LOOKING AHEAD

Brother Ludlow P. Loomis

Vol. IV, 1912 foreword, next to last Par. says, ". . The image of the beast must yet receive life—power. It must be transformed from a mere mechanism to a living force. Protestant Federation realizes that its organization will continue to be futile unless it receives vitalization—unless its clergy, directly or indirectly shall be recognized as possessed of apostolic ordination and authority to teach. This, the prophecy indicates, will come from the two-horned beast, which we believe symbolically represents the Church of England. High-handed activities of Protestantism and Catholicism, operating in conjunction for the suppression of human liberties, await this vivifying of the image. This may come soon, but Armageddon cannot precede it, but must follow. . ."" The Church of England. . " was "not a party to the Evangelical Alliance. . "—Vol. IV., 1912 foreword, page IX.

In #Re 13:15-17 we see this vitalization of the Protestant Federation resulting in an attempt to stop our witness. The Church of England and its American counterpart, the Protestant Episcopal Church are both in the World Council of Churches, and we hear the Episcopal Church (also a member of the National Council of Churches) may merge with perhaps eight others in the near future. At what point the giving of "life" to the image takes place we may not yet be able to decide. Already the Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church has been president of the National Council and the Archbishop of Canterbury, one of the Presidents of the World Council. So far, however, our "buying" and "selling" truth is not stopped. (#Pr 23:23) It is since the Nazi-Fascist power fell that the constitution of the World Council of Churches was adopted and the Archbishop of Canterbury (Church of England) became one of its first presidents. The national Council of Churches of Christ in America never associated with Nazi-Fascism either.

The 1916 Foreword of Vol. IV says that "The Bible points out that about this time the Nominal Church systems of the world will rise to great Prominence again in connection with the Civil powers." It also says that they "will realize the necessity for keeping a dominating grip upon the public and preventing anything akin to Socialism and Anarchy. They will naturally look to the churches to support them, to help keep the Ship of State from being overturned. The churches also will be.ready and glad for such an opportunity." The paragraph also calls attention to church federation and drawing together already (in 1916).

The attempt to prevent non-conformists from teaching (#Re 13:17) may be taken to indicate the completion of the sealing work and harvest of the "wheat" (#Eze 9:3, 4, 11; #Re 7:1-4; 14:14-16). This was not the case at Bro. Russell’s death (#Re 14:13; #Heb 11:4) but will be, when the conditions in Vol. 3. page 207, par. 2 to p. 208, par. 1 are fulfilled. (see Vol. 3. 1916 foreword, p. 2. Par. 3 4; Dawn 1959 edition, p. 1, par. 3, p. II, par. 1: Reprints pages 5950-5951) The overcomers however, will continue to praise the Lord. (#Re 15:2-4) Then the "vials" (bowls) of "wrath" will be given to "seven angels" (messengers) "having the seven last plagues." (#Re 15:1. 5-7) This is pictured in #Eze 10:1, 2, 7 in the giving of the coals of fire to the man with the "inkhorn." Note the similarity of the description of the one giving these (#Eze 10:14) to that of the one giving the "vials" (bowls) to the "seven angels having the seven last plagues." (#Re 4:7) Also compare #Eze 10:3, 4 with #Re 15:8; #1Ki 8:10; -and the 2nd par. in "To Us the Scriptures Clearly Teach." Note that it was on the 7th day that Israel compassed Jerico 7 times—and it fell (#Jos 6:14, 15)—even as these plagues come during the 7th trumpet period, when Babylon falls.

