13. The Agelong Struggle for Religious Freedom

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Verse 1 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.

The sea is a symbol of "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Revelation 17: 15. A beast is the Bible symbol of a nation or power. It sometimes represents the civil power alone, and sometimes the ecclesiastical in connection with civil. Whenever a beast is seen to come up out of the sea, it denotes that the power arises in a thickly populated territory. If the winds are represented as blowing upon the sea, as in Daniel 7: 2, 3, political commotion, civil strife, and revolution are indicated.

By the dragon of the previous chapter, and the beast first introduced in this, we have the Roman power as a whole brought to view in its two phases, pagan and papal; hence these two symbols have each the seven heads and ten horns. (See comments on Revelation 17: 10.)

The Leopard Beast. The seven-headed and ten-horned beast, more briefly the leopard beast, here introduced, symbolizes a power which exercises ecclesiastical as well as civil authority. This point is of sufficient importance to justify the introduction of a few conclusive arguments which prove it.

The line of prophecy in which this symbol occurs begins with Revelation 12. The symbols of earthly governments embraced in the prophecy are the dragon of Revelation 12 and the leopard beast and the two-horned beast of Revelation 13. The same line of prophecy evidently continues into chapter 14. Beginning, therefore, with Revelation 12: 1, and ending with Revelation 14: 5, we have a line of prophecy distinct and complete in itself.

Each of the powers here introduced is represented as fiercely persecuting the church of God. The scene opens with the church under the symbol of a woman anxiously longing for the promise to be fulfilled that the seed of the woman, the Lord of glory, should appear among men. The dragon stood before the woman for the purpose of devouring her child. His evil design is thwarted, and the child is caught up to God and His throne. A period follows in which the church suffers severe oppression from this dragon power. In this part of the scene the prophet occasionally glances forward, once even down almost to the end, because all the enemies of the church were to be actuated by the spirit of the dragon. In verse 1 of Revelation 13 we are carried back to the time when the leopard beast, the successor of the dragon, begins his career. From this power the church suffers war and persecution for the long period of 1260 years. Following this period of oppression, the church has another conflict, brief but sharp and severe, with the two-horned beast. Then comes deliverance. The prophecy closes with the church brought safely through all her persecutions, and standing victorious with the Lamb on Mount Zion. Thank God for the sure promise of final victory!

The one character which ever appears the same in all these scenes, and whose history is the leading theme through all the prophecy, is the true Church of God. The other characters are her persecutors, and are introduced simply because they are such. Here, as an introductory inquiry, we raise the question, Who or what is it that persecutes the true church? It is a false or apostate church. What is it that is ever warring against true religion? It is a false and counterfeit religion. Who ever heard of the mere civil power of any nation persecuting the people of God on its own initiative? Governments may war against other governments to avenge some wrong, real or imaginary or to acquire territory and extend their power. But governments do not persecute (mark the word do not persecute) people on account of their religion, unless under the control of some opposite and hostile system of religion.

Leopard Beast a Persecuting Power. The powers introduced in this prophecy the dragon, the leopard beast, and the two-horned beast of verses 11-17 are all persecuting powers. They are actuated by rage and enmity against the people and church of God. This fact is of itself sufficiently conclusive evidence that in each of these powers the ecclesiastical or religious element is the controlling power.

Take the dragon: what does it symbolize? The undeniable answer is, Primarily Satan, as shown heretofore, and secondarily the Roman Empire. But this is not enough. No one would be satisfied with this answer and no more. It must be more definite. We therefore add, The Roman Empire in its pagan form, to which all must agree. But just as soon as we say pagan, we introduce a religious element, for paganism is one of the most gigantic systems of counterfeit religion that Satan has ever devised. The dragon, then, is so far an ecclesiastical power that the very characteristic by which it is distinguished is a false system of religion. What made the dragon persecute the church of Christ? It was because Christianity was prevailing against paganism, sweeping away its superstitions, overturning its idols, and dismantling its temples. The religious element of that power was touched, and persecution was the result.

We now come to the leopard beast of Revelation 13. What does that symbolize? The answer still is, The Roman Empire. But the dragon symbolized the Roman Empire, and why does not the same symbol represent it still? Ah! there has been a change in the religious character of the empire. This beast symbolized Rome in its professedly Christian form. It is this change of religion, and this alone, which makes a change in the symbol necessary. This beast differs from the dragon only that it presents a different religious aspect. Hence it would be wrong to affirm that it denotes simply the Roman civil power.

A Symbol of the Papacy. To this beast the dragon gives his power, his seat, and great authority. By what power was pagan Rome succeeded? We all know that is was by papal Rome. It matters not to our present purpose when or by what means this change was effected. The great fact is apparent, and is acknowledged by all, that the next great phase of the Roman Empire after its pagan form was its papal. It would not be correct, therefore, to say that pagan Rome gave its power and seat to a form of government merely civil, having no religious element whatever. No stretch of the imagination can conceive of such a transaction. But two phases of empire are here recognized, and in the prophecy Rome is pagan until Rome is papal. The statement that the dragon gave to the leopard beast his power and seat, is further evidence that the dragon of Revelation 12: 3 is used as symbol of pagan Rome. But back of both powers, and leading them on in their wicked work, is Satan himself.

