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His Number is 666, Part 3

His Number is 666, Part 3

The Golden Image

There is a direct comparison to be made between the golden image of the Book of Daniel and the image of the beast in the Apocalypse. (Rev 13:18)

600 (six hundred)

60 (threescore)

6 (six)

666

Image of Gold Daniel 3:1

Height 60 cubits

Breadth 6 cubits

In both instances the numbers are multiples of six. Both refer to statues that are set up. Both have to do with religious worship, and in each case the penalty for failure to do so is death. A studied comparison of the detailed activity of King Nebuchadnezzar, representative of the civil or dragon element, and the actions of the beast and its image, the clerical or religious element, assists in a better understanding of the prophetic role each will follow in the near future in putting to death the last members of the body of Christ. When the two accounts are combined, the Holy Spirit furnishes a prospectus of what to expect.

Daniel 3 shows that the civil element will act as executioner. In the type, when the three Hebrews were brought before the king, they were given an opportunity to recant. Their reply was, “We are not careful to answer thee in this matter” (Dan 3:16).

In other words, when the chips are down and this issue is brought to public attention in the future, religious scruples and conscience being at stake, then a definite and positive stand will have to be taken. Prudence will no longer be expedient.

After the negative response of the three Hebrews, the king of Babylon’s visage changed, for their refusal was an affront to his authority and a wound to his prestige— and that before a large audience. The bowing to the statue was to be a display of unity. Leaders from all the various provinces were to get together and simultaneously worship the image at a given moment; i.e., when the music, a national or religious an-them, was played.

The image in Daniel was described as golden to indicate a religious symbol. The statue was most likely that of Bel. As the god of the Babylonian Empire, “Bel” was incorporated into names such as Belshazzar (Isa 46:1; Jer 50:2; 51:44; Dan 1:7; 5:1). The image of gold was set up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon (Dan 3:1). Since Babylon is a symbol of Christendom, Dura indicates the scene of action. In the near future in Christendom, there will be a drawing together of the peoples to make a choice. King Nebuchadnezzar did not anticipate any dissent, for he thought the circumstances warranted his receiving unanimous support. Although he did obtain a real demonstration of power, he resented the handful who opposed his order. Desiring unanimous compliance, the king gave the three Hebrews another opportunity to indicate their support and loyalty. When they declined, they were thrown into the fiery furnace.

In the type the three Hebrews were delivered miraculously; not even the smell of smoke was on their clothing. Besides the men who cast them into the furnace, the only thing destroyed was the rope or cords, which bound them. With their survival the king was “astonished” (as stone, frozen with astonishment). In the antitype, however, the Lord’s people will be delivered according to the spirit, not the flesh. It is the cords of flesh that will be burned or destroyed. Whereas the Hebrew children were physically delivered in connection with standing by their convictions and honoring God, the feet members of the body of Christ will be delivered only as new creatures; their cords of flesh will be burned (die) and they will enter beyond the veil of human experience.

The statue erected by the king of Babylon represented two things: (a) the invisible purported national god himself and (b) a physical representation of his likeness.

So in the Apocalypse, in the final analysis, two entities will be thrust before the public eye: (a) the beast and (b) his image.

The Trinity

The number 666 is composed of three 6’s. The fact that it is one number, yet contains three integers, suggests the particular doctrine to be used as a ploy in the future, namely, the doctrine of the Trinity. The Trinity will serve as a TEST upon all to determine their compliance with orthodoxy; all opposers will be eliminated from society as cultists, nonconformists, and heretics.

Note: There are many different systems of beliefs taught throughout Christendom which do not support the doctrine of the Trinity, some of which adamantly deny it, however a denial of the Trinity does not imply that the system of belief or organization is not still considered a part of Christendom. Within the bounds of Christendom (i.e. amongst those professing Christ) there are many groups, which are not accepted as being a part of organized Christianity, Orthodoxy, this however does not imply that they are not still considered a part of the great false kingdom, the Antichrist.

It should be noted that the number six, in itself, is not sinful, for the Holy City of God (Revelation 21) is replete with the multiple of six. Moreover, the basic measuring reed of the future Temple of God to be built in Jerusalem is spoken of as six cubits in length (Ezek 40:5). What makes the number 666 so detestable is that it is the counterfeit sacred number whereby the Papacy will assume again the prerogatives of Deity in the present life.

The pagan Trinitarian doctrine, as shown so profusely by Alexander Hislop’s “The Two Babylon’s”, existed many centuries prior to the introduction of Christianity into the world. This unholy and unscriptural doctrine found its way into nominal churchianity about the time of Constantine. It not only existed in Babylon but also was expressed in the complicated theology of Hinduism and Brahmanism.

Nearly a hundred years before Christ, Kalidasa, one of the most renowned poets of India, com-posed the following hymn in honor of the Trinity:

In those three Persons

The one God was shown,

Each first in place,

Each last—not one alone;

Of Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma,

Each may be first, second, third,

Among the blessed three.

(The Keys of Revelation, Pages 365, 366)

“…And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Rev 20:4)

If the scriptures state that only the faithful, the elect will not bear the mark, ask yourself, how important is it to you to know or understand (i.e. be able to identify) who or what the ANTICHRIST is, so as to be sure that you are not bearing his mark or the number of his name?

Unfortunately many professed Christians bare his MARK even now, and are totally unaware of it.

If you are waiting for your minister or your church to give you this information, you are going to be sadly disappointed. The scriptures state, “Here is wisdom, let him who has understanding (spiritual insight) calculate the number of the beast (the Antichrist), for it is the number of man: His number is 666.” (Rev 13:18)

Lastly and most importantly do not be deceived into believing the vain imaginings of those who lack understanding (spiritual understanding) who spout all matter of nonsense, claiming that the mark of the beast is or will be some kind of bar-code which is to be imprinted upon the flesh or a capsule of some kind inserted into the flesh, these are but the foolish ramblings of  nominal professors, the worldly or “tare class”, who lack spiritual insight. Likewise don’t fall for the idea that it is only the world, the non-believer who is to receive this mark, this has NOTHING to do with the non-believer. This applies only to the professed followers of Christ, whether they be true or nominal. As stated the majority of those baring this mark today reside within the church nominal and are totally oblivious of it.

Ah! Yes one very last an important point, let none be deceived into believing that those who bare the mark of the beast or the number of his name are eternally lost. Possessing the mark of the beast does not in any way deny one the opportunity of salvation that has already been secured to ALL through the ransom sacrifice of Christ. However baring the mark does preclude one from reigning with Christ as a member of the very elect and body of Christ.

 

His Number is 666, Part 2

His Number is 666, Part 2

By Thy Words Thou Shall Be Condemned” (Matt 12:37)

The Council of Trent, as is well known, declared the Latin Vulgate to be the only authentic version of Scripture, and doctors at the council preferred it to the Hebrew and Greek text itself—though the prophets and the apostles wrote in the latter. For over a thousand years the Roman Church Latinized everything, and to a large ex-tent still does use the Latin: in the Mass, prayers, hymns, litanies, canons, decretals, bulls, titles, inscriptions, and councils.

The “number of his [the beast’s] name” (Verse 17) is “the number of a man,” the “man of sin” (2 Thess 2:3). In other words, the first beast is the Man of Sin, the Papacy. Since according to the prophecy this mystical number is the number of a man, the suggestion is that the number is to be derived from the name or title of some particular symbolic man.

The most plausible explanation, noted by others, is a certain Latin title the pope has taken to himself and allowed others to apply to him. The title is “Vicarius Filii Dei,” that is, “Vicar of the Son of God.” Vicar, meaning “instead of” or “substitute,” describes the pope acting as the representative on earth of God or Christ. Jesus’ death on the Cross-is sometimes spoken of as a vicarious sacrifice, meaning a substitutionary sacrifice, namely, a man’s life for a man’s life. The letters of this title, which the Latin’s used as numerals, add up as follows:

V        = 5

I          = 1

C        = 100

A        = 0

R        = 0

I          = 1

V        = 5

S        = 0

 

F         = 0

I          = 1

L         = 50

I          = 1

I          = 1

 

D        = 500

E        = 0

I          = 1

Total = 666,

Note: In Latin the “U” of Vicarius becomes a “V,” and the double U [W] is actually a double “V.”

The following testimony that this title was formerly inscribed on the papal crown was given by the late Elder D.E. Scoles, of Washburn, Mo,

“I have met two men who declare that they have seen this specific crown; and their testimony is so perfectly in agreement that I am convinced that what they saw is true. The first man was M. De Latti, a Sabbath-keeper who had previously been a Catholic priest, and had spent four years in Rome. He visited me when I was pastor in St. Paul, Minn., several years ago. I showed him my tract, “The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast.” He at once told me that the inscription was not correctly placed in my illustration. He stated that he had often seen it in the museum at the Vatican, and gave a detailed and accurate description of the whole crown. When my tract was published, I was ignorant of the arrangement of the words of the Latin inscription, hence, in the illustration of the crown, placed them in one line. Brother De Latti at once pointed out the mistake, and said the first word of the sentence was on the first crown of the triple arrangement, the second word on the second part of the crown, while the word Dei was on the lower division of the Triple Crown. He also explained that the first two words were in dark-colored jewels, while the Dei was composed entirely of diamonds.

