason—to rid the earth of the progeny of the evil spirits, the “abominations of the earth.”—Rev. 17:5; 9:13.

[pg 180]

And, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.—The third woe is the Reign of the Lord begun, with its attendant upsetting of the present order. The woes are visited upon those interested in maintaining the present order of things, who would like to retain indefinitely the advantages they have obtained. “The battle of this great Day of God Almighty will be the greatest revolution the world has ever seen. Behold, how, even now, the searchlight of general intelligence is discovering the secret springs of political intrigue, financial policies, religious claims, etc., and how all are brought to the bar of judgment, and by men, as well as by God, declared right or wrong as judged by the teachings of the Word of God.”—D. 541.

11:15. And the seventh angel.—Pastor Russell. See Rev. 3:14; 10:7.

Sounded.“We find the shout,’ the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God all symbols, and now in process of fulfillment.” (B. 149, 197.) “The ‘great trumpet’ we understand to be the antitypical ‘trumpet of Jubilee,’ as symbolic as the preceding six, none of which ever made any literal sound. It has been symbolically sounding since October, 1874, and will continue to the end of the Millennium.”—D. 601; Rev. 10:7.

And there were great voices in heaven.“These voices have been uttered, and to some extent heard, in the symbolic heavens, the nominal church. For some years past a ‘volunteer work’ has been steadily progressing amongst the brethren—the work of rendering assistance to the members of the Household of Faith still in Babylon, still in darkness respecting the Lord, His true Character, His true Plan, and respecting the nearness of His Kingdom.”—Z. '02-118.

Saying, The [kingdoms] KINGDOM of this world [are] IS become the [kingdoms] KINGDOM of our Lord, and of His Christ.“The volunteer matter prepared for this present year (the issues of our journal for February 15 and March 15) had already been prepared before we thought of how wonderfully this year's distribution will agree with the declaration of our text. Here will be a million voices proclaiming throughout the nominal Church (symbolic heavens) the great message of this present time; namely, the Second Presence of our Lord as the reaper of the Harvest of the Gospel Age, gathering the ‘wheat’ into the ‘garner,’ destroying the tares (as tares—not as human beings) and establishing His glorious Kingdom upon a firm foundation of righteousness and equity, for the blessing of every creature.”—Z. '02-119.

[pg 181]

And He shall reign for ever and ever. AMEN.—See Rev. 5:13; Dan. 2:44; 7:14, 18, 27.

11:16. And the [four and] twenty-FOUR elders.—The prophecies pertaining to the Kingdom of God.—Rev. 4:10.

Which [sat] SIT before God on their seats.—Rev. 4:4.

Fell upon their faces, and worshipped God.—Rev. 4:10.

11:17. Saying, We give thee thanks.—See Rev. 5:11-13.

O Lord God Almighty.“Represented in Christ—‘All things are of the Father,’ and ‘all things are by the Son,’ His honored Representative.”—D. 624.

Which art, and wast, and [art to come].—See Rev. 1:4. He is not to come. He has come.

Because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned.“ ‘Thy God reigneth!’ The oft-repeated prayer of the Church has been answered: the Kingdom of God has indeed come. The dead in Christ are even now risen and exalted with our Lord and Head. And the ‘feet’ members of the Body of Christ, who still tarry in the flesh, catching the inspiration of the glorified throng who have already ascended into the Mount (Kingdom) of God, reflect a measure of that transcendent glory, as did Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai.” (C. 301.) “In describing the events under the Seventh Trumpet, this order is observed:—(1) the power is taken by the Lord as King of Earth, and His Reign begun; (2) as a consequence the great judgment-trouble comes upon the world.”—D. 622; Rev. 19:6; Psa. 99:1.

11:18. And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come.“Although they are called Christian nations, they have not received the Spirit of the Lord; they have not received the spirit of meekness, gentleness, long-suffering, brotherly kindness and love, the fruits of the Holy Spirit; but on the contrary, the spirit which St. Paul says consists of hatred, wrath, strife, murder—works of the flesh and the Devil. For this reason they did not even wait for God's wrath to come, but began to bring it upon themselves nearly two months in advance. They became so angry that they began to destroy each other even before their lease of power had expired.”—Z. '14-328.

And the time of the dead, that they should be judged.“They cannot be judged without His words, and the vast majority,—‘dead in trespasses and sins,’ blinded and deafened by the Adversary, through sin,—have not thus far been enabled to hear their Redeemer's wonderful words of life. In the Millennial Kingdom the dead world will have the eyes of its understanding opened and its ears unstopped, and the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the [pg 182] whole earth and reach every member of the dead race, not only those who have not yet gone down into the tomb, but ‘all the families of the earth;’ for, ‘all that are in the grave shall come forth’ for the very purpose of hearing the ‘wonderful words of life,’ and of being judged by them. If they shall accept them heartily they shall, by restitution processes, be brought fully up to life conditions.”—Z. '02-116; Dan. 7:10; Rev. 14:7; 15:4.

And that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy Servants the Prophets.—Who are therefore without their rewards until Christ's Second Advent.—Heb. 11:39, 40.

And to the saints.“We hold that it is a most reasonable inference, and one in perfect harmony with all the Lord's Plan, that in the spring of 1878 all the holy Apostles and other ‘overcomers’ of the Gospel Age who slept in Jesus were raised spirit beings, like unto their Lord and Master.”—C. 234.

And them that fear Thy name, small and great.—All other classes of believers, past, present and future.

And shouldest destroy them.—The Papal and Protestant sects.

Which destroy the earth.—Corrupt the earth, Greek.—Rev. 19:2.

11:19. And the Temple of God.—The true Church.—1 Cor. 3:16.

Was opened in heaven ABOVE.—Was revealed as in the ascendency over the nominal ecclesiastical heavens.

And there was seen in His Temple.—Clearly revealed to His Church.

The Ark.—The repository of the sacred and hidden things of Revelation and Ezekiel.

Of [His] THE testament of God.—The Secret—“The Finished Mystery.”—Psa. 25:14; Col. 1:27; Rev. 14:17; 16:1, 17.

And there were lightnings, and voices and thunderings.—See Rev. 8:5.

And an earthquake.—See Rev. 8:5; 16:18.

And great hail.—A deluge of Truth in its most compact form.—Isa. 28:17; Rev. 16:21.

The tidal wave is coming, the Year of Jubilee;
With shout and song it sweeps along, like billows of the sea,
The jubilee of nations shall ring through earth and sky;
The dawn of grace draws on apace—'tis coming by and by.
[pg 183]

Revelation 12—The Birth Of Antichrist

12:1. And there appeared a great wonder.—Sign, Greek.—Rev. 1:1.

In heaven.—In the power of spiritual control.—A. 318; Eph. 2:4-6; Phil. 3:20.

A Woman.—The early Church, Nominal Zion, (D. 591), originally a chaste Virgin.—2 Cor. 11:2; Matt. 9:15; 22:2; John 3:29; Eph. 5:25, 32.

Clothed with the sun.—Resplendent in the full, clear light of the unclouded Gospel.—D. 591.

And the moon under her feet.“The moon under her feet represents that the Law which supports her is nevertheless not the source of her light.”—D. 591.

And upon her head a crown of twelve stars.“The twelve stars about her head as a crown represent her Divinely appointed and inspired teachers—the Twelve Apostles.” (D. 591.) “Now if God ordained only twelve stars as lights for His Church, as here represented, is it not a great mistake for popes, bishops and clergy to regard themselves as successors of the Apostles,—stars also?”—D. 594.

12:2. And [she] being with child.—As a result of the Mystery of Iniquity which was working within her.—2 Thes. 2:7.

[Cried], AND SHE CRIETH travailing in birth.—Felt the weight of the burden even in apostolic days.—Rev. 2:2.

And pained to be delivered.—Desired to get rid of the loathsome thing from which, by the machinations of Satan, she was at the time suffering. In a sense the birth of the Antichrist from the early Church was a counterfeit of the birth of Christ from the virgin Mary, the one a manifestation of the power of God, the other of Satan.—John 16:21, 22.

12:3. And there appeared another wonder in heaven.—Among the ecclesiastical powers of the same epoch.

And behold a great red dragon.—The Pagan Roman Empire, which had its own religious system. “The Roman Empire had not only conquered the world and given it politics and laws, but, recognizing religious superstitions to be the strongest chains by which to hold and control a people, it had adopted a scheme which had its origin [pg 184] in Babylon, in the time of her greatness as ruler of the world. That plan was, that the emperor should be esteemed the director and ruler in religious as well as in civil affairs. In support of this, it was claimed that the emperor was a demi-god, in some sense descended from their heathen deities. As such he was worshipped and his statues adored; and as such he was styled Pontifex Maximus—i. e., Chief Priest or Greatest Religious Ruler.”—B. 288.

Having seven heads and ten horns.—See Dan. 7:7, 20; Rev. 13:1; 17:3, 9-12; 5:6; 1 Sam. 2:10; Deut. 33:17; 1 Ki. 22:11. The Eastern, or Byzantine Empire, was founded in A. D. 395, when Theodosius divided the Roman Empire between his two sons, Honorius and Arcadius, assigning to the latter all the portion lying east of the Adriatic sea. At this time the Roman Empire became the two legs of Nebuchadnezzar's vision. At the time the division was made the five potential races in the East were the Greeks, Lombards, Ostrogoths, Heruli and Vandals. The five potential races in the West were the Franks, Britons, Saxons, Visigoths and Suevi. During the next one hundred and fifty years great migrations and invasions have so confused history that there is great difference of opinion among historians on many important details. It is plain, however, that three of the migratory races disappeared from history, all within a few years of each other, apparently in order to leave Rome and its environs free for the development of the papacy. The Heruli, a race from Germanic territory, disappeared from Italian territory in A. D. 489; the Vandals, a race from the shores of the Baltic (never in control of Rome except on a brief raid, but a great enemy of the papacy) disappeared in A. D. 534; and the Ostrogoths, an Asiatic race, in A. D. 539. The Western Empire itself disappeared in A. D. 476. The matter is treated by Pastor Russell at greater length in C. 76, 77, and all his statements are, of course, correct.

And seven crowns upon his heads.—In the Eastern Empire, corresponding to the present Turkey and the Balkans, and in Lombardy, corresponding to the present Austria, we may see the two horns which remained of the five Eastern powers after the Ostrogoths, Heruli and Vandals disappeared. And in the Visigothic Kingdom, corresponding to Spain; Suevia, corresponding to Portugal; the Kingdom of the Franks, corresponding to France and the Netherlands; Saxonia, corresponding to Germany and Scandinavia; and Britannia, corresponding to Great Britain, we may see the five horns which represented the [pg 185] five western powers. The following explains why Italy is not included in the list:

“The difficulty of Italian history lies in the fact that until modern times the Italians have had no political unity, no independence, no organized existence as a nation. Split up into numerous and mutually hostile communities, they never, through the fourteen centuries which have elapsed since the end of the old Western Empire, shook off the yoke of foreigners completely; they never until lately learned to merge their local and conflicting interests in the common good of undivided Italy. Their history is therefore not the history of a single people, centralizing and absorbing its constituent elements by a process of continued evolution, but a group of cognate populations, exemplifying divers types of constitutional developments.”—Brit.

The foregoing justifies Pastor Russell's thought that the Western Empire should be counted as one of the horns rooted up to make way for the Papacy. As to whether it or the Vandal race should be counted as the third horn, since both were destroyed, is a matter of no great importance to us. The point of greatest interest now is that the Lord is about to destroy the other seven, including the Papacy. All the powers named, except Spain, are already in the great War. Indeed, except South America, which expects to be dragged in, the only countries of the world not now (June, 1917) engaged in the war are Scandinavia, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, Abyssinia and Mexico.—Jer. 25:15-38.

12:4. And his tail.—Constantine, last of the Roman emperors to maintain his capital at Rome. “After the senate and people of Rome had ceased to be the sovereigns of the Roman world, and their authority had been vested in the sole person of the emperor, the eternal city could no longer claim to be the rightful throne of the state. That honor could henceforth be conferred upon any place in the Roman world which might suit the convenience of the emperor, or serve more efficiently the interests he had to guard. Furthermore, the empire was now upon its defense. When Constantine, therefore, established a new seat of government at Byzantium, he adopted a policy inaugurated before his day as essential to the preservation of the Roman dominion. He can claim originality only in his choice of the particular point at which that seat was placed, and in his recognition of the fact that his alliance with the Christian church could be best maintained in the new atmosphere. The city was founded by Constantine the Great, through the enlargement of the [pg 186] old town of Byzantium, in A. D. 328, and was inaugurated as a new seat of government on the 11th of May, A. D. 330. To indicate its political dignity, it was named New Rome, while to perpetuate the name of its founder it was styled Constantinople. The chief patriarch of the Greek church still signs himself ‘Archbishop of New Rome.’ ”—Brit.

