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Shepherd's Rod Vol. 2

Shepherd's Rod Volume 2

The Shepherd's Rod Volume 2

THE SHEPHERD'S ROD
Volume 2

By V. T. HOUTEFF

 "Every scribe which is instructed
unto the kingdom of heaven is like
unto a man that is an householder
which bringeth forth out of his
treasure things new and old."
Matt. 13.52

 THE SHEPHERD'S ROD, Vol. 2
Copyright, 1932

By

V.T. HOUTEFF

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE HEART OF THE
EARTH. (22)
THE IMAGE OF DANIEL 2 (29)
THE FOUR BEASTS OF DANIEL 7 (31)
THE LION OF DANIEL 7 (35)
THE BEAR OF DANIEL 7 (37)
THE LEOPARD OF DANIEL 7 (39)
LION’S WINGS PLUCKED, MAN’S HEART GIVEN TO IT (44)
THE GOAT AND RAM OF DANIEL 7 (51)
NON-DESCRIPT BEAST IN HIS FIRST STAGE. DANIEL 7:7 (57)
NON-DESCRIPT BEAST IN HIS SECOND STAGE. DANIEL 7:8 (59)
THE WOMAN AND THE DRAGON OF REVELATION 12 (64)
THE WOMAN WITH THE EAGLE’S WINGS OF REVELATION 12 (74)
THE BEASTS OF DANIEL AND REVELATION (84)
WORLD’S HISTORY IN SYMBOLS OF RAM AND GOAT (128)
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE BEASTS, THE HARVEST AND
THE PLAGUES (150)
THE SEVEN SEALS AND THE JUDGMENT (204)
MATTHEW 20. HISTORY OF THE GOSPEL (224)
THE FLOOD–TYPE AND ANTI-TYPE (250)
THE TWO TEMPLES IN TYPE AND ANTI-TYPE (270)
THE MIGHTY RIVER OF EZEKIEL (294)

TOPICAL INDEX

Introduction (9)
IN WHAT MANNER WERE THE SCRIPTURES GIVEN? (12)
Sin Against The Holy Ghost What Is It? (13)
INTRODUCING CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR
Three Days And Three Nights In the Heart Of The Earth (20)
 
Time Table From Passover To The Resurrection 
 
THE PROPHECY OF DANIEL AND THE REVELATION OF JOHN
CONTAINS THE WORLD'S HISTORY (27)
Symbol Of Wings And Ribs (33)
"Arise Devour Much Flesh" (42)
Plucked The Lions Wings (42)
Man's Heart Given To It (45)
THE BEAR AND THE LEOPARD (50)
The Ram And The He Goat (53)
Kingdom Of Brass Rules The World (53)
THE NON-DESCRIPT BEAST. DAN. 7 (56)
Attempts To Establish Ecclesiastical Governments (56)
THE RED DRAGON. Rev.3  (65)
War In Heaven (66)
Time Cast Out  (66)
The Dragon's Horns And Heads (68)
The Dragon's Crown (69)
The Accuser Of The Brethren (69)

THE CHURCH OF GOD IN SYMBOL OF A WOMAN.
Rev. 12 (71)
THE CROWN OF TWELVE STARS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
PERIOD (76)
THE LEOPARD-LIKE BEAST. Rev.13:1-10 (85)
The Crowns And The Horns (87)
Horns And Heads All Present (88)
The Symbol Of The Heads (88)
One Head Wounded Unto Death (96)
His Deadly Wound Was Healed (97)
All The World Wondered After The Beast (98)
The Name Of Blasphemy (98)
Separating The Tares From The Wheat (101)
Confidence In Man Is Satan's Sure Trap (103)
A Brief Summary Of The Leopard-Like Beast (106)
THE TWO-HORNED BEAST. Rev.13:11-18 (108)
THE SCARLET COLORED BEAST. Rev.17 (111)
THE WOMAN RIDING ON THE "BEASTS,"
"HEADS" AND "WATERS." Rev.17 (121)
Who Is The Woman Riding On The Beast? (121)
How Long Has The Woman Been In Existence? (123)
THE EXCEEDING GREAT HORN OF DAN. 8:9 (126)
Rome’s Power Not Her Own; Understanding Dark Sentences (127)
The Horn Reveals That Which The Beast Fails To Do (129)
Cast Down The Host And The Stars (129)
The Daily And The Sanctuary Cast Down (130)
How Was The Church Paganized? (134)
How Idol Worship Crept Into The Church (136)
SUMMARY–The Horn “Bears Rule Over All The Earth” (139)
The Sabbath “Trodden” Only Once (141)
Double Worship In All Ages (142)
THE BEAST (666), FALSE PROPHET, MOTHER OF
HARLOTS, MAN OF SIN, WHO ARE THEY? (148)
The Destruction Of The Beast And The Prophet (152)
The Destruction Of The “Man Of Sin” (153)
The Mother Of Harlots Not The Beast (153)
The Time Of the Woman’s Destruction (154)
Who Is The False Prophet? (157)
The Woman Sitting On The Heads (157)
The Woman Sitting On The Beast (158)
The Cup, Jewels, And The Loud Colors (159)
 
SUMMARY (160)
 
THE ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FOUR
THOUSAND. Rev.7 & 14 (163)
The 144,000 Sealed While In The Church (163)
Servants Of God In The Time Of The Harvest (166)
Are The 144,000 Of Both Sexes? (167)
AT PROBATION’S END, GRAVES CEASE – Rev. 14 & 15 (170)
THE TWENTY-FOURTH CHAPTER OF MATTHEW, AND
THE SIGNS OF CHRIST’S COMING (174)
Committed To S.D.A. Denomination (178)
The Ten Virgins–Matthew 25 (180)
Summary Of The Ten Virgins (185)
THE SEVEN SEALS AND THE SANCTUARY (187)
The Plan Of Salvation Preceded The Fall (188)
Is The Sanctuary The Eternal Place Of God’s Throne? (188)
Where Is The Throne Seen By John? (189)
The Judgment And The Seals–Revelation Chapter 4. (194)
Sea Of Glass (198)
The Opening Of The Book (200)
The Seals By Periods–Revelation Six (201)
The Meaning Of The Horses And Riders (202)
First Seal–White Horse (205)
The First Rider (205)
Second Seal–Red Horse (206)
The Rider On The Red Horse (207)
The Third Seal–Black Horse (208)
The Balances In The Rider’s Hand (209)
Hurt Not The Oil And The Wine (210)
The Fourth Seal (211)
The Fifth Seal (212)
The Sixth Seal (213)
The Seventh Seal, Revelation 8:1-5 (214)
Reformation In View (219)
Summary Of Commencement And Termination Of Seals (221)
WHEAT AND BARLEY EACH FOR A PENNY (222)
The Ancient Time Clock (225)
The Morning Call (226)
Second Call In The Third Hour. (227)
The Sixth Hour Call (227)
The Ninth And Eleventh Hour Calls (229)
Why Stand Ye Idle? (231)
The Last First And The First Last (233)
Give Them Their Hire (235)
Why Early In The Morning? (236)
Seven Universal Movements (236)
Reason Why Three Hours To A Movement (237)
WHY MILLER’S MISTAKE; WHAT IS THE FLOOD TO US? (240)
The Flood A Type Of The Destruction Of The Wicked. (246)
Flood Coincides With The Passover And Crucifixion (254)
The Significance Of The First And The Second Month (256)
Cain And Abel (257)
THE FIRST AND SECOND TEMPLE–TYPE AND ANTI-TYPE (259)
The Second Temple (259)
The Literal And Spiritual Distinction Between The Two Temples (261)
First Temple Literally Greater, But The Second Spiritually (262)
The Time For Building The Anti-Typical Temple (Church) (266)
Three Decrees Issued Before Temple Was Built (273)
False Accusations And Excuses (273)
Objections Against The Channel God May Use (275)
The Third Decree To Build “The Temple”. (278)
The Time For The Establishment Of The True Church (279)
The Power Of God’s People To Build His House (280)
The Result Of Obedience To God’s Word (281)
ZECHARIAH 4 (283)
The Two Golden Pipes (285)
The Seven Lamps (285)
The Seven Golden Tubes (285)
What Is Inspired and What Is Not? (287)
THE RIVER OF EZEKIEL’S VISION (290)
Ezekiel 47 (291)
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH; WHAT IS IT? (299)

INTRODUCTION

  This book is not published to explain, or comment on truths which have been previously revealed, and accepted as such, but is to disclose realities which God has Preserved through many generations, not only from becoming extinct, but also preventing their meaning from being discovered by men of wisdom. Thus, He who controls the Scriptures is able to reveal present truth to His people at a time when needed. Therefore, though such truths are originally prophetic, they become new, and stand as a direct letter from God to men at the time revealed. “Thus saith God the Lord,… Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (Isa. 42:5, 9.) Hence, it will prove the contents of this publication new, interesting, instructive, inspiring, and converting. The message it bears being taught by symbols and types illustrated on charts, becomes simple, and all who are searching for truth with intention to fit themselves for the heavenly garner, can easily comprehend it.

  The book of “Revelation” is said to be a closed book full of symbolical mysteries, incomprehensive to human beings. This is true of all prophetic truths. The one who admits this fact of the book of “Revelation,” automatically confesses that he does not understand the Bible; for all the books of Holy Writ meet and end in the “Revelation.” Therefore, to understand that book is to understand the Bible. “The One who reveals the mysteries to John will give to the diligent searcher for truth a foretaste of Heavenly things. Those whose hearts are open to the reception of truth will be enabled to understand its teachings, and will be granted the blessing promised to those who ‘hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein’.” – “The Acts of the Apostles,” pp. 584, 585. Thus, when the Revelation is understood, it will unlock the great Store House and bring to light all the prophetic mysteries that are stored in it.

  The message in this volume was prophetically timed by the parable of the “Householder” who sent laborers into His “vineyard.” (Matt. 20:1-16.) Proving to be the “11th hour” “call,” – the last, and at the right time. The fact that this wonderful revelation of the Scriptures cannot be contradicted, proves the message correct, and its inspiration true. This prophetic call is based on the prophecies of Daniel, and its explanation made clear by the book of Revelation. Thus, it is symbolically explained. These prophetic symbols of beasts, wings, horns, heads, crowns, etc., prove to be most perfect symbols in revealing the truth represented by them and when correctly applied it is certain that their meaning cannot be misconstrued.

  As the present day confusion and misunderstanding of the Scriptures among Christendom is proven by the multiplicity of sects, it is evident that the churches are in the Laodicean state: “Wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” And by denying the charge of this plain statement proves the words of the “True Witness” correct, “and knowest not.” While they think they are right, the “True Witness” declares: “Thou art all wrong.” What greater deception than this? (Read Rev. 3:14-18.) Since the Bible plainly says that it is the “truth” that shall make us “free,” we can not too closely examine ourselves and the things we believe, for if no two of this multi-sectarian Christianity believe alike, it is evident that most, if not all, are blind. And as the Bible is correct in the words: “If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch,” then it would be useless to dispute the truth – the world is headed for the “ditch.” Would not this indisputable statement arouse the professed people of God from their slumber and sleep? Past experiences prove that many will say, “It is not I.” Knowing that this deception would arise in the last days, God has devised this pictorial representation of the truth, by which He is able to enlighten His church and call out His people.

  While the enemy has succeeded in confusing the written Word, God lightens the earth with His glory by these symbolic revelations; and by which He discloses the entire truth and uncovers the traps of the devil! Thus through types and symbols He makes wise the simple and confounds the prudent by showing that where there is no type there is no truth.

  This volume contains a complete symbolic revelation of the entire world’s history, both civil and religious. The reason these wonders were portrayed by symbols is the same as that which caused Christ to teach by parables. “And the disciples came, and said unto Him [Christ], Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” (Matt. 13:10, 11.) “But the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Dan. 12:10.) “The chief purpose of teaching by parables is that the truth may be revealed to God’s children and at the same time concealed from His enemies.… For this same reason the prophecies that described the great antichristian powers and their work down to the end of time had to be clothed in symbolic and parabolic language to insure their preservation.” – “Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly,” p. 33. Second Quarter, 1932. “Christ was the foundation of the Jewish economy. The whole system of types and symbols was a compacted prophecy of the gospel, a presentation in which were bound up the promises of redemption.” – “The Acts of the Apostles,” p. 14.

  Each of these subjects could be greatly enlarged, but had we done so, this volume would have become too voluminous, also less comprehensive. Thus we have omitted many details.

(All bold face ours.)                                                                                  

THE AUTHOR.

In What Manner Were The Scriptures Given?

