Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font


    BY reading and comparing Revelation 16:13, 14; 19:20, and 14:12, it will be readily seen that “the false prophet,” and the “image of the beast,” are one and the same thing—only under different symbols.WGI 131.1

    The beast, we have found to be the papacy. An image of the beast can be nothing else than a religious system formed after the likeness of the papacy, espousing the principles of the papacy, and acting like the papacy. And if this thing, while being and doing all this, should at the same time profess to be opposed to the papacy, profess principles directly the antagonism of the papacy, bear the name that is suggestive of repudiation of the papacy, profess to be in fact the way of deliverance from the papacy—if it should openly profess all this, and at the same time be doing more than all other things together to confirm the papacy and to fasten it upon the world, then that thing would certainly very fittingly come under the title of “false prophet.”WGI 131.2

    If this thing should make pretensions anal promises, and should set forth, as vital to its existence, principles, by which it attracted the attention of the world and mightily influenced the world, and then in action should falsify every pretension and promise, and should repudiate or violate its own vital principles, that would certainly answer to the description of “false prophet.”WGI 132.1

    We have found that the beast is the papacy. But what is the papacy? The most direct and comprehensive answer to this question is, The papacy is the union of Church and State, with the Church supreme—the ecclesiastical superior to the civil power—and using the State and its power for her own purposes and to accomplish her aims in the aggrandizement of herself.WGI 132.2

    An image of the beast would be a form of religion different from that of the papacy that would insinuate and exalt itself to dominancy over the State: make the ecclesiastical power superior to the civil; and would use the power of the State to further the ends and purposes of the church.WGI 132.3

    Where, then, are we to look for the coming of this “image of the beast,” the rise of “the false prophet?”WGI 132.4

    Note that the scripture that tells of the rise of this thing. Revelation 14:12, says that it was said “Unto them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the beast.” This being so, then this thing could rise, or be made, only in so, a place where formerly there had been no union of Church and State. For where such a thing already existed, it could not be said to them that “they should make” it.WGI 132.5

    Where, then, is the place where at first there was no union of Church and State, and where it has been or is being said to them that they should make it? In all the world there is just one place, one State, one nation, where at the beginning there was not only no union of Church and State, but also the actual and intentional repudiation of any such thing. That one place, State, and nation, is the United States of America. And in this one place, it has been, and is being, diligently said “unto them that they should make” a union of Church and State, in the very likeness of the papacy. And this is being said and urged by professed Protestantism, when Protestantism in truth is the direct opposite and antagonism of the papacy!WGI 133.1

    This movement has been pressed under different phases for forty years. This thing is just now most fully manifested, and is best discerned, in the Federation of Churches—of Protestant- ism—that was effected in New York City November, 1905. The Conference in which was accomplished that federation, was confessedly Protestant, and was held in the interests of Protestantism. In the letter that was sent to the churches suggesting such a conference there are the following words:—WGI 133.2

    “In order to secure an effective organization of the various Protestant communions of this country for the practical ends indicated, we would suggest that a conference of representatives accredited by the national bodies of said Protestant denominations meet in New York City, November, 1905, to form such an organization as may seem proper to them.”WGI 134.1

    And further:—WGI 134.2

    “Let the church of Christ, in all its varied administrations, so affiliate as to form a bond of union that will enable Protestantism to pre, sent a solid front to the forces of evil, and in every possible way unite its activities for the spiritual conquest of the world, and the final triumph of the kingdom of God.”WGI 134.3

    It was therefore a federation of Protestantism, and a Protestant Federation, that was accomplished. And what are the “practical ends” to which this federation was formed? These were indicated more than once by the representative speakers in the conference, but they are most summarily and directly stated in the following words by one of the principal speakers:—WGI 134.4

    “I trust that one of the practical results of a this Conference will be the organization of a a [sic.] force that law-breakers and law-makers will respect and heed when great questions of morals are involved.... It is our province in the name of our supreme King, and seeking the good of mankind, to ask rulers to respect the code of our kingdom. Rulers may ignore sects, but they will respect the Church. This Federation will compel an audience, and it will speak with power, if it will put aside its differences and make its agreement its argument.”WGI 135.1

