Reformed Perspectives Magazine, Volume 9, Number 7, February 11 to February 17, 2007

Handbook of Prophecy







"We have a more sure word of prophecy."- 2 Peter 1. 19


This article provided as a ministry of
Jeff Rojan of the Reformed Layman.

[Please not that IIIM's Official Eschatological position is A-Mil though at times we choose to run opposing articles]


Greek text and charts not available in HTML format.

Principles of Interpretation


First Vision, - (Dan. ii. 31-35,) — An Image
Second Vision, - (Dan. vii. 1-14,) — Four Beasts
Third Vision, - (Dan. viii. 1-14,) — Ram and He Goat
Summary — Four Great Empires

Seven Seals
Interpretation of Symbols
Sealing of the 144,000
First Trumpet
Second Trumpet
Third Trumpet
Fourth Trumpet
Woe Trumpets
Fifth Trumpet, - (First Woe Trumpet)
Sixth Trumpet, - (Second Woe Trumpet)
A Pause
The Little Book, - (The Reformation,)
Slaying of the Witnesses
Second Great Earthquake
Seventh Trumpet, - (Third Woe Trumpet)
Third Great Heaven
Wonder in Heaven
The Red Dragon, - (Rome Pagan)
First Beast, - (Rome Pagan)
Second Beast, - (Rome Christian)
Image of the Beast
Number of the Name
Seven Last Plagues
First Vial
Second Vial
Third Vial
Fourth Vial
Fifth Vial
Sixth Vial
Battle of Armageddon
Three Unclean Spirits
Seventh Vial
Description of the Prophecy
The Man of Sin
Lamentation Over the Fall
Destruction of Remaining Enemies
Binding of Satan
The Millennium
Satan Loosed
Battle of Gog and Magog
Resurrection and Judgment
The Heavenly City

CHAPTER III How Much Fulfilled
When Shall These Things Be?
Abomination of Desolation
Beginning of Prophetic Periods
Concluding Remark
Practical Lessons


I. Number of Comings
II. Number of Judgments
III. Number of Resurrections
IV. Revelation xx. 4-6
V. Other Considerations




I PROPOSE, in the following pages, to give a brief outline of the prophecies of John, as set forth in the book of Revelation, and as usually held by leading interpreters. And I am led to do this for the reason that there is a great and felt need for just such a work. To the masses the Apocalypse is simply a sealed book. They read it, if at all, without getting an idea, either as to its intention or scope of its teachings. Indeed, many seem to think that it is neither possible, nor yet intended, to be understood. But if so, why is it termed a "revelation"? How a revelation with nothing revealed? If not to be read and studied, why the benediction pronounced, "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy"? If "All scripture is given by inspiration, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness," can there be any reason why the prophetical portions should be made the exception? As the object of prophecy is twofold, being alike the attestation of revelation and the encouragement of God's people, we can neither see wherein comes the encouragement, nor yet how they can be competent witnesses to sit in judgment upon this part of the evidence, if they are to know nothing about the things predicted, either as to their meaning, or the times and terms of their fulfillment?

The duty of investigation is clearly set forth in the double challenge: First, in the declaration that these things are "shortly to come to pass," and secondly, in the command "to search the scriptures," which command, if it means anything, must mean that we are to search every part alike, the prophetical portions as well as the epistles or gospels; and to seek to find out, as far as possible, their meaning, how much and wherein fulfilled; and especially is this duty incumbent on us who live in these latter days, when we hear so much about the "Millennial Dawn," and the second coming of Christ.

I am fully aware that many wild and extravagant notions have been entertained, and fanciful interpretations given portions of this book, insomuch as to bring discredit upon the whole, and even to reflect upon the good sense of any who undertake to unravel its meaning. As Dr. South has quaintly said, "The book either finds one mad, or else makes him so." But we see no reason why we may not apply the same good common sense here as elsewhere, accepting what we can understand, and leaving undisturbed what is clearly beyond our depth. As in the entire realm of nature, there is a part we can understand, where nature reveals herself, and a part wholly incomprehensible, where she refuses thus to interpret; so in the domain of prophecy there is a part entirely comprehensible because self-interpreted by its own fulfillment, and a part still wrapped in profound mystery for lack of such interpretation. We rejoice in the light of the one; before the darkness and obscurity of the other we can only bow in humble silence and await further light and development.


To form any true conception of the book of Revelation, or to get anything like a satisfactory view of its teachings, it is necessary ever to bear in mind the following things:

1. That prophecy is intended only as a general outline or rough picture of coming events. The prophetic periods are seldom if ever clearly defined, but, like the rainbow hues, are so gradually blended into each other that it becomes oft times impossible to tell where the one period ends and the other begins. Besides, there is purposely cast over the whole more or less obscurity, and for the reason that if the thing were made unmistakably plain beforehand, man might be tempted to thwart the purpose.

2. The book is highly symbolic in its character, its nomenclature being made up of the boldest figures and emblems. Thus, under the guise of an earthquake, it speaks of a revolution or moral upheaval. It makes a battle, stand for a conflict of principle, the chaining of an evil spirit for the restraining of its influence and power. So the darkening of the sun and moon, and blotting out of the stars, is but the symbolic overthrow of human governments and kingly authority.

3. It is equally well to remember that a great deal of the imagery employed is intended simply as drapery to fill out the picture. Just as in the case of the parables, we are only to look for the general teaching or leading truth. To force every part to mean something will only be to "darken counsel with words," and obscure the truth, as the sun, with multitudinous coverings of clouds.

4. Then we must not forget that the book of Revelation is not intended as an indiscriminate foretelling of future events, but only as a prophecy of the future of the church. If any allusion is made at all to any outside nation or people, it is simply because their history is incidentally connected with the history of the church. Hence the prominence given Chaldea and Egypt in the Old Testament, and the Roman Empire in the New. The scriptures are profoundly silent about all outside matters, however great and important they may seem. The final establishment of the church, and the universal enthronement of her Lord and King, are the great themes, and only burden of their teachings.

Asking the reader to bear these things in mind, and especially seeking the illumination of the Holy Spirit, and the blessing of God upon the effort, I proceed to the task before me.


BEFORE introducing the prophecies of John it is necessary first to consider those of Daniel, as they largely treat of the same things, the one being the key to the other; Daniel gives the grand outlines, while John fills in the picture. To understand the one is but the better to comprehend the other.

The prophecies of Daniel are in the form of visions.

First Vision (Dan. II. 31-35.)
An Image

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. He saw a great image, whose head was of fine gold, his breast and arms were of silver, his body and thighs were of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. He also saw a stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which smote the image upon its feet, and broke it to pieces; but the stone which smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

Daniel interprets as follows: That the head of gold represented the Chaldean empire, of which Nebuchadnezzar was head. That after the Chaldean empire another, but inferior, empire would arise, represented by the breast and arms of silver. That would be followed by a third, which would rule over all the earth, represented by the brass of the body and thighs. That by a fourth, strong as iron, breaking in pieces all these, and represented by the legs of iron. This last to be divided into ten inferior kingdoms, represented by the iron and clay of the ten toes, partly strong and partly weak, as iron and clay, not mingling and mixing together. In the days of which kings God would set up a kingdom, represented by the little stone, 1 which would break all these kingdoms into pieces, and which would never be destroyed, but last forever.

This vision is very plain. Beginning with the Chaldean empire, of which Nebuchadnezzar was head, we have a clear-cut prophetic announcement of the forthcoming of the last into ten minor kingdoms, and the setting up of the kingdom of Christ, all of which came to pass as foretold. The Chaldean empire gave place to the Medopersian, the Medopersian to the Macedonian, and the Macedonian to the Roman, which was broken into ten kingdoms, during the existence of which the church of Christ was set up.

In this vision, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar and running to the end of time, we have presented only a general view, showing when the kingdom of Christ would be set up, and also its nature and final triumph, small at first, but in the end filling the whole earth as a great mountain.

Second Vision (Dan. VII. 1-14.)

Daniel saw four beasts come up from the sea, diverse from each other: the first like a lion with eagle's wings; the second like a bear raised up on one side, with three ribs in his mouth; the third like a leopard with four heads, and four wings of a fowl. The fourth beast was diverse from all others, terrible and exceeding strong, and had great iron teeth. It devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet. This beast also had ten horns; and behold there came up among them another little horn, before whom three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. In this little horn were eyes, like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things, which Daniel viewed till the appearing of the Ancient of days, and judgment given the saints, when this beast was slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame. He also saw dominion and power, and a kingdom given the Son of man, that all nations and peoples should serve him.

The interpretation that Daniel gives of this vision is just as clear cut and as easily understood as the other. The four beasts were the same kingdoms above mentioned, with a more particular description of the fourth kingdom. The fourth beast, so diverse from the others, represented a fourth kingdom which was to arise, and which was to tread down the whole earth; that the ten horns were ten kingdoms to arise out of it, and out of these another was to arise after them, and he should be diverse from the first, and should subdue three of the kings, and that he would speak great words against the Most High, wear out his saints, and think to change times and laws and that they should be given him. "For a time and times and the dividing of time"; and that, in the end, his dominion should be taken away, and the kingdom and the dominion given the saints of the Most High.

Here we have a second mention of the same four great empires, with the additional statement, that out of the ten kingdoms into which the fourth or last empire should be divided another and different kingdom should arise. The fourth kingdom, as in the former vision, was the Roman empire; the ten horns, the same as the ten toes of the previous vision, representing the ten kingdoms into which that empire was afterwards divided, and were, as usually understood, the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Sueves and Allans, Vandals, Franks, Burgundians, Heruli, Saxons and Angles, Huns, and Lombards. The little horn to arise in their midst, the Papacy, as we will afterwards see, the three horns or kingdoms plucked up by it, the Heruli, Lombards, and Ostrogoths; the time of continuance, three and a half years; that is, 1,260 days, or 1,260 years; a day for a year, according to prophetic count.

This vision begins with Belshazzar, about 555 B.C., and runs also to the end, showing the rise of the Papacy, or man of sin, which was to wear out the saints, and to continue 1,260 years. 2

Third Vision (DAN. VIII. 1-14.)

In this vision Daniel saw a ram with two high horns, one higher than the other, and the higher came up last. This ram was pushing westward, northward, and southward, and no beast could stand before him, and he became great. Then he saw a he-goat coming from the west, on the face of the whole earth. He had a notable horn between his eyes, and he came up against the ram with two horns, and smote the ram and broke his two horns; and there was no power in the ram to withstand him, but the ram was cast to the earth and stamped upon. The goat waxed very strong, and when strong, the great horn was broken, and four notable ones came up towards the four winds of heaven, and out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed great, towards the south and east, and the pleasant land, and it waxed great even to the host of heaven, "and cast down some of the host and of the stars," to the ground and stamped upon them. And he magnified himself even to the prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, the place of his sanctuary removed, and a host given him against the daily sacrifice, by reason of transgression; and it "cast the truth to the ground and practiced and prospered." And when it was asked, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation and to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? The answer came, unto 2,300 days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

Even if Daniel had not given any interpretation of this vision his reader would not be slow in understanding that the ram with two horns, one being higher than the other, was the Medopersian Empire; the Persian being weaker at first, and becoming the stronger in the end. And the he-goat, the kingdom of Macedonia, that soon overcame the Persian Empire; and the horn becoming strong, being broken, and four notable ones coming in its place, representing the division of the empire into four parts, viz.: Egypt, Syria, Thrace, and Macedon; and divided among his four generals: Ptolemy, Selecus, Lysimachus, and Cassander. Out of one of these, viz., Syria, arose a little horn, a "king of fierce countenance and understanding dark sentences," representing the Mohammedan power, as we understand it, and waxing great in the East, that is, in Persia; in the South, that is, in Egypt; and in the Pleasant land; that is, Palestine; magnifying himself against the Prince of the host and taking away the daily sacrifice, and trampling the sanctuary under foot because of the fullness of transgression, all of which was true, as we shall hereafter see.

Here, then, we have a vision beginning with the Macedonian empire, and to last 2,300 days, or years, showing the rise and continuance of the Mohammedan delusion; the four kingdoms into which the Macedonian empire was to be divided, and the part out of which the king of "fierce countenance" was to arise; the time of his active life, and the time for the cleansing of the sanctuary.

Summing Up

From this rapid review of the prophecies of Daniel we are taught, in clear and unmistakable terms, that there were to be four great empires, which were to arise and follow each other in quick and rapid succession, viz.; the Chaldean, the Medopersian, the Macedonian, and the Roman; and out of the Roman would arise a strange and mysterious persecuting power, diverse and unlike any other, and continue 1,260 years. And also, out of the four kingdoms into which the Macedonian empire would be divided, another power of great fierceness would arise, which would trample under foot the holy city, and defile the sanctuary; and, measuring from the rise of that kingdom, would continue to the end of the 2,300 years.

On turning to history to see what kings of the above description, if any, arose at these two periods, we find two, and only two, and these precisely meeting the demands of the case, viz.: the Papacy and the Mohammedan delusion. They both arose at the very time and place indicated. The one arose out of the Macedonian, and the other out of the Roman Empire. The one out of the four kingdoms into which the former, and the other out of the ten kingdoms into which the latter was to be divided. The time, therefore, for their appearing has long since gone by; for these four great empires have successively arisen and passed off the stage,- the sanctuary been in desolation for centuries; so the kingdom of Christ for a long time set up. If they be not the kings intended, then there is absolutely nothing else to fill the place. Nor yet can the prophecies concerning them ever be fulfilled, unless the past history should be repeated, and there yet arise another set of great empires, the exact counterpart of the first, the one to be divided into four, and the other into ten parts. In other words, that there be another Macedonian, and another Roman empire, and Jerusalem rebuilt, and the services of the sanctuary re-established, and all to be again destroyed and defiled, a thing wholly unreasonable. We need never expect history to repeat itself after this fashion. Neither is there any necessity for such a repetition. Nor yet do these prophecies, which in their mighty sweep reach the very end of time, give a single hint as to any other great nations yet to arise, but rather give us to understand that the time is forever past for any other great universal empire, save the kingdom of Christ, which is yet to cover the whole earth, superseding all others. Indeed, the history is already so complete that even Papists themselves do not hesitate to admit the general application. In their English Bible, edited by Dr. Challonier, and with the endorsement of Bishop Hughes and his associates, and intended for, and in use among the common people, we find the following candid admissions: That the four great beasts are the Chaldean, Persian, Grecian, and Roman empires; that the ten horns are the ten kingdoms among which the fourth beast shall be parceled; and that the little horn is "commonly understood of Antichrist." (See note, p. 697.) This seems to us a most remarkable and fatal admission on their part. For, admit that the four beasts are the four great empires above mentioned; admit that the ten horns were the ten kingdoms arising out of the ten was the Antichrist, and the identity of Rome with Antichrist is at once established. The claim of the Papists that he is yet to come is clearly untenable; for how come out of one of the ten kingdoms, and overcome three of them, when those kingdoms have long since ceased to exist? The plea is further refuted by the declaration of the Apostle Paul, that he had already commenced to work in his day. (II Thessalonians 2: 7, 8) And that as soon as he that hindered- that is, the Roman government, which then held the sway- was removed, the Man of Sin would be revealed and take his place. 3 According to Paul, the place to look for the Man of Sin is behind, and not before. Why, then, be looking for him in the future, when he had already begun to work in Paul's day? And why still be looking for these two kings, the one of strange and the other of fierce countenance, when the time so clearly and definitely fixed for their appearance, has so long been past? And have they not been sufficiently fierce and sanguinary, and shed blood enough, and defiled the sanctuary enough, to entitle them to the distinctive appellation, that we should be looking yet for others? Furthermore, how account for the silence of the scriptures concerning these if they be not the ones intended? Why such emphasis given Assyria and Egypt of old, and nothing said about these strange and mysterious enemies of the church? We submit, if prophecy be the future of the church's history, would it not be passing strange, yea even a marvel, that two such antagonizing forces should exist for so long a time, the one in the very bosom of the church, and the other on its nearest confines, like the Canaanites within, and the Philistines without, Israel of old, and for so many long centuries waging a merciless warfare against the saints, and persistently resisting the onward march of the kingdom of Christ, and yet no mention made of them, and not even a hint given, by any sacred writer, concerning their rise and appearance?

As there are no other kings in the above mentioned period, and the time fixed for their appearance has long since passed, and these so precisely agree with the description, we are forced to the conclusion that the two kings that were to arise, the one out of the ten kingdoms of the Roman, and the other out of the four kingdoms of the Grecian empire, were none other than the Papacy and the Mohammedan delusion.

The following summary will represent to the eye the truths set forth in the preceding prophecies.



Macedonian, divided into Egypt, Syria, Thrace, Macedon; Syria, the one out of which the first little horn, or king of fierce countenance, arose.

  • IV. ROMAN.

Roman, divided into Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Sueves and Allans, Vandals, Franks, Burgundians, Heruli, Saxons and Angles, Huns, Lombards, out of which the second little horn or mysterious king was to arise.

The three plucked up by it: Ostrogoths, Heruli, Lombards.


The last great universal kingdom, which is to overcome the others, and yet to fill the whole earth.

Here are set forth: v1. That there were to be four great empires.

2. The third was to be divided into four, and out of one of these a fierce king should arise, and continue to the end of the vision of 2,300 years.

3. The fourth should be divided into ten kingdoms, and out of these should arise a strange and mysterious king, unlike anything else that ever lived, and who should subdue three of them, and continue 1,260 years.

4. That about this time God would set up a kingdom, small at first, but to grow, and in the end to fill the whole earth.


From these clear-cut statements of Daniel we now turn to John. This apostle lived nearly seven centuries after Daniel. While in exile on the isle of Patmos, banished for the testimony of Jesus Christ, he was favored with a most wonderful revelation, both of "things that are and things to be hereafter." The first containing an account of the seven churches, and the second the future history of the church.

Being in the spirit on the Lord's Day, he was favored with a view of the symbolic throne of Jehovah, located in the firmamental heaven 4, surrounded with a coruscation of light and glory, and in the midst of which, and surrounding the throne, were twenty-four elders, seated upon thrones, and four Living Creatures, with four different faces. The first like al ion, the second like a calf, the third like the face of a man, and the fourth like a flying eagle, representing, as we understand it, the different orders of the redeemed, crowned and uncrowned; the former, the sanctified saints in heaven, already crowned, and the latter the unsanctified saints on earth struggling in the flesh. 5

John also saw, in the right hand of him that sat on the throne, a book written within and without, by the reason of the abundance of the revelation, or perhaps, as Elliott suggests, the things without being supplemental to those within.


This book was divided into three parts, the first containing the seals, the second the trumpets, the third the vials; seven of each. The seventh seal containing the seven trumpets, the seventh trumpet the seven vials. At the close of the seals there was an earthquake or upheaval, announcing a change and introducing and containing the trumpets or judgments. At the close of the trumpets another earthquake or upheaval, announcing another change, and introducing and containing the vials or last plagues. At the close of the vials another and greater earthquake or upheaval, the greatest of all, including the binding of Satan, the Millennium, the loosing of Satan, the battle of Gog and Magog, the general resurrection and final judgment.


Under the seals we have the following symbols: First, a white horse with its rider, with a bow and a crown given to him, and going forth conquering and to conquer. Second, a red horse, with power to kill and take away peace. Third, a black horse with balances, and a statement of the price of corn, weighed with exactness, on account of scarcity, but oil and wine to be left; God's judgments always tempered with mercy. Fourth, a pale horse, with death sitting on him and hell following in his train. Fifth, the souls of martyrs crying for vengeance. Sixth, the great earthquake, and the sealing of the 144,000, and concluding with the seventh seal.


The first four seals being under the same symbol of a horse and rider must refer to the same thing, and represents the Roman empire, with the church of Christ in its bosom. Church and state are always in one sense united, being alike blessed and cursed of God together. At first the state dominated the church; in the end the order is to be reversed, and the church is to dominate the state. At first the world was punished for its treatment of the church; in the end the church chastened for its treatment of the state; but always one and inseparable. According to this interpretation the white horse in the first seal fitly represents the victory, progress, and prosperity of the Roman empire, bearing the church of God in its bosom as the horse its rider. Then the horse, changing its color to red, representing the same empire in a state of strife, war, and bloodshed. Then to black, the symbol of distress, representing famine and want. Then the pale color, a representation of still greater general terror and dismay consequent upon the preceding state of things. Then the souls of martyrs, the symbol of persecution. Lastly, the earthquake or upheaval, betokening some great revolution about to follow, which likewise would be in the same empire.