During a tent meeting, which I held in Webb City, Mo., I presented the subject, “The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast.” I used charts to illustrate it, one being a reproduction of the crown as Brother De Latti had described it. A Presbyterian minister was present, Rev. B. Hoffman, and when I described the crown, he spoke out publicly and made a statement to the congregation, saying that while in Rome studying for the priesthood, he had seen this very crown, and noted its inscription, and that the word Dei was composed of one hundred diamonds. I met him and learned his name, and visited him at his home, and was convinced from his description that this was the identical crown that Brother De Latti had seen, but which has been denied by many. I then asked him for a written statement, and he gave me the following:

“To Whom It May Concern: This is to certify that I was born in Bavaria in 1828, was educated in Munich, and was reared a Roman Catholic. In 1844 and 1845 I was a student for the priesthood in the Jesuit College in Rome. During the Easter service of 1845, Pope Gregory XVI wore a triple crown upon which was the inscription, in jewels, Vicarius Filii Dei. We were told that there were one hundred diamonds in the word Dei; the other words were of some other kind of precious stones of a darker color. There was one word upon each crown, and not all on the same line. I was present at the service, and saw the crown distinctly, and noted it carefully. In 1850 I was converted to God and to Protestantism. Two years later I entered the Evangelical Church ministry, but later in life I united with the Presbyterian Church, of which I am now a retired pastor, having been in the ministry for fifty years. I have made the above statement at the request of Elder D. E. Scoles, as he states that some deny that the pope ever wore this tiara. But I know that he did, for I saw it upon his head. Sincerely yours in Christian service, (Signed) ‘“B. Hoffman. Webb City, Mo., Oct. 29, 1906.”

The following extract is from a work entitled “The Reformation”, bearing the date of 1832:

“Mrs. A.,” said Miss Emmons, “I saw a very curious fact the other day; I have dwelt upon it much, and will mention it. A person, lately, was witnessing a ceremony of the Romish Church. As the pope passed him in procession, splendidly dressed in his pontifical robes, the gentleman’s eye rested on these full, blazing letters in front of his miter: ‘VICARIUS FILII DEI,’ the Vicar of the Son of God. His thoughts, with the rapidity of lightning, reverted to Revelation 13:18. Will you turn to it?” said Mrs. A. Alice opened the New Testament and read: “Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” She paused, and Miss Emmons said, “He took out his pencil, and marking the numerical letters of the inscription on his tablet, it stood 666.”

“Here we have indeed the number of a man, even the ‘man of sin;’ and it is a little singular, perhaps providential, that he should select a title which shows the blasphemous character of the beast, and then cause it to be inscribed upon his miter, as if to brand himself with the number 666. The foregoing extract doubtless refers to a particular pope on a particular occasion. Other popes might not wear the title emblazoned on the miter, as there stated. But this does not affect the application at all; for the popes all assume to be the ‘Vicar of Christ’ (see Standard Dictionary under ‘vicar), and the Latin words given above are the words which express that title, in the form ‘vicar of the Son of God;’ and their numerical value is 666.”

“The tiara, in ecclesiastical usage, is the triple crown of the pope. It is a beehive-shaped, somewhat bulging, approximately 15-inch-high headpiece preferentially made of either silver or gold cloth encircled by three coronets, with a mound and cross of gold on top and two loose pendants or streamers hanging from the back. “Tiaras of Renaissance popes were especially ornate and precious, but tiaras of some popes contained no precious stones.”

“From the 14th century the popes have worn the triple crown. The three tiers of the tiara, richly ornamented with precious stones, indicated the power of the pope over heaven by his canonizing [saints], over purgatory by his granting of indulgences, and over the earth by his pronouncing anathemas.

For these reasons the Latinized version of the mysterious cabalistic (Kabbala) number 666 is most favored as the one intended in Holy Writ. But others feel that since the Apocalypse was originally written in Greek, the mystery should be resolved in that language. Accordingly, the following alternate title, based upon uncial Aeolian Greek (Latin is of that origin), and bearing some credibility, is given for the Italian Church, that is, the Roman Church.

I        = 10

T       = 300

A       = 1

L       = 30

I        = 10

K      = 20

A      = 1

 

E      = 5

K      = 20

K      = 20

L      = 30

H     = 8

S     = 200

I       = 10

A     = 1

Total = 666,

This view was sponsored by one named Pareus, who tried the substitution of every other conceivable national Church instead of Italika—Greek, Nestorian, Eutychian, Jacobite, Abyssinian, Armenian, English, Lutheran, Swedish, etc.—but no other Church answered. (The Keys of Revelation, Pages 361- 364)

To be continued.

His Number is 666, Part 1

His Number is 666, Part 1

“Some believe that every word and letter of Scriptures was divinely directed. This has led to a method of reading Scripture called “Gematria.” This is a method of adding the numeric value of each Hebrew or Greek letter in a text to determine a clue to some extended meaning of the text. Here we must be very careful not to use some value to insert a private interpretation or to fanaticize with the many mystical interpretations of the Cabalistic branch of Judaism. Any teaching must have a firm basis in the written word.

Yet there are some texts that invite our pursuit to a level deeper than the surface. And some uses of numbers do not relate to time at all. One of these is Revelation 13:18.

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, 666.”

This follows the prophetic symbols of the seven-headed beast, a two-horned beast and an image of the beast. Finally this “image of the beast” receives power to mark both small and great in the hands or forehead and to control certain commerce.

We understand the beast to represent Papacy, the Man of Sin, a most beastly church-state government. The other images are extensions of the ideology of the first beast, and even of the dragon, pagan Rome, who fostered the whole system.

In this verse we are asked to “count” the number of the beast. The word “count” means to calculate compute or sum. It is remarkable that the Romans did not use all the letters of their alphabet for numbers, as did the Hebrews and Greeks. They used only six letters, D, C, L, X, V, and I. (M appears to have evolved from the original use of two adjacent D‘s to represent their sum of 1000.) It is even more remarkable, and perhaps significant, that the sum of these amounts to 666, and that each pair sum to the three component parts of the 666 prophetic number. Also the sum of the highest unit in each pair is 6.

D =  500

    +          =600

C =  100

L =     50

     +        =60

X =   10

V =     5

      +      =6

I =      1

               =    666

666 is the characteristic feature of the Roman numeral system, and perhaps is a reason this number was chosen to mark the whole Roman politico-religious system in this prophecy.

We think the meaning of the words “wisdom” and “understanding” in Revelation 13:18 do not refer to a cleverness to understand the formula of the number, but to the spiritual perception and wisdom in identifying the Man of Sin system and keeping separate in spirit from it. These are identified in Revelation 20:4 as those who “had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, nor in their hands” Let us be free from the spirit of antitypical Babylon.” (Beauties of the Truth,Two Secret Numbers, November 1994 Page 11)

Of all the professing church, only those who are able to truly identify the Man of Sin (and who have separated themselves both from it and its associates) are found to be without this mark, all others regardless of whether they understand (or believe) it or not have been marked.

Revelation 13:18Here is wisdom (Here is a feature that contains much divine wisdom and foreknowledge) Let him that hath understanding count (compute,’ Diaglott. -divine the significance of) the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man (a number that identifies it with a man). As the ‘one new man,’ Christ, Head and body (Eph 2:15) cannot be the one here referred to, that organization being perfect and complete from the divine standpoint, the reference must be to the other symbolic man brought to our attention in the Scriptures-the ‘ man of sin’; the Antichrist; and his number is Six hundred, three score and six.” The literal rendering of the Greek is 6oo, 6o, 6.

The Weymouth translation, however, suggests a little different thought: “Here is scope for ingenuity: Let people of shrewd intelligence calculate the number of the wild beast: for it indicates the number of a certain man and his number is 666.”.

“Jesus, who gave this revelation to us (Rev 1:1), well knew that this symbol could not be properly understood until about the present time, for the reason that the Image of the Beast was only made in 1846. Jesus also knew, of course, that English would be the language used by probably four- fifths of his earnest truth-seeking children, in the “time of the end.” He likewise knew that not many wise, not many great, not many learned in all languages (specifically Greek and Hebrew) would be of the chosen “little flock”. Moreover, it was his custom to adapt his teachings to the “common people,” and of this sort his Jewels have been from, the twelve disciples and since.

Therefore it would appear that the number 666, should be open to the comprehension of us all–we being the ones told to count—as much so as were the other symbolic numbers of (Daniel and Revelation) Let us try, then, to apply these figures in English.

First, then, the number is that of the [first] BEAST. Let us see whether it will apply to some of its names, that system which Paul calls the Man of Sin” is the,

Roman Catholic Power

Count the Letters in the Name or Title, R-1, O-2, M-3, A-4, N-5, C-6, A-1, T-2, H-3, O-4, L-5, I -6, C-1, P-2, O-3, W-4, E-5, R-6 = 666

 He is in Revelation likewise called a BEAST (once again count the letters in the name or title)

Roman Catholic “Beast = 666

The system is also called the “woman” (Rev 17:18)

Roman Catholic “women = 666

She calls herself the

Holy Catholic Church” = 666

In reality she is (Rev 17:5)

The Mother of Harlots” = 666

Thus we see that the number fits the BEAST well.

The second BEAST was anxious likewise to have exactly the same NAME, and in fact it claimed to have pre-eminent right to the name-

Holy Catholic Church” = 666

Other names, by which it is known, are-

English State Church” = 666

The Episcopal Church” = 666

Episcopalian Church” = 666

The Church of England” = 666

This application of the number, will doubtless appear to some too simple to be accepted, but thus God ever deals with us–hiding truth under the vail of its own simplicity, so that it may appear to the Greek (worldly wise) foolishness, but unto them which believe (not to those who believe without evidence, but who believe on the strongest kind of evidence –the harmony of His Word) the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  (1 Cor 1:23)

The Image causes all who claim relationship, or whom it recognizes, as having a right to buy or sell– teach–to have as a creed, that which shall mark them as having either “the name” of the BEAST, or the “number” of his name–666. Many take the name and in their creeds recite, “I believe in the Holy Catholic Church= 666.

Among those who thus openly mark themselves in their forehead (by their creeds) are Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians and others. But others give a seeming support (mark in their hand) to the general principal by organizing under various sectarian names. After these are blended in the IMAGE, (and no one would be admitted to membership in the Evangelical Alliance, unless he be a member of some such sect), they all are collectively known as the “Protestant Churches,” = 666.

If we ourselves for instance were to organize, though we protest more than all others against the errors of Rome, and also against the errors of the Image and second BEAST, yet we would not be reckoned one of the “Protestant churches,” because we would not be recognized as upholding the common or orthodox doctrines–They would not count our organization a church. (R323)

Continued with next post

 

Revelation Chapter 13, Part 5

Revelation Chapter 13, Part 5

CHAPTER 14:1-5 CONTINUES THE NARRATIVE

It is clear that the chapter division is in the wrong place. The first five verses of Chapter 14 show those with the PROPER mark on their foreheads — the overcomers. It completes the story of Chapter 13. If this were not so, Chapter 14, about the harvest, would have the Church complete at the beginning of the harvest!

VERSE 1Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.”

AND I LOOKED: Here, again, John uses his reliable focus changer. Since Rev 13:11 we have been concentrating on the history and effects of the 2-horned beast and its interaction with the fortunes of the 10-horned beast. Now we look at the class who refused to receive the mark.

AND BEHOLD: This “Behold” is all important as a lesson to the saints. The way of faithfulness — separate from beasts, image, and their markings — is clearly laid out along with the glorious results.

THE LAMB: the one to whom we were introduced in Chapter 4, and the one who (in Rev 13:8) is not interested (for now) in “those who dwell on the earth.”

STANDING ON MOUNT ZION: Standing is a position of action. Zion is the spiritual seat of the Kingdom (Psa. 50:2; Psa. 128:5; Isa. 2:3.) The kingdom is, in this picture, ready to begin in its fullest sense. (See Obad. 21.)

AND WITH HIM: in glory; the harvest is ended.

ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FOUR THOUSAND: The literal number of the body of Christ.

HAVING HIS NAME AND THE NAME OF HIS FATHER: The KJV, unfortunately, leaves out “his name (i.e. the Lord’s name).” Note that these saints don’t have a “mark;” they have NAMES. It is notable that it is NOT Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! (i.e. a Trinity as some would imagine). It is also possible that the saints have BOTH of these names because (as represented in Chapters 4 and 5, 12:1, etc.,) they have had their characters developed NOT just by the New Testament writings alone, but also by the Old Testament writings which center upon the Father more than the Son.

WRITTEN ON THEIR FOREHEADS: To summarize this as “intellectual appreciation” falls far short of the intent of this passage. First of all, these saints have the NAMES (characters) of Father and Son written on them. This is not intellectual (although it INCLUDES what their minds know.) The forehead symbolizes the total being — the soul. It is out front where all can see it. And what is seen imprinted on these saints is the character they have emulated. Note also that while the beasts were not particular whether marks were in hand or forehead, God IS particular. A mark on the hand is insignificant, insufficient, even inconsequential. (Recall once again what the mark upon the right hand represents; it represents one’s support or cooperation. Apparently one’s support or cooperation is not enough), The NEEDED mark is a NAME (a completed character.) And THAT mark can be only on one place: the total being, the soul, theforeheadof the individual.

VERSE 2And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps.”

AND I HEARD: Once again John re-focuses our attention:

A VOICE FROM HEAVEN: Beginning here and progressing through Verse 3, there are many difficulties of interpretation. For instance:

(1) How many voices are there? The Greek seems to show only one in Verse 2 — the one which is LIKE three things: water, thunder, and harpists. Unfortunately, Verse 3 says, “they” sang. Is it the harpists? Are “they” (harpists) collectively the ONE VOICE of Verse 2? (Of course, voice can legitimately be translated SOUND; therefore, John may have heard a SOUND from heaven.)

(2) Harps were earlier (Rev 5:8) connected with the 24 Elders. This is NOT the case here since (Rev 14:3) THESE harpists play BEFORE the Elders.

(3) Only the 144,000 can LEARN this song. Who, then, is teaching them? Clearly, it cannot be anyone who has “learned” it. The two possibilities seem to be:

(a) Either the voice IS that of the 144,000 who have learned the song and who are singing it,

(b) The voice is God’s who is teaching it to the 144,000 who learn it. This second option does NOT seem possible since God would not sing itbefore the throne.”

The conclusion, then, seems inescapable that the voice IS the collective voice of the 144,000. The following interpretation is based on this reasoning.

AND I HEARD A VOICE FROM HEAVEN: When John says, “And I heard,” he is re-focusing our attention to something. That something is apparently the 144,000 just mentioned in Verse 1 who are on Zion with the Lamb. The point here is to show WHO it is who has overcome the beast and image influences. FROM HEAVEN seems to refer literally to the spirit realm since this is here where the glorified saints are (Verse 1.)

The VOICE is now likened to three things which apparently represent three periods in the experience of the Church. This is difficult of interpretation. Waters, thunder, and harps are hardly symbols which belong together! It is for this reason that we feel the three symbols reflect THREE DIFFERENT TIMES in the Church’s experience.

When the church reaches MOUNT ZION, but before the peaceable kingdom comes, it can look back to its ORIGINS (the sea class, hence waters); it can look at its then- current RESPONSIBILITIES (the noisy – hence thunderous – destructive of the old order); and it can look forward to its KINGDOM WORK (the happy harmony of a new world — hence the harps.) thus:

WATERS: Where the Church came from — from many peoples (waters). Compare Rev 5:9.

THUNDER: What the Church does upon glorification at the harvest’s end — participating in the thunderous whirlwind with which the age ends. See Rev. 2:26, 27 with Jeremiah 25:30, 31 with a combination of Psalm 77:18 and Job 38:1.

HARPISTS: What the Church will do once the trouble is over — harmonize God for the people.

See Isaiah 14:7 and Psalm 30:5 (margin = singing.)

VERSE 3They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.”

AND THEY SANG A NEW SONG: Just as the prophecies (5, 8, and 9) could sing a “new song” when, at the first advent, the Lamb had fulfilled an important portion of their predictions, so now; the saints can sing a new song when ALL of the Second Advent prophecies have reached their climax. But this song is different in one special way. It is PERSONAL. It is the result of having endured and overcome. It is something which no one else CAN know except those who went through the training.

BEFORE THE THRONE: This is NOT the position of the saints in most prophecy. But here it is the appropriate place to sing. It is to Him who is on the throne that they owe all thanks and reverence for having been taught this song which no one else can sing. The saints place themselves forever willingly at God’s service (before the throne) even as Jesus Himself wore the girdle of servitude willingly even after His glorification (Rev 1:13).

BEFORE THE FOUR LIVING ONES: — Oh! How we can sing forever about the essence of God’s universally perfect balanced character.

AND THE ELDERS: The saints can, without reservation, sing praise to the help they had from the prophecies — the very foundation of their standing (Rev 12:1). Is this not the purpose Paul had in mind when he wrote Hebrews 11 and 12:1 — perhaps the whole book of Hebrews? The tendency of far too many in modern Christianity to dismiss the Old Testament writings is a testimony that they could not fit into this picture.

AND NO ONE COULD LEARN THE SONG EXCEPT THE 144,000: This song is THEIR testimony. It is unlike anything any other human being has experienced. It cannot be sung until the other side because “How can we sing the Lord’s song, His heavenly anthem in a foreign land?Psa. 137:1-4.

