BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
DOOM OF BABYLON"--"CHRISTENDOM"
"MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN"
Babylon--Christendom--The City--The Empire--The Mother--The
Daughters--Babylon's Doom--Its Dread Significance.
Doom of Babylon which Isaiah...saw. Lift ye up a standard upon
the high mountain, raise high your voice unto them, motion with
the hand that they may enter into the gates of the princes.
have commanded my sanctified, I have also called my mighty ones
for my anger; even them that rejoice in my highness.
come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord
and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.
is a noise of tumult on the mountains, like as of a great people;
a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together;
the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.
ye; for the Day of Jehovah is at hand: it shall come as a destruction
from the Almighty. Therefore, all hands shall become weak, and
every mortal's heart shall melt: and they shall be afraid: pangs
and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall have throes, as
a woman that travaileth: they shall wonder every man at his neighbor;
red like flames shall their faces glow.
the Day of Jehovah cometh, direful with wrath and fierce anger,
to lay the land desolate; and he shall destroy the sinners thereof
out of it.
the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give
their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and
the moon shall not shed abroad her light.
I will visit on the world its evil, and on the wicked their iniquity;
and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and
<PAGE 22> the haughtiness of tyrants will
I humble. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even
a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the
heavens, and the earth shall be removed out of her place, in the
wrath of the Lord of hosts, in the day of his fierce anger."
`Isa. 13:1-13`. Compare
`Rev. 16:14`; `Heb. 12:26-29`.
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." `Isa.
various prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and the Apocalypse
concerning Babylon are all in full accord, and manifestly refer
to the same great city. And since these prophecies had but a very
limited fulfilment upon the ancient, literal city, and those of
the Apocalypse were written centuries after the literal Babylon
was laid in ruins, it is clear that the special reference
of all the prophets is to something of which the ancient literal
Babylon was an illustration. It is clear also that, in so far
as the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah concerning its downfall
were accomplished upon the literal city, it became in its downfall,
as well as in its character, an illustration of the great city
to which the Revelator points in the symbolic language of the
Apocalypse (Chapters 17 and 18), and to which chiefly the other
already intimated, what today is known as Christendom is the antitype
of ancient Babylon; and therefore the solemn warnings and predictions
of the prophets against Babylon--Christendom--are matters of deepest
concern to the present generation. Would that men were wise enough
to consider them! Though various other symbolic names, such as
Edom, Ephraim, Ariel, etc., are in the Scriptures applied to Christendom,
this term, "Babylon," is the one most frequently used,
and its significance, confusion, is remarkably appropriate.
The Apostle Paul also points out a nominal, spiritual Israel in
contradistinction to a nominal fleshly Israel
<PAGE 23> (See `1 Cor.
10:18`; `Gal. 6:16`;
`Rom. 9:8`); and likewise there is a nominal spiritual
Zion, and a nominal fleshly Zion. (See `Isa.
33:14`; `Amos 6:1`.) But
let us examine some of the wonderful correspondencies of Christendom
to Babylon, its type, including the direct testimony of the Word
of God on the subject. Then we will note the present attitude
of Christendom, and the present indications of her foretold doom.
Revelator intimated that it would not be difficult to discover
this great mystical city, because her name is in her forehead;
that is, she is prominently marked, so that we cannot fail to
see her unless we shut our eyes and refuse to look--"And
upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon
the Great, the Mother of Harlots and abominations of the earth."
(`Rev. 17:5`) But before looking
for this Mystical Babylon, let us first observe the typical Babylon,
and then, with its prominent features in mind, look for the antitype.
name Babylon was applied, not only to the capital city of the
Babylonian empire, but also to the empire itself. Babylon, the
capital, was the most magnificent, and probably the largest, city
of the ancient world. It was built in the form of a square on
both sides of the Euphrates river; and, for protection against
invaders, it was surrounded by a deep moat filled with water and
inclosed within a vast system of double walls, from thirty-two
to eighty-five feet thick, and from seventy-five to three hundred
feet high. On the summit were low towers, said to have been two
hundred and fifty in number, placed along the outer and inner
edges of the wall, tower facing tower; and in these walls were
a hundred brazen gates, twenty-five on each side, corresponding
to the number of streets which intersected each other at right
angles. The city was adorned with splendid palaces and temples
and the spoils of conquest.
was the great monarch of the Babylonian empire, whose long reign
covered nearly half the period of its existence, and to him its
grandeur and military glory were chiefly due. The city was noted
for its wealth and magnificence, which brought a corresponding
moral degradation, the sure precursor of its decline and fall.
It was wholly given to idolatry, and was full of iniquity. The
people were worshipers of Baal, to whom they offered human sacrifices.
