THE TWO HORNED BEAST CANNOT RISE IN THE TEN KINGDOMS OF PAPAL EUROPE
The two-horned beast is "another beast" besides the ten-horned beast. It is not the first beast healed of his deadly wound; for the work of the two-horned beast is in the sight of that beast. Rev. 13:14. It would indeed be a surprising change if the ten horns were to be plucked up, and in their stead two other horns should arise. Yet such is a necessary conclusion if the two-horned beast is but another form of the first beast. Hence we conclude that the two-horned beast is another and a distinct power.
It is, however, from the time of its rise a power contemporary with the beast whose deadly wound was healed. It acts in the sight of the first beast in performing its wonders.
TIME AND MANNER OF IT'S RISE
The manner of its rise is not to be overlooked. The four beasts of Daniel, of which series John's first beast constituted the fourth, are all seen to rise out of the sea in consequence of the striving of the winds. Dan. 7:2, 3; Rev. 13:1. They arose by overturning the powers that preceded them, by means of general war. Winds denote war or strife among men, and sea or waters denote people, nations, etc. Rev. 7:1-3; 17:15.
But this power rises in a peaceful or lamb-like manner from the earth. It does not arise by the strife of the winds upon the sea, that is, by the overthrow of other nations and empires, but it arises where no other beast exists, and acts its part in the presence of its predecessors. This shows that it must arise from a new and previously unoccupied territory.
When was this power to arise?
- Not prior to the first beast, certainly. Not at the same time; for then there would be no propriety in designating either as the first beast. It is said that it shall exercise all the power of the first beast before it. Then we may look for it to come on the stage of action about the close of the first beast's dominion, at the end of the 1260 years. Again, it is to cause the world to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed, which shows that its period of action is this side of 1798.
J. Litch says:
"The two-horned beast is represented as a power existing and performing his part after the death and revival of the first beast. . . . If asked for my opinion as to what will constitute that beast with two horns, or the false prophet, I must frankly confess I do not know. I think it is a power yet to be developed or made manifest as an accomplice of the papacy in subjecting the world. It will be a power which will perform miracles, and deceive the world with them. See Rev. 19:20. "Restituation" pp 131,132
Mr. Wesley, in his notes on Rev. 13, says of the two-horned beast:
"He has not yet come, though he cannot be far off: for he is to appear at the end of the forty-two months of the first beast. "
One fact of interest may be noticed here: The course of empire, beginning with the first great empire near the garden of Eden, has been ever tending westward. Thus the seat of the Babylonian and Persian empires was in Asia. The seat of the Grecian and Roman empires was in Europe. The Roman Empire, in its divided state, as represented by the ten horns, occupies all the remaining territory west of the Atlantic Ocean. Hence, we still look westward for the rise of the power described in this prophecy.
Bishop Berkeley, in his celebrated poem on America, written before the American Revolution, foresaw the greatness of this power, and he forcibly describes its connection with its predecessors:-
" Westward the course of empire takes its way;
The first four acts already past,
A fifth shall end the drama with the day;
Time's noblest offspring is the last. "
As we have said, the two-horned beast does not arise by overthrowing its predecessors. And it is worthy of notice that the ten kingdoms of the fourth empire were all complete long before the discovery of America. The war of the Revolution was not for the purpose of overthrowing one of the ten kingdoms of the fourth empire, but it was to maintain the just rights of the American people.
This power is evidently the last one with which the people of God are connected; for the Third Angel's Message, which immediately precedes the coming of Jesus on the white cloud pertains almost entirely to the action of the two-horned beast. Compare Rev. 14:9-11 with 13:11-18. And it is a fact which ought not to be overlooked, that those powers with which the people of God are connected, are the only ones noted in prophecy.
It is also plain that the march of civilization and of Christianity, like the course of the natural sun, has ever been westward; and it is evident that the territory of this last power is to be the field of the angels' messages, the land where the crowning truths of the gospel, as it finishes its course, are to be brought out.
