A FEW OBSERVATIONS ON PROPHECY
Br. Ted Smith
Very early in his ministry, our Pastor expressed himself on the "Image of the Beast" and on the statement in ## Re 13:15 that the Two-Horned beast would have power to "give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."
In the year 1882, January and February issue of the Tower, there was an article entitled THE BEAST AND HIS IMAGE. This is found on reprint page 318. The interpretation was that the "Two-horned Beast" would represent the kingdom of England and Ireland. (Page 320, col. 2, par. 6 and 7) Speaking "as a dragon" would apply to the "Two-horned Beast" in the sense that this Beast had powerful civil authority and exercised that authority in the same manner as the dragon before it. And "exercising all the power of the first beast before him," would mean that it claimed similar power and exercised that power while the first Beast was exercising its own power. In other words they existed contemporaneously.
By adopting the same errors of religious belief held by Papacy, the Two-horned Beast honored Papacy and the effect was that the first Beast "was worshipped"(the Beast "whose deadly wound was healed"). If the beliefs of the first Beast had been rejected and repudiated, then it would not be true that the Two-horned Beast "caused the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first Beast, whose deadly would was healed." The "doing of great wonders" (V. 13) would signify that the Two-horned Beast made the same claims as the first Beast—for example, to be able to change the literal bread and the literal wine into the flesh and blood of Christ—a miracle (?) indeed as far as the people were concerned who accepted the religious beliefs of the new Beast.
The particular feature of Chapter 13 that attracted the special attention of our Pastor was the thought that the Two-horned Beast would say to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an Image to the Beast; and also that the Two-horned Beast would have power to give life to the Image of the Beast so that it would both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the Image of the Beast should be killed. Also the Image of the Beast would cause all "both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads; and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast or the number of his name."
The saying of the Two-horned Beast, to those on the earth, that they should make an Image of the first Beast, is calling attention to the example of the first Beast—that the Image of the Beast should form a similar religious arrangement to force others to conform to the dictates and power of the Image. The Two-horned Beast itself, had this power in that it claimed Apostolic Succession for their ministers, and none would be allowed to speak unless ordained by the religious organization of the Two-horned Beast. This power was possessed by the first Beast, with the ten horns and seven heads; and it used this power to compel obedience to its teachings and demands. The "laying on of hands" was supposed to authorize those so ordained to have power to understand and speak, and those not so ordained were not recognized as religious teachers or leaders and were shunned and rejected and severely treated.
Apostolic succession was claimed by the first Beast; and the Two-horned Beast likewise made this claim when Henry the VIII separated from the first Beast and started his own Two-horned Beast and claimed to be the head of the Church of England and Ireland. This was a mighty power to wield over religious people
The first action to begin the Image of the Beast was taken in 1846. We draw on the information found on reprint page 321. It seems that "From the year 1800 to 1846 was a time in which great numbers of new sects arose, whereas before that they were few and prominent. This gave rise to uneasiness among the various older denominations, who wondered whereunto this thing would lead. As the Bible came to be read more and more by the masses, occasional individuals would feel free to preach what they thought it taught, regardless of denominational creeds and the views of the older sects. As a consequence Protestants were fast splitting into fragments. They began to say, By what means shall we check and stop this disposition to individual thought and opinion relative to the teachings of Scripture? . .."( 321-9)
"The question came—How can we restrain these preachers? This was a quandary to all except the Roman and Episcopal Churches, since these both claimed the ‘Apostolic Succession,’ and that this by ordination, conferred upon their ministers special power and authority to preach and to administer the ‘Sacraments’; hence that no others had a right to do so, but were clerical pretenders. Other denominations could not claim this continual apostolic power through their preachers, but simply set them apart by prayer, consequently those of one denomination could not object, that the preachers of other denominations, as well as all laymen, were not as truly authorized of God to expound the Scriptures as their own clergy." (321:2-1)
"But the example of the church of England showed what a prestige she had by reason of the voice of authority with which she commanded a reverence for her clergy and her teachings. This teaching by example was not lost. The various denominations felt a necessity for some common STANDARD OF DOCTRINE which would be supported and upheld by all of them, and thus give prestige to their teachings, and bring the combined influence of all AGAINST ANY FURTHER ADVANCE IN KNOWLEDGE or the development of any different phase of TRUTH. Thus they would protect themselves by being able to say—The combined opinion of all Protestants is against you; therefore you are HERETICS, and therefore we will shun you, and not call you brethren, but use all our influence against you." (321:2-2)
