The Three Angels of Revelation 14:6-12

11/13

THE TWO-HORNED BEAST

[Graphic of two-horned beast] TAR 77.1

It is the two-horned beast that is to cause the world to worship the first beast and to form an image to that beast which all must worship on pain of death. We have shown that it is the two-horned beast which is to cause the fearful scene respecting which the third angel utters his voice of solemn warning. It is therefore evident that if we would understand this warning, we must carefully examine the prophecy respecting the two-horned beast. What power then is symbolized by this beast with two horns like a lamb? Several answers have been returned to this question. We will briefly notice them. TAR 77.2

1. In 1842 Josiah Litch advanced the view that Napoleon was the two-horned beast. But in 1848 he renounced this view, assigning as his reason for this, the fact that Napoleon did not impose a mark upon any as the sign of their allegiance to the beast but granted free toleration to all religions. To the foregoing reason we may add another. This two-horned beast is identical with the false prophet. Compare Revelation 13:14, 15 with Chap. 19:20. From the comparison it is evident that the two-horned beast is to act an important part in the battle of the great day of God Almighty, yet before us. But Napoleon long since passed from the stage of action; hence it is certain that he is not the subject of this prophecy. TAR 77.3

2. Others contend that the two-horned beast is England and Wales; while others still, contend that it is England and Scotland. But in either case they might as well have four horns as two; viz., England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. But it is certain that the British empire never yet deceived men by the miracle of bringing down fire from heaven; and that it never by means of such miracles caused those that dwell upon the earth to make an image to the beast which all should worship on pain of death. No one can point out such a miracle on the part of that empire, or indeed of any other in our world’s past history. But such miracles must be performed before the image is made which all must worship. Hence this prophecy respecting the image and its worship has not been fulfilled in the past. TAR 78.1

Another important fact is this. Those who claim that England has caused the dwellers upon the earth to worship this image to the beast on pain of death, refer back some three centuries in the past for the fulfillment of the prophecy. The third angel warns men of the scene described in Revelation 13:14, 15. Now if that was fulfilled three centuries since, it is certain that the third angel’s message must have been given at that time. We have proved that the first angel’s proclamation belongs to the last generation of the human family. But if the foregoing view of the two-horned beast is correct it follows that the third angel’s message was given some hundred years before that of the first! TAR 78.2

But besides the lack of fitness in this application there is one fact which is of itself a sufficient refutation of the whole matter. It is this: England is one of the ten kingdoms represented by the ten horns of the first beast of Chap. 13, and consequently cannot constitute a distinct beast with two horns. For the two-horned beast which arises about the time of the deadly wound of the first beast, is from the time of its rise cotemporary with that ten-horned beast. So that the two-horned beast and the ten-horned beast are two distinct powers. Hence one of the ten horns of the first beast, cannot constitute a cotemporary two-horned beast. And this fact equally disproves the view that France or any other of the ten kingdoms of the fourth empire is the two-horned beast. TAR 79.1

3. The “Holy Alliance” of the great powers of Europe, which was formed some forty years since, has been supposed by some to be the subject of the prophecy respecting the two-horned beast. And England and Russia, as being the most important members of this alliance, have been represented as the two horns of this beast. But neither the Russian bear nor the British lion is very much “like a lamb.” But that holy alliance is now perfectly dissolved, and England and Russia, the supposed horns of the beast, are now engaged in deadly warfare. Hence this view of the two-horned beast is false. TAR 79.2

4. Others have recently explained the two-horned beast as the Russian empire; the two horns being Russia and Poland. And the image which the two-horned beast was to form, they represent as the holy alliance, to which reference has already been made. We think this the most unreasonable view of the subject that has ever been presented. For Poland is a feeble, conquered province, and a kingdom in name only. While Russia is a gigantic power bearing complete sway over the province of Poland. Russia should therefore be represented as an exceeding great horn, while Poland, which has no real existence as a kingdom, cannot deserve to be represented as a horn of any kind. Besides this, Russia has never performed any of the wonders noted in this prophecy. The bringing down fire from heaven preceded the making of the image, and was the cause of its being made by the dwellers upon the earth. If the holy alliance was that image, then all these wonders must be in the past; for that alliance has now crumbled to atoms. But as the predicted wonders have not been seen, it follows that this view is false and absurd. TAR 79.3

5. The view has also been put forth that the eastern Roman empire constituted this two-horned beast; its two horns being, first, the Roman power, and second, the Mahometan power, or Turkish empire, that was erected upon the ruins of the eastern Roman empire in 1453. Thus making the two horns successive, and also making the second pluck up the first. And this view further represents the first beast as the civil power of the western empire as embodied in the ten kingdoms; while the Papacy is called the image of that beast, set up by the eastern empire. It also represents the Papacy as the mouth which was given to the ten horned beast speaking blasphemies. So that we are to look to the eastern empire as a power that caused all the world to worship the western empire, and that did, through the bringing down of fire from heaven, and other miracles, cause the image to be made to the first beast. TAR 80.1

To this view of the two-horned beast we object for the following reasons: TAR 81.1

1. The eastern empire is, by this view, represented as causing all the world to worship the ten kingdoms of the western empire, which is false in point of fact. TAR 81.2

2. The eastern empire existed before the rise of the first of the ten kingdoms; so that the ten kingdoms are not the first beast, if the eastern empire is the two-horned beast. TAR 81.3

3. Those who hold this view, teach that the two-horned beast began its existence when Constantine removed the seat of empire from Rome to Constantinople, a. d. 324. They also teach that Constantine and his successors were the seventh head of the dragon; and that this seventh head of the dragon was the head of the beast that was wounded unto death. This view therefore effectually confounds the two-horned beast with the seventh head of the dragon, and confounds the seventh head of the dragon with the beast which received the deadly wound. It also represents the conversion of Constantine and his accession to the empire as putting an end to the dragonic period, and at the same time represents Constantine and his successors as the seventh head of the dragon! Further, those who teach thus, represent that the wounding of the head was by the rise of the ten kingdoms of the western empire. A very singular fulfillment of the wounding of the beast unto death! For these ten kingdoms are made out to be the beast which receives the deadly wound, and yet they teach that the deadly wound was given unto the dragon by the rise of this beast! But the rise of the ten kingdoms did not inflict a deadly wound upon the imperial head of the dragon; for it was able to continue 1000 years after the rise of the ten kingdoms! And it is certainly very absurd to first apply all the heads to the dragon without reserving a single one for the beast, and then say that the beast who had no head at all, had one of his heads wounded unto death! And this deadly wound of the beast, was, after all, nothing more than the rise of the beast himself from the sea! This is simply reversing the prophecy, and making the ten-horned beast the one that inflicts the deadly wound, and not the one which receives it. TAR 81.4

4. The two-horned beast makes an image unto the beast that had the wound by a sword and did live. The view under consideration represents that the two-horned beast is the same as the seventh head of the dragon; and it also as we have seen makes the seventh head of the dragon, the beast that was wounded unto death. So that if the two-horned beast makes an image unto the beast which had the wound by a sword and did live, it must be understood that it makes an image unto itself. This is a manifest absurdity, yet it is a necessary conclusion from the views which we are examining. TAR 82.1

5. If the Papacy is the image to the beast, as represented by this view, then it must be shown that the eastern empire formed this image in consequence of bringing down fire from heaven, and other wonders which it was to perform in the sight of them that dwell upon the earth. If we show that such was not the case we shall have fully disproved the view in question. Those who apply the two horned beast to the eastern Roman empire, and the image of the beast to the Papacy, attempt to show that this prophecy respecting the bringing down of fire from heaven, refers to a destructive agent in use in the eastern empire, called “Greek fire.” But that this is not the subject of this prophecy appears from the following facts: 1. This fire was not brought down from heaven upon the earth in the sight of men. 2. It was not a miracle, but it was the skillful preparation of a distinguished chemist; the secret of which is now lost. And it may be added that the eastern empire never performed any miracle whatever. 3. But the most decisive fact is this: The bringing down of fire from heaven was the cause of the image’s being made. But the Greek fire was not invented until about 130 years after Papacy the supposed image was set up. The Papacy as has been shown many times was set up about 538, while the Greek fire was not invented until 688. TAR 82.2

“Greek fire was invented in the seventh century. When the Arabs besieged Constantinople in 668, the Greek architect, Callinicus of Heliopolis, deserted from the Caliph to the Greeks, and took with him a composition, which by its wonderful effects, struck terror into the enemy and forced them to take flight.”-Encyclopedia Americana. TAR 83.1

Then it is an undeniable fact that this supposed bringing down of fire from heaven did not take place until long after the Papacy was set up. This is most conclusive proof that the view which we have been examining is false. And it is not only true that the “Greek fire” had nothing to do with the formation of the image, but that it had nothing to do with sustaining it. No one will claim that the eastern empire caused the world to worship the image of the beast by any such means. On the contrary, if the Turks are one of the two horns all that the eastern empire did by means of the Greek fire was to keep the second lamb-like horn, the Turks, from rising as soon as they otherwise would. TAR 83.2

6. If the Papacy is the mouth of the first beast, [see Revelation 13:5,] as is admitted by those who teach that the two horned beast is a symbol of the eastern empire, it is absurd to make it also the image to the first beast. For it cannot be both the image to the beast, and the mouth of the beast also. TAR 84.1