The Way God Speaks To Us

  “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son.” (Heb. 1:1.) God called Abraham by His voice. He also conversed with him through angels, dreams. (Gen. 12:1; 15:12, 13;17:1-6; 18:1-22.) Jacob had the same experience. (See Gen. 28:12; 32:1, 2.) The great I AM spoke to His servant Moses from the burning bush. (Ex. 3:1-10.) Israel heard the voice of God from the cloud on mount Sinai. (Ex. 20:18, 19.) The ten commandments were “written with the finger of God.” (Ex. 31:18.) Pharaoh king of Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon were given dreams, but the Spirit of God, through Joseph and Daniel revealed the secrets. (Gen. 41:28-36; Dan. 2:19.) David and Solomon wrote the Psalms and Proverbs, not by visions, dreams or angels, but by the silent voice of the Spirit of God imprinted in the minds of His servants. God spoke to Esther and Ruth by experiences through divine providence. John received the “Revelation” by visions. God speaks to us also by types and anti-types – through the ceremonial law, by the patriarchs, and by the experiences of ancient Israel. (See Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1, pp. 223-235.)

  God used the dead and the living, the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, the land and water, sun, moon, and stars, to reveal His divine plan and to sustain His servants, etc. (See Gen. 16:7, 9; 1 Sam. 6:7-15; Num. 22:30; 1 Kings 17:4-6; Jonah 2:10; Matt. 17:27; Num. 16:32; Matt. 24:29.) God has a thousand ways whereby He can render help in a moment. Truly, what more could divine love do for fallen human beings?

How Are The Scriptures Revealed, And Properly Interpreted?

  Analysis of ancient and modern history, both sacred and secular, prove that sealed, or prophetic truth has never been revealed through the educational system of the world, or by the wisdom of man, but only by the power of God. If anything is true, it is this one thing. Said Jesus: “When He, the Spirit of Truth, is Come, He will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13.) Christ plainly declares, that we are led into truth, not by wisdom of man but by the Spirit of God. Not into some truth, but in all truth. When God reveals truth, He is able to lead His servants in all truth, and does not allow such instruments to mix His truth with error. Though they may not understand all, yet the message they bear is the truth and nothing but the truth. Therefore, such truths are originally revealed by inspiration only. When the time divinely appointed is fulfilled, then God calls servants of His own choice, and by the Spirit of Truth reveals a portion of His Word to them. Usually in the form of a message which they must first bear to the church.

  By the same power God moved upon His numerous servants, the prophets, each writing a portion of the Bible, and when compiled it made a complete book, dealing with one main subject – salvation in Christ. Though some of these writers lived hundreds of years apart, yet each portion of Scripture perfectly harmonizes, – one throwing light upon another. Thus it proves that God was the overseer of the Scriptures and skillfully led His servants in all truth.

Sin Against The Holy Ghost, What Is It?

  As the Bible is free from error, even so its interpretation under the same Spirit of Inspiration must also be correct. Therefore, the interpretation of the Bible is true, only when it is revealed through a channel of inspiration. In no other way can God lead His people in all truth. Anything less than this cannot disclose Biblical truth, regardless of its simplicity. Said the Angel to Daniel. “But I will shew thee that which is noted in the Scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.” (Dan. 10:21.) One of the gifts for the church in the Christian dispensation, is “prophets.” “And he gave some, apostles; and some prophets.” (Eph. 4:11.)

  Paul, again declares of the Scriptures in his time and afterwards: “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy Apostles and Prophets by the Spirit.” (Eph. 3:5.) When the truth of the Scriptures is presented by God’s servants, “the letter” can be understood by all who study it; but the same spirit is required to seal, change the heart, and direct the steps in newness of life. This transforming power is granted only as the receiver of the truth humbly repents from sin, renounces the world and accepts Christ. When such a message is presented, those who oppose the messenger and resist the truth, reject the Spirit, and sin against Him. The Spirit in a message is the only medium to awaken the conscience. When rebelled against, the sinner cuts himself off from the channel through which God communicates. “Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matt. 12:31, 32.)

  The antediluvian world sinned against the Holy Ghost, because they believed not in the message of truth sent to save them from the dreadful flood. Therefore, they perished under sin that shall never be forgiven them. The same is true when one revolts against the divine message in any generation. Men are not condemned because they have sinned, but they are condemned when they turn a deaf ear to the divine call that is to save them from their sin.

  As all prophetic truths are timely revealed, it is evident that there can be nothing disclosed by the wisdom of man, no matter how simple it may be. When God reveals a portion of His holy Word through one of His chosen instruments, analysis of history prove that they are never erring as far as the message they deliver is concerned. It is also true that those who erred in their supposed message of truth, have had no truth. So the great apostle says: “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. 2:10-14.) Therefore, when a message is proclaimed, it is either all truth or there is no truth in it, save the quotations of the prophets.

  “Yet the fact that God has revealed His will to men through His Word, has not rendered needless the continued presence and guiding of the HOLY SPIRIT. On the contrary, the Spirit was promised by our Saviour, to open the Word to His servants, to illuminate and apply its teachings. And since it was the Spirit of God that inspired the Bible, it is impossible that the teaching of the Spirit should ever be contrary to that of the Word.” – “The Great Controversy,” p. VII.

  Those who are inclined to question the ability of God to lead one into all truth, are not only unconsciously denying the faithfulness of His Word, but they also minimize His power by their act, and thus have “Limited the Holy One of Israel.” (Psa. 78:41.)

  “The Spirit was not given – nor can it ever be bestowed – to supersede the Bible; for the Scriptures explicitly state that the Word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. Says the apostle John, ‘Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.’ (1 John 4:1.) and Isaiah declares, ‘To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’ (Isa. 8:20)” – “The Great Controversy,” p. VII.

  “The term ‘prophet’ as used in the Bible… is employed to designate men and women engaged in a wide range of service in connection with the work of God. Some of these never uttered a prophecy as that term is generally understood… Some were used only for a special occasion, others for a long series of years. Some wrote out the message God revealed to them, and others gave them orally. To some, as in the case of Daniel and others, were committed prophecies reaching into the distant future, portions of which are still unfulfilled.

  “Some were God’s messengers raised up in periods of great crisis, to warn the church and the world of threatened judgments, and to call men back to allegiance to God. Such were Samuel, Elijah, John the Baptist, and others. John disclaimed the prophetic title, claiming rather that he was a voice or a messenger of God, sent to prepare the way of the Lord in calling Israel to repentance. But as God’s messenger he was declared by Christ to be a prophet, and ‘even more than a prophet.’ Luke 7:26. ‘Surely the Lord will do nothing, but He revealeth His secrets unto His servants the prophets.’ Amos 3:7.” – “The Present Truth,” Vol. 5, No. 72.

  “In the highest sense the prophet was one who spoke by direct inspiration, communicating to the people the messages he had received from God. But the name was given also to those who, though not so directly inspired, were divinely called to instruct the people in the works and ways of God.” – “Education,” p. 46.

  These heavenly messengers usually were men and women of a humble character; some could neither read nor write. Though not having the advantages that great men do, these instruments in the hand of Omnipotence, caused human knowledge and worldly greatness to sink into insignificance. Thus God sought by these methods to reveal His transforming power in the human machine both in intellect and in character. To rebel against God’s chosen instruments is to renounce His power in preference to the human, placing the finite above the infinite, who can transmit more knowledge in a moment, than the human could in a lifetime.

  Though truths are revealed through inspired channels, the instrument of iniquity has often mixed them with error. Such iniquitous workers oft times resort to the use of portions of divine revelation, unlawfully using them as an entering wedge to pass on error and thus deceive the simple. Let none flatter themselves that they can escape the clutches of the devil by the studious effort of another. Everyone must study for himself to understand his own position, and with candid mind be ready to listen to all with a teachable spirit of a child. “Verily I say unto you, Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” (Mark 10:15.) Prejudice, has beguiled and ruined more souls than any trap ever devised by the great deceiver. The one who refuses to listen to reasons offered by another, is the most ignorant. Such a man is usually prejudiced because the argument presented contradicts his view of the subject, or it may be that he considers himself more intellectual or of superior social standing. Others will not hear the truth because it hurts their sinful conscience and for fear that they must part from some selfish lust. This class is under the power of the devil, and on the way to everlasting ruin – sinning against the Holy Ghost. Those who are sincere in their errors are the very ones who are found in the bottom of the devil’s kidnaping bag. This class is the hardest to convince that they are on the way to hell.

INTRODUCING CHRIST OUR SAVIOR

THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH

  The question as to how long Christ remained in the tomb, and the day on which He was buried and resurrected, has been as widely discussed as any other Biblical subject. A number of theories have been advanced and doubtless much valuable time has been wasted, however, confusion upon the subject has not lessened, but rather increased.

  Some one has asked, “What has that to do with our salvation?” It may not have much to do with the salvation of some, but it seems that with others it has a great deal to do. A certain sister said: “I believe all the S––- denomination teaches, but I cannot agree with the position Sister W–– holds on the subject of Christ’s burial and resurrection. I know that Christ was three days and three nights in the tomb, but Sister W–– states He was buried on Friday evening and resurrected on Sunday morning. Therefore, I cannot believe in all her writings, and for this reason I have not, and will not, become a member of your church.”

  The misunderstanding of this question has kept this sister from connecting with the church. Now, if that particular denomination has the truth for the world at this present time, and this sister’s misunderstanding has kept her from accepting it, then we must concede that this widely discussed subject has something to do with the salvation of some people, to say the least.

  Said Jesus: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matt. 7:7, 8.)

  There could be nothing more pleasing to God than for one of His children to ask in faith the way of truth. If there is any power in the words of Jesus, then surely he who desires to know the truth and is willing to obey it, though it may demand that he sell all and give to the poor, renounce the world and all its inducements, it would be impossible for that soul to remain in darkness. Let the searcher after truth make just such a vow to God and thus try out His power and never failing promises through the words of His Son. But though it be possible to deceive men, we can never impose upon God, for He knows what is in the heart.

  One of the chief reasons why confusion arises among Bible students is because they do not entirely depend on the Biblical expression of the words. They think themselves wiser than the prophets who were inspired with the Spirit of God, and thus wish to correct the words and meaning of the Holy Bible! Hence finite mortals have attempted to rectify and correct the Infinite One, whose wisdom, power, and vision is unsearchable! Though they know their interpretation of a text is not altogether in harmony with the whole tenor of the book and law, they see no injury, and fear not God. And when the fact is revealed they refuse to exchange error for truth because it contradicts their false theology. We invite the earnest attention of the reader upon this subject and that he take notice of the wonderful harmony of the Scriptures and the great wisdom used in them.

  The sister was asked: “Where is your evidence that Christ was three days and three nights in the tomb?” “My answer is,” she said, “in Matthew 12:40, ‘For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth’.” Again she was asked, “On what day do you think Christ died?” She said, “John 19:31 has the answer: ‘The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.’ “ Here she explained that it could not have been the preparation for the seventh-day Sabbath, for that Sabbath was an “High” day, so it was the preparation for the passover – Wednesday. Then she began to count, “Thursday (1) Friday (2), Saturday (3); Wednesday night (1), Thursday night (2), Friday night (3). Thus there are three days and three nights.”

  According to this sister’s reasoning she thinks her explanation is unquestionably correct. But not that Christ died at the ninth hour, just three hours before the end of the day (Matt. 27:46-50) and was buried at sunset – 12 o’clock. (Luke 23:52-56.)

  If He was buried on Wednesday, He would have been three full days and four full nights in the tomb, for the Bible plainly declares: “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn [daybreak] toward the first day of the week, [Sunday A.M.] came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” (Matt. 28:1.) Again we quote from Mark 16:9, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene.”

  Let us examine the theory from another angle. Said Jesus: “Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” (Matt. 26:2.) “Then [after the two days] assembled together the chief priests… and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.” (Verses 3, 4.) The time Christ said the words: “Ye know after two days is the feast of the passover,” could not have been later than the beginning of Tuesday, if the feast of the passover was on Thursday. Then all that took place in connection with His judgment, crucifixion, death, and burial, had to be accomplished from late Tuesday morning to sunset Wednesday, which would have been impossible according to the Biblical time table as we shall endeavor to set forth.

  Note the following Scriptures: “Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?” This was the preparation day for the feast of the Passover. “And He said, Go into the city to such a man, and say to him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them, and they made ready the passover. Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.” (Matt. 26:17-22.) The passover feast can only be observed after sunset at the beginning of the first day of unleavened bread: “In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s passover.” (Lev. 23:5.) This is the last day of preparation for the passover. Therefore, Jesus was not yet in the hands of the priests on the preparation for the passover feast, and much less crucified. Furthermore, Matthew is altogether clear on the subject and leaves no room for argument: “And as they did eat, [the passover] he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.” (Matt. 26:21.) How could Jesus eat the passover with the twelve had he been crucified and buried? We are ready to accept truth, but when the theory is contradicted by the Scriptures, then we must not submit to erroneous conclusions, for, he who believes a lie is an abomination unto God.

  Permit us to clear the controversy by facts that can stand the test. Let the reader bear in mind that the passover is a seven-day affair, or what is called the “passover week.” We quote Lev. 23:4-8: “These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their season. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: Seven Days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.”