"This was done by the formation in 1846, of the ‘Evangelical Alliance.’ It was stated to be one of the objects of the Alliance (and we believe the principal one) to ‘Promote between the different EVANGELICAL denominations as effective cooperation in the efforts to REPEL COMMON ENEMIES AND DANGERS.’"( 321:2-3)
"B. I do not understand you to oppose the Christians represented in that alliance, but their attempt to muzzle truth, and to prevent the opening up of any other truths buried by Papacy, than those which they had received." (321:2-4)
"A. Quite right, it is far from my wish to say they purposely combined against the unfolding of truth, nor would I say this of Papists. But I do say, that by their action they were following Papacy’s tactics, and that in that Alliance they did make, the—IMAGE OF THE BEAST." (321 :2-5)
"And they have been in great measure successful. Very few denominations have sprung up since that Alliance put its measuring line upon men’s minds, to decide what was, and what was not Evangelical, regardless of whether it be Scriptural or not. It has tended to make a separation clear and distinct between Clergy and Laity, as though they were of different races." (321:2-6)
"How much the IMAGE resembles the Papal BEAST may be judged from the fact that Papacy acknowledged the image—owned it as a creditable likeness—by the Pope’s sending ‘GREETINGS’ to the last meeting of the ‘Evangelical Alliance’—1879. . ."( 321:2-7)
"A prominent characteristic of the BEAST copied by the Image is the honoring of the special class, the clergy, with special honors and titles. They are known as Revs., Divines, etc., but Jesus THE son of God said: ‘Ye call me Lord and Master, and ye say well, for so I am.’ ‘Be not ye called Rabbi, neither be ye called Master, for one is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren’ (# Mt 23:8). These titles are assumptions fashioned after those of Papacy." (321:2-8)
"And it was given him (the Two-horned Beast) to give life to the Image of the Beast." V. 15. (322-3)
"To many minds, even among the clergy, there was a veneration for that ceremony, which neither Papacy nor the English Church was averse to promoting." (322-5)
"In the introduction of Methodism in the United States much difficulty was experienced because of Mr. John Wesley’s superstition on this subject. He would not sanction the giving of the ‘Sacrament’ by any except those ordained by the holy hands of an Episcopal Bishop. Thus up to 1784, Methodists could only partake of the Sacraments from Episcopal ministers (ordained). The independence war tended to make the Methodist preachers independent, and the expediency of taking the authority was discussed. John Wesley heard of this, and applied to the English Church to have at least one Methodist minister ordained for the American Church. Finally, in despair, he did the best he knew how to patch up an ‘apostolic succession.’ He with two other ministers (none of them bishops) ordained Thomas Coke to the office of Bishop, and from this sprang the office of Bishop in the M. E. Church." (322-6)
"I relate this only to show the superstition of even so great and good men as the Wesleys, on this subject." (322-7)
"Now, none of these allied sects had the succession except the Episcopal, and its recognition of the Alliance (Image) gave it vitality—breath—authority. ‘That the Image of the Beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the IMAGE OF THE BEAST, should be killed"‘ (322-8)
It is interesting here to note the Pastor’s view as expressed in the above paragraph; for in articles of a later date he expressed himself differently. In the paragraph above he seemed to think that the Image was given breath, vitality by the recognition of the Alliance by the Episcopal church; while later he said he was looking for the giving of vitality by the imparting of the power of apostolic succession to the Image from the Episcopal church. He also expressed the thought that the "giving of breath" might be accomplished by something else short of "apostolic succession." More on this at the appropriate places.
"The worship and the killing are symbolic as well as the Image, and this signifies that all who will not bow to the decrees of the Evangelical Alliance shall be esteemed as heretics, shunned and cast out by all who are ORTHODOX, (?) i.e. all who worship its decrees and agree to believe neither more nor less than is stated in its nine articles of creed. Now the various sects have a sort of backing in this organization, and each may act as the mouthpiece of the Image, in denouncing as heresy all matter not included in this general creed, and in cutting off or ecclesiastically beheading of those who differ. (See ## Re 20:4)
Now we would like to consider a few expressions of a later date. The following is a good sample of the Pastor’s reasonings in 1904. It is found in the first paragraph on reprint page 3390: ". . We have already pointed out that the ‘symbolic image of the beast’ began 1846. (See Millennial Dawn, Vol. III, page 119) We are now anxiously looking for the vitalizing of that image as foretold in ## Re 13:15. Our expectation is that this causing of the image to have life, speech and power will have its fulfillment in some pact or union or agreement amongst so-called Protestant denominations, with a sympathetic alliance and cooperation with the church of Rome. Our expectation is that the spark of life to the organic union begun in the Evangelical Alliance will come from the Episcopal church, which claims divine authority through apostolic succession—a claim which other Protestant denominations would be glad to be able to make. . ."