Illustration
Paganism Attacks the Early Church

Drew the third part.“The Roman Emperor Constantine saw a vision—probably when wide awake—a vision of greater prosperity for himself and his Empire, by a recognition of Christianity as the religion of his Empire instead of paganism, which had previously been recognized. Constantine's influence in Church affairs became great. He proposed the calling of a council of all the bishops, numbering about one thousand. He wanted to know why these apostolic bishops, all inspired with the same Spirit of God, taught so differently. He offered to pay the expenses of all the bishops to the Council of Nice; but the majority, fearing that the Emperor would be under the control of the Roman bishop (not yet claiming to be pope), declined to attend. Only 384 came. But even they were unable to agree. Many held to the Bible teaching, but the mystification thought of trinity had gained a hold on some of the bishops. Thereupon Constantine decided the matter; and the Nicene Creed, backed by the Emperor's power, was declared to be the Christian faith, and anything contrary to it, heresy. Yet be it remembered that only about one-third of the bishops were present at the Council; and that they could not be coerced into substituting ‘mystery’ for the Word of God, until the Emperor lent his influence. Thus was the mystery of trinity enshrined by a heathen emperor, not baptized—not even sprinkled. The history of the persecution of all who would not worship the trinitarian mystery would fill volumes. One sad illustration is familiar to all—the burning of Servetus, by good Brother Calvin's signature to the death warrant. Is it any wonder that with such conditions prevailing for centuries, the Bible ignored and the creeds worshipped, the true teachings of the Bible on many subjects were completely lost sight of? Is it any wonder that, when in the sixteenth century God began to bring the Bible back to the attention of the world, it was burned by the Episcopal bishops in front of St. Paul's Cathedral in London? Is it any wonder that the Christians of that time were persecuted for studying it, and could meet only in secret?”—B. S. M.

Of the stars of heaven.—False stars, “wandering stars,” man-ordained lights of the nominal heavens.—D. 595. There the bishops became substitutes for the true Apostolic stars.

[pg 187]

And did cast them to the earth.—Forced them to teach what he told them or else be banished, as was Arius.

And the dragon.—Imperial Rome, represented by Constantine.

Stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered.—The early Christian Church.

For to devour her child.—Absorb it, make it a subordinate feature of the Roman system of government.

As soon as it was born.—As soon as the development of the clergy class and others equally unfaithful to Christ had made it impossible for them to be retained longer in the true Church.

12:5. And she brought forth a man child.—The papacy.—Z. '79-12-2.

Who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.“In a bull, or edict, Sixtus V declares: ‘The authority given to St. Peter and his successors, by the immense power of the eternal King, excels all the power of earthly kings and princes. It passeth uncontrollable sentence upon them all. And if it find any of them resisting God's ordinance, it takes more severe vengeance on them, casting them down from their thrones, however powerful they may be, and tumbling them down to the lowest parts of the earth as the ministers of aspiring Lucifer.’

“A bull of Pope Pius V., entitled ‘The damnation and excommunication of Elizabeth, queen of England, and her adherents’ reads as follows: ‘He that reigneth on high, to whom is given all power in heaven and in earth, committed one holy, catholic and apostolic church (out of which there is no salvation) to one alone upon earth, namely, to Peter, the Prince of the apostles, and to Peter's successor, the bishop of Rome, to be governed in fulness of power. Him alone he made prince over all people and all kingdoms, to pluck up, destroy, scatter, consume, plant and build.’ ”—B. 311.

And her child was caught up unto God, and [to] UNTO His throne.“St Bernard affirms that ‘none except God is like the pope, either in heaven or on earth.’ ‘The Emperor Constantine,’ says Pope Nicholas I., ‘conferred the appellation of God on the pope; who, therefore, being God, cannot be judged by man.’ Said Pope Innocent III.—‘The pope holds the place of the true God;’ and the canon law, in the gloss, denominates the pope—‘our Lord God.’ Innocent and Jacobatius state that ‘the pope can do nearly all that God can do,’ while Decius rejects the word nearly, as unnecessary. Jacobatius and Durand assert that ‘none dare say to him any more than to God—Lord, what doest Thou?’ ”—B. 311.

[pg 188]

Pope Martin stated the matter in his own behalf as follows: “All the earth is my diocese, and I am the ordinary of all men, having the authority of the King of all kings upon subjects. I am all in all, and above all, so that God Himself, and I, the vicar of God, have both one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do. In all things that I list my will is to stand for reason, for I am able by the law to dispense above the law, and of wrong to make justice in correcting laws and changing them. Wherefore, if those things that I do be said not to be done of man, but of God—What can you make me but God? Again, if prelates of the church be called and counted of Constance for Gods, I then, being above all prelates, seem by this reason to be above all Gods. Wherefore, no marvel if it be in my power to change time and times, to alter and abrogate laws, to dispense with all things, yea, with the precepts of Christ”—B. 314; Dan. 7:25.

12:6. And the woman.—The true Church of God.

Fled Into the wilderness.“Error, always more popular than truth, when exalted to influence and power, hunted down, proscribed and made disreputable the truth, and all who held it. This was the time when the true Church (woman) fled into the wilderness—into solitude—an outcast because of her fidelity to the truth, and to the true Lord and Head of the Church.”—B. 329.

Where she hath a place prepared of God.“The secret place of the Most High.”—Psa. 91:1.

That they.—The antitypical ravens that fed the Elijah class, the unknown, “faithful men” who, in secret, broke the bread of life to those that hungered for righteousness.

Should feed her there.—As Elijah was fed in the wilderness.—Rev. 2:20.

A thousand two hundred and threescore days.—1260 years, from A. D. 539 to 1799.—Rev. 11:2, 3.

12:7. And there was war in heaven.—Between the two ecclesiastical powers, Pagan Rome and Papal Rome.

Michael.“Who as God,” the Pope.—B. 275; C. 62.

And his angels.—The Bishops. The following is the reply given in the Catholic catechism to the question, “Who are the successors of the Apostles?” Ans. “The bishops who are rightly consecrated, and are in communion with the head of the Church, the Pope.”

[Fought against] TO WAR WITH the dragon.—Attempted to get the temporal power away from the civil rulers.—Rev. 2:12.

And the dragon.—Imperial Rome.—B. 288; Rev. 12:3; 20:2.

[pg 189]

Fought and his angels.—Did everything possible to circumscribe the growing power of the papacy, but all in vain.—Rev. 2:12.

12:8. And THEY prevailed not AGAINST HIM, neither was [their place] HE THEN found any more in heaven.—The Papacy came out of the contest victorious. “Paganism, defeated, relinquished all things pertaining to religious affairs and contented itself with social, civic and political affairs,” so stated one of Pastor Russell's coworkers.

12:9. And the great dragon was cast out.—Verses 9 to 12 contain the rejoicings of the Papacy over their triumph.

That old serpent, called the Devil, [and] Satan.“To this fourth beast, representing Rome, Daniel gives no descriptive name. While the others are described as lion-like, bear-like and leopard-like, the fourth was so ferocious and hideous that none of the beasts of earth could be compared with it. John the Revelator, seeing in vision the same symbolic beast (government), was also at a loss for a name by which to describe it, and finally gives it several. Among others, he called it ‘the Devil.’ He certainly chose an appropriate name; for Rome, when viewed in the light of its bloody persecutions, certainly has been the most devilish of all earthly governments. Even in its change from Rome Pagan to Rome Papal it illustrated one of Satan's chief characteristics; for he also transforms himself to appear as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14), as Rome transformed itself from heathenism and claimed to be Christian—the Kingdom of Christ.”—A. 258.

Which deceiveth the whole world.—By intimating that anybody in it except the pope has any right to say anything about how it should be run.

He was cast out into the earth.—We, the Papacy, are in control!

And his angels were cast out with him.—We, the cardinals, etc., have the positions of power once held by the priests of Pagan Rome!

12:10. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven.—In the Roman Catholic Church.

Now is come salvation, and strength.“Cardinal Manning, Papacy's chief representative in England, endorses and draws public attention to the following clause of the Catholic faith: ‘We declare, affirm, define, and pronounce it necessary to salvation, for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.’ And in a published discourse he represents the pope as saying, ‘I claim to be the Supreme Judge and Director of the consciences of men; of the peasant that tills the field, and the prince that sits on the throne; of the household that lives in the [pg 190] shade of privacy, and the Legislature that makes laws for kingdoms. I am the sole, last, Supreme Judge of what is right and wrong.’ ”—B. 317.

And the kingdom of our God.—The Papacy really believed that its exaltation to power was the exaltation of the kingdom of God in the earth, and so it was, but not our God.—2 Cor. 4:4.

And the power of His Christ.—The pope really believes he is the Vicar of Christ.

For the accuser of our brethren is cast down.—It seemed to the Papacy that in undermining and supplanting Imperial Rome they had gained a great victory for Christ.

Which accused them before our God day and night.—Pagan Rome truthfully accused the Papacy of lying, simony, murder, adultery, and every crime on the calendar.—Rev. 2:13.

12:11. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.—This is the way it looks to Catholics even to this day. “By this sign [the cross] conquer!” was the Crusaders' standard.

And by the word of their testimony.—But not by the testimony of history or of God's Word, both of which show that “their testimony” (i. e., the testimony of the papacy, in the forged decretals and otherwise) was one of continuous lies.—Dan. 11:27.

And they loved not their lives unto the death.—This was the Catholic viewpoint.

12:12. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens.—Catholic heavens—popes, bishops and prelates.

And ye that dwell in them.“The under-priests of Papacy, not parts or members of the church or hierarchy, but called ‘Brothers.’ ”—B. 303.

Woe to the [inhabiters of] the earth and [of] the sea.—It seemed to the Papacy as though the Millennium, and the great Time of Trouble which the Scriptures everywhere show is to precede it, were just at hand.—Rev. 7:1

For the devil is come down to you.—The papal thought that Pagan Rome was a good representative of the Devil is quite right; and the Scriptures return the compliment.

Having [great] wrath.—Being very greatly angered at Papacy's aggressions. The Papal policy has ever been to crowd the civil powers as far as they could possibly go, then wait until a generation had passed and crowd some more. The horns have always hated the whore.—Rev. 17:16.

Because he knoweth he hath but a short time.—Had Papacy been able to bring it about it would surely, in time, have deprived all the rulers of the world of every [pg 191] particle of civil, social, ecclesiastical and financial power. There has never been any limit to its ambitions or pretensions, and there is none now.

12:13. And when the dragon.—The civil powers of the old Roman Empire, under the control of the Papacy.

Saw that he was cast unto the earth.—Deprived of the superstitious reverence now almost wholly absorbed by the Papacy.

He persecuted.—Not on his own account, but under the orders and instructions and encouragements of the Papacy, and to win Papal approval.

The woman which brought forth the man child.—The true Church. For details of the infamous work of Charles V, Emperor of Germany and King of Spain and the Netherlands, the Duke of Alva, Philip II of Spain, the French kings Francis and Henry, see pages 337-338 of Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. II. These are but illustrations of what occurred in all parts of the old Roman world, and were all done at the behest of the Papacy.

12:14. And to the woman.—The true Church.

Were given Two Wings.—The Old and New Testaments.

Of a great eagle.—The eagle is a symbol of wisdom, a fit representative of the Scriptures in which are contained the words of our God. (Rev. 4:7.) “I bare you on eagle's wings, and brought you unto Myself.”—Ex. 19:4; Deut. 32:11-12.

That she might fly into the wilderness.—Separateness from the world; ostracism; represented by Elijah's three and a half years in the wilderness.—Rev. 2:20.

Into her place, where she is nourished.—By Divinely provided means, of which almost no records have been permitted to survive the ravages of papal persecution.

Both for a time, and times, and half a time.—1260 years from A. D. 539 to 1799.—Rev. 11:2, 3.

From.—Safe from.

The face of the Serpent.—Satan himself, the real instigator of all persecutions from the Lord's time even until now.

And the Serpent.—Satan himself, at the close of the 1260 years of Papacy's power to persecute.

Cast out of his mouth water as a flood.“The strength of the French revolution, to which reference is here had, lay in the fact that it was instigated by many stern truths, regarding priest-craft and king-craft, and regarding the individual rights and liberties of all. Truths regarding human rights were seen and expressed there which cause us surprise when we consider the ignorance, superstition and servility of that day, under which the masses had so [pg 192] long rested. Many of the truths which then swept as a flood over France, deluging it with blood, are now very generally accepted among all civilized peoples.”—C. 65.

After the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.“Satan's design in instigating the French revolution was to create an alarm throughout Europe, especially the influential class, unfavorable to liberty, and to illustrate in France the theory that, were the superstitions of Rome to be overthrown and liberty to be given full sway, all law and order would speedily end.” This strategy Satan is now about to repeat—this time with success, but his triumph will be short.—C. 66.

And the earth.—The order-loving people of Europe.

Helped the woman.—The true Church.

And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood.“It is a fact of history that the flood of truth which spread over France—arraigning Papacy and its priestcraft, and monarchy and its parasitic aristocracy, as the responsible causes of much of the ignorance, poverty and superstition of the people—was swallowed up, or absorbed by the people of Europe generally (The Roman ‘earth’). And when the rulers of Europe formed what was called ‘The Holy Alliance,’ for the suppression of the liberties of the people and the perpetuation of their own thrones, it was too late to fetter the people; for, having drunk up the flood of waters, they would not submit. It was too late to think of re-establishing Papacy, which had been so terribly humiliated and whose anathemas against liberty and the French had so reacted against itself; so the pope was not even invited to join the ‘Holy Alliance,’ of which before he would have been the recognized head.”—C. 66.

