Three Spirits Like Frogs

  “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  

For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”

Revelation  16:13, 14

     "When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and Republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is near." - "Testimonies," Vol. V, p. 451.   

"The Mark Of His Name"

We have now seen that the pope claims to be the "Vicar of the Son of God " on earth; to have authority to act in His name.

     And as proof for this claim he points to the fact that he has changed the Sabbath into Sunday. How conclusive! He must be authorized as Christ's "Vicar" in order to validly make such a vital change in God's moral law. That is imperative! The Sunday-Sabbath is therefore the proof or mark of his "vicarship "; it is "the mark of his name." Revelation 14: 11. When once a person has become aware of the wording of this text (Revelation 14: 11), it becomes impossible for him to exchange this explanation of either the "mark" or the "name" for some other. For the creation of the Sunday-Sabbath by the Papacy constitutes the mark, or proof, of the pope's being invested with authority to act as "Vicar of the Son of God." This "mark" and this "name" fit together as prepared by the divine hand of prophecy, and no others do. Catholics can therefore appeal to Protestants in the following way:   

     Sunday-keeping "not only has no foundation in the Bible, but it is in flagrant contradiction with its letter, which commands rest on the Sabbath, which is Saturday. It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus Christ, has transferred this rest to the Sunday. . . . Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the Church." - "Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today," from the French by Segur, p. 213. Boston: 1868.  

     While God did not attribute this sin to His people in former ages, when they had not been enlightened on the subject, we are now approaching the final struggle between Christ and the restored Papacy, and it behooves us to show under which flag we have decided to stand. For example: In times of peace, no serious results would come to an alien in this country, if, on his holiday, he should hoist his native flag. But if our country was at war with his homeland, and he then should tear down the "Stars and Stripes," and trample on it, while he hoisted his own flag, it would be an entirely different matter. And so now, while Christ and Antichrist face each other in the last deadly struggle, it becomes a serious matter to hoist the enemy's flag, while trampling on the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel!   

     The papal power was "to continue forty and two months" (Revelation 13: 5), and, as the Bible reckons thirty days to a month, this period would be 1260 prophetic days (Revelation ll:2,3). And a day in prophecy stands for a year. (Ezekiel 4: 6.) Thus we see that the papal supremacy would continue for 1260 years. We have already seen that this period began in 538 and ended in 1798 A. D. (See pp. 52-60.) At that time the pope, who had for centuries driven God's people "into captivity," was himself to "go into captivity," the prophet declared. (Revelation 13: 10.) And when the hour struck, to which God's prophetic clock had pointed for 1700 years, the pope had to "go into captivity." Rome was taken by the French on February 10, 1798, the Roman Republic proclaimed on the fifteenth, and on the night of the twentieth, Pope Pius VI was hurried off "into captivity," where he finally died at Valence, France, in 1799. Napoleon had previously given orders that no new pope was to be elected in his place. "No wonder that half Europe thought Napoleon's veto would be obeyed, and that with the Pope the Papacy was dead." - "Modern Papacy," Joseph Rickaby, S. J., p. 1.   

     But this prophecy also foretells its restitution. The prophet declares: "His deadly wound was healed; and all the world wondered after the beast." Revelation 13: 3. (Compare 17: 8.) A new pope (Pius VII) was elected March 14, 1800, and, as J. Rickaby further states:   

     "Yet since then, the Papacy has been lifted to a pinnacle of spiritual power unreached, it may be, since earliest Christian history." - Id., p. 1.   

     Especially since the days of Pope Leo XIII the healing of the deadly wound" has been steadily progressing. On February 11, 1929, the pope once more became a civil ruler (a king) Some day he will attempt to assume his ancient authority over the nations of earth, and then the world will realize that the Papacy is unchanged in spirit, that it will do today just what it did in the Dark Ages.   

      We shall now see what God will do for those who have been faithful to Him in this time of apostasy, and have not deviated from His word, while the whole Christian world has gone astray. But let all remember that we cannot follow what is easy and popular, and expect to stand under God's protection. It was the ark of Noah - the object of so much scorn and derision from the world-that finally became the means of rescue to all who stood faithfully by it under taunt and ridicule. And so now. (Luke 17: 26) God always uses unpopular truths with which to test His people and gather out the honest in heart, and He will protect His own in the time of trouble.   