In this general outline we have a corresponding outline in the history of the world for the first three centuries, till the first great upheaval in the time of Constantine, and afterwards followed by the great invasion of the Vandal hordes from the North. According to Gibbon, 6 the time of the greatest prosperity of the Roman empire was during the reigns of Nerva, Trajan. Hadrian, and the two Antonines, from A.D. 96 to 180, known as "The golden age." After which, with the assassination of Commodus, began the decline, and for about ninety years, till the accession of Diocletian, there was incessant strife, "thirty-two emperors and twenty-seven pretenders alternately hurling each other from the throne." Then a period of greater distress, from 180 to 193. Then still greater terror and dismay, from 193 to 243, and greater still from 243 to 248. Then the cry of those martyred souls, the result of those awful persecutions, beginning with Nero and terminating with Diocletian, when the sword of Caesar and the whole world sought to put down this new religion, and when the blood of martyrs flowed like water, when so many sealed their testimony with their life's blood. Then the great earthquake or upheaval, connected with the conversion of Constantine, the Roman governor, when there was a comple somersault, the whole world rushing into the church. Never, perhaps, was there ever before such a complete revolution in matters religious and ecclesiastical. As Dr. Adam Clark has well said, "The revolution under Constantine and the destruction of Jerusalem were the two greatest events that have ever taken place in the world since the flood to the eighteenth century of the Christian era." 7 And this is the more remarkable on account of the smallness of the number of the Christians, they being, according to Gibbon, only about one-twentieth of the population. 8 So general was the reaction against heathenism, and so complete the revolution, that it required some such striking images to represent it as the darkening of the sun, paling of the moon, and blotting out of the stars; when, as Bishop Newton has expressed it, "The great lights of the heathen world, the great powers, civil and ecclesiastical, were all eclipsed, and obscured, the heathen emperors and Caesars were slain, the heathen priests and emperors and Caesars were slain, the heathen priests and augers extirpated, the heathen officers and magistrates removed, the heathen temples demolished, and their revenues appropriated to better uses." 9

That the figures thus employed were none too bold to depict these scenes will appear from the fact that they are the very ones used by the old prophets in speaking of similar things. Thus Isaiah, in speaking of the destruction of Babylon, says, "For 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 cause her light to shine." (Chap. xiii. 10.) So in the judgments to be visited upon Idumea, "All the hosts of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens be rolled together as a scroll, and their host shall fall down as the leaf falleth off the vine." (Chap. xxxiv. 4.) So Joel, in his description of the change from the old to the new dispensation, uses language equally strong: "And it shall come to pass afterwards, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy; . . . and I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke; the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood before the great and terrible day of the Lord come." (Chap. ii. 28-31.) See also Amos. viii. 9, and Zech. i. 14, 15, where the destruction of Jerusalem is spoken of as "the great day of the Lord."

The entire suitableness of the figures employed will also appear in a still stronger light when we remember that beyond and behind all this we have here given us a typical foreshadowing of impending judgments still in the future. In this typical overthrow of governments, and the whole world in consternation and woe, we also have a forecast of coming judgments, set forth in the trumpets, and even extending to the final destruction of all the enemies of the Lord and his church. Every rill is but the prophecy of the existence of the mighty ocean; so every judgment is but the foreshadowing of the final destruction of all the wicked. We cannot look out upon any object in nature without seeing objects behind it as a background. As the Savior, in his description of the destruction of Jerusalem, imperceptibly glides into the final judgment, because included in it, so here. This terrible upheaval, the dim adumbration of final destruction of all his enemies, was but the first great ground swell, or reactionary movement back in the direction of God and heaven. Hence the consternation and woe represented by the call to the rocks and mountains to fall upon them, and hide them from the face of an angry God. Similar language is used in Hos. x. 8. referring to Shalmaneser's invasion, and also by the Savior in Luke xviii. 30, where, when speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem, he represents its terrified inhabitants as calling to mountains and hills to fall on them, and furnish a place of retreat.

Here, then, in this first outlook, reaching to the distant future, we are brought face to face with all the after judgments set forth in the trumpets and seals that are to be visited upon all the enemies of the Lord, the past being but the earnest, prophecy and pledge of all succeeding ones.


Before the sounding of the trumpets, introducing these impending judgments, we have the sealing of God's people, not Jews simply, but all his elect people, 144,000; a definite for an indefinite sum. 10 As in Egypt, before the destroying angel went forth, the houses of Israel were first marked; and as in Ezekiel's vision, the man with the inkhorn first went through Jerusalem and marked every one who wept and sighed for the abominations done therein before the man with the sword upon his thigh should pass through; so the sealing or marking of God's people must precede these judgments. Thus showing that God will ever take care of his people at all times, and under all circumstances.

As in the first outlook we have the judgments as already completed, so we also have the anticipatory giving of thanks, as though the final victory was likewise achieved. John sees the multitude of victors with palm branches in their hands, as having already passed through the tribulation of earth, and now led beside the fountains of living waters, and having all their tears wiped away by the hand of a loving Father.


After the sealing of the 144,000, the angels with the trumpets were commanded to sound. The trumpet, the usual signal for war, was also employed to herald the approach of any important event. Here it was used to proclaim the coming of those terrible judgments about to be visited upon a corrupt church and world; for, though seemingly advanced, the church was really abased by her worldly alliances. The scene was preceded by voices, thunderings, and an earthquake, all indicative of the unwonted heaviness of those judgments, and in all of which we have clearly set forth the invasion of the Northern vandal hordes upon the Roman empire, the then masters of the known world, with the church of God in her bosom, and as her pretended guardian and protector.

First Trumpet

The first angel sounds, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, which were cast upon the earth, and the third part of the trees were burned up; that is, a third part of the Roman empire, or the whole, as a third part of the world. In this we have a striking and most picturesque description of Alaric and the Goths, who made several incursions into the country from the North, carrying destruction and ruin in their march —(395-410)— when he took and sacked and burned the city of Rome.

Second Trumpet

And the second angel sounded, "and as it were a great mountain, burning with fire, was cast into the sea, and the third part of the sea became blood, and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea and had life died, and the third part of the ships were destroyed."

Soon after the depredation of Alaric, Attila, fitly styled "the scourge of God and man," with a large army of Huns, ravaged the empire, for the space of fourteen years, aptly represented by the burning mountain cast into the sea; in which another third part of the empire was destroyed, or as the Roman people were estimated about one-third part of the earth, another third part of the whole is thus fitly spoken of as turned into blood.

Third Trumpet

The third trumpet sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven as a burning lamp, and it fell upon a third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters. And the name of the star is called "Wormwood"; and a third part of the waters became wormwood; and men died of the waters because they were bitter.

Soon after Attila's retreat, Genseric, with a large army of 300,000 Vandals and Moors from Africa, invaded the empire, and besieged and took Rome, and abandoned the city to the licentiousness and cruelty of his soldiers. The bitterness of such an experience may well be termed "Wormwood." Genseric being also a bigoted Arian, and a cruel persecuter of the orthodox Christians, likewise poisoned the fountains, and rendered their bitterness still more intense.

Fourth Trumpet

The fourth angel sounded, and the fourth part of the sun was smitten, and a third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. The judgments here reached the government. If the three preceding trumpets refer to the disasters sent upon the Roman empire, this trumpet is then simply the completion of the work; and we here have the final fulfillment in the complete overthrow of Roman supremacy, and the final establishment of barbarian dominion under Odoacer, the king of the Heruli, who, coming to Rome with an army of barbarians, stripped Momylus of the imperial robes, and caused himself to be proclaimed king of Italy; and thus putting an end to the very same of the Western empire; fifty represented by the smiting of one-third part of the sun, moon and stars.


The remaining three trumpets are termed "Woe trumpets," on account of the intense bitterness connected with them. The four preceding ones seem to contain woe enough, and bitterness enough, but nothing to be compared with the three that are to follow, because these blight the soul as well as destroy the body; and because they were to continue longer, and take in a larger scope in their vast sweep. The first four trumpets refer chiefly to the downfall of the Western empire: these last three to the downfall of the Eastern, to be effected by the influx of the Mohammedan and Turkish hordes, the setting up of the "Man of Sin," at first stated in a general way, but afterwards with more fullness and distinctness.

These trumpets are introduced with an angel flying through mid-heaven, and saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels yet to sound."

Fifth Trumpet — (First Woe Trumpet)

The fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth, and to him was given the key to the bottomless pit, and there arose a smoke, which darkened the sun and air, and out of the smoke came locusts, to which was given power as to scorpions, and to hurt only those who had not the seal of God in their foreheads. They should not kill, but only torment for five months. And their torment was the torment of a scorpion. And in those days men desired to die, but death fled from them. The shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared for battle. They had a crown on their heads, and faces of men. Their hair as that of women, and teeth of lions, and breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings like the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle, and had tails like scorpions, and stings in their tails; and had power to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them whose name was Abaddon in Hebrew, but Apollyon in Greek.

This trumpet is generally conceded to have reference to the Mohammedan or Saracenic conquests; the Mohammedan leaders represented by the star, and the Arabian army by the locusts; with faces like men, but long, flowing, uncut hair like women, indicative of the fierceness of their nature; with the sting of scorpions in their tails, poisoning men with the destructive doctrines of the Koran; their power to torment being five months, equal to one hundred and fifty days or years, just the length of the Mohammedan conquests, extending from A.D. 612 to 762.

"One woe is past, behold there cometh two more woes hereafter."

Sixth Trumpet - (Second Woe Trumpet)

The sixth angel sounded, and with greater solemnity, as a still greater woe was coming, and as coming from the "four corners of the altar," as the place of the guilt. The angel with the trumpet was ordered to loose the four angels bound in the great river Euphrates. The number of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand. They had breast plates of fire, and of jacinth, and of brimstone. The horses had heads of lions, and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. They had power alike in their mouths and in their tails. By these the third of men were killed. The time for which they were prepared were an hour, a day, a month, and a year.

We are not long in finding an event in history and the world at that time, agreeing precisely with this description. The Mohammedan or Saracenic conquest was followed by that of the Turks, a people of the same general spirit and character; hence the similarity of the description. There were four Sultans (the four angels) arising at different times, but at last uniting in the same work, and these angels were at first bound or held back in their conquests by the Crusades. The description, too, exactly suited their horsemen, and the fierceness and celerity of their conquests. They had power in their horses` tails as well as heads, as they carried the teachings of Mohammed with them, thus stinging men with their teachings, as with the sting of a scorpion. Their number two myriads, or two ten thousands of thousands, equal to two millions, a definite for an indefinite number. Their time, an hour, a day, a month, and one year, being a total of three hundred and ninety-one days or years; the length of the Turkish conquests, beginning A.D. 1281, and continuing till A.D. 1672, the time of their last victory over the Christians.

In this conquest the Romans were in a measure protected by the armies of the Crusaders. So it is added: "the rest of the men, that is, the Romans, not killed with these plagues, and who were not deterred by them, repented not of the works of their hands, but continued to worship devils, and idols of gold and silver and brass and stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk."

In this particular case, as in the preceding trumpet, the description given and the developed facts seem wonderfully to agree.


Before the sounding of the seventh trumpet, introducing the third and last great woe, there is a pause in the vision to introduce "The Little Book," with its account of the slaying of the witnesses. The arrest was made with the statement that the mystery of God connected with the last great woe would not yet or then be revealed, as the time was not yet ( ) but would be at the sounding of the seventh trumpet.


John saw a mighty angel come down from heaven, with a little open book in his hand, which, upon his request, was given him with instruction to eat it, which he did; but soon found it, as the angel had foretold, both sweet as honey to his mouth, but all bitterness within, and also the added instruction, "Thou must prophecy again before many peoples and nations and tongues and kings." A very striking statement indeed, as, before the Reformation, preaching had fallen into disuse, the mass and other ceremonial observances having wholly taken its place.

In looking for the fulfillment of this symbol we are at once reminded of the Reformation in the time of Luther and his coadjutors in the preaching of the true gospel preparatory to and connected with the second great upheaval. In this preaching of the gospel there was a striking admixture of bitter things with much that was exceedingly sweet.


In this connection we have the measuring of the temple, the casting out of the apostatized portion, and giving up the court without to the Gentiles, who were to tread it under foot forty-two months; that is, twelve hundred and sixty days, or years, during which time the two witnesses should prophecy; not two men, or even two peoples, who were to live that long, but the continuation of faithful witnesses; and two, because that number was required by the Mosaic law to establish any fact. These should prophecy clothed in sackcloth; and when they shall have finished, or about to finish, their testimony- or finished at least so far as the purpose was concerned, for they are bearing testimony, and always will- the beast, that was to ascend out of the bottomless pit, and to be afterwards described, would slay them, and leave their bodies unburied for three days and a half in the streets of the city spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, the former on account of its wickedness, and the latter on account of its oppression; and after three days and a half would come to life again and ascend up unto heaven.

Some, like Scott, that prince of interpreters, and following Bishop Newton, have held that the matters here spoken of are yet in the future; but it does seem that the events happening since their day show them to be mistaken, and too clearly prove that the time is past for the fulfillment of this part of the prophecy. These two witnesses obviously were slain with the suppression of the gospel in 1514, when the whole world was under Popish authority, and when at the Council of Constance the orator of the occasion, at the ninth session, May 5th of that year, could and did say, "Jam nemo reclamat nullus obsistet" (No one now denies, no one opposes)... But the witnesses were not buried, nor really dead, for it was on the 21st of October, 1518, only three years afterwards, that Luther nailed his theses to the church's door posts at Wittenberg, when the witnesses came to life again, and have been living and testifying ever since; and taken up to God, not in the sense of leaving the world, but in the sense of being kept and preserved by him, never again to be silenced or put to death.


After the resurrection of the two witnesses, and in connection with it, there was a second great earthquake or upheaval, when a tenth part of the city fell, and of men, ten thousand were slain, and the remnant were affrighted and gave glory to God; all fulfilled in the Reformation in Luther's day, which was truly a great upheaval, in which there was a great loss to, and falling away from, the doctrines of Popery, and when the British Isles, one of the ten minor kingdoms into which the Roman empire was divided, came out from under the Romish yoke.

At this stage of the prophecy the announcement is made, "The second woe is past, and behold a third woe cometh quickly."

Seventh Trumpet — (Third Woe Trumpet)

As the third woe is the largest and longest in continuance, and had already commenced, and needed a more minute description, the announcement is here simply made that the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and the result given as already accomplished, as well as a general outlook, and in the following terms:

"And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven saying, the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever." And, as anticipating the final result, the heavenly hosts fell on their faces and worshipped God, 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."

Here with this general outlook, in which the final anticipatory triumph of the church is asserted, the first part of the book closes.


After this glowing doxology the prophecy goes back a little to give a fuller account of the great woe of which mention has already been made, and of things written "without" the book, as Elliot suggests. As the Papacy is clearly the great woe, and had already been in existence for centuries before this time, the prophecy goes back to give a fuller account of its origin, rise, and progress. We have this account in Chapter xii.


John saw, in the firmamental heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and with a crown of twelve stars upon her head, all indicative of majesty, and about to be delivered of a child; whilst a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads, and with his tail drawing the third part of the stars of heaven, was standing before the woman ready to devour the child as soon as born. The woman brought forth a man child, who was to rule the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was caught up to God and his throne; and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there for a thousand two hundred and three score days.

He also saw, in this connection, Satan, spoken of as a dragon, cast out of the firmamental heaven, where previously seen as the great Adversary and accuser of the brethren; and now, being cast out, began persecuting the woman, casting out water out of his mouth, and seeking to destroy her; but God gave her two great wings, by which she fled into the wilderness, and where she was "nourished for a time and times and a half," that is, three and a half years, or 1,260 days.

These two visions seem clearly to refer to the same event; the first being anticipatory of the second; the first stating in general terms what is more fully explained in the second, the woman being the same and representing the church in both instances, and the child her prospective increase and enlargement.


The Red Dragon, with its seven heads or forms of government, and ten horns or kingdoms , is clearly Rome Pagan, as generally admitted, even by Papists. Satan and the Dragon are interchangeably used, because he works through the Dragon. As he is called "the old serpent," because he first appeared to our first parents in the garden in the form of a serpent, and worked through the serpent, so here he is the Red Dragon because he entered the Red Dragon and worked through it. And the name is the more appropriate as the Dragon was the original standard of the Roman legions; and because, as the Red Dragon, Rome had subdued one-third of the princes of the world; so he is represented as drawing one- third of the stars with his tail. The general idea, then, is that as there was about to be an enlargement in the church, in the conversion of Constantine, and successive Christian emperors, who were appointed of God to punish the enemies of the gospel, and thus "rule the world with a rod of iron," Satan instigated Rome Pagan to endeavor to thwart the purpose by persecuting the women, or church, who was hid by God in the wilderness for twelve hundred and sixty years, the church's increase being taken to heaven in the sense of being defended and preserved by the Lord; the two great wings given the woman being the Eastern and Western empires, and the water out of the Dragon's mouth and helping the woman being the multitudes of the Northern hordes who remained at Rome after the invasion and were converted to Christianity, and thus becoming helpers of the cause.

The further continuance and progress of this struggle between the woman and her adversaries are set forth in the rising of two beasts, or enemies, one from the sea, the other from the earth, against both of which she must contend.

First Beast — (Rome Christian)

The first beast is described as coming out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon the horns ten crowns, and upon these heads "the name of blasphemy." The beast was like unto a leopard, his feet as the feet of a bear, his mouth as the mouth of a lion. And the Dragon gave him his power and his seat and his great authority. One of his heads was wounded as unto death, but his deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the Dragon and worshipped the beast, saying, "Who is like unto the beast, and who is able to make war with him?" And unto him was given a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty-two months. And it was given 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.

If the Red Dragon be Rome Pagan, as interpreters, and even Papists themselves generally admit, then it is but a step, and an easy one at that, to the conclusion, that this first beast was Rome Christian; that is, the same power as before; in other words, the Red Dragon with the form of Christianity engrafted upon it; for it derived its seat and all its power and authority from the Dragon. In other words, this first beast was the same Dragon, modified and held in check by the elements of this new religion. Notice the description, how sharply drawn, and how applicable to Rome. Seven heads! That is, seven forms of government. The different forms of government of Rome were Kings, Consuls, Dictators, Decemvirs, Military Tribunes, Emperors (the head wounded and afterwards healed) and Dukedom. "Ten horns"! that is, ten kingdoms into which the empire was divided, already mentioned, viz., Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Sueves and Allans, Vandals, Franks, Burgundians, Heruli, Saxons and Angles, Huns, Lombards.

Notice, too, the Dragon had seven crowns upon his seven heads; that is, had his power within himself. But this beast differs in this, that his crowns, ten in number, are not upon his heads, as in the case of the Dragon, but upon his horns, showing his authority being not within himself, but as coming from the kingdoms composing the empire. He also had the additional name of "Blasphemy," growing out of the engrafted and perverted abuses of the religious element.

Further, one of the heads, the sixth (the emperor) was wounded "unto death," representing the entire subversion of imperial authority in the time of Augustulus, when Rome became a Dukedom, subject to the Exarchate of Ravenna; but afterwards healed in the revival of the imperial name and dignity, in the person of Charlemagne, who was proclaimed Augustus. And this beast withal had all the characteristics of the different animals; the leopard, bear, and lion, because he had the same spirit and power of the former kingdom. He was to "practice" and continue to exercise his power for forty-two months. What other power ever existed, agreeing at all with this description?

Second Beast — (Rome Papal)

The prophet saw a second beast. The first he saw had seven heads and ten horns; but this one had only two horns, and was like a lamb. The first beast came up out of the sea; out of the wars and tumults of the world. This last comes silently up, like a plant out of the earth. This second beast exerciseth all the power of the first that had been healed. He also doeth wonders; maketh fire to come down from heaven in sight of men, and deceiveth by means of those miracles, saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image of the beast that had been wounded by the sword and did live, and that no man should buy or sell, without the mark and number of the beast; the mark being put, either "upon the forehead," as evidence of profession, or "on the hand," in token of service.

If the first beast be Rome Christian, then the second can be nothing else than Rome Papal, or the Romish hierarchy; for he is connected with the first beast, being its legitimate offspring, and which he has caused all men to worship. The further description also fixes this interpretation, as it had two horns, viz., the two orders of her clergy, or two sources of her power, secular and spiritual. Its identification also with the image to be made proves the same thing, as we shall see.

Image of the Beast

We do not agree with Newton, who is followed by Scott and Clark, in holding that the Pope is the image, nor yet with Elliott, who interprets it of the Ecclesiastical Councils. We understand it of the second beast itself; in other words, the Papacy. This identity is clearly inferable if not expressly stated. It will be noticed that the second beast neither makes the image nor worships it, but puts this upon the people. So Popery is not the direct creation of the civil government, but grew up among the people, and had civil power engrafted upon it. It will be noticed that the second beast had all the power of the first, whom it orders all men to worship. It not only had power to order the making of the image, but also to impart life and power to it, both to make it speak, and to require all men to worship it; and yet, what is passing strange, and even marvelous, is that, though thus clothed with such regal power, being the successor and possessor of all the rights and prerogatives of the first beast and dragon, yet itself is not worshipped. The dragon and first beast are said to be worshipped (Chap. xiii. 4) , but not the second beast. Wherefore? The answer seems easy, because the image and the second beast are one and the same, and worship rendered the one is worship rendered the other. The dragon merges into the first beast, and the first beast merges into the second, with the Papacy as the perfected image and culmination of the whole. Indeed, a mere glance is sufficient to show that the first and second beasts, and the image, are all associated together, as members of a common firm, and actuated by a common impulse, the destruction of Christ's kingdom. As the horses in the seals are one, under different colors, so these are all one, only under different forms and different stages of development. I therefore hold and earnestly maintain, that the "Antichrist," or "Man of Sin," is not simply the dragon, or first, or second beast alone, but all three combined: a triune monster of iniquity, all working in harmony, and all under the control of the first great dragon, Satan; the acts of the one being the acts of the others, and worship rendered the one being worship rendered the others.

We see, therefore-

1st, Why the name of the monster is always "beast," and never "beasts"; although spoken of as three, they are really but one.