Which the dragon cast out of his mouth.“This sudden flood of waters (truth) was designed to act as an emetic, to lead to the casting out of the food of liberty, already being received by the people from the Bible, as the result of the Reformation, and thus to force rulers and teachers to oppose the truth through fear of anarchy.”—C. 66.

12:17. And the dragon was wroth with the woman.—The protesting Church of God. This will apply with great force shortly.

And went to make war with the remnant of her seed.—The true saints in the Roman Catholic communion or wherever otherwise found,—always objects of hatred and oppression by ecclesiasticism.—Rev. 13:7.

Which keep the commandments of God.“The law is fulfilled in us.”—Rom. 8:4.

And have the testimony of [Jesus Christ] GOD.—Have HIS word as the man of their counsel.—Rev. 14:12.

[pg 193]

Revelation 13—The Papal And Protestant Beasts

13:1. And [I] HE stood upon the sand of the sea.—The sea represents the masses not under religious restraint. It is this symbolic sea that is to overturn and swallow up all kingdoms of earth in the great Time of Trouble. The proper understanding of the vision is located down at the edge of this sea, near the Time of Trouble.

Illustration
Papacy As God Pictures It

And I saw a beast.“This character is very forcibly delineated even in the names applied to it by the inspired writers. Paul calls it ‘That Wicked One,’ ‘The Man of Sin,’ ‘The Mystery of Iniquity,’ ‘The Antichrist,’ and ‘The Son of Perdition;’ the Prophet Daniel calls it ‘The Abomination that maketh desolate’ (Dan. 11:31; 12:11); and our Lord refers to the same character as ‘The Abomination of Desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet’ (Matt. 24:15). This same character was also prefigured by a little horn, or power, out of a terrible beast that Daniel saw in his prophetic vision, which had eyes, and a mouth that spoke great things, and which prospered and made war with the saints, and prevailed against them. (Dan. 7:8, 21.) John also saw and warned the Church against this character, saying, ‘Ye have heard that Antichrist shall come.’ He then advises how to escape Antichrist's influence. (1 John 2:18-27.) These various appellations and brief descriptions indicate a base, subtle, hypocritical, deceptive, tyrannical and cruel character, developed in the midst of the Christian Church; claiming, to the last, peculiar sanctity and authority and power from God.” (B. 271.) “We need not look long to find a character fitting all the requirements perfectly. But when we state that the one and only system whose history fits these prophecies is Papacy, let no one misunderstand us to mean that every Roman Catholic is a man of sin. Popes, bishops and others are at most only parts or members of the Antichrist system, even as all of the Royal Priests are only members of the true Christ.” (B. 277.) Antichrist now finds its expression in the “Christian” governments of the world founded upon its teachings—Christendom.

Rise up out of the sea.—See Rev. 17:15; Psa. 65:7; 93:3, 4; Isa. 57:20. At the time of papacy's birth the masses of the Roman people had ceased to have reverence for the [pg 194] ancient mythology of Pagan Rome. Constantine, a shrewd politician, discerned this and discerned the growing influence of the Christian religion. In adopting it, in forcing the adoption of the Nicene Creed, and in removing his capital from Rome, he gave the papacy its start.

Having TEN HORNS AND seven heads [and ten horns].—See Rev. 12:3; Dan. 7:7, 20; Rev. 17:3, 9-12; 5:6; 1 Sam. 2:10; Deut. 33:17; 1 Ki. 22:11.

And upon his horns ten crowns.—In this calculation are included the three potential races plucked up to make way for the papacy. (Rev. 12:3; 17:3, 9.) In this picture the location of the crowns upon the horns instead of upon the heads, as in Rev. 12:3, denotes the changed situation after the papacy came into control. The papacy ruled not directly, as did Pagan Rome, but through other powers to which it was joined.

And upon his heads.—The seven kingdoms that still survive: Spain, Portugal, France, England, Germany, Austria, Greece, and their past and present dependencies.

The name of blasphemy.—Every one of these kingdoms falsely claims, or has claimed, to be a part of the Kingdom of God, though actually all part of the one great kingdom ruled by “The god of this world.”—2 Cor. 4:4.

13:2. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard.“The body of the Papal beast was like a Leopard. The Leopard was the third beast seen by Daniel, viz., Grecia. Greece was noted as the center of learning, piety and wisdom (Acts 17:23); so Papacy's chief claim, to be the ruler of all kingdoms, is based on the claim that it is the center of wisdom, learning and piety. Other peculiarities of the Leopard are its activity, vigilance and secretiveness; so with Papacy. Again, a Leopard is spotted irregularly, so too Papacy's policy in various parts of the earth.” (Z. '79-12-2.) “In one place it is liberal, almost white in its professions or appearances; in another quarter black, corrupt, degrading, brutal; and in still other places it has various neutral and tawny shades of correspondence to the natural depravity of the people it rules with its rod of eternal torment and its staff of Purgatory. In Spain, for example, which has been for centuries one of its dark spots—as dark as the general civilization of the people will permit,—the ‘leopard’ has been accustomed to have its way, and is incensed that freedom of worship, or even of thought, should be dreamed of.”—Z. '99-262.

And his feet were as the feet of a bear.“The bear suggests another of Papacy's peculiarities as an empire, viz., persistency. Like the Bear Empire (Medo-Persia) which would besiege for years, and even turn a river aside to [pg 195] accomplish its ends; so Papacy moves cautiously and gets possession of kingdoms rather by strategy than by battles. The bear hugs its prey to death with its paws.”—Z. '79-12-2.

And his mouth as the mouth of [a lion] LIONS.“Babylon was celebrated for its splendor and pride—the Lion the king or ruler of all beasts—so Papacy had a mouth of this sort, i. e., it claimed to be the kingdom over all kingdoms by Divine right, the kingdom of God, which was to break in pieces and consume all others—a strong mouth.”—Z. '79-12-2.

And the dragon.—Imperial Rome, represented by Constantine.

Gave him his power.“Ancient Pagan Rome had only a mere skeleton of sacerdotal power as compared with the complex and elaborate machinery and contrivances of doctrine and practice of Papal Rome, the triumphant successor to their scheme, who now, after centuries of cunning and skill, has its power so intrenched that even today, when its power is outwardly broken and it is shorn of civil dominion, it rules the world and controls kingdoms secretly, under cover, more thoroughly than the Roman emperors ever ruled the kings subordinate to them.”—B. 288.

And his seat.—His place in the city of Rome, by transferring his own headquarters to Byzantium, “New Rome.”—Rev. 12:4.

And great authority.—At the hands of the Roman Emperor Justinian, in A. D. 539.—Rev. 12:3-5.

13:3. And I saw one of his heads.—One of the dragon's heads—Papacy.

As it were wounded to death.—Whenever the Scriptures use the expression “as it were” (as in Rev. 9:7, 9) what seems or appears is not actually the case.

And his deadly wound was healed.“At the Diet of Augsburg, in 1555, the Religious Peace was concluded. Every prince was to be allowed to choose between the Catholic religion and the Augsburg Confession [of the Reformers]; and the religion of the prince was to be that of the land over which he reigned: that is, each government was to choose the creed for its subjects.

“In fact, the political circumstances of the time, combined with the fact that even the leaders of the reform were only beginning to get awake to some of the moral and a few of the doctrinal errors of Papacy, lead us to wonder at the rapid strides taken toward the right, rather than to harshly condemn them for not making the cleansing more thorough. But when the Protestant churches [pg 196] united with the state, progress and reform came to a standstill. Soon creeds were formed which were almost as unyielding and opposed to growth in knowledge as the decrees of Rome.”—C. 111.

And all the [world] EARTH wondered after the beast.—The reference is to the symbolic earth, the people, obedient to the ruling powers.—Rev. 17:8.

13:4. And they worshipped the dragon.“Dragon means civil power, Pagan Rome.”—Z. '79-12-2.

[Which] BECAUSE HE gave THE power unto the beast.“The people respected the civil power all the more because it had so honored ecclesiastical authority. The various kingdoms (horns) soon learned that their hold over the people was strengthened rather than weakened by allegiance to Papacy, for Papacy in turn recognized them, and commanded the people to recognize those despots as of divine appointment. Thus it is, that to this day, the rulers of Europe claim to rule by Divine right and appointment, and their children after them, no matter how incompetent. For the same reason the Protestant churches of Europe, to gain national favor, protection and assistance, became State churches, and they, as Papacy did, recognize the reigning families as possessed of Divine title to the office and rulership of the people. God's Word, on the contrary, denounces all the governments of earth as beastly, selfish, oppressive, and recognizes only one Kingdom as being of God's appointment, viz., the Kingdom soon to be established in all the earth—Christ and His saints in glory. (Dan. 7:27; Rev. 11:15; 2 Tim. 2:12.) It is in that Kingdom only that the saints have their citizenship, it alone they recognize, and for it pray ‘Thy Kingdom come.’ ”—Z. '80-1-1.

And they worshipped the beast.“The following, called The Adoration, is still a part of the ceremony connected with the installation of a new pope: ‘The pope is lifted up by the cardinals and placed by them upon the altar-throne. One of the bishops kneels, and the singing of Te Deum [We praise thee, O God] begins. Meantime the cardinals kiss the feet and hands and face of the pope.’ A coin representing this ceremony, struck in the Papal mint, bears the words, ‘Whom they create, they adore.’ ”—B. 316.

Saying, Who is like unto the beast.—What other character in history ever made such claims or received such homage?—Rev. 18:18.

AND who is able to make war with him.“When, in A. D. 455, the city of Rome was invaded and plundered by the Vandals, and all around was distress and desolation, [pg 197] Leo, the bishop of Rome, improved the opportunity for impressing upon all, both barbarians and Romans, his claim of spiritual power. To the rude and superstitious barbarians, already greatly impressed by what they saw about them, of Rome's greatness and wealth, Leo, arrayed in his pontifical robes, exclaimed: ‘Beware! I am the successor of St. Peter, to whom God has given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and against whose church the gates of hell cannot prevail; I am the living representative of divine power on the earth; I am Cæsar, a Christian Cæsar, ruling in love, to whom all Christians owe allegiance; I hold in my hands the curses of hell and the benedictions of Heaven; I absolve all subjects from allegiance to kings; I give and take away, by divine right, all thrones and principalities of Christendom. Beware how you desecrate the patrimony given me by your invisible king; yea, bow down your necks to me and pray that the anger of God may be averted.’ ”—B. 295.

13:5. And there was given unto him a mouth.—The mouth of Antichrist is one of its leading characteristics.—B. 305; Dan. 7:8, 11, 25.

Speaking great things and blasphemies.“How evident it must be to the simplest minds that Papacy's great swelling words and boastful claims have, one and all, been blasphemies. The establishment of a counterfeit Kingdom of God was a libel upon God's government, a gross blasphemy, and a misrepresentation of His character and Plan and Word. God's character, i. e., His ‘name,’ was blasphemed in the thousand monstrous edicts, bulls and decretals issued in His name, by the long line of those who claimed, as vice-gerents, to represent His Son by the titles, appropriate only to the Father or to Christ, which they have applied to themselves; and God's Tabernacle, the true Church, was blasphemed by the false system which claimed to take its place.”—B. 306; Dan. 7:8, 20, 25.

And [power] IT was given unto him to [continue] DO WHAT HE WILL.—He still continues, though he can no longer do what he will.

Forty and two months.—1260 days, or a time, times and a half; fulfilled in 1260 literal years from A. D. 539 to 1799 A. D. (Rev. 11:2.) As a secondary fulfilment, we may see the end of the rule of the Kaiser and others of his mouthpieces in 42 literal months from Aug. 1, 1914. But what folly it would be to try to see in the German Kaiser, or any other one man, the foretold Antichrist.—Rev. 11:11.

13:6. And he opened his mouth in [blasphemy] BLASPHEMIES against God.—Misrepresentations of the Divine Character and Plan.

[pg 198]

To blaspheme [His name] HIM.—God was blasphemed, or misrepresented by the titles used by the popes, by their claims to the exercise of Divine power on earth (B. 311), by claims that the Pope is God on earth (B. 314), by claims that he is the sole judge of right and wrong (B. 317), by claims that he is infallible (B. 318), by proscribing the Bible (B. 319), by the doctrines of eternal torture and purgatory (B. 323), by masses for the dead and the sale of indulgences (B. 324), and by devilish practices against His saints, too numerous to name.

And His tabernacle.—The church in the wilderness.—Rev. 12:6, 14.

[And] Them that dwell in heaven.—God's Tabernacle is His true Church in the flesh, but, nevertheless, “Our citizenship is in Heaven.” (Phil. 3:20, R. V.) Even here we have been made to “Sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”—Eph. 2:6.

13:7. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints.—See Rev. 2:20; Acts 9:32; Rom. 15:25; 1 Cor. 6:1.

And to overcome them.—See Rev. 6:8; Dan. 7:21, 22.

And power was given him over all kindreds, AND PEOPLES, and tongues, and nations.—This has been literally fulfilled, but will have a secondary fulfilment soon, through the beastly governments that are Papacy's living representatives in spirit if not in fact.—Rev. 17:15.

13:8. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him.—Yield either willing or forced obedience to his mandates; bow the knee in submission.

