If you have his MARK, you must suffer the Seven Last Plagues. Is he a mysterious superman or world dictator, yet to appear?... Is he the Anti-christ?... Or is he a great power, such as a Church or a Government?
Here is the PLAIN TRUTH!
The most important question of the hour is: "What, or Who, is the Beast, and the MARK of the Beast?" Whatever this weird "BEAST" — whatever the baffling "IMAGE" — whatever the mysterious "MARK" — it behooves you and me to find out! For it is those of this very present generation who shall be worshiping this "Beast" or his "image," or shall have received his "mark", that will suffer the unspeakable tortures of the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES! Ignorance will not excuse! "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge," says the Lord, in Hosea 4:6. And the illustration of Ezekiel's watchman shows that those who are ignorant, because they are not warned, will suffer just the same. (Ezekiel 33:6; and 3:18). God expects HIS PEOPLE to be His "watchman" and to warn the people, and unless we do, He will require their blood at our hand! The time is at hand! The plagues of God's WRATH will soon be poured out, unmixed and undiluted — FULL STRENGTH — upon a heedless, God-defying world, and a careless, luke-warm, indifferent Christianity!
WHO Shall Suffer the PLAGUES?
Listen! John the revelator describes the last, final, warning message: "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." (Rev. 14:9-10). Listen again! John carried forward in vision into the terrible "Day of the Lord," sees these plagues beginning to fall! "And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven last plagues...and the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a NOISOME AND GRIEVOUS SORE upon the men which had the MARK of the Beast, and upon them which worshipped his IMAGE!" (Rev. 15:6 and 16:2). Every sign tells us these things will happen, plunging the world into the most frantic, frenzied state of anguish ever known, WITHIN A MATTER OF MONTHS! Those who suffer the indescribable WRATH of Almighty God are described as those who worship the BEAST, or his IMAGE, or have his MARK! It is futile to try to imagine, as so many are doing, what the "Mark of the Beast" may be. Too many are trying to fix this all up in their own imaginations. But God says "My thoughts are not your thoughts." We cannot work this out in our minds. We are face to face with a stern reality, not an imaginary fairy-tale! There is ONLY ONE WAY to learn the Truth. That is to study carefully, cautiously, prayerfully, with an open mind yielded to and guided by the Holy Spirit. All the testimony of ALL the scriptures that bear on this question. We cannot determine what the "MARK" of the Beast may be, until we have learned what, or who, the BEAST is!
The Bible DESCRIPTION of the "BEAST"
The "Beast", the "Image to the Beast," and the "Mark of the Beast" are all described primarily in the 18th chapter of Revelation. Notice carefully this BIBLE description: 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. "And the beast which I saw was like unto a LEOPARD, and his feet were as the feet of a BEAR, and his mouth as the mouth of a LION: and the DRAGON gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority." Now most of those who are teaching and preaching to others on these subjects overlook entirely this DESCRIPTION. For this description will IDENTIFY the "Beast." If the "Beast" is some mysterious super-man, or Antichrist, soon to appear as world dictator, he will be a peculiar looking individual indeed, for he will have SEVEN HEADS, and TEN HORNS. Have you ever seen a man with seven heads, and ten horns growing out of one of his heads? And did you ever see a man who was like a LEOPARD, and can you imagine a super-man coming who will have the feet of a BEAR, and the mouth of a LION? And will he appear by coming up from the SEA? Now these, of course, are all SYMBOLS. The very word "Beast" is a symbol. And our problem is to INTERPRET the symbols, for they stand for real, literal things. And when we know what the heads and the horns are, what the feet of the bear, the mouth of the lion, and likeness to a leopard all MEAN, then we can know what, or who, the "BEAST" really is!
The Bible Interprets its own Symbols
The point we want to stress is that the Bible INTERPRETS ITS OWN SYMBOLS! If we want the TRUTH, we must be guided solely by the Bible interpretation, not man's interpretations and imaginations. To illustrate: In Rev. 1:12 seven golden candlesticks are pictured. And in verse 16 is pictured a man having in his right hand seven stars. Of course the candlesticks and the stars are symbols. What are they? We need not use our human imaginations, for verse 20 tells us in plain language: "The seven stars ARE the angels of the seven churches; and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest ARE the seven churches." Again, in Ezek. 17 is a riddle, using symbols. In verse 2 we read: "A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers which had divers colors, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar." Now what IS this "eagle?" What is Lebanon? What is the "cedar?" The 12th verse gives the BIBLE interpretation, the many preachers and writers have given their own interpretations. "Know we not what these things mean? Tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof." How PLAIN!
