The Mark of the Beast and the Image of the Beast by Christian Edwardson
From the book Facts if Faith by Christian Edwardson Chapter 28 and 29 The Mark Of The Beast and The Image to the Beast IN REVELATION 13:16 the Apostle John has penned these significant words: "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads." What is this mark? It must be of great importance to understand this, for Jesus gives us a solemn warning against receiving the mark. (Revelation 22:16; 14:9, 10.) Some claim that it is the mark of the labor unions; but the "small" cannot belong to them, neither are the "rich," or capitalists, members of labor organizations. Others say this prophecy refers to the peculiar "handshake" of the Freemasons; but the "bond," or slave, and the "small," or children, cannot become members of that organization; and yet all these will receive the mark of the beast. (Revelation 13:16.) This mark must belong to religion, for it has to do with "worship" (Revelation 13:12), and it must have originated with the Papacy, for it is "his mark" (Revelation 15:2), and yet it must be something both Catholics and Protestants agree upon, for "all" will receive it (Revelation 13:12, 16). It is something in which not only the people but also "the earth" on which they dwell, can show obedience. (Revelation 13:12.) There is but one thing that answers to all these specifications; namely, Sunday-keeping. Sunday is a religious institution that originated with the Catholic Church, and yet Protestants agree to keep it, and we shall now show how the earth can have a part in receiving the mark. God required "thy manservant," "thy stranger," and "thy cattle" to rest on His holy Sabbath (Exodus 20:10); that is, no work should be allowed in a field of which we have control. And because the Jews did not obey this, the Lord declared: "I will scatter you among the heathen, and your land shall be desolate .... Then shall the land rest, and enjoy her Sabbaths; . . . because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it." Leviticus 26:33-35. And so the Jews were taken into captivity to Babylon for seventy years. (Jeremiah 17:27; 2 Chronicles 36:20, 21.) Generally speaking, the people of this world have not allowed the earth to rest on God's holy Sabbath for six thousand years, therefore He will lay it desolate for one thousand years, to give it the rest man has denied it. (Jeremiah 4:23-25; Revelation 20:1, 2.) We have now seen that God wants the earth as well as the people to rest on His holy Sabbath. But the Roman Catholic Church has put herself on record as flatly denying God's claim. Father Enright declares: "The Bible says: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,' but the Catholic Church says: 'No, keep the first day of the week,' and the whole world bows in obedience"–"The Industrial American," Harlan, Iowa, Dec. 19, 1839. When our government, under pressure from the churches, shall by law enforce the papal Sunday in open violation of God's command, so that the people rest on Sunday, and work their land on the Sabbath, then "the earth and them which dwell therein" will yield obedience to the papal power. (Revelation 13:12.) Some will ask how a day can be a mark in a person's forehead or hand. But we read in Exodus 13:3, 4, 9 that a day can be "for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes." But some one will ask how this "mark" can be received by some only "in their right hand," while others receive it "in their foreheads." (Revelation 13:16.) That is easy to see. Many people tell us:"We know that the seventh day is the right Sabbath, but we have to work on that day or lose our jobs." Such people have no Sunday- Sabbath in their mind, or forehead, because they do not believe in it; but their "hand" obeys it, and so they receive it in their hand. There are others who see the seventh day is the true Sabbath in the New Testament, but they love their old friends and their old ways more than the unpopular truth, and wish they did not have to obey it. Now, as God cannot accept unwilling service, He will no longer impress them with the importance of obeying it. God's Spirit is grieved away, and another spirit steps in unnoticed and leads them against the truth. "Because they received not the love of the truth, . . . God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." 2 Thessalonians 2:10, 11. (We have an example of this in 1 Kings 22.) After rejecting the truth they become enthusiastic believers in the false sabbath, and thus they receive this mark "in their foreheads." Who Receives The Mark? On the other hand, people who have never heard the facts presented, but innocently keep Sunday, thinking it is the right day, are not receiving the mark of the beast by so doing, for God does not hold a person responsible for light that he has never had opportunity to hear or reject. Let us illustrate this fact: An earnest Christian is the owner of a dry-goods store, and has sold a woman ten yards of cloth. Later she comes back with it, claiming that it is too short. He measures it again, and finds it full length, but, as she insists that it is short, he buys a new yardstick, and placing both side by side he finds his old one an inch short. In amazement he exclaims: "My grandfather was an earnest Christian, and he used this yardstick, and so did my godly father. They were unwittingly stealing, and died without repenting of their sin; they are lost!" He reflects a moment, then adds: "No! I saw them die triumphantly in Christ; they are saved. And I have had blessed seasons with Jesus during these twenty years I have used this old yardstick. If they could be saved using it, and I could serve God acceptably all these years, I will continue to use it hereafter!" But can he be saved while knowingly breaking one of God's commandments? He could have been saved, if his attention had not been called to it. But can he now continue to use the short yard measure and remain a true Christian? Christ says: "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin, but now they have no cloak for their sin" (John 15:22); and Paul declares: "The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17. Seeing that God's law is His measuring rod, or standard for moral conduct, and that the Papacy has cut off part of it, so people innocently have followed a faulty rule, and Christ has not attributed this sin to His people till they had opportunity to know better. But when His last message of mercy is being heralded to the world, all are given their choice as to whom they will serve, and those who refuse to listen to His message are as responsible as though they had heard it. (Revelation 22:14; 14:12; Luke 11:31; Proverbs 28:9.) All will admit that Christ has a perfect right to choose any "sign" He desires, and when He sets forth the Sabbath as the sign, or mark, of His authority and of His sanctifying power, we should accept it with pleasure. (Ezekiel 20:12, 20; 9:4-6.) The Papacy Selects Its Flag On the other hand the pope claims to be Christ's representative on earth, having authority to act in His name, so that "the sentences which he gives are to be forthwith ratified in heaven."–Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XII, art. "Pope," par. 20, p. 265. Any one who makes counterfeit money tries to make it as near like the genuine as possible. And when Christ has chosen the Sabbath as His sign, the Papacy, in selecting a counterfeit sign, would naturally choose one as near like the genuine as possible, and so it took the very next day. And after having changed the day of rest from the seventh to the first day, the Papacy would naturally point to such a vital change in God's law as evidence of its power; for no one could validly change God's moral law without being authorized to act in Christ's stead. Hence if, after we have carefully searched the New Testament, and found no command there for the change of the day, we still rely on the custom of the church by keeping the Sunday, we thereby acknowledge the authority of the church that made this change. The Roman Catholic Church sees this point, and uses it as a challenge to Protestantism, as the following quotations from Roman Catholic authorities will show: Rev. Stephen Keenan says: "Q.–Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept? "A.–Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her;–she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority."–"Doctrinal Catechism,'' p. 174. New York:P. J. Kenedy and Sons, 1846. Rev. Henry Tuberville, D. D., says: "Q.–How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy-days? "A.–By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church. "Q.–How prove you that? "A.–Because by keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the Church's power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin, and by not keeping the rest by her commanded, they again deny, in fact, the same power"–"An Abridgment of the Christian, Doctrine," p. 58. New York:Kenedy, 1833. J. F. Snyder, of Bloomington, Ill., wrote Cardinal Gibbons asking if the Catholic Church claims the change of the Sabbath "as a mark of her power." The Cardinal through his Chancellor, gave the following answer: "Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act. It could not have been otherwise, as none in those days would have dreamed of doing anything in matters spiritual and ecclesiastical and religious without her. And the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters." (Signed) "H. F. Thomas, "Chancellor for the Cardinal." "Nov. 11, 1895." We will now let the Catholic Church tell when it changed the Sabbath day. Here is its answer: "Q.–Which is the Sabbath day? A.-Saturday is the Sabbath day. Q-Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? A.–We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea (A. D. 336), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday."–"Convert's Catechism," Rev. P. Geiermann, p. 50. London:1934. Sanctioned by the Vatican, Jam. 25, 1910. "The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her Divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday."–"The Christian Sabbath," p. 29. Printed by the "Catholic Mirror," the official organ of Cardinal Gibbons, Baltimore, Md., 1893. Kindly notice how often Catholic authors refer to the fact that there is no Scripture proof for Sunday, but that it rests solely on the authority of the Catholic Church. Rt. Rev. John Milner says: "The first precept in the Bible is that of sanctifying the seventh day, 'God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.' Genesis 2:3. This precept was confirmed by God in the Ten Commandments, 'Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy. The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.' Exodus 20. On the other hand, Christ declares that He is not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. Matthew 5:17. He Himself observed the Sabbath and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.' Luke 4:16. His disciples likewise observed it after His death, 'They rested on the Sabbath day according to the commandment,' Luke 23:56. Yet with all this weight of Scripture authority for keeping the Sabbath, or seventh day, holy, Protestants of all denominations make this a profane day, and transfer the obligation of it to the first day of the week, or the Sunday. Now what authority have they for doing this? None whatever, except the unwritten word, or tradition, of the Catholic Church"–"End of Religious Controversy,'' p. 89. New York:P. J. Ke'nedy, 1897. The Brotherhood of St. Vincent de Paul says: "'The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.' (Exod. XX. 8, 9) .... Such being God's command then, I ask again, Why do you not obey it? . . . "You will answer me, perhaps, that you do keep holy the Sabbath-day; for that you abstain from all worldly business, and diligently go to church, and say your prayers, and read your Bible at home, every Sunday of your lives. "But Sunday is not the Sabbath-day, Sunday is the first day of the week; the Sabbath-day was the seventh day of the week Almighty God did not give a commandment that men should keep holy one day in seven; but He named His own day, and said distinctly, 'Thou shalt keep holy the seventh day' and He assigned a reason for choosing this day rather than any other reason which belongs only to the seventh day of the week, and cannot be applied to the rest. He says, 'For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day and hallowed it.' Almighty God ordered that all men should rest from their labor on the seventh day, because He too had rested on that day. He did not rest on Sunday, but on Saturday. On Sunday, which is the first day of the week, He began the work of creation .... Gen. 2:2, 3. Nothing can be more plain and easy to understand than all this; and there is nobody who attempts to deny it Why then do you keep holy the Sunday, and not Saturday? "You will tell me that Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath, but that the Christian Sabbath has been changed to Sunday. Changed! but by whom? Who has authority to change an express commandment of Almighty God?– When God has spoken and said, Thou shalt keep holy the seventh day, who shall dare to say, Nay, thou mayest work and do all manner of worldly business on the seventh day; but thou shalt keep holy the first day in its stead? This is a most important question, which I know not how you can answer. "You are a Protestant, and you profess to go by the Bible and the Bible only .... The command to keep holy the seventh day is one of the Ten Commandments; you believe that the other nine are still binding; who gave you authority to tamper with the fourth? "We blame you not for making Sunday your weekly holy-day instead of Saturday, but for rejecting tradition, which is the only safe and clear rule by which this observance can be justified."