But it may be said that it takes both the leopard beast and the two-horned beast to constitute the papacy, and hence it is to these that the dragon gives his power, seat, and great authority. But the prophecy does not say so. It is the leopard beast alone with which the dragon has to do. It is to that beast alone that he gives his power, seat, and great authority. It is that beast which has a head that is wounded to death, which is afterward healed; that beast after which the whole world wonders; that beast which has a mouth speaking blasphemies, and which wears out the saints for 1260 years. It does all this before the succeeding power, the two-horned beast, appears. The leopard beast alone, therefore, symbolizes the Roman Empire in its papal form, the controlling influence being ecclesiastical.

Identical With the Little Horn. To show this more fully, we have but to draw a parallel between the little horn of Daniel 7: 8, 20, 24, 25, and this power. From this comparison it will appear that the little horn and the leopard beast symbolize the same power. The little horn is generally acknowledged to be a symbol of the papacy. There are six points by which to establish their identity:

1.    The little horn was a blasphemous power. "He shall speak great words against the Most High." Daniel 7: 25. The leopard beast of Revelation 13: 6 does the same. "He opened his mouth in blasphemy against God."

2.    The little horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them. (Daniel 7: 21.) This beast also (Revelation 13: 7) makes war with the saints, and overcomes them.

3.    The little horn had a mouth speaking great things. (Daniel 7: 8, 20.) Of this beast we read: "There was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies." Revelation 13: 5.

4.    The little horn arose on the cessation of the pagan form of the Roman Empire. The beast of Revelation 13: 2 arises at the same time; for the dragon, pagan Rome, gives him his power, his seat, and great authority.

5.    Power was given to the little hom to continue for a time, times, and the dividing of time, or 1260 years. (Daniel 7: 25) To this beast also power was given for forty-two months or 1260 years. (Revelation 13: 5.)

6.    At the end of that specified period of 1260 years the "saints," "times," and "laws" were to be taken out of the "hand" of the little horn. (Daniel 7: 25.) At the end of the same period, the leopard beast was himself to be led "into captivity." Revelation 13: 10. Both these specifications were fulfilled in the captivity and exile of the pope, and the temporary overthrow of the papacy by France in 1798.

These six points prove satisfactorily the identity of the little horn and the leopard beast. When we have in prophecy two symbols, as in this instance, representing powers that come upon the stage of action at the same time, occupy the same territory, maintain the same character, do the same work, exist the Same length of time, and meet the same fate, those symbols represent the same identical power.

Received a Deadly Wound. The head that was wounded to death was the papal head. We are held to this conclusion by the obvious principle that whatever is spoken in prophecy of the symbol of any government, applies to that government only while it is represented by that symbol. Now Rome is represented by two symbols, the dragon and the leopard beast, because it has presented two phases, the pagan and the papal; and whatever is said of the leopard beast applies to Rome only in its professedly Christian form. John says that it was one of the heads of this leopard beast that was wounded to death. In other words, this wound fell upon the form of government that existed in the Roman Empire after its change from paganism to Christianity. Thus it is evident that is was the papal head that was wounded to death, and whose deadly wound was healed. This wounding is the same as the going into captivity. (Revelation 13: 10.) It was inflicted when the pope was taken prisoner by Berthier, the French general, and the papal government was for a time abolished, in 1798. Stripped of his power, both civil and ecclesiastical, the captive pope, Pius VI, died in exile at Valence in France, August 29, 1799. But the deadly wound began to be healed when the papacy was re-established, though with less of its former power, by the election of a new pope, March 14, 1800. [1]

Verse 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 kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Speak Blasphemies. This beast opens his mouth "in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven." Mention has already been made in comments on the book of Daniel as to the significance of the expression, "He shall speak great words against the Most High." Daniel 7: 25. In verse 5 in this chapter of Revelation similar words are used, for he had "a mouth speaking great things." Here, however, the word "blasphemy" is added, and this evidently points to the fact that the great words will be blasphemous enunciations against the God of heaven.

In the Gospels we find two indications of what constitutes blasphemy. In John 10: 33 we read that the Jews falsely charged Jesus with blasphemy because, said they, "Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God." This is in the case of the Savior was untrue, because He was the Son of God. He was "Immanuel, God With Us." But for man to assume the prerogatives of God and to take the titles of deity this is blasphemy.

Again, in Luke 5: 21 we see the Pharisees endeavoring to catch Jesus in His words. "Who is this which speaks blasphemies?" said they. "Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" Jesus could pardon transgressions, for He was the divine Savior. But for man, mortal man, to claim such authority is blasphemy indeed.