The deep degradation of their idolatry may be understood from
God's reproof of the Israelites when they became corrupted by
contact with them. See `Jer. 7:9; 19:5`.
name originated with the frustrating of the plan for the great
tower, called Babel (confusion), because there God confounded
human speech; but the native etymology made the name Babil, which,
instead of being reproachful, and a reminder of the Lord's displeasure,
signified to them--"the gate of God."
city of Babylon attained a position of prominence and affluence
as a capital of the great Babylonian empire, and was called "the
golden city," "the glory of kingdoms, and the beauty
of Chaldees' excellency." `Isa. 13:19;
was succeeded in the dominion by his grandson Belshazzar, under
whose reign came the collapse which pride, fullness of bread and
abundance of idleness always insure and hasten. While the people,
all unconscious of impending danger, following the example of
their king, were abandoning themselves to demoralizing excesses,
the Persian army, under Cyrus, stealthily crept in through the
channel of the Euphrates (from which they had turned aside the
water), massacred the revelers, and captured the city. Thus was
fulfilled the prophecy of that strange handwriting on the wall--"Mene,
Mene, Tekel, Upharsin"--which Daniel had interpreted
only a few hours before to mean-- "God hath numbered thy
kingdom and finished it. Thou
<PAGE 25> art weighed in the balance and art
found wanting. Thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and
Persians." And so complete was the destruction of that great
city that even its site was forgotten and was for a long time
was the typical city; and, like a great millstone cast into the
sea, it was sunken centuries ago, never again to rise; even the
memory of it has become a reproach and a byword. Now let us look
for its antitype, first observing that the Scriptures clearly
point it out, and then noting the aptness of the symbolism.
symbolic prophecy a "city" signifies a religious government
backed by power and influence. Thus, for instance, the "holy
city, the new Jerusalem," is the symbol used to represent
the established Kingdom of God, the overcomers of the Gospel Church
exalted and reigning in glory. The Church is also, and in the
same connection, represented as a woman, "the bride, the
Lamb's wife," in power and glory, and backed by the power
and authority of Christ, her husband. "And there came unto
me one of the seven angels... saying, Come hither, I will show
thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he...showed me that
great city, the holy Jerusalem."
same method of interpretation applies to mystical Babylon, the
great ecclesiastical kingdom, "that great city" (`Rev.
17:1-6`), which is described as a harlot, a fallen woman
(an apostate church--for the true Church is a virgin), exalted
to power and dominion, and backed, to a considerable degree, by
the kings of the earth, the civil powers, which are all more or
less intoxicated with her spirit and doctrine. The apostate church
lost her virgin purity. Instead of waiting, as an espoused and
chaste virgin, for exaltation with the heavenly Bridegroom, she
associated herself with the kings of the earth and prostituted
her virgin purity --both of doctrine and character--to suit the
<PAGE 26> ideas; and in return she received,
and now to some extent exercises, a present dominion, in large
measure by their support, direct and indirect. This unfaithfulness
to the Lord, whose name she claims, and to her high privilege
to be the "chaste virgin" espoused to Christ, is the
occasion of the symbolic appellation, "harlot," while
her influence as a sacerdotal empire, full of inconsistency and
confusion, is symbolically represented under the name Babylon,
which, in its widest sense, as symbolized by the Babylonian empire,
we promptly recognize to be Christendom; while in its more restricted
sense, as symbolized by the ancient city Babylon, we recognize
to be the nominal Christian Church.
fact that Christendom does not accept the Bible term "Babylon,"
and its significance, confusion, as applicable to her, is no proof
that it is not so. Neither did ancient Babylon claim the Bible
significance--confusion. Ancient Babylon presumed to be the very
"gate of God"; but God labeled it Confusion (`Gen.
11:9`); and so it is with her antitype today. She calls
herself Christendom, the gateway to God and everlasting life,
while God calls her Babylon-- confusion.
has been very generally and very properly claimed by Protestants
that the name "Babylon" and the prophetic description
are applicable to Papacy, though recently a more compromising
disposition is less inclined so to apply it. On the contrary,
every effort is now made on the part of the sects of Protestantism
to conciliate and imitate the Church of Rome, and to affiliate
and cooperate with her. In so doing they become part and parcel
with her, while they justify her course and fill up the measure
of her iniquities, just as surely as did the scribes and Pharisees
fill up the measure of their fathers who killed the prophets.