2nd, Why the name of the monster is always "beast," and never "beasts"; although spoken of as three, they are really but one.

3rd, Herein, too, is the answer to the objections that have been raised: that the forty-two months, as the time given for the existence of the beast, as well as what is said concerning the shedding of the blood of the saints, is affirmed only of the first beast; and further, that Popery cannot be both the Woman and the beast she was riding; the point of these objections being to relieve the Papacy of all complicity with the beast, and all participation in its guilt. The answer to it all is found in their essential unity. What is true of the one is true of all the others. The signature of any one of a firm being the signature of the whole.

4th, We likewise can see why the second beast puts the mark and number of the entire beast upon all the subjects of the kingdom, because it stands and acts as the representative and accredited agent of the whole.

5th, We will also see, as we further proceed, the exact fitness of the suggestive name as given the beast, viz., "The Latin Man," because Latin, in all of its transformations, whether pagan, Christian, or Papal.

Number of the Name

The number of the name as given is 666. "Here is wisdom; let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man"; that is, a name, the number of the numerical value of its letters would amount to 666. As a challenge is here given, it is no evidence of presumption should we attempt, at least, to find out the number, especially as it is so closely linked with the intolerance of the beast, no one being allowed or tolerated, unless bearing the same. Now it is a remarkable fact that the name Lateinos, The Latin Man, the name of the fourth kingdom seen by Daniel, makes 666, both in Greek and Hebrew. This solution was first suggested by Irenaeus, as far back as the second century, and some three centuries before the rise of the beast. Says he, "Lateinos 11 has the number 666, and it is a very probable solution, this being the name of the last kingdom of the four seen by Daniel." (Clark's Pub., 107) And this has been the common interpretation among protestants ever since. As to the appropriateness of the name, we leave the reader to judge, since her letters, decrees and services are all in Latin. The two words in Greek and Hebrew are Lateinos and Rommith.

Here we have, to say the least of it, a most singular thing, that the same name should have the same numerical value in both Greek and Hebrew, the two languages in which the Scriptures were written. 12

Ere the declaration of the downfall of this beast, known as the mystical Babylon, and for the encouragement of God's people, the prophet again sees the 144,000 already sealed, standing upon mount Zion with the Lamb, and singing a new song; and also another angel flying through the midst of heaven, with commission to preach the everlasting gospel to every nation kindred, tongue, and tribe. In quick succession, another angel follows, crying, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of wine of the wrath of her fornication."

Then follows the third angel, saying with a loud voice, and by way of warning or caveat, "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured without mixture into the cup of his indignation."

Thus, not only is the great city to be destroyed, but, according to the commission of the third angel, the curse shall even extend to all the worshippers of the beast, in every place and in every land.

The world not being influenced by the warning of these three angels, then follows by anticipation the prophetic description of the execution of the threatened judgments. This is set forth under the figure of a harvest or vintage; as much as to say, that the destruction, when it does come, will be so terrible, and the blood shed so abundantly, that, like the wine pressed from the grapes in the vintage, the stream would reach even to the horses` bridles; and this to extend "a thousand and six hundred furlongs," or two hundred miles, the exact length of the old papal dominions. How terrific the judgments yet to be visited upon the idolatrous and wicked city!

Seven Last Plagues

After these prophetic warnings and delays, as if loath to issue the order for the execution of the sentence, one of the four Living Creatures gave the seven vials, containing the seven last plagues to the seven angels, with instructions to empty them upon the earth.

First Vial

In obedience to the above instruction, the first angel poured out his vial upon the earth, and there fell a grievous sore upon the man that had the mark of the beast, and them which worshipped his image. This sore or running ulcer, similar to one of the plagues of Egypt, was but the fit emblem of, and fulfilled in, the blatant infidelity, national and individual, social disorder and moral corruption of France in the latter part of the eighteenth century; and just before, and preparatory to, the great revolution which shook all Europe to its centre. Thus poured out upon France because at that time the leading supporter of the Papal throne and worshipper of the image. In the days of Charlemagne she took the lead in restoring the Papacy; and on account of her constant and unswerving devotion to the interest of the Papal See, her king received from the Pope the loving sobriquet, "The eldest son of the church," upon whom she leaned, and from whom she expected support.

Second Vial

The second angel poured out his vial upon the sea, as the other upon the earth; upon the sea as the representative of the turbulent seething masses of men; and, as in another of the plagues of Egypt, the sea became as blood of a dead man. According to Alison, 13 over a million persons were put to death in France during the Reign of Terror. And not in France alone, but all Europe, according to the saying of Napoleon, that "A revolution in France is sooner or later followed by a revolution in all Europe." And thus it was. As the result of the revolution, all Europe was deluged in blood. It is quite easy therefore to see how this emblem of pouring out on land and sea fitly represents the murders and terrible scenes of the French revolution, and which led to the revolution in Europe, in which human blood flowed as a sea, and which, instead of leading to repentance, only resulted in increased wickedness and rebellion of heart.

Third Vial

The third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters, and they also became blood; this being but a continuation of the same judgments as in the two preceding vials, only more general, now permeating the whole land, and reaching even to individuals and communities, as well as to the centers of governments. The revolution, local at first, soon became general, and, like an ocean upheaval, covering all Europe with its disastrous effects, as already indicated.

Fourth Vial

The fourth angel poured his vial upon the sun, and giving him power to scorch men with fire. In accordance with the general, and we may say the invariable interpretation of this symbol, the sun and moon standing for governments and rulers, this pouring out of a vial upon the sun, must mean nothing more than military rule or despotism; and if Napoleon and his military contemporaries did not scorch the world, it will never be again. Without enlarging, we point to the Napoleonic wars and the devastation and accompanying terrors and dismay that followed, and reaching all the governments of Europe, as the exact fulfillment of this vial, both as to time and place, it being in close connection, following upon the very heels of the three preceding ones.

Fifth Vial

The fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast, and his kingdom became dark, and they gnawed their tongues, and blasphemed the God of heaven; all of which was most strikingly fulfilled, beginning in 1798, when Rome fell into the hand of the French army, and the Vatican was robbed of its works of art, and the Pope compelled to flee; again repeated in 1868, when Victor Emanuel disrobed the Papal See of all temporal power, and Rome was thrown open to all the world. And later still, in 1900, in the disasters upon Spain, another seat of Papal power and supremacy.

Sixth Vial

The sixth angel poured out his vial upon the river Euphrates, to dry up the river, and to "prepare the way for the kings of the East." In this prediction we think we clearly see reference to the Turks. Nor is this interpretation so arbitrary as may at first appear. In the sixth trumpet the horsemen were turned loose from the river Euphrates. This is generally admitted to refer to the Turkish conquests. If so, the drying up of that river is simply to dry up the source of that power; in other words, the weakening, if not the entire overthrow, of that government. The Turkish power has for some time been waning. As far back as 1820, with the insurrection in Greece, Walachia, and Moldavia; the taking of Algiers in 1829, and the loosening of its hold upon Egypt; and now upon its tottering throne we see indelibly stamped the unmistakable seal of prophecy forecasting its impending doom. The present and past discontent and unrest are but the distant mutterings of the coming storm; nothing now supporting it but the strategic policy of the interested princes of Christendom.

Battle of Armageddon

Before the pouring out of the seventh vial we have an account of the preparation for the final great struggle between the church and her enemies. Three unclean spirits like frogs are seen going forth to gather all the kings of the earth, with all their forces, to a place, called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. As the battle is no real battle, but simply a struggle of principle, so no particular locality is intended, but simply a place of destruction, as the word seems to mean "Mountain of Megiddo"; so designated from Megiddo, the place that witnessed the slaughter of the Canaanites in the days of Barak, when the stars fought in their courses against Sisera (Judg. V. 19), as well as the scene of the defeat of Josiah, and the great lamentation which followed. (2 Chron. Xxxv. 23-25.)

Three Unclean Spirits

The sources from whence these unclean spirits proceed show the work to be done, as well as the agents to be employed.

  • 1. One is to proceed form the mouth of the dragon; that is, Rome pagan, which points to pagan idolatry as one of the agents to be employed.
  • 2. The second from the mouth of the beast; that is, Rome Pseduochristian. In the union of church and state under Constantine, instead of a friend, the church only found, in her pretended ally, a bitter, relentless foe, a very beast indeed, sordid, fierce, corrupt, preying upon her flesh, and drinking her very life's blood. This symbol finds its interpretation in every unholy alliance of Church and state, as well as in the different forms of worldly entanglements and associations, leading alike to her enslavement and ruin.
  • 3. The third from the mouth of the False Prophet; that is, Rome Papal, the pretended expositor of the word, and yet the great perverter of the truth. This symbol points to the different pervertings and obscurings of the truth as the third method to be employed.

Here then, in these three suggestive symbols, we have the different methods to be used by the adversary in the last great struggle.

1st, He will, as far as possible, continue to keep the world under the chains of heathenish darkness and away from the knowledge of Christ, ever seeking to drown every uplifted and opposing voice, with the old cry, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians."

2nd, He will seek to weaken and destroy the influence and power of the church, directly if possible, by the use of Caesar's sword; if not, just as effectively, though more stealthily, by means of worldly entanglements and alliances.

3rd, By false and heretical teaching; if not entirely to deny and disown, to degrade the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ, by covering it up in a mass of worthless forms and ceremonies, so as to rob it of its power or else secure the same end by human additions and substitutions, calculated only to deceive and to lead to destruction.

In the setting up of these and similar golden calves in different parts of the kingdom, these croaking spirits are ever calling to the people, and saying, "These by thy gods, O Israel," and thus preparing for the final struggle, which is to result in the destruction of the beast and False Prophet, as well as all the other enemies of the Lord. The time for this destruction is not now given; but we have an anticipatory description of it further on, in Chapter xix. 17-21. Only this caveat is here added: "Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."

Seventh Vial

The seventh angel poured out his vial in the air (universal), followed by thunderings, lightnings, and the final great earthquake or upheaval, that is to usher in the Millennium; described as the greatest earthquake men have ever seen, or ever will see; when the great city is to be divided into three parts, cities of nations are to fall, and the great Babylon will come for remembrance before God; and when the last judgment, like hail of the size of a talent, shall be visited upon the earth.


After the pouring out of these vials, we have presented a more extended and minute account of the great city of Babylon, spoken of as the great whore, or apostate church, the mother of abominations, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornications; and also the judgments to be visited upon her.

This apostate or persecuting church is presented as a woman, drunk with the blood of saints, and with the blood of the martyrs, and as a woman seated upon a scarlet beast, full of the name of blasphemies, having seven heads and ten horns; the same as heretofore mentioned. And the woman was arrayed with gold and precious stones and pearls, insomuch as to excite the astonishment of John, which the angel sought to allay with the question, "Wherefore didst thou marvel?" I will tell thee the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carrieth her." The following is the description and interpretation as given by the angel.


"The beast thou sawest was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit."

"The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth; and there are seven kings; five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet, and when he cometh he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition."

"The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues."

And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate, and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire."

"And the woman which thou sawest is that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth."

The above description and interpretation, easily and unmistakably find their fulfillment in the Romish church, and nowhere else.

The Man of Sin

That the Papacy is this apostate church, elsewhere Styled the "Antichrist," and "Man of Sin," the culmination and embodiment of the Dragon, and first and second beasts, and as such, the image and representative of the whole, will appear from the following considerations:

1. From the very name, "Catholic," which means universal, at one time the only church, and therefore the only church to become universally apostate.

2. It agrees with the time and place set for its appearance. It was to come out of one of the ten kingdoms of the fourth monarchy. Daniel speaks of it as "the little horn," with eyes, coming up in the midst of, and during the existence of the ten kingdoms into which the fourth kingdom was to be divided. If so, then the time and place for its appearance have both passed.

So the order and succession are given. First the Chaldean, then the Medopersian, then the Macedonian, then the Roman, acknowledged by all, even the Papists, as the red dragon with seven heads and ten horns with seven crowns upon its seven heads; then the first beast, with its seven heads and ten horns, and ten crowns upon its ten horns; then the beast with two horns, like a lamb but speaking as a dragon; then lastly, the image and representative of the whole. In each remove the succeeding form not only takes the place, but also inherits the seat and power of its predecessor. The Dragon gave his seat and power to the beast with seven heads and ten horns (Chap. Xiii. 2) , and the woman in scarlet was afterwards seen seated upon, and riding the same. Rome Papal is but the continuation of Rome Pagan. The modern city is built on the ruins, with much of the same material, and garnished and adorned with many of the works of art of the ancient; the image of St. Peter itself being the old image of Jupiter, with the two keys substituted for the thunderbolts of the former. 14

As the time and place for its appearance, and the order of the succession, are given, and with such definiteness, if this be not the Antichrist, then there can be none in the future, unless this same order and succession return, and the Dragon,- that is Pagan Rome,- be again brought to life; a thing too unreasonable to be entertained for a moment.

3. It has all the characteristics ascribed to the Antichrist.

(a). It was to be in the church. "Sitting in the temple of God," and therefore an apostate church.

(b). It was to be a great power ruling the nations of the earth. "And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." Was there ever a greater nation than Rome, at one time the acknowledged master of the world? Will there ever be a stronger religious organization than the Romish hierarchy, with its different orders and equipments, with its cathedrals, treasures of art, its schools, nunneries, monasteries, covering the whole earth; and with such power over kings and princes, having actually dethroned fifty of them at different times! 15

(c). It was to be a persecuting power, making war upon the saints, shedding the blood of the same, and so abundantly as to be "drunk with blood." To say nothing about the ten awful persecutions under Rome Pagan, in which it is estimated that fifty millions of martyrs were slain, the victims of Rome Papal have simply been astonishing. Witness the horrors of the Inquisition, the innocent slaughtering of St. Bartholomew, the bloody cruelties of the Duke of Alva, and the bitter persecutions of the Waldenses, which moved the pen of Milton to write:

Avenge, O Lord, they slaughtered saints, whose bones
Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold;
E'en them, who kept thy truth so pure of old,
When all our fathers worshipped stocks and stones,
Forget not; in thy book record their groans,
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
Slain by the bloody Piedmontese, that rolled
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans
The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes sow
O'er the Italian fields, where still doth away
The triple tyrant; that from these may grow
An hundredfold, who, having learnt thy way,
Early may fly the Babylonian woe.

"It is estimated that in the war with Albigenses and Waldenses, there perished of these poor creatures, in France alone, a million. From the first institution of the Jesuits to the year 1480, that is, in a little more than thirty years, 900,000 orthodox Christians were slain. In the Netherlands alone, the Duke of Alva boasted that within a few years he had dispatched to the number of 36,000 souls, and those all by the hand of the common executioner. In the space of thirty years the Inquisition destroyed, by various kinds of tortures, 150,000 Christians." 16

It is true that these were not all put to death by the Papacy, any more than Christ was crucified by the Jews; but by instigators alike. "Quid facit per alium, facit per se." Whatever he does by another he does himself. It was the first beast that was to make war on the saints, and to overcome them. (Ch. Xiii. 7; Dan. Vii. 26.) But the first beast was agent of the second, and the second approved and endorsed all the deeds of the first and became its accomplice. There is such a thing as a sinner by endorsement, as well as actual transgression; so all the bloodshed of the first was added to that of its own.

(d), It was to be a blasphemous power. "Blasphemies upon her heads." "Sitting in the temple of God and thinking that he is God." "Speaking great words against the Most High." Thinking to change "times and laws." "With all power and signs and lying wonders." "Giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils." All of which are found in the Church of Rome.

We give the following quotations in proof of this high assumption: "Tu enim pastor, tu medicus, tu gubernator, tu denique alter dues in terries." Thou art a shepherd, thou art a physician, thou art a ruler; in one word, thou art another God. 17 "Consider ate esse vicarium Christi, Christum Domini." Consider thyself to be the vicar of Christ, the Christ of God. "Honorem qui debetur Christo, secundum quod Deus est, deberi, papae; quia honor debetur potestati, sed uno est potestas Christi, secundum quod deus est, et papae." The honor which is due to Christ, because he is God, belongs likewise to the Pope; for honor is due to authority; but the same authority belonging to Christ, because he is God, belongs likewise to the pope. "Deus, quia Dei vicarious." God, because the vicar of God. 18 What blasphemies!

To say, then, that we are to have another antichrist in the future, with the same characteristics, is simply that we are to have two antichrists identically the same; a thing as unscriptural as it is unreasonable.

4. Notice other peculiarities mentioned with great minuteness by the angel, and which find their fulfillment nowhere else. "The seven heads are seven mountains," or hills, Rome being built on seven hills; hence the sobriquet, "Urbs Septicollis," city of seven hills. Their names are familiar, vix., Palatinus, Capitolinus, Esquilinus, Caelius, Aventinus, Quirinalis, Viminalis. The seven heads, or seven kings, are seven forms of government, already mentioned, viz., Kings, Consuls, Dictators, Decemvirs, Military Tribunes, Emperors, Dukedom. Five were fallen, viz., Kings, Consus, Dictators, Decemvirs, Military Tribunes. These were already past in John's day; "one now is," at that time, the Emperor; one yet to come, and continue a little while, viz., Dukedom. "And the beast that was and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seventh, and goeth to perdition." The beast was first in the form of Rome Pagan "and is not"; that is, not then existing in that form. "And yet is," at that time as Rome Christian; "And is the eighth, and is of the seventh." The Papacy was but the continuation of the seven different forms already mentioned, and to be the eighth and last; there being no ninth or tenth to come after it; and to go to perdition or destruction. "And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings"; the ten kingdoms already mentioned, "which have received no kingdom as yet"; that is in John's day; but were "to receive power as kings one hour with the beast," and continue for a little while, as only an hour compared with the life of the beast, which was to be 1,260 years.

5. The Number of the name furnishes additional proof "Lateinos," the name of the last kingdom, as we have seen, aggregating, in the numerical value of its letters, the prophetic number 666.

6. The same also appears from the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the judgments to be sent upon it. First, those set forth in the first four trumpets, and secondly, in those in the sixth vial poured out upon the seat of the beast. These have been and are now being poured out.

7. Also in the fulfillment thus far of the saying, that these kings would at last turn against her and eat up her flesh, as was the case in the British Isles, when she renounced Papal authority; and later in France, in the revolution, when thousands of priests were put to death; and later still, even in Italy, herself, the Pope being a prisoner to-day in the Vatican, upon his own confession, and in her very bosom.

8. The condition of the world precludes all possibility of another man of sin, another apostate church, of the same characteristics, ever again arising with power to bring the whole world under its corrupting influence and crucifying power, requiring, as it would, centuries for its growth and development. Before this could be, the whole world of necessity must again be brought under the arbitrary sway of another, if not the same Caesar, which neither Scripture nor reason will for a single moment allow. Nothing less than a miracle will ever again place the ruling power of the world in the hand of any single man or nation. Up to the time of the Papacy the world was ruled by Caesar; but from then till now a struggle has been going on, which will result in the reversal of the order, and in the subjugation of Caesar to the church. In the end the church is to be the dominant power in the world, controlling her kingdoms and governments; not, however, by the mistaken scheme of union of church and state, but by the dissemination of her pure and holy principles, which, like leaven, are yet to leaven the whole earth.

9. The testimony of the interpreting angel. To make the matter so plain as to leave no room for doubt or misapprehension, the angel adds, "The woman thou sawest is that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth." Nothing could make the description more complete. Rome was the only city that then, or since, has dominated the world.

10. The whole is confirmed by the consensus of opinion. The early fathers generally identified the little horn of Daniel with Paul's man of sin; and this sentiment has been growing ever since, and is now commonly held by the Protestant world.

11. The commingling of so many minute and unusual particulars, and the merging of the whole into such a strange compound, which finds its parallel in nothing else, and running through so many centuries, forever fixes the interpretation, and as unmistakably points to the true Antichrist, as the footprints in the sand determine the owner and wearer of the shoe.

In opposition to all this we are told:

1st, That Antichrist means against Christ, the preposition anti meaning against, and one that denies Christ; whereas the Papacy neither denies Christ nor is against him.

2nd, That the historic facts do not agree with the prophetic dates, neither as to the time of taking away the daily sacrifice, nor the length of the profanation.

3rd, That what is said concerning the shedding of the blood of the saints, as well as the time of the existence of the beast, refers to the first beast or antichristian Rome, and not the Papacy. vAs to the alleged disagreement between the facts and the dates, I must refer him to what I have to say upon this point further on.

Concerning the name, Antichrist, I have now to say that the word does not necessarily mean against Christ. The preposition anti has two meanings, either against, or for, that is, in the place of another. (See Schleusner's Lex.) In this sense it is frequently used in composition of proper names, as Elliott has shown (Vol. 1., 67). According to that meaning, Antichrist would be one who claims to be the agent or representative of Christ, or, so to speak, a Vice-Christ. As the world occurs nowhere else except in the New Testament, and only in John's epistles, and there only four times, why may not that be the meaning here?