We might ask if the power represented by this symbol has fulfilled this part of the prophecy. In comments on Daniel 7: 25 we saw clearly from the evidence submitted that he had spoken "great words" against the God of heaven. Now observe what is said regarding the claim of the priesthood to forgive sins: "The priest holds the place of the Savior Himself, when, by saying, 'Ego te absolvo' [I thee absolve], he absolves from sin. . . . To pardon a single sin requires all the omnipotence of God. . . . But what only God can do by His omnipotence, the priest can also do by saying 'Ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis.'. . . Innocent III has written: 'Indeed, it is not too much to say that in view of the sublimity of their offices the priests are so many gods.' " [2]

Note still further the blasphemous utterances of this power:

"But our wonder should be far greater when we find that in obedience to the words of His priests HOC EST CORPUS MEUM [This is My body] God Himself descends on the altar, that He comes wherever they call Him, and as often as they call Him, and places Himself in their hands, even though they should be His enemies. And after having come, He remains, entirely at their disposal; they move Him as they please, from one place to another; they may, if they wish, shut Him up in the tabernacle, or expose Him on the altar, or carry Him outside the church; they may, if they choose, eat His flesh, and give Him for the food of others. 'Oh, how very great is their power,' says St. Laurence Justinian, speaking of priests. 'A word falls from their lips and the body of Christ is there substantially formed from the matter of bread, and the Incarnate Word descended from heaven, is found really present on the table of the altar!' " [3]

"Thus the priest may, in a certain manner, be called the creator of his Creator. . . . 'The power of the priest,' says St. Bernardine of Sienna, 'is the power of the divine person; for the transubstantiation of the bread requires as much power as the creation of the world.' " [4]

Thus this beast power blasphemes the temple in heaven by turning attention of his subjects to his own throne and palace instead of to the tabernacle of God; by diverting their attention from the sacrifice of the Son of God to the sacrifice of the mass. He blasphemes them that dwell in heaven by assuming to exercise the power of forgiving sins, and so turns away the minds of men from the mediatorial work of Christ and His heavenly assistants in the sanctuary above.

By verse 10 we are again referred to the events of 1798, when that power that had for 1260 years led the saints of God into captivity, was itself let into captivity.

Verse 11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon.

Two-Horned Beast. This verse brings to view the third great symbol in the line of prophecy we are examining, usually denominated the two-horned beast. We inquire for its application. The dragon, pagan Rome, and the leopard beast, papal Rome, present before us great organizations standing as the representatives of two great systems of false religion. Analogy would seem to require that the remaining symbol, the two-horned beast, have a similar application, and find its fulfillment in some nation which is representative of still another great system of religion. The only remaining system which is exercising a controlling influence in the world today is Protestantism. Abstractly considered, paganism embraces all the heathen lands, containing more then half the population of the globe. Catholicism, which may perhaps be considered as including the religion of the Greek Orthodox Church, so nearly identical with it, belongs to nations which compose a large part of Christendom. A clear portrayal of Mohammedanism and its influence has been given in other prophecies. (See comments on Daniel 11 and Revelation 9.) But Protestantism is the religion of nations which constitute the vanguard of the world of liberty, enlightenment, progress, and power.

A Symbol of America. If, then, Protestantism is the religion to which we are to look, to what nation as the representative of that religion does the prophecy have application? There are notable Protestant nations in Europe, but for reasons which will hereafter appear, the symbol cannot apply to any of these. A careful investigation has led to the conclusion that it does apply to Protestant America, or the United States of America. The reason for such an application and the evidence by which it is supported we will carefully consider.

Are they any reasons why we should expect that the United States would be mentioned in prophecy? On what conditions have other nations found a place in the prophetic record? First, that they have acted a prominent part in the world's history; and second, and above all, that they have had jurisdiction over, or maintained important relations with, the people of God. In the records of the Bible and of secular history, we find data from which to deduce this rule respecting the prophetic mention of earthly governments: A nation enters prophecy when the work and destiny of God's people are definitely linked with it. All these conditions are certainly fulfilled in the United States. The conviction has fastened itself upon many minds that the rise and progress of this nation has been of such a nature that Providence saw fit to forecast it in prophecy.

Governor Pownal, an English statesman, predicted in 1780, while the American Revolution was in progress, that this country would become independent; that a civilizing activity, beyond what Europe could ever know, would animate it; and that its commercial and naval power would be found in every quarter of the globe. He then speaks of the probable establishment of this country as a free and sovereign power as " 'a revolution that has stranger marks of divine interposition, superseding the ordinary course of human affairs, than any other event which this world has experienced.' " [5]

George Alfred Townsend, speaking of the misfortunes that have attended the other governments in the Western Hemisphere says:

"The history of the United States was separated by a beneficent Providence far from this wild and cruel history of the rest of the continent." [6]

Such considerations as these are calculated to arouse in every mind a strong expectation that this nation will be found to have some part to act in the carrying out of God's providential purposes in this world, and that somewhere it will be spoken of in the prophetic word.

Chronology of This Power. At what period in this world's history is the rise of this power placed in the prophecy? On this point, the foundation for the conclusions at which we must arrive is already laid in the facts set forth regarding the leopard beast. It was at the time when this beast went into captivity, or was killed with the sword (verse 10), or had one of its heads wounded to death (verse 3), that John saw the two-horned beast coming up. If the leopard beast, as we have conclusively proved, signifies the papacy, and the going into captivity met its fulfillment in the temporary overthrow of the papacy by the French in 1798, then we have the time definitely specified when we are to look for the rise of this power. The expression "coming up" must signify that the power to which it applies was but newly organized, and was then just rising into prominence and influence.

Can anyone doubt what nation was actually "coming up" in 1798? Certainly it must be admitted that the United States of America is the only power that meets the specifications of the prophecy on this point of chronology.