(`Matt. 23:31,32`) All this, of course,
neither Protestants nor Papists are ready to admit, because in
so doing they would be condemning
<PAGE 27> themselves. And this fact is recognized
by the Revelator, who shows that all who would get a true view
of Babylon must, in spirit, take their position with the true
people of God "in the wilderness"--in the condition
of separation from the world and worldly ideas and mere forms
of godliness, and in the condition of entire consecration and
faithfulness to and dependence upon God alone. "So he carried
me away in the spirit into the wilderness; and I saw a
woman, ...Babylon. `Rev. 17:1-5`
since the kingdoms of the civilized world have submitted to be
largely dominated by the influence of the great ecclesiastical
systems, especially Papacy, accepting from them the appellation
"Christian nations" and "Christendom," and
accepting on their authority the doctrine of the divine right
of kings, etc., they also link themselves in with great Babylon,
and become part of it, so that, as in the type, the name Babylon
applied, not only to the city, but also to the whole empire, here
also the symbolic term "Babylon" applies, not only to
the great religious organizations, Papal and Protestant, but also,
in its widest sense, to all Christendom.
this day of judgment upon mystic Babylon is the day of judgment
upon all the nations of Christendom; its calamities will involve
the entire structure--civil, social and religious; and individuals
will be affected by it to the extent of their interest in, and
dependence upon, its various organizations and arrangements.
nations beyond Christendom will also feel the weight of the heavy
hand of recompense in that they also are to some extent bound
in with the nations of Christendom by various interests, commercial
and others; and justly, too, in that they also have failed to
appreciate what light they have seen, and have loved darkness
rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Thus, as the
<PAGE 28> declared, "All the earth [society]
shall be devoured with the fire of God's jealousy" (`Zeph.
3:8`); but against Babylon, Christendom, because of her
greater responsibility and misuse of favors received, will burn
the fierceness of his wrath and indignation. (`Jer.
51:49`) "At the noise of the taking of Babylon the
earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations."
Babylon--Mother and Daughters
some sincere Christians, not yet awake to the decline of Protestantism,
and who do not realize the relationship of the various sects to
Papacy, but who perceive the unrest and the doctrinal upheavals
in all the religious systems, may still be anxiously inquiring--"If
all Christendom is to be involved in the doom of Babylon, what
will become of Protestantism, the result of The Great Reformation?"
This is an important question; but let the reader consider that
Protestantism, as it exists today, is not the result of the Great
Reformation, but of its decline; and it now partakes to a large
degree of the disposition and character of the Church of Rome,
from which its various branches sprang. The various Protestant
sects (and we say it with all due deference to a comparatively
few devout souls within them, whom the Lord designates as "wheat,"
in contradistinction to the overwhelming numbers of "tares")
are the true daughters of that degenerate system of nominal Christianity,
the Papacy, to which the Revelator makes reference in applying
to her the name "Mother of harlots." (`Rev.
17:5`) And let it not pass unobserved that both Romanists
and Protestants now freely own the relationship of mother and
daughters, the former continually styling herself the Holy Mother
Church, and the latter, with pleased complacency, endorsing the
idea, as shown by many public utterances of leading Protestant
clergymen and laymen. Thus they
<PAGE 29> "glory in their shame,"
apparently all unmindful of the brand which they thus accept from
the Word of God, which designates the Papacy, as "the mother
of harlots." Nor does the Papacy, in claiming her office
of motherhood, ever seem to have questioned her right to that
title, or to have considered its incompatibility with her profession
still to be the only true church, which the Scriptures designate
a "virgin" espoused to Christ. Her acknowledged
claims of motherhood are to the everlasting shame of both herself
and her offspring. The true Church, which God recognizes, but
which the world knows not, is still a virgin; and from her pure
and holy estate no daughter systems have ever sprung. She is still
a chaste virgin, true to Christ, and dear to him as the apple
of his eye. (`Zech.
2:8`; `Psa. 17:6,8`)
The true Church cannot be pointed out anywhere as a company
from which all the tares have been separated, but it consists
only of the true "wheat," and all such are known unto
God, whether the world recognizes them or not.
let us see how the Protestant systems sustain this relationship
of daughters to Papacy. Since Papacy, the mother, is not a single
individual, but a great religious system, in keeping with the
symbol we should expect to see other religious systems answering
to the illustration of daughters of similar character--not, of
course, so old, nor necessarily so depraved, as Papacy--but nevertheless,
"harlots" in the same sense; i.e., religious systems
claiming to be either the espoused virgin or the bride of Christ,
and yet courting the favor and receiving the support of the world,
at the price of disloyalty to Christ.
this description the various Protestant organizations fully correspond.
They are the great daughter systems.
already pointed out* the birth of these various daughter ----------
*Vol. III, p. 112.
<PAGE 30> systems came in connection with
reforms from the corruptions of the mother Church. The daughter
systems parted from the mother under circumstances of travail,
and were born virgins. However, they contained more than true
reformers; they contained many who still had the spirit of the
mother, and they inherited many of her false doctrines and theories;
and it was not long until they fell into many of her bad practices
and proved their characters true to the prophetic stigma--"harlots."
let it not be forgotten that while the various reformation movements
did valuable work in the "cleansing of the sanctuary,"
yet only the temple class, the sanctuary class, has ever been
the true Church, in God's reckoning. The great human systems called
churches, have never been more than nominally the Church.