In the Jan. 1, 1906 Tower we have a further development of thought or broadening of thought. Here is how it reads: "Now, a new suggestion is offered by Canon Henson of Westminster Abbey, namely, that an easier and a more popular course would be for the Government to recognize all Christian denominations (with certain limitations, possibly), putting all on a parity with the Episcopal church. His suggestion is that this would be a practical union, and he favors it as a possibility. He says in a lengthy article:
"‘ Clear the fiction of Apostolic Succession out of the way and Establishment will be no barrier to reunion. Leave that fiction paramount in the minds of the English clergy, and disestablishment will only give freer play to the intolerance it inevitably generates. The deeper forces of our time are not moving in the direction of that severe individualism which would reduce the action and responsibility of the state to the lowest measures; rather we move toward a larger view of state action and state responsibility.’"( 3697:2-6, 7)
We omit a paragraph of Canon Henson’s suggestions and go on to Brother Russell’s comment, first paragraph at the top of reprint page 3698, "Can it be that thus the two-horned beast (Great Britain) may give ‘life,’ energy, the effect of Apostolic succession, to the Protestant ‘image of the (Roman) beast’? (## Re 13:15) A very few years will demonstrate; but this appears to us a very likely course of fulfillment."
Two and a half years later, July 1, 1908 we find this observation: "Many of our readers know that for years we have been waiting for a fulfillment of the symbolic statement about the two-horned beast of # Re 13:15. Our expectation has been that the church of England, represented in the two-horned beast, would give life to the Protestant Image of Papacy, viz., the Protestant Evangelical Alliance. Just what we have been waiting for may yet occur—Episcopal ordination may be granted to the ‘clergy’ of other denominations; but possibly the action of the Episcopal House of Bishops. some months ago is all that we should expect. By opening Episcopal pulpits to other Orthodox Protestant ministers it tacitly acknowledged their ordination and thus gave them sanction, acknowledgment, validity-life. This, at least, is the view taken by some of their own ‘clergy,’ as the following will show:—
‘FOUR EPISCOPAL MINISTERS QUIT AND DENOUNCE THE OPEN PULPIT "Dramatic scenes marked the departure of the Rev. William McGarvet and his three assistants from St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal church, Philadelphia. The four clergymen of the church decided they could no longer remain in the Episcopal church when the ‘open pulpit’ canon was adopted." (4196-9 and 10)
Nov. 15, 1913 another article appeared, very clear in its statements. This is found on reprint page 5349. We begin our quote from the first column under the subheading entitled THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST: "Revelation, 13th chapter, we interpreted in The Watch Tower as far back as 1880. We there suggested that in symbolic language a beast represents a government—that the ten-horned beast represented the Papal government, which for a time ruled over all Europe, then the Roman Empire. Although Papacy has no such political influence now, it still claims that it has the right, or authority, to rule all nations, as the representative or vice-gerent of Messiah.
"We pointed out the two-horned beast as represented in the church-nation of Great Britain and Ireland; for it also is a government which combines Christianity and civil power. The bishops sit in Parliament and the king is officially the head of the church of England. The symbol tells us that as an ecclesiastical power this is a harmless one, ‘its two horns being like those of a lamb’—not intended to do injury. ‘But it spake as a dragon.’ The dragon represents purely civil power and the government of Great Britain, though nominally religious, speaks, or governs as a dragon, or purely civil power.
"We call attention to the fact that ‘the Image of the (Papal) beast’ was formed in 1846 A. D. In that year the Protestant denominations, especially in the United States, allied themselves as the ‘Evangelical Alliance.’ Their alliance ostensibly was for peace and harmony and noble objects of cooperation; but really the organization would appear to have been intended as an attempt to give dignity and authority to all of the various Protestant sects, and as far as possible to hinder the formation of any new sects by excluding them as unorthodox.