But admit the meaning to be in the sense of against, as generally understood, still the objection has no force; for may not a man really be against, though seemingly in favor, of a person or thing? Witness the strange and apparently contradictory statement of the apostle Paul, "Some preach the gospel, even of envy." (Phil. i. 15.) Witness Peter's unquestioned zeal in defending his master, with the accompanying rebuke, "Get thee behind me, Satan, for thou savorest not the things that be of God." (Matt. xvi. 23.) Witness a similar mistaken zeal on the part of James and John, in asking for fire to come down from heaven to consume the Samaritans, and the sharp rebuke that followed: "Ye know not what Manner of spirit ye are of." (Luke ix. 54.) Witness the untiring and even greater zeal still of the Scribes and Pharisees of old, compassing sea and land to make one proselyte, coupled with the unsparing denunciation of the Master, which seemingly only increases in intensity with the increase of zeal: "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how shall ye escape the damnation of hell"? (Matt. xxiii. 33.)

There is such a thing as "having zeal, but not according to knowledge"; such a thing as saying and doing great things with flourish of trumpets, and yet to no purpose; such a thing as speaking with the tongue of angels and of men; having faith to remove mountains; giving all one's goods to feed the poor, and even the body to be burned, and yet, in the end all "sounding brass and tinkling cymbal." (I Cor. xiii. 1-3.) There is such a thing as prophesying in the name of the Lord, casting out devils in the name of the Lord, and doing many and wonderful works in the name of the Lord, and yet being driven away at last, as "workers of iniquity," and that too with the still more striking announcement, "I never knew you." (Matt. vii. 22, 23.) Yea, more,- and the Master's word for it,- there is even such a thing as being "False Christs," and with power to show signs, work wonders, and to deceive many. (Matt. xxiv. 24.)

It is very easy, then, to see how a church may far outstrip all others in her charities and self-sacrificing labors, and after all be an apostate church; the very mention of its possibility being a prophecy of its existence; and if apostate, what else but antichrist?

Another rule is applicable here. The Savior lays it down as a basic principle of his kingdom, that he and his disciples are one. Whatever is done to them is done to Him. Give but the cup of cold water to a disciple, and it is given him. So to persecute his people is to persecute him. "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" To be against the disciple is to be against him. How, then, can a persecuting church, "drunk with the blood of saints," be anything more or less than Antichrist?

Then, there is still another sense in which a man can be against Christ without openly fighting him, and that is by sitting in his seat, and claiming his honors and prerogatives. This is to be against him, as well as to deny and reject him. This is what Popery has done. It makes the Pope the Vicar and Vicegerent of Christ. For it is only upon this ground he bases his claim to infallibility. It is as the Vicar of Christ, sitting in his seat, he claims homage, requiring kings to how in humble supplication and kiss his feet, being addressed as "His Holiness," "My Lord God the Pope," and even worshipped as another God, as in days past, and as previously shown. As Vicar he claims the power of dethroning kings, as he has done in scores of instances; of granting indulgences, as well as absolution of sins; the power of carrying the keys, and of opening and shutting the gates of Paradise; the power of making and enforcing laws and decrees. For how can the representative of God be subject either to man or his laws? He who is the Vicar of Christ must absolutely be above law. Paul describes his case exactly when he speaks of him as the "lawless one" (foreign): the one not under, nor subject to law. (2 Thess. ii. 8.) And what is all this but robbing Christ of his rights and crown? And what is a usurper but an Antichrist?

This usurpation may also extend to erroneous teachings, as well as assumption of power. To preach any thing but what Christ has taught is to be against him; for it is tearing down his authority and kingdom by setting up another, different and opposite. This is what the Papists have done; placing for the doctrines of Christ the commandments of men; such as baptismal regeneration, worshipping saints and images, praying to and for the dead, purgatory, Mariolatry, auricular confession, penance, canonization of saints, mass for the dead, immaculate conception, forbidding to marry, and denying the cup to the laity.

Schleusner, therefore, correctly defines the word when he says, "The word antichrist, in John, and to this the old Fathers agree, stands for the whole crowd of false teachers and false apostles." (Lex. in loc.) The open enemy, who denies that Jesus has come in the flesh, is indeed an antichrist, but not the only one, of whom, as John says, there are many. Equally so is every false teacher, and every usurper, claiming either to be Christ or to be in the place of Christ.

Lamentation over the Fall

After the description of the great city, we have presented to us the great lamentation over its fall; symbolically set forth by the angel casting the millstone into the sea, and formally declaring its perpetual destruction.

Then follows the rejoicing in heaven, and rendering thanks to God, over the destruction of the great enemy of God and man, as already accomplished; for in prophecy distant things are spoken of as present; together with an anticipatory allusion to the future marriage of the Lamb to his heavenly bride. As no account of the marriage is given, the nuptials to take place after the new heaven and new earth have been set up, of which mention is made in the next chapter.

Destruction of Remaining Enemies

After this we have a sublime description of the Faithful and True, riding upon a white horse, having many crowns upon his head, with his vesture dipped in blood, and his eyes a flame of fire, with a sharp sword out of his mouth, with the armies in heaven following upon white horses, and clothed in fine linen, white and clean, going forth conquering and to conquer, extending his kingdom with the destruction of his enemies, and with this superbly royal title emblazoned upon his thigh, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

In connection with this slaughter, an angel is seen standing in the sun, and calling to all the fowls of the air to come and eat the flesh of kings and captains and mighty men.

John saw, that in this great struggle, the beast and kings of the earth, gathered together to make war upon him that sat on the horse and against his army; but that the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire, burning with brimstone. The remnant were also slain, and all the fowls were satisfied with their flesh. All indicative of the final and universal spread and triumph of the gospel, as well as the destruction of all the enemies of the Lord.

After the destruction of the beast and false prophet, and all the other enemies of the Lord, Satan himself was bound with a chain and cast into the bottomless pit, not, as Professor Milligan strangely interprets, 19 that Satan is always bound to the Christian, and always loose to the sinner, but that his power was put under actual restraint, and that for a thousand years, which constitutes what is known as the Millennium.

The Millennium

We understand the Millennium literally as a thousand years of rest and peace, and not simply a symbolic portraiture of the intermediate state, as Professor Warfield would have us believe. 20 That there will be such a period of rest and peace we doubt not, as this will be but the natural sequence from the binding and imprisonment of Satan. Besides, we have the positive statement, as well as the general analogy of scripture to guide us. "The kingdom will be given to the saints of the Most High." (Dan. vii. 27.) "The heathen shall be given for an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession." (Ps. ii. 8.) "The earth is to be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." (Isa. xi. 9) So from analogy, as the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, the seventh seventh is the sabbatic year, and the seventh sabbatic the year of Jubilee, we would naturally expect the seventh thousand of the world to be a millennium of rest. There is an old tradition, two hundred years before Christ, that the world is to continue 6,000 years; 2,000 years before the law; 2,000 under the law; and 2,000 under the Messiah. And ever since the days of Irenaeus, the idea has currently obtained in the Christian church, that the seventh thousand would be the sabbatic thousand.

Concerning this Millennium, we are not to understand that everybody will be converted. The wheat and tares will always continue to grow together to the end of time. "Many shall be purified, but the wicked will do wickedly," says Daniel xii. 10. But simply that all organized opposition to the gospel will be done away with; the principles of Christianity will prevail; the authority of the scriptures be recognized. Instead of war, political questions will be settled by arbitration. When the conscience of the world is aroused as it should, and yet will be, the nations of the earth will feel that they are the "nation's keeper," as every man his "brother's keeper," and will no more allow internecine wars, between nations, than individual broils are now permitted on the streets by the bystanders.

Whether Christ is to come at the beginning of the Millennium, and reign in person on earth during this period, with his saints, who are to be raised from the dead; or whether he will not come till the end of the world as judge, is a question which has long divided the world, Premillennialists holding the former view, Postmillennialists the latter. As I will, further on, and somewhat at length, discuss this question, I will now only say this much: that I cannot believe that the language is to be understood literally, and that either the martyrs, or any part of the dead, are to be raised up at the beginning, or rest of the dead at the termination, of the thousand years; but figuratively, viz., that during the Millennium the martyr spirit will return, and be honored, and represented as being put upon thrones; and that after that the old spirit of ungodliness and persecution will return, when Satan will be said to be again turned loose.

Satan Loosed

After the thousand years Satan is to be loosed for a season, and go forth to deceive the nations. The world is again to become wicked and degenerate. If the binding of Satan is to produce the Millenium, his release will again restore the world to its former wicked state. Hence the inquiry of the Master, "When the Son of man shall come, shall he find faith on the earth?" Also his emphatic declaration, "As in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, … so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

Battle of Gog and Magog

Some time after the Millennium,- how long we know not,- will be the final struggle, when Satan shall seek to regain his lost supremacy, by stirring up the world and his associates everywhere, to make war against the saints, for so largely invading his domains during his imprisonment. But God shall send fire from heaven and consume all the aiders and abettors of the unholy crusade, and the devil that deceived them shall be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and false prophet are, to be tormented forever.

Resurrection and Judgment

After this, but when, no man knoweth, not even the Son, but only the Father, will be the Resurrection and Judgment.

"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. There was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, both small and great, stand before God. And the books were opened- (no new matter to be introduced)- and another book was opened, which was the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

After all this the new heaven and new earth will appear. "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." This was the new heaven and new earth in which righteousness was to dwell, of which Peter speaks, and which manifestly did not appear till after the Millennium.

The Heavenly City

The prophecy most fitly and beautifully concludes with a dramatic description of the heavenly city, in connection with the new heaven and new earth, wit its pearly gates, its sapphired walls, its dazzling splendor, its burning glory. As the inspired volume begins with the Paradise lost, it is proper that it should close with the Paradise regained, and end with the invitation to all shut out of the first to enter the second. After a solemn warning not to add to, or take from, the words of the book of this prophecy, the whole concludes with the heavenly benediction, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, be with you all.- Amen."


Having thus given a rapid sketch of what we conceive to be the meaning of these prophecies, we proceed to inquire how much of them has been fulfilled?

From the interpretations given, the answer to this question must be that we are rapidly approaching the end. My study of the question forces me to the conclusion that we are under the seventh trumpet, and in the after part of the fifth vial, which is being emptied upon the seat of the beast; and as the vials overlap at junctional points, also under the beginning of the sixth, which is being poured out upon the river Euphrates, to dry up the river; said river being the Turkish power, for reasons already given. When these are finished, there will remain but one, the seventh, to be poured out in the air, universal.

According to this scheme, the thing now in order is the final drying up of the Turkish power, including the Russian Government, the regular offspring and descendant of the third great beast of Daniel, and upon which the Greek church, the offshoot of the eastern leg, or empire, is so snugly seated as its rider; these being the last armed foes resisting with the sword the spread of the gospel, and obstructing the way of the kings of the East. After which will be the universal outpouring of God's wrath upon all those who wear the mark of the beast; then the last great earthquake or upheaval, which is to usher in the Millenium.

Before the Millennium three things are necessary;

1st, The preaching of the gospel to every creature.
2nd, Completed accumulation of prayer.
3rd, The universal outpouring of the Spirit.

This is seed sowing time; the running to and fro, and increasing knowledge. Never such a close union of different denominations; never such study of the scriptures, and dissemination of light; never before was there such activity in all Christian work, especially in the cause of Foreign Missions; never such enlarged contributions to all the schemes of benevolence. So the accumulation of prayer has been going on for ages. Patriarchs, prophets and apostles, and the saints in all ages, have been earnestly uniting in the petition, "Thy kingdom come." The accumulation of prayer on high has already become a mighty ocean encompassing the throne of God, his plan being not to hear and answer each petition separately, but all at once, so that we who remain shall not have any advantage over those gone before, and all may have part alike in the "harvest home." Likewise, abundant assurances have been given for the universal outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter days. When, then, this seed sowing shall be fully accomplished, and this gospel preached to every creature, and this accumulation of prayer be fully completed, it will then only remain for God, in accordance with the promise, to pour out his Spirit in Pentecostal effusion and power, and nations will easily be converted in a day.


But is there anything to guide us in reaching a conclusion as to when these things will be? We thing there is, and certainly enough at least to lead to an approximate estimate.

In order to see this, we have only to place side by side the statements of Daniel with those of John.

According to Daniel, the first little horn (Papal) was to continue "A time, times, and the dividing of time," That is, three and a half years, or 1,260 days. (2), The second little horn (Mohammedan) to continue, as we interpret, 1,290 days. (3), From the time the daily sacrifice is taken away, and abomination making desolate set up, to the end, 1,290 days. (4), Blessed period to him that cometh to the 1335.

According to John, the holy city was to be given to the Gentiles, to be trodden down forty-two months, or 1,260 days. (2), Two witnesses in sackcloth to testify 1,260 days. (3), The woman to remain in the wilderness, to be nourished, a time and times and a half, 1,260 days.

It is generally agreed that the different forms of expression, "time, times and a half," "forty-two months," and "1,260 days," are all the same, and refer to the same thing, and terminate with the 2,300 days, the only trouble being to know where these different dates begin, and to make them harmonize with the facts of history, as well as the interpretation of the Master concerning the setting up of the abomination of desolation at Jerusalem.

Concerning the 2,300 days, the writer has no difficulty, as he understands it to refer to the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, and not the length of its profanation; not that the sanctuary was to be defiled 2,300 days, but the vision was to extend thus far. How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? "And he said unto me unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." As the vision includes all that was said concerning the ram and he-goat, as well as the little horn, and the transgression of desolation, this answer simply asserts that it would take that many days to cover the whole, without telling when that period was to begin.

It becomes, therefore, a matter of importance to determine the beginning of the 2,300 days. It might be either the time of the vision, or the time of the notable little horn, or the time of the cessation of the daily sacrifice and the setting up of the abomination.

It cannot be the time of the vision, for that was about 583 years B.C. and the 2,300 whether days or years, have long since passed, and the sanctuary not yet cleansed.

Neither can it be the time of the removal of the daily sacrifice and the setting up of the abomination as generally understood; for the angel expressly tells Daniel, that from the time the daily sacrifice would be taken away, and the abomination set up, to the cleansing of the temple, would be 1,290 days. The daily sacrifice was taken away by the Romans in A.D. 70. Add 1,290 and we will have 1,360, and whether days or years, the time is past, and the sanctuary still remains polluted.

We are therefore forced to the conclusion, that the 2,300 days must begin with the Medopersian ram, and with his "standing" on the banks of the river, and not his first beginning. For the goat found him thus standing. Alexander's first victory was 434 B.C. Add 2,300, and it brings us to 1866, which harmonizes with the other dates, viz., "The time, times and half time," the forty-two months and 1,260 days, and make them all terminate about the same time.

Three questions spring up here. 1st, When was the daily sacrifice taken away? 2nd, The abomination of desolation, what was it, and when set up? 3rd, What have Mohammedans to do with it?

To the first question I reply, that, in the first and typical sense, the sacrifice was clearly taken away when the Romans under Titus took the city. The interpretation of the Master settles that.

To the second I answer, that the Abomination so frequently alluded to was not simply the destruction of Jerusalem, but something to be set up in after years.

The part the Mohammedans will take in setting it up will appear further on.

To a clear understanding of the matter, we must ever bear in mind that there is here, as in other prophecies, a double meaning, one outward, and one inward, one the shadow, and the other the substance. The student cannot fail to see this in the language of the Savior, already alluded to in that mysterious blending of these two, where he speaks of the destruction of the city and coming judgment in almost one and the same breath. Indeed it is utterly impossible to understand his meaning upon any other supposition.

Daniel just as clearly alludes to two different things, one near, the other remote, when he speaks of the "ships of Chittim" (Ch. Ix. 30), generally understood of the Romans, who were so soon to come, and yet at the same time declares that the vision was "For many days," and "To the end," and not to be accomplished till the completion of "the scattering of the holy people." He may have been speaking directly in Chapter viii. of the profanation by Antiochus, as many think; but as so much said is wholly inapplicable to him, the conclusion is unavoidable, that he was speaking also of another and more important spiritual abomination, to arise further on. So the Master, while telling of the abomination by the Romans, so near at hand, clearly had in his eye another and more detestable abomination in the more distant future. Hence his caveat, "Let him that readeth understand," clearly intimating the existence of a deeper meaning and a different abomination.

The apostle John just as clearly refers to a future abomination. He says nothing in his vision about the destruction of Jerusalem, for that was already past. He was banished, as we believe, under Domitian, and not Nero 21; the city was therefore already destroyed, and the sacrifice removed. From his standpoint the coming ills were all in the future- something yet to be set up- and something dealing entirely with the church of God in the latter days; in other words, the Antichrist, or Man of Sin, of which Paul also speaks, and from the rise of which, and not form the destruction of the city, we are to date the beginning of the forty-two months, the "time, times and a half," three and a half years, the 1,260 years; when the real and true sanctuary was to be cleansed; and when, after the fullness of the Gentiles had been brought in, the Jews would return to their land, not, however, to rebuild the temple, and reinstate the Jewish worship, as Dr. Rutledge and followers affirm.

According, then, to the concurrent testimony of Daniel, John, and the Savior, with all of whom Paul so fully agrees, some great abomination was to be set up in the future, apart from, and after the destruction of the city and the dispersion of the people, which was to be the beginning of the 12600 period, and to which the former simply pointed as prophecy and type.

What then was that abomination? And when set up? Daniel tells us very plainly where to look for it, as well as the time of its appearing. He tells us that it was to be found in the two feet of Nebuchadnezzar's image, after the division of the Roman empire into ten subordinate kingdoms, and would appear in the form of two horns or powers- the one imbedded in, and growing out of the one foot, and the other imbedded in, and coming out of the other foot; both, therefore, appearing about the same time; the one the regular descendant of the four great empires; the other the offspring of the third great beast, and though seemingly outside in its origin, yet so engrafted in, and identified with, as to become one with the eastern leg, and to act in unison with the western, in its tyranny over the earth.

A bird's eye view of the prophetic utterances of Daniel will aid in this investigation.

In chapter vii. He tells of a strange and mysterious king coming out of the fourth or Roman monarchy, and also described in Chapters ix. and xi. as the king who would destroy the city and take away the sacrifice.

In Chapter viii. he tells of another king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, to come out of the third beast, or Grecian monarchy of whom it is also said that he would take away the sacrifice, and set up an abomination.

In Chapter xi. he gives the general history of his people, from the time of the Persian empire till the end of time; and more especially how that, after alternate struggles between the kings of Syria and Egypt, the upper and lower portions of Alexander's kingdom, one on the north and the other on the south of Jerusalem, and therefore spoken of as the king of the north and the king of the south, the "ships of Chittim" would come, and "Arms should stand," generally understood of the Romans, described as a willful king, who would neither regard the God of his fathers nor the desire of women; who would pollute the sanctuary, and take away the sacrifice; who would magnify himself, speaking against the God of gods, worshipping a strange God, even the god Mauzzim, or defenders,-(patrons of saints and images)- and for a while rule with power and great riches.

I understand the concluding verses (40-45) to refer to the Romans and at a later period, at the end of time, and therefore the nomenclature, "the king of the north," and "king of the south," changes, so that the king of the north would be the Saracens, and the king of the south the Turks, "at the time of the end," therefore,- that is, the time that shall lead to the end, - the king of the north, or Saracens, would push at the Romans, as they did, and the king of the south, or Turks, would come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen and with many ships, as they did. He, that is, the Turks, would enter the countries and overflow and pass over. He would also enter the glorious land, and subdue countries.

Edom and Moab would escape, but Egypt would not escape. Yet tidings out of the north (Russian invasion), and from the east (yet in the future, perhaps Persia), shall trouble him. He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace (his camps) between the seas, in the glorious mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

In Chapter xiii. he tells of the time of the continuance of the real pollution, and the length of time necessary for the destruction of the two aforesaid kings mentioned in Chapters vii. and viii. viz., 1260, and 1290 years for perfecting the cleansing of the real spiritual temple; and 1335 as the blessed period.

Here, then, we have (1), The different nations of people from whom the oppression is to come- the Romans and Turks. (2), The different forms of oppression, two wicked kings, represented by two horns. (3), The different peoples oppressed; not only the Jews, but also the Gentile world. (4), The time of continuance of the oppression, 1260 and 1290 years. (5), The period of complete and blessed deliverance, viz., 1335.

In hunting for these two horns, or wicked kings, we need not be long in the search. Interpreters are generally agreed that the first little horn of Daniel, Chapter VII., refers to the Papacy. We are just as fully persuaded that the other little horn in Chapter viii. finds its counterpart in Mohammedanism. We may not be able to go as far as Sir Isaac Newton, who held that Mohammedanism was the second beast of John, yet we must believe that he his the second horn of Daniel. To make the two horns refer to the Papacy, as some have done, is to confound things entirely different, fail to explain all parts, and besides a useless repetition, unusual in scripture. The aptness too of the description fixes the interpretation. "A king of fierce countenance"; Mohammed proffered only submission or the sword. "His power was mighty, but not of himself"; Mohammed inherited no hereditary dominion, but was a self-made man. "Understanding dark sentences." How applicable to the Koran!-a book remarkable for "its sententious obscurity," as Scott has well said, and as every one knows who has ever read the same. He was also to "stand against the Prince of princes." Mohammedanism seeks the destruction of the supremacy of Christ. "Cast down some of the host of heaven," and "in his hand craft would prosper," all of which find their counterpart in that delusion.

Here, then, in these two contemporaneous and singularly strange and mysterious religions, one imbedded in, and by natural descent coming out of the one foot, and the other imbedded in by amalgamation, and identified with the other foot of Nebuchadnezzar's image, we have the two horns by which the world was to be, and has so long been gored. The one, Popery, with its sister, the Greek Church, with the Czar, (contraction of Caesar) as its head; and the other, Mohammedanism. Rome stands as the representative of the one, Constantinople of the other.