WHO HAD BEEN PURCHASED FROM THE EARTH: This phrase unites the first “new song” at the beginning of the age (Rev 5:9) with the second “new song” at the end of the age. The first song is sung as the prophecies acknowledge the beginning of the Church. The second song is sung as the completed Church acknowledges the end of the prophecies.

VERSE 4These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being first-fruits to God and to the Lamb.”

THESE ARE THE ONES: We now have a clear description of the history and character of the ones who are singing, the ones who have been purchased from the earth. They:

HAVE NOT BEEN DEFILED WITH WOMEN: They have not let association with thechurchesof Christendom soil their robes.

FOR THEY HAVE KEPT THEMSELVES CHASTE: The implication is clear: thewomen” (the church nominal) has NOT kept itself chaste. They (it) have committed spiritual fornication by compromising themselves with the governments of this world and /or with the spirit of worldliness. (This may even suggest that the image — while not a church-state union — is a church-state cooperation, agreement, or compromise).

WHO FOLLOW THE LAMB WHEREVER HE GOES: They have never lost sight of whom their head is; nor have they ever been reticent to follow His leadings, however strange the place may be that they are led.

THESE HAVE BEEN PURCHASED FROM AMONG MEN: Here is another clear reference to the sin-offering participation of the saints. We know Jesus purchased the entire human race, yea! All creation. But this “purchased possession” (the entire creation) must wait until this group of saints — recipients of the ransom merit EARLY — might have something to sacrifice jointly with their head. Men WERE purchased; but the saints are PURCHASED FROM AMONG MEN. The implications to the doctrine of the sin offering are inescapable!

AS FIRST FRUITS TO GOD AND TO THE LAMB: Another demonstration of the saints as part of the sin-offering process. The first-fruits are an OFFERING, NOT a part of the general crop.

VERSE 5And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.”

NO LIE WAS FOUND IN THEIR MOUTHS: — Their COLLECTIVE mouth which represents their collective message. They and they alone, were God’s mouthpiece during the Gospel age for the distribution of the TRUTH. No lie was in their message because they conscientiously sought God’s message and not to put forth their own ideas.

THEY ARE BLAMELESS: See Heb 9:14. God has justified them. Who then will then lay anything to their charge? Rom 8:33.

Excerpts taken from the New Albany Notes on Revelation

Revelation Chapter 13, Part 4

Revelation Chapter 13, Part 4

Revelation Chapter 13 continued.

VERSE 16He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads…

AND HE CAUSES ALL: Uniformity is Satan’s trademark.

THE SMALL AND THE GREAT: The amount of influence one has in the world is not an exemption.

THE RICH AND THE POOR: The amount of one’s wealth or knowledge is also not an exemption.

THE FREE MEN AND THE SLAVES: The amount of intellectual independence one has is also not an exemption.

TO BE GIVEN A MARK: an evidence of allegiance.

ON THEIR RIGHT HAND: Their cooperation. (With whatever capacity you work and or render service to the beast or its image you give evidence of your support or cooperation).

OR ON THEIR FOREHEAD: The mental and/ or character assent. (Your faith, your belief in the teachings and precepts of the beast or its image represents your mental assent).

VERSE 17…and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

AND THAT NO ONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO BUY OF TO SELL: in the spiritual marketplace of ideas. This HAS happened. Those who have the truth have been systematically excluded from the spiritual marketplace of orthodoxy and confederated Protestantism.

Can it get worse? Possibly; even probably. But it need not do so to fulfill this verse.

EXCEPT THE ONE WHO HAS THE MARK: A mark is a characteristic. The characteristic is probably willingness to help (to render service in some capacity), or at least not to oppose, the accepted religious way of doing things. (Compare Rev 13:5).

THE NAME OF THE BEAST: — possibly the TITLE of the beast (I. e., membership in it.) Or, since name means character, it possibly means that you are not only willing to cooperate, but you are inherently LIKE the beast. We also use the word NAME to represent authority — as when we ask in Jesus’ NAME.

OR THE NUMBER OF HIS NAME: This phrase raises a question which the next verse helps to answer. Number means VALUE. When people say, “I’ve got your number,” it means they know what you are LIKE. They know your VALUES. The number of a name means the VALUE OF HIS CHARACTER. Perhaps this means that, if you have value to this system, you are safe. They will USE you as long as you remain of value to them. Throughout history, the 10-horned beast has operated on the philosophy that the end justifies the means. This is their value system.

VERSE 18Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

HERE IS WISDOM: What a marvelous way to catch our attention! Everyone would like to be wise. But the meaning is NOT that. It means, as does Daniel 12:10, that those who are blessed with God’s favor will understand, and no one else.

LET HIM WHO HAS UNDERSTANDING: No one will be able tocalculate the numberexcept those who understand the place of the Roman system in history.

CALCULATE THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST: Several items in this phrase need attention. First, thenumbermust becalculated.” It does not just plainly appear. Secondly, it is related to the 10-horned beast — the one to whom the image was made (Verse 14). Thirdly, number symbolizes VALUE. Whatever must be calculated apparently has something to do with the beast’s “value.”

This doesn’t mean monetary value, but rather the “value (number) of his name.” (Verse 17) His name STANDS FOR SOMETHING. It represents his values. History shows us that the values of the apostasy can be summed up as usurped power and authority. Verse 5 summarizes this idea. Thus, when we learn that Papacy’s claim is to be the one who rules in place of the Son of God, and that Papacy, therefore, appropriated the blasphemous title VICARIVS FILII DEI, we HAVE the name which identifies his values (number).

THE NUMBER IS THAT OF A MAN: Paul identified the “man” — the office — to which this refers as the “Man of Sin” and the “Son of Destruction.” (2 Thess. 2:3, 4) It is the Papacy.

HIS NUMBER IS 666: The sum of the Roman numerals in VICARIVS FILII DEI is 666.

MANY titles or descriptions (in several languages) of the Roman system calculate to this figure — a fact which corroborates the conclusion. VICARIVS FILII DEI, however, (VICAR OF THE SON OF GOD, or VICARIOUS SON OF GOD) seems the best explanation of the reasons stated above.

Brother Loomis points out that the three languages used on Jesus’ cross (Latin, Hebrew and Greek all have words representing this number. The Hebrew word ROMIITHRoman):

R = 200

O = 6

M = 40

I = 10

I = 10

TH = 400

666

(The Hebrew alphabet, of course, must be used!)

The Greek work LATEINOS (Latin Man); again, using the Greek alphabet:

L = 30

A = 1

T = 300

E = 5

I = 10

N = 50

O = 70

S =200

666

There are apparently a number of other solutions — all pointing to the Roman system. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that coincidence is ruled out. (We’ll take a more through look at this in another study following the completion of this one.)

Continued with next post.

 

Revelation Chapter 13, Part 3

Revelation Chapter 13, Part 3

THE TWO-HORNED BEAST

Once we have seen the history of the ten-horned beast, we are introduced to a second player in this drama. One reason the ten-horned beast recovered from its Reformation wound is that this new player demonstrates that there is yet left some real church- state power — even separate from the original beast. It, in essence, revitalizes the concept of Divine Right and church-state unity– just at the moment when the Reformation might have killed the concept.

VERSE 11Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.”

AND I SAW: Again we have one of the Revelator’s obvious divisions of his story.

ANOTHER BEAST: Something akin to the first beast, thus called “another” one. This one is also a church-state empire.

COMING UP OUT OF THE EARTH: This beast, unlike the first one, is not born out of chaos in the empire (it does not arise from the “sea”, representative of restless humanity), but, to the contrary, evolves rather smoothly out of existing society (the “earth) — actually a break-off from the existing Holy Roman Empire.

AND HE HAD TWO HORNS: two supporting powers. This makes identification quite simple since such a beast is only to be found in one place. Even though the Church of England and Ireland was officially so known only for about 70 years during the 19th century, its two-power characteristic is sufficient to identify it. It FUNCTIONED as the church of these two countries for over 300 years. It is important to remember also that this beast IS NOT the Church of England and Ireland, but rather the church-state system of these two countries combined.

LIKE A LAMB: Apparently this description is given as a CONTRAST to the Leopard Beast of Rev 13:1, 2, this would, then, imply a temperate nature to this beast — not at all like the Holy Roman Empire.

AND HE SPOKE AS A DRAGON: In the English Empire, the King is titular head of the church. Therefore, this beast has been (and, no doubt, WILL BE in any future involvements) more noticed for its political than its theological pronouncements. Brethren might well pay special note to this phrase. It seems clearly to say that England’s secular involvements would have more to do with prophetic fulfillment than its religious dogma.

VERSE 12And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, who’s deadly wound was healed.”

AND HE EXERCISES ALL AUTHORITY OF THE FIRST BEAST: Recall that the first beast had three kinds of authority. Apparently all of these authorities would apply to the two-horned beast except the 1260-year license. This phrase tells us the tyranny which this new beast was capable of. Virtually everything the Roman beast claimed, the English beast claimed. Only the mouths differed. One had the Pope, the other the King or Queen.

IN THIS PRESENCE: i. e., AT THE SAME TIME. The two beasts were doing the same things except that each did it in his own sphere of influence.

AND HE MAKES THE EARTH AND THOSE WHO DWELL IN IT: Society and those with a stake in it. Society is impersonal, but it had to conform. Those who dwell in it are individuals who are the mainstays of society, that is, people with something to lose if society doesn’t “worship” the beast. This need for CONFORMITY to preserve the status quo is what prompted persecution of dissenters. The English refugees to America during this period were attempting to escape this societal conformity and its requirements.

TO WORSHIP THE FIRST BEAST: By example. England and its church-state arrangements, being virtually no different from the Holy Roman Empire, made criticism of the Roman Beast impossible. The establishment of the English church-state actually HELPED the Holy Roman Empire recover from its grievous wound inflicted by the Reformation. How can you criticize your twin? By its doctrine and structural example, the two-horned beast promoted worship of its European counterpart.

WHOSE FATAL WOULD WAS HEALED: The wound was caused by the Reformation. The healing was AIDED by Henry VIII’s establishment of the English Church. The history of the two-beasts and their successes is inseparable. While they were enemies, they were also comrades. It is well stated of Henry: “…he beheaded ‘traitors’ who recognized Papal headship, and burned ‘heretics’ who denied Papal doctrines.” The only REAL enmity between the two beasts was between their two mouths (King and Pope).

VERSE 13He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.”

AND HE PERFORMS GREAT SIGNS:

At this point in the narrative, the various brethren who interpret this prophecy divide in their opinions. Some explain Verses 13-17 as part — symbolic of powers exercised by the English beast similar to those having been exercised by the Roman beast. Others do this but EXTEND the application into the future. Yet others feel that these verses are almost certainly yet to be fulfilled. The arguments are sound on all three accounts. We must await the Lord’s interpretation. Because Brother Russell’s viewpoint was the second of these three options, and because his views seem most reasonable to the fact and the context, we will parallel his thoughts in these verses.

The GREAT SIGNS seem to refer to the exercise of power by the English church-state to insure compliance to its doctrine and practices.

SO THAT HE EVEN MAKES FIRE COME DOWN OUT OF HEAVEN: Fire represents judgments (and/or their destructive results.) Heaven is the ecclesiastical world. The judgments of the English system against heretics were severe:

TO THE EARTH IN THE PRESENCE OF MEN: The fire which ecclesiastically judged society was a tool of the church to frighten men into compliance. Punishments were public so that none could escape the warning lessons — hence the phrase IN THE PRESENCE OF MEN (Compare Verse 12 where the same phrase shows how the English church flaunted its authority in front of the Roman beast.) MEN, in Rev 13:13 may be a reference to true Christians. This practice of the English beast to intimidate dissenters was one of the causes of many leaving England for America.

VERSE 14And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.”

AND HE DECEIVES THOSE WHO DWELL ON THE EARTH: The deception was that he actually had spiritual authority. Note, however, that the only ones really deceived are “those who dwell on the earth” — non-spirit-begotten ones whose primary interests are their temporal affairs.

BECAUSE OF THE SIGNS: The best way to deceive is to tell a big-enough lie. The “signs,” the manifestations of spiritual power, exercised by this new beast gave a message:

TELLING THOSE WHO DWELL ON THE EARTH: Showing them by example

TO MAKE AN IMAGE TO THE BEAST WHO HAD THE WOUND: It is important to remember here that those who get the idea (by example) to make an image are “those who dwell on the earth.” Protestantism in general was a Reformation movement in which, probably, all (or nearly all) of the true saints were involved. It was NOT the idea of the saints to make an image. It was the idea ofthose who dwell on the earth— those who needed another and newer vehicle to expand their worldly roots.

The image, note, is not to the beast who inspired it, but to the 10-horned beast. This is telling. Why would the 2-horned beast say to make an image to the 10-horned beast? The fact is, the 2-horned beast was, in its own way, an image of the other beast, by being so (that is, by example), it told the power people (“those who dwell on the earth”) that they TOO could make ANOTHER image if they find it profitable to do so (And so they have, as there are now hundreds of “images”, i.e. church organizations in existence). In other words, by example, the 2-horned beast was saying: “If I can do it, why can’t others?” The Roman Catholic politico-socio economic world had, in a sense, lost the world of Protestantism for their profit-making ventures. How could they regain this market? They could work toward amalgamating Protestantism into one large, cooperative block – a new sort of beast, but not so strong as, only an image of, a reflection of, the first beast WHO HAD THE WOUND OF THE SWORD (by Protestantism’s Reformation) but who HAS COME TO LIFE in a semi-rejuvenated, new-headed, Holy Roman Empire.

VERSE 15He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”

THERE WAS GIVEN TO HIM: Note this phrase carefully. We encountered it several times in the description of the Leopard Beast. This phrase was consistently followed by a history of what happened once something was “givento the beast. The same now happens here.

TO GIVE BREATH TO THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST: The image is the Protestant church federation (The various church organizations composing Protestantism, viz. Lutherans, Methodist, Baptist, Adventist, etc., etc.). The English beast has been instrumental in all efforts in this direction. This is clearly shown in history. The British-Empire was an immensely important factor in unifying the post-French-Revolution world — most particularly the non-Roman Catholic world. Remember, this beast speaksas a dragon— its civil influences are as important as its ecclesiastical ones. It does not seem far-fetched to claim that the influences of the British Empire were an important factor in contributing to the movement toward the federation of Protestant denominations. England’s maritime economic pursuits unified the Protestant world in the 19th century.

At this point it is wise to note Brother Russell’s hesitancy at predicting now much more MIGHT happen in the future. He clearly leaves open the door to the thought that this MAY HAVE BEEN mostly fulfilled by the Church of England’s cooperation in Protestant federation. IF more is to come, we will see it; IF more is not to come in this regard, we should not make our unfulfilled expectations embitter us.

It is of great value to note the similarity of this image to that found in Daniel 3:1. The beast itself (13:18) is denoted by the number 666. Daniel’s image, almost certainly related to the Rev. 13 image, is 60 cubits by 6 cubits. We are given only TWO DIMENSIONS. This seems to be saying that the Image of the Beast is only two-dimensional — it has no depth. (Perhaps this is saying that it is never a real church-state union.) It is a hollow imitation of its great model. It becomes alive and functioning and, as the continuation of this verse shows, it exercises sufficient influence to be a problem.

THAT THE IMAGE MIGHT EVEN SPEAK: It gains enough power to become another mouth. It gains the ability through pronouncements to change attitudes to alter behaviors, to influence politics (Note that its mouth is never defined –never clearly delineated as are the mouths of the two great beasts.)

AND CAUSES AS MANY AS DO NOT WORSHIP THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST TO BE KILLED: Killing here, as elsewhere, seems to be actual or functional excommunication. The message is, “If you don’t go along with our federated standards, we don’t recognize you as Christians.” Generally any church outside the realm of orthodoxy is considered either a false church or a cult.

Continued with next post.

Excerpts taken from the New Albany Notes on Revelation

Revelation Chapter 13, Part 2

Revelation Chapter 13, Part 2

Revelation Chapter 13, continued

VERSE 3And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.”

For the TIME of this verse, see the explanation at the opening of the Chapter 13 discussion.

AND ONE OF HIS HEADS: We have just seen in Verse 2 that the beast had been given great authority. We now see the historical result of this: ONE of his seven heads — one of his overall ruling AUTHORITIES — has that authority challenged significantly. If our speculation be correct, it is the THIRD head which is here meant.

AS IF IT HAD BEEN SLAIN:

NOTE VERY CAREFULLY: There is a change of pronouns in this context. When the beast is the subject, the pronouns are HIS or HIM; when the head is the subject, the pronoun is IT. This is important in interpretation.

13:3 continued

AS IF IT HAD BEEN SLAIN: * IF the head were slain and IF there were no other head to take its place that would have been the end of the beast. IN ACTUALITY, the HEAD was slain in a sense, and not in another. This sounds like double-talk! But, the nature of the fulfillment of this prophecy is very subtle. The beast, or course, is the church-state cooperation between the “little horn” and the civil power. While the “little horn” has retained its identity over the centuries, the HEADS have changed. The first SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT (head) was that of the Roman emperor (Justinian) as civil head with the “little horn” as chief religious ruler. The second SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT (head) was a clear division between east and west Rome. The empire over which Justinian had ruled yet existed in Constantinople. But the west was now rather independent and was under a new western emperor, Charlemagne. Charlemagne was actually TRICKED by the Pope into letting the Pope put the crown on the emperor’s head. But Charlemagne allowed it and, subsequently, felt a bit embarrassed by the whole thing as it caused a rift with the eastern empire. Nevertheless, the SYMBOLISM of the act, and the virtual new arrangement in the west, constituted a new HEAD. Later, in 962 a third SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT (head) came into being under Otto the Great. This head gave the new arrangement the title of HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE, the first word of which magnifies the place of the “little horn.” East and West Rome were now officially and actually two separate and distinct empires.