     They "shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty," safe "from the noisome pestilence." As a hen protects her brood in a storm, so "He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night [night raids by aeroplanes]; nor for the arrow that flies by day; nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness; nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee, . . . neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." Psalm 91: 1-10.   

     God will reveal that He still lives and reigns, and the world shall yet see that He puts a difference "between him that serves God and him that serves Him not" (Malachi 3: 18), just as He did during the plagues of Egypt (Exodus 8: 22, 23; 9: 4; 10: 23; Isaiah 4: 5, 6). "His truth shall be thy shield and buckler" Psalm 91: 4. (Compare John 17: 17; Colossians 1: 5; Psalm 119:142, 151)   

     According to the new covenant promise, the Holy Spirit is to write the law of God in the heart of God's children. (Hebrews 8: 8-10; 2 Corinthians 3. 3) But it must be put "into their mind" before it can be written "in their hearts" (Hebrews 8: 10); and as they have been looking at a mutilated law, the missing part must be restored before the Holy Spirit can write it in their hearts. And so the message comes to "bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples." Isaiah 8: 16. While the nations are moving toward   Armageddon, while angels are about to release the winds of war but have been admonished to hold a little longer, another angel comes with the "seal of the living God," saying: "Hurt not the earth, . . . till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads," so they shall be able to stand during the terrible time of trouble just ahead. (Revelation 6: 17; 7: 1-3). The Lord revealed the same scene to Ezekiel. He saw the destroyers coming, but a man clothed in linen (a symbol of purity, Revelation 19: 8) went before them to "set a mark upon the foreheads of" God's people, after which the destroyers were told to "slay utterly old and young. . . . but come not near any man upon whom is the mark." Ezekiel 9: 1-6. This mark, or sign, is the Sabbath. "I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them." Ezekiel 20:12, 20.  

     As Christ viewed His people on the earth, and found them without "the seal of the living God," He commanded the winds of war to be held in cheek "till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." Revelation 7: 1-3. They were God's servants, but lacked the seal. In Ezekiel 9: 4-6 and 20: 12, 20 it is called God's "mark," or "sign," while in Revelation 7: 1-4 it is called His "seal." God's "name" will be written in the foreheads of His people. (Revelation 14: 1) In God's law His name is found only in the fourth commandment. The fourth commandment, which enjoins the keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath, is the seal of God which the Holy Spirit places in the minds and hearts of His people.   

     The day of wrath is fast approaching. God's people will need a shelter during Armageddon. But God will not do miracles to protect the willfully disobedient. The Lord is greatly grieved over the situation, and complains that His watchmen are not preparing the people "to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord" Ezekiel 13: 5. Compare Ezekiel 22:26, 30; Isaiah 58: 1, 2, 12, 13; 56: 1-5, 10, 11; Hebrews 10: 26, 29. "But the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel." Joel 3: 16. {1943   

The Image to the Beast

     Early Efforts To Unite Church And State   

     IN HOLY Scripture Christ Jesus is repeatedly spoken of as the Lamb of God. Bible prophecy represents America by a similar symbol, which "had two horns like a lamb." The word of God informs us, however, that this peace-loving power, despite its lamb-like principles, eventually would say "to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast [the Papacy], which had the wound by a sword, and did live." Revelation 13:14. The Papacy was formed by a union of church and state, which resulted in the persecution of dissenters. An "image," or "likeness," to the Papacy in America would be a union of church and state, or a cooperation between them, as in the days of papal Rome. And, seeing it is to be "an image to the beast," it cannot be the beast itself, but must be an effort started among Protestants, who desire the aid of the state to enforce some of their dogmas. For nearly three quarters of a century Protestant churches and civic organizations have been at work to create just such a relation between church and state in the United States.   

     In 1863, representatives of eleven Protestant denominations convened at Xenia, Ohio, and organized a federation, with the avowed purpose of placing the name of God in the Federal Constitution. This National Reform Association declared in Article II of its constitution:   

     "The object of this Society shall be to secure such an amendment to the Constitution of the United States as will declare the nation's allegiance to Jesus Christ and its acceptance of the moral laws of the Christian religion, and so indicate that this is a Christian nation, and place all the Christian laws, institutions, and usages of our government on an undeniably legal basis in the fundamental law of the land." - "American State Papers," William A. Blakely, p. 343. Washington, D. C.: 1911.     