"The alliance endeavored to establish a standard of orthodoxy and to give a mutual support and backing to all the different creeds identified with it—Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc. This attempted authority, or power, constituted it an image of the Papal beast, or government. They saw the power of the Papal argument, that it is the church, and that all others are heretical. So the Evangelical Alliance undertakes to say for its constituent members of all denominations: ‘All these are orthodox; all others are heretical.’ In this sense it was a copy, or image, of the Papal institution. It has been merely an image without life or power for more than sixty years.
"However, the Lord’s symbolic prophecy, which we are now considering (Revelation 13) tells us that in the close of this age the image will receive life, vitality, energy, power. no longer will it stand as a mere image. It will become as active as the beast. Moreover, it will not be antagonistic to the beast, but sympathetic, and cause that all shall either worship the beast or the image—all must be in harmony either with Catholicism, or with the Protestant system, of which the Evangelical Alliance was the primary organization or Image. The Protestant Church Federation will be the outcome as soon as it receives the vitalizing breath.
"AN IMPORTANT STEP TOWARD FEDERATION"
"The vitality of the Image is to come from the two-horned beast; that is, the church of England. We have been waiting for this consummation more than thirty years, and have seen it, draw nearer and nearer. A few years ago the Episcopal church took an important step toward vitalizing the Church Federation movement, which it is favoring and backing. That important step was the recognition of the ministers of the denominations represented in the Evangelical Alliance. Previously no minister not ordained by the laying on of hands of a Catholic or an Episcopalian bishop was allowed to preach from an Episcopalian pulpit.
"Perhaps this recognition of the Image is all the vitalization the image needs, but we are inclined to expect more. For years the Episcopalians have proffered re-ordination to the ministers of the different denominations represented in the Evangelical Alliance. And they still proffer it. We have been inclined to expect that the ministers would finally concede the point and accept a re-ordination at the hands of an Episcopal bishop. But we are not sure of this. It is possible that, to meet the requirements of the case, some other way will be found by which the Episcopal church will recognize the Church Federation without obligating the ministers to be re-ordained. We are waiting for this.
"As we understand this chapter of Revelation, the Image, as soon as vitalized, will very promptly use its influence, prestige, power, in every way to ‘make fire come down from heaven’ (## Re 13:13): that is, to punish in the name of the Lord, those who in any sense of the word it shall consider to be its opponents. Speedily none will be allowed to buy or sell, in the spiritual marts, except those who have either the mark or the number of the beast, or of the image, either in the right hand of cooperation or in the forehead of public confession.
"This will mean that our movement and all others not in affiliation with the Alliance will be subjected to radically coercive measures. Truth shall fall in the streets. Righteousness will be unable to enter under the stress of the new order of things. For a time it will appear as though a great Christian victory had been won, shared equally by Papacy and federated—Protestantism—no longer protesting. Already we see these two divisions of the heavens rolling together, approaching one another, sympathizing with each other—rolling together for mutual protection.
"But the triumph of that new order of things will be short. The masses of the people, no longer ignorantly stupid as during the dark ages, will awaken to the true situation, and will execute upon Babylon the Great—already repudiated by the Lord—the judgment foretold. She shall be cast like a great millstone into the sea, never to rise again. The sea represents the masses of the people, especially a restless opposition class. The two-horned beast apparently loses its personality when it gives life to the image by becoming a member of the federation.
"THE PRESENT OUTLOOK
(Two paragraphs omitted)
"Let us make the matter clear. According to the old, but erroneous, thought handed down for centuries, the bishops of the church of England and of the church of Rome are ‘apostolic bishops’ or successors to the apostles, according to the old theory of apostolic succession. According to that same theory, no one on earth has one particle of right to teach and to preach, except as those ‘apostolic bishops’ shall grant their permission by laying on their hands.
"According to this rule, then, Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians and all such are preaching without authority. When they talk about ordination, they merely mean that each sect ordains its own ministers. The Alliance is attempting to get around this difficulty and to have the sects recognize each other’s ordination. The Federation is building upon this general recognition of orthodoxy, and is about, in some manner, to be given life, virility, power, dignity, by something which the church of England will do for them which will recognize their ordination as ministers.
