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    PART II - WORLD-FEDERATION OF RELIGIONS

    CHAPTER IX. - THE DRAGON

    A VERY important feature of the Eastern Question at its present and its final state, is the part played by “the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.”WGI 114.1

    In Revelation 16:13, 14, two things are shown:—WGI 114.2

    I. It is “the spirits of devils working miracles” by which the kings of the East and of the earth and the whole world are gathered to the battle of that great day and of Armageddon.WGI 114.3

    2. These spirits of devils “come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.”WGI 114.4

    It is therefore important to know what are these things—the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. It is important to know what is their standing in connection with the Eastern Question.WGI 114.5

    First, what are they? When we shall have learned what these are, it will be easy to see their standing and their connection with the Eastern Quesiton.WGI 114.6

    The dragon, the beast, and the false prophet are first brought to view in Revelation 12 and 13: with the single variation that there “the false prophet” is called the “image to the beast.”WGI 115.1

    In Revelation 12 and 13 there is portrayed the war of Satan against the Church of Christ form the birth of Christ in the world to the end of the world, and the powers by which he makes this war. And these powers are just three—the dragon, the beast, and the image of the beast, or the false prophet. What, then, are these powers? these instrumentalities of Satan in this war against Christ and his Church?WGI 115.2

    What is the dragon?WGI 115.3

    At the opening of the twelfth chapter of Revelation there is seen a woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars, who brings “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.” That “man child” is Christ the Lord. Psalm 2:9; Revelation 19:15, 16; Luke 24:50, 51; Mark 16:9; Acts 7:55; Hebrews 8:1.WGI 115.4

    This woman is nothing else than the symbol of the Church of God, in her beauty “fair as the moon,” and “clear as the sun.” And there stood before the woman a great red dragon “to devour her child as soon as it was born.” This dragon in his own proper person, is declared to be “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan.”WGI 115.5

    But Satan in this world works through instrumentalities. These instrumentalities are men: and chiefly combinations of men in world-powers. What power was it, then, which was Satan’s instrumentality in his endeavor to destroy Christ as soon as He was born?—Herod the Great, was the person whom he used. But in that connection Herod was much more than merely a person; much more than only himself. He was a king of Judea.WGI 116.1

    And Herod was yet much more than even king of Judea. He was king of Judea, solely as the official of Rome. He became king, the king of Judea, solely by the direct action of the Roman imperial power through a vote of the Senate.WGI 116.2

    Herod was formerly a minor official of Rome, holding the office of tetrarch, when an invasion of Judea by the Parthians caused him to flee to Idumea, the country of his parents. From there he made his way through Egypt and Alexandria to Rome. Arrived in Rome he went to Mark Antony, who was an acquaintance and friend of both his father and himself, and was just then one of the two men who wielded the whole power of Rome. By this means Herod secured an introduction to the Senate. Both Antony and Octavius advocated his cause; and the Senate in that very session made him king of Judea, and “made a decree accordingly.”WGI 116.3

    Thus in the kingship of Judea, Herod was only an official of Rome. And he could not have been king for a day in Judea, nor for an hour in Jerusalem, if he had not been supported by the mighty power of Rome. Accordingly Herod in his place of power was nothing else than the representative, the creature, of Rome. Therefore, it was the Roman power in the world, that, through Herod, Satan used to destroy Christ as soon as He was born.WGI 117.1

    However, that attempt failed. Yet Satan never rested until he had, as far as possible, and so far as himself and this world were concerned, destroyed the “man child,” the Lord Jesus,—until he had accomplished Christ’s crucifixion upon a Roman cross, and had buried Him out of the world in a tomb sealed with the Roman seal, and watched by a Roman guard. And it was altogether by the Roman power that he did all this—through Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. But even in this, Satan failed; because from death and the sealed Roman tomb, the “man child” “was caught up unto God, and to His throne.”WGI 117.2

    Then, still through his world instrumentality the Roman empire, Satan turned all his endeavors against the woman, which is the Church, and “persecuted the woman which brought forth the” Revelation 12:13. This he did while the Roman Empire continued. And during all the time through which that power did continue it was so completely the instrumentality of Satan, and in its workings was so identified with Satan, who is pre-eminently the Dragon, and was so entirely imbued with his spirit, that this power itself is called the dragon. Revelation 12:3, 4.WGI 118.1

    But Rome itself was not simply Rome; it was more than only a power. Rome was pagan. It was as the embodiment of paganism that Rome was used by Satan against Christ and his Church paganism was the form taken in the original apostasy from God, in the world. In the days of Christ on earth, and in pagan Rome, paganism had attained its ultimate development and stood fully revealed in just what it was, and what alone it could do for mankind and the world. And in its last analysis the opposition of the Roman power to Christ and His Church was nothing else than the war of the false religon [sic.] of paganism under Satan, its author and head, against the true religion under Christ, its Author and Head.WGI 118.2

    And now in this time of the rapid shaping of events in the progress of the Eastern Question; in this time of the entanglement of all the great powers of the world in the Eastern Question; in in this time of the re-shaping of the far East to the culmination of the Eastern Question; it is a remarkable and intensely significant fact that the only remaining distinct and separate paganism in the world is rapidly being shaped into one concentrated and mighty power: and this in the farthest East, and at the very centre of the Eastern Question as it is in the farthest East.WGI 118.3

    We have seen how that the great powers of Europe, with even the United States, have extended their sway over all the world, so that while they are the kings of the West they are really also the kings of the East and of the earth and the whole world. These are all professedly Christian powers, and many pagan nations are under their sway and are included in their power. But there remains on the earth yet one, and only one, section of paganism that still stands separate and distinct. This section is composed of China, Korea, and Japan. And it is a striking and significant fact that these three are being rapidly shaped into one centralized power under the masterly molding influence and leadership of Japan. Korea is already Japanese territory. And China is now subject to the tutelage of Japan more than of any, or perhaps all, others. To-day China has eight thousand young men and young women studying in Japan.WGI 119.1

    By her wonderful progress in a single generation, and by her splendid victories over Russia Japan has gained the recognized ascendency in the Far East and proposes to keep it. While confessing that China is “the sick man of Asia, and while welcoming the suggestions of as many physicians as may choose to prescribe for this “sick man” Japan openly announces, and will undoubtedly insist, that she alone shall be the confidential physician and bedside attendant to administer the medicine. Under all the circumstances there is no room for doubt that in the reshaping of the Far East, Japan will secure to herself the shaping of China’s awakening and progress; and so will bind China to herself in the formation of one of the mightiest of the world powers, and most vitally connected with the Eastern Question.WGI 120.1

    And that power will be distinctly pagan. And so the only remaining distinct and separate paganism in the world will be shaped into a mighty concentrated power composing the dragon element of the great three-fold division of the world’s political religion designated in the Scripture terms—the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.WGI 120.2

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