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THIS is the Greek word translated Revelation. It means the revealment of Christ in His literal, glorified personal manhood back to this world. I stood on Mt. Olivet at the very spot whence He ascended up to heaven. He had repeatedly told His disciples He would return in His literal humanity which they saw ascend up. The moment He passed out of sight, the angels stood by and certified that the same identical Jesus whom they had seen with their mortal eyes ascend into heaven, would come back again just as He ascended up. Acts 1:11 Zechariah says positively: “His feet shall stand again on Mt. Olivet.” when I visited Pilate’s judgment-hall in Jerusalem, I saw superscribed above the old stone door, out of which Pilate led Jesus, his famous words: “Ecce homo ” (behold the man). When on a French ship, sailing from Egypt to Palestine, I saw a Roman Catholic priest conspicuously walking the deck, covered with beads, images, crucifixes, and other symbols of his idolatry. A medal most ostensible was a silver image of our Savior on the cross. Thus we see his religion culminates in a dead Christ. Our Savior’s divinity never was dead — cannot die. His human soul was never dead.
His human body was only dead about thirty-six hours. Then it revived, never to die again. Hence there is no such thing as a dead Christ. Therefore, the man who worships a dead Christ is an idolater. All the sinning Churches on the globe worship a dead Christ, who is incompetent to save them from their sins. Consequently, they live and die in sin, and make their bed in hell. This is the “Ecce homo ” religion. The true religion is the “Ecce Deus ”(behold the God). Since the humanity of Christ walked out of the sepulcher and flew up to heaven, He has never been dead, and never will be. The transfigured humanity is filled with the Omnipotent Divinity abundantly competent to “save to the uttermost” all who come unto God by Him. Hence, the true disciples of Christ are saved from all their sins and kept by His power unto everlasting life. The very word Revelation, the name of this wonderful book of prophecy, means the restoration of this glorified humanity back to this world, where we can all see Him. The Apostolic Church lived in constant anticipation of this glorious revelation.
Oh, what an incentive to us to be robed and ready, washed in the blood and filled with the Spirit, every moment. The false bride (Babylon) worships a dead Christ, lives in sin, neither expecting nor desiring the living Christ to return and set up his kingdom. 3. “Blessed is he that readeth, and blessed are those who hear the word of prophecy, and keep the things written in it; for the time is at hand .”
Now, reader, I hope you will lay hold of this blessing with enthusiasm, and hold it with the pertinacity of a drowning man. Here God pronounces a blessing on those who read this book of prophecy, and especially on those who receive appreciatively and profit by the wonderful revealments in this book.
The Bible plainly reveals the eternal durability of this world. It is one of the mansions God is fitting up for the eternal occupancy of His saints and angels. This world was a part of heaven in the Edenic state. Satan broke it loose, and has been doing his best the last six thousand years to add it to hell. Christ came to “destroy the works of the devil” ( John 3:8), and He is sure to do it. The last two chapters in this book actually describe this world after it has been sanctified by fire, renovated by the omnipotent Creator, and added beck to the Celestial Empire, and reoccupied by saints and angels, to shine and shout forever.
THE AGES The Antediluvian Ages have come and gone. The Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Prophetical Ages have all come and gone. The Jewish Age and Dispensation closed with the destruction of Jerusalem. The Father’s Dispensation lasted four thousand years; that of the Son, during His incarnate ministry; and that of the Holy Ghost, from Pentecost to the second advent. So we are now living, not only in the last dispensation — i .e ., that of the Gentiles, the Holy Ghost, and the Church — but, as we will show you (D.V.) in this book, we are right at the end of that dispensation. John warned the people: “The time is at hand.” Oh, how much more pertinent to ring out the warning now, as we are eighteen hundred years nearer than the generation in which John lived! Good Lord, help us to sound the alarm and wake up a slumbering world and a dead Church! Hebrews 1:2: Created the worlds; i.e., the ages, as the Greek reads. So, also, 1 Corinthians 10:11, “On whom the ends of the world have come,” should read, “ends of the ages.”
These Scriptures, and others innumerable, confirm the conclusion that we are living in the last age, which is to be followed, not by the extermination of this earth, but by the glorious kingdom of our descended Lord. For this long anticipated and prayed for Millennial reign all the bygone ages were successive preparations. Our Savior came to destroy the works of the devil, which are sin, and restore this world to its Edenic state. 4. Seven Churches . — Doubtless there were hundreds of Churches in Asia Minor at that time. The reason why seven only are mentioned is because the Church is the bride of Christ, and seven is the sanctified number always representing Christ. Four represents humanity, as man is the king of the world, specified by the cardinal points, North, South, East, and West. Three represents Divinity — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Christ is both man and God. Therefore, seven is the sanctified number in the Bible always symbolizing Christ. These seven Churches successively represent the visible Church from the Apostolic Age till the Lord comes.
Seven spirits mean the Holy Ghost, as seven represents Christ, and the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Christ, and first begotten of the dead. Elijah and Elisha raised people from the dead. Saints arose at the time of the crucifixion before His resurrection. But we have no assurance that any of these received their transfigured bodies. Hence, our Savior was the first to rise and receive His transfigured body — washed us from our sins in His own blood. The Greek says, loosed — “Made us a kingdom.” God’s saints constitute His spiritual kingdom on the earth. 7. “Behold, He comes with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the tribes of the earth shall wail at Him. Yea, Amen .” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: “But I do not wish you, brethren, to be ignorant concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and is risen, thus God will also bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For we say this to you in the word of the Lord, that we who are living who have been left unto the coming of the Lord, may not go before those who are asleep. Because the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive who have been left shall at the same time be caught up along with them to meet the Lord in the air; and thus shall we be forever with the Lord. So exhort one another by these words.” The Resurrections. — The Bible plainly discriminates between the resurrection of the just and the unjust, thus clearly revealing two separate and distinct resurrections, the one for the just, and the other for the unjust.
Yon see, from the above quotations, that the Lord will raise the sainted dead and translate the living saints when He comes after His bride, before He descends to set up His Millennial kingdom. Daniel 12:2: “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and others to shame and everlasting contempt. This is the first resurrection.”
Identical with the above quotations from Paul and John, and will take place when the Lord comes to deliver his bride. The English translation involves the conclusion that the wicked will be also raised at that time. But the most reliable expositions of the Hebrew state that some will be raised to everlasting life, and others doomed to shame and everlasting contempt — will not be raised, but sleep on to the end of time, when all the wicked shall be raised, and stand before the great white throne. 500311> Philippians 3:11: “If perchance I may attain unto the resurrection, which is out from the dead.”
We see here, as in other Scriptures, that the Apostle Paul was incessantly and enthusiastically and importunately striving after an especial resurrection. This shows positively that there are two resurrections, the one replete with blessing, glory, and immortal emolument and the highest association of saintship, and the other full of shame, everlasting contempt, and fearful augmentation of the damnation which the wicked enter when they die. Even the saints of the Old Testament times, as well as the Apostolic Age, were constantly striving for a better resurrection ( Hebrews 11:35). This glorious doctrine of the resurrection is one of the gems of the long-lost gospel, which God, in His mercy, is now restoring to the world through the medium of the Holiness movement. The Greek phraseology in these quotations plainly reveals an especial, extraordinary, and glorious resurrection for the saints. “Bro. Godbey, you clearly show by these Scriptures that the first resurrection will take place when the Lord comes for His bride, immediately preceding the great tribulation, after which our Lord will descend with His glorified bride, and set up His Millennial kingdom. Now, what shall I do with Revelation 20:4-6, Bro. Godbey?” This is simply a supplement to the first resurrection, and takes in the tribulation saints, who have suffered martyrdom during the great tribulation. The Rapture . — This word “rapture” means taking up, and it designates the Lord’s deliverance of his saints from the great tribulation. Paul says positively that He will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. This can not mean spiritual sleep, but must mean the sleep of the body in the grave.
Therefore, the Lord must come after them, in order to have them to bring with Him when He comes to reign. Matthew 24:27: “For as the lightning cometh from the east and appeareth even unto the west, so shall be the coming of the Son of man.”
Hence, we see that the light of His glorified person will flash round the world and affright the slumbering millions now resting in carnal security throughout every nation under heaven. Appalled and panic-stricken, they will howl out one universal wail at Him. The phrase, “all the tribes of the earth,” means the wicked multitudes of all nations meanwhile, His saints will not join in the wailing, but run to meet Him, with shouts of welcome. 1 John 2:28, “Now, little children, abide in Him, in order that, when He may appear, we may have boldness, and not shrink with embarrassment from Him in His presence.”
In this letter John teaches that we must have perfect love, which casts out fear and takes away our embarrassment, and prepares us to meet our coming Lord with joy. When shall we expect our Savior to come and take away his bride, raising the sainted dead and translating the living saints?
Now, all the New Testament certifies over and over that we are in the last age preceding the coming kingdom. We are not only in the last age, but rapidly approaching the end of the Gentile Age. The Theocray . — This word means the government of God. It was the original economy, prevalent in Eden till the fall. It was revived, in a modified sense, after the fall. Almost totally eclipsed erelong by the wickedness of the Antediluvians, it received the grand impetus in the divine intervention of the Flood, sweeping ostensible rebellion out of the world, and leaving a solitary righteous family to re-people the earth.
The wicked enterprise of Nimrod, so signally anathematized by the Almighty, proved the unfortunate precursor of all the governments on the globe. God was sorely grieved when Israel asked for a king, because it was an indirect rejection of His government. Yet, in His loving kindness and condescending mercy, He selected their king for them. Even the golden age of Israel, immortalized by the brilliant reigns of David and Solomon, only exhibits the theocracy in a modified form. Then begins the sad downward trend, with the revolt, alienation, and final deportation of the ten tribes into Babylonian captivity, culminating ultimately in the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, B.C. 587, and the final transportation of the Jews into Chaldea. It seemed that the theocracy had utterly evanesced, without the faintest hope of its revival. But remember, God’s plans never fail. Human and diabolical rebellion may interrupt and postpone them. but Omnipotence, in due time, will sweep away all the fabrications of men and devils, and perfect His plans to the admiration of saints and angels. With the fall of Jerusalem, the theocracy went into a total eclipse. The Jews — God’s earthly people — receded from the world’s leadership. The Gentiles came to the front, and became the rulers of the world during the theocratic eclipse. The Millennial reign will be the final restoration of the theocracy in its Edenic splendor and glory, never again to go into eclipse, but to brighten in the sweep of a thousand years, accumulate new luster in Satan’s post-Millennial defeat and ejectment into the lake of fire, brighten through the final judgment, earth’s fiery sanctification and final celestialization, and sweep on through all eternity-the bliss of glorified saints and the joy of angels, archangels, cherubim, and seraphim.
Thus we see the Gentile Age began with the fall of Jerusalem, B.C. 587.
Now, if we know how long it is to continue, we can certainly ascertain proximately the time of the Lord’s coming. It is fanatical to appoint the day of His advent, which no one knows, from the simple fact that there are three distinct systems of chronology, all differing somewhat either from the other, and we do not know which chronology is correct, or whether any one of them is precisely right. In these expositions, it is pertinent that you keep all of the three chronologies — i .e ., the lunar, calendar. and solar — constantly before your mind. Mohammedans and Jews use the lunar chronology, which contains three hundred and fiftyfour days in the year; Europeans use the calendar, which contains three hundred and sixty days in the year; while Americans use the solar, which contains three hundred and sixty-five days in the year. How do we know the length of the Gentile Age? Leviticus 26 says several times over that the Jews shall suffer expatriation and persecution at the hands of the Gentiles seven times. Daniel 4:25, we find Nebuchadnezzar was crazy and exiled, playing king among the beasts of the field seven times. The Hebrew means seven years for Israel’s expatriation and Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity. When the world became so wicked that there was no place for the Divine Government, God, in His mercy, chose Nebuchadnezzar, probably the most competent man in the world, to rule the nations; hence, in a sense, he symbolizes God in the dominion of the world. The crazy parenthesis of his reign typifies the human parenthesis in the world’s government, which began with the fall of the theocracy, B.C. 587, and will continue till Christ returns to set up the theocracy. In all these prophecies, a day represents a year. Daniel predicted that it would be seventy weeks from the return of the Jews out of Babylonian captivity till Christ should come ( Daniel 9:24). It is a well-known historic fact that this period proved to be four hundred and ninety years, thus, with many other prophecies, proving the year-day system of interpretation. The lunar year, 354 days, multiplied by 7, equals 2478; calendar, 360, multiplied by 7, equals 2520; and solar, 365, multiplied by 7, equals 2555. Hence. you see the time of Gentile rule in lunar chronology is 2478 in calendar, 2520; and in solar, 2555.
The period begins with the fall of Jerusalem, B.C. 587; now add A.D. 1896, and the total is 2483. So you see 2483 years have elapsed since the Gentile period began.
Now you will readily see when the Gentile Age will have an end. minus 2478 leaves 5. You see, according to lunar time, the Gentile Age has already expired, and five years over. 2520 minus 2483 leaves 37 years.
Hence you see, according to calendar time, we have only thirty-seven years to await the Lord’s coming to reign. 2555 minus 2483 leaves years. Here you see, according to solar chronology — the longest system — we have only seventy-two years to await the Lord’s kingdom.
TIME OF THE END While it is positively revealed that no one is to know the day of His coming, yet it is positively certified that the Lord’s true people are to know the time of the end. As Daniel and John did not live in the time of the end, they did not know it. Daniel was terribly grieved because he did not know it; but God said to him ( 12:9): “Go thy way; close up the vision and seal the book till the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
We are now living in that period. Many are running to and fro, and spreading abroad the knowledge of the Lord’s speedy coming. Thus you may rest assured that we are living in the time of the end, and the coming of the Lord is nigh. We are flooded on a sides with innumerable prophetical signs of His coming, of which we shall have occasion to speak, ever and anon, in the progress of this exposition. In Revelation 1:9, we find that John was banished to the Isle of Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. When our Savior appeared to Saul, on his way to Damascus, He said: “I have appeared unto thee to make thee a minister and a witness.” Thus the word and testimony are inseparable concomitants.
If John had preached and withheld his testimony, he might have stayed in Rome. We must not only preach the word straight and clear, but constantly corroborate it by our testimony. In that case the blessing of persecution will not be delinquent. 10. As John arrived in Patmos late Saturday evening, spent the night in prayer, with the opening Sunday morning, the glorified Savior came down, opened heaven to his vision, and revealed the wonderful prophetical panorama. Why is our Sabbath the first day of the week? We see here the apostles kept the first day, and, because of its sanctity, called it the Lord’s day.
The Old Dispensation wag under the law, which said, “Work first, then rest; and if you do not work, you shall not rest.” The New Dispensation is under the gospel, which says, “Rest first, and then you will be in good fix to do your work.” Hence, the very genius of the dispensations superinduce the change from the seventh to the first day of the week. 12. “Seven golden candlesticks .” Gold throughout the Bible means Holy Ghost religion. In regeneration, we find a gold-mine. In sanctification, our gold is put in the smelting furnace, all the earthly elements eliminated out of it, till nothing but the pure, transparent gold is left. Then it is coined and sent glittering around the world to bless the nations. Brass symbolizes counterfeit religion, being a compound of zinc and copper, and always made by men; whereas, gold is one of the original elements which God created when He made the world. 2 Chronicles 12: tells us about the apostasy of Rehoboam, when Shishak, the king of Egypt, came up with his army, captured Jerusalem, and took out of the temple the golden shields which king Solomon had made. Afterwards, Rehoboam made shields of brass to fill the places left vacant by the golden shields. Shishak emblematizes the devil and Rehoboam as the fallen Church. When the devil comes and takes away the Holy Ghost religion out of the heart, he always pokes off on us a big lot of brass to fool us, so we will not find out that we are already fallen, but think we are growing in grace, till the devil dumps us into hell. Thus, fallen Church are full of Satan’s egotistical, brassy religion. The pastors all want to be bishops, and the members all want to go to the General Conference. The golden candlestick symbolizes a Church full of Holy Ghost religion, in which the Holy Ghost Himself is the light. Here we have a glorious description of the glorified Savior as He walks amid the golden candlesticks. 13. “Clothed with a garment down to the foot and girded about the waist with a golden girdle .” This is a description of His priestly regalia, as our Savior is Prophet, Priest, and King. As Prophet, He teaches us; as Priest, He atones for all our sins; as King, He rules over us forever. During His earthly mission, He served mankind as Prophet, and was a most indefatigable preacher. He is now exercising His priestly office at the Father’s right hand in heaven. He will soon come down with His mighty angels and transfigured saints to set up His kingdom on the earth and reign forever. 14. “His head and His hands were white as wool, white as snow .” This clause describes His antiquity, setting forth the fact that He is uncreated, and has existed from all eternity. “His eyes are as a flame of fire .” This certifies His omniscience. The eye is the great receptacle of knowledge, and symbolizes all the senses. 15. “His feet were like unto brass .” This clause describes our Savior’s immutability, revealing the fact that He never changes, but is the same unutterable love, omniscient wisdom, and superabounding grace, yesterday, to-day, and forever. “His voice as the sound of many waters .”
This reveals His awful denunciation of sin. The artillery on every battlefield, the roaring thunder, the mighty tread of the hurricane, the sweep of the cyclone, the shock of the earthquake, and the bitter wail of the earth’s suffering millions, articulate our Savior’s warning voices against sin, doom, and damnation. 16. “Having in His right hand seven stars .” These stars are the faithful preachers of the gospel. So, if you want to be a star preacher, be sure the Savior holds you in His right hand. If you preach the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, fearless of men and devils, regardless of reputation, filthy lucre, ejectment, and decapitation, rest assured Jesus will hold you in His right hand, and you will have victory when the world is on fire. “Out of His mouth goes a sharp, two-edged sword .” This is the word of God revealed in the Bible. This wonderful sword has two edges, sharp as God’s lightning; i .e ., the salvation edge and the damnation edge. If you receive the salvation edge, and permit it radically and intrinsically to dissect soul, spirit, heart, mind, and body, it will cut out every fiber of sin’s warp and woof, actual and original, and effect a complete purgation from all iniquity, investing you with the spotless robe of entire sanctification, and actually leading you out into the heavenly state, ready, watching and waiting for the Lord to descend, translate and take you up into the cloud. If you prove too cowardly to receive the salvation edge, and let it cut out of you all sin, you will have to take the damnation edge, which will cut all your hopes out of heaven. “His countenance appears as the sun in His power.” John 1:9: “He is the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
Thus we see that the world’s Savior shines on every human soul. Hence Paul says en the heathen are left without excuse ( Romans 1:20). John says if we walk in the light, the blood cleanseth from all sin. Here is solved the problem of universal salvation. As the sun sends his light throughout the whole world, so the glorious Sun of righteousness illuminates the spiritual world, giving to every human being — saint, sinner, heathen, Jew, and Mohammedan — all the light they need to lead them to heaven. If they will only walk in all the light they have, His blood will cleanse them from all sin, and robe them for glory. 17. “I fell at His feet as a dead man .” We see here that John had a knockdown religion. I have seen much of it. Lord, give us more, to rebuke the dead formality and hollow hypocrisy of the fallen Churches! 18. “I have the keys of death and Hades .” Here we see that no person can die until God permits. People vainly talk about a Christian dying unsanctified. Such a thing never occurs. From the moment of your conversion, the holy Sanctifier is with you, holding the keys of death and Hades . He will not permit death to touch you till He finishes His work in your entire sanctification, which He can do in the twinkling of an eye if you are true. If you will not permit Him to sanctify you, but grieve Him away, you become a backslider, and drop into hell. Hades is a compound Greek word, meaning the unseen world, and including both heaven and hell. Gehenna is the Greek word which always means hell, and nothing else. 20. The seven candlesticks are the seven Churches. From these Scriptures we see the sanctified, Holy Ghost religion is the essence of the Church; and Jesus holds the sanctified pastor in His right hand. When a Church falls below these conditions, she is no longer the Church of God.
CHAPTER -SEVEN is the number constantly symbolizing Christ and denoting perfection. While there were hundreds of Churches in Asia at that time (for John wrote this Apocalypse about A.D. 100), these seven symbolize the visible Church from the Apostolic Age till the Lord comes in His glory to reign. 1. Ephesus was the New York of Western Asia — the metropolis of idolatry, honored with the Temple of Diana, which occupied two hundred years in building, and was one of the seven wonders of the world. Such was the importance of this city that Paul actually spent three years there preaching the gospel when he founded the Church. This was written a generation after the death of Paul, of the people converted and sanctified by his ministry. Many had back-slidden, and many more doubtless had come into the Church unsaved; still, however, they were pertinaciously orthodox. 2. In this verse the Holy Ghost highly commends their orthodoxy, and their courageous maintenance of the faith once delivered to the saints. 4. Here the Spirit reveals that these people, with all their sterling orthodoxy, were in a back-slidden state, having lost their first love, instead of exchanging it for perfect love, as the Lord willeth. 5. Here comes in God’s terrible rebuke for apostasy, loving call to repentance, and importunate appeal to come back and do their first works over; i .e ., get religion again. So here we see a Church whom God pronounces perfectly orthodox, and against whom there is not an insinuation immorality or disloyalty; yet God condemns them, pronounces them backsliders, and appeals to them to come and get their first religion again. 6. Here God again commends their scrupulous orthodoxy in the loyal fight they nobly maintain against the Nicolaitan heresy, which taught then, as now, that sin resided in the body; so their bodies were compelled to sin so long as they lived. 7. Here is a divine invocation to hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.
It sounds superfluous, because all have ears; but remember, the Bible is a spiritual book, and only apprehensible by spiritual people. The soul has eyes, ears, olfactories, tastes, and nerves. Though a dead man have all these senses, yet he can neither see, hear, smell, touch, nor feel, till the Holy Ghost raises him from the dead. The unregenerate world are spiritually dead, and utterly destitute of spiritual sensibility, till the resurrection power comes on them. You may read the Bible all your life, and die as ignorant as a Hottentot, if the Holy Ghost does not open your spiritual eyes. You may hear the most powerful preaching, and get nothing out of it, unless the Omnipotent Savior speaks the Ephthatha to your spiritual ears.
THE SEVEN VICTORIES In this verse we reach the first overcometh in regeneration. In the description of these seven Churches we have the seven overcomeths; i .e ., the seven victories which every soul must gain before it gets to heaven.
These victories are revealed in the conclusion of the Spirit’s message to every Church. 11. Number two is establishment in regeneration. 17. Number three is a glorious case of entire sanctification. In the wilderness, they ate the manna nightly falling on the land, which would breed worms and spoil in twenty-four hours. Thus the blessings received in the justified state are so transitory that we need a new one every day. In the sanctified experience, we live in the sanctum-sanctorum, where we have constant access to the manna hidden in the golden pot, which always keeps fresh and sweet. The white stone symbolizes solidity and purity, and the new name is sanctifier. Before we get sanctified, we only know Jesus as our Savior. When we enter the Valley of Blessings, so sweet, the Holy Ghost reveals to us the Omnipotent Sanctifier. 27. This is victory number four for the soul who keeps God’s works to the end. God’s works are regeneration and sanctification. To the soul who keeps these works to the end of the Gentile Age, till the Lord comes to reign, He will give him the morning star — i .e ., Himself — to be his glorious King forever. 3:5. The soul so fortunate as to reach the fifth victory is arrayed in white garments, and shall walk with Jesus in His Millennial glory. Probation passed, he shall never forfeit his royal inheritance. 3:12. Victory number six awaits the heroic soul far out beyond the millennium, fiery sanctification of the earth, its final renovation, and celestialization, when, in the oncoming heavenly state, the new Jerusalem shall come down to abide forever. 3:21. Here is the seventh and last victory, when Jesus shall have completed the mediatorial work, utterly exterminated sin and expurgated every stain from the polluted universe, banished Satan and all of his followers into the outer darkness, beyond the ultima thule , where the combined illumination of one hundred and seventeen millions of glowing suns has never shot one cheering ray. After the din of battle has forever been hushed, and shouts of victory shall ring through one billion and one hundred and seventy millions of glorious celestial worlds, the happy soul that shall have reached this seventh overcometh shall be honored with a seat on the throne, and a participation of the divine administration as the subordinate of the triumphant Christ, to reign with Him amid angels and redeemed spirits forever and ever. Ten thousand times ten thousand incentives inspire the immortal soul to run, strive, and fight for these seven victories. Seven is the perfect number designating Christ Himself. So don’t stop with sanctification, for that is only victory number three; but be a loyal candidate for the seven. Oh, glory to God for the seven overcomeths!
Ephesus, with its transcendent orthodoxy, though actually back-slidden, condemned, and fallen from the kingdom, emblematizes the general Church in the post-Apostolic Age, when she was rapidly sidetracking from the glorious experience of entire sanctification, which shook the world with the tread of a thousand earthquakes, and interpenetrated all nations during the Apostolic Age. 8. Smyrna was a little, dirty village, under the shadow of the great metropolitan Church at Ephesus. How striking the fact that the Holy Ghost adduces not a solitary charge against this Church! Though poor, illiterate, obscure, and unknown, she walked with God white, her garments unsullied. This Church represents the people of God during the age of pagan persecutions, which began under Nero and ceased under Diocletian, including a period of three hundred years, during which one hundred millions of Christians sealed their faith with their blood. Last summer I visited the Coliseum in Rome, where one hundred thousand cruel heathen men and women assembled nightly for three hundred years, to see the lions eat up the Christians. I saw the old, gloomy, subterranean tunnel through which they brought the lions from their lairs, down into the Coliseum, and turned them loose on the Christians. I visited the old judgment-hall, where Nero sat upon his tribunal, and condemned Paul to decapitation and Peter to crucifixion. I saw the gloomy old Mamertine prison, where Paul was incarcerated. Then I followed him out through the west gate to the spot where the Roman soldiers cut his head off. I also followed Peter to the Campus Martins, where he was crucified with his head down. 10. “You shall have persecution ten days .” The term “day” in the Bible frequently means a period. During the three hundred years of blood and slaughter, there were ten distinct persecutionary epochs, inaugurated and prosecuted by the different emperors, all of whom endorsed and reiterated the cruel edicts of Nero, the originator of the persecutions. Pursuant to these imperial edicts they did their utmost to exterminate Christianity in the Roman Empire, which at that time embraced the known world. The persecutions purified the Church, kept her under the blood, filled with perfect love, robed and ready, and fearless of bloody death.
Pergamus was a large old heathen city, the capital of Phrygia. The conversion of the Emperor Constantine, A.D. 325, wound up all the pagan persecutions, revolutionized the religion of the empire, exchanged the symbols of paganism for those of Christianity, transformed pagan temples into Christian Churches, and filled them with the unregenerate masses of heathen Rome.
Of course, the Churches were filled with idolatry, spiritual fornication, and the Nicolaitan heresy, that sin was inherent in the body, and could not be eliminated, save by death and disintegration. So Pergamus emblematizes the proud and haughty Church of the Constantinian Age, which opened the way for corrupt Catholicism. We see the Church of Thyatira is represented by the harlot Jezebel, who leads the people into fornication.
This is the papacy, which is constantly personified by a fallen woman.
CHAPTER -SARDIS was the proud, luxuriant capital of Lydia, of which Ephesus was the metropolis. 1. “Seven Spirits ” means the Holy Ghost, because seven denotes perfection and represents Christ, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. Though Sardis was a proud city Church, with a boasted reputation, the Holy Ghost says she was dead, and exhorted her to repent and seek the Lord. 3. “I will come as a thief .” The thief comes at midnight, when deep sleep falleth upon men, and no one knows when he comes and when he goes. So the wicked, worldly Churches are fast asleep in the arms of a slumbering world, not having the slightest apprehension that the Lord is nigh. But to his faithful bride, He will not come as a thief in the night. Sardis represents the dead mediaeval Church in the days of Wyckliffe, Huss, and Luther, when truly she had a name to live, but was dead. 4. This verse reveals the consolatory fact that there were some sanctified people, even in the dead Church of the Dark Ages. Thomas a Kempis, Archbishop Fenelon, Madame Guyon, and many others shone like luminaries amid that period of spiritual night. 7. Philadelphia is a compound Greek word, which, means brotherly love, and represents the Church of the Lutheran and Wesleyan Reformation. 8. “I place before thee an open door, and no one can shut it.” God used the Reformation to open the door of gospel grace to a world which had groped in darkness a thousand years. He said no one could shut it. So it is still open, and will so remain to the end of time. God used Luther and compeers to restore the long-lost doctrine of justification by the free grace of God in Christ, received and appropriated by faith only, independently of all priestly intervention and manipulation. He used Wesley and his coadjutors to restore to the world the long-lost gospel of entire sanctification in the cleansing blood, administered by the Holy Ghost through faith only. The reader will observe that the Church at Philadelphia has an irreproachable Christian character, like Smyrna, not a solitary charge being adduced against her by the Holy Ghost. This is the glorious Church of the Reformation, which poured floods of light upon the nations, driving back the fogs of Romanism, which had enveloped the world in rayless night a thousand years. 15. We now come to the great and wealthy city Church, Laodicea, flourishing and prosperous in her numerical, popular, influential, and financial resources. She continued to prosper through the oncoming centuries, being honored with the entertainment of a General Conference during the fourth century. Like the city Churches of the present day, she had everything but salvation. God says she was neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm. Both cold drinks and hot drinks are palatable and desirable; but tepid, lukewarm drinks nauseate, and are administered by physician to their patients to make them vomit. So God certifies that lukewarm Churches make Him sick at His stomach even unto vomiting. So God vomits them out, and they drop into the bottomless pit. Now, reader, do you know that this Laodicean congregation represents the great Protestant Church of all denominations at the present day, with her hundred millions of members and countless billions of money? 17. She says: “I am rich, have become very rich. and have no need .” Then God says: “Thou art wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy from me gold, having been purified by the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, and the shame of your nakedness may not appear; and eye-salve, to anoint your eyes, that you may see.” 20. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock .” This is God’s appalling description of the fallen churchism of the present day. Because they have wealth, popularity, social position, broad influence, and official promotion in the great councils of a world-wide ecclesiasticism, they are inflated with pride, arrogance, presumption, pomposity, and literally saturated and filled with formality and hypocrisy. God, in the Holiness movement, is now standing at the door, calling them the last time, as the end is nigh, and the Lord is at hand. The gold tried in the fire, which he offers them, is regeneration, sanctified by Holy Ghost fire. This constitutes the true riches. It is lamentable in the extreme that so few people in the dead Churches hear God’s knock, open the door, and get regenerated and sanctified. They are in a most deplorable condition, utterly naked, polluted, wretched, and starving to death. Yet they are so hallucinated by the devil as to think they have need of nothing. Hebrews 3:17; They are fallen carcasses in the wilderness, on which Satan’s buzzards — i .e ., theaters, dances, circuses, card parties, Church festivals, and all sorts of frolics — hold high carnival and play sad havoc. They are so completely chloroformed and hoodwinked by the devil that they are literally led captive at his will; yet so perfectly satisfied with their religion, that they turn with proud disdain from God’s repeated knock at the door through the Holiness movement.
HE COMES WITH CLOUDS — 1:7 While the Laodicean Church of the present day is busy in her ice-cream suppers and strawberry festivals, the Lord is coming in a cloud, to take up His sanctified bride, and spew these lukewarm professors out of His mouth. Jesus says, in his sermon on the judgments, that the last days of the Antediluvian world symbolize the winding up of the present dispensation. Wickedness increased so fearfully, and the Antediluvian Church apostatized so awfully, that only one preacher’s family survived the spiritual wreck. So here we see the whole Church, along with the wicked world, swept away by the devouring Deluge. To a superficial observer, that looks hard. But don’t you know it was full of mercy? The world had become so wicked, and the Church had fallen and literally united with the world, as at the present day, that there was no hope but for each succeeding generation to get worse and worse, and drop into hell as they come and go. Hence it was signal mercy on the part of the Almighty to put an end to that awful trend into hopeless damnation, and start a new order of things, in which the rainbow of heavenly hope would again span the world. The whole Book of Genesis teaches one great lesson; i .e ., that man is a failure. He failed in Eden. He failed in the Antediluvian Ages. He failed in post-diluvian times. He is fast proving an utter failure in the Gospel Dispensation. The Church is a human organization. Therefore, it has proved a failure in every age and dispensation. While Genesis shows up man’s failure, beginning in Paradise and winding up in Egyptian slavery, Exodus reveals that God is a success under all circumstances. So rest assured you will never do any good till you find out that you are a total failure, and fly to the bosom of God, who alone is a perfect success. Just as the Antediluvian world deteriorated morally and religiously to the end, so with the post-diluvian world. At present there is only one Christian in the world for every one hundred and fifty inhabitants. What an awful harvest hell is constantly reaping! What a signal mercy on the part of the Almighty to interpose and arrest this cataract of damnation There is but one way to do it, and that is to destroy them, as in case of the Flood, as only one now and then will repent, and the perpetuity of the present state of things would only conduce to augment the appalling tide of wholesale damnation.
ECCLESIA Is the Greek word used by the Holy Ghost for Church. It is from ek (out), and kaleo (to call), and means the souls who hear and obey the call of the Holy Ghost, come out of the world, enter into covenant with God, and become his disciples. Hagiadzo means to take the world out of you. ( 1 John 2:16). All this is the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.
Hence there is a Church within the Church, consisting of people who have come out of the world in regeneration, and had the world taken out of them in sanctification. This is the blood-washed bride of Christ, and has always been a glorious success. At the present day, she hears the voice of the Heavenly Bridegroom, is under the blood, robed and ready to meet Him coming in the cloud. Noah’s Ark, in which eight souls went up from the doom of a drowning world to re-people the earth, in the good time coming, typifies the cloud in which the Lord is coming, and will take up His Church from the awful tribulations, bursting like ten thousand volcanoes on this wicked world, with its lukewarm Laodicean Churches, in calamities, as our Savior says, more appalling than Noah’s Flood.
Reader, have you heard the voice of God knocking at the door of your heart — “Come out of the world” — then heeded His call to holiness, and had the world all taken out of you, so that you are now safe in the Divine Ecclesia, which the Lord, at His coming, will take up in the cloud, carry over the great tribulations, which shall sweep the unsaveable and incorrigible millions out of the world, and thus prepare all nations for the coming kingdom? The great theologians who stand in the Laodicean Churches which belt the globe at the present day are blind to these momentous realities, because they will not use the eye-salve which the Holy Ghost, especially through the Holiness people, offers them. Good Lord, have mercy on them amid their momentous responsibilities, while they prophesy smooth things, and let their members, who pay them big money, slip through their fingers into hell!
CHAPTER - CELESTIAL THEATER PAUL speaks of the third heaven. The firmament enveloping this earth is the first heaven, the astronomical universe is the second heaven, and the home of glorified saints and angels, in the presence of God, is the third heaven. The Apostle John stands on the lonely isle. After a night of prayer, he lifts up his eyes, looks through a door opened in the firmament, and contemplates the wonders of the Apocalyptic visions. Now the panorama begins to evolve. He beholds the glorified Savior sitting on His throne in the firmament, encircled by a rainbow, the symbol of the Messianic covenant, whose wonderful fulfillment is so vividly adumbrated in these panoramic prophecies. Here we find many dark segments in the rainbow of God’s providence. In this vision, we see the unbroken circle.
The twenty-four elders, representing the twelve tribes of the Old and the twelve apostles of the New Dispensation, and aggregately the Church of all ages, as the recipients and custodians of the redemptive scheme, symbolized by the rainbow, sit upon thrones in the glorified presence, clothed in white robes, symbolic of entire sanctification, with crowns upon their heads, representative of the glorious victory achieved by the saints in the cleansing blood. The lightning’s voices and thunders symbolize and proclaim the castigatory judgments of the Almighty against a fallen Church and a wicked world.
The seven lamps are the perfect fiery baptism of God’s people, the seven Spirits the Holy Ghost, and the sea of glass the imperturbable peace which reigns in the hearts of the wholly sanctified. 6. The “four beasts ” should read four living creatures. I hope you will never read it “beasts” any more, as beast symbolizes carnality in the Bible, and these living creatures represent the glorified saints. The Greek word translated “beast” in this passage is zoo-on , from zaoo (to live), and simply means a living creature. The word translated beast in chapter 13 is theer , and always means a ferocious wild beast, like a lion or a bear, and is the constant symbol of human government, which always rules by brute force, while God rules in righteousness and love. These four living creatures typify sanctified humanity. One has the face of a lion, the other that of an ox; the third has the face of a flying eagle, and the fourth the countenance of a man. Thus the wonderful graces of full salvation, received in the experience of entire sanctification, make you courageous as a lion, suffering martyrdom in your tracks. You also have the perseverance of the old ox pulling at a gum stump all day; while you have the velocity of the flying eagle, hastening to the ends of the earth with the swiftness of the locomotive. Last year I traveled twenty-two thousand miles through Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, preaching and witnessing to this wonderful salvation. The human face emblematizes intelligence, as man is the most intelligent being on the earth. A good case of sanctification will give you more sense than anything else — not the learning nor the shrewdness of the world, but the wisdom that comes down from God, and will make you wise unto salvation. These living creatures have six wings.
With two they cover their faces; symbolic of humility, the fundamental Christian grace. With two they cover their feet; symbolic of purity, the climax of all the Christian graces. And with two they fly. Thus we have joyfully symbolized the perfection of Christian character. Humility is the indispensable foundation, and purity the glorious superstructure. Then we must go on eagle’s wings to the ends of the earth, proclaiming the wonders of full salvation, and rescuing the perishing. 8. Here we learn that the constant shout of the four living creatures before the throne of God is “Holy, holy, holy .” Since these living creatures emblematize restored humanity, it follows, as a logical sequence, that the saints of the Most High are forever to ring out the shout, “Holy, holy, holy.” Therefore, we would better get the experience, begin speedily, and become experts before we go hence.
CHAPTER - THE BOOK WITH SEVEN SEALS THIS book is not the whole Bible, as some have thought, but simply this book of prophecy; i .e ., the Apocalypse; i .e ., the description of our Lord’s personal revealment back to this world. Zechariah says: “His feet shall stand again on Mt. Olivet.” This book, which John saw in the right hand of the glorified Savior, sitting on His throne, was simply a parchment-roll, looking like a roll of newspapers. It was sealed with seven seals; i .e ., it had seven wrappers folded around it and each one fastened with a seal, thus securing the contents of the roll. When the angels shouted, “Who is worthy to open the book and loose the seals ?” heaven and earth were ransacked in vain. No one was found worthy. When John begins to weep, one of the twenty-four elders notifies him that the Lion of the tribe of Judah — i .e ., Christ Himself — hath prevailed to open the book, and loose the seals. 6. “The Lamb that was slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, having been sent into all the earth .” The atonement is the great work of Christ in which we are most interested.
Hence, in these Apocalyptic visions, He appears as the Lamb that was slain and liveth again to intercede for a guilty world. The number seven, constantly applied to Christ, denotes not only His Divinity and humanity united, but that perfection of which He is the incarnation. Horn, in these prophecies, constantly means government. The old prophet says: “The government shall be on His shoulders.” Hence “seven horns” denotes His perfect government. The eye symbolizes knowledge. Hence, “seven eyes ” means His omniscience. “Seven Spirits ” means the Holy Spirit, whom Christ has sent into all the world, to save every human being who will let Him, whether Jew, Christian, Mohammedan, or Heathen. 9. We see in this verse that the redemption extends indiscriminately to all the nations who have ever lived upon the earth. 11. We see here the transfigured Millennial saints who shall reign with Christ a thousand years, estimated a hundred and one millions.
CHAPTER - PROHETICAL PROGRAM HAVING passed through the Prologue we now enter upon the prophetical panorama. This and the following chapter are devoted to a programmatical anticipatory presentment of the contents of the book, read in brief from the envelopes wrapped around it. These wrappers, with which the book was sealed, contained a summary of its revelation. 2. The breaking of the first seal and the removal of the first wrapper introduces the gospel on the prophetic drama, which is destined to prove an important factor and play a conspicuous part in the wonderful tragedies of the latter-day prophecies. A white horse comes forth, with a mounted cavalier, wearing a crown and bearing a bow with arrows. He goes forth conquering and to conquer. Here we see the divine ideal of a gospel preacher is a sanctified circuit-rider, emblematized by the white horse.
Riding on horseback, inhaling the pure atmosphere, is not only a first-class gymnasium for muscular development, but a most excellent sanitarium.
Hence the pulpit giants of all ages have been educated in “Brush College,” and celebrated for their equestrianship. If I were young again, whether boy or girl, I would certainly be a sanctified circuit-rider, even if I rode a bicycle. Oh, that every reader of these pages may catch the gospel inspiration and turn sanctified circuit-riders!
Upon opening the second seal, behold, the red horse comes forth. This red horse symbolizes bloody Mohammedanism. It constitutes the Oriental hemisphere of anti-Christendom, while Romanism constitutes the Occidental hemisphere. Since Satan conquered the world in Eden, he has deluged it with blood and bleached it with bones. It is estimated that twenty thousand millions of people have been slain in Satan’s wars since the beginning of the world. All wars are the devil’s revivals, gotten up by his majesty for the population of hell. Never is the devil so delighted as on a great battlefield, when men are killing one another by the wholesale, and thus engulfing multitudes into hell. Hence Satan and his people play a most conspicuous part in prophetical fulfillment. The history of this world is mainly the recital of Satan’s work, since he certainly has the big end of it, and is designated by the Holy Ghost “the god of this world.” ( 2 Corinthians 4:4.)