7. The two horned beast is said to become the false prophet, when the eastern empire was conquered by the Turks. But how can this be true when the false prophet is represented as working miracles in connection with the beast or Papal power? The Mahometan power has never wrought miracles, but had it wrought many miracles, it would have wrought none of them to strengthen the Papal power. Revelation 19:20. TAR 84.2

8. It is self-evident that the third angel’s warning relates to the acts of the two-horned beast. Now if the acts of the two-horned beast are rightly located by this view in the sixth century, and the second angel’s proclamation which according to this view belongs to the sixteenth century is rightly located there, it follows that the third angel must utter his voice of warning 1000 years before the second! That is, the third angel relates to the events of the sixth century, while the second relates to those of the sixteenth! It is true that those who hold the view of the two-horned beast which we have been examining, understand that the third angel makes his proclamation later than the second, which they think belonged to the sixteenth century. But it is well known that the eastern empire was subverted before the sixteenth century, so that if that power was the two-horned beast, the third angel’s message must have been given prior to the second, our opponents themselves being judges. TAR 84.3

Those who hold the view that has been here examined, think that the rise of the ten kingdoms is what the prophecy relates to, which speaks of the dragon giving his power and seat unto the beast. But we think it manifest that the act of the dragon in giving his power and seat unto the beast, must relate to a voluntary act, and not to the conquest of one power by another. In the act of the eastern empire in giving the ancient seat of the empire to the Papal power, we may see a perfect fulfillment of the prophecy. It is confounding this act with that of the two-horned beast in making the image to the beast, that leads to all the mistakes on this subject. It necessarily confounds the dragon with the two-horned beast, and makes the beast which all that dwell upon the earth, whose names are not written in the book of life shall yet worship, to be nothing but the civil power of the ten kingdoms of the western empire! TAR 85.1

We have now presented some of the most important reasons for rejecting the various views of the two-horned beast, referred to above. It is proper that we should now inquire respecting the true application of this important symbol. We think that most conclusive reasons have been offered to show that the two-horned beast is not the eastern Roman empire; that it is not Russia, not France, not England; and, indeed, that it is not any one of the ten kingdoms of the western empire. We have already seen that the fourth beast of Daniel, which in its Papal form is the same as the beast which received the deadly wound, of which John speaks, does not give his place to another beast, but continues until the judgment, when he is to be cast into the fiery flame. Daniel 7:11; Revelation 19:20. Hence it is certain that the location of the two horned beast is not in the ten kingdoms of the fourth beast. We cannot take one of the horns of the fourth beast and with it constitute another beast, or the horns of another. TAR 85.2

The two-horned beast is “another beast” besides the ten-horned beast. It is not the first beast healed of his deadly wound, for the work of the two-horned beast is in the sight of that beast. Revelation 13:14. It would indeed be a surprising change if the ten horns were to be plucked up, and in their stead two other horns should arise. Yet such is a necessary conclusion if the two-horned beast is but another form of the first beast. Hence we conclude that the two-horned beast is another and distinct power. TAR 86.1

It is, however, from the time of its rise, a power contemporary with the beast whose deadly wound was healed. It acts in the sight of the first beast in performing its wonders. TAR 86.2

The manner of its rise is not to be overlooked. The four beasts of Daniel, of which series John’s first beast constituted the fourth, are all seen to rise out of the sea in consequence of the striving of the winds. Daniel 7:2, 3; Revelation 13:1. They arose by overturning the powers that preceded them, by means of general war. Winds denoting war or strife among men, and waters or sea denoting people, nations, etc. Revelation 7:1-3; 17:15. But this power arises in a peaceful, or lamb-like manner from the earth. For it does not arise by the strife of the winds upon the sea, that is by the overthrow of other nations and empires, but it arises where no other. beast exists, and acts its part in the presence of its predecessors. This shows that it must arise from a new and previously unoccupied territory. TAR 86.3

When was this power to arise? Not prior to the first beast, certainly. Not at the same time; for then there would be no propriety in designating either as the first beast. It is said that it shall exercise all the power of the first beast before him. Then we may look for it to come on the stage of action about the close of the first beast’s dominion, at the end of the 1260 years. Again, it is to cause the world to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed, which shows that its period of action is this side 1798. TAR 87.1

J. Litch says:-“The two-horned beast is represented as a power existing and performing his part, after the death and revival of the first beast.... If asked for my opinion as to what will constitute that beast with two horns, or the false prophet, I must frankly confess I do not know. I think it is a power yet to be developed or made manifest as an accomplice of the Papacy in subjecting the world. It will be a power which will perform miracles, and deceive the world with them. See Revelation 19:20.”-Restitution, pp. 131, 133. TAR 87.2

Mr. Wesley in his notes on Revelation 13, says of the two-horned beas2.2 TAR 88.1

“He has not yet come, though he cannot be far off; for he is to appear at the end of the forty-two months of the first beast.” TAR 88.2

On the 15th verse speaking of anti-christ, he says: TAR 88.3

“It seems his last and most cruel persecution is to come. This persecution, the reverse of all that preceded it, will as we may gather from many scriptures, fall on the outward court worshipers, the formal Christian. It is probable that few real Christians shall perish by it: on the contrary, those who watch and pray always shall be accounted worthy to escape all these things, and stand before the Son of man.” TAR 88.4

One fact of interest may be noticed here. The course of empire beginning with the first great empire near the garden of Eden has been ever tending westward. Thus the seat of the Babylonian and Persian empires was in Asia. The seat of the Grecian and Roman empires was in Europe. The Roman empire, in its divided state as represented by the ten horns, occupies all the remaining territory west to the Atlantic ocean. Hence we still look westward for the rise of the power described in this prophecy. TAR 88.5

Bishop Berkely in his celebrated poem on America, written more than 100 years since, seemed to foresee something of the greatness of this power, and he most forcibly describes its connection with its predecessors: TAR 88.6

“Westward the course of empire takes its way; The four first acts already past, A fifth shall end the drama with the day; Time’s noblest offspring is the last.” TAR 88.7

By “the four first” acts, the Bishop doubtless referred to the four great empires of the prophet Daniel. The fifth with which the scene closes, is the power that has arisen this side the Atlantic. As the four powers of the eastern continent were not to be succeeded by a fifth, we understand that the power represented by the beast with two horns, which arises in the last days of the fourth beast, must be located in America. This lamb-like power, the noblest and the last offspring of time, must also in its dragonic character prove itself the basest. As we have said, the two-horned beast does not arise by overthrowing its predecessor. And it is worthy of notice that the ten kingdoms of the fourth empire were all complete long before the discovery of America. And the war of the revolution was not for the purpose of overthrowing one of the ten kingdoms of the fourth empire, but it was to maintain the just rights of the American people. TAR 88.8

This power is evidently the last one with which the people of God are connected; for the message of the third angel which immediately precedes the view of Jesus on the white cloud, pertains almost entirely to the action of the two-horned beast. Compare Revelation 14:9-11; 13:11-18. And it is a fact which ought not to be overlooked, that those powers with which the people of God are connected, are the only ones noted in prophecy. It is also plain that the march of civilization and of Christianity, like the course of the natural sun, has ever been westward. And it is evident that the territory of this last power is to be the field of the angels’ messages, the land where the crowning truths of the gospel, ere it finishes its course, are to be brought out. TAR 89.1

The rise of each of the great powers has been gradual. For a series of years they were preparing for the stations which they afterward assumed, but they begin to be represented in prophecy, at the time when they are prepared to act their part in the great drama. We come now to trace the rise of an empire which has come up in the sight of the first beast; a power still further on toward the setting sun, with the history of which the great circuit of empire will be accomplished, for the boundary of the vast Pacific has been reached. TAR 89.2

A short time before the Reformation in the days of Martin Luther, a new continent was discovered. The rise of the reformers brought out a large class who were determined to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. They desired a greater measure of civil and religious freedom; hence they with many others fled to the wilds of America and laid the foundation of a new empire. They did not establish their power by overturning another power, but they planted themselves in an uncultivated waste, and laid the foundation of a new government. The preceding powers had arisen through the strife of the winds on the great sea, but this power arises out of the earth. That is, the first powers arose through the action of wars in overturning and subverting other nations, to be in turn overthrown and subverted by their successors, but this power appears to arise from the earth in a peaceful manner. It comes up in the sight of the first beast like the settlement and growth of a new country. “The Dublin Nation” thus notices the progress and the power of this republic: TAR 90.1

“In the east there is arising a collossal centaur called the Russian Empire. With a civilized head and front, it has the sinews of a huge barbaric body. There one man’s brain moves 70,000,000. There all the traditions of the people are of aggression and conquest in the west. There but two ranks are distinguishable, serfs and soldiers. There the map of the future includes Constantinople and Vienna as outposts of St. Petersburg. TAR 90.2

“In the west an opposing and still more wonderful American empire is emerging. We Islanders have no conception of the extraordinary events which, amid the silence of the earth, are daily adding to the power and pride of this gigantic nation. Within three years, territories more extensive than these three kingdoms, France and Italy put together, have been quietly, and in almost ‘matter of course’ fashion annexed to the Union. TAR 91.1