  Now mark, the seventh-day Sabbath is controlled by the weekly cycle, and the passover by the monthly calendar. Therefore, in each passover week there is a seventh-day Sabbath and it may fall on any one of the seven paschal days. Again, mark that the fourteenth day is called the “Passover” day, but the fifteenth is the Passover “Feast.” (See Num. 28:17; Joshua 5:11.) The seventh-day Sabbath is called, “The Sabbath.” The sheaf offering was the first fruits of the harvest and it was to be offered before the Lord on the morrow after the Sabbath, that is, on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday. (See Lev. 23:11.) The sheaf offering was a type of the resurrection – the first fruits. Said the apostle: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept” – those whom He raised. (1 Cor. 15:20; also Matt. 27:52, 53.)

  Thus Christ “led captivity captive” on the very day to which the type pointed.

The Passover Preparation

  The passover is a feast of seven days; therefore, the preparation for the week required longer than a day. Quoting Ex. 12:3, 6, “In the tenth day of this month [the first] they shall take to them every man a lamb… And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month.” The people were commanded to commence the preparation on the tenth day of month. On the fourteenth day, before sunset, all leaven was to be put out from their houses. Then the fifteenth day drew on, being the first day of unleavened bread, and the passover week commenced by killing the passover lamb. “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses.” (Verse 15.) Therefore, the fourteenth day was the last day of preparation, and the fifteenth, or the first day of the feast, was a holy convocation, and they were to do no servile work therein. Matthew 26:17, has reference to the same day upon which Jesus ate the passover with the twelve. (See verses 20, 21.)

 The only possible days for the passover week would be as follows: The fourteenth day of the first month that year was on Wednesday, and the day ended at sunset (even). The first day of the passover feast (15th day of the month) came on Thursday; the second, on Friday; the third, on Saturday (Sabbath); the fourth, on Sunday; the fifth, on Monday, the sixth, on Tuesday; the seventh and the last of the feast on Wednesday the 21st day of the month. (Follow chart on page 22).

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Time Table From Passover To The Resurrection

  The lamb could not be killed before the fourteenth day at even and be called “The Passover Lamb” according to the instruction given in the following Scriptures: “And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill It [the lamb] in the evening.” (Ex. 12:6.) Suppose everything was ready and the lamb was killed as soon as the sun went down. It would take about fifteen minutes for it to die; then the pelt must be removed. In addition to this every part of it had to be dressed, washed, and placed back in the sacrifice and the opening sewed together, for there was not any part of it to be thrown away, save the waste. Therefore, the preparation for roasting the sacrifice would require not less than an hour. Thus we read: “Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with legs, and with the purtenance thereof.” (Verse 9.)

  The ancient method of roasting required more time than our modern way. A rod was drawn through the sacrifice, then it was placed over coals of fire, and kept continually turning about by means of the rod. This method of roasting would require about four hours. To eat the passover ordain the Lord’s supper, and the ordinance of humility, then sing a hymn, would have added another hour and a half. Afterwards they went to the mount of Olives. (See Mark 14:26.) The mount is about one half mile east of the third wall of the city. Therefore, it was some distance from the place where the passover was celebrated. Thus it would have taken them close to half an hour to get there on foot; after which Jesus took the three to the garden of Gethsemane.

  There could not have been less than an hour and a half spent on the mount and in the garden while Jesus prayed; after which the apostles were told to take their rest in sleep, for Jesus went out to pray three times, and on returning, twice He found them sleeping, “and He cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me One Hour?” (Matt. 26:40.) We may suppose they spent at least an hour in sleeping, otherwise the words of the Master on His third return: “Take your rest” (Verse 45), would have been spoken in vain. After these experiences Judas arrived with the multitude and there was a little time spent in taking Jesus; and by the time they led Him to the priests it must have consumed not less than two hours. According to this computation of time, the total of hours spent from sunset Wednesday evening (beginning of the passover by killing the lamb) to the time Jesus was led to the high priest could not have taken less than twelve hours.

  The analysis of the foregoing time table, proves that when Jesus was led to Caiaphas, the high priest, it was about the twelfth hour, or shortly before daylight on Thursday morning; and after His trial before the high priest, “Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early.” (John 18:28.) “And it was the Preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he [Pilate] saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!” (John 19:14.) As John states that it was early when they led Him from Caiaphas to the hall of judgment, and as he also states that it was about the sixth hour (either midnight, or midday according to ancient time), then it must have been shortly after midnight (about the sixth hour) when Pilate said to the Jews, “Behold your King,” for John would not call midday, early. Therefore, after He had been judged by the Sanhedrin they called Pilate, and then went to the hall of judgment. This was done on the morning of the day following, after they had taken Jesus from the garden – early Friday morning.

  Says John, “And it was the preparation of the passover.” We have previously explained that the preparation for the passover lamb was not one day, but rather a four day affair.

  Furthermore, Matthew plainly says: “They made ready the Passover. Now when even was come, He [Christ] sat down with the twelve. And… they did eat.” (Matt. 26:19-21.) Therefore, the passover preparation mentioned by John, cannot be the preparation for the passover lamb, but rather the preparation for the passover Sabbath (the seventh-day), called the passover preparation, because it was in the passover week, as it occurred only once a year. So then, that Friday is called “the preparation of the passover.” Thus, the seventh-day Sabbath in the passover week was called a “High Day,” because it was a Sabbath within a Sabbath – the highest day in the year.

  According to time tabulation, the Jewish rulers tried Jesus from twelve o’clock Thursday morning, to about six o’clock Friday morning (ancient time). Nine hours later – at the third hour (Friday), Jesus was crucified. (See Mark 15:25.) After He had been on the cross for three hours the sun was darkened (at six o’clock – noon. See Mark 15:33.) Three hours later Jesus died and the sun again gave light. (See Matt. 27:45-50.) In the three remaining hours to sunset, very hasty preparation was made and the Saviour was placed in Joseph’s new tomb just before the seventh-day Sabbath drew on. We quote Luke 23:53-56: “And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how His body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.” Thus Jesus remained in the tomb from twelve o’clock Friday evening to about twelve o’clock Sunday morning. This is also proven by Mark 16:9, “Now when Jesus had risen early the first day of the week.” Therefore, a total of about thirty-six hours in the tomb; and a grand total of eighty-four hours from the commencement of the passover to the resurrection.

  Now mark, that from the time the Jews laid hands on Christ (Thursday the 12th hour) to His resurrection (Sunday the 12th hour), there were exactly seventy-two hours or three days and three night. Thus fulfilling the words of Jesus: “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matt. 12:40.) The idea that in the “heart of the earth” means in the grave, is man’s supposition without Bible foundation. If the Saviour had in mind His experience in the grave, He would have said so. If His grave was in the center of the earth – about 4,000 miles beneath its surface (the heart of the earth) then one may suppose He meant the heart of the earth. Jesus used the expression to indicate that He was to be three days and three nights in the hands of sinners, and in the grave. Why are sinners called “The heart of the earth”? Because man was made of it according to Gen. 3:19, “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

  At this point we draw the reader’s attention to the chart on page 22. Take notice of the infinite wisdom used to devise the picture of the great sacrifice (the Cross) for human beings, which is an evidence of boundless love Divine. Note first, that the hand on the clock dial made its round three times. Mark that each event was three hours apart (3 x 9 and 6 x 12), making the cross.

  Now observe that the position of the cross as it is on the dial, does not show the proper proportion. But if the reader will turn the diagram upside down as it were, which would show the way the ancient clock measured time – being regulated by sunset at twelve o’clock, then the cross appears in its perfect form; thus we have another view of divine perfection.

  The line across the dial between the hours of four and five, ten and eleven – marked north and south pole, gives the exact position of the globe as it travels on its yearly orbit. Now look to the upper right at the sun as it was then in its proper relation to the earth, as it darkened from the sixth to the ninth hour and we see the sun stood in accurate position over the hours that remained in darkness! Is not this picture perfect – beyond question? If so, could an intelligent being imagine that this all happened by accident? Does not this show unmistakable evidence that God had pre-ordained it all, and that by His mighty power it has come to pass to teach His children His plan, and the salvation that is offered to them? Said Paul, “The works were finished from the foundation of the world.” (Heb. 4:3.) John also declares that the lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. (See Rev. 13:8.) Sinner, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!”

  Though the passover lamb typified the crucifixion of Christ, it was not intended that He should be offered on the very day the lamb was killed. This fact is self-evident, for the lamb was killed in the evening and Christ was crucified in the morning – three hours after sunrise, – and died three hours before the evening.

THE PROPHECY OF DANIEL AND

THE REVELATION OF JOHN

CONTAIN THE WORLD’S HISTORY

  “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Rev. 1:3.)

  “Let none think, because they cannot expound the meaning of every symbol in the Revelation, that it is useless for them to search this book in an effort to know the meaning of the truth it contains. The one who revealed these mysteries to John will give to the diligent searcher for truth a foretaste of heavenly things. Those whose hearts are open to the reception of truth will be enabled to understand its teachings, and will be granted the blessing promised to those who ‘hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein’.” – “The Acts of the Apostles,” p. 584.

  “In the Revelation all the books of the Bible meet and end. Here is the complement of the book of Daniel. One is a prophecy; the other a revelation. The book that was sealed is not the Revelation, but that portion of the prophecy of Daniel relating to the last days. The angel commanded, ‘But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end’.” – Id. p. 585.

  “The number seven indicates completeness.… while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church at different periods in the history of the world.” – Id. p. 585.

   “Finite men should beware of seeking to control their fellow men, taking the place assigned to the Holy Spirit. Let not men feel that it is their prerogative to give to the world what they suppose to be truth, and refuse that anything should be given contrary to their ideas. This is not their work. Many things will appear distinctly as truth, which will not be acceptable to those who think their own interpretation of the Scriptures always right. Most decided changes will have to be made in regard to ideas which some have accepted as without a flaw.” – “Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 76.

  A large portion of Christendom agree that we are living in the last days of this world’s history. When Jesus was asked by his disciples for the signs of His return to earth again, and of the end of the world, one of the many signs He gave was; “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:).” (Matthew 24:15.) It is evident from the words of the Master that the book of Daniel contains information regarding the signs of the times and of the end of the world. The prophecies of Daniel were of little worth to the disciples and the early Christian church, for Daniel says the book was sealed to the time of the end. (Dan. 12:4.) And since the book is now open it is evident that we are living in the time of the end. (Rev. 22:6-10.) But the book was to be open to one class of people and shut to another, for He added, “Many shall be purified and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Dan. 12:10.) Therefore, it is important that we should be free from all wickedness and obedient to the divine requirements, if we would understand and receive the blessings contained in the book. -- {2SR 28.1}

  The intention of this publication is not to explain the symbols which have heretofore been fully explained in various publications and proved to be correct in general outline up to the present, but our intention is to clear certain features which have been hidden by the Spirit of God for a time. The outstanding symbols which are so familiar to Bible students, will be briefly visualized, sufficient only to connect the thought with the symbols that are to be explained. We shall endeavor to prove that the symbols of the book of Daniel and Revelation contain the entire world’s history, both civil and religious, from creation to redemption.

  In the second chapter of Daniel, beginning with the first universal kingdom (Babylon) after the flood, we have the world’s history from thence to the second coming of Christ, or to the end of the present world, represented in one great metalic image. “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.… And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold: the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." (Dan. 2:31-34, 44, 45.)

THE SYMBOL OF THE WORLD

DANIEL 2

  The gold, silver, brass, and iron have been interpreted to represent Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia and Rome. The mixture of iron and clay – the feet and the toes – the present kingdoms succeeding the fall of Rome. Wonderful prophecy it is, so simple and so true. But this great image only reveals the framework, as it were, of our world’s history.

  In the seventh chapter of Daniel we have the same chronological arrangement in symbols of various beasts. The reason for the duplication is to reveal in detail the historical events which were to transpire within the framework of the great image. “Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion, and it had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and beheld a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: and it devoured and break in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.” (Dan. 7:2-8.)

  The lion, the bear, the leopard, and the non-descript beast depict the same kingdoms as the gold, the silver, brass and iron. The unnatural and peculiar symbols connected with the beasts, namely, the wings, ribs, horns, and heads, are capable of disclosing the mysteries of historical occurrences which were to transpire within the great prophetic periods. The most wonderful thing about these prophetic symbols is that they are perfectly capable of revealing the truth, and once understood aright, they cannot be contradicted. Any interpretation of symbolical prophecies that do not perfectly fit the explanation given is never to be depended upon. The interpretation of such symbols must not only be in harmony with the whole tenor of God’s book and law, but it must point out some important lesson for God’s people; and when such an explanation, as referred to, is derived from the scriptures, then only we have the truth.