The rise of each of the great powers has been gradual. For a series of years they were preparing for the stations which they afterward assumed; but they begin to be represented in prophecy at the time when they are prepared to act their part. We are now to trace the rise of an empire which has come up in the sight of the first beast, - a power still further on toward the setting sun, with the history of which the great circuit of empire will be accomplished, for the boundary of the vast Pacific has been reached.
A short time before the Reformation in the days of Martin Luther, a new continent was discovered. The rise of the reformers brought out a large class who were determined to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. They desired a greater measure or civil and religious freedom; hence they with many others fled to the wilds of America, and laid the foundation of a new empire. They did not establish their power by overturning another power, but they planted themselves in an uncultivated waste, and laid the foundation of a new government. The preceding powers had arisen through the strife of the winds on the great sea; but this power arises out of the earth. That is, the first powers arose through the action of wars in overturning and subverting other nations, to be in turn overthrown and subverted by their successors; but this power appears to arise from the earth in a peaceful manner.
It comes up in the sight of the first beast like the settlement and growth of a new country.
TESTIMONIES OF THE DUBLIN NATION
The Dublin Nation thus notices the progress and the power of this republic: "In the East, there is arising a colossal centaur called the Russian Empire. With a civilized head and front, it has the sinews of a huge barbaric body. There one man's brain moves 70, 000, 000. There all the traditions of the people are of aggression and conquest in the West. There but two ranks are distinguishable, serfs and soldiers. There the map of the future includes Constantinople and Vienna as outposts of St. Petersburg.
"In the West, an opposing and still more wonderful American Empire is EMERGING. We islanders have no conception of the extraordinary events which, amid the silence of the earth, are daily adding to the power and pride of this gigantic nation. Within three years, territories more extensive than these three kingdoms, France, and Italy put together, have been quietly, and in almost `matter of course' fashion, annexed to the Union.
"In seventy years, seventeen new sovereignties, the smallest of them larger that Great Britain, have peaceably united themselves to the federation. No standing army was raised, no national debt, sunk, no great exertion was made, but there they are. And the last mail brings news of the organization of three more great States about to be joined to the thirty, Minnesota in the north-west, Deseret in the south-west, and California on the shores of the Pacific. These three States will cover an area equal to one-half the European continent.
"Nor is this a mere addition on the map. It is not piling barren Pelion upon uncultivated Ossa. It is an actual conquest of new strength and resources. Already has Minnesota its capital, St. Paul, which has its journals, churches, schools, parties, interests, and speculations. . . . Instead of becoming a lawless horde of adventurers, the settlers in California are founding cities, electing delegates, magistrates, sheriffs, and congressmen as methodically and as intently as if they trod the beaten paths of life on the Atlantic shore of the continent.
"And with this increase of territory, there is a commensurate increase of industry in the older States. The census of 1850, about to be taken in the United States will show a growth of numbers, territory, and industry entirely unexampled in human history. Let the `gray powers of the Old World' look to it; let the statesmen of France, Germany, and Russia read the census carefully, though it should startle them. Let despotism count every man of these millions as a mortal enemy, and every acre of that vast commonwealth as an inheritance of mankind mortgaged to the cause of freedom. America is as grand a field for human enterprise as when the ships of Columbus first neared the shores of Guanahani. "
The progress of our country since its first settlement has indeed been wonderful. We trace its rise onward, from the time of its first settlement by those who fled from the oppression of the fourth empire till it assumes its station among the great powers of earth, a little previous to the end of the 1260 years. Its territory has increased more than three-fold since that period, by the addition of the vast territories of Louisiana, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and California, and the extension of an undisputed title to Oregon, thus extending its dominion to the vast Pacific.
SYMBOL OF THE TWO HORNS
The youth, as well as the apparent mildness of this power, seems to be indicated by its lamb-like horns. What do these horns mean? The symbol of horns like those of a lamb is not elsewhere used in the prophetic scriptures, with the exception of those texts which represent Christ as a lamb having seven horns, etc. Rev. 5:6. The idea appears to be generally prevalent, that a horn is used only to designate civil power. This is certainly a mistake.