“In seventy years seventeen new sovereignties, the smallest of them larger than Great Britain, have peaceably united themselves to the federation. No standing army was raised, no national debt sunk, no great exertion was made, but there they are. And the last mail brings news of the organization of three more great States about to be joined to the thirty. Minnesota in the north-west, Deseret in the south-west, and California on the shores of the Pacific. These three States will cover an area equal to one half the European continent. TAR 91.2

“Nor is this a mere addition on the map. It is not piling barren Pelion upon uncultivated Ossa. It is an actual conquest of new strength and resources. Already has Minnesota its capital-St. Paul, which has its journals, churches, schools, parties, interests and speculations. The Mormon founders of Deseret are doing what the Puritans did in Massachusetts two centuries ago-taking care to possess themselves of the best lands and waters in their new State. Instead of becoming a lawless horde of adventurers, the settlers in California are founding cities, electing delegates, magistrates, sheriffs, and Congressmen, as methodically and as intently as if they trod the beaten paths of life on the Atlantic shore of the continent. TAR 91.3

“And with this increase of territory, there is a commensurate increase of industry in the Older States. The census of 1850 about to be taken in the United States, will show a growth of numbers, territory, and industry entirely unexampled in human history, Let the ‘gray powers of the old world’ look to it-let the statesmen of France, Germany, and Russia, read the census carefully though it should startle them. Let despotism count every man of these millions as a mortal enemy, and every acre of that vast commonwealth as an inheritance of mankind mortgaged to the cause of freedom. America is as grand a field for human enterprise as when the ships of Columbus first neared the shores of Guanihana.” TAR 91.4

The progress of our own country since its first settlement, has indeed been wonderful. We trace its rise from the time of its settlement by those who fled from the oppression of the fourth empire, onward till it assumes its station among the great powers of earth, a little previous to the end of the 1260 years. Its territory has increased more than tenfold since that period, by the addition of the vast territories of Louisiana, Florida, Texas, New Mexico and California, and the extension of an undisputed title to Oregon. Thus extending its dominion to the vast Pacific. A few facts from the census of 1852, as compared with that of 1792, may be of value in estimating the growth of this power. TAR 92.1

17921852
Population of U. States,3,000,00022,000,000
“Boston18,000130,000
“Philadelphia42,000407,000
“N.Y. City20,000515,000
U. States Imports$31,000,000$178,000,000
“Exports$26,000,000$151,000,000
Sq. Miles Territory300,0003,000,000
Miles of Rail Road8,500
“Telegraph12,000
No. of Post Offices20021,000
Amount of Postage$100,000$5,000,000

The youth, as well as the apparent mildness of this power, seem to be indicated by its lamb-like horn. What do these horns mean? The symbol of horns like those of a lamb is not elsewhere used in the prophetic Scriptures, with the exception of those texts which represent Christ as a Lamb having seven horns, etc., Revelation 5:6. The idea appears to be generally prevalent that a horn is used only to designate civil power. This is certainly a mistake. We think that the following Scriptures show that a horn is used simply as the emblem of power. TAR 92.2

“My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies: because I rejoice in thy salvation.” 1 Samuel 2:1. TAR 93.1

“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer: the God of my rock; in him will I trust; he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my Saviour; thou savest me from violence.” 2 Samuel 22:1-3. TAR 93.2

“Ye which rejoice in a thing of naught, which say, Have we not taken to us horns by our strength?” Amos 6:13. TAR 93.3

“Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass.” Micah 4:13. TAR 93.4

“And his brightness was as the light: he had horns coming out of his hand; and there was the hiding of his power.” Habakkuk 3:4. TAR 93.5

“And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” Revelation 5:6. TAR 93.6

“The horn as an emblem of power was originally taken from beasts, such as the urus, wild ox, buffalo, or perhaps the rhinoceros, who were perceived to have so much power in their horns. Hence a horn was frequently worn on crowns and helmets, as is evident on ancient coins; and to this day it is an appendage to the diadems of the kings and chiefs of Abyssinia.” TAR 93.7

We may also learn from these symbols, which are explained in connection with other powers, some facts that will throw light on this. The two horns of the ram in Daniel 8, denoted the union of the two powers of Media and Persia in one empire. The great horn of the Grecian goat was the symbol of the first form of that power. The ten horns of the fourth beast denoted the ten distinct powers into which the fourth empire was divided. Daniel 7:23-25. And the little horn which came up after the ten, represented the Papacy, a purely ecclesiastical power. It was a horn before the three were plucked up. See Daniel 7:8, 24. This was accomplished in 538. But the Papacy did not become possessed of civil power until 755. Says Goodrich in his History of the Church: TAR 94.1

“As a reward to the Roman Pontif, Pepin in the year 755, conferred on Stephen, the successor of Zachary, several rich provinces in Italy, by which gift he was established as a temporal monarch,” p. 98. See also Bower’s History of the Popes, vol. 2, p. 108. TAR 94.2

Hence it is certain that ecclesiastical, as well as civil power, is represented by the symbol of a horn. And it is evident that the horns of these beasts symbolize the entire power of the beasts. From these facts we may learn that the horns of Daniel’s fourth beast (the first beast of Revelation 13) denoted civil and religious power. Hence we regard the horns of the last beast of Revelation 13 as symbolizing the civil and religious power of the nation represented by that beast. The horns of the first beast have each a crown upon them, (verse 1,) and are the horns of a dreadful and terrible beast, (Daniel 7:7,) while those of the two-horned beast are represented as horns like those of a lamb, and they have no crowns upon them; hence the two-horned beast is emphatically a government of the people; and whatever is done by the people may be said to be done by the beast. And a plurality of horns is not always the symbol of a power divided; for the two horns of the ram in Daniel 8 symbolized the union of Media and Persia in one government. TAR 94.3

In appearance, if we may judge from the symbols used, this beast represents the mildest power that ever rose; for in the prophetic history of the governments that have preceded this, no one has been represented by symbols so mild. We understand these horns to denote the civil and religious power of this nation-its Republican civil power, and its Protestant ecclesiastical. If it be objected that its civil power ought to be represented by the beast, rather than by a horn of the beast, we refer to one or two facts that will meet this point. The civil power of Grecia was represented by the great horn of the goat; and when that civil power was broken, the beast still continued to exist; and in the place of that one civil government, arose four. And we may add, that when the dominion of the different beasts of Daniel 7, was taken away, their lives were prolonged for a season and time. That is, the nation still lived, though the dominion of the nation was destroyed. Hence we understand that the beasts denote the nations which constitute the different kingdoms, and the horns of the beast denote the civil and religious power of the nations. No civil power could ever compare with Republicanism in its lamb-like character. The grand principle recognized by this form of power, is thus expressed: “All men are born free and equal, and endowed with certain inalienable rights, as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Hence, all have a right to participate in making the laws, and in designating who shall execute them. Was there ever a development of civil power so lamb-like before? And what, in religious matters, can be compared with Protestantism? Its leading sentiment is the distinct recognition of the right of private judgment in matters of conscience. “The Bible is the only religion of Protestants.” Was there ever in the religious world any thing to equal this in its lamb-like professions? Such we consider the meaning of the “two horns like a lamb.” TAR 95.1

“And he spake like a dragon.” With all these lamb-like appearances the real spirit by which he is actuated is that of the dragon-the Devil. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Matthew 12:34. What he is to speak, we may notice hereafter. Verse 14. TAR 96.1

“And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, [or in his sight as Whiting translates,] and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed.” Here is conclusive proof that the two-horned beast is distinct from the ten-horned beast, and cotemporary with it, from the time that its deadly wound was healed, about the commencement of the present century. This exercise of power is the very scene of trouble and danger before us, respecting which the third angel utters his voice of warning. “If any man worship the beast” etc. The anguish of that period when all the powers of the first beast shall be exercised, may be learned from reading the history of the first beast. Revelation 13:5-7; Daniel 7:23-26. It is certain that since the 1260 years of triumph of the first beast, no power has exercised such oppression as that which is here predicted. Hence this has not been accomplished in the past; and the prophecy clearly shows us that this dragonic work is to proceed from a government the mildest in appearance that the world ever saw; its power being represented by “horns like a lamb.” So that from a power that has presented to the world the most extraordinary spectacle of civil and religious liberty, bitter and unrelenting persecution is yet to be experienced by the church. This important fact should be carefully considered. TAR 96.2

The lamb-like character is to be first exhibited. This is to deceive the nations. Then the dragonic character-the real character of the beast, is to appear. For as the dragon gave power to the first beast, which prepared the Papacy for its 1260 years of persecution, so the two-horned beast gives power to the image of the first beast, to act a part like that beast in warring upon the saints. The only civil government that has ever existed, exhibiting the lamb-like appearance of this symbol is the United States: one of the articles of its constitution containing these words, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” As the lamb-like power of this beast, as represented by its horns, is not in accordance with its dragonic character, as exhibited in its exercising all the power of the first beast, we think the conclusion a reasonable one that its period of mildness and deception precedes that of its tyranny and oppression. We shall notice hereafter what this power dose in causing the world to worship the first beast. TAR 97.1

