- CHAPTER I. - THE EASTERN QUESTION: ITS ORIGIN
- CHAPTER II. - HOW THE EASTERN QUESTION BECAME THE WORLD’S QUESTION
- CHAPTER III. - WHY DOES RUSSIA WANT CONSTANTINOPLE?
- CHAPTER IV. - THE LOSS OF CONSTANTINOPLE: THEN WHAT?
- CHAPTER V. - TURKISH CAPITAL IN JERUSALEM: THEN WHAT?
- CHAPTER VI. - THE GREAT WAR: AND THEN WHAT?
- CHAPTER VII. - THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES
- CHAPTER VIII. - PREPARATION TO ESCAPE
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CHAPTER X. - THE BEAST
We have seen that in Pagan Rome, Under the symbol of “the dragon,” there was found the ready power that was used by Satan against Christ and His Church wile Jesus was upon the earth and after His ascension to heaven.WGI 122.1
This power Satan continued to use as long as Pagan Rome continued. But that mighty empire came to an end. That centralized system that was such a grand instrument in the hands of Satan, was annihilated; and ten new independent and disunited kingdoms stood in its place.WGI 122.2
In the times of the destruction of the Roman empire and the planting of the new kingdoms in its place there was no power that Satan could use in his war against Christ and His Church. “Therefore he took his stand upon the seashore” (, Twentieth Century; and R. V.): waiting for the rise of another centralized system and power with which he might resume his wrathful war.WGI 122.3
And he had not long to wait; for presently there was seen “rising out of the sea, a wild Beast with ten horns and seven heads. On its horns were ten royal crowns, and on its heads blasphemous names. The Beast that I saw was like a leopard; but its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave it his power and his throne, and a widespread dominion. One of its heads seems to me to have been mortally wounded, but its deadly wound had been healed. The whole earth followed the Beast, wondering; and men worshiped the dragon, because he had given his dominion to the Beast; while, as they worshiped the Beast, they said—‘Who can compare with the Beast? And who can fight with it?’ The Beast was given a mouth that spoke proudly and blasphemously, and it was empowered to work its will for forty-two months. It only opened it mouth to blaspheme God, to blaspheme God himself and is tabernacle—that is all who dwell in his tabernacle in heaven.” . Twentieth Century version.WGI 122.4
With this new power, Satan immediately renewed his war against the Church of Christ. “But the woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to her place in the desert, where she is being tended for one year, and for two years, and for a half year, in safety from the serpent” “known as the ‘devil’ and ‘Satan.’”—Id.WGI 123.1
Nevertheless, his war was carried on by means of this new power, for of this new power, “the Beast,” it is written, “It has been permitted to fight with Christ’s people and to conquer them and it had received power over every tribe people, language and nation. All who are living on earth shall worship it—all those whose names have not been written from the foundation of the world in the Lamb’s Book of Life, the Lamb that has been killed.” , Id.WGI 124.1
Here, then, is a power that arose after Pagan Rome had perished; a power that dominated the ten kingdoms that had destroyed and taken the place of the Roman empire; a power that had sway over all the nations; a power of so exceptional a character that the world exclaimed, “Who is like unto the Beast!” a power whose sway was so complete that all people exclaimed, “Who is able to make war with him!” a power so universally recognized that all the world followed it wondering, as if hypnotized; a power that blasphemed God and his name and his tabernacle and them that dwell in heaven; a power that for twelve hundred and sixty years made war with the saints and prevailed against them; and that power is “the Beast.”WGI 124.2
From the specifications given in the Scripture, is it possible for anybody who has read either Scripture or history, to have any difficulty in knowing what it is? There has been just one power in the world that meets the specifications of the Scripture, and that one power meets to the full every single specification. That power is the papacy.WGI 125.2
As already shown, paganism was the form of the original apostasy from God. In the time of Augustus and Tiberius Cesar, all the world had been overwhelmed and brought to the brink of ruin, by the darkness and essential wickedness of that apostasy. Then Christ came; and the true religions, fresh and straight from God was again given to the world. In the horror of great darkness Light sprang up; and the people who sat in darkness saw a great Light.WGI 125.3
