|THE STORY OF THE SEER OF PATMOS (Part 13) [message #2824]
||Mon, 26 August 2019 14:17
Registered: September 2015
THE STORY OF THE SEER OF PATMOS
Haskell, Steven Nelson (1833-1922)
The Story of the Seer of Patmos
THE BEAST FROM THE SEA AND THE BEAST FROM THE EARTH
When a human mind can put itself in the channel of divine thought, then and only then, can the events of the world's history be rightly interpreted. To John was given a many-sided history of the church on earth. He saw it in its purity, and watched it until it was wholly corrupt. In every case the love of God was unmistakably written on every page. The story of nations reveals the infinite love of the Creator no less than the history of the church reveals His love. The twelfth chapter of Revelation is a bird's-eye view of the church from the days of Christ until the plan of redemption is complete. The thirteenth chapter bears more directly on the nations which are the chief actors in the Great Controversy, related in the previous chapter.
Patmos is described as a desolate, rocky island; but it had a sandy beach, and at times the prophet-exile stood upon the sands of the sea, and watched the dashing of the waves of the Mediterranean. The ceaseless lapping, the ebb and flow of the tide, spoke forcibly to the spiritual mind of the holy seer. Everything in nature reminded him of his God, and taught some deep, hidden lesson. His Master, when walking among men, had pointed to the clusters on the vine, to the setting sun, to the fig tree, or to the sower, and the apostle never saw these objects without hearing afresh the sacred story of heaven. But now when the scene is changed, the same God used the objects which daily met the eye of John to tell him of the glories of the world to come, or to illustrate the divine hand in all human history. The ear that can hear, will find a voice in leaf and stone, in rosy sunset and in falling twilight. "Lo, these are parts of His ways . . . but the thunder of His power who can understand?"
THE BEAST OF THE SEA
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. (2) And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. (3) And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. (4) And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? (5) And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. (6) And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (7) And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. (8) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (9) If any man have an ear, let him hear. (10) He that leadeth into captivity 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.
As John stood upon the sand of the sea, his mind was opened to the influence from above, and he received a new revelation. He saw "a beast rise up out of the sea;" from the midst of the waves a form appeared. It had the lithe and spotted body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion. The Lord had before represented the history of nations by beasts; and the symbols here used, are the same which were given to Daniel, and were interpreted for that prophet by Gabriel, the angel of revelation. In the history of the world four beasts, or kingdoms, cover the time from the days when Israel lost its standing as a nation until Christ sets up His everlasting kingdom. These four, speaking of them in the order of their existence, were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Babylon was the lion, the king of beasts, which ruled by the power of worldly grandeur. Compared with other kingdoms, this kingdom was as gold among the baser metals. Babylon was overthrown; but her religious principles lived on, and, like the roots of a fallen tree, sent forth a cluster of new fruit-bearing branches. Babylon's crowning sin was that of imputing all her wisdom and power unto false gods. Medo-Persia succeeded Babylon, and the bear was taken to represent that nation. Not so noble in appearance as the lion, but stronger, and more savage. With its feet it stamped and crushed its foe. The strength of Medo-Persia lay in its tyrannical government. It was a monarchy of the most absolute form, and the fact that the laws of the Medes and Persians changeth not, was known not only by the nation itself, but by all who fell under its power. A terrible tyranny was the result,-an example of which is recorded in the book of Esther, where the law passed by Xerxes, the greatest of Persian monarchs, would have blotted the people of God from the earth if the Lord had not brought deliverance. This history will be repeated in the closing scenes of earth.
The Medo-Persian government likewise fell when the life-giving Spirit of God was withdrawn; and the Greek Empire followed. Through Greece, "the prince of the power of the air," the "old dragon," who was cast into the earth, attempted a new scheme for enslaving the truth. Greek culture and intellectual development carried men farther away from the simple truth of God's Word than any form of religion, or any oppression from the government. The teachers of Greek philosophy followed in the wake of the Alexandrian conquests. The beauty and æsthetic nature of their learning deceived men as nothing else has ever done. The mixture of good and evil was divinely represented by the spotted leopard, and its universal acceptance, by the lithe form and agile movements.
