Br. Irwin J. Doran

We quote from Volume 3, page 165: "These plagues or troubles, foreshadowed in the troubles upon the rejected Jewish House, are pictured in such lurid symbols in Revelation that many students have very exaggerated and wild ideas on this subject, and they are unprepared for the realities NOW closely impending (1890). They often interpret the symbols literally and hence are unprepared to see them fulfilled as they will be (my remarks: or now are being fulfilled) by religious, social and political disturbances, controversies, upheavals, reactions, revolutions, etc."

We will use the Pastor’s review of the Seven Last Plagues (Reprint pages 497 and 509) as a basis for what we should have expected to happen to Babylon, compared to what DID happen. The Pastor was not dogmatic about any of these things, but we are amazed at how accurately much has been fulfilled If nothing else, we believe the Pastor’s analysis will serve to make us think about the Fall and Destruction of Babylon in an orderly manner as we watch what is going on around us. Chronologically, we are 99 years into the Millennium so that if these scriptural plagues are going to happen, they must already be in progress in some sense, even though they may not be completely fulfilled.

We cannot help but feel that if the Asterisk in the Title of the Article (Reprint page 497 and 509) and the footnote which it led to had been omitted, many of our brethren would have paid more attention to these articles in evaluating the signs of the times (since we all know the Pastor did not write the 7th Volume, we know it is not a good source to go to about the Pastor’s having changed his opinion).

We begin with ## Re 15:2: "And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass." Who are these conquerors? This is shown by what they overcame—the Beast, Image and Number. The Beast here referred to is Papacy; the Image is organized sectarian Protestants; the Mark is Papacy’s characteristics; the Number is those who bear the characteristics of their number. Therefore, those who have conquered the Beast and the Image are the saints (this side of the vail) over whom the Beast and Image have no influence.

What else does this text tell us? It shows when the plagues are due. While Protestants began in earnest with Luther, it seems clear from our 3rd Volume study in the Chapter on Cleansing of the Sanctuary, that the Image was formed by the organization of the Evangelical Alliance in 1846. If so, it is equally clear that the overcomers of the Image could not have existed before 1846, in this picture. This gives us a general reason—even though no exact date—for believing the plagues must commence after 1846. It is during the pouring out of the plagues that the overcomers occupy this condition upon the "sea of glass". But, we still need to know what is this "sea of glass, mingled with fire" on which they stand. We understand the "sea" to symbolize the irreligious masses of the people; and "fire" is understood to be judgments or trouble. Putting all this together, what do we have? We have the MASSES OF THE PEOPLE IN TROUBLE, UNDER THE JUDGMENTS OF GOD. Where are the overcomers shown? STANDING ABOVE THE TROUBLED PEOPLE—CALM, SERENE, UNTROUBLED.

We drop down now to the 5th V.: "And, after that I looked and behold the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened." And the 6th V.: "And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles." Here John saw the coming of the seven messengers out of the temple to pour out the plagues. Since it is the saints who are "to execute the judgments written" (Psalm 149:9) we interpret these seven angels to mean those standing on the sea of glass—living saints, as representatives or active agents of the entire anointed company—the feet of Him. It is the feet, or last part, who sing the restitution song of Moses and the Lamb, above the sea, mingled with fire(#Isa 53:7). Those same feet, as representative on earth of the entire body, are to pour out the seven plagues, or be associated more or less directly with the judgments coming. These are clothed with white linen: these have kept their wedding garments, they are robed in the righteousness of Christ "justified by his blood". These are the servants of God and have a divine service to accomplish.

## Re 16:1 says: "And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, GO YOUR WAYS, and pour out your vials of the wrath of God on the earth." The nominal systems are anxious to retain every member for each one counts, and their boast is in numbers and wealth; but when they find any who count all earthly considerations as loss and dross, arid who will not be fettered and bound by man-made creeds, they thrust such out saying, Go then, do your worst, "GO YOUR WAYS".