They all belong to a false system which counterfeits, misrepresents
and hides from the world the true Church, which is composed only
of fully consecrated and faithful believers, who trust in the
merit of the one great sacrifice for sins. These are to be found
scattered here and there within and outside of these human systems,
yet always separate from their worldly spirit. They are the "wheat"
class of our Lord's parable, clearly distinguished by him from
the "tares." Not comprehending the real character of
these systems, as individuals they have humbly walked with God,
taking his Word as their counselor and his spirit as their guide.
Nor have they ever been at ease in nominal Zion, where they have
often painfully observed that the spirit of the world, operating
through the unrecognized "tare" element, endangered
spiritual prosperity. They are the blessed mourners in Zion, to
whom God hath appointed "beauty for ashes, and the oil of
joy for mourning." (`Matt.
5:4`; `Isa. 61:3`)
It is only in this "harvest" time that the separation
of this class from the "tare" element is due; for it
was the Lord's purpose to "let both grow
<PAGE 31> together until the harvest [the
time in which we are now living]."
it is that this class is now being awakened to a realization of
the real character of these condemned systems. As previously shown,*
the various reform movements, as predicted by the prophet (`Dan.
11:32-35`), were "overcome by flatteries:" each
one, after accomplishing a measure of cleansing, stopped short;
and, so far as they found it practicable, they imitated the example
of the Church of Rome in courting and receiving the favor of the
world at the expense of their virtue--their fidelity to Christ,
the true Head of the Church. Church and state again made common
cause, in a measure united their worldly interests, at the expense
of the real, the spiritual, interests of the church; and progress
and reform in the church were again at a standstill. Indeed, a
retrograde movement set in, so that today many of them are much
farther from the proper standard, both of faith and practice,
than in the days of their founders.
of the reformed churches were even admitted to share in authority
and power with earthly rulers; as, for instance, the Church of
England, and the Lutheran Church in Germany. And those who have
not succeeded to that extent have (as in this country, for instance)
made many compromising overtures to the world for smaller favors.
It is also true that while the world powers have advanced the
worldly ambitions of the unfaithful church, the church has also
freely admitted the world to her communion and fellowship; and
so freely, that the baptized worldlings now form the large majority
of her membership, filling nearly every important position, and
thus dominating her.
was the disposition which degraded the church in the beginning
of the age, which brought about the great ---------- *Vol. III,
<PAGE 32> falling away (`2
Thess. 2:3,7-10`), and which gradually, but rapidly, developed
the Papal system.
loose character, early assumed by the various reform movements,
and which gradually developed sectarian organizations, continues
to the present day; and the more these organizations grow in wealth,
numbers and influence the further they fall from Christian virtue
and develop the arrogance of their mother. A few earnest Christians
in the various sects observe this to some extent, and with shame
and sorrow confess and lament it. They see that every possible
effort is made by the various sectarian organizations to please
the world and to court its favor and secure its patronage. Elegant
and costly church edifices, lofty spires, chiming bells, grand
organs, fine furnishments, artistic choirs, polished orators,
fairs, festivals, concerts, plays, lotteries and questionable
amusements and pastimes are all arranged with a view to securing
the world's approval and support. The grand and wholesome doctrines
of Christ are thrust to the background, while false doctrines
and sensational topics take their place in the pulpit, the truth
is ignored and forgotten, and the spirit of it lost. In these
particulars how truly the daughters resemble the mother organization!
one among numerous evidences of the freedom and even pride with
which this relationship of the Protestant sects to Papacy is owned,
we give the following sentiments of a Presbyterian clergyman,
quoted from one of his sermons as published by the daily press.
The gentleman said:
as you will, you must admit that this (the Catholic Church) is
the Mother Church. She possesses an unbroken history extending
back to the time of the apostles. [Yes, that is where the apostasy
began. `2 Thess. 2:7,8`] For every
fragment of religious truth which we prize, we are indebted to
her as the depository. If she has no claims to being the true
Church, then are we bastards and not sons.
about missionaries to labor amongst Romanists! I would as soon
think of sending missionaries amongst Methodists and Episcopalians
and United Presbyterians and Lutherans for the purpose of converting
them into Presbyterians."
nearly all the doctrinal errors so tenaciously held by Protestants
were brought with them from Rome, though beyond the gross errors
of Papacy, such as the sacrifice of the mass, the worship of saints,
of the virgin Mary and of images, the auricular confession, the
granting of indulgences, etc., considerable progress was made
by each of the reform movements. But alas! Protestants of today
are not only willing, but anxious, to make almost any compromise
to secure the favor and assistance of the old "mother"
from whose tyranny and villainy their fathers fled three centuries
ago. Even those principles of truth which at first formed the
ground of protest are being gradually forgotten or openly repudiated.