Whose names are not written in the Book of Life.“The deception of Papacy was so complete that the world was deceived, and all the church, except the overcomers, whose names were ‘written in Heaven,’ were deceived in the same way, and hastened to unite themselves with, and to worship the Beast, and have it enroll their names on its books. From this has sprung the delusion so common to all Protestants at this day, viz., that their names must be connected with some such earthly system, or they are not the Lord's saints. But the important item is, to have our names recorded in the Lamb's Book of Life; His is the only record of any value.”—Z. '80:1-1; Psa. 69:28; Dan. 12:1; Lu. 10:20; Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5; 21:27.

Of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.“This selection of the Only Begotten to be the Head and Chief of the New Creation—subject to the trials, disciplines, humiliations and other necessary experiences to prove His worthiness—had already been determined upon in the Divine counsel before man was created.”—F. 65; 1 Pet. 1:20; Eph. 1:4; Rev. 5:6; John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32.

[pg 199]

13:9. If any man have an ear, let him hear.“Only those whose ears have been circumcised—those who had come to a considerable knowledge of God's Word and who had the hearing of faith—to respect Him and His Word, despite the magnificence, success and power of error, would be able to receive the foregoing statements concerning those who were deceived by Papacy.”—Z. '80-1-1.

13:10. [He that] IF ANY ONE leadeth into captivity [shall go] HE GOETH into captivity.“The Papal system was one of bondage. All who acknowledge its claims must of necessity render implicit obedience, as unto God; for it claimed to be the kingdom of heaven; and its head, the Pope, to be God's vice-gerent; consequently those who were for, or in favor of such captivity of individual thought, and who would acknowledge the right of that Papal system to limit and define the faith of all, by consenting, became captives.”—Z. '80-1-2.

He that killeth with the sword must be killed by the sword.“There were some who asserted that Papacy was a usurpation of the titles and power of the true Head and Ruler of the Church, and claimed their rights to the individual liberty wherewith Christ had made them free. Such used the ‘Sword of the Spirit,’ which is the Word of God, in defense of their liberty, and such were put to death by Papacy; it overcame the saints during its 1260 years of power.”—Z. '80-1-2.

Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.“This was a severe test of true saintship—Would they go into captivity and join in the usurper's ranks, or would they remain faithful to the true King and wait for the Kingdom which He promised to establish? Those whose names were written in Heaven stuck to the Word, and sealed their testimonies by death.” (Z. '80-1-2.) The same situation now confronts the saints, in the matter of aiding in some way the murderous spirit of the governments which are permeated by Antichrist's spirit.—Rev. 14:12.

13:11. And I beheld another beast.“If the preceding wild beast represented an ecclesiastical power, as we have just seen, then this beast called another should be understood to represent a similar ecclesiastical or church power. As the first beast had ten horns, or powers, which gave it their strength, so this beast has ‘two horns’ which indicates that two powers or governments will support it. Again, notice that this beast ‘ascended (came gradually) out of the earth,’ while the first came out of the sea. Now, if our definitions be correct—as the coming of Papacy from among the irreligious masses of the Roman Empire was shown by its coming out of the ‘sea’—then [pg 200] the coming of this second beast out of the ‘earth’ should signify that it sprung up among a professedly religious people. The Two-horned Beast is one ecclesiastical system, and the two horns show that it is supported, and its authority recognized by two kingdoms. Remember that to be simply aided or supported by the empire does not make a symbolic ‘Beast’; a ‘Beast’ is a government, and to become a symbolic beast, a church must needs become an element in, or part of the government.

“There is but one church which this symbol fits perfectly, viz.: The established ‘Church of England and Ireland.’ This system, like the Papal, was a blending of church and state, an ecclesiastical empire. In the year 1200 England became subject to the Pope. In 1531, owing to a dispute between her king, Henry VIII, and the Pope, England withdrew from allegiance to Papacy. The Convocation of its clergy called the same year, in its decrees, declared King Henry VIII to be ‘The one protector of the English Church, its only and Supreme Lord; and as far as might be, by the law of Christ, its Supreme Head.’ Those are the exact sentiments of Papacy; that is exactly the sense in which the Pope is recognized as Christ's vice-gerent. What a glorious representation of the Lord Jesus they had in Henry VIII, who, out of six wives, was divorced from two, beheaded two, and by many is supposed to have poisoned one! He was a worthy rival of some of the Popes as an Anti-christian claimant of headship to the church. The Clerical Convocation which could acknowledge such a head was not far from being as corrupt as Papacy.

“The proof that the title, ‘head of the church,’ was not an empty honor, appears from the historian's words—‘At the same time it was ordained that no regard should be paid to censures which the Pope might pass on account of this law and that Mass should be said, and sacraments administered as usual. In 1534, all payments made to the apostolic chamber, and dispensations, were abolished; monasteries were subjected to royal government, and exempted from all other; the right to summon Convocations, approve or reject canons (laws or doctrines enacted by the Convocation of clergy), and hear appeals from the Bishops, was vested in the King alone. These matters are but imperfectly understood by people in general, and the same titles—“Supreme head of the church on earth,” etc., are still applied to English sovereigns. It is needless to remark that the Lord Jesus never gave this office to any one, but claims it Himself; and any others who claim it are usurpers. Paul said: “Christ is the Head of the [pg 201] Church,” and that we are to “grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ.” Again he repeats that “God gave Him to be the Head over all things in the Church, which is His body.” (Eph. 1:22 and 4:15, and 5:23; Col. 1:18.) It is the church on earth that Paul is speaking of, hence any Pope, Queen, Council, Assembly, Conference, or any other man or company of men, who claim or exercise the powers of the true Head—Jesus—are opposing Him. And all who support such by influence, presence or money, are abettors of evil and supporters of false systems. Now does this system (the English church) fill the picture? The second Beast had two horns; what two kingdoms (horns) supported this church? Bear in mind the distinction between a church supported by a government, as the Presbyterian in Scotland, and a church united in the government, as in England; it is the latter relationship that constitutes a “beast.” ’ ”—Z. '80-1-2; Rev. 13:14, 15; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2, 13.

Coming up out of the earth.“From the visible church of God.”—Cook.

And he had two horns like a lamb.“Now about the two horns. England, of course, was one of them, and Ireland the other. Let us see. History says that in 1537 the Irish Parliament in Dublin ‘passed the Act of Supremacy, declaring Henry VIII Supreme Head of the Church, prohibiting intercourse with the court of Rome, and making it treason to refuse the oath of supremacy.’ ‘Henry VIII also took the title of King of Ireland.’ Thus it is seen that the second horn came up within the brief space of five years after the first. The fact that Ireland was not a powerful horn matters not, for it was stronger than some that supported the Papal Beast. What effects result from the disestablishment of the Church in Ireland? From 1538 to 1871 (333 years), the title of the church was ‘The Church of England and Ireland,’ thus recognizing both ‘horns.’ On January 1, 1871 (by action of Parliament and the consent of the Queen, the head of the church) the Irish church was disestablished, or that horn was cast off. So, too, all of the horns which once supported Papacy have broken off from her; the difference being that in the case of Papacy the horns have turned against her, and in the case of the second Beast it casts off the Irish horn of itself, believing it to be a weakness rather than a strength. And it would not be at all remarkable if the other horn (England) would be separated from this Beast. ‘The two horns like a lamb,’ would seem to indicate that this Beast would be peaceably inclined—not aggressive, but merely using the horns for defense.”—Z. '80-1-2.

[pg 202]

And, he spake as a dragon.“ ‘He spake like a dragon.’ Notice, it is not said he spake like the dragon, but like a dragon. We understand this to mean that its utterances resembled those of a purely civil (dragon) power, and that in its words there would be little to denote that it is an ecclesiastical government.” (Z. '80-1-2.) England's conduct in forcing opium into China is evidence enough of its Satanic character. “China realizes that opium is her great curse; she has passed laws against the growth of the poppy and the manufacture of opium. But she finds that the imports of opium amount to 5,000,000 pounds per year. She cries out again, as in the past, that this Great Kingdom of Christ (?) (Great Britain) will have mercy upon her and cease to insist on this curse being introduced to blight China morally and physically. The young men of heathen China have started a monster petition for the cessation of opium importation. The text of this appeal appeared in the New York Herald, February 17. It recounts that a previous appeal, of similar character, was made without avail to the King's royal grandmother in 1858, when she was the representative of this branch of Christ's Kingdom (?).” (Z. '11-115.) “The False Prophet who causes the dwellers on earth to worship the Beast symbolizes the deification of the world and of the world power, throughout the conflict between the church and Antichrist.”—Cook.

13:12. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him.“And the authority of the first Wild Beast—the whole of that authority—he exercises in his presence, and he causes the earth and its inhabitants to worship the first Wild Beast.” (Weym.) “This shows that the second does not take the place of the first beast, but that they exist contemporaneously.” (Z. '80-1-2.) It also shows that the sufferings of the last members of the Body of Christ, under the combination of governments dominated by Great Britain, may be expected to be as great as in Papacy's palmiest days.

And causeth the earth and them which dwell therein.“We make a distinction between the earth and those who dwell on it. As the earth symbolizes those obedient to and supporting the Beast, so ‘those dwelling on the earth,’ we understand to mean independent Christians who do not support either of these systems.”—Z. '80-1-2.

To worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.“The Church of England claimed all the powers and authority which Papacy claimed. It claimed to be the Church; it acknowledged and repudiated some of the corruptions complained of by the Reformers, such as the [pg 203] sale of indulgence, transubstantiation, etc., and abandoned these as well as the name Roman, for which they substituted the word Holy, calling it the original ‘Holy Catholic Church.’ It claims the same governmental authority and the same veneration for its decrees as Papacy does for hers. And by establishing a similar system, devoid of some of the grosser Papal errors, it attracted the attention of all to those errors, as being the only possible fault of Papacy. And when some of those errors were shortly after discarded by Papacy, the inference was that both Beast systems were right. People at that day, as now, seemed to think those systems proper and right, if their powers, etc., were properly exercised; but from God's standpoint the systems are abominations, and wrong from the very center. These systems are based upon errors, and like a corrupt tree, ‘cannot bring forth good fruit.’

“The principal error was in this—the very basis of those systems—their claim to be the ‘Kingdom of God’ in reigning power. That idea, once admitted, justifies their persecution of individuals and nations, forcing them to submit and bow in obedience. Scripture accords these powers to the ‘Kingdom of God’—when ‘the Kingdom is the Lord's and He is the Governor among the nations; all the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of nations shall worship before Thee.’ (Ps. 22:27, 28.) He shall ‘dash them in pieces as a potter's vessel.’ (Ps. 2:9.) Unto Him every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess. (Phil. 2:11.) And if their claim be good, who can object to their carrying out the Scriptural statements? These Antichrists, to make their claim of kingdom power appear true, had simply to take another, viz., to compel obedience, backing up their right to do so by the Scriptures just quoted. And not only was this great evil sanctioned, but their claim, once admitted, that the Kingdom was established and the reign in progress, those who admitted it were hindered from looking for the true Head of the Church to set up the true Kingdom under the whole heavens, which shall break in pieces present imperfect governments, establish righteousness in the earth, and cause every knee to bow and every tongue to confess, to the glory of God.”—Z. '80-1-2.

13:13. And he doeth great wonders.—The strongest text of Scripture forewarning against the impending Church Federation is the strongest text of Scripture forewarning against spiritism. (Isa. 8:9-22.) It is not by accident that these warnings are placed together. “We shall not be at all surprised if some later manifestation of the powers of darkness, transformed to appear as the angels of light [pg 204] and progress, shall be much more specious and delusive than anything yet attempted. We do well to remember the Apostle's words,—‘We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with princely powers of darkness, with the spiritual things of the Evil One.’ (Eph. 6:12.) In 1842, six years before ‘modern Spiritism’ began to operate, Edward Bickersteth, a servant of God and student of His Word, wrote,—‘Looking at the signs of the times, and the long neglect and unnatural denial of all angelic ministration or spiritual influence, and at the express predictions of false Christs, and false prophets, who shall show signs and wonders, insomuch that if it were possible they should deceive the Very Elect, and that when men receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved, for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they shall believe a lie; I cannot but think there is a painful prospect of a sudden recoil and religious revulsion from the present unbelief and misbelief, to an unnatural and undistinguishing credulity.’ Satan is the inspirer and supporter of every Antichrist; and as he led those who had pleasure in error rather than the truth to the organization of the great Antichrist, Papacy, symbolically the ‘beast’ of Rev. 13, and as he is now operating to produce a Protestant ‘image of the beast’ with life, which will cooperate with the chief Antichrist, so in combination with these will be the powers of darkness, the powers of the air, the lying and seducing spirits, operating in some manner or in a variety of ways,—Spiritism, Christian Science, New Thought, Theosophy, Hypnotism, etc.” (S. 32.) “If we gain the right conception of the matter these deceptions are to affect the whole world, including its wise men, and indeed practically everybody.”—Z. '09-123; Deut. 13:1-3; Matt. 24:24, 25; 2 Thes. 2:9-12; Rev. 16:14.

Note the readiness of Christendom to fall into the trap: “In a sermon in which he told of the effect of religious seances and the efforts of certain writers to shatter belief in a future life, the Rev. H. D. C. Maclachlan preached to a large congregation in Seventh Street Christian Church on ‘The New Spiritualism,’ in which he gave scientific proof of a future life and exhorted his hearers to be of good cheer and continue to hope. Mr. Maclachlan spoke in part as follows: ‘There has been no more remarkable change in public opinion than that witnessed within the last few years with regard to that class of facts known as spiritualistic. There was a time when it was not quite respectable to believe in them, but quite recently there has been a change. Ghosts have become respectable; planchette and table rapping are parlor amusements; the [pg 205] popular magazines vie with each other in saying nice things about mediums and their ways. The cause of this change in public opinion has been a similar change in scientific belief. It is not more than thirty years ago that orthodox science refused so much as to investigate the things of which we are speaking. Some twenty-five years ago the Society for Psychical Research was formed in England with such names as Crookes, Myers, Romanes, Eidgwick, Barrett and others on its list of members, and since that day telepathy, table rapping, clairvoyance, clairaudience, telekinesis, apparitions, materializations, mental healing and all the other phenomena which Professor James, of Harvard, aptly calls residual, have been investigated. Mediums have been transferred from back parlors, where all sorts of trickery was possible, to the physical laboratories of the universities. They have been put under conditions of strictest control. Even the traditional darkness has been denied them. And still the wonderful results came. One after another leading scientists entered into these investigations skeptical and contemptuous, but came out of them believers in the facts on the evidence of their own senses.’ ”—Z. '09-164.

So that he maketh fire come down from heaven.—Fire from heaven was the test by which Elijah proved that Jehovah is the true God, and was the method by which Jehovah accepted the offerings made to Him on the Day of Atonement. (1 Kings 18:38; Lev. 9:24.) In the test at hand the second beast will be able to prove to all except the Elect that his claims to Divine approval are correct. “Our Lord warns us of danger from false Christs ‘then’—that is now. Had it been foretold precisely what form these deceptions would take, this would have somewhat hindered their deceptive power. God permits these deceptions for the very purpose of separating the ‘overcomers’ from all others, and merely guarantees us that the ‘Elect’ will be kept from falling. And yet it is quite possible that some of these trials, siftings and delusions, may come closest upon those possessing the largest degree of the light of Present Truth.” (D. 581; Rev. 7:3.) “The Lord allows the storms to press us more and more so that we will cry unto Him. Then He will hear us and give us the necessary deliverance. These storms may be right inside, in our own person. Whether, therefore, storms financial, political, religious or demoniacal, come his way, the child of God may rest secure and be of good courage. The Lord is both able and willing to care for his interests and bring him off victor.” (Z. '13-150.) As soon as the beast has apparently made out a clear case, perhaps by [pg 206] outward, visible evidences, but surely by evidences from the Scriptures (distorted) of its standing with God, we may expect a very prompt and practical use of the “fire” (Luke 9:54) thus obtained. “The Image, as soon as vitalized, will very promptly use its influence, prestige, power, in every way to punish in the name of the Lord those who in any sense of the word it shall consider to be its opponents. Speedily none will be allowed to buy or sell, in the spiritual marts [or perhaps in any marts], except those who have either the mark or the number of the Beast, or of the Image, either in the right hand of co-operation or in the forehead of public confession. This will mean that the International Bible Students Association and all others not in affiliation with the Alliance will be subjected to radically coercive measures. Truth shall fall in the streets. (Isa. 59:14.) Righteousness will be unable to enter under the stress of the new order of things. For a time it will appear as though a great Christian victory had been won, shared equally by Papacy and Federated-Protestantism—no longer protesting.”—Z. '13-343.

On the earth in the sight of men.—Amongst his own followers and among Christians unattached to either beast.

13:14. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth.—The independent Christians just named.

By the means of those miracles.—Signs, the laying on of hands, doctrines of immortality, trinity and claims that none are qualified to understand the Bible aright except those consecrated by the imposition of holy orders by the episcopal succession.—Z. '80-1-2.

Which he had power to do in the sight of the beast.—While the papacy is still alive and active.—Rev. 19:20.

Saying.—By its own example.

To them that dwell on the earth.—Independent Christians.

That they should ALSO make an Image to the beast.“From the year 1800 to 1846 was a time in which great numbers of new sects arose, whereas before that, they were few and prominent. This gave rise to uneasiness among the older denominations who wondered whereunto this thing would lead. As the Bible came to be read more and more by the masses, occasional individuals would feel free to preach what they thought it taught, regardless of denominational creeds and the views of the older sects. As a consequence, Protestants were fast splitting up into fragments. They began to say, By what means shall we check and stop this disposition to individual thought and opinion relative to the teachings of Scripture? They wanted to stop the very thing God desired; viz., that each individual [pg 207] should be free and independent of restraint, with his faith based, not on the views of others, not on the decisions of Councils or Presbyters, nor in the decision of the Pope, nor in things approved of the head of the English church, but in the Word of God. The question came: How can we restrain these preachers? This was a quandary to all except the Roman and Episcopal churches, since these both claimed the ‘Apostolic Succession,’ and that this, by ordination, conferred upon their ministers special power and authority to preach and to administer the ‘Sacraments’; hence that no others had a right to do so, but were clerical pretenders. Other denominations could not claim this continuation of apostolic power through their preachers, but simply set them apart by prayer, consequently those of one denomination could not object that the preachers of other denominations, as well as all laymen, were not as truly authorized of God to expound the Scriptures as their own clergy.

“But the example of the Church of England showed what a prestige she had by reason of the voice of authority with which she commanded a reverence for her clergy and her teachings. This teaching by example was not lost. The various denominations felt a necessity for some common Standard of Doctrine which would be supported and upheld by all of them, and thus give prestige to their teachings, and bring the combined influence of all against any further advance in knowledge or the development of any different phase of truth. Thus they would protect themselves by being able to say: The combined opinion of all Protestants is against you; therefore you are heretics, and therefore we will shun you, and not call you Brethren, but use all our influence against you. This was done by the formation of the ‘Evangelical Alliance.’ It was stated to be one of the objects of the Alliance (and we believe the principal one) to ‘Promote between the different Evangelical denominations, an effective co-operation in the efforts to repel common enemies and dangers.’

Illustration
Evangelical Alliance—Church Federation The Image of The Beast

“Do not understand us as opposing the Christians represented in that Alliance; we are opposed merely to their attempt to muzzle truth, and to prevent the opening up of any other truths buried by Papacy than those which they had received. It is far from our purpose to say that they intentionally combined against the unfolding of truth, nor would we say this of Papists. But we do say, that by their action they were following Papacy's tactics, and that in that Alliance they did make the Image of the Beast. It has tended to make a separation clear and distinct between the Clergy and the Laity.

[pg 208]

“How much the Image resembles the Papal Beast may be judged from the fact that Papacy acknowledged the Image—owned it as a creditable likeness—by the Pope sending ‘Greetings’ to the last meeting of the Evangelical Alliance. Strange to say, the delegates to the Alliance had so far lost sight of the principles and doctrines which led to the protests against the Papal church (that it was the Harlot church—Antichrist—Man of Sin—mentioned in the Scriptures) that they actually felt flattered by the Pontiff's notice, instead of becoming alarmed and examining how and why he who is ‘The Chief Antichrist’ should feel pleased to greet them as fellows. A prominent Presbyterian minister present at the above named meeting mentioned the ‘Pope's Greeting’ with evident pleasure and satisfaction to the writer.

“A prominent characteristic of the Beast copied by the Image is the honoring of a special class, the Clergy, with special honors and titles. They are known as Revs., Divines, etc., but Jesus the Divine said: ‘Ye call Me Lord and Master, and ye say well, for so I am.’ ‘Be not ye called Rabbi, neither be ye called Master, for one is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren.’ (Matt. 23:8.) These titles are assumptions fashioned after those of Papacy. When the various denominations began their existence, more full of the spirit of Christ, they claimed no such high-sounding titles. The Reformers were not known as Rev., D. D., etc., but as John Knox, Martin Luther, etc. Unpretentious, like Jesus and the Apostles, they were intent upon serving God, and therefore became the servants (ministers) of the Church. But now the Clergy are far from being servants; they are Lords. They have itching ears, loving the approval of men. As pride and worldliness have come in, vital godliness and power have gradually departed. For the very same reason, they are losing all power to expound the Word of God—the gift of teaching—because ‘God abhorreth the proud, but giveth grace (favor) to the humble.’ We find ministers of all denominations ready to confess their ignorance of the Word. They appeal, for their information, back to the early reformers, and thus confess that they have less light than they. That their light should grow dim, and their spiritual life become dwarfed, is the natural result of their joining the Image, and subscribing to creeds made in the fifteenth century, which, like the shoe of China, will not admit of any growth. It is a shoe a little larger than Papacy put upon its followers, but of the same sort.

“Papacy established the clerical hierarchy, who lorded it over God's heritage instead of serving their brethren as [pg 209] Jesus explained—‘One is your Master; all ye are brethren,’ and as Paul said: ‘We are to speak the truth in love and grow up into Him in all things who is the Head, even Christ; from whom the whole Body fitly joined together [not by creeds of men, but by love begotten by the one Spirit of Truth] and compacted by that which every joint supplied [every joint is every member, not the clergy only] maketh increase of the Body unto the edifying of itself in love,’ thus coming ‘to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God.’ (Eph. 4:15, 16.) As Papacy established the priesthood over the church, so Protestantism has established the same, and there is no opportunity for the Body to edify itself, every joint taking part. True, there is a seeming show of liberty at prayer meetings, etc., but it is only upon the surface, for the ordained pastor is to watch zealously lest anything contrary to the teachings of his church should be expressed, and if so, to silence the audacious member at once, for the church creed is the rule, not the Word of God. If this is not sufficient, they must have a sort of church trial and excommunicate him (‘kill him’). The trial, by the way, gives evidence of another likeness to the Beast, namely, the exaltation of the teachings of the organization above the Word of God, for all such are tried according to ‘the authorities’ of their church.”—Z. '80-1-2.

“The Alliance endeavored to establish a standard of orthodoxy. They saw the power of the Papal argument, that it is the Church, and that all others are heretical. In this sense it was a copy, or image, of the Papal institution. It has been merely an Image without life or power for now more than sixty years.” (Z. '13-342.) “And he told the inhabitants of the earth to erect a statue (possibly a symbol of corrupt public opinion) to the Wild Beast who had received the sword-stroke and yet had recovered.”—Weym.

Which had the wound by a sword, and did live.—Which was smitten by the Sword of the Spirit in the hands of the reformers, but not persistently enough to kill it. (Heb. 4:12.) “It is important to observe that the wound of one of the heads is here ascribed to the whole beast.”—Cook.

13:15. And he had power to give life.—Either “apostolic succession” or its effect. “It may not be known to many how much stress was laid upon the ‘apostolic succession,’ which was supposed to be a virtue transmitted through hundreds of years of Papal corruption, by the laying on of the hands of the Bishop. This, of course, was vested in the Roman church, and also in the English church on account of its being at first rather a secession from [pg 210] Papacy than a reformation. To many minds; even among the clergy, there was a veneration for that ceremony, which neither Papacy nor the English church were averse to promoting.” (Z. '80-1-2.) For the effect of this superstition on the mind of Wesley, see Rev. 9:1, 2. “The Lord's symbolic prophecy tells us that in the close of this Age the Image will receive life, vitality, energy, power. No longer will it stand as a mere Image. It will become as active as the Beast. Moreover, it will not be antagonistic to the Beast, but sympathetic, and cause that all shall either worship the Beast or the Image—all must be in harmony either with Catholicism, or with the Protestant Church Federation as soon as it receives the vitalizing breath.”—Z. '13-343.

Unto the Image of the beast.“The vitality of the Image is to come from the two-horned Beast; the Church of England. A few years ago the Episcopal Church took an important step toward vitalizing the Church Federation movement. That important step was the recognition of the ministers of the denominations represented in the Evangelical Alliance. Previously no minister not ordained by the laying on of hands of a Catholic or an Episcopalian bishop was allowed to preach from an Episcopalian pulpit. Perhaps this recognition of the Image is all the vitalization the Image needs, but we are inclined to expect more. For years the Episcopalians have proffered reordination to the ministers of the different denominations represented in the Evangelical Alliance. And they still proffer it. We have been inclined to expect that the ministers would finally concede the point and accept a reordination at the hands of an Episcopal bishop. But we are not sure of this. It is possible that, to meet the requirements of the case, some other way will be found by which the Episcopal Church will recognize the Church Federation without obligating the ministers to be reordained. We are waiting for this.” (Z. '13-343.) “If the various ministers of other denominations in considerable numbers accept reordination as ministers at the hands of Episcopalian Bishops, the validity of other ordination will be speedily questioned. The authority of this so-called ‘Apostolic Ordination’ will give seeming right of authority, dignity and power. After the prominent ministers of various denominations submit themselves to such reordination, the ‘lesser lights’ will make a rush for it.”—Z. '10-308.

