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The Story of the Seer of Patmos - Contents
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    When a human mind can put itself in the channel of divine thought, then and only then, can the events of the world’s history be rightly interpreted. To John was given a many-sided history of the church on earth. He saw it in its purity, and watched it until it was wholly corrupt. In every case the love of God was unmistakably written on every page. The story of nations reveals the infinite love of the Creator no less than the history of the church reveals His love. The twelfth chapter of Revelation is a bird’s-eye view of the church from the days of Christ until the plan of redemption is complete. The thirteenth chapter bears more directly on the nations which are the chief actors in the Great Controversy, related in the previous chapter.SSP 224.1

    Patmos is described as a desolate, rocky MarginHe that is spiritual judgeth all things. 1 Corinthians 2:15.
    John 12:28, 29.
    Hebrews 1:1.
    How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.
    The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter! Lamentations 4:1, 2.
    Romans 8:35.
    Ecclesiastes 3:11.
    Romans 11:31.
    I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. Isaiah 48:3.
    For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and he is the governor among the nations. Psalm 22:28.
    island; but it had a sandy beach, and at times the prophet-exile stood upon the sands of the sea, and watched the dashing of the waves of the Mediterranean. The ceaseless lapping, the ebb and flow of the tide, spoke forcibly to the spiritual mind of the holy seer. Everything in nature reminded him of his God, and taught some deep, hidden lesson. His Master, when walking among men, had pointed to the clusters on the vine, to the setting sun, to the fig tree, or to the sower, and the apostle never saw these objects without hearing afresh the sacred story of heaven. But now when the scene is changed, the same God used the objects which daily met the eye of John to tell him of the glories of the world to come, or to illustrate the divine hand in all human history. The ear that can hear, will find a voice in leaf and stone, in rosy sunset and in falling twilight. “Lo, these are parts of His ways ...but the thunder of His power who can understand?”
    SSP 224.2

    As John stood upon the sand of the sea, his mind was opened to the influence from above, and he received a new revelation. He saw “a beast rise up out of the sea;” from the midst of the waves a form appeared. It had the lithe and spotted body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion. The Lord had before represented the history of nations by beasts; and the symbols here used, are the same which were given to Daniel, and were interpreted for that prophet by Gabriel, the angel of revelation. In the history of the world four beasts, or kingdoms, cover the time from the days when Israel lost its standing as a nation until Christ sets up His everlasting kingdom. These four, speaking MarginFear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? Jeremiah 5:22.
    Psalm 104:6-8.
    Psalm 19:1-4.
    For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:20.
    John 15:5.
    Joshua 24:27.
    Job 26:14.
    And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. Revelation 13:1.
    Revelation 17:4-6.
    The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. Psalm 37, 14.
    of them in the order of their existence, were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Babylon was the lion, the king of beasts, which ruled by the power of worldly grandeur. Compared with other kingdoms, this kingdom was as gold among the baser metals. Babylon was overthrown; but her religious principles lived on, and, like the roots of a fallen tree, sent forth a cluster of new fruit-bearing branches. Babylon’s crowning sin was that of imputing all her wisdom and power unto false gods. Medo-Persia succeeded Babylon, and the bear was taken to represent that nation. Not so noble in appearance as the lion, but stronger, and more savage. With its feet it stamped and crushed its foe. The strength of Medo-Persia lay in its tyrannical government. It was a monarchy of the most absolute form, and the fact that the laws of the Medes and Persians changeth not, was known not only by the nation itself, but by all who fell under its power. A terrible tyranny was the result,-an example of which is recorded in the book of Esther, where the law passed by Xerxes, the greatest of Persian monarchs, would have blotted the people of God from the earth if the Lord had not brought deliverance. This history will be repeated in the closing scenes of earth. MarginBabylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad. Jeremiah 51:7.
    Thou art this head of gold. Daniel 2:38.
    Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god. Habakkuk 1:11.
    Daniel 4:23.
    Daniel 7:5.
    Isaiah 13:16-18.
    Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Daniel 6:8.
    Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.
    Men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any that are wise of heart. Job 37:23, 24.
    Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? Psalm 94:20.
    SSP 225.1

    The Medo-Persian government likewise fell when the life-giving Spirit of God was withdrawn; and the Greek Empire followed. Through Greece, “the prince of the power of the air,” the “old dragon,” who was cast into the earth, attempted a new scheme for enslaving the truth. Greek culture and intellectual development carried men farther away from the simple truth of God’s Word than any form of religion, or any oppression from the government. The teachers of Greek philosophy followed in the wake of the Alexandrian conquests. The beauty and æsthetic nature of their learning deceived men as nothing else has ever done. The mixture of good and evil was divinely represented by the spotted leopard, and its universal acceptance, by the lithe form and agile movements.SSP 227.1

    John saw a beast coming up out of the sea, rising in the midst of the nations of the earth, and it combined the characteristics of the leopard, the bear, and the lion. The successor of Greece was Rome, and profiting by past failures, the devil combined the strength of all preceding kingdoms in this fourth. A false religion, a tyrannical government, upheld and propagated by a flattering, insinuating, false system of education,-this was the body of the beast.SSP 227.2