The very foundation doctrine of "justification by faith"
in the "continual sacrifice" is rapidly giving way to
the old Papal dogma of justification by works and by the sacrilegious
sacrifice of the mass.* And numbers both in pulpits and in pews
now openly declare that they have no faith in the efficacy of
the precious blood of Christ as the ransom-price for sinners.
claims of apostolic succession and clerical authority are almost
as presumptuously set forth by some of the Protestant clergy as
by the Papal priesthood. And the right of individual private judgment--the
very fundamental principle of the protest against Papacy, which
led to the Great Reformation--is now almost as strenuously opposed
by Protestants as by Papists. Yet Protestants are fully aware
that it was in the exercise of the right of private judgment that
the Reformation was begun and for a short time carried ----------
*The latter, the mass, amongst Episcopalians--"High Church"--in
Great Britain and the United States.
<PAGE 34> forward, although later a presumptuous
domination of recognized leaders retarded the wheels of progress,
and has, ever since, kept them strictly within the traditional
lines and put a ban upon all who fearlessly step beyond them.
viewed, Protestantism is no longer a protest against the mother
church, as at first. As a writer for the press recently remarked--"The
ism is still with us, but what has become of the protest?"
Protestants seem to have forgotten--for they truly ignore--the
very grounds of the original protest, and, as systems, they are
fast drifting back toward the open arms of the "Holy (?)
Mother Church," where they are freely invited and assured
of a cordial reception.
us hold out to you our hand affectionately" (says Pope Leo
to Protestants in his noted* Encyclical addressed "To The
Princes and Peoples of the Earth"), "and invite you
to the unity which never failed the Catholic church, and which
never can fail. Long has our common mother called you to her breast;
long have all the Catholics of the Universe awaited you with the
anxiety of brotherly love. ...Our heart, more even than our voice,
calls to you, dear brethren, who for three centuries past have
been at issue with us in the Christian faith."
in his Encyclical to the Roman church in America, +Pope Leo says,
"Our thoughts now turn to those who dissent from us in matters
of Christian faith...How solicitous we are of their salvation;
with what ardor of soul we wish that they should be at length
restored to the embrace of the Church, the common mother of all!...Surely
we ought not to leave them to their fancies, but with mildness
and charity draw them over, using every means of persuasion to
induce them to examine closely every part of the Catholic doctrine
and to free themselves from preconceived notions." ----------
in his "Apostolic Letter to the English People" (1895)
he gives utterance to the following prayer, "O Blessed Virgin
Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look
down in mercy upon England... O sorrowful Mother, intercede for
our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they
may be united to the Supreme Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son"--i.e.,
himself, the Pope.
furtherance of this same plan, "Missions for Protestants"
have been started under the charge of what are known as the "Paulist
Fathers." These meetings have been and are being held in
the large cities. They are conducted along lines of conciliation
and explanation; written questions from Protestants are requested
and answered publicly; and tracts for Protestants are freely distributed.
Protestants are practically conceding the Romish position, and
really have no answer to make; and any one who can and does answer,
and refers to facts, is denounced as a disturber by both Protestants
intelligent person can see how easily Protestantism is being ensnared
by this cunning craftiness, and how perceptibly the popular current
is set toward the Church of Rome, which is changed indeed in voice
and power, but unchanged in heart, and still justifying the Inquisition
and other of her methods of the dark ages by claiming her right,
as ruler of earth, to punish heretics as she pleases.
is clear, therefore, that while many faithful souls, ignorant
of the real state of the case, have reverently and devoutly worshiped
God within these Babylon systems, nevertheless, this does not
alter the fact that they are, one and all, "harlot"
systems. Confusion reigns in them all; and the name Babylon
aptly fits the entire family--mother, daughters and accomplices,
the nations styled Christendom. `Rev. 18:7;
it be borne in mind, then, that in the great politico-ecclesiastical
systems which men call Christendom, but which God calls Babylon,
we have not only the foundation but also the superstructure and
the crowning pinnacle, of the present social order. This is implied
in the generally accepted term, Christendom, which of late is
applied, not only to those nations which support Christian sects
by legislation and taxation, but also to all nations which show
tolerance to Christianity without in any definite manner favoring
or supporting it; as, for instance, these United States.
doctrine of "the divine right of kings," taught or supported
by almost every sect, is the foundation of the old civil system,
and has long given authority, dignity and stability to the kingdoms
of Europe; and the doctrine of the divine appointment and authority
of the clergy has hindered God's children from progressing in
divine things and bound them by the chains of superstition and
ignorance to the veneration and adoration of fallible fellow-beings,
and to their doctrines, traditions and interpretations of God's
Word. It is this entire order of things that is to fall and pass
away in the battle of this great day--the order of things which
for centuries has held the people docile under the ruling powers,
civil, social and religious. All this has been by God's permission
(not by his appointment and approval, as they claim). But though
an evil in itself, it has served a good, temporary purpose
in preventing anarchy, which is immeasurably worse, because men
were not prepared to do better for themselves, and because the
time for Christ's Millennial Kingdom had not yet come. Hence God
permitted the various delusions to gain credence in order to hold
men in check until "The Time of the End"--the end of
"The Times of the Gentiles."
the prophetic page we may clearly read the doom of Babylon, Christendom;
and it is none the less clearly expressed in the signs of the
times. That her destruction will be sudden, violent and complete
is thus forcibly stated: "And a mighty angel took up a stone
like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus,
with violence, shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and
shall be found no more at all." (`Rev.