In "History of the Church" page 98
"The horn as an emblem of power was originally taken from beasts, such as the urus, wild ox, buffalo, or perhaps the rhinoceros, who were perceived to have so much power in their horns. Hence, a horn was frequently worn on crowns and helmets, as is evident on ancient coins; and to this day it is an appendage to the diadems of the kings and chiefs of Abyssinia. "
We may learn from those symbols, which are explained in connection with other powers, some facts that will throw light on this. The two horns of the ram in Dan. 8 denoted the union of the two powers of Media and Persia in one empire. The great horn of the Grecian goat was the symbol of the first form of that power.
The ten horns of the fourth beast denoted the ten distinct powers into which the fourth empire was divided. Dan. 7:23-25. And the little horn which came up after the ten, represented the papacy, a purely ecclesiastical power. It was a horn before the three were plucked up. See Dan. 7:8, 24. This was accomplished in 538, but the papacy did not become possessed of temporal dominion until 755.
"As a reward to the Roman pontiff, Pepin, in the year 755, conferred on Stephen, the successor of Zachary, several rich provinces in Italy, by which gift he was established as a temporal monarch. "(Bower'sHistory of the Popes," vol.2 p. 108)
A plurality of horns is not always the symbol of a power divided; for the two horns of the ram in Dan. 8 symbolize the union of Media and Persia in one government. In appearance, if we may judge from the symbols used, this beast represents the mildest power that ever rose; for in the prophetic history of the governments that have preceded this, no one has been represented by symbols so mild. We understand these horns to denote the civil and religious power of this nation, - its Republican civil power, and its Protestant ecclesiastical.
If it be objected that its civil power ought to be represented by the beast, rather than by a horn of the beast, we refer to one or two facts that will meet this point. The civil power of Grecia was represented by the great horn of the goat; and when that civil power was broken, the beast still continued to exist; and in the place of that one civil government arose four. And we may add, that when the dominion of the different beasts of Dan. 7 was taken away, their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. That is, the nations still lived, though their dominion was destroyed. Hence, we understand that the beasts denote the nations which constitute the different kingdoms, and the horns of the beast denote the civil and religious powers of the nations.
No civil power could ever compare with Republicanism in its lamb-like character. The grand principle recognized by this form of power is thus expressed: "That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. "
Hence all should have a right to participate in making the laws, and in designating who shall execute them. Was there ever a development of civil power so lamb-like before? And what, in religious matters, can be compared with Protestantism? Its leading sentiment is the distinct recognition of the right of private judgment in matters of conscience. "The Bible is the only religion of Protestants. " Was there ever in the religious world anything to equal this in its lamb-like professions?
THE DRAGON VOICE
The symbol of the beast with two horns like a lamb fitly represents this new power. Observe the combination of the lamb and the dragon. Both these symbols had been previously seen by John. There is an evident reference to them in this description of the beast with two horns. He had seen a Lamb with seven horns and a dragon with ten horns. Rev. 5:6; 12:3. The Lamb represents Jesus Christ in his office of King of kings. Rev. 17:14.
The dragon represents the Roman power animated by Satan. Rev. 12. In fact, if we omit the heads and horns which represent that empire in its several forms, we shall find that the real dragon, or serpent, is Satan himself. Rev. 20:2, 3, 7.
The kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of Satan are opposite in character. Christ's kingdom is one and indivisible; but the kingdom of Satan is full of confusion and division. For this reason the horns of the Lamb and the horns of the dragon, though alike symbolic, are by the Spirit of God interpreted very differently.
The horns of the dragon are the same as the horns of the beast to whom the dragon gave his power. They are the ten kingdoms, into which the kingdom of the dragon or beast has been divided. Rev. 17:12; Dan. 7:24. But the horns of the Lamb, who is King of kings, are the seven spirits of God. Rev. 5:6. The seven horns must therefore represent the nature of Christ's dominion as King of kings, and not that his kingdom should be divided; for his title, King of kings, indicates not one kingdom broken up into many, but rather many united in one; for the servants of Christ will be princes under him (Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:30; Rev. 20:4; 21:24); and he, as King over an undivided kingdom, will wear many crowns. Rev. 19:12.