THE WORLD'S HISTORY IN SYMBOLS OF BEAST

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  While the head of gold on the great image represented the kingdom of Babylon at the height of her glory, the lion covers a greater period according to Genesis 10:8-10: “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: Wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” The beginning of Nimrod’s kingdom was “Babel,” or as it is in the Greek, “Babylon.” His dominion extended over the four cities of the plain; namely, Babylon, Erech, Accad, and Calneh. If the reader will turn to Genesis 10:1-8 and carefully count the persons born from the family of Noah after going out from the ark of the deluge to the birth of Nimrod, it will be noticed that Nimrod is the 26th person born after the flood. The location of the city was in the land of Shinar, as in Genesis 11:2: “And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.”

  The name Babel (Babylon in Greek) originated at the time the tower of Babel was in building, after which God confounded the multitude by diversity of speech. According to Daniel, the capitol of Babylon stood on the same plain: “And the Lord gave Jehoiakim, king of Judah into his hand [The king of Babylon],… which he carried into the land of Shinar.” (Dan. 1:2.) Therefore Babylon was founded immediately after the flood, perhaps somewhere between 2400 and 2300 B.C., and had reached her height as a universal empire between 400 or 500 B.C. Babylon, in her development, had consumed a period of about 1800 years or more. Certainly no one would think that Babylon made very rapid speed in conquering the ancient world.

Symbol Of Wings And Ribs

  We may now inquire the meaning of the wings on the lion and on the leopard; also the ribs in the mouth of the bear. The wings on the lion certainly cannot represent speed, as some have taught. If wings were to represent rapidity they should have been on the bear, for Cyrus and Darius conquered old Babylon over night. Furthermore, if wings represent speed on one beast, they must likewise represent the same on the other. Could they represent speed on the four-headed leopard beast? Certainly not. A careful observation of the symbols show that the leopard beast had nothing to do with Alexander’s conquest of Medo-Persia. The leopard represents the kingdom after the conquest was accomplished. The four heads are the four Grecian divisions after the death of Alexander; namely, “Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus.”

  The conflict and conquest between Medo-Persia and Grecia is brought to our attention in Daniel 8:5-7: “And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. And he came to the ram which had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran into him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.”

  In verses 20, 21, Daniel was told by the angel that the he goat “is Grecia,” the ram, “Medo-Persia,” and the notable horn between his eyes, is “the first king.” Therefore, Alexander’s swift conquest is represented by the “he goat” which touched not the ground. If wings were to represent speed they should have been on the “he goat” and not on the leopard. Since the truth of what has been said cannot be denied, and as the thought that has been entertained by some is contradictory to the symbols, we must look elsewhere for the application of the “wings.” We think it is far safer and wiser as well as more reasonable for one to admit his mistake – as we mortals are apt to make many of them – rather than to become involved in contradictory interpretations of the Word of God.

  First, we must understand that Inspiration is recording by means of these symbols the entire world’s history. Let us not forget that there was a world before the flood. If one of us should undertake this wonderful architectural feat to devise a blue-print, or chart, of this world’s history, we certainly would take into consideration a complete account of all its parts. God being infinite in wisdom, as well as in power, would certainly not overlook or thoughtlessly neglect in His great chart of historical events to consider His world before the flood.

  A record of a divine survey of this world’s history from creation to redemption would be of great importance at this present time. In an age of infidelity, atheism, and hypocrisy, men who profess to be wise in secular, as well as religious matters, have lost sight of the source of true wisdom and knowledge. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Rom. 1:21, 22.) Even those who profess to be teachers of righteousness, have forfeited their faith in the Biblical reckoning of creation. God having knowledge of the present deceptive denial of His holy Word, has devised a prophetic blue-print in symbols of beasts, wings, ribs, horns, heads, crowns, etc., by which He points out in this prophetic panorama, the facts, with a force that should humiliate men and show them their utter ignorance and lack of wisdom.

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  According to Biblical reckoning the flood came more than 1600 years after creation. God originated the human race through Adam and Eve. Therefore, one people, one race, one language and nation from creation to the flood. The rulership given to Adam we call the first universal Adamic empire. Babylon was the second; Medo-Persia is the third; Grecia the fourth; Rome the fifth; the broken state of Rome (symbolized by the feet and toes of the great image of Daniel 2, which is the present unstable civilization) is the sixth; and from the close of the millennium after the resurrection of the wicked to their second death, is the seventh and last. Thus the Biblical number seven, as always, signifies, completeness. Therefore, seven such universal empires, revealing a complete history of the world, denote the end of sin and its dominion.

  If we mortals were to devise such a chart by symbols of beasts, it is certain we would have sufficient intelligence to number every beast in his regular order. We may not suppose that God is less thoughtful in His marvelous perfection. Therefore, He has numbered every beast. We must first consider those which represented the Old Testament time, by the great metallic image; namely, the Gold – Babylon; the silver – Medo-Persia; the brass – Grecia. Gold is the chief of metals which would stand as number one; silver is second to gold, therefore number two; brass is third to gold, meaning number three. The lion, the bear, and the leopard are numbered in like manner. The lion is king or chief of beasts, therefore number one, corresponding with the gold. The bear is second to a lion, therefore number two, corresponding with silver. The leopard is third to a lion, hence number three, corresponding with the brass. These are the first set of numbers, but there is yet another set of which we must speak.

  These would bring us back to our subject of what is the meaning of the wings on the lion as well as on the leopard, and the ribs in the mouth of the bear. God certainly would not have mapped out the world’s history, from the flood to the end, and failed to take into account all its parts. There must be something in this chart of historical events to indicate that He had a universal empire before the flood, as previously explained. That empire being the first, naturally stands as number one; Babylon number two; Medo-Persia, number three; and Grecia, number four. If this claim is correct, we must find this set of numbers on the lion, bear and leopard.

  The wings on the lion denote empire number two. The lion by nature is first – first from the flood but (unnaturally) by two wings, second from creation. The ribs in the mouth of the bear signify empire number three. The bear by nature is second from the flood, but (unnaturally), by three ribs he is third from creation; ribs are used, for wings go in pairs. The four wings on the leopard denote that Grecia is the fourth universal empire. The leopard by nature is third from the flood, but (unnaturally), by the wings, fourth from creation. History flies, therefore wings make a perfect symbol.

“Arise, Devour Much Flesh”

  “Arise, devour much flesh,” said the ribs to the bear. (Dan. 7:5.) The Medo-Persia opened the way for imperial wars, therefore: “Arise, devour much flesh.” Thus empire after empire plunged into bloody wars. The ribs in the mouth of the bear cannot mean nations, as some have taught, for nations are symbolized by horns, and not by ribs. Neither can they denote certain provinces that Medo-Persia could not have conquered, for he has them in his mouth, and it would be inconsistent to suppose that the Persians would have oppressed certain states more than others. Had that been the case, the bear would have stamped upon them as did the non-descript beast. (Verse 7.) The symbol is contrary to such suppositions, and there is neither proof nor lesson that could be derived by any such theory.

Plucked The Lion’s Wings

  Coming back to the lion, symbol of Babylon, Daniel says: “The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.” (Dan. 7:4.) “His wings were plucked.” The symbol denotes the same as the plucking of the three horns from the non-descript beast. (Verse 8.) If the plucking up of the horns denotes their kingdom was taken from them, then plucking the wings signifies that Babylon, as empire number two was to pass away, fulfilling Daniel’s interpretation of the handwriting on the wall: “This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.” (Dan. 5:26.) Therefore, Babylon fell into the hands of the Medo-Persian kings. Thus his wings “were plucked,” and the Medo-Persian empire, number three, succeeded the lion, number two.

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Man’s Heart Given To It

  After the wings of the lion were plucked, says Daniel: “He was made to stand upon his feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.” Whatever is meant by the position of the beast and the exchange of heart, its application is after Babylon had fallen under Medo-Persian rule, for he stood as a man after the wings “were plucked.” If we are to acquire the understanding of the symbol, we must first consider the function of the heart, for the symbol itself must be perfect, otherwise the truth cannot be determined.

  The function of a heart is to preserve the life energy in the body. Let the heart stop and all is lost. This most vital organ is a governor of the body. As an empire is composed of numerous individuals, and their necessities, just so is the living body composed of a multitude of life cells, and all their essentials. As the duty of a king is to preserve the life energy in his kingdom, also punish or uproot the evil and to supervise the good, just so does the heart. By contraction and expansion it controls and imparts the flowing, living energy in the form of pure blood. The evidence gathered thus far Proves that the heart is a fitting symbol of a king. But we must specify the difference between the human and the beastly heart. Daniel 4:16, speaking of the penalty that was to fall upon the king before he was driven from his throne to the field with the beasts, says: “Let his heart be changed from a man’s and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.” After the king’s heart was changed, he lost his reason, and by nature became equal to an ox. “The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as an oxen and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.” (Dan. 4:33.)

  The human intellect does not consist in the external image of mankind, but it rather exists in the human heart. This thought is very emphatically entertained by the scriptures: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Therefore, the symbol (man’s heart) may denote intelligence. However, the symbol cannot infer human vision, but rather a proper understanding of God, for the Bible says: “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” (Psa. 53:1.) Obtaining a clear vision of the infinite power of the Eternal One is what God calls true education. The sum of the symbol is, Babylon was forced to acknowledge the existence of the Most High by removing one king (beast’s heart) and setting up another (man’s heart).

  Having made clear what the symbol seems to indicate, we must take a brief survey of the ancient monarchy to see if this interpretation can be fully supported by the symbolical heart. As the everlasting example set forth by the flood for future generations had failed to teach the Chaldean rulers God’s power and existence, the Creator of mankind in His mercy, patience and long suffering, not willing that any should perish, made a supreme effort to save that nation. “The Lord is not slack concerning His Promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9.)

  When the dream of the great image was given to Nebuchadnezzar his memory of the object was blotted out, but the impression left in his mind was greatly increased. After the urgent demand from the wise men had failed to reveal the king’s dream, Daniel, by divine revelation, unmasked the mysterious phenomena by interpreting the dream. This wonderful miracle should have converted the king and all the wise men of Babylon to the Hebrew worship, for by the power of Daniel’s God they had escaped the death penalty; but there was no change for the better. Though the king honored God with his lips, his heart drew away from Him. The king destroyed not the idols in the land, but in his blindness proceeded to set up superior ones; for shortly after the interpretation of the dream he demanded of all his subjects the worship of the “golden image” which he had set up in the plain of Dura. (Read the third chapter of Daniel.)

  The refusal of the three Hebrews to bow down to the idol, and the miracle by which they were saved from the fiery furnace, had deeply affected the minds of the rulers, but it too, failed to change the king’s heart. Again he honored the God of gods with his lips but not by his deeds. The king’s ungodly deeds made it necessary for a supernatural penalty. Hence a tremendous effort to bring him to a realization of his dependence upon the Creator was necessary. The dream given him (in Daniel four), of the great tree – a symbol of himself – and its interpretation by Daniel, had convinced the hard-hearted monarch of its truth, and the judgment that was to fall upon him, except he repent. Daniel said: “Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it be a lengthening of thy tranquility.… At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.… The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar; and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.” (Chap. 4:27, 29, 33.)

  At the end of the painful experience, the king said: “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.” (Verse 37.) Though he acknowledged the power of the Eternal One, worshiped Him, and uttered words of praise with a most sublime expression, the king failed to surrender his heathen heart and renounce the pagan system of worship. He failed to embrace the great importance of imparting the knowledge of Jehovah to his posterity for the tranquility and endurance of his kingdom.

  These wonderful experiences were for an object lesson to future kings. Shortly after the fulfillment of the dream, the kings’ grandson had ascended the throne. In his heathen custom he ventured to defy the God of gods, and the King of kings, who is able to make oxen out of kings and kings out of oxen, and rulers out of slaves. “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor the south. But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another.” (Psa. 75:6, 7.)

  The sacred vessels had never before been defiled by any king as in Belshazzar’s drunken feast. God will forbear until man steps over the boundary line. This Belshazzar did by bringing the sacred vessels before his lords, concubines, and heathen gods. At the appearance of the hand writing on the wall his guilty conscience troubled him; his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against the other. Belshazzar, like his father, ignored Daniel and summoned the wise men of Babylon to interpret the writing; though he should have known their inability to reveal the secret. At last Daniel was called and at his appearance he said: “This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. Tekel; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Peres; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” (Dan. 5:26-28.) The priceless experiences of his father that were at his access could have been everlasting blessings, but by ignoring the power of God the king reversed the benefits from a blessing to a curse, and brought a final end to his kingdom. Every resource to make the lion (Babylon) stand up like a man under the rule of the Chaldean kings had been exhausted, and every effort failed.

  Cyrus, of whom God had spoken by His prophet many years in advance, was granted to enter the capital city of the Chaldean king. (See Isa. 45:1.) Babylon as empire number two passed away, and the symbol of the “plucked” wings met its fulfillment. “In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldean’s slain.” The lion’s heart is a symbol of the heathen king – Belshazzar who was slain – and thus the beastly heart was removed. Man proposes, but oftentimes another power over which he has no control, disposes.