John saw a beast coming up out of the sea, rising in the midst of the nations of the earth, and it combined the characteristics of the leopard, the bear, and the lion. The successor of Greece was Rome, and profiting by past failures, the devil combined the strength of all preceding kingdoms in this fourth. A false religion, a tyrannical government, upheld and propagated by a flattering, insinuating, false system of education,-this was the body of the beast.
It had seven heads and ten horns, and ten crowns upon these horns. Besides building a nation with the quintessence of the evil of all the past, the power which was controlling in the growth of Rome, experimented on that nation, seeking for that form of administration which would best accomplish his designs. The government began with a king, but the people were able to dethrone the monarch; the wealthy ruled for a time as consuls; but there was discord and weakness. Ten men were chosen to make laws adapted to all classes; then, all the people tried holding the reins of government, and Rome became a sort of republic or tribunate. The greedy heart of man repeated the story of Lucifer in heaven, and a political ring of three prominent citizens ruled. This was the triumvirate. To find three men in Rome who would be of one mind, was as impossible as it would be to find such to-day; and shortly the triumvirs disappeared, and Rome became an empire. Constant change was the only means of perpetuity, and the throne which Satan hoped to see an eternal one, was weakened by constant modifications.
Thus it was at the advent of Christ; but the end of changes was not yet. The very foundations of the pagan empire tottered as the Gospel spread. Paul himself preached Christ to the household of the Cæsars; and emperors found that though they might spurn the teachings of the Christ, yet their wives believed, their servants accepted Christianity, and even their soldiers, accepted the teachings of Jesus. A new and unheard of power had arisen which could not be met and vanquished, as Cæsar had subdued the foes of Rome. Then the wisdom of past ages was brought into play, and paganism stealthily crept under the garments of Christianity. The prince of darkness clothed himself in the garments of light, and the "mystery of iniquity" was established! The pagan Roman Empire was broken into ten divisions as described in the seventh chapter of Daniel, but each division was a branch nourished by the same old root. Seven of the ten divisions developed into the nations of modern Europe, and bear the fruits formerly borne by the kingdoms which prophecy describes under the symbols of the four beasts. Each horn wore a crown, showing that each is an independent kingdom or nation. These horns cluster about the last head which arose in their midst, taking the place once occupied by three which it plucked up. This plucking up of three horns to give place to the papacy, the seventh head, is. made clear in the seventh chapter of Daniel. That each of the various forms of government under which Romans have lived, was controlled by the enemy of God, is signified by the expression that upon each head was written the name of blasphemy. Each was an attempt to seat a man above the God of heaven. The seventh head most fully accomplished the design of the enemy of truth; for to the beast, the dragon himself gave power, and his seat, and great authority.
In 330 a. d. Constantine removed his capital from Rome to Constantinople. The ancient city was left to the papal power and the pope occupied in Rome a throne higher than any occupied by the Cæsars. Constantine laid the foundation of the papacy; but it remained for Justinian to complete the edifice in 533 a. d., by declaring that memorable decree which constituted the pope the head of all the churches. The Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths were of the Arian faith and opposed to the bishop of Rome. The decree could not go into effect until 538 a. d., when the last of the opposing powers was overthrown by the armies of Justinian.
From 538 a. d. may be reckoned that absolute power which lasted for forty and two prophetic months, during which time the mouth speaking great blasphemies was practically unchecked. "He opened his mouth in blasphemy against God." He "opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." He soon claimed power to forgive sin, and the church became sole interpreter of God's Word; the consciences of all men were made amenable to the church or to those to whom the church delegated the right to sit in judgment.