It is this THIRD HEAD, the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE, which wasslainby the Reformation. Historians confidently claim that the harm done to the Holy Roman Empire by the Reformation was so great as to constitute “. . . the virtual dissolution of the empire.”

*AS IF IT HAD BEEN SLAIN: The peculiar nature of this expression demands attention. The head was, indeed, slain. But to history the slaying seemed to be TEMPORARY in that the Holy Roman Empire made a comeback. When it DID come back, it REALLY had a new head, but because it did not change its NAME, it appears to the casual eye to be the same old creature unchanged. But it WAS changed — in nearly all ways except by name.

It might be of interest to note that the emperor at the time of Luther was Charles V. It was he who presided at the famous Diet of Worms which proclaimed Luther a heretic. But the German princes protected Luther, absorbed his religion, and, thus, wiped out the very seal of Charles V’s empire.

HIS FATAL WOUND WAS HEALED:

NOTE: It was NOT the head (not “its” wound) that was healed. It was HIS (the beast’s wound that was healed). The Holy Roman Empire DID NOT DISSOLVE! It reconstituted itself and CAME BACK UNDER THE SAME NAME, but under a DIFFERENT HEAD. The period between Charles V and the Peace of Westphalia was a period of reorganization for the Holy Roman Empire. When it RECOVERED from its Reformation wound, it WAS A DIFFERENT BEAST with the same name. Thus, since the Peace of Westphalia, the Holy Roman Empire had a NEW HEAD or system of government — the FOURTH head and beast. This arrangement continued until Napoleon came along, destroyed the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, and created a NEW HEAD, the FIFTH.

AND THE WHOLE EARTH WAS AMAZED AFTER THE BEAST: The Reformation challenge to the Roman church-state empire was SO great that it WAS no less than amazing that the Holy Roman Empire withstood its onslaught and retained as much prestige as it did. The beast WAS hurt, but it recovered. It NEEDED little support which is why we will later see in Verse 12 that the advent of the two-horned beast was a blessing for the beast; the formation of a like beast in England helped the Europeans acknowledge the ten-horned beast of a viable sort of entity.

VERSE 4So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?

AND THEY WORSHIPED THE DRAGON: It must be remembered that the allegiance of peoples to their governments is as strong as their allegiance to the churches affiliated with those governments. The Holy Roman Empire thus continued with the adoration of its subjects, and a Roman Catholic part of Europe was insured.

BECAUSE HE GAVE HIS AUTHORITY TO THE BEAST: The co-dependency of church and state is inescapable. If the empire says “The Papacy is our spiritual head; it gives us God’s right to rule,” the people say — Amen to government and Pope forming one grand beast!

THEY WORSHIPED THE BEAST: NOT the church, remember, but the church-dominated arrangement. We must await Chapter 17 before we can clearly separate the woman from the beast.

WHO IS LIKE THE BEAST?: Catholic Holy Roman Empire was great and extensive. Even after Protestantism had taken its toll on former parts of the Empire, the question was still valid — “Is there any empire like THIS one?

WHO IS ABLE TO WAGE WAR WITH HIM?: Who can successfully oppose the Papal -Roman Empire? The question was getting a little hollow after the Reformation, but the answer was still “NO ONE YET!” Napoleon would give it a try later; in a sense, however, he would not destroy it — merely alter it once more, give it a new head. He WOULD destroy the Holy Roman Empire, but he would NOT destroy the beast — the church-state system.

VERSE 5And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.”

AND THERE WAS GIVEN TO HIM: This phrase begins another look at this beast, one which clicks back in time. (See comments on construction of this chapter at the beginning of the notes on Chapter 13.)

A MOUTH SPEAKING ARROGANT WORDS AND BLASPHEMIES: This is a clear reference to Dan. 7:8, 11, and 25. A brief history of this “mouth” is found in Volumes II and III. Papacy was the mouth. (Papacy, remember, is NOT  a head, but a horn with prominent eyes and mouth.) Papacy was the bark of the beast; the civil powers were the bite.

AND AUTHORITY TO DO FOR FORTY-TWO MONTHS: Papacy “did” things most indirectly — through the state. But this authority to “do” through the state went practically unchallenged unto 1799 when the forty-two months expired.

VERSE 6Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.”

AND HE OPENED HIS MOUTH IN BLASPHEME: It was Papacy’s practice to destroy by condemnation – evil speaking (blaspheme).

AGAINST GOD, TO BLASPHEME HIS NAME: This is the first of THREE targets of his blaspheme. The doctrines of Papacy totally misrepresent the character (name) of God, thus making sure few could truly know God.

AND HIS TABERNACLE: This is the second target of his blaspheme. The tabernacle and temple represent God’s plans and purposes — the tabernacle more particularly the plan of redemption. The mass and other abominations totally destroy the concepts of God’s plan.

THOSE WHO DWELL IN HEAVEN: This is the third target of the blasphemes. It might be considered by some that the saints (those who dwell in) ARE the tabernacle. This is true to a degree. But the parallel text in Daniel 7:25 mentions the same three targets of Papacy: the Most High, the Saints, and the Plan (“times and law”). The saints dwell in the holy of the tabernacle, a sanctuary of spiritual light, food, and prayer.

VERSE 7It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.”

AND IT WAS GIVEN TO HIM TO MAKE WAR WITH THE SAINTS AND TO OVERCOME THEM: It is most likely that this sentence is spurious. This “given” was already covered in Verses 5 and 6. It seems redundant to repeat it here. It is easy of explanation if it is legitimate, but it is likely not.

AND THE AUTHORITY WAS GIVEN TO HIM: Once again we have another section introduced by the beast’s being given something. In this case the focus is on people:

Note the THREE authorities given to the beast by this time

  1. The GREAT AUTHORITY of ruler-ship (Verse 2).
  2. The TIMED authority to wear out the saints (Verse 5).
  3. The authority over the masses of people.

OVER EVERY TRIBE AND PEOPLE AND TONGUE AND NATION: This four-part name represents the “sea” class of humanity — the restless masses (Compare Rev 17:15.) The thought is that this beast had control over everyone in its domain — even people who might not have much interest in its leadership.

VERSE 8All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

AND ALL WHO DWELL ON THE EARTH: This class represents those with an interest in the status quo – people with rooted interests in the present order of things. This verse is here to show a CONTRAST. Even though the beast has authority over all (Verse 7), ONLY those who like the socio-political arrangement because their own selfish interests are tied to it (those who dwell on the earth):

WORSHIP HIM: No one else EXCEPT thedwell-on-the-earthclass could possibly worship this monster. Note what might SEEM a contradiction. In Rev 13:3, 4 it states that the whole earth worshiped the dragon and beast. This however is not contradictory as EARTH represents established society, the equivalent here of “those who dwell on the earth.” The group in 13:7 is thesea,” class, not the earth class.

(HE) WHOSE NAME HAS NOT BEEN WRITTEN FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD IN THE BOOK OF LIFE OF THE LAMB WHO HAS BEEN SLAIN: This long description, amplifying “those who dwell on the earth,” must be significant because of the amount of space it takes! First, it clearly identifies this class as being non-spirit-begotten. Secondly, and more importantly, it encourages the spirit-begotten ones who must live through the experience.

It does so by reminding them that (1) the place of the TRUE Church has been established long before the false came along and will, therefore, not be neglected or hurt by this beast, and that (2) the lamb, which they follow, experienced death which they might also experience. But, (3) death is of no significance if your name is recorded in the BOOK of LIFE.

VERSE 9If anyone has an ear, let him hear.”

IF ANYONE HAS AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR: This refrain carries us back to the messages to the seven churches (Chapters 2 & 3). It is always coupled there with (and here, no doubt, is meant to bring to mind) the words: TO HIM WHO OVERCOMETH. Most of the Church has had to overcome the beast. The rewards will be stipulated to all who refer back to Chapters 2 & 3.

VERSE 10He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”

This verse is a summary lesson following all of the foregoing descriptions of the beast. It is a lesson in overcoming implied in Verse 9. Its lesson is clarified by a comparison with Jer 15:1, 2.

IF ANYONE IS FOR CAPTIVITY, TO CAPTIVITY HE GOES; IF ANYONE KILLS WITH THE SWORD, WITH THE SWORD HE MUST BE KILLED: The lesson here is one of reaping what has been sown. It is the Lord’s rule: those who favored slavery for others will be enslaved by their own devices; those who use violence or deception will be victims of the same.

HERE IS THE PERSEVERANCE AND THE FAITH OF THE SAINTS: This phrase occurs again in Rev 14:12 following the description of the decades of Babylon’s decline and fall during the harvest. The Message in both passages is clear: the saints MUST ENDURE the wait while all about them SEEMS to take so long. Both passages (Rev 13:9 and 14:8-11) describe either the promise or the fact of Babylon’s punishments. The faith and perseverance of the saints DEPEND on their belief that this retribution WILL come. This is part of the reason for the long description in Rev 13:8. Faith in the glorious results is a mainstay.

Continued with next post.

Excerpts taken from the New Albany Notes on Revelation

Revelation Chapter 13, Part 1

Revelation Chapter 13, Part 1

Revelation Chapter 13

A NOTE ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF VERSES 1 THROUGH 10

Brethren have struggled with the interpretation of this chapter because, historically, it appears to be out of order. This has even led to inaccurate interpretations. For instance, the prevailing Bible Student view of the wounding of one of the heads is that the Reformation accomplished this. This IS accurate. But when we see the head wounded in Verse 3 and the 1260 years shown as taking place later, in Verse 5, it does not seem easy to reconcile THE ORDER OF INFORMATION PRESENTED. However, once we see a little secret of the construction of this narrative, we can feel very comfortable with the symbolisms and their historical fulfillments which Brother Russell presented to us.

Once we are introduced to the Leopard Beast and its physical description (Verses 1 and 2), we are given a SERIES of histories of this beast. Each history, each part of the series, begins with what has been GIVEN to the beast. Then follows what RESULTS from the beast’s having been given these various things. With each part of the series, history CLICKS BACK, that is, looks back in time to take another look at this beast. Hence:

(1) In Verse 2, the beast is GIVEN power, throne, and authority. Then in (Verses 3 and 4) we see the HISTORY of that authority: one of the heads (authorities) is wounded; but the beast recovers.

(2) In Verse 5, the beast is GIVEN two things: a Mouth, and Authority TODOfor 1260 years. Then in (Verse 6) we see the HISTORY of those two things: Blaspheme against God and the saints during that period.

(3) In Verse 7, the beast is GIVEN authority over the restless classes of humanity (tribes, peoples, tongues, and nations.) Then in (Verse 8) we see the HISTORY of that authority: ONLYthose who dwell on the earthreally worship him. The rest merely submit to his overwhelming control.

Verse 9 then gives the LESSON which applies to all of the above histories.

Seeing this clever and consistent method of narrative makes this chapter very clear and easy of interpretation.

Chapter 13

VERSE 1And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.”

It is IMPORTANT TO NOTE that the first phrase of this verse, viz. “AND HE (the Dragon spoken of in the previous chapter) STOOD ON THE SAND OF THE SEASHORE”, belongs to the end of Chapter 12.

AND I SAW: Here again we have John’s peculiar section marker. It is with this phrase that the new vision (and subsequent Chapter) begins.

A BEAST COMING UP OUT OF THE SEA: – A beast represents the less-than-ideal characteristics of mankind. (See Eccl 3:18.) Sometimes the symbol seems to apply to one man as with Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 4:16.) Most often, however, the symbol applies to a group of men (a government or institution) one with unholy characteristics.

This beast (the Roman Catholic Church-dominated arrangement), comes out of the sea (the restless mass of humanity), because this apostate Christianity was born in the crumbling ruins of the pagan Roman Empire — a time of great restlessness and turmoil.

HAVING TEN HORNS: Horns are powers — supporting powers. The history of Roman Europe shows a rather continuous involvement of about ten states in support of the Roman arrangement. (See “Notes on the Revelation of Jesus Christ” by Bro. Anton Frey, page 190.) [Editor: Europe contains (10) language groups also.]

SEVEN HEADS: Heads are the idea part of any creature. The church-dominated empire has gone through seven major changes in the way it has related church to state beginning back in the days of Justinian when the church became more than just the state religion.

ON HIS HORNS WERE TEN DIADEMS: – This is different from Chapter 12 which has the diadems (crowns) on the HEADS rather than on the HORNS. Here is the difference:

CHAPTER 12: Emperors (who were at the helm of any of the forms — heads — of government) ruled the Roman Empire. Rome WAS the authority, NOT its provincial horns. Thus the crowns were on the heads.

CHAPTER 13: After the ascendancy of the “little horn,” the Empire began losing its over-all rule. When Justinian made the Bishop of Rome PONTIFEX Maximus, it was, in fact a political move despite the meaning of the title. Justinian needed to enforce CIVIL RULE in the provinces far from Constantinople. The fact that the “little horn” could subdue three other horns shows the civil power of the Papacy in the region. Thus Rome lost its over-all dominion and the various provinces (horns) GAINED political autonomy. This is here shown by the crowns’ being on the horns FROM THIS POINT FORWARD.

Note and remember that the Papacy was ONE OF THE CROWNED HORNS — but the one he chose to wear was an ecclesiastical crown with power to giveDivine Rightto the lesser horns. This left this “little horn” with astonishing influence which would never have been attainable were he only to wear an ordinary civil crown. Because this delegation of power to the horns begins historically with Justinian, we are justified in seeing Justinian as the FIRST of the seven heads of this beast.

ON HIS HEAD WERE BLASPHEMOUS NAMES: The whole concept of church-state union (fornication) is an abomination in God’s sight. Therefore, the heads, the ruling church-state collaboration, are a blaspheme. Blaspheme means “an evil-speaking.” What has spoken more evilly of God’s character than what the apostasy-state combination has done in His name? The word NAME means character. Blasphemous names, therefore, mean evil-speaking characteristics. Thus, the false church need not have SAID anything bad about God. It is what it DID that says it all.

VERSE 2Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.”

THE BEAST WHICH I SAW: It is important to note that this beast borrows from the first three civil beasts of Daniel 7. Satan is quick to incorporate the “best” of his previous efforts. Babylon, Persia, and Greece were each distinguished by certain characteristics which allowed them to gain great power. The Papal beast, by using the success of all of these, was able not only to GAIN, but to RETAIN power for a long time.

LIKE A LEOPARD: (See Jer 13:23). This beast is camouflaged (wolf in sheep’s clothing?) and thus able to work without being seen (behind the scenes). It is spotted — able to use one policy here, a conflicting one there, — whatever suits its nefarious ends. Like Greece (which was represented by the leopard in Daniel 7,) Papacy claimed to be the seat of learning and civilized attainment.

HIS FEET LIKE A BEAR: How does this beast walk? Where does a bear walk? Wherever it wants to! The Papal beast, through its enormous size, its threatening power, was able to convince all would-be challengers to submit. Just to look at it would give all powers pause. The description of Persia (Dan. 7:5) suggests the bear in a threatening position. The response is – okay! Take what you want! “Arise, devour much meat!”

MOUTH LIKE A LION: Babylon’s king had a mouth which was both pompous and threatening. (See Dan. 4:30 and 3:19.) Papacy, of course, has the same reputation (Dan. 7:8, 20, 25.) Compare Isaiah 31:4.

It is not clear why John mentions the characteristics in REVERSE of the order found in Daniel. Daniel deals with Lion, Bear, and Leopard: Revelation 13 deals with Leopard, Bear, and Lion. This may simply be because Daniel was looking FORWARD as to what WOULD COME while John is looking BACKWARD seeing WHAT WAS.

AND THE DRAGON GAVE HIM HIS POWER, THRONE, AND GREAT AUTHORITY: It is not easy to say whether or not these elements were received at any specific time. Whatever church-state exultation occurred occurred at the expense of the dying pagan Roman Empire. Chapter 12 dealt with this change. The first real POWER was given with Constantine’s making of Christianity the Empire’s mandated religion. The THRONE may refer to AUTHORITY OF JUDGMENT or to the literal PLACE of rule by the GREAT MOUTH — the horn which dominates the beast. THRONE, as a symbol of the authority of judgment, possibly dates from Justinian’s granting of the title of PONTIFEX MAXIMUS (Chief Religious Ruler) to the Papacy. Papacy was, of course, in ROME. We may, therefore, find the THRONE referring to this SEAT OF POWER. It is so mentioned in Rev 2:13 — during Pergamos (the period of Earthly Elevation.) The removal of the capital from Rome to Constantinople by Constantine gave Papacy a PHYSICAL location from which to build its sphere of influence. Justinian made this throne official. GREAT AUTHORITY (which the emphasis on GREAT) seems to go beyond the chief religious title and the exultation of one of the “horns.” The fact that Charlemagne allowed his crowning by the Pope, the fact that Otto the Great founded an empire called the Holy Roman Empire (the FIRST WORD of which title exalts the Papacy), show the GREAT AUTHORITY which the dragon (civil power) GAVE to the Pope.

Continued with next post.

Excerpts taken from the New Albany Notes on Revelation

“War in the Middle East”, Part 4

“War in the Middle East”, Part 4

Sister Debbie stated, I thought all Arabs were descendants of Ishmael son of Abraham and Hagar…

In Reply, The Arabs are descendants of Ishmael (Abraham’s son through Hagar, who was not Abraham’s wife but his wife’s handmaid—Gen 16:1–16) who founded the Ishmaelites; and Esau (Abraham’s grandson and Isaac’s eldest son, who sold his birthright to his twin brother, Jacob—Gen 25:19–34) who founded the Edomites.