     Their official organ: The Christian Statesman, (1888) points out their reason for such an amendment to the Federal Constitution in the following words:     

     "We need it to correct our most unfortunate attitude under the First Amendment, which restrains Congress from prohibiting the free exercise of any false religion." - "Facts for the Times," p. 165.   

     That is, the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution, which safeguards religious liberty, must be made null and void by their proposed amendment, just as the eighteenth amendment was nullified by the twenty-first.   

     Rev. M. A. Gault, a district secretary of the organization, said:     

     "Our remedy for all these malefic influences is to have the government simply set up the moral law, and recognize God's authority behind it, and lay its hand on any religion that does not conform to it." - "The Christian Statesman," Jan. 13, 1887; quoted in "Facts for the Times," page 166.   

     Jonathan Edwards, another of their speakers, said:   

     "We want state and religion, and we are going to have it. . . . So far as the affairs of the state require religion, it shall be religion, the religion of Jesus Christ. . . . We use the word religion in its proper sense, as meaning a man's personal relation of faith and obedience to God. Now we are warned that to engraft this doctrine upon the Constitution will be oppressive; that it will infringe the right of conscience; and we are told that there are atheists, deists, Jews, and Seventh Day Baptists who would suffer from it. These all are, for the occasion and so far as our amendment is concerned, one class. . . . What are the rights of the atheist? . . . I would tolerate him as I would a conspirator." - "Religious Liberty in America," C. M. Snow, pp. 266, 267.   

     The Lord's Day Alliance is another organization working for the same ends. In their "Lord's Day Papers" (Milwaukee, Wis.), No. 117, p. 4, they say of those who do not sanction their propaganda for Sunday laws. "That anarchistic spirit that tramples on any law that one does not like needs to be completely crushed."   

     Joining Hands With Catholicism 

     The Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America has also interested itself along the same lines, and has cooperated more or less with the other two organizations. November 21, 1905, twenty denominations met in New York, and invited the cooperation of the Roman Catholic Church to help solve these civic questions. Another meeting was held in Chicago, December 4-9, 1912, where representatives of thirty-two denominations, having a constituency of nearly 18,000,000 people, met in council. The Inter-Ocean of December 7, 1912, reported:   

     "Federal Council Opens Its Doors to the Catholics  

     "Word Protestant Is Stricken from Committee Report on Object of Association of Churches.   

     "The Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America took one of the most important forward steps in its history when it adopted a resolution presented by the executive committee eliminating the word Protestant from the report of the committee, and virtually threw down the bars and invited the Roman Catholic Church of America to join the council, and lend its titanic strength toward solving the common problems of the church." - Quoted in "Review and Herald," Jan. 9, 1913.   

     A strong resolution for the enforcement of Sunday laws by civil government was then adopted.   

     In forming the Papacy during the fourth and fifth centuries the Catholic bishops, in conjunction with the state, enforced the pagan Sunday as one of the first steps in uniting church and state, thus producing what prophecy terms "the beast." And now in forming "an image to the beast' the Protestant and Catholic clergy will again make Sunday laws the entering wedge in their attempt to enforce religion by law, because Sunday legislation constitutes the neutral ground for cooperation between Catholics and Protestants, and in this work they seek each other's assistance. Rev. S. V. Leech, a Protestant Sunday advocate, said in an address at Denver, Colorado:   

     "Give us good Sunday laws, well enforced by men in local authority, and our churches will be full of worshipers. . . . A mighty combination of the churches of the United States could win from Congress, the state legislatures, and municipal councils, all legislation essential to this splendid result." - "Homiletic Review," November, 1892; quoted in     "American State Papers," William A. Blakely, p. 732. Washington, D. C.: 1911.     

     Rev. Sylvester F. Scovel, a leading National Reformer, says:

"This common interest [in Sunday] ought to strengthen both our determination to work, and our readiness to cooperate with our Roman Catholic fellow citizens. . . . It is one of the necessities of the situation." - "Views of National Reform, Series One," Bible Students' Library, No. 8, pp. 85, 86. Oakland, Calif.: Jan. 15, 1889.  

     "Moreover they [the Roman Catholics] are willing to cooperate in resisting the progress of political atheism, we will gladly join hands with them ." - " Christian Statesman," Dec. 11, 1884.   

     The Catholic Lay Congress, held in Baltimore, November 12, 1889, said:

     "We should seek an alliance with non Catholics for the purpose of proper Sunday observance." - Quoted in "Religious Liberty in America," C. M. Snow, pp. 283, 284.   

     When the great Federation of Catholic Societies was organized in 1906, they said:

     "The Federation is a magnificent organization that is bound to root out prevailing and ruling national evils; a patriotic undertaking in which Catholic and non-Catholic may join hands." - "The Catholic Union and Times," Aug. 2, 1906; quoted in "Signs of the Times," July 8, 1908.   

     The following resolution was adopted by the Boston Archdiocesan Federation of Catholic Societies:

     "We are unalterably opposed to any relaxation of the Sunday laws. Sunday is a day of rest to be devoted to the praise and service of God. We hold the safest public policy at present is to adhere to the rigid observance of the laws now safeguarding the sanctity of the Lord's day." - "Boston Pilot," official organ of Cardinal O'Connell, March 16,1912.   

     In 1910 forty-six Protestant denominations co-operated in an effort to reunite all the Christian churches in the world, and fifty five commissions were appointed to attend a world's conference. They were to have been sent in September, 1914, to different countries to explain the plan, but the World War delayed it. Another effort was made in 1917, when delegates from "many denominations, including Protestant Episcopal, Baptist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian," met at Garden City, N. Y., where they received a letter from Cardinal Gasparri, Papal Secretary of State; and in 1919 three Episcopal bishops were sent to Rome to interview the pope on this question of church union, for Pope Benedict XV had already (1917) started a "move for reunited Christianity."  

     The daily papers reported in January, 1930, that a plan for a world federation of Lutheran churches was being worked on by a sub-committee of the National Lutheran Council at New York. Reports at that time stated the federated church would be headed by a world executive comparable in administrative respects to the Roman Catholic pope. Decorah Posten (Norwegian) for January 21, 1930, gives a similar report. So "federation " and " consolidation " are in the air.  

Earnest Men See The Danger

     God-fearing men in different denominations, who see the trend of the times, fear the consequences. Dr. A. C. Dixon says:   

     "The purpose of this 'Inter-church' movement seems to be to make a great ecclesiastical machine which will dominate all smaller bodies. It is an attempt to form a papacy without a pope; and, if evangelical truth is to be sacrificed or compromised, such a papacy without a pope will be no improvement upon the present ecclesiastical machine which has its center in Rome." - A front-page article in the "Baptist Messenger," June 23, 1920. Oklahoma City, Okla.   

     Dr. George A. Gordon, Pastor of Old South Church, Boston, says:

"The church was united once, the holy Catholic Church throughout the world, and what was it? - An ineffable tyrant, denying freedom over its whole broad domain, and crushing the intellect and the spirit into a dead uniformity. . . . Your one holy Catholic Protestant American Church would give me much uneasiness if it should come into existence tomorrow." - "Review and Herald," May 11, 1913.   

     How clearly these God-fearing men, and many others we could have quoted, see the trend of the Protestant church in forming "an image to the beast" and even seeking the aid of the Papacy in their efforts to form a "holy Catholic Protestant American Church," that could control the state as the papal church did during the Middle Ages!     

     As long as a church has a living connection with Christ, its true Head, and is loyal to His written word, she is supplied with divine power to do His bidding (Matthew 28: 18-20; Acts 1: 8; 5: 32; Romans 1: 16 - John 1: 12), and feels no craving for the power of the state to enforce its teachings. But when apostasy has robbed it of its divine power, and the power of love (2 Corinthians 5: 14) has been exchanged for the love of power, it usually seeks the aid of the civil arm. All attempts to secure the enforcement of religion by civil laws is therefore a confession of apostasy from apostolic purity.   

A Miracle-Working Power

     Whenever God has sent a message of reform to prepare His people for some great crisis, the archenemy has always tried to counterfeit it. When Moses was sent to deliver Israel from Egypt, Jannes and Jambres withstood his message by counterfeiting his miracles. (Exodus 7: 10-13, 22; 8: 6, 7; 2 Timothy 3: 8, 9.) And so it was when the message of Christ's first coming was given. In these last days God has promised to send a message in the power and spirit of Elijah to prepare His people for "the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." Malachi 4: 5) The devil knows this, and so he will counterfeit this message. The prophet, in speaking of the United States, says: "He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men [as Elijah did]. And he deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the beast, . . . and he causeth all . . . to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads." Revelation 13: 13-16. Thus we see that this country was to become a miracle-working power.   

     It was here in the United States that modern Spiritism originated in 1848. And it is working miracles. But what is the source of this miraculous power? We will let the leaders of Spiritism answer this question. In Spiritten [a Norwegian Spiritist periodical], for December 15, 1889, page 2, we read:   

     "Spiritism is the serpent in Paradise offering man to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil."   

     To understand this statement we must remember that God told man not to eat of this tree or he would "surely die," but Satan assured Eve: "Ye shall not surely die." Genesis 2: 17; 3: 4. And Spiritists have based their belief on the devil's words, claiming that people at death do not actually die, but simply pass into the spirit world. Moses Hull, a leading teacher and lecturer among them, makes this point clear. He says:     

     "A Truthful Snake. . . . In answer to the question, 'Who, then, are we to believe - God or Satan?' 1 answer, The facts, in every case in the Bible, justify us in believing Satan, he has ever been truthful; that is more than can be said of the other one. . . . It was not the devil, but God who made the mistake in the Garden of Eden. . . . It was God, and not the devil, who was a murderer from the beginning." - "The Devil and the Adventists," pp. 15, 16. Chicago: 1899.   

     I must ask pardon of the readers for quoting such blasphemous words, but the only fair way of revealing the true nature of Spiritism is to allow its followers to speak for themselves. In later years, however, Spiritism. has changed its face, but not its heart, by professing Christianity; and in that garb has succeeded in getting into the churches. Some startling revelations have been unearthed of late years regarding the work of Spiritism in the different churches all over the world. Many in these churches have felt the emptiness of formalism, and have craved spiritual power, but have been unwilling to get it by the way of the cross. Humble confession, heartfelt repentance, and straightening up of wrongs done to neighbors is a road too narrow for many to walk; unpopular truths, which 'cut across their selfish path of ease, are unwelcome to them; but Spiritism in its Christian form offers the desired power without such sacrifices, and the easy road is accepted with eagerness by many. (Compare Mark 8: 34,38; Acts 5:32; Matthew 4:3-10; 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-11; Matthew 24: 24) They mistakenly accept spiritual power and miracles as evidence of their being right with God (Matthew 7: 21-23; Luke 9: 55), but God's children cannot thus prove whether a movement is true or false, for the enemy can work miracles. Judge I. W. Edmonds, a noted Spiritist, says of his daughter:     

     "She knows no other language than her own native tongue, the English, except a little French she learned in the girls' school; and yet she has talked in nine or ten different languages, often a whole hour at a time, with the same ease as a native. Quite often strangers in their native tongue hold conversation with their spirit friends through her." - "Spiritualism Before the Judgment Seat of Science," p. 42.   

     In the near future Spiritism will influence people in America to form a union of church and state. When this is accomplished, the Papacy will step in and take charge of it. Thus every effort to form this union is helping the Papacy to power. This is so strikingly pictured by the prophet Zechariah that we must take the space here to refer to it.     

The Woman In The Ephah

     The prophet saw "an ephah " (which is a fitting symbol of the business world) and "a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah." Zechariah 5: 7. A woman in prophecy symbolizes a church, and in the book of Revelation this woman is called "the mother" church, which is "drunken with the blood of . . . the martyrs of Jesus." It is also represented as "that great city" on ' "seven mountains." (Revelation 17:5, 6, 9, 18.) M'Clintock and Strong says :"The city of Rome was founded . . . on the Palatine Hill; it was extended by degrees, so as to take in six other hills." - Encyclopedia, art. "Rome." This woman is said to be trading in all kinds of "merchandise": linen, silk, wine, flour, sheep, chariots, and souls of men. (Revelation 18: 12, 13.) A more striking picture of the Papacy could hardly be given, for no advantage in the business world escapes her vigilance. She always seeks to place her members in strategic government positions, and at advantageous labor posts.   

     The ephah, in which this prophetic woman sat, was covered with "a talent of lead," and when this cover was lifted the "wickedness" was seen, or, as the Septuagint has it: "This is the iniquity." (Zechariah 5: 7, 8.) And just so, when the Reformation of the sixteenth century pulled off the cover, "the mystery of iniquity" was seen in all its "wickedness." (2Thessalonians 2: 7, 8.) But the prophet saw the cover placed back on again, and, through the efforts of Jesuits, this covering-up work is being accomplished. "Two women" are next seen who "lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven." (Zechariah 5: 8, 9.) That is, after the true nature of the papacy has been concealed, the miracle-working power of Spiritism in some Christian form, and fallen Protestantism (these two women) will raise the Papacy to the sky.   

"Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base." Verses 10, 11. It was "in the land Shinar" that the former tower of Babel was built, as a man-made way to heaven, so as to avoid the judgment of God in case of another Flood. The builders called it "Babil" - "Gate of God," but God called it "Babel," "Confusion." It was around this tower that the city of Babylon was built - and it stands as a synonym for a man-made way of salvation; and for this reason the Roman Catholic Church is called "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER." Revelation 17:5. Even Cardinal Gibbons declares: "'Babylon,' from which Peter addresses his first epistle, is understood by learned annotators, Protestant and Catholic, to refer to Rome." - "Faith of Our Fathers," edition of 1885, p. 131; and p. 106 in "Eighty-third Revised Edition" of 1917. It is natural, therefore, when the prophet speaks of the Papacy's being established "there upon her own base," that he should symbolically refer to it as "the land of Shinar," or Babylon. (Zechariah 5:10, 11) Thus we see, that, through the cooperation of modernized Protestantism, and Christianized Spiritism, the Papacy will be brought back to power. This is so aptly stated by another author that we give the quotation here:   

     "When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and Republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is near." - "Testimonies," Vol. V, p. 451.   

     Then the "deadly wound" will be fully healed (Revelation 13: 3), and in her restored relationship to the kings of the earth, the Papacy will exclaim in the pride of her power: "I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow." Revelation 18: 7. But, as pride and "a haughty spirit" go before a fall, her glorying will be short, for she shall "go into perdition." Verse 8; 17: 8. Thus we can better understand the seven heads of the beast. The Papacy is said to be one "of the seven" heads, and yet it is "the eighth" (Revelation 17: 11), because, as one of the seven it received its deadly wound, and when this is healed it comes back as the eighth in rotation, while in reality it is only one of the seven coming back to life and power. (Compare Revelation 13: 3 with 17: 8, 11.) 

"That No Man Might Buy Or Sell"

     "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark." Revelation 13: 17. We have seen that the Papacy has adopted Sunday as "a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority," and the Protestant organizations have also adopted this mark, as the following quotations show:   

     "This day [Sunday] is set apart for divine worship and preparation for another life. It is the test of all religion." - Dr. W. W. Everts, in Elgin (Ill.) "Sunday Convention," November, 1887.   

     "When the people, through their representative, legalize the first day of the week as a day of rest and of worship for those who choose so to observe it, it is a sign of the Christian nation." - From a sermon reported in " Christian Oracle," January 12, 1893.     

     The Puritans in the United States made Sunday "a sign between them and the heathen world around, and, to a large extent, it has continued to be a mark of American religion to the present day." - Rev. J. G. Lorimer, in "Christian Treasury"; all quoted in "Signs of the Times," April 1, 1908.   

     When these large religious organizations, that are so vitally interested in Sunday enforcement, combine in their efforts, it is not remarkable that they should attempt to deprive dissenters of their natural rights of attaining their livelihood, for we have seen that this combination is making "an image to the beast" (Revelation 13: 14-17); and the beast, or Papacy, did this very thing. At the Synod of Tholouse, A. D. 1163, it made the following decrees against Sabbath-keepers:   

     "The bishops and priests [were] 'to take care, and to forbid, under the pain of excommunication, every person from presuming to give reception, or the least assistance to the followers of this heresy, which first began in the country of Tholouse, whenever they shall be discovered. Neither were they to have any dealings with them in buying or selling; that by being thus deprived of the common assistance of life, they might be compelled to repent of the evil of their way. Whosoever shall dare to contravene this order, let them be excommunicated, as a partner with them in their guilt.   As many of them as can be found, let them be imprisoned by the Catholic princes, and punished with the forfeiture of all their substance."'   

     Stirred by this decree, King Ildefonsus of Arragon banished all Waldenses in 1194, "He adds: 'If any, from this day forwards, shall presume to receive into their houses, the aforesaid Waldenses and Inzabatati, or other heretics, of whatsoever profession they be, or to hear, in any place, their abominable preachings, or give them food, or do them any kind office whatsoever; let him know, that he shall incur the indignation of Almighty God and ours; that he shall forfeit all his goods, without the benefit of appeal, and be punished as though guilty of high treason." - "History of the Inquisition," Philip Limborch," pp. 88, 89. London: 1816.   