–"Why Don't You Keep Holy the Sabbath-Day?" pp. 2-4, 8. London:Burns and Oates. Found also in "The Clifton Tracts," Most Rev. John Hughes, D. D. "That the Church has instituted the Sunday as the Lord's day instead of the Sabbath . . . shows forth her great power which she solemnly received from Christ"–"Manual of the Catholic Religion," p. 186. Dr. Martin Luther and Melancthon felt the stinging force of this Catholic argument in proof of the power of the papal church, although they knew that the time had not then come for a Sabbath reform. Dr. Eck, disputing with Luther, said: "If, however, the Church has had power to change the Sabbath of the Bible into Sunday and to command Sunday-keeping, why should it not have also this power concerning other days? . . . If you omit the latter, and turn from the Church to the Scriptures alone, then you must keep the Sabbath with the Jews, which has been kept from the beginning of the world"–"Enchiridon," pp. 78, 79. 1533. Calling attention to this Roman Catholic assumption of authority, the Reformers said: "They also point out, that the Sabbath is changed to Sunday, contrary as it seems, to the Ten Commandments; and there is no example over which they make more ado than the change of the Sabbath. Great, they assert, must be the power of the Church, when it can grant release from one of the Ten Commandments.''–''The Augsburg Confession," art. 28, in "Book of Concord," p. 79. (Norwegian ed., printed in Christiania, 1882.) At the great Council of Trent (1545-1563), which was called to determine the "doctrines of the Church in answer to the heresies of the Protestants" (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XV, art. "Trent," p. 30), the question of the authority of the church over that of the Bible was decided in the following manner: "Finally, at the last [session] opening on the eighteenth of January, 1562, their last scruple was set aside; the archbishop of Reggio made a speech in which he openly declared that tradition stood above Scripture. The authority of the church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scripture, because the church had changed Sabbath into Sunday, not by the command of Christ, but by its own authority. With this, to be sure, the last illusion was destroyed, and it was declared that tradition does not signify antiquity, but continual inspiration."–"Canon and Tradition," Dr. J. H. Holtzman, p. 263. ("Source Book," pp. 603, 604.) After the Jesuits were expelled from England in 1579 they determined to recapture that country, and at their school at Rheims, France, they translated their New Testament from the Vulgate Latin into English in 1582. (Their Old Testament was printed at Douay, 1609, so that their whole Bible has come to be called the Douay version.) In their English New Testament, translated from the Vulgate Edition of 1582, printed in New York, 1834, we read on page 413, note on the Apocalypse 1:10: "And if the Church had authority and inspiration from God, to make Sunday, being a work-day before, an everlasting holy-day; and the Saturday, that before was holyday, now a common work-day; why may not the same Church prescribe and appoint the other feasts of Easter, Whitsuntide, Christmas, and the rest? For the same warrant she hath for the one she hath for the other." Thus we see that the Roman Catholic Church always and everywhere points to her change of the Sabbath as the mark, or evidence, of her having the power and inspiration from God to legislate in Christ's stead for His church on earth, and that this power is vested in the pope. Pope Leo XIII says: "We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty." All must yield "complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself"–"Great Encyclical Letters," pp. 304, 193. And Pope Gregory says of the power of the pope: "Hence he is said to have a heavenly power, and hence changes even the nature of things, applying the substantial of one thing to another–can make something out of nothing–a judgment which is null he makes to be real, since in the things which he wills, his will is taken for a reason. Nor is there any one to say to him, Why doest thou this? For he can dispense with the law, he can turn injustice into justice by correcting and changing the law, and he has the fulness of power."–"Decretals of Gregory" (R. C.), Book I, title 7, chap. 3. Gloss on the Transfer of Bishops. The Roman "Decretalia," an authentic work on Roman ecclesiastical law, says of the power of the pope: "He can pronounce sentences and judgments in contradiction to the right of nations, to the law of God and man .... He can free himself from the commands of the apostles, he being their superior, and from the rules of the Old Testament. "The pope has power to change times, to abrogate laws, and to dispense with all things, even the precepts of Christ."–"Decretal, de Translat. Episcop. Cap." "The Pope's will stands for reason. He can dispense above the law; and of wrong make right, by correcting and changing laws"–Pope Nicholas, Dist. 96; quoted in "Facts for the Times," pp. 55, 56. 1893. "The Mark Of His Name" We have now seen that the pope claims to be the "Vicar of the Son of God" on earth; to have authority to act in His name. And as proof for this claim he points to the fact that he has changed the Sabbath into Sunday. How conclusive! He must be authorized as Christ's "Vicar" in order to validly make such a vital change in God's moral law. That is imperative! The Sunday-Sabbath is therefore the proof or mark of his "vicarship"; it is "the mark of his name." Revelation 14:11. When once a person has become aware of the wording of this text (Revelation 14:11), it becomes impossible for him to exchange this explanation of either the "mark" or the "name" for some other. For the creation of the Sunday-Sabbath by the Papacy constitutes the mark, or proof, of the pope's being invested with authority to act as "Vicar of the Son of God." This "mark" and this "name" fit together as prepared by the divine hand of prophecy, and no others do. Catholics can therefore appeal to Protestants in the following way: Sunday-keeping "not only has no foundation in the Bible, but it is in flagrant contradiction with its letter, which commands rest on the Sabbath, which is Saturday. It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus Christ, has transferred this rest to the Sunday .... Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the Church."