"We may be sure that they will make the road to the preaching and teaching of the Gospel a very narrow one to all attempting to preach without their recognition and ordination. These will be trying times upon us and upon all who will refuse to worship the beast and his image, or to receive the mark of the beast upon the forehead or upon the hand, —# Re 13:15-17."
We skip now to the first paragraph on page 5350: "The Episcopal church conference has just passed an amendment to the church constitution, providing for the choice of one of their number to be presiding bishop-much the same as the archbishop’s office in the church of England. After some sharp discussion they also authorized their Mission Board to cooperate with mission boards of other Christian bodies. Some bishops objected that this would violate their ‘priestly vows,’ but they were outvoted. This cooperation with other Protestants, in conjunction with the action previously taken permitting other Protestant ministers to participate on invitation in Episcopal church services, is practically a recognition of the Evangelical Alliance or church federation. How much more may be necessary to give life and power to the image we must wait and see."
In the 1910 convention report, page 15, par; 1 to 3 are some interesting remarks by our Pastor. He delivered a sermon to the public in Brooklyn Tabernacle on the subject of "CHURCH FEDERATION—The Cost of Church Federation to Episcopalians, Lutherans and Catholics." Here is how they read: "Episcopalians and Catholics each claim to represent the original apostolic Church. They each claim (through their bishops in the laying on of hands) apostolic authority. Their common claim is that all other denominations of Christians whatsoever are false churches without Divine authority. Accordingly no minister of another denomination would be permitted to preach either in a Catholic or an Episcopalian pulpit. From the standpoint of these denominations all others are heretics; but, they say, not willingly so, but ignorantly so.
"Here note the fact that a cleavage is in process amongst Episcopalians. A minority, termed high churchmen, are gradually separating Rome-ward, while the majority are sharing the sentiments of other Protestants, to the effect that the matter of ‘apostolic succession’ is probably less important than their forefathers supposed.
"The Scriptures plainly foretell the perfecting of Church Federation, indicating that it will include Episcopalians, but will not include Catholics, excepting for the cooperation along various lines—especially in the manipulation of social and political influences."
Believing the Scriptures to teach that there will be "a new heavens and a new earth," and that the old heavens and the old earth will pass away with a great noise (# 2Pe 3:10), we must conclude that conditions will shape up in such a way that the old heavens will pass away in a time of violence. This conclusion is inescapable from the symbolic language of # 2Pe 3:10, 11, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things SHALL BE DISSOLVED, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness."
In view of all this, it is reasonable to conclude that our Pastor has read the prophecies correctly. We do know that there is great fear on the part of the present heavens and the present earth because of the intense unrest that is world-wide. For mutual protection the two parts of the heavens will roll together as a scroll (## Re 6:14). One part of the scroll will be Catholic and the other part of the scroll will be Federated Protestants. And when the Image of the Beast is attempting to rule with a high hand (supported by the conservative element of society and those to the far right), what will happen? As the Pastor remarked (reprint page 5349, col. 2, par. 3): "But the triumph of that new order of things will be short. The masses of the people, no longer ignorantly stupid as during the dark ages, will awaken to the true situation, and will execute upon Babylon the Great—already repudiated by the Lord-the judgment foretold. She shall be cast like a great millstone into the sea, never to rise again. The sea represents the masses of the people, especially a restless opposition class. . ."
We note again the words of Peter, ". . . the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat." Does not this suggest violence of great intensity? What could goad the restless masses to such violence? Would it not be an attempt of religious elements in conjunction with civil power, to force conformity to their dictates? May it not be reasonably expected that this terrible episode will take place here in the United States, because here we have two extremes in our society—an intensely conservative element, AND a restless element. Both sides are determined to maintain their positions and attitudes, and a violent clash would seem to be inevitable. We have only to scan the newspapers to find expressions from the two extremes of our society. Governor Wallace is an example of the extreme right; and restless youth today are an example of the opposite extreme. "Law and order" is the cry of the conservative element. Down with the establishment" is the cry of the restless element. No compromise is possible. Responsible statesmen have’ been sounding the warnings for decades; but no one is great enough or powerful enough to stem the tide. (See footnote P. 12)
Bitterness, resentment and hatred are marked characteristics of both extremes in our society. We marvel at the aptitude of the picture at the bottom of page 94 of the Photo Drama book—blind Samson representing Anarchy. Also the picture in the middle of the same page—Battle of Armageddon—the two extremes of society can be clearly seen. The actions of the Image of the Beast when fully vitalized could very well be the final spark that will ignite the fire that will cause the "elements to MELT with fervent heat." The present heavens and the present earth are going to melt; something will cause the melting. And melting means a loss of shape ending up in an unrecognizable blob.