  Daniel was made first president over the 120 princes because an “excellent spirit was found in him.” Both Cyrus and Darius were converted to the worship of the true God. Therefore, the everlasting Arm which intervenes in the affairs of mankind, set up a king of His own choice.

  In this manner the symbols met their fulfillment and the lion “was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.”

        The heart is a fitting emblem of a ruler of a nation. The contrast between a godly and an ungodly king is as vastly different as between the human and the beastly heart. The heart is the life-giving energy to the human body, just as a king is the head of a nation.

  After freedom had been granted to the Jews, Cyrus, in his proclamation said: “Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all His people? His God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (He is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 1:2, 3.) This godly influence of the kings of Medo-Persia did not wear out until years later. The decree made by Cyrus was written in a roll and placed at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes. Years later the roll being found by Darius, the edict was immediately carried out. Cyrus had decreed that all should make a free will offering, and the king himself contributed without limit. He said: “Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king’s goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses to be given to these men, that they be not hindered.” (Ezra 6:8.) He further decreed that all the needs to maintain the sacrificial services “be given them day by day without fail.” Then he added “That they may offer sacrifices Therefore, the time had come for the Lord to apply the last remedy to the lion kingdom.

  Though the sublime words spoken by the Chaldean king seems to reveal a change of heart, his works showed failure in what his lips proclaimed. What a contrast between the Babylonian monarch, and the Medo-Persian kings! Nebuchadnezzar declined to set God’s people free, he refused to restore the sacred vessel to the King of heaven; he made no decree for the rebuilding of the house of God; he gave no gift of any kind to the King of kings; he imparted not the knowledge of Jehovah to his people; he left his children and his household to worship the heathen gods of wood and stone; he made no effort to give God the glory, save with his lips.

  Though we have these living examples before us, yet how often we admit by our lips that which is right and true, and make no move to reach for the stretched out Arm of divine love. Multitudes are aping the standard set by the ancient monarch. “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Matt. 15:8.)

  Though Nebuchadnezzar failed in these sacred things, God, in His great mercy saved the King. God bore long with the Babylonian king, but “the once proud monarch had become a humble child of God; the tyrannical, overbearing ruler, a wise and compassionate king. He who had defied and blasphemed the God of heaven, now acknowledged the power of the Most High, and earnestly sought to promote the fear of Jehovah and the happiness of his subjects. Under the rebuke of Him who is King of kings and Lord of lords, Nebuchadnezzar had learned at last the lesson which all rulers need to learn.” – “Prophets and Kings,” p. 521.

THE BEAR AND THE LEOPARD

  The example made of the Babylonian monarchs should have an object lesson to all successive kings. The godly influence of Cyrus might also have been retained, but the kings of Medo-Persia, like the Chaldeans, were looking forward to worldly glory without fear of Him who can set up Kingdoms, and depose kings.

  The priceless lesson taught by the punishment of the Chaldean kings, should have been a blessing to them, but in their vain imagination they departed from the source of true wisdom and from power that is never failing. Thus that which was intended as a blessing became a condemnation. Therefore, the kings of Medo-Persia grew worse than the kings of Grecia whose idols were their gods, and perverse appetite their only rule of life. Thus again the time had come for the ribs in the mouth of the bear to speak, “Arise and devour much flesh.” Therefore, the arm of Omnipotence was withdrawn from the Persian king, and Alexander, with the swiftness of an eagle marched upon his prey. So, Medo-Persia opened the gateway for the bloodiest wars in our world’s history. In this manner the words, “Arise, devour much flesh,” met their fulfillment.

  Says Daniel: “And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran into him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and he smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.… The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia; and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.” (Dan. 8:5-7, 20, 21.) Therefore, Alexander, whose love for conquest knew no bounds, was the first to successfully lead the west against the east.

  But no sooner had Alexander conquered the empire, than he engaged in a drunken debauch and passed away while yet in his youth. Thus the horn of the “he goat” was broken off from between his eyes, “And for it came up four notable ones towards the four winds of heaven.” Alexander not having a successor to inherit the throne, the kingdom was divided between his four generals; namely, Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus. Thus time and providence brought about the four-headed leopard beast.

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The Ram And The He Goat

  The entire conflict between the nations is symbolized by the ram and the goat, with various horns coming up and breaking off. Why a ram and a goat? Why not some other species of animals? Jesus gives the answer: “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” (Matt. 25:32, 33.)

  By these domestic beasts inspiration conveys the thought that the inhabitants of earth are but sheep and goats – true and false religion. It also signifies that wars are a strife between good and evil. But why Medo-Persia by a ram, and Grecia by a goat? Why not the reverse? The kings of the Medo-Persian empire became believers in the true God as previously explained; thus having principle is contrary to those of Grecia. For that reason Medo-Persia was represented by a ram and Grecia by a goat. Wonderful it is to note how perfect and thoughtful was the great wisdom and care of the Infinite One, as exercised to devise these symbols. Only omnipotence can invent such perfect prophetic art, foretelling historical events.

Kingdom Of Brass Rules The World

  It has been previously explained that the lion, the bear, and the leopard beasts are divinely numbered. The leopard being the fourth empire from creation, and as the numbers in that fashion stop with him, naturally the question would arise: Why not continue the numerical order with the beasts that followed the leopard? There are several reasons for the change with that particular beast. As Rome was slowly rising from within the Grecian empire she finally absorbed the last Grecian division and the Ptolemy dynasty became a province of the Roman state about 27 B.C. Thus the Old Testament closed with Grecia and with Rome the New began. Therefore, between Grecia and Rome lies the dividing line. It also noted that the beasts representing the Old Testament are hornless, but the ones in the New are with horns. All of which signifying the close of the typical and the commencement of the anti-typical period.

  The numerals of the Bible are like rich veins of metal beneath the surface of the earth. Thousands walk over these unknown treasures until some unseen power brings them to the surface. We know that the Trinity is best expressed by the use of the terms, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Likewise we express God’s attributes in three terms, namely, omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence. This feature could be greatly enlarged upon.

  If three is the symbol of the Triune Jehovah, four must designate that which proceeds from Him, as revealed in creation. The cherubims consist of four living creatures, each having the face of a lion, a calf, a man, and an eagle, respectively. There are four regions of the earth: East, North, South and West, which is expressive of the completeness of direction; likewise: winter, spring, summer and autumn covers a complete circle of the seasons. We have already observed that there were four universal empires in the history of the world from creation to the crucifixion. We may also note the fact in connection with this subject that there is a combination of the three-fold with the four-fold as clearly seen in the work of creation in which the first four days were employed in forming the sphere, and the remaining three in the creation of the living creatures and culminating in a Sabbath rest. The fourth day saw the material substance of creation finished, and on the fifth and sixth days, was the peopling of the earth. In the book of Revelation under the head of the seven seals, we observe that the first four seals were clearly separated from the last three by the symbols of four horses. Thus it appears that the four-fold measure in each case precedes the three-fold, just as in creation order: each division culminating in the seven of perfection. For this reason there are four sections in the great image of Daniel Two, four beast’s in Daniel’s vision, four wings and four heads on the leopard with whom the numbers in that fashion ceased. Thus it is evident that the Old Testament closed with a symbolic number – four (the leopard-beast). Showing that all the necessary provision for the salvation of the human family was completed under the dispensation of this prominent number, “four,” as it terminated about the time of the crucifixion. Thus this number is used in connection with incidences to signify earthwide.

  Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand. (Joel 2:1.)

THE NON-DESCRIPT BEAST

DANIEL 7:7

  Following the four-headed leopard comes the non-descript beast of Daniel 7:7, representing the fourth universal empire from the flood, but the fifth one from creation. Rome is represented by a more terrible symbol than the kingdoms before it. There must be a special reason why the Roman monarchy is represented by a non-descript beast. The symbol reveals that the Roman system of government was an arrangement that could not be described. The nearest approach to a correct name is the term – non-descript.

  We shall now consider its government administration. – The crucifixion of Christ and the martyrdom of the Christians give evidence that the Roman executive authority was vested in paganism, which was at war with Christianity. As these Christians were put to death for refusal to worship the gods of the people, it is obvious that the Jews used the civil arm of Rome to try and enforce their own religious customs; Jesus being an example, for He was crucified as a result of religious controversy. Rome in the first century persecuted the Christians, but after adopting Christianity, she ill-treated the pagans; compelling them to join the so-called Christian church. From the evidence gathered, it is plain to see that the Roman monarchy was a tool for either Pagan Jew, or Christian; alternating in favor of one, and then of the other. Inasmuch as the character of the Imperial Roman jurisdiction could not be defined as Pagan, Jew, or Christian, “non-descript” is the only fitting symbol. It is said of Constantine at his death that his subjects knew not what kind of burial to give him, since he was a professed Christian, but at heart a Pagan. Perhaps many nations as well as some professed Christians at this present time are non-descript like the Romans, for the apostle has described their condition thusly: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Tim. 4:3, 4.)

Attempts To Establish Ecclesiastical Governments

  The question may arise: What hindered Satan from establishing an ecclesiastical monarchy before the closing period of the Old Testament? The only answer that can be given, is, the Jewish nation permitted him to becloud their eyes. They were told not to make a confederacy with the world, but, unmindful of the command they made a league with the Romans, and that is what helped Satan to accomplish his scheme.

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  The following will show that this great enemy of mankind tried this same procedure in the days of Babylon: “Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages… ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast in the midst of a burning fiery furnace.… The nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image.” (Dan. 3:1, 4-7.) But there were three Hebrews found who rebelled against the king’s command and refused to bow down to the idol. “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up… And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace… Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar… answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither.” (Verses 16-18, 20, 22-26.)

  Then these men came forth unhurt. It is wonderful what God accomplished with but three slaves against a world’s empire. These three men, with faith in God, broke the Satanic contrivance, abolished the establishment of an ecclesiastical government and brought the king’s decree to naught.

  Satan worked out a similar plot in the Medo-Persian government with plans that were carried out by intrigue, taking the king unawares. Though Daniel was cast into the lion’s den, he too, came out unharmed, but his enemies perished as did those who threw the three Hebrews into the fiery furnace. Thus Satan’s power was broken in both of these ancient empires. Had there been such men as these Hebrews in the days of the establishment of the Roman monarchy, or at the closing of the Old Testament history and during the commencement of the New, conditions would have been entirely different. The world is in urgent need at this time of men like the three Hebrews, who would rather yield this present life than to offend their God – men like Daniel, who looked with strong faith to the Lord and was without fault in his religious and secular duties. By such men as these the world has been blessed with everlasting benefits and rewards that no human lips can describe.

  “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” (Isa. 52:7, 8.)

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THE RED DRAGON

REV. 12:3

  “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelves stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth; and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.… And the great dragon was cast out that old serpent called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Verses 1-4, 9.) The dragon was seen in heaven and being “cast out,” it is obvious that the symbol is of heavenly origin. Of him it is said: “That old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan.” Note that the dragon is a symbol of Satan, even as the Lamb having “seven horns and seven eyes” is a symbol of Christ. (Rev. 5:6.)

  Since the numerous beasts form an unbreakable chain of the world empires, the dragon cannot intersect between the links as the symbol of a separate earthly system; thus he represents just what the Scripture says: “The Devil, and Satan.” The figure is given to reveal Satan’s scheme at a certain time in our world’s history.

  The “woman clothed with the sun” is understood to be God’s church. The child to which she gave birth was Christ. The twelve stars that comprise the woman’s crown were originally symbols of the twelve patriarchs. This will be made plain in another study. Therefore, we shall endeavor to make clear the time of the dragon and his work. It will be noticed that the dragon stood ready to devour the child (Christ) as soon as He was born. It is evident, that the old serpent armed himself with seven heads and ten horns prior to the birth of Christ.

  “And his tail drew a third part of the stars of Heaven.” The Scripture is self explanatory as to who the symbolical stars are, for Inspiration says: “He was cast out into the earth, and his Angels were cast out with him.”

  Therefore, the “third part of the stars” represent the angels who were deceived by Satan’s controversy. Quoting “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 3, p. 115: “Satan, in his rebellion, took a third part of the angels. They turned from the Father and from His Son, and united with the instigator of rebellion.” The question may arise: Why draw them with his tail and not some other way? The symbol is perfectly capable of indicating the manner in which Satan drew them to the earth. Had it been done with claws, it would denote that Satan defeated Michael (Christ), and by force dragged out a third of the angels. But since he drew them with his tail, the significance is that a third part of the angels joined him in rebellion against Michael. For when the dragon was cast out naturally he was coming head first, and as he drew them with his tail, it reveals that they voluntarily followed him. Thus Christ could do nothing for them.

War In Heaven

  “And there was war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was there place found any more in heaven.” (Verses 7, 8.) The conflict was in heaven. The name “Michael’ means who is like God; hence it is one of the many titles of Christ. Daniel calls Him “Michael the Great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people.” (Dan. 12:1.) Christ has numerous titles, each bearing a definition of a certain phase, or character of His work. The angel said to Joseph, “and thou shalt call His name Jesus, for he shall save His people from their sins.” He is also called “Emmanuel,” meaning, “God with us.” etc.

Time Cast Out

  Satan could not have been cast out of heaven immediately after he sinned, or when he deceived Adam and Eve, for in Job 1:6, 7, we read: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth and walking up and down in it.” “The sons of God” are the representatives of unfallen worlds equal to Adam before he sinned, created by the hand of God, and representatives in the same capacity as Adam could have been had he not fallen from his throne by sin. Quoting from The Spirit of Prophecy: “The commanders of the angel hosts, the sons of God the representatives of the unfallen worlds, are assembled. The heavenly council before which Lucifer had accused God and His Son, the representatives of those sinless realms over which Satan had thought to establish his dominion.” – “The Desire of Ages,” p. 834.

  Satan still had access to heaven in Job’s time. Therefore, he must have been cast out at a later date. Says John: “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.” (Rev. 12:13.) The next necessary step is to find when the dragon first persecuted the “woman” (Christian Church); we shall then have the truth of the time Satan was cast out. That time of persecution is recorded in The Acts 8:1, “And Saul was consenting unto his [Stephen’s] death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” Thus the great persecution against the church was about 34 A.D. It is true that Satan persecuted Christ before that time, but Christ is not the “woman.” He is the “Child” whom Satan wished to “devour.” Therefore, Satan was cast out immediately after Christ ascended on High. The Spirit of Prophecy speaking of the occasion says:

  “All are there to welcome the Redeemer. They are eager to celebrate His triumph and to glorify their King.… He presents to God the wave-sheaf, those raised with Him as representatives of that great multitude who shall come forth from the grave at His second coming.… The voice of God is heard proclaiming that justice is satisfied. Satan is vanquished. Christ’s toiling, struggling ones on earth are ‘accepted in the Beloved.’ Before the heavenly angels and the representatives of unfallen worlds, they are declared justified.

  “Satan saw that his disguise was torn away. His administration was laid open before the unfallen angels and before the heavenly universe. He had revealed himself as a murderer. By shedding the blood of the Son of God, he had uprooted himself from the sympathies of the heavenly beings. Henceforth his work was restricted. Whatever attitude he might assume, he could no longer await the angels as they came from the heavenly courts, and before them accuse Christ’s brethren of being clothed with the garments of blackness and the defilement of sin. The last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken.” – “The Desire of Ages,” pp. 833, 834, 761.

  The time he drew a third part of the stars (angels) from heaven, and the time of the war in heaven, were two distinct occasions. He drew the angels when they followed him from heaven to earth and sought to devour Christ. “And when the dragon saw that he was cast out into the earth;” that is, after Christ was crucified, Satan at his return to heaven was forbidden an entrance. Thus he “saw” – understood that he was cast out. Then he persecuted the church.

The Dragon’s Horns And Heads

  The only possible time for the application of the symbolical horns, heads, and crowns would be with the closing of the old dispensation, and at the commencement of the New. For the dragon appeared in that form when Christ was to be born. The horns represent the same as they do on any symbolical beast. Being ten in number the symbol denotes that the effect of his scheme was universally felt. It also signifies that Satan had obtained full control of the nations which were symbolized by the ten horns of the non-descript beast of Daniel 7; and thus he moved upon Herod to kill the children at the birth of Christ with the hope of destroying the Saviour – devouring the “Child.”

  Let us not overlook the fact that all the horns, heads, and crowns, were present when he stood ready “to devour her Child.” Consequently, whatever the meaning by these symbols, all must be in existence at the same time. Had this not been so, the symbols of heads and horns would have so indicated by coming up one after another like the beasts, and also like the horns of the ram and of the goat of Daniel 8. The same is true with the non-descript beast of Daniel 7:7, from which three of the ten horns were “plucked up by the roots.” Where systems and governments do not all exist at the same time, the symbols appear one after another in their correct order. Thus we see that Inspiration is perfect in every respect, and faultless in revealing the truth intended. Therefore, it would be inconsistent for one to conclude that the “horns” as well as the “heads” could represent a consecutive order of systems as long as they all appear in a group, and in oneness with the beast that carries them.

  It is also impossible that both horns and heads could represent civil governments, or kings. If the horns stand for political systems, then the heads cannot. If the wounded head on the leopard-like beast of Revelation 13:1-3 represents a religious organization, then all the heads must stand for religious systems. However, there is an exception with the four-headed leopard of Daniel 7:6, for he is without horns and his heads are proven to be civil by the four horns of the goat. It is an unmistakable fact that the symbols are intended to reveal the civil and religious phases during the period represented by the non-descript beast in both his stages – imperial and papal Rome.

  As crowns denote civil authority and as they appear on the heads instead of on the horns, it is evident that the church in that period was using civil dictatorial power to propagate her dogmas. Thus the lessons embodied in these symbols are far greater than we can comprehend in a moment. As the facts brought forth regarding the nature of the symbols cannot be questioned, we have a positive foundation for their application.

  The dragon with his seven heads and ten horns, with the crowns on the heads, appeared at the birth of Christ as previously explained, and occupies the period parallel with the non-descript beast. The heads are represented by the Biblical number seven,” meaning “completeness,” and embrace every religious system in the days of Christ. As the dragon represents the devil who controls the heads, the symbol unmistakably denotes a complete apostasy. It is not intended to reveal that the pagan system of worship was headed by the devil, for it has never been otherwise. It was the Jewish church that had apostatized, and that is what made the Biblical number “seven heads.” Just such an apostasy had gripped the world in the days of Noah; and its wickedness made the continuation of the world impossible. Therefore, necessity, for the good of mankind, brought about the flood. The terrible apostasy of the Jews made unavoidable another disaster similar to the dreadful deluge. As God could not overthrow the world by water the second time, and yet keep His never failing promise to his faithful servant Noah, He sent His Son to die in the world’s stead. Therefore, the world perished not because of the supreme sacrifice of the Son of God; and the world exists today because Christ arose from the dead.

The Dragon’s Crowns

  Next we note the crowns and their significance. It has been explained that the crowns denote civil authority. The heads being crowned, it reveals that the churches of that time employed the civil arm of the state. Had this not been true, the Jews could not have crucified the Lord of glory; neither could they have stoned Stephen, or beheaded and killed the others. It was the civil arm of Rome, headed by the dragon, through which the Jews committed these terrible crimes; resulting in their own destruction.

The Accuser Of The Brethren

  After the dragon was cast down from heaven according to the vision says John: “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” (Rev. 12:10.) “Satan’s accusations against those who seek the Lord are not prompted by displeasure at their sin. He exults in their defective characters; for he knows that only through their transgression of God’s law can he obtain power over them.” – Prophets and Kings, pp. 585, 586. When the Spirit of God prompts to reprove, He will reveal sin and rebuke the sinner. But Satan, encourages the sinner to unconsciously commit himself in transgression, then he accuses him before the great Judge in Heaven, as “being clothed with the garments of blackness and the defilement of sin,” to secure his condemnation. God’s people must learn to detect the voice of the Spirit of Christ, as well as the spirit of Satan. When the two clash, the One will strive for obedience to God’s Word, but the other will excuse the sin and sympathize with the sinner. In this way Satan gains ground, for the sinner loves his sin.

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THE CHURCH OF GOD IN SYMBOL OF A WOMAN

REVELATION 12

  “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew a third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days.” (Verses 1-6.)

  Note that the objects shown in the vision were in heaven, not on earth. Therefore, what ever these symbols may imply, they must be of a heavenly origin. Again note that her only clothing is the sun, and that her crown in composed solely of “twelve stars.” Observe that she is not standing on the “moon,” for the Revelator says, She had “the moon under her feet.” We must carefully study the character of these symbols, for thus only can we learn their significance. Also mark that she was to be delivered of a man child, and that the same was “caught up to God and to His throne.”

  It is an admitted fact that the child was Christ, Who ascended on High after His resurrection. (Mark 16:19.) The symbol being of heavenly origin, the “woman” cannot represent Mary, the mother of Christ, but she denotes the church (“woman”) that was to bring forth, or into which Christ was to be born. Thus John in vision was looking back beyond the birth of Christ.

  It has been taught by some that the “woman” is a symbol of the Christian church, and that the moon under her feet is to denote the Mosaic dispensation or sacrificial ceremonial system that had passed away, and being clothed with the sun, to mean the glory of the gospel in the new dispensation. According to the following, these claims prove incorrect.

  If the “woman” represents the Christian church, how could the same church (woman) travail in birth with Christ, by whom the church was founded thirty years later? If we say she represents the Jewish church, how could she fly into the wilderness and remain there from 538 to 1798, in the Christian dispensation? If the “moon” under her feet indicates the end of the Mosaic sacrificial system, why did it not end before the birth of Christ, since the moon stood under her feet before He was born. If it had ended at that time, could it have been a symbol of the death of Christ? If her garment of sunlight is a symbol of the gospel in the Christian dispensation, how could the church (woman) be clothed with it years before the gospel dispensation began, having been clothed with it before the child was born? Which one of the two churches, Jewish or Christian, gave birth to Christ? If it were the Jewish church, then how could the light with which she was clothed be applied to the Christian church? If these questions cannot be answered, then we are obliged to go deeper into the subject.

  The idea advanced that the “woman” is a symbol of the Christian church only, and the “moon” of the Jewish ceremonial system, proves incorrect. The Christian church was founded about 31 A.D., or not earlier than 27, at which time Christ began to preach; being about thirty years of age. Therefore the symbol points back at least thirty-one years before the beginning of the Christian church, for the “woman” (church) “was travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.”

  Thus it was the Jewish church that “brought forth” the Son of God and not the Christian. Therefore, “she [the Jewish church] being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered”; that is, the promise was made to Israel that the Messiah was to be born through that nation by that particular church (“woman”). The old dragon, knowing the channel through which the “child” was to come, closely watched with the intention of destroying the promised One as soon as He was born. It was then, that the dragon by the hand of Herod, “slew all the children that were in Bethlehem and in all the coasts thereof,” hoping to do away with the coming King. (See Matt. 2:16.)

  The evidence proves that the symbol of the “woman” takes in both periods, B.C. and A.D. Therefore, as the moon was under her feet before the birth of Christ, it must be a symbol of a period of time which had preceded the Jewish church. As the “woman” was “clothed with the sun” before she brought forth the “Child,” it is evident that the symbol, “clothed with the sun,” was fulfilled before the birth of Christ. If the moon is symbolical, then, the symbol of the “sun” must be the main object, for, the “moon” depends on the sun for light, and the “woman” was clothed with it. Thus, “sun” and “moon,” must be taken into consideration. In Genesis 1:16, we are told that the sun and the moon are to rule the day and the night. The “sun” therefore must denote a period into which God’s church had been given great light, and the “moon” must be a symbol of the preceding period. The great light cannot be the gospel of Christ in the New Testament. Neither can the “moon” represent the ceremonial system under the Jewish economy, for the “woman” was clothed with the “sun,” and the “moon was under her feet” while the ceremonial system was yet in existence, for the child was born after the “woman” had been clothed with the “sun.” Christ Himself, by eating the Passover just before His crucifixion, established the fact that the ceremonial law was still in existence 34 years after His birth. (See Matt. 26:18-21.)

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  If the above statement is correct, then we must find two such periods that would perfectly fit the symbols. The first is the one before the Bible came into existence, and the second is the one with the Bible – “clothed with Light” – the written Word of God. Thus symbolically, the first period may be called, night, ruled by the “moon,” and the second, day, ruled by the “sun.” Therefore, the “woman clothed with the sun,” and “travailing with child,” is the period after Israel went out of Egypt, and at that time the period without the Bible, “moon,” was passing away.

  We shall bring forth another proof from a different angle, making doubly sure of the idea that the “woman” represents both periods – before and after Christ. Revelation 12:14 states: “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and a half a time, from the face of the serpent.” Note that she was given two wings of a great eagle. If the wings were not symbolical, what their object? As the wings of the lion and the four-headed leopard of Daniel 7 represented periods, as previously explained on pages 33-34, then the two great wings must denote two great periods of church history. The eagle being king of birds, and as it is emphasized that they were of a “great eagle,” it is evident that the symbol must apprehend each period from its beginning. Thus one of the wings takes in the entire church history from the fall of Adam to the crucifixion of Christ, and the other from His crucifixion to the end of this present world (His second coming). Thus it proves that there is only one true church in all ages.

  Her crown of twelve stars originally represented the twelve patriarchs and later the twelve tribes after they went out of Egypt, at which time the wonderful light shining from the written Word of God (the Bible), clothed the church (woman) while she was travailing with the “child” (the promise of the Messiah). But the crown of twelve stars in the New Testament period stand for the twelve apostles. Number twelve is a symbol of government. Jesus said to them: “Ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matt. 19:28.) This fact is proven by the type (the twelve tribes). It will be noticed that in the reckoning of the tribes of Spiritual Israel (the 144,000) by the type (Israel after the flesh) as in Revelation 7:5-8, the tribe of Dan is missing, and instead the tribe of Manasseh, the first born son of Joseph is numbered. The type corresponds perfectly with the anti-type, for Judas Iscariot being one of the “twelve apostles,” was cast aside, of whom Dan is a figure. And in his stead Paul of Tarsus was added, of whom Manasses is a figure. Therefore, we see perfect harmony in type and anti-type. The lesson in this instance by these unmistakable symbols, teaches that God has had only one church, one truth, and one way of salvation for all generations. The same is also expressed in the words of Paul: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.” (Eph. 4:4-6.)

  God’s church has been symbolized also by earthly objects; we speak of the symbols by women; namely, Hagar, and Sarah. The former is a symbol of the Jewish, and the latter of the Christian Church. (See “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 1, p. 136.) These earthly symbols point out God’s church in different sections and conditions. But the “woman clothed with the sun” and her “eagle’s wings” being of heavenly origin, denote God’s true church (truth) in one continuous line, and her Child, our only Saviour and Redeemer in both periods – before and after Christ.

The Crown Of Twelve Stars In The New Testament Period

  John’s vision in the twelfth chapter of Revelation, deals with two main subjects; namely, the “woman clothed with the sun,” and the “red dragon.” The latter has been explained. (See pages 65-69.) The symbol of the “woman” in the New Testament time covers three divisions: 1st, the apostolic period; 2nd, her absence from civilization (in the wilderness) for 1260 days (years of papal persecution, verses 6, 14); 3rd, the last period of the church while in conflict with the dragon. (Verses 15-17.) The first and second period shall be explained in connection with another study. An explanation of the third period is found in “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 1, pp. 151, 152.

  Therefore, our intention is this chapter is to briefly visualize the lesson taught by her “crown of twelve stars.” We ask the question: Who appointed these present day self-styled apostolic authorities? It is said that after the apostles passed away, another set of the same number have a right to be apostles. Suppose the claim is true; there are hundreds of churches, and if each one of them had twelve apostles, there would be a multiplicity of thousands of them at one time, and if that act had been repeated in every age, there would be an innumerable multitude of apostles at the appearance of Christ. If there have been thousands of apostles, it is evident by the following Scripture that they shall never enter into the city of God as apostles, for Inspiration says: “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the name of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (Rev. 21:14.)

  What is the difference between an apostle and a minister of the gospel? If there is no difference then there should have been more than twelve apostles in the early church, for there were more than twelve engaged in the ministry. Christ had appointed twelve, but Judas was counted out leaving only eleven. After Christ ascended on high, the eleven agreed to appoint another in Judas’ place: “And the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” (The Acts 1:26.) Therefore, they made up the number. Now if Matthias took Judas’ place, then there must be thirteen such men according to Romans 1:1, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an Apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.”

  Mark carefully that the “woman’s” crown has only “twelve stars “ and in the foundation of the city there are only the names of the twelve apostles. Which one of the two, Matthias or Paul, is not recognized by Him, who laid the precious foundation of the Holy City? If we say Paul, we make him a liar. If we say Matthias, then his ordination by the eleven had no effect in appointing an apostle. What then? In The Acts 1:26, is the first and last we hear of Matthias, but not so of Paul. If Matthias is the apostle, then he surely is not as worthy as Paul. Which one of the ordinations would be most honorable? Is it Paul’s by Christ Himself as He met him on the way to Damascus, or Matthias’, by the hands of the apostles?

  The question is clear. No man’s hands are qualified to ordain an apostle, regardless of his high standing in connection with the gospel. The holy hands of Christ and His personal presence only can appoint one for such an office. This is Unimpeachable evidence, for the “woman” has a crown of only “twelve stars.” Therefore, who has the power to ordain another and thus multiply the “stars”?

  What is an apostle? Answer. – One that is “separated unto the gospel of God.” But if this is the only meaning of the title, then all who are engaged in the proclamation of the gospel, being separated must be apostles. Therefore, the word, “apostle,” must have a special significance and a deeper meaning than simply separated unto the gospel of God. The apostle Paul was called to be an apostle for the Gentiles. Thus he, with the eleven became the earthly founders of the church of the Gentiles, and Christ the divine head. Speaking of the gifts in the church, apostles are the first, for without a founder there would be no organization, thus the rest of the gifts follow. (See 1 Cor. 12:28.)

  The crown is her glory, and the stars (twelve apostles) are her only earthly authority. Here is a striking evidence that the present day apostles are falsely so-called. A prophet may claim authority as a prophet but never as an apostle. However, there is a difference between the prophets of the Old Testament and the ones of the New; the latter being under the authority of the former; in other words, he may be an interpreter or revealer of the Bible: “For all the prophets and the law [ceremonial – in type] prophesied until John.” (Matt. 11:13.) Interpretation is correct only when inspired by the same Spirit, thus timely utterances are revealed. Not only do the annals of history prove this, but the Bible is very emphatic on the subject, for it plainly says that we are, “Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” (Eph. 2:20.) Again we read: “Howbeit when He the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13.) Where is the need for such apostles? Are not the words of the apostles in the Bible? If we should appoint a set of such men, would we not set aside the “woman” and her “twelve star crown”? If we set aside the “crown” by voluntary election of apostles, what will we do with the gospel committed to the church by Christ’s ordained apostles? Hear the authority by the crown of stars: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again. If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:8, 9.) “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.” (2 Cor. 11:13.) The world is filled with so-called apostles and sects of every kind, is it not? It is time for God’s people to fall on their knees before their Creator, and study the Scriptures for themselves, that they may know what is truth. Why should one accept the decision of another? By so doing we are robbed of an experience of our own. If so, may we not ask the question, What is the future outlook of the world? No one is saved because he may admit the evidence of the truth, or because he may belong to the right church, or creed. It is only by an experience of his own, based upon evidences of truth, received into the heart, that can renew the mind, and regenerate the soul, so that he can walk in newness of life. It is utterly impossible to enter into the kingdom of Christ without a personal touch of divine glory. Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3.) The following Scriptures bear the same evidence. “For he is not a Jew which is one 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, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (Rom. 2:28, 29.)

  “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the Commandments of God.” (1 Cor. 7:19.) “And rend your heart and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of evil.” (Joel 2:13.) “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:18.)

  Returning to our original thought: The eleven were allowed to perform the ordination of Matthias for a lesson to this present day with its new-modeled religion, showing that God has committed to no man apostolic authority – save to the twelve. The commission to the ministry is: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:19, 20.) “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them for Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” (Ezek. 33:7, 8.)

  In reality the twelve “stars” on the “woman’s crown” originally represented the twelve patriarchs; later the twelve tribes of fleshly Israel, after that the twelve apostles, and last the twelve tribes of Spiritual Israel (the 144,000). Thus again it proves number four” to be an important number, and that by the “woman” these four periods are represented.

  God who foresaw the selfishness of men! commanded the prophet to write the following: “Ye eat the fat, and Ye clothe you with wool, Ye kill them that are fed: but Ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, My flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; As I live, saith the Lord God surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became meat to every beast of the field because there was no shepherd, neither did My shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not My flock; Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I am against the shepherds: and I will require My flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the Shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.” (Ezek. 34:3-11.)

  As a comparison the Spirit of God drew a literal picture from the flock of sheep and shepherds; God’s people as the flock; and the ministry as the shepherds. God’s true people will imitate the sheep, and His watchmen will imitate the good shepherd who cares for his sheep. Anything less than this is an abomination in God’s sight. If we are to learn the lesson intended we must first acquire a clear understanding of the type (shepherds and flocks), for, the anti-type (ministers and church members) are asked to copy after the pattern.

  The picture is drawn from the ancient method of herding the flock. The open pasture of the mountains and hills required the shepherd’s continual care over the sheep. The vast territory drew the sheep and shepherds a considerable distance from home, and the continual moving over the landscape made it impossible to obtain a permanent shelter of any kind for the sheep, or shepherds. Consequently, other help was needed. Each shepherd had a certain number of dogs, depending on the size of the flock, for the safety of the sheep from man and beast. As one thing caned for another, an ass was used to carry the necessary supplies for the sheep, dogs and shepherds. These consisted of clothing, night coverings, food for the shepherds as well as for the dogs, medicine, bandages, etc. The faithful animal carried the load on his back throughout each day of the year. At the end of the day the shepherd counted his sheep. If one was missing, he went to search for it at once, as it was not safe for one to wander apart from the flock.

  The excellent condition of the sheep was the evidence of the shepherd’s fidelity and worthiness of his hire. He not only had to seek good pasture, but act as veterinarian as well. Often a sheep would break its leg and it was the shepherd’s duty to skillfully set, splinter and bandage the wound. In traveling over the rough surface of the land, where there were rocks and brush, accidents were frequent. Sometimes a thorn would prick the flesh, or other minor injury occur, that probably caused no pain, and would not be noticed by the shepherd, yet a fly might have deposited her eggs in the open sore, and larva would soon develop and work their way under the skin and to the bone; this was a common occurrence. At such a time the shepherd’s attention is turned to the ailment of the sheep and he must then give it special care and bandage the wound.

  When a lamb, or even a sheep was sick and too weak to follow the flock it was the shepherd’s duty to care for and carry them. If he should have a lamb in his arms, the mother sheep is constantly by his side gazing at, and speaking to it. These noble creatures care, feed, and keep their lambs spotlessly clean. Are you mothers doing as much for your children? Are you shepherds (ministers) of the flock of God doing all the ancient shepherd did for his sheep? Or do you feed and care for yourselves more than you do for the flock of God? Are you worthy of your hire?

  The ancient shepherd had to give a complete account of the flock, even to the smallest details. Do you think God will require less of you? Are not His sheep of much greater value? David risked his life for a lamb, but God delivered him from the lion and the bear. David, for God’s honor, and for the safety of His people, endangered his own life, faced the Giant Goliath, but God delivered the Philistine into David’s hands, and made David king over His nation. Do you think He will do less for you, if you, too, imitate the Good Shepherd?

  Said Jesus: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:11-15.)

  The prophet Isaiah looking forward to the present day conditions says: “Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.” (Isa. 56:11.)

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THE LEOPARD-LIKE BEAST

REV. 13:1-10

  The non-descript beast of Daniel 7, representing Rome in his first stage, shows prophetically by his ten horns that there were ten kings to arise out of Rome. In his second stage it is shown that the papacy was to arise, subdue three kings, and wear out the saints of the most High for the space of 1260 years. But it tells not of the fall of the Roman monarchy or the papacy. It is silent concerning the reformation that came before or after 1798 A.D. Therefore, the lack of information by the symbols of this beast, must be found somewhere else in the prophetic Word of God. This must be sought in the book of Revelation, for it is the complement to Daniel’s prophecies.

  The leopard-like beast of Revelation 13:1-10 is the only symbolical prophecy that tells of the fall of the Roman monarchy, the crowning of the ten kings, the wound of the papacy, the reformation and rise of Protestantism, and the captivity of the pope.

  “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” (Rev. 13:1.) Note this beast has the same number of horns as the “non-descript” in his first stage (imperial Rome). Daniel says, the ten horns on the beast representing Rome are “ten kings that shall arise.” (Dan. 7:24.) The horns symbolizing the Roman world in its imperial state, also pointed forward to the time when the empire would be divided into ten parts, or kingdoms. In other words, while the horns primarily represented the Roman world in its imperial form, they secondarily denote the present world in its divided state since the fall of Rome – corresponding with the ten toes on the great image of Daniel 2.

  The non-descript beast in his first stage has ten horns. As in his second stage the little horn came up, and three of the ten were plucked up by the roots, it denotes that they can never be reinstated as kings. The horns being reduced to the Biblical number seven, signified that the papacy was to have complete sway over the entire world as far as the Christian church is concerned. Therefore, the ten horns on the leopard-like beast of Revelation 13:1, cannot signify that the three uprooted ones have assumed their authority the second time.

  As the same number of horns appear on each succeeding beast; namely, the non-descript (Dan. 7:7); the leopard-like (Rev. 13:1); and the scarlet colored (Rev. 17:3); representing the entire New Testament era, it is evident by the facts gathered that the number of horns are intended to denote universal. As they are absent from the beast of Revelation 13:11-18, it verifies the fact that the two-horned beast denotes a local system. Therefore, it is unquestionably clear that the fixed number of horns (ten) are designed to universally symbolize the peoples and governments. (Follow the chart on page 84.)