In the symbol of the two-horned beast, the character of the horns, and not merely the number, is intended to be expressed by the words, "two horns like a lamb"; for there is nothing peculiar to a lamb with respect to the number of its horns, but there is something peculiar in the character of these horns. It is important to notice this fact; for the interpretation of the horns of a lamb in John's vision is essentially different from that of the horns of the dragon, or of the beast.
Thus the horns of the beast represent the division of his kingdom; but the horns of the lamb represent the nature of his power, and do not signify that his kingdom is to be divided. We therefore understand the two horns like those of a lamb to represent the nature of the power symbolized, and not that it should be divided into two parts.
The spirit of God, in giving us the symbol of the ten-horned beast, thought proper to place crowns upon each of those horns. But in giving us the symbol of the beast with two horns like those of a lamb, it placed no crowns upon those horns.
Now these two symbols are not only given in immediate connection, but they are joined in the same work, according to this prophecy. Rev. 13:1, 11, 12, 14; 16:13; 19:20. It cannot, therefore, be without design that crowns are placed upon the horns of the first beast, and omitted in the case of the second. We know that the horns with crowns represent kingly governments (Rev. 17:12); and we think it a necessary conclusion that these horns like those of a lamb, and without crown, represent a government in which the people bear rule.
In some form, two kinds of power everywhere exist. These are, the civil power, as seen in the State; and the spiritual power as seen in the Church. In almost every country these powers are blended together in one, and both are in the hands of the rulers, and not in those of the people. But the American Republic presents the first instance in the history of the world in which these two powers are separated, and both are reserved by the people in their own hands. It is a government by the people and for the people, and it acknowledges them as the fountain of all authority. Here we have a State without a king and a Church without a pope; and Church and State are separate. The civil power recognizes the equality of all men before the law; and the spiritual power acknowledges the right of every man to worship God according to his own convictions of what God requires. Here are the two horns like those of a lamb.
"And he spake like a dragon. " With all these lamb-like appearances, the real spirit by which he is actuated is that of the dragon, - the Devil. "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. " Matt. 12:34.
What he is to speak we may notice hereafter.
Rev. 13:14. "And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him [or in his sight, as Whiting translates it], and causeth the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. "
conclusive proof that the two-horned beast is distinct from the ten-horned
beast, and contemporary with it from the time that its deadly wound was
healed, or about the commencement of the present century. This exercise of
power will constitute the very scene of trouble and danger before us,
respecting which the third angel utters his voice of warning,
"If any man worship the beast, and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation. Rev. 14:9
The anguish of that period, when all the power of the first beast shall be exercised, may be learned from reading the history of the first beast. Rev. 13:5-7; Dan. 7:23-26.
It is certain that since the 1260 years of triumph of the first beast, no power has exercised such oppression as that which is here predicted. Hence this has not been accomplished in the past; and the prophecy clearly shows us that this dragonic work is to proceed from a government the mildest in appearance that the world ever saw, its power being represented by "horns like a lamb"; so that from a power that has presented to the world the most extraordinary spectacle of civil and religious liberty, bitter and unrelenting persecution is yet to be experienced by the church. This important fact should be carefully considered.
The lamb-like character is first to be exhibited. This is to deceive the nations. Then the dragonic character - the real character of the beast - is to appear. For as the dragon gave power to the first beast, and thus prepared the papacy for its 1260 years of persecution, so the two-horned beast gives power to the image of the first beast, to act a part like that beast in warring upon the saints.
The only civil government that has ever existed, exhibiting the lamb-like appearance of this symbol, is the United States, one of the articles of its Constitution containing these words: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. " As the lamb-like power of this beast, represented by its horns, is not in accordance with its dragonic character, as exhibited in its exercising all the power of the first beast, we think the conclusion a reasonable one, that its period of mildness and deception precedes that of its tyranny and oppression. We shall notice hereafter what this power does in causing the world to worship the first beast.
AN AGE OF WONDERS
That we are living in an age of wonders is an admitted fact. The expression is oft times repeated, "There is nothing too wonderful to happen. " The increase of knowledge in every department of the arts and sciences has indeed been without precedent in our world's history. Our own country takes the lead in all this: we see the chariots, with the speed of lightning, coursing their way through the land, and with similar speed men traverse the mighty deep.
The prophecy of Nahum is now literally fulfilled:
"The chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of His preparation, and the fir-trees shall be terribly shaken. The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall jostle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings. " Chap. 2:3, 4.
"The fire of God" (the lightning, Job 1:16; Ex. 9:23, 24) has been here brought down from heaven. Such is the wonderful power that man has obtained over the elements. And the lightning thus brought down from heaven is now made obedient to the will of man, and sent as a messenger from one end of our land to the other. God said to Job, "Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go and say unto thee, Here we are? Job. 38:35. To send the lightning seems almost an attribute to Omnipotence, if we may judge from the manner in which Jehovah speaks to his ancient servant; Yet men are now able to employ this executor of the wrath of God as their own obedient servant. It has been observed by one speaker: "If Franklin tamed the lightning, Prof. Morse taught it the English language. " And all this bids fair to be eclipsed by other and more astonishing wonders.
We do not indeed regard this as the fulfillment of the prophecy, "He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire to come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men;" but these facts are worthy of notice as marking the age in which we live.
When men in ancient times had reached that pass that there was nothing restrained from them that they imagined to do, we read that God came down and confounded them. Gen. 11:6-9. If the men of the present generation do not occupy a similar position, they certainly bid fair to do so before long. The world may indeed be deceived by the things that we have named, and many others of a like character, and be caused to believe that better days are coming, and that the earth is being prepared for the happy residence of men, and that men are becoming more virtuous and enlightened, and that thus the way is preparing for the temporal millennium.
THE SPIRITS OF DEVILS WORKING MIRACLES
But there is a class of wonders now in process of development that bids fair to present to the world the perfect fulfillment of this prophecy. We refer to that which is now called "Spiritualism, " the work of the unclean spirits in our land.
In almost every part of our land, multitudes of men of every class are now holding communion, as they suppose, with the spirits of the dead. And that they are holding communion with spirits of some kind is undeniable, for the fact of their presence is attested by astounding miracles. We think that no one can deny the facts that are brought to substantiate the work of the spirits, however they may judge of the spirits themselves.
Hon. J. W. Edmonds, judge of the Supreme Court of New York, said in 1853: "Scarcely more than four years have elapsed since the `Rochester knockings' were first known among us. Then, mediums could be counted by units, but now, by thousands; then, believers could be numbered by the hundreds, now, by tens of thousands. It is believed by the best informed that the whole number in the United States must be several hundred thousand, and that in this city [New York] and its vicinity there must be from twenty to twenty-five thousand.
There are ten or twelve newspapers and periodicals devoted to the cause, and the Spiritual library embraces more than one hundred different publications, some of which have already attained a circulation of more than ten thousand copies. Besides the undistinguished multitude, there are many men of high standing and talent ranked among them, - doctors, lawyers, and clergymen in great numbers, a Protestant bishop, the learned and reverend president of a college, judges of our higher courts, members of Congress, foreign embassadors, and ex-members of the United States Senate. "
This statement of Judge Edmonds was written about 1855. Since that time this work of the spirits has been steadily progressing, and they have now extended themselves over Great Britain, France, Germany, and many other countries. The Roman pontiff, the Queen of Spain, and the Empress of France, also the late Emperor, have all sought to these spirits for knowledge. It may be proper that we enumerate some of the many remarkable acts performed by them. Among them are the following:-
Many well-attested cases of healing; writing performed by them without the aid of any one; the transportation of things from a distance by the spirits alone; and persons carried by the spirits through the air in the presence of many others. Tables have been suspended in the air with several persons on them; beautiful music has been performed by the spirits, with and without the aid of instruments; extraordinary communications respecting distant persons and places have been many times made with complete accuracy; and the spirits have represented themselves to the natural vision of some, and talked with them in an audible voice, the persons not knowing them to be spirits until they disappeared.
THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION
The astonishing progress of these wonders should awaken serious reflection on the part of every one. If these things continue to progress as hitherto, what a scene is there before us! It is evident that these things are but the beginning of the miracles with which the world is to be deceived. That all this is the work of demons, and not of the spirits of the dead, appears from several decisive facts, as follows:-
1. As to the dead, the Bible plainly testifies that they "know not anything" (Eccl. 9:5); that they are in the grave, where there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom (verse 10); that they have laid down, and that they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep, until the heavens be no more (Job 14:12); that they praise not the Lord (Isa. 38:18, 19 Ps. 115:17; 6:5): that in the day of death the thoughts perish (Ps. 146:2-4); and that if there is no resurrection, they which have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 1 Cor. 15:18. To this we may add, that God has most solemnly forbidden necromancy, which is the pretended science of dealing with the dead. Deut. 18:11; Isa. 8:19. We may all see for a certainty that the dead cannot impart knowledge to us when they have none for themselves; and hence may understand that God warns us against seeking knowledge from that source, as we shall only expose ourselves to the delusion of the Devil.
2. The Bible clearly predicts that in the last days Satan is at work with all power, and signs, and lying wonders; that the spirits of evils are to work miracles; and that they will come in the guise of the spirits of the dead. We beg the reader to carefully compare 2 Thess. 2:9, 10 with Rev. 16:13-15 and Isa. 8:19-22. That the two-horned beast, which performs the miracles spoken of in Rev. 13, is the same as the false prophet from whose mouth one of the unclean spirits issues (chap. 16:13), we shall hereafter prove.
3. The third reason for regarding these as the spirits of devils is found in the fact that they most openly contradict the authority of the Holy Scriptures. They deny the resurrection of the dead, the second advent of Christ, the Judgment, and, indeed, all the leading doctrines of the Christian religion; they place the most profligate and wicked men, like the infidel Paine, in the highest heaven, and represent him as engaged in the same work that he so faithfully adhered to while he lived, viz. , the overthrow of the authority of the Bible; and, finally, they openly deny the inspiration of the word of God, and seek to substitute in its place their own worthless fables.
The foregoing facts are, in short, the most important reasons that prove them to be these spirits of devils, and they can be appreciated by every person who fears God and trembles at his word. We have referred to the unclean spirits as the agency by which the miracles of the two-horned beast are to be performed. As proof that we are correct in this, we refer to Rev. 16:13, where one of the three unclean spirits is represented as going out of the mouth of the false prophet to perform miracles. A comparison of Rev. 13:11-17 with 19:20, as we shall notice hereafter, proves that the two-horned beast and the false prophet are the same; hence it is certain that the unclean spirits are the agency by which the two-horned beast performs his miracles.
But these miracles are to be carried so far that fire is to be brought down from heaven upon the earth in the sight of men. In the days of Elijah, the test between Jehovah and Baal was this very thing; the god that could cause fire to come down from heaven in the sight of the assembled multitude, was the true God. Satan was not then able to perform this astonishing miracle.
1 Kings 18. But this very act, by which the true God was distinguished from the false, is now to be performed by Satan himself. This shows, as we think, that this act of the two-horned beast relates to the hour of temptation that shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Rev. 3:10, 11.
Who will be prepared to resist such miracles as this? - None but those who are especially kept by God. The multitude will inevitably be carried away by them. The truth of God, that shows all this to be the work of the Devil, will then be the only shield. Those only who have kept the word of God's patience will be kept in that time. This fearful hour of temptation, when Satan shall work with all power and signs and lying wonders, is before us, and who will stand when it shall come upon all the world? "Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. " Luke 21:36.
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