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    September 30, 1886

    “The Ten Kingdoms” The Signs of the Times 12, 38, p. 596.

    WE have now described the origin, traced the course, and marked the establishment, of the ten kingdoms that arose upon the destruction of the Western empire of Rome. The ten as we have found them are the Burgundians, the Vandals, the Suevi, the Visigoths, the Franks, the Alemanni, the Saxons, the Ostrogoths, the Lombards, and the Heruli. Eight of these are designation by Gibbon in a single paragraph; in giving the history of the conversion of the barbarians he says:—SITI September 30, 1886, page 596.1

    “The formidable Visigoths, universally adopted the religion of the Romans, with whom they maintained a perpetual intercourse, of war, of friendship, or of conquest. In their long and victorious march from the Danube to the Atlantic Ocean, they converted their allies; they educated the rising generation; and the devotion which reigned in the camp of Alaric, or the court of Thoulouse, might edify or disgrace the palaces of Rome and Constantinople. During the same period, Christianity was embraced by almost all the barbarians, who established their kingdoms on the ruins of the Western empire; the Burgundians in Gaul, the Suevi in Spain, the Vandals in Africa, the Ostrogoths in Pannonia, and the various bands of mercenaries [Heruli], that raised Odoacer to the throne of Italy. The Franks and the Saxons still persevered in the errors of Paganism; but the Franks obtained the monarchy of Gaul by their submission to the example of Clovis; and the Saxon conquerors of Britain were reclaimed from their savage superstition by the missionaries of Rome.”—Decline and Fall, chap. 37, par. 18.SITI September 30, 1886, page 596.2

    In the same chapter, he names another, the Lombards after their removal from the Danube to Italy. He mentions their recent conversion to Christianity, and their final adoption of the Catholic faith instead of Arianism, as follows:—SITI September 30, 1886, page 596.3

    “Gregory, the spiritual conqueror of Britain, encouraged the pious Theodelinda, queen of the Lombards, to propagate the Nicene faith among the victorious savages, whose recent Christianity was polluted by the Arian heresy. Her devout labors still left room for the industry and success of future missionaries; and many cities of Italy were still disputed by hostile bishops. But the cause of Arianism was gradually suppressed by the weight of truth, of interest, and of example; and the controversy, which Egypt had derived from the Platonic school, was terminated, after a war of three hundred years, by the final conversion of the Lombards of Italy.”—Id., par. 29.SITI September 30, 1886, page 596.4

    We have already given his designation of the Alemanni as “a great and permanent nation.”—chap. 10, par. 26—a specific title which he has, in form, applied to no other of the barbarian nations.SITI September 30, 1886, page 596.5

    Assuredly no one can suppose for a moment that Gibbon wrote with any intentional reference to an exposition of the prophecy. Nevertheless we believe that he has given an exposition of it, because he has written the one single authoritative history of the times of the fulfillment of the prophecy, and that history is itself an exposition, and the very best one, of the prophecy in question. Therefore all that we have attempted to do is simply to retrace from his writing, the history of the ten kingdoms, is the correct list according to the prophecy. We believe that this list will bear the test of legitimate criticism; and that it is the only list that will bear it. A number of lists have been made of what are proposed as the ten kingdoms. Perhaps it would be well to notice the principal ones, and, where they disagree with the list which we have drawn from Gibbon, show why they are defective. It would not be at all difficult to make up any moderate number of lists of ten names each, and each different from the others, composed of the names of tribes or nations that played some part in the destruction of the Western empire. In fact we have now before us five proposed lists of the ten kingdoms, no two of which are alike. It is not enough, however, to find ten nations which participated in the overthrow of the empire; but did such nations establish kingdoms? Now is it enough to say that they did establish kingdoms; but did they establish kingdoms within the bounds of the Western empire? Nor yet is it enough to say that they established kingdoms within the bounds of the Western empire; but can these ten nations be found within the period marked by the prophecy? and do all remain that the prophecy demands shall remain?SITI September 30, 1886, page 596.6

    The fulfillment of prophecy is not hap-hazard. “For the prophecy came not at any time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:21 margin. By the word of the prophets God has declared what should be in the “course of empire;” and the history of the course of empire declares, according to the prophecy, what has been. God has spoken and accordingly it must be; and the points of prophecy may be pressed as closely as any just interpretation may demand, and they will not fail, provided the interpreter has all the facts.SITI September 30, 1886, page 596.7

    In Daniel 2:41, of the fourth kingdom it is said: “Whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided.” We have before proved that this division is to be into ten parts, corresponding to the “toes” of the image; because Daniel 7:7, 24, which is the complement of 2:41, says that the fourth beast had ten horns, that the fourth beast is “the fourth kingdom,” and that the ten horns “are ten kings that shall arise.” Further, when the ten horns had appeared Daniel says: “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots.” Daniel 7:8. Then after the angel had said that these “ten horns” “are ten kings,” he continued: “And another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” Verse 24.SITI September 30, 1886, page 596.8

    From these texts it is clear, (a) that the ten kingdoms first appear; (b) that after that, three of these are “plucked up by the roots,” and (c) that only these are so plucked up. It is evident therefore that the ten are all in sight, before any of the three are “plucked up.” Now the three that were plucked up by the roots were the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths; and the date of the plucking up of the first of the three, is March 5, A.D. 493, and of the last, March A.D. 538—this will be fully demonstrated when we come to the illustration of Daniel 7:8 itself. Therefore,—SITI September 30, 1886, page 596.9

    1. Any list purporting to be that of the ten kingdoms, that contains the names of any that never were established within the bounds of the Western empire, cannot be a correct list.SITI September 30, 1886, page 596.10

    2. Any such list containing the names of any that arose later than A.D. 493, cannot be a correct list.SITI September 30, 1886, page 596.11

    3. Any such list that contains the names of more than three nations that perished—“were plucked up by the roots”—cannot be a correct list.SITI September 30, 1886, page 596.12

    To state it in the alternative form: The ten kingdoms must all be in sight in A.D. 493; they must establish themselves within the bounds of the Western empire; three, and only three, of them must be plucked up by the roots; and the other seven must remain, through their lineal descendants, to the time when all kingdoms shall give place to the kingdom of God. The list of the ten kingdoms that meets these specifications must be the correct list.SITI September 30, 1886, page 596.13

    Not that the remaining seven must all, always remain equally powerful kingdoms; not that no one of them shall ever be brought low; not that no one shall ever be made tributary to another; not that no one shall ever have to acknowledge the overlordship of another; because in this same prophecy, in the very next verse—Daniel 2:42—we read that, “As the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken”—brittle, margin. That is, part of them shall be strong, and part shall be brittle—easily broken; part of them will retain the strength of iron, while part will show more of the weakness of clay. But though part of them may be weak, though they may even “be broken,” yet they are never plucked up by the roots; for “in the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” Daniel 2:44. We shall hereafter, in its proper place, sketch the history of these kingdoms from the fall of the Western empire—A.D. 476—through the Middle Ages; we shall now notice some of the lists that have been given as those of the ten kingdoms.SITI September 30, 1886, page 596.14

    J.

    “The Extent and Purpose of the Third Angel’s Message” The Signs of the Times 12, 38, pp. 599, 600.

    HAVING shown that now is the time—immediately following A.D. 1844, and onward—when the Third Angel’s Message is due to the world, it now remains to study the import of that message. It is a world-wide message; for (1) The first of the three angels (Revelation 14:6, 7), spake with a loud voice to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people; the second angel followed this one, and the third angel followed them. As, therefore, the first one was to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, and as the third one follows, it likewise must go to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. (2) The third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If any man worship the beast and his image,” etc. This phrase, “If any man” shows that it is spoken to all men; that it is a universal message. (3) Of the beast it is said, “All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8. And the work of the image of the beast is but to cause the worship of the beast; true, he compels men to worship himself, the image of the beast; but as he derives his authority, and draws his inspiration, from the beast, the worship of the image is but indirectly the worship of the beast. Now as the worship of the beast is to be by “all that dwell upon the earth;” as the Third Angel’s Message is the warning against the worship of the beast and his image; and as obedience to this warning is the only means of escaping that worship and the wrath of God; therefore the Third Angel’s Message must go to “all that dwell upon the earth,“—the warning must be as extensive as is the worship. It is therefore evident that this thing will not be done in a corner.SITI September 30, 1886, page 599.1

    This message says: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation.” We have before cited the scriptures which show this wrath to be the seven last plagues, and which show that with the seventh of these plagues comes the end of the world. But all do not worship the beast and his image. There are some who get “the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name;” and these are seen standing “on the sea of glass,” before the throne of God, having the harps of God, and they sing a song which none can learn but they, and it is the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb. Revelation 4:6; 15:2, 3. How do these get the victory? Notice; the message not only warns all men against the worship of the beast and his image, but it tells how to avoid that worship; it not only tells men what they shall not do, but it tells them what to do; it not only calls men to the conflict with the beast and his image, but it tells them how to get the victory; and this is contained in the words, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.SITI September 30, 1886, page 599.2

    Here, then, is a message which is now due, which is to go “to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,” calling upon all to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. The purpose of this message is to gather out from “all that dwell upon the earth” a people of whom it can truly be said, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus;” and that so, such may escape the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation. This makes it incumbent upon all now to study the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus as they have never studied these before, asking themselves the question, “Am I one of whom this scripture speaks? Am I one who truly keeps the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus?” And, as this message is world-wide, these considerations plainly show that under the power of the Third Angel’s Message there will be such a world-wide study of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, as there has not been since holy John stood on the Isle of Patmos.SITI September 30, 1886, page 599.3

    What, then, is meant by “The commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus”? First, as to the commandments of God. In a certain sense, there is no doubt that every injunction of the Bible is a commandment of God; for the Bible is the word of God. Yet, besides this, there is a certain part of the Bible that must be admitted to be the commandments of God above every other part. That certain part is the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Whereas, in giving all other parts of the Bible, “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21), in giving the ten commandments “God spake all these words.” The whole nation of Israel was assembled at the base of Sinai, and “Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire;” “and all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet,” “and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake.” And there, amid those awful scenes, God personally spoke the ten commandments, with a voice that shook the earth. Hebrews 12:26. Nor was that all. After having so spoken these great words unto all the people, “The Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there; and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.... And Moses went up into the mount of God.” Exodus 24:12, 13. “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” Exodus 31:18. “And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand; the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.” Exodus 32:15, 16. When Moses came down to the people, he found they had made a golden calf, and were worshiping it after the manner of Egypt; “and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.” “And the Lord said unto Moses. Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first; and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto Mount Sinai.” Exodus 34:1, 2. Then says Moses: “I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the Lord spake unto you in the mount, out of the midst of the fire, in the day of the assembly.” Deuteronomy 10:3, 4.SITI September 30, 1886, page 599.4

    Thus we find not only that God spoke the ten commandments but that he wrote them twice upon tables of stone. Although holy men of God, when moved by the Holy Ghost, could speak the message of God, none could be found holy enough to speak the words of the ten commandments in their deliverance to the children of men. Although the Spirit could say to the holy prophets, “Write,” no such word could be given to any man when the ten commandments were to be given in tangible form to the children of men. But, instead, God said, “I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written.” And again the second time, when these tables were broken, I will write the words that were in the first tables.SITI September 30, 1886, page 599.5

    Nor was this all. God did not come down upon Mount Sinai alone; but thousands upon thousands of the holy angels were with Him there. “The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from Mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of saints; from his right hand went a fiery law for them.” Deuteronomy 33:2. “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.” Psalm 68:17. This array of angels is that to which Stephen referred when he said to his persecutors that they had “received the law by the disposition of angels.” Acts 7:53. The Greek word here rendered disposition, signifies, “to set in order; draw up an army; posted in battle order.”—Liddell and Scott. When, therefore, God came down upon Mount Sinai to deliver the ten commandments, He was surrounded with the heavenly host of angels, drawn up in orderly array. Four-faced and four-winged cherubim,six-winged seraphim, and glorious angels with glittering, golden chariots,—all these, by the tens of thousands, accompanied the Majesty of Heaven as in love He gave to sinful men his great law of love. Deuteronomy 33:3. Than at the giving of the law of ten commandments, there certainly has been no more majestic scene since the creation of the world. Well, indeed, might Paul name “the giving of the law” among the great things that pertain to Israel. Romans 9:4.SITI September 30, 1886, page 599.6

    In view of all these things, it is assuredly the truth that the ten commandments are very properly distinguished as the commandments of God, above every other part of the Bible, although all the Bible is the word of God. This is according to that word itself: “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of they life: but teach them thy sons, and thy son’s sons; specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.... And He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.” Deuteronomy 4:9-13. Here in impressing upon the people the things they should diligently remember, “specially” to be remembered were the day that God came down upon Sinai, and the words that were then heard; and those words were the ten commandments.SITI September 30, 1886, page 599.7

    This is of equal importance to the world to-day; for all is summed up by Solomon when he says: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter [margin, the end of the matter, even all that hath been heard, is]: Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into Judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14. Men are to be judged by the law of God; that law is the ten commandments; and the words of Solomon are emphasized in the First and Third Angel’s Messages of Revelation 14. The first angel says: “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of his Judgment is come;” and the third angel follows, saying: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” The Third Angel’s Message embraces Sinai and Calvary; the law of God and the gospel of Christ; God the Father and God the Son; and when this message ends the work of God for the salvation of men—the mystery of God—will be finished.SITI September 30, 1886, page 599.8

    Reader, are you keeping the ten commandments, with the faith of Jesus? Read them carefully and see. Read them earnestly and prayerfully, for God will soon bring every work into Judgment, and every work that will not bear the test of the ten commandments will be found wanting.SITI September 30, 1886, page 600.1

    J.

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