The struggle of the American colonies for independence began in 1775. In 1776, they declared themselves a free and independent nation. In 1777, delegates from the thirteen original States New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia in Congress assembled, adopted Articles of Confederation. In 1783, the War of the Revolution closed with a treaty of peace with Great Britain, whereby the independence of the United States was acknowledged, and territory ceded to the extent of 815,615 square miles. In 1787, the Constitution was framed, and by July 26, 1788, it was ratified by eleven of the thirteen original States; and on the 1st of March, 1789 it went into effect. The United States thus began with less than one million square miles of territory, and less than four million citizens. Thus we come to the year 1798, when this nation is introduced into prophecy. John Wesley, in his notes on Revelation 13, written in 1754, says of the two- horned beast:

"He has not yet come, though he cannot be far off. For he is to appear at the end of the forty-two months of the first beast." [7]

Age of This Power. There is good evidence in the prophecy to show that the government symbolized by the two-horned beast is introduced in the early part of its career; that is, while a youthful power. John's words are, "I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb." Why does not John simply say, "He had two horns"? Why does he add "like a lamb"? It must be for the purpose of denoting the character of this beast, showing that it is not only of an innocent and harmless demeanor, but also that it is a youthful power; for the horns of a lamb are horns that have barely begun to grow.

Bear in mind that by the preceding argument on chronology, our gaze is fixed on the year 1798, when the power symbolized was then youthful. What notable power was at that time coming into prominence, but still in its youth? England was not, nor was France, nor Russia, nor any European power. For a young and rising power at that epoch, we are obliged to turn our eyes to the New World. But as soon as we turn them in that direction, they rest inevitably upon the United States as the power in question. No other power west of the Atlantic Ocean fits the description.

Location of the Two-Horned Beast. A single declaration of the prophecy is sufficient to guide us to important and correct conclusions on this point. John calls it "another beast." It therefore is no part of the first beast; and the power symbolized by it is likewise no part of that which is intended by that beast. This is fatal to the claim of those who avoid the application of this symbol to the United States by saying that it denotes some phase of the papacy; for in such a case it would be a part of the preceding, or leopard, beast.

Since this is "another" beast, "coming up out of the earth," it must be found in some territory not covered by any other symbols. Babylon and Medo-Persia covered all the civilized part of Asia. Greece covered Eastern Europe, including Russia. Rome, with the ten kingdoms into which it was divided, as represented by the ten toes of the image of Daniel 2, the ten horns of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, the ten horns of the dragon of Revelation 12, and the ten horns of the leopard beast of Revelation 13, covered all Western Europe. In other words, all the Eastern Hemisphere known to history and civilization is covered by prophetic symbols respecting the application of which there is scarcely any room for doubt.

But there is a mighty nation in the Western Hemisphere, worthy, as we have seen, of being mentioned in prophecy, which is not yet brought in. There is one symbol remaining whose application has not yet been made. All the symbols but one are applied, and all the available areas of the Eastern Hemisphere are covered by the applications. Of all the symbols mentioned, one alone, the two-horned beast of Revelation 13, is left. Of all the countries of the earth respecting which any reason exists why they should be mentioned in prophecy, one alone, the United States of America, remains. Does the twohorned beast represent the United States? If it does, then all the symbols find an application, and all the ground is covered. If it does not, it follows that the United States is not represented in prophecy, and the symbol of the two-horned beast is left without a nation to which it can apply. But the first of these suppositions is not probable, and the second is not possible.

Another consideration pointing to the location of this power is drawn from the fact that John saw it arise from the earth. If the sea, from which the leopard beast arose (Revelation 13: 1) denotes peoples, nations, and multitudes (Revelation 17: 15), the earth would suggest, by contrast, a new and previously unoccupied territory. By exclusion from Eastern continents, and by looking to territory not previously known to civilization, we turn of necessity to the Western Hemisphere.

Manner of Its Rise. The manner in which the two-horned beast was seen coming up shows, equally with its location, age, and chronology, that it is a symbol of the United States. John saw the beast coming up "out of the earth." This expression must have been designedly used to point out the contrast between the rise of this beast and that of other national prophetic symbols. The four beasts of Daniel 7 and the leopard beast of Revelation 13 all arose out of the sea. New nations generally rise by overthrowing other nations, and taking their place. But no other nation was overturned in order to make room for the United States, and the attainment of its independence was already fifteen years in the past when it came into the field of prophecy. The prophet saw only peace.

The word which is used in verse 11 do describe the manner in which this beast comes up, is very expressive. It is {GREEK CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, anabainon, one of the prominent definitions of which is, "to grow or spring up as a plant." It is a remarkable fact that this same figure has been chosen by political writers, without any reference to the prophecy, as the one conveying the best idea of the manner in which the United States has arisen. George Alfred Townsend says:

"In this web of islands, the West Indies, began the life of both [North and South] Americas. There Columbus saw land; there Spain began her baneful and brilliant Western empire; thence Cortez departed for Mexico, De Soto for the Mississippi, Balboa for the Pacific, and Pizarro for Peru. The history of the United States was separated by a beneficent Providence far from this wild and cruel history of the rest of the continent, and like a silent seed we grew into empire; while empire itself, beginning in the South, was swept by so interminable hurricane that what of its history we can ascertain is read by the very lightnings that devastated it. The growth of English America may be likened to a series of lyrics sung by separate singers, which, coalescing, at last make a vigorous chorus, and this, attracting many from afar, swells and is prolonged, until presently it assumes the dignity and proportions of epic song." [8]

A writer in the Dublin Nation spoke of the United States as a wonderful empire which was "emerging," and "amid the silence of the earth daily adding to its power and pride."