     That the "image to the beast will actually duplicate the work of the Papacy also in this respect is seen from the following utterance, among many others we could quote: Dr. Bascom Robins, in a sermon on the " Decalogue," preached in Burlington, Kansas, Sunday, January 31, 1904, said:   

     "In the Christian decalogue the first day was made the Sabbath by divine appointment. But there is a class of people who will not keep the Christian Sabbath unless they are forced to do so. But that can be easily done. We have twenty million of men, besides women and children, in this country, who want this country to keep the Christian Sabbath. If we would say we will not sell anything to them, we will not buy anything from them, we will not work for them, or hire them to work for us, the thing could be wiped out, and all the world would keep the Christian Sabbath."   

     God, who knows the end from the beginning, has foretold that they would do this very thing, so "that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark." Revelation 13: 17. But will God forsake His faithful children in this trying hour? Oh, no! "He that touches you touches the apple of His eye." Zechariah 2: 8. As a loving Father He will step forward to the protection of His children. (Psalm 103: 13) And His enemies will find that "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10: 31.  

      When the world refuses to permit God's people to "buy or sell," He will send drought and famine, so that the wicked will have little or nothing to sell, and will be unable to buy because their money will be worthless. The seven last plagues will be God's answer to man's challenge, as the ten plagues of Egypt were His answer to the haughty challenge of a Pharaoh against His message in ancient time. (Exodus 4: 22, 23; 5: 2) With men suffering from sores and fever, and no water to drink, while the sun is scorching them with great heat (Revelation 16: 1-9), causing the most terrible drought the world has ever witnessed (Joel 1: 10-20), the earth will be in a deplorable condition (Isaiah 24: 1-6), and people "shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king, and their God (Isaiah 8: 21, 22). And they will turn against the rich (James 5: 1-5), who will "cast their silver in the streets" to appease the angry mob, but "their gold shall be removed" (Ezekiel 7: 19). They hoarded millions, and cornered markets, while working people were suffering, till at last the storm has gathered around their well-filled palaces, and too late they make an attempt to save themselves from the long-pent-up wrath.  

     The laws that deprive God's people of their rights, and thus force them out of the cities, seem to them a calamity, and many surrender the truth to support their families. But what appears to be such a calamity is a blessing in disguise, for it drives them out of the cities in time to escape this terrible labor-revolution. Some day we shall find that no hardship comes to God's loyal children but what is absolutely necessary to their salvation. Those who make it their undeviating practice to put God's will first in all their plans and habits of living, can safely trust Him for the rest. (Matthew 6: 33; Philippians 4: 19; Isaiah 43: 2) Driven from the cities, they flee to mountain fastnesses and solitary places, where angels supply their needs, as Elijah was fed. "Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure." Isaiah 33:16. Oh, we have a wonderful God.   

     Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him." Psalm 2: 12. God's loyal children will be fed by angels, while the world is starving. The fondest hopes of God's people will be realized: "Thine eyes shall see the king in His beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off." Isaiah 33: 17, 18. No pen can describe that thrill of joy when we shall meet our dear Saviour and our loved ones, and be taken home to that beautiful land that knows no heartaches, no farewell scenes, no funeral trains. (John 14: 1-3)  

     The great question for each one of us to settle is whether we will have our citizenship papers in order when King Jesus shall come to claim His own. The reader might ask what papers are required for citizenship in that kingdom. To answer that question satisfactorily, we must remember that sin has caused all the anguish, sorrow, and trouble in this world, and that God's heart of infinite love has been wrung with pain for suffering humanity. He has therefore decided that sin, with all its trail of woe, shall not be permitted to enter His eternal kingdom, and that all who enter that blissful home must part company with sin.   

     But sin is inbred in man, and forms a part of his very character, so that he cannot, by his own efforts, extricate himself from its toils. (Jeremiah 13: 23; Romans 7: 15, 18-24) Christ, however, stands ready to free us from our sins. He will deliver us if we will let Him do it. (Matthew 1: 21; John 1: 12) But He will not use force, even in things that are for our own good, for He has created man a free moral agent, and respects his choice. (Isaiah 1: 18; Revelation 22: 17; 1 John 1: 7, 9) A complete surrender to Christ is therefore necessary, that He may change our desires, affections, and characters so we can enjoy the society of the pure and unselfish inhabitants of that happy land.” 

1943 CE, FAFA 298-315

Christian Edwardson