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Evidences from Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ About the Year A. D. 1843, and of His Personal Reign of 1000 Years

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    CHAPTER V

    We will now examine, the 9th chapter of Rev. and see what we learn by the last three trumpets, and the three woes. The 1st and 2nd verses describe the Mahometan Religion, which is represented as coming from the bottomless pit, and is compared to the smoke of a great furnace; “And the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.” That is, the gospel and its doctrines, became dark in the minds of men; by reason of the Mahometan errors. “And there came out of the smoke Locusts upon the earth;” that is, there arose a nation out of the Mahometan nations, which should be a heavy judgement to the Roman government, here called “Earth,” the locusts denoting the Ottoman or present Turkish power. This nation was first formed by the union of soldiers, or mercenaries, that had served in the armies of contending princes, and united under one leader Ottoman, composed of four different nations, as Saracens, Turks, Arabs, and Tartars, afterwards in this chapter called the four Angels, or Messengers of God to punish the Antichristian beast. This power was first established in Bithynia, near, or on the head-waters of the Euphrates, in the year A. D. 1298, where it was confined, or made but little progress in subjecting the Antichristian kingdom, for five months, or 150 years, until it conquered Constantinople A. D. 1453; which ended the eastern empire. “And it was commanded them, that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men that have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” It is a fact, here worthy of notice, that the Turks did not persecute the church of Christ, to that degree that the Romish church did; which gave rise to a saying among the eastern christians, “That they would rather see the Turkish turban on the throne of Constantinople, than the Pope’s tiara.” By grass and green things, I understand the children of God; and by those men who have not the seal of God, I understand Papists. “And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months;” which is 150 years, or five times 30, Daniel’s mode of reckoning time, whom John has followed. From the 7th to the 11th verses inclusive, John has described the Turkish army, their manner of fighting, together with the qualities and name of their leader. “One woe is past: and, behold there cometh two woes more hereafter.” In A. D. 1448, these four angels were let loose, and the 5th trumpet, & the first woe ended, and the sixth trumpet, and the second woe began.ESH 41.1

    “And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, loose the four angels which are bound in the river Euphrates.” Wotacrs we are to understand people; ace Revelation 17:15. By the river Euphrates, I therefore understand the same Turkish power, which power rose up in the countries bordering upon this river. The four angels, are the four different nations of which the Ottomans were composed. Their armies were let loose, or sent out as a scourge upon the earth, or Antichristian church, and with great propriety called angels let loose, because they had been bound act to kill, (not to destroy) but to torment them five months: but were now about to destroy the eastern empire. “And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.” That the time here given, must mean some definite time is very evident, or why has the prophet given so many different periods, and all combined, when one number would have answered for an indefinite period? For an hour, 15 days, and a day, one year, and a month, 30 years, and a year, 360 years; making in all 391 years 15 days; which added to A. D. 1448 the year that the Turks sent out a large army to subdue Constantinople, will bring us down to 1839, when the sixth trumpet will cease to sound, and the second woe be completed. “And the number of the army of horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand; and I heard the number of them.” This army is equivalent to the four angels, when they were let loose, and two hundred thousand thousand, is 200,000 twice told or repeated; making 400,000. This agrees with the history of the taking of Constantinople. “After a long siege Mahomet II, took Constantinople in 1453,” having an army of 400,000 and almost all of them horsemen. “And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstones and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire, and smoke, and brimstone.” We are in this passage informed that their army would consist of horses principally, and their weapons of warfare would be firearms, guns and gunpowder being exactly described. And it is a well authenticated fact, that gunpowder was invented but a short time before the taking of Constantinople, cannon having been first used in the siege and capture of that place. See Dr. Gill, on this passage, who says, “that one cannon was used at the seige of Constantinople that employed 70 yoke of oxen to draw it.ESH 41.2

    The 18 & 19 verses are a further description of the mode of warfare. The 20 & 21 verses show on whom these plagues were sent, viz. those who “worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood; which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk. Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, not of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” This description applies exactly to the Antichristian church or papal Rome; for they worship the things mentioned in the above texts, they being also the man which were one third to be slain, under this trumpet and woe, for it is supposed that the Ottoman power conquered one third of the Roman government, when the eastern empire fell into their hands.ESH 42.1