That we are living in an age of wonders is an admitted fact. The expression is oftentimes repeated, “There is nothing too wonderful to happen” The increase of knowledge in every department of the arts and sciences, has indeed been without precedent in our world’s history. Our own country takes the lead in all this: we see the chariots, with the speed of lightning, coursing their way through the land, and with similar speed men traverse the mighty deep. The prophecy of Nahum is now literally fulfilled: “The chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir-trees shall be terribly shaken. The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broadways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightings.” Revelation 2:3, 4. “The fire of God” [the lightning, Job 1:16; Exodus 9:23, 24] has been here brought down from heaven. Such is the wonderful power that man has obtained over the elements. And the lightning, thus brought down from heaven is now made obedient to the will of man, and sent as a messenger from one end of our land to the other. God said to Job, “Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are?” Job 38:35. To send the lightning seems almost an attribute of Omnipotence, if we may judge from the manner in which Jehovah speaks to his ancient servant; yet men are now able to employ this executor of the wrath of God as their own obedient servant. It has been observed by a recent speaker: “If Franklin tamed the lightning Prof. Morse taught it the English language.” And all this bids fair to be eclipsed by other and more astonishing wonders. TAR 98.1

We do not indeed regard this as the fulfillment of the prophecy, “He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven upon the earth in the sight of men;” but these facts are worthy of notice as marking the age in which we live. When men in ancient times had reached that pass that there was nothing restrained from them that they imagined to do, we read that God came down and confounded them. Genesis 9:6-9. If the men of the present generation do not occupy a similar position they certainly bid fair to before long. The world may indeed be deceived by the things that we have named, and many others of a like character, and caused to believe that better days are coming, and that the earth is being prepared for the happy residence of men, and that men are becoming more virtuous and enlightened, and that thus the way is preparing for the temporal Millennium. But there is a class of wonders now in process of development that bids fair to present to the world the perfect fulfillment of this prophecy. We refer to that which is now called “Spiritualism,” the work of the unclean spirits in our land. TAR 99.1

In almost every part of our land, multitudes of men of every class are now holding communion, as they suppose, with the spirits of the dead. And that they are holding communion with spirits of some kind is undeniable, for the fact of their presence is attested by astounding miracles. We think that no one can deny the facts that are brought to substantiate the work of the spirits, however they may judge of the spirits themselves. Says Hon. J. W. Edmunds, Judge of the Supreme Court:- TAR 99.2

“Scarcely more than four years have elapsed since the ‘Rochester knockings’ were first known among us. Then mediums could be counted by units, but now by thousands-then believers could be numbered by hundreds, now by tens of thousands. It is believed by the best informed that the whole number in the United States must be several hundred thousands, and that in this city [New York] and its vicinity there must be from twenty to twenty-five thousand. There are ten or twelve newspapers and periodicals devoted to the cause, and the Spiritual library embraces more than one hundred different publications, some of which have already attained a circulation of more than ten thousand copies. Besides the undistinguished multitude there are many men of high standing and talent ranked among them-doctors, lawyers and clergymen in great numbers, a Protestant bishop, the learned and reverend president of a college, judges of our higher courts, members of Congress, foreign ambassadors, and ex-members of the United States’ Senate.” TAR 100.1

This statement of Judge Edmunds, was written two or three years ago. Since that time this work of the spirits has been steadily progressing. And they have now extended themselves over Great Britain, France, Germany and many other countries. The Emperor and Empress of France, the Queen of Spain, and the Roman Pontiff have all sought to these spirits for knowledge. It may be proper that we enumerate some of the many remarkable acts performed by them. Among them are the following: TAR 100.2

Many well attested cases of healing; writing performed by them without the aid of any one; the transportation of things from a distance by the spirits alone; persons carried by the spirits through the air in the presence of many others; tables have been suspended in the air with several persons on them; beautiful music has been performed by the spirits, with, and without the aid of instruments; extraordinary communications respecting distant persons and places have been many times made with complete accuracy; and the spirits have represented themselves to the natural vision of some and talked with them in an audible voice, the persons not knowing them to be spirits until after they disappeared TAR 101.1

The astonishing progress of these wonders should awaken serious reflection on the part of every one. If these things continue to progress as hitherto, what a scene is there before us! It is evident that these things are but the beginning of the miracles with which the world is to be deceived. That all this is the work of demons, and not of the spirits of the dead, appears from several decisive facts. TAR 101.2

1. As to the dead, the Bible plainly testifies, that they “know not any thing;” [Ecclesiastes 9:5;] that they are in the grave where there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom; [verse 10;] that they have laid down, and that they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep, until the heavens be no more; [Job 14:12;] that they praise not the Lord; [Isaiah 38:18, 19; Psalm 115:17; 6:5;] and that in the day of death, the thoughts perish; [Psalm 146:2-4;] and that without a resurrection they which have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 1 Corinthians 15:18. To this we may add, that God has most solemnly forbidden necromancy, which is the pretended science of dealing with the dead. Deuteronomy 18:11; Isaiah 8:19. We may all see for a certainty that the dead cannot impart knowledge to us when they have none for themselves; and hence may understand that God warns us against seeking knowledge from that source, as we shall only expose ourselves to the delusion of the devil. TAR 101.3

2. The Bible clearly predicts that in the last days Satan is to work with all power, and signs, and lying wonders. And that the spirits of devils are to work miracles; and they will come in the guise of the spirits of the dead. We beg the reader to carefully compare, 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10; Revelation 16:13-15; Isaiah 8:19-22. That the two-horned beast, that performs the miracles spoken of in Chap. 13, is the same as the false prophet from whose mouth one of the unclean spirits issues, [Chap. 16:13,] we shall hereafter prove. TAR 102.1

3. The third reason for regarding these as the spirits of devils is found in the fact that they most openly contradict the authority of the Holy Scriptures. They deny the resurrection of the dead; the second advent of Christ; the judgment, and, indeed, all leading doctrines of the Christian religion; they place the most profligate and wicked men, like the infidel Paine, in the highest heaven, and represent him as engaged in the same work that he so faithfully adhered to while he lived, viz., the overthrow of the authority of the Bible; and, finally, they openly deny the inspiration of the Word of God, and seek to substitute in its place their own worthless fables. TAR 102.2

The foregoing facts are, in short, the most important reasons that prove these the spirits of devils. And they can be appreciated by every person who fears God, and trembles at his word. We have referred to the unclean spirits as the agency by which the miracles of the two-horned beast are to be performed. As proof that we are correct in this, we refer to Revelation 16:13, where one of the three unclean spirits is represented as going out of the mouth of the false prophet to perform miracles. A comparison of Chap. 13:11-17; 19:20, as we shall notice hereafter, proves that the two-horned beast and false prophet are the same. Hence it is certain that the unclean spirits are the agency by which the two-horned beast performs his miracles. TAR 102.3

But these miracles are to be carried so far that fire is to be brought down from heaven upon the earth in the sight of men. In the days of Elijah the test between Jehovah and Baal was this very thing: the God that could cause fire to come down from heaven in the sight of the assembled multitude, was the true God. Satan was not then able to perform this most astonishing miracle. 1 Kings 18. But this very act, by which the true God was distinguished from the false, is now to be performed by Satan himself. This shows, as we think, that this act of the two-horned beast relates to the hour of temptation that shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth. Revelation 3:10, 11. Who would be prepared to resist such miracles as this? None but those who are specially kept by God. The multitude must be swept away by them. The truth of God, that shows all this as the work of the Devil, will be the only shield then. Those only who have kept the word of Christ’s patience will then be kept. This fearful hour of temptation, when Satan shall work with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, is before us, and who will stand when it shall come upon all the world? “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:36. TAR 103.1

No form of power ever arose in any past age combining the remarkable features which appear in our own government. It is of itself a wonder, a system of government that has not its like elsewhere. What is needed throughout the world to relieve its inhabitants of their oppression, but that Republicanism should remodel all their civil governments? The leaven of its principles has deeply diffused itself throughout the nations of earth. In proof of this, witness the revolutions of 1848 which shook nearly all the thrones of Europe. And what is so well calculated to develope and to maintain religious freedom, as Protestantism? With the diffusion of these principles, how many are now confidently expecting a long period of prosperity and triumph for the church-a period of emancipation to the poor enslaved nations of the earth! the ushering in of the period when the nations shall learn war no more, and a universal spiritual kingdom shall be set up and fill the whole earth; (Micah 4:1-5;) and those wonders which we have briefly noticed promise to mankind a better revelation than the Scriptures of truth afford us. TAR 104.1

The people of God indeed are looking forward to the time when the Lamb, who is King of kings and Lord of lords shall reign in person over the whole earth. But with the mass this view has given place to the more congenial idea of a spiritual reign, and of temporal prosperity and triumph. This view holds out to men the prospect of peace and safety, (1 Thessalonians 5,) notwithstanding the evidence has been spread out before them that the hour of God’s judgment has come, and that no better state of things can ever exist till the curse shall be removed from the earth. The warning respecting the coming storm of wrath has been most faithfully given; but by the multitude it has been rejected, thus leaving them to the deceptions that are already coming upon the earth. They dream that the earth, with all its progress, and with all its improvements, is far too lovely and excellent for God to destroy. Peace and safety is the delusive dream in which men indulge while the wrath of God hangs over them. TAR 104.2

We regard the two-horned beast, then, as the symbol of a civil and religious power, differing in many respects from those which have preceded it. It is in appearance the mildest form of power that ever existed; but it is, after having deceived the world with its wonders, to exhibit all the tyranny of the first beast. Are the pretensions of this power well founded? Let us examine. If “all men are born free and equal,” why then does this power hold three millions of human beings in the bondage of slavery? Why is it that the Negro race is reduced to the rank of chattels personal, and bought and sold like brute beasts? If the right of private judgment be allowed by the Protestant church, why does she expel men from her communion for no greater crime than that of attempting to obey God in something wherein his Word may not be in accordance with her creed? Read Charles Beecher’s work “The Bible a Sufficient Creed.” Why are men for no other crime than looking for Jesus Christ, expelled from the churches of those who profess to love his appearing? TAR 105.1

To these, and many other questions of a similar character, we can only answer, that the lamb is such only in pretension. He is dragon in character. His ostensible appearance is that of a lamb; but the power by which he speaks is that of the dragon. The true kingdom of the Lamb-the King of kings, is not set up on the earth until the destruction of all the wicked powers that now bear rule. Then the Jubilee will end the bondage of the saints: God speed the right. TAR 106.1

A further view of the two-horned beast may be obtained by comparing his history with that of the false prophet. The two-horned beast is represented as working miracles in the sight of the first beast. Revelation 13:14. The same is affirmed respecting the false prophet. Revelation 19:20. The nations of the earth are deceived by these miracles, and caused to worship the image of the first beast, and to receive his mark. The same work is ascribed to the false prophet. Still further, we may say that the Bible gives us the origin of the two-horned beast, but does not under that name give us his final destiny. The origin of the false prophet is not given under that name, but his destiny is clearly revealed. Revelation 19:20; 20:10. Inasmuch as their work is identical, and they act on the stage at the same time, we cannot doubt their identity. This is positive proof that the two-horned beast is, from the time of its rise, a power co temporary with the first beast, and not the first beast in another form. What power has ever arisen in the past history of the world, that could answer the description of this lamb-dragon, or false prophet? If Satan has been permitted to make use of Paganism as an instrument of oppression and deception, and also of Papacy, which is Christianity in a corrupt form, why may he not make use of Protestantism also when it becomes corrupt, as, if possible, a more efficient means of deception than either of the former? TAR 106.2

Has not the protestant church acted the part of the false prophet most effectually in promising to the world a thousand years of peace and prosperity before the day of wrath? She has prophesied this out of her own heart, for God has ever spoken the reverse of this. 2 Timothy 3; Daniel 7; Matthew 13; 2 Thessalonians 2. The protestant church as a body now proclaim this doctrine as expressing the great object for which they labor-temporal prosperity and triumph in a world that has ever rejected Christ. TAR 107.1

Mahommedanism is not this false prophet; for it is introduced in the prophecy under the symbol of locusts, and its power departed with the hour, day, month and year of the second woe. Revelation 9. But the two-horned beast, or false prophet, acts as an accomplice of Papacy in Satan’s great work of final deception, and unites in the great conflict against the King of kings. Revelation 19. TAR 107.2

The work of deception prepares the way for the dragon voice of the beast. He says “to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast which had the wound by a sword and did live.” And thus it would seem that the history of this symbol is in part at least, twice presented, each time ending with its oppressive acts. First, with its power represented by horns like a lamb; but it was subsequently to exercise all the dragonic power of the first beast. And, second, it is represented as working miracles to deceive the dwellers upon the earth, and when this deception is accomplished it is to cause them to unite in making an image that should have power to put every one to death that should not worship it. In noticing the prophetic history of the first beast, we called attention to the fact that the prediction respecting the time when all that dwell upon the earth shall worship the beast whose names are not written in the book of life, has never yet met its fulfillment. And we would here express the conviction that this prophecy relates to the time when the two-horned beast is to speak as a dragon, and to exercise all the power of the first beast. In that hour of strong temptation, we may expect to see all the dwellers upon the earth united in the worship of the beast. TAR 107.3

The beast was the Papacy clothed with power, to put to death the saints of God. Revelation 13:5-8; Daniel 7:23-26. An image to the beast then, must be another ecclesiastical body, clothed with power and authority to put the saints to death. This can refer to nothing else but the corrupt and fallen Protestant church. (We would simply call attention to the present Know Nothing movement as one of the signs of the times. The cause of truth and of humanity has little to hope from it. But it may have a most important bearing upon the destiny of this nation.) If it be asked from whence the beast receives this power, we can only answer that, by permission of God, the dragon that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, is without doubt the very being who communicates this power to the beast. The kingdoms of this world are claimed by him, and the right to give them to whom he will. Luke 4:5, 6. Should it be objected that the world is too much enlightened to submit to such deception, or to unite in such a work of persecution, we answer that the word of God gives us this prophecy in clear language; and it is with reference to this scene of danger that the third angel utters his solemn warning. Look at the Jewish church, and mark how soon after it had rejected the Messiah at his first coming, they put him to a cruel death, and slew also many of his apostles and saints. They said indeed (Matthew 23) that had they lived in the days of their fathers, they would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. But when their “hour and the power of darkness” came upon them, how completely did it show them under the power of Satan! Luke 22:53; John 7:30. The downward course of our own nation on the subject of African slavery, is a fearful warning of the abyss into which it is about to plunge. The most infamous law of the nineteenth century is the “fugitive slave law.” And not satisfied with this act of infamy, the last congress of the United States opened the vast field of all the territories of the nation to slavery though hitherto sacredly guarded from that withering curse. What next God only knows. TAR 108.1

The rejection of the truth of God, leaves men the captives of Satan, and the subjects of his deception. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12. The greater the light which men reject, the greater the power of deception and of darkness which will come upon them. The Advent message has been given in our own land, and by the mass rejected, and no greater, and indeed no other light can ever be given to those who have turned away from that. The third angel gives us warning of the danger which is now before us. The warning precedes the danger that we by seasonable admonition may make our escape. TAR 109.1

Another religious power enforces the claims of the first beast, and his image, and causeth the world to receive his mark. What is this mark of the beast? It is the mark of that beast to whom the image was made-the first beast. Revelation 19:20; 16:2. But it is enforced by the two-horned beast. Hence, we understand it as an institution of Papacy, enforced by Protestantism. The beast and his image unite in this thing, denoting the union of the great system of false Christianity, in opposition to the saints, who are engaged in keeping the commandments of God. Have we such an institution, really the child of Papacy, which the civil power supports, and to which the religious world pays homage? “We have. It is found in a weekly Sabbath which the “Man of Sin” has placed in the stead of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. If we turn to the law of God, we shall find that the fourth commandment alone points out Jehovah. The first three forbids the worship of false gods, and blasphemy. The last six pertain wholly to our duty to our fellow men. Not one of these nine commandments points out the true God. But the Sabbath commandment points out the true God as that being who in six days created heaven and earth, and rested upon the seventh. By the observance of the sanctified rest day of the Creator, he is acknowledged as the true God, in distinction from every object upon which the eye can rest, in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath. The being that created all these things is God. Such is the teaching of the fourth commandment. But the Scriptures plainly predict that the man of sin should exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, and should “think to change times and laws.” 2 Thessalonians 2; Daniel 7:25. It is not said that he should be able to change them; but he should think to do it; or as the Catholic version reads, “he shall think himself able to change times and laws.” They are not the times and laws of men which he thinks to change, for these he might be able to change as other powers have done; but it is an act of arrogance in which he does not succeed. The times and laws of God are doubtless intended. This apostasy began in the apostolic age. 2 Thessalonians 2:7. It has resulted in the perfect development of the man of sin; and of his blasphemous acts, among which we may name the change of the fourth commandment. No one can produce any other authority for changing the Sabbath than Romish traditions. Hear the testimony of a Roman Catholic: TAR 110.1

“The first precept in the Bible is that of sanctifying the seventh day: God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. Genesis 2:3. This precept was enforced by God in the Ten Commandments: Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. Exodus 20. On the other hand, Christ declares that he did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. Matthew 5:17. He himself observed the Sabbath: and as his custom was, he went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath day. Luke 4:16. His disciples likewise observed it after his death: they rested on the Sabbath day according to the commandment. Luke 23:56. Yet with all this weight of Scripture authority for keeping the Sabbath or seventh day holy, Protestants, of every denomination, make this a profane day, and transfer the obligation of it to the first day of the week, the Sunday. Now what authority have they for doing this? None at all, but the unwritten Word or tradition of the Catholic church, which declares that the apostles made the change in honor of Christ’s resurrection, and the descent of the Holy Ghost on that day of the week.”-Milner’s End of Controversy, page 89. TAR 111.1

For a more full view of the testimony on this point we refer to the tracts entitled, “Why don’t you keep the Sabbath day?” and the “History of the Sabbath.” TAR 112.1

Notwithstanding the fourth commandment in the plainest terms enjoins the observance of the sanctified Rest day of the Lord, almost all the world now wonder after the beast, and observe the Pagan festival of Sunday, which the great apostasy has substituted for the holy Sabbath. By the observance of the Sabbath, men acknowledge the great Creator as their God. But when they understandingly choose in its stead the Sabbath of the man of sin, they acknowledge him as above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, and as able to change the times and laws of God. There is no evading this point. If we observe the Sabbath of the Lord, and that of the apostasy also, we only make the man of sin equal with God. But when we profane the Lord’s Sabbath, and observe in its stead the Romish festival of Sunday, we acknowledge the Papacy above God, and able to change his times and laws. We speak of those who have the light of truth, and act contrary to it. Those who have never yet understood that the observance of Sunday is a tradition of the fathers which makes void the fourth commandment, are not referred to. It is the bringing of this Sabbath of the apostasy to the test that will constitute it the mark of that power that should think to change times and laws. There is no other Papal institution that directly sets aside one of the ten commandments, that the whole Protestant world observes. This mark is very conspicuous in the forehead or hand, and signifies not a literal mark, but a public profession, or act, that all may see or know. The manner in which the Protestant church would enforce the Sabbath of the man of sin, had it the power, is well expressed by a distinguished clergyman: TAR 112.2

Says Dr. Durbin: “I infer therefore that the civil magistrate may not be called upon to enforce the observance of the Sabbath, as required in the spiritual kingdom of Christ; but when Christianity becomes the moral and spiritual life of the State the State is bound, through her magistrates to prevent the open violation of the holy Sabbath, as a measure of self-preservation. She cannot without injuring her own vitality, and incurring the Divine displeasure, be recreant to her duty in this matter.”-Christian Advocate and Journal. TAR 113.1

It is proper that we should speak with carefulness of that which relates to the events of the future. That the scene described in the conclusion of Revelation 13, pertains to the time of trouble before us, such as never was, we have no doubt. It is also evident that in the providence of God the line of separation between the worshipers of the beast and his image on the one hand, and those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus on the other, will be most distinct and visible. The third angel’s proclamation will prepare the people of God for the coming crisis: and the formation of the image and the reception of the mark will prepare all the various classes of adherents to the beast, to receive the vials of the wrath of God, the seven last plagues. The image of the beast, as we have seen, is made up of apostate religious bodies. The name of the beast, as given in verse 1, is blasphemy. The image it appears is made up by legalizing the various classes that will acknowledge the blasphemous claims of the beast, by taking his mark. Every class that will therefore acknowledge the authority of the beast may be legalized and form a part of this image; but when this is accomplished, woe to all dissenters! It is thus that we understand the number of the beast as six hundred three-score and six. The mark will determine to which class each individual belongs. We have seen the cause of danger fully laid open before us in Revelation 13. We now return to the voice of warning as presented in Chap. 14:9-11. TAR 113.2

The warning of danger is a warning which refers directly to the scene of trouble described in Revelation 13:11-18. This warning shows that that trouble is yet to come. Its fearful character may be learned from the thrilling and dreadful import of the angel’s message. The Bible nowhere else depicts such dreadful wrath. On one side stands the decree of the beast who is to exercise all the power of the first beast before him, that all who will not worship the image and receive his mark shall be put to death; on the other hand stands the solemn warning of the third angel. Here then is the strait before us. We can worship the beast and his image; and as the penalty, drink the wine of the wrath of God, or we can refuse, and peril our lives that we may obey God. TAR 114.1

This message will draw a line between the worshipers of God and the worshipers of the beast and his image, for on either hand it reveals a dreadful penalty and leaves no chance for half way work. Those who disregard this warning, will be found with the worshipers of the beast and his image, and will drink of the wine of the wrath of God. Those who heed this warning; will obey God at the risk of their lives. The one class is designated by the mark of the beast, the other class is seen in the patience of the saints keeping the commandments of God. That the law of God should thus be made a great testing truth to draw a line between the subjects of the fourth and fifth kingdoms, is an idea not unworthy of the God of the Bible. That the commandments of God are the great subject of controversy between the dragon and the remnant of the seed of the woman, is plain from Revelation 12:17. The issue of this struggle cannot be a matter of doubt, for as in all past ages those who have had the ark of God, and have kept his commandments have triumphed, even so will it be now. TAR 115.1

What then is it to worship the beast? for this is a prominent part of the act against which the wrath of God without mixture of mercy is denounced, and, as we have seen, all the world are yet to unite in this act. It is worthy of notice that at the conclusion of this dreadful warning, the saints are introduced as keeping the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Thus we may understand that the worship of the beast and his image, and the reception of his mark is the opposite of keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. And we have seen that one of the commandments of God has been superseded by an institution of the Romish apostasy. A remark by a recent writer, bearing on this point is worthy of lasting remembrance: TAR 116.1

“Whenever any civil or ecclesiastical enactment conflicts with the requisitions of Jehovah, that power is worshiped, which is obeyed in preference to the other. ‘Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey his servants are ye to whom ye obey?’ Romans 6:16.” Bliss on the Apocalypse, p. 233. TAR 116.2

We have already seen that the conflict is between the commandments of God, and the requirements of the beast. And that a Papal institution, which has usurped the place of one of the commandments of God, is yet to be made a test by the two-horned beast. It is not difficult therefore to see how men will be made to worship the beast; for whenever they obey the requirements of the beast in the place of the commandments of God they worship the beast; for they acknowledge him as above the Most High. It is a remarkable fact that the Pagan festival of Sunday, which the great apostasy has substituted for the Sabbath of the Bible, is now enforced by law in most of the States of the Union. A Papal institution which directly contradicts the fourth commandment enforced by a Protestant government! A most striking instance of the union of church and state in this country the boast of the nation to the contrary notwithstanding! “Congress,” says the constitution, “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” But most of the state governments, which have no right to infringe upon the constitution, have already decided that the Sabbath of the Bible shall be kept on Sunday, and the judges have decided such laws to be constitutional! If the government has a right to nullify the fourth commandment there is an end to the principle of religious liberty; for it has an equal right to nullify any or all of the others. TAR 116.3

It may be proper that we should notice some of the most probable causes that will induce the two-horned beast to create the image and to require the reception of the mark. TAR 117.1

1. The first which we would name is the work of the spirits in performing miracles, etc. It is certain that this agency as we have already seen is to deceive the dwellers upon the earth and cause them to make the image which all must worship on pain of death. We may rest assured that this extraordinary development of Satanic power has been reserved by him to act an important part in preparing men for the seven last plagues. If our public men become mediums, (and some of them are such already,) and our citizens become believers in this new system of divinity, our govern is hopelessly in the hands of the devil. Such a result may neither be improbable nor distant. TAR 117.2

2. A second cause, and one too which should not be lightly passed over is this: the preaching of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This is the cause of the conflict between the dragon and the last fragment of the church. We shall hereafter show that the commandments of God, as distinguished from the faith or testimony of Jesus, mean the ten commandments. The fourth of these commandments the dragon has attempted to change. It is because the saints are keeping all the commandments of God that the dragon makes war upon them. This prophecy (Revelation 12:17) doubtless refers to the scene described in the conclusion of Revelation 13. Mr. Miller remarks respecting this prophecy: “I am, therefore, constrained to believe this battle of the dragon’s last power will be in America; and if so, it must be mainly in these United States.”-Lectures, p. 213. TAR 118.1

It is because the commandments of God will be vindicated, and the unscriptural character of the Sunday-Sabbath exposed, that the two-horned beast will require all to receive the mark. The lack of scriptural argument has been the chief cause why men have resorted to the argument of fire and faggot to convince dissenters. TAR 118.2

The fearful penalty connected with the warning of the third angel now claims our attention. It consists of two things: 1. The wine of the wrath of God, poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation. 2. The torment with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. Let us carefully consider each in order. TAR 118.3

What is the wine of the wrath of God? The next chapter clearly explains this point. “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues: for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials, full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever..” Verses 1, 7. It follows therefore that the wine of the wrath of God is the seven last plagues. This fact will be further apparent as we proceed to show that these plagues are future. That the plagues pertain to the future, we think can be established beyond controversy. TAR 119.1

1. The wrath of God as threatened by the third angel is poured out in the seven last plagues; for the first plague is inflicted on the very class that the third angel threatens. Compare Revelation 14:9, 10; 16:1, 2. This fact proves that the agues must be future when the third angel’s message is given; and it also proves the identity of the wrath of God without mixture, and the seven last plagues. TAR 119.2

2. We have shown that the plagues, and the wrath of God without mixture are the same. And wrath without mixture must be wrath with nothing else; that is, wrath without mercy. God has not yet visited the earth with unmixed wrath; nor can he while our great High Priest ministers in the heavenly Sanctuary, and stays the wrath of God by his intercession for sinful men. When the plagues are poured out, mercy has given place to vengeance. TAR 119.3

3. Hence it is that the seven angels are represented as receiving the vials of the wrath of God- the seven last plagues-after the opening of the temple of God in heaven. If we turn to Revelation 11:15-19, we shall find that the opening of the temple in heaven, is an event that transpires under the sounding of the seventh angel. And that account concludes with a brief statement of the events of the seventh vial or last plague. Now if we turn to Chap. 15:5-8; 16:1-21, we shall read an expanded view of the facts stated in Chap. 11:15-19, and shall find that the two accounts conclude in the same manner; viz., with the events of the last plague. These scriptures show that the seven angels do not receive the vials of the wrath of God to pour out upon the earth until the temple of heaven is opened. That temple is opened under the voice of the seventh angel. The third woe is by reason of the voice of the seventh angel. Chap. 8:13; 9:12; 11:14. The seven plagues are poured out under the sounding of that angel; hence the plagues are future, and constitute the third woe. TAR 119.4

The foregoing reasons establish the fact that the plagues are future. We see no reason why they will not be just as literal as those poured out on Egypt, while their consequences will be far more terrific and dreadful. We will now briefly compare the account of these plagues with other scriptures calculated to shed light upon the subject. The first vial is thus presented: “And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image.” Revelation 16:2. TAR 120.1

This may be best understood by referring to Exodus 9:8-11. “And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven: and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man and upon beast. And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boil; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.” TAR 120.2

Why will not the antitype be as real and literal? The wine of the wrath of God unmixed with mercy must be far more dreadful than the judgment inflicted on Egypt. The second and third vials are thus presented: “And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say,, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.” Verses 3-7. TAR 121.1

As an illustration of these plagues, read Exodus 7:17-21. “Thus saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river. And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that we in the river were turned to blood. And the fish that was in the river died: and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river: and there was blood throughout the land of Egypt.” TAR 121.2

The third vial is a retribution for the blood of the saints. As the blood of all the righteous that had been slain upon the earth came upon that generation which rejected Christ at his First Advent, [Matthew 23:34-36,] so also may it be now. It should be remembered that these fearful judgments are inflicted in consequence of the acts described in the conclusion of Revelation 13. “And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun, and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him the glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” TAR 122.1

“The scorching of fire, in the midst of their trouble, will be terrible in the extreme. Exodus 10:21-23, will illustrate the fifth vial:” “And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: they saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” TAR 123.1

On this subject Bro. Litch remarks: “What a terrible scene! with all their grievous sores, blood to drink-stagnant blood-and putrid fish filling the waters, scorched with burning heat; and then, to crown the whole, the whole kingdom of Anti-christ is to be full of darkness. O, what a picture of woe! Reader, make haste to escape it! ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’” TAR 123.2

“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates: and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 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. Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon.” Verses 12-16. TAR 123.3

“‘The great river Euphrates,’ remarks Bro. Litch again, ‘will be as literally dried up to make way for the kings of the eastern world to come up to Jerusalem and Palestine to that battle, as the same River was dried up before Cyrus, when he entered and took the city of Babylon; or as the Red sea and river Jordan were dried up to make a highway for Israel through their bed. The effects of the sixth vial will be, first, to dry up the waters of the river, to make a highway; and, second, to send forth the spirits of devils to deceive, by miracles, the kings of the whole earth, and their armies, and gather them.” TAR 124.1

The battle of the great day of God Almighty is very fully described in Jeremiah 25. TAR 124.2

“For thus saith the Lord God of Israel unto me, Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations to whom I send thee to drink it. And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. Then took I the cup at the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the Lord had sent me: and all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them. Therefore prophecy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth: for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations; he will plead with all flesh: he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.” Verses 15-17, 26, 30-33. TAR 124.3

The coming of Christ as a thief, [See Matthew 24:42-44,] does not take place until after the sixth vial is poured out. The gathering of the nations to the great battle, which is accomplished by the spirits, is brought to view in many scriptures. Joel 3:1, 2, 9-16; Zephaniah 3:8; Revelation 19:19-21. TAR 125.1

The present development of the spirits of devils in our land, we do not regard as anything but their preparatory work. For there is always a period in which providence is preparing those agents which are to fulfill prophecy; but the fulfillment of prophecy begins at the point where the agents are prepared to act the predicted part. Thus Rome, though it constituted the fourth empire, was founded when Babylon, the first empire, was in the height of its glory. But when Greece, the third empire, had fulfilled its part, Rome was prepared to act the part assigned it in prophecy. It is thus that we understand the work of the spirits. Under the sixth plague the spirits will be prepared to act the part predicted in verse 13. TAR 125.2

“And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” Verses 17-21. TAR 126.1

The voice from the temple may be illustrated by the following texts: “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel 3:16. “Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation: he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth: for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations; he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 25:30, 31. TAR 126.2

The great earthquake may also be found in other scriptures: “The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall and not rise again.” Isaiah 24:19, 20. “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” Revelation 6:14; 11:19. TAR 127.1

The great hail out of heaven is well illustrated by the following scriptures: “And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven; and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground: and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.” Exodus 9:22-25. “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow, or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?” Job 38:22, 23. “Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place.” Isaiah 28:17. TAR 127.2

Such is a brief view of the dread realities of the seven last plagues-the third woe. How fearful will be the events of that woe! May God count us worthy to escape the things coming on the earth, and to stand before the Son of man. The seven last plagues are poured on the living wicked; but the second part of the penalty affixed to the warning of the third angel, is not inflicted until the end of the thousand years when all the wicked are raised and suffer it together. This part of the penalty we will now consider. TAR 128.1

“He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever,” etc. The final perdition of ungodly men in the lake of fire is without doubt the subject of these awful words. That we may rightly understand this text, we call attention to several important facts. TAR 128.2

1. The punishment of the wicked will be inflicted upon them on this earth; for the final conflagration of our globe is to constitute the lake of fire in which they are rewarded, each according to his works. “Behold the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.” Proverbs 11:31. “But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Peter 3:7. “But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8. For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Malachi 4:1. ‘And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.” Revelation 20:7-9. TAR 128.3

2. The prophet Isaiah, [Chap. 34,] describes the final conflagration of our globe in language which is a complete parallel to that of the third angel in describing the punishment of the wicked. Those who contend that Isaiah refers only to ancient Idumea, must admit that the period of time described in this strong language, must finally come to an end. And those who admit that Isaiah in the language we are about to quote, refers to the conflagration of our earth, will find in what follows, ample proof that that scene will finally close. TAR 129.1

“For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever; from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.” Chap. 34:8-10. TAR 129.2

3. But this terrific scene of final conflagration is not to last throughout unlimited duration. For the earth having been burned and all its elements melted, new heavens and new earth are to follow, as the present earth succeeded to that which was destroyed by water. And in the earth thus made new the righteous are to be recompensed. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness; looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:10-13. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Revelation 21:1. TAR 130.1

4. Thus, however dreadful and long-continued the punishment of the wicked will be, (for each is to be punished according to his deserts,) that punishment will finally result in the utter destruction of all transgressors. All the wicked will God destroy. Psalm 145:20. They shall die the second death. Revelation 21:8; Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:4, 20. They shall perish, being consumed into smoke. Psalm 37:10, 20, 38. They shall be punished with everlasting destruction, being burned up in unquenchable fire. 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Matthew 3:12. And thus having been consumed, root and branch, they shall be as though they had not been. Malachi 4:1; Obadiah 16. TAR 130.2

We will now briefly refer to several important facts that prove that the present is the period in which the warning of the third angel is to be given. We have proved that the proclamations of the first and second angels belong to that generation that is to witness the final overthrow of all earthly powers, and the sublime scenes of the Second Advent. And that the present is that generation that shall witness these fearful events. We have also shown that the two former proclamations have already been made, and consequently the warning of the third angel is the great theme which should now arrest the attention of every mind. The chronology of this message seems to be distinctly marked by the fact that it is given in the period of “the patience of the saints” which follows the proclamation of the two former messages. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Verse 12. And this period of the saints’ patience is marked by a most important feature, viz., the keeping of the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. We wish to call attention to several points. TAR 131.1

1. We have shown that the first angel’s message refers to the solemn proclamation of the immediate Second Advent; consequently the period of patience here brought to view must be the same as that which in many scriptures is located immediately preceding the Second Advent. A few texts must suffice as examples. “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience; that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:35-39. TAR 131.2

“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the Judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction and of patience.” James 5:7-10. TAR 132.1

“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Revelation 3:10, 11. TAR 132.2

“And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah 25:9. TAR 132.3

2. The period of the saints’ patience, here brought to view, is distinguished by the fact that they are keeping the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. It should be distinctly noticed that the commandments here brought to view, are not the commandments of Christ. There may be a certain sense in which all the precepts of the Saviour may be called the commandments of God; that is, if viewed as proceeding from the sovereign authority of the Father; but when the commandments of God are spoken of in distinction from the testimony or faith of Jesus, there is but one thing to which reference can be made; viz., the commandments which God gave in person: the ten commandments. See John 15:10. “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” TAR 132.4

And thus we find the law of God which he proclaimed in person, referred to in the New Testament as “the commandments of God,” or as “the commandments.” TAR 133.1

“And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness; Honor thy father and thy mother; and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Matthew 19:17-19. TAR 133.2

And they returned and prepared spices and ointment; and rested the Sabbath day, according to the commandment.” Luke 23:56. TAR 133.3

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19. TAR 133.4

“Honor thy father and mother, (which is the first commandment with promise,) that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2, 3. TAR 134.1

“But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” Matthew 15:3-6. TAR 134.2

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law, sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy; and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.” Romans 7:7-14. TAR 134.3

It is a fact beyond dispute that the fourth commandment, some ages since, was changed from the Rest day of the Lord to the Pagan festival of Sunday. This change was made in express contradiction of the Holy Scriptures, which everywhere recognize the seventh day as the only weekly Sabbath of the Lord. It was accomplished by the great apostasy, which Daniel predicted should “think to change times and laws.” This power is essentially the same as the beast which was to be worshiped by all the world. And it is a fact of deep interest that this commandment which has been so long trodden down, is now being vindicated and the people of God are beginning to keep it with the other nine. Thanks be to God that he is preparing the remnant for their final conflict with the dragon, and for admittance through the gates into the Holy City. Revelation 12:17; 22:14. The vindication of the fourth commandment in opposition to the Sabbath of the apostasy, and the preaching of all the commandments of God is a striking testimony that the present is the period of the saints’ patience, and of the warning of the third angel. TAR 135.1

3. The opening of the holiest of all in the temple of heaven by which the ark is seen, is an event that takes place under the sounding of the seventh angel. And as the ministration of our great High Priest is changed to that apartment at the termination of the 2300 days, (see works on the Sanctuary,) we understand that the opening of the temple is marked by the termination of that period as presented by the proclamation of the first angel. The entrance of our High Priest to the most holy place to minister before the ark of God, calls the attention of the church to the commandments of God contained within that ark. The commandments of God have been shining out from the heavenly Sanctuary since that time. TAR 135.2

The period between our Lord’s entrance into the holiest of all to cleanse the Sanctuary, (Hebrews 9:23,) and complete his great work of ministration, and the close of that period as marked by the seven angels coming out of the temple to pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth, (Revelation 15:5, 6,) we understand to be the period of the saints’ patience. It is the days of the voice of the seventh angel in which the mystery of God is being finished; that is, the period when human probation is being wound up. Besides the fact of the termination of the 2300 days, which marks the opening of the temple in heaven, the anger of the nations is an important testimony that we are now in the days of the voice of the seventh angel. Revelation 11:13. The present time is therefore, the proper period for the last message of mercy to perishing men; and it is marked by the actual presentation of that voice of warning, and of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. TAR 136.1

4. Another important fact that determines the chronology of the third angel is that the seven last plagues are poured out upon those who reject his warning; the first plague being inflicted upon the very class which the third angel threatens. The seven last plagues are the wine of the wrath of God poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation. We have already seen that they are not inflicted until the work of mercy for man is accomplished. The third angel warns us respecting this outpouring of the exterminating wrath of God, and consequently gives the latest message of mercy. The mystery of God, or work of salvation for sinful men, (Ephesians 3,) is finished in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he begins to sound; (Revelation 10;) and as the third angel has the last warning of mercy before the vials of God’s wrath are poured out, it follows that it must be given in the days when the seventh angel begins to sound. It is likewise evident that the conclusion of the work of our great High Priest in the heavenly Sanctuary must also take place in the days when the seventh angel begins to sound; for it is then that the mystery of God is finished. The reason why the third woe, or seven last plagues, does not commence at once when the seventh angel begins to sound, is the fact that a period of days is occupied in finishing the mystery of God. In this period the warning of the third angel is given that every one who has an ear to hear may escape the vials of the wrath of God; and in this period also the Saviour completes his work in the Sanctuary in heaven. This being accomplished, the vials of the wrath of God are poured out upon the defenceless heads of the wicked. We think therefore, that the evidence is conclusive that the present is the time for the warning of the third angel. A false fulfillment of prophecy cannot occur at the time when the true should be expected. It is certain that one of the commandments of God has long been trodden down by the beast, and that in this thing almost the whole world has wondered after the beast. This commandment, as well as all the others, is now being vindicated that the remnant may be prepared for their final conflict with the dragon. May God interest the hearts of all his people in this work. TAR 136.2

We have already briefly spoken of the commandments of God. A few words should be devoted to the faith of Jesus. This term is used in distinction from the commandments of God. What therefore shall we understand by the “faith of Jesus?” We think that it cannot refer to a particular degree or kind of faith which the Saviour exercised in the performance of his miracles; for it appears that he wrought these by the power which he had already received from his Father. Matthew 8:2, 3; Mark 1:40, 41; Luke 5:23, 24. For the world itself was made by him. John 1. He had ample power therefore, to perform every miracle which he wrought. There is but one other thing to which this term can refer; viz., the precepts and doctrines of our Lord as recorded in the New Testament. Thus “the faith of the gospel,” [Philippians 1:27,] must refer to the precepts and doctrines of the gospel. “The faith” to which a multitude of the priests were obedient, [Acts 6:7,] which was resisted by Elymas the sorcerer, [Acts 13:8,] which was committed to the apostles for the obedience of all nations, [Romans 1:5,] which Paul testifies that he had kept, [2 Timothy 4:7,] and which is to be earnestly maintained, as once delivered to the saints, [Jude 3,] must refer, we think, to the precepts and doctrines of the everlasting gospel. That the faith of Jesus is used in this sense in Revelation 2:13, we think cannot be denied. “Thou holdest fast my name,” says Jesus, “and hast not denied my faith.” That this is the sense in which it is used in Revelation 14:12, is further evident from the fact that it is spoken of as kept in the same manner that the commandments of God are kept. It remains that we notice a few of the most important, practical duties that devolve upon us at the present time. TAR 138.1

1. First of all, we would name holy living. God has committed to our trust the most precious truths. He holds us responsible for the light with which we are entrusted. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. The sanctifying effect of the truth must be witnessed in us by others, if we would do them good. Especially must we watch unto prayer. Watchfulness and prayer are mighty weapons with which to resist the devil. Their importance may be seen from the following scriptures: TAR 139.1

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” 1 Peter 5:8, 9. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Ephesians 6:18. “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Luke 11:9, 10. “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” James 3:2. “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” 1 Peter 4:7. “But I say unto you That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment: for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:36, 37. TAR 139.2

2. Growth in grace. It is greatly to be feared that the importance of this is too much lost sight of. If we would be final overcomers and stand upon Mount Zion we must be daily overcoming the great foe of our souls. The long suffering of God is meant for our salvation. Let us most faithfully improve the gracious opportunity granted us to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. TAR 140.1

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:15, 16. TAR 140.2

3. The duty of searching the scriptures. This is solemnly enjoined by our Lord. John 5:39. Without this we cannot obey the precept of Peter, “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15. The sword of the Spirit, the word of God, is an important part of the armor which God has prepared for us. Ephesians 6. It is certain that events before us are such that every person will be tested. If the truth of God is understood, appreciated and loved by us, we must examine the Scriptures for ourselves. If it is not loved, the time is not distant when we shall be sifted out. Every thing is before us to deceive and lead astray. The spirits of devils are about to perform the most extraordinary miracles. They will do this, professing to be the spirits of our departed friends. Hence the great importance of a thorough knowledge of the Bible doctrine of the sleep of the dead. The Lord would not have us ignorant concerning them that are asleep. TAR 140.3

4. The duty of sacrificing to sustain the cause of God. There is no plainer duty in the Scripture. Ourselves, our time, our means, all that we have, all that we are belongs to God alone. Those who go out to preach the word of God are called upon to make the greatest sacrifice. All are not called to this; but those who are not, if they love Christ and the truth, will gladly sustain those who are thus thrust out. Let not the cause of truth suffer for the means to sustain it. Read Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 8; Luke 12:33, 34; 1 John 2:15; Matthew 6:19-34. TAR 141.1

5. The duty of waiting and watching for our Lord’s return. Let this ever be our posture, and let all our words and acts be in accordance with our profession, that the end of all things is at hand. TAR 141.2

“Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch.” Mark 13:35-37. “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6. “And unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:28. “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that, when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the lord, when he cometh, shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” Luke 12:35-37. TAR 141.3

6. Finally let us indeed be Bible Christians. Let the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus be the continual rule of our lives, and the governing principle of all our conduct. May the great Head of the church help us all to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord. TAR 142.1

We have now briefly and imperfectly surveyed this most important subject. Sufficient evidence has been adduced, we think, to satisfy the honest inquirer, that we occupy one of the most solemn and interesting periods in the history of the church. The first and second proclamations of Revelation 14, in the past, the warning voice of the third angel now addressed to us; the fearful scenes of Revelation 13:13-17 about to open upon us; and last of all the seven last plagues to be poured out on those, who, regarding the decree of the beast more than the warning of the third angel, shall be found worshiping the beast and his image and possessing his mark. Who among us will be able to meet the fearful test between the warning of the angel and the decree of the beast? Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. TAR 142.2

The situation of the church when the decree goes forth that all shall worship the image of the beast on pain of death, will be precisely that of the three Hebrew worthies whom Nebuchadnezzar commanded to worship the golden image. Read carefully Daniel 3. God saved them by direct interposition. He has promised thus to interpose for his people, but it will not be until the time of trouble such as never was has fully opened upon the world. With this fearful prospect of the coming storm before us, we may well appreciate the words which follow the warning of the third angel. “And I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.” Verse 13. The following scriptures will show us why those are pronounced blessed who now fall asleep in Christ, and also will show the situation of the saints at the time when God delivers them TAR 143.1

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered every one that shall be found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1. “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:7. “Oh that thou wouldst hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time and remember me!” Job 14:13. “When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.” Habakkuk 3:16. “And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:6-8. TAR 143.2

The conflict with the beast and his image is inevitable. But the issue of this conflict is not a matter of doubt. God will interpose to save his people. Though the last act of Satan be to unite all the wicked of the earth in the worship of the beast, and to attempt the utter extermination of the saints; yet God has said the saints shall triumph! TAR 144.1

“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire; and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” Revelation 15:2, 3. TAR 144.2

Glorious indeed will be the triumph of the saints. Reader, may it be your lot to join in singing that song of victory upon the sea of glass. TAR 144.3