Following the pouring out of the 6th plague and the drying up of the Euphrates (#Re 16:12), the kings are gathered to Armageddon. (#Re 16:13-16) Compare #Zec 14:2; also the call to the birds of prey in #Re 19:17, 18 with that in #Eze 39:17-20. The treading of the winepress (#Re 14:17-20; 19:13, 15; compare the death Jezebel—#2Ki 9:30-37; compare #Re 2:20), the defeat of the leopard-like "beast" and his associates (#Re 19:19-21), including the "false prophet," the 7th plague (cf. Rev. 18:8) with its earthquake, hail, etc. (compare Rev. 16:17-21 with #Eze 38:18-23; #Zec 14:3, 12-15; #Hag 2:6, 7; #Heb 12:26), defeating Gog and his host—world-wide revolution, going into anarchy, the "hail" of truth sweeping away "the refuge of lies" (#Isa 28:15, 17; #Ex 9:22-26), follow the smiting of Jordan, #2Ki 2:8. drying up the Euphrates (#Re 16:12), the source of mystic Babylon’s support. (See #Re 17:1, 15) Regarding Babylon’s fall, we quote Vol. 4. P. 37, par. 1 (P. 36 in one edition) "Her destruction will be sudden, violent and complete. ." like a great millstone. . cast. . into the sea. ."(# Re 18:8, 21; #Jer 51:63, 64, 42, 24-26) And yet that it was to undergo a gradual consuming process is shown by #Da 7:26," ‘. . They shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end! The papal dominion (and much of the abject reverence for ecclesiasticism in general) (Vol. 3, . P. 40) was broken at the beginning of the time of the end—1799; and, though there have been occasional signs of apparent recovery, the assurance of . . destruction is positive, and its death-struggle will be violent. First, however, she must attain more of her old time prestige. . shared with a confederated association of her daughters. Together they will be lifted up, that together they may be violently thrown down." (*#Eze 1:10 has "ox" instead of "cherub," corresponding to "calf" in #Re 14:7.) Concerning Gog’s invasion of Israel and overthrow, we also quote Vol. IV, P. 556, last par.: "After describing the coming of this army from the north quarters against Israel (regathered to Palestine ‘in the latter day,’ ‘having much goods’ and ‘dwelling peaceably’ (margin—confidently) will be suddenly, and ‘as a cloud to cover the land’ (#Eze 38:1-17), the message is, ‘Thus saith the Lord God, Art thou he of whom I have spoken in olden time by my servants, the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years, that I will bring thee against them?’ The Lord then declares his purposed destruction of the wicked host; and the description seems to indicate that it will be accomplished by an outbreak of jealousy, revolution, and anarchy amongst the various composing the great mixed army: a revolution and strife which will involve whatever may still remain of the home governments of the various peoples, and complete the universal insurrection and anarchy; the great earthquake of Rev . 16:18-21.

In May l, 1914 reprint article "Now Is Our Salvation Nearer," p. R5450-51, 205450 Bro. Russell writes, beginning next to last par. on 5450, "The chronology still seems as strong as ever to the Editor. He sees nothing to alter or amend. Nevertheless, the Editor wishes to put all. . readers on notice . . that. . it now seems unreasonable to expect during the present year all that he had anticipated. He sees no possibility that the Church Federation will reach its climax of power, and . . fall, during. . this year. And he surely looks for this to occur prior to the full ending of this Gospel Age and the glorification of the last members of the. . body of Christ. "This does not prove the chronology wrong, nor does it prove that the. times of the Gentiles do not end with this year. It may be that Gentile times will end before the ecclesiastical oligarchy attains sacerdotal power. . ."

A Scripture to Be Fulfilled

"The Lord declares (#Ps 149:5-9), ‘Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathens and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgments written. This honor have all his saints.’"( See #Ps 2:1-6) "A time may come when a part of the saints will be in glory beyond the veil, and when those on this side. . will enter into the joys of their Lord and into participation in his work. . If we interpret the statements ‘let then sing aloud upon their beds in harmony with. , similar statements elsewhere. . the expression would signify that the saints will be telling the good tidings. .—singing, presenting in melodious cadences the messages which none can learn except the 144,000. . Beds here, in harmony with usage elsewhere. .-would signify a rest of faith—. . in the midst of conditions to the contrary. This could hardly be the case if the reference be to those who have experienced the first resurrection ‘change.’ Theirs will not be a rest of faith, but an absolute entering into rest. . The two-edged sword. . would seem to imply that the saints. . are on this side of the veil, using the sword of the Spirit. . to execute vengeance. . seems to imply that these saints. . will be in authority.

"A Somewhat Similar Scripture"

". . In #Re 19:11, . . He that is called ‘faithful and True’ goes forth . . to judge and make war. The heavenly armies follow him (vs. 14), and out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, ‘that with it he should smite the nations.’—vs. 15. . We know not why this prophecy speaks of. . armies in the plural. We merely suggest that the. . army may. . be in two divisions one on this side of the veil, and the other on the other side. . "( Reprint page 5451, top half of page) From "WHAT PASTOR RUSSELL SAID", P. 386, (Question 1 (1916) which refers to Psalm 149:8, we quote, "We shall see what this judging may mean a little later on. The river Jordan means a judgments and the smiting of the Jordan may mean to put the truth in such a way as to do the judging. The Elijah will handle this sword. . We went to the Jordan in 1914. . After awhile, Elijah wrapped up his mantle, evidently referring to some special power given to the Elijah class; and he then smote the waters. . This smiting will probably affect the whole civilized world. . " From Question Book, in answer to Q. 2, p. 625 (1916) the Pastor said, ". Satan’s influence comes largely through error, and is maintained through various instrumentalities. He is being bound in proportion as the truth becomes known; for thus his liberties are restrained. . The strong man of the house must be bound before his goods can be spoiled. All the present institutions of the world are Satan’s. . arrangements. . The great time of anarchy. . will make ready for the establishment of the kingdom of Messiah. Before anarchy comes Satan must be bound. How will it come then, if he be bound? The collapse of Babylon will indicate that Satan has been quite fully bound. He is working very hard with ecclesiastical systems and false doctrines. Their collapse will mean his binding. . .