18:8,21`; `Jer. 51:63,64,42,24-26`)
And yet that it was to undergo a gradual consuming process is
shown by `Daniel (7:26)`--"But
the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion,
to consume and to destroy it unto the end." The Papal dominion
(and much of the abject reverence of the people for ecclesiasticism
in general), as already shown,* was broken down at the beginning
of the Time of the End--1799; and, though the subsequent process
of consumption has been slow, and there have been occasional signs
of apparent recovery, which never seemed more flattering than
at present, the assurance of Papacy's final destruction is positive,
and its death-struggle will be violent. First, however, she must
attain more of her old-time prestige, which will be shared with
a confederated association of her daughters. Together they will
be lifted up, that together they may be violently thrown down.
the punishment of Babylon will be great is assured. It is written
prophetically that, "Great Babylon came in remembrance before
God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of
his wrath." "And he hath avenged the blood of his servants
at her hand." "Her sins have reached unto heaven, and
God hath remembered her iniquities. ---------- *Vol. III, p. 40.
<PAGE 38> Reward her, even as she rewarded
you, and double unto her double according to her works. In the
cup which she hath filled, fill to her double. How much she hath
glorified herself and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow
give her; for she saith in her heart, 'I sit a queen, and am no
widow, and shall see no sorrow.'" (`Rev.
16:19; 19:2; 18:5-7`) While the broadest application of
this language is, of course, to Papacy, it also involves all who
are in any degree in confederation or sympathy with her. All such
will be sharers in her plagues. (`Rev. 18:4`)
Although the kings of the earth have hated the harlot and cast
her off (`Rev. 17:16`), still she
says, "I sit a queen, and am no widow," loudly boasts
of her right to rule the nations, and claims that her former power
will soon be regained.
her boastings and threats the following from a Catholic journal
of recent date is a fair sample:
Papacy will regain its temporal sovereignty, because it is useful
and convenient to the Church. It gives the head executive of the
church a fuller liberty and a fuller sway. The Pope can be no
king's subject long. It is not in keeping with the divine office
to be so. It cramps him and narrows his influence for good. Europe
has acknowledged this influence, and will be forced to bow to
it in greater times of need than this. Social upheavals, and the
red hand of anarchy, will yet crown Leo or his successor with
the reality of power which the third circle symbolizes, and which
was once recognized universally."
as the day of trouble draws on, ecclesiasticism will endeavor
to use its power and influence more and more to secure its own
political welfare, by its control of the turbulent elements of
society; but in the crisis of the near future the lawless element
will spurn all conservative influence and break over all restraints,
the red hand of Anarchy will do its dreadful work, and Babylon,
Christendom, social, political and ecclesiastical, shall fall.
says the inspired writer--i.e., because she will violently struggle
for life and power--"shall her plagues come in one day
[suddenly], death and mourning and famine, and she shall be utterly
burned with fire [symbolic fire--destructive calamities], for
strong is the Lord God who judgeth her."
saith the Lord, Behold I will raise up against Babylon, and against
them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me [all
in sympathy with Babylon], a destroying wind; and I will send
into Babylon, fanners that shall fan her, and shall empty her
land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round
about...Destroy ye utterly all her host."
I will render unto Babylon [to the Papacy specially], and to all
the inhabitants of Chaldea [or Babylonia --Christendom--to all
the nations of the so-called Christian world] all their evil that
they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the Lord." (`Jer.
51:24`) As we call to mind the long train of evils by which
Babylon has oppressed and worn out the saints of the most High
(the true Zion), and how it is written that God will avenge his
own elect, and that speedily; that, according to their deeds,
he will repay recompense to his enemies; that he will render unto
Babylon a recompense (`Luke
18:7,8`; `Isa. 59:18`;
`Jer. 51:6`), we begin to realize that some fearful
calamity awaits her. The horrible decrees of Papacy--the reproach
and reward of which Protestantism also is incurring by her present
compromising association with her--for the burning, butchering,
banishing, imprisoning and torturing of the saints in every conceivable
way, executed with such fiendish cruelty in the days of her power
by the arm of the State, whose power she demanded and received,
await the full measure of just retribution; for she is to receive
"double for all her sins." And the nations (of Christendom)
<PAGE 40> participated in her crimes and guilt
must drink with her to the dregs that bitter cup.