–"Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today," from the French by Segur, p. 213. Boston:1868. While God did not attribute this sin to His people in former ages, when they had not been enlightened on the subject, we are now approaching the final struggle between Christ and the restored Papacy, and it behooves us to show under which flag we have decided to stand. For example: In times of peace, no serious results would come to an alien in this country, if, on his holiday, he should hoist his native flag. But if our country was at war with his homeland, and he then should tear down the "Stars and Stripes," and trample on it, while he hoisted his own flag, it would be an entirely different matter. And so now, while Christ and Antichrist face each other in the last deadly struggle, it becomes a serious matter to hoist the enemy's flag, while trampling on the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel! The papal power was "to continue forty and two months" (Revelation 13:5), and, as the Bible reckons thirty days to a month, this period would be 1260 prophetic days (Revelation 11:2, 3). And a day in prophecy stands for a year. (Ezekiel 4:6.) Thus we see that the papal supremacy would continue for 1260 years. We have already seen that this period began in 538 and ended in 1798 A. D. (See pp. 52-60.) At that time the pope, who had for centuries driven God's people "into captivity," was himself to "go into captivity," the prophet declared. (Revelation 13:10.) And when the hour struck, to which God's prophetic clock had pointed for 1700 years, the pope had to "go into captivity." Rome was taken by the French on February 10, 1798, the Roman Republic proclaimed on the fifteenth, and on the night of the twentieth, Pope Pius VI was hurried off "into captivity," where he finally died at Valence, France, in 1799. Napoleon had previously given orders that no new pope was to be elected in his place. "No wonder that half Europe thought Napoleon's veto would be obeyed, and that with the Pope the Papacy was dead"–"Modern Papacy," Joseph Rickaby, S. J., p. 1. But this prophecy also foretells its restitution. The prophet declares: "His deadly wound was healed; and all the world wondered after the beast." Revelation 13:3. (Compare 17:8.) A new pope (Pius VII) was elected March 14, 1800, and, as J. Rickaby further states: "Yet since then, the Papacy has been lifted to a pinnacle of spiritual power unreached, it may be, since earliest Christian history"–Id., p. 1. Especially since the days of Pope Leo XIII the healing of the "deadly wound" has been steadily progressing. On February 11, 1929, the pope once more became a civil ruler (a king). Some day he will attempt to assume his ancient authority over the nations of earth, and then the world will realize that the Papacy is unchanged in spirit, that it will do today just what it did in the Dark Ages. We shall now see what God will do for those who have been faithful to Him in this time of apostasy, and have not deviated from His word, while the whole Christian world has gone astray. But let all remember that we cannot follow what is easy and popular, and expect to stand under God's protection. It was the ark of Noah–the object of so much scorn and derision from the world–that finally became the means of rescue to all who stood faithfully by it under taunt and ridicule. And so now. (Luke 17:26.) God always uses unpopular truths with which to test His people and gather out the honest in heart, and He will protect His own in the time of trouble. They "shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty," safe "from the noisome pestilence." As a hen protects her brood in a storm, so "He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust; His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night [night raids by airplanes]; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee, . . neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." Psalm 91:1-10. God will reveal that He still lives and reigns, and the world shall yet see that He puts a difference "between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not" (Malachi 3:18), just as He did during the plagues of Egypt (Exodus 8:22, 23; 9:4; 10:23; Isaiah 4:5, 6). "His truth shall be thy shield and buckler." Psalm 91:4. (Compare John 17:17; Colossians 1:5; Psalm 119:142, 151.) According to the new covenant promise, the Holy Spirit is to write the law of God in the heart of God's children. (Hebrews 8:8-10; 2 Corinthians 3:3.) But it must be put "into their mind" before it can be written "in their hearts" (Hebrews 8:10); and as they have been looking at a mutilated law, the missing part must be .restored before the 'Holy Spirit can write it in their hearts. And so the message comes to "bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples." Isaiah 8:16. While the nations are moving toward Armageddon, while angels are about to release the winds of war but have been admonished to hold a little longer, another angel comes with the "seal of the living God," saying: "Hurt not the earth, . . . till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads," so they shall be able to stand during the terrible time of trouble just ahead. (Revelation 6:17; 7:1-3). The Lord revealed the same scene to Ezekiel. He saw the destroyers coming, but a man clothed in linen (a symbol of purity, Revelation 19:8) went before them to "set a mark upon the foreheads of" God's people, after which the destroyers were told to "slay utterly old and young, . . . but come not near any man upon whom is the mark." Ezekiel 9:1-6. This mark, or sign, is the Sabbath. "I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them." Ezekiel 20:12, 20. As Christ viewed His people on the earth, and found them without "the seal of the living God," He commanded the winds of war to be held in check "till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. "Revelation 7:1- 3. They were God's servants, but lacked the seal. In Ezekiel 9:4-6 and 20:12, 20 it is called God's "mark," or "sign," while in Revelation 7:1-4 it is called His "seal." God's "name" will be written in the foreheads of His people. (Revelation 14:1.) In God's law His name is found only in the fourth commandment. The fourth commandment, which enjoins the keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath, is the seal of God which the Holy Spirit places in the minds and hearts of His people. The day of wrath is fast approaching. God's people will need a shelter during Armageddon. But God will not do miracles to protect the willfully disobedient. The Lord is greatly grieved over the situation, and complains that His watchmen are not preparing the people "to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord." Ezekiel 13:5. Compare Ezekiel 22:26, 30; Isaiah 58:1, 2, 12, 13; 56:1-5, 10, 11; Hebrews 10:26, 29. "But the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel." Joel 3:16.
Chapter 29 The Image to the Beast Early Efforts To Unite Church And State IN HOLY Scripture Christ Jesus is repeatedly spoken of as the Lamb of God. Bible prophecy represents America by a similar symbol, which "had two horns like a lamb." The word of God informs us, however, that this peace-loving power, despite its lamb-like principles, eventually would say "to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast [the Papacy], which had the wound by a sword, and did live." Revelation 13:14 The Papacy was formed by a union of church and state, which resulted in the persecution of dissenters. An "image," or "likeness," to the Papacy in America would be a union of church and state, or a cooperation between them, as in the days of papal Rome. And, seeing it is to be "an image to the beast," it cannot be the beast itself, but must be an effort started among Protestants, who desire the aid of the state to enforce some of their dogmas. For nearly three quarters of a century Protestant churches and civic organizations have been at work to create just such a relation between church and state in the United States. In 1863, representatives of eleven Protestant denominations convened at Xenia, Ohio, and organized a federation, with the avowed purpose of placing the name of God in the Federal Constitution. This National Reform Association declared in Article II of its constitution: "The object of this Society shall be to . . . secure such an amendment to the Constitution of the United States as will declare the nation's allegiance to Jesus Christ and its acceptance of the moral laws of the Christian religion, and so indicate that this is a Christian nation, and place all the Christian laws, institutions, and usages of our government on an undeniably legal basis in the fundamental law of the land"–"American State Papers," William A. Blakely, p. 343. Washington, D. C.:1911. Their official organization, The Christian Statesman, (1888) points out their reason for such an amendment to the Federal Constitution in the following words: "We need it to correct our most unfortunate attitude under the First Amendment, which restrains Congress from prohibiting the free exercise of any false religion."–"Facts for the Times," p. 165. That is, the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution, which safeguards religious liberty, must be made null and void by their proposed amendment, just as the eighteenth amendment was nullified by the twenty-first. Rev. M. A. Gault, a district secretary of the organization, said: "Our remedy for all these malefic influences is to have the government simply set up the moral law, and recognize God's authority behind it, and lay its hand on any religion that does not conform to it."–"The Christian Statesman," Jan. 13, 1887; quoted in "Facts for the Times," page 166. Jonathan Edwards, another of their speakers, said: "We want state and religion, and we are going to have it. . . So far as the affairs of the state require religion, it shall be religion, the religion of Jesus Christ .... We use the word religion in its proper sense, as meaning a man's personal relation of faith and obedience to God. Now we are warned that to engraft this doctrine upon the Constitution will be oppressive; that it will infringe the right of conscience; and we are told that there are atheists, deists, Jews, and Seventh Day Baptists who would suffer from it. These all are, for the occasion and so far as our amendment is concerned, one class .... What are the rights of the atheist? . . . I would tolerate him as I would a conspirator."–"Religious Liberty in America," C. M. Snow, pp. 266, 267. The Lord's Day Alliance is another organization working for the same ends. In their "Lord's Day Papers" (Milwaukee, Wis.), No. 117, p. 4, they say of those who do not sanction their propaganda for Sunday laws: "That anarchistic spirit that tramples on any law that one does not like needs to be completely crushed." Joining Hands With Catholicism The Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America has also interested itself along the same lines, and has co-operated more or less with the other two organizations. November 21, 1905, twenty denominations met in New York, and invited the co-operation of the Roman Catholic Church to help solve these civic questions. Another meeting was held in Chicago, December 4-9, 1912, where representatives of thirty-two denominations, having a constituency of nearly 18,000,000 people, met in council. The Inter-Ocean of December 7, 1912, reported: "Federal Council Opens Its Doors To The Catholics "Word Protestant Is Stricken From Committee Report On Object Of Association Of Churches. "The Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America took one of the most important forward steps in its history when it adopted a resolution presented by the executive committee eliminating the word Protestant from the report of the committee, and virtually threw down the bars and invited the Roman Catholic Church of America to join the council, and lend its titanic strength toward solving the common problems of the church."– Quoted in "Review and Herald," Jan. 9, 1913. A strong resolution for the enforcement of Sunday laws by civil government was then adopted. In forming the Papacy during the fourth and fifth centuries the Catholic bishops, in conjunction with the state, enforced the pagan Sunday as one of the first steps in uniting church and state, thus producing what prophecy terms "the beast." And now in forming "an image to the beast" the Protestant and Catholic clergy will again make Sunday laws the entering wedge in their attempt to enforce religion by law, because Sunday legislation constitutes the neutral ground for co-operation between Catholics and Protestants, and in this work they seek each other's assistance. Rev. S. V. Leech, a Protestant Sunday advocate, said in an address at Denver, Colorado: "Give us good Sunday laws, well enforced by men in local authority, and our churches will be full of worshipers .... A mighty combination of the churches of the United States could win from Congress, the state legislatures, and municipal councils, all legislation essential to this splendid result."–"Homiletic Review," November, 1892; quoted in "American State Papers," William A. Blakely, p. 732. Washington, D. C.:1911. Rev. Sylvester F. Scovel, a leading National Reformer, says: "This common interest [in Sunday] ought to strengthen both our determination to work, and our readiness to co-operate with our Roman Catholic fellow citizens .... It is one of the necessities of the situation."– "Views of National Reform, Series One," Bible Students' Library, No. 3, pp. 85, 86. Oakland, Calif.:Jan. 15, 1889. "Whenever they [the Roman Catholics] are willing to cooperate in resisting the progress of political atheism, we will gladly join hands with them."– "Christian Statesman," Dec. 11, 1884. The Catholic Lay Congress, held in Baltimore, November 12, 1889, said: "We should seek an alliance with non-Catholics for the purpose of proper Sunday observance."–Quoted in "Religious Liberty in America," C. M. Snow, pp. 283, 284. When the great Federation of Catholic Societies was organized in 1906, they said: "The Federation is a magnificent organization that is bound to root out prevailing and ruling national evils; a patriotic undertaking in which Catholic and non-Catholic may join hands."–"The Catholic Union and Times," Aug. 2, 1906; quoted in "Signs of the Times," July 8, 1908. The following resolution was adopted by the Boston Archdiocesan Federation of Catholic Societies: "We are unalterably opposed to any relaxation of the Sunday laws. Sunday is a day of rest to be devoted to the praise and service of God. We hold the safest public policy at present is to adhere to the rigid observance of the laws now safeguarding the sanctity of the Lord's day."–"Boston Pilot," official organ of Cardinal O'Connell, March 16, 1912. In 1910 forty-six Protestant denominations co-operated in an effort to reunite all the Christian churches in the world, and fifty-five commissions were appointed to attend a world's conference. They were to have been sent in September, 1914, to different countries to explain the plan, but the World War delayed it. Another effort was made in 1917, when delegates from "many denominations, including Protestant Episcopal, Baptist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian," met at Garden City, N. Y., where they received a letter from Cardinal Gasparri, Papal Secretary of State; and in 1919 three Episcopal bishops were sent to Rome to interview the pope on this question of church union, for Pope Benedict XV had already (1917) started a "move for reunited Christianity." The daily papers reported in January, 1930, that a plan for a world federation of Lutheran churches was being worked on by a sub-committee of the National Lutheran Council at New York. Reports at that time stated the federated church would be headed by a world executive comparable in administrative respects to the Roman Catholic pope. Decorah Posten (Norwegian) for January 21, 1930, gives a similar report. So "federation'' and "consolidation" are in the air. Earnest Men See The Danger God-fearing men in different denominations, who see the trend of the times, fear the consequences. Dr. A. C. Dixon says: "The purpose of this 'Inter-church' movement seems to be to make a great ecclesiastical machine which will dominate all smaller bodies. It is an attempt to form a papacy without a pope; and, if evangelical truth is to be sacrificed or compromised, such a papacy without a pope will be no improvement upon the present ecclesiastical machine which has its center in Rome."–A front-page article in the "Baptist Messenger," June 23, 1920. Oklahoma City, Okla. Dr. George A. Gordon, Pastor of Old South Church, Boston, says: "The church was united once, the holy Catholic Church throughout the world, and what was it?–An ineffable tyrant, denying freedom over its whole broad domain, and crushing the intellect and the spirit into a dead uniformity .... Your one holy Catholic Protestant American Church would give me much uneasiness if it should come into existence tomorrow."– "Review and Herald," May 11, 1913. How clearly these God-fearing men, and many others we could have quoted, see the trend of the Protestant church in forming "an image to the beast" and even seeking the aid of the Papacy in their efforts to form a "holy Catholic Protestant American Church," that could control the state as the papal church did during the Middle Ages! As long as a church has a living connection with Christ, its true Head, and is loyal to His written word, she is supplied with divine power to do His bidding (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 5:32; Romans 1:16; John 1:12), and feels no craving for the power of the state to enforce its teachings. But when apostasy has robbed it of its divine power, and the power of love (2 Corinthians 5:14) has been exchanged for the love of power, it usually seeks the aid of the civil arm. All attempts to secure the enforcement of religion by civil laws is therefore a confession of apostasy from apostolic purity. A Miracle-Working Power Whenever God has sent a message of reform to prepare His people for some great crisis, the archenemy has always tried to counterfeit it. When Moses was sent to deliver Israel from Egypt, Jannes and Jambres withstood his message by counterfeiting his miracles. (Exodus 7:10-13, 22; 8:6, 7; 2 Timothy 3:8, 9.) And so it was when the message of Christ's first coming was given. In these last days God has promised to send a message in the power and spirit of Elijah to prepare His people for "the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." Malachi 4:5.) The devil knows this, and so he will counterfeit this message. The prophet, in speaking of the United States, says: "He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men [as Elijah did]. And he deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the beast, . . . and he causeth all . . . to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads." Revelation 13:13-16. Thus we see that this country was to become a miracle-working power. It was here in the United States that modern Spiritism originated in 1848. And it is working miracles. But what is the source of this miraculous power? We will let the leaders of Spiritism answer this question. In Spiritten [a Norwegian Spiritist periodical], for December 15, 1889, page 2, we read: "Spiritism is the serpent in Paradise offering man to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil." To understand this statement we must remember that God told man not to eat of this tree or he would "surely die," but Satan assured Eve: "Ye shall not surely die." Genesis 2:17; 3:4. And Spiritists have based their belief on the devil's words, claiming that people at death do not actually die, but simply pass into the spirit world. Moses Hull, a leading teacher and lecturer among them, makes this point clear. He says: "A Truthful Snake .... In answer to the question, 'Who, then, are we to believe–God or Satan?' I answer, The facts, in every case in the Bible, justify us in believing Satan, he has ever been truthful; that is more than can be said of the other one .... It was not the devil, but God who made the mistake in the Garden of Eden .... It was God, and not the devil, who was a murderer from the beginning."–"The Devil and the Adventists," pp. 15, 16. Chicago:1899. I must ask pardon of the readers for quoting such blasphemous words, but the only fair way of revealing the true nature of Spiritism is to allow its followers to speak for themselves. In later years, however, Spiritism has changed its face, but not its heart, by professing Christianity; and in that garb has succeeded in getting into the churches. Some startling revelations have been unearthed of late years regarding the work of Spiritism in the different churches all over the world. Many in these churches have felt the emptiness of formalism, and have craved spiritual power, but have been unwilling to get it by the way of the cross. Humble confession, heartfelt repentance, and straightening up of wrongs done to neighbors is a road too narrow for many to walk; unpopular truths, which cut across their selfish path of ease, are unwelcome to them; but Spiritism in its Christian form offers the desired power without such sacrifices, and the easy road is accepted with eagerness by many. (Compare Mark 8:34, 38; Acts 5:32; Matthew 4:3-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11; Matthew 24:24.) They mistakenly accept spiritual power and miracles as evidence of their being right with God (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 9:55), but God's children cannot thus prove whether a movement is true or false, for the enemy can work miracles. Judge I. W. Edmonds, a noted Spiritist, says of his daughter: "She knows no other language than her own native tongue, the English, except a little French she learned in the girls' school; and yet she has talked in nine or ten different languages, often a whole hour at a time, with the same ease as a native. Quite often strangers in their native tongue hold conversation' with their spirit friends through her."–"Spiritualism Before the Judgment Seat of Science," p. 42. In the near future Spiritism will influence people in America to form a union of church and state. When this is accomplished, the Papacy will step in and take charge of it. Thus every effort to form this union is helping the Papacy to power. This is so strikingly pictured by the prophet Zechariah that we must take the space here to refer to it. The Woman In The Ephah The prophet saw "an ephah" (which is a fitting symbol of the business world) and "a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah." Zechariah 5:7. A woman in prophecy symbolizes a church, and in the book of Revelation this woman is called "the mother" church, which is "drunken with the blood of . . . the martyrs of Jesus." It is also represented as "that great city" on "seven mountains." (Revelation 17:5, 6, 9, 18.) M'Clintock and Strong says, "The city of Rome was founded · . . on the Palatine Hill; it was extended by degrees, so as to take in six other hills."–Encyclopedia, art. "Rome." This woman is said to be trading in all kinds of "merchandise", linen, silk, wine, flour, sheep, chariots, and souls of men. (Revelation 18:12, 13.) A more striking picture of the Papacy could hardly be given, for no advantage in the business world escapes her vigilance. She always seeks to place her members in strategic government positions, and at advantageous labor posts. The ephah, in which this prophetic woman sat, was covered with "a talent of lead," and when this cover was lifted the "wickedness" was seen, or, as the Septuagint has it, "This is the iniquity." (Zechariah 5:7, 8.) And just so, when the Reformation of the sixteenth century pulled off the cover, "the mystery of iniquity" was seen in all its "wickedness." (2 Thessalonians 2:7, 8.) But the prophet saw the cover placed back on again, and, through the efforts of Jesuits, this covering-up work is being accomplished. "Two women" are next seen who "lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven." (Zechariah 5:8, 9.) That is, after the true nature of the papacy has been concealed, the miracle-working power of Spiritism in some Christian form, and fallen Protestantism (these two women) will raise the Papacy to the sky. "Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar, and it shall be established, and set there upon her Own base." Verses 10, 11. It was "in the land Shinar" that the former tower of Babel was built, as a manmade way to heaven, so as to avoid the judgment of God in case of another Flood. The builders called it "Babil," "Gate of God," but God called it "Babel," "Confusion." It was around this tower that the city of Babylon was built; and it stands as a synonym for a man-made way of salvation; and for this reason the Roman Catholic Church is called "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER." Revelation 17:5. Even Cardinal Gibbons declares: "'Babylon,' from which Peter addresses his first epistle, is understood by learned annotators, Protestant and Catholic, to refer to Rome"–"Faith of Our Fathers," edition of 1885, p. 131; and p. 106 in "Eighty-third Revised Edition" of 1917. It is natural, therefore, when the prophet speaks of the Papacy's being established "there upon her own base," that he should symbolically refer to it as "the land of Shinar," or Babylon. (Zechariah 5:10, 11.) Thus we see, that, through the cooperation of modernized Protestantism, and Christianized Spiritism, the Papacy will be brought back to power. This is so aptly stated by another author that we give the quotation here: "When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and Republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is near."– "Testimonies," Vol. V, p. 451. Then the "deadly wound" will be fully healed (Revelation 13:3), and in her restored relationship to the kings of the earth, the Papacy will exclaim in the pride of her power: "I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow." Revelation 18:7. But, as pride and "a haughty spirit" go before a fall, her glorying will be short, for she shall "go into perdition." Verse 8; 17:8. Thus we can better understand the seven heads of the beast. The Papacy is said to be one "of the seven" heads, and yet it is "the eighth" (Revelation 17:11), because, as one of the seven it received its deadly wound, and when this is healed it comes back as the eighth in rotation, while in reality it is only one of the seven coming back to life and power. (Compare Revelation 13:3 with 17:8, 11.) "That No Man Might Buy Or Sell" "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark." Revelation 13:17. We have seen that the Papacy has adopted Sunday as "a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority," and the Protestant organizations have also adopted this mark, as the following quotations show: "This day [Sunday] is set apart for divine worship and preparation for another life. It is the test of all religion."–Dr. W. W. Everts, in Elgin (Ill.) "Sunday Convention," November, 1887. "When the people, through their representative, legalize the first day of the week as a day of rest and of worship for those who choose so to observe it, it is a sign of the Christian nation."–From a sermon reported in "Christian Oracle," January 12, 1893. The Puritans in the United States made Sunday "a sign between them and the heathen world around, and, to a large extent, it has continued to be a mark of American religion to the present day."–Rev. J. G. Lorimer, in "Christian Treasury"; all quoted in "Signs of the Times," April 1, 1908. When these large religious organizations, that are so vitally interested in Sunday enforcement, combine in their efforts, it is not remarkable that they should attempt to deprive dissenters of their natural rights of attaining their livelihood, for we have seen that this combination is making "an image to the beast" (Revelation 13:14-17); and the beast, or Papacy, did this very thing. At the Synod of Tholouse, A. D. 1163, it made the following decrees against Sabbath-keepers: "The bishops and priests [were] 'to take care, and to forbid, under the pain of excommunication, every person from presuming to give reception, or the least assistance to the followers of this heresy, which first began in the country of Tholouse, whenever they shall be discovered. Neither were they to have any dealings with them in buying or selling; that by being thus deprived of the common assistance of life, they might be compelled to repent of the evil of their way. Whosoever shall dare to contravene this order, let them be excommunicated, as a partner with them in their guilt. As many of them as can be found, let them be imprisoned by the Catholic princes, and punished with the forfeiture of all their substance.'" Stirred by this decree, King Ildefonsus of Arragon banished all Waldenses in 1194. "He adds, 'If any, from this day forwards, shall presume to receive into their houses, the aforesaid Waldenses and Inzabatati, or other heretics, of whatsoever profession they be, or to hear, in any place, their abominable preachings, or give them food, or do them any kind office whatsoever; let him know, that he shall incur the indignation of Almighty God and ours; that he shall forfeit all his goods, without the benefit of appeal, and be punished as though guilty of high treason."–"History of the Inquisition," Philip Limborch," pp. 88, 89. London:1816. That the "image to the beast" will actually duplicate the work of the Papacy also in this respect is seen from the following utterance, among many others we could quote Dr. Bascom Robins, in a sermon on the "Decalogue," preached in Burlington, Kansas, Sunday, January 31, 1904, said: "In the Christian decalogue the first day was made the Sabbath by divine appointment. But there is a class of people who will not keep the Christian Sabbath unless they are forced to do so. But that can be easily done. We have twenty million of men, besides women and children, in this country, who want this country to keep the Christian Sabbath. If we would say we will not sell anything to them, we will not buy anything from them, we will not work for them, or hire them to work for us, the thing could be wiped out, and all the world would keep the Christian Sabbath." God, who knows the end from the beginning, has foretold that they would do this very thing, so "that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark." Revelation 13:17. But will God forsake His faithful children in this trying hour? Oh, no! "He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye." Zechariah 2:8. As a loving Father He will step forward to the protection of His children. (Psalm 103:13.) And His enemies will find that "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10:31. When the world refuses to permit God's people to "buy or sell," He will send drought and famine, so that the wicked will have little or nothing to sell, and will be unable to buy because their money will be worthless. The seven last plagues will be God's answer to man's challenge, as the ten plagues of Egypt were His answer to the haughty challenge of a Pharaoh against His message in ancient time. (Exodus 4:22, 23; 5:2.) With men suffering from sores and fever, and no water to drink, while the sun is scorching them with great heat (Revelation 16:1-9), causing the most terrible drought the world has ever witnessed (Joel 1:10-20), the earth will be in a deplorable condition (Isaiah 24:1-6), and people "shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry; and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king, and their God" (Isaiah 8:21, 22). And they will turn against the rich (James 5:1-5), who will "cast their silver in the streets" to appease the angry mob, but "their gold shall be removed" (Ezekiel 7:19). They hoarded millions, and cornered markets, while working people were suffering, till at last the storm has gathered around their well-filled palaces, and too late they make an attempt to save themselves from the long-pent-up wrath. The laws that deprive God's people of their rights, and thus force them out of the cities, seem to them a calamity, and many surrender the truth to support their families. But what appears to be such a calamity is a blessing in disguise, for it drives them out of the cities in time to escape this terrible labor-revolution. Some day we shall find that no hardship comes to God's loyal children but what is absolutely necessary to their salvation. Those who make it 'their undeviating practice to put God's will first in all their plans and habits of living, can safely trust Him for the rest. (Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:19; Isaiah 43:2.) Driven from the cities, they flee to mountain fastnesses and solitary places, where angels supply their needs, as Elijah was fed. "Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure." Isaiah 33:16. Oh, we have a wonderful God. "Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him." Psalm 2:12. God's loyal children will be fed by angels, while the world is starving. The fondest hopes of God's people will be realized: "Thine eyes shall see the king in His beauty they shall behold the land that is very far off." Isaiah 33:17, 18. No pen can describe that thrill of joy when we shall meet our dear Saviour and our loved ones, and be taken home to that beautiful land that knows no heartaches, no farewell scenes, no funeral trains. (John 14:1- 3.) The great question for each one of us to settle is whether we will have our citizenship papers in order when King Jesus shall come to claim His own. The reader might ask what papers are required for citizenship in that kingdom. To answer that question satisfactorily, we must remember that sin has caused all the anguish, sorrow, and trouble in this world, and that God's heart of infinite love has been wrung with pain for suffering humanity. He has therefore decided that sin, with all its trail of woe, shall not be permitted to enter His eternal kingdom, and that all who enter that blissful home must part company with sin. But sin is inbred in man, and forms a part of his very character, so that he cannot, by his own efforts, extricate himself from its toils. (Jeremiah 13:23; Romans 7:15, 18-24.) Christ, however, stands ready to free us from our sins. He will deliver us if we will let Him do it. (Matthew 1:21; John 1:12.) But He will not use force, even in things that are for our own good, for He has created man a free moral agent, and respects his choice. (Isaiah 1:18; Revelation 22:17; I John 1:7, 9.) A complete surrender to Christ is therefore necessary, that He may change our desires, affections, and characters so we can enjoy the society of the pure and unselfish inhabitants of that happy land.