When will this be? Not right away. It is identified with the smiting of the river Jordan. . The church and the state are getting pretty well welded together. They depend upon each other, and will get pretty closely united in the time of need. . At that time one who does not go in with them will be considered an anarchist, . As the education of the people along the lines of truth increases, the people will see the truth more and more. Consequently, and eventually, there will come a division of the people and the fall of great Babylon. The people will come to see that it represents mere morality, not real Christianity. One can see this going on now in the world to some extent. . Real Christianity is not being rightly appreciated except by a few. But through the spread of the truth and the consequent division of the water, churchianity will collapse. . . The division of the people will come first, followed by the persecution of the church. Then comes the fall of Babylon, after which the great anarchy. . will come on the world."

The Angels Having the Seven Last Plagues

Who are the 7 angels "having the seven last plagues?" Their "golden girdles" indicate they are not the saints in the flesh. Their preparing the way for "the kings who are from the sun-rising" (#Re 16:12) implies that they are not the glorified saints; for if so they would be preparing their own way. Golden girdles indicate these are divinely endorsed messengers. They do not fit the volumes of "Studies in the Scriptures" in the order in which these were published. Neither do these Rev. 16 plagues correspond in order with the Egyptian plagues according to kind (3 of which correspond to the three "woe" trumpets of #Re 8:13 to 10:7; 11:14 to 19) (Compare Rev. 16; ##Ex 7:14 to 12:29) Nor does the time order of those in Egypt follow that in Psalm 105:26-36, nor that in #Ps 78:43-51. This change in the order of enumerating the plagues may indicate that the pouring out of these in Rev. 16 is not to be at the time of, nor always in the order of, the publication of the volumes "having" in them the material to be used in these plagues..We might suggest the following order of the use of this material in the pouring out of the plagues: Plague 1—Something from Vol. I, perhaps from Chap. 13 to 15, revealing the imperfections of the "Kingdoms of This World" and their replacement by "The Kingdom of God" during this "Day of Jehovah" would have the effect of "a malignant ulcer (Rev. 16: 2, Diag.) on sectarians who think they have succeeded in establishing God’s kingdom themselves. Plague 2:—Vol. IV, Chap. 7, for instance-"The Preparation of the Elements"—should appeal to the more radical of the restless "sea class" separating them from the more conservative, as the rapidly putrefying clot is divided from the serum in a dead man’s blood. Plague 3—Vol. III, Chap. 6, "The Work of the Harvest," shows the faults in the organization and teachings of the sects—the channels (" rivers") and sources ("fountains of waters") of their false "water of life." Compare Rev. 16:5-7 with #Jer 8:14, quoted on p. 158: "The Lord hath. . given us bitter poison water to drink" (Rev. 16:6—"blood to drink"). Plague 4-Vol. 5 setting forth the true gospel sunlight, as in Chap. 12 to 15—"Man the Subject," "Life and Immortality," "Its Necessity, the Curse," and "A Ransom for All" would "scorch" those who teach "another gospel," or cause their discredited creeds to scorch them. Plague 5—Vol. II, Chap. 9—"The Man of Sin" would darken the counterfeit kingdom of the leopard-like "beast" or reveal its "darkness." Plague 6—Vol. VI, Chap. 5—"Organization of the New Creation"—contrasts sectarianism with the true church.

See p. 202, last par. Or "Tithes and Collections," p. 285 to 289. This should "dry up" Babylon’s support. (#Re 16:12; compare #2Ki 2:8; #Re 17:1. 15.) It is one of these 7 angels, probably Vol. II, that reveals the woman of Rev. 17 to the "John" class, who tarried till Jesus’ return. (Cf. #Joh 21:22; Rev. 1:9. 10) This furnishes the time setting of Rev. 17. At the time the John class sees her, "five" of the heads of the beast "are fallen." (Rev. 17:9, 10) These "mountains".. or kingdoms, had supported, or been ruled over by the "woman" (Roman church). If we understand the 6th to be the Italian head, beginning in 1870, the 7th may be the Fascists, or the Nazis, or both. Its period was indeed "short" when compared with the long rule of the Holy Roman Empire.

The "Roman ‘beast’ (people), which had "supported" the woman (Vol. II, p. 354) is the "eighth." (#Re 17:11) It comes out of the "abyss" condition (into which Satan is cast in #Re 20:1-3). It is a government that "was," and "is not," at the time the John class sees Babylon—a government of the people who have been under the "seven heads" (Rev. 17:3) on which the woman sat—which rises from the "abyss" and goes into destruction, (Rev. 17:11) "The ten horns" give their kingdom unto the beasts until the word of God shall be fulfilled" (vs. 17)—apparently till they "and the beast" "burn" the "woman." (vs. 16).

It is evident that the scarlet beast therefore cannot be papacy, even though she was supported by, and for centuries united to its heads. Note the distinction between this "scarlet colored beast" and the leopard-like "beast" of Rev. 13, which is papacy. (Vol. IV, 1912 foreword) It causes the world to wonder. (#Re 17:8) There is no reference to Rev. 17 on page 277 of Vol. II to support the comment "Papacy." The comment overlooks the explanation "Roman ‘beast’ (people)" on page 354 (in the same chapter in Vol. II). Nor did the Nazi-Fascists "burn" the "woman." She still exists. #Re 17:16 definitely distinguished between the scarlet beast and the woman (Church), saying "And the ten horns which thou sawest and the beast these shall hate the whore," etc. Papacy does not "hate" the church. See Diaglott, Rotherham, Weymouth, Tischendorf, English and American Revised Versions, Nestle, Englishman’s Greek New Testament, Griesbach, Scholz, Lachraann, Tregelles, Alford, Wordsworth, the Revised Standard Version the New English Bible, Moffatt and Phillips.

"The ten horns. . receive power" (Greek, ‘exousian," "authority," Diaglott and Young’s Concordance) "one hour" (accusative case, denoting duration of time—see Sec. 279, 6. Kuhner’s Greek Grammar) "with the beast." (#Re 17:12) This would be when the beast becomes the eighth "king" of vs. 11—future from the time when "Five are fallen." (vs. 10) To say that the time when the ten horns receive power is any than that when "five are fallen" (#Re 17:10) would make confusion of the time order in the angel’s explanation. If it be objected that the ten horns and the beast (the 8th king of vs. 12) could not receive authority after the end of the Gentile times, we must bear in mind that the heads were on the beast when John saw it and that these ten horns, which had not received a kingdom "as yet" are given "authority" with the beast before receiving the kingdom. ("as yet" appears in Sinaitic Ms. as well as in King James Version.) The "one hour" of their authority is apparently "the hour of temptation" (Rev. 3:10). "the hour of His Judgment" (#Re 14:7). and the "one hour" of Babylon’s overthrow. (Rev. 18:10, 17, 19) in the overlapping of the Gospel and Millennial Ages. (Compare also "Manna," Dec. 3.) Thus the "authority" (of "privilege," Young’s and Strong’s concordances) could be given before 1914, though their occupation be later. The overthrow of the old order is a gradual process. The last sentence in Question Book, page 627, reads: "about the vials of wrath: I have not read the seventh volume of Studies in the Scriptures, and therefore have nothing to say about that." (1916 answer to "Are the vials of wrath of Rev. 16 now being poured Out?.")."the Plagues of #Re 13:4" The plagues referred to as coming upon Babylon "in one day" are "death and mourning and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with (Greek, ‘in’) fire. (#Re 18:8; cf. #Re 17:16) It is true that probably all who were consecrated in 1878 have since died—before Babylon’s complete destruction. Had the entire 144,000 proved worthy by 1914 her sudden end could have come by 1915 and the unfaithful could have shared in her plagues then. (#Re 7:1-3) A similar warning to Rev. 18:4 is given in Matt, 24:15-21 to those seeing "the abomination of desolation" before the Millennial "sabbath" ‘Nor are any of the foolish virgins who "went forth to meet the Bridegroom" (#Mt 25:1) in 1844., still living, There are, however, some like them. Likewise the "tares" shown in the early part of the age not on hand now to be burned. (#Mt 13:24, 25, 30, 38-40) The call, "Come out of her" (#Re 18:4), is still appropriate to any who find themselves overtaken by some new extension of Babylon, too.

Se. also Vol. IV, pages 615 to 646. The blessing of the water of life is pictured in #Zec 14:4-8; #Eze 47:1-12; #Re 22:1-5, 17; Vol. IV, chapter 14, beginning on page 647.

It is true that failure to recognize fulfillments leaves one in a measure of darkness as in the case of not recognizing the "smiting of the nations." (#Da 2:44; Reprints 5916, last 2 par.—July 1. 1916), though far more serious is that in #Lu 19:41-44.

It is true also that reckoning as already fulfilled that which in future may leave us unprepared to recognize its approach, or to see a fulfillment. Take for example that in Vol. III, page 25: "And so confident have some prophetic students of the past felt that this central item has already been fulfilled, that in our English Bibles, common version, the marginal reference reads—’Fulfilled 171 to 168 B, C, ...#Da 11:31. The claim is that this was fulfilled by Antioch Epiphanes, a Syrian king. .

This seeming fulfillment. . is sufficient to satisfy the general student, contented to believe what he is told; and it causes him to lose interest in the prophecy an one fulfilled in the far past and of no special interest to him. . ."