    How this respect of rulers is to be enforced by the Federation is shown in the plan and operation of its practical workings, in that county federation of local federations was found to be “essential in order to bring pressure to bear upon the county officials for the suppression of the evils aimed at by the churches; that State federation was found to be essential “to bring to bear the pressure of the united influence of the churches of the State;” and national federation was now essential in order to bring pressure to bear upon national officials. And it was declared by the whole conference in its “Plan of Federation” that these practical workings of the Federation are to be made applicable “in every relation of human life.”WGI 135.2

    Plainly therefore, this Federation of Protestant churches is directly to the intent that by it the ecclesiastical will, through the exertion of “the combined influence” of the churches, shall control the civil power. It was plainly and publicly declared that on a number of public questions that are civil only, as well as on questions that are religious or ecclesiastical only, and on these different classes of questions indiscriminately mixed, “the voice of the churches should be heard,” and that the “united and concerted action” of the church “is to lead effectively.”WGI 135.3

    That is what this professed Protestant federation proposes to do. That is what it has been created to do. And this under the name and profession of Protestantism! But such declarations, such purpose, and such procedure are distinctly the opposite of original and fundamental Protestant principle. In the original charter of Protestantism as such—the Augsburg Confession Article XXVIII—it is plainly said that—WGI 136.1

    “The ecclesiastical power bestows things eternal, and is exercised only by the ministry of the Word, [and] it does not hinder the civil government any more than the art of singing hinders civil government. For the civil administration is occupied about other matters than is the gospel. The magistracy does not defend the souls, and the bodies, and bodily things, against manifest injuries; and coerces men by the sword and corporal punishments, that it may uphold civil justice and peace.WGI 136.2

    “Wherefore the ecclesiastical and civil power are not to be confounded. The ecclesiastical has its own command to preach the gospel and to administer the sacraments. Let it not by force enter into the office of another; let it not transfer worldly kingdoms; let it not abrogate the magistrates’ laws, let it not hinder judgments touching any civil ordinances or contracts; let it not prescribe laws to the magistrate touching the form of the state; as Christ says, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ John 18:36. Again, ‘Who made me a judge or a divider over you?’ Luke 12:14.”WGI 137.1

    When the professed Protestant churches federate in order to effectually “bring pressure to bear” upon public civil officials for the execution of the will of the combined church, this is nothing else than to “enter by force into the office of another:” and it is not Protestant, but is papal.WGI 137.2

    When this professed Protestant Federation by the “combined influence” of the churches which it wields, or when any professed Protestant church, transfers the government—whether city, county, state, or national—from one party to another, or from one person to another, it does in principle and in effect “transfer worldly kingdoms:” and in so doing ceases to be Protestant, and is papal.WGI 137.3

    When this Federation of professed Protestestant churches frames bills, presents them to the Iegislative power, and swings the “combined influence” of the churches in lobbying and “pressure” to cause the will of the church to he enacted into law, it does in principle, in effect, and in fact, “prescribe laws to the magistrate:” and in so doing it is not Protestant, but papal.WGI 138.1

    All these things this professed Protestant Federation has done, is doing, and avowedly intends to do. But all of it is specifically repudiated by original Protestantism in the plain words of the original charter of Protestantism as such. All of it therefore is distinctly anti-Protestant, as tested by the very charter of Protestantism itself.WGI 138.2

    There is about this Federation a peculiarity that should be observed. The Federation is not—not just now, at any rate—proposing that the public or civil power in its actual operation shall be possessed by the churches. The leaders of the Federation do not propose that members of the Federation or of the churches shall be specifically the officials in city, county, state, and nation. But they do, plainly and in words, propose to control, by and through this Federation, those who may be the officials of the governments of city, county, state, and nation.WGI 138.3

    They insist that they are opposed to any union of Church and State. And in the sense in which they mean it, that is true. In their being opposed to any union of Church and State, they mean that they are opposed to any union of the Methodist Church, or the Presbyterian Church, or the Baptist Church, or any other particular denominational Church, as such with the State. In that sense there is no room for question that they are opposed to a union of Church and State; for it is plain enough that they would never consent that any one denomination should have the exclusive recognition, patronage, and possession of the public or civil power.WGI 139.1