Canon Henson, of Westminster Abbey, has said: “The logical goal of modern tendencies is not toward Disestablishment, but toward a fuller and worthier Establishment. Why should not the nation draw into its service all the [pg 211] organized Christianity instead of limiting itself to a single denomination? I rejoice to observe a beginning made in this direction by recent legislation, which has recognized for certain civic purposes the status of Nonconformist clergymen.” (Z. '06-6.) The change of name of the “Image of the Beast” to that of “False Prophet” in Rev. 16:13, between the sixth and seventh plagues, indicates it was vitalized prior to the publication of Vol. VII (the 7th plague). Truly it now lives—in the minds of the clergy—but it will grow stronger.

The matter is growing in the minds of those interested, as the following dispatches show: “Washington, Dec. 31, 1916.—In a signed document addressed to the nation, more than fifty prelates and laymen of various denominations representing many sections of the country have united in a warning against what they declare may be a premature peace in Europe which ‘may bring a curse instead of a blessing.’ ” “Last winter commissions of all American Protestant churches met at Garden City, L. I., for the first time, and adopted a general platform on which it recommended that the World Conference on Faith and Order proceed. Pope Benedict XV. sent a letter to the commissions, assuring them of his ‘deep interest and prayers.’ ”Literary Digest, January 13, 1917.

That the image of the beast should both speak.—Thus far he has been significantly “silent” as far as claiming any real power or authority is concerned; but the time for the breaking of the silence is near.—Jer. 8:14-17; Rev. 8:1.

And cause that as many as would not worship the Image of the beast.“Worship of this symbolic beast and his image is to be the great test or trial upon professing Christians in every province of symbolic Babylon in the end of this Age. And we have the same inspired record as authority for the statement that only those who refuse to render worship to those powerfully influential religious systems (symbolized by the beast and his image) will be counted by the Lord as ‘overcomers’ and be made His joint-heirs as members of His elect Church. (Rev. 20:4.) And there are some the world over who, with a courage not less than that of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, declare publicly that the Lord God alone shall have the worship and the service which they can render. The faithful few will be exposed to fiery experiences—boycotted socially, boycotted in business, slandered in every conceivable manner, and often by those of whom they least expect it, who, according to the Lord's declaration, will say ‘all manner of evil against them falsely.’ (Matt. 5:11,12.)”—Z. '99-170.

[pg 212]

Should be killed.“Soon we shall have their ‘Union’ or ‘Confederacy’ (Isa. 8:12), and the bitter fruits of Union in error will speedily manifest themselves in tyranny, as during the Dark Ages.” (Z. '04-212.) “To us the Scriptures indicate that the prosperity of the Federated Protestant ‘Image’ will for a little time be so great, so pronounced, and its arrogance become so great that the sympathy of the masses will be entirely alienated and turned into bitterness.” (Z. '10-309). It may be objected that the Church would have no part in the killing of their fellow worshippers, but ecclesiastics themselves have a better understanding of the ecclesiastical mind and ecclesiastical conscience. The following is from the pen of Rt. Rev. Chas. D. Williams, Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Michigan:

“It is an appalling thought that the Church should have had a part in the crime of Calvary, and yet it did, and that the chief part. The ecclesiastical mind is a closed mind—and there is nothing it resents so much as being pried open to receive a new idea. Its settled rule of judgment, its accepted test of truth, is, ‘What is new is never true, and what is true is never new.’ The other characteristic of a perverted religion is the ecclesiastical conscience. It is strikingly illustrated by one Good Friday scene. A procession is sweeping through the streets of Jerusalem, bound for the Governor's Palace. Who compose this procession? They are the religious leaders of the people the prominent divines, the chief ecclesiastics. What is the business they have in mind? They are intent on committing the greatest crime in history. But at Pilate's threshold they stop. Why? Ah, they have stumbled across a canon of the Church. If they should enter a heathen house that Passover morning, they would become ceremonially defiled and unfit to partake of the sacrament.” (Z. '15-339.) “In 1526 Prof. Tyndale, having prepared his MS., published it in Germany, because of the opposition of the English clergy. He imported his New Testaments into London, in whose shops the people began to purchase them. At this same time the Germans were learning something of the New Testament and its different teachings, from Luther and his associates. The Church of England bishops forthwith bought up the entire edition in the shops, and publicly burnt them in front of St Paul's Cathedral, London. They knew that the eighteen Ecumenical Councils had declared to be true Christian faith many things not taught in the Bible, and had omitted many things that are taught therein. They feared that the people, becoming Bible students, would know of these things, and thus would be upset the general belief based in the [pg 213] creeds—and not in the Bible. Then, too, they warned the people against putting any construction upon the Bible that would make it different from the teaching of the so-called ‘Apostolic Bishops’ in the creeds—threatening them with eternal torment. As it was, Tyndale and some of the others interested in the Bible suffered martyrdom, as enemies of the ‘Apostolic Bishops,’ and their creeds and institutions.”—Z. '15-253. Are the clergy divinely ordained?

13:16. And he causeth all, both small and great.“The great feast which preceded the fall of Babylon would seem to correspond well with the great denominational union expected soon, and the season of rejoicing which will accompany it. The gold and silver vessels of the Lord's house which were profaned may fitly represent not only the precious truths of Divine Revelation, but also the Lord's consecrated people—the golden vessels representing the Little Flock, and the more numerous silver vessels representing the ‘Great Company.’ What may be the character of the defilement and injury of these is of course problematical; but in any case we remember that those consecrated vessels were all highly honored, and restored to the Temple by Cyrus, and likewise we know that not only the truths of Divine Revelation will all be cared for by our Lord, but also that all that are His shall be glorified in the spiritual Temple which He will rear shortly.”—Z. '99-175.

[Rich and] Poor AND RICH.“So popular will Federated Churchianity become that to even criticize it will be a ‘crime’ worthy of crucifixion in some form—socially and financially, if not physically. Politicians will quickly realize that their bread is buttered on that side, and be ready to enact legislation of any kind desired by the Federation. Mammon-worship will take on new forms temporarily, but power will soon debauch the unregenerate mass and drive out the regenerate faithful who may temporarily be misled by the great ‘Union’ movement in the name of Christ, but without His Spirit or authority.”—Z. '06-6.

Free and bond.“It is altogether possible, indeed probable we think, that John's course which brought him into conflict with Herod was in some degree typical of the course of the Gospel Church in this present time; and of the course of events that may be expected. If it be a type, Herod would represent civil government, and the unlawful wife would represent the nominal church, which throughout the symbolic Scriptures is represented as a woman, Jezebel, etc. Should it prove to be a type by its fulfilment in antitype, the fulfilment will probably be on something like the following lines: (1) A partial reunion [pg 214] of Church and State. [This has now been accomplished by the Alliance of the United States with Great Britain.] (2) In such case it would become the duty of the true Church, the forerunners and announcers of the Messianic Kingdom, to reprove the civil powers as well as the nominal church systems, and to declare their union unlawful—contrary to the Word of God. (3) The effect of this would pretty surely be to awaken the animosity of both civil and religious powers; but it would draw out specially the animosity and venom of the latter. (4) The church nominal, in her false position would be anxious to stifle the reproofs and to destroy the reprovers, and the effect would be that the civil power would be induced to pass such legislation as would restrain the liberty of the faithful ones and hinder them from public utterances;—as John was hindered by imprisonment. (5) Herodias' daughter (united Protestantism) will become the tool for the destruction of the most loyal servants of God.”—Z. '98-95.

To [receive] GIVE HIM a mark in their right hand or in their [foreheads] FOREHEAD.—By contrast with Ex. 13:9; 28:26-38; Deut. 6:8; Z. '07-265; Rev. 7:3; 14:1; Ezek. 9:4-6. “Consecration to the service of the beast is what is signified here.” (Cook.) (Lev. 19:28.) “All classes of Christians must bow; all must, in some way, give evidence of their support of the Image and consecration to its interests and laws; either a public, open profession of being members of the Alliance, and hence supporters (mark in forehead), or at least a giving of some assistance and influence to the principles of Image organisation—(the right-hand support).” (Z. '80-1-2.) This implies a re-establishment of the inquisition soon—in some form of house-to-house “investigation” or public enrollment.

13:17. [And] That no man might buy or sell.“The ‘buying and selling,’ like the other features, is symbolic, and refers to dealing in spiritual things. [But it may be literally fulfilled as well in the year of prospective famine now at hand.] None may be recognized as having any right to teach or preach or baptize or administer the emblems of our Lord's death, except those licensed by some orthodox member of the Image, and acts of such persons (‘unlicensed’) are not counted valid.”—Z. '80-1-2.

Save he that had the mark [or the name] of the beast.—Protestants affiliated with the Federal Council of Churches—already “marked,” stamped O. K. by the papacy.

Or his name.—Roman Catholics.

Or the number of his name.—Consent to the principle of clergy rule in matters of faith, order and war (murder.)—Rev. 15:2.

[pg 215]

13:18. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath [understanding] AN EAR count the number of the beast.“Here is scope for ingenuity. Let people of shrewd intelligence calculate the number of the Wild Beast; for it indicates a certain man, and his number is 666.”—Weym.

For it is the number of a man.—The Man of Sin, the Papacy.—Rev. 19:20; 2 Thes. 2:3.

[And his number is] Six hundred threescore and six.—In the Greek this number is six hundred (represented by the Greek letter χ), plus sixty (represented by the Greek letter ξ), plus six (represented by the Greek letter ζ). It is not as though it read six plus six plus six.

“The following extract on this point is from a work entitled The Reformation, bearing the date of 1832:

“ ‘Mrs. A.,’ said Miss Emmons, ‘I saw a very curious fact the other day; I have dwelt upon it much, and will mention it. A person, lately, was witnessing a ceremony of the Romish Church. As the pope passed him in the procession, splendidly dressed in his pontifical robes, the gentleman's eye rested on these full, blazing letters in front of his mitre (tiara—crown): VICARIVS FILII DEI, the Vicar of the Son of God. His thoughts, with the rapidity of lightning, reverted to Rev. 13:18.’ ‘Will you turn to it?’ said Mrs. A. Alice opened the New Testament, and read: ‘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.’ She paused, and Miss Emmons said, ‘He took out his pencil, and marking the numerical letters of the inscription on his tablet, it stood 666.’ ” (Smith.) This explanation was approved by Pastor Russell, and was given by him at a Convention Question Meeting.

V 5
I 1
C 100
A 0
R 0
I 1
V 5
S 0
——
F 0
I 1
L 50
I 1
I 1
——
D 500
E 0
I 1
—— ——
Total 666

On the pope's crown in the Vatican museum is the recognized and most used title of the pope, VICARIVS FILII DEI (Vicar of the Son of God.) The word VICARIVS is on the top of the threefold crown. The word FILII is on the second circlet; and the words are made from dark, shining precious jewels. The word DEI is on the under part of the threefold crown and is made of 100 diamonds. “The Tiara is a bee-hive shaped, somewhat bulging head-covering, ornamented with three crowns. It is first mentioned [pg 216] by Pope Constantine, in A. D. 715. It first appears on papal coins in the reign of Sergius III., A. D. 911. At this period it was merely a cap of white stuff. The papal coins of the 11th century leave it doubtful whether the ornamental band at the lower edge of the tiara is intended to represent a crown or merely a decoration. It is only in representations dating from the late 13th century that the circlet appears as a regular spiked crown. The second circlet was added by Pope Boniface VIII., A. D. 1303. The third was added under Clement V., A. D. 1311.” (Brit.) The reason for the addition of any of these crowns is unknown, or why the pope should have any crown at all. The words VICARIVS FILII DEI are, it is said, also carved over the entrance to the Vatican.


Gideon's Band.

Count Me the swords that have come.
Lord, thousands on thousands are ready.
Lo! these are too many, and with them are some
Whose hearts and whose hands are not steady.
He whose soul does not burn,
Let him take up his tent and return.
Count Me the swords that remain.
Lord, hundreds on hundreds are daring.
These yet are too many for Me to attain
To the victory I am preparing.
Lead them down to the brink
Of the waters of Marah to drink.
Lord those who remain are but few,
And the hosts of the foe are appalling,
And what can a handful such as we do?
When ye hear from beyond, My Voice calling,
Sound the trump! Hold the light!
Great Midian will melt in your sight!
[pg 217]

Revelation 14—The Five Harvest Messages

14:1. And I looked, and, [lo, a] BEHOLD THE Lamb.—See Rev. 5:6; 13:8; John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32; 1 Pet. 1:19.

Stood on the Mount Sion.—The Return of the Lord is here pictured as accomplished the sleeping saints raised, and the full number called. This was all fulfilled in 1878. (Rev. 11:17.) At that time our Lord took unto Himself His great power and began His Reign.

And with Him an hundred forty and four thousand.—See Rev. 7:4.

Having His [Father's] name AND THE NAME OF HIS FATHER.—How beautiful and how true that we have both the Father and the Son in our minds, while trinitarians must necessarily have more or less, and are proportionately confused.

Written in their foreheads.—Isa. 44:5; Rev. 7:3; Ex. 13:9; 28:26-38; Deut. 6:8; Z. '07-265; Ezek. 9:2-6.

14:2. And I heard a voice.—The message of Present Truth from the lips of the Lord's saints on this side of the veil. They are on Mount Zion in the spirit of their minds.

From heaven.“We are seated with Him in Heavenly places.”—Rev. 13:6.

As the voice of many waters.—A great outpouring of Truth, in many tongues.—Rev. 1:16; 19:6.