But after this revelation of the mystery of God in the preaching gospel had been made known to all the nations for the obedience of faith, there came another apostasy from God. Even while God was revealing to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit the mystery of God that had been hid from ages and generations—even at that same time, the new apostasy was already developing; “the mystery of iniquity” was seen to be already working. And it continued to work and to grow until there stood revealed that “man of sin, the son of perdition who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” .WGI 125.4
Through the failing cdays of the Roman empire, this apostasy and mystery of iniquity so steadily grew and worked that even before that empire had perished, the new apostasy was ready and willing to show itself an instrument in the hands of Satan, by seizing and using, as far as possible even that worldly and pagan imperial organization and power, not only for its own aggrandizement, but also for the destruction of the saints and the truth of God. And when that imperial organization and power had perished and was gone, the new apostasy lost no time in planting itself firmly as a world-power, and in building up itself the most insidious, the most far-reaching, and therefore the most centralized and all-dominating, power that had ever yet been in the world: and so, also, the most efficient instrument that had ever yet fallen to the hand of Satan in his war against Christ and His Church.WGI 126.1
Though the specifications of Scripture are so definite as to make it perfectly plain that nothing else than the papacy is signified by the term and the description of “the Beast,” yet it is always well to note the fulfillment of the specifications of the Scripture. This we will here do briefly.WGI 126.3
1. That Papal Rome is the true and lineal successor of Pagan Rome, is one of the very fundamental claims of the papacy. Leo the Great was Bishop of Rome 440 to 461, in the very midst of the time of the ruin of the Roman empire. And in a sermon he asserted the predestined perpetuity of Rome: who had only obtained her temporal autocracy to prepare the way, and as a guarantee, for her greater spiritual supremacy. St. Peter and St. Paul were the Romulus and Remus of Christian Rome. Pagan Rome had been the head of heathen world; the empire of her divine religion was to transcend that of her worldly dominion. Her victories had subdued the earth and the sea; but through the peaceful triumph of her faith, she was to rule still more widely than she had by her wars. It is because Rome was the capitol of the world that the chief of the apostles was chosen to be her teacher, in order that from the head of the world the light of truth might be revealed over all the world.”—Sermon LXXXIII; and Milman’s Hist. Latin Christianity, Book 11, Chap. IV, Par. 2.WGI 127.1
This conception was not only never lost, but was systematically developed. And in the development of it “from the New Testament, the authority and eternity of Rome was established! Every passage was seized on where submission to the powers that be was enjoined; every instance cited where obedience had actually been rendered to imperial officials: special emphasis being laid on the sanction that Christ himself had given to Roman dominion by pacifying the world through Augustus, by being born at the time of the taxing, by paying tribute to Cesar, by saying to Pilate, ‘Thou couldst have no power at all against me except it were given thee from above.’”—Bryce, “Holy Roman Empire,” Chap., VII, Par. 17.WGI 128.1
“The Council of Nice commands us to hold ecclesiastical assemblies twice a year, without speaking at all of the Pope; and the apostle commands us not to listen to an angel who would wish to oppose the words of Scripture. Let us follow, then, these sacred laws, and ask for nothing from that Rome which is abandoned to every vice, and which God will soon engulf in a sea of sulphur and brimstone.... Italy and Germany despise the popes: the man of sin, the mystery of iniquity.”WGI 128.3
3. Showing himself to be God. Pope Pius IX published a book of his own speeches, in which, in the official and approved edition, it is declared “He is nature that protests; he is God, that condemns.”—Page 17.WGI 129.1
4. Blasphemy. June 21, 1894, Leo XIII published a document addressed “To the Princes and Peoples of the Universe,” in which he said to them, “It is we who hold the regency of God on earth.” A regency is the office and administration of a regent. A regent “is an administrator of a realm during the minority or incapacity of a king;” “One who rules or reigns, hence one invested with vicarious authority; one who governs a kingdom in the minority, absence, or disability of the sovereign.” A regent of God, therefore, on earth, or anywhere else, can exist only upon the assumption of the “minority, absence, or disability of God.” And plainly such an assumption as that can not possibly be anything short of supremely blasphemous. Beyond this how would it be possible to go?WGI 129.2