The reason why these two are selected and emphasized out of all the other false religions is, as we imagine, first, because of their historical connections, and secondly, on account of their blasphemous assumptions and tendencies, the one making the Pope the Vicar of Christ, with the Virgin Mary as the intercessor, and the other in enthroning Mohammed in the place of the Lord Jesus Christ, "Great is Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet," being the Muezzin's daily cry. In all of which the throne and prerogatives of Christ are ignored, if not directly assailed, which cannot be said of Buddhism, Shintooism, Taoism, or any other false religion; for, though these may be even more degraded and degrading, they are nevertheless free from such blasphemies.

Then there is something quite suggestive as to the association, if not in the actual kinship, of the two. Alike and yet unlike, enemies and yet friends, like Herod and Pontius Pilate, making friends in order to their better prosecution of their unhallowed warfare upon the church of God. Of Amsterdam it has been said that it was a "Vulgar Venice." So of Constantinople it might also be said that it was a "Vulgar Rome." It shows, though in a subordinate degree, all the leading features of the imperial city. It imitates in these particulars: (1), Once the Capital of the Empire; it still claims supremacy over the one-half, as Rome over the other. (2), Like its rival, it is built upon seven hills, though not as distinctly defined as those of the former. (3), It has its great church edifice, the Mosque of St. Sophia, but not equal in grandeur to the magnificent structure of St. Peters at Rome. (4), Both are intolerant and exclusive, though the sway of the former is not so extensive as that of the latter. (5), The one directly in the path of the Jew, and the other in the way of the Gentile. It is for this outward, if not inward affiliation, that has led Barnes and others to adopt the view making Mohammedanism the false prophet, to be cast at last with the beast into the burning flame.

What we have already said is a sufficient answer to the third question, "What has Mohammedanism to do with the pollution of the sanctuary?" With the first destruction and first pollution it has nothing to do. That was the work of the Roman, as we have already seen.

But it has had much to do with its after pollution and continued disturbance, and interference of its service (foreign). By him was the sacrifice disturbed, as the Septuagint has it; much to do with the setting up, and keeping set up, the second, real, true abomination; much to do with interfering with the return of the Jews, and cleansing of the true tabernacle. The Romans first took the city and trampled it under foot. The Mohammedans afterwards took it, and further degraded it by locating their Mosque upon the very spot occupied by the temple of Solomon. Thus the two uniting in the humiliation; the one showing contempt by razing it to the ground, the other by the substitution of its iniquitous rites for its holy service; and not only united in the humiliation, but equally so in their opposition to the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning the final triumph of the gospel, the bringing in of the fullness of the Gentiles, and the return of the Jews, if not to their native land, at least their fealty to their rejected Messiah.

Behold then the picture! This double abomination, as well as double domination! (See frontispiece.) One from within 22 and the other from without the temple of the living God. Both standing for centuries with their feet upon the neck of the Jewish and Gentile world! And the two, like Egypt and Babylon of old, though acting separately, yet conjointly to the same end; and, under the skilful management of the great adversary of souls, to prevent the spread and final triumph of the Redeemer's kingdom. But, like all the other enemies of the gospel, these too must perish. Whoso arrays himself against the Lord Jesus Christ may expect, sooner or later, to be overwhelmed, and to be brought to the dust. The confession of the apostate Julian will yet be extorted from the lips of every vaunting foe, "Thou hast conquered, O Galilean." Jesus is yet to reign over all the earth. Every knee is to bow, every lip to confess. The little stone cut out of the mountain without hands is now smiting, and will continue to smite, the image in his feet till the whole is destroyed. The time of their triumph is given as 1,260 years to the former, and 1,290 to the latter; or, if both of these refer to the same event, the latter number will be the required time for the complete finishing of the work of destruction, and 1,335 years for the recognition, if not full establishment, of the kingdom.


If the true and real abomination was not set up at the destruction of Jerusalem, but in after years, we are at once relieved of all the difficulties which have beset interpreters in their vain attempts to harmonize the prophetic periods with that event. We have only to inquire when this man of sin within, and this king of fierce countenance without, one in the east and the other in the west, were set up. Their continuance was to be 1,260 and 1,290 years. To know their beginning is to know their ending. As they rose about the same time, they will doubtless also go out about the same time.

There are three different dates given by different interpreters for the rise of the beast, the setting up of the abomination, and therefore the beginning of the 1,260 years. Some fix it as early as A.D. 553, when the emperor Justinian issued his edict recognizing John II as head of the church. Others fix the time in the year 606, when the Emperor Phocas proclaimed Boniface III universal bishop. And others again, as late as 752, when Pepin of France conferred on Pope Stephen the exarchate of Ravenna in return for his confirming act in settling upon him the crown of France. The year usually adopted by a majority of interpreters is the middle one, viz., 606. By adding 1,260 the life of the beast, we have the year 1866 23 as about the time for the termination of the prophetic period. And it is a most remarkable fact that the revolution in Italy under Victor Emanuel, beginning about that time, resulted in 1868 in the unification of Italy, the forever taking away from the Pope his temporal power, and throwing open the gates of Rome to the world, and thus bringing about the destruction of the political power, or death of the first beast, and clearly establishing the correctness of the day year principle of interpretation.

But Daniel gives another important date, viz., 1290, when another disaster might be expected to befall the kingdom of the beast, and also pointing forward to a happy period a little further on, adding, "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five." Add to these years 606, and we have as the important years 1896 and 1941. The year 1898 witnessed the further outpouring of the fifth vial, this time upon Spain, another seat of the beast and supporter of Papal supremacy. What the year 1941 will bring forth remains to be seen. By that time we confidently expect a wonderful change and development in the progress of events, if not another complete upheaval.

It may not be possible, nor is it necessary, for us to know the exact date for the fulfillment of these impending prophecies; it is enough to be assured of their nearness. The mariner may not be able to see the land, yet his log book and sounding line tell him that he is nearing the shore. The driftwood told Columbus of his nearness to land. We may not know of the day or hour, nor even the year, of the fulfillment of these prophecies, and yet know that they are near at hand, even in sight. As no interpreter has placed the time for the rise of the beast earlier than 533, and none later than 753, we feel warranted in saying that the 1260 years began somewhere between these extremes, and therefore must expire somewhere in the present century. As the rise of the Papacy was gradual, so also will be its decline. Like the rest of the beasts of which Daniel speaks, though their dominion would be taken away, their "lives would be prolonged for a season." (Chapter vii. 12.) As in the old Babylonish captivity, intended as the type, there were several removals and returns, so doubtless it will be here. Neither Popery nor Mohammedanism is to be destroyed in a moment, but, like all other false religions, to be consumed gradually. That their destruction has already commenced none can doubt. One of the horns, the political, was broken off when he ceased to be a temporal ruler. The other, the religious, will gradually fall away, and years may be required for its complete eradication. The signs and indications all point to the rapid fulfillment of the remaining vials. And we see no reason why we may not expect to see, with the beginning of the next century, which is to introduce the seventh or sabbatic thousand of the world, the overthrow of the beast-the complete drying up of the Euphrates,- the destruction of all the open enemies of the church, and the last great upheaval which is to usher in the Millennial reign!


I have endeavored in the preceding pages to give, in brief outline, the meaning of these prophecies, as they appear to me, and according to the scheme as usually held by leading interpreters, and also ventured to give some dates as to the time of their fulfillment. In doing this I have adhered to the purpose of leaving out all minor details, and only sought to give the general outline, that they might be the more easily comprehended. How far I have succeeded in giving a clue to the general meaning I must leave the reader to judge. To my own mind the interpretations and explanations given have generally been not only satisfactory, but in many instances overwhelmingly convincing. While there is a great deal that is obscure, as in everything else around us, a great deal also appears very plain. As to the correctness of the dates given, the future alone will determine. I may here add, that nothing has more confirmed me in the truth of Revelation than the study of this book. It bears upon every page the impress of a divine hand. It could never have been written by an uninspired pen. The general correspondence between the symbols employed and the leading facts of history is so obvious that one must be blind not to be able to see the agreement. The one fits the other as the shoe the foot. The very fact, too, that the correspondence has been running for eighteen centuries establishes the identity with all the certainty of a demonstration; the recorded facts being but the unmistakable adumbration of the prophetic utterances, as a man's shadow is but the easily recognized outline of himself.


There are several practical lessons to be drawn from the study of these prophecies.

1. There is much to be learned in the department of Christian Apolegetics, not only in the accurate delineation of future events, but more especially in the adjustment of the hebdomadal feature with the facts of history. We meet with the number seven on every side. There are seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven vials, seven thunders, seven candlesticks, seven stars, seven angels, seven heads and so through the entire book. Now instead of the constant use of the number seven being evidence of a studied scheme, and thus casting suspicion upon the true predictive character of the book, as Professor Milligan intimates, in nothing do we more clearly see the divine hand than in this very correlation of the plan of creation and of the prophetic scheme. It is the same as the argument for the indestructibility of the Christian Sabbath drawn from the correlation of the seven days of the week with the seven periods of creation. None but an omniscient and omnipotent Creator could have so mutually arranged and adjusted beforehand the several periods of history to the hebdomadal periods of prophecy, or periods prophecy to those of history. The whole plan or scheme is too far removed from the sphere of human power and human knowledge to be attributed to an uninspired pen. Every one who neglects the study of this book has much to lose, not only in the quickening of his devotion, but also in the deepening of his convictions in the truths of revelation and the inspiration of the scriptures.

2. The second great lesson taught is the danger of uniting church and state, and it matters little which be made supreme. The whole history of civilization, as well as of the church, is but a standing protest against every such unhallowed alliance. When the state becomes the guardian and controller of the faith of God's people and God's cause, and Caesar undertakes to enforce the teachings and doctrines of the scriptures; or when the state tamely submits to the dictation of the church as its sovereign head, then the fagot, the prison, the inquisition, and the guillotine, will be the next things in order. When state authority and religious bigotry are vested in the same person, then the world may well tremble. No wonder we have presented to us in this prophecy this union as the last and the greatest of the threatened woes. It is high time the world was seeing the extreme peril of uniting church and state. God's plan is unquestionably for his church to rule the world, but not in its organic capacity, but simply by the dissemination of its principles, and the instruction and preparation of her rulers for their high and responsible position.

3. The third lesson is the still greater peril flowing out of her affiliation with the world. Every such union means only degradation and loss of power. Israel entered into union with the Philistines, and the confusion of speech which followed attested the evil fruits of the alliance, the children speaking "half in the language of Ashdod and half in that of Israel." Ahaziah joined his forces with those of wicked King Joram, and a mortal wound was the recompence of his folly. When in early times "the sons of God took to themselves wives of the daughters of men," all flesh soon corrupted itself, and a disastrous flood became the sequel of the story. In every instance of worldly conformity in which human methods and schemes are adopted, the church is invariably the loser. Instead of lifting up the world, she misses her aim, and only drags herself down. This is one of the perils which confronts her to-day. The floating foam and rushes on the bosom of the sea no more clearly show the direction of the moving tide than modern innovations and changes the direction in which her bark is now drifting. Instead of occupying the high vantage ground assigned her by her Lord, that of entire separation form the world, she is seen in the vale below, "striving with the potsherds of the earth." Instead of keeping her garments "unspotted and pure," she is allowing them to become bespattered and begrimed with the filth and pollution of a corrupting world. Witness the introduction of politics and platform themes into her pulpits, and in some instances even the arts of the buffoon. Witness the profuse floral decorations, artistic music, operatic solos, stereopticon performances, fairs, suppers, entertainments, rummage sales, and the like, 24 all connected with, and resulting in, the lowering of her standards, the abolition of discipline, the compromising of the truth, and the consequent weakening of her influence and power. See the different forms, too, of "will worship," the numerous self-appointed sacrifices, the multiplication and substitution of "Societies," "Leagues," and "Associations" of every sort, springing up like worthless weeds on every side, and clamoring for a place, and demanding equal rights in the courts of the Lord's house with the inspired appointments of his word. Instead of being simply "the Church of God," standing alone her queenly simplicity and beauty, she is fast becoming an aggregation of human societies. Instead of being the called out, of God, and that in every instance as the only motive for action, we are asked to recognize the necessity of the superadded imprint of human hands, in the form of an "Endeavor," on the part of man; thus virtually charging the appointments of God with incompleteness and imperfection. Need we wonder at the withdrawal of the Spirit, the superficial character of conviction, and the numerous spurious conversions, which, instead of adding to her strength, only mar her beauty, misrepresent her life, and foster her pride in swelling the roll of her membership. The question asked by the Lord of his people of old may well be repeated here: "Who hath required this of your hand, to tread my courts?" (Isaiah i. 12.) We feel fully assured that nothing is gained by all this "daubing with untempered mortar." The cause of God needs no such support from human hands any more than the uplifting and steadying of the overarching firmament. "To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." (I Sam. xv. 22.) The fate of Uzzah should ever stand as a warning against all such familiar and unlawful handling of the ark of the Lord, as well as the threatened plagues pronounced upon all those who would "add to, or take from, the words of the prophecy of this book." What the church needs is another cleansing by driving out "the sellers of doves and the money changers" which infest her courts. Let her do this, and bring in her tithes and offerings, as directed, and she will soon witness the opening of the heavens, and the outpouring of a blessing there will not be room enough to receive.

4. The fourth is a lesson of encouragement and hope to every Christian worker. Notwithstanding his people's guilty toying and idle dalliance with the world, his word cannot fail. Prophecy still bespeaks the dawning of the morning and the early rising of the day-star. From the signs of the times, the day of the church's victory and final deliverance is near at hand, even at our very doors. The truth is spreading, the Sun of righteousness is rising over all the earth with healing in his beams. Ethiopia is stretching out her hand to God, the isles of the ocean waiting for his law. The present great struggle in the far East, no matter what the result, will, like all others of similar character, only be for the furtherance of the gospel, and more rapid bringing in of the Millennial reign. The little stone cut out of the mountain without hands is rapidly increasing, and will soon become the great mountain, and fill the whole earth.


  • I. Chaldean.-(Lion).
  • II. Medopersian.-(Bear)
  • III. Macedonian.-(Leopard)
  • IV. Roman.-(Diverse From All Others)

Little stone to fill the whole earth

Fulfilled at the Millennium

The True Church

Seals-The church under Pagan rule

  • 1. White Horse-Conquest and prosperity.
  • 2. Red Horse-Dissension and strife.
  • 3. Black Horse-Trouble and distress.
  • 4. Pale Horse-General dismay.
  • 5. Souls of Martyrs-Persecution.
  • 6. Earthquake-Revolution; first upheaval under Constantine. (Sealing of 144,000.)
  • 7. Seventh seal, including the seven trumpets.

Trumpets- The church under semi-Pagan rule

  • 1. Fire and hail-Alaric and Goths.
  • 2. Burning mountain-Attila and Huns.
  • 3. Falling star-Genseric and Vandals.
  • 4. Smiting sun, moon and stars-Subversion of Western empire.
  • 5. Locusts-Mohammedan conquests. (First Woe.)
  • 6. Euphrates Horsemen-Turkish conquests. (Second Woe.) (Slaying of witnesses.) Second earthquake or upheaval under Luther.
  • 7. Seventh Trumpet, including the seven vials. (Third Woe.)

Vials-The church under Papal rule

  • 1. Upon the earth-Sore of infidelity.
  • 2. Upon the sea-Reign of terror.
  • 3. Upon the fountains-General bloodshed following.
  • 4. Upon the sun-Military despotism.
  • 5. Upon the seat of the beast-Rome and other supporters.
  • 6. Upon the river Euphrates-Destruction of Turkish power. (Battle of Armageddon) Great struggle of principle.
  • 7. Upon the air-Universal-third and last great earthquake or upheaval preparatory to the Millennium.

Emancipated church under Christian rule





  • Medopersian Ram B.C. 534
  • Commencement of 2,300 days B.C. 434
  • Termination of 2,300 days A.D. 1866
  • Rise of Papacy 606
  • Rise of Mohammedanism 606
  • First Seal-White Horse 96-180
  • Second Seal-Red 180-193
  • Third Seal-Black Horse 193-243
  • Fourth Seal-Pale Horse 243-248
  • Fifth Seal-Souls of martyrs 284-304
  • Sixth Seal-Earthquake 306-337
  • First Trumpet-Alaric and Goths 395-410
  • Second Trumpet-Attila and Huns 410-450
  • Third Trumpet-Genseric and Vandals 450-453
  • Fourth Trumpet-Subversion Western empire 476-566
  • Fifth Trumpet-Saracenic conquests 612-762
  • Sixth Trumpet-Turkish conquests 1281-1672
  • Slaying of witnesses 1517
  • First Vial-Sore of infidelity 1792
  • Second Vial-Reign of terror 1793
  • Third Vial-Wars which followed 1798 vFourth Vial-Imperial despotism 1800
  • Fifth Vial-On seat of the beast 1798
  • Sixth Vial-Drying river Euphrates 1820
  • Seventh Vial- air-universal. Millennium 2000

Three important dates are given by Daniel and John, viz., 1260, 1290, 1335. Interpreters generally agree that these periods start at the same time, but differ as to the time to begin the count. Some begin with the year 533, some with 606, and others again with 753. If we adopt the first, viz., 533, and add to this number the above mentioned figures, we will have, as the important years, 1793, 1823, 1868. If we adopt the last, viz., 753, we will have, as the important years, 2012m 2042, 2087. According to either interpretation the Millennium cannot be very far off.

As to the time for the resurrection and judgment, we absolutely know nothing, for nothing has been revealed. "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man-no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."


Every coming but a dim adumbration of the final coming.-Trench.

The entire Christian world is agreed as to the fact of the second coming, but differ widely as to the time; the one part holding that he will come before, and the other after, the Millennium. It will be perceived at a glance that a world-wide distance separates these two classes, and that the plan of interpreting the whole book of Revelation, as well as other portions of the scriptures, will depend entirely upon which of the two theories we adopt.

In order to a full and intelligent understanding of the relative claims of the two we must know precisely the things asserted and believed.


The view of the postmillennialist is simple and easy of comprehension. He holds that Christ will not come till the end of time, when he will return as he went up, in great pomp, with a retinue of angels, and shall sit upon his throne, when all the living and the dead shall appear before him, the latter being raised from their graves, and be judged out of the books, and every man to receive as his works shall be, whether good or bad.


The theory of the Premillennialists, on the other hand, is complicated, and not so easy of comprehension, requiring study fully to understand it, even the advocates themselves differing among themselves on several points. As far as I can gather it, they hold that Christ will first come to meet and receive his people, at which time there will be a resurrection of the just, and a change of living believers, when these shall all be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. This is what they term "The Rapture," and which is imminent, and may occur at any moment, the object being to take the church out of the tribulation about to be visited upon the earth. The church being thus removed, the great tribulation, which is to continue through Daniel's week of seven years, will follow, when all the judgments will be visited, and vials of God's wrath poured out. During this period Antichrist will appear and the Jews be restored, in part or whole. At the end of this tribulation period the Savior, with his saints, will descend to the earth in flaming fire, to execute judgment on the earth. This is what they term the "Revelation," and what they regard as the second coming proper. Then the judgment of the nations, or of all the living, spoken of in Matthew xxv. 31-46, to determine who shall be subjects of the millennial kingdom, will take place, which will be followed by the destruction of Antichrist, the beast and false prophet, these having arisen during those seven years, and the binding of Satan. Then the resurrection of the tribulation saints, those who lived and died during the tribulation period, and which they term the "Gleanings," and which completes the first resurrection. Then the Millennium, which is "one continuous judgment," and in which Christ shall reign with his saints on earth for one thousand years. After this Satan is to be loosed, and then destroyed, with Gog and Magog. Then the erection of the great white throne, and the resurrection and judgment of the remaining dead, who they say are only the wicked dead.

The above outline I take from a little work, Jesus Is Coming, by "W.E.B." published by Gleming H. Revell Co., one hundred and twenty thousand copies of which have been issued, and which has the endorsement of such men as Dr. J. H. Brooks, Dr. A. T. Pierson, Dr. A. J. Gordon, and Dr. R. A. Torrey and others, and quite a number of religious journals, and which I take as giving a fair representation of that side.

Dr. Seiss in his lectures on the Apocalypse, which has reached its eighth edition, and comprising in all five thousand sets, and which may also be considered as standard, puts the case a little differently. In order to escape all complications connected with the different resurrections, he presents a clear-cut view, boldly asserting that there will be but two resurrections, one for the righteous before and at the beginning of the Millennium, and another of the wicked at the judgment at the last day; and if not asserting it in so many words, clearly teaching that there is to be no resurrection at all after the beginning of the Millennium, except of the wicked, the righteous being exempt from death after that period, being secretly caught up to heaven at different times.

He also differs from "W.E.B." in the length of the tribulation period. Instead of seven years he makes it forty, and even seventy years and more. The first coming for his saints he terms the "parousia," and his coming with them the "epiphania." The period of about seventy years immediately preceding the Millennium will comprise the "parousia," the seals, the trumpets, the vials, the judgment of the living: the "epiphania," the rise and destruction of Antichrist, and the binding of Satan. During the Millennium the saints will reign with the Lord on earth, ruling the nations with a rod of iron, which he terms "shepherdizing the nations" of the redeemed earth, the inhabitants of which will perpetuate themselves upon the earth by a method of generation which he terms "after the flesh," the resurrection saints, however, being of the royal family," whose peculiar prerogative it will be to reign over the others.