I will punish Bel in Babylon [the god of Babylon-- the Pope];
and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed
up [He shall repudiate in his extremity the "great swelling
words" and blasphemous titles which he has long appropriated
to himself--that he is the infallible vicar, "vice-gerent
of Christ," "another God on earth," etc.], and
the nations shall not flow together any more unto him. Yea, the
wall of Babylon [the civil power that once defended it, and that
in a measure does so still] shall fall...Thus saith the Lord of
hosts: the broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and
her high gates shall be burned with fire [shall be destroyed];
and the people shall labor in vain, and the folk in the fire [to
prop and save the walls of Babylon], and they shall be weary."
(`Jer. 51:44,58`) This shows the
blindness of the people, and the hold Babylon has on them, that
they will labor to uphold her against her own best interests;
but notwithstanding her desperate struggle for life and to conserve
her prestige and influence, like a great millstone cast into the
sea, Babylon shall go down, never again to rise; "for strong
is the Lord God that judgeth her." Only then will the people
realize their wonderful deliverance, and that her overthrow was
by the hand of God. `Rev. 19:1,2`
is the doom of Babylon, Christendom, which Isaiah and other prophets
foresaw and foretold. And it is in view of the fact that within
her borders are many of his own dear people that the Lord, through
his prophet (`Isa. 13:1,2`), commands
his sanctified ones, saying, "Lift ye up a standard [the
standard of the blessed gospel of truth, divested of the traditional
errors that have long beclouded it] upon the high mountain [among
those who constitute the true embryo Kingdom of God]; raise high
your voice unto them
<PAGE 41> [earnestly and widely proclaim this
truth unto the bewildered sheep of the Lord's flock who are still
in Babylon]; motion with the hand [let them see the power of the
truth exemplified, as well as hear its proclamation], that they
[the willing and obedient, the true sheep] may go into the gates
of the nobles [that they may realize the blessings of the truly
consecrated and heirs of the heavenly Kingdom]."
the warning voice goes forth to "him that hath an ear to
hear." We are in the time of the last or Laodicean stage
of the great nominal gospel church of wheat and tares. (`Rev.
3:14-22`) She is upbraided for her lukewarmness, pride,
spiritual poverty, blindness and nakedness, and counseled to forsake
quickly her evil ways before it is too late. But the Lord knew
that only a few would hearken to the warning and call; and so
the promise of reward is given, not to the whole mass of those
addressed, but to the few who still have an ear for the truth,
and who overcome the general disposition and spirit of Babylon--"To
him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his
throne. He that hath an ear [a disposition to hearken to and heed
the word of the Lord], let him hear what the Spirit saith unto
the churches." But upon those who have no ear, no disposition
to hear, the Lord will pour his indignation.
with few individual exceptions, the attitude of all Christendom
is that of pride, self-righteousness and self-complacency is manifest
to the most casual observer. She still saith in her heart, "I
sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow." She
still glorifies herself and lives deliciously. She says, "I
am rich and increased in goods, and have need of nothing,"
and does not realize that she is "wretched and miserable,
and poor, and blind, and naked." Nor does she heed the counsel
of the Lord to buy of
<PAGE 42> him (at cost of self-sacrifice)
gold tried in the fire (the true riches, the heavenly riches,
"the divine nature"), and white raiment (the robe of
Christ's imputed righteousness, which so many are now discarding,
to appear before God in their own unrighteousness), and to anoint
her eyes with eyesalve (complete consecration and submission to
the divine will as expressed in the Scriptures), that she might
see and be healed. `Rev. 3:18`
spirit of the world has so fully taken possession of the ecclesiastical
powers of Christendom, that reformation of the systems is impossible;
and individuals can escape their fate only by a prompt and timely
withdrawal from them. The hour of judgment is come, and even now
upon her walls the warning hand of divine providence is tracing
the mysterious words, "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin"--GOD
HATH NUMBERED THY KINGDOM AND FINISHED IT! THOU ART WEIGHED IN
THE BALANCES AND FOUND WANTING! And the Prophet (`Isaiah
47`) now speaks, saying--
down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon [said
in derision of her claim to purity]; sit on the ground: there
is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shalt no more
be called tender and delicate... Thy nakedness shall be uncovered;
yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will
not meet thee as a man...Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness,
O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shalt no more be called,
The lady of kingdoms...Thou saidst, I shall be a lady forever,
so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither
didst remember the latter end of it.
hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures; that dwellest
carelessly; that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside
me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither
<PAGE 43> shall I know the loss of children.
But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day,
the loss of children and widowhood [compare
`Rev. 18:8`]: in their full measure shall they come upon
thee despite of the multitude of thy sorceries, despite of the
very great abundance of thy enchantments; for thou hast trusted
in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy [worldly]
wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee: and thou has
said in thy heart, I am, and none else beside me. Therefore shall
evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth:
and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put
it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou
shalt not [previously] know." Compare Verse 9 and
being the solemn declarations against Babylon, well will it be
for all who heed the warning voice and the instruction of the
Lord to his people yet within her borders; for "Thus saith
the Lord":...Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver
every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is
the time of the Lord's vengeance; he will render unto her a recompense...Babylon
is suddenly fallen and destroyed...We would have healed Babylon,
but she is not healed. Forsake her;...for her judgment reacheth
unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies... My people,
go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul
from the fierce anger of the Lord."