    Even further than this, in an uncertain and hazy sense, they also mean that there shall not be any union between this Federation and the State. Yet at the same time they do mean that the “seventeen million,” the “eighteen million,” the “twenty million,” the “half the population of the United States,” church-power and influence that the Federation represents, shall, by and through this Federation, dictate to the State, shall guide the State, and shall control the State. While professedly holding themselves separate from the State, they do intend, by and through the Federation, to dominate the State; they do intend that the State shall conform to the wishes of the Church, and shall execute the will of the Church, as that will shall be centralized in and expressed by this Federation.WGI 139.2

    And just in this lies the greater danger—to the State and to the people who are not of the Federation. However sincerely these men themselves may mean that they mean no union of Church and State, they simply can not escape it; for the very worst kind of union of Church and State is inherent in the system which they propose. And even if these people themselves should escape it they could not prevent its coming, in all its far-reaching meaning, by those who shall cone after in the working of the Federation. The possibilities—yes, the probabilities—of infinite mischief are in the system which they have proposed; and even though these people themselves mean no mischievous workings or results, they simply can not insure that those who come after will not accomplish these mischievous workings and results, especially when these things are the direct and inevitable logic of the situation that has been created.WGI 140.1

    Bishop Fowler, in behalf of the liberty of the denominations, struck a true and noble note of warning when he declared that in any and every plan and operation of Federation, the perfect liberty of the denominations, from greatest to smallest, however small, must forever be recognized and respected; and when he delared [sic.] that if this Federation should centralize in any way to gather to itself power to control the denominations as such, then there would be despotism, cruelty, and persecution, by Protestants, as in the times before Protestantism arose, and as there has been by Protestants ever since: for “human nature has not changed.” His words are as follows:—WGI 141.1

    If this Federation should grow into a centralized power, under which the denominations lose their distinctive identity and native perfect freedom; then we shall see here despotism, cruelty, and persecution, by Protestantism. Human nature has not changed. It was a sorry day for the world when there was but one human brain in the world, and that brain in the chair of St. Peter’s.”WGI 141.2

    This warning is true, and timely, and good, in behalf of the liberty of the denominations themselves; and this Federation was established with this guarantee of the liberty of the denominations.WGI 141.3

    But there is no such guarantee in behalf of the State, nor in behalf of the people who are not of the denominations. Yet Bishop Fowler’s principle is just as true as regards the State and the people who are not of the denominations, as it is regarding the denominations and the people.WGI 142.1

    It is just as true regarding the State and the people who are not of the denominations, as it is regarding the denominations and their people that if this Federation centralizes the church power and influence which it represents, in a way to control the civil power in city, county, state, or nation, then there will be despotism, cruelty and persecution here by Protestants as in tunes before. The sole difference would be in that the despotism, cruelty, and persecution would fall upon those who are not of the denominations; the principle would be the same, and the practise would be the same.WGI 142.2

    And to centralize the power and the influence of the churches, and to use that power and influence to control the civil power in city, county, state, and nation, is decidedly one of the great purposes of this Federation. It is intended that by and through this Federation the ecclesiastical power shall dominate the civil. And in this connection human nature has no more changed than it has with respect to centralized power to control denominations. And since human nature—even ecclesiastical human nature in possession of centralized power—has not changed, the like results must follow that have ever followed the like thing.WGI 142.3

    And the one thing above all other things that this professed Protestant Federation system is most like, is the papacy. In its proposals and its profession as to Church and State, it is the perfect likeness of the papacy. For who does not know that the papacy has ever claimed that she is opposed to union of Church and State? that “the Church has nothing to do with politics or the State”? She, too, claims that the Church must be kept separate from the State. But at the same time she has ever claimed and practised that the Church must dictate to the State, must reform the State, and must dominate the State. She, too, recognizes the individuality, the form, the polity, and the “liberty,” of the orders and sects of her own pact. But woe to all who are not of her pact! The very existence of such “threatened the safety of the State;” and the State for its own well-being—“for its own safety”—must obey the dictates of the centralized church-power, and must wipe them out.WGI 143.1

    This Federated church-power does not believe in, and does not propose, union of Church and State! She does not propose to be the State, nor to be of the State! She does not propose to unite with the State! she proposes only to be superior to the State, to dominate the State, and to use the State as her tool or her toy, for the assertion of her power and the furtherance of her aims!WGI 144.1

    It is therefore plain, on the surface of the situation, that has in this Federation been created, that even in the very beginning this Federation is, in form, in profession, and in purpose, as relates to the civil power and the public order, in the very likeness of the papacy in the sane relations. And when this is so in its very inception, and in only its announced purposes, what less can it be expected to be when it attains to full operation and active and actual power?WGI 144.2

    Upon the principle, and as that principle applies in behalf of the State and the people who are not of the denominations, equally as it applies in behalf of the denominations and their people, Bishop Fowler’s warning must not be forgotten. “Human nature has not changed.”WGI 144.3

    When, therefore, this Federation, organized to do these things, does these distinctly anti-Protestant things, and puts itself thus on papal ground, and still professes to be Protestant, and poses as true Protestantism, it plainly falsifies its name and profession, violates the fundamental principle of Protestantism, and moves and works under a false pretense.WGI 144.4

    Following are some words that are of as solemn weight as ever: “The Reformation was accomplished in the name of a spiritual principle. It had proclaimed for its teacher the word of God; for salvation, faith; for king, Jesus Christ; for arms, the Holy Ghost; and had by these very means rejected all worldly elements. Rome had been established by ‘the law of a carnal commandment;’ the Reformation, by ‘the power of an endless life.’ ...WGI 145.1

    “The gospel of the Reformers had nothing to do with the world and with politics. While the Roman hierarchy had become a matter of diplomacy and a court intrigue, the Reformation was destined to exercise no other influence over princes and people than that which proceeds form the gospel of peace.WGI 145.2

    “If the Reformation, having attained a certain point, became untrue to its nature, began to parley and temporize with the world, and ceased thus to follow up the spiritual principle that it had so loudly proclaimed, it was faithless to God and to itself. Henceforward its decline was at hand.WGI 145.3

    “It is impossible for a society to prosper if it be unfaithful to the principles it lays down. Having abandoned what constituted its life, it can find naught but death.WGI 146.1

    “It was God’s will that this great truth should be inscribed on the very threshold of the temple He was then raising in the world, and a striking contrast was to make the truth stand gloriously prominent.WGI 146.2

    “One portion of the reform was to seek alliance with the world, and in this alliance find a destruction full of desolation.WGI 146.3

    “Another portion looking up to God, was haughtily to reject the arm of the flesh, and by this very act of faith secure a noble victory.WGI 146.4

    “If three centuries have gone astray, it is because they were unable to comprehend so holy anal so solemn a lesson.”—D’Aubigne, “History of the Reformation,” book XIV, chap. I.WGI 146.5

    When this Federation of Churches thus plainly occupies papal ground and does papal things—things which are in express terms repudiated by original Protestantism—and still professes to be Protestant; and while occupying distinctly papal ground, professes still to be on Protestant ground; and while doing distinctly papal things, still professes that these are Protestant things; it completely falsifies Protestantism. It deceives people who expect Protestant things from the Protestantism, and thus stands plainly as a false prophet.WGI 146.6

    Yet it is not enough to say that it thus reveals itself as a false prophet. By every consideration in the premises, and by the experiences of its actual workings, it will be found that it will demonstrate itself to the world as distinctly “the false prophet” of Revelation 16:13; 19:20, and 14:12. A careful study of the actual proceedings, the open statements, and the declared purposes of the Federation of Protestant churches, shows that in every feature it is the veriest likeness of the papacy. Facts of future development will demonstrate that it is indeed the living image of the papacy, and is the third element in the great three-fold development and final combination of apostasy designated as the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet.WGI 147.1

    Larger font
    Smaller font