And as the voice of [a great] thunder.—Seven thunders, the seven volumes of Scripture Studies.—Rev. 8:5; 10:3, 4.

And [I heard] the voice WHICH I HEARD WAS AS THAT of harpers harping with their Harps.“The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments constitute what the Lord Himself designates ‘the Harp of God.’ (Rev. 15:2.) And the various testimonies of the Law and the Prophets are the several chords of that Harp, which, when tuned by the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts, and swept by the fingers of the devoted servants and searchers after Divine Truth, yields the most enchanting strains that ever fell on mortal ears.”—F. 233; Rev. 5:8.

14:3. And they [sang as it were] SING a new song.—The Lord particularly promised that in this Harvest time, out of His Storehouse would come things new. (Matt. 13:52; 24:45.) “In symbol He pointed out to us the fact that [pg 218] the Message of His grace in the closing days of this Gospel Age would be so different from the commonly accepted message, misnamed the Gospel, that it would properly be termed a new song.”—Z. '00-37; Rev. 5:9; 15:3.

AND IT WAS before the Throne.—While still on earth. Compare Rev. 4:5 and 5:6.

And before the four beasts.—Every declaration of Present Truth has for its object the presentation of one or more of the Divine attributes—Justice, Power, Love and Wisdom. All that we do in the service of the Truth is done in their sight.—Rev. 4:7-10.

And BEFORE the elders.—The prophecies. In all that we do we are pointing to the prophecies and fulfilling them. How often it was said of our Lord Jesus, that He said or did this or that “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the mouth of” one of the Prophets.

And no man could learn that song but the 144,000.“Nothing is more manifest than that it is necessary to be somewhat of an ‘overcomer’ of the world and its spirit which pervades nominal Christendom, ere any would have the courage to sing this song—to declare before men the lengths, breadths, heights and depths of the goodness and grace of the Divine Plan, of which Jesus and His Sacrifice are the center. To all others ‘the fear of man bringeth a snare,’ and stoppeth their mouths from speaking ‘forth the praise of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.’ ‘But the people that do know their God [His Character and Plan] shall be valiant and do exploits,’ and like the Apostles of old will feel and say. ‘Whether it be right to obey God or men, judge ye; but we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard,’—Dan. 11:32; Acts 4:19, 20.”—Z. '00-37.

Which were redeemed from the earth.Agorazo, acquired at the forum.—E. 443, 429.

14:4. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.“All Bible exponents of the Protestant kind recognize there are two Women especially mentioned in Revelation; the one the true Woman, the Bride class, the other the false Woman; and Protestants in general understand that false Woman to represent the papacy. Then again other Protestants understand that the Scriptures which refer to the mother and daughters refer to the papacy, and these denominational daughters, or systems, which sprang from her, and have more or less of her nature, disposition and characteristics. The Bible proposition is that the Church is a Virgin Church; viz.: not united to the world at all, and that this is the error that was made by the early Church in leaving Christ [pg 219] as the prospective Bridegroom and becoming united with the nation of Rome. This constituted an illicit union; for as the Bride of Christ she had no right whatever to be associated with any earthly dominion; therefore in becoming associated with the Roman Emperor she lost her standing. We are to remember that this word ‘harlotry’ as used in Revelation is merely a symbolical term; there is nothing more than that to be understood. God speaks of some of His children as being in Babylon. Babylon is the name for the mother, the papal system, and the daughters also have the same name. It means confusion, mixture and improper relationship. Now then some are in Babylon and not of Babylon, just the same as the children of Israel were carried captive into Babylon, but they were not Babylonians. And in due time God sent forth the Message to all Natural Israel that if those who had been carried in captivity into Babylon desired to return to the Lord their God, and to the Land of Promise, they might do so. Cyrus gave that decree, you remember, and many of them did return.

“No one is called out of Babylon until he hears the Lord's voice. So you and I may have been in Babylon for years and not have had any responsibility or any impurity; we were not defiled, because we did not know any better. But He says, ‘Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins.’ That implies that you are not yet partakers of her sins; you are My people, in her, but not yet partakers. I was not responsible for what was in my head from childhood; and God did not hold me responsible; nor you, nor anyone else; but after we come to see the great errors which are taught by Babylon's system then we are responsible. We have said things about our Heavenly Father that we would be ashamed to say about ourselves or of our earthly parents.

“We have said He created our world of mankind and knew what He was doing, had full power and full wisdom, and intended from the beginning to damn nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand, and to have them roast through all eternity; and that He made fireproof devils to handle them; that He created a great place called hell in which all of this diabolical work was going on. No honorable man would treat a poor rat that way—predestinate the rat before it was born, foreordain it to eternal torture. And now then after we once see that this doctrine is blasphemy against God, after we once see that it was evidently instigated by our great Adversary, the Devil—after we once see what an awful thing it is—if then we wish to uphold earthly systems and give our lives, [pg 220] strength, talents and means, to upholding these diabolical teachings, then we are worse than any others there; we are the worst of them all. What right has any man to stay inside of a denomination and deny the teachings of that denomination? He is branding himself as a fraud, professing to believe what he knows he does not believe, claiming to teach what he knows he should not teach; or, on the other hand, teaching that which he knows is wrong, and professing that which he does not believe at all. The whole matter is wrong; such are defiled by the Women.

“But those who come out when they see the right and wrong on the question, who take their stand for right, they are delivering their souls from Babylon. ‘Flee out of Babylon, saith the Lord; deliver every man his soul.’ Now no one is responsible to flee out unless he sees that it is Babylon, but the very suggestion that it is Babylon to every honest person means that he should make an investigation, and a thorough one, to know whether or not he is in Babylon. If he says, ‘Well, God's voice says “flee out of Babylon,” and I believe that the system is Babylon, but I do not wish to look into it for fear I find it true,’ that means he is dishonest with himself; he is defiling himself. There is only one way of being thoroughly honest, and that is to be honest.” (Pastor Russell.) “That the words can only be understood spiritually seems to follow from the whole tone of Apocalyptic symbolism:—see the mention of the Bridegroom and the Bride, of the Harlot and her fornications. Elsewhere we have the language of Ps. 45, of the Canticles, of the Book of Hosea, above all of 2 Cor. 11:2:—‘I have espoused you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.’ ”—Cook.

[These are they which] THOSE WHO follow The Lamb.—On this side of the veil.

Whithersoever He goeth.—Those who fail to “Walk in the light as He is in the light” find sooner or later that they “walk in darkness” for the light goes on and leaves them.—John 1:6, 7; Prov. 4:18.

These were redeemed from among men.—They are a separate class, “from among” men. “The thought is that of public purchase; and all the other uses of this word agorazo, throughout the New Testament, emphatically support a most commercial signification. We call especial attention to the signification of this word, because the tendency to deny that there was a purchase of our race effected by a price given for man's release from the ‘curse’ is prevalent and a growing one—very subversive of the true faith, once delivered to the saints.”—E. 443, 430.

[pg 221]

[Being the first-fruits] FROM THE BEGINNING unto God and [to] IN the Lamb.“Separated from the entire mass as the best absolutely.—Num. 18:12.” (Cook) Deut. 26:2; Jas. 1:18.

14:5. And in their mouth.—By contrast to the lies of the False Prophet.

Was found no [guile] FALSEHOOD.—They fully and thoroughly believe the doctrines they teach.—Psa. 15:1, 2.

For they are without fault [before the Throne of God].“Faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding Joy.”—Jude 24; Eph. 5:27; Psa. 15:1-5.

14:6. And I saw [another] AN angel.The Divine Plan of the Ages, Volume I of the Scripture Studies.

Fly in the midst of heaven.“From one end of heaven to the other” amongst Christian people of all denominations.—Matt. 24:31.

Having the everlasting Gospel.—The same Gospel preached by our Heavenly Father (Gal. 3:8), the Lord Jesus Christ (John 10:16), the holy Apostles (Acts 15:13-18), the holy Prophets (Acts 3:19-24) and the holy Angels (Luke 2:10, 13, 14); but entirely overlooked by the clergy.

To preach unto them that dwell on the earth.—To independent Christians.—Rev. 13:13, 14.

And [to] UNTO every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.—All mankind, living and dead.—1 Tim. 2:4-7.

14:7. [Saying] with a loud voice.—By millions of copies circulated earth-wide.

Fear God, and give glory to Him.—Rather than to creeds, sects and clergy.

For the hour of His judgment is come.—The MILLENNIAL DAWN, the dawn of the thousand-year Judgment Day of Christ, is at hand.—Rev. 15:4; 11:18.

And worship Him that made Heaven, and earth, and the sea.—God, our Heavenly Father, the Creator of all things.—Neh. 9:6; Psa. 33:6, 124:8; Acts 14:15; 17:24.

And the fountains of waters.—His Heaven-sent Word.

14:8. And there followed another [angel] A SECOND.—Volume II of Scripture Studies.

Saying, [Babylon is fallen,] is fallen, [that] BABYLON, THE great [city].—Chapters 7 and 9 of Volume II are particularly devoted to this theme. “The name Babylon originally signified God's gate-way; but afterward, in derision, it came to mean mixture or confusion. In the book of Revelation this name is applied specifically to the church nominal, which, from being the gate-way to glory, became a gate-way to error and confusion, a miserable mixture composed chiefly of tares, hypocrites,—a confused mass of worldly profession in which the Lord's jewels are [pg 222] buried, and their true beauty and luster hidden.” (C. 153.) “The name Babylon was applied, not only to the capital city of the Babylonian empire, but also to the empire itself. Babylon, the capital, was the most magnificent, and probably the largest, city of the ancient world. It was built in the ‘form of a square on both sides of the Euphrates river; and, for protection against invaders, it was surrounded by a deep moat filled with water and inclosed within a vast system of double walls, from thirty-two to eighty-five feet thick, and from seventy-five to three hundred feet high. On the summit were low towers, said to have been two hundred and fifty in number, placed along the outer and inner edges of the wall, tower facing tower; and in these walls were a hundred brazen gates, twenty-five on each side, corresponding to the number of streets which intersected each other at right angles. The city was adorned with splendid palaces and temples and the spoils of conquest.’ ” (D. 23; Jer. 51:8; Rev. 18:2.) “This use of the aorist—in the sense of the ‘prophetic preterite’—expresses the certainty of the fall: see chapters 10:7; 11:18; 18:2; and see on chapter 15:1. The language is taken from Isa. 21:9, the verb denoting the violent fall and overthrow of kingdoms—see Ezek. 30:6; and see on chapter 17:10. With the fall of Babylon, the capital of the ungodly world-kingdom, the Old Testament connects the redemption of the people of God.—Isa. 13:19; 47:1; Jer. 51:1-10.”—Cook.

Because [she made all nations drink of] ALL NATIONS HAVE FALLEN THROUGH the wine of the wrath of her fornication.“The ruin of all the nations of earth is here attributed directly to the fact that ‘Babylon made all the peoples drunk with the wine [spirit, influence] of her fornication’—worldly affiliation.”—C. 164, 104; Jer. 51:7; Rev. 2:20; 17:2, 5; 18:3; 19:2.

14:9. And [the] ANOTHER, A third angel followed them.—Volume III of the Scripture Studies followed I and II.

Saying with a loud voice.—Proclaiming clearly, in chapters 2, 4 and 6.

If any man worship the beast.—The Papacy.

And his image.—The Evangelical-Alliance-Spiritism combination.—Rev. 13:11, 13, 14, 15; 14:11; 15:2; 16:2, 13; 19:20; 20:10; Matt. 24:24.

And receive his mark In his forehead, or in his hand.—See Rev. 13:16, 17.

14:10. The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.—The Message of Present Truth.

Which is poured out without mixture.—Different from Babylon's mixed wine.—Isa. 5:20-22.

[pg 223]

Into the cup of His indignation.“The Lord our God hath put us to silence and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the Lord.”—Jer. 8:14; Isa. 51:17-20; Jer. 25:26-28; Rev. 18:6; 16:19; Psa. 60:3; 75:8.

And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone.—Whoever worships, reverences, human institutions and doctrines more than the Word of the Lord has experienced the torment here specified. Doctrines of hell fire and brimstone have been his portion.—Rev. 9:17-19.

In the presence of the holy angels.—The Harvest workers on this side of the veil.—Matt. 13:39.

And in the presence of the Lamb.“In the days of the Son of Man;” after the Second Advent has taken place.

14:11. And the smoke of their torment.“A noun, unlike a verb (or ‘time-word,’ as the Germans call it), does not indicate time. So ‘the smoke of their torment’ may mean that of pain endured once for all, and then at an end. There is nothing in this verse that necessarily implies an eternity of suffering. In a similar way the word ‘punishment’ or ‘correction’ in Matt. 25:46 gives in itself no indication of time. Cp. Gen. 19:28; Jude 7.” (Weym.)

“About endless torment:

“(a) The doctrine is found nowhere in the Old Testament, nor any hint of it. The expression, in the end of Isaiah, about the fire unquenched and the worms not dying, is plainly of the corpses of men upon the physical earth.

“(b) The doctrine of endless torment was, as a historical fact, brought back from Babylon by the Rabbis.

“(c) St Paul accepts nothing of it as far as we can tell, never making the least allusion to the doctrine.