Let us now see HOW these seven plagues form an outline of prophecy of the events surrounding the fall of Babylon between 1846 and the present. Remember, brethren, we are already in the 99th year of the Millennium—remember that these plagues are scriptural and IF SO they must be fulfilled—and remember also that they cannot be earlier than 1846, and that they cannot be poured out after the Church is glorified if the saints this side the veil are doing the pouring. We must therefore conclude that the plagues are somewhere between having been poured out and in the process of completion. Let’s see if that makes sense by looking at the signs of the times since 1846. We have had two World Wars, Israel has been restored as a nation, inventions have proliferated faster than the world knows how to cope with them, and the denominations are rolling together like a scroll. How do these things parallel with the Seven Last Plagues?

In the Diaglott, ## Re 16:2, we read: "and the first angel went forth and poured out his bowl on the land; and there came an evil and malignant ulcer on those men having the mark of the beast and on those worshipping his image". What is the land on which this bowl was poured? It is a symbol of settled, organized, society under religious restraint. What is the mark of the beast? It is the characteristics of the beast (papacy) as we have learned in the Man of Sin chapter of the second volume. Who are those worshipping the Image of the Beast? Protestants. There was a time when Protestants used to protest, but now it seems they worship the Image of the Beast, if we are to judge by their ecumenical councils. Upon WHOM THEN was this first plague poured? THOSE HAVING THE CHARACTERISTICS OF PAPACY AND WORSHIPPING PROTESTANTISM. Do Roman Catholics belong to this land class? Yes. Does the bowl of wrath get poured upon them, too, in this first plague? NO. We can see that the ULCER is not upon those worshipping the Beast, but those having the MARK of the Beast.


From where is the trouble arising? From within Protestantism. And the constitutional disorder is caused by ERROR INHERITED AND RETAINED FROM THE "MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS" (Trinity, Immortality, Hell, etc.). Has this ulcer been visible since 1846? No. It is carefully concealed, but we know it’s there because of the bad odor and distress are noticeable. What’s the cure? NONE. Because the blood is poisoned—it has permeated the entire body and death is inevitable. Was there ever a time when the daughters might have been radically healed? Oh, yes. During Luther’s time and the reformation. But # Jer 8:11 tells us, "Her false ministers healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying ‘peace’,’ peace when there is no peace." What hurt is referred to here? The sore, the ulcer. And there is no peace because her whole system is diseased and needs thorough cleansing with the medicine of God’s Word. But will they take the medicine—the Truth? No. They are looking around for a doctor who will let them take some other kind of medicine to heal the sore. Many human remedies are being proposed but they won’t work. They are looking for the famous balm of Gilead that # Jer 46:11 tells them to take—"Go up into Gilead and take balm, O Virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured." And in Jer. 8:22 we are told, "Is there no balm in Gilead: is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" There was a balm in Gilead, and a physician that could have healed the sore of the daughter but they preferred to use their own doctor.

## Re 18:23 says: "And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee;" and ## Re 3:16: "I know thy works that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou were cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth." What then should we conclude? Now there is no balm in Gilead, there is no physician there—therefore she is not helped. Her king is not in her, she is spewed out of his mouth.

As an example of the daughter’s looking for a cure rather desperately, would like to call your attention to the efforts of the daughters at merger with each other and with the Mother Church. Here is a chart which will quickly show what they have been doing since the pastor wrote about them in the Fourth Volume. (Look for chart at end of this discourse.)

True to the scriptures that there is no cure for the malignant ulcer, the Pastor wrote in Reprint page 255, par. 4: "Those who are looking for a union in Christendom in which denominational names and denominational lines will be obliterated, are looking for what they will never see until the great collapse comes, and the entire ‘Christendom’ system, social, religious, political, and financial goes down in the great anarchous trouble with which the Gospel Age will close. The union which will be cemented will be largely one of common sentiment and cooperation in moral and political reforms."

So, this first plague is poured out on Protestantism resulting in a constitutional disorder which they are frantically trying to cure, but the one medicine which will cure them, THE TRUTH, is the one medicine they will not take, or accept.