With unbounded audacity, the attempt was made to change the immutable law of God. The Sabbath was trodden underfoot, the second commandment was dropped from the decalogue, and the tenth was divided into two. The memorial of creation and redemption was thus denied to man, the atoning work of Christ was set aside, and the worship of idols was instituted. Any who dared lift a voice in opposition, or who denied, by word or act, the right of the church to control the conscience of man, found death a welcome relief,-a thing to be sought in preference to the incessant torture inflicted by the ecclesiastical tyranny which held the world with an iron grip.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ reached the ears of every nation under heaven; and, likewise, before the death of the seventh head, every kindred, nation, and tongue, will feel its oppression.
The Law as Changed by the Papacy
I am the Lord thy God: thou shall not have strange gods before me.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
Honour thy father and thy mother.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods.
One of his heads was wounded to death; for Truth rose up in its majesty and broke the tyrant's head. The seed of the woman put His heel upon the serpent's head, and would have crushed out all the life, had the plan of salvation been fully complete. The world emerged from the darkness gradually. The light of the Reformation shone forth in the sixteenth century; the last public execution for conscience sake was in Seville, Spain, in 1776; and in 1798, the closing year of the forty and two months, Pope Pius VI, the representative of that power which had crowned and uncrowned kings, which had spoken, and Europe, almost en masse, had arisen to defend the holy sepulcher, which had extracted money from all nations, was captured by the French army, and died, shortly after, a prisoner, in fulfillment of the words "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity." But the deadly wound was healed. The seventh head had not yet done its full work in the earth. According to the prophecy of Daniel, it lives until the close of time.
Although it seemed that a deathblow had been dealt in the early days of the Reformation; although for a time it was believed that the nations of Europe would accept Protestantism instead of the papacy; notwithstanding bloody battles were fought for the cause of Protestantism, yet life came back into the beast and into the wounded head; and before the end, all nations, kindreds, and people that dwell upon the earth, will be called to decide whether they will enroll under the banner of Prince Emmanuel, or whether they will acknowledge the leadership of a power that speaketh blasphemous words against the Most High. Those who choose the standard of Christ will have their names entered in the Lamb's Book of Life; they are the ones who accept the message of the tenth chapter of Revelation, and who are sealed as described in the seventh chapter. They will eventually join in the song of redemption which is sung before the throne of heaven. Those who voluntarily choose to follow the other power will receive the mark of the beast, and in the time of the final judgment, will go with their leader into everlasting death.
He who has long led men into captivity, who has claimed the right to rule the hearts of men, and who has attempted to overthrow the eternal God of heaven, will finally be destroyed. The Lion of the tribe of Judah will reign as king; not by force, but by the power of love.
Death follows the footprints of the beast. Some may wonder why a God of power does not, at once, blot out a rival who brings only distress and destruction; but mercy lingers that man may be saved. Here is needed, and here will be seen, in these closing days of the great controversy, the "patience of the saints." These things must be met by men now living, therefore, "if any man have an ear, let him hear."
The student of the book of Revelation has by the time he reaches the thirteenth chapter, met, a number of times, the power which would bear sway for twelve hundred and sixty years. In giving earth's history, that terrible period plays an important part; in the great controversy between good and evil, it was a marked era. It has been viewed from the standpoint of the church of God, from that of the false or apostate church, and from the civil side as well. In all its aspects, it was a terrible time;-a time when angels trembled for the few faithful souls, and the heart of God longed for the time of their deliverance. "The noontide of the papacy was the world's moral midnight." The sad thing to contemplate is that the oppression, which, during the twelve hundred and sixty years was so galling, will be repeated just before the second coming of Christ. The last half of the thirteenth chapter deals with the history from the sixteenth century to the end of time.