Edward Everett, in an oration on the English exiles who founded this government, said:

"Did they look for a retired spot, inoffensive for its obscurity, and safe in its remoteness, where the little church of Leyden might enjoy the freedom of conscience? Behold the mighty regions over which, in peaceful conquest victoria sine clade [victory without strife] they have borne the banners of the cross." [9] Will the reader now look at these expressions side by side "coming up out of the earth," "emerging amid the silence of the earth," "like a silent seed we grew into empire," "mighty regions" secured by "peaceful conquest." The first is from the prophet, stating that would be when the two-horned beast should arise; the others are from political writers, telling what had been in the history of the United States of America. Can anyone fail to see that the last three are exactly synonymous with the first, and that they record a complete accomplishment of the prediction?

Another inquiry naturally follows: Has the United States "come up" in a manner to meet the specifications of the prophecy? Let us see. A short time before the great Reformation in the days of Martin Luther, more than four hundred years ago, this Western Hemisphere was discovered. The Reformation awoke the nations that were fettered in the galling bonds of superstition and oppression, to the great truth that it is the heaven-born right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. But rulers are loath to lose their power, and religious intolerance continued to oppress the people. Under these circumstances, a body of religious heroes at length determined to seek in the wilds of America that measure of civil and religious freedom which they so much desired. In pursuance of their noble purpose, one hundred of these voluntary exiles landed from the "Mayflower" on the coast of New England, December 21, 1620. "There," says Martyn, "New England was born," and this was "its first baby cry, a prayer and a thanksgiving to the Lord." [10]

Another permanent English settlement had been made at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. In process of time, other settlements were made and colonies organized, which were all subject to the English crown till the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

The population of these colonies amounted in 1701 to 262,000; in 1749, to, 1,046,000; in 1775, to 2,803,000. [11] Then came the struggle for independence, the establishment of a united constitutional government, and the proclamation to the world that here all could find an asylum from oppression and intolerance. From the Old World came immigrants by the thousand, adding by peaceful means to the population and prosperity of the new nation. Large territories were purchased or acquired by treaty to make room for all who came to settle. Now, passing over more than 150 years, to the second quarter of the twentieth century, the territory of the United States has expanded to more than three and a half million square miles, and its population has increased to over 135,000,000 people.

The growth of the United States in material prosperity and enlightened development is an astonishment to the world, and furnished an ample basis for the application of the prophecy.

Character of Its Government Symbolized. Under this division of the subject we find still further evidence that the symbol represents the United States. In describing this power, John says that it had "two horns like a lamb." The horns of a lamb indicate youthfulness, innocence, and gentleness. As a power which has but recently arisen, the United States answers to the symbol admirably in respect to age, while no other power can be found to do this. Considered as an index of power and character, it can be decided what constitutes the two horns of the government, if it can be ascertained what is the secret of its power, and what reveals its character, or constitutes its outward profession. The Hon. J. A. Bingham gives us the clue to the whole matter when he states that the object of those who first sought these shores was to found "what the world had not seen for ages; viz., a church without a pope, and a state without a king." Expressed in other words, this would be a government in which the ecclesiastical should be separate from the civil power, and civil and religious liberty would be characteristic.

It needs no argument to show that this is precisely the profession of the American government. Article IV, sec. 4, of the Constitution of the United States reads in part: "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government." Article VI: "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." The First Amendment to the Constitution begins as follows: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." These articles profess the amplest guaranty of civil and religious liberty, the entire and perpetual separation of church and state. What better symbols of them could be given than "two horns like a lamb"? In what other country can be found a condition of things which would represent so completely this feature of the symbol?

Republican in Form. The two-horned beast, with a noticeable absence of crowns upon its horns, symbolizes a nation with a republican form of government. A crown is an appropriate symbol of a kingly or dictatorial form of government, and the absence of crowns, as in this case, would suggest a government in which the power is not vested in any such ruling member, but is lodged in the hands of the people.

But this is not the most conclusive proof that the nation here symbolized is republican in its form of government. From verse 14 we learn that appeal is made to the people when any national action is to be performed: "Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast." This is emphatically the case in the United States. The Constitution on which it was founded guarantees "a republican form of government," as shown above. This constitutes another link in the chain of evidence that this symbol applies to the United States of America. There is no other government to which anyone could reasonably think of applying this symbol.

A Protestant Nation. The two-horned beast symbolizes a nation which cannot be Catholic in religion. The papacy is a religion that is fundamentally a union of church and state. The Constitution of the United States of America (Article VI ) declares that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust," and thereby establishes a perpetual separation of church and state. Civil and religious liberty is a fundamental principle of Protestantism. The founders of this great land, living close to all of the events that resulted from a union of church and state, were jealous of the liberties that they claimed as the rights of all, and were quick to denounce anything that savored of a union of church and state. From the religious standpoint, therefore, the United States is a Protestant nation, and meets the requirement of the prophecy admirably in this respect. Thus again the prophecy points directly to this nation.