While this first plague is having its effect on the land class (organized religions, except Catholicism) we read that the second angel poured out his bowl into the sea; and it became blood, as of one dead, and every living soul died in the sea. Now, what does this mean? What is the sea? What is the blood of the dead? Who died in the sea? The sea symbolizes the irreligious masses of mankind, those not under religious restraint. How can we appreciate the plague upon this class? We must study the symbol—blood. Blood in a living creature is vitality—the principle of life—animation. In a dead person, it’s the reverse—no vitality, no life, no animation. After death, blood rapidly separates into two parts: watery liquid called serum and more solid substance, called clot. The clot immediately, after death, begins to putrefy and corrupt. We understand this symbol to teach that the sea class becomes like the blood of a dead person. This sea class will go through a great and thorough disintegration after which one element of these irreligious masses of mankind, not under religious restraint, will rapidly corrupt and putrefy. Many noble specimens of humanity today and in the past have co-mingled with these irreligious masses, imparting life principle—vitality—persons like Clarence Darrow, Thomas Huxley, Voltaire, etc. In our time, many of us have known some fine free-thinkers, now among us, who then were either atheists or agnostics. How does this relate to the second plague? A separation of these nobler elements of society is due, and when this happens what will result? Decay and death to every principle of morality and virtue in the sea class—when every living thing (every element of virtue and benevolence among them) will perish.

What happens when you remove the element which advises prudence, morality and right doing from the counsels of the restless masses? Quick destruction of life, property, laws, peace—a grand reign of anarchy. Have we seen any of these signs on campuses and in our cities? —in the kind of music we hear? —in books? —in forms of art? —in the various associations which protest against everything and anything? All we have to do is to stop at the amusement section of our newspapers to see which way these things are going. # Da 12:1 says we can expect trouble such as never was—and the wicked shall do wickedly. We see the separation of the serum from the clot. The separation of the vitality element from the corrupting element. It’s now in progress. In 1883, the Pastor said: "This plague is still future but it has had more than a beginning." We see it plainly in our day. So, this second plague stirs up the already discontented masses preparing the way for anarchy.

With both the first and second plagues poured out, we go to the third one where the angel "poured out his bowl into the rivers and into the fountains of waters and they also became blood, and I heard the angel of the waters saying: righteous art thou, the one who is and was, the bountiful one, because thou hast judged these. Because they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, thou gavest them also blood to drink, they deserve it." What are these rivers and fountains which became blood? Running waters symbolize truth. Rivers are waters through which waters or Truth has flowed and symbolize various sects or denominations and the fountains symbolize the founders and schools of these various systems—the places or men in whom these channels of truth had their beginning—theological seminaries, etc.

Yes, water flowed in these systems for a long time, especially in the Protestant systems (Luther, Wycliffe, Calvin). And, though the water was truly muddy in some, many partook and became refreshed. But what happened? A change came. What once refreshed, gradually became loathsome, as blood.

How might this plaque be understood then? Might it be a picture of a change rapidly taking place in religious channels—their creeds, though containing as much error and truth as ever, they are coming to regard differently? In the literal plague upon Egypt, what did the people do because they could no longer drink of the blood waters? THEY DUG WELLS FOR WATER. So, in these years from 1846, independent thinkers are digging other channels for themselves, for purer waters than the regular channels afford. This is corroborated by the great upsurge of new denominations. What was once received without question, is now become loathsome and deathlike because GENERAL ENLIGHTENMENT IS GREATER. Daniel prophesied "knowledge shall be increased."

What does the angel of the waters see as expressed in Vs. 5 and 6? A righteous judgment of God against the established Protestant systems because they had poured out the blood of the saints and prophets. Now, what does that mean? Blood is life. To pour out is to waste it. What is the life of the saints? Truth, God’s Word. "The words that I speak to you, they are spirit—they are life". So, to waste the truth, the life principle of the saints and prophets is to waste the words which are life, blood. How was this done? By neglecting the word of Jesus and the prophets and receiving instead the traditions of men—corrupting and defiling the truths they did possess to such an extent that thinking ones decided they cannot drink from those channels. However, the teachings of Satan ("Thou shalt not surely die") were preserved and those of the prophets (Restitution, Wages of Sin is Death, etc.) were wasted. Is it clear then, how they get blood to drink? By retaining Satan’s big lie, and rejecting the Lord’s testimony, many have come and others are coming to a realization of the blood as too obnoxious and nauseating to be palatable to either themselves or the world. So this third plague affects the sources of false teachings, turns them into blood, and enables some to recognize they are false.

While the first three plagues poured out are intermingled and operating simultaneously, the "fourth angel pours out his bowl on the sun, and to him it was given to burn men with fire. And men were burned with great heat and they blasphemed the name of that God who has authority over these plagues, and they reformed not to give him glory." How is the misery of this fourth plague caused? SUNLIGHT—symbolizing the GOSPEL LIGHT. Looking back, we can see that the six volumes of Scripture Studies preceded by Tabernacle Shadows, and Food for Thinking Christians, gave gospel light. Those who worshipped and honored their sect and creeds of the dark ages, more than they did God, were scorched and annoyed with the great light and heat of the truth of this gospel light, as it shown out and reached them in writings, preaching, Photo Drama and the witnessing of that seventh messenger and his brethren. All classes were affected by this increasing light. This plague is not limited to a certain class as the first three plagues were limited to 1: the sea; 2: the land, and 3: the rivers and fountains. This increased light affected mankind in general and representative leaders of men, in particular, and still is.

"Everything that is hid shall be revealed". This great light shows up everything and even now we see the scorching rays of this light bring out the truth in the Watergate case as a plague upon representative leaders of men from a political standpoint. But, the effect of greater light upon the masses of people has been nothing short of fantastic. It has caused independence of thought and action among all classes of society. In its effect upon the fall and destruction of Babylon, what is this increased light causing? Differences between rulers and those being ruled as it caused differences between kings and subjects before 1914. It has caused differences between capital and labor. From the formation of the A. F. of L. in 1881, history relates the conflict between labor and management until this day. Another difference exists between "lay" preachers and "clergy". Protestants now have Lay Readers and Catholics have Laymen offering the Mass. The increasing light emboldens the laymen to take part in church services.

We see truth spreading on every subject: truth relative to the right and authority of kings (rulers); truth relative to the rights of both capital and labor; truth relative to the superiority and lordship of a self-elevated class termed the clergy. And, truth causes those in Babylon to blaspheme by becoming angry with truths that prove the love and mercy of God and his justice. So angry that they go to the very extreme of opposition and grossly misstate God’s character and often wrest his word to sustain their theories of hell, trinity, etc. This scorching heat of gospel light is a plague to those in Babylon. So this fourth plague causes differences between the rulers and the ruled, the haves and the have-nots, and disturbs the order and control which Papacy once had.

While all four plagues are working together, "The fifth angel poured out his bowl upon the throne of the Beast and his kingdom was darkened, and they bit their tongues because of the pain, and blasphemed the God of Heaven on account of their pains. We recall that the first plague was poured on those worshipping the IMAGE of the Beast—Protestantism. This fifth plague comes upon Papacy, its rulers, those in authority, the throne, the power, the clergy. Why after Protestantism? Because Papacy’s walls are higher, its claims are stronger, and its claims to divine authority and infallibility are of longer standing than that of Protestantism, her daughters. That is why she escapes the increasing light longer in this day of the Lord; why she longer escapes the trouble consequent to her errors. Forever? No. The kingdom of the ruling class is filled with darkness, uncertainty, because of the absence of her former unity and harmony within. Not only has she and her daughters been spewed out of his mouth in 1878, but her trouble grows and the pain will be increased by tongue-biting.

What are the tongues of Papacy? Its decrees, utterances, past and future. "Biting" would imply contradiction and denial of former utterances. In 1883 the Pastor said: "whether this signifies a contradiction and reversal of previous utterances of the Papal hierarchy, or whether it means controversy and differences between the living rulers of the church, we may not decide, but it will probably include both these difficulties." Since then what have we seen regarding contradiction and reversal of previous utterances?

In the 1973 Official Associated Press Almanac, it says, regarding the revised calendar of saints: "Two of the best-known saints in the Roman Catholic Church—St. Valentine, patron of sweethearts, and Christopher, patron of travelers—were dropped from the official liturgical calendar in 1969 in a sweeping change that removed more than 200 from the list of saints whose feast days are celebrated by the whole Church. The anniversary celebrations of 92 other saints, including St. George of England and St. Nicholas, who has been celebrated as Santa Clause, were made optional.

In June, 1963, Paul VI, the present Pope, discontinued the Index of Forbidden Books and abolished the office of inquisitor. He was the first Pope to confer with a head of the Anglican Church—Archbishop of Canterbury.

In his comments on the Second Vatican Council of 1962 (first in almost a century) Robert McAfee Brown in his book "The Ecumenical Revolution" said regarding the role of Mary, "Next to Papacy, Mariology is the area of greatest theological division between Catholics and Protestants. The problem centers on the two most recent papal pronouncements: 1. the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, so that she was freed from the taint of original sin; and 2. the dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin into Heaven immediately after her death.

"Among many pre-Vatican II Protestant difficulties with these dogmatic affirmations, three were paramount: (a) concern that the increasing attention focused on Mary in Catholic thought was in danger of eclipsing the centrality for faith and devotion that should be focused on her Son. (b) fear that this particular strand of ‘doctrinal development’ was proceeding unchecked, so that it would issue in a papal definition of Mary as ‘co-redeemer’ a doctrine that would seem to Protestants fatally to undermine the New Testament stress on her Son as the sole mediator between man and God, and (c) bafflement that these dogmas, neither of which has a clear scriptural basis, should have become so central to Catholic faith that Pius XII could say of the latter that if anyone denies or doubts it ‘he has cut himself off entirely from the divine and Catholic faith’."

How did Papacy bite her tongue on that utterance of Mariology? The Ecumenical Chapter on Mary was written so that the saving action of Mary’s Son Jesus need not be jeopardized; that speeches on the council floor by South American Bishops pointed out that Marian piety was indeed exaggerated; and that the chapter was couched in as Biblical a framework as possible, replacing the string of papal quotations that had characterized an earlier draft, so that there might be an ecumenical meeting point with Protestants and Orthodox, both of whom affirm the authority of Biblical statements but not of papal statements.

Would we say this biting is occasioned by the pain and humbled condition in which Papacy finds herself? Has she any TEMPORAL power? She lost it all. Now, what does she feel she must do to maintain her SPIRITUAL influence? She must not antagonize the governments which she can no longer claim the right to control, nor the daughters which she is trying to bring back into her fold. When we remember that it was this same papal system which in its prosperity had "a mouth speaking great things" (# Da 7:8-25 and ## Re 13:5), should it surprise us that God should ordain as part of its reward that it SHOULD EAT ITS OWN WORDS? So this fifth plague comes upon Papacy itself to question and find some way of disclaiming things which at one time were considered settled dogma.

With these five plagues operating simultaneously on the Land, Sea, the Rivers and Fountains, the Sun and the Throne of the Beast, the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river—the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way of those kings who are from the sun-rising might be prepared.

Literal Babylon was built on THE RIVER EUPHRATES, from which Babylon’s wealth, supplies, and substance came. Babylon was protected by IMMENSE WALLS AND STRONG GATES OVER THE RIVER. Who was within the city, in bondage? ISRAELITES, GOD’S COVENANTED PEOPLE. GOD APPOINTED CYRUS, THE MEDIAN GENERAL TO DELIVER THESE ISRAELITES. Let us think back: did Cyrus, coming to this strong city attack it directly? No, he DUG ANOTHER CHANNEL FOR THE WATERS OF THE RIVER, DRYING UP THE OLD CHANNEL AND PERMITTING HIM TO MARCH HIS ARMY UNDER THE GATES AND CAPTURE THE CITY. Can anyone question that this historic fact is the basis of a symbol in Revelation? Is Babylon and her fall frequently mentioned? THEN THE DRYING UP OF THE RIVER EUPHRATES LITERALLY CORRESPONDS TO THE DRYING UP OF THE SYMBOLIC EUPHRATES, THE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORTED PAPACY.

Babylon, generally, describes the ENTIRE NOMINAL CHURCH: specifically it describes that portion of the nominal church called "the mother of Harlots." The sixth plague is said to be upon Babylon, THE MOTHER. It is interesting to note that in the third plague the bowl was poured out into the rivers. So, while the other systems have channels and rivers, the mother system is built upon THE GREAT RIVER. ## Re 17:5 identifies the mother saying: "AND IN HER FOREHEAD WAS THE NAME WRITTEN BABYLON THE GREAT AND MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."

Following the literal and applying the symbol, who would we reason that the waters of this great river Euphrates represent? THE PEOPLES WHO SUPPORT PAPACY BY THEIR INFLUENCE AND MONEY FROM WHICH BABYLON THE GREAT DRAWS HER REVENUES. Proof? —"The waters which thou sawest where the harlot sitteth are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues." ## Re 17:15.

Who are there in the world of every tongue and climate? Let’s look at the statistics from the 1971 Britannica Book of the Year: of the total Christian religions in the world, there are 925 million members. Of these 580 million are Roman Catholics; 125 million are Eastern Orthodox Catholic; and 218 million are Protestants. Of these, Catholics are 62 percent, Orthodox are 14 percent and Protestants are 24 percent.

If we apply the symbol of the waters of the Euphrates, the great river, dying up. what would we expect to happen? A DISAFFECTION WOULD SPRING UP BETWEEN THE SUBJECTS AND THE CHURCH AUTHORITIES. What has happened along this line? The laymen have started to ask for a part in the church service and have received the right to offer the Mass. The subjects are disenchanted because the church will not permit birth control, nor divorces and many leave for that reason. The changes in the church doctrine, such as Mariology, saying the Mass in the local language, the statements of church infallibility, the priests running away and getting married, the dropping of the saints, the dropping of the Forbidden books list, have caused doubts to spring up in the minds of the subjects, especially in the increasing gospel light and light and truth on all subjects. Sects like Jehovah’s Witnesses and other who study the Bible are a Plague upon the system which for so many years not only banned Bible study but forgot to study it themselves because they depended so much upon the sacred sacraments so that they cannot answer questions now.

Most of the sixth plague has already been fulfilled and its fulfillment according to the sources quoted are common knowledge. So this sixth plague prepares the way for the destruction of Babylon by withdrawing support of those who formerly would have protected her. What remains before she and the daughters are cast into the sea like a great millstone, is part of what will happen to Babylon in the future, which we are not going into here. This is a separate subject all by itself.

In summary, we believe that these six plagues, first upon the Land, second on the Sea, third on the Rivers and Fountains, fourth upon the Sun, fifth upon the Throne of the Beast, and sixth upon the Euphrates, which supports Babylon, are all working simultaneously at present to bring about the complete destruction of Babylon. Certainly the signs of the times corroborate what has happened in each plague according to Brother Russell’s interpretation of each symbol.

The only question mark we have time-wise is the seventh plague which is poured out upon the air and there came a loud voice from the temple of God saying: "It is done". We believe it is possible that this plague has been poured out, but we do not believe this plague has been completed nor has got much past its beginning.

We will ask you to read the account of the seventh plague on reprint page 509 and decide for yourself regarding the status of this Plague. Brother Russell’s interpretation of "It is Done" indicates that to some extent both the daughters and the mother are beginning to see the truth about many of their doctrines being false and getting ready to say to those who left Babylon that "It is Done" as they who left had warned Babylon, that their doctrines were false.

We believe a fitting close will be to read the Pastor’s comments in the Question Book, page 580, about the correspondency between this Plague being poured out and the Binding of Satan, and the Destruction of Babylon. These comments were made in 1915; par. 3, page 580: "All the present institutions of the world are Satan’s goods and arrangements. These will be spoiled in the great time of anarchy which 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 be his binding."