There are two other elements that join in the chorus of "Down with the Establishment." There is a large segment of our society that is resentful because of the Vietnam war; and there is a large segment made up of Minority Groups. Both of these elements have lost respect for those who have in their hands the reins of government. This reminds us of a form letter received through the mail, signed by Paul N. McCloskey, Jr., a member of the house of representatives, 11th District of California. On page 3, par. 3, Mr. McCloskey wrote, "We are fast losing our most valuable source of strength—our faith in government—. . . " And on page 1 of the same letter, par. 3 are these words, "First, I think restoration of faith in the American system of government must be our main goal today. Our young people are losing faith rapidly; so are many of the rest of us." The use of the word restoration" suggests that faith in government has been lost by many, and this spells trouble eventually.
Over the years we have been in the habit of saving clippings of interest to us as watching" Christians. In the New York Times Book Review (my clipping #1377), dated Sunday, Dec. 31, 1961 we found several book reports. One was concerning H.A.L. Rice’s book entitled THE BRIDGE BUILDERS: "consisting of biographical portraits of nine prominent English churchmen from the sixteen-century Archbishop Thomas Cranmen to the twentieth-century Bishop Charles Gore, reveals the course of English religious history since the Anglican Church separated from Rome four centuries ago. These well-written profiles are not only good reading in themselves, but taken together they do much to justify the author’s view of the English Church as, in one sense, a ‘bridge church’ in the Catholic-Protestant controversy." (Underscoring ours.) This is confirmatory of our Pastor a correct reading of the prophecies.
We would like to draw on information related in Brother Eugene Burn’s discourse entitled THE SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN IN HEAVEN (NOMINAL HEAVEN). In our list of discourses and papers this is item #6. This information has to do with a further development of the giving of life by the Two-horned Beast to the Image. And this is right up to date. We quote from page 5 of Brother Burn’s discourse, par. 2 as follows: "Since 1910, some 69 Protestant denominations have been involved in 22 mergers, and informal merger meetings are presently recurring. But the mergers are in themselves not a means of attaining goals of unity and strength. More important than mergers of Church groups, has been the World Federation of Churches, that seeks cooperation between different Church groups and is now succeeding to have large and impressive membership. These are different from mergers in that the Churches need not agree religiously and they may still maintain their identity but they unite for common cause. The Evangelical Alliance started in 1846, but nothing much came of it. The World Council of Churches was first organized in 1948 at Amsterdam. It really was the fulfillment of what the Evangelical Alliance started out to be. The Archbishop of Canterbury was the presiding Bishop at this council. This was significant because the Church of England had never recognized the ordination of other religious groups. But their presence and support of this world organization meant that they were ready to recognize the ordination of other groups. In 1954 the World Council met at Evanston and than again in 1961 in India. Gradually membership has grown. When the Eastern Orthodox Church joined, it jumped into bigness. The reason for the Eastern Orthodox Church entering was the position of that Church. It was headquartered in Greece outside the Communist world, but the vast majority of its adherents were behind the Iron Curtain. It was a head without a body. It needed a source of strength and supply outside of its sphere of influence. Dr. Eugene Carson Blake is now the President of the World Council of Churches. He is a dynamic leader and man of action. He will bear watching. There have already been arguments for Church union. But spiritual reasons never brought about unity. What brings the efforts toward unity is this: the Christian Church today lives in a hostile world. They are beset by powerful forces of materialism. Also, less than one third of the world’s population is Christian. The Church leaders must Venture from their temples and participate, in the world. It must be the answer to the big social, political and cultural questions of the age, says Dr. Alexander Schmemann, professor of Church history at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Church.