Before entering upon a discussion of another aspect of this prophetic symbol, let us review the points already established:

The power symbolized by the two-horned beast must be some nation distinct from the powers of the Old World.

It must arise in the Western Hemisphere.

It must be seen assuming a position of prominence and influence about the year 1798.

It must rise in a peaceful and quiet manner, not augmenting its power and expanding its territory, as other nations have done, by aggressive wars and successful conquests.

Its progress must be so evident as to strike the beholder with as much wonder as would be the perceptible growth of an animal before his eyes.

It must be republican in its form of government.

It must be Protestant in its religion.

It must exhibit before the world, as an index of its character and the elements of its government, two great principles which are in themselves perfectly just, innocent, and lamb like.

It must perform its work after 1798.

We have seen that of all these specifications, it can be said that they are conclusively met in the history of the United States thus far; and that they are not met in the history of any other nation. It is therefore impossible to apply the symbol of Revelation 13: 11 to any other nation than the United States of America.

To Speak as a Dragon. Now that we have identified the United States of America as the power symbolized by the two-horned beast, we can follow through without fear or prejudice the course that that nation takes as marked out clearly in the prophecy itself. In doing so, let us observe once more that the dragon as the first of the three beasts in the chain of prophecy under consideration, was a relentless persecutor of the church of God. The leopard beast that followed was likewise a persecuting power, destroying the lives of millions of Christians during a period of 1260 years. As we come to the third beast, with two horns like a lamb, it is declared that he "spoke as a dragon." This can only mean that at some time his nature changes from that of a lamb to that of a dragon, that he speaks as a dragon, and that he does the same kind of work as the dragon before him.

Permit us to say at this juncture that it is with much pain that we contemplate a nation arising so peaceably and devoted to such noble principles of government, taking on the nature of the beasts that preceded it, and in doing so descending to the role of persecutor of God's people. We have no other choice, however, but to be guided in our study by the divinely inspired outline so plainly given us in the prophecy. Since the United States is the power denoted by the symbol that speaks as a dragon, it follows that it will enact unjust and oppressive laws against the religious belief and practice of its citizens so that it may be justly called a persecuting power.

Verse 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.

To Exercise Persecuting Power. Not only does this nation speak as a dragon, but it is declared that he also "exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him." Looking back a little, we find that the first beast before him is the leopard, a symbol of the papacy. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that a so-called Protestant nation will exercise the persecuting power of the papacy, and thereby become pseudoProtestant, that is, the "false prophet" mentioned in Revelation 19: 20, and explained under the next topic.

The exercise of this power takes the form of causing the people in his jurisdiction "to worship the first beast," the papacy. The Greek word for "worship" used here is a very significant one. It is from the simple verb {GREEK CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, kuneo, "I kiss," compounded with a preposition to indicate that the kiss is directed toward someone in this case the papacy, or its titular head the pope. It is ordinarily translated "do obeisance to, bow down to," and is used by the Septuagint in Nebuchadnezzar's decree to all "people, nations, and languages" to "fall down and worship the golden image" he had set up in the plain of Dura. Daniel 3: 4, 5. Such "worship" must mean to submit to the authority and decree of the one to whom obeisance is made. This is the picture given in the prophecy of the "worship" given to the papacy by a so-called Protestant people.

Verse 13 And he does great wonders, so that he makes 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.

"He Doeth Great Wonders." In that part of the prediction which sets forth the work of the twohorned beast we read that "he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men." In this specification we have still further proof that the United States is the power represented by the two-horned beast. That we are living in an age of wonders, none will deny. We would refer the reader to our remarks on Daniel 12: 4 concerning the wonderful achievements of the present age, and for some illustrations of the leading triumphs of scientific and inventive skill.

But the prophecy is not fulfilled in the great advancement in knowledge, in discoveries, and in inventions so notable at the present time. For the wonders to which the prophet had reference are evidently wrought for the purpose of deceiving the people, as we read in verse 14: "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."

We should now ascertain by what means the miracles in question are wrought, for Revelation 16: 13, 14 refers to "the spirits of devils working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world."

In predicting events to occur just before His Second Coming, the Savior says: "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." Matthew 24: 24. Here again are wonders foretold, wrought for the purpose of deception, so powerful that were it possible even the very elect would be deceived by them.

Thus we have a prophecy (and there are many others) setting forth the development in the last days of a wonder-working power, manifested to a startling and unprecedented degree to propagate falsehood and error. The "spirits of devils" were to go forth to "the whole world," but the nation with which this development is especially connected in Revelation 13, is that represented by the two-horned beast, or false prophet. We must therefore conclude that the prophecy calls for such a work as this in America. Do we find anything like it at the present time?

There is a widespread belief and teaching current among all classes of society, that when a man dies and his body is laid away in the grave, an immortal "spirit" or "soul" within him does not really die, but soars away to its place of reward or punishment. This belief naturally leads one to ask, "If disembodied spirits are alive, why may they not communicate with us?" There are thousands who believe that they can and do, and who claim to have communication with departed friends.