    It had seven heads and ten horns, and ten crowns upon these horns. Besides building a nation with the quintessence of the evil of all the past, the power which was controlling in the growth of Rome, experimented on that nation, seeking for that form of administration which would best accomplish his designs. The government MarginThe letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey. Esther 3:13.
    (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing. Acts 17:21.
    Jeremiah 13:23.
    )And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority Revelation 13:2.
    2 Samuel 12:30
    Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. Ezekiel 21:26.
    began with a king, but the people were able to dethrone the monarch; the wealthy ruled for a time as consuls; but there was discord and weakness. Ten men were chosen to make laws adapted to all classes; then, all the people tried holding the reins of government, and Rome became a sort of republic or tribunate. The greedy heart of man repeated the story of Lucifer in heaven, and a political ring of three prominent citizens ruled. This was the triumvirate. To find three men in Rome who would be of one mind, was as impossible as it would be to find such to-day; and shortly the triumvirs disappeared, and Rome became an empire. Constant change was the only means of perpetuity, and the throne which Satan hoped to see an eternal one, was weakened by constant modifications.
    SSP 227.3

    Thus it was at the advent of Christ; but the end of changes was not yet. The very foundations of the pagan empire tottered as the Gospel spread. Paul himself preached Christ to the household of the Cæsars; and emperors found that though they might spurn the teachings of the Christ, yet their wives believed, their servants accepted Christianity, and even their soldiers, accepted the teachings of Jesus. A new and unheard of power had arisen which could not be met and vanquished, as Cæsar had subdued the foes of Rome. Then the wisdom of past ages was brought into play, and paganism stealthily crept under the garments of Christianity. The prince of darkness clothed himself in the garments of light, and the “mystery of iniquity” was established! The pagan Roman Empire was broken into ten divisions as described in the MarginRuth 4:2.
    Proverbs 20:18.
    For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? Proverbs 27:24.
    Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
    I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries. Psalm 81:13, 14.
    All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Cæsar’s household. Philippians 4:22.
    Luke 8:1-3.
    Acts 25:10.
    Acts 10:1-7.
    2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
    Matthew 7:15.
    2 Thessalonians 2:4-7.
    Of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. Daniel 7:20.
    seventh chapter of Daniel, but each division was a branch nourished by the same old root. Seven of the ten divisions developed into the nations of modern Europe, and bear the fruits formerly borne by the kingdoms which prophecy describes under the symbols of the four beasts. Each horn wore a crown, showing that each is an independent kingdom or nation. These horns cluster about the last head which arose in their midst, taking the place once occupied by three which it plucked up. This plucking up of three horns to give place to the papacy, the seventh head, is. made clear in the seventh chapter of Daniel. That each of the various forms of government under which Romans have lived, was controlled by the enemy of God, is signified by the expression that upon each head was written the name of blasphemy. Each was an attempt to seat a man above the God of heaven. The seventh head most fully accomplished the design of the enemy of truth; for to the beast, the dragon himself gave power, and his seat, and great authority.
    SSP 228.1

    In 330 a. d. Constantine removed his capital from Rome to Constantinople. The ancient city was left to the papal power and the pope occupied in Rome a throne higher than any occupied by the Cæsars. Constantine laid the foundation of the papacy; but it remained for Justinian to complete the edifice in 533 a. d., by declaring that memorable decree which constituted the pope the head of all the churches. The Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths were of the Arian faith and opposed to the bishop of Rome. The decree could not go into effect until 538 a. d., when the last of the MarginThere are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. Revelation 17:10.
    Revelation 17:3.
    I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
    I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Isaiah 14:13, 14.
    And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
    And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
    And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. Revelation 13:3-5.
    The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Obadiah 3.
    Numbers 22:8, 9, 22.
    Numbers 23:1, 2.
    Numbers 31:16.
    opposing powers was overthrown by the armies of Justinian.
    SSP 229.1

    From 538 a. d. may be reckoned that absolute power which lasted for forty and two prophetic months, during which time the mouth speaking great blasphemies was practically unchecked. “He opened his mouth in blasphemy against God.” He “opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” He soon claimed power to forgive sin, and the church became sole interpreter of God’s Word; the consciences of all men were made amenable to the church or to those to whom the church delegated the right to sit in judgment.SSP 230.1

    With unbounded audacity, the attempt was made to change the immutable law of God. The Sabbath was trodden underfoot, the second commandment was dropped from the decalogue, and the tenth was divided into two. The memorial of creation and redemption was thus denied to man, the atoning work of Christ was set aside, and the worship of idols was instituted. Any who dared lift a voice in opposition, or who denied, by word or act, the right of the church to control the conscience of man, found death a welcome relief,-a thing to be sought in preference to the incessant torture inflicted by the ecclesiastical tyranny which held the world with an iron grip.SSP 230.2

    The Gospel of Jesus Christ reached the ears of every nation under heaven; and, likewise, before the death of the seventh head, every kindred, nation, and tongue, will feel its oppression. MarginO my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the Lord. Micah 6:5.
    And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. Revelation 13:6.
    He shall think himself able to change times and laws: and they shall be delivered into his hands until a time and times and an half a time. Daniel 7:25 [Catholic Trans.]
    Hosea 4:17-19.
    Romans 1:5, 8.
    Colossians 1:5, 6, 23.
    I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
    Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Daniel 7:21, 22.
    And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
    And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
    If any man have an ear, let him hear.
    He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. Revelation 13:7-10.
    Genesis 3:15.
    SSP 230.3

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