MOHAMMEDANISM Mohammed began to preach in Arabia, A.D. 607. He boldly proclaimed to the world that he ascended with Gabriel, astride the same donkey which Christ rode into Jerusalem. Having flown through trackless ether, passing glittering spheres, rolling worlds, and blazing suns, with his archangelic escort, he arrives at the first heaven, where he finds Adam and Eve, so crippled by the fall that they have progressed no further, but linger there with many of their children. They sweep on the ethereal void traversed by rolling worlds, till they reach the second heaven, where they find a number of patriarchs and saints. Then onward they fly, halting anon at the third heaven. Then to the fourth, on to the fifth, and finally to the sixth, at all of which he finds multitudes of patriarchs, prophets, saints, and angels. At the sixth heaven Gabriel throws up his commission, alleging his unworthiness to escort him any further, at the same time notifying him that he must proceed alone to the seventh heaven, and there stand before the effulgent majesty of the Almighty, as He sits upon the throne of the universe, and who has sent him all the way down to this world to summon Mohammed to appear in His presence. Now Mohammed proceeds alone up to the seventh heaven, and stands before the Almighty, who notifies him that, having sent prophet after prophet to warn the wicked people of this world to repent, He finally sent His Son Jesus Christ to persuade them, by His condescending love and mercy, to repent of their sins. But all this had proved a failure, since, instead of repenting, they arose up and slew Him. But now Mohammed represents the mighty as sending him into this world, the last and most beloved of all the prophets, even from the beginning of the world. But He does not send him to persuade men to repent, as all the others had come on that line, and signally failed; but He sends him armed with the sword to compel all the people in the world to cast away all other religions and worship God Almighty alone, and receive the Koran, which Mohammed certified that the Almighty revealed to him while he stood in His august presence. Doubtless Mohammed was one of the most intelligent men the world ever saw. Though a son of Esau, he was the master-spirit of the Dark Ages. Satan was one of the brightest of all the archangels before he fell. This wonderful superhuman intellect he retained after his spirit’s apostasy, and utilizes at the present day.
Doubtless, Mohammed was wonderfully illuminated intellectually, inspired, energized, invigorated, and empowered by the devil. Thus Mohammedanism, instigated by Satan, was born in blood, death, robbery, and every species of crime. The Koran has no code of morals. It unscrupulously justifies robbery, murder, and licentiousness. It presents the greatest conceivable incentives to the most chivalric heroism on the battlefield. It says: “A night spent in arms is more precious in the sight of God than months of fasting and prayer. Whosoever dies in battle, his sins are forgiven. In the day of judgment, his wounds shall be resplendent as vermillion, and odoriferous as musk. In the Mussulman’s paradise, seventy-two damsels of sparkling beauty shall minister to the most humble of the faithful,” Mohammedanism is an ironclad system of inflexible Monotheism, utterly repudiating and eternally abjuring every form of idolatry. Thus, Mahomet proclaimed to the world that God had sent him to destroy all the idolatry on the globe, and purify the religions of the world. At the time of his ministry, in the seventh century, Asia and Africa, the great apostolic fields of labor, were occupied by the Greek Church, which was full of image worship. Mahomet, born and reared in the wilds of Arabia, did not discriminate between corrupt Christianity, with its image-worship, which everywhere prevailed in the East, and the paganistic Churches. Hence, the Moslem armies exterminated all religions as they went, giving the people the solitary alternative of Koran or death.
Thus the loyal Mussulman believes he is to swim to heaven in Christian blood. The Turkish Empire has been the upholder of Mohammedanism the last twelve hundred years. It was a penalty of death to profess Christianity in that empire till the treaty of Ryswick, A.D. 1844, when the united powers of Christendom forced on the Turks the Act of Toleration.
This treaty they are now flagrantly violating in the Armenian massacres. 6. BLACK HORSE The black horse here symbolizes the papacy, which has always been the oppressor of the poor, here indicated by the scarcity of edibles. It has always taught sacramental salvation through priestly manipulations, here indicated by the oil and the wine. Romanism constitutes the great Western hemisphere of anti-Christendom, of which Mohammedanism is the Eastern. The first pope, Boniface the Third, Bishop of Rome, was crowned by Phocas, the king of Italy, A.D. 606; whereas, Mahomet began to preach in Arabia at the same time. Throughout all of these prophecies, the pope is currently denominated the “beast,” and Mahomet the “false prophet.” These two great wings of the Satanic kingdom have thrown their dark shadows around the world the last twelve hundred years, while Mohammedanism has deluged Asia and Africa with blood and whitened them with bones. Romanism, in the dark succession of the pagan emperors, who had slaughtered a hundred millions of saints, comes on and slays a hundred millions more. For a dozen centuries, the pope had his foot on the necks of all European kings, till the Lutheran Reformation jostled him on his pontifical throne, and relaxed his iron grip. This was consummated by Victor Emanuel, A.D. 1870, who shook the pope from his temporal throne. The wonderful vitality and indomitable energy of the papacy was then diverted from the bold and dictatorial altitude of the proud pontificate, swaying his iron scepter over the heads of all kings, bowing, cringing vassals, praying his clemency, and kissing his feet, into clandestine subterranean channels through which, by Jesuitical intrigue, lie is adroitly manipulating all the governments on the globe. He is to-day the greatest political trickster in the world. When I was there last summer, the royal ambassadors were constantly calling on him. Through ten thousand diabolical devices he is doing his utmost to get possession of the democracies, both European and American. He has a majority in the municipal governments of all our great cities, and nearly all of our great popular daily papers of the cities; he is also said to have a majority in the United States army and navy. Roman Catholicism is increasing in the United States vastly more rapidly than the Protestant Churches.
Notwithstanding his political dethronement in 1870, and the universal curtailment of the potent superstition with which he has bound the nations for ages by the worldwide circulation of the Bible within the last century, yet it is doubtful whether there was ever a period in the world’s history when the papacy was more influential than at the present day. It is my honest conviction that this wonderful and incorrigible nightmare on human conscience, the summary of all political intrigue, will run right on, with increasing volume and potency, till the Lord comes to take away His bride. Then, with the inauguration of the great tribulations, the pope, as the master-spirit of anti-Christendom, will at once ostensibly and avowedly ascend the throne of antichrist, assume the leadership of the world, boldly antagonize, the Ancient of Days in His castigatory judgments, and impudently gainsay the prerogatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, when He descends with His glorified bride on the throne of His Millennial kingdom. 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul says the glorified Savior will exterminate him by the brightness of His presence. Revelation 19-20, John says he and the false prophet — i .e ., Mahomet — will both be cast alike in the lake of fire.
When I was in Cairo last summer there were ten thousand students in the Mohammedan university, studying the Koran, preparing to go out and preach the Moslem gospel to all nations. In these Scriptures the horse not only symbolizes character, but velocity being the swiftest animal on the earth. The opening of the first seal reveals the white horse, which is the gospel; and God wants it to move at race-horse speed, as it is a white horse. God has no gospel but sanctification, which makes you white. No wonder Satan is running away with the world; for he has three horses. The red horse, Mohammedanism, offers bloody death to all who reject the Koran. The black horse, Romanism, deals only in sin, delusion, death, and damnation, black as the very fogs of the pit.
PALE HORSE 8. The pale horse revealed in the opening of the fourth seal symbolizes death, and portrays in horrific panoramas the awful horrors of death during the reign of Satan, and the night of sin, which have been on the earth the last six thousand years, doing their utmost to get hell filled up before the Lord comes to reign. It is estimated that the entire globe is depopulated by death every seventeen years. The Greek word chlooros , translated “pale,” means livid, ghastly, corpse-like. This horse looks like he was dead on foot, having famished away till there is nothing left but skin and bones.
His rider, the King of Terrors, the grim monster Death, is nothing but a bony skeleton. As Satan gives them all the vitality and power they need, their utter emaciation only adds to their lightning velocity. As this is Satan’s period of the world ( 2 Corinthians 4:4), he is laying under contribution all the agencies of his kingdom for the population of hell.
MARTYRDOM 9. The opening of the fifth seal reveals the martyrs who sealed their faith with their blood from the Apostolic Age till the Lord comes. The souls are the persons of these martyrs seen lying beneath the altar. God’s true martyrs are wholly consecrated; hence, on the altars here they have been slain, and have fallen down and beneath it. They are praying to God for a victory over all their enemies. Two hundred millions of God’s martyrs have already sealed their testimony with their blood since the prophet saw this vision. Here we see that God’s vindicatory answer to their prayers is postponed till their successors are also added to the catalogue of death.
The Armenian Christians are now fast receiving honorable enrollment in the martyr’s catalogue. All the terrible retribution which shall come upon a wicked world and a fallen Church in the appalling castigatory judgments of the Almighty at the close of the Gentile Dispensation will be signal answers to the prayers of the martyrs in bygone ages. These martyrs all cried to God for vindication. Rest assured He has not forgotten a solitary wail or groan. Hence, an awful retribution, with accumulated and compound interest, is on the track of all the people in all ages who have persecuted God’s saints. God never forgets anything. His promises never fail; His word endureth forever. There is but one Greek word for martyr and witness. Martyr is a pure Greek word, translated witness. When Jesus met an infuriated Saul on the Damascus road, He said unto him, “I have appeared unto thee to make thee a minister and martyr.” Hence Paul always afterwards knew that he had to suffer martyrdom. The Holiness people are the martyrs of the present age, living or dying. The opposition to the Holiness movement is purely Satanic, defiant of God, and a most ostensible sign of our Lord’s speedy coming. Hence a dreadful doom awaits the oppressor of the great Holy Ghost revival now traversing all lands, calling out the elect of God to get ready to meet Him descending in a cloud.
Here the sixth seal opens, revealing (12-17) THE GREAT TRIBULATION This book of prophecy, which John saw in the hand of the angel, like all ancient books, was a parchment-roll. So precious were the contents that it had seven wrappers around it, every one most diligently sealed. No one but the Lion of the tribe of Judah could open the seals, as He is the omnipotent God, who orders the events of the universe. Daniel saw these wonderful prophecies in thrilling panorama, and fainted because he knew not the vision. God said ( Daniel 12:9): “Go thy way, Daniel, close up and seal the book till the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” “Oh, Daniel, thou shalt stand in thy lot in the end of the days!” A thousand concurrent prophecies and ten thousand signs of His coming this day confirm the conclusion that we are living in the time of the end of the Gentile Age, which is to be followed by the Millennial kingdom.
The Holiness people are running to the ends of the earth and everywhere increasing the knowledge of entire sanctification and the Lord’s near coming. The very fact that this prophecy was to be closed up and sealed till the time of the end confirms the conclusion that it is to be opened and revealed at the time of the end. Oh, how rapidly is the Holy Ghost everywhere opening and revealing these wonderful latter-day prophecies to His holy people! The rapture of the bride, accompanied by the resurrection of the buried saints, and the translation of the living, will call Daniel from the dust, to stand in his lot; i .e ., and see the literal fulfillment of the mighty wonders whose prophetic vision caused him to faint and fall as a dead man. Doubtless, the tribulation period will be characterized quite extensively by earthquakes and other noted physical phenomena.
Earthquakes also emblematize the terrible political convulsions which shall shake every potentate on the globe from the mighty thrones of timehonored empires. The sun emblematizes the kings, the moon the queens, and the stars the state governors and all subordinate rulers. So we see, amid these terrible national convulsions and revolutions, every ruler is to be shaken from his throne, and not a government left on the globe competent to protect the life and property of its citizens. Jesus, in His sermon on the pre-millennial judgments, which He preached on Mt. Olivet the day before He was arrested, certifies, “These are the days of vengeance.” While wholesale murder, rapine, and violence are the order of the day, rivers of blood and mountains of the dead everywhere saluting the eyes, and the very winds burdened with the wails of the dying, no wonder the rich , the poor, the high, the low, great and small, will cry for rocks and mountains to fall on them and hide them from the face of Him who sitteth upon the throne. Daniel devotes the <270701> seventh chapter to a vivid description of these wonderful prophetical fulfillments. During these awful tribulations, the “Ancient of Days” shall sit upon the judgment throne, His garments white as snow, and a fiery stream issuing before Him. God said to His Son, “Sit Thou on My right hand till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” His snowy-white raiment emblematizes the perfect purity and righteousness of His judgments. The fiery stream going before Him typifies the awful severity of these castigatory retributions, destined to overtake the wicked nations and fallen Churches of the Gentile Dispensation.
CHAPTER -SHOULD have been postponed till the fifth verse, including the first four verses in the sixth chapter. 1-4. “The four winds ” symbolizes the divine wrath about to break out in the awful tribulations, and tear the world all to pieces. Are not these four angels holding the winds Great Britain, Russia, Germany, and France? The Turkish Empire is the great storm-center and the breeder of revolution. She is now dead on foot, and only kept alive artificially by the jealousy of her neighbors. They are all watching the Turkey, their teeth watering to eat her up. The Lion dare not stop to eat for watching the Bear, and vice-versa .
These nationalities now serve as pall-bearers, carrying her to her longmerited sepulcher. Though she is now flagrantly and barbarously butchering the Armenian Christians in overt violation of the Toleration Treaty made with the Christian Powers at Ryswick in 1844, yet these Powers are so jealous of one another that every one is afraid to fire a gun; so they are still holding back the winds of revolution, lest they break out and turn the world upside down.
Meanwhile the Angel of the Lord is in a hurry to seal God’s saints before the awful outbreak, as the Heavenly Bridegroom wants to take them out of the world. The light of salvation began in the East, and moved toward the West. Hence the trend of gospel agencies and Christian progress has always been with the sun — from East to West.
THE JEWS — 4-8 Here we see twelve thousand of every tribe are sealed. These constitute the hundred and forty-four thousand repeatedly alluded to in these prophecies. They constitute the nucleus of the heavenly bridehood. The Jews are God’s earthly people, while the Christians are His heavenly people. Were not ten tribes lost after the deportation by Shalmanezer, as none but Judah and Benjamin returned in the Exodus of Nehemiah? There is a general misapprehension and delusion on that subject. As the ten tribes were carried into captivity a hundred and thirty-four years before Judah and Benjamin, they had been in the Chaldean Empire two hundred years at the time of the Exodus. As only fifty thousand returned to Jerusalem under Nehemiah, of course they were but a fraction of Judah and Benjamin; yet doubtless many of the ten tribes returned with them to Palestine. So the ten tribes were not lost, but they simply lost their tribehood, as they did not return in their organized tribes, but as individuals. Hence, all of this hue and cry about the lost tribes, ransacking all the world to find them, and writing vast volumes, is a piece of twaddle and nonsense. Thousands of people are now studying great books which claim to identify the lost tribes with the Anglo-Saxon race, denominating Great Britain Ephraim, and the United States Manasseh. It is all a stratagem and a hoax to flatter the English and Americans. It is an awful pity, as those nations have a great superfluity of egotism and pomposity, without these auxiliaries. Noah had three sons. Ham, in Hebrew, means black; Shem, red; and Japheth, white. The most ancient history says Noah divided his claim in the post-diluvian world among his sons, giving to Ham Africa, to Shem Asia, and Japheth Europe. The Greeks, in history, give Javan — i .e ., Japheth — as their ancestor. Greece became the nucleus of European nations. Hence you see the Anglo-Saxons and all Europeans are Japhethites; whereas, the Jews are the descendants of Shem. Abraham is contemporary with Shem; therefore, the hypothesis which identifies the Israelites with the Anglo-Saxons is radically false.
Good Lord, deliver us from all subterranean devices, by which we would steal away the prophecies which legitimately belong to the Jews, and appropriate their promises to the Gentiles We have enough of our own.
Great Mt. Olivet is literally covered from base to summit with Jewish tombs, though they have been driven from their country twelve hundred years. These bygone generations, sleeping in their graves, are the silent custodians of the Holy Land. When I walked up and down the rocky paths trodden by the Prince of Life, hither and thither over that mountain [from which we enjoy so conspicuous a view of the Holy City, I loved to stand on the spot whence He ascended up to heaven. In my visions of prophetic fulfillment, I saw Him descending in the clouds, and the sainted Jews all over Mt. Olivet and throughout Palestine leaping from their tombs with triumphant shouts to meet Him in the air. These constitute the nucleus of the glorified bridehood. Ten years ago there were only ten thousand Jews in Palestine; now there are one hundred thousand, and they are rapidly coming from all nations, through the influence of eleven distinct colonization societies, especially that of Baron Rothschild, who holds a mortgage on all Palestine, which the bankrupt Turkish Government will never be able to redeem. God expedite the day when he will close the mortgage, take possession of the country, proclaim himself king of the Jews, and call home the children of Abraham wandering in every land.
Since the conversion of Joseph Rabinowitz, a learned Jewish lawyer of Russia, and his organization of a Christian Church among the Jews, denominated “Israelites of the New Covenant,” they are rapidly being converted to Christianity. However, Ezekiel 37 teaches plainly, in the valley of dry bones, that they are to be gathered into Canaan in their unregenerated state. So we need not expect a general turning to God on the part of Abraham’s children till after they are gathered into Palestine. The Mohammedans conquered Palestine and captured Jerusalem A.D. 637, driving the Christians out. Daniel says they will hold it twelve hundred and sixty years. 1896 minus 637 leaves 1259. Hence you see, according to the prophecies, the Mohammedan power in Palestine will fall in 1897. A thousand auspicious omens this day prognosticate the speedy fall of Turkdom in the Holy Land. When I was there last summer, all nationalities were on the constant lookout for the fall of the Turkish power. Moslem prophecies constantly proclaimed the near approach of that notable event.
Since the world has three distinct systems of chronology, it is fanatical sticklerism to be contentious about the exactitude of these dates. Still, however, they serve all practical purposes, and reveal proximately the eventful epochs of prophetical fulfillment. When the Mohammedan power falls in Palestine, there is no alternative but for the Holy Land to pass into Christendom. Who shall get it? The French are there in great power, rapidly building magnificent edifices, and exceedingly anxious for that country. The Russians are there in still greater power, pouring out millions of money to build religious and philanthropic institutions throughout the Holy Land. They are determined to have it. Peter the Great prophesied that they were to possess Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The English are there in rapidly increasing power, especially since they took Egypt from the Turkish Pasha. As England is Protestant, France Catholic, and Russia Greek, I am exceedingly hopeful the Holy Land will pass into the British Empire. This becomes more than probable since Baron Rothschild, a son of Abraham, an officer in the British Government, the richest man in the world, holds a mortgage on all that country. What has he to do but to close his mortgage and take possession of the Holy Land in the name of the British Government? I am expecting every day to hear that the Turks are driven out of Palestine. Though the ruling class, they are only one sixteenth of the present population. The moment Turkdom falls, Jerusalem and the Holy Land pass into Christendom. Then that country will be turned over to the Jews, its rightful owners, all other claimants being usurpers and robbers. This notable event will be a sunburst on the Christian world. Especially after the Jews return will evangelistic agencies be utilized to their utmost vigor for their conversion to Christ. That country is still, though terribly abused, pauperized and beggarized by Mohammedan misrule, intrinsically the garden-spot of the globe. It consists of inexhaustible beds of calcium and aluminum, the great fertilizers of the earth. It is paradoxically destitute of the sterilizing elements. Hence, it is a land of incalculable and inexhaustible fertility; besides, it is everywhere prolific of the most valuable, delicious tropical fruits. Under Jewish industry and enterprise, it will again speedily flow with milk and honey, and abound in corn and wine.
The Jewish people are a constant miracle in the eyes of all nations. While all their ancient contemporaries have long ago sunk into oblivion, and even their memories perished, the Jews, exiled to the ends of the earth, persecuted and slaughtered indiscriminately by all the prominent nations of the globe, driven from their own country, have found not an inch of territory on which to rest their weary feet. Yet they have outstripped all nations in the accumulation of wealth, and this day stand at the head of the financial world. When I traveled in Europe, Asia, and Africa, I received my money from Jewish bankers. They also stand at the front of the learned world, excelling in the time-honored universities of the globe. In many nations they excel in law and journalism. In every land the hand of God is on them, preparing them for the metropolitanship of the world. In the good time coming, when the nations shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning-hooks, and learn war no more, how convenient it will be to carry all international controversies to Jerusalem and refer them to committees of sanctified Jews, who are perfectly posted in the languages, laws, and finances of the different nations! They will constitute the international court to which all important matters will be referred by the nations of the earth. 9-12. Here we have the Gentile counterpart of the bridehood. They come up from every nation, tribe, people, and language, clothed in white robes, with palms of victory in their hands. Matthew 24:14, Jesus says: “the end shall come when the gospel shall have been preached among all nations.”
The Holy Ghost has always been shining on all the fallen sons and daughters of Adam’s race, giving them grace enough to save them, and administering the blood to cleanse them, if they will walk in the light. So even the heathen are left without excuse. ( Romans 1:20.) Hence the glorious possibility of universal salvation, with or without the literal proclamation of the gospel. But the grandest privilege in the history of the universe is to be a member of the glorified BRIDEHOOD.
When Abraham wanted a wife for his son Isaac, he sent his sent, Eleazar, into Mesopotamia to select a bride for his son. He furnished the camel, jewelry, and the veil, and carried Rebekah to meet Isaac in the patriarchal home at Beersheba. Abraham emblematizes God the Father; Isaac, the Son; Eleazar, the Holy Ghost. When Ahasuerus, the Persian monarch, wanted a fair damsel on whom to confer the queenship of his universal empire, he sent couriers to search throughout the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of his vast empire, and call out the beautiful damsels and bring them before him that he might make a selection. This transaction on the part of the heathen monarch emblematizes the Holy Ghost going with the gospel proclamation into every nation under heaven to call out the bride of Christ. The popular apprehension that the end of the gospel is the conversion of all the people in the world is incorrect. Peter, before the Jerusalem council, answers the question ( Acts 15:14): “God did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.”
So the great end of the Gospel Dispensation is the calling out of the bridehood. For this glorious honor and ineffable benediction God proposes to give all nations a chance. When that is done, then the end will come. The Holiness movement is preparing the work of the world’s evangelization with wonderful vigor. Bishop Taylor has twelve hundred, Hudson Taylor eight hundred, A. B. Simpson four hundred sanctified missionaries in the heathen field; while General Booth has fifteen thousand dispersed in forty different nations. Jesus says “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached to all nations for a witness unto them.” So all will be left without excuse when they stand before the great white throne. Of course, God Himself is to decide when the gospel testimony to this wicked world is complete.
Many nations which are now without the gospel received it in bygone ages. Hence, so far as we know, there is not the slightest reason why the Lord may not now descend and take His bride out of the world. 13-17. Here we have a clear definition of the qualifications for the bridehood. The Holy Ghost says unequivocally they come out of great tribulations, having washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Hence, entire sanctification is the solitary and inalienable qualification for membership in the bridehood.
CHAPTER -THE Lion of the tribe of Judah now opens the seventh seal, which reveals the contents of the volume of the book. So now we enter upon the wonderful revelations of the book itself. So momentous are the contents of the book that seven trumpet-bearing angels are now called out to proclaim them to the world. 3, 4. Here is another specification of the significant fact that the terrible retributive judgments executed against a wicked world and fallen Church actually take place in answer to the prayers of martyrs and saints. 5. Thunders, voices, and earthquakes all vividly symbolize the mighty agencies employed by Omnipotent Jehovah in the execution of these terrible castigatory judgments. 7. The seven trumpet bearing angels are now ready on the stage of the celestial theater, prepared to sound. Pursuant to the sounding of the first trumpet, hail and fire, mingled with blood, are cast upon the earth, and terrible destruction follows. 8. When the second angel sounds his trumpet, a great mountain, flaming with fire, is cast into the sea. Appalling are the consequences. 10. When the third sounds his trumpet, a flaming star, called “wormwood ,” falls on the rivers and fountains of water. 12. When the fourth angel sounds, the calamity reaches the sun, moon, and stars.
These diversified descriptions delineate the progressive character of the catastrophes destined to come upon the earth, destroying a third of the property and people, which is certainly a very large proportion. We see the calamity begins with the county and spreads out indiscriminately, infecting the social, political, and religious atmosphere. In all these prophecies, “sea” means the people. When tranquil, it emblematizes the people flourishing in prosperity and peace. When racked with storms and swept by cyclones, it typifies the people dashing hither and thither in bloody revolution The destruction of the ships symbolizes great and fearful havoc among the people. The rivers and fountains of water emblematize the subordinate departments of the government, while the sun represents the king, the moon the queen, and the stars the provincial governors. In the proclamation of the third trumpet, the star called “wormwood” falls on the earth, embitters and poisons the waters, and kills multitudes of people. The Greek word for wormwood is absinthe . It is well known in chemistry that absinthe is the poisonous element in intoxicants. Hence, this prophecy reveals Satan’s invention of whisky, which took place in the Dark Ages, and has flooded the world with crime and misery, and populated hell with countless millions.
The Roman Empire was the upholder of civil government. With her fall ancient civilization passed away, and a period of darkness in history, significantly denominated the Dark Ages, came on, flooding the world with anarchy, bloodshed, and every species of crime, while ignorance and superstition everywhere threw a dismal nightmare, obliterating every vestige of ancient civilization. During this awful period of desolation, robbery, murder, rapine, debauchery, and lawlessness, not one man in a thousand could read or write. This was Satan’s millennium, during which time he sat upon the throne of the world, and reigned without a rival.
The four first trumpets proclaim the sad inauguration of Satan’s millennium in progressive stages. Pursuant to the first trumpet, the infection comes upon the whole earth, contaminating the atmosphere of every nation annunciated by the second trumpet. The malady reaches the people, infecting all classes of society with an incorrigible revolutionary spirit, disrupting all the foundations of the social fabric. At the time the third angel sounds his trumpet, the infection has interpenetrated all the subordinate departments of national governments, so the proconsuls, satraps, and deputies can no longer enforce their authority. The fourth trumpet is the general signal for the toppling of thrones and the falling of kingdoms, till the world is left without a government competent to protect its citizens. Meanwhile, marauding bands of robbers and murderers take possession, and life and liberty are held only by the stern arbitrament of the sword.
The four first trumpets thus proclaim the progressive disintegration of all human governments, till they literally topple and fall; and the devil’s millennium, fully inaugurated, inundates the world in an ocean of anarchy, heresy, bloodshed, and every species of crime. Meanwhile, universal political corruption and dilapidation flood all nations. A corresponding infection everywhere settles down on the visible Church, transforming it from apostolic simplicity and purity first into the proud, worldly ecclesiasticism of the Constantinian Age, and then into the appalling corruptions, shocking barbarities, bloody persecutions, and atrocious criminality of the diabolical papacy, outraging Satan himself with the horrific Inquisition. When I was in St. Peter’s Church at Rome, I saw the bronze statue of St. Dominic, cruel horror depicted on his grim visage, and the infuriated dog standing by, with a firebrand in his mouth. This is the historic symbol of the Inquisition, of which St. Dominic was the author.
CHAPTER - MOHAMMEDANISM This chapter is a thrilling description of the rise and progress of the Mohammedan wars. A most wonderful Providence circumvents and overrules all the works of the devil. Satan never could have come on the earth without Divine permission; and he can only stay through the period of that permission. We live in a most auspicious era, when Satan is fast approaching the end of his earthly peregrinations. The day is dawning when we will have a world without a devil in it. Glory to God forever!
At the rise of Mahomet, in the seventh century, the visible Church, both Greek and Latin, had degenerated into formality, hypocrisy, and gross idolatry, being filled with image-worship. Mahomet proclaimed to the world that God had sent him on a universal mission of iconoclasm; i .e ., to destroy idolatry out of the world and establish a pure Monotheism; i .e ., the worship of God alone among all the nations of the world.
Notwithstanding the transparent plausibility of his proclamation, it was the climacteric institution of the devil. Despite his translucent pretensions to establish the worship of God only, purify the nations from idolatry, and unify the religions of the world, while he demolished all systems of idolatry, he established a cruel, bloody, murderous, tyrannical superstition, infinitely worse than the most barbaric idolatry that has ever cursed the world.
As this chapter is all on Mohammedanism, we now invite the reader to accompany us, for a time, into Daniel’s prophecies, where we have the same vision lucidly revealed in the eighth chapter, six hundred years before John saw it. After we shall have expounded Daniel’s vision (D.V.), as recorded in Daniel 8th, we will return to the wonderful Apocalypse of John.
Now remember this vision begins with the ram, which represents the Persian Empire; which, under the leadership of Cyrus the Great, reached universal dominion. 5-8. The “he goat ” is the Grecian Empire under Alexander the Great, who himself is the solitary horn between the eyes. In his precipitate conquest of the whole world, he rushes furiously against Media and Persia, the horns of the ram, and breaks them to pieces.
The four horns which came up are the four kingdoms-i .e ., Greece, Egypt, Syria, and Central Asia into which the universal empire was divided by his four surviving generals, when he died of dissipation; i .e ., the great horn was broken only one year after he had reached the pinnacle of universal empire. 9. “And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceedingly great towards the South, and towards the East, and towards the ‘Pleasant Land. ’ Horn, throughout these prophecies, means political power, because human government is nothing but brute force, in the Bible symbolized by a wild beast. The nations themselves recognized this cruel fact. Great Britain is symbolized by the lion, Russia by the bear, and the United States by the eagle, all of which are ferocious, blood-thirsty animals. Why is Mahomet called a little horn? Because Arabia was at that time, and always has been, very weak politically, consisting mainly of arid mountains and sandy deserts, roamed over by the predatory Bedouins.
Hence Mahomet, the false prophet, and the wonderful head of the great Eastern hemisphere of anti-Christendom, is called a little horn. For the same reason, the pope of Rome, whose political dominions were quite small, is called a little horn, though he is the great head of the Western hemisphere of anti-Christendom. Mahomet and the pope are the right and left supporters of his Satanic majesty, while Diabolus sits upon his ebon throne in the Pandemonium and rules the world. It says this little horn waxed great towards the South, the East, and the “Pleasant Land.” Africa means South, Asia means East, and “Pleasant Land” means the Holy Land.
It is a patent historic fact that Mahomet, in his early conquest, overran the fairest portions of Asia and Africa, and in A.D. 637 Omar, the leader of the Moslem armies, overran all Palestine, consummating the conquest and the capture of Jerusalem and the occupancy of the temple. While the Moslem armies pushed their conquest throughout these countries, all Asia and Africa, where the apostles had preached the gospel, they not only took possession of the people, the spoils, and the government as they went, but they gave the people the solitary alternative of the Koran or the sword, thus exterminating Christianity as they went, and everywhere establishing the religion of the false prophet. 10. “And it waxed great to the host of heaven, and it cast down some of the host and stars to the ground and stamped upon them .” Heaven is in the singular number, and means the firmament; “stars” means the rulers of the world; these everywhere Mahomet subdued, cast down, and “stamped upon them.” 11, 12. “He magnified even to the prince of host ;” i .e ., Mahomet became the leader of this military movement, which proposed to conquer the world and establish the Moslem faith in every nation. “By him the daily sacrifice was taken away.” “Sacrifice” is not in the Hebrew, which only says “daily.” It does not mean sacrifice, for this had not been offered in the temple since the Romans destroyed it, A.D. 73. It simply means that the daily worship was taken away. At that time the Greek Christians were in all that country, and Sophrosus, the venerable Greek patriarch, presided over the temple. When the Moslems captured it, A.D. 637, he fled away, exclaiming, “Alas alas! the abomination of desolation is now set up in the holy place!” “And an host was given unto him against the daily worship by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground, and it practiced and prospered .”
When Satan succeeded in the postponement of God’s millennium and the inauguration of his own, in its worldwide dominion, he climaxes the hellish enterprise by raising up Mahomet to rule the East, and the pope the West, as his faithful subordinates in the wholesale damnation of the world. You must remember that the very ingress of Satan into this world is by Divine permission, and in due time God will take him out. Neither Mahomet nor the pope, though raised up by Satan, could ever have encumbered a throne or rendezvoused an army without God’s permission. We see here, in Daniel 8:12, that Mohammed was permitted to take the Holy Land and destroy the temple because of transgression. The Christian Church, East and West, had not only degenerated into formality and hypocrisy, but had actually gone off into idolatry, so that image worship everywhere abounded. Why did God ever permit Mahomet, the pope, and the devil, and other innumerable diabolical agencies, thus for ages to inundate the world with sin, misery, violence, bloodshed, and every species of diabolism which earth and hell could invent? The solution of this problem goes deep down into the hidden mysteries of human probation. Romans 8:28: “God worketh together for good all things to them that love God.”
You could not have all things and leave out Mahomet, the pope, and the devil, for they are the biggest things in the world. Hence it follows as a legitimate deduction from the Divine ipse dixit that they are a blessing to God’s true people. It seems that all the powers of hell are turned loose to tempt the bride of Christ. In the glorious scheme of divine administration, Christ proposes to evangelize and rule this and many other worlds through the instrumentality of His true, faithful, and loyal bride. Hence, it is pertinent that all the candidates for the heavenly bridehood be subjected to every conceivable temptation, lest they might deflect and fall amid the momentous responsibilities incumbent on them in their responsible participation of the divine administration amid the bright immortal worlds which shall constitute the celestial empire in the ages of coming eternity.
For reasons by us, amid the joys and storms of this fleeting probation, utterly incomprehensible, it is imperatively requisite that we pass through all the flint-mills earth and hell can invent. If we do not come out with a shout, it is demonstrative proof that we still need another flint-mill. I doubt not but the transcendent grace of God in Christ actually makes the devil himself one of the most prolific media of blessing to His true people.
So let us shout over Mahomet, the pope, and the devil, and live in glowing anticipation of our descending Lord, who will forever take them all, with the countless myrmidons, out of the world. 13, 14. Here Daniel specifies the period during which the temple will be polluted by idolatry twenty three hundred years. Remember, this vision opens with the Persian Empire, which was founded by Cyrus the Great, and succeeded the Chaldean. Cyrus, with money out of the royal treasury, carried the Jews back to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple, B.C. 440. As the temple was built by a heathen monarch, with heathen money, and ruled by the same heathen king, the theocracy desolate in oblivion, it was much contaminated with idolatry. B.C. 444 plus A.D. 1896 equals 2340. The temple was forty nine years in building. Hence 2340 minus 49 leaves years elapsed since the temple under Nehemiah was finished. Daniel’s time for the cleansing of the temple is 2300 years. Now 2300 minus leaves 9 years yet to come till the temple at Jerusalem will be cleansed from idolatry.
The Moslem army under Omar captured Jerusalem A.D. 637. Daniel 12:7 says they shall hold it a time, times, and half-time. A time is a year in lunar chronology — 354 days; in calendar chronology, 360 days; and in solar chronology, 365 days. We can only understand prophetical fulfillments proximately, because we have no definite system of chronology, and do not know which one obtains in any given prophecy.
Really we do not know that any one of the three is precisely correct.
However, they are all near enough to the true and exact chronology for all practical purposes. Hence, no one knows the day of these wonderful prophetic fulfillments, and the appointing of the day is fanatical. But Daniel 12:4 assures us that the time of the end shall be known, for many shall run to and fro, and spread the knowledge of the thrilling fact that we are living in the time of the end. Let us take the middle chronology — days in a year — and calculate Daniel’s time, times, and a half-time. A time is 360. Times are 360 plus 360 — 720. Half-time is 360 divided by — 180. Now these items — 360 plus 720 plus 180 — equal 1260 days; i .e ., 1260 calendar years. Moslem rule began A.D. 637. Now, 1896 minus 637 leaves 1259. Hence you see, by this calculation, the Moslem power will fall at Jerusalem in 1897. When I was there last summer (1895), all nationalities were on the constant lookout for the fall of the Turkish government in Palestine. Turkey is already a political corpse, served by the Christian Powers as pallbearers. The government will fall whenever they see proper to bury the corpse. All nations are in daily expectation of the Turkish collapse. There is no possible alternative, upon the fall of the Turkish power at Jerusalem, but Palestine must come into Christendom.
Then, of course, the temple will be cleansed. Revelation 12:6 gives the period 1260 days. The 14th verse, same chapter, gives the statement times, times, and a half-time. Upon examination, you find these two statements synonymous. Hence, you may rely on 1260 years as the solution of time, times, and a halftime. Daniel 12:11 gives the period 1290. This is readily explained on the hypothesis of lunar chronology, in which 1290 would just about equal 1260 years calendar chronology. You see all these numbers, which God in His mercy has hung out over the dark night of Satan’s reign to illume the pilgrim’s dreary journey “till the Sun of righteousness rises with healing in His wings,” beautifully and reciprocally corroborate and confirm the conclusion that we are living in the time of the end of the Gentile Dispensation, when these wonderful latter-day prophecies hasten to their fulfillment. They tally and harmonize sufficiently for all practical purposes. Let us not be croaking critics, but sit meek and lowly, like little children, at the feet of Jesus, and be taught by the Holy Ghost the deep things of God. 17-27. These wonderful prophetic visions so wrought on Daniel’s nerves that he fainted, and was sick several days; yet this wonderful vision of the end was not revealed to him. He was too far from the time of fulfillment to receive knowledge of the vision. These prophecies cover the intervening centuries down to the end. The Holy Ghost, in His mercy, has given His saints in every age the needed light on contemporary fulfillments. Daniel, with bygone generations, did not need a revelation of the fulfillments reserved for our day; but we have the profoundest interest in the fulfillment of the prophecies, which literally moved in panorama all around us and shaped the destiny of the world. Daniel was thrilled with the most eager enthusiasm to understand the wonders of the latterday prophecies, but God said to him ( 12:9): “Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed to the time of the end.”
This not only means that the revelation of this prophecy was postponed till the time of the end, but that it is to be revealed in the time of the end. I find a thousand corroboratives that we are living in the time of the end, and this prophecy is now fast being revealed to the saints of God. Daniel 12:10: “Many shall be purified, made white, and tried, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”
This verse is now everywhere being fulfilled in the Holiness movement, which belts the globe and moves like a race-horse through every nation. It is really wonderful how God is now, by His blessed Holy Spirit, revealing these prophecies to His saints. Yet the dead, popular Churches and wicked world are utterly blind and deaf to these stirring realities. Preachers and people are asleep to the mighty issues which rush on us like an avalanche. Daniel 12:7: “When He shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.”
God, at the present day, is using myriads of agencies, directly and indirectly, to scatter the power of His holy people throughout the whole earth. Mighty armies of evangelists, male and female, are everywhere rising up and hastening to the ends of the earth, scattering broadcast the power of the holy people. When bishops and presiding elders have the true light of God, they will unite their counsels to send the sanctifying fire to the ends of the earth. In countless instances, ecclesiastical magnates lay all their wits under contribution to kill out the Holiness movement. In that case, they diligently take up every sanctified preacher and send him to the North Pole. The fire already kindled spreads and intensifies after he is gone, and the new preacher gets sanctified. Whither he goes heavenly fire comes down, melts and floods the icebergy Churches, spreads all over the surrounding country, catches the presiding elder, raises up a regiment of fire baptized workers, who take the district for God, while many missionaries go into regions beyond. Oh, how blind, how blind, the enemies of God’s holy people! They are doing their utmost to scatter the power and expedite the Lord’s coming, as profoundly ignorant that they are fulfilling prophecies as the high priest of Jerusalem when he signed the death warrant of our Savior. 23. “A king of fierce countenance shall stand up .” That king is Mahomet, the Arabian impostor. The Koran, by whose falsifications he has substituted the Bible, is full of dark sentences, expounded only by the muttering Moslem priest. The temple ground on Mt. Moriah contains ten acres, surrounded by great stone edifices occupied by the Mohammedan priests. 24. “His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power .” While the Mahometan religion, from the beginning, was propagated by the sword, he was not a military leader. He was only a prophet, while the princes of the earth, loyal to the Koran, led his armies. 25. “Through his policy also shall cause craft to prosper in his hand. He shall stand up against the Prince of princes, but he shall be broken without hand .” All the Moslems are wizards and witches. While on the summit of the largest Egyptian pyramid. five hundred and fifty feet high, and covering thirteen acres of ground, they did their utmost to get me to give them money to work miracles. They did the same when I was in the interior of the pyramid and elsewhere in my peregrinations with the tricky children of Esau. The Prince of princes is Christ, whom Mahomet avowedly rivals, supplants, supersedes, and eclipses, everywhere destroying the Bible and substituting the Koran. “He shall be broken without hand.” This is profoundly significant. All the kings of the earth have fought against the Moslem power in vain. During the Crusades, all Christendom united to drive the Mohammedans out of the Holy Land.
They fought two hundred years, lost two millions of lives, and were driven out of Asia in utter despair. But while the combined powers of earth have been forced to submit to this cruel monster twelve hundred years (and even now they connive at his merciless Armenian murders), in due time God is going to kill this monster. All nations can’t kill him, but God can. For the last two hundred years, the hand of the Almighty has been heavy on the Turkish Government. Life is almost extinct; he is almost dead. No human being has killed him; in fulfillment of prophecy, he is dying without human hand. The hand of the Almighty is killing him.
We now return to Revelation 9th. 1. It should read: “I saw a star having fallen from heaven .” Satan is that star; his archangelic name was Lucifer. Isaiah 14:12: “How thou art fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning.”
John tells us ( Revelation 12) that “one third of the stars — i .e ., the angels — followed his evil influence and were cast down. Doubtless all created intelligences were originally probationers. Unfortunately, Lucifer, with many others, forfeited his probation and was cast out. Presumptively the probation in these celestial worlds has already expired, while we are still on probation. From this fatal apostasy originated all the evil spirits in earth and hell. They not only throng the dark pandemonium, but for wise purposes connected with our probation are permitted to interpenetrate the atmosphere enveloping this earth, coming in contact with human spirits, tempting and trying them in every conceivable way. Millions of souls fall under their mighty assaults and plunge into endless woe, while the heroic and true-hearted gloriously triumph through the blood of Christ. This verse tells us that the key of hell was given to Satan six thousand years ago. During all these centuries the devil has held the key and turned it against multiplied millions. Revelation 20:1: We find the key in the hands of the angel, who arrests the devil and locks him up in hell. Doubtless, during the terrible Armageddon wars, the tide will turn against the devil and he will suffer signal reverses. The Ancient of Days ( Daniel 7:13) — i .e ., that is, God the Father — will be here in person sitting in judgment against a wicked world and fallen Church. Amid Satan’s signal and awful defeats, even the key of hell will be wrested from him and turned over to the Apocalyptic Angel, who will arrest the devil like a common criminal and lock him up in hell.
We have now reached the seventh century in the prophetical panorama.
Satan’s millennium, thoroughly inaugurated, is getting under full headway.
The devil now raises up Mahomet to run the Eastern hemisphere, and the pope the Western. 2-12. We see here that Mohammedanism actually came from hell, sweeping out of the open vortex like vast swarms of locusts. The Holy Spirit compares them to scorpions, whose fiery fangs wither and blight everything with which they come in contact. In their desolating marches, the authorities protected the trees, which are rare and valuable in the Old World. The people who had the seal of God in their foreheads — i .e ., the sanctified, who are few and unknown — were providentially rescued from this bloodthirsty monster. Mahomet constantly declared himself a purifier of religions, sent by the Almighty to destroy idolatry from the face of the earth, establish a universal Monotheism, and exterminate polytheism from the globe. At that time, nominal Christianity was confined to the Greek and Latin Churches, which had not only retrogressed into formality and hypocrisy, but they had filled their temples with idol-worship.
For wise purposes, God permits the devil to be in this world. Doubtless, for a similar reason, inscrutably connected with our probation, he permitted Mahomet to rise. He is the scourge of God for the castigation of fallen religion. The five months during which this awful havoc against humanity deluged the world with blood and bleached it with bones are one hundred and fifty prophetic years, and measure the first great period of the Moslem wars.
Meanwhile the Saracens overran Syria, Palestine, all Asia Minor, Egypt, the Barbary States of Africa; crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, subjugated all Spain, scaled the Apennines, poured their motley myriads of Oriental barbarians into France, sanguine with the hope speedily to overrun all Europe, exterminate Christianity from the globe, and unfurl the Crescent beneath every sky.
A.D. 733, precisely one hundred years after the death of Mahomet, Charles Martel, the French hero, immortalized his name by the signal defeat of the Moslem armies at Tours. Martel is a French word, and means “hammer.”
This name was given to Charles, the heroic leader of the Christian armies, because he indefatigably hammered the Moslems till he signally defeated them at Tours. The Mussulmen had met no such defeat in a hundred years. Christendom knows not how much she is indebted to Charles Martel for the defeat of the Mohammedans at Tours. At that time they had driven Christianity out of Asia, Africa, and Spain. The trembling devotees of the lowly Nazarene had taken refuge in Europe, which, at that time, was the wild West. Meanwhile, the Crescent floated over the timehonored capitals of the world. 7. The golden crowns here spoken of are the yellow turbans worn by the Mussulmen. 8. The Saracen warriors wore long hair, like women, and were ferocious as lions. 10. The scorpion-stings and snake-heads, here described in the tails of their horses, emblematize the fatal destructiveness of their retreats. Such was their wonderful equestrian agility that their retreats were, if possible, more fatal than their attacks. Riding at sweeping gallop, they were accustomed to shoot backward with unerring precision, thus mowing down their pursuers in piles. 11. Abaddon is a Hebrew word, and means destroyer; Apolyon is a Greek word, precisely synonymous with Abaddon . This forever settles all questions as to the Satanic origin and authorship of the Mahometan religion. 12. We now wind up the fifth trumpet and the first woe. When the seventh seal was opened, in the eighth chapter, the volume of this wonderful prophetical book was reached. So momentous were the contents that seven trumpet-bearing angels were called out to proclaim successively the wonderful mysteries revealed in the book. Revelation moves in a geometrical progression. The first trumpet proclaims the ingress of that moral and spiritual corruption which derailed the Apostolic Church, propagated the dogmata of a sinning religion, prepared the way for the rise of the papacy, sapped the foundation of ancient civilization, undermined civil government, and brought on the Dark Ages. In the second trumpet, the infection reaches all classes of society, everywhere infusing an insurrectionary spirit. In the third trumpet, it reaches the subordinate departments of the governments, stirring up revolution. During that trumpet, Satan invents alcohol, called wormwood ( 8:11) — Greek, absinthe — which is the intoxicating element in whisky. During the fourth trumpet, all the thrones of earth’s time-honored empires totter and fall. By this time the Roman Empire, the upholder of ancient civilization, has been overturned by the Goths, Huns, and Vandals, and a barbarian encumbers the palace of the Caesars. The Dark Ages, memorialized by sin, ignorance, superstition, violence, rapine, and bloodshed, envelop all nations. Satan’s millennium is now in full blast. So he raises up Mahomet and the pope to run the machinery of the world.
Remember. the geometrical ratio which obtains in the first, second, third, and fourth trumpets continues through the fifth, sixth, and seventh, which the Holy Ghost denominates “woes.” Doubtless, the last trumpet, which proclaims the last woe, will contain more than the preceding six.
Herewith ( 9:12) we wind up the fifth trumpet and the first woe. It lasts five months; i .e ., one hundred and fifty prophetic years. The signal defeat of the Mussulmen at Tours, France, by Charles Martel, is the salient epoch in the first woe. For three generations the Moslem conquest had rolled its bloody tide over Christendom, driving it out of Asia, where it began, and Africa, where it was first propagated, till, panic-stricken for its doom, it trembles amid the wilds of Europe. Thus one woe is past, and, behold, two others come quickly!
SECOND WOE — 9.13; 11.14 “Loose the four angels bound in the great river Euphrates ” (14, 15). The four angels are the four greatest Turkish Sultanies in the world, which bordered on the river Euphrates. This is the second great outbreak of Mohammedan wars, which lasted, without intermission, four hundred years, as we have a year (i .e ., 365 days), a month (i .e ., 30 days), an a day — 396 days; or, in round numbers, four hundred years. The Crusades, which are described in the tenth chapter, come in before this period, and are somewhat parenthetical in the Moslem conquests. 16. Two myriads of myriads, as the Greek says, are two hundred millions.
That is certainly a wonderful host, marshaled and fighting for the extermination of Christianity four hundred years. No doubt but that inconceivable host were engaged during the four hundred years. 17-20. You see, from the description, they are the same people you saw in the first woe. Their attack is like lions, and their retreats like serpents coiling around their pursuers. 20, 21. Here we find a sad statement. All these horrific calamities, with wholesale murders, thefts, robberies, and every conceivable woe, till men sought death in preference to life, still did not bring them to repentance. Daniel 8:12 says Mahomet was permitted to rise and chastise the fallen Church because of transgression. People claiming to be Christians were gross idolaters, and worshipped devils. Yet they would not repent. No wonder the last woe is hastening to come on the fallen Churches of the present day. All who believe and preach a sinning religion worship devils.
God’s religion saves you from sin, while Satan’s religion lies you out of your soul by offering you salvation in sin. Doubtless similar results will characterize the great tribulation, when the last woe will flood the earth with calamities such as the ages have never known. Millions on the earth are now worshipping devils, thinking they are worshipping God. Reader, will you not wake up before the awful storms of divine wrath wrap the world in cataracts of woe?
CHAPTER -IN chapter a notable scene comes on the prophetic drama. It is the Crusades, which began in the tenth century, and lasted two hundred years.
After Jerusalem and all Palestine fell into the hands of the Mohammedans, A.D. 637, and all the Christians who would not turn Moslem and exchange the Bible for the Koran were either killed or driven out of Asia, consequently, the wilds of Europe became the asylum of the Lord’s people. Of course, the saints turned pilgrims by thousands and thronged the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem. How they loved to linger on Calvary and about the holy sepulcher! When I was there in 1895, I saw multitudes of pilgrims, representing many different nationalities. I myself was a pilgrim. So many Armenian pilgrims come to Jerusalem that they have a convent on Mt. Zion, which accommodates eight thousand. While these pilgrims were so intensely grieved to see the patrimony of our Savior, the manger of His nativity, the holy sepulcher, Mt. Calvary, all Jerusalem, and the Holy Land in possession of the infidels, the cruel Moslems treated them very roughly, and often killed them without the slightest provocation. Therefore, a deep conviction settled down on Christian Europe that it was their duty to go and drive the Mahometans out of the Holy Land. The pope of Rome approved and blessed the enterprise, commissioning Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless, two red-hot holiness cranks, to traverse all Europe, everywhere preaching the Crusades. The Continent was shaken with the momentum of an earthquake. It seemed that all Christendom would rise up and volunteer in these holy wars, responsive to the cause of these fire-baptized heralds, and march away into Asia to drive the infidels out of the Holy Land. Thus all Christendom united to drive the Turks out of the Holy Laud. They fought two hundred years, and lost two millions of lives, only in the end to succumb to hopeless defeat, and retreat crestfallen out of Asia without the vaguest hope of ever recovering the patrimony of our Savior. However, by terrible dint of arms and tremendous slaughter, they did capture Jerusalem and hold it seventy years. When I was there I saw much of their works. Quite a number of monuments and edifices, built by the Crusaders eight hundred years ago, are still to be seen at Jerusalem. Godfrey of Bouillon, a most amiable Christian character was the heroic leader of the Crusaders when they took Jerusalem. I saw and handled his sword while in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Yet the Moslems never ceased to fight. They continued to come from the ends of the earth and fight the Christians with desperation, till they drove them out of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Though all Christendom, united in a two-hundred-years’ war, signally failed to conquer the Turk, God in due time will kill him. Daniel 8:25: He shall be broken without hand.” Eight hundred years have rolled away, and the prophecies haste in their fulfillment. The Turk is doomed!
In this chapter, the Angel of Revelation holds up a little open book. John, who represents the Church. is thrilled with enthusiasm to take it and respond to its contents. The Angel of Apocalypse gives him the most solemn warning. Standing with one foot on land and the other on sea, he, with uplifted hand, swears by Him that liveth forever and ever (not as your English reads, “Time shall be no more,” but as Dr. Clarke gives it), “The time is not yet.” Of this rendering we have an indubitable confirmation in the 7th verse, where the Holy Ghost says:” The mystery of God was finished in the seventh trumpet;” The Crusades took place in the sixth trumpet, whereas, the Holy Land is to be restored, the Jews converted, and the Lord come to reign in the seventh trumpet. “As He preached to His servants the prophets.” A universal conviction settled down on the Christian world that the Lord would come at the close of the tenth century, believing that He would come to Jerusalem, and there establish His millennial throne. Therefore, they wanted to be at Jerusalem to greet with shouts their descending Lord, and enjoy His glorified presence. Consequently, they determined to go and drive out the infidel Moslems and purify the city of Islam idolatry before the Lord should come. Here the notable dialogue between the angel representing the Divine administration, standing with one foot on the sea and the other on land, holding in his right hand the open book of prophecy, and John, the representative of the Lord’s people, supervenes. The angel adds to his proclamation all the solemnities of an oath, certifying that the time is not yet arrived for Jerusalem to be delivered, the Moslem power driven out of the Holy Land, and the King of Glory to descend on His throne; that these wonderful prophecies will not be fulfilled till the seventh trumpet sounds.
The prophet, in his incorrigible enthusiasm, literally burns with celestial ardor to take the book out of the hand of the angel, read, and obey the prophecy, the angel having solemnly sworn that the time for these wonderful fulfillments has not yet come; but positively asseverates that the impatient Church must wait till the seventh trumpet sounds before she can possess the Holy Land, drive out the Mohammedans, and hail her descending King. We must remember this was in the midnight of the Dark Ages, when not one man in a thousand could read or write, and even the Lord’s holy people, as a matter of necessity, were profoundly ignorant and superstitious. They had this prophecy, but understood it not; otherwise, they would never have undertaken the Crusades. But when the angel sees they will go into the Crusades, he says: “Take the book and eat it up; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth sweet as honey.” John certifies that he did take the book and eat it up.. While eating it, it was sweet as honey in his mouth; but afterwards it awfully embittered and nauseated his stomach. John here is simply testifying for the Church. The Crusades were not only premature, but out of the Divine order. When the infidel Turk has finished his career, and adequately castigated the fallen Church, God will kill him ( Daniel 8:25). All Christendom united and fought two hundred years to drive the Turk out of the Holy Land, and signally failed, having depopulated Europe and left a million of her best citizens to bleach their bones on Asiatic soil.
Thus out of the Holy Land the Christians are driven by the Turks, after an exterminating war of two hundred years. The final defeat of the Crusaders fell with paralyzing and deadening shock on all Christendom. When the sad news of Jerusalem’s recapture by the Saracens reached Rome, Pope Urban fell dead. God was not ready for Turkdom to fall. Hence it stood against the combined powers of Christendom. Eight hundred years of castigatory judgments and forlorn hope have passed away. Glory to God, the day is breaking, and the Sun of righteousness will soon rise upon the world with healing in His wings! Never did the world know such revival tornadoes as swept all Christendom while Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless, commissioned by the pope to preach the Crusades to all nations, moved like cyclones of fire throughout all Europe. Then the book was sweet in the mouth. After two hundred years of war, pestilence, and famine, impoverishing Europe, and slaying two millions of inhabitants, the last hope of recovering the Holy Land sank into the eclipse of rayless night. Then the book was hitter in the stomach. 11. This verse farther confirms the oath of the angel, certifying that the end of the age is not yet, as that was in the sixth trumpet; but it is reserved for the seventh trumpet to proclaim the end of the Gentile Age, the reoccupancy of the Holy Land by the Lord’s people, the castigatory judgments of the Almighty against a wicked world and a fallen Church, and the return of the glorified Savior, to sit on His millennial throne. In this verse we see that the Apocalyptic prophet is yet to deliver his message “to many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings .”
This whole tenth chapter is parenthetical between the two great periods of Mussulman conquest. The glorious victory achieved by Christendom in the battle of Tours, France, under the heroic leadership of Charles Martel, was like life from the dead. A hundred and fifty years had rolled away, during which victory had constantly perched upon the Crescent, while the Cross had everywhere trailed in the dust. The Moslem was sanguine upon the conquest of all Europe, which would have exterminated Christendom from the earth. So alarming were the conquests of Asia, Africa, and Spain, that all Europe trembled in fearful anticipation of what seemed to be inevitable doom. The victory of Tours was really a sunburst on all Christendom, and for the first time rolled back the bloody tide of the Saracen wars, and inspired all Christian nations with the hope, not only of self-defense, but laid the foundation of that co-operation and enterprise which eventually led to the Crusades. The final and signal defeat of the Crusaders by the Moslems, and their hopeless expulsion out of Asia, inspired the Mohammedan nations to resume their devastating and predatory wars for the extermination of Christianity and the conquest of the world.
CHAPTER -THE reader must remember we are still in the period of the sixth trumpet. 1-3. Here we have the period of Jerusalem’s desolation and pollution, given in the phraseology, forty two months, and twelve hundred and sixty days, which are synonymous. Jerusalem was captured by the Mohammedans, A.D. 637; 1897 minus 637 leaves 1260. You see, from this calculation, that the Turks have but one more year in the Holy Land.
While these numbers are God’s invaluable lights hung out from the skies to illume the dark night of Satan’s reign on the earth, yet you must not be a numerical stickler, and permit your faith to be jostled if they are not literally fulfilled, since we do not know the exact chronology; but we certainly know it sufficiently for all practical purposes. I shall certainly look for the fall of the Turkish power in the Holy Laud in 1897. It may come sooner, or perhaps later; but rest assured, it will not long delay. No wonder the Church prophesies (i .e ., preaches) clothed in sackcloth (i .e ., amid great discouragements) while antichrist reigns. 4, 6. The two witnesses are regeneration and sanctification, wrought by the Holy Ghost in the heart. The tame olive tree ( Jeremiah 11; Romans 11) is the Jewish Church — the Old Dispensation, on the basis of justification. The wild olive tree, grafted into the good olive tree, typifies the converted Gentiles, and represents the Pentecostal Dispensation, which is sanctification. The two candlesticks represent the two departments of the temple-the sanctuary, which is regeneration, and the sanctum-sanctorum, which is entire sanctification. Hence you see these two witnesses are God’s work in the heart — i .e ., regeneration and sanctification. 5. “If any one wishes to hurt them, fire comes out of their mouth, and burns up their enemies .” This statement of the Holy Ghost is profoundly significant of the utter irresistibility of Christian testimony. If you get a real sky- blue regeneration and a red-hot sanctification, you have nothing to do but open your mouth and testify. Your enemies will quail and skedaddle before you. History says the testimony of dying martyrs frequently converted their executioners, who, in turn, surrendered and likewise suffered martyrdom. This is the hope of the Holiness movement, to burn its way through the icebergy Churches, and conquer this wicked world for Christ. If the Holiness people are true, get the genuine experience, and keep full of love and fire, victory has come to stay. God’s people, though driven by their persecutors into mountains and caverns, still have the power to lock up the heavens by their prayers, and bring famine on the earth. Last summer it was my privilege to visit the deep, dark cavern beside the brook Cherith, where Elijah locked the heavens three years by his prayer. Responsive to the prayer of Moses, the waters of Egypt were turned into blood. 7. The beast coming up out of the bottomless pit is theerion . It means a ferocious, bloodthirsty wild beast. It is constantly in these prophecies used with reference to the papacy and the secular powers — i .e ., human governments — all of which are symbolized by wild beasts. “And he shall make war with the saints, and kill them.” This has been abundantly fulfilled in case of both pagan and papal Rome, each having slain one hundred millions of martyrs. These two witnesses are God’s saints on the earth, testifying to His works wrought in them — i .e ., regeneration and sanctification. It is highly probable that these prophecies have their preliminary fulfillments at different epochs. As we approach the final culmination I see at least a preliminary verification of the prophecies relative to the witnesses in the French Revolution. Paris, the most debauched and fantastical city on the globe, is appropriately symbolized by Sodom, Egypt, and fallen Jerusalem when she murdered her Savior.
During the French Revolution, which broke out in 1789, and finally terminated in Napoleon’s conquest, when the infidels got the political power and became the sole custodians of the imperial government, actuated by the writings and personal influence of Tom Paine, Voltaire, and Rousseau, they repudiated the Bible, interdicted all religions service, closed all the Churches against the worshipping congregations, and used them for club-meetings and other secular purposes; abolished the Sabbath, and proclaimed every tenth day for recreation and rest; sent men throughout the empire to superscribe over the gate leading into every graveyard, “Death is an eternal sleep.” This audacious infidel government swiftly culminated in the “Reign of Terror.” Men, women, and children, on the merest suspicion, were beheaded by the guillotine. The land flowed with innocent blood. A million of the best people were brutally murdered.
Danton, Murat, and Robespierre, the terrorists, became absolutely intolerable. The people arose en masse , slew the tyrants, threw off the infidel government, reinstated the royal family, restored the Bible to the people, reopened the Churches, called back the surviving clergy from an exile of three years and a half, and restored the Sabbath, with all the institutions of the Christian religion. Here you see a fulfillment of this prophecy. During the “Reign of Terror,” three years and a half, God’s witnesses were slain; i .e ., Christianity was utterly abolished and infidelity enthroned. At the expiration of three years and a half, infidelity was dethroned and Christianity restored; i .e ., the witnesses were raised from the dead. 12. Here we see the witnesses ascend up to heaven in a cloud, responsive to the Divine voice calling them to mount up hither. There is at least a probability that the culminating fulfillment of this prophecy will take place at the rapture, when our Lord shall descend and receive his people; i .e ., into the cloud. Remember that the two witnesses are regeneration and sanctification, which are God’s works in the heart, to which His people in all ages bear testimony. The Armenian Christians have the largest building in Jerusalem, their convent on Mt. Zion accommodating eight thousand pilgrims. I was in it, and many other Churches and edifices belonging to those people. Numerically and financially, they are the third Christian denomination in the Holy Land. In open violation of the Christian Toleration Treaty of 1844, the Turks have been murdering the Armenian Christians about eighteen months. Now perhaps these massacres will continue two years more, and then the Lord will descend and take up His murdered Armenian Christians, with His expectant bride, into the cloud.
Will not that be a glorious fulfillment of this prophecy? It may have received its final fulfillment in the French Revolution, as above described; but I feel profoundly impressed that this fulfillment was only preliminary to the final and glorious verification which will take place at the rapture, when the Lord’s witnesses, who have been slain in all ages, will rise to meet Him in the clouds. And who knows but these Armenian massacres will continue till the Lord descends and takes them up, thus fulfilling this prophecy about the murdered witnesses who lay dead three years and a half! 13. Doubtless the latter days will be signally characterized by terrible earthquakes. Here we have the numbers ten and seven, both of which are sacred in these prophecies. Seven is symbolic of Christ, and ten is a multiple of God’s children. This is evidently a description of the rapture, when the Lord shall come in a cloud (1:7) and take up his people. Jesus says, in his sermon on the judgments ( Matthew 24), that He will appear as the lightning shining around the world, and flashing into all eyes. No wonder this will produce a terrible and universal alarm, superinducing a mighty awakening!
We have now reached the terminus of the sixth trumpet and second woe.
The current of Divine providence begins a tinkling rill. Augmented by innumerable tributaries, it soon becomes a swelling river. It then broadens out into a majestic arm of the sea; continues to widen and deepen, till it disembarks into the ocean. These seven trumpets proclaim the entire prophetic panorama. When we reach the fifth trumpet, Satan’s millennium is in full blast. Dark Age midnight fast culminated. The devil has shaken down every civil government on the globe, and so completely sidetracked the Apostolic Church as to get her literally turned around, so that she is running with all of her momentum straight down to hell. At this juncture Diabolus sends into the world his two favorite sons — i .e ., Mahomet and the pope — dividing the world between them, giving to Mahomet the Eastern and to the pope the Western hemisphere. Oh, how the pandemonium rings with shouts upon the coronation of these two diabolical kings, as they sanguinely hoped, destined to rule the world forever, thus consummating Satan’s original scheme of augmenting the narrow limits of hell by the permanent accession of this world! In that case, there never would have been another civil government nor holy Church on the earth.
So momentous are the calamities transpiring in the fifth trumpet that it is denominated ‘the first woe. It embraces five months — i .e ., one hundred and fifty years — culminating in the Saracen invasion of Europe, threatening to sweep Christianity, which they had already driven out of Asia and Africa and exiled in Europe (at that time the wild West), from the globe. The defeat of the Saracens at the battle of Tours, France, by Charles Martel, in A.D. 732, was a sunburst on the hopes of Christendom, and the first decisive defeat of the Moslem invaders. Then a number of centuries intervened, culminating in the Crusades, during which Christianity was frequently on the aggressive, but finally culminating in hopeless defeat, so far as the recovery of the Holy Land was concerned.
The second woe is to continue a year, a month, a day, and an hour; i .e ., in prophetic time, four hundred years. This embraces the second great period of the Moslem conquest, during which they overran the great East and founded the Mogul Empire, which embraced the fairest portions of the known world, and stood two hundred years, ruled by Moslem princes.
Meanwhile they continue to press the war with indefatigable perseverance against Christian Europe, perfectly sanguine in their anticipation of conquering the world. The Chaldean, Medo-Persian, Grecian, and Roman Empires each in turn had conquered and ruled the world. Why shall not the Moslem warriors push the Islam conquest to the ends of the earth, unify the government of the nations under the broad pinions of the worldwide Turkish Empire, sweep idolatry from the globe, exterminate Christianity from the face of the earth, and concentrate all nations in the grand Monotheism of the Koran and its inimitable prophet? Exuberant with a thousand victories, their path strewn with laurels, golden scepters, crowns, from the Indian Ocean to the Baltic Sea, A.D. 1683, three hundred thousand panoplied Mussulmen lay siege to Vienna, the capital of Austria, and at that time the greatest city in Christendom. They coiled their innumerable host, like a huge boa-constrictor, around the city. Cutting off all possible ingress and egress, they propose to starve them into speedy capitulation. With the flight of the last hope, the Viennese dispatch a courier to John Sobieski, the world-renowned Polish Aero, who was then in the meridian of his military glory, and celebrated afar on account of his enthusiasm for the cause of Christ. He receives the message with unutterable gratitude to God for opening the door to serve His cause. He hastily rendezvouses seventy thousand Christian warriors, jubilant to march under the banner of the Cross to the relief of Vienna. But what shall they do with three hundred thousand Saracens? They outnumber them nearly five to one. Besides, they have everything possible in the way of arms and equipage; and last, though not least, they are flushed with a thousand victories, and feel certain of another, which will open all Europe to the Moslem conquest, and expedite the extermination of Christianity from the earth. The Poles are not only few in number and poorly armed, but the outstanding memory of four hundred years, in which the Crescent has triumphed and the Cross trailed in the dust, throws an ominous gloom over the forlorn hope of Vienna’s relief. They arrive at five o’clock P.M. on Sunday, October 12, 1683. Sobieski delivers them a powerful war speech, in which he asseverates his determination to whip the Moslems and relieve Vienna, or die on the battlefield. His men all imbibe the same spirit. He gives them the battle-cry, “Not unto us, O Lord, but unto Thee, be the glory!” He leads the assault in person at a sweeping gallop, waving his sword in the air and shouting aloud, “Not unto us, O Lord, but unto Thee, be the glory!” Meanwhile, the seventy thousand Christian warriors follow, shouting that thrilling battle-cry at the top of their voices. The terrible impetuosity breaks the Moslem phalanx, generates confusion, which speedily culminates in wild disorder, incorrigible panic, general skedaddle, and an awful stampede for life. In the good providence of God, it was the time of a total lunar eclipse. The full Moon rises in all her effulgent beauty and glory. The sky is perfectly serene and cloudless. The total eclipse comes on, and she literally fades away from the Orient. When the superstitious Mussulmans, utterly ignorant of astronomy, see their banner fade from the sky, they give way to universal consternation and precipitate flight, screaming vociferously as they run for dear life: “God has forsaken us; do you not see our banner fading from the skies?” Thus in pell-mell confusion they run over one another in the universal stampede, leaving the earth groaning beneath the burdens they have abandoned in their trepidation. The finest war-horses, draft-animals, all sorts of vehicles, with immense spoils accumulated on a hundred battlefields, are all abandoned in the promiscuous flight for life. Then and there the tide of Saracen conquest, which had moved forward four hundred years, and bade fair to inundate the world, exterminating Christianity from the globe, began to roll back, and has been receding ever since. Within fifteen years from that signal and disastrous defeat, the Turkish Empire lost a dozen kingdoms, and has been going down with the velocity of an avalanche ever since. Rome possessed the whole world. Having ruled it a thousand years, it took her three hundred years to die. The Moslem power conquered the time-honored empires of the globe, possessed the fairest portions of the world, and ruled them a thousand years, before she met her fatal doom at.
Vienna. Thus she has been dying two hundred years. She is now a political corpse, kept alive artificially by the jealousy of her neighbors. We are in daily anticipation of her long-expected collapse. The prophetical epoch of her fall is 1897. Making due allowances for chronological inaccuracies, we may rest assured the end is nigh. When Turkdom falls, the Holy Land passes into Christendom; the children of Abraham will be gathered home, and speedily converted to Christianity. 15. THE SEVENTH ANGEL SOUNDS HIS TRUMPET “And there were great voices in heaven, saying: The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever .” 18. “And the Gentiles were enraged, and Thy wrath has come, and the time for the dead to be vindicated, and to give reward to Thy servants the prophets and saints, and to those who fear Thy name, small and great, and to destroy them that destroy the earth .” These prophetical scenes frequently overlap and run into each other. We have now reached the seventh trumpet, which will sound on till the Lord comes to reign. But remember, since the beginning of the ninth chapter, we have been in the Oriental hemisphere, among the followers of the false prophet. When we reach the papal prophecies, appertaining to the Occidental hemisphere, we will fall back to the fifth and sixth trumpets, which proclaim the first and second woes. As we found the second woe vastly greater than the first, so we will find the third woe infinitely climaxing all the preceding.
The momentous issues predicted in all the latter day prophecies belong to the third woe, and will take place during the seventh trumpet. You see unmistakably, from the above quotations, that every human government on the globe, both political and ecclesiastical, is to be turned over to the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes to reign. Two hundred millions of martyrs have sealed their faith with their blood. All their prayers for deliverance, victory, and the triumph of truth and righteousness in the world, are going to be answered. They will be rewarded with a place in the first resurrection, and receive kingdoms and crowns as the faithful subordinates of the reigning Christ in the coming millennium. The popular idea that the wicked multitudes will be converted during the Gospel Age is unscriptural. They may be saved, if they will; but there is the trouble.
They love sin too much to give it up. Jesus says “the saved are few,” while the multitude travel the broad road. In the Jerusalem Council the end for which the gospel is sent into the world is defined: “To gather out of all nations a people unto the Lord.”
The wonderful prophecies about a nation being born in a day belong to the millennial period. As above quoted, these people who reject the gospel, and destroy the prosperity and happiness of the earth by their wickedness, are not to be converted, but destroyed. The rulers of the world, political and ecclesiastical, with the millions who sycophantize them into office, would not let the Lord reign, if He were to come down today on His millennial throne. Therefore, when He comes and takes His blood-washed bride out of the world, the Ancient of Days will descend ( Daniel 7:9), encumber His castigatory judgment throne, and enter into righteous judgment with all the wicked nations and fallen Churches of the earth. He said to His Son: “Sit Thou on my right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” Hence you see the invisible Father will descend and sit in judgment on all the powers of the earth, political and ecclesiastical, and administer to them the just reward of their rebellion, maladministration, high-handed iniquities vices, and crimes, till the sweeping catastrophes of the great tribulation shall remove from the earth the unsaveable, incorrigible population. Daniel 7:13,14 reveals the “Son of Man” coming down on His millennial throne to take possession of this world, immediately after the Father has prepared the way by His premillennial judgments. The very fact that the Holy Spirit says that the Son of man shall come and reign on the earth forever beautifully corroborates Acts 1:11: “This same Jesus whom you saw ascend up to heaven, will also come again in like manner as ye saw Him go into heaven.”
When Jesus gave us the commission, He said: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age.” Hence we see that the God-Christ is with us throughout the Gospel Age; but the man-Christ has not been on earth since his ascension from Mt. Olivet. Zechariah 14:4 says: “His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives.”
Hence, pursuant to these prophecies, we fondly anticipate the return of our Lord to this earth in His glorified humanity. Just so surely as He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, He will come in on a cloud; so surely as He hung on the cross, will He sit on the throne. These Scriptures are plain and unmistakable, all theological tergiversations notwithstanding. Our Lord’s blood-washed bride in every nation under heaven now hears His voice, thrills with holy enthusiasm, and hastens to meet Him as He comes back to earth, not to suffer and to die, but to conquer and to reign. As Daniel and John, with many other inspired writers, constantly speak of His kingdom as everlasting,” a moment’s reflection will readily harmonize the eternity of His kingdom on earth with all other phases of revealed truth.
While the Bible reveals that God the Father administers the retributive judgments which supervene during the Gospel Ages, the final judgment at the end of time, which is not castigatory, but revelatory and vindicatory of the unimpeachable integrity and immaculate purity of the Divine administration, will be the prerogative of the Son. Now, when you consider this fact in connection with the signal failure of Satan’s postmillennial invasion, you recognize at once the uninterrupted reign of Christ from the inauguration of the millennium, not only through the Millennial Ages, the post-millennial times, and final judgment, but on through all eternity, this earth having been sanctified by fire, and transformed by the creative presence of Omnipotence into a glorified celestial sphere.
HUMAN GOVERNMENT Daniel 2:31,35: The chronological image seen by Nebuchadnezzar in his prophetic dream reveals not only the entire panorama of Gentile governments, from the fall of Jerusalem, B.C. 587, to the end of the Gospel Age, but the stone emblematizes the millennial kingdom. Man has been a failure amid all environments and throughout all ages. He failed in Eden. He failed in the Antediluvian times, till the very mercy of God forced Him to destroy the wicked world and give humanity another chance. How speedily did wickedness flood the post-diluvian world! The people proved so wicked as to defeat the grace of God in the main in every dispensation, finally breaking down and exterminating the last vestige of the theocracy, when Nebuchadnezzar, having conquered the world, destroyed Jerusalem, and carried the last remnant of the holy people into Babylonian captivity. Thus the Divine government having gone into eclipse, human rule prevails throughout the whole world.
The first form of human government which superseded the theocracy was the absolute monarchy represented by the golden head. This is the most powerful form of human government. It built the Egyptian pyramids, and many other monuments of autocratic power which this day bewilder a contemplative world.
The golden empire of Nebuchadnezzar is followed by the Medo-Persian, represented by the breast and arms of silver. This is conquered by the Greeks under the leadership of Alexander the Great, emblematized by the abdomen and thighs of brass, and bears rule over the whole earth.
Then mighty Rome, symbolized by the great iron legs, conquers all nations, and rules the world a thousand years. The two legs of the image represent the two great hemispheres of the Roman world, centralized at Rome and Constantinople. The ten toes of the image represent the ten grand divisions into which the Roman Empire was disintegrated when destroyed by the Goths, Huns, and Vandals, A.D. 476. You see the progressive depreciation from the pure gold of the Chaldean Empire down to the iron and the clay of modern democracies. Multitudes of concurrent prophecies, corroborated by all the signs of the times, force on us the conclusion that we are living in the toe stage of human government. The trend of the whole world, at the present day, is into democracies, which are fully exposed to all the whimsical caprices of the popular will, swayed by bribery, and inflamed by demagogues. There is but one step out of democracy into anarchy, which is no government at all. We are on the daily outlook for the fatal plunge of all nations into the unutterable horrors of anarchy, when every government on the globe will totter and fall. This will doubtless peculiarize the horrors of the great tribulations.
Thus we see that human government has run its race, from the golden head down to the dirty feet of the chronological image. Daniel says “they have the strength of the iron;” i .e ., the great standing armies which this day belt the globe, eat up the substance, and impoverish the nations. They also have the weakness of the clay; i .e ., internal factions, led on by thieves, who call themselves patriots. They are vampires in disguise, sucking from the nation the last drop of blood, and reducing her to a loathsome political corpse, which the vultures of revolution are eager to devour. Daniel 2:34,35: “Thou sawest till a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” Daniel 2:44: “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”
Theologians have resorted to a thousand tergiversations to evade the plain, simple, and unsophisticated meaning of this prophecy. They have generally identified the kingdom with the gospel Church. This construction flatly contradicts Scripture chronology, as the Church was set up during the Roman Empire, and this kingdom at the terminus of the toe stage of human government.
LITERALIZATION AND SPIRITUALIZATION A misconstruction along these two lines comprehends the greater part of all those unfortunate theological manipulations which have perverted, neutralized, futilized, and misconstrued God’s word in all ages, filling the Bible with contradictions antagonizing the warring sects, beclouding the inspired page, and discouraging the popular mind in all Biblical study.
When I was preaching in Jacksonville, Florida, I had in my audience a Swedenborgian, who spiritualized the whole Bible, and soul-sleepers, who literalized it all. You will always find the truth midway between two errors. In all Biblical interpretation, you must fix your eye on Jesus, and, guided by the Holy Ghost, sail between the Scylla of literalizing the spiritual and the Charybdis of spiritualizing the literal. In the latter case, you will find yourself tangled up in the gloomy speculations of Swedenborgianism; in the former, you plunge into the dismal fogs of materialistic infidelity. The Bible is a plain book. It means what it says, says what it means. This wonderful kingdom, which Daniel saw cut out without human hands, and smite the image on the feet, utterly demolishing it into chaff, is homogeneous with all the preceding kingdoms represented by the image; i .e ., the golden, Chaldean Empire; Medo-Persian, silver; the Grecian, brass; the Roman, iron; and the ten great powers of the earth at this day, represented by the toes of iron mixed with clay. Remember the governments of the present day are not the pure, strong iron of mighty Rome, which conquered all nations and ruled them a thousand years; but they are all iron mixed up with clay. The clay is not only symbolic of utter weakness, but the iron interpenetrated with clay is very brittle and weak, ready to fall into a thousand pieces when violently smitten by an external force. This stone kingdom is not only to utterly demolish and exterminate all the kingdoms of the earth, but become a great mountain, covering the entire globe, and stand forever. A thousand prophecies pour floods of light on the tenable conclusion as to the character and destiny of this kingdom.
It is the glorious kingdom for which Christendom has been praying for in the Lord’s Prayer the last eighteen hundred years. Of course we enter the spiritual kingdom in regeneration; but the construction of this, in a merely spiritual sense, would be irreconcilably heterogeneous to all these earthly kingdoms. You see this kingdom is to destroy and supersede all earthly governments, fill the world, and stand forever. It is the restoration of the theocracy in the Edenic splendor and glory, never again to be superseded by an alien power, human or Satanic. The Dark Ages of diabolical misrule, sin, and misery will pass into an eternal eclipse, forever superseded by the glorious kingdom of our triumphant Savior.
TIMES OF THE GENTILES Luke 21:24: “Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Romans 11:25: “Blindness in part has happened unto Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles may come in.” Daniel 8:14: “And He said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
All the lights of prophecy, corroborated by history, force on us the conclusion that we are living in the end of the Gentile times. They began with the fall of Jerusalem and the captivity of the Jews by the Gentiles, B.C. 587. To this add 1896, which equals 2483. The Gentile time, in lunar chronology, is 354 multiplied by 7, which equals 2478; calendar, multiplied by 7, which equals 2520; and solar, 365 multiplied by 7, which equals 2555. Now, 2483 minus 2478 leaves 5. Hence you see, according to lunar, the Gentile times are 5 years over. 2520 minus 2483 leaves 37.
Calendar time gives us 37 years yet to elapse. 2555 minus 2483 leaves 72.
Solar chronology gives us 72 years of Gentile time yet to come.
From these calculations the conclusion follows, with all of the infallibility of God’s mathematics, that we are living in the time of the end of the Gentile Age. Daniel 8:14 calculates from Persian rule. The temple was rebuilt by Cyrus, B.C. 444. Add to this 1896, which equals 2340. It was years in building. 2340 minus 49 leaves 2291, which, subtracted from ( Daniel 8:14), leaves 9. Hence you see it will be only nine years till the temple is cleansed from idolatry.
Jerusalem was taken by the Mahometans, A.D. 637, when the daily worship (not sacrifices, which is not in the Hebrew) closed. It is to be restored after a time, times, and a half-time ( Daniel 12:7). By calendar time 360 plus 720 plus 180 equals 1260 prophetic years. 1896 minus leaves 1259.
Hence you see 1897 is the auspicious era of this glorious and long-prayedfor downfall of the Turkish power.
The glorified Jesus, returning to reign, is this great Deliverer. The valley of dry bones ( Ezekiel 37) teaches that the Jews will be gathered into Palestine, mainly in an unconverted state. All the prophecies inspire us, and the signs of the times abundantly corroborate the universal anticipation of Moslem’s speedy fall in the Holy Land, which will be quickly followed by the return of the Jews. Then all Christendom will unite for their conversion. It is highly probable that the Savior, when He comes to steal away His bride, will so reveal Himself to His consanguinity as to expedite their conversion. Zechariah 13:14 teaches wonderful things relative to the destiny of the Jews in the latter days. Having returned to Palestine and been converted to Christ, they will suffer terrible ordeals. During the great tribulations, a combination of nations will invade Palestine, besiege and capture Jerusalem, commit appalling depredations, slay two-thirds of the Jews, and carry half of the survivors into captivity.
The surviving third will only be rescued from slaughter and captivity by the sudden descension of the glorious King. Zechariah 14:4: “His feet shall stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof towards the east and towards the west, a great valley...And the Lord my God shall come and all His saints with Thee. Zechariah 14:8:
From these prophecies we see that the Jews, during the tribulations, after their return to Palestine and their conversion to Christianity, will suffer these terrible and appalling catastrophes, which will utterly expurgate from them the dross and debris of the Gentile world, in which they have so long sojourned. Through these fiery ordeals and castigatory judgments they will be thoroughly sanctified, robed, and ready to meet the King of Glory, and come to the front of the millennial administration. Then will be verified that wonderful truth ( Romans 11:26): “All Israel shall be saved.”
The Jews will be gathering home, getting converted, suffering bloody persecutions and deportations, eliminating the unsanctifiable elements, leaving the true and the tried, who, with the victories of persecutionary fires flashing from their eyes, will meet their descending King with shouts of welcome, and come to the front of the world again, as in the days of the patriarchs and prophets. This faithful, sanctified remnant will lead the way in the evangelization of the millennial world. “Then shall a nation be born in a day.”
THE WONDERFUL DESTINY OF JERUSALEM There is a tradition that Adam and Eve were created on the spot where Jerusalem now stands. When I was in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, my guide showed me what was claimed to be Adam’s skull. Perhaps it is incredible; but I certainly saw a number of mummies in Cairo, Egypt, doubtless four thousand years old, and looking like they would last forever. If the flesh of an Egyptian mummy has lasted four thousand years, why not the solid bone of Adam’s skull five thousand? Hence Jerusalem, with her sacred and imperishable memories, is the place of all places on which the Son looks down; therefore, it is the representative of the world from creation through the sweep of ages, the coming kingdom, and eternal cycles. We are living in Satan’s period, denominated by the apostles “the night,” which is to be followed by the millennial day, whose glorious dawn now electrifies expectant saints.
The terrible degradation, desolation, and impoverishment to which the Holy Land is subjected during the long misrule of the Turkish pashas, vividly emblematizes the reign of sin, and the triumphs of Satan on the earth. Water is the element of physical life, and throughout the Bible symbolizes spiritual life. Jerusalem, five thousand feet above the Mediterranean Sea, is too high for wells and fountains. She is above the water-line, and dependent on the winter rains, which are diligently garnered in tanks and cisterns beneath their stone houses, and carefully preserved, to supply them through the long, dry, hot summer. The suffering for water at Jerusalem every year, especially among the poor, is distressing in the extreme. Hence we do not wonder that for all this burning thirst, which has wasted that land for ages, there will be a glorious remedy in the good time coming.
In the above prophecy, Zechariah positively certifies that when our Savior returns from the skies, His feet shall stand on Mt. Olivet. Though Jerusalem stands on four mountains — Zion, Moriah, Bezetha, and Acra — Olivet is two hundred feet higher than the mountains on which Jerusalem is built. How convenient is great Mt. Olivet for our Savior to split open from east to west, and fill the valley with sparkling waters, flowing westward to the Mediterranean and eastward to the Dead Sea, thus forever relieving the thirst of coming generations, both man and beast!
So you see Jerusalem will not be dry and thirsty, as she has been during the weary centuries of sin and desolation but the city will have an inexhaustible supply of pure water, gushing copiously from the mighty strata of Mt. Olivet. This water-supply will be a sunburst of prosperity on Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Meanwhile, it gloriously symbolizes the water of life, which shall inundate the nations from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, when Satan and his myrmidons shall have been forever cast out, and the Prince of Glory enthroned, to reign forever and ever.
Jerusalem stands on the great Palestinian mountain table-lands, five thousand feet above the sea. The prophet says she is “beautiful for situation,” and in the good time coming will be the “joy of the whole earth.” Palestine has the finest climate and soil on the globe, producing exuberantly the wheat of the north and the fruits of the south. These great highlands consist of calcareous and bituminous strata, the finest building material and the richest soil on the globe. You have nothing to do but take all the materials- i .e ., stone and cement of the earth, and build the most comfortable and durable house right on the spot, leaving your soil richer than when you began. Methinks, in the oncoming millennial years, Jerusalem will be built all over that great interior highland, become the greatest and most populous city on the globe, the capital and metropolis of all nations, and, truly, “the joy of the whole earth.”
The Jews are God’s earthly people — the original custodians of the theocracy. Though that theocracy went into eclipse at the fall of Jerusalem, B.C. 587, and has remained unseen to this day, it is destined to rise in the good time coming, and throw its benignant administration of peace, righteousness, and love over the nations lacerated for ages by the tread of sin. Glory to God, it will come out of its long eclipse bright with the glory of an unfallen Eden; and, best of all, it will come to stay — aye, too, forever! God, in a most wonderful way, is this day preparing the Jews for the metropolitanship of the millennial world. They are the miracle of Providence which has puzzled all nations the last four thousand years. Driven from their country by usurpers and robbers, their weary feet have found no rest beneath the skies. Robbed, scathed, peeled, and persecuted by every nation under heaven, they are ever like the bush that burned and was not consumed. In every age they have ever proved the most thrifty people on the globe. They went down into Egypt seventyfive souls, and in two hundred years swelled to three millions, so the kingdom of the Pharaohs trembled for its safety. Only fifty thousand followed Nehemiah in the memorable exodus out of Babylonian captivity; yet they had multiplied into millions in the days of Christ. Matthew 24:34: “Truly I say unto you, this race may not pass away, until all these things may come to pass.”
The English reading, “generation,” is a misleading translation of genea , which simply means race. While all the races who fought the Jews in the olden times have passed away, the children of Abraham, with no country of their own to perpetuate their nationality, have survived a thousand bloody revolutions, and perpetuated their identity, the wonder of all nations, despite the whole world combined for their persecution, degradation, and extermination. They have not only survived, but outstripped all nations in the competition for wealth and learning. They, this day, stand at the head of the world’s finances, learning, and jurisprudence. Hence you see, when they get gloriously saved, and their triumphant King shall honor them again with the custodianship of the theocracy, and the nations shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning-hooks, and learn war no more, how convenient to refer all national controversies to the Jews, who are this day thoroughly posted in the languages, institutions, finances, and laws of all nations.
While it is in Asia, the largest and most important of all the grand divisions; it is within a few hours of Africa and Europe, while North and South America are reached in a few days. It is wonderful how God made the beautiful cerulean Mediterranean Sea, two thousand miles long, giving all America a straight shoot to the Holy Land. The wonderful prophecies about Jerusalem, beautiful for situation, “joy of the whole earth,” are to be fulfilled in the millennial reign. Oh, how wonderfully the hand of God is upon the Jews in all nations, preparing them for the metropoiltanship of the world CHAPTER -WOMAN throughout the Bible symbolizes Church. In this verse the sun represents the New Dispensation of entire sanctification, with which the Church is clothed during the Gospel Age; while the moon emblematizes Mosaic justification, and the twelve stars are the apostles. 3. Christ was born of a woman — i .e ., the Church — amid the terrible menaces of Satan, who sent wicked Herod to destroy Him in His infancy.
The seven heads and seven diadems emblematize the seven governments of Rome, the mighty empire of Satan; i .e ., the kings, consuls, dictators, triumvirs, tribunes, emperors, and popes, who ruled the world two thousand years. The ten horns are the ten great political powers into which the Roman world was disintegrated when the barbarians dethroned the Csars. 4. “His tail draws the third part of heaven and casts them upon the earth .”
This is evidently a prophetical retrospection, in which John sees the fall of Lucifer and the angels who followed his influence. Isaiah 14:12: “How thou art fallen, O Lucifer, the son of the morning!”
This was the first origin of sin, and one-third of the angels seemed to have followed in the sad apostasy. In this unfortunate defection all the fallen angels became devils, were cast out of heaven, and have since populated earth and hell. Of course, the angels were on probation, as we are, or they would not have fallen. Presumptively the probation in these heavenly worlds has already expired, as ours will at the end of time. Therefore, there is no longer a probability of apostasy in heaven. As Satan in his Unfallen state was one of the brightest and most intellectual of all created intelligences, and doubtless had been present, and perhaps performed some important offices in the creation of this world, therefore, when cast out of heaven, he immediately set his heart on the earth, determined to possess it, and thus augment the narrow dominions of hell. After the conquest of Eden, he was constantly on the lookout for Immanuel, his old enemy, who had led the embattled host and ejected him from heaven. 5. Here is a retrospection of the incarnation and the terrible persecution against the Messiah, which began under Herod in His infancy, hounded Him to the bloody cross, and has pursued His Church, with diabolical malignity, ever since; and rest assured, he will never let up till the millennial angel binds him and casts him into hell. 7. In this graphic description of the war in heaven, Dr. Clarke (as in Daniel 12:1) identifies Michael with Christ. “The Angel of the Covenant,” so frequently mentioned in the Old Testament, is believed be the excarnate Christ. 10. We learn here that Satan, from his apostasy, has been the accuser of the brethren, as he wickedly and falsely maligned the innocent angels before the Almighty, thus filling heaven with confusion till he was cast out. So he has indefatigably pursued that course on earth. Martin Luther says he appeared before him in an embodied form, held up for his inspection the long, dark catalogue of his sins, and assured Luther that they were too great to ever be forgiven; but when he approached the devil and wrote beneath that long, black catalogue, “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin,” Satan cowardly fled away. In Nehemiah we have the scene of Joshua, the high priest, standing before God in polluted apparel, and Satan standing at his right hand, relentlessly accusing him, and pretentiously vindicating the divine glory with wonderful assiduity, persistently berating the impudent presumption of Joshua to think the aggravated and persistent idolatry of Israel could be forgiven consistently with the purity and glory of the divine sovereignty. In the midst of Satan’s accusations, a bright angel sweeps down from heaven, strips Joshua of his soiled garments, which symbolized Israel’s sins, and invests him with a shining robe, white as snow. At this moment, the devil takes his flight.
Satan upsets more Christians in this way than any other; i .e ., by holding up the dark columns of their flagrant sins for their contemplation. Though these sins have already been forgiven, if Satan can get you to look at them in the absence of the cross, he will first inject discouragement, then doubt, and finally throw his black wing over you, dragging you into apostasy and damnation. Oh, how Satan, by this stratagem, tilts over the sanctified!
Introspection is good and helpful, if you will always see your old, dark depravity under the blood. But Satan will try to get you to look at the old rattlesnake den of diabolical passions and lust in the absence of the blood.
If you let him play that stratagem on you, he will down you every time. 11. “They conquered him through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death .” Amid all the devices of Satan, you should constantly keep your eye on the blood. If you ever persistently introspect your own heart in the absence of Jesus and the blood you will be in imminent danger of getting into darkness and trouble. Satan will do his utmost to absorb all your attention in the contemplation of your sins, so you will have none for Jesus and the blood.
Besides, he will magnify your little innocent infirmities which are not removed in sanctification, but remain till you are glorified, when the soul leaves the body. This glorification not only sweeps away all your infirmities, but confers on you angelic perfection, in which you live in heaven forever. Satan’s fond caprice is to magnify these infirmities into mountains of sin, and get yon to look at them instead of keeping your eye on Jesus and the blood. Remember, as this verse says, you conquer all of your sins by the blood and defeat the devil by your testimony. If you permit your testimony to flicker, the devil will get the advantage of you discourage, weaken, and ruin you. Your heart is for Jesus; you give it to Him and keep it in His possession by faith. Hence, your consecration and faith are for God; but your testimony is for the devil. In this way you get the victory, and keep him off of you. Did the angels in heaven need the blood of Jesus to conquer the devil? Hebrews 9:23: “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”
Here is a contrast between the sacrifices of the Levitical law and that of Christ. We see in this Scripture that all heaven needed the purgation which Jesus brought in by His expiatory death. At that time the inhabitants of the heavenly worlds were on probation (which has doubtless since expired). The irregularity of Lucifer’s insurrection was felt and recognized throughout the celestial empire. Christ was the Michael who then led the embattled host to victory in the ejectment of Satan and all of his followers out of the celestial worlds. But this would not suffice. The Divine government must be perfectly vindicated and order completely restored.
Hence, then and there the foundation of the redemption scheme was laid, Christ having volunteered to take the trouble into hand, prosecute the war against sin and Satan to the bitter end, exterminate the malady, completely expurgating all worlds by His precious blood, thus in the finale restoring perfect order and eternal loyalty throughout the universe. Ephesians 1:10: In the economy of the fullness of the times to reveal all things in Christ, both the things which are in the heavens and the things which are on the earth were even in Him. Colossians 1:20 corroborates the above, which you see is in harmony with Hebrews 9:23. The word “heaven” in your Bible is “heavens” in the Greek, confirmatory of the universally received astronomy revealing innumerable worlds, which constitute the celestial empire. There is a sense in which Satan’s revolt infected these heavenly worlds. As to this world, the devil actually cut its head off in the capture of its king and queen. Spiritual life is the head of the man. Satan cut it off. Hence the great work of Christ is the restoration of this world and the confirmation of all worlds in their eternal, unshaken, unshakable, and perfect loyalty to the Divine administration. Therefore, the victory over Satan in his ejectment out of heaven and his final defeat on earth, ultimate and eternal banishment from God’s illuminated universe into the darkness of nonentity, infinitely beyond the ultimathule , where the combined illumination of one hundred and seventeen millions of glowing suns have never shot one cheering ray, is all from his first revolt in heaven to his final and immutable doom through the blood of the incarnate Son. 12. No wonder all heaven rejoiced when Satan and his followers were cast out; and we do not wonder that a dismal woe is pronounced on land and sea, because the devil and his innumerable demons have come down, if possible, to ruin every human being, dragging men and women indiscriminately into hell. Satan is in a great rage, burning with the enthusiasm of hell-fire to utilize every possible opportunity, because his time is short. He has already had this world by the throat six thousand years, sweeping them into hell by millions. But this period is very short, when contrasted with the never-ending eternity. While Satan is utterly dead spiritually, and destitute of spiritual light, yet he has a great and powerful intellect. To what extent he understands the Scriptures and fathoms the prophecies, we know not; but it is certain his mighty intellectual perspicacity has a wonderful diagnosis of the divine plans. He is fully assured that embargoes rest on his prerogative in the near future.
Doubtless the fearful apostasy of the Churches, and the awful increase of wickedness in the world, especially in the last fifty years, result from Satan’s unprecedented activity and adroitness in the prosecution of every conceivable stratagem for the seduction of souls and the population of hell.
The solution of this alarming phenomenon is evidently in the fact that he has prophetic inklings that the Lord’s kingdom is nigh, and his time is very short. Comparatively with eternity it has always been short; but now it is almost gone. No wonder the hosts of hell are all under double duty to get the caverns of damnation filled up before his impending arrest and final imprisonment. 14. Here we see the woman, the persecuted Church, fly before the bloody dragon into the wilderness, where she is kept time, times, and a half-time from the venomous serpent. You see from the phraseology that mysterious period — i .e ., “‘time, times, and a half-time,” which Daniel also gives (12:7) — is synonymous with one thousand two hundred and three score days ( Revelation 12:6). So you see, from former expositions, it is the well-known prophetic period, 1260 years. 15-17. In these verses we have a prophetical description of what was verified when the Goths, Huns, and Vandals destroyed the Roman Empire, A.D. 476. After the conversion of Constantine, the empire became the upholder of Christianity. When the heathen armies invaded and destroyed imperial Rome, and with her fall ancient civilization passed away, the Christian Church was in imminent peril. These barbarian armies were the floods which Satan poured out of his month to carry away the Church.
How did the earth help the woman? When those ruthless barbarians, triumphant in the Roman world, and enriched in the spoils of war, saw the beautiful sunny Southern Europe contrasted with the bleak wilds of their Northern haunts, they desisted from the excitements of conquest, settled down, and became peaceful and enterprising cultivators of the soil. Then the Church preached to them the gospel, and converted them to Christianity. This signal defeat so enraged the devil that he blew up the fires of persecution hotter than ever.
CHAPTER -THESE prophetical scenes not only run parallel, but frequently interlap.
As Chapter 9 is all on Mohammedanism, it gave us quite a send-off into the Eastern hemisphere. On that side of the prophetic drama we have reached the seventh trumpet. This chapter drops back to the rise of the Roman Empire, long before John’s day. Hence, like many things in Chapter 12, it is retrospective. In Daniel’s panorama of the <270701> 7th chapter, to which we must now for a time carry the reader, he begins with the Gentile Age in the days of Belshazzar. The entire panorama of human government, in contradiction to the Divine, is represented by a succession of wild beasts. The world might have enjoyed the benignant reign of righteousness and love, shedding a heavenly luster and shining away all of her sorrows, if she had only acquiesced in the government of Jehovah.
These wild beasts are the personification of that supreme selfishness and bloodthirsty cruelty which have left their indelible histories legibly superscribed on every political escutcheon. The lion is the Chaldean monarchy, the bear the Medio-Persian, and the leopard the Grecian. John describes the Roman power ( Revelation 13:2) as a combination of all these beasts, to which the dragon — i .e ., the devil — gave his power and throne. Daniel 7:8: Here we have the rise of THE PAPACY Out of the fourth beast; i .e ., the Roman power. Why is the pope called the little horn? Because horn, in the Bible, constantly means political power; and the pope’s temporal dominions were always small. The three horns “plucked up by the roots” were the kingdoms of the Ostrogoths, the Lombards, and the Ravennas, which, at an early day, fell before the pope, and were added to his dominions. Consequently, to the present day, the pope wears the triple crown. The eyes and mouth in this little horn simply describe the pope. As in the Eastern hemisphere Mahomet is called a little horn ( Daniel 8:9), and rises out of the Greek Empire, so in the Western hemisphere the pope is called a little horn ( Daniel 7:8), and rises out of the Roman Empire. These two little horns, by Satanic power, became the greatest horns in the world, encompassing the whole earth. Revelation 12:3: Here we find that the dragon — i .e ., the devil — gave this Roman beast his own power and throne. In the lamentable supersession of the theocracy by human government, Satan ascended the throne of the world. Beginning in the universal Chaldean Empire, developing and consolidating his autocratic sovereignty through the Medo- Persian and the Grecian, he finally culminates in the great worldwide iron empire of heathen Rome. Seven hundred and fifty years the Roman conquest swept the globe, assiduously gathering up the idols of all nations as she conquered them, carrying them into Rome, and there legalizing universal idolatry. Jupiter, Apollo, Venus, Minerva, Mercury, Diana, and myriads of Roman divinities, were all simple personifications of Satanic attributes. Hence the Roman religion, which filled the world with its magnificent temples and pompous ceremonies and sacrifices, was nothing but devil-worship. This problem furnishes its own solution in the fact that all of the Roman gods were personifications of Satanic attributes. Hence the adoration of the Roman gods was nothing but devil-worship from beginning to end. ( 1 Corinthians 10:20.)
You must not forget that all of these heathen empires were always preeminently religious. As theocracy is the government of both Church and State, providing fully for soul and body, so Satan’s counterfeit world governments, which superseded and supplanted God’s government, are all politico-ecclesiastical. After four thousand years of war, blood, and slaughter, Satan succeeded in the consolidation of all nations in the apparently invincible iron empire of Rome. 3. Here we find that one of the seven heads of Satan’s politicoecclesiastical beast was wounded unto death. Which head was this? Rome was ruled first by kings; then by consuls; thirdly, by dictators; fourthly, by triumvirs; then by tribunes; and, finally, by emperors. So you see the imperial government which ruled the Roman world at the time of the barbarian invasion was the sixth head. When the Goths, Huns, and Vandals, A.D. 476, captured Rome, dethroned Caesar, and destroyed the imperial government, then this monstrous beast received a deadly wound in the head. But to the unutterable astonishment of the whole world, this deadly wound was healed. How was it healed? In the rise of the papacy, which is the seventh head of the Roman beast.
So now you have the complements of heads; i .e ., the kingdom, the consulate, the dictatorship, the triumvirate, the tribuneships, the empire, and the papacy. 2 Thessalonians 2:6,7: “And now you know that which hindereth that he should be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh, only he hindereth till he may be taken out of the midst, and then the lawless one will be revealed.” This wicked, lawless one is the pope. The one which hindered him from being revealed was the Roman emperor. The world could not have a Caesar and a pope at the same time, for Caesar would have killed the pope. The Greek word anomos means the lawless one. The same word means Antinomian — i .e ., sinning religion — as all such ignores the law of God, which says: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” ( Ezekiel 18:4). Sad to see the Protestant Churches at the present day full of this sinning religion, which is Satan’s doctrine, manufactured in the bottomless pit and incarnated in the pope.
History abundantly corroborates Scripture in the perpetuity of the Roman power in the papacy. When the empire was destroyed and the barbarians captured and pillaged Rome, the world’s metropolis would have gone the way of Nineveh and Babylon into hopeless dilapidation and ruin if the pope had not succeeded Caesar. When dilapidation gets the run on such a city as Rome, falling ruins, malaria, and robbers would soon render it utterly uninhabitable, till, like Babylon, it would be abandoned to ferocious beasts and doleful creatures. Hence the whole world, to its unutterable astonishment, finds the pope encumbering Caesar’s throne, and wielding the imperial scepter. So Rome takes new life in the seventh head, and lives right on, as if the barbarians had not inflicted a fatal wound on the empire; i .e ., the sixth head. 4. This verse describes the perpetuity of devil-worship in the supersession of Caesar by the pope. When all nations see this wonderful miracle wrought by Satan in the unbroken perpetuity of the Roman power in the papacy after the fall of the empire, they give way to ejaculations of wonder: “Who is like unto the beast, and who is able to make war with him!” The barbarians fought three hundred years to destroy the Roman beast, finally, as they thought, consummating the victory by mortally wounding him in the head. But, behold! Satan just lets the imperial head drop off the beast and immediately puts on the papal head. which proved more congenial to his stygian administration than any of the preceding six. 5. And a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies was given unto him, and power was given unto him to prevail forty-two months; i .e ., prophetic years. Immediately the pope’s mouth spoke great things, claiming autocratic power over all the kings of the earth, than whom none of his imperial predecessors ever spoke more arrogantly. He is certainly the most blasphemous man on the face of the earth, even throwing Satan into eclipse, as he unblushingly proclaims himself the vicar of Christ and the vicegerent of God in all the earth, holding the keys of heaven, opening the gates to whom he will, and closing them nolens volens against all who dare contemn his pompous pretensions. When I was at his palace in 1895, while exploring St. Peter’s Cathedral, the guide showed me the “Door of Universal Absolution.” He said it had no fastening; but the pope, at the end of every twenty-five years, breaks it open with a silver hammer, walks out of the cathedral, stands in the marble verandah, prays for, and forgives the sins of the whole world. He permits the people to salute him as “Our Lord God, the Pope!”
Caesar fell A.D. 476, and the pope ascended the throne. He is to continue 1260 years. 476 plus 1260 equals 1736. This was a notable epoch in the Lutheran Reformation, which shook the papal power from center to circumference, and from which it has never recovered. Though the Bishop of Rome actually assumed the politico-ecclesiastical supremacy over the Roman world when Caesar fell, — [when I was in St. Peter’s Church, I saw, in gigantic bronze statuary, Leo, the first Bishop of Rome, going out to meet Attila, the leader of the Huns, to beg him to spare the city] — yet the papistical claims ere never formally recognized till A.D. 606, when Boniface III, Bishop of Rome, was publicly crowned universal bishop by Procas, the king of Italy. Hence, A.D. 606 is the proper date of the papacy.
Now 1260 plus 606 equals 1866, the time for the papal throne to fall. This was the very date when Pope Pius IX convened the Ecumenical Council of five hundred and thirty-five bishops, from all parts of the world, to vote his infallibility. This they did A.D. 1870. Scarcely was the ink dry when Victor Immanuel, the king of Sardinia, came with his army and shook him down from his temporal throne, which he has never regained, and never will. Hence you see the signal fulfillments of prophecy. When I was in Rome in 1895, they were busily rearing up a magnificent monument to perpetuate the memory of Victor Immanuel, who shook the pope from his temporal throne. They were also building a similar monument to Garibaldi, who defended the city against the French army when they came to reinstate the pope. Both of these monuments are in full view of the pope as he sits in his palace — sad mementos of his signal and final dethronement from temporal power. For one thousand two hundred and sixty years he had worn the tiara of universal empire, put his foot on the neck of kings, and dictated law to the time-honored empires. 7-8. These verses recognize that dark and bloody period of one thousand two hundred and sixty years, during which the pope so maneuvered as to manipulate all the rulers of the earth to acquiesce in his pompous pretensions. Meanwhile the Inquisition and autodafe were the order of the day, and one hundred millions of Christians sealed their faith with their blood. 9. Unless the Holy Spirit open the ear of our spirit, we will never hear and never know. 10. This verse is on Divine retribution. Rest assured, God has heard every groan and seen every tear shed and uttered by His suffering martyrs. The terrible retributions of the last days, when tribulation such as the world has never known shall come upon the earth, will be the great harvest of calamity, death, destruction, and damnation reaped by Satan because of the terrible iniquities perpetrated against God’s people in bygone centuries. The saints of all ages have committed these grievous outrages and diabolical persecutions of their enemies to Him who says, “Vengeance is Mine, and I will repay.” Multiplied millions of saints have suffered out their miserable lives in dismal, dark dungeons, and died unheard of. They all patiently waited God’s time for retribution, feeling assured that he heard every sigh and saw every tear. 11. “I saw another beast come up out of the earth, and had two horns like a lamb, and spake as a dragon .” We have again that significant Greek word theerion , which means a ferocious, bloodthirsty wild beast. It designates the human governments of all ages, independent and defiant of God — the very personification of selfishness and cruelty, in contradistinction to the benignant and pacific reign of the Prince of Peace.
In this verse it denotes the ecclesiastical hemisphere of the papacy, in contrast with the political above mentioned. Away with the charitable concession that the Roman Catholic Church is a Divine institution. Here you see it came up out of the earth. The Bible reveals that hell is beneath the earth. Science teaches us that the interior of the earth is all on fire, forcibly corroborating the Bible location and description of hell. Hence you see the origin of the popish religion. The two horns are the Greek and Latin Churches. Though it looks like a lamb, it speaks of blood and persecution, like the dragon. Therefore, you see, from the Scripture, Romanism is the devil with a sheepskin on. 12. Here we find that the ecclesiastical beast is in perfect harmony with the political, and perpetuates the idolatries of bygone ages, practiced by the Roman beast. 13. Here is an allusion to the pretensions of Romanism to miraculous power, and the popish anathemas which are called down on the heads of heretics. 14. The papacy adopted and perpetuated the idolatry and sorcery of heathen Rome. 15. Here we find that the image of the beast speaks. Then ventriloquism solves this problem, or perhaps Dr. Clarke is correct in explaining the image of the beast as the pope himself. 16. This verse tells us that the pope marks his people in their faces and in their hands. The hands and face are the communicative members of the body, as they alone are unclothed. Aside from the signs of crosses, crucifixes, veils, and regalia, designating papistical allegiance, we must concede that the very countenance is an index of the heart. Dissipations of all sorts mark the physiognomy of their victims. Beside all is, there is an indefinable somber expression peculiar to the face of the Romish devotee which strikingly contrasts with the serenity, benignity, glory, and victory radiating from the faces of those who know the Lord. 17. All countries and ages bear witness to the verification of this prophecy that Romanism is notorious for boycotting the Protestant semper et ubique . 18. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is 666.” Here we have the key which unlocks the mystery and solves the problem. No one is adequate to this task unless the Holy Ghost gives him wisdom; otherwise, he never will count up and ascertain this number. It is purposely wrapped in mystery, to keep the votaries of Romanism from finding it out, in which case they would have evaded the verification by using other names. It is a recognized fact that Romanism is called the Latin Church in every nation under heaven. That is properly her name. As she belts the entire globe, regardless of the multitudinous languages and dialects spoken by all the nations of the earth, she everywhere uses the Latin language. Hence, Latin is her name. The New Testament, in which we have these prophecies, is written in Greek. Therefore, we can only find this name in the Greek language, from which we must translate it into Latin. The Greek adjective Lateinos is the hypothetical name, which is easily verified Lambda L Alpha A Tau T Epsilon E Iota I Nu N Omicron O Sigma S 666 Hence you see the Greek word Lateinos is the name of the beast so wonderfully described in this book of prophecy. This mystic name saddles this awful prophecy, with its withering and blighting woes, on the Roman Catholic Church, beyond the possibility of controversy.
Hence you must not conclude that prophetical interpretation is mere speculation. We write these pages in Nashville, Tennessee. We may go by different routes to Cincinnati, Ohio; yet we will know with certainty when we get there. It is equally true in prophetical interpretation. Different lines deflect intermediately, but converge to the same focus; and whether you traverse the Oriental hemisphere through Mohammedanism, or the Occidental through Romanism, you arrive at the great salient epochs.
Since the pope lost his temporal kingdom in 1870, is not his political career at an end? By no means. Like ancient Proteus, he is competent to assume all sorts of attitudes, forms, and phases, pursuant to the chameleon-like political revolutions of the world. The pope is this day the greatest political trickster on the globe, working the wires through a thousand subterranean cables to get possession of the democracies of Europe and America, and the colonies of Africa, Australia, and the islands of the sea. When the Turkish Empire falls, for which we are on the constant lookout, the political power of Mahomet will go down throughout the world. Yet the false prophet, like the beast, will continue to wield a powerful political influence to the end. 2 Thessalonians 2:8: “Then that wicked one shall be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy by the breath of His mouth, and exterminate by the brightness of His presence.”
The Bible is the breath of His mouth. From the epoch of prophetical fulfillment, A.D. 1736, the Bible received a wonderful impetus in economy and rapidity of its publication, and the wonderful facilities of its circulation throughout the world. The Bible is the breath of God’s mouth, and has been consuming the pope the last two hundred years. Leo XIII, the present incumbent of the papal throne, whose palace I visited last summer, recently gave utterance to his sad wailing over the universal circulation of the Scriptures, observing: “Two hundred years ago the people in Europe were much more religious than now. Then they could not read; consequently, they followed their leaders; i .e ., the priests. Now they can read, and they are not so obedient to their leaders.” The Roman Catholic Church, in all ages and countries, has shown her hand as the irreconcilable enemy of the Bible, doing her utmost to prevent its promiscuous circulation among the people. Thus the Bible, the breath of God, with wonderful velocity is circulating throughout the world, burning the Roman beast to death. Yet we find ( Revelation 9:20) that this beast, with the false prophet, will survive all these terrible judgments, and stand upon the earth after all their kingdoms, allies, and votaries, political and ecclesiastical, shall have been swept from the earth; and in the grand finale they will both be cast alive into the lake of fire.
The chronological panorama corroborates the conclusion, as in Chapter 7, that the rapture has come, the bride is called, the first resurrection has taken place, the living saints have been translated, and all rendezvoused on Mt. Zion, at Jerusalem, preparatory to their ascension into the firmament.
The wonderful supernatural graces of entire sanctification always superscribe the Divine cognomen in the faces of His saints. How much more preeminently will this be verified in the transfigured saints! 2-3. Here John testifies to the uproarious shouts of this multitude, like the thundering billows of the great ocean breaking against the rock-bound shore, commingled with the deafening roar of tremendous thunder-claps, all softened and sweetened by the dulcet clarion of golden harps.
Meanwhile, amid the tremendous roar, the prophet distinctly discriminates the new song of redemption, rung out from the immortal and indefatigable voices of the blood-washed throng. He tells us this is the “song of Moses and the Lamb.” Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant, on the basis of justification, and Christ of the New, whose standard is entire sanctification. Hence, we find the members of the bridehood all testify in song to this wonderful double salvation, experienced in regeneration and entire sanctification. 4-5. These verses testify to the complete purification received by all the members of the bridehood. The term “women ” symbolizes the spiritual impurity from which we are all rescued by redeeming grace. Its metaphoric signification, “contrastively with virgins,” must not be pressed too far.
Hence, there is no such thing as sexual distinction in the kingdom of grace and glory. In this Scripture “woman” symbolizes carnality, and virgin holiness. So you must not literalize this spiritual symbolism, as some have done, and gone into fanaticism, teaching the incompatibility of entire sanctification with the conjugal relation. John testifies that the members of the bridehood are the first-fruit unto God and the Lamb, while the glorious harvest is to be reaped during the millennium. This reveals the great and universal mistake on the part of God’s people in recognizing the present age as the harvest. It is a time of toil, conflict, and persecution, in which much seed is sown, irrigated by tears; but, as we are here informed, the reaping is only the first-fruit. This harmonizes with our Savior’s testimony, that “the saved are few.” In vain do we anticipate the wonderful ingathering of the nations while Satan and his myrmidons are loose on the earth. Till they are cast out, the pilgrims on the King’s highway will be here and there a traveler. We should now lay all the powers and agencies of Christendom under contribution to preach the gospel to all nations, that the elect of grace may enjoy a participation of the bridehood. We here see that the only condition of membership in the bridehood is entire sanctification. They are all “blameless,” and “no guile found in their mouth.” Hence we see they are fully saved from all phases of hypocrisy. Where will the bride be during the tribulation period? Thessalonians 4:13, 18: We learn that the Lord will come and take up His saints, raising the departed from the dead and translating the living. After this, when He comes to reign, He will bring with Him these same transfigured saints. What will the members of the bridehood up in the firmament during the tribulations be doing? While the Ancient of Days here on earth is administering the awful premillennial judgments ( Daniel 7:13), the Son of God will be administering a very important premillennial judgment among the members of the bridehood. We are copiously informed in the word of God, that Christ will rule the millennial world through His transfigured saints. Perfect order characterizes the universe of God in all worlds. Consequently, the very Greek word cosmos , which means order, also means the world. Hence, you may rest assured the millennial world will be the beau-ideal of perfect order, as neither the devil nor his emissaries will be here to disturb it. When we contemplate, not only the perfection, but the magnitude and diversity of the millennial administration, we must wake up to the fact that quite an extensive judicial diagnosis and distribution will be necessary to prepare the members of the bridehood to understand, assume, and fulfill the diversified offices in the coming kingdom. Be assured, no interest, however small, will he overlooked by the transfigured custodians of the glorious theocracy, which shall belt the globe from the rising to the setting sun in the good time coming. The present age is significantly called “night” in the apostolic Epistles. During the long night of six thousand years, oh, how Satan and his myrmidons have lacerated, abused, and impoverished this earth! They have barbarically worn out the fertile soils and exposed the valuable lands to the deluging rains, which have washed them into chasms, thus transforming great regions into deserts. All these waste lands will he restored and transformed into the fruitful gardens of the Lord. Thus the members of the bridehood, by their immortal sagacity and loving presence, must superintend ten thousand interests in every land and clime. When Christ descends to enter upon His millennial reign, He will be accompanied by His bride, thoroughly equipped, organized, posted, and ready, in perfect order, to take possession of every nation under heaven, and conduct the millennial administration, eliciting the admiration of angels and archangels. The brutal outrages of Satan and his satellites, demoniacal and human, will sink into oblivion, felicitously forgotten amid the glory that shall cover the whole earth. The powers of the earth at this day, in the different continents, are about twelve. How convenient for the twelve apostles to encumber the great thrones of the nations, as Jesus said unto them, “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father hath appointed unto Me; that you may sit upon twelve thrones, ruling the twelve tribes of Israel!” Doubtless the two hundred millions of martyrs will he exceedingly prominent in the millennial administration. 6-7. “I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach .” The prophetical panorama clearly authenticates the conclusion that this angel is the present Holiness movement. He is not only commissioned to preach the doctrine of holiness to all nations, but the coming of the Lord to judge the wicked Gentiles and the fallen Churches, and to call back the world to the worship of God only. We see from this chapter that this gospel of holiness and the Lord’s coming is to be preached to all nations by the Holiness people. Bishop Taylor has twelve hundred missionaries in the heathen field, Hudson Taylor eight hundred, A. B. Simpson four hundred, and General Booth twelve thousand, all preaching entire sanctification. Here we see four sanctified preachers, without a dollar, having fourteen thousand four hundred missionaries preaching the gospel of holiness to nearly all the nations of the earth. The Holiness movement, without salaries, has more missionaries in the heathen field than all the Churches on the globe, with their wagon-loads of gold and silver. Men and women without financial resources are flying to the ends of the earth preaching the everlasting gospel of entire sanctification to all the nations. Last year I traveled twenty-two thousand miles, and did not have twenty-two cents to start with. 8. This angel proclaims the fall of Babylon, which will speedily follow the preaching of the gospel to all nations. We see from the 18th chapter that Babylon will fall in the midst of the tribulations. The proclamation here is anticipatory of the coming event. 9-11. Here the Apocalyptic Angel pronounces the unutterable woe of eternal damnation on all who worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in the face or the hands. What is this beast? The Greek, theerion , means a bloodthirsty, carnivorous, ferocious wild beast. Daniel and John use it constantly to denote human governments, independent and defiant of God, in contradistinction to the theocracy, which is God’s government for Church and State. Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, the great empires of bygone ages, are all called beast in these prophecies. Rome, the greatest and most ferocious of all the beasts, had seven heads — i .e ., the kingdom, the consulate, the dictatorship, the triumvirate, the tribuneship, the empire, and the papacy — each of which, in its time, enjoyed the headship of this monstrous beast. The sixth head was cut off by the barbarians, A.D. 476. Then and there Satan put on the beast the seventh head — i .e ., the papacy — which the beast carries, and through which he rules the world. The beast will retain the papal head till his final ejectment into the lake of fire ( Revelation 19:20).
Since Satan conquered this world in Eden, it has been the irreconcilable enemy of God. Hence those who serve — i .e ., worship — the world are the enemies of God. What is the image of the beast? This is the fashion of the world, with all its pomp, pageantry, and paraphernalia, including the whole concatenation of idolatry in all the fallen Churches of the world.
What are the marks of the beast? Tobacco, opium, strong drink, gluttony, and debauchery all distinctly mark their victims. Satan’s corset, compressing the chest, superinducing all sorts of internal ailments of lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, diaphragm, and stomach, destroying the natural symmetry and developing the taper-wasp waist, is a hideous and horrific mark of the beast. All sorts of jewelry and needless ornamentation are forbidden in the word of God, and belong to the marks of the beast. These are mainly about the face and hands, the unclothed parts of the body.
Now, reader, if you don’t want to be “tormented forever in fire and brimstone ,” you must not worship the beast nor his image. The literal meaning of the Greek Scripture for conversion is to “take you out of the world.” The lexical meaning of sanctify is to “take the world out of you.”
Hence you see the regenerating and sanctifying grace of God is the only possible remedy for this universally-prevalent and damnable idolatry which worships the beast and his image; i .e ., the world and its fashion.
ENDLESS PUNISHMENT This problem, which has been called in question by infidels and skeptics of all ages, who, under the cognomen of religion, have written wagon-loads of books to disprove the eternity of the sinner’s punishment, is here settled by the Holy Ghost beyond the possibility of cavil. He here certifies, in reference to those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark, who really include this entire wicked world, that “the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever .” The eternal ascension of the smoke symbolizes the endless punishment of the wicked.
Universalists and Restorationists have labored for ages to find a cessation to the adverb, “forever and ever ,” when hell will cool off, Satan relax his grip, and the victims of damnation go free. Now, reader, the positive proof of the utter absurdity of this popular dogma, and the unequivocal confirmation of the Bible doctrine of endless punishment, are now patent and conspicuous before the eye of the candid student. The Greek translated “forever and ever ” is “eis aioonas aioonoon ,” the meaning of which is unto ages of ages, or eternities of eternities. Now, if this don’t express endless duration, can you tell me what combination of words would convey such an idea? You find this phrase in the 11th verse of the 14th chapter, and used to describe the duration of the punishment which awaits all the people who worship the beast and his image. In the 7th verse of the 15th chapter, where the English says, “God liveth forever and ever,” the Greek is that same combination of plural nouns which we have in the 11th verse of the 14th chapter, describing the duration of the sinner’s doom. Hence, it follows as an inevitable conclusion, from the plain and positive word of God, that the punishment of the wicked will he co-eternal with the existence of God. The very same argument which will quench hell-fire and discontinue the retributions of the lost, will inevitably prove that the time will come when God Himself will cease to exist. From these, and many other similar quotations, you see the utter folly, consummate nonsense, and transparent sophistry of all those facetious dogmas so pompously arrayed to disprove the Bible doctrine of eternal damnation.
WHAT BECOMES OF PEOPLE SO SOON AS THEY DIE?
The saints enter heaven immediately, and the wicked drop suddenly into hell. The intermediate paradise into which the Old Testament saints were gathered was abolished at the resurrection of Christ. ( 1 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 4:8. — See my next volume.) Since Christ, the first-fruit, passed into heaven, accompanied by the sacramental host of Old Testament saints, the pearly gates have ever stood ajar for all who die in the Lord. 13. “I heard a voice from heaven saying, write: Blessed are the dead from henceforth who die in the Lord .” The Greek word aparti , translated “from henceforth,” means instantaneously, from the very moment. Hence you see the problem is solved and the question is settled. The very moment you die, you are flooded with heavenly bliss, and sweep triumphantly into the glory-land. There, as the Spirit says, “they shall rest from their labors, and their works follow with them .”
THE LORD COMES TO TAKE UP HIS SAINTS 14. In this verse we see the Lord coming in a white cloud with a golden crown upon his head, and a sharp sickle. The 15th verse describes another angel coming out of the temple, and shouting with a loud voice to the Son of man sitting on the cloud, “Thrust in thy sickle and reap, because the hour of reaping has come, and the harvest of the earth is fully ripe .” 16. “The one sitting on the cloud cast His sickle into the earth, and the earth was reaped .” The 6th verse of this chapter describes the Holiness movement flying into all parts of the world and preaching the everlasting gospel of entire sanctification and the Lord’s near coming to all nations.
This is the great sowing which has been in progress already twenty years.
It is sowing down all nations with the gospel of holiness, and ringing out the proclamation, “Behold, He cometh!” Matthew 24:30,31: “Then shall the sign of the Son of man appear in the skies; then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and much glory. He shall send forth His angels with a great sound of a trumpet; they shall gather His elect out of the four winds, from the extremities of the heavens unto the extremities of the same.”
Luke describes the same scene ( 21:28): “When these things begin to transpire, take courage and lift up your heads, because your redemption drapweth nigh.”
These Scriptures from our Savior’s sermon on the judgments, which He preached on Mt. Olivet the day before He was crucified, vividly and graphically describe the rapture when He shall come and gather His saints from all the ends of the earth, raising the dead and translating the living.” Matthew 9: “Then two men shall be in the field; one is taken, and one is left.
Two women are grinding in the mill; one is taken, and one is left.”
You see plainly and clearly, from these statements of our Savior, that this cannot describe the final judgment; for then all on the earth, both living and dead, will be taken. Therefore, it must be the premillennial resurrection and judgment, in which He will come and take up His saints with Him into the cloud, as Paul says. There is a striking harmony between the prophecies of Jesus, Paul, and John, each of whom describes Jesus coming in a cloud and gathering out His saints from every laud under heaven. Daniel ( <271201> 12:1) also add his testimony: “At that time Thy people shall be delivered, every one that is written in the book.” The connection here shows that it is deliverance from the great tribulations destined to come upon the whole earth, shaking every monarch from his throne, racking all nations with mighty revolutionary earthquakes, and filling the world with blood, slaughter, and desolation.
With these prophetical corroborations, we return to our text. 16-18. These three verses describe our Savior coming on a cloud and reaping the harvest of the whole earth, which are declared to be fully ripe.
You must bear in mind the logical connection in this chapter between the sowing and the reaping. While in a sense the sowing has been in progress in all bygone ages, the direct and pre-eminent allusion is to the present great and universal sowing by the Lord’s people in the present Holiness movement. How long this gospel sowing shall continue, till the Lord comes to reap His crop of saints, we know not; but the prophetical connection certainly does involve the conclusion that it will not be long.
THE GATHERING OF THE VINTAGE MEANS THE WICKED You will see from this chapter the contrastive results of preaching the gospel. Those who receive the message delivered by the holy evangels personified by the angel in the 6th verse, get saved, sanctified, robed, and ready to meet the Lord descending on the cloud in verse 14, constitute the harvest of saints which the glorified Savior will reap when He comes. Do not forget that these angels all represent heavenly influences, and are executives of the Divine administration. They are respectively the subordinates of the Holy Ghost. 17. “Another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, himself also having a sharp sickle .” This is the angel of Divine retribution, destined to come upon all who reject the gospel of holiness, which is now, by the angel of the 6th verse, being preached in all the earth. 18. You see the angel described in this verse comes from the altar in heaven, and that he is the custodian of the fire on that altar. This is the fire that sanctifies all the people who receive appreciatively the gospel of holiness. That angel stands by the heavenly altar flaming with the Holy Ghost fire, whose office it is to consume all sin and exterminate it from the heart. Oh, how he delights, in answer to the prayer of complete consecration and appropriative faith, to send down that fire in the copious, sanctifying baptism of full redemption from all iniquity! Now that the people have persistently, obstinately, and finally rejected heavenly fire, they are shut up to the solitary alternative of hell-fire.
Hence you see that this angel of heavenly fire flies down to earth and shouts aloud to the angel of retribution: “Thrust in thy sharp sickle and reap the great bunches of the vine of the earth, because her grapes are fully ripe. 19, 20. These two verses glowingly describe the awful doom of the people on the earth who reject the gospel of holiness, preached by God’s ministers in the present revivals. God in great mercy has raised up the Holiness movement in every country under heaven. We know it is of God because it is everywhere; human agency cannot account for it. Last year I traveled in Europe, Asia, Africa, and about twenty States in America, everywhere meeting the heavenly influence of this wonderful revival. It is God’s last call to a doomed world. The thunders of his premillennial judgments are already shaking the nations. The time of retribution is nigh, when the angel will forsake his post beside the heavenly altars to herald the awful doom of earth’s impending ruin. We see, in these Scriptures, the angel of retribution thrust in his sickle, reap the vintage of a God-rejecting world, and cast it into the great wine-press of God’s terrible castigatory judgments, long due the wicked nations and fallen Churches of a Godforgetting world. The red grape juice gushing out of the wine-press emblematizes the blood flowing copiously from the wounded and the dying. Hence this is the awful doom destined to overtake the wicked in the oncoming tribulations.
The battle of Armageddon is here adumbrated in epitome. The blood flows to the horses’ trappings. In the East, war-horses are decorated with regalia, frequently hanging down below their knees. Such was the ornamentation of the noble Arabic steed rode by my armed escort (a Bedouin Arab) when I traveled -through the wilderness of Judea to the Dead Sea, River Jordan, and Jericho. The idea is that the battlefield will flow with rivers of blood, so as to crimson the horses’ regalia. Rome is to be the center of the battleground, which is to extend one thousand six hundred furlongs; i .e ., two hundred miles. As Rome is the successor of Babylon, the persecutor of the ancient Church, she here symbolizes antagonism to the Divine government, and represents the apostate Church in all the world. The Holiness movement, symbolized by the angel in the 6th verse, is this day preaching the gospel throughout the whole world with wonderful expedition. Hudson Taylor, with his eight hundred missionaries, is in China. Sanctified Bishop Thoburn, with his five Conferences, is in India.
Sanctified Bishop Taylor, with his twelve hundred sanctified missionaries, is in Africa. A. B. Simpson is fast scattering his sanctified missionaries throughout the heathen world. Last August, at Old Orchard Campmeeting, in Maine, he raised seventy-two thousand dollars for missions at a single collection. The Salvation Army, with twelve thousand holiness preachers, belts the globe. Astounding is the velocity with which the Apocalyptic Angel — i .e ., the Holiness movement — is flying to the ends of the earth preaching entire sanctification and the speedy coming of the Lord to all the nations on the face of the whole earth.
As you see in this chapter, the Lord will soon ride down on a cloud, reap the sanctified harvest, and take away His bride. Then the retribution angel comes down and reaps the vintage, which means the wicked who rejected the gospel of holiness and the Lord’s coming. You see this terrible destruction of the wicked immediately follows the Lord’s harvest of the good. They both follow as legitimate sequences of the gospel sowing. The one class received it and were harvested into the heavenly garners; those who rejected it fell in the terrible and universal slaughter, symbolized by the vintage, with rivers of blood two hundred miles wide, and deep enough to crimson the trappings of the war-horses. Daniel graphically describes this terrible doom of a wicked world and a fallen Church ( 7:9,10): “I beheld till the thrones were cast down and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool; His throne the fiery flame, and His wheels burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth before Him: a thousand thousand ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The judgment was set and the books were opened.”
This is not the final judgment, because you see, as you read on, that the Lord’s millennial kingdom follows, whereas the conflagration of the world will accompany the final judgment ( 2 Peter 2:10). Hence, this is the premillennial judgment, in which the thrones of this world will all be cast down, preparatory for the King of kings to descend, establish His kingdom, and reign forever. Whereas the Son will come in His glorified humanity, which ascended up from Mt. Olivet, and be visible to mortal eyes as He was then, the Ancient of Days here spoken of is the Father, who has no incarnation, and is consequently invisible.
The Father said to the Son, “Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” The Son still encumbers the intercessory throne at the right hand of the Father. He is Prophet, Priest, and King. On earth, He was the most indefatigable preacher — i .e ., prophet — the world ever saw. Having finished His gospel ministry, He entered upon His priestly office in the capacity of high priest, offering His body on the cross, a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Then flying up to heaven, He sits down on the mediatorial throne at the right hand of the Father, there, by His intercessory prayers, to perpetuate His priestly office till He descends to reign over the world. Meanwhile, the Father is administering the government of this world amid frequent castigatory judgments, which will finally culminate in the great tribulations, when the invisible Ancient of Days will sit upon the premillennial judgment-seat in this world, till all the thrones shall fall, kingdoms crumble, and Babylon topple to rise no more. Then the Son of man will come down in the clouds, take the scepter of the world from the hand of the Ancient of Days, and rule all nations forever. ( Daniel 7:13,14.)
This exegesis is abundantly corroborated by the parable of our Savior in reference to the nobleman “who went away to a far country to receive a kingdom, and to return.” ( Luke 19:11-13.) While they heard these things, proceeding, He spoke a parable, because He is near unto Jerusalem, and they think that the kingdom of God is to appear immediately.
Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive a kingdom and to return.” This parable clearly, explicitly, and abundantly proves the hypothesis so currently and copiously set forth in all the prophecies relative to our Lord’s millennial reign. This cannot possibly be identified with His spiritual kingdom. Daniel says ( 7:21, 22): “I beheld, and the same horn — i .e ., the pope — made war with the saints, and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”
Now you know that every saint is already in possession of Christ’s spiritual kingdom. Hence you see this is bound to mean the temporal kingdom, which the saints will receive from the Ancient of Days when He shall have cast down all the usurpatious, rebellious, humanistic, Nimrodic thrones on the earth, both political and ecclesiastical, and thus prepared the way for His glorified Son to descend, sit down on the millennial throne, and reign from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof. It is an unquestionable fact that all of His disciples were on the constant outlook for His temporal kingdom. But we see clearly from this parable in Luke 19th that He has gone away to His Father in heaven to receive this contemplated kingdom, for which He taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come.” He is to receive this kingdom from His Father, whose judicial reign on the earth will make His enemies His footstool. This parable proceeds to describe our glorious coming King, distributing the governments of the world among His saints, according to their respective ability, giving to one ten cities, to another five, et cetera. This is in perfect harmony with Daniel 7:22: “Judgment was given to the saints of the Most High.”
The meaning of the word judgment, in this and many other Scriptures, is the government of the world. Hence Daniel and Luke, as well as Paul and John, positively certify, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that the saints of God are going to possess the governments and become the rulers of the world, under the sovereignty of the glorified Christ in the coming kingdom. Lord, help us to be candid, honest, and true and fear to handle the word of God deceitfully. Our Christ is both man and God. His divinity reigns in His spiritual kingdom in the heart. His glorified humanity, filled with the divinity, will reign in the coming kingdom. So surely as He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, He will ride in on a cloud. So surely as He hung on a cross, He will sit on a throne. Zechariah says: “His feet shall stand upon Mt. Olivet.
CHAPTER - 1. THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES WHEN John saw the book of prophecy in the hand of the Apocalyptic Angel, it was a parchment-roll, enveloped in seven wrappers, and secured with seven seals. When the Lion of the tribe of Judah loosed successively the seven seals, each one revealed its part of the prophecy in programme, the interest constantly increasing in geometrical ratio. The opening of the seventh seal reveals the contents of the book, which is so momentous that seven trumpet-bearing angels are now called out to proclaim the wonderful prophecies. These trumpets began to sound at the time of the Apocalypse, have been sounding ever since, and will continue till the Lord comes to reign. During the first trumpet, as described in Chapter 8, a terrible infection, political, social, and ecclesiastical, falls on the earth, and begins to undermine the fabric of human government. When the second angel sounds his trumpet, a great burning mountain is cast into the sea; i .e ., the infection reaches the popular masses, stirring them into discontentment and revolution. When the third angel sounds his trumpet, the malady reaches the rivers and fountains of water; i .e ., the subordinate departments of government, shaking them with political earthquakes, and disqualifying governors and proconsuls longer to enforce law and order.
When the fourth angel sounds his trumpet, this growing infection reaches the heads of government, filling capitols and royal palaces with darkness, confusion, anarchy and bloody revolution, so that every throne topples, and sovereigns fall to rise no more. When the fifth angel sounds his trumpet, these social, political, and ecclesiastical troubles have assumed worldwide proportions. Consequently, the Holy Ghost pronounces the proclamation of the fifth trumpet a woe. During the first four trumpets, Satan succeeds in the undermining and disintegration of the political and social fabric, and the superinduction of the Dark Ages on the whole world.
The seventh century has ushered in, kingdoms are falling, and thrones toppling in all lands. It is an auspicious epoch in the history of Satan. His millennium is now fully inaugurated. Hence he calls up Mahomet to rule the Eastern hemisphere and the pope the Western. The first woe proclaimed by the fifth trumpet continues one hundred and fifty years.
Meanwhile Moslem conquest rolled its bloody tide over Asia, Africa, and Spain, everywhere exterminating Christianity by the sword. This appalling scourge received its first signal rebuff in the battle of Tours, France, where Charles Martel signally defeated the Saracens and saved all Europe from subjugation, slaughter, and the Moslem yoke. These prophecies run in a geometrical ratio, with a constantly increasing intensification. Hence the second woe, proclaimed by the sixth trumpet, covers a period of four hundred years ( Revelation 9:15), the second great period of Mohammedan conquests, which, taking new impetus after the Crusades, swept on, building up the great Mogul Empire, which for two hundred years claimed the conquest of the world. They received their final signal defeat at the siege of Vienna, 1683, when John Sobieski, the Polish hero, led seventy thousand Christian warriors into the conflict under the battlecry: “Not unto us, O Lord, but unto Thee be the glory!” That signal defeat culminated in the treaty of 1698, in which the Saracens were forced to surrender vast kingdoms to Christendom. Revelation 11:15 introduces the seventh trumpeter, who proclaims the third and last woe that shall ever come on the earth. That woe is to knock down all the carnal powers, political and ecclesiastical, throughout the whole earth, and thus prepare the way for the King of kings to descend on His millennial throne and reign forever. This last trumpet is to sound on to the end of the Gentile Age, when the kingdom comes.
Here is another evolution, the greatest and the last of all; i .e ., the seventh trumpet is evolved into the seven last plagues, which are committed to seven angels in the seven vials, or, as the Greek says, seven bowls, containing the final consummation of God’s wrath against this wicked world, focalized in those terrible catastrophes destined to come in righteous, retributive judgments against a wicked world and fallen Church.
After these seven bowls of wrath shall have been poured out on the earth, and shall have expended their force in the castigation of all the wicked nations and apostate Churches, then the chastisements of the Almighty against this rebel world will forever have an end. The wicked rulers of the earth will have toppled from their thrones, Babylon fallen, and earth redeemed from Satan’s misrule. We read the positive statement from the Holy Ghost in the 1st verse of the <661501> 15th chapter: In these “the wrath of God is finished.” Oh, blessed consolation! we are so rapidly approaching the end of earth’s troubles, sorrows, and calamities, when Satan shall be cast out and our glorious King descend to reign.
We have now reached, in the seven last plagues, the final evolution in these panoramic prophecies, which will clear the field for our glorious coming King by removing all the incorrigible, irreconcilable, and unsanctifiable elements out of the world. 2. “I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who are triumphant over the beast and his image, and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having the harps of God .” Here John has another vision of the bride. The sea of glass is the imperturbable experience of the soul’s profound repose in Jesus when it enters the experience of entire sanctification. A thousand cyclones may sweep over a sea of glass and never produce a ripple on the surface. So it is with this wonderful soul-rest. It is proof against all distraction and perturbation. “Commingled with fire” means the glorious baptism of Pentecostal fire, which Jesus always gives the sanctified soul. It is the Christian’s invincible panoply for the Lord’s war against the devil. It is His indispensable palladium for the conquest of the world. A well-rested man will do about ten times as much work as a tired, worn-out man. Hence, perfect rest in Jesus and the fiery baptism flooding your soul will enable you to shout down every Jericho and chase a thousand devils. These are the people who have the victory over the beast, and his image, and the number of his name.
The beast here signifies the world-power, carnality, and especially the pope, the incarnation of carnal, worldly religion. The image of the beast includes idolatry in all its forms and phases, and especially the fashions of the world. You cannot be a devotee of any of these things and follow Jesus. The number of his name is 666 ( Revelation 13:18), which, as you see from the calculation, means Romanism. While Babylon is a harlot, she is also the mother of harlots. Her maternity has been wonderfully prolific.
Since the pope’s temporal dethronement by Victor Immanuel in 1870, he has radically reversed the engine and changed his tactics. Since his grip on the rulers has broken, he maneuvers, through myriads of subterranean channels, to reach the governments through the people. Hence he has his sworn Jesuits in hundreds of Protestant pulpits, expediting, with all their chicanery, the universally downward trend of all ecclesiasticisms into Romanism. She loudly boasts of her two hundred and fifty millions of members belting the globe. The Protestant Churches, captivated by the eclat , are all competing for members. If you would go to heaven, you must be thoroughly saved from the influence of members. You must be willing to take the lone way with Jesus, singing, with Bishop Marvin: “I’d rather be the least of them Who are the Lord’s alone, Than wear a royal diadem, And sit upon a throne.” The true pilgrim has no assurance that any other soul is treading the narrow path but himself and Jesus. Hence you are bound to utterly die out to the influence of numbers, and be willing to walk alone by faith with an unseen God. 3. We find these victors over the beast, his image, and the number of his name, all sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. The normal attitude of the Mosaic Dispensation was that of justification, while that of the Christian Dispensation is entire sanctification. Therefore, you see all the members of the bridehood sing about this wonderful double salvation. They all have the experience of regeneration and entire sanctification. So, if you are a candidate for the bridehood, you must have these two experiences, and sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. 4. “Thou alone art holy .” Hence you see, intrinsically, none are holy but God. Wesley well says: “You cannot lay up a stock of holiness, as you can only be holy in connection with Christ. The moment you separate from Him, you have nothing but unholiness left.” Hence we can only have delegated holiness, and receive it from Christ constantly by faith. Your faith should become as natural as breathing, so you rest in Jesus like a tired child in its mother’s arms, unconscious of the slightest effort on its part.
This holiness is original in Jesus and imparted to us. Faith is the hand with which we reach out and receive this holiness. There is no defalcation about getting it. If we only touch the hem of His garment, virtue will come out of Him and make us holy. In this respect we are like Him. We partake of His holiness. ( Hebrews 12:10.) “All nations shall come and worship before Thee .” This prophecy will be fulfilled during the kingdom. While Satan is loose, the worshipers of God will be individuals. The survivors of the tribulation will still perpetuate the nationalities in the millennial reign. As there will be no devil here to lead the nations into sin, of course they will worship the glorious King by solid nationalities. 5, 6. These seven angels entrusted with the responsible duty of administering the final retributions to the rebel nations and fallen Churches are all invested with priestly regalia, and all testify for God, illustrating the capacity of God’s ministers and their identity with the Gospel Age. To the people who have obstinately and finally rejected God’s mercy, they are now sent to administer His wrath. 7. “Forever and ever ” describes the duration of God. The original is aioonas aioonoon , the same as in ch. 14, verse 10, which tells the duration of punishment. So remember, despite all the speculations of Universalism, the moment they prove the end of punishment, the very same argument proves that God will cease to exist. Hence the utter futility of all arguments to disprove the endless punishment of the wicked. 8. This verse tells us that the temple of testimony will be so darkened during the awful tribulations that all ingress will cease till these terrible plagues accomplish their work on the earth.
Since all the sanctified will be taken up in the rapture, there will he no people left on the earth to testify. It seems that testimony is already relegated to the sanctified. When you go to meeting nowadays and hear people testifying, you say at once, “Why, these are the ‘Holiness people.”
In the absence of the holy people and amid the terrible retributions of the premillennial judgments, no wonder the testimony meetings will all be discontinued. Oh, how forlorn and dreary will this world be without a holy person in it To this, add earthquakes, cyclones, wars, famines, and pestilence. Let us all keep on the witness-stand for God, so that when He takes His saints out of the world, He will remember us.
CHAPTER -IF you will compare the 8th chapter, you will find a striking similitude between the seven trumpets and these seven bowls of wrath. The trumpets proclaimed the Dark Ages, when blood, death, and destruction were the order of the day. The infection began with the earth; it then reached the sea, then the fountains and rivers, and finally the sun, moon, and stars, culminating in a general disruption of society from its foundation. In the seven last plagues, we see a similar order and concatenation. 2. When the first angel pours out his bowl on the earth, “a destructive and pernicious sore comes on the people having the marks of the beast and worshipping his image .” Daniel applies this word “beast” — Greek, Theerion ; i .e ., a bloodthirsty wild beast — to all the human governments which succeed the theocracy and rule the world during the Gentile Age; i .e ., the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Grecian, and Roman. Hence it represents the Nimrodic world-rulers, usurpatious of the divine prerogative. John and Daniel classify the pope and Mahomet along with them, the latter rising out of the Greek kingdom in the East, and the former out of the Roman in the West. The image of the beast is worldly religion, fashion, pomp, and pageantry. No wonder the infection comes on the devotees of the beast, as the members of the bridehood have already been taken up in the cloud. ( Revelation 14:14.) This carnal beast marks his victims in many ways; e .g ., tobacco, strong drink, licentiousness, corset, jewelry, and needless ornamentation, et cetera. 3. Sea symbolizes the people. ( Revelation 17:15.) “It became as the blood of a dead man, and every living soul in the sea died .” This is certainly an appalling description of a sweeping destruction coming on the people. Doubtless the most pestilential moral influences, as well as physical calamities, are here involved. 4. The infection now reaches the rivers and fountains of water — i .e ., the states, proconsulates, dukedoms, and satrapies — so flooding the people with an insurrectionary spirit as to render them utterly ungovernable by the subordinate rulers. 5-7. All these premillennial judgments come on the world as just retributions for their maltreatment of God’s people. They have slain His prophets, murdered His Son, and martyred two hundred millions of His saints. God has forgotten none of their tears. Their groans still resound in His ears. Hence these awful judgments will all come in answer to the martyrs’ prayers, and as a righteous retribution to the wicked. 8, 9. As in case of the trumpets, the fourth angel pours out his bowl on the sun. Now the infection in progress has reached the heads of governments, typified by the sun. The first effect is to fearfully augment his heat, so he scorches men horrifically. This indicates an awful state of tyranny on the part of rulers. Is not this pre-eminently true at the present day? Behold the growing dissatisfaction in all the governments on the globe. When I traveled in Asia, Africa, and Europe, last year, I found this discontentment everywhere. You certify me that it is ripe in America, the best government on the globe — our people everywhere crying because of oppression. The Administration can’t please them a year, till they are eager to vote it out and put in another party. In the old world the tyranny is incredible.
Methinks this angel has already poured out his bowl of wrath on the rulers of the world, so the spirit of tyranny and oppression has come upon them. What a significant fact, as we here read, all of these troubles do not bring the people to repentance, but apparently harden them the more! The tribulation will be the time of retribution. 12. The sixth angel pours out his bowl upon the River Euphrates. Old Babylon stood on the Euphrates. She was the headquarters of Satan’s persecutions waged against the ancient people of God. She was conquered and destroyed by Cyrus, the Medo-Persian. Cyrus, in the Persian language, means sun. Hence, he symbolizes the Son of God coming to destroy modern Babylon, and deliver His people. Cyrus turned the Euphrates out of the city, thus taking away the water supply. So God is going to cut off the ream of carnal vitality which supplies the Babylon of fallen Churches and bring them to utter desolation. Babylon has been without an inhabitant for ages. So the spiritual Babylon, whose sorceries belt the globe, already totters to her hopeless and irreparable fall, that the way of the kings from the rising sun may be prepared. The Euphrates is the center of Moslem influence. So here is a prediction of Turkdom’s fall, which will culminate the issues of the great Eastern question and hasten the general conflict of the Oriental powers, so long anticipated. Turkey is but a dead man already. God has killed him ( Daniel 8:25). His life is merely perpetuated artificially by the jealousy of his neighbors. The prophetical time for him to drop dead is very near. The presumption is, he will die without the fire of a gun, slain by the hand of God. Yet there is every probability that the nations will fight over the spoils. 13, 14. “I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. They are the spirits of devils working miracles, which go forth to the kings of the whole earth to gather them into the war of the great God .” The 16th verse calls it the great battle of God Almighty! The name of this battle is Armageddon. It has but one other mention in the Bible, and that is in the <070501> 5th chapter of Judges, where Deborah, a mother in Israel, and Barak, led their little band against Sisera, the greatest military chieftain on the earth, in the leadership of a mighty host equipped with nine hundred formidable scythe-armed chariots, drawn by fleet steeds, and all other belligerent equipage. Deborah and Barak, with their scantily-armed braves, evacuate their quarters on Mt. Tabor, march down, cross the River Kishon, flowing at the base of the mountain, and proceed to meet the enemy on the plain of Megiddo. Har is a Hebrew word, and means mountain. Add that word to Megiddo, the name of the plain where the battle was fought at the base of the mountain, and you have Armageddon. While Deborah and Barak, accompanied by the little band of heroic stalwarts, are on the march to meet the formidable foe, God sends a great hail-storm to pour down the fatal icy cannon-balls on the heads of Sisera’s men. They fall in piles, heaping the plain with mountains of the dead, affrighting and rendering unmanageable the chariothorses, so they leap like kangaroos, hurling their drivers headlong and dashing furiously through the phalanx, cutting the men to pieces with the sharp scythes attached to the chariots. Thus the plain of Megiddo is heaped with the slain, and the River Kishon flows with blood. Meanwhile, Deborah’s army have nothing left for them to do but roar out the shout of victory. Sisera sees his army ruined, flees for his life, and is slain by Jael, the Kenite, a heroic maiden, with her own hand. Since the terrible wars against God Almighty during the tribulations are called Armageddon, I take it for granted His enemies will kill one another as Sisera’s men did. We also read much about hail, earthquakes, lightning, and all the powers of nature utilized in the conflict to sweep the wicked into eternity. In what sense are we to understand these wars to be against the Almighty? God justly claims the right to rule the world in righteousness and love. The Bible is the only law-book. Jesus is coming to reign over the world. He has a right to rule it, for He has redeemed it by His blood. The world powers, political and ecclesiastical, are unwilling to surrender the reign into His hand. Hence they will fight to hold the power they now possess and get more; but, as in case of the ancient Armageddon, they will kill one another, such as survive hail, lightning, and earthquake. “Behold, I come as a thief.”
Our Savior wants nothing in this world but His bride till the devil is cast out of it; then He will take possession. He frequently speaks of coming as a thief, since the thief is always unknown and unexpected. These characteristics of the thief will our Savior verify to His enemies. A wicked world and slumbering Church will have not the slightest anticipation of His coming till He has come and taken away His bride. 1 Thessalonians 5:4, Paul assures us that to His saints He will not come as a thief in the night. No, we are on the outlook, and will not be surprised if He comes at noonday or at midnight.
What about those unclean spirits, like frogs which came out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet? Frogs live in low, filthy places; hence, they emblematize Satanic influences. The devil, Romanism, and Mohammedanism constitute the unholy trinity in the stygian administration of the world. You see these three unclean spirits come out of the mouth of the dragon (i .e ., the devil),the beast (i .e ., Romanism), and the false prophet (i .e ., Mohammedanism). These unclean spirits are invisible, diabolical agencies, which will form a triple alliance and unite the world, political and ecclesiastical, against God. Perhaps the dragon also symbolizes paganism, the devil’s oldest son. Some think spiritualism is one of those unclean spirits already come out of the devil’s mouth. I think it highly probable the first five angels have already poured out their bowls of wrath on all lands, the people, the subordinate rulers, and the heads of all the world powers. These vials, however, are still running, and will continue till the end. I don’t believe the sixth angel has yet poured out his vial. I am looking for it constantly. Where he does, these revolutionary influences will break out, immediately interpenetrating all nations and ecclesiasticisms, everywhere infusing an insurrectionary spirit. The Moslem power wields a predominant influence in Asia and Africa, and Romanism in Europe and America. Paganism is more magnitudinous than either, though much less aggressive and influential. As these three supernatural agencies are all demoniacal, of course they will unitedly conserve the cause of Satan. We see from these Scriptures they will all unite against the Almighty. It is a question of sovereignty. Each one of these devils will stir up his department of Satan’s government against God. As Romanism is the most intellectual, cultured, and influential of this tri-diabolism, it is inferable she will lead the way. Further out in these prophecies, we find ANTICHRIST Will rise, concentrate the world powers, and take the lead in the Armageddon wars. This word is from Christ, and anti , which means instead of. Hence antichrist means the rival of Christ; i .e ., one who takes the place of Christ. Of course, such a one would be the greatest of all the enemies of Christ. This definition would at present apply to both pope and Mahomet, and in a prominent sense to their subordinate clergy. Since antichrist is the uncompromising enemy of Christ, we may expect the antichristhood in successive ages to be progressive, like the Christhood.
Hence, in the grand culmination and the final conflict, when Christ comes to claim His kingdom, antichrist will stand up and oppose Him as never before. 2 Thessalonians 2:4: “He that opposeth and exalteth himself above everything that is called God or divinity, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, and showing off himself that he is God.”
Here is a scene destined to transpire in the last days. The application of this chapter to the pope is quite unmistakable. Hence we conclude that antichrist will rise very early in the tribulation in a prominence the bygone ages have never seen, and hold out persistently, claiming and exhibiting himself as the real Christ. We see he holds on after Babylon falls and all the kings are swept away, finally, with Mahomet, to he cast into the lake of fire. ( Revelation 19:20.) Amid the universal agitation of these three unclean spirits, doubtless Romanism will transcend, lead the way, draw in Islamism and paganism, and all three promote the pope to the supremacy! 17. We find the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, whereas the first angel poured out his upon the earth, thus in the most general way inaugurating the great infection. The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea — i .e ., the people — thus illustrating the invasion of the popular masses by the social, political, and ecclesiastical malady. The third angel pours out his bowl upon the rivers and fountains of water — i .e ., the subordinated departments of the government — filling them with anarchy, insurgency, and insubordination. The fourth pours out his upon the sun — i .e ., the heads of governments — so that all the kings and queens begin to totter on their thrones. As the sun emblematizes the sovereigns of the earth, this prophecy had a fulfillment in the days of Napoleon Bonaparte, when nearly all the kings of the earth were shaken down from their thrones. The fifth angel pours out his bowl upon the throne of the beast.
This was literally fulfilled in 1870, when Victor Immanuel took the pope from his temporal throne, which he’s never regained, and never will. How many of these vials have been poured out? The preponderant argument decidedly favors the conclusion that five of the angels have actually descended and poured out their vials. The presumption is that the contents of these vials are still flowing, the effect intensifying in all the earth.
The presumption is that the sixth and seventh angels still reserve the contents of their vials. We are on the constant lookout for the sixth angel to pour out his bowl. Geometrical progression is a universal law of prophetical fulfillment. The sixth angel, pouring out his bowl upon the River Euphrates, and stirring up all the Eastern kings to a bloody conflict, will doubtless be verified in the fall of the Turkish Empire, which is in daily anticipation.
The three frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, represent direct Satanic intervention throughout pagandom, Romanism, and Islamism, which jointly represent fourteen hundred millions of people, and constitute the worldwide kingdom of Satan. All these vials, having once begun, will continue to flow with constantly increasing volume, even down to the end of the tribulation. The presumption is that it will not be long after the sixth till the seventh angel will pour out his bowl. “It is done !” This is the proclamation rung forth In a great voice from heaven. The meaning of it is wonderful in the extreme.
For the last six thousand years the world has been under a terrible administration of castigatory judgments. The trend to wickedness has been so powerful that God, in mercy, has been constrained to resort to constant stratagems to arrest its impetuosity to ruin for time and eternity. The great Flood, which swept a world into eternity, was His signal mercy, because they had become so awfully wicked and incorrigible that prolonged existence simply meant the population of hell. They had passed the borne of hope and redemption. So it was with Sodom and Gomorra. The Lord has been compelled to environ the world with providential chastisements in all ages. How transcendently significant to hear the proclamation, “It is done !” But remember that the proclamation is anticipatory, because it is highly probable that the big end of the great tribulation is yet to come. It means the simple fact that no other castigatory judgment is ever to come upon the earth; but the disciplinary curriculum is forever complete. So when these seven vials containing the seven last plagues shall have been poured out, and these maladies shall have run their course and exhausted their force, then the divine chastisement of sin upon the earth will have an end. At the end of the tribulation the millennium will at once be ushered in, bringing back the halcyon times of Edenic prosperity, purity, and glory. 18. “And there were lightnings, voices, and thunders, and a great earthquake, such as was not from the time man was upon the earth, such and so great was the earthquake .” 19. “And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell .” There is no doubt but the powers of nature will be largely utilized in the infliction of the castigatory judgments destined to come on the earth in the closing days of the present age. Of all calamities, the earthquake performs the work of death in the most wholesale and expeditious manner, burying whole cities and nations alive. In this 19th verse, the city of Babylon is specified, which is an ancient name of Rome, as well as symbolically identical, since Babylon was the persecuting power against the Church in the former dispensation, and Rome in the present. The apostle Peter dates one of his letters at Babylon, which is believed to have been written at Rome. In this prophecy, we find that Rome will he divided into three parts by the earthquake, and many metropolises of the different nations will be shaken down and utterly destroyed. Perhaps our New York, and many other great American cities, will he destroyed by these earthquakes. It is highly probable that the timehonored capitals of the old world, with innumerable places of smaller notoriety, will be destroyed in these earthquakes. 20. “Every island fled and the mountains were not found .” As it says these earthquakes will be such as the world never saw before, and never will again, of course the normal effect would be to sink the islands out of sight, and so disrupt the mountains as to destroy their identity.
The 21st verse speaks of such hail as the world never saw before. The Hebrew talent weighed ninety three pounds avoirdupois. Of course such a hailstorm would be like mill-stones falling from heaven, not only killing ever person and animal in its course, but smashing cities and demolishing every superstructure of human art. No wonder the Holy Ghost certifies that the world never saw calamities comparable with the great tribulation, which will immediately precede our Lord’s coming. Here we have the sad statement again that the people, instead of repenting under these terrible judgments, only give way to wrath and blasphemy. When Noah’s Flood was coming on, it seems that the Holy Ghost retreated away from the ungodly Antediluvians. Genesis 6:3: “My Spirit shall not always strive with man.” When the Lord comes in the rapture, takes up His saints with Him into the cloud, and leaves this wicked world without the light of a holy example or testimony, the Scriptures descriptive of the oncoming tribulations invariably corroborate the conclusion of the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit. Really this is one of the present signs of the Lord’s near coming — because “iniquity doth abound and love of many doth wax cold.”
CHAPTER -THIS was one of the angels who had the seven vials of wrath. He has already poured out his vial, but is still on hand, and at this time becomes the Lord’s messenger to the apostle. To the harlot of Babylon, who now becomes the most conspicuous character in the scene passing on the prophetic drama, in the statement that “she is sitting upon many waters ,” we have a confirmation of what I have frequently told you in this book; i .e ., the sea means the people, while the rivers and fountains of water typify the subordinate rulers. The harlot here spoken of is none other than the Roman Catholic Church. 2. “With whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and those dwelling upon the earth were made drunk from the wine of her fornication .” All spiritual deflection from God, and all anti-holiness religions, are denominated “fornication” in the Bible. Here we find it stated that all the people in the world have been made drunk from the wine of her fornication. That is certainly a very strong affirmation; but when we consider the fact that regeneration takes us out of the world, we see that this sweeping implication only applies to the unsaved. An intoxicated man is carried away with dreamy visions, illusory phantoms, and flighty imaginations. So it is with the votaries of a false religion. They vainly flatter themselves that they are saved, when they are lost; that they are traveling up the King’s highway to heaven, when they are in the broad road to hell. 3. This verse strikingly contrasts with Revelation 12:14. where the bride of Christ flies from the bloody dragon and makes her escape into the wilderness. Hence we must return thither to find her again. To John’s Unutterable astonishment, he finds her no longer flying from the ferocious beast, but sitting on his back, arrayed in silk, scarlet, and bedecked with gold, diamonds, and jewelry of every kind. It is abundantly revealed in these prophecies that this is the fallen bride — the harlot of Babylon. The pompous pretensions of the papacy amount to the most horrific blasphemy. The “seven heads ” are the kingdom, the consulate, the dictator, the triumvirate, the tribuneship, the empire, and the papacy. The “ten horns ” are the ten kingdoms into which the Roman Empire was disintegrated upon its downfall, A.D. 476. 4, 5. Here Romanism is pronounced the mother of harlots — “the abominations of the earth .” In the preceding verses she is designated a harlot, and now the mother of harlots. The harlotry in the Bible means counterfeit religion; i .e ., the devil’s religion. When the people take the Babylonian delusion for religion, this old harlot, who is none other than the devil’s wife, always simultaneously administers the wine of intoxication, so as to utterly hallucinate them with the pertinacious, chimerical dream that they are certainly bona fide Christians. While Romanism is the mother of all spiritual harlotry, we must remember that her prostitute daughters are in all the great Churches of Christendom. In this way the apostasy of all Churches supervenes. “Abominations” means the worship of anything and everything except God, and is synonymous with idolatry. Ecclesiasticism itself is abominable idolatry, growing on indefinitely, and undermining the simplicity of the Apostolic Church. The papacy is the culmination of all ecclesiasticism. It is unmistakably patent that all Churchisms have an inherent papistical trend. The Greek ecclesia means Church. It is from ek (out of), and kaleo (to call). Hence it simply means the called out; i .e ., the people whom the Holy Ghost has called out of the world. This is the only Bible definition of Church. The Church is true and orthodox so long as she adheres to this definition. The prophet says God made man upright — i .e ., perfect — but he has sought out many inventions. This predilection of fallen humanity to add to God’s institutions has derailed, humanized, despiritualized, degospelized, and ruined the Church in all ages. In this way originated Babylon, the old mother-harlot, and her innumerable family of daughters, belting the globe with their Briarian arms and blighting multiplied millions of souls with the withering siroccos of their pestilential breath. The Methodist Church is already crammed chuck-full of human institutions, and still they are constantly making more. The effect is to crowd God out, leave the people no time to serve Him, and run them all into Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones.
For this reason the normal tendency of the popular Churches of all denominations nowadays is to cause the people to backslide, dry up spiritually, become servants of the Church rather than God, run into ecclesiasticism (a species of idolatry), get farther and farther from God, and make their bed in hell. God has raised up the Holiness movement to rescue honest souls who have not gone beyond the dead-line into the awful whirlpool of dead Churchism. In this way all the great Protestant Churches of the world are going at race-horse speed headlong into popery.
Since the pope lost his temporal power in 1870, be has been seeking, through a thousand subterranean devices, to regain his lost ground. Leo XIII, in a recent encyclical, kindly invited all the Protestants to come back.
To this invitation they all said “No.” But still they come in a way they know not. Satan is the great deceiver. When people fall in with him, they never aim to do it. He is the uncompromising rival of Christ, and the fallen Church — i .e ., Babylon, the mother of harlots — is his wife, the implacable enemy of the true Church, the bride of Christ. Antichrist climaxes all opposition to Christ by claiming to be Christ himself. Just so Babylon is the arch enemy of the true Church because she claims to be the true Church. 6. “I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, and seeing her, I was astonished with great astonishment .” The woman — the harlot of Babylon, the fallen Church, the devil’s disciple — is drunk with the blood of God’s saints and martyrs. History bears testimony to the appalling fact that she has murdered two hundred millions of saints. It is a significant fact that the secular powers have never slaughtered God’s people Unless manipulated by the ecclesiastical. The counterfeit bride is the implacable rival of the true, and has done her utmost to destroy her in all ages. The present opposition to holiness is the very venom and rage of the Babylonian hag.
Why was John so unutterably astonished? The word “admiration ,” in English, is utterly wrong and misleading. John’s ineffable wonder was because he identified this drunken harlot, covered with the blood of God’s saints and riding the cruel beast of Romanism, with the humble bride of Christ he saw fly from the bloody beast in the <661201> 12th chapter. The identity was indiscernible, save by the revelation of the Holy Ghost. This confirms most indubitably the apostasy of the Church. In a similar sense, Satan was once a bright archangel in heaven. The devil has no creative power, and God can’t create sin. But the devil has illimitable power of transformation. The fallen Church is a sad monument of this power. This wonderful transformation is so cunningly manipulated by the great deceiver that the victim never knows it till the Holy Ghost shines in.
These two hundred millions of God’s humble saints have all been accompanied to the burning stake by a long-faced clergyman, who believed the cruel martyrdom was right and necessary to the glory of God and the good of his Church. Jesus Himself heads our list. When Caiaphas, the high priest of Jerusalem, signed His death-warrant, he assuredly believed he was doing God service. Thus multiplied millions this day serve the devil, thinking they are worshipping God; and belong to the Babylonian apostasy, thinking they belong to the Church of God. What is the remedy?
God’s word, Spirit, and providence. This triple dance is infallible. Civil government is the only present preventive of martyrdom. Blood and torture would belt the globe if gunboats and bayonets did not intimidate the votaries of Babylon.
The last political vestige went out of His hands at the fall of Jerusalem B.C. 87. Since that time the ecclesia has been launched, in which he proposes to rule faithful bands. Ecclesia means God’s Church, over which the Holy Ghost always presides. When men take into hands the government of the Church, they usurp the office of the Holy Ghost. This is downright robbery. Will a man rob God? As a rule, the men who commit this awful crime are so hallucinated by the devil that they think they are doing God service; and if they do not take the government of the Church into hand, it will certainly go to ruin. Uzzah thought the Ark would be ruined if he did not hold it; but he only lost his life and arrested the progress of the Ark.
So the man who usurps the office of the Holy Ghost loses his soul and ruins the Church. Where can you find a Church, outside of the Holiness movement, which is not under human rule and spiritually dead? The ecclesia is Divine, and ruled by the Holy Ghost. The ecclesiasticism is human, and ruled by men, the Spirit having retreated away because He was superseded by men. In this way originated priestcraft, prelacy, and popery, followed by all the horrors of the autodafe and the Inquisition. 7. “I will tell thee the mystery of the woman and the beast that carrieth her .” The Greek musterion — i .e ., mystery — means a secret which is to be revealed. God’s religion is a profound mystery, which none but Himself can reveal. He has revealed it to me, but I cannot, to save my life, reveal it to another. It is a matter of history that when the Church apostatized into Romanism she became a secret society, and is yet. Just as God’s people receive a secret from Him, so Satan’s people receive a secret from him.
The devil reigns in fallen Churches under the name of God, imparting the secret of his soul-destroying sorcery, by which he gulls and stupefies his devotees till he can dump them into hell. We find, by personal appeal, that very few Church people have an acquaintance with God and a knowledge of sins forgiven. They are resting in carnal security amid the ambrosial delusions of Satan, who has beguiled them with false hopes, founded on a spurious faith. Woman, throughout the Bible, means the Church. The fair, chaste bride of Christ is the true Church, the mother of God’s children.
This old harlot is the counterfeit bride, the devil’s wife, the mother of his children. This beast is a wonderfully conspicuous figure in these prophecies. The Greek theerion means a ferocious, bloodthirsty wild beast. It represents all human governments contrastively with the theocracy. As Rome is the greatest and most conspicuous of all human governments, here we find the beast playing the most prominent part. Revelation 12: He has seven heads and ten horns; i .e ., (1) the kingdom, (2) the consulate, (3) the dictatorship, (4) the triumvirate, (5) the tribuneship, (6) the empire, and (7) the papacy.
The ten horns are the ten kingdoms into which the empire was disintegrated when destroyed by the Huns, Goths, and Vandals, A.D. 476, and which remain, with little modification, to this day. Romanism, the great power of antichrist, has a duplicate organization, the political and ecclesiastical, the former typified by the beast and the latter by the woman. Hence, in the figure, the drunken harlot is debauched Romanism and her fallen daughters in a more remote sense, while the beast is the secular power supporting these fallen Churches. 8. “The beast was, is not, and yet is .” The Bible abounds in enigmas to sharpen our wits and impress the truth more vividly. Jesus says: “Let the dead bury the dead ;” i .e ., the spiritually dead bury the physically dead.
This wonderful beast was in the capacity of pagan Rome, but having been destroyed A.D. 476, he is not in that form. Since the pope succeeded Caesar on the throne and perpetuated the empire, the beast is yet in the capacity of papal Rome. Since this beast is a medley of contradictions, all the world wondered after him and worshipped him — i .e . dragon, the devil — gave the beast power and His throne. 9, 10. Rome stands on seven hills. I saw them last summer. These are one phase of the seven heads. “There are seven kings : five have fallen, one is, and another has yet to come, and when he may come it behooveth him to remain a little time .” Here comes in the other more prominent phase of the seven heads; i .e . seven kings, or kingdoms (the concrete for the abstract).
Rome was first ruled by kings, then by consuls, then by dictators, then by triumvirs, and then by tribunes. These five forms of government had all passed away before John’s day. Hence he says, “Five of the kings have fallen.” “One is;” i .e ., the Roman Empire, under which John lived, and that was the sixth head of the beast. “One has not yet come;” i .e . papal head of the Roman world. The empire continued nearly four hundred years after this prophecy before it passed away and the papacy supervened. “When he — i .e ., the pope — comes, it behooves him to remain a little time.” The papistical period in prophecy is 1260 — a short time contrastively with the lapse of ages, and especially the cycles of eternity. 11. “The beast which was, and is not, is himself the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition .” Now, who is this wonderful eighth beast?
He is said to he one of the seven. Who are the seven? The kings, consuls, dictators, triumvirs, tribunes, emperors, and popes constitute the seven heads of the Roman beast. Since all these are dead and gone long ago, except the popes, it follows as an irresistible, logical sequence that the pope is the eighth beast. How can the pope he the seventh and the eighth too? Of course, when he passes from the seventh to the eighth, he assumes a new character. What is this character? It is that of antichrist. Hence we see from this prophecy that the pope is to become antichrist early in the tribulation. At present, the censorship of Babylon is the chief papal prerogative. As Babylon will fall about the middle of the tribulation, doubtless the papacy will undergo a radical revolution, assuming a decidedly more political, dogmatic, imperious, defiant, blasphemous attitude than ever before.
THE ANTICHRISTHOOD The Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Christ of the new. Hence the excarnate Christ is the hero of the Old Testament, and the Incarnate of the New. Hence we see that the Christhood has always been progressive, and destined to culminate in the glorious millennial kingdom. It is equally true that the antichristhood has always been progressive. Every positive has its negative. Thus the antichristhood is the simple and normal negative of the Christhood. The word “antichrist” is from anti (instead of), and Christ.
While this is the original definition and attitude, the secondary definition — i .e ., the implacable enemy and indefatigable rival of Christ-assumes transcendent importance. 2 Thessalonians 2:4: “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above everything that is called God or divinity, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself off that he is God.”
This inspired definition of Paul certainly does vividly describe the most pompous, pedantic, egotistical, defiant, and blasphemous rivalship of the Most High. When the sixth angel pours out his vial of wrath on the Euphrates, and those three unclean spirits, like frogs, shall come out of the mouth of the beast, the dragon, and the false prophet — i .e ., paganism, Romanism, and Mohammedanism — and stir up the whole world to the great wars of Armageddon, in which all the powers of earth and hell will be arrayed against God Almighty — i .e . all human governments, political and ecclesiastical, united against divine rule; i .e ., God’s theocracy — the pope, being the more influential of the three, will doubtless subordinate the other two departments of Satandom, assume the supremacy, and proclaim himself the incarnate Christ. Under these blasphemous assumptions, ambuscaded by the spiritual darkness which will fill the world after the Lord takes up His saints in the cloud, the first resurrection and concomitant translations having transpired, the pope, environed by the carnal millions of all nations, Catholic, Moslem, and heathen, will doubtless not only command their loyalty, but their adoration. During the terrible darkness of the tribulation ( Daniel 7:9), the Ancient of Days — i .e ., God the Father, who has no incarnation, and is consequently invisible — will be here sitting on His judgment-throne, executing the just and awful retributions on the rebel nations and Babylonian Churches throughout the world. In consequence of the dismal spiritual night, which shall anticipate the bright millennial day, and the unprecedented activity of Satan, tremulously prognosticating his approaching doom, antichrist, through priestcraft, statecraft, witchcraft — i .e ., spiritualism, socialism, secularism — and every species of diabolism, will rally the whole world against truth, righteousness, purity, and godliness, as never before. Daniel 12:1: “There shall be a time of trouble, such as was never since there was a nation, even to that same time.”
This describes the great tribulation. It was an awful time when the Flood came and swept the world into eternity. When God rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorra, it was appalling in the extreme. When the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem, and the sword, pestilence, and famine slew a million of people, and a million more were sold into slavery, it was unutterably awful. But we are assured by Daniel, John, and Jesus that the horrors of the tribulation will transcend all the woes this wicked world, in six thousand years, has known. I am on the daily outlook for the Lord to come and take up the members of the bridehood, translating the living and raising the dead. Who is ready to meet Him in the cloud? This is our only hope of escaping the tribulations, unless the Lord takes Us to heaven after they set in. 12. John tells us the ten horns are ten kingdoms that have not risen in his day. They did not rise until after the fall of the universal Roman empire, A.D. 476. Horn, in the Bible, means political power. When great Rome fell, her worldwide territory was broken up into ten kingdoms, which remain to the present day much in their original integrity. At the present day, the great political powers of the earth are about ten. The pope was crowned A.D. 606, and dethroned in 1870, according to prophecy. He exercised his prerogative as universal bishop soon after the dethronement of Caesar in 476. From about this time the kings generally succumbed to his ipse dixit , till the Lutheran Reformation terribly relaxed his grip. 13. “These have one mind, and give their authority and power to the beast ;” i .e ., the pope. For more than a thousand years this prophecy has been signally verified within the above dates. 14. This verse prophesies the glorious triumph of Christ over all these secular and ecclesiastical enemies. We hail it with joyful enthusiasm. 15. You see in this verse a confirmation of much preceding interpretation, recognizing the sea, rivers, and fountains as symbolizing the people. 16. DIVORCEMENT OF CHURCH AND STATE. “The ten horns which you saw, and the beast. these shall hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh, and burn her with fire .” This prophecy is now rapidly being fulfilled. The secular powers, which tamely submitted to papistical interference and dictation, are now everywhere in rebellion. The Jesuits have been driven out of France, the most Catholic country on the globe. Not only the sovereigns of the old world, but Mexico, Central and South America, are ready in rebellion against the papal authority. So the time has come when the “horns ” hate the “whore .”
They will soon eat her flesh; i .e ., confiscate her immense possessions in their kingdoms. This is coming during the tribulation, and will expedite her ruin; i .e ., the fall of Babylon. The Roman Catholic Church has more financial ability than any nation on the earth. We see from this prophecy she is destined to lose it all. The secular governments will confiscate it; i .e ., eat her flesh. “Burn her with fire .” Fire, throughout the Bible, symbolizes destruction. It is the constant symbol of sanctification, because this means sin’s destruction. Hence we see the secular powers are going to find out the awful imposition of ages and execute vengeance. You see the prophetic drama. This fallen woman is now riding the bloody beast, one of whose meanings is the world power. He has dressed her in scarlet, and covered her with gold and diamonds, and is carrying her on his back. In turn she promises to take him to heaven when he dies. He is going to find out the lying delusion; that he is paying his millions to adorn her in queenly splendor and toiling to carry her on his back, and all this for naught; for instead of taking him to heaven, she is not going there herself. They must all together make their bed in hell. No wonder he will throw her over his head and devour her without mercy. The English says “the horns on the beast” will do this; but the Greek says, “The horns and the beast will hate the whore, eat her flesh, and burn her with fire .” While the harlot means the fallen Church, the beast means the world power. The horns are the different governments which have been identified with Romanism, and that will take in nearly every state this side of the Moslem power in the East.
This is a practical solution of the fall of Babylon; i .e ., the secular powers are going to smash her into atoms. We now see not only the established Churches of the old world riding the state, but the Laodicean Churches of America are everywhere mounted on the back of the world, enjoying a ride to the bottomless pit; e .g ., in an average city Church of one thousand members, at least half of them are hurrying to destruction because they are wicked. But they constitute the society wing of the membership, have the money, fill the offices, and bear the financial burdens of the Church. While I was preaching in a Southern city, a pastor of twelve hundred members, being informed that a prominent brother was drunk, responded: “I know he drinks, but he pays well; I would rather he would get drunk and pay than shout and not pay.” Take the wicked members out of the wealthy Churches and they will pay hundreds instead of thousands. Thus we everywhere see the Church riding the world. Methodist Churches have been poisoned by the introduction of worldly lay representation.
Formerly the bishops went to God and made the appointments; now the laymen dictate to the bishop. How seldom any but men of wealth are elected in the Conference delegation? How often do you find rich men with any religion? In this way even Methodist Churches have climbed up and taken their seats on the old bloody dragon, and are now riding the world.
What will the end be? Echo answers, Wonderful things already make haste.
The time is at hand when the world is going to wake up to the awful cheat, and find out that they are paying their money for naught. Then the beast (the world) will throw the woman (the Church) over his head, eat her flesh, drink her blood, and pick her bones. These awful tragedies will transpire during the oncoming tribulation. While the world is racked in a universal volcano, all nations rushing into deadly conflict, then, to augment the horror of the scene, Church and State will quarrel and fight. 17. “God hath given it unto their hearts to do His will, and to have one will, and to give their power to the beast, till the words of God shall be fulfilled .” You must remember, Satan, the beast, and all other evil powers can only prevail by Divine permission. These evils belong to the mysteries of human probation. Ours is the period of the bridehood; hence, characterized by the most terrible temptations. The responsibilities of the bridehood are absolutely incalculable, sweeping on through all eternity, and involving the interest of myriads of worlds. Hence the importance that she pass through Satan’s flint-mills over and over. If she comes out with a shout of victory in her soul and loyalty to God every time, she is climbing Jacob’s ladder with cheering velocity. The devil, pope, and Mahomet, with their concomitant evil agencies, will tread down the world till the prophecies are fulfilled. I am glad the black reign of sin is nearly over. The Holiness movement is the morning star preceding the glorious millennial day. You must not think God is tied to the prophecies; they are tied to Him. If the Church had not permitted Satan to side-track her from the glorious doctrine and experience of entire sanctification, the millennium, with its floods of glory, would have filled the earth long ago. In that case the prophecies would have corroborated the facts. So all the kings of the earth gave their power to the pope till his appointed fall, which culminated in his temporal dethronement in 1870.
Still the papacy and Islam will continue to wield a wonderful influence, even to the very coming of our Lord to reign. Then they will be cast into the lake of fire. ( Revelation 19:20.) 18. The city of Rome has ruled the world two thousand years under the seven heads — (1) kings, (2) consuls, (3) dictators, (4) triumvirs, (5) tribunes, (6) emperors, an (7) popes.
CHAPTER - FALL OF BABYLON THE name of this angel is not given. The wonderful light of his glory would lead to the suspicion, at least, that it was Michael. Gabriel and Michael are the only archangels whose names are given. The former always comes in the interest of humanity, and the latter in the interest of divinity. We must remember we are now in the tribulation. The Ancient of Days — i .e ., the Father — is here executing the awful premillennial judgments. Hence the world is full of divine interventions, in every way necessary to the fulfillment of prophecy. What stupendous miracles will be wrought in the universal destruction of Babylon, we cannot anticipate.
Of course this proclamation is anticipatory of the speedy fall. Such will be the wonders of Omnipotence in this notable event, that counterfeit religions will all perish from the earth. Babylon will be utterly spoilated of her sorceries and enchantments, so that henceforth she will no longer be able to delude a human soul, but will be occupied by devils only. 3. The infliction of these terrible castigatory judgments will utterly destroy and exterminate false religion from the earth. A just retribution supervenes because all nations have fallen (Greek) by the wines of her fornication. All religion intoxicates. The people thought the apostles were drunk when filled with the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. It is equally true that false religion intoxicates — the one with the Spirit of God, sanctifying you and making you holy like God; the other with the spirit of Satan, filling you with lying delusions, making you dream you are on your way to heaven when you are on a bee-line to hell, inspiring you with Satan’s false faith, vain and carnal love, all of which but ripen you for hell and lead you into it. “The age of miracles is past” is as gratuitous as it is unscriptural. It favors that modern infidelity called “evolution,” which takes God out of the world’s government and turns it over to man. I anticipate greater miracles to attend our Lord’s second coming than the ages have ever known. Rest assured, when the time comes, Babylon will fall, her spiritual power be utterly annihilated, and her temporal dominions exterminated. What is included in Babylon? Romanism, with all her temporal and spiritual power. Besides, it certainly will include all forms of human ecclesiasticisms. God made religion, but Satan made sectarianism.
While the papacy is the mother of harlots, she is very prolific, and has many daughters. Human government is political and ecclesiastical. It must all go down before the King of kings, who is coming to reign in righteousness forever. The tribulation revolutions will effect these results, and thus prepare the way for the coming King. The terrible antagonisms and retributions inflicted on the fallen Church by the State will doubtless prove an important precursor in her final ruin.
CONVOCATION OF GOD’S PEOPLE 4. “Come out of her, my people .” This call is largely anticipatory. It contemplates the savable, rather than the saved. When the Lord spoke to Paul. in the night vision at Corinth, saying, “I have much people in this city,” it is to he understood prospectively, as the whole city was in idolatry at that time. The crushing catastrophes of the tribulation, both political and ecclesiastical, will sweep from the earth the incorrigible and unsavable popular elements. The terrible bloody revolutions attending the fall of the time-honored kingdoms will he used by a gracious Providence as political purifiers, while the fall of Babylon will prove the greatest religious purifier the world has ever seen. We must remember that the world is to be inhabited again after the great tribulation. Daniel pronounces a great blessing on those who survive the tribulation. ( Daniel 12:12.)
When the mighty cyclones of premillennial judgments shall have expended their forces, and the kings of the earth shall have been shaken from their thrones, and Babylon shall have been smashed into debris , then our King, descending in His glory, will receive the salutations of an obsequious world, disencumbered of human yokes and prejudices, and ready to fall in line with the new administration. Some good people have doubtless made an innocent mistake in coming out prematurely, thus leaving an unfinished work in Babylon. We are to remain among the warring sects of Babylon, faithfully preaching the everlasting gospel, till she falls. Certainly we have not yet reached that historical epoch, though evidently very rapidly approaching it. Two hundred millions of God’s saints have shed their blood in Babylon. 2-4. Certainly we can afford to be steadfast. We see from this prophecy that Babylon is to be the recipient of the seven last plagues unto her utter extermination. This is given as a reason why the Lord’s people shall make their escape. 5. Here we learn that the sins of Babylon have actually reached their maturity, when she, with her multiplied millions encompassing the globe, is fully ripe for doom and damnation. We here see from this verse that God never forgets anything. Every tear shed and groan uttered by His martyrs, in all bygone ages, is as fresh in His memory as the events of yesterday. We see from this Scripture that He assuredly pays back with compound interest. 7. “She says in her heart, I sit a queen, am no widow, and see no sorrow .”
The true Church, consisting of the invisible children of God, has mourned, a widow, prophesying in sackcloth because of her absent Lord, ever since He left her and flew up to heaven. She will remain unknown, misjudged, and persecuted, till her Divine Spouse rides down on a cloud and takes her to Himself. The reason why the fallen Church — i .e ., Babylon — is no widow, is because she has forsaken her ascended Husband and married antichrist. You can well discriminate the Babylonian Churches, because they all claim that their sect is the true Church, thus confessing judgment against themselves. Colossians 3:3,4: “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.”
Here Paul positively teaches the invisibility and entire sanctification of the true Church. Never will the true Church on earth be visible till her Head returns and becomes visible again. Thus we see how the belligerent parties of Babylonian ecclesiasticism have ignorantly signed their own deathwarrant in their pertinacious controversies to vindicate themselves. 8. We see from this verse that the fall of Babylon will mark a distinct epoch in history. Doubtless, like all other great events, it will be preceded by a progressive series of preparatory developments, and followed by a grand sweep of wonderful consequences. The burning with fire may be literally verified in the conflagration of Rome; but fire, throughout the Bible, is the constant figure of utter destruction. For this reason, fire is the constant type of sanctification, because sin is thereby utterly exterminated. “The Lord God who condemneth her is mighty.” In a mysterious way, Babylon has been a powerful factor in the probationary scheme. Multiplied millions, beguiled by her lies and intoxicated with her adulterous wine of wealth, fame, carnal pleasures, and secular aggrandizement, have toppled into hell. These twelve hundred years, she has been Satan’s greatest temptation. She is exceedingly prominent in the all things that “work together for good to them that love God” ( Romans 8:28). Only the blood-washed, fire-baptized pilgrim, who gladly forsook all for Christ, has been able to withstand her wiles. I am so glad all the prophecies culminate in the verdict that her race is about run. The handwriting announcing her doom is even now legible to spiritual eyes on the walls of the magnificent cathedrals from which the Holy Ghost has long since retreated. You must not look too much to human agencies in the destruction of Babylon, as you see this scripture imputes it to God alone.
When she has run her race, and her cup is full, then will the hand of God lift the flood-gate of doom. 9, 10. The wailing of the kings over the fall of Babylon may strongly contrast with the scene of the preceding chapter, when they were all goring her with their “horns,” thus doubtless somewhat preparing the way for her downfall. Daniel ( 12:12) gives the tribulation period forty-five years. This will be one unbroken revolutionary cyclone. Consequently we need not be surprised at anything. Daniel ( <271201> 12:1) says: “It will be a time of trouble, such as the world has never seen.”
Christ says :” It will he a time of trouble, such as the world never saw and never will” ( Matthew 24:21). It is peculiar to the caprices of war that the victor, reveling in blood and slaughter, will stop and weep over a fallen rival.
UNIVERSAL BANKRUPTCY 12-14. The fall of Babylon will doubtless occur far out amid the flood-tide of the tribulation. The bankruptcy will come as a normal consequence of universal revolution. However, it is pertinent to observe that the fallen Church is the autocrat of style, fashion, pomposity, buncombe, and phantasmagoria infinitesimal. The world is more disposed to run on utilitarian lines. Romanism has amassed billions by fraudulent sales of candles, heads, crucifixes, et cetera, at enormous prices, for magical value.
The whole world has long followed Satan’s gewgaws, expending their money for imaginary emolument. During the tribulation, all of Satan’s delusions will he unearthed to the eye of the world. National finances are generally on a bogus foundation. All intrigue, externality, and pomposity must fade before the coming King. The millennium will he a world of realities. From an analysis of the bogus condition of the world’s commerce and finances, and the wonderful incantatory influence of Babylon among the nations, we readily see how her sudden and utter destruction would bring a universal financial panic, culminating in worldwide bankruptcy.
As Noah’s Flood swept away the institutions of the Antediluvian world, leaving not a vestige, so the great tribulation will rack, topple, turn, overturn, and smash all the institutions of the present age, leaving the world a blank, with its new population so divested of the Satanic institutions that now fill the earth that they will constitute a de nova element, out of which the King of kings will lay the foundation of the millennial world. 15, 16. “Gilded with gold, precious stones, and diamonds .” When I was in Rome last summer, I was much reminded of this language of inspiration.
Internally it exhibits in gigantic mosaic all the popes (287), and all of the apostles in gigantic stature. In the altar they allege the remains of Paul are deposited. It is environed by every species of rubies, precious stones, and diamonds, whose sparkling radiance, amid the constantly burning candles, exhibits every conceivable tint and hue of the rainbow at all times, night and day. St. Peter’s Cathedral at the Vatican palace cost two hundred millions of dollars, and occupied two hundred years in building, thus expending sufficient money to put the Bible in every home on the earth. It is 835 feet long, 330 feet wide, and 447 feet high — the largest building in the world, not even excepting the Coliseum. It is certainly the grandest monument of idolatry on the globe. John Tetzel, Luther’s antagonist, and others, raised money to erect this superstructure by the sale of indulgences. Thus the faces of all nations were ground two hundred years to erect this mammoth temple of idolatry. “In one hour so great wealth was laid waste.” We learn in Revelation 16:19 Rome will be divided into three parts by the great earthquake at the beginning of the tribulation. We see, further on, that she is to be utterly destroyed in a moment. This will constitute the salient epoch in the fall of Babylon. 17, 18. No wonder the ship-masters will weep and wail. The Roman superstition has brought multiplied millions of money to seamen. In a single month, quite recently, one hundred thousand pilgrims came to Rome. Ship companies make immense sums of money. On my first trip across the Atlantic, our ship carried fifteen hundred passengers, besides immense quantities of freight. The passengers alone, at forty dollars per capita, would bring the company sixty thousand dollars. The seamen of every nation have been enriched by Babylon. Hence they weep and wail when she goes down to rise no more. 20. “Rejoice over her, O heaven, saints, apostles, and prophets, because God hath judged your judgment from her .” Rome has outraged the saints, apostles, and prophets, and insulted heaven, by idolizing them. What an insult to Peter, the humble fisherman, to build to his memory an idolatrous monument at the paradoxical cost of two hundred millions of dollars, which should have been used to save the world What an insult to humble Paul, who lived a tramp and died a martyr, to erect a fifty-five-milliondollar mausoleum over his dust in which to worship idols, of which they have made him chief. In the destruction of Babylon, God truly vindicates the martyrs, with whose blood she has been drunken for ages. 21-24. We see from these verses the final doom of Rome. She is to sink into the sea and never be seen again. Having been terribly shocked and divided into three parts by the earthquake early in the tribulation ( 16:19), she is finally to receive another shock, so terrible as to bury her so deep in the sea that not a spire nor monument will ever be seen again.
On that enchanted spot, where sat the world’s ruler two thousand years, naught shall be seen but the mighty, thundering billows of the dark, deep sea. From the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus, B.C. 753, she has been cruel as the grave and despotic as Diabolus. She deluged the world with blood and whitened it with bones, to make her way to the summit of despotic power. Under pagan rule, for three hundred years, she fattened her lions on Christians, till she fed out one hundred millions. Under papal rule, she has martyred a hundred millions more. “In her, the blood of prophets, saints, and all of those slain upon the earth, is found .” Babylon was the persecuting power under the former dispensation, and Rome, her successor, under the latter. It is a significant fact that this wicked world has never martyred God’s saints; but this odious diabolism has always devolved on the votaries of false religion. Rome began her bloody catalogue with the Son of God; the Jews not having the power of capital punishment, it devolved on the Romans, the rulers of the world. When I was in Rome I saw the finest monuments of ancient art, having been transported from Egypt. Rome is to this day the monumental city of the world, still abounding in the mementos of her former grandeur, when she dictated law to all nations. Amid all her boasted grandeur and glory, she simply ruled by wild-beast power. She is the grand ultimatum of human rule, both political and ecclesiastical. Her best achievements in the former consisted in the terror inspired by her ferocious brutality; in the latter, those dark superstitions which gave sanction to all the blood and slaughter of popery, prelacy, and priestcraft. So black is the record of Rome that she cannot survive the tribulation, lest she darken the escutcheon of the millennial world.
CHAPTER - “Salvation belongeth to our God .” Babylon’s strong citadel consisted in priestly intervention and the dogma of salvation by human works. Now that she is fallen, this transparent sophistry has been unearthed and exposed, and the sublime, radical truth that God alone can save, and we must go to Him and not to the priests, has been vindicated, and is now proclaimed to all the world. God has executed judgment against the great harlot, the corrupter of the world’s religion, and executed condign punishment for the martyrdom of all His saints. 3. The smoke of her torment symbolizes her punishment. The period of its duration is co-eternal with the existence of God. Hence the silly sophistry of Universalism, Restorationism, and all other dogmata , proposing to find a terminus to hell-torment. 4. We find “Amen ” and “Hallelujah ” are the battle-shouts which everywhere ring along the triumphant phalanx of Immanuel’s army. These are Hebrew words, which never have been translated into any of the innumerable languages into which the Bible has been translated. Just as they are, they have been transferred into more than one hundred languages.
A ship was under sail on the Pacific Ocean, carrying a Hindu and a New Zealander. The latter is a convert of the Salvation Army, and the former of Bishop Taylor’s missionaries. They are in prayer. The Hindu receives a landslide from the heavenly country, and shouts aloud, “Hallelujah !” The New Zealander shouts back, “Amen !” Neither knows a word of the other’s language. Anon they reciprocate, “Hallelujah !” “Amen !” Soon the strangers mutually embrace. 5, 6. “Heaven and earth are ringing out their mighty shouts of victory because Babylon is fallen. Oh, how she hath populated hell with her deluded millions all these ages!
MARRIAGE SOLEMNIZATION At last the long-anticipated nuptials of Christ and His bride are now to be celebrated. False claimants must be disposed of before the bride can be truly received into heavenly wedlock. Babylon has vociferated her claims around the world the last twelve hundred and sixty years. Since her fatal catastrophe, the voice of a rival has not resounded in terrestrial air. Hence an important preparation for the nuptials has transpired on earth, sweeping every rival from the field. But perhaps a still more important antecedent has transpired in heaven. Since the Lord descended and took away His bride from the oncoming tribulation, a very important adjustatory judgment has been going on among the members of the bridehood. Paul says the transfigured saints will differ either from the other in glory like the stars of the firmament. Jesus says: “One shall rule five cities and another ten.” Hence you see there will he an infinite diversity in the coming kingdom. 1 Corinthians 15:23: “Each one shall rise in his own rank.”
From these and many other Scriptures we find quite as vast a dissimilitude in the transfigured state as in the present. When our Lord descends on His royal throne to take the government of this world into hand, and rule it through the members of the glorified bridehood, all the participants of the coming administration will be perfectly adjusted, so the machinery of the new kingdom will move in perfect harmony. All this infinitesimal adjudication and adjustment, essential to the most perfect regulation of the bridehood, will take place upon the firmament, while tribulation tornadoes are desolating this world. How did His bride make herself ready? By the eternal abandonment of a perfect consecration, followed by that indefatigable faith which will die before it will doubt, and accompanied by an unfaltering obedience. 8. Because linen is free from contact with animals, it emblematizes entire sanctification. For the very opposite reason, wool typifies carnality. The Israelites were not allowed to wear garments mixed with wool and linen.
This is a powerful lesson in favor of entire sanctification as the only possible way to have an unmixed experience, which is emblematically taught in to unmixed garment. 9. This unmixed garment is an absolute prerequisite to every one who would attend the marriage-supper of the Lamb. None but the participants of the gospel feast are invited to the marriage-supper. If you would attend that supper, you must be a member of the bridehood. You enter that bridehood in the experience of sanctification. Then and there your spirit is married to the Spirit of Christ. This must take place before the Lord comes to take up His bride, if you would ascend with Him.
The marriage here spoken of is that of transfigured humanity after the body has been raised from the dead, or translated, and reunited with the soul, never again to be separated. Reader, are you washed in the blood, robed, and ready for the marriage-supper?
Hence we see they are still virgins, and have their lamps burning, though low and feeble. The true solution is, they are all Christians. The wise have received a second work of grace — i .e ., been sanctified — while the foolish, so called because they did not have their vessels fill with oil — i .e ., get sanctified — like all other Christians who neglect sanctification, have much depreciated in the grace of regeneration. Consequently, they forfeited their place in the bridehood, the door being closed against them; but not their place in the kingdom, since they have not forfeited their virginity, neither have their lamps gone out. This scene transpires at the rapture, when the Lord comes and takes away His bride, leaving the unsanctified Christians to pass through the tribulation. Doubtless millions will be saved who have no qualifications for the offices of the bridehood.
This explains the constant enthusiasm of the Apostle Paul to “attain unto the resurrection which is out from among the dead;” i .e ., a special and extraordinary resurrection. Evidently, the degrees in the bridehood will be infinitesimal, according to the diversified gifts, graces, attainments, and qualifications of the members. We should all emulate Paul and other apostolical saints in their irrepressible enthusiasm, not simply for a place in the bridehood, but for pre-eminence in the same. We see the constant scramble for offices in the petty governments of the present age. Oh, the wonderful honors and emoluments which await the members of the bridehood in the coming kingdom, when our glorious King will rule the whole world through the instrumentality of His transfigured saints!
Reader, be sure that you are under the blood, sanctified wholly, so you will be called to the marriage-supper of the Lamb. 10. Evidently, in this case, John mistook the angel for God, and fell down to worship him. This is a withering condemnation of all idolatry in every land and age; not simply paganism, Islamism, and Romanism, but the multitudinous forms of idolatry — i .e ., creedisms, fine edifices, human institutions, and great men — which fill the apostate Churches of the Protestant world. “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy .”
Prophecy is the generic word for preaching. Here we see the synonymy of prophecy and testimony. Hence you see the wonderful simplicity of the gospel economy. God wants to sanctify all of His children and impart to them the spirit of prophecy, thus loosening all tongues and setting them on fire. A collegiate education is not the qualification to preach the gospel; but a tongue of fire, ringing out a red-hot testimony. “I saw the heaven open, and behold a white horse, and He that sitteth on him is called faithful and true, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war .” This is a plain statement of the descension of our glorious King to reign in righteousness. During the tribulation the bridehood has been adjudged and regulated. The long-anticipated nuptials of Christ and His bride have been celebrated. Now He descends, accompanied by His beloved, to take the world’s government into hand. “White horse ” signifies the gospel of sanctification, the divine conception of a preacher being a sanctified circuit-rider. Reader, brother or sister, will you not put on the white robe of holiness, mount the white horse of entire sanctification, and go out preaching the everlasting gospel? Multitudes of people in all nations will survive the tribulation, and remain on the earth till our Lord descends with His transfigured bride to set up His millennial kingdom and reign forever. All these people must be converted and sanctified at the inauguration of the King. This will be the first great work of the bridehood. 12. “His eyes a flame of fire ,” indicate His omniscience. “Upon His head many diadems ,” is anticipatory of His triumphant supersession over all the kings of the earth, whose crowns are to be placed upon His head. The name written is conqueror, known only to Himself, as He conquers purely by His own omnipotence. 13. Encircled with a garment sprinkled (not dipped) with blood. It is the symbolism of a triumphant warrior on the battle-field, his garment sprinkled with the blood of his slain enemies. “His name was called the word of God .” Word means revelation. The incarnate Christ is Himself the greatest of all God’s revelations to the world. This statement is a positive confirmation that the person here described is none other than our glorious King coming down to reign. 14. “Armies follow Him in the firmament on white horses, clothed in linen white and clean .” These are the members of the glorified bridehood; i .e ., the transfigured saints, coming down with Christ to conquer the whole world with the gospel sword; i .e ., to preach the gospel to all nations, and get them converted and sanctified. Under the ministry of this mighty host, “a nation shall be born in a day.” 15. “Out of His month proceedeth a sharp two-edged sword, that with it He may smite the nations .” This sharp sword going out of the mouth of the glorified Savior simply means His word — i .e ., the gospel — by which the whole world will be speedily evangelized and saved at the beginning of the millennium. “He will shepherd them with an iron rod .” An iron rod in the hand of a devil or a wicked man would be awful, but in the hand of the infallible God it is blessed and glorious, calculated to transform this world into a paradise. “He treadeth the wine-press of the indignation of the wrath of the Omnipotent God .” Throughout these prophecies, as especially elaborated in chapter 14th, the gathering of the good is symbolized by the harvest, and that of the wicked, for their destruction, by the vintage, the copious gushing of the red grape-juice typifying the immense flow of blood when the terrible divine retributions shall come upon the wicked in their utter destruction. 16. This verse is a perpetuation of the forcible military symbolism, so prominent in these prophecies. 17, 18. The sun is a convenient place for the angel herald to stand and issue his proclamation to all the world, as the orb of light rolls his daily rounds. This is the closing scene of that wonderful military panorama which runs throughout these prophecies. If the Lord were to come down in His glorified person today, the rulers of the world would repudiate His right to reign in State and Church. They would fight for their kingdoms and their crowns. The scene before us is the consummation of the Armageddon wars. Here we see the final and utter defeat of all the kings upon the face of the whole earth. The calling of the vultures to eat their flesh is a simple perpetuity of the victorious symbolism. 19. Here we see the pope united with all the kings in this final war against Immanuel, only, with them, to suffer ultimate and hopeless defeat. The Lord is coming to reign; but the world is full of people who are too proud wicked to submit to His reign, however benignant, graceful, and glorious.
Hence the world, as we see in these prophecies, is to be deluged with blood and bleached with bones before she will submit to the peaceful reign of her glorious King. Daniel, in the <270701> 7th chapter, so literally and irrefutably corroborates John in the scene we now attempt to expound, we must here give him an opportunity to testify. The 7th chapter is a summary of the Western hemisphere, as the 8th is of the Eastern. Europe means west; hence, by Western hemisphere, I mean Europe and America.
It is a substantial repetition of the chronological image of the 2nd chapter, developed into the papacy, and embracing the entire curriculum of Gentile rule from the fall of Jerusalem, B.C. 587, when the theocracy went into eclipse, till the stone shall demolish the image, fill the earth, and stand forever. Gentile rule began with the absolute monarchy of Nebuchadnezzar, symbolized by the golden head. Then it passed to the constitutional monarchy of Medo-Persia, symbolized by the silver breast and arms. This is followed by the universal conquest of Alexander the Great, typified by the abdomen and thighs of brass. Then comes the terrible military power of bloody and invincible Rome, carrying her cruel wars to the ends of the earth, subjugating all nations beneath their iron scepter. After the fall of Rome supervene the ten great political powers, into which she was disintegrated, and which continue to this day, with little territorial changes. We see in this image the constant depreciation of human government, from the golden head to the silver breast and arms, the brazen abdomen and thighs, the iron legs, and finally the ten toes, representing the ten great political powers on the earth at the present day.
You observe the toes are iron mixed with clay. Consequently, they are very weak, wanting adhesive power, and ready to fall to pieces amid the shock of revolutionary earthquakes. All the prophecies corroborate the conclusion that we are living in the toe stage of human government, no longer having the value of gold or silver, nor the strength of brass or iron, but the fragility of iron mixed with clay. Hence we are on the constant outlook for the stone to strike the image on the feet and utterly demolish it. Daniel ( 7:8) tells us about the little horn rising out of the iron kingdom. This little horn is the pope, called little because horn means political power, and the political dominions of the pope were always small. The three horns which fell before the little horn — i .e ., the pope — were the kingdoms of the Ostrogoths, the Lombards, and Ravenna, which, at an early date, were added to the pope’s dominions. As we learn in the <661301> 13th chapter of Revelation, the pope became the seventh head of the Roman beast, and thus perpetuated the beastly government to the present day. Daniel 7:9: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down.”
Hence you see how definitely and perfectly Daniel corroborates John in his testimony to the fall of all the kings before the King of kings, when He comes to reign. Daniel 7:13: “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.” Daniel 7:14 “And there was given Him dominion, glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not he destroyed.”
Consequently, when He comes and executes judgment against the wicked nations and fallen Churches, with their usurpatious rulers, in the great tribulation, He will be invisible to mortal eyes. You see in Daniel’s visions that after the Ancient of Days has dethroned all the kings in the execution of His righteous castigatory judgments, then the Son of man will come down in the clouds, accompanied by the transfigured saints, and take into hand the government of the world, civil and religious, thus re-establishing the dear old theocracy which brightened and blessed the fair fields of Eden, before Satan’s dark tread had thrown a solitary shadow to mar the beauty of her primeval glory. Thus the Father will verify His promise to the Son: “I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.” “Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” “His dominion shall extend from sea to sea, from the rivers to the ends of the earth.” I am so glad we have these wonderful prophecies. Glory to God for the infallibility of His word!
These transcendent prophecies will surely be fulfilled. We are living in the time of the end, when all illuminated eyes are spell-bound in contemplation of the wonderful fulfillment of the glorious latter-day prophecies. The Lord is speaking from heaven, notifying His saints in every land and clime to wash in the blood and put on white robes, and look out for their King. 19. EJECTMENT OF ANTICHRIST AND MAHOMET INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE The word here translated “beast ” is theerion . It means a bloodthirsty, carnivorous wild beast. It is applied to human government in contradistinction to the theocracy. Daniel represents the Chaldean Empire by a lion, the Medo-Persian by a bear, and the Grecian by a leopard. John describes the Roman Empire under the similitude of a monstrous wild beast, like a leopard, with the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion.
Meanwhile, the dragon-i .e ., the devil-gave him his throne, power, and great authority. God never made man for rulership (which He reserved for Himself), but for subordination and service. Nimrod was declared an outlaw because he had the audacity to attempt the establishment of a human government, independently of the theocracy. God came down and broke up the diabolical enterprise. Strange to say, despite Omnipotent interdict and anathema, within a few centuries all the governments on the globe launched out under the banner of Nimrod. Hence, theerion — i .e ., wild beast — in all these prophecies, means human government, independently of God. In the progress of ages, Rome conquered all nations, and ruled them under different cognomens two thousand years.
The Roman power is described in Revelation 13th as a hideous monster, with seven heads and ten horns. The kingdom was the first head; the consulate, the second; the dictatorship, the third; the triumvirate, the fourth; the tribuneship, the fifth; and the empire, the sixth. As the Goths, Huns, and Vandals, A.D. 476, conquered Rome, dethroning the emperor, thus inflicting a deadly wound on the sixth head of the Roman beast, the pope succeeded the emperor on the throne of the Roman world. Hence, the deadly wound inflicted by the barbarians on the empire was healed in the papacy, which became the seventh head of the monstrous beast. The prophetic period of papal rule is twelve hundred and sixty years. Revelation 17:11: “The beast that was, and is not, the same is the eighth, and of the seven, and goeth into perdition.”