What the Symbols Represent
So while we know that the words "Beast," and "heads" and "horns" and "leopard" and the "bear" and the "lion" are only used as symbols, yet they represent things that are very REAL. And the BIBLE ITSELF tells us what they represent! In the 7th chapter of Daniel, we find exactly these same symbols described. Here again are the "beasts", with the "seven heads" the "ten horns," and here also is the "lion," the "bear," and the "leopard." And here the Bible tells us what these symbols represent. God had given Daniel understanding in dreams and visions (Dan. 1:17). And Daniel had a dream and a vision (Dan. 7:1) in which he saw four great BEASTS (verse 3). And notice, as in Revelation, the "beasts" came up out of the sea. The first was like a "LION" (verse 4), the second was like a "BEAR" (v. 5), the third like a "LEOPARD" (v. 8), and the fourth was so dreadful and terrible it could not be compared to any wild beast known to inhabit the earth! Now there was only the one head described on the lion, one for the bear, one for the fourth beast — but the third beast, the leopard, had FOUR HEADS — thus making SEVEN HEADS in all! And out of this great and dreadful fourth beast grow TEN HORNS. Now notice verse 16, latter part. Here comes the INTERPRETATION OF THE THINGS! The question is, will we accept this BIBLE interpretation of the seven heads, the ten horns, the lion, the bear, and the leopard? "These great beasts, which are four, are FOUR KINGS which shall arise out of the earth," is the interpretation of verse 17. And the word "KING" is synonymous with KINGDOM, and used only in the sense that the king represents the kingdom over which he rules, for in verse 23 we read: "the fourth beast shall be the fourth KINGDOM upon the earth." Notice also the word "kingdom" is used to explain the beasts in verse 18, 22, 24, and 27. Now what do the "HORNS" represent? Notice verse 24: "And the ten horns out of this KINGDOM are ten kings that shall arise. Notice the ten horns, or ten succeeding kingdoms or governments, come OUT OF a KINGDOM, not out of a man, or a super-man. This alone makes plain that the "BEAST" is not some mysterious personal super-man yet to come. Also that the Beast is not the Roman Catholic church, for no ten kingdoms ever did, or will, come OUT OF that church. And since king in these prophecies only stands for the KINGDOM he represents, and since the words are used interchangeably, it follows that these ten horns are ten succeeding KINGDOMS growing OUT OF the FOURTH kingdom which was to rule the earth from the time of Daniel!
Identification of the Kingdoms
These same four world-ruling Gentile kingdoms are described in the second chapter of Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar of the Chaldean Empire, who had taken the Jews captive, had a dream, the meaning of which God revealed to Daniel. The dream is described in verses 31-35. The king saw a great image. Its head was of gold, its breast and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of brass, its legs of iron, and its feet and toes part iron and part clay. Finally, a stone, not in men's hands (but supernaturally), smote the image upon his feet and toes. It was broken in pieces, and was blown away like chaff. Then the stone that smashed it became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. "This," Daniel says, beginning verse 36, "is the dream; and we will tell the INTERPRETATION thereof to the king. "...Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another KINGDOM inferior to thee, and another third KINGDOM of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth KINGDOM shall be strong as iron: foreasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things; and as iron breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise." (v. 36-40). The interpretation of the STONE smashing the image at its toes is found in the 44th verse: "And 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." The Stone is Christ and His KINGDOM. The interpretation of the STONE is given many places in the Bible. "Jesus of Nazareth... is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the HEAD of the corner." (Acts 4:10-11). And so we see that here are four universal world-ruling Gentile kingdoms. They begin with the Chaldean Empire, at the beginning of the "Times of the Gentiles," when the Jews were taken captive to Babylon, 604-585 B.C. They continue thru four great universal kingdoms, and out of the fourth grows ten succeeding governments. These carry to the time of the Second Coming of Christ, and the setting up of the KINGDOM OF GOD to fill the whole earth and last forever.
The Fourth Beast
Plainly, here are described the SAME four universal world-ruling Gentile powers that are described by Daniel's four beasts. And this dream image identifies WHO they are. The first was Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom, the Chaldean Empire, called "babylon" after the name of its capital city, 625-538 B.C. The second kingdom, which followed, then, we know from history was the Persian Empire (558-538 B.C., often called Medo-Persia, composed of Medes and Persians. All ancient history students know the third world kingdom was Greece, or Macedonia under Alexander the Great, who conquered the great Persian Empire 333-330 B.C. But Alexander lived only a short year after his swift conquest, and his vast new empire was divided among his four generals: Macedonia and Greece; Thrace and Western Asia; Syria and territory east to the Indus; and Egypt. So these were the "four heads" of the third beast of Daniel 7. And the FOURTH KINGDOM, which, developing from Rome, spread out and gradually absorbed one after another of these four divisions, — "dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly," was the ROMAN EMPIRE (31 B.C. - A.D. 476). It had absorbed all the others, occupied all their territory, was greater and stronger than all. It included all the royal splendor of ancient Babylon, thus having the head — the strongest part — of the "lion." It had all the massiveness and numerically-powerful army of the Persian Empire — symbolized by the LEGS, the most powerful part, of the BEAR. It was the greatest war-making machine the world had ever seen, and it also possessed the swiftness, the cunning, the cruelty of Alexander's army, symbolized by the LEOPARD. And thus, this fourth beast was unlike any wild beast of the earth. It was greater, stronger, more terrible, than any. And so John, in Rev. 13, sees, not four beasts, but ONE beast. Not a leopard, but LIKE a leopard — possessing all its cunning, cruelty, and speed. But it also possessed the dominant characteristics of the two other most powerful beasts — the FEET of a bear, and the MOUTH of a lion. Daniel's fourth Beast, the Roman Empire, had absorbed, and therefore it included, the three beasts before it. Thus it includes all seven HEADS. And John's beast also has SEVEN HEADS. It was Daniel's fourth beast, ONLY, which had TEN HORNS, and John's beast has TEN HORNS. And so, if we are willing to be guided solely by the BIBLE description of this "beast," and to let the BIBLE interpret the symbols used to describe it, we come to the inevitable conclusion that the BEAST of Rev. 13 is the ROMAN EMPIRE, of 31 B.C. to A.D. 476! Of course many man-imagined THEORIES widely taught and published, interpret this BEAST otherwise — some as the Roman Catholic church, some as a mysterious, individual, super-man yet to come. But these theories will not stand the test of applying the BIBLE interpretation to all the symbols that describe this beast. Nebuchadnezzar's image, by the TWO legs describes the TWO DIVISIONS of the Roman Empire, