TEXT FOR PRAYER
The Deceitfulness Of Riches
This afternoon I shall read on page 52 of Christ’s Object Lessons:
“The love of riches has an infatuating, deceptive power. Too often those who possess worldly treasure forget that it is God who gives them power to get wealth. They say, ‘My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.’ Deut. 8:17. Their riches, instead of awakening gratitude to God, lead to the exaltation of self. They lose the sense of their dependence upon God and their obligation to their fellow men. Instead of regarding wealth as a talent to be employed for the glory of God and the uplifting of humanity, they look upon it as a means of serving themselves. Instead of developing in man the attributes of God, riches thus used are developing in him the attributes of Satan….
“‘And the lusts of other things.’ These are not necessarily things sinful in themselves, but something that is made first instead of the kingdom of God. Whatever attracts the mind from God, whatever draws the affections away from Christ, is an enemy to the soul.”
We should now pray for the realization that God is the One Who gives us the opportunity to obtain our needs, and that He blesses some with riches for no other purpose than for the rich to serve Him in the person of humanity. In this reading we are also commended to pray that we shun serving self, and learn to give God the credit for all our righteous acts, and to charge our sins against the Devil.
Daniel 7; Revelation 13, 17
Rev. 13:1-10 – “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. 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.
“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
“And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
“If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”
We have here read the description of one beast, but the remaining verses bring to our attention another beast.
Rev. 13:11-14 – “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”
This second beast arises, not from the sea, but from the earth. And he makes an image, a likeness of the first beast; that is, he revives the governmental principles of the first beast, the principles in force before the first beast received his deadly wound.
Rev. 13:15-18 – “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.
The Bible, we see, places the number “666,” not on the first beast, the leopard-like, but on the second, the two-horned beast, for the description of the first beast ends in verse 10, and the description of the two-horned beast begins with verse 11 and ends with verse 18.
An early denominational publication, entitled A Word To The Little Flock, and issued by the founders of the denomination, also rightly places the number “666” on the two-horned beast (see page 19 of A Word To The Little Flock.)
The Revelation being a complement (Acts of the Apostles, pg. 585) of the book of Daniel, it is necessary that we touch a little on Daniel, chapter seven in particular.
The little horn in the second phase of Daniel’s fourth beast, shows a rise of brutal, tyrannical power, – a power against the people of God. The symbolization of John’s leopard-like beast of chapter 13, which is the continuation of Daniel’s fourth beast, tells what happens to that demon power.
Daniel explains that his four beasts symbolize four world empires, one following the other. And it has long been widely understood that they are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome. Note that John’s leopard-like beast has the head of a lion (first beast), the feet of a bear (second beast), the body of a leopard (third beast), and ten horns (fourth beast). And so, you see, the leopard-like beast is a composite beast of Daniel’s four beasts, a descendant of them. It must therefore represent the world after the fall of the fourth empire, after Pagan Rome.
Moreover, the ten crownless horns of Daniel’s fourth beast being symbolical of kings that were to arise out of the Roman Empire, the crowns on the leopard-like beast show that the beast represents the period in which the kings took their crowns, the period after the disintegration of the Pagan Roman Empire.
Still further, the leopard-like beast blasphemed God and His tabernacle just as long as did Daniel’s fourth beast in his second phase, Ecclesiastical Rome; that is, “a time and times and the dividing of time” (3 years and 6 months), forty and two months. Plain it is, then, that the leopard-like beast reigned contemporaneously with the non-descript beast in his second phase, the phase of the little horn-head. The deadly wound on the leopard-like therefore represents the deadly blow which it received from the Protestant Reformation. Hence its wounded head represents the horn-head power (an amalgamation of civil and religious powers) of Daniel’s beast divested of his civil power – dehorned.
Now, since the horns of John’s beast symbolize the nations, and his wounded head symbolizes a religious organization divorced from a civil power, and since his seven heads are all alike, save for the wound on one of them, it becomes obvious that the heads, seven in number, portray religious bodies, Christendom in its entirety. The horns, though, ten in number, portray the civil governments in their entirety. Both horns and heads therefore represent the world of today just as each of Daniel’s four beasts respectively, represented the world in their day.
The horns and heads all being on the beast at the same time, not coming up one after another, or in like manner falling off as the horns in Daniel chapters 7 and 8, should forever convince every rational mind that the horns and heads symbolize civil and religious bodies, all existing at the same time, not one following the other.
The blasphemy being over the heads, not over the horns, denotes that the religious bodies portrayed therein do not worship God according to Truth, that they are not wholly what they profess to be. The exact interpretation that Inspiration places on the word “blasphemy” is this: “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not.” Rev. 2:9.
It is better for all of us to acknowledge our failures than to evade the Truth, for it is the Truth that shall make us free.
Moreover, since we admit that the Reformation inflicted the deadly blow and brought forth Protestantism, and since Inspiration says the wound was healed, all these prove something which if we confess, may save our jeopardized lives, and make us as great as did the whole-hearted confessions anciently make David great. What is it that we have to confess? – Just this: If Protestantism wounded the beast by the Reformation, then the healing of the wound shows nothing less that that the Reformation has failed to keep the wound open, that the goal of the reformers has died, and despotism has been revived. Indeed, this symbolism is saying nothing more than what the message to the Laodiceans is saying:
“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Rev. 3:17, 18.
For one to be in such a deplorable condition and at the same time to contend that he has need of nothing, is indeed a blasphemy.
Unlike the first beast, the second beast comes from the earth. The sea and the earth obviously point to two different locations. We know that the beasts of Daniel 7, and the leopard-like of Revelation 13, the beasts that arose from the sea, all originated in the Old Country, the lands where humanity originated. Yes, the “sea” befittingly symbolizes the Old Country because the sea is the store-house of the waters, the place where the waters originate, as the Old Country is the place from where humanity spread out.
The “earth,” then, points to a place away from the “sea” and the opposite of what sea stands for, – a country made up of inhabitants who have emigrated from elsewhere. The only such country or nation away from the Old Country and as influential as portrayed in this two-horned beast that arises after the formation of the leopard-like beast, in the Protestant period, is the United States. Moreover, the United States is already a world power, and so we need not be guessing any more. The beast’s two horns point to its two political ruling powers – Democrats and Republicans. Their lamb-like character gives the appearance of innocence, harmlessness, and charitability. The beast’s speaking like a dragon nevertheless repudiates the lamb-like appearance of the horns.
The two-horned beast exercises all the power which the first beast, the leopard-like, exercised, again showing it to be a world power. Indeed, it requires just such a power to compel all the inhabitants of the earth to worship as he commands, and to implement a likeness of a church and state government that is as outdated as are the Middle Ages themselves. Yes, it takes such a power to influence the world, save those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, to bow down to it.
Verses 13-15 – “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
Here you see that this unification of the world, engendered to bring peace and harmony out of the present chaos, will instead bring an even greater time of trouble. And why? – Because though the beast may bring Communism and Capitalism to mutual agreement, and cause them to bow down to the image of the beast, yet those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will never comply. From this you see that the whole plan is directed by a supernatural power whose aim is to boycott the people of God. They shall nevertheless be delivered.
When the beast’s decree is passed that no one can buy or sell, and should be killed for non-conformity, then God only can protect His people, the people whose names are written in “The Book.” Such is His faithful promise: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the Book.” Dan. 12:1.
Verses 16, 17 – “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
This power, you see, is to control the world’s markets, too.
This symbolic forecast of the world government to be set up, plainly points out that the coming world government is to be neither the U.N., nor Communism, but an ecclesiastical power. We know that it is not Communism, because Communism is against religion, and the beast is for it.
When this comes to pass, which is no longer beyond the horizon, then those whose names are written in the “Book of Life” shall be delivered, but all others will have received the mark of the beast. There will be no middle ground, or middle class.
We should now decide what to do, so that we will not be caught off guard. For this very cause the light of Truth has come to us now.
The world government which is to develop from the “League of Nations” and the “United Nations,” is not actually to be absolutely universal, and there are still to be “two worlds,” but rather than there being Capitalism and Communism, they are to be those who worship the beast and his image, and those who worship God and have their names written in the Book. The latter are the only people who will not bow down to the future world government.