  Inasmuch as the lion, the bear, the four-headed leopard, and the non-descript beast (the symbols of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia and Rome) are linked to each other, the unbreakable chain of beasts make it impossible for another universal beast (system) to intersect their consecutive order. Consequently, the leopard-like beast of Revelation 13:1-9, must follow the non-descript beast (Rome).

  Verses 2, 3: “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” The composition of the beast reveals the fact that he is a descendant from the four beasts before him. The mouth of a lion the feet of a bear, the body of a leopard, and the number of horns, all point back to his hereditary characteristics as descending from Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome. This indisputable fact proves that he is the fifth universal beast.

  The leopard-like beast arises out of the sea in the same manner as the four beasts before it. (Daniel 7:3.) Therefore, the beast of Revelation 13:1-9 is created from the result of war and commotion among the nations, in the same manner as Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome. Since the evidence revealed by the symbol cannot be questioned, the leopard-like beast assumes the period after the fall of imperial Rome, corresponding to the feet and toes – iron and clay of the great image in Daniel 2. In other words, the leopard-like beast arrives with the closing period represented by the first stage of the non-descript beast, while the second stage of the latter (papal Rome) continues up to 1798. Consequently, the unfolding process of the one, overlaps the downward course of the other. To John the leopard-like beast was shown not in its unfolding process, but rather in its closing act for he says, “And his deadly wound was healed.” He saw in vision the beast after the deadly wound had been healed, for he uses the past tense, “was.” But in Daniel’s vision the work of the non-descript beast was all in the future. Said the Prophet: “And he shall speak great words against the most high, and shall wear out the saints of the most high, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (Dan. 7:25.) Daniel in vision viewed the history represented by the beasts, forward; while John looked backward; or in other words, Daniel saw what the beast was to do, while John was shown what the beast had done.

The Crowns and The Horns

  Of the beast “having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns” John says, “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death.” The wounded head represents the papacy, wounded by Martin Luther which was originally symbolized by the horn-head of the non-descript beast showing only the papal power and the authority. But the “leopard-like” shows the papacy in her wounded state, and the imprisonment of the pope. Thus, the two beasts (the non-descript and the leopard-like) overlap each other, from the fall of imperial Rome to 1798. Therefore, while the non-descript beast in its second stage represents the papacy, she is secondarily described by the “leopard-like.” The one reveals the tyrannical authority, and the other describes her downfall. For the little horn was to have power and wear out the saints of the most High for 1260 years (Dan. 7:25.) But the leopard-like also “opened his mouth in blasphemy”, and power was given unto him to “continue forty and two months.” (Rev. 13:6, 5.) The number of months is equivalent to “time and times and the dividing of time” – 1260 days (years), figuring 30 days to the month.

  With the imprisonment of Pope Pius VI, and his death on Aug. 19, 1799, a certain transaction occurred between the non-descript and the leopard-like beasts. The head and horns were removed from one to the other, so to speak. In making the change the little horn “having the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things,” was transposed from horn-head to a common wounded head, showing the papacy had lost her ecclesiastical authority, and was no longer represented by a horn-head (combination of church and state).

  As that event terminated the prophetic period of the 1260 years of Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:5, it completely crowned the horns of the leopard-like beast, signifying that the state is now independent of the church. The crowns on his horns denote the fall of the Roman monarchy, showing that the ten kings which were symbolized by the ten horns of the non-descript beast, have received their kingdom.

Horns and Heads All Present

  “I John saw the beast having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns.” Let us not overlook the fact that all horns, crowns, and heads are present on the beast. Therefore, whatever meaning is derived by the symbol, all must be in existence at the time his deadly wound was healed. Had it not been so, the symbols of heads and horns would have come one after another as it was with the little horn and the other three that were “plucked up” from the non-descript beast of Daniel 7:7. A similar method is observed with the “he goat.” After the notable horn (Alexander) was broken off, four came up to take its place (the four divisions of Grecia), and after these came up the exceeding great horn which primarily represented Rome. (Dan. 8:8, 9.)

  Where systems and governments do not all exist at the same time, the symbols show their consecutive order. Another factor to be noted that every symbol of the entire procession of the beasts point out facts that were to transpire within the period represented by each beast, and not one of them refers to anything in the past, save the hereditary ancestrial characteristics.

  Therefore, heads or horns have no reference to anything before or after the period represented by the beast. It is also unnatural for heads (members of the beast) to exist before or after the beast himself. Therefore, it would be inconsistent to conclude that the horns as well as the heads could denote a consecutive order of systems so long as they all appear at the time of the closing act of the beast. The leopard-like beast in his wounded state must be intended to prophetically point out the existing condition with the present civilization.

The Symbol of the Heads

  It is impossible that both horns and heads could stand for civil governments or kings. If the horns represent the political side, then the heads cannot. John says of the leopard-like beast, “I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death.” As the “head” that was “wounded” represents a religious system, then all seven must represent religious organizations, for all heads are alike, save the wound. Thus it is an unmistakable fact that the symbols are intended to reveal both the civil and religious side of the present world.

  The crowns represent civil authority as previously explained. Had they been on the heads like on the dragon of Revelation 12:3, it would denote that the churches are using the civil arm of the state to propagate their dogma as in the days of imperial and papal Rome, represented by the dragon. But since the crowns are on the horns, and the state is independent from the church it proves the symbol by the crowns to be correct. As the facts brought forth regarding the nature of the symbols cannot be questioned, it is evident that we have a positive foundation for their application.

  The leopard-like beast is a descendant of the four ancient empires. Therefore, he represents the world, but more particularly the entire western civilization, with their civil and religious systems. Consequently the heads represent Christendom only. John says: “The beast having seven heads and ten horns and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” The fact that there is the name of blasphemy on the heads is an additional proof that they can only represent religious organizations, for blasphemy is equivalent to hypocrisy, and hypocrisy means an attempt to mix the sacred with the common. But the Lord says: “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews [Christians], and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” (Rev. 2:9.) “Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1 Tim. 1:20.) “Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me.” (Ezek. 20:27.) “Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the Lord, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.” (Isa. 65:7.) Disobedience to the Word of God is blasphemy.

  Naturally the question arises, who could these blasphemous denominations be? They can certainly be many; consider the multiplicity of sects. The prophetic word of God, speaking of this present time says: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts.” (2 Pet. 3:3.) “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts they shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Tim. 4:3, 4.)

  What has brought the present day confusion? Because they have departed from sound Bible truth is the only answer that can be given. Is it possible that all can be right when no two believe alike, with but one bible, one gospel, one Lord, one hell to shun and one heaven to gain? Jesus said: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16.)

  Such Satanic confusion as the one at the present time was about to arise in the days of Paul. As the Spirit of God moved upon him, he uttered the words with a sharp rebuke: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of (Our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye shall speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor. 1:10-13.) How great the contrast between the position taken by the Spirit-filled servant of God, and the present day self-styled apostles.

  Jesus said, “All these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” (John 16:3.) Had all these so-called Christian leaders been led by the Spirit of God they would imitate the example set forth by the prophets and the apostles; then there could have been no division in Biblical truth. The Present-day condition is indeed a blasphemy and fulfills the words of the Master: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matt. 24:24.)

  In view of this great confusion there is apparent difficulty to immediately determine who is right and who is wrong. Jesus said: “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 18:19.) There could be nothing more pleasing to God than for one of His children to ask in sincerity the way of truth; therefore, such a one shall not be left in darkness: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matt. 7:7.)

  If people care to find the truth, it can easily be done. But the fact of the matter is that they do not care. People would rather be deceived than to ask God to show them His truth. Yes, they pray, but their prayers are not heard, for: “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” (Prov. 28:9.) The so-called Christians of this day, say, “That Scripture is in the Old Testament and for the Jews only.” We turn to the New Testament for light upon the subject: “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teachthem, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:19.) The honest in heart, with surprise, hear the word from the impious scoffer of the day: “That does not mean the law of God; it is the commandment of Jesus: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” True, but which one of the ten commandments can you break and yet fulfill the commandments of Jesus? And if you love your neighbor, will you dishonor your God? Are not the first four kept to show honor to God; and the last six to test our love to men?

  Said Jesus: “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 22:40.) Is the begotten Son of God working in opposition to His Father? “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass, and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.” (Rev. 1:1.) “Here is the patience of the Saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev. 14:12.) Has not Jesus said that His saints keep the commandments of God? Again the carnal mind raises an objection, “They keep the commandments of God, and not the law.” But the Spirit declares: “If ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” (Jas. 2:9-12.) “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Rev. 22:14.)

  The keeping of His commandments is the ticket to heaven. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8:20.) “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7.) “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4.) After loosing one devilish loophole, the carnal mind takes hold of another, determined to serve the devil and deceive himself and with his nose in the air he utters the words, “We are not to keep the law according to the letter but according to the Spirit, ‘For the letter killeth but the Spirit giveth life.’ ” His misconception of what truth is, leads him to believe that to keep the Law according to the Spirit he must disregard the written Word of God, and keep the Divine Law according to his own ways, and in harmony with his carnal mind, making void Jehovah’s own inscription (see Ex. 31:18), thus exalting the finite above the Infinite! What greater blasphemy can one commit? We give here a brief explanation of the subject.

  To keep the law according to the letter is to build a wall around it as the proud Pharisees did. We quote 1 John 3:15, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer.” Therefore, though we kill not and yet hate our brother we have kept the law blameless according to the letter, but not according to the Spirit. The keeping of the law according to the Spirit has a broader significance than the carnal mind can conceive. If I must keep the whole law, I must keep the whole Word of God in every respect, otherwise, I would dishonor Him, and would become a transgressor of the law as a disobedient son dishonors his earthly father, and becomes guilty of the fifth commandment in the law.

  “Are we saved by the law?” No, indeed! We are judged by the law. So, if we willfully disobey the Word of God, we fall under the condemnation of the law. “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” (Heb. 10:26.) But if we love the righteousness of God as expressed in His law, and determine to obey His Holy Word where ever found (Bible or Spirit of Prophecy) according to the revelation by His Spirit, then we receive the power which enables us to fulfill the divine purpose, and thereby our sins are blotted out by the blood of Christ, and thus we are made free from the law and its condemnation – placed under divine grace.

  It is true that people like to be deceived, flattering themselves that they are on the way to heaven, while Satan winks at their ignorance. The Word of God says: “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.… But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.” (2 Peter 2:2, 12.) This proves how sectarianism sprung up.

  As it has been proven, and generally accepted that the “seven churches” of Revelation, chapters two and three, represented the history of the church in the Christian era, it is evident that the church was split in seven sections. The Laodicean being the last, she is also in danger of falling according to the testimony of the true Witness: “So then because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:16.) God has sent message after message to give light upon His written Word. They were intended to correct error, rebuke sin, and reprove the sinner; but the leaders of each section threw out the messages, and the few who were willing to sacrifice all for the truth were forced to part from the churches and march on with the light. Were the leaders willing to correct their errors and purify the church, there would have been but one section. By the denial of the truth each section cut itself off from the mighty arm of God. Thus, not one of these churches have had additional light on the Scriptures other than that which was imparted to them by the founders of each movement. The fact proves the prophetic Word of God correct, and the older the section the greater the condemnation. Therefore, these churches are represented by the “heads”; the “blasphemy” over them, denotes their fall. Should they refuse this last call also then the revelation of these facts would be against them, and will bring their final ruin.

  The message regarding the 144,000, and a call for reformation presented to the Seventh-day Adventist church in 1930 was in like manner rejected. Therefore, as the leadership of the churches have never accepted a message at any time, they are certainly fulfilling the following prophecy: “The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?.… For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.” (Jer. 8:9; 10:21.)

  The “seven heads” of the “leopard-like beast” represent this mystery of ungodliness and hypocrisy, showing how each one fell into the trap as they came to it. Therefore, since Luther’s time and on, God permitted that His people should be cast out by Satan’s flood (the unconverted.) Thus, He has been calling His church from one movement to another.

  Therefore, they who lower the standard, and refuse to reform at the sounding of the trumpet, are the very ones who cause division in the church of God! “Now I beseech you brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Rom. 16:17, 18.)

  Since the history of the church is such, and the last section (Laodiceans) is in a worse condition, and under greater condemnation than any previous one, and as there is no time left for calling out a new movement, then a message of amazing light and stern rebuke through the Word of God, with manifestations of divine judgments, is the only remedy that can bring true conversion and reformation. Thus preparing a church to stand “without spot, wrinkle or any such thing,” of which only can be said: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman [the church as a body] and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. 12:17.) It is the purity of the church that incurs the wrath of the dragon.

  These “seven churches” were also symbolized by “seven candlesticks,” and the leadership of the same churches, by “seven angels.” So we read: “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” (Rev. 1:20.) “And unto the Angel of the church of the Laodiceans write.” (Rev. 3:14.) Note the message is addressed to the Angel (leadership), and not to the candlestick (the church as a body.) Therefore, the condemnation is not