We quote again from Brother Burns discourse (page 7, par. 1) as follows:
"In Revelation we are told how the two-horned beast of England and Ireland that causes them that dwell on the earth to make an image of the Papal beast. Here again we see the Protestant beast is earth-centered. The church of England initiated the World Federation of Churches. We all saw this last March as Archbishop Ramsey met officially with the Pope and began to rebuild the bridge between Canterbury and the Vatican. The churches are at a time and place when they are ready to lay aside their personal animosities for the common cause. The Church of England and Ireland is said to give life to the image of the Beast, and perhaps we shall in the days to come see a further fulfillment of the vitalizing of the image. When this occurs we may look for the Protestant World to close down upon our liberties for a season. With the Pope and Canterbury making peace, and with the dynamic leadership of Eugene Carson Blake at the head of the World Council of Churches, we may witness more activity and life in the image of the Beast. His first ambition is to unite his own Presbyterians with the Methodists, Episcopalians, and three other denominations in a vast Protestant super-church. He claims little knowledge of theology and could not care less about theology. He is an ‘organization man’ and we therefore may expect more Protestant organization with power."
And so events march on and we watch with thrilled hearts and minds and see the connections between the "signs of the times" and prophecy. It. is taking a long time for the Evangelical Alliance to fully mature into something big and powerful; and the signs are quite compelling that the Two-horned Beast is in a mood favorable to recognition and cooperation with large Protestant church combinations. The restless elements of society are in an angry mood, and the conservative elements must muster their most efficient weapons and powers to try to stay in control.
While in the process of preparing this study on prophecy, we received a letter and several pages of quotes from Brother Loomis (unsolicited by us). And as the quotes are apropos to our subject, we shall use a number of them—with Brother Loomis’ permission we feel sure.
The first quote is from Volume Four, 1916 Foreword, page iii, par. 1: "The Bible points out that. . . the Nominal Church systems of the world will rise to great prominence again in connection with the civil powers. . . They will naturally look to the . . . Churches to support them. and. . . to help keep the Ship of State from being overturned. The Churches also will be ready and glad for such an opportunity. . . the one side, Catholic, the other Protestant. . . each. . . united and federated to the best of its ability."
Again from Volume Four (1897), page 37: "Upon the prophetic page we may clearly read the doom of Babylon, Christendom; and it is none the less clearly expressed in the signs of the times. That her destruction will be sudden, violent and complete is thus forcibly stated:—’And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence shall Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all."‘ (## Re 18:8, 21; # Jer 51:63, 64, 42, 24-26). though the. . destruction has been slow, and there have been occasional signs of apparent recovery. . . its death-struggle will be violent. First. . . she must attain more of her old-time prestige, which will be shared with a federated association of her daughters. Together they will be lifted up that together they may be violently thrown down."
From Associated Press, 1971: "President Nixon has turned to the nation’s religious leaders for help in combating the spread of drug abuse." If there’s answer to it, you have it,’ he told them. . . in an unusual. .. gathering of most of America’s top denominational officials." "It was the first time the Nixon administration had called in a full cross-section of religious leadership—Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish—to enlist cooperation on a major national problem." "‘It is a basic implementation of the President’s recognition of the spiritual character of the crisis of our times’said the. . . chief executive of the Christian Church (Disciples)." "The approximately 80 church leaders spent all day hearing reports from government officers in addition to the President." "Nixon called it basically a spiritual problem and told the churchmen ‘we have to get at the cause of the frustration, anxiety or whatever it is that is leading the young to give up on the system."‘ "‘The spiritual needs of the individual have to be filled one way or another,’ he said. Nixon added that aside from government and educational efforts the churchmen bear a chief responsibility in dealing with the ‘heart of the problem.’" ". . . The President’s deputy assistant for domestic affairs, said concern shown by the religious leaders indicated the value of another possible similar gathering. . . with fuller chance for mutual discussion." "The White House is sending them a questionnaire on their views about reconvening."
From 1971—Lutheran World Federation Press Service:"catholics. . . who tried unsuccessfully to encourage the Vatican to lift the ban of excommunication imposed centuries ago on Martin Luther are continuing to press for ecumenical advances." "Efforts received a negative response from Jan Cardinal Willebrands, president of the Vatican Secretariat for Christian Unity. At the same time, he recalled the new Catholic appreciation of the Protestant Reformer and his own expression of this situation at the 1970 Fifth Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation." "Considerable public discussion. . . also has included a suggestion by a pastor. . . that instead of lifting the ban on Luther, the Pope should canonize the reformer. . as most Catholics agree that he was a man through whom God spoke."