“(d) The Apocalypse asserts that not only death, but hell shall be cast into the Lake of Fire.

“(e) The Christian Church has never really held it exclusively till now.

“(f) Since the Reformation it has been an open question in the English Church.

“(g) The Church of England, by the deliberate expunging of the 42nd Article, which affirmed endless punishment, has declared it, authoritatively, to be open.

“(h) It is so, in fact. Neither I nor any others who have denied it can be dispossessed or proceeded against legally, in any way whatsoever.—Rev. Chas. Kingsley, May 9, 1857.”—Z. '11-363.

Ascendeth up for ever and ever.“The remembrance of the destruction of these systems of deception and error will be lasting, the lesson will never be forgotten—as smoke, which continues to ascend after a destructive fire, [pg 224] is testimony that the fire has done its work.—See also Isa. 34:8-10.”—H. 64; Rev. 19:3.

And they have no rest day or night.—A literal fulfillment of this is expected. (Rev. 7:3.) A few days of it will be enough to satisfy the most ardent lover of the torment system of religion. And it will be a just recompense of reward.

Who worship the beast and his Image.“All will at once concede that if a literal worshipping of a beast and image were meant in verse 9, then few, if any, in civilized lands are liable to the penalty of verse 11; and if the beast and his image and worship and wine and cup are symbols, so also are the torments and smoke and fire and brimstone.”—H. 64; Rev. 14:9.

And whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.—Of fear, sympathy or worship.

14:12. Here is the patience of the saints.—Their crowning trial.

[Here are they] that keep the commandments of God.—The commandments of God during the Harvest time are to proclaim, “Gather My saints together unto Me;” “Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity.”—Psa. 50:5; Jer. 51:6.

And the faith of Jesus.“He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16.) The Great Company class are our brethren and we ought to show as much interest in them as we do in the Little Flock. The gathering of the full number of the Very Elect would give us no reason to discontinue Harvest work.

14:13. And I heard a voice from Heaven.—The Heavenly Father's Word.

Saying [unto me], Write.—The message found in chapter 9 of Volume III.

Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.“Each member of the Body of Christ must finish his sacrifice in actual death. They are reckoned of God as being already dead, and they are exhorted so also to reckon themselves: ‘Reckon ye yourselves dead indeed unto sin.’ No other dead men can be said to die but this class of dead ones, who must finish their course of sacrifice in actual death.”—C. 241; 1 Thes. 4:16.

From henceforth.—From the spring of 1878.

[Yea,] saith the Spirit.—The Word of God, in Rev. 6:11. “Nowhere in the Scriptures is death represented as in any sense a blessing, except in this one instance; and here it is particularly limited and made applicable to a certain specific time.”—C. 240.

[pg 225]

That they may rest from their labors.“Poor, bruised ‘feet,’ now despised of men, none but yourselves fully appreciate your privileges. None others can appreciate the joy you have in proclaiming Present Truth.” (C. 236.) “One by one the ‘feet’ class will pass from the present condition, in which, though often weary and wounded, they are always rejoicing, to the other side the veil;—‘changed’ in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, from mortality to immortality, from weakness to power, from dishonor to glory, from human to Heavenly conditions, from animal to spirit bodies.” (C. 237.) “Instead of the Kingdom waiting for the living members to finish their course, the Kingdom work began at once; and the living ones on this side the veil are privileged to know ‘the mysteries of the Kingdom’ and to engage in Kingdom work before their ‘change;’ and as they die (will not fall ‘asleep,’ but) will be ‘changed’ in the moment of death, resurrected as part of the blessed and holy First Resurrection.”—D. 622.

[And] FOR their works do follow them.“Their work will not cease with this change; for all those who will be counted worthy of that change to glory will be already enlisted in the service of the Kingdom on this side the veil: only the weariness, the labor feature, will cease with the change.” (C. 238.) “We may not be able to judge accurately as to what features of the great work are now being carried on by the Lord and His glorified saints beyond the veil; but we may be sure that they are active participants in the work assigned the members of the same Kingdom class, whose course and service are not yet ended on this side the veil—the Harvest work.”—D. 624; 1 Cor. 15:58.

14:14. [And I looked], and behold a white cloud.—See Rev. 10:1. As the cloud indicates the Time of Trouble, so the white indicates the pure motive back of it.

And upon the cloud [one sat] I SAW ONE SITTING like unto the Son of Man.“To the Jewish House Jesus presented Himself in three characters—as Bridegroom (John 3:29), Reaper (John 4:35, 38) and King (Matt. 21:5, 9, 4). To the Christian House He presents Himself in the same characters. (2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 14:14, 15; 17:14.)”—B. 238.

Having on His head a golden crown.—The Divine nature, Immortality, the highest form of life.—2 Tim. 4:8; Jas. 1:12; 1 Pet. 5:4.

And in His hand a sharp sickle.“This Harvest, like the Jewish one, is to be first a time of trial and sifting upon the Church, and afterward a time of wrath upon the world, including the nominal Church. That which tried fleshly [pg 226] Israel in the Harvest of their Age was the truth then presented to them. The truth then due was the sickle, and it separated the ‘Israelites indeed’ from the nominal Jewish Church; and of the true wheat there was but a fragment compared to the professors. So also is the Harvest of this Age. The Harvest of the Gospel Age, like that of the Jewish Age, is under the supervision of the Chief Reaper, our Lord Jesus, who must then be present.”—A. 238.

14:15. And another angel.—The Witness to the Lord in the Land of Egypt. (Isa. 19:20.) See pages 309, 311, Vol. III, and observe that Chapter 10, Vol. III, Scripture Studies, is in reality a separate book.

Came out of [the] HIS temple, crying with a loud voice.—Throughout the 66 pages of his testimony.

To Him that sat on the cloud.—To our Present Lord.

Thrust in Thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come [for thee] to reap.—The Great Pyramid confirms the Bible's teaching that the time of Harvest has come.

For the Harvest of the earth is ripe.“The use of a sickle is to gather wheat, not to ripen it.”

14:16. And He that sat on the cloud.—The Lord Jesus, during His Parousia, overruling and withholding the Time of Trouble.

Thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.—Reading verses 13-16 connectedly, we note that the resurrection of the sleeping saints is recorded, and is immediately followed by the Harvest. This suggests that the Harvest proper began in 1878; and that the three and a half years prior to the spring of 1878 was devoted to preliminary work, but not to Harvest work in the full sense. It was not proper to say “Come out of her, My people,” until Babylon was cast off, in the Spring of 1878.—Rev. 3:14; Matt. 13:30; 24:31.

14:17. And another angel.—Pastor Russell himself, after the harvesting of the saints was finished. (Volumes IV, V, VI are not shown in this strictly Harvest chapter, as they are more used for the upbuilding of the saints than as Harvest instruments. They are, however, shown in Rev. 10:4; 15:8; 16:1-18.)

Came out of the Temple which is in Heaven.—The Church in glory, on the other side of the veil.

He also having a sharp sickle.—The privilege of guiding the work of bringing forth out of the Divine Storehouse all the Master's store of provisions, as needed, and of directing the execution upon the nominal church of the chastisements promised in the Holy Word. “Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find [pg 227] so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that He will make him ruler over all that He hath.”—Luke 12:44; Psa. 49:5-9; Isa. 21:1-10.

14:18. And another angel.—The corporate body which Pastor Russell organized to finish his work. See Rev. 8:3-5, which describes the same matter as here narrated.

Came out from the altar.—The place of sacrifice. The Society is maintained by the sacrifices of the saints.

Which had power over fire.—Authority over the publication and distribution of expositions of Ezekiel and John the Revelator, symbolical “coals of fire.”—Isa. 6:6; Ezek. 10:2.

And cried with a loud [cry] VOICE to Him that had the sharp sickle.—What a disappointed cry went up from the whole Church that dear Brother Russell went beyond the veil without writing the Seventh Volume of Scripture Studies, for which we all have looked so long!

Saying, Thrust In Thy sharp sickle.—Oh, that the Lord would wind up the present order of things, in whatever way He might elect!—Joel 3:9-14, 13; Matt. 13:39-43.

And gather the clusters of the vine of the earth.—In the Adventist cluster there are 6 bunches of smaller sects; in the Baptist 15; Brethren (Dunkard) 4; Plymouth Brethren 4; River Brethren 3; Catholic Apostolic 2; Churches of the Living God 3; Churches of the New Jerusalem 2; Disciples of Christ 2; Evangelical Bodies 2; Faith Associations 9; Friends 4; Latter-Day Saints 2; Lutheran 21; Scandinavian Evangelical Bodies 3; Mennonite 13; Methodist 16; Moravian 2; Pentecostal bodies 2; Presbyterian 12; Protestant Episcopal 2; Reformed 4; United Brethren 2.

For her grapes are fully ripe.—All these sects have long ago taken their stand against the Truth and therefore against the Lord. O Lord, judge them with Thy Truth! Thou hast called them the “abominations of the earth” and so they are. Bring their man-made clergy-ridden systems to an end and make their memory to perish from the earth! Amen.—Isa. 65:17; Rev. 17:5; Jer. 6:9-30.

14:19. And the angel thrust in his sickle [into] UPON the earth.—Distributed far and wide among order-loving people the good news that nominal Zion's travail is at hand, and the new and better order of things near.

And gathered the vine of the earth.—Brought together all the sects in virulent opposition to the Message of the Truth.

And cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.“The fruitage of the True Vine is Love, and is precious to the Father; but the fruitage of the Vine of [pg 228] the Earth is selfishness in various forms, and will be ultimately gathered into the great winepress of the wrath of God in the great Time of Trouble with which this Age will close.” (F. 207; Rev. 19:15.) “While the taking of different names was wrong, it was an evidence of a deeper wrong—of a selfish, party spirit. It was an evidence that those Corinthians who took the party names had never appreciated the oneness of the Body of Christ; that they did not really appreciate that Christ is the only Head, Leader and Standard; and that His is the only name by which His followers should recognize themselves and each other.” (Z. '08-116.)

Many of the clergy are today followers of Darwin and Socrates instead of Moses and Christ And both Darwin and Socrates were mentally unsound. The following is from Dr. Dorland's The Age of Mental Virility: “It is likewise exceptional to find an unusually short nose, such as that possessed by Darwin and Socrates, among men of intellect. Nasal abbreviation is one of the well-known signs of degeneracy, as is also the sessile or otherwise misshapen ear, the sugar-loaf skull, the close-set eyes, and other physiognomic irregularities, including the cretinoid face. The latter, strange to relate, has been noted in certain men of remarkable genius, including Darwin and Carlyle, Rembrandt, Pope and Socrates. I wish to emphasize at this point the assertion that not every individual who chances to possess one of the above mentioned physical peculiarities is to be immediately stamped as a degenerate. It is only when there is a combination of two or more of these traits, especially if this combination has been noted as a family peculiarity, that the suspicion will be awakened; and this may then be confirmed and the condition established by close and careful investigation.” “Socrates,” writes Pedigo, “presented one of the most interesting studies in dual personality and subconscious conditions in all history in his memorable daemon, which he said guided him and inspired him with wisdom.” “Herbert Spencer was the victim of a fixed delusion.”

The clergy are the ones directly responsible for the war in Europe. It was not their province to convince the rulers of those countries that their kingdoms are parts of God's Kingdom of peace, holiness, justice, love and truth—monstrous! They are an entirely unauthorized class—except by themselves; a self-perpetuating fraud. They have brought upon their heads the blood of all the nations of the earth in this world war; and God will require it at their hands. In the spring of 1918, and from that time onward forever, it will be as unsafe to tell the lies that [pg 229] have filled Babylon's exchequers as it will to be a king.—Zech. 13:2-6. “Though controversy and words of passion and arguments will be and are among the weapons used in this battle, especially in the beginning of it, yet it will not end with these. Every prophetic detail indicates that before it ends it will be most sanguinary, a fierce and terrible storm.”—D. 529; Jer. 25:26-38; Isa. 63:1-6; Lam. 1:15.

14:20. And the winepress.—The Seventh Volume of Scripture Studies, the work that will squeeze the juice out of the “Abominations of the earth.” Cook's Revelation, page 709, calls attention to the peculiar fact that this word is both masculine and feminine. This seemingly indicates the Lord's recognition of the co-operation of the sisters, particularly in the closing feature of the Harvest work. Priscilla was such a valuable helper that she was named before her husband in Acts 18:18.

Was trodden without the city.“In symbolic prophecy a ‘city’ signifies a religious government backed by power and influence. Thus, for instance, the ‘holy city, the new Jerusalem,’ is the symbol used to represent the established Kingdom of God, the overcomers of the Gospel Church exalted and reigning in glory.” (D. 25.) “The treading of the winepress is the last feature of Harvest work. The reaping and gathering is all done first.” (D. 18.) Worldly editors have applied this verse to the great war now raging in Europe; but this expression makes it impossible to so apply it. If the war is the winepress and Christendom the city, it is not being trodden without the city, but right in its midst. This suggests that the Revelator referred to another city; and with propriety; for this chapter is devoted to Harvest work only. What city more appropriate to refer to then than the Bethel, the Divinely appointed center for the Harvest work, the embryo Kingdom of God on earth? See Rev. 19:15.

And blood.—Teachings which though truthful will be