`Jer. 51:1,6,8,9,45`. Compare `Rev.
those who would obey this command to come out of Babylon, there
is but one place of refuge; and that is, not in a new sect and
bondage, but in "The secret place of the Most High"--the
place or condition of entire consecration, typified by the Most
Holy of the Tabernacle and Temple. (`Psa.
91`) "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the
<PAGE 44> High shall abide under the shadow
of the Almighty." And such may truly say in the midst of
all the calamities of this evil day, "The Lord is my refuge
and my fortress, my God: in him will I trust."
come out of Babylon cannot mean a physical emigration from the
midst of the nations of Christendom; for not only Christendom,
but all the earth, is to be devoured with the fire [the fiery
trouble] of the Lord's anger, though the fiercest of his wrath
will be against the enlightened nations of Christendom, who knew,
or at least had abundant opportunity to know, the Lord's will.
The idea of the command is a separation from all the binding yokes
of Christendom--to have no part nor lot in her civil, social or
religious organizations; and this, both from principle and from
a wise and divinely directed policy.
principle, as soon as the increased light of harvest truth illuminates
our minds and makes manifest the deformities of error, we must
be loyal to the former and discard the latter by withdrawing all
our influence and support from it. This implies the withdrawal
from the various religious organizations, whose doctrines misrepresent
and make void the Word of God; and it places us in the attitude
of aliens toward all existing civil powers; not opposing aliens,
however, but peaceable and law-abiding aliens, who render unto
Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that
are God's; aliens whose citizenship is in heaven, and not upon
earth; and whose influence is always favorable to righteousness,
justice, mercy and peace.
in some cases, and policy in others, would separate us from the
various social arrangements among men. On principle, it would
set free any who are entangled with the oaths and obligations
of the various secret societies; for ye who were in darkness are
now light in the Lord, and
<PAGE 45> should walk as children of light,
having no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but
rather reproving them. `Eph. 5:6-17`
as we come closer and closer to the great crisis of this "evil
day" it will doubtless be manifest to those who view the
situation from the standpoint of "the sure word of prophecy,"
that, even if there be cases where principle is not involved,
it will be the part of wisdom to withdraw from the various social
and financial bondages which must inevitably succumb to the ravages
of world-wide revolution and anarchy. In that time (and, bear
in mind, it will probably be within the next few years) financial
institutions, including insurance companies and beneficial societies,
will go down; and "treasures" in them will prove utterly
worthless. These caves and rocks of the mountains will not furnish
the desired protection from the wrath of this "evil day,"
when the great waves of popular discontent are lashing and foaming
against the mountains (kingdoms--`Rev. 6:15-17`;
`Psa. 46:3`); and the time will come when men "shall
cast their silver into the streets, and their gold shall be as
though it were unclean [margin]: their silver and their gold shall
not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord.
They shall not [with their wealth] be able to satisfy their souls,
neither [to] fill their bowels: because it was the stumbling block
of their iniquity." (`Ezek.
7:19`; Compare also verses 12-18,21,25-27.) Thus
will the Lord make a man's life more precious than fine
gold, even the golden wedge of Ophir. `Isa.
those who have made the Most High their refuge need not fear the
approach of such times. He shall cover them with his feathers,
and under his wings shall they trust; yea, he will show them his
salvation. As the wildest confusion approaches they may comfort
their hearts with the
<PAGE 46> blessed assurance that "God
is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble";
and say, "Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be
removed [though the present social order be entirely overthrown];
and though the mountains [kingdoms] be carried into the midst
of the sea [overwhelmed in anarchy]; though the waters thereof
roar and be troubled; though the mountains shake with the swelling
thereof." God will be in the midst of his faithful saints,
who make him their refuge, and they shall not be moved. God will
help Zion early in the Millennial morning; she shall be "accounted
worthy to escape all those things coming upon the world."
`Psa. 46`; `Luke 21:36`
"The Gathering Storms of Doubt"
"Our Father, while our hearts unlearn
The creeds that wrong thy name,
Still let our hallowed altars burn
With faith's undying flame.
"Help us to read our Master's will
Through every darkening stain
That clouds his sacred image still,
And see him once again.
"The brother man, the pitying friend,
Who weeps for human woes,
Whose pleading words of pardon blend
With cries of raging foes.
"If 'mid the gathering storms of doubt
Our hearts grow faint and cold,
The strength we cannot live without
Thy love will not withhold.
"Our prayers accept; our sins forgive;
Our youthful zeal renew;
Shape for us holier lives to live,
And nobler work to do."
above original verses were read by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes,
before the Young Men's Christian Union, Boston, June 1, 1893.
They indicate that he realized somewhat the darkness overhanging
BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON