The Last Nation
Noticed in Prophecy
What symbol is introduced in Rev. 12:3?
"And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and, behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads."
At what time in the world's history did this symbol apply?
"And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." Rev. 12:1.
NOTE: In symbolic prophecy, a woman represents a church (Eze. 23:2-4; Rev. 17:3-6). The above text presents the Christian church clothed with the light of the sun (the light and glory of the gospel dispensation) and the moon (the Mosaic dispensation) under her feet. The crown of twelve stars on her head may represent the twelve apostles.
What did the dragon design to do to the child about to be born to the church?
"And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born." Rev. 12:4.
What became of the child?
"And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne." Rev. 12:5.
NOTE: Christ the Lord is the only one to whom the prophecy can apply (Heb. 12:2).
Who sought to slay Christ as soon as He was born?
"Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men." Matt. 2:16.
NOTE: Herod was a Roman governor. The dragon, then, represents the work of Satan under the pagan Roman power.
What symbol was next seen by the prophet?
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy." Rev. 13:1.
From what did this government receive its seat and power?
"And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority." Rev. 13:2.
NOTE: It is an undisputed point in history that, when Constantine removed the seat of his empire from Rome to Constantinople, in 330 A.D., the city of Rome was given up to the bishop of Rome, who, in 538, became the head of all the churches, and the corrector of heretics, by the work of Justinian, the ruling emperor of the Romans. Thus Rome became the seat of the papacy, and the authority of the pope was derived from the decree of the dragon power. See "Croly on the Apocalypse." pages 114-115.
What was to happen to this beast?
"And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast." Rev. 13:3.
How was this wounding to be brought about?
"He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword." Rev. 13:10.
Had the papacy led others into captivity?
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." Rev. 13:7.
NOTE: Many millions have been martyred by the Roman Church, because they dared to differ with her in religious opinions. See "Fox's Book of Martyrs;" "The Wars of the Huguenots;" "Buck's Theological Dictionary," art. Persecutions; histories of the Reformation, etc.
When was the papal head wounded by being taken into captivity?
In 1798, the French army under Berthier then abolished the papacy in Rome, proclaimed a republic there, and carried Pope Pius VI a captive from place to place till he died at Valence, France, August 28,1799. See reading "A Remarkable Symbol." page 29.
At that time what additional symbol was seen by the prophet?
"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon." Rev. 13:11.
NOTE: Mr. Wesley, in his notes on Rev. 13, written in 1754, says of the two-horned beast; "He is not yet come, though he cannot be far off; for he is to appear at the end ofthe forth-two months of the first beast."
The previous beast came up out of the "sea," which indicates its rise among the peoples and nations then recognized (Rev. 17:15), while this one comes up out of the "earth." This would plainly indicate that the last beast would arise where there had not before been "peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues," In 1798, when the papal power was going into captivity, its territory covered the principal parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa; and the only place for the two-horned beast to develop, would be in the Western Continent. Looking to this country, we find that the United States was the only independent nation then occupying territory in the which there had not been for ages, peoples, multitudes, and established nations.
Speaking of the silent growth of this nation. Mr. G.A. Townsend in his work, "The New World Compared with the Old," page 635, says "Like a silent seed we grew into empire." On page 462 he further speaks of "the mystery of her coming forth from vacancy."
Has the United States "come up" sufficiently to warrant the application of the prophecy to this country?
The "Centennial History of the United States" says: "The extent of the conceded domain of the United States, in 1776, was not more than half a million square miles. Now (1875) it is more than three million, three hundred thousand square miles. Its population then was three million; in 1875-forty million. Today it is over two hundred fifty million.
What do the "two horns like a lamb" represent?
A horn represents a kingdom, or a component part of a kingdom, as in Dan. 7:7, 8, 24, 25. Lamb-like horns would indicate youthfulness, innocence, and gentleness. The "two" horns may represent the two leading principles of the government, civil and religious liberty.
Notwithstanding the lamb-like pretensions of this power, what is it ultimately to do?
"And he spake as a dragon." Rev. 13:11.
What will he say?
"Saying unto them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live." Rev. 13:14.
NOTE: The beast "which had the wound by a sword and did live," is the papacy. That was a church clothed with the civil power. In other words, it enforced its religious dogmas by the civil power, under pain of confiscation of goods, imprisonment, and death.
When the image to the beast has been formed in the United States, what will follow?
"And he had 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." Rev. 13:15.
How are the people to be led to form the image to the beast?
"And 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." Rev. 13:14.
How much power will be exercised in the matter?
"And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." Rev. 13:12.
NOTE: The "first beast before him" (the papal power) exercised the power of putting to death all who differed with them in religious faith.
What will the two-horned beast power try to enforce on the people?
"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." Rev. 13:16.
How far is this to be carried?
"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." Rev. 13:17.
NOTE: That is, all who do not receive the mark are to be denied the right of citizenship. For the characteristics of the beast itself see the following chapter (54).