Dr. Rutledge in his recent work, Christ, Antichrist and Millennium, a very able, exhaustive, and in some respects a most remarkable book, presents the same general view, differing, however, in many important particulars. For example, he denies the imminency of Christ's coming, but puts it in the distant future. He makes the "man child," and not the Holy Spirit, the hindering power. He dissents from the idea that there will be no righteous in the second resurrection. He also differs from them in this, that Christ will not reign on earth, but in heaven; his reign, however, will be over the earth.

In order to assist the reader the better to keep in mind the different parts of this complicated scheme, I make the following diagram:

  • A.-Resurrection of Dead Saints.
  • B.-Change of the Living.
  • T.P.-Tribulation Period.
  • J.-Judgment of the Living.
  • Ant.-Antichrist.
  • R.T.S.-Resurrection of Tribulation Saints.
  • J.W.D.-Judgment of the Wicked Dead.
  • E.-Eternity of Glory.

To many of my readers the foregoing will doubtless appear to be new, and even startling. No matter what interpretation overweening critics and scholars may draw out of certain texts, I seriously doubt whether one tithe of the things herein asserted would ever suggest themselves to the plain and unsophisticated reader of the scriptures. We submit, therefore, at the very outset, that a theory that runs so far counter to the common trend of Christian thought and sentiment, as held by ordinary Bible readers and students, as to startle by its very announcement, must at once awaken suspicion as to its unsoundness. Standing, therefore, upon the high vantage ground which the easy, and most direct and simple, interpretation of the scriptures unmistakably gives, I proceed to point out some of the more serious, and even fatal difficulties with which the premillennial theory seems to be hopelessly environed.


In the first place, the reader will please notice the number of comings. There are three of these:

  • 1, At the rapture, when Jesus shall come for his saints.
  • 2, At the revelation, when he shall come with his saints, to setup his mediatorial kingdom.
  • 3, At the last day, when he shall come to judge the ungodly.

Now we submit just here, if it be not a misnomer to speak of these three distinct comings as simply one, and characterize them as his second coming. They hold that he is first to come for his saints, and then with his saints, and that this last is his second coming. But why not the first as well, especially as it is so emphasized with the sounding of the trumpet, the voice of the archangel, the resurrection of the dead, and the change of the living? If the coming with the saints be a coming, why not also the coming for the saints? To avoid this dilemma and reduce two to one, they call the first simply a "meeting"; but how can there be a meeting without a coming? And with what propriety can a coming, ostensibly for the purpose of gathering his saints, and resulting the living, be styled only a "meeting"? Dr. Rutledge terms it simply a "stage" in the coming. But how a stage, when the whole transaction is described to be, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," and at "the last trump"? How many stages can there be in the twinkling of an eye?

It seems that Paul has settled this matter in 1 Thessalonians iv. 15, where he answers the question about our sleeping dead, and where he says nothing about different stages or stoppings on the way, or mentions any other but one coming and one meeting. Says he, "At the coming of the Lord, God will bring with him those who are asleep in Jesus"; those whose spirits are already with him in Paradise, whose bodies will then be raised when the living saints will be changed, and all together be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, to be forever with the Lord."

Here we have clearly set forth-

1st, That there will be but one coming, at the coming, of the Lord. The apostle speaks of but the one coming, and emphasizes it as the coming, without giving even a hint of any other.

2d, He also describes the manner of the coming. It is to be both with and for the saints. He is to come for the bodies of the dead saints, all at once; also for the living saints, all at once. But for the souls of the dead saints is to come one by one, which he does at death, and this, in advance of the other coming. How different this from the account of the Premillennialists, that he is to come for all his saints, living and dead, at once! Paul says he is to bring a part with him, and come for the rest. They say he comes for all, and at once. Their theory simply shuts dead believers out of Paradise, for a season at least, and is in direct conflict with the old theology, that "The souls of believers do immediately pass into glory." Paul would comfort with the thought that our departed friends are in the bosom of their Lord; their theory robs them of that comfort, by holding that their souls are still on earth, and he is yet to come after them!

3d. The time is also set for the coming. This is to be at the "last trump" (1 Cor. xv. 52), and therefore the final gathering. No other falling asleep in him, no other awaking of the dead, after this. And yet Premillennialists tell us that this is only the first stage in his coming, and gravely assure us that there are "gleanings," yet to be gathered! But if gleanings, how gathered, and when? Is another trumpet yet to sound after this, declared by the apostle to be the "last," to awake those who, if not "born," yet seemingly died "out of due time"? Is Christ to come in person a second time after these, or is it to be simply another "meeting," without a coming? Obviously, if there is to be an after gleaning, then the whole transaction is to be repeated; for those who constitute the "gleanings" will also be asleep in Christ, and he must go after them, that hey may also bring them with him when he comes. The conclusion seems inevitable, either no death after the rapture, or else a second coming for his saints. If he is to come back after these, then there will be a second coming for his saints. If he is to come again with them, as they claim, this also will be a second coming with them. According then to their theory, there must be two distinct comings, both for and with his saints.

Furthermore, how make this second coming stop with the Revelation as the only coming, when they themselves teach that he is to come again at the last day, to judge the ungodly dead? If he is to come again as judge, this will clearly make the third coming, unless the Lord is to remain on the earth after the Millennium, until the final judgment, as Dr. Rutledge affirms. But in this they are confronted with this dilemma: either to join issue with the apostle as to the continuance of the earthly reign, or else admit a third coming. The language of the apostle is explicit in this, that he limits the reign to one thousand years. If they lengthen that reign, they place themselves in direct conflict with the inspired word. If they end it with the Millennium, they leave Christ on earth, a disenthroned king, or else require him to return to heaven, and if so, to come again, which will make it the third time for him to come.. The language of the scripture is everywhere "come again"; Jesus says "come again"; the angels say "come again"; so also the apostles, prophets, and the church in all ages; but the theory says come again, and again, and again-three times. We leave it with the premillennialist to explain by what process of computation three can be equal to one, or one equal to three?

II. Number of Judgments.

The same, and even greater, incongruities appear in connection with the number of judgments. The uniform style of the scriptures is to speak of the judgment as one, as "the judgment." The word is never in the plural-never judgments. They declare unqualifiedly that all men are to appear before the judgment seat of Christ, without any allusion whatever to different classes, times, or occasions. In the parable of the talents there was but one time of reckoning; so in that of the husbandman, the angels were to separate the wheat and tares on the same day. In the judgment in Matthew xxv. 31-46, the righteous and wicked both appeared before the same august throne, and received sentence on the same occasion. And yet they would have us believe that there are to be two distinct judgments, and two distinct occasions, one for the righteous and one for the wicked; and that, too, at periods far removed from each other. If the sacred writers wished to say that we were all to appear before the same bar, both righteous and wicked, and be judged at the same time, we do not see how they could be more explicit. If the Saviour intended to teach that the righteous and wicked were to stand before him on the same occasion, and at the same hour, we do not see how he could have used language more to the purpose than when he said, "before him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separate them as a shepherd his sheep from his goats. Then shall he say to the one, Come ye blessed of my father, and to the other, Depart ye cursed." To say that this was a judgment simply of nations is too trifling for serious consideration. Nations are never welcomed or excluded from heaven as nations. It will never be said of them, "these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal." We are to stand in judgment before God as individuals, and not as a nation.

In order to make the incongruities the more apparent, we are only to consider the different judgments they allow, and the different classes to be judged. The different judgments are-

  • 1, Of the righteous at the rapture.
  • 2, Of the living described in Matthew xxv., at the Revelation.
  • 3. Of the wicked at the last day.

The classes, according to the theory, to be judged are:

  • 1. The pious living and dead at the rapture.
  • 2. The pious living at the time of the revelation.
  • 3. The pious dead during the tribulation.
  • 4. The living, good and bad, at the judgment of the nations.
  • 5. The pious living during and after the Millennium.
  • 6. The pious dead during and after the Millennium.
  • 7. The wicked at the judgment at the last day.

Here, then, are seven distinct classes. Let us see what provision their theory makes for their judgment. They tell us of two visible judgment thrones, and two visible judgment scenes. One is to judge the nations, namely, all the living, good and bad, recorded in Matthew xxv. 31-46, and the other, the great white throne, at the last day, before which all the wicked dead are then to appear, and no one else; "wicked sinners," as Dr. Seiss expresses it.

A mere glance is enough to show the classes necessarily omitted in this scheme.

(1), The living and dead to be taken up at the rapture; when are they judged? (2), Then the tribulation saints; when are they judged? (3), And the resurrected martyrs, when are they judged? (4), So the pious living and dead, during and after the Millennium; are these all to escape? (5), And lastly, the wicked living at the time of the last judgment; for, according to their theory, only the wicked dead are to be then judged.

Thus this theory of only two judgments, one for the living and one for the dead, falls, self-impaled, like Saul upon his own sword, as it makes no provision whatever for the judgment of any of the dead saints at the rapture, the tribulation, or final judgment; nor yet for any living wicked that might be living at the time of the last judgment.

And not only does it make no provision for these several classes, but also makes a distinction that is wholly unaccountable; for the question at once springs up in every thoughtful mind, why this discrimination? Why this judgment at the revelation, and not at the rapture? Why this judgment of only the then living and not the dead, at the judgment of the nations, in Matthew xxv.? And this judging only the dead, and not the living, at the last day? And why this double judgment, one in Matthew xxv. and one in Revelation xx.? And this difference, a par of the righteous judged secretly and a part openly?- a part of the wicked now, and a part not at all? Why in advance, formally and openly, send a part of the wicked to perdition, when the same sentence of exclusion is again to be formally pronounced against the remaining wicked, at the last day? We must confess these things seem to us a little confusing.

To meet all the exigencies of the case, Dr. Seiss has found it necessary to deny altogether the existence of any formal judgment in the case of the righteous. "Christ never mounts the throne of judgment towards his church and people," says he (Vol. III., 326), "the judgment being the result of antecedent judgment."

(Vol. II., 325.) But when this antecedent judgment? He fails to tell us. If at all, it must have been in private, or secret. But how is this assertion to be reconciled with the saying of the Master, that the righteous, as well as the wicked, shall stand before him; or that of Paul, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ," must be left with him to explain.

To us he seems to be confounding two things entirely different, namely, he judgment of condemnation, and that of awards. If by judgment he means acquittal from condemnation, we are in hearty accord with him. But this is not the point before us. The point we are considering is the formal judgment which precedes the awards, which is quite another thing, and is everywhere insisted on in the scriptures, which none shall escape, not the angels, nor yet even the devils in hell, for they are reserved in chains of darkness for the judgment of the great day.

On the other hand, W. E. B. would avoid the difficulty by making the day of judgment an indefinite period, "and not a day of twenty-four hours." (P. 67.) But this brings no relief. The thing that concerns us is, not the continuation, but the number of judgments. A court may run through a long time, and yet be the same court. The problem before the Premillennialists is simply this: how can his assertion about two judgments sitting on two different occasions, for different purposes, and a thousand and more years apart, one to judge the living nations, and the other to judge the wicked dead, be made to agree with the scripture account of one judgment? In opposition to both of these views, we place the following express declarations of the word of God: "Who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing." (2 Tim. iv.1.) "And before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from his goats." (Matt. xxv. 32.) "Because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness." (Acts xvii. 31.) "For the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation." (John v. 28, 29.) "Reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day." (Jude 6.) And leave with them the problem of harmonizing their theory of a double judgment with these express statements of the word of God.

Then it might be interesting to inquire what would be the status of these glorified saints, the fruits of this judgment of the nations as they term it. They are not the ingathering, for that, as they say, is already completed at the rapture; nor the gleanings, for these are the tribulation saints, as they declare. Will they be included with the martyrs, and reign too with the Savior? Or is it intended that special honor be thus put upon them, inasmuch as they should thus be openly recognized as inheritors of the kingdom, and invited to enter therein, and thus made superior to others, and made to sit upon his throne, and to judge at last the pious dead as well as the wicked? And thus have on-half of the saints sitting in judgment upon, and lording it over the other half? Where do we find any such teaching in the scriptures? Why put such honor, and confer such special prerogatives upon the one, and place such seeming humiliation upon the other? On the other hand, the scriptures everywhere, as a rebuke alike to the sordid spirit of Diotrephes and the ambitious aspirations of the sons of Zebedee, teach that the same rules of judgment will apply alike to all, and that even the living shall not prevent, or anticipate, or get any advantage of the dead.


The same incongruitites exist in connection with the resurrection. They speak of only two resurrections; one of the righteous, and one of the wicked; but their theory clearly demands more than that. The following is the enumeration we make:

  • 1, Of the righteous, when Christ comes at the rapture.
  • 2, Of the tribulation saints, who die during the tribulation period, termed by them "the gleanings."
  • 3, The rest of the dead, at the close of the thousand years.
  • 4, The last resurrection of the dead, at the last judgment.
  • 5, Dr. Seiss asserts that there was a resurrection of the righteous even before John's day; for he interprets the elders in the first vision as the first risen saints. This will make another class.
  • 6, Then the righteous people who died during and after the thousand years. So here is another resurrection of the righteous, making six in all, whereas they say only two.

To reconcile all this they claim that the wicked are raised up all at once at the last day; and that the resurrection of the righteous will be at different times, as Dr. Seiss affirms is to be understood as one, in the sense that these different resurrections are all included under one, and that the first resurrection, spoken of in Revelation xx. 5, covers the whole field, and includes all the saints arisen at different times, from John's vision of the elders till after the martyrs. But why stop with the martyrs? Why not include all who lived during and after the Millennium, and thus make it one continuous resurrection, that it may meet all the demands of their theory?

Now we submit, whether this interpretation does not violate every law of speech? How can six be made to mean one? Where is the scripture warrant for such a computation? The common reader, when he reads about the resurrection, thinks of but one. When the Savior said, "In the resurrection they neither marry nor give in marriage," he thinks of but one. Again, when he said, "I will raise him at the last day," the simple-minded reader would understand just what is said, the last day, and not a day before or after. The resurrection is everywhere spoken of as a common event. The word, like the term "Judgment," is always in the singular, never in the plural; never resurrections. If it were the intention of the sacred writers to say that there was but one common resurrection, how else could they express themselves? Why, then, did the Holy Spirit use language so calculated to mislead? And why did the Savior, the great teacher, not correct the error? There was a notion of a common and general resurrection in his day. Hence the language of Martha, "I know he will rise in the resurrection at the last day." (John xi. 24.) Not at the rapture, or the revelation, or end of the age, but the last day. How, then, account for his not correcting this, as he did every other abuse of misinterpreted law, and that, too, when discoursing upon that very subject? With him not to correct was simply to endorse. His very silence fixes the common interpretation as the correct one.

The theory of two resurrections, one for the righteous and the other for the wicked, one at the rapture and the other at the end of the world, is further confronted with the following serious and insurmountable difficulties.

1, It directly conflicts with the scripture teaching as to the time set for the destruction of death. Paul declares that the "last enemy to be destroyed in death," which places it beyond the battlefield of Gog and Magog. John states that the destruction will not be till after the last great judgment, when death is to be cast "into the lake of fire." If there is to be no Resurrection after the rapture, then no death; and if no death, then here comes the irreconcilable disagreement between their theory and the teachings of the apostles. Paul teaches that the destruction will be at the resurrection, whenever that is to be. (I Cor. xv. 54.) They say the resurrection will be at the rapture; if so, death will be destroyed at the rapture; and yet John says, not till after the last judgment! How reconcile the two? How destroyed both at the resurrection and after the last judgment, unless the resurrection be in close conjunction with the final judgment?


2, It makes no provision for the resurrection of the righteous who live during and after the Millennium. That there will be such no one will deny. The very idea of Millennium is that of triumph. The binding of Satan warrants the same conclusion. If there be righteous during that period, they must die, and if they die, they must be raised up. But how, since the "last trump" has already sounded, the last resurrection accomplished, and Christ already come for and with his saints? 25 Their theory obviously requires another and after sounding of the trumpet, and another and after resurrection of the dead. If another resurrection be necessary to reach the postmillennial saints, then what becomes of their theory that none but the wicked are raised up at the last day? Dr. Rutledge admits a resurrection during that period, but says the number will be "infinitesimally small." But how does the smallness of the number affect the argument? To admit the resurrection of any is but to surrender the whole scheme. He also terms this a "supplementary resurrection"; but Paul says nothing about a supplementary resurrection, either in 1 Corinthians xv. or 1 Thessalonians iv., where he handles the subjects so exhaustively and concludingly. Dr. Seiss, seeing the difficulty, asserts that none but the wicked will then die; and further, to relieve the situation, suggests the possibility of secret invisible translations, as in the case of Enoch and Elijah. He speaks of death not as death, but as a "stealthy eruption," invisible to the world at large. (Pref. Vol. III) Believers are not to die, but are "stealthily erepted," snatched up; and this eruption invisible and also inaudible, though accompanied with the sound of the trumpet! all of which will require a standing miracle, or else a change in the very constitution and course of nature, of which the scriptures say nothing. To what great straits Premillennialists are reduced to maintain their theory!

3. A third difficulty is the living wicked at the end of the world. They interpret the description of the last judgment literally, and make "dead," mean dead and nothing else, and therefore the wicked dead. But what about the living wicked at the time? Are they all to be slain, that they may then be raised up? To restrict the final judgment to the dead is completely to ignore the existence of any living wicked at that time; and if not, either require their slaying, or else to allow them to escape the judgment altogether. If the living wicked are included in that judgment, so may the living righteous; and if the living righteous, then their interpretation fails. The theory, then, is confronted with this fatal alternative, either to deny the existence of any living wicked at the time, or else admit the judgment of all, both living and dead, righteous as well as wicked.

4. There is another and still more serious difficulty confronting the theory, and that is the great chasm that separates the Millennium and the last judgment. The continuance of the present order of things after the Millennium will necessitate death and resurrection. In order to avoid the difficulty growing out of that continuance, Premillennialists are compelled wonderfully to shorten the time between the thousand years and the last judgment, and even find it necessary to place the final judgment at the end of the Millennium, and allowing little or no time to intervene. But have they forgotten that Satan is again to be turned loose for a season, and that the nations of the earth are again to be deceived by him? Have they forgotten that he is to gather his forces from the four quarters of the earth, and in number, "as the sands of the sea," and thus prepare for the great and final struggle of Gog and Magog? All of which will require time; how much we are not told. The expression, "little season," determines nothing. The Savior said, "Things shortly to come to pass," and yet eighteen centuries have glided by, and none of them, as they affirm, are yet accomplished. The evolution of God's plans is always slow. He can be patient because eternal, as Augustine expresses it. For aught we know ages may intervene; and reasonably so, even an hebdomad of Millennial periods; thus making the incoming of the heavenly rest the final jubilee. Whether long or short, the intervening period will require death and resurrection, unless there be a change in the constitution and course of nature. To insist upon that change before the final restitution of all things, and the making of the new heavens and new earth, seems to us nothing but the wildest fancy, without the slightest foundation in scripture.

Thus it appears that the theory of a double resurrection and double judgment is beset with too many and serious difficulties and entanglements to be entertained for a single moment. 26

IV. Revelation xx. 4-6.

A consideration of the main scripture upon which the whole premillennial theory rests will reveal a similar weakness. It is worthy of remark, that the chief and only foundation for the whole scheme is the three short and obscure verses in the book of Revelation, a book abounding in symbols and symbolic imagery. Take these away, and the chief support is gone. This fact is alone sufficient to shake our confidence in the scheme, and make us hesitate long before embracing a theory beset with difficulties. These verses are as follows:

4. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them; and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

5. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

6. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

Whatever else the meaning of these words may be, we cannot see where they teach the personal advent of the Lord to this earth. There is not a single word on that subject; "nothing of the Messiah's reign on earth," as Professor Stuart affirms; nothing is said about his coming to this earth, or his reigning on earth; not one word concerning the removal of his throne from heaven, and its re-establishment upon earth.

We must not confound the words "reign on earth" in Chapter v. 10 with what is here said. That was a different scene and a different occasion. That was before the rapture; this after the revelation. That was the saying of the four and twenty elders and four living creatures, representatives of all the redeemed in heaven and earth; this simply of the martyrs, who had been beheaded, and who had not been defiled with the beast. The description and attendant circumstances are entirely too different to make them the same. That the saints are to reign on earth we doubt not, as we believe this to be their future abode, as all other worlds the home of their several inhabitants; but that will be an eternal reign, and after the final judgment, something grander and far more glorious than a mere Millennial reign.

You will notice, too, the peculiarity of the language in these verses. It is not such as we would expect in a simple rehearsal of facts. It forms part of a vision, an we see no reason why we may not receive this, as other apocalyptic scenes, more as a picture than a reality, and therefore to be interpreted symbolically.

In the vision herein mentioned, John tells us what he saw. He saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment given them, but does not tell us where those thrones were located, whether those thrones were located, whether in heaven or in earth; nor who sat upon them, whether angels, apostles or men; nor the character of the judgment, whether favorable or adverse. All here must be inferential.

Moreover, he tells us that he saw souls, and whose souls they were; namely, of them that had been beheaded; but says nothing about bodies. The gloss that souls stand for persons, as the seventy souls in the house of Jacob, and the two hundred and seventy-six souls with Paul in the ship, stand for so many persons, is wholly inadmissible. If he had simply said souls, without any qualifying word, the explanation might stand. But "souls of beheaded people" would hardly mean the people themselves any more than the head or limbs of beheaded people would mean the living people. No one thinks of resurrected martyrs in the vision in the fifth seal, where John saw the souls of them that had been slain. They very interrogation, "How long, O Lord?" shows they were still in a disembodied state. If souls there, why not souls here? The qualifying words "Of those beheaded" show that only a part of the persons was seen, and that part, their souls. Wherein, then, comes the idea of a resurrection?

Admit that the expression means the persons, and the question at once comes up, who were those persons? You will notice not a word is said about any saints, only martyrs. Where, then, is the authority for saying that all the sainted dead were raised, as Premillennialists affirm? To make the expression, "Of the beheaded," mean not only the martyrs, but all the sainted dead, is a strange abuse of terms. Indeed, a strict and literal construction would not only confine it to martyrs, but to those of a particular class- only those who were beheaded, and not those stoned, or sawn asunder, or put to death in any other way; and not only those who had been beheaded, but only those beheaded on account of their testimony for Jesus, in not "worshipping the beast," these last words representing not so much a different class as a different characteristic of the same class; thus limiting it to martyrs after the rapture; since, according to their theory, the beast is not to appear till after that event; and therefore only the few who were beheaded after the rise of the beast, and during the tribulation period, were declared fit to reign with Christ on earth. According to this, not one of all the martyrs of the Old Testament, nor of New Testament times; neither Isaiah, nor Stephen, nor James, nor any of the thousand martyrs up to the time of the Savior's first coming at the rapture, will be there, for only the martyrs raised after the appearance of the beast were the ones John saw sitting upon thrones. The Premillennialists must either change the time of the appearing of the beast, or make it antedate the time of the rapture; or else make the words, "the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast," mean, not only all the sainted dead, but also all the saints then and now living, and all saints and martyrs yet to come, neither of which would be allowable by his theory.

Then concerning this reigning "on earth." We repeat, by way of emphasis, that the interjecting of these words is entirely gratuitous, not being in the copy. No torture of language can make the words, "reign with the Lord," mean reign on earth. Dr. Rutledge says, "Reign in heaven, but over earth." The very fact that they were to reign with him determines the position of the throne. That throne was in heaven, for John saw it there at the commencement of his vision; and if in heaven at the first of the vision, and no account of its removal and if Jesus be there, and if the souls of the martyrs to reign with him, if at al, would seem to be in heaven, and not on earth. This would also be in strict accord with the statement of the Master, "If I come again, I will receive you to myself, that where I am ye may be also." That is, ye may be with me where I am, and not I am to be with you where you are.

If there be one word in the above verses about Christ coming back to earth after he has once taken up his people to himself, or raising up anybody that has been dead, we have utterly failed to see it.

The question then becomes very pertinent, what the meaning of the phrases, "the first resurrection" and "the rest of the dead not living again until the end of the thousand years"? Is there no implied resurrection here? We answer, Yes. But what kind of a resurrection? What, and who, raised up? when and for what purpose?

Concerning this resurrection from, or out of, the dead, the preposition (ex) being wanting in the Greek, and therefore a different species of resurrection from that which they so much insist upon, to prove the antedating of one resurrection before the other.

2, The use of the word to live, instead of ( ) to resurrect, likewise raises a doubt as to the literalness of the resurrection; the meaning seeming rather to be more of a continued and flourishing life than a coming to life again, the one class living and flourishing, and the other not living and flourishing till after the thousand years.

3, The expression, "rest of the dead" (not of those yet to die), must mean either the rest of the righteous dead, beside the martyrs, or else the wicked dead. If the rest of the righteous, then, as they are to live at the end of the thousand years, there must be two resurrections of the righteous, of which the scriptures say nothing, and which the Premillennialists themselves deny. So, if it means the wicked at the time of the Millennium, that would likewise make two resurrections of the wicked, one at the end of the thousand years, and the other at the final judgment, which they also deny. To make it mean all the wicked to the end of the world is to confound the thousand years with the last day, for which there is no authority in the scriptures, the final restoration clearly being when the new heavens and new earth shall be set up. The rest of the dead, then, must mean the wicked dead at the time of the raised martyrs, and not those yet to die; and if so, they are the ones to come to life again at the end of the thousand years, and which resurrection must not be confounded with that of the wicked dead at the end of the world.

4. Further, as there are but two classes of the dead mentioned in the preceding portions of the book, namely, one of the martyrs, and the other the slain enemies mentioned in the close of the preceding chapter, these must be the ones to come to life again. If the first resurrection refers to the former, then naturally the second resurrection would likewise refer to the second class, namely, the wicked slain.

5, The resurrection is to be followed by a reign which is to continue only a thousand years. Why this limitation? There is absolutely nothing in the law or the prophets, or ceremonies, or teachings of the Old Testament, or the experience of believers, to explain such an episode in the kingly reign of Christ. The interpretation is contrary to all analogy. Scriptural analogy teaches a Millennium of rest, and not of rule. Besides, how reconcile this idea of a limited reign with the common teaching, that we are to reign forever with Christ?

6, Then over whom are the saints to reign? The language is simply "reign with Christ." But Christ reigns over nature- over mind and matter- over devils- over saints- over the wicked. Are we to understand that the resurrected martyrs are to rule over all these, and that only for a thousand years?- and that, too, with a rod of iron, with the greatest severity? Surely the interpretation is beset with unending entanglements.

7, If the verses above considered, singly and alone, say nothing about Christ coming back a second time to reign on earth, and nothing about the bodies of martyrs being raised up, and nothing about the fate of those raised to life at the end of the thousand years, this resurrection not being confounded with that at the end of the world, we must seek another interpretation than that given by Premillennialists; and we are thus forced to construe the language figuratively, and, like the rest of the book, make the resurrection a resurrection of the martyr spirit; and as Elias was raised and lived in John the Baptist, who had come in his spirit and power; as the beast that was wounded was said to live in his successor; as the two witnesses who had been slain lived again in those who followed them; and as Huss and Jerome were said by Pope Adrian to be living in the person of Martin Luther, so the dead martyrs could well be said to be alive, and live in those who should come after. And what is true of the martyred dead would also be true of the "rest of the dead," or wicked dead; they, too, would come to life, and live in the persons of the wicked who were to live after the thousand years.

The interpretation, then, would be that, with the restraining of Satan's power, the spirit of the martyrs would return and be honored, hence represented as reigning upon thrones, and thus described as "blessed," and holy; and that, after the thousand years, with the losing of Satan, the former spirit of worldliness would return and live again, to dominate the world for a while; the return of the martyr spirit being denominated "the first resurrection," in contradistinction to the return of the opposite spirit, which would be the second resurrection.

We understand, then, the whole passage to teach that there is to be a literal chiliad of righteousness and peace. We interpret the thousand years literally; for there seems to be a different nomenclature used in prophetic count from that of common years. Prophetic years are given in symbols, as so many months, weeks, days, and hours. "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people." "Forty-two months," the time of beast's reign. So "time, times and a half time" the period of the woman in the wilderness. As the outspoken number 666 is to be understood literally, so here we interpret the thousand years literally. Elliott well remarks, no scheme of prophecy but has a commingling of the natural and figurative. Our understanding, therefore, is, that there is to be a glorious time ahead of the church, even here on earth, set forth under the sabbatic year of old, and to precede announcement of the little stone filling the whole earth, and the leaven leavening the whole mass, a time foretold in glowing strains by the old prophets. Not that everybody will be converted and become true believers; for the wheat and tares are to grow together to the end; the same appearing in the admixture of good and evil in the seven churches; but simply that all organized opposition will be done away with, the principles of the gospel being in the ascendancy. The church shall dominate the world by the dissemination of her principles, and Christ recognized as supreme. After the thousand years Satan shall again be loosed for a season, and the world again be corrupt. How long, we know not. Hence the Master's words, "When the Son of man shall come will he find faith upon the earth"? "As in the days of Noah, they were eating and drinking…. so shall it be at the end of the world." And then, in his own time, for of that day and hour no man knoweth, the Lord shall come in power and great glory, to wind up the affairs of this world, and give to every man as his work shall be.

The interpretation we here offer of this difficult passage is the one usually held, and, in the main, the one held by postmillennarians. To the writer it appears the most rational, and in accord with the symbolistic character of the book, and other portions of the scriptures. Whether this be the correct one or not, we do not see how it is possible to bear the construction put upon it be the premillennialist.

Having pointed out some of the glaring contradictions and inconsistencies of the premillennial theory, its utter want of coherence, and the little support it receives from the main passage upon which its advocates especially rely, I now proceed to give other considerations for its rejection.


1. It directly antagonizes the scripture teachings as to the time of the second coming. We have clearly been put on guard against the delusive notion that that coming was near at hand. "Take heed that no man deceive you," says the Master. "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many; but the end is not yet." (Matt. xxiv. 4-6.) So Paul: "That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand." (2 Thess. ii. 2.)

Three things are declared necessary before that event. (1), The preaching of the gospel in all the world, for a witness unto all nations (Matt. xxiv. 14.) (2). The restoration of the Jews, with the bringing in of the fullness of the Gentiles (Rom. ii. 25.). (3). The falling away, and the revelation of the Man of Sin (2 Thess. ii. 2), neither of which they claim as yet has happened. It is an indisputable fact, that the majority of the world is still in the depths of heathenish darkness, never having heard of Christ. We see as yet no signs of the fullness of the Gentiles being brought in, or of the conversion of the Jews; and according to their own theory, the Man of sin will not be revealed till after the rapture. With what propriety, then, can they say that this coming is imminent, and urge us to accept their statement as true, that he may come at any moment, when they themselves are compelled to admit that neither of these necessary things has yet happened? To say that all these things will occur after the rapture, and before the revelation, is but to assume one of the points in dispute, that he can come before his second coming, and yet can come but once, which we stoutly deny.

For further confirmation of this view, we have only to point to the declaration of the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost, "The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand until I make thy foes thy footstool." (Acts ii. 34, 35.) The time is thus definitely fixed- till his foes are all made his footstool. Are his foes all yet subdued? So in Hebrew x. 12, 13, "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool." Can anything be plainer than that he is to remain at the right hand of the Father until his enemies are all subdued, which will not be till after the millennium? Yet in the face of all this, we are told that his coming is imminent, and we may be looking for him at any moment!

2. It likewise antagonizes the general teachings of the Scriptures as to the finished character of the Savior's work at his appearing. The appearing and the judgment are everywhere closely conjoined in the Scriptures. Premillennialists divorce this union by interjecting the Millennium between the two. We are taught that, when he comes, he will come to wind up the affairs of this world. When he came first, he came to set aside the Jewish dispensation, and to set up the Christian; so he will come again to set aside the Christian and set up the heavenly. In connection with the last commission, to make disciples of all nations, is the promise, "Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." To the end of the world; that is, till he shall come again, clearly implying that, when he shall come again, the gospel and living ministry, and all the means of grace, shall cease; nothing being said about any other gospel or other means or agencies. The present order of things is to continue only until he comes. The theory of the Premillennialists requires a continuation of these things after his coming.

So also with regard to those whom he is to bring with him at his coming. He is to bring all his saints. There are to be no additions after his coming. "Christ, the first fruits, afterward they that are Christ's, at his coming." The church will then be complete. The Scriptures say nothing about receiving a part before and a part after his coming. He is to bring his holy angels and all his saints with him, to be admired, not by a part, but by all. Nobody to be saved, nobody added, after he comes. According to Premillennialism, there are to be additions of the tribulation saints and others during and after the Millennium.

3, It antagonizes what Peter says about the destruction of the world. He distinctly asserts that that destruction will take place at his coming. In answering the question of the scoffers, "Where is the promise of his coming?" he says, "That the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a loud noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat." Peter says noting about reigning on earth, or waiting a thousand years before this destruction; but the time for it will be at his coming,- which will be as a thief in the night,- on the day in which he comes, and which is to usher in the new heaven and new earth, in which righteousness is to dwell. We leave it with the Premillennialists to reconcile their teachings with these unequivocal declarations of the Apostle Peter. They must either flatly contradict the apostle, or else make all this refer to the Millennium, which is simply to confound the Millennium with the final state of glory. Which will they choose?

4. It makes an unwarranted distinction between the church and the kingdom, and asserts that that kingdom will not be till the Millennium; whereas the scriptures everywhere speak of the kingdom as already set up, and all are urged to press into it. Daniel clearly tells when the kingdom was to be set up: not later than the fourth monarchy. "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed." (Dan. ii. 44.) The time for the setting up of that kingdom is therefore past. To say it is yet to be set up is to contradict Daniel.

So the sayings of the Savior, "There hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist; notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Matt. xi. 11.) "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." "The kingdom is near you, even within you." "Not far from the kingdom." "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness." "There be some standing here, who shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." (Matt. xvi. 28.) All of these show that the kingdom was near at hand, even in touch with the people of that generation, and therefore already in existence.

We presume Paul knew what he was saying when he said, "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." (Col. i. 13.) Also John, when he said, "I, John, who also and your brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ." Both of these saints, while in life, declared they were already in the kingdom, and yet we are told that that kingdom will not be set up till the Millennium!

In the second Psalm we have the prophetic announcement," I do set my king upon my holy hill of Zion," and the command to acknowledge and serve him. If the kingdom is not yet set up, then this double anomaly presents itself. On the one hand, of Christ being a king, so appointed of the Father, with all power in heaven and earth, and authority to rule, and yet no kingdom over which to rule. On the other, of requiring men to serve a king who was not a king, thereby absolving from all obligation to own allegiance to his throne, or press into his kingdom, until it shall be shown that that kingdom was fully established. The theory is clearly chargeable with confounding the setting up of the kingdom with the full establishment and recognition of it. We agree with them that the kingdom is not yet established, in the sense of full recognition on earth as in heaven; but we utterly repudiate the idea that it is not yet set up. For if it be not set up on earth, neither in heaven, and if not in heaven, then what means that exaltation to the right hand of the Father, the apocalyptic song, and the ascription of such high honor and glory to the Son? If not a king yet on earth, neither indeed can he yet be a king in heaven. The theory of the Premillennialists, that the kingdom will not be set up till the Millennium, plays sad havoc with the old theology we have been taught from childhood, that Christ executes his three offices of prophet, priest and king "both in his state of humiliation and exaltation." And also the typical teachings, which make the portion of the land on the east side of the river Jordan typical of the part of the kingdom on earth, and the part on the west side typical of the part of the kingdom in heaven, the Jordan being the type of death, and, like the tribes of old, we must all enter the one before entering the other. Clearly, if we die out of the kingdom, we will ever continue out. So says the type; for how seek it after we are dead?

Then notice the conflict as to the progressive nature of the kingdom. Daniel speaks of it at first as "a little stone," but to become the mountain and fill the earth. Their theory requires that the kingdom be large and full fledged at the start. The Savior speaks of it as "little leaven"; that is, it is to work silently and gradually till the whole mass is leavened. But they give us to understand that the kingdom cometh as a whirlwind, with judgments and earthquakes, and even mighty convulsions in nature, with the whole constitution and course of nature changed, and changed at the beginning and setting up of that kingdom. The description of the kingdom by Daniel and the Savior, and the account of it given by the Premillennialists, both as to time and progress, are wonderfully divergent!

To break the force of the argument from the expansiveness of leaven, Premillennialists take the leaven in the parable to represent evil, and the interpretation they give of this familiar passage is, that evil in the church, like leaven, will spread till it corrupts the whole. But this seems clearly a perversion; for, as Alford says, "If the progress of the kingdom of heaven be towards corruption, till the whole is corrupted, surely there is an end of all the blessings and healing influence of the gospel on the world." (Com. in Loc.) Trench gives the common-sense view, when he says, "We cannot consider these words, "till the whole be leavened," as less than a prophecy of a final complete triumph of Christianity; that it will diffuse itself through all nations, and purify and ennoble all life." (Par., p. 101.)

5. It robs prophecy of its witnessing power, by placing the whole of it in the future. If the prophecy be not predictive, as Professor Milligan asserts, p. 188, and as Dr. Ramsay assumes as the basis of his interpretation, in his "Spiritual Kingdom"; and these things be not fulfilled till after his coming, then there will be no special necessity for them at all. Neither can we understand why such minute descriptions of things in such unintelligible language, if all be in the future. If no part is to be fulfilled till he comes, the prophecy would mean no more than this: that Jesus is coming, and just wait till he comes, and he will tell us in plain words what he is now saying in unintelligible symbols. Professor Stuart, as it seems to us, strikes the key note when he says, "There must be historic existences connected with such a series of symbols."

6. It temporarily robs the world of the mediatorial work of Christ. It is the creed of Christendom, that he is gone to heaven to finish his priestly, and enter upon his kingly work, as already stated. That he is in heaven, the indwelling Spirit abundantly testifies. If it were expedient at first that he should ascend to heaven, it is equally expedient that he should remain there still. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews labors to prove this very point. He distinctly asserts that if he were on earth he could not be a priest. (Chap. 8: 4) There is a part of his priestly function that can be performed only in heaven. Under the Aaronic priesthood, the high priest, after offering the sacrifice, then went into the Holy of Holies to offer incense. So our High Priest, having offered himself as a sacrifice, has gone on high, where he ever lives, to make intercession for his people. The high priests of old never left the precincts of the earthly temple. Aaron was always at his post; Eleazar always in his place. For our High Priest to leave the heavenly courts would be contrary to all analogy, and express utterances of the word of God. And should he leave his high place on high, who would then be the worlds intercessor? Who would be there to take the petitions of his people and present them with acceptance at the heavenly throne of grace?

And is there no kingly works for him to perform among the angels and saints on high? Who is to occupy his throne there, and to receive the adoration and thanksgiving and praise of the mighty angelic host ever singing the song of Moses and the Lamb? And will he remain on earth with all his saints after the Millenium, during the re-enthronement of Satan's power? And all this in the face of the express declaration of Scripture, "Whom the heavens must receive till the restitution of all things." (Acts 3: 21) "In the regeneration , not before, said the Savior, ye shall sit with me." To bring him back before the restitution and making of all things new; unless we make the Millenium the regeneration and making of all things new, which the Scriptures nowhere teach.

7. It equally brings dishonor upon the work of the Spirit. They hesitate not to affirm that the gospel is a failure thus far in converting the world to Christ. "A perpetual failure," and will "continue a failure till the second Adam shall come to enforce the same with his judgments," says W.E.B. (p. 26). Apart from what might be the divine purpose in the matter, and what will be hereafter, the question arises, whether mere judgment would secure the end? It is not in the nature of judgments alone to lead to repentance. They did not lead Pharaoh to repentance, nor King Saul, nor thousands of others. Conviction is the sole work of the Spirit; and when he fails, judgments will surely fail. All power is vested in the Spirit, as all grace and merit in the Son. The Son works through the Spirit. It was when the Spirit came upon Jesus that he performed those mighty works. It was through the Spirit he offered himself a sacrifice for sin, and through that same eternal Spirit he raised himself from the tomb; and by that same Spirit he is carrying on the affairs of his kingdom. To charge the work with failure is to accuse him of the veriest weakness.

And, then, why the necessity of the personal presence of the Lord on earth? Could he not work through the Spirit from heaven as well as on earth? And even if necessary for him to speak through judgments, could he not do so as well from his throne in the skies as if he were here on earth? Besides, let it not be forgotten that Satan is to be loosed again after the Millenium, and the nations again deceived by him. Is the world then to witness the humiliating spectacle of the King of glory again returning to his throne on high a defeated king, with his work after all only partially accomplished, and thus bring greater discredit upon himself, as well as additional dishonor to the Spirit?

8. It defeats in a measure the very object for which the judgment is appointed. That object is twofold. (1), The vindication of the judge himself. Many hard things have been thought and said against the Lord and his government. These things have been allowed to pass unchallenged, because he hath appointed a day in which he will vindicate himself from all these wicked aspersions, and for the revelation of his righteous judgment, as the apostle expresses it, in which his creatures will all see the righteousness of his acts, and join in the final decision with a loud and hearty "Amen." But for the full and complete vindication of himself, as well as this revelation of his righteous judgments, it will be necessary for all his creatures to be present, every eye to see him, and witness his decisions. Nothing to be covered, but everything brought to light. What has been spoken in secret is to be proclaimed from the housetop. To keep any of his creatures away from that grand tribunal, or suppress any of the facts, will just so far defeat the very purpose of the appointment.

(2), A second object of the judgment is the bestowal of awards. As a man really lives in his works, after he is dead, like Abel of old, though dead still speaking, and his influence, like the advancing waves of the tumultuous sea, will continue to move on and on till they strike the utmost shore, the proper time for the judgment obviously will be the last day, when the whole life, with all its results, may be gathered up. To bestow the award before that time is simply to judge a man before his works are ended.

9. It presents a false view of the relation of the church and tribulation. They tell us that the object of the rapture is to remove the church from the tribulation to be visited upon the earth6; then why take a part and leave the rest? Why leave the tribulation saints behind? And how reconcile this with the words of the intercessory prayer, in which the Savior expressly says, "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." (John 17: 15.) So also in the message to the Philadelphian church, "I also will keep the from the hour of temptation which is to come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." (Rev. 3: 10) Notice, not to take them out of the world, but to keep and shield them while in it.

Even admitting it a mercy to remove the living, what about the dead, and who constitute by far the largest part? Why should they be taken? The tribulation could not reach them, nor disturb their repose in the tomb. Why raise them up to get them out of trouble, when they are not in, nor affected by it? We hesitate not to affirm that this whole idea of taking his people out of the world to get them out of tribulation is unscriptural, being contrary to the whole scheme of probation. Why take them away when the world was made, and they were put here, for the very purpose of being tested, tried and purified, as gold by fire? And why the many promises to be with them when they go through the fire and deep waters, if they are to be removed? Are these promises only for the lesser evils, and not the greater? And is not God's grace sufficient to sustain, as well as save to the very uttermost, under any and all circumstances? Why then minimize that grace by talking of removal, when it is declared sufficient for every emergency, and the very sending of the trial was to show that sufficiency?

So the promise of the shortening of the tribulation days for the elects' sake proves the presence of the elect on earth, and in the midst of it all. Why shorten the days for the elects' sake if removed? The whole thing smacks entirely too much of the cloister and asceticism of medieval times for the Christian enlightenment of this age and generation.

10. Moreover, we reject the theory because of the shortness of the time given for the fulfillment of the prophecies. They crowd into one short period of half a week of years, or three and a half years, which is their tribulation period, all that is included in the rapture, the seals, the trumpets, the vials, the two beasts, all the different vials of judgments, the rise of Antichrist, his deceiving the nations, practicing his arts, shedding of blood to the extent of being drunk therewith, all this in the short space of three and a half years! The time, even allowing Dr. Seiss' seventy years, seems entirely too short for all of this. And the long delay in the appearing of Antichrist, whom they say is a man; and contrary to the general rules of interpretation in thus applying the prophecy to an individual, and not to a kingdom or power. How a mere man could begin to work in Paul's day, some eighteen hundred years before his birth, is something we can neither comprehend, nor do they undertake to explain. Apart from the marvel of the thing, it does seem to us that the long delay in his coming is out of all proportion with the rest of the scheme. So with the slaying of the witnesses. They insist upon a literal three and a half days, and yet it is asserted that "kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three and a half days." "And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another." How they can do all that in three and a half days, we leave them to explain.

11. We reject the theory because it necessitates additional revelation. In replying to the question, "How will men be saved during the Millenium," and what the means of grace? W.E.B. says, "It is just as consistent that we shall receive an additional revelation to the word of God, when he comes, as it was when he came before" 27 (p. 73); and thus not only requiring an addition to the canon, but even the return of the Savior to complete his prophetical work. Surely a cause must be hard pressed to require such a resort as this. In striking contrast with this supposed necessity for additional revelation, we place the ringing words of the Master himself, "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead."

12. We reject the theory because of the unnatural placing of the resurrection at the rapture a thousand years or more before men cease either to be born or to die. How much more reasonable, satisfactory, and scriptural the view which places the resurrection after the Millenium, and in connection with the closing scenes, introducing the new heavens and the new earth?

13. We reject the theory because it necessitates the coming of another, or a second coming of the same Antichrist. In the preceding pages we have shown clearly, as we think, that one Antichrist has already come in the tripartite form of Rome, Pagan, Christian, and Papal. Is another yet to come? And will the second, when he does come, match the description any better? Will he be an improved and more complete Antichrist? —more terrible in his nature, and shed more innocent blood, than the triune monster of iniquity already described?

Of Babylon, it is said, "And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." (Chap. 18: 24) If another great apostasy, or enemy, is yet to arise, call it Babylon, Man of sin, Antichrist, woman on a beast, or what else you please, how will it be possible for him to be guilty of the blood already shed?

Furthermore, their theory requires that he is to take the city, pollute the sanctuary, and set up the abomination. But this has already been done. Jerusalem has long since been taken, the temple destroyed, and the abomination that maketh desolate been set up for centuries. Is all this to be repeated, the temple rebuilt, and the abomination set up a second time?

14. We reject the theory because it imposes an unnatural and impossible condition of prayer. We are expressly commanded to pray, "Thy kingdom come." If the kingdom here spoken of be the Millennial kingdom, to be established on earth by the personal advent of the Lord, to pray thy kingdom come is simply to pray that Christ would come at once, and change the living and raise the dead, and immediately proceed with the visitation upon the wicked of the threatened judgments contained in the trumpets and vials. How many of God's people, think you, would yet be able to offer such a petition, asking to be removed at once? Not one in a thousand. Why then impose such an impossible condition upon the consciences of God's people? Where is the authority for such a prayer, when he has clearly called us and sent us forth as laborers in his vineyard, and cautioned us against this very thing, of idly waiting for his coming? And how reconcile it with that other petition, "Pray ye the Lord of the harvest to send forth more laborers into the harvest"? See the conflict! With one breath we are to pray for an increase of laborers, and with the next for the immediate coming of Christ, and removal of the laborers, ourselves, and all his people, both dead and living, out of the world! What is the use of the first petition at all, if Christ is to come and set up his kingdom by the direct exercise of his power and overawing influence of his presence?

15. We reject the theory because it presents a view of the Millenium entirely different from that given in the word of God, and as held by the church in all ages. Premillennialists speak of it as a "continued judgment," 28 whereas the scriptures everywhere represent it as a time of unwonted favor, with the power of Satan curtailed, and the Spirit most graciously bestowed. Premillennialists speak of it as a "failure," so far as the gospel is concerned, whereas the sacred writers speak in the most exulting strains of the wonderful triumph of the gospel, as exhibiting its power to elevate, transform and save; as making the wilderness to become a fruitful field, and the earth to bud and blossom as the rose; as a time when the nations shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, and learn war no more.

It is impossible for us to reconcile their sad and gloomy views with the bright, cheerful and glowing descriptions of the prophets. The prophets would encourage us with the sweetest assurances that the gospel is yet to triumph over all the earth, and that, as the hammer and fire, under the influences of the Spirit it can break and subdue the hardest heart. If the gospel be so inefficient as they affirm, what have the poor missionaries, and those laboring so sacrificingly for the conversion of the world, to look to for comfort? If the judgments of God be the only thing to tear down the strongholds of Satan, instead of hazarding their lives, and wasting their energies in a hopeless undertaking, it would be far better for them to surrender their credentials at once, and spend the rest of the time in praying for the speedy coming of impending judgments, and the sooner the coming the better! A Millennium of triumph is clearly the fulfillment of Daniel's little stone becoming the mountain and filling the whole earth. Take away the idea of final triumph, and you at once destroy the uniqueness of the scheme, as well as rob the gospel and the Spirit of all their accredited power as agents for the accomplishment of so grand and glorious an end.

16. We reject the theory because it fails to define the position of the resurrected saints during the rapture. Caught up in the air for seven years! Why exactly seven years? What authority for this in Scripture? What analogy or typical allusion to corroborate the same? Then what the location or position of the raptured saints? They are not in Hades, for they have been snatched from that place; not in Paradise, for Paradise is this side of the resurrection, as shown by the words of the Savior to the dying thief; nor in heaven, for heaven is the place of final awards, and these are not yet distributed. If, then, not in Hades, or Paradise, or heaven, what region or clime in the celestial planisphere are they to occupy? Dr. Rutledge says, "The heavenlies," —the place from whence he asserts the dragon is to be cast after the rapture, and where he must be just now. It strikes us as a strange incongruity that Satan is to vacate his seat for the saints. The heavenlies! We candidly confess, that is a new division or district in God's empire of which we have never heard before, and of which the Scriptures say nothing. If the air overhead simply is to be the stopping place in this rapture, then that air must be the permanent abode of the saints, for they are to be forever with the Lord, in the place to which first taken.

17. We reject the theory because it demands the unnatural commingling of things earthly and things celestial —of beings mortal and beings immortal—of two sorts of Millennial saints, part perfect and part imperfect, part glorified and part unglorified; and likewise the unpeopling of heaven, or else the division of the kingdom and throne, a part on earth and a part in heaven! If the saints are to be raised up, with what bodies will they come? And what relation to the living? If any, what the character of the association? Mortals and immortals mixed up! Will the latter live in houses or in the air? Will they be visible or invisible? If visible, wherein differ from others? If invisible, what the use of the earthly reign? And, then, what their employment? Will they be angels of mercy sent forth to minister to the heirs of salvation, or, bent on vengeance, will they go forth as God's messengers, in the execution of his purposes of wrath upon the wicked, and at the same time as "shepherdizers" as Dr. Seiss informs us, to lord it over their less fortunate brethren still struggling in the flesh? And, then, are they to remain on earth after the Millennium until the end? or ascend into heaven? And at the last judgment, will these Millennial saints have equal honors with the raptured ones, and sit as co-judges with them; or will the latter occupy higher seats, and be invested with special supernal honors, by virtue of their priority in the resurrection?

18. Then, lastly, we reject the theory because of its affiliations and associations. Its companionships in the past have been anything but desirable. It not only furnishes an ample field for visionary schemes and fanciful interpretation of the scriptures, but, true to its proclivities, has also given birth to the wildest extravagancies, both in practice and belief. Witness the rugged asceticism, as well as assumptive claims to prophecy, of the Montanists of the second century, who stirred up so large a part of the world under the delusion of the Saviour's immediate appearing. Witness the still greater fanaticism of the people of this country, who, under the teaching of William Miller, in 1844 were wrought up to the highest pitch of religious frenzy over the idea of the sudden coming of Christ. Still more recently, witness the "Christ craze" of the colored people of Liberty county, Georgia, in 1889, who, believing that Christ had already come in the person of one Dupont Bell, neglected their farms and ceased from every sort of business, and frantically followed their leader from day to day, expecting soon to be taken up to Paradise. Interpret the Millennium to mean a personal coming, and temporal rule, instead of gospel triumph and a peaceful spiritual reign, and set the time for that coming, and the world is liable to witness just such scenes at any time.

And then, what fanciful interpretations and wild deductions from Scripture! Says a recent writer, "Imagine Paul acting under Immanuel as president of the United States, Peter king of England, James superceding the Czar of Russia, John as emperor of China, Bartholomew succeeding to the throne of Kaiser William of Germany. Imagine the guileless Nathaniel as president of the turbulent French Republic. How about John Wesley for mayor of London, or the immortal dreamer, John Bunyan, as mayor of Paris? How would D. L. Moody do for Chicago's chief officer? Or Jonathan Edwards for Greater New York?" 29 And even such a man as Dr. Rutledge, with all his intelligence and learning, indulging in the fanciful conceit that Antichrist will "probably be killed by the explosion of a bomb! 30

If a tree is to be judged by its fruit, and a man known by the company he keeps, and these and similar vagaries be the legitimate fruitage and social concomitants of the scheme, we fell fully warranted in setting it aside, more as the work of human devising than the teaching of the Spirit. "But the end of all things is at hand, be ye therefore sober." Christian sobriety, and not fanaticism, is the inspired coupling with the coming of the Lord.

Enough has been said to show the utter inconsistency and unscripturalness of the premillennial theory. While truth is ever in harmony with itself, error is always contradictory, and in its very contradictions furnishes evidence for its own conviction. The theory, as we have endeavored to show, is so disjointed and out of harmony with itself and everything around it, and so interjected and overburdened with fancies and whims of its own, as to leave behind endless problems and questions, which it can neither remove nor satisfactorily explain. Thus, as we have seen, it fails to tell us why there should be a Millennial reign on earth, and if a Millennium, why the seventh thousand? And why a continuance of judgment and not of gospel triumph and peace? Why rule with a rod of iron, and not a scepter of mercy, while Satan is chained? How death can be destroyed at the resurrection, and yet continue till the last judgment? It has not explained, neither can it explain, why the Savior should temporarily leave his throne on high, abandon his priestly work, reign only so long on earth, and leave the world again to Satan's rule. Neither can they tell us what is the object, and what accomplished by this temporary reign on earth. It does not, nor yet can it explain, why there should be such a discrimination among the saints; why some should be removed from the coming tribulation, and others, including martyrs, should be left in it; and, indeed, why any, especially the dead, be removed at all, when the Savior promised to be with his people when called to go through fiery trials, to shield and deliver them, as Daniel in the lions den, and the Hebrew children in the fiery furnace. It fails to explain the problems of life and death after the rapture. How the race is to perpetuate itself without a judgment? It does not, nor yet can it explain, why such a complete system of symbols, so fully and so minutely described, should be given with the distinct understanding that they were not to be understood till the Saviour should come in person to explain them, and thus make them of no use as furnishing evidence of the truth of Christianity by their fulfillment. They cannot tell why, though hitherto, when in the midst of all the trying vicissitudes through which the church has been called to pass, distinct intimations have in every instance been given, of the trials about to come upon her, yet here should arise in her very bosom a most wonderful and marvelous monster, debasing and degrading her, and reaching out and blighting with its withering touch the fairest portions of earth, and for ages enveloping the world as with the pall of death; and yet not a word, nor even a hint ever given by way of warning, as to its approach! It fails to tell us how, if Antichrist be a man, as they say he is, and yet to come, how he could have showed himself eighteen hundred years ago, in Paul's day! — how he is to become guilty of the blood of saints and prophets already shed; or how, if he is to live but three and a half years, he will be able to do in so short a period all the wonderful things they ascribe to him. 31 It fails to tell us of the fate of Millennial saints, and those who shall live after that event, whether they are to be raised up, and when?- whether they are to judge or be judged, to rule or be ruled? And also what the fate of all the living, both good and bad, when the great white throne is set up, as they hold that only the wicked dead are to be the subjects of that judgment? So it fails to explain why not the righteous, but only the postmillennial wicked dead, are to be raised at the last day?; why no mention is made before of the sea giving up its dead, in previous resurrections? And if only the wicked are to be judged, why mention should be made of "the book of life"?

How different, on the other hand, the postmillennial view! How easy, how simple, how philosophic in all its parts! How consistent with itself and the rest of the word of God! Agreeing with its every teaching and doctrine, and in exact harmony with the hebdomadal idea running through the entire scheme of creation and revelation. The seventh day the Sabbath, the seventh year the sabbatic year, and the seventh, the year of jubilee; thus furnishing a reason for a Millennium of peace and rest; and pointing to, and terminating in the jubilistic rest of heaven. So the turning Satan loose again, being in exact accord with God's dealings with his people in every age, in thus leaving them to themselves after a period of success, to show them their utter weakness and dependence upon him; as Israel at Ai, Elijah in the cave, Peter at the judgment hall, and David confronted with the trying problem of the three evils.

So the present and past history of the world is in full accord with all the appointments of prophecy, thus furnishing indisputable proof of Scripture, everything showing the certain triumph of the gospel and speedy approach of the glorious time when the little stone shall become the mountain and fill the earth, and his kingdom shall extend from shore to shore- and is only awaiting the seed sowing, the accumulation of prayer, and the final outpouring of the Spirit, when the last upheaval shall take place, bringing in the final and universal establishment of the gospel kingdom, when the angel with the trumpet shall proclaim in thunder tones that the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ. As the Son of man came not in person to destroy Jerusalem, neither will he come at last to bind the tares, but commit that to his angels. His work on earth is done; the days of his humiliation ended. He will remain seated upon his heavenly throne, henceforth expecting, until his enemies become his footstool, until the kingdom is ready for him, and to the end that the Holy Ghost may receive the honor due him as one of the Adorable Trinity- reserving for himself the pomp and grandeur of his final and triumphant entry, when he shall come in the chariot of clouds, in great glory, with his angels, and bringing his saints with him, to sit upon the throne of his glory as judge of all the earth, and when the congregated millions of heaven, earth and hell shall stand before that august throne, to be judged out of the things written in the books.

We are indeed looking for him o come again, but not till Elias and his coadjutors have fully restored all things, and his messengers prepared the way before him, ` and the whole world ready to receive her king. Then, and not till then, may we look for his coming:

"Amen; even so come, Lord Jesus."


(please note that some of the Greek text in the Footnotes may not be visible in the .html format)

1. Dr. Alexander in his Stone Kingdom, following Baldwin in his Armageddon, strangely makes the little stone to mean the United States.

2. Comp. Gen. 29: 26, 27; Numb. 14: 34; Dan 9: 24, 27; Ezek. 4: 6; II Peter 3: 8. The early fathers understood "days" literally. With increased development of the truth and light, the year-day principle gradually obtained till the Reformation. The numerous fulfillments up to the present time fully establish this as the true theory of interpretation. See Elliot's Horae Apocalypicae, Vol. III., 239.

3. This has been the general view of the church since the days of Turtullian, who lived in the latter part of the second century. Says he, "What obstacle is there but the Roman State, the falling away of which, by being scattered into ten kingdoms, shall introduce antichrist upon its own ruins?" (Clark's Pub., 258.)

4. Greek not , as in other places, for the real heaven. The reader will bear this distinction in mind, as it runs through the entire book.

5. That the living creatures are the symbol of the church on earth appears: 1. Scene located in the firmament, and not real heaven, as stated above. 2. Animal nature a fit emblem of unsanctified human nature. 3. Thanksgiving commenced with living creatures, and taken up by the elders; heaven rejoices with earth. 4. Because they, together with the elders, only twenty-four in number, declared, "Thou hast redeemed us from every nation, kindred and tongue"; therefore the representative of every nation and people. 5. The symbol dropped in the closing part of the book, where real heavenly scenes are depicted.

6. Vol. 1., 1.

7. Com. in Loe.

8. Vol. I., 583.

9. Vol. II., 203.

10. That these were not Jews simply, but all God's chosen ones, will appear: (1) From the interchanging and intermingling of the tribes of the free and bond woman, and not according to primegeniture. Comp. Gen. xxix. and xxx. with Rev. vii. 5-8. (2) The restoration of the name of Levi to the list: There being a change of priesthood, also a change of law, Heb. vii. 12. See Elliott I., 236. (3) Of the new song it is said, Rev. xiv. 3, "That no man could learn that song but the 144,000, which were redeemed from the earth." Which necessarily covers all the redeemed, both Jews and Gentiles.

11. he word is spelled both with "ei" and "i", as Lateinos and Latinos. See Schleusner's Lex. But the former and less common spelling is here used, as Professor Stuart suggests, "For the very purpose of concealment." Com. in Loe.

12. Dr. Clark gives , the Latin kingdom, as the interpretation, for, says he, "No other kingdom on earth can be found to contain 666." Thus: = 8, = 30, = 1, = 300, = 10, = 50, = 8, = 2, = 1, = 200, = 10, = 30, = 5, = 10, = 1, = 666

13. I., 310.

14. Horae, Apoe. III., 151

15. For names and dates see Trial of Antichrist, n. 246.

16. Newton, Vol. II., p. 291.

17. Hor. Apoe.,

18. III., 152, 153. See also additional quotations of a similar character given by Turretine, Opus IV., 162, 163.

19. Exp. Lee. VI.

20. Princeton Review.

21. For the reasons: (1), John, the last of the apostles; Domitian, the last of the Caesars-suggestive contrast! (2). If standing in John's day, and so soon to be destroyed, unaccountable that no mention is made of it in the Apocalypse he says, "For that was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, toward the end of Domitian's reign." (Clark's Pub., II., 138.) Eusebius quotes the same in his history, p. 102.

22. This is the reason why the Papacy, rather than Mohammedanism, is emphasized as the antichrist, because within the pale of the church.

23. This date long ago fixed by Faber, Newton, Scott, Gill and others.

24. These things are done by individuals, and not by the church, we are told; then why the deceptive addendum. "For the benefit of the church?" If the Lord and his church be the beneficiaries, then of necessity they must be silent partners in every such transaction!

25. The Greek is very striking and unanswerable, . The article makes it the resurrection; and there is no preposition ex, out of, to make it mean out of, or from among the dead, so much insisted on by W.E.B. Nor yet is the word age, but, at the last day. Martha was clearly speaking of the common resurrection at the last day.

26. Premillennialists say the great tribulation is yet to come, and speak of it as the tribulation. John uses the same language. He says, "Your brother and companion ( ) in the tribulation. If yet to come, how could he be in it? Will they explain?"

27. Dr. Rutledge holds the same view (p. 566).

28. W.E.B., p. 68.

29. Piskett's Bible Hope, p. 162

30. P. 203.

31. Dr. Seiss places the coming of Antichrist, or Man of Sin, after the Parousia or rapture; and yet it is the brightness of the Parousia that is to destroy him. Thus, according to the theory, Antichrist is actually to be destroyed before he comes. What a tissue of inconsistencies! Then there can be coming without personal presence; as the coming of the Lord to punish Israel, Isa. xxvi. 21; to smite Egypt, Jer. xliii. 11; to destroy Jerusalem, Matt. xxiv.; to overthrow Sardis, Rev. iii. 3; in neither of which was there any personal presence. Two things are mentioned in 2 Thess. ii. 8 to be employed in the destruction of Antichrist: The first is the "breath of the Lord"; that is, his word, or truth; the other, the "brightness of his coming." It is not, then, his personal presence, but the brightness of his coming, in connection with his preached word, that is to destroy him. Our understanding of this passage, upon which they so much rely, is that, in connection with the preaching of his word, the very brightness of his coming, like the light that precedes the rising sun, will be so great as to overwhelm or destroy him, even in advance of his actual coming.

This article is provided as a ministry of Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill). If you have a question about this article, please email our Theological Editor.

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