1970 (March 14) Association Press: "Representatives of nine Protestant denominations. . . approved a plan to unite before the end of this decade and create the biggest Protestant Church in the world." "The vote was unanimous and the plan now goes to the individual denominations for reaction. The new church would be called ‘The Church of Christ Uniting.’"" After completing a week of revision, the Consultation on Church Union now forwards the plan to the participating groups, totaling 25 million Christians." "Their reaction will be considered in final revision before the plan is submitted for ratification by the mid-1970s." "Envisaged as a church ‘truly catholic, truly evangelical and truly reformed,’ the plan calls for the new church to press on toward ultimate reunion of all Christians, asserting: ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed: "That they may all be one. . ." This oneness in the church is required for the credibility and effectiveness of Christ’s mission.’"" Denominations involved include three Negro Methodist bodies and six mainly white communions, the Episcopal (the American branch of the Church of England), United Methodist, United Presbyterian, Presbyterian U. S. Southern, Disciples and United Church of Christ."
March 11, 1970, Chicago Tribune, Religious Editor: "At the core of the ministry issue. . . is the fear of clerics. . . that. . . the validity of their ordinations will be questioned." "The plan proposes to eliminate the fear by establishing the ministry without a service of re-ordination or conditional ordination."
March. 13, 1970, Chicago Tribune, Religion Editor: "The plan is to be submitted this spring to members of the nine churches for their study and evaluation. Their responses are to be sent to the agency’s headquarters by Jan. 15, 1972."
March 10, 1970, Chicago Tribune Editor on Religion: "Bishop James K. Matthews. . . , chairman of the Consultation on Church Union, suggested the decision might well. be reached .in 1975 or. 1976."
Oct. 16, 1971, Wilmington, Delaware Evening. Journal: "Representatives from nine Protestant denominations have been meeting regularly to seek a plan of union following a catalytic sermon by the Rev. Eugene Carson Blake in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco in 1960. A Presbyterian, Blake now general administrator for the World Council of Churches, suggested that churches seek organic union." "A plan of union—for the Church of Christ Uniting—came out of C.O.C.U. (Consultation on Church Union) sessions in St. Louis nearly two years ago (1970—see Associated press dispatch, March 14 already quoted in part) and have been discussed at parish level across the country since." "Out of. . . Denver meetings last week have come a request for further work on the part of members of the consultation. . ." ". . .’ To move in the near future to an interim eucharistic (Holy Communion) fellowship on some regular basis. This is to understand the Lord’s Supper as both cause and sign of unity. We believe that the chapters on the sacraments and ministry in "A Plan of Union" suggest the kind of theological agreement which could be shared in the table of the Lord even as we share in witness and service.’"" Nine denominations are involved in the C.O.C.U.. talks. . ."( See list, including Episcopal, the American branch of the Church of England in the March 14, 1970 Associated Press dispatch already quoted in part.)
The following quotations are taken from the longer foreword of Volume Four, published in 1912: Page X—"The Evangelical Alliance, an organization of. . . different Protestant denominations, was formed in 1846. ."
Page X, par. 2: "The Bible says, however, that before the image can do any particular harm it must receive life from the two-horned Beast. (## Re 13:15) This two-horned Beast. . , we believe represents the Church of England, which is not a part to the Evangelical Alliance. The Church of England makes the claim which the Church of Rome makes—that she is the true Church. . . that she has the original apostolic succession, and that no one is commissioned to preach unless he has had divine, apostolic hands laid upon him. . .
Page XVIII, par. 2: ". . . The Image of the Beast must yet receive life—power. . . This, the prophecy indicates, will come from the two-horned Beast, which we believe 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. . ."
Reprints page 5601, par. 5 (Jan. 1, 1915): ". . . The kings and the captains of industry, of finance and of politics will in self-defense greatly exalt the power of religious leaders. Then we may expect that the Federation of Churches will exercise a power in the world such as has not been since the days of Papal supremacy. In the symbolic language of Revelation, that will be the time in which the ‘image of the beast’ will have life and work great wonders, threatening, commanding, in the name of heaven.—## Re 13:11-18."
One more quote was from Brother Loomis, but we already have this on page five of this study, so will not repeat it.
*Footnote for page 10. Those-who would like to make a careful study of present world events in which the United States is playing a leading role, are urged to read the book entitled INTERVENTION AND REVOLUTION BY Richard J. Barnet. (The World Publishing Company) "Richard J. Barnet has combined an academic interest in international politics with practical experience. After graduation from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he served in the U. S. Army as specialist in international law and later was a Fellow of the Harvard Russian Research Center and the Center for International Studies at Princeton. . ."