But the Bible, in the most explicit terms, assures us that the dead are wholly inactive and unconscious until the resurrection; that the dead know not anything (Ecclesiastes 9: 5); that every operation of the mind has ceased (Psalm 146: 4); that every emotion of the heart is suspended (Ecclesiastes 9: 6); and that there is neither work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, where they lie (Ecclesiastes 9: 10). Whatever intelligence, therefore, comes claiming to be what from the word of God we know he is not. That our dead friends do not return to us is shown in 2 Samuel 12: 23, where David says of his dead child, "Now he is dead, . . . I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." Any such intelligence that comes to us cannot be a good angel, for angel's of God do not lie. Spirits of devils do lie, and this has been their work ever since the first lie about dying was told by their leader in Eden, "Ye shall not surely die," when the Lord had said plainly to Adam, "Thou shall surely die." Genesis 3: 4; 2: 17.

Birthplace of Spiritism. Modern spiritism also answers to the prophecy in that it had its origin in the United States, thus connecting its wonders with the work of the two-horned beast. Beginning in Hydesville, New York, in the family of John D. Fox in the latter part of March, 1848, it spread with incredible rapidity through all the world.

Much excitement was caused by these supposed revelations, and some rather prominent persons undertook to investigate the "rapping delusion," as it was commonly called. From that time onward, spiritism has remained a force in the modern world; and it is a force which has steadily grown. It is difficult to determine the number of its adherents, because so many who believe and practice its teachings regard themselves as belonging to no denomination at all; yet on the other hand many retain their membership in a non-spiritist denominational group while nevertheless attempting communication with the dead. It has been estimated that there are 16,000,000 spiritists in North America; and in the world including those heathen religions in which spiritism plays so prominent a part doubtless hundreds of millions.

As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle remarked some years ago: "The lowly manifestations of Hydesville have ripened into results which have engaged the finest group of intellects in this country during the last twenty years, and which are destined, in my opinion, to bring about far the greatest development of human experience which the world has ever seen." [12] "If such a view of Christianity were generally accepted, and if it were enforced by assurance and demonstration from the New Revelation which is, as I believe, coming to us from the other side, then I think we should have a creed which might unite the churches, which might be reconciled to science, which might defy all attacks, and which might carry the Christian faith on for an indefinite period." [13]

Teachings of Spiritism. But the doctrines which spiritists teach are certainly not in harmony with the word of God. As to their attitude toward the Bible, notice the following paragraph:

"We have no desire to hide the plain fact that there is much in some parts of the Bible which does not amalgamate with our teaching, being, indeed, the admixture of human error which came through the mind of the chosen medium." [14] "In no case are the books as they now stand the work of their reputed author. They are the compilation of Ezra and his scribes, and do but embody the conceptions and legends of the period. . . . We mention this to avoid at once the necessity of replying to any texts from these book which may be quoted as an argument." [15]

As to the relation of spiritists to Christ and His atoning work, observe the following significant


"They [the spirits] also testify that Jesus Christ has nothing to do with the question of life and death, and they know nothing about the 'mediation of our Savior Jesus Christ.' " [16]

Believers in spiritism have no place, either, for the second advent of our Lord and Savior Jesus


"Jesus Christ is now arranging His plans for the gathering of His people, for the further revelation of the truth, as well as for the purging away of the erroneous beliefs which have accumulated in the past. I have heard something of this from other sources. Is this then the return of Christ? It is the spiritual return. There will be no such physical return as man has dreamed of. This will be the return to His people, by the voice of His messengers speaking to those whose ears are open." [17]

Phenomena of Spiritism. How significant are these words! Centuries ago the seer of Patmos declared that in this country would arise a power that "does great wonders," and, lo, spiritism appears claiming to do these very things.

Spiritism answers accurately to the prophecy in the exhibition of great signs and wonders. Among its achievements the following may be noted: Various articles have been transported from place to place by spirits. Beautiful music has been produced independent of human agency, with and without the aid of visible instruments. Many well-attested cases of healing have been presented. Persons have been carried through the air by spirits in the presence of spectators. Tables have been suspended in the air with several persons upon them. Spirits also have presented themselves in bodily form and talked with audible voices.

The power represented in this prophecy is to make "fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men." But this as well as other manifestations of its power are for the purpose of deceiving "them that dwell on the earth." The miracles that are wrought are by "the spirits of devils." Revelation 16: 14. And many are the warnings in the word of God against making contact with evil spirits. In the days of the early church solemn warnings were given to the church of God: "Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." 1 Timothy 4: 1. God's counsel to His people in these last days is, "When they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8: 19, 20.

Verse 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.

Makes an Image to the Beast. Closely associated with this working of miracles is the erection of an image to the beast. The prophet thus connects the two in verse 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." The deception accomplished by the working of the miracles prepares the way for compliance

with this demand for the formation of an image to the beast.

To understand what would constitute an image of the papal beast, we must first gain some definite idea of what constitutes the papacy itself. The full development of the beast, or the establishment of papal supremacy, dates from the famous letter of Justinian, which was made effective in AD 538, constituting the pope the head of the church and the corrector of heretics. The papacy was a church clothed with civil power an ecclesiastical body having authority to punish all dissenters with confiscation of goods, imprisonment, torture, and death. What would be an image of the papacy? Another ecclesiastical establishment clothed with civil power, in other words, a union of church and state. How could such an image be formed in the United States? Let the Protestant churches be clothed with power to define and punish heresy, to enforce their dogmas under the pains and penalties of the civil law, and should we not have an exact representation of the papacy during the days of its supremacy?

To be sure we would. But is such an eventuality possible in a country whose foundation stones are civil and religious liberty, and where every man's right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" has gone unchallenged throughout the years? Let us examine the evidence.

Nation Founded on Liberty. The hand of God wrought with the noble and God-fearing men who laid so well the foundations of the new nation. Said the Hon. Henry D. Estabrook, speaking before the Connecticut Bar Association: "On this great continent, which God had kept hidden in a little world here, with a new heaven and a new earth, where former things had passed away, the people of many nations, of various needs and creeds, but united in heart and soul and mind for the single purpose, builded an altar to Liberty, the first ever built or that ever could be built, and called it The Constitution of the United States." [18]

This was in the year 1787. The prophet saw the lamblike beast coming up out of the earth about 1798 surely this is no mere coincidence. George Washington, the first President of the United States, in his inaugural address said:

"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency." [19]

In their reply to this notable address the Senate declared: "When we contemplate the coincidence of circumstances, and wonderful combination of causes, which gradually prepared the people of this country for independence; when we contemplate the rise, progress, and termination of the late war, which gave them a name among the nations of the earth; we are, with you, unavoidably led to acknowledge and adore the great Arbiter of the universe, by whom empires rise and fall." [20]

Struggle Against Religious Tyranny. These were not only godly men, but they were wise and farseeing men. When certain religious groups made appeal that "explicit acknowledgment of the true God and Jesus Christ" be made in the Constitution, their request was denied. In writing of this incident, Thomas Jefferson said: "The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination." [21]

The House Judiciary Committee, February 18, 1874, in reply to a similar petition, reported: "As this country, the foundation of whose government they were then laying, was to be the home of the oppressed of all nations of the earth, whether Christian or pagan, and in full realization of the dangers which the union between church and state had imposed upon so many nations of the Old World, with great unanimity [they agreed] that it was inexpedient to put anything into the Constitution or frame of government which might be construed to be a reference to any religious creed or doctrine." [22]

History attests the fact that these great men who laid the foundation stones upon which the United States was erected looked forward with almost prophetic vision to the dangers to personal liberty which some day would confront the country. Their fears were well expressed by Thomas Jefferson: "The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecution, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated, that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis, is while our rulers are honest and ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war we shall be going downhill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion." [23]

On the Fourth of July, 1788, an address was delivered by Justice James Wilson, in which he pointed out how the enemies of liberty were already working. He said: "The enemies of liberty are artful and insidious. A counterfeit steals her dress, imitates her manner, forges her signature, assumes her name. But the real name of the deceiver is licentiousness. Such is her effrontery, that she will charge liberty to her face with imposture; and she will, with shameless front, insist that herself alone is the genuine character, and that herself alone is entitled to the respect which the genuine character deserves. With the giddy and undiscerning, on whom a deeper impression is made by dauntless impudence than by modest merit, her pretentions are often successful. She receives the honors of liberty, and liberty herself is treated as a traitor and a usurper. Generally, however, this bold impostor acts only a secondary part. Though she alone appear upon the stage, her motions are regulated by dark ambition, who sits concealed behind the curtain, and who knows that despotism, his other favorite, can always follow the success of licentiousness. Against these enemies of liberty, who act in concert, though they appear on opposite side, the patriot citizen will keep a watchful guard." [24]

Threatened With Ecclesiastical Domination. Let it be noted that in the panorama of coming events which passed before the prophet John, he witnessed this same amazing change in the nature of the twohorned beast. It eventually began to speak "as a dragon" and to control the worship of its people, "saying to them that dwell upon the earth, that they should make an image to the beast."

The beast "which had the wound by a sword, and did live," is the papacy. This was a church dominating the civil power. In other words, it was a union of church and state, and enforced its religious dogmas by the civil power, under pain of confiscation of goods, imprisonment, and death. An image to this beast would be another ecclesiastical organization clothed with civil power another union of church and state to enforce religious dogmas by law.

Evidence that such an image will be formed is seen in the fact already large and influential organizations, such as the National Reform Association, the International Reform Bureau, the Lord's Day Alliance of Christ in America, have been formed, by professed Protestants, and for years have been persistently working to the end of establishing and enforcing religious standards by law. Also Roman Catholic societies in the United States, in harmony with their tradition for centuries, are looking to a like end. Ultimately these two forces are destined to join hands in a common effort.

The avowed object of the National Reform Association is "to secure such an amendment to the Constitution of the United States as will . . . indicate that this is a Christian nation, and place all the Christian laws, institutions, and usages of our government on an undeniably legal basis in the fundamental law of the land." [25]

Upon the question of making this a "Christian nation," Bishop Earl Cranston, D. D., of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in an address delivered in Foundry Methodist Church, Washington, D.C., March 13, 1910, made the following observation:

"Suppose this were to be declared a Christian nation by a Constitutional interpretation to that effect. What would that mean? Which of the two contending definition


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