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The Shepherd's Rod vol. 2
The non-descript beast of Daniel 7, representing Rome in his first stage, shows prophetically by his ten horns that there were ten kings to arise out of Rome. In his second stage it is shown that the papacy was to arise, subdue three kings, and wear out the saints of the most High for the space of 1260 years. But it tells not of the fall of the Roman monarchy or the papacy. It is silent concerning the reformation that came before or after 1798 A.D. Therefore, the lack of information by the symbols of this beast, must be found somewhere else in the prophetic Word of God. This must be sought in the book of Revelation, for it is the complement to Daniel's prophecies.
The leopard-like beast of Revelation 13:1-10 is the only symbolical prophecy that tells of the fall of the Roman monarchy, the crowning of the ten kings, the wound of the papacy, the reformation and rise of Protestantism, and the captivity of the pope.
"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." (Rev. 13:1.) Note this beast has the same number of horns as the "non-descript" in his first stage (imperial Rome). Daniel says, the ten horns on the beast representing Rome are "ten kings that shall arise." (Dan. 7:24.) The horns symbolizing the Roman world in its imperial state, also pointed forward to the time when the empire would be divided into ten parts, or kingdoms. In other words, while the horns primarily represented the Roman world in its imperial form, they secondarily denote the present world in its divided state since the fall of Rome -- corresponding with the ten toes on the great image of Daniel 2.
The non-descript beast in his first stage has ten horns. As in his second stage the little horn came up, and three of the ten were plucked up by the roots, it denotes that they can never be reinstated as kings. The horns being reduced to the Biblical number seven, signified that the papacy was to have complete sway over the entire world as far as the Christian church is concerned. Therefore, the ten horns on the leopard-like beast of Revelation 13:1, cannot signify that the three uprooted ones have assumed their authority the second time.
As the same number of horns appear on each succeeding beast; namely, the non-descript (Dan. 7:7); the leopard-like
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(Rev. 13:1); and the scarlet colored (Rev. 17:3); representing the entire New Testament era, it is evident by the facts gathered that the number of horns are intended to denote universal. As they are absent from the beast of Revelation 13:11-18, it verifies the fact that the two-horned beast denotes a local system. Therefore, it is unquestionably clear that the fixed number of horns (ten) are designed to universally symbolize the peoples and governments. (Follow the chart on page 84.)
Inasmuch as the lion, the bear, the four-headed leopard, and the non-descript beast (the symbols of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia and Rome) are linked to each other, the unbreakable chain of beasts make it impossible for another universal beast (system) to intersect their consecutive order. Consequently, the leopard-like beast of Revelation 13:1-9, must follow the non-descript beast (Rome).
Rev. 13:2, 3: "And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast." The composition of the beast reveals the fact that he is a descendant from the four beasts before him. The mouth of a lion the feet of a bear, the body of a leopard, and the number of horns, all point back to his hereditary characteristics as descending from Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome. This indisputable fact proves that he is the fifth universal beast.
The leopard-like beast arises out of the sea in the same manner as the four beasts before it. (Daniel 7:3.) Therefore, the beast of Revelation 13:1-9 is created from the result of war and commotion among the nations, in the same manner as Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome. Since the evidence revealed by the symbol cannot be questioned, the leopard-like beast assumes the period after the fall of imperial Rome, corresponding to the feet and toes -- iron and clay of the great image in Daniel 2. In other words, the leopard-like beast arrives with the closing period represented by the first stage of the non-descript beast, while the second stage of the latter (papal Rome) continues up to 1798. Consequently, the unfolding process of the one, overlaps the downward course of the other. To John the leopard-like beast was shown not in its unfolding process, but rather in its closing act for he says, "And his deadly wound was healed." He saw in vision the beast after the deadly wound had been healed, for he uses the past tense, "was." But in Daniel's vision the work of the non-descript beast was all in the
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future. Said the Prophet: "And he shall speak great words against the most high, and shall wear out the saints of the most high, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." (Dan. 7:25.) Daniel in vision viewed the history represented by the beasts, forward; while John looked backward; or in other words, Daniel saw what the beast was to do, while John was shown what the beast had done.
The Crowns And The Horns
Of the beast "having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns" John says, "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death." The wounded head represents the papacy, wounded by Martin Luther which was originally symbolized by the horn-head of the non-descript beast showing only the papal power and the authority. But the "leopard-like" shows the papacy in her wounded state, and the imprisonment of the pope. Thus, the two beasts (the non-descript and the leopard-like) overlap each other, from the fall of imperial Rome to 1798. Therefore, while the non-descript beast in its second stage represents the papacy, she is secondarily described by the "leopard-like." The one reveals the tyrannical authority, and the other describes her downfall. For the little horn was to have power and wear out the saints of the most High for 1260 years (Dan. 7:25.) But the leopard-like also "opened his mouth in blasphemy", and power was given unto him to "continue forty and two months." (Rev. 13:6, 5.) The number of months is equivalent to "time and times and the dividing of time" -- 1260 days (years), figuring 30 days to the month.
With the imprisonment of Pope Pius VI, and his death on Aug. 19, 1799, a certain transaction occurred between the non-descript and the leopard-like beasts. The head and horns were removed from one to the other, so to speak. In making the change the little horn "having the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things," was transposed from horn-head to a common wounded head, showing the papacy had lost her ecclesiastical authority, and was no longer represented by a horn-head (combination of church and state).
As that event terminated the prophetic period of the 1260 years of Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:5, it completely crowned the horns of the leopard-like beast, signifying that the state is now independent of the church. The crowns on his horns denote the fall of the Roman monarchy, showing that the ten kings which were symbolized by the ten horns of the non-descript beast, have received their kingdom.
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Horns And Heads All Present
"I John saw the beast having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns." Let us not overlook the fact that all horns, crowns, and heads are present on the beast. Therefore, whatever meaning is derived by the symbol, all must be in existence at the time his deadly wound was healed. Had it not been so, the symbols of heads and horns would have come one after another as it was with the little horn and the other three that were "plucked up" from the non-descript beast of Daniel 7:7. A similar method is observed with the "he goat." After the notable horn (Alexander) was broken off, four came up to take its place (the four divisions of Grecia), and after these came up the exceeding great horn which primarily represented Rome. (Dan. 8:8, 9.)
Where systems and governments do not all exist at the same time, the symbols show their consecutive order. Another factor to be noted that every symbol of the entire procession of the beasts point out facts that were to transpire within the period represented by each beast, and not one of them refers to anything in the past, save the hereditary ancestrial characteristics.
Therefore, heads or horns have no reference to anything before or after the period represented by the beast. It is also unnatural for heads (members of the beast) to exist before or after the beast himself. Therefore, it would be inconsistent to conclude that the horns as well as the heads could denote a consecutive order of systems so long as they all appear at the time of the closing act of the beast. The leopard-like beast in his wounded state must be intended to prophetically point out the existing condition with the present civilization.
The Symbol Of The Heads
It is impossible that both horns and heads could stand for civil governments or kings. If the horns represent the political side, then the heads cannot. John says of the leopard-like beast, "I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death." As the "head" that was "wounded" represents a religious system, then all seven must represent religious organizations, for all heads are alike, save the wound. Thus it is an unmistakable fact that the symbols are intended to reveal both the civil and religious side of the present world.
The crowns represent civil authority as previously explained. Had they been on the heads like on the dragon of Revelation 12:3, it would denote that the churches are using the civil arm of the
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state to propagate their dogma as in the days of imperial and papal Rome, represented by the dragon. But since the crowns are on the horns, and the state is independent from the church it proves the symbol by the crowns to be correct. As the facts brought forth regarding the nature of the symbols cannot be questioned, it is evident that we have a positive foundation for their application.
The leopard-like beast is a descendant of the four ancient empires. Therefore, he represents the world, but more particularly the entire western civilization, with their civil and religious systems. Consequently the heads represent Christendom only. John says: "The beast having seven heads and ten horns and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy." The fact that there is the name of blasphemy on the heads is an additional proof that they can only represent religious organizations, for blasphemy is equivalent to hypocrisy, and hypocrisy means an attempt to mix the sacred with the common. But the Lord says: "I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews [Christians], and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan." (Rev. 2:9.) "Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme." (1 Tim. 1:20.) "Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me." (Ezek. 20:27.) "Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the Lord, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom." (Isa. 65:7.) Disobedience to the Word of God is blasphemy.
Naturally the question arises, who could these blasphemous denominations be? They can certainly be many; consider the multiplicity of sects. The prophetic word of God, speaking of this present time says: "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts." (2 Pet. 3:3.) "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts they shall 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.)
What has brought the present day confusion? Because they have departed from sound Bible truth is the only answer that can be given. Is it possible that all can be right when no two believe alike, with but one bible, one gospel, one Lord, one hell to shun and one heaven to gain? Jesus said: "And other sheep
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I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (John 10:16.)
Such Satanic confusion as the one at the present time was about to arise in the days of Paul. As the Spirit of God moved upon him, he uttered the words with a sharp rebuke: "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of (Our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye shall speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" (1 Cor. 1:10-13.) How great the contrast between the position taken by the Spirit-filled servant of God, and the present day self-styled apostles.
Jesus said, "All these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me." (John 16:3.) Had all these so-called Christian leaders been led by the Spirit of God they would imitate the example set forth by the prophets and the apostles; then there could have been no division in Biblical truth. The Present-day condition is indeed a blasphemy and fulfills the words of the Master: "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matt. 24:24.)
In view of this great confusion there is apparent difficulty to immediately determine who is right and who is wrong. Jesus said: "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven." (Matt. 18:19.) There could be nothing more pleasing to God than for one of His children to ask in sincerity the way of truth; therefore, such a one shall not be left in darkness: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." (Matt. 7:7.)
If people care to find the truth, it can easily be done. But the fact of the matter is that they do not care. People would rather be deceived than to ask God to show them His truth. Yes, they pray, but their prayers are not heard, for: "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination." (Prov. 28:9.) The so-called Christians of this day, say, "That Scripture is in the Old Testament and for the
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Jews only." We turn to the New Testament for light upon the subject: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:19.) The honest in heart, with surprise, hear the word from the impious scoffer of the day: "That does not mean the law of God; it is the commandment of Jesus: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." True, but which one of the ten commandments can you break and yet fulfill the commandments of Jesus? And if you love your neighbor, will you dishonor your God? Are not the first four kept to show honor to God; and the last six to test our love to men?
Said Jesus: "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matt. 22:40.) Is the begotten Son of God working in opposition to His Father? "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass, and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John." (Rev. 1:1.) "Here is the patience of the Saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." (Rev. 14:12.) Has not Jesus said that His saints keep the commandments of God? Again the carnal mind raises an objection, "They keep the commandments of God, and not the law." But the Spirit declares: "If ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." (Jas. 2:9-12.) "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (Rev. 22:14.)
The keeping of His commandments is the ticket to heaven. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isa. 8:20.) "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Rom. 8:7.) "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (1 John 2:4.) After loosing one devilish loophole, the carnal mind takes hold of another, determined to serve the devil and deceive himself and with his nose in the air he utters the words, "We are not to keep the law according to the letter but according to the Spirit,
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'For the letter killeth but the Spirit giveth life.'" His misconception of what truth is, leads him to believe that to keep the Law according to the Spirit he must disregard the written Word of God, and keep the Divine Law according to his own ways, and in harmony with his carnal mind, making void Jehovah's own inscription (see Ex. 31:18), thus exalting the finite above the Infinite! What greater blasphemy can one commit? We give here a brief explanation of the subject.
To keep the law according to the letter is to build a wall around it as the proud Pharisees did. We quote 1 John 3:15, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer." Therefore, though we kill not and yet hate our brother we have kept the law blameless according to the letter, but not according to the Spirit. The keeping of the law according to the Spirit has a broader significance than the carnal mind can conceive. If I must keep the whole law, I must keep the whole Word of God in every respect, otherwise, I would dishonor Him, and would become a transgressor of the law as a disobedient son dishonors his earthly father, and becomes guilty of the fifth commandment in the law.
"Are we saved by the law?" No, indeed! We are judged by the law. So, if we willfully disobey the Word of God, we fall under the condemnation of the law. "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins." (Heb. 10:26.) But if we love the righteousness of God as expressed in His law, and determine to obey His Holy Word where ever found (Bible or Spirit of Prophecy) according to the revelation by His Spirit, then we receive the power which enables us to fulfill the divine purpose, and thereby our sins are blotted out by the blood of Christ, and thus we are made free from the law and its condemnation -- placed under divine grace.
It is true that people like to be deceived, flattering themselves that they are on the way to heaven, while Satan winks at their ignorance. The Word of God says: "And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.... But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption." (2 Peter 2:2, 12.) This proves how sectarianism sprung up.
As it has been proven, and generally accepted that the "seven churches" of Revelation, chapters two and three, represented the history of the church in the Christian era, it is evident that the church was split in seven sections. The Laodicean being the last, she is also in danger of falling according to the testimony
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of the true Witness: "So then because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." (Rev. 3:16.) God has sent message after message to give light upon His written Word. They were intended to correct error, rebuke sin, and reprove the sinner; but the leaders of each section threw out the messages, and the few who were willing to sacrifice all for the truth were forced to part from the churches and march on with the light. Were the leaders willing to correct their errors and purify the church, there would have been but one section. By the denial of the truth each section cut itself off from the mighty arm of God. Thus, not one of these churches have had additional light on the Scriptures other than that which was imparted to them by the founders of each movement. The fact proves the prophetic Word of God correct, and the older the section the greater the condemnation. Therefore, these churches are represented by the "heads"; the "blasphemy" over them, denotes their fall. Should they refuse this last call also then the revelation of these facts would be against them, and will bring their final ruin.
The message regarding the 144,000, and a call for reformation presented to the Seventh-day Adventist church in 1930 was in like manner rejected. Therefore, as the leadership of the churches have never accepted a message at any time, they are certainly fulfilling the following prophecy: "The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?.... For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered." (Jer. 8:9; 10:21.)
The "seven heads" of the "leopard-like beast" represent this mystery of ungodliness and hypocrisy, showing how each one fell into the trap as they came to it. Therefore, since Luther's time and on, God permitted that His people should be cast out by Satan's flood (the unconverted.) Thus, He has been calling His church from one movement to another.
Therefore, they who lower the standard, and refuse to reform at the sounding of the trumpet, are the very ones who cause division in the church of God! "Now I beseech you brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (Rom. 16:17, 18.)
Since the history of the church is such, and the last section
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(Laodiceans) is in a worse condition, and under greater condemnation than any previous one, and as there is no time left for calling out a new movement, then a message of amazing light and stern rebuke through the Word of God, with manifestations of divine judgments, is the only remedy that can bring true conversion and reformation. Thus preparing a church to stand "without spot, wrinkle or any such thing," of which only can be said: "And the dragon was wroth with the woman [the church as a body] 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.) It is the purity of the church that incurs the wrath of the dragon.
These "seven churches" were also symbolized by "seven candlesticks," and the leadership of the same churches, by "seven angels." So we read: "The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches." (Rev. 1:20.) "And unto the Angel of the church of the Laodiceans write." (Rev. 3:14.) Note the message is addressed to the Angel (leadership), and not to the candlestick (the church as a body.) Therefore, the condemnation is not to the candlestick, but to the angel. "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." (Rev. 3:17.) My brethren, this is not against you, for it is Christ speaking who died for you, but it will be, if you change not your course of action.
If Christ by assembling these seven churches in a group of seven candlesticks and giving the blackest record to the last one, is not calling the Laodiceans Babylon, then neither is the interpretation of the "heads" doing so. It is not because the Laodiceans are better that they are not called Babylon, for their record is worse, but it is to show that on account of their increased light, He is to deal differently with them. It is to prove that if the "angel" (leadership) of the church of the Laodiceans should reject the message of the "True Witness," He cannot call the 144,000 out from the midst of them into another movement by the call of Revelation 18: "Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues," (Rev. 18:4), but rather by the message of Revelation 7 and Ezekiel 9. Thus speedily releasing His people, and quickly "finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth." (Rom. 9:28.)
Disobedience to the Word of God is blasphemy, and blasphemy
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is hypocrisy; that is to say, they are not what they profess to be. Hypocrisy hides the crying sins under the appearance of virtue. This sin of hypocrisy is difficult to cure in that it is not easily discovered by men. We cannot understand the hearts of others nor discern between the cloak of hypocrisy and the life of holiness. A spiritual deception has its beginning from a being other than human. Therefore, the scheme is so cunning that it cannot be discerned by finite observation. This kind of deception can only be recognized under the close scrutiny of the holy Word of God and by the aid of His Spirit.
"The effectual means to cure such a well devised plan of deception is a steadfast belief in that there is an all-seeing eye of God; who sees sin wherever it is, and will bring it into judgment. A hypocrite may hide his sin from the eyes of others and sometimes from his own conscience but can never impose upon God." Paul, looking forward to such a time as this, says: "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.) "Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?" (Rom. 2:21-23.) To the careless and indifferent, Job comments as follows: "It shall devour the strength of his skin: even the first born of death shall devour his strength." (Job 18:13.)
The seven heads are to symbolically point out these "high places" ruled by unsanctified leaders who have attempted to mix the sacred with the common, and refuse to hear the Word of the Lord. The Biblical number "seven," denoting completeness, naturally would comprise all Christendom at the time the prophetic truth is made known. Such apostasy is not a strange thing in the history of God's people, for time and again the church has fallen under a satanic flood. In Luther's day conditions were as bad as when the church crucified Christ. If this generation is more wicked than any before it, what would immunize the church from just such an apostasy? It is accepted by most Bible students that prophecies of this nature are understood only when the prophetic object in view is fully developed. Therefore, this is the time of which the symbols speak. However, there is another angle to this, by which we shall prove that the facts presented are true.
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One Head Wounded Unto Death
John says: "I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death." As the wounded head has reference to the stroke delivered to the papacy by Luther, the exile of the pope in 1798 was a sign of the completeness of the wound and that the prophetic period had ended. Thus fulfilling the words: "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity. (Rev. 13:10.) Had not the papacy received the deadly wound by Luther, the pope could not have been put into prison by the French general for before the pontifical authority received Luther's sword, the pope reigned supreme. But the blow weakened his power, and the result was that Protestantism came upon the stage of action. The continual infliction began to irritate the "head," until finally the pope landed behind prison bars. The annoyance continued until 1870, when ultimately the temporal power of the pope was taken away. That being the last vexation of the "head," it showed that it was left to heal its "deadly wound."
Quoting the words of Luther explaining how the papacy was wounded: "I put forward God's word; I preached and wrote -- this was all I did. And yet while I was asleep,... the word that I had preached overthrew popery, so that neither prince nor emperor has done it so much harm. And yet I did nothing; the Word alone did it all." -- "The Great Controversy," page 190. "I began this work ln God's name," said Luther, "it will be ended without me, and by His might." -- Id. p. 142. Let none misunderstand the following statement for the same author has recorded them both. Therefore it would be unjust to misconstrue the one statement, for by so doing we would throw out of harmony the other. Speaking of the 1260 years we read: "This period, as stated in preceding chapters, began with the supremacy of the papacy, A.D. 538, and terminated in 1798. At that time, the pope was made captive by the French army, and the Papal power received its deadly wound, and the prediction was fulfilled. 'He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity!'" -- Id., p. 439. Note that the aim of the author in this statement is not to tell how the wound was received, but to show that the prophetic period ended with the imprisonment of the pope, which fulfilled not the words, "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded unto death" (Rev. 13:3), but rather the Scripture quoted "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity." (Rev. 13:10.) Shall we ignore God and His Spirit, and give to Berthier the credit, thus justifying stupidity?
His Deadly Wound Was Healed
"And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered
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after the beast." (Rev. 13:3.) William Miller proclaimed the prophetic period of the 2300 days prior to 1844. That wonderful prophecy was delivered to Christendom with great power by the Spirit of God. Though the leaders of the nominal churches could not contradict the truth presented by Miller, they turned a deaf ear to the doctrine taught by him.
But as the disappointment came in 1844 through the misunderstanding of what was to transpire at the end of the prophetic period, the movement created by Miller came to its end. The second angel's Message of Revelation 14:8, had announced that Babylon (the churches prior to 1844) had fallen. That is to say that God would let no light shine upon His word through these fallen churches. Had God not called forth another Protestant movement the deadly wound would have been healed at that time.
By the divinely called movement, and aided by the writings of the "Spirit of Prophecy," God's intention was to keep the "deadly wound" on the "head." But the prophetic Word of God says: "His deadly wound was healed. Since God's Holy Word declares that the wound was healed, and as the prophecy cannot be broken, it is positive that the wound is "healed."
But if Protestantism, by obedience to God's Word, is what inflicted the wound, then true Protestantism only can keep the painful sore on the head. If the wound is healed, then it is evident that they to whom God had committed the message for a perishing world have been defeated in the same manner as every movement since the world began. It is a most wonderful thing to note how the old enemy has succeeded in defiling the church in every age through its leadership. The highest human intellect has been continually led into error and thus have served Satan to their own downfall. Will God's people never profit by these historical and biblical facts? Are not these things written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come? God, by His Holy Word, commands: "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (Isa. 2:22.)
As it has been accepted that the exile of the pope in 1798 was a signal that the infliction had been accomplished, so then as he has gained back his temporal power it further proves that the deadly wound is healed. These facts cannot be denied, for it is admitted that the incident of 1798 is true; therefore the one in 1929 cannot be refuted. That being so, this is the time to which the prophetic symbol speaks, "his deadly wound was healed." Read "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 1, for the entire volume deals with that subject.
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All The World Wondered After The Beast
"His deadly wound was healed," John says, "And all the world wondered after the beast." Note that the world wondered after the beast and not after the head. Therefore, it cannot mean that the world would necessarily have to enroll in the membership of the system represented by the head. The significance is that all the world has partaken of the spirit of the beast -- worldliness. The world in general has never been otherwise. It could not be said that "all the world wondered after the beast" if the people whom God has entrusted with the gospel are free from the spirit of the beast. But it must be that they have betrayed their trust, and partaken of its spirit. Where is the distinction between the church and the world!
The Name Of Blasphemy
"And upon his heads the name of blasphemy." That is, resistance of known truth, expression of defiant impiety and irreverence towards God, or things held sacred -- mocking God's personality and authority. The prophet Isaiah, looking forward to this time of wholesale deception, headed by so-called spiritual guides, says: "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach." (Isa. 4:1.)
It is an admitted fact among Bible students that churches are symbolized by "women." Pure woman -- pure church, as in Jeremiah 6:2, Revelation 12:1; vile woman -- corrupt church, as in Revelation 17:4,5. Isaiah says, there are "seven" women. The number comprises these same churches. They say, "We will eat our own bread." That is, they want to have their own way; they care not for God's way (Word). "We will wear our own apparel", that is, they want their own plans in preference to God's plans or His righteousness. Thereby, they clothed themselves with self-righteousness. Their aim is to be called by the one man's name; that is, by the name of Christ (Christians) to take away their reproach. People have come to suppose they can do most anything under the guise of Christianity and get away with it. God will let them continue their course until they, like Belshazzar, have passed the boundary line of divine grace, and then He will call them to account.
"And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?" (Rev. 13:4.) The question may be asked, How can professed Christians
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worship the dragon? The answer is easy, and the worship of the dragon can be clearly seen. The present system of worship by so-called Christian institutions is unquestionably pagan. Sunday, Christmas, and Easter keeping, etc., originated in ancient Babylon, from the old pagan religion in honor of the sun god. Christians, in modern times, assume to honor the most High God with pagan customs calling them "Christian Doctrines." Protestantism has taken a grip on these pagan festivals as a leech on a human body. As the sluggard sucks the blood unaware that his satisfaction brings him to destruction, just so with protestants and their pagan commemoratives, even daring to call them by the name of Christ. Blasphemy indeed! Every student of ancient history knows this to be true; likewise every Bible student knows these so-called Christian festivals are unbiblical as well as unchristian. If these institutions were Christian, or Biblical, they would certainly have been spoken of in the Bible. But since they are not found in the Word of God, Christians had better leave them alone lest they be found worshiping the dragon.
Jeremiah, looking forward to this time of apostasy, says: "Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not." (Jer. 10:2-4.) Though the Word declares, "Learn not the ways of the heathen," professed ministers of the gospel will cut a tree from the forest and deck it with silver and gold, then dare call it by the name of Christ -- Christmas tree. What greater blasphemy can one do? Are ministers and religious teachers ignorant of these things? Jesus said, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
John heard the men defying God, saying ,"Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" That is, who can abolish this pagan system of worship; is there one? They challenge God's authority. It may not be said by words, but it is most decidedly expressed by action. Men's discernment is blunted by sin, and when an attempt is made to associate the sacred with the common or pagan, they see no evil. Though the Word of God declares: "But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
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By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right handand on the left, By honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet as true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed, As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich: as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.... Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (2 Cor. 6:4-11, 14-18.)
It is open disobedience to the plain "thus saith the Lord" that has brought about confusion and disgrace in the Christian world at the present time. True the reformers saw not all these errors, and were not responsible, for they had no light upon them. As God has given light upon His Word, by degrees, making it possible to grasp the truth, He expects us to receive it, and thus lead us to the victory.
But one may say, if God could save others with less light, why should He give us more light? Of the many reasons we shall comment on only two. By increased light on the Word, God is able to save a multitude instead of a few. The second reason is, as the last part of the church will be translated instead of resurrected, we need sufficient light to prepare us to meet God and immortal beings.
Just such ignorance of God's Word in the days of Noah brought the world to its destruction by water. A similar wicked condition reduced to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. If in the days of Christ, just such hypocrisy, under the appearance of virtue, required the life of the Son of God to Preserve the world from destruction, what would the outcome be at this present time? God cannot destroy the world, for He has a multitude to save. He has no other Son for a gift to the church, for Christ is the "only begotten" Son of God. If God's ideal is to bless the world through the medium of His church on earth, and they to whom the gospel for the world is
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committed have left the sheep and are serving the devil, in the person of themselves, where is the hope of the world? The only answer that can be given is, woe to the sinners in Zion. God will gather His sheep. He will have a church; but what will be the reward of those who were instructed to feed the lambs and are feeding themselves? Christ, who sees the end from the beginning, and with his all-seeing eye focused on present day conditions, has said: "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites [with the heads of the beasts]; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 24:45-51.)
Separating The Tares From The Wheat
Peter saw a time when God will judge the church: "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God?" (1 Pet. 4:17.) What would be the end of him who enters not the ark of safety, but dares bar the way of others? As the prophet saw the day of vengeance upon the sinner in Zion, and the Lord returning from the slaughter, he asked: "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.... For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help, and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth." (Isa. 63:1, 4-6.)
Fearful is the day that is soon to fall upon the watchman on the walls of Zion, for the righteous only shall be preserved. "Those who would rather die than perform a wrong act are the only ones who will be found faithful." -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol 5, p. 53. The separation of the pure from the impure is well described by Ezekiel. Those who are worthy to
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escape the ruin will be marked by the man with the writer's inkhorn, after which the five men with the slaughter weapons shall smite the class who are left without the mark. Said the Lord: "Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city." (Ezek. 9:6, 7.) At this time the tares are separated from the wheat according to the words of Christ: "Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them into bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." (Matt. 13:30.)
The purification of God's church marks the harvest or the "Loud cry" of the Third Angel's Message, for the Lord of the harvest declares, "Let both grow together until the harvest." The wheat gathered at the commencement of the harvest and at the separation from the tares in the church, is called the first-fruits of the harvest. As John looked upon the company he heard a melody of joy, inexpressible by human lips: "And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: an no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb." (Rev. 14:3, 4.) "And no man could learn that song." Experience only can tell the joy in one's heart at a time when rescued from everlasting ruin, and granted everlasting life without tasting death -- merged into eternity's ceaseless ages! -- a life that measures with the life of God.
Confidence In Men Is Satan's Sure Trap
We may search as far back as we desire and it is certain that we shall discover to our surprise and sorrow, that the church leadership has been so greatly deceived that in each period they failed to recognize the unrolling of the scroll; and as the blinded multitude took the side of the corrupted leaders against the revealed truth, they split God's church in numerous sections. Thus by defeating the foremost, Satan has been able to engage them to labor for him, and thereby to overthrow the church as a body. To ascertain the accuracy of the foregoing statement it would
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not be necessary to comment on facts beyond the first advent of Christ. Therefore, a brief survey of the Christian era shall be considered here.
Satan had drawn the "dirt brush" over the eyes of the highest human intellect at the close of the Old Testament dispensation. Their spiritual eyes were so skillfully plastered that they could not see a bolt of lightning as bright as the sun, in the darkest night. The fulfillment of prophecy, the miracles surrounding the birth of Christ, His spotless character, His unselfish labor and wonders in every step, touch, look and act, filled the very atmosphere with divine love. Men who were destitute of the sense of sight from their birth, felt the healing power of the Infinite One. The blind saw the Lord of glory and praised God, but the religious teachers of Israel were not affected by the power that moved even inanimate objects. The earth quaked; and the sun veiled its face; the rocks were rent and the graves were opened; the dead arose and beheld the Son of God. But the proud Pharisees, priests, and rabbis, esteemed as never erring, could neither feel, see, nor hear. There is no wonder greater than the one written by the actions of the blind leaders of that age. John, speaking of the experience, says: "In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness comprehended it not." (John 1:4, 5.)
Every possible ray of light pointing to the coming of the "Lamb of God" had been given to the once-chosen people; but it profited them not. Said Jesus: "If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" Would that these experiences could arouse the leaders and the people at this present time from self confidence and counterfeit security to an earnest search of positive Bible truth.
The early Christian church in like manner was dragged into the dark ages. As soon as the Apostles passed away Satan marshaled his agents, men of renown, into the church. The already-blinded leaders laid their hands on men, not from the viewpoint of consecration, but from distinction, and thus made them shepherds of the flock. In the darkest hour of the Christian church God, by the hand of Luther, called the attention of the multitude to the terrible deception, but few were ready to listen to the humble monk. One would imagine that the most intellectual would have been the first to see the light in the plain "thus saith the Lord." Luther, with a great struggle, and at the risk of his life, founded the Lutheran denomination. But as he passed away, that movement in like manner was corrupted and hardened against new light on the Word of God.
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As John Knox came with additional truth, the leaders of the church refused to be interested, thus necessity gave birth to the Presbyterian denomination. These experiences have been repeated with Wesley, Campbell, Miller, and White. (See "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 1, pp. 32-114.) "We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world." -- Review and Herald, March 22, 1887. If the danger against the church has been from within, through confidence in self-deceived leadership in every age, what would change things at the present time?
These facts concerning Satan's sure traps, echo and re-echo with the loudest wail to arouse the sleeper at this particular time. Hear the trumpet's sound: "Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion!" (Isa. 52:2.) Prejudice, with dependence upon men, in confidence of having all the truth and that there is need of none, has devoured more souls than any trap ever devised by the enemy of mankind. The class who accept the decisions of others without investigating for themselves, and refuse to be interested in hearing and reasoning the Scriptures, have been deceived concerning present truth in every age. "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain." (1 Cor. 3:19, 20.)
Men who are esteemed great by the world, God can seldom use. In general, the great educators of the age are carnal minded, therefore the product from the schools of men is enmity against God. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Rom. 8:7.) If God would use them they must first, with the great apostle, deny themselves. Said Paul: "To preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." (1 Cor. 1:17, 19.) "And, I brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." (1 Cor. 2:1-4.)
God took Moses to the desert and there under His supervision
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He trained him for forty years -- when Moses unlearned all he had learned in the schools of Egypt, then only was God able to use him for an instrument of His mighty arm. When Moses felt capable to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage he failed; but when he saw himself helpless, then he was strong. If God should give great light to a man who is high in his own esteem, and held likewise by the world, man would glorify himself and rob God of the glory. "At this time Jesus answered and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to babes." (Matt. 11:25.) God reveals Himself through instruments and ways least suspected by men. Thus He performs a miracle by making impossibilities possible, revealing His power and arousing the sleeper with light and voice divine. Men of distinction have seldom accepted any light upon the Word of God simply on the value of its truth; this class generally accepts Biblical truth after it becomes popular and when preached by men esteemed higher than themselves.
Said the prophet, "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (Isa. 2:22.) "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man." (Psa. 118:8.) The prophet Micah, looking forward to this time of carnal security, says, "Trust ye not in a friend put ye not confidence in a guide. (Micah 7:5.) God's people must learn to look to Him only, depending upon the plain "thus saith the Lord." He may use the human instrument to communicate light, but it will shine on the never-erring Word of God. Such light will dispel sin and rebuke the sinner, exalt Christ, glorify God, and debase men. "The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low." (Isa. 2:11, 12.)
Satan knows how to deceive so that it can not be easily detected. He studies the inclination of the people, and the thing which appeals most he sets as a trap. Because the generation is trusting in human intellect and are willing that others should think for them, the devil will present to this class the most dazzling personality the world has ever looked upon. Said the apostle: "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." (2 Cor. 11:14.)
God's instruments for communicating light upon His Word will be the opposite to those of Satan's. "I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth," said Jesus, "because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them
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unto babes." (Matt. 11:25.) To the prophet Isaiah, it was revealed that God will use humble men to debase the proud: "For behold, the Lord the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water. The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honorable man, and the counselor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbor: The child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honorable." (Isa. 3:1-5.) Said Jesus, "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me." (Matt. 18:4, 5.)
A Brief Summary Of The Leopard-like Beast
It has been previously proven that the leopard-like beast by his seven heads, and ten horns is a representation of a universal system. The four beasts of Daniel 7; namely, the lion, bear, leopard, and the non-descript were shown in the vision as four universal empires coming up one after another. Thus, prophecy as well as history proves that Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia and Rome succeeded each other. This unbreakable chain of four links makes it impossible to intersect any one of the four beasts with a universal system. Therefore, the leopard-like must come in line after the fourth beast. As the "ten horns" of the non-descript beast represented "ten kings" that were to arise from the Roman monarchy, the "crowns on the horns" prove that the leopard-like beast represents the period after the fall of the Roman monarchy, at which time the "ten kings" received their kingdom. As he also "came out from the Sea," it is evident that he too was to be created from the result of wars. Thus the fall of the Roman monarchy gave birth to a fifth beast. His mouth of a lion, feet of a bear, body of a leopard, and ten horns, show that he is a descendant of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome.
As he opened his mouth in blasphemy for forty-two months, or 1260 years, it is undeniable that he represents the papal period from 538 A.D. to 1798 A.D. -- the time in which the papal head received its deadly wound. But as his wound was to heal some time after 1798, it is evident that he also represents this world's history after the imprisonment of Pope Pius VI up to the time his "deadly wound was healed;" these periods gave birth to Catholiasm and Protestantism.
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It would have been unwise, and useless to devise this prophetic beast if the symbols would fail to reveal Protestantism as they do Catholicism. Before the 1260 years ended in 1798, the four Protestant denominations were already in existence; namely, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Christian. But after 1798 came the First-day Adventists; and the seventh-day Adventists from 1844 to 1929 completed his seven heads. As Protestantism fell by the declaration of the Second Angel's Message after 1844, and as the symbol of Revelation 13 in 1930 revealed that the Seventh-day Adventists "wondered after the beast" (world), these two incidents healed the wound, and drew the blasphemy over all seven heads. Thus, the complete fulfillment of the symbolical prophecy revealed the truth of the beast. As all other sects are but off-shoots from these seven bodies the heads included all Christendom up to 1930. As the prophetic word of God says, "All the world wondered after the beast" (worldliness), and not after the head (papacy), it denotes that they have wondered after the world and not after Catholicism. Out of this great apostasy the message of Revelation 7:1-8, will seal and save 144,000 saints, from the S.D.A. church who shall never taste death. But the message represented by the angel of Revelation 18, with whose glory the earth is to be lightened, will call out from the world the "great multitude" of Revelation 7:9.
God, who is so particular for the good of His church in revealing His truth to His people, has presented to us wonderful pictures of historical events; which is the evidence of love everlasting for Israel His chosen -- the first-fruits of His harvest. Thus "the God of Jacob," thousands of years in advance, had laid His plans to present to His people a work of prophetic art with divine touch.
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