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    February 10, 1888

    “The Image of the Papacy” The Signs of the Times 14, 6, pp. 87, 88.

    WE have already shown in our examination of the Sunday question as connected with the image of the beast that death to dissenters if the logical result of dissent from the National Reform doctrines, when that doctrine shall have been given a legal basis; and that thus the scripture will be fulfilled which says that “he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the nbeast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” We shall now show the same thing from their false doctrine of the coming and kingdom of Christ.SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.1

    We have shown by their own words that they intend by constitutional amendment to acknowledge Christ as king of this nation, and so to make this republic the kingdom of Christ. When that shall have been done, then, Sunday being the supreme test of Christianity, to refuse to keep it will be treason to the State. We have this in their own words. July 4, 1887, “Rev.” Wm. Benton Greene, Jr., pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, preached a sermon which the Christian Nation commends as containing “sound National Reform doctrine.” In that sermon, after having to his own satisfaction proved that this should be a Christian nation, Mr. Greene proceeded to call attention to some of the consequences flowing from it, and said:—SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.2

    “Indifference to Christ is treason to the State.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.3

    This being so, then it surely follows that anyone who persists in showing what these men pronounce to be indifference to Christ, will have to suffer the penalty of confirmed treason, which is death. But this ardent “reformer” is not willing even to wait for a constitutional acknowledgment of Christ as king; he is willing to count it so already, and to carry into effect his evil principles and their infamous consequences. He says:—SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.4

    “Let him [the citizen] see to it that all civil enactments harmonize with the spiritual law of his King.... If deliberate failure to do this be treason to the State, we have among us many traitors. Those there are who oppose the observance of the Sabbath [Sunday]; who demand that the law be not controlled by the gospel; that the Government must be administered on the principle that Christ has nothing to do with the State. The secularists are more numerous and more dangerous than the infidels. Professedly aiming at keeping asunder Church and State, they aim chiefly at secularizing public education, as if there were no God and no future for the human soul.... Such education must be equally false and unscientific, and when we permit it we are sanctioning the worst treason, the most oppressive tyranny, and conniving at the destruction of our nation.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.5

    If this is the way in which these men talk now, when they are are powerless to act, what will be the result when they shall have secured the constitutional authority to make their principles effective in acts. Woe then to the man who is so presumptuous as to have any opinions of his own, and thrice woe to him who shall be guilty of the treason of uttering dissent. If there be any of our readers who think yet that we are not living in a time of which the Third Angel’s Message speaks, or who think that we are talking at random when we speak of persecution coming, and of an image of the Papacy arising here, we only hope that something may occur that will wake them up before it is too late.SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.6

    Nor is this all. The Saviour says that “there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24. This shows that those who show these great signs and wonders will do so under the pretense that they are Christ; in other words, these signs and wonders will be shown under the form of false Christ’s. Now the very greatest of those wonders are to be wrought by Satan (2 Thessalonians 2:9); therefore, it follows that Satan will at that time reveal himself, and do his great wonders in the form of a false Christ. Then, as the National Reformers expect Christ to come as soon as they shall have finished their testimony, when they shall have succeeded in making this nation a kingdom of Christ, and stand expectantly waiting for Christ to come into his kingdom, Satan through the mighty working of his great power will appear as an angel of light, and say, “I am Christ,” and all the multitude—infidels, atheists, anarchists, Spiritualists, all—with the National Reform D.D.’s at their head, will receive him as Christ and king. Then will be indeed fulfilled the scripture that tells of “the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.” Then to speak against their devil-king will be blasphemy, and to refuse to receive him as king will be treason, to be visited only with death. Yet there will be come who will refuse to receive him, and will openly say that he is the devil. These will be those who have received the love of the truth of the Third Angel’s Message, that they might be saved, and who utterly refuse to worship either the beast or his image. They will refuse to working the Papal Church by keeping Sunday, and they will refuse to acknowledge the devil as either Christ or king.SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.7

    To reguse to do either of these things will be treason, and to refuse to do both will be doubly so. These alone of all the people will so refuse, and they will be but a “little flock.” What then shall be done with them? They will be but confirmed traitors. It will be argued that they are only bringing destruction upon the nation, and above all that they refuse to acknowledge Christ as king. What shall be done? The prophecy tells: “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.” Besides this, did not the Saviour say that when he should return, having received the kingdom, “those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me”? And when Satan shall have come a false Christ, and shall have been received as the true, this scripture will be enforced by the National Reformers in his behalf. They have already quoted it in this very connection, and with this very meaning. National Reform Secretary M. A. Gault, in replying to one who is opposed to National Reform, said to him:—SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.8

    “Have you forgotten that the day is coming when all professed Christians who deny the kingship of Christ over the nations, together with their infidel confederates, will at Christ’s command be slain before his face, because they would not have him to reign over them?”SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.9

    Nor is this all. When Satan, as a false Christ, shall have come, then, then among the “great signs and wonders” that he will show, there will be fulfilled Revelation 13:13: “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.” Now Elijah was a prophet of the true God, and fire came down from heaven in testimony that he was the servant of the true God, and in testimony that what he taught was the commandments of God. 1 Kings 18:17-39; 2 Kings 1:10, 12. But in this test that is coming, this same miracle is to be performed to prove that the devil is God, and tht the one distinguishing institution of the Papal Church—Sunday—must be kept instead of the commandments of God. There will be those who out of love to the truth of the Third Angel’s Message will be keeping “the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” They will be keeping the seventh day according to the commandment, and will be waiting for the Lord from Heaven. On the other hand, there will be the multitude saying that Sunday is the Sabbath and that those who keep it are the servants of the true God.SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.10

    Then to those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, Elijah’s challenge will be made by those who keep Sunday. It will be said, If Sunday is the Sabbath of the Lord, and if we be the servants of the true God, let fire come down from heaven. And fire will come down from heaven. But instead of accepting the evidence, those who have received the love of the truth of God will reply, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God,” and the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, even though heaven itself comes down. Then these people, having refused to accept the evidence of such a stupendous wonder, and still persisting in their “rebellion” and “treason,”—what can be done with them? Nothing at all but to go on with the perversion of the story of Elijah, and exclaim, Take these traitors, let not one of them escape. And then as the prophets of Baal were slain, so will those be commanded to be who receive the love of the truth of the Third Angel’s Message, and through it keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. But not one of them will be slain, for, says the prophet, “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, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.” Revelation 15:2.SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.11

    And so the contest will be finished; and thus those who have received the love of the truth, and keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, will gain the everlasting victory through him “that hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.12

    To some of our readers, these things may seem very strange. But they are true, nevertheless. These things will come to pass as surely as this nation runs into the iniquity of religious legislation, and the union of religion and the State. These things will come to pass as surely as this nation makes Sunday the national sabbath, and that is as certain as that the word of God is true. And the only protection for anybody on earth is to “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” with such a love for the truth that all the power and signs and lying wonders of Satan cannot swerve him from it in the least degree. This nation is going to make an image of the Papacy. The Papacy made war with the saints, and the image of the Papacy will do likewise. The Papacy blasphemes God, and his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in Heaven; and the image of the Papacy will do likewise. Revelation 13:6, 7, 14-17. This war with the saints is because they keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17); and with the purpose of making all men worship the Papacy. But God says: “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 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; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 87.13

    Reader, we beseech you to take heed to the message; receive the love of its truth; stand firmly for the righteousness of God; and so obtain a part in the promised victory.SITI February 10, 1888, page 88.1

    J.

    “Did He Invade It?” The Signs of the Times 14, 6, p. 89.

    SUNDAY evening, January 15, the Rev. Dr. Barrows, of the First Congregationalist Church, San Francisco, preached on the subject of “Futurity.” He prefaced his sermon with the statement that he had been repeatedly requested to direct his thought to this subject for a sermon, but that he had a “disinclination to acceded to this request, as the question is one of considerable moment, and he did not care to invade it.” This is a queer sort of a confession for a Doctor of Divinity to make. What is he there for if it is not to invade questions of considerable moment? There is not the least doubt, however, that the Doctor’s statement expresses the exact truth, not only in his own case, but also in the cases of the great majority of the popular divines of the present day. So long as they can pass off a mass of glittering generalities and paltry platitudes, that touch nobody and interest nobody, that relieve nobody’s difficulties and comfort nobody’s sorrows, they are happy. But just as soon as a question is presented, even by request, in which somebody is interested, then they are troubled, and repeated requests must be made before they can be persuaded to touch it, because it is a question “of considerable moment” and they don’t “care to invade it;” and when at last they do muster up sufficient courage to “invade” it, the invasion only ends in defeat, as did this of Mr. Barrows.SITI February 10, 1888, page 89.1

    After talking awhile about skepticism, he stated fairly enough that “Christ’s mission to earth was to prepare an effective method of repentance by extending to man, through his own sacrifice, an atonement in which to have faith. Absolute and unwavering faith in this fact and in the virtue of the atonement is a prerequisite to salvation. The futurity of all hangs in the balance of faith in, or discredit of, the truth that Christ died to save sinners.” And then as if to make perfectly sure that no one who heard him should get any good from even this much truth, the report says:—SITI February 10, 1888, page 89.2

    “In urging that Jesus fairly offered this opportunity to all, the speaker advanced the old but ever novel theory that after his mission to men, Christ went to the land of shades, and there through the crowded hosts that had lived on earth since the origin of man and to the rebellious spirits cast out of Heaven, he preached his gospel. The best biblical commentators, Mr. Barrows claimed, upheld that construction of the word which signifies that after his death, resurrection, and ascension, Christ went to the place of detention for departed spirits to announce the scheme of redemption and preach his plan of salvation.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 89.3

    It may be impertinent in us, but we would inquire, Who are these “best biblical commentators”? We suppose, however, that it is with him as it is with the most of the “advanced” theologians—the best biblical commentators are those who agree with his views. But whatever the best biblical commentators may say, it is certain that the word of God teaches no such doctrine. The Saviour did not die for devils, nor does he preach the gospel to either devils or dead men. The living it is who have hope for the truth of God, “they that go down to the pit cannot hope for thy truth” (Isaiah 37:18); because “the dead know not anything.” Ecclesiastes 9:5. Then:—SITI February 10, 1888, page 89.4

    “Dr. Barrows, in closing, addressed the congregation with a warm invocation to seek their future reward through the prescriptions of the Holy Text, and to avoid chimerical wanderings in the realms of alleged philosophy.”SITI February 10, 1888, page 89.5

    Amen! Such an “invocation” was sadly needed, and was most decidedly appropriate, after such a sermon as that. And yet the question remains, Did the Doctor in vade the question or did he e vade it?SITI February 10, 1888, page 89.6

    The same evening, Rev. John Gray, rector of the Church of the Advent, of “paper carnival” fame, invaded a subject which, no doubt, was to him of “considerable moment”—he took for his text the title of the prayer-book!SITI February 10, 1888, page 89.7

    J.

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