The Reformation, in which Luther played such an important part, was more far reaching in its results than its most sanguine advocates could imagine, in the days when the light began to shine. It was the proclamation of a great truth, twofold in its mission. As the papacy must be considered, and had to be met, both as a civil and as an ecclesiastical power, so the Reformation gave birth to, or revived, the principles which were both civil and ecclesiastical in nature. The fact is stated in the words of the twelfth chapter, "The earth helped the woman." The church was in the hands of a persecuting power; and when the dragon sent forth a great flood, hoping to drown the truth, the earth came to the rescue of the church. The protest of the princes of Germany at the Diet of Spires, was like a pebble thrown into a lake; a wave was started, and the circles widened until man could not compass them.
THE BEAST OF THE EARTH
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. (12) And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. (13) And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, (14) And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. (15) And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. (16) And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: (17) And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (18) Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
John had another and more definite view of the help given by the earth. Turning from the sea, from which he had seen the great and terrible beast arise, with its seven heads and ten horns and the names of blasphemy, he saw "another beast coming up out of the earth." It was at the time the papal power was being led into captivity, that the prophet saw this new power "coming up." Rome sprang into existence in the midst of many peoples; the beast arose from the sea, but away from all the strife, outside the bounds of European darkness, arose another nation. It was brought into existence by the Lord Himself; at the very time it was most needed for the development of the principles of the Gospel, and of the final struggle for truth.
From 1492 and onward, Europe heard reports of a new land beyond the seas. Navigators, usually in search of gold or glory, explored the shores and established colonies. But neither wealth nor honor was to have a hand in the final settlement; God reserved the territory, afterwards known as the United States of America, for the planting of downtrodden truth. When Germany refused full liberty, and clung to some forms of papal tyranny, Protestantism passed on to England. England and Holland for a time gave freer scope for the development of these principles; but space was limited in the Low Countries; and the British returned at last to their kings, and those seeking liberty of conscience, passed to the eastern shores of North America. In America the oppressed had freedom of worship, the right to educate their children according to their ideas of God, and the privileges of a free government. These were the things sought by the Pilgrim Fathers.
On the bleak New England shores, principles of Protestantism and republicanism struggled for existence. These two went hand in hand Historians recount the hardships of braving the sea and making new homes; but these were light trials, compared with the soul-strivings against bondage and oppression. So strongly ingrained were the principles of monarchy and the spirit to dictate in religious matters-the two foundation stones of the papacy-that only by dint of perseverance and strong determination on the part of a few souls who were open to heaven-born convictions, there gradually grew up in New England a representative form of government. The towns about Boston refused to be taxed unless they had a voice in the legislative body. Thomas Hooker, with his whole congregation, emigrated to the wilds of Connecticut for greater liberty; and as a result, the first written constitution ever known to exist in America, was framed in 1633. Rhode Island had an existence solely, because of the attempt of man to oppress the conscience of his fellow man; and it stands in the Union to-day as a monument of the struggle for religious liberty.
In the more Southern Colonies the same battles were fought. Finally, in 1776, the Declaration of Independence published to the world the purpose of the new and growing states to cut loose from the tie which bound them to the mediæval forms of government. The step appeared rash; but this was the thing necessary, to bring unity and united effort among the people of America. With one common enemy, all internal strife was forgotten; but when the new nation was acknowledged free and independent, the problem of ages was just before it. Having thrown off the fetters of monarchy, and with no definite ideas as to the actual workings of an administration by the people, the ship of state was in the greatest danger of foundering on the rocks of anarchy; or, tired of the open sea, of again seeking shelter in the harbor from which it had sailed. There were men who advocated return; but God had His angels in the meetings of statesmen, and His Spirit guided the minds of those who sought to follow the light of the Reformation.