    Then if this explanation be correct, the sixth trumpet will cease sounding in the year A. D. 1839, and the seventh trumpet will begin to sound. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath delivered to his servants the prophets.” “And the second woe is past: and behold the third woe cometh quickly.” Revelation 11:14 15. “And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices is heaven saying, the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.” The 16th and 17th verses represent the four and twenty elders worshiping God, and giving thanks, because he had taken to himself his great power, and had reigned. The 18th verse of the 11th chapter, describes what shall be done when the seventh trumpet shall begin to sound. “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants, the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great, and shouldest destroy them that destroy the earth.” The reader will now see, that he is again brought down, when the seventh trumpet begins to sound, to the finishing of the mystery of God; to the fulfilment of all the prophecies; to the time when our Lord and his Christ should take the kingdom, and reign forever and ever; to the great day of his wrath; to the resurrection of the dead, their judgement, the rewards of the prophets, saints and all those that fear the name of the Lord both small and great; and the final destruction of the wicked from the earth.ESH 42.2

    We will now examine the 11th chapter of Revelation.ESH 43.1

    1st verse. “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the Angel stood, saying, rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar and them that worship therein.” In this verse John is commanded to measure, as completed and finished, the Jewish rites and ceremonies, the temple worship, and sacrificing of beasts, etc. A measuring, in scripture language, denotes the thing measured to be finished, or completed,-as in Psalm 39:4, “Make me to know the measure of my days,” that is the end or completion of his mortal life. Again, Ephesians 4:13, “unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Ezekiel, [40:5,] saw an angel measure the house, which he saw in his vision, to show him the perfect beauty, and complete symmetry of the same. See also Zechariah 3:2. “Then said I, whither goest thou? and he said to measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof,”-that is the design and end of the same.ESH 43.2

    2nd verse. “But the court which is without the temple, leave out, and measure it not.” The court has reference to the Christian church, who were not confined to worship God in the temple, as the Jews were. But in every place and among all nations, whosoever called on the name of the Lord should be saved. This church was not to be measured Why not? Because it was not yet completed; “for it is given unto the gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” This is a prophecy of the christian church in the wilderness. “Forty two months, are equal to three and a half prophetic years or 1260 prophetic days, being 30 days to a month. This was the Chaldaic mode of reckoning time, made use of by Daniel, whom John has followed. Therefore we understand that the christian church was to be trodden under foot, by the Antichristian abomination, or the “abomination that maketh desolate,” 1260 years. In this passage Daniel’s fourth beast “having great iron teeth, which should break in pieces and stamp the residue (beloved or holy city) with the feet of it,” is called the gentiles. Verse 3rd. “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophecy a thousand two hundred and three score days clothed in sackcloth.”-The two witnesses, are the the Scriptures, for Christ says, “these are they that testify of me;” the two covenants, the two testaments, for without these we should have no knowledge of Christ; and these supply the church, in her wilderness state, with the true doctrine of Christ, and with the knowledge of the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. The phrase, “clothed in sackcloth,” was fulfilled in the dark ages of popery, and during the time that Antichrist had power to tread the church under foot, which was a thousand two hundred and sixty years; because, during this time, the word of God was not permitted to be read, by the laity or common people, and may truly be said to have been covered or in a state of mourning. For the very design of the word of God, was the Revelation of the mind and the will of God to all men.ESH 43.3

    Verse 4. “These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” That is, the Scriptures or word of God denying all other gods of the earth but one living and true God. “Standing before,” in a position to be tried as to their truth, by other pretended revelations of the gods of this world, and to be examined closely and critically as to their own prophecies, and in a position to confound and bring low, all the opinions of men, and the gods of this world. These is here an allusion to the ask being placed before Dagon. See 1 Samuel 4:1-4. The text likewise refers to Zechariah 4:3, 6. “And two olive trees by it.” “So I answered and spake to the Angel that talked with me, saying, what are these my Lord.” 6th verse. “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord of hosts.”ESH 44.1

    5th verse. “And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies, and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.”-“And if any man will hurt them,”-that is, it any man shall add or take away from the book or revelation, of God, “God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in his book.” “And if any will hurt them, he must in this, manner,”-that is, in the same manner the word of God, or the old & new Testament, specify, “be killed.” Fire proceedeth out of their mouth, that is, the word of God denounces, sore and heavy “judgements and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries.” Hebrews 10:27. see also Revelation 22:18, 19.ESH 44.2

    6th verse. “These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy.” This has reference to the heavens being shut in the days of Elijah, see Luke 4:25, “when the heavens were shut up three years and six months,” which is the same time that the two witnesses prophecied clothed in sackcloth, that is 42 months or three years and a half; only one is common and the other is prophetic. The scriptures are the means which God has made use of to convert sinners, from error to truth, from sin to righteousness, and to convey the knowledge of grace (which in this text is compared to “rain”) to a lost and sinful world. During the reign of Antichrist which was 1260 years, also during the time the church was in the wilderness, which was 1260 years, and the time when the two witnesses were clothed in sackcloth, also 1260 years, the doctrine of grace in Jesus Christ was but partially taught. Men were taught that doing penance, purchasing indulgences, and obeying the holy Catholic church, would ensure them heaven and happiness. But when the scriptures began to be read, when they arose from their dead state, in the streets of the great city, when they began to be published through the world by means of Bible societies, the true doctrine of grace by Jesus Christ began to be understood and realized. Now we can hardly find even a Roman Catholic, who will plead that heaven is purchased, by standing in one position on a pedestal or pillar, for years, by going barefoot to Rome, or by a monastic seclusion from the world; neither do we see them selling indulgences, and promising the holders pardon for the most abominable crimes. And but rarely do we hear the doctrine of infallibility of the Mother or holy Cath. church advanced. Why is all this change in public sentiment?-Because the reign of grace is not withheld; the heavens are open; the two witnesses are no longer clothed in sackcloth; “Michael has stood up, that standeth for the children of thy people.” And the “Angel is flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth.”ESH 45.1

    6th verse. “And have power over waters to turn them to blood.” By waters, we must understand people, and by blood, we understand civil wars; and this was fulfiled in the civil wars of Europe, when they were fighting for religious tenets, which all pretended they obtained from the two witnesses, the word of God; and therefore it is said “they have power,” etc. meaning that the word of God, is so written, or given to us in such simple terms, yet requiring active and living faith to understand its doctrines, precepts, and commands,-that the carnal and unstable wrest it to their own destruction. “And from thence come wars, tumults, fightings,” because they understand not. “And to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” Under the old Testament times, it was the word of God through Moses and Aaron, that smote the Egyptians with the ten plagues, it was the word of God, through Joshua, that smote or destroyed the Canaanites; and so in New Testament times, the seven last plagues, and the three woes denounced against the Antichristian church, in this passage called the earth, was seat and signified by Jesus Christ to his servant John. “As often as they will,” meaning, as often as they have prophecied of them, so often will the plagues be sent, and not one jot or tittle of the word of God will fail of being accomplished.ESH 45.2

    “And when they shall have finished their testimony,” that is, when the 1260 years are about fulfilled, the “beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit,”-this beast is the same as the little horn in Daniel, and in Rev. is the Antichristian beast that received power with the kings. In other words, “The ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings which have received no kingdom as yet,” (when John saw the vision) “but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” Revelation 17:8-12. This beast is the one on which the mother of Harlots, the abomination of the earth, sitteth,-and is said “to ascend out of the bottomless pit,” because it is founded on error. The principles and doctrines which are taught by this beast, are in the first place, paganism, 2nd Atheism and Deism, which have no foundation for their support, and therefore may truly be said to be “bottomless.” These were the errors and principles which paganism and papacy, would drive its subjects into, or that part at least, who thought and acted for themselves, without any reference to the word of God.ESH 46.1

    “Shall make war against them,” the governments which belong to the fourth kingdom or the Romish church shall “make war,” that is, endeavor to exterminate them the two witnesses, the word of God.-“And shall overcome them, and kill them.”-Have power over them, to pass laws or edicts, against them, and by these means destroy their life or activity. For where the scriptures are not read nor believed in, they become a dead letter; but when believed in, “they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63.ESH 46.2

    8th verse. “And their dead bodies shall lie in the streets of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” Their dead bodies, the word of God, being a dead letter, as we have before observed. Lie in the streets,-being made so by a public edict or law, of the great city,-showing that it would be performed by the greatest kingdom in the Romish church, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt. This shows that the kingdom that would perform this act against the two witnesses, would be guilty of the sins of the Sodomites, and like the Egyptians, would keep the church of God, or spiritual Israel in bondage. Where also our Lord was crucified,-where the people of God had been massacred, or had suffered martyrdom, for their religion, they being called Christ’s spiritual body. See 1 Peter 2:5. Colossians 1:24.ESH 46.3

    9th verse. “And they of of the people, and kindreds, and tongues, shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.” This decree or edict, should be generally known among all nations, and would be opposed by other nations, so that the scriptures would not be suffered by them, to be put out of sight.ESH 46.4

    10 verse. “And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to mother, because these, two prophets tormented them that dwelt upon the earth.” In this text, the earth, alludes to the same nation that should kill them, and the two prophets the two witnesses or old and new Testament. By tormented, we are to understand, that the doctrine taught by the scriptures would be hateful and disagreeable, to the nation before spoken of.ESH 47.1

    Verse 11. “And after three days and a half (years) the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feel; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.” After the scriptures should lie dormant three years and a half, God would so order his providential dealings with the nation that should kill them, that they would again be permitted to read and explained is usual; and the scriptures would again stand upon their own foundation, and be supported by their own intrinsic merit; and would again have their bearing, on the hopes and fears of the governments of the earth.ESH 47.2

    Verse 12. “And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying unto them, come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies beheld them.” This verse shows that the scriptures, after this short suspension, would be placed in a more exalted and conspicuous situation, many more would read, and many voices would unite in calling for a general diffusion of the Bible. And even the enemies of the word of God would be confounded at the great things they would see accomplished by its instrumentality.ESH 47.3

    Verse 13. “And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the lenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of the names (or titles) of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” The some hour, at the same time the witnesses would be slain, there would be a great revolution, and one of the ten kingdoms into which ancient Rome would be divided, would fall; and seven thousand names, or titles of nobility, or of priests, would be destroyed; and this Revolution would produce great fear among the adjoining nations, and many would acknowledge that the hand of God was producing these wonderful events.ESH 47.4

    Now let us review this prophecy, and compare the prophecy with the events which have of late years transpired; and we shall find, that the whole of this prophecy has been fulfilled to the very letter. In A. D. 533 Justinian, in his controversy with the, Arian Doctors of the Eastern, or Greek church, constituted the Bishop of Rome head over all others, who by his authority suppressed the reading of the Bible by laymen, pretending that they could not read and understand without the assistance of the clergy. Here began the two witnesses to be clothed in sackcloth and the 1260 years in which they were to prophecy. If the witnesses began their days of prophecy clothed in sackcloth in the year 538, they would end in the year 1798. About the close of this century, in consequence of the corruption of the church of Rome being exposed, men began to treat revelation as a fiction, and religion as priestcraft; and instead of searching for truth, they set to work, to destroy the only pillar and ground of the truth and scriptures. Some of the most eminent writers of that day, declared war against the word of God; and this war became general, all over Europe and even in America. But the principal writers who attacked the word of God, were in France, one of the ten kingdoms into which Western Rome had been divided at the close of the fifth century after Christ. And so successful were these writers, that almost the whole nation of the French became Deists or Atheists, in a short time. This was, and had been a nation, given to the most heinous crimes, and was truly following the sodomitish sins, and had kept the people of God in bondage for centuries. In France too, Christ had been crucified again in his people. Witnesses the great massacre of the protestants in the beginning of the 17th century on St. Bartholomew’s eve. It is said by Sully, who witnessed the scene, that 50,000 were slain in the city of Paris in one night, and that the blood ran in the streets ancle deep. More than 150,000 were murdered in other parts of France on that memorable day. Here then, in this kingdom, God, in 1794-8, has displayed himself in the fulfilment of this prophecy which we are now considering. In 1794, a decree was passed by the three reigning powers of France forbidding the Bible to be read in any of the chapels in France, and destroying the sabbath; and in Lyons, one of the cities of France, the Bible was tied to the tail of an ass, and dragged through the streets, and many were gathered and bonfires made of them. The people in all the principal places of France, held days of rejoicing, and sent gifts one to another, because the reign of Priestcraft was at an end. This conduct of the French people, began to alarm the nations around them; and although they could not interfere with the policy, of that nation, yet they immediately took measures to prevent the spread of, this demoralizing mania which had attacked the French nation. In 1798, the year the Bible was again permitted to be read in France, the Bible Society was first instituted in England. Here, then, we have the “great voice” that was saying “come up hither.” It is a fact which has been noted by a number of writers of of the French Resolution, that it was exactly three years and a half from the time the bible was forbid to be read, and its laws disregarded, before the edict of Bonaparte gave free toleration to all sects to worship God in their own way. Now the Bible was more than restored to its former place; it was exalted, and every man could examine for himself into its sacred truths. Before this, laymen could not be permitted to handle or read for themselves. It is also a fact worthy of notice, that the progress of the bible society has exceeded the most sanguine expectations of its advocates; and the Atheists and Deists of our day appear perfectly confounded at the event. Instead of declaring war openly against the word of God, as under the French revolution, they now pretend to draw their rules of morality from this blessed book; and the man that should undertake to write down the word of God in this day, would be considered either a mad man or a fool. Does not all this show that this part of scripture has been fulfilled, & that the calculation of the reign of Antichrist must be correct, which I have heretofore made? For certainly, the two witnesses are not now clothed in sackcloth, neither is the church in the wilderness; nor does Antichrist reign over the kings of the earth, or tread the church underfoot. One thing more;-in the revolution of France the names of seven thousand men were slain, or the long list of titled nobility was destroyed, and the great catalogue of priestly orders was abolished, the very same year the witnesses were slain. It is said by some writers, that there were seven thousand titles abolished in France during the revolution. Well might the remnant, (or church of God) be affrighted, and give glory to the God of heaven.ESH 47.5

    Verse 14. “The second woe is past: and behold the third woe cometh quickly.” The second woe began by the civil wars in France and Germany, and ended in the French Revolution; and the third woe, will come and pass quickly. It is the last and great woe denounced against the woman sitting on the scarlet colored beast, the earth, which she has filled with her sorceries, and the kingdoms of this world, which must all be destroyed under this woe.ESH 49.1

    Verse 15. “And the seventh angel sounded and there were great voices in heaven, saving, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and land his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” This will soon be fulfilled.ESH 49.2

    Verse 16. “And tour and the twenty Elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell on their faces, and worshiped God.” By the four and twenty elder I understand the true ministers of Christ, alluding to the 24 courses of the priests appointed by David. See 1 Chronicles 24th chap.ESH 49.3

    Verse 17. “Saying; we give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art and wast, and art to come, because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.” This is the language of humble minister of Jesus Christ, who makes the word of God his study, and believes in the overruling hand of God as accomplishing the great designs therein revealed; and this has evidently been fulfilling more than thirty years. Many servants of God, who wait upon the alter, and observe the signs of the times, do believe and publish that Christ is near at hand, and that the kingdoms of this world, will soon become the kingdom of our Lord.ESH 49.4

    Verse 18. “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” This verse shows us what is shortly coming to past, and is a description of what the true ministers of Christ will preach, viz., the wrath of God about to be poured out upon the angry nations of the earth, the resurrection of the dead, and the judgment day, the reward promised to all those who fear, love, and obey him, and the destruction of Antichrist. This is what the servants of God should preach in this day big with wonderful events. This is what God will have preached-for he never sends any judgments upon the world without giving them warning.ESH 49.5

    Verse 19. “And the Temple of God was opened in heaven.” By this I understand, the pouring out the spirit of God upon his worshipping people. “And there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” By this I understand, that the word of God will be more generally read and better understood by the people of God than formerly. “And there were lightnings and voices, and thunderings and earthquake, and great hail.” Lightnings, denote reforms in governments and bodies politic; voices denote great struggles of the common people for reform in government, or for the execution of their desires, and applies to a multitude in all cases; thunderings, denote wars; earthquake, a revolution; and great hail, great judgments, either pestilence or famine, or both. Therefore I should read this passage thus: And there were reformations, and many people calling to be cased of their burdens and wars, and a revolution, and great pestilence and famine. This will be the closing scene of this world. And now lot him that readeth understand, if these things are not already at the door.ESH 50.1

    I shall endeavor to give a short explanation of the 12th chapter of Rev. because in this chapter we have a short prophetic history of the church from its earliest age down to the coming of Christ. Under the figure of a woman, Revelation 12:1, “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven;” John saw this wonderful sight, in the government of God with his people, which I consider is what we are to understand by heaven, or the circle in which the church moves. “A woman clothed with the sun,”-the church adorned in gospel light; as a the natural sun gives the world light, to does the gospel of Jesus Christ the church.-“And the moon under her feet,” the ceremonial law, on which the jewish church walked, which was typical of good things to come: like the moon shining with a borrowed light, and liable to change, or pass out of sight, when the sun or antitype should arise. “And upon her head a crown of twelve stars:”-built upon the twelve patriarchs, etc. Ephesians 2:20. Like stars, they are smaller lights, in the government of God. 2nd verse. “And she being with child,” having the promise “that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head,” “cried, travailing in both,” denoting prayer in faith, “and pained to be delivered”-that is, anxiously looking for the promised Messiah, Matthew 13:17, when she expected deliverance from sin, and all her foes.ESH 50.2

    3rd verse. “And there appeared another wonder in heaven,” another sight or view in God’s government of the world; “and behold a great red dragon,” either pagan Rome, or Daniel’s 4th kingdom, red signifying his bloody, persecuting region; “having seven heads,” seven forms of government; “and ten hours,” ten kings; “and seven crowns upon his head,” the 7 different executive offices under the 7 forms of government. “And his tail drew the third part of the sun of heaven, and did cast them to the earth:” The Jewish government was composed of three different offices, viz. Kings, High Priests, and Sanhedrim, or 70 Elders. These, in prophetic language are called stars. One of these offices, to wit. that of kings, was taken from the Jews; and cast to the earth, that is, Roman government. “And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered.” The Romans had reigned over the Jews a long time previous to the birth of Christ, and therefore was prepared, “for to devour her child as soon as it was born,” which was fulfilled in Herod, see Matthew 2:13, he being placed upon the Jewish throne by the Roman power. 5th verse. “And she brought forth a man child,” Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, typifying the church, Isaiah 9:6 & 7; “who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron:”-denoting the power of Christ to break in pieces and subdue all the kingdoms of the earth. Psalm 2:9, Revelation 19:15. “And her child was caught up unto God and to his throne.” Christ has ascended up on high and led captivity captive. See John 6:62, Ephesians 4:8-10.ESH 50.3

    “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God,” that is, the church fled from the Roman Government, called the great city, that reigns over the nations of the earth. The church seems to have become weary of the protection she had long sought in the civil government of the earth, (first the Romans, 150 years B. C.; second, the Roman emperors under Constantine etc.) and therefore fled, and for about 6 or 700 years, we know but very little about her. But God took care “that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days,” which is 1260 years, from A. D. 538 until 1798, during which time, the true church, or those who believed in Jesus Christ, and would not how down and worship Papacy, were not permitted any civil rights, under any of the governments composing the Roman kingdom. But during the whole time she had her teachers and pastors, who did in a great measure feed the flock with the sincere milk of the word.ESH 51.1

    “And there was war in heaven.” After the prophet John, in the preceding verses, gave us a short history of the church under the figure of the woman, he in this verse goes back to give us a history of the dragon, or Roman kingdom, and begins in Christ’s and the Apostle’s days. “Michael and his angels fought,”-Christ and his disciples; see Matthew 10:34, Luke 12:51; “against the dragon,” against principalities and powers, etc.-“and the dragon fought and his angels, Rome Pagan and his followers. “And prevailed not: neither was there place found any more in heaven.” Rome could not prevail against the kingdom of Christ, for it was not like the Jewish kingdom. In that, Pagan Rome found an easy access, because the manner of worship, was something similar; but under the gospel kingdom; the manner of Pagan and Christian worship was totally different; therefore no place was found for them in this new government of God. 9th verse. “And the great dragon was cast out,” that is, was cast out from having any power in the new or gospel kingdom. See John 12:31. “Now is the prince of this world cast out.” “That old Serpent.” Rome Pagan is compared to a serpent because he deceives; “called the devil’” because be devour; “and Satan,” because he claims the government of the whole world; “which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth and his angels were cast out with him.” This was literally fulfilled when Christ cut off the unbelieving Jews; when he said “now is your house left desolate.”ESH 51.2

    10th verse. “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven,” many voices in the government of God, “Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ.” This was fulfilled in the Apostolic day, and the day of Pentecost. “For the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God night and day.” Rome had been the means of drawing off many of the Jews into Idolatry and witchcraft, and this brought them to be accused before God day and night, by making them to sin, and bringing upon them the heavy judgements of God. John 12:31, also by charging upon christians all manner of crimes. See Mosheim, 1st and 2nd century. 11th verse. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,” that is, the believers in Christ, were conquerers by the atonement of Christ; “and by the word of their testimony,” preaching of the Apostles;—“and they loved not their lives unto the death,” suffered martyrdom. “Therefore rejoice ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them.” It is a matter of joy to those who dwell in the circle of God’s people, for they are called the salt of the earth; and among those nations where the laws of God’s government, with his people, are respected, and copied after in their civil code, and the rights of men are preserved; and the church and those who dwell among them, have great reason to rejoice and be thankful. “Wo to the inhabiters of the earth,”—those who live in, or under the Roman government; “and of the sea;”—France, or the principal kingdom among the ten, composing the Roman power. “For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Devil means destroyer, and the three woes and seven last plagues were all to be sent upon the earth and sea, and denote wars, and persecutions; and this spirit would be the prevailing spirit of the Roman kingdom, until time should end, and all kingdoms be destroyed except the kingdom of Christ.ESH 52.1

    “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth,”-when the Roman government saw they could have no control in the things of Christ’s kingdom, he hated the church and the doctrine that taught that Christ’s kingdom was not of this world, and he “persecuted the woman that brought forth the man child,” which is the church that brought forth Christ. 14th verse. “And to the woman was piven two wings of a great eagle,” by which we may understand that God provided means between the Arian and Papal controversy, for the true church to fly out of sight. This is the falling away spoken of by Paul, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, and here is the beginning of the church in the wilderness. As the Jews, God’s ancient people, were driven from Egypt by the heavy burdens of their masters, so were the people of God in the church among the Gentiles, driven from the kingdom of Rome, by the hard task laid upon them by the Arian doctrine on the one hand, and the papacy on the other. “That she might fly into the wilderness, into her place,” that is, a separation from the world, Revelation 18:4; “where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time,” encouraged by the word and spirit of God 1260 years, “from the face of the serpent’” from before papal Rome.ESH 52.2

    15th verse. “And the serpent cast out of his month water as a flood after the woman.” Water in prophecy, means people. Revelation 17:15. Being “cast out of his mouth” denotes command; therefore I understand this prophecy, as beginning to be fulfilled, when Papal Rome sent forth her armies, and inquisition, to subdue the heretics, us she called them, in the valleys of Piedmont, and elsewhere: which was about the be-beginning of the 13th century. “That he might cause her to be carried away of the flood” that is, destroyed.ESH 53.1

    16th verse. “And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.” This was exactly fulfilled when the German petty princes joined their subjects in the wars against the other Papal States, and armies sent out to subdue the Waldenses, and other protestants, from the 13th to the 15th centuries inclusive: or in the crusades sent to the holy land, in which more than one million of men perished; and by which means the papal power was reduced so low that the Pope could not employ so much force to reduce the true people of God.ESH 53.2

    17th verse. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman.” Papal Rome was angry with the true church; “and went to make war with the remnant of her seed.” This is the last great battle which is to be fought. See Revelation 11:18, & 19:18 to 21. “The remnant,” is the last part of the church, therefore this battle is to be fought at the close of this dispensation, and will be the dying struggle of the antichristian beast; when Babylon the great will fall to rise no more forever; when the true children of God, “which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ,” whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, will be delivered through him who died for them, and like him, and by him, will conquer death and the grave, so that death shall have no more dominion over them. This is the “testimony of Jesus Christ,” (the resurrection) “because I live ye shall live also.” This is the spirit of prophecy, Revelation 19:10, and soon, Very soon will “the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, be gathered together to make war with him that sat on the horse,” which is Christ, “and against his army,” his followers. Then when these troublous times shall come, the child of Cod will need a knowledge of all these prophecies, and the “testimony of Jesus” to keep his faith unwavering, to endure with patience, and to fight manfully in the cause of truth. Let the believer in Christ awake, trim his lamp, and be found ready. Let the foolish be in haste to buy the truth; fur behold the king, the bridegroom cometh, and soon the door will be shut. Awake, a wake oh Zion. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand.”ESH 53.3

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