Most of the Arab nations have sprung from one of four biblical ancestors—Ishmael, Esau, Moab, and Ammon.

Sister Debbie asked, forgive me for asking, why is the Gog/Magog war split into two wars (one at the end of the Gospel Age, during Jacob’s Trouble and one at the end of the Millennial Age, during the Little Season)?

In Reply, Two mysterious names dominate the 38th chapter of Ezekiel, Gog and the land of Magog.

Gog appears to be the head of the confederacy against Israel in this traumatic battle. Magog is given as the sphere of his influence, seemingly encompassing all of the various tribes mentioned in the coalition of enemies.

Verse 2

* Rosh (Heb. “chief prince”, i.e. Russia)

* Meschech (Northern Turkey)

* Tubal (Georgia)

Verse 5

* Persia (Iran)

* Ethiopia (Cush) Central Africa

* Libya Northwest Africa

Verse 6

* Gomer Northern Turkey, (Armenia)

* Togarmah (Turkestan)

These nations apparently will be brought into this battle after having been previously involved in conflict with Israel (See Prelude to “Gog and Magog”, “War in the Middle East”, Part 1). The Lord himself takes credit for causing them to once again invade Israel “I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and with all thy army.” (Verse 4)

From another prophecy of the same conflict, Zech 14:1-3, it appears that at first the battle will go against Israel, so much so that “the city shall be taken”, Jerusalem will fall. It is at this desperate turning point for Israel, with its back against the wall, that both Zechariah and Ezekiel prophesy a dramatic turn of events. “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle.” (Zech 14:3)

It is obvious from the context that the battle of Ezek 38 occurs before the introduction of Christ’s kingdom, for the result of that battle is “that all men may know that I am the Lord” (Verse 23) Gog and Magog appear one more time in the Bible, in a far different context. This is found in Revelation Chapter 20.

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever”(Rev 20:7-10).

Here, a thousand years after the battle of Ezekiel, when evil has been restrained and righteousness has ruled on the earth, we find the same foes appearing once more, during the “little season” which closes out the Millennial Age.

One more reference is worthy of note, Num 24:7-a Messianic promise of Israel’s millennial king: “He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.”

The Septuagint and other ancient manuscripts here read, “Gog:’ instead of “Agag.” The reference seems clear in showing the height of Messiah’s throne to be above that of his chief adversary-Satan, the devil. Therefore it seems that in the name Gog we have a reference to the real leader of the hosts of the north (Verse 15) against Israel, Satan himself. The land of Magog refers to his entire dominion.

Thus we understand the “little season” to be a dividing point between good and evil. Gog and Magog symbolize the evil forces led by Satan. The “camp of the saints” are those who are “harvested” into the “ages to come,” during this final judgment (krima).

So in answer to your question, why is the Gog/Magog war split into two wars (one at Jacob’s Trouble and one at the Little Season)?

It is because the true leader behind both conflicts still lives, Satan (Gog) and even after his imprisonment for a thousand years he remains the same incorrigible sinner and implacable foe of God, the same liar and murderer, that he was from the beginning (John 8:44; Matt. 16:23) and he will stop at nothing until he somehow foils God’s plans or at least he imagines that he will do so.

Gog and Magog are names with the apparent etymological meaning of Mountain and Great Mountain. Just as these two symbolic names represent a challenge to God’s new government through Israel at the end of the Gospel Age (Ezek 38), they also represent a challenge to God’s new order at the end of the Millennium. A mountain is a kingdom, and there is room only for one, and that one is the Lord’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revelation Chapter 12, Part 1

Revelation Chapter 12, Part 1

Among the 13 chapters which form the first section of Revelation, Chapter 12, is one of the most complete units. Being able to interpret it correctly is the key to interpreting the remainder of Revelation. It might even be wise for a student to begin with Chapter 12 and then work both directions to understand the remainder of Revelation. The following is a relatively complete exposition of Chapter 12.

However first before we begin it is important to possess the “Key” to understanding this Chapter:

To have the proper perspective and interpretation of the drama unfolded in the Twelfth Chapter of Revelation, one must realize from the outset that, this chapter is the record of events as viewed in or through the eyes of orthodoxy (the church nominal, more specifically Papacy) that is to say as it was perceived by them, not as the true Church perceives it.

Understand we are not here saying that it is presented as (we) Bible Students view it, but rather as God has presented it, as seen through the eyes of the Professing Church (from the church nominal perspective).

“The events were viewed (by the false church) as something wonderful, indeed as God’s overruling providential care in granting His professed Church an astounding victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. That Constantine, the ruler of the mighty Roman Empire, would espouse Christianity and make it the religion of the realm was truly a surprising development. However instead of viewing the emperor’s nominal acceptance and adoption of Christianity as the religion of the empire in its proper light—that is, as being a most baneful and dangerous influence (an amalgamation of church and state), being a trap and an ensnarement of the true brotherhood—Christianity’s adherents, for the most part, considered this development a harbinger of better things to come and did not recognize it as an artifice and stratagem of the Adversary, (The Master Deceiver) who now would assume the role of an angel of light (Matt 4:8,9; John 5:43; 2 Cor 11:14).” The Keys of Revelation“, Page 293

VERSE 1Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.

In the religious world (the ecclesiastical heavens) appears a sign (see margin) — a sign of a change from the Jewish Age to the Gospel Age. We see a woman (A woman can be the Church if she’s a virgin, the false church if she’s a harlot, or a covenant (Gal 4:24). This woman is the “Sarah Covenant” (“The New Jerusalem” Covenant of Gal 4:26, the “Covenant of sacrifice” of Psa 50:5). Some call her the Grace Covenant. She is the Covenant under which the Church is developed. She is clothed with the sun (the Gospel) but has the moon (the Jewish Law and prophets) as a foundation. Her head (the part which thinks, which leads and directs) is crowned by the 12 light-bearers (the Apostles).

“Which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—.” Gal 4:24

“But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” Gal 4:26

“Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” Psa 50:5

“Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spoke Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.” John 12:36

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” Matt 5:14

VERSE 2Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.”

She wants to be delivered of her true seed (the Wheat class). Unfortunately, as we shall see, and as we know from Jesus’ parable, there will also be a false seed (Tares). That her seed is plural may be seen by the reading of Verse 17 where it refers to the “remnant of her seed.”

“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, 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

 VERSE 3And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.”

Another sign of the changing age occurs; a great red dragon. A dragon is a civil power; the red dragon actually became the official symbol of pagan Rome, after their symbol was the eagle. This dragon is almost certainly the civil power known as pagan Rome on its way out of power. Paul refers to it in 2 Thess. 2:7 as “he who now restrains.” The New American Standard reads. “…he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way” In short: Pagan Rome fought the development of Christianity (false as well as true), but pagan Rome was to disintegrate, making way, as Paul points out, for the “mystery of iniquity” …the Tare Class which would dominate Christianity and make Babylon such an anti-Christian institution. This dragon has seven heads (forms of government) and 10 horns (supporting powers). The Antichrist will eventually dominate these 10 powers. Thus we saw in Rev 11:13 that a tenth part (France) fell in the French Revolution. The crowns upon the heads show Rome’s sovereignty during its seven stages.

VERSE 4His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.”

The tail of this dragon is likely Constantine as he was the LAST emperor in Rome; he moved the Imperial capital to Constantinople setting up great changes in history. Constantine, now embracing Christianity, and being chief religious ruler of the empire, called the Council of Nice which drew to it one third of all the bishops (stars, teachers) of heaven (the Christian religious ruler-ship). It is almost at this point that Babylon is born. The bishops are “cast…to the earth” – that is to say, they now become primarily embroiled in earthly power-grabs and political maneuvering. Their spirituality is lost. The dragon, wishing to use newly-born Babylon (the Wheat-Tare mixture) to strengthen Rome, is ready to devour (consume) this “new” religion for political reasons (political opportunism).

VERSE 5She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.”

The child of the covenant (which was supposed to be true Christianity) turns out to be a “man-child”, “the man of sin” which, during the Christian age, would rule all nations with total dictatorial authority (a rod of iron). This is the clear history of the Roman Catholic Church during what most scholars call the Dark Ages. This “child” (the Papacy) was exalted to being “God on Earth” (Compare 2 Thess 2:3, 4)

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

 VERSE 6Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.”

 Consequently the true covenant (and the true seed mentioned in Verse 17) had to flee into a condition of mind-separateness, away from this symbolic “city” (government, Great Babylon) which persecuted her. (Rev 17:18). Here for 1,260 years (from 539 A.D. when the Pope had obtained dominance in the city of Rome until 1799 A.D. when the French Revolution ended with the embarrassing capture of the Pope by Napoleon) the true saints fed on whatever truth God let to be known in the midst of the darkness.

Excerpts taken from the New Albany Notes on Revelation.

Continued with next post.