The Federal Convention, which convened in Philadelphia in the year 1787, was no common meeting; for from the work done by the men who sat there, a wave was set in motion which has influenced every nation of the earth. It was by the fifty-five representatives from the states which formed the nucleus of the nation to-day recognized as one of the leading powers of the world, that the American Constitution was framed. Of this document Gladstone says: "The American Constitution is the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain of man." The words of the Declaration of Independence state the principles upon which the new government was founded. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. . . . That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." This was a deathblow to the papal hierarchy; it was the outgrowth of the principles advocated in the sixteenth century,-the result of restoring to their proper place the Two Witnesses, that for twelve hundred and sixty years prophesied, clothed in. sackcloth. Thus the earth helped the woman, by giving to her a home where the sunlight might shine unobstructed by the darkness which covered Europe during the twelve hundred and sixty years. The beast which came up out of the earth in the sight of the prophet, symbolizes the United States; and the two horns represent the two foundation principles of the government, Protestantism and republicanism. The seed of the Reformation, having been planted in congenial soil, soon grew into a mighty tree, sheltering the oppressed of all nations. Glorious as the sun rising was the establishment of the new government. It was a wonder to all the world; but when its freedom and stability once became known, America became the center of progress. All nations have been molded, more or less by the example of this country. Her constitution has been the model for the reorganization of nations, especially since 1840. The monarchs of Europe were forced to relax their hold upon their subjects, and America is the place toward which all eyes have been directed in these crises. Even the Orient has relaxed to the warming influence of the United States.
But the world is not yet free from the influence of him who was "cast unto the earth," and the dragon, who had worked through each preceding nation, works in this. When unable to check the onward march of freedom, as it was started in America, the more wary plans, which had been combined in Rome, were introduced into America. A government by the people, for successful management requires a constituency educated in the principles of both Protestantism and republicanism. The schools played a most important part in the growth of the constitution, and the educational system of the United States has been the real support of the nation.
Gradually, however, the philosophy of Greece has, in the education of children and youth, almost wholly supplanted the truths of God. Graduates to-day are better able to interpret the mythology of Greece than they are to read the handwriting of the Creator in nature about them. They are prepared to believe the false theories of scientists in preference to direct statements of inspiration. The whole trend of their education is evolutionary in character, and develops doubt, not faith,-higher criticism instead of simple faith in the Word of God. The organization of society into guilds, trusts, rings, corporations, and unions, is a reflection of the spirit of the educational system. Monarchy is rapidly replacing democratic principles, and the dragon's voice sounds through the earth in the dictation of the labor unions to their members; in the controllers of the oil and the grain; in the strikes and the exchanges. Wall Street dictates to thousands; and the masses pay their Peter's pence to the moneyed classes as surely as it was ever exacted in Rome. As the cry of the oppressed during the Dark Ages reached heaven, so in this day of apparent light and progress, and of boasted freedom, the voice of oppression is heard. "Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which of you is kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth."
America, according to prophecy, would repudiate the fundamental principles of the nation, and from the lamblike beast, the voice of the dragon is heard. "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." America has already repudiated her first principles of liberty. In form, the government remains the same as when established, but the spirit and life of the beast speak through the form. The life of Protestantism is gone; the life of democracy is lost. The professed Protestant nation is imitating the papal power of Rome, thus forming the image to the beast. As time progresses, it will be seen that the image will receive, more and more, the life of the beast. The return to papal principles in Europe, is the partial healing of the wounded head; but the fuller development of all the powers of that beast, which combined the characteristics of Babylon, Persia and Greece, in the once free and liberty loving America, will be the complete healing of the deadly wound.
America is the home of Protestantism, but her churches to-day are Protestant only in name. The exaltation of man above God, the enthroning of human intellect, the hope of righteousness by works, the trampling underfoot of the law of God,-these are some of the things which mark the Protestant churches as daughters of the Babylon, which swayed the world from her seat at Rome.
Two things characterize the Remnant people during the formation of the image to the beast. According to Rev. 12:17, they keep the commandments of God and have the spirit of prophecy. These two characteristics belong to all true Protestants, and are presented to Protestant denominations for their acceptance or rejection.
As the beast trampled upon the law of God, and sought to change times and laws, the image to the beast repeats these acts, and passes laws enforcing the observance of its mark,-the false Sabbath.
The spirit of prophecy is given to guide the church through the darkness; but this is counterfeited by the working of miracles, and by manifestations of a false spirit. Through human agents, the devil seeks to imitate the workings of the Spirit of God; and finally, at the very end of time, he appears in person claiming to be the Christ. "Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no strange thing if his ministers also, be transformed as the ministers of righteousness." Through his human instruments, he will have power to make fire come down from heaven in the sight of men. "There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." These are the Saviour's own words, spoken as He looked forward to the time of His second appearing.
At the birth of the Son of God, the dragon stood ready to devour the Child. When the Child was caught up into heaven, the dragon drove the woman (the church) into the wilderness. His last and most daring act, will be, coming to the earth in person, clothed in garments of light, and claiming to be the Saviour. For this final scene, the work of Spiritualism, which, in its modern forms, arose in the United States, is now preparing the world. When Satan thus appears, he demands the life of all who have not the mark of the beast, and who refuse to worship his image. The tyranny of government will be complete. It will be as the laws of the Medes and Persians, from which there was no appeal. The decree of Xerxes, which demanded the slaying of all the Jews, on one day, throughout all the realm, in the days of Queen Esther, will be repeated by the powers that be, and the lives of the followers of God, those who have received His mark,-the seal of His law,-will be demanded.
Not only in the forehead, as a sign of acceptance, but also in the hand, as typical of actual service for the "beast," the mark will be required. There will be no spot too secluded for that power to reach. The present perfection of organization, the census taking, the enrollment for voting, etc., bring every individual under the eye of the government as truly as the enrollment of Augustus Cæsar, the taxgatherer of Rome, brought the parents of Jesus to the attention of the nation.
Once it would have seemed impossible to so boycott a class of individuals that they could neither buy nor sell, but the history of recent years shows that this has been done by the labor unions of our large cities. This perplexing situation grows steadily worse, and the end is given only by the divine recorder.
The history of the beast is given again and again, that God's people may know what to expect of the image to the beast. As the beast bore sway over the known world in its day, so the image will set the example to the world in the end of time. America once took the lead in propagating the principles of religious and civil freedom; to-day that nation leads the world in its strife for power and recognition, and the very principles of its own Declaration of Independence are overridden in dealing with subject provinces. Rome has been portrayed from all sides, and so definitely described that it cannot be mistaken. When the image is compared with the real, in the thirteenth chapter of Revelation, the very number, six hundred and sixty-six, which is worn on the insignia of the head of the papal hierarchy, is given, that men may be left without excuse. He who is acknowledged as the vicegerent of the Son of God (Vicarius Filii Dei), in his name carries the number six hundred and sixty-six, for the sum of the numerical value of the Roman letters in his title, equals that number. That power which again exalts man above the God of heaven, forms the image to the beast, and bears the number of his name.
The time of trouble, spoken of by Daniel, is right upon the world. "The devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."
Nations have risen, and fallen, in the controversy between Christ and Satan; but the last leading nation to arise is now in existence; it will be the battlefield for the final struggle. From its borders, will be heralded the last great message, and from its people will be gathered a remnant church. The members of this church will join with those of other countries, who, in the very presence of the beast, stand true to the God of heaven and earth when the Saviour comes to receive His subjects.
The time of the fall of all nations approaches. They will be succeeded by the kingdom of God. Christ and the Father will reign forever, and the subjects will be those who have developed a character in harmony with Jehovah; and they will have done this when surrounded on all sides by the concentrated iniquity of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. Lucifer claimed that it was impossible to serve God in heaven. The controversy closes when it has been demonstrated, before the universe, that it is possible to serve God, and obey His law on the enemy's ground, and in the midst of all the evil which it is possible for him to invent. Such is the power of our God. May "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven."
Although the author explains a great many of the prophetic symbols, I highly recommend using these study helps to get a broader and deeper understanding of the symbols used in prophecy as well as prophecy itself.
Your brother in Christ
[Updated on: Mon, 26 August 2019 14:27]
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