The eighth beast, or rather the eighth head of the Roman beast, is the last of all, and none other than the final incarnation of antichrist, who is to rise early in the tribulation and rally the whole world in open opposition to the claims of Christ to rule the nations. This conclusion follows as a logical sequence from the statement that the eighth beast is one of the seven. Now it is a significant fact that all the other six heads have long ago passed away, leaving the pope the only surviving head of the beast. Hence this eighth beast is the last and greatest development of human power defiant of God’s right to rule the world. Paul tells us, in 2 Thessalonians 2, about the horrific blasphemy of antichrist, sitting in the place of God and calling himself God. The three unclean spirits ( Revelation 16:13) coming out of the mouth of the beast (i .e ., Romanism), and out of the mouth of the dragon (i .e ., paganism), and out of the mouth of the false prophet (i .e ., Mohammedanism), and stirring up the whole world to the great battle of Armageddon — i .e ., a general war against the Almighty — that they may retain the government of the world, both political and ecclesiastical, will doubtless focalize the world’s powers around the pope, the master spirit of the age, and facilitate his assumption of the antichristhood in a far bolder attitude than ever hitherto. For the last twelve hundred years the pope has audaciously claimed to be the vicar of Christ and the vicegerent of God, and to have the sole authority, delegated from heaven, to rule the world in Church and State. The antichristhood is the antithesis of the Christhood. Just as the latter has been progressive in all ages, so has the former. When Christ shall descend in His glorified manhood to reign upon the earth, then antichrist will stand up against Him, with an audacity and pomposity unprecedented in the world’s history. But “the Lord Jesus will destroy him by the breath of His mouth, and exterminate him by the brightness of His presence” ( 2 Thessalonians 2:8). The Bible, which is the breath of His mouth, has been rapidly destroying antichrist, especially in the last hundred years. Yet he is going to move right on, with increasing audacity and effrontery, till the Lord comes down in His glorified person and casts him into the lake of fire. When Satan had fully succeeded in launching his millennium — i .e ., the Dark Ages — he raised up the pope and Mahomet to rule the world as his subordinates. Notwithstanding the pope’s dethronement by Victor Immanuel in 1870, and the fall of Babylon ( Revelation 18:2), still the pope, with accumulated audacity and pomposity, stands up in the face of the Almighty, boldly arrogating to himself the sole right to rule the world, pertinaciously holding out to the very last moment, when he is arrested and cast alive into the lake of fire.
Hence you see the period will expire in 1897. Look out for its fulfillment!
When I was in Cairo, Egypt, in 1895, there were reported ten thousand students in the Mohammedan University in that city preparing for the ministry of the Moslem faith. They are now the greatest impediments which confront Bishop Taylor and his missionaries in the evangelization of Africa. This gigantic son of the bottomless pit will prove impervious to all catastrophe, and move on with astounding aggressive power, till the Prince of Glory descends on the cloud, seizes him by the throat, and casts him alive into the lake of fire. 21. “The rest were slain by the sword proceeding out of the mouth of Him who sitteth upon the horse .” The first great work in the coming kingdom will be the evangelization of all the nations on the face of the whole earth.
That white horse symbolizes the gospel of entire sanctification, which will be the only gospel then on the earth, as all the sinning religions went out of the world when Babylon fell. Our Savior is here described as the heroic leader of this universal evangelism. “The sword proceeding out of His mouth ,” is the word of God, which is to convert the whole world. This is a beautiful scene and an auspicious epoch. Babylon has fallen.
Mohammedanism has lost her grip on her deluded millions. The pope and Mahomet have been cast into hell. The secular powers have vanished away, like gossamer before the rising sun. The unsavable people are all dead and gone to the bottomless pit. Oh, blessed consolation! “The rest ” means all the people living on the earth at that time. The incorrigible and unsavable have all been swept away by the cruel wars of Armageddon and the awful earthquakes, cyclones, and pestilences of the tribulation. Now the glorified Christ, at the head of the mighty host of transfigured saints constituting His bridehood, moves upon the conquest of the world. How fortunate the people who shall survive the great tribulation and receive the glorious millennial gospel! Then “a nation will be born in a day.” The tide of salvation will roll to the ends of the earth, “till the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the globe as the waters cover the sea.” “All the birds were filled from their flesh .” Birds here emblematize devils. The word “flesh ” means carnality. When you get converted, you give all your sins back to the devil, from whom you received them. When you get sanctified, you give all your carnality back to the devil, where it belongs. When the glorified Savior, with His innumerable host of transfigured saints (glory to God, I expect to be in that army!), shall go out to conquer the world, nation after nation will get converted in a day, and quickly sweep into entire sanctification.
Meanwhile, all the sins of the old heathen nations and heathenized Christendom will be turned over to the devil, and all the carnality emptied out of millions in their sanctification. No wonder the devils will have plenty to feast on.
CHAPTER - SATAN’S ARREST AND INCARCERATION SIX thousand years have rolled away amid the dismal night of Satan’s reign. Terrific has been the probationary ordeal. Hell’s harvest has swept on and on through the forlorn and dreary ages. Perdition has devoured a hundred generations, with an exception here and there. Humanity without God has proved a miserable failure in every dispensation. The Antediluvian world became so awfully wicked that God saw that existence simply meant damnation. Hence, in mercy, He must sweep them from the earth. Likewise, each Post-diluvian Dispensation has gone on from bad to worse, till the wickedness of the nations and the abominations of fallen Churches have culminated in the terrible judgments of the great tribulation, which has swept the unsavable into perdition. Satan hath wrought valiantly, and hell is well filled. Since the inauguration of the premillennial judgments inflicted by the Ancient of Days against a wicked world and fallen Church, the tide of most disastrous defeat has set against the devil.
For six thousand years he was the custodian of hell, having charge of the key, which he turned against countless millions, sparing neither age, sex, rank, dignity, priest, nor potentate. Revelation 9th exhibits him in sole possession the key of the bottomless pit. Amid the awful reverses which he suffered during the Armageddon conflicts, among other terrible losses, the key of hell is wrested from him. 1. It is now in the hands of the police-angel, descending from heaven with a great chain. Behold, he arrests the devil like a common desperado, binds him hand and foot with the chain, takes the key and unlocks the pandemonium of unquenchable fire, casts him into a dismal, gloomy dungeon, locks him up, and puts the seal of the Almighty on the ponderous iron door: “No exit for the next thousand years!” This is an awful day in Satan’s eventful history. He has seen the trophies of six thousand years of successful warfare all vanish into the night of dark despair. For ages kings, potentates, popes, and priests have been his loyal subjects. They have all fallen and perished. Pope and Mahomet, the last of all to survive the wreck of premillennial judgments, have been precipitated into the burning lake. Hence he now stands alone, as when he invaded Eden six thousand years ago. The very solitude of his situation is appalling in the extreme. He sees the sheriff of the heavenly government approaching to lay violent hands on him. His adamantine heart melts with cowardice. Trembling in his boots for his inevitable doom, he succumbs to his fate. Already the sweeping revival conducted by the King of glory and the transfigured saints of His bridehood has compassed the globe, girdled the continents, and inundated all nations with the glories of entire sanctification, which is the millennial experience. Therefore, the longprayed- for sunburst of the heavenly glory has already come down on the world, and the millennium has come, and come to stay. Jesus reigns, and reigns victorious over heaven and earth most glorious. The dismal night of sin, hiding millions of cruel devils, spreading devastation and death throughout the world, has retreated before the bright effulgence of the glorious millennial day. Truly, the halcyon days of dear old Eden have come back. Don’t you hear the ring of the anvil? They are even now beating the bloody swords of war into plowshares and the cruel spears into pruning-hooks. The Omnipotent Healer is here, and sickness is fast becoming unknown. Physicians have thrown away their pill-bags, and turned to Holiness evangelists. The dark memories of Satan’s bloody reign of a thousand weary years are fast fading away and sinking into oblivion.
During the long reign of sin, the earth has been terribly abused, brutalized, barbarized, beggarized, and impoverished. Under the pacific reign of our glorious King, co-operated in every city, village, island, and continent by His transfigured saints, whose delight will be to rule in wisdom, instruction, righteousness, and love, the waste lands will be repaired and fertilized, the marshes drained and transformed into fruitful fields, and the deserts irrigated and metamorphosed into blooming gardens. After the ejectment of Satan and his myrmidons, and the consequent expurgation of the diabolical institutions out of the world, the castigatory judgments of God will cease.
The fruits, no longer nipped by frost nor blighted by drought, will literally burden the fields with their inexhaustible exuberance. The rich will delight in relieving the poor, till poverty shall actually depart from the whole earth. Wisdom, industry, enterprise, disinterested philanthropy, and spontaneous benefactions, under the benignant reign of Prince Immanuel, will transform the earth into a paradise. Thus the Edenic state, when humanity walked with God, in blissful ignorance of Satan and his devices, after the long, dreary night of six thousand years, has actually come back, and come to stay. Sickness and sorrow have alike retreated away, and the generations are approximating Antediluvian longevity. Translation without dying was the original economy of the Edenic state. Presumptively translation, in millennial times, will again become common.
RESURRECTION OF THE TRIBULATION SAINTS 4. “I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, who did not worship the beast, nor his image, and did not receive his mark upon their foreheads, and upon their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years .”
Judgment, in this quotation, means the government of the world. Hence the problem is settled, without controversy, that the risen and translated martyrs will rule the world, as the subordinates of Christ, during the millennium. Paul assures us, in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, that Christ, when He comes to reign, will bring with Him “those who sleep in Jesus.”
In our Savior’s sermon on the judgments, which He preached on Mt.
Olivet the day before He was crucified ( Matthew 24; Mark 13; and Luke 21), describing His coming in the premillennial judgment, He says: “Two men shall be in a field; one is taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one is taken, and the other left.” He also says: “When the Son of man cometh, He will send forth His angels to gather His elect out of the four quarters of the earth, from one extremity of the heavens, even unto the other extremity.”
Now this cannot be the final judgment; for at that time all the people on the earth, both living and dead, will be taken, whereas you see, in this judgment, only the elect are taken. These Scriptures confirm, beyond controversy, the doctrine of the rapture; i .e ., that our Lord will come before the tribulation and take up His elect — i .e ., the members of His bridehood — raising the dead and translating the living. Daniel 12:1 says: “Every one written in the book shall be delivered” from that awful “time of trouble,” such as the world has never seen, and never will again.
Hence, the first resurrection will take place before the great tribulation and the terrible premillennial judgments set in, when the Lord takes up His bride. Then, what is this resurrection ( Revelation 20:4)? It is a supplement to the first resurrection, for the especial benefit of the tribulation saints. None but the wholly sanctified will go up in the rapture.
As we see in the case of the virgins ( Matthew 25:1-13), the unsanctified will be left. They are simply called foolish because they did not get their vessels filled with oil; i .e ., get sanctified. So the Holy Ghost calls all the Christians in the world “foolish” who do not go forward into entire sanctification. Had not these foolish virgins lost their religion? The English would so indicate. But it is a wrong translation. The Greek does not say, “Our lamps are gone out;” but, “Our lamps are going out;” i .e ., they are burning low. As none but those who are filled with the Holy Ghost can enter the marriage-supper, therefore the foolish virgins were excluded-not from the kingdom of grace, unless they afterward let their lamps go out, but from the bridehood of Christ. Lighting the lamp is regeneration, the first work of grace. When this was done, the virgins were all alike.
Afterward, five heeded the call of wisdom and got their vessels filled with oil — i .e . the Holy Ghost — i .e ., wholly sanctified. Meanwhile, the other five so egregiously manifested their lack of true wisdom, by not getting their vessels filled with oil — i .e ., entirely sanctified-that inspiration designates them “foolish virgins.” Thus, when our Lord takes up His bride, all the Christians on the earth who are not filled with the Holy Ghost — i .e ., sanctified wholly — will be left to stem the horrors of the tribulation.
Amid the awful troubles which shall flood the whole earth, testing all souls to the bottom, in the utter absence of all the sanctified people, it is to be feared that the great majority will backslide and lose their souls. However, to our comfort, we see from this Scripture that some will get sanctified during the tribulation and persevere to the end. But it is a significant fact that they will all have their heads cut off. Antichrist will rally his bloodthirsty millions against those who refuse to worship the beast and his image — i .e ., the world and its fashion — and do not receive the mark of the beast on their persons. Strong drink, tobacco opium, gluttony, licentiousness, the corset, jewelry and all vain, gay, needless ornamentation, are the marks of the carnal beast, by which he designates the victims of sin, death, and damnation. It is a significant fact that every one of these suffered the cruel martyrdom of decapitation. “Souls” here, pursuant to common parlance, simply means persons. At the beginning of this verse, John says, “I saw thrones.” Presumptively, these thrones are occupied by the members of the bridehood, who have gone up in the rapture. They now reign with Christ over the nations. At the millennium, they are joined in their administration by all the tribulation martyrs, who are now raised from the dead and honored with the participation in the millennial theocracy. 5. “The rest of the dead live not till the thousand years may be fulfilled.
This is the first resurrection .” From this verse you see that the first resurrection will only include the martyrs. It is an impressive fact that the same Greek word means “martyr” and “witness” Hence, in order to be a true witness for Jesus, you must have the martyr spirit; i .e ., be constantly ready to suffer martyrdom. If you are really a true witness for Jesus under all circumstances, even at the peril of your life, the Holy Ghost calls you a martyr, whether you ever seal your faith with your blood or not. The Scriptures positively confirm the conclusion that all except the martyrs will sleep on in the sepulchral dust till the great white throne shall set and the final resurrection shall supervene. Oh, Blessed and holy is he that has Part in the first resurrection; over these the second death hath no power. but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. The word “holy” in this verse is the same word which means sanctified. This word, with its synonyms, occurs six hundred times in the Bible. Oh, what an inspiration to every soul to get sanctified wholly. Why does the second death have no power over the participants of the first resurrection? Because they have passed their probation, and now occupy their transfigured bodies. Did not the angels fall and become devils? This took place while passing through their probationary state.
Evidently all created intelligences are originally on probation. Doubtless the inhabitants of those heavenly worlds nave long ago completed their probation. Hence we hear of no more apostasy. So it is with all who enjoy a part in the first resurrection. Being raised and translated when our Lord comes to reign, their probation having ended, they will enjoy the transfigured glory, forever triumphant over the second death. Of course, even the saints who shall live upon the earth during subsequent ages, in their mortal bodies, will still be on probation, exposed to temptations, liable to fall, and finally incur the horrors of the second death. This verse clearly assures us that all the participants of the first resurrection, whether risen or translated, will reign with Christ a thousand years. Oh, blessed assurance and thrilling inspiration, driving all indifference, stupidity, and ennui beyond the North Pole. Just to think that our Savior is liable to descend this moment, raise His buried saints, translate the living, invest us with a crown and a scepter, and promote us to a throne to participate in His glorious millennial reign.
SATAN’S POST-MILLENNIAL INVASION AND FINAL DEFEAT 7. The millennial ages have flown. A thousand years of Paradisian prosperity and happiness have rolled away. Meanwhile the inhabitants of earth have never heard the grim tocsin of war, the balmy breezes of universal peace, laden with the aroma of perennial fruits and flowers, having circled the globe a thousand years. All the theaters have been turned into Churches, the saloons into depositories for Bibles and Holiness books, the race-fields and penitentiaries into Holiness camp-grounds. Long ago the bloody memories of sin, darkness, trouble, sorrow, death, and damnation have sunk into oblivion, eternally eclipsed by the effulgent glories of the millennial reign. Earth is basking in the sunshine of heaven, not dreaming that she will ever sorrow again. Why did God let the devil out of hell? a thousand years had rolled away; meanwhile millennial glory has belted the globe from the rising of the sun to his going down.
Generation after generation has brightened the world with their holy lives, and swept into heaven with a tremendous boom, thus populating the city of God with the teeming millions of the millennial world. Dog-fennel and pennyroyal have overgrown the road to hell. Meanwhile Satan is muttering in the deep, dark dungeon of the pandemonium: “Yes, Son of God, of course you can have everything your own way while you keep the hound with this chain in the gloomy old prison of the bottomless pit. I dare you to let me out! I will show you that the boasted religion of all these Holiness fanatics, whose roaring shouts have been my constant annoyance the last thousand years, is all hypocritical bosh. Just let me out, give me a tilt at that old world, and I can upset the whole compoodle.” Do you not see that it will be for the glory of Christ to let him try his hand? What floods of light, glory, and consolation have swept down the ages, emanating from the terrible afflictions of Job, when God turned him over to the devil to test the solidity of his religion So will the glory of God flash out with unprecedented brilliancy from Satan’s final assault on humanity, and move down the ages of eternity with incessantly accumulating luster. 8. We see from this verse that Satan’s army, with which he essays to conquer the world, is made up of Gog and Magog. Now let us see who they are. In Noah’s family originated the trinity of races. Ham in Hebrew means black; Shem, red; and Japheth, white. Upon the subsidence of the Flood, Noah divided the world among his three sons, giving Ham Africa, Shem Asia, and Japheth Europe. Gog and Magog are only spoken of in this passage, Genesis 10 th , and Ezekiel 38 th . Gog means king, and Magog means the kingly people; i .e ., the nobility. Genesis 10 th notifies us that they are the children of Japheth, the ancestor of all the white people. In Ezekiel 38 th they are elaborately mentioned as resident in Russia. There is too much religion in the world, after millennial holiness has belted the globe a thousand years, for Satan to attack it as a roaring lion. Meanwhile the tide of millennial glory is moving around the world with unabated momentum, and not a human being is dreaming of Satan’s awful exit from the bottomless pit, and his impending raid into Immanuel’s kingdom. Behold, Diabolus evacuates the pandemonium, transforms himself into a great political and military leader, like Napoleon Bonaparte — perhaps in the very person of the Russian Czar — enters this world with royal pomp and pageantry, everywhere haranguing the multitude, aspiring to captivate them by his learned and eloquent speeches and disaffect them toward King Immanuel, and render them dissatisfied with His administration, at the same time doing his utmost to persuade them to revolt and set up an independent government, in which he offered them the most perfect freedom, as well as the grandest official emoluments. He enjoys the wonderful convenience of locomotion at lightning speed. ( Luke 18:10.) He finds multitudes of followers among all the Japhethetic — i .e ., white — races, especially in Russia. It is a significant fact, at the present day, that the Japhethetic races rule the world. The great princes, potentates, millionaires, gold-bugs, and railroad kings are white men. With no devil to lead them, they quietly submit during the long ages of the millennial reign. Meanwhile they muse much on their illustrious ancestry, who possessed the money and ruled the world. Now Satan arouses them by his blandishing speeches, and inflates them with glowing aspirations to regain their lost power and rule the world again. You must remember that the millennial generations will be born with depraved hearts, as we are. In the absence of the devil to stir that depravity, and actuated by the transfigured agencies of saving grace, they will be converted before they lose their infantile justification, and sanctified before they backslide. Hence a gigantic Christianity will fill the world. When Satan comes out of hell he makes his adroit appeals to this hereditary depravity. With paradoxical expedition he traverses all nations, tip-toeing and vociferating the eloquent appeals of his stentorian voice in the ears of countless multitudes. You must remember, at that time the world will have a tremendous population — ten, and perhaps a hundred, times as large as at the present day. Among the descendants of the old nabob families of the different white races, he receives a large following; but among Shemites and Hamites he receives no response. There are at present three hundred millions of negroes in Africa. Doubtless, by the close of the millennium, they will number three thousand millions. The negro is intuitively more religious than the white man. When all the negroes in Africa have shouted full salvation a thousand years, the Dark Continent checkered with railroads and illuminated with Holiness camp-grounds and colleges, those grand old Ethiopians will stand flatfooted, throw their big mouths open, and shout the devil out of countenance, till he will be glad to retreat crestfallen from the land of Ham, without a single follower. The Mongolian races, at the present day, are estimated at eight hundred millions. They constitute the mighty nations of the Orient. Presumptively, they will number eight thousand millions by the close of the millennium.
Immutability is the striking peculiarity of the Orientals. When the almondeyed Chinaman has rung out the hallelujahs of entire sanctification a thousand years, he will not be captured by Satan’s sophistical promises to make him a mandarin. Hence the devil will make a total failure with the numberless sons of Shem, who people the mighty East. War is something quite new in the world. Not a gun has been fired in the last thousand years.
From the days of Peter the Great, who predicted that the bear should lie down on the banks of the Indian Ocean, Russia has had her eye on the Holy Land. 9. Satan now musters the innumerable hosts of Gog and Magog, and coils them around Jerusalem like a huge boa-constrictor. By the close of the millennium, doubtless Jerusalem, the capital of the millennial kingdom, will be the metropolis of the world. The site is the finest on the globe for the metropolitanship of the world. It is the geographical center of the six grand divisions of the earth — the most accessible spot beneath the skies. The very earth rests on the finest building material in the world, and at the same time the inexhaustible fertilizer of soils. I doubt not but at that time Jerusalem will extend over the vast interior highlands of Palestine. The people are not alarmed. The King of Glory reigns on the earth. Satan’s army encompasses Jerusalem with impunity, inspired by their audacious leader, sanguine of success, as they see no enemy arrayed against them. A thousand years ago the Lord’s people transformed all their military equipage into farming implements, and committed the keeping of their country to the glorious King. Their faith is unshaken by the clangor of arms and the glitter of a million swords in the splendor of a Palestinian sun. The Eastern skies are illuminated with the gorgeous eclat of Satan’s royal army. The devil, from his magnificent portable pavilion, issues command through a thousand swift couriers to put the battle in array against the holy city. At that moment Omnipotence interposes, fire comes down from heaven, and utterly consumes Satan’s army. 10. Now Satan is again arrested, and cast into the lake of fire, this interposition giving a final termination to his post-millennial and last campaign against this world. Never again will he be permitted to put his foot on it. You see that it will be much for the glory of Christ to let the devil test the millennial world. He would always have said that he could abduce them into rebellion against God if an opportunity had been given.
Floods of light and truth emanate from Satan’s post-millennial campaign against this world. (a) As the long war between Christ and Satan is destined to wind up, the problem of his final destiny presents itself for solution. Here we have an irrefutable confirmation of his utter and hopeless irreclaimability. After suffering the unutterable horrors of a hell-prison a thousand years, we find him just as proud, arrogant, ambitious, and bloodthirsty as when he ruled the world with a rod of iron. With what promptitude and alacrity lie proceeds at once to ruin the world again! (b) It is also a confirmation of hereditary depravity, even surviving the swelling floods of millennial grace a thousand years. This is evidenced by the mighty revolt of Gog and Magog. (c) It is also a confirmation of the wonderful triumphs of millennial grace, in the fact that Satan makes a total failure with all the world, except Gog and Magog. (d) The divine intervention which pours fire on Satan’s army besieging Jerusalem, and utterly exterminating them, involves the consolatory assurance that God will never again permit Satan to prevail against the human race. (e) It forever refutes the Universalian dogma of remedial punishment, as Satan had the benefit of it a thousand years, and came out just as he went in, and had to be sent back again. Hence, this confirms the irremedial doom of all the wicked when they leave this world. We have a repetition of the Greek phrase, which so frequently occurs in the New Testament, eis tous aioonastoon aioonoon , defining the duration of the punishment in reservation for the devil, the beast, the false prophet, and all their followers. The English translates it “forever and ever.” More literally it would read, “unto ages of ages, or, eternities of eternities.” The very same phrase tells how long the saints will live in glory, and how long God will exist. Hence the infallible logic of the Holy Ghost settles the question beyond possible cavil that hell will smoke so long as heaven shouts. The wicked will suffer the horrors of the burning lake so long as the righteous rejoice in the presence of God, and so long as God Himself shall live.
The wicked multitudes who have lived on the earth in all bygone ages now respond to the archangel’s trump and come forth. We have here no account of the Lord’s coming, because He has been here ever since the beginning of the millennium. How long the post-millennial ages will last we can have no definite idea. Hence, perhaps the millennial glory will shine on and bless the world long ages after the expiration of the scheduled thousand years. Isaiah 53:8: “Who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living.” In this chapter a millennial Jew stands on the heights of prophetic illumination, looks back two thousand years, bewails the blindness of his people in the first coming of his Lord, which utterly disqualified them to recognize Him, but left them to the caprices of the devil, who infatuated them to nail Him to the cross. “Generation” here means race or posterity. If Christ had not died, He would have had no spiritual offspring. If the acorn does not die, it will never produce the giant oak. In regeneration, ye are born; in sanctification, you die. If you do not die — i .e ., get sanctified — the normal conclusion follows that you will have no posterity. The interrogation, “Who shall declare His generation?” means that neither man nor angel can enumerate the mighty multitudes of God’s spiritual children in Christ. We are living in the age of darkness, sin, Satan, and damnation, in which hell is devouring the multitudes of earth, and Jesus says: “The saved are few” ( Luke 13:23). Hence the present age is hell’s great harvest. The millennium will be heaven’s great harvest.
Such will be the flooded populations and the sweeping tide of salvation inundating the world, in the blissful absence of the devil, through the long run of the millennial ages, that in the grand finale , when the infinitesimal multitudes of Adam’s race shall stand before the great white throne, the innumerable hosts, saved by the triumphant Christ, will so vastly outnumber the motley rabble of Satan’s conquest as to throw it into eternal eclipse. As the Son of God will encumber the final judgmentthrone, this notable epoch will produce no interregnum in His continuous reign from His descension on the cloud at the beginning of the millennium, and in no way conflict with the eternal perpetuity of His reign on the earth. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil and eternally expel him from this world, as well as the universe of God. “The books were opened .” These are the books of record in the plural number, because they are many. They contain the record of all the sins committed by the wicked, and all the good works of the righteous Neither the sins of the righteous nor the good deeds of the wicked will be mentioned in the judgment. The popular idea of this judgment going through in twenty-four hours is a great mistake. Day, in the Bible, means a period. God will take plenty of time. What is the utility of this judgment?
Every soul in the universe is either condemned or acquitted every moment of its existence. Your condemnation dates from your sin. The infinite dissimilitude which characterizes the whole world will continue through all eternity. Hence infinitesimal will be the degrees of punishment in hell and reward in heaven. The benignity of God requires the presence of the entire human race, and especially all of the guardian angels, in this final adjudication of all human destiny. Human courts, in all ages, have condemned the innocent and honored the guilty. This is the grand appellate court of the universe, which will reverse all the maladministrations of all ages, and rectify all wrongs, and settle all issues forever. Here every character will be thoroughly ventilated, elucidated, and illustrated, so every soul will receive his real status and appropriate attitude for all eternity.
Book of life is in the singular number. It is simply a roll of the names of all the saved people. Doubtless this book will be very voluminous. Does the Holy Ghost now witness to you that your name is written in this book?
Here we are informed that all whose names are not found superscribed in this book will be cast into the lake of fire. We are notified that death and hell are also cast into the lake of fire. The Bible tells us that hell is now beneath the surface of the earth. Geology reveals that the entire globe is liquid fire except the solid crust, about forty miles in thickness, which forms the exterior. Hence science fully corroborates the Bible on the location of hell. Since this earth, with its entire environments, is to be completely expurgated from sin and all of its contaminations, we readily see the pertinency in the removal of hell from the earth’s interior. Our Savior, in His gospels, frequently alludes to the location of the fiery lake in outer darkness. The Greek, “To nothos to exooteron ”; i .e ., the darkness which is without. Now where is that darkness containing the lake of fire, into which the devil and all his followers are to be cast? Telescopic observation has revealed one hundred and seventeen millions of suns already discovered in the celestial universe. Evidently our sun gives good light at Neptune, three thousand millions of miles distant. Then to what distance will the combined illumination of one hundred and seventeen millions of suns transmit light? The mathematical genius of an archangel can never answer this question. The distance is absolutely not only inexpressible, but inconceivable. An angel, flying with the velocity of lightning, could not traverse that space in a thousand millions of years.
Hence we see the devil and his followers can never return to disturb the peaceful universe of the Almighty. Then how can they ever get there? The Omnipotent arm can transmit them thither in the twinkling of an eye.
Thus you see how the Omnipotent Savior is preparing utterly and eternally to banish sin and all its votaries from the universe of God. While the judgment is in progress, the earth will be passing through a series of purgatorial cremations. ( 2 Peter 3:10.) This world was converted in Noah’s time, when it was expurgated of all sinners and baptized with water. That is not sufficient for its admission into heaven. It must receive the second blessing and be baptized with fire. This fiery baptism will thoroughly sanctify it, not only from all sin, actual and original, but from all the effects of sin. The Creator will again resume His work amid these potent fiery agencies, re-create the world, and transform it into a celestial sphere.
CHAPTER - HEAVENLY STATE OF THIS WORLD “I saw a new firmament and a new earth; for the first firmament and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more .” The millennial state of Edenic beauty and glory has come and gone, populating heaven with multiplied millions. Subsequently a great change has been wrought.
Not only the sanctifying fires have done their work, but creative Omnipotence has supervened, transforming this world, with its atmospheric environments, into a heaven. Time, that noted parenthesis in boundless eternity, has come and gone. The mediatorial kingdom, reconciling man to God, restoring order in the celestial universe, expurgating all sin, and eternally banishing Satan and his votaries into outer darkness, has come and gone. The period of mortality and human probation is now numbered with the ages of bygone eternity. The grand restitutionary work of Christ, for which He evacuated the effulgent throne of His Father’s ineffable glory, and came down to suffer and to die, is now complete; therefore, like a proconsul sent out from Rome to restore a revolted province, He now surrenders up His mediatorial kingdom to the Father, that God may be all in all. ( 1 Corinthians 15:28.) “There is no more sea .” At present the sea occupies about three-fourths of the surface of the earth, the icy poles and burning deserts about another eighth, leaving but one-eighth for the occupancy of earth’s teeming millions. We readily account for the absence of the sea in the celestial earth. Water is composed of oxygen and hydrogen. The latter is the most combustible element, and the former the great supporter of combustion. A sufficient intensity of heat will decompose the oceanic waters, and utterly consume them. Thus the cremation of the earth will remove oceans, seas, icy poles, and transform burning deserts into fruitful fields. “Behold, I make all things new .” John certifies to the complete renovation of the earth, with its environments. In the creation of all worlds, the heavenly state is the ultimatum. This earth has had a most wonderful history as the battle-field of God’s universe. Through all the flight of eternal ages, Earth will be celebrated in the history, poetry, and romance of all worlds as the battle-ground where the sons of light fought the powers of darkness under the heroic leadership of Prince Immanuel. While Earth will be the peculiar possession of Immanuel ‘s soldiers ( Matthew 5:4) you must not regard it as a prison in any sense whatever. Mortality and probation will exist only in the memory of the past. This world will be ours as a soldier’s bounty, conferred as a memento of our fidelity and valor during that terrible exterminating war which the Son of God waged against sin and Satan. We will enjoy our transfigured bodies, with facilities of lightning locomotion ( Luke 10:18), while it will be our delectable privilege to wing our flight from world to world, exploring with enthusiasm the wonders of Omnipotence, eternally contemplating His ineffable glory, making wonderful proficiency in the universities of heaven, under the leadership of Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Paul, and all the apostles, mighty hosts of martyrs, unfallen angels and archangels, Gabriel and Michael. We will doubtless receive, to our delight, many solicitations to serve as angelic escorts back to this world, so celebrated in the literature of heaven. Evidently the inhabitable earth will be ten times as capacious as at present. As we shall wing our flight around the globe, accompanied by angel bands, the whole earth will be radiant with celestial glory inconceivable in our mortal and probationary investiture. In this bright celestial state, this earth will shine and shout forever. The popular impression that this world will cease to exist has simply originated from a wrong translation of aioon in the New Testament. It does not mean world, cosmos having that meaning. It simply means time, or age. Hence it should read, “end of the age,” or, “end of time.” The last two chapters in the Bible come in after time has flown, and forever been superseded by eternity. But you see this world not only continues, but is sanctified, made new, and transformed into a heavenly sphere. “I saw the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having been prepared as a bride adorned for her husband .” We find ( Revelation 19:7-11) the marriage of our Lord and His bride at the beginning of the millennial reign. During the millennium and post-millennial ages, constituting the Paradisian state of this world, the members of the bridehood were all at their posts, bearing their part in Immanuel’s administration. Of course, they all accompany their glorious King on His great white throne in the ethereal firmament during the final judgment, rendering valuable and important service. During the period of earth’s cremation, sanctification, and celestialization, of course they are absent, up in heaven. Now we see them coming down to take possession and forever enjoy this world in its heavenly state. We find here a double signification of “New Jerusalem.” It means the substantial, real city. It also means the members of the bridehood, who inhabit the city. Hence the New Jerusalem is the bride of Christ and the mother of God’s children. ( Galatians 4:25.) 3. These verses clearly and unmistakably reveal and vividly describe the heavenly state of this world. How people have read their Bibles over and over, and still believe that this earth will be burned up and blotted out of existence, is paradoxical in the extreme; because you have here a positive revelation that God will remake this earth, transforming it into a heavenly world, in which there will be no sorrow, pain, nor tears. Hence you see mortality and probation are out of the question, and heaven’s ineffable glory will shine and shout forever. 7. He that conquereth shall inherit these things, and I will be God unto Him, and he shall be a son unto Me.” In this verse, the Holy Spirit unequivocally and irrevocably confirms the glorious and consolatory doctrine of the saints’ everlasting inheritance of this glorified earth throughout the flight of the heavenly ages. The saints possess very little of this world at the present day, but rest assured, they will have it all in the good time coming. They will soon possess the millennial world, and in God’s good time, this earth, re-created and transformed into a glorious heaven, to shine and shout throughout all eternity. Oh, who would not forsake all to follow Jesus! 8. “But to the cowardly, the unbelieving, the abominable, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their part is in the lake burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death .” You see this long, black catalogue, exhibitory of all the crimes that ever blackened earth and crowded hell. Don’t forget that cowardice heads the list. Why is this? Because cowardice sends more people to hell than any other sin in the category of pandemonium. Were it not for cowardice, people could get rid of all their dark iniquities, though hideous enough to make a demon blush. Why don’t you come to the altar and seek the Lord till you find Him in a sky-blue conversion? Cowardice, is the answer. Why don’t you seek entire sanctification with all your heart till it comes on you like a sunburst from the throne? Cowardice solves the whole problem. If you are not brave enough to fight a regiment of devils, and brook the contempt of earth and hell, you will never get to heaven. Is it possible you are going to make your bed in hell-fire for sheer cowardice? 9-27. THE CELESTIAL CAPITAL We now reach the closing scene of this wonderful prophetical panorama.
One of the seven angels having the seven last vials of wrath serves as John’s escort to the summit of a lofty mountain, from whose dizzy apex the illuminated eye takes in a view of this wonderful metropolis descending out of heaven from God. John’s description, which is doubtless veritable and real, sounds like the wildest hyperbole. The material of the city consists of the most valuable gems that ever decked a monarch’s crown — golden streets, pearly gates, and jasper walls. This wonderful city is a perfect cube, fifteen hundred miles long, wide, and high The material is transparent, so immortal eyes interpenetrate this mighty emporium, unobstructed by intervening streets. We find the apostles and prophets, representative of both dispensations, exceedingly prominent in this city. All this is in glorious harmony with its bridehood identity. We have here the blessed assurance that all whose names are superscribed in the Lamb’s book of life shall have a welcome in this wonderful city. I have seen the important cities of America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. God, in mercy, grant that my feet shall one day tread the golden streets of the New Jerusalem! John calls it the Holy City. Hence you must be holy, if you ever enter it. It is very consolatory to us to know that the city of God will come within the range of distinct visibility from this world. Will it not be on this earth? I do not so understand the revelation. An object fifteen hundred miles long, wide, and high, consisting of the most radiant gems, diamonds, rubies, and all manner of precious stones, radiating and flashing their glorious light through the ethereal void, would certainly be visible at a great distance. Remember, John found it necessary to ascend that lofty mountain in order to see it. What is this city? It is the glorious capital of the heavenly universe, and, of course, the residence of our blessed Heavenly Father. On what does it stand? It does not stand on anything. It is itself the center of universal gravitation. Hence it does not need anything on which to rest. During the reign of sin and Satan, it is withdrawn far away from this poor, dark world. After the grand and glorious restitutionary work of Christ is fully consummated, sin and sinners forever removed, earth and atmosphere gloriously sanctified, and all renovated in the beauty of heavenly investiture, and committed to saints and angels, then the very metropolis of the glory-world comes very nigh, and brightens earth and sky with her unwaning effulgence. Of course, the cremation of the earth will destroy the cities, with all other works of human art. This glorious ethereal metropolis is called the New Jerusalem, in contradistinction to old Jerusalem, which now stands on Mts. Zion, Moriah, Bezetha, and Acra, and is destined to be so magnitudinous, conspicuous, and influential during the millennial ages. Hypothetically, this newly-created celestial world, densely populated with saints and angels, will not build cities; but the countless millions, basking in the glory of unadulterated bliss, amid the grand effulgence of this the real Jerusalem, will enjoy and patronize it as the metropolis of the whole earth. 24. “The nations shall walk through its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it . 26. “They shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it .” In the glorious and triumphant restitution of God’s saints back to this world, after it shall have been transferred into a beautiful celestial sphere, doubtless the nations will reconstruct their former identities in their reoccupancy of the earth. We see from these Scriptures the beautiful conservatism of all nations to the New Jerusalem, through the onward flight of eternal ages. For “night shall not be there .” This city is the metropolis of the great King, the center of universal gravitation, and the capital of the boundless celestial empire. Of course there will be no night, for God Himself will be there, and He is original light. All other luminaries shine by His command. Not only will this wonderful city, fifteen hundred miles long, wide, and high, be ineffably glorious with the divine illumination, but the unutterable effulgence will irradiate this and all other celestial worlds with light and glory, forever expelling darkness, and verifying the promise, “Night shall not be here” CHAPTER -THIS is one of the many instances in the Bible in which the chapter division is in the wrong place. It here breaks the prophetical panorama of the heavenly metropolis, which is the last scene of these wonderful latterday prophecies. Hence the division should not here appear. 1. The River of Life here described is in the city delineated in the preceding chapter. 2. The Tree of Life is also in the city. The twelve manner of fruits indicate the wonderful diversity of heavenly fruition, perfectly adapting and congenializing the heavenly state to every possible idiosyncrasy — social, intellectual, educational, and spiritual — appertaining to the entire heavenly host, from the most uncultured Hottentot to the champion apostle and the brightest archangel. The leaves of the tree are for the health of the nations. Healing, in the English, is misleading. The Greek therapeion is not a participle, but a noun. There are no diseases in heaven to be healed. This is a revelation against the probability of apostasy from the heavenly state. Lucifer and the angels fell long ago. This was before their probation expired. Our probation will expire at the end of the present life.
Hence there is no probability that any of us will ever apostatize after we get to heaven. Sickness is the invariable precursor of death. If no ailment supervenes, death will never come. The Tree of Life is the symbol of perpetual immortality. Meanwhile, the very leaves of the tree are an effectual palladium against the slightest ingress of spiritual ailment. This tree is a beautiful evergreen, forever exhibiting its magnificent, umbrageous foliage, demonstrating to the multiplied millions of immortal eyes the transcendent reality that health never wanes, sickness never comes, and death is unknown. Hence the leaves of the tree, in their fadeless beauty, are a universal guarantee that perfect health is the constant and everlasting blessing of the glorified state. 3-4. “And there shall be no more curse .” This forever settles the question of future probation. If there is any probation in the transfigured state, it will never be forfeited by transgression, as in that case the curse would inevitably supervene. “The throne of God and the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will serve Him, and they shall see His face .” This is a confirmation of the foregone conclusion that the New Jerusalem, poised in the firmament above this world, having reached the glorified state, is none other than the city of God, where He in His glory occupies the effulgent throne of the universe, and the Lamb that was slain and that liveth again shall focalize the adoration and admiration of glorified saints forever. Oh, how unutterably blessed to draw near and behold His face, all radiant with the love that brought Him from heaven to die for us poor sinners! “His name shall be in their foreheads .” The glorious experience of entire sanctification is this day notable for its efficiency in the superscription of the divine cognomen on the countenance. If, in these mortal tenements, the divine glory so radiates from the countenance as to enable us to read people like we read books, who can calculate the brilliancy of that splendor which shall beam from the physiognomies of the glorified saints, illuminated by the effulgent presence of God and the Lamb? 5. “Night shall not be there; they do not need the light of a lamp and the light of a sun, because the Lord God shineth upon them, and they shall reign unto eternities of eternities .” This verse climaxes John’s glowing description of the heavenly state. He winds up with the affirmation of the eternal reign of the saints. Not only this world marching on to the heavenly state, but one billion and one hundred and seventy millions of other worlds have been at least faintly apprehended by telescopic observation. Who can anticipate to what extent our Lord will use us in the administration, culture, and evangelization of these innumerable worlds?
This glorious prophetical panorama winds up with these wonderful words: “Eis tous aioonas toon aioonoon ;” i .e ., “Unto eternities of eternities.” These profoundly significant Greek words define the reign of the saints in glory, the existence of God and the duration of the damnation of the wicked. Hence you see the ridiculous and nonsensical absurdity of Universalian dogmatism, which would refute the eternity of future punishment.
Thus winds up the wonderful panoramic, prophetic visions, which John saw on the Isle of Patmos. It is also the valedictory prophecy of the whole world, the celestial city and the glorified earth climaxing all. We now have fifteen more verses, constituting John’s apologue. 6. “The Lord God of the spirits of the prophets .” The prophet in all dispensations is the called and sent revelator of God’s truth. God imparts to each one of His prophets a spirit peculiar to the work He has called him to do. Hence the infinite diversity of prophetical idiosyncrasy. The called and sent blood-washed, fire-baptized preachers of the gospel are God’s prophets in the present age. Therefore, God is now showing them “the things which quickly come to pass.” 7. “Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he who keepeth the words of this book of prophecy ;” i .e ., the book of Revelation. Most people take but little interest in Revelation. Of course, they forfeit the blessing. Reader, do you believe this prophecy? Are you on the constant outlook for the Lord’s coming? 8. Here again John wants to worship the Apocalyptic Angel, of course misapprehending him for God. 9. Here we have God’s positive prohibition of angel-worship. It is simply another form of idolatry. This prohibition sweeps Romanism from the field. 10. Revelation has been a sealed book for ages, for long centuries even rejected, repudiated as spurious, denied a place in the sacred canon, and laid on the shelf. At the present day God is giving His people wonderful light on this book of mysteries. Oh, how He is lighting it up to the “Holiness people” The value of this book to the present generation is actually inestimable. Peter, James, Jude, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul have all left us most brilliant prophecies, revealing the wonders of the latter days. But John transcendently climaxes all. But a youth when called to the apostleship, he enjoyed the nearest proximity to Jesus, leaning on His breast. He was permitted to live a whole generation after all the other apostles were dead and gone. Hence he enjoyed wonderful experimental maturity. His spiritual illumination was transcendent, and his prophetic interpenetration and perspicacity illimitable. All his apostolic comrades prophesied tersely and isolatedly. John gives us the grand and wonderful panorama, sweeping down the intervening ages, not only to the end of the present Gentile Dispensation, when the Lord shall come in His glory and reign in triumph through the millennial ages, culminating in the final judgment, the earth’s cremation, and the end of time; but he sweeps right on, luminously revealing the re-creation of the earth and its ethereal environments, the glory of the heavenly state, when this world shall have been reannexed to the celestial empire, conferred upon the saints as a soldier’s bounty, reminiscent of fidelity and valor during Immanuel’s exterminating war against sin and Satan; the descension of the New Jerusalem into visible proximity, and the reign of the saints through all eternity.
THE SECOND BLESSING CONFIRMED AND FUTURE PROBATION ANNIHILATED 11. “Let the unrighteous man still be unrighteous and the filthy still be filthy; let the righteous still do righteousness; and let the holy still be sanctified .” The prophetical panorama has already swept through the whole realm of human probation. This significant verse is the verdict of the Holy Ghost pronounced on all the sons and daughters of Adam’s fallen race. You see indubitably entire humanity divided into four classes; i .e ., the righteous, the wicked, the holy, and the filthy. Justification by the free grace of God in Christ, received and appropriated, takes away the guilt pertinent to your own sins, and makes you righteous. This does not reach the deep pollution of your fallen. nature. Hence the Holy Spirit calls you “filthy.” The Greek word hagiadzo , throughout the Bible translated “sanctify,” is a compound, from alpha (not) and gee (the earth). Hence it means to take the world out of you. 1 John 2:16 says: “All this is the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.”
Therefore, you see that sanctification is the antithesis of pollution, and the grace by which all the filthiness of the flesh and spirit are expurgated. In these Scriptures, certainly the two works of grace are distinctly and irrefutably set forth, the one to save you from condemnation and make you righteous, and the other to save you from “all filthiness of the flesh and spirit” ( 2 Corinthians 7:1), and make you holy. This verse not only establishes beyond controversy the two distinct works of grace in the plan of salvation — i .e ., justification and entire sanctification — but, with the irresistible logic of the divine ipse dixit , positively reveals the fact that these indispensable graces must be received in the present life, or forever forfeited, thus triumphantly and irrefutably sweeping from the field all the specious dogmata propagated by the advocates of physical death, fiery purgatory, or any other theory of post-mortem sanctification. You are liable this moment to reach the end of your probation. How awful to think, as you are now under condemnation for your sins — i .e ., unrighteous — you are liable instantly to forfeit the last possibility of change, and remain a miserable culprit through all eternity! Though your own sins are forgiven, and you are saved from evil habits, yet you are not saved from evil tempers. The pollution of the Adamic nature still inheres in the deep interior of your spiritual organism; i .e ., in the bold phraseology of the Holy Ghost, you are still “filthy.” Will you not fly to the cleansing fountain lest the black curtain fall, eclipsing the last hope of your sanctification and sealing your doom, consigning you to the society of the “filthy” through all eternity? Perhaps you are not saved from the filth of tobacco, opium, strong drink, gluttony, jewelry, and needless ornamentation, which defile your body. Are you saved from pride, vanity, folly, anger, wrath, malice, revenge, hatred, envy, jealousy, ambition, covetousness, love of the world, self-love, selfishness, Church pride, and other forms of spiritual filthiness? Hasten to the cleansing fountain, get washed from all this “filthiness of the flesh and spirit,” lest the dark curtain fall and consign you to remain filthy through all eternity. When God speaks, let angels, men, and devils be silent. You know this is the positive word of the Almighty. You must have these two works of grace.
If you are not both righteous and holy, you are liable any moment to be shut out of heaven forever. God give you a superlative appreciation of His word! You will not be judged by your creed, nor what your preacher says; but by the word of God. 12. “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give unto each as his work is .” While our work is not the condition of our salvation, yet it is the measure of our reward in heaven. Consequently, the rewards of the righteous and the retributions of the wicked will be as diversified as their lives in this world. This declaration of the Almighty should present every conceivable incentive to do our utmost to help Jesus save the world. The smallest deeds of philanthropy, mercy, and grace will receive an abundant reward in the good time coning. We should all substitute the expectation of death with the constant outlook for our glorious Lord. 13. Alpha and Omega are simply the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet Christ is first and last in the plan of salvation. Himself is our salvation. He is all and in all. When you have Him enthroned in your heart, you are saved to the uttermost. God help us to rise above creeds and sink out of self into Christ!
CATHOLICISM EXPOSED AND PURITY VINDICATED 14. “Blessed are they who wash their robes, in order that access unto the Tree of Life shall be theirs, and they may enter through the gates into the city .” Here you see we correct an important error in the English version, which reads: “Blessed are they who do His commandments.” You see the true reading from the critical Greek is, “Blessed are they who wash their robes.” This translation is corroborated by the Revised Version, which is translated out of the Sinaitic manuscript, which lies before me. Why is not our English Bible correct? Because it passed through the Dark Ages a thousand years, during which not one man in a thousand could read or write, while ignorance, brutality, and barbarism filled the world. The art of printing had not been invented. Therefor they must undergo the tedious and laborious work of writing the Scriptures by hand. The result was two thousand errors found their way into our English New Testament. Do those errors affect the plan of salvation? They do not. The way to heaven is so plain that “wayfaring men, though fools, cannot err therein” ( Isaiah 35:9). You find salvation flooding the Bible like a heavenly ocean, from the Alpha of Genesis to the Omega of Revelation. Then why is it important for us to correct these errors? So that we may know the whole will of God. While doubtless nearly all of these errors crept in inadvertently, I trow some of the most important were purposely made by corrupt, intriguing priests, to vindicate their craft and palliate their guilty consciences. How do you know that the Greek Testament, from which you write these commentaries, is correct? This Sinaitic manuscript was discovered by Dr. Tischendorf in the Convent of St. Catherine, on Mt.
Sinai, in 1859. The chirography locates it far back in the post-apostolic times, before the Dark Ages set in. Hence it is free from the corruptions of the Dark Ages. The discovery of this manuscript was a sunburst on the Christian world, flooding the inspired pages with the light of original exegesis. True religion imputes all salvation to God, while false religion imputes it to man. Just as the people of this world have taken the government of the nations out of God’s hands, so they have usurped the government of the Church, and even taken the plan of salvation into their own hands. There is much Roman Catholicism in the English Bible. When the English Church made that translation in 1611, she was full of Romish heresies. Romanism and all the fallen Churches preach salvation by works, while the true gospel teaches that you are saved by grace, and not by works. You see in this verse, as your English reads, heaven is assured to those “who do His commandments.” Don’t you see that is the Romish heresy of salvation by works? Millions of people, depending on their good works to save them, now lift up their wails in hell. The Bible everywhere teaches that purity is the only condition of admission into heaven.
Hence you see the true translation of this passage, “Blessed are they who wash their robes,” is in perfect harmony with the uniform teaching of the Bible; while the English, “Blessed are they who do His commandments,” offering salvation by works, antagonizes the great truth revealed throughout the Bible, that we are saved “by grace through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not by works, lest any one may boast” ( Ephesians 2:5,9). 15. “Dogs, sorcerers, fornicators, murderers, idolaters, and every one who maketh and loveth falsehood, are outside .” This verse is the antithesis of the preceding. That tells us who are saved. There is but one class, and they are those “who wash their robes” in the blood of the Lamb. This tells us who are excluded and forever left out of heaven. The dog, in the Bible, constantly symbolizes impurity. Consequently, we see that all of the impure — i .e ., unsanctified — are left out of heaven. “Sorcerers” would take in all of the actual heretics of all ages, who have depended on human arts and devices instead of the plain word of God. “Fornicators” really takes in every soul who is not entirely sanctified, because nothing but the full sanctification of your heart saves you from spiritual fornication, and enthrones Jesus as the only lover of your soul. “Murderers” includes all people having the malevolent affections which lead to, and are the essence of, homicide. “Idolaters” comprehends every devotee except the truly sanctified worshiper of the Most High, as none others are entirely free from idolatry in some of its forms or phases. Popular religion is full of idolatry. You see that all these are left out of heaven. Last of all, in this dark catalogue, “every one who practiceth and loveth falsehood.” This statement of the Holy Ghost is weepingly comprehensive, excluding from heaven all who do not take the Bible for their only guide, and live and die in the delightful practice of and obedience to its blessed truths. Hence we see from these discriminations of the Holy Ghost that, while only one class is admitted into heaven — i .e ., those “who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb;” i .e ., the wholly sanctified — many different classes are forever excluded from the city of God. 16. The glorified Savior here testifies to His Divinity and humanity. As God, He is the root of David; as man, He is the offspring. Meanwhile, He is the bright morning-star of all human hope.
THE BRIDE PERFECTLY RESPONSIVE TO THE HOLY GHOST We are living in the Gospel Dispensation, characterized by the universal mission of the Holy Ghost. The Father sent the Son into the world to bleed and die for the lost. The Son sent the Holy Ghost into the world to reveal Him to every human spirit, and calling all to repentance. The children of the Holy Ghost, who delight to do the will of their Heavenly Father, constitute the bridehood of Christ. Hence the Holy Ghost has sent the bride into the world, co-operate with Himself in the universal call to repentance. The peculiarity of the bride is that she is the companion and surviving representative of the suffering Savior. The visible Church is not identical with the bride. There is a Church within a Church. Therefore you must pass the second veil to find the true Church; i .e ., the martyrs of all ages, who constitute the bridehood of Christ. The worldliness of the popular Church and her irresponsive attitude toward the Holy Ghost irreconcilably abnegate her claims to the bridehood. A moment’s reflection settles this question in favor of the sanctified people. They are constantly and perfectly responsive to the Holy Ghost in His universal call to repentance. The peculiarity of Holiness people is their indefatigable pertinacity in calling the people to the Savior. They persistently interview the comers and goers in the interest of their souls. In this way they provoke the disgust of all squeamish and fastidious people, and frequently render themselves odious to what is misnamed good society. But these socalled fanatics, who are always talking for Jesus to the disgust of the carnally-minded, are the people in the world who verify the definition of the bride in this verse. God give us grace to co-operate with the Holy host, and content ourselves to be popular with Jesus, though we incur the constant contempt of the world’s magnates! Dare to be true to the Holy Ghost, and co-operate with Him constantly in His perpetual calls of a lost world to Jesus. So soon as you become delinquent in your appeals to the people in the interest of their souls, you forfeit your claim to a place in the bridehood. Lord, help us to be true to the Holy Ghost! From the fact that the grace of God in Christ, as set forth in this verse, is perfectly free for all, and the omnipotent Holy Spirit is constantly calling, and here the bride is certified, with equal constancy, to be calling all to come and partake of the water of life freely, it follows, as a logical sequence, that none but the sanctified actually verify the character here imputed to the bride of Christ.
FINAL ANATHEMAS AGAINST ALL WHO HAVE THE AUDACITY TO TINKER WITH GOD’S WORD 18, 19: “I testify to every one who heareth the words of this book of prophecy: If any one may add to these things, God will add unto him the plagues which have been written in this book: if any one may take from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take his part from the Tree of Life, and out of the Holy City, from the blessings which have been written in this book .” We here readily see why our Savior forbade His own apostles to go and preach this gospel till they received the sanctifying baptism of Pentecostal fire. Without this heavenly enduement, He knew they were incompetent for the responsibility. It is impossible for a person to preach to others an experience he himself does not possess. For this reason, the Bible has been exposed to all sorts of perversions, dissections, additions, subtractions, and tergiversations, to suit the caprices of human creeds. Where is the Church which is not loaded down with human dogmata and institutions unheard of in the word of God? In this way God is actually crowded out of the heart, and they become devotees of idolatry.
When you hear the preannouncement of a doctrinal sermon, look out for a harangue on the creed, with scarcely a scintillation of gospel truth. In Timothy 1:5, Paul tells us “the end of the commandment is divine love out of a clean heart and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned.”
You receive this divine love in regeneration, and a clean heart in sanctification. Then, if you keep your life all right, you will always have a good conscience. If you never take in any of the devil’s doubts, your faith will never fail. So, get genuinely converted and sanctified, then keep your faith and obedience all right, and you have all the doctrine in the Bible, verified daily in your own experience. Oh, how the Church-mongers in all ages have added human doctrines and institutions to the Bible, and burned millions of God’s saints because they did not submit to their pontifical dictations! I hope the readers of this book have all blessedly passed over the water-line. If you have not, I advise you to go at once and receive all the water you want, whether by Immersion or affusion, or both. You will make little or no progress in spiritual things till you settle all waterquestions, and find out the secret that water never did have anything to do with your salvation. You are saved by grace alone, received and appropriated by faith. So, hasten to get through your humanisms, take your eye off the water and everything else, put it on Jesus, and keep it there. So long as you keep your eye on Jesus, He will keep His hand on you. Then neither men nor devils can hurt you. Does not the man who preaches immersion as necessary to salvation add immersion to the Bible? — because it is not in it? You may receive this and other human institutions with impunity, if you have light to see that Jesus alone can save, with or without human manipulation. It is horrific to contemplate the fearful extent to which popery, prelacy, and priestcraft have gone in their accumulated additions to the plan of salvation. The result is that but few souls pass beyond the fogs of human invention into the clear light of God’s blessed truth. At the present day, the studied sermonettes preached from our popular pulpits give the people scarcely a scintillation of gospel pabulum. God is now, in the Holiness movement, fast leading the people out of the dismal night of creedisms and ecclesiasticisms into the cloudless day of His blessed, unadulterated, unsophisticated, and untinkered word.
We hail with joy the glorious dawn of a better day. Thousands in all lands are rising up “to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints,” clamorous for the truth as it is in Jesus, and no longer willing to receive the ipse dixit of uninspired men. God is now, in the Holiness movement, calling out His faithful people in all nations and Churches to receive His word from the debris of humanisms, and give it to the world in its pristine purity; while the ecclesiastics have literally inundated the Churches with human inventions, not only teaching sacramental salvation, the essentiality of water baptism, but even adding immersion to the Bible and worshipping it as a god — i .e ., making it essential to salvation — and filling the Church with so many human inventions as to utterly bewilder the unspiritual, lead them into idolatry, to live and die in practical heathenism, ignorant of God and the sweet simplicity of His blessed truth. But not satisfied with their mammoth additions, they have rendered themselves quite as conspicuous for their subtractions. Consequently, they incur a double condemnation, the one for addition to God’s plan of salvation revealed in the Bible, and the other for subtraction from the same. Before I was sanctified, I preached fifteen years in the fogs of Babylon, awfully bewildered by the theologians. It is a significant fact that the same men who pile mountains on the Bible take mountains out of it, to make room for the dogmatic mountains which they build on it. Much of the most learned and influential preaching I ever heard was labored efforts to prove that there was no such person as the Holy Ghost, nor such a thing as spiritual conviction, regeneration, adoption, or sanctification. I have frequently heard collegiate graduates, standing in the pulpit, vociferate and argue a solid hour to disprove the entire problem of spiritual religion. Satan is not fool enough to waste his ammunition. When I was a boy, the awful and constant fight was made against spiritual regeneration, laboring most assiduously by logic, theology, and ridicule to utterly eliminate it out of the Bible, and throw it beyond the North Pole, so it never could get back.
They had nothing to say against sanctification, from the simple fact that it was neither preached nor professed; and the devil always shoots at something. Then the fight against regeneration was quite as hot and heavy as it is now against sanctification. Bible is a Greek word, which means book. Hence, “Holy Bible” simply means a book on holiness While it is a notorious fact that holiness is the theme of the Bible, set forth specifically six hundred times, and inferentially in thousands of instances, yet the Bible murderers have the audacity to stand in the pulpits and tell the people they can’t be holy, and God doesn’t require it. A few centuries ago, the clergy had triumphantly succeeded in taking God out of the plan of salvation, and monopolizing it themselves. God used Luther to restore the long-lost doctrine of justification by the free grace of God in Christ, received and appropriated by faith alone, independently of carnal ordinances and priestly manipulation. He used Wesley and others to restore the glorious doctrine of entire sanctification by the short route of consecration and faith, instead of the long pilgrimage of growth and purgatory. He is now using some of His true people to restore the longlost truth of divine healing, woman’s ministry, and the Lord’s second coming. Certainly terrible retributions await those men who have devoted their life-long labors to the adulteration of God’s word, both by addition and subtraction. God has raised up the Holiness movement to give the Bible to the world without addition or subtraction. Nothing but entire sanctification can ever break off the creedistic shackles, and so illuminate the word and the heart as to enthrone Jesus the supreme and only autocrat of the soul, and the Bible your only way-bill from earth to heaven.
THE SIGNS OF HIS COMING 20. “He that testifies these things says, Yea, I come quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus .” 21. “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all .” Matthew (24:31), corroborated by Mark and Luke, records our Lord’s words in His memorable sermon on the judgments, which He preached on Mt. Olivet the day before He was crucified: “Hear the parable of the fig-tree, and of all the trees. When it putteth forth branches and tender leaves, then you know the summer is nigh.” It is now April, and we are in North Carolina.
Where is the fool who has to be told that “summer is nigh?” Throughout the political, ecclesiastical, social, and spiritual world the signs of our Lord’s coming are quite as obvious, apparent, demonstrative, and unmistakable as the signs in the natural world that the summer is nigh. It is lamentable to see the depth of that lethean slumber which everywhere encumbers a fallen Church and a wicked world. Recently a great preacher stood in a city pulpit and proclaimed to a vast audience his profound conviction that the world will run on as it is for indefinite ages, only incurring the changes incident to natural evolution. To say nothing of debauched Romanism, many Protestant pulpits are this day filled by infidels. Evolution is the current infidelity of the present age. It imputes everything in religion to growth and other gradualisms. Hence it takes God out of the plan of salvation. Gradualism is all humanism. When you take out the epochs — i .e ., conviction, regeneration, and sanctification — you take God out and run into infidelity. The gradualism belongs to man; the instantaneity to God. You will not let Bob Ingersoll come into your pulpit; but you receive his doctrine of evolution, preached by your own pastor, as the bona fide gospel. Whenever you leave the divine interventions — i .e ., the distinct epochs of conviction, regeneration, and sanctification — out of religion, and flatten out into gradualism, you run headlong into infidelity. Our Churches are full of it. Of course, they are not expecting the Lord to come. Nothing would disappoint and appall them so much. They would cry for rocks and mountains to hide them from His presence.
THE SIGNS AMONG THE JEWS Only fifty thousand returned under Nehemiah out of Babylonian captivity to repopulate the Holy Land. This day one hundred thousand Jews are back in the land of their fathers. Eleven different colonization societies are operating constantly to augment that number, among which is the famous work of Baron Rothschild, the richest man in the world. The wandering children of Abraham, after a dreary expatriation of one thousand eight hundred years, are everywhere turning their longing eyes toward the lovely land of the patriarchs and prophets. The wonderful conversion of Joseph Rabinowitz, in Russia, his powerful preaching, the organization of the Jewish Christian Church, denominated “Israelites of the New Covenant,” and the vast multitudes recently converted and added to it, all prognosticate cheering omens of the Lord’s near coming. Matthew 24:34: “Truly, I say unto you, this race (not generation) shall not pass away till all these things be fulfilled.”
The Jews are the great miracle of prophecy. Amid the revolutions of two thousand years, nearly all other nationalities have gone into eclipse. The Jews, with no country to hold them together, are a distinct people in every clime. They are a monument of prophetic truth, proclaiming to all the nations among whom they sojourn that the Lord is coming again to gather His people and rule the world in righteousness. Ezekiel (37 th ) shows in the vision of “dry bones” that the Jews, in the main, will be gathered into Palestine before they are converted to Christianity. When I was in the Holy Land, I was with Simpson’s missionaries among the Jews. They reported great encouragement. All nationalities in the Holy Land are on the constant outlook for the Turkish power to fall. This done, Palestine comes at once into Christendom, and the Jews are called from every land, to the patrimony the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob gave them in “the land flowing with milk and honey.” In that case, all Christendom will make a specialty of their conversion.
When I visited the wailing of the Jews, in their hired avenue, where they are permitted to come to the west wall of the temple on the outside once per week, on Friday afternoon, and bewail the loss of their temple, the desolation of their land, and the affliction of their people, I was profoundly impressed that the God of Israel heard their cry, and would answer their prayer.
The return of the Jews to their native land is fast becoming a foregone conclusion in every country under heaven. After they are gathered into Palestine, the potent evangelizing agencies of the combined Christian world will speedily convert them to Christianity. Zechariah, in his last two chapters, tells us about terrible desolating wars, which shall turn against the Jews after they have been gathered into the Holy Land, and during the tribulation two-thirds of them will be cruelly slaughtered. This awful massacre will go right on, till the King of Glory shall descend on His millennial throne, interpose, and deliver them. The presumption is that these exterminating wars, during the tribulation, in the permissive providence of God, will eliminate out of Israel the material unsuitable and inadequate to the incalculable responsibilities devolving on them in the oncoming millennial reign, in which the surviving third will be called to the front to co-operate with their glorified Brother in the government of the whole world. The Jews are God’s earthly people. Since the conquest of the world by the Gentiles, and the supersession of the theocracy by human governments, B.C. 587, the Gentiles have stood at the front and ruled all nations, while the Jews have been relegated to the rear. When the Lord comes, He will call His people again to the front. In the evangelization, civilization, and education of all nations, during the millennial reign, the Jews will take the lead.
SIGNS AMONG THE GENTILES Gentile rule properly began, B.C. 587, with the fall of Jerusalem. It is to continue 2478 years by lunar chronology, 2520 by calendar, and 2555 by solar. 587 plus 1896 equals 2483. Hence you see 2555 minus 2483 leaves 72 years by solar time; 2520 minus 2483 leaves 37 by calendar; whereas, 2483 minus 2478 leaves 5 years. So you see the solar time is only years, and calendar 37; whereas, the lunar time has already expired, and four years over. From these figures, you see we are at the end of Gentile rule. It began with the Chaldean golden head ( Daniel 2), coming down to the Medo-Persian breast and arms of silver; then the Grecian Empire of brass, represented by the abdomen and thighs; followed by the mighty Roman legs of iron; and, last of all, the toes of iron and clay. Hence you see it depreciates from first to last, beginning with gold and winding up with crude iron and potter’s clay. The Gentile Dispensation is going like every other, confirming the fact that man, without God, is an utter failure.
So Gentile government has weakened from the beginning, passing from gold value down to potter’s clay. The trend of the whole world, in the present age, is to democracies, which are the weakest of all governments.
The next step is anarchy, which is no government at all. The political world is this day on the verge of universal anarchy. Our government, which is the best in the world, is rapidly becoming more and more unstable and dissatisfactory. In the Lycurgian code of Grecian law, no man could be senator unless he had reached his sixtieth year, and sustained an irreproachable character. Now bribery, peculation, and debauchery are common. “Where the carcass is, there the vultures will be gathered” ( Matthew 24:28). This is our Savior’s vivid portrayal of the political and ecclesiastical world at the time of the end. He describes it as an old carcass already dead, and attracting the vultures by the scent of its putrefaction. The body politic has certainly reached that awful state. The vultures of divine retribution already darken the atmosphere as they hover around, voracious to light down and devour the debauched governments of this wicked world. I am on the constant outlook for the stone to strike the image on the feet and smash it into the chaff which the wind of premillennial judgment will speedily blow away. Then that stone will cover the whole earth and stand forever. The swift dilapidation and rickety instability of all human governments, proving to a demonstration the incompetency of human rule, this day proclaims the near approach of our glorious King.
SIGNS AMONG THE MOSLEMS The Moslem Power, the last twelve hundred years, has overtly, avowedly, pertinaciously, and uncompromisingly disputed the claims of Christ to the souls of men and the kingdoms of the earth. During all these dreary centuries, she has done her uttermost to exterminate Christianity from the globe, teaching her murderous votaries that they are to swim to heaven in Christian blood. She waged one series of wars a hundred and fifty years, till defeated by Charles Martel, at Tours, France, A.D. 733; and another war-period of four hundred years, down to her signal defeat by John Sobieski, at Vienna, A.D. 1683. Though all Christendom combined fought the Moslems two hundred years, during the Crusades, they signally failed to drive them out of the Holy Land and restore the patrimony of our Savior from the polluting hands of infidelity. Daniel (8:25) says: “He (Mahomet) shall be broken without hand.” How signally this prophecy is now being fulfilled! Already, within the last two hundred years, a dozen kingdoms have been wrested from the hands of the False Prophet. This day the Turkish Empire, the last and only upholder of the Moslem power, is a political corpse, kept on foot artificially by the jealousy of her neighbors, and liable, at any moment, to fall into her long-merited sepulcher. All nationalities at Jerusalem and throughout the East are in daily and hourly expectation of the Moslem overthrow. Many superstitious Moslem predictions constantly point to the fall of their power. The conquering Omar captured Jerusalem, A.D. 637. John and Daniel both say they will hold it twelve hundred and sixty prophetic years. Hence you see 1897 is no table as the long-prayed-for epoch of the Moslem fall. My Arab guide, at Jerusalem, told me many of their own prophets had warned them that Jesus Christ would light down on Mt.
SIGNS IN CATHOLICISM History dates the rise of Mahomet A.D. 607. Procas, king of Italy, crowned Boniface III the first pope, A.D. 606. Hence you see the simultaneity of these two notable events. At this time the Dark Ages, the devil’s millennium, were under headway. As Satan had the whole world on his hands, he needed help. Therefore, he raised up Mahomet to rule the East, and the pope the West. John repeatedly, as well as Daniel, gives the papacy the prophetic period of 1260 years. Hence these two great Satanic powers are contemporary throughout.
A number of notable epochs have already been fulfilled in the papacy. The temporal dethronement (1870) by Victor Immanuel was a literal fulfillment of prophecy. About fifty years were occupied in the consolidation of the papacy after its inauguration. This would bring us down to 1920, the precise date of calendar time. Daniel (7:11) predicts his utter destruction by the Ancient of Days — i .e ., God the Father — in His premillennial judgments. The Catholic world today is flooded with omens of this fulfillment. Mexico, Central America, South America, and many European governments are now repudiating the papal authority, and heaving like volcanoes, ready to explode. When I was in Rome, they were building a magnificent monument to the memory of Victor Immanuel, who dethroned the pope in 1870, and another to Garibaldi, who fought the French army and prevented them from reinstating the pope. Both of these monuments are in full view of the Vatican palace, and under the immediate eye of the pope. The King of kings is coming. The papal and all other thrones are ominously presageous of insecurity.
SIGNS IN PROTESTANTISM About four hundred millions of population and one hundred millions of members stand identified with the great Protestant Churches. In Thessalonians 2:3, Paul predicts a great apostasy immediately preceding our Savior’s coming. In our Savior’s notable sermon on the judgments, which He preached on Mt. Olivet the day before He was crucified, He lays down among the immediate signs of His coming, “Because iniquity doth abound, the love of many shall wax cold” ( Matthew 24:12).
Among the notable predictions of Paul relative to the last days, and prominent among the signs of our Lord’s coming, is that “men shall have a form of godliness, denying the power of the same” ( 2 Timothy 2:3).
These and other predictions innumerable by our Savior, His apostles, and prophets, most graphically describe the sad condition of the great Protestant denominations at the present day. Who, beside the Holiness people, are now contending for and endued with the power of the Holy Ghost? The lukewarm Laodicean Church is a picture of Protestant Christendom when our Lord shall come and spew them out of His mouth.
My recollection is good fifty years ago, when all the Methodists either got their mouths open in the class-meeting, or they were turned out of the Church. Their popular cognomen was “shouting Methodists.” Now they are a dumb Church, unless they fall in with the Holiness people. Do you not know that dumbness and death are twin brothers? When I was a boy, all applicants for membership in the Baptist Church were required to stand up, face the congregation, and tell their own story. If their experience did not have the genuine Holy Ghost ring, their admission was postponed till they received the clear witness of the Spirit to their conversion. Now they walk in from an ungodly world, without a mourners’ bench experience. The preacher manipulates them, propounding a few easy questions. He presents them to the Church. They are received and baptized, as I seriously fear, without a clear experience of regeneration.
When I was a boy, the Presbyterians kept people at the altar weeks and months, seeking the Lord. Within my observation, which is quite extensive, they have abandoned the altar, and simply call them forward to join the Church.
Fifty years ago, shouts of praise were so common in all the Protestant Churches that the meeting was discounted and considered a failure if they were not heard. The presence of the Holy Ghost was so real and impressive that a solemn awe rested upon the congregation, as if the Archangel of Doom had come down and the judgment-trump was roaring.
An old man in Arkansas was gloriously sanctified in a Holiness meeting. In his testimony, he said: “When a boy, I went to Methodist meetings, and saw them get happy and shout. I observed the same with the Baptists and Presbyterians. After awhile they ceased to get happy and praise the Lord in their meetings. “From these and other phenomena I observed, to my sorrow, that the Holy Ghost had retreated away, leaving them lukewarm, formal, and dead.
For years I have been wandering about, attending the meetings of various Churches, hunting the Holy Ghost. I heard an evil report of the Holiness people, but was so anxious to find the Holy Ghost again that in my search I came to your meeting. Glory to God here I found the Holy Ghost in full charge, and having right of way in all hearts. I am so glad I have again found the Holy Ghost, and found the people who walk in the light of His indwelling presence. God grant that I may live and die with you!”
The Greek word ecclesia , translated Church, means a body of people whom the Holy Ghost has called out of the world, regenerated, and who want to be sanctified. The absence of the Holy Ghost in a Church is an irrefutable confirmation of its apostasy. Hence this fearfully swift apostasy of the Churches is a literal fulfillment of Paul’s prophecy ( Thessalonians 2:3), and that of Jesus ( Matthew 24:12). The man who does not see to his sorrow the appalling apostasy of the Protestant Churches at the present day, is to be profoundly pitied for his spiritual blindness. But this is the sad concomitant of the apostasy, “That blindness in part bath happened unto Israel.” Multitudes of our wealthy and popular Churches are ruled by “society women” and rich men. That is certainly Satan’s rule, however indirect. Bishop Foster says : “This thing called ‘society’ is a painted harlot, whose breath is pestilential and deadly.” Jesus says : “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” All these fearful omens are fulfilling prophecy, and proclaiming to the world that “the Lord is nigh.”
SIGNS IN SECULARISM, SOCIALISM, SPIRITUALISM, AND CHRISTIAN SCIENCE In all these there is a literal fulfillment of Paul’s awful prophecies recorded in 2 Timothy 3, so vividly describing the last days. The increasing corruption of society is seen in the trend of population to all of the large cities. The attractions of Satan are so innumerable and powerful through all sorts of human inventions, that scarcely a tithe of city people ever so much as attend Church. They have enough to do to attend theaters, parties, fandangos, and other entertainments, which Satan has provided for their damnation. Statistics show that only one young man in ten, at the present day, attends Church. Oh, what a huge crop of infidels is coming on! So fast as our cities grow, the populous interior is actually abandoned by the Churches, and given up to infidelity, heathenism, and the devil. All of our large cities are now missionary ground, like the heathen nations.
This alarming increase of wickedness in the world is a literal fulfillment of the latter-day prophecies. Matthew 24:37, Jesus says: “As were the days of Noah, so shall be the coming of the Son of man. For as they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage in the days before the Flood, till Noah entered into the Ark, and they knew not, till the Flood came and took them all away, so shall be the coming of the Son of man.”
In the Antediluvian world, the children of Seth, the successor of righteous Abel, were godly, and the children of Cain were wicked. So long as they kept separate, the Antediluvian Church was lighted by such men as Enoch and Noah. When they took down the partition, and the righteous intermarried with the wicked, the earth increased in wickedness with wonderful rapidity, till God, in mercy, was forced to bring on the Flood, and see them sweep into hell by solid generations. The Bible positively forbids intermarriage with the wicked. ( 2 Corinthians 6:14.) But where is the Church that does not flagrantly violate that commandment? The old Methodists turned out every member who dared to enter into wedlock with the unconverted. This sin ruined the Antediluvian world, and brought on the Flood. It is now fast ruining the Post-diluvian world, and bringing on the awful tribulation. As Noah’s family, the elect of the old world, went up in the Ark, escaping the doom of the Antediluvians, so will the Lord’s truly sanctified people go up in the cloud, gloriously delivered from the doom of the wicked.
The Church apostatized with fearful rapidity, and wickedness of all sorts prevailed to an alarming extent, just before God sent the Flood to destroy them all. I verily believe we are rushing to a similar fate. The Churches are so wicked, and literally mixed up with the world in marriage and every other way, that the ken of an angel would fail to draw the line. When I was a sinner, my life was morally far in advance of the average Church member at the present day. “You are a croaker!” Well, I am in good company with Jesus, Paul, Peter and John, James and Jude. The whole country is literally sown with heretical tracts and literature, teaching all phases of Materialism, Universalism, Spiritualism, and infidelity. The secular papers are loaded down with carrion. The Church papers are filled up with Church and secular news, with very little soul pabulum. The popular mind is so debauched that the railroad cars and news-stands are filled with lying novels and all sorts of filth, which mental buzzards devour with avidity.
Have we not many valuable inventions? Yes, but Satan has the big end of them.
Amid the unanimous concurrence of the latter-day prophecies, I verily believe this is God’s last call to the world. ( Acts 2:17-20.) It is utterly impossible to explain this wonderful revival without Divine intervention.
It is generally considered to have started in 1874. However, I entered this experience four years previously. It sprang up simultaneously, not only in all parts of the United States, but in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the islands of the sea. When I traveled in the Old World, I found it in all countries and on all seas. It is everywhere undenominational and interdenominational. It not only inculcates salvation from all sin, but from sectarianism and sectionalism. It unifies all countries, Churches, and nations. It is truly a people called out, led, ruled, appropriated, and utilized by the Holy Ghost. The greatest mission of this people is to preach the gospel of full salvation to all nations. Matthew 24:14: “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a testimony to all nations; then the end shall come.”
The Holiness movement, without a dollar, has more missionaries in the heathen field than all the Churches on the globe, with their millions of money. Bishop Taylor has twelve hundred in Africa, Asia, South America, and Oceanica. Hudson Taylor has eight hundred in China. A. B. Simpson has four hundred dispersed around the world. General Booth has fifteen thousand in forty different nations, girdling the globe with the gospel of entire sanctification. Besides, the thousands in the various Evangelical Churches are pressing the battle for God and holiness Oh, what a literal fulfillment of Daniel 12:4, “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be in creased!” i .e ., the knowledge of holiness and the Lord’s coming.
It is pertinently striking that Jesus said they should preach the “gospel of the kingdom.” Gospel means good news. The kingdom is none other than the glorious millennial reign of our coming Lord. It is quite observable that the Holiness people are alone in the glorious work of preaching the Lord’s coming. The great Churches are asleep. Remember, our Savior says: “When this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached to all nations, then the end shall come.” So far as we can ascertain, the gospel has already been preached to all nations, except a few in Central Asia, Central Africa, and parts of Oceanica. It is now going with wonderful rapidity to the ends of the earth. We know not but it has already been preached to the present destitute nations at some time of which history gives no record. God is also raising up a mighty army of evangelists, to carry this gospel of holiness and the Lord’s coming to all the ends of the earth. The Holiness movement is the morning star preceding the rising Sun of righteousness.
How wonderful has been the rising of this star in every laud and clime! and how benignantly it now sheds its light on millions of souls, whose joyous shouts rise to meet the Lord descending in a cloud!
SIGNS IN THE OPPOSITION The uncompromising virulence and malignity which everywhere confront the holy people are prominent throughout the world among the signs of His coming. The spiritual blindness which everywhere rests on the clergy and ecclesiastical officials is a literal fulfillment of the latter-day prophecies. Daniel 12:7: “When He shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.”
With what wonderful expedition is this prophecy now being fulfilled! God is wonderfully using the enemies of holiness to scatter it to the ends of the earth, and hasten the Lord’s coming, which they neither desire nor believe.
Church councils, mad at the Holiness movement, put their heads together to scatter the holy people to the ends of the earth, stupidly ignorant of the fact that they are fulfilling these wonderful latter-day prophecies with all their might. The determined efforts of a presiding bishop to utterly break up and discontinue my evangelistic work fledged me with wings as never before. Daniel 2:10: “Many shall be purified, made white and tried;…none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” This prophecy explains why we find so many preachers who can’t understand sanctification. The trouble is with the heart, rather than the head. If they were humble enough to stand under the cleansing blood, they would soon understand entire sanctification. When they are unwilling to throw away their filthy, poisonous tobacco, for Christ’s sake, no wonder they can’t understand sanctification. When the heart gets humble enough to receive it on God’s terms, and they desire it above everything else — which must be an experimental verity in order to seek sanctification — the understanding will come along at race-horse speed.
We are surely living down at the end of this wonderful Gentile Dispensation, when the world is actually flooded with the signs of the Lord’s coming. The great majority of the Jews were so blind at His first advent that, instead of seeing their glorious Christ, they saw a malefactor, and killed Him. When the high priest signed His death-warrant, I trow he did it in good conscience, for the glory of God. So the Church of the present day is stupidly blind to the multitudinous signs of the Lord’s near coming; and what a surprise His appearing in the heavens will be! How the great men of science will resort to electricity, magnetism, geology, astronomy, dynamics, and evolution, to explain the mysterious phenomenon! 2 Peter 3:3: “In the last days, mockers in their scoffing shall go forth walking according to their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things remain as from the beginning of creation.”
Then Peter follows with allusions to the Flood, the fiery destruction of the world, and the millennium, confirmatory of the great truth of divine interventions in contradistinction to gradual evolution, which is the popular infidelity preached from so many pulpits at the present day. The mockers and scoffers at the Lord’s coming, the tribulation, and the millennium, are in the popular pulpits all around us. They are literal fulfillments of the prophecies, and literally confirm the near coming of the Lord.
SIGNS IN THE PREVAILING HETERODOXY ON THE LORD’S COMING 2 John 7: “Many deceivers have gone forth into the world, who do not confess that Jesus Christ is coming in the flesh: the same is a deceiver and antichrist.”
Then John proceeds to admonish us that if any man come to us not bringing this doctrine (of the Lord’s second coming in the flesh), not to receive him into our houses, nor bid him “God-speed.” The English reader utterly misses this wonderful passage. The statement “That Jesus Christ is coming in the flesh,” in the English version reads, “is come,” and is thought simply to refer to His first coming. That is a great mistake. The true translation of the Greek erchomenon reads, “is coming.” Hence the passage reads “that Jesus Christ is coming in the flesh.” Therefore, you see it means His second coming. All of the great heresies are direct or indirect assaults on the Christhood of Jesus. He is our Prophet, Priest, and King. As Prophet, He is our great Preacher; as Priest, He has completely atoned for the sins of the whole world; as King, He is coming to rule the world forever. The antichrist in the days of John denied that He had come in the flesh. Victory has obtained on that long and hard-fought battle-field.
So they now all admit His first coming.
But the Churches are full of infidelity on His second coming. You see here how positively John denounces all who deny that Jesus Christ is coming in the flesh as “deceivers and antichrists,” and warns us not to receive them into our houses, nor bid them “God-speed.” The apostolical saints were on the constant outlook for the Lord to descend and set up His kingdom. All salvation and revealed truth are in the Christhood. The dogma of His first advent is well established; but oh, the infidelity in the Church, and even in the pulpit, relative to His second coming This infidelity is laid down by the inspired writers among the omens of the last days adumbrating our Lord’s coming.