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The Shepherd's Rod vol. 2



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

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

Attempts To Establish Ecclesiastical Governments

The question may arise: What hindered Satan from establishing an ecclesiastical monarchy before the closing period of

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the Old Testament?  The only answer that can be given, is, the Jewish nation permitted him to becloud their eyes.  They were told not to make a confederacy with the world, but, unmindful of the command they made a league with the Romans, and that is what helped Satan to accomplish his scheme.

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

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

   Satan worked out a similar plot in the Medo-Persian government with plans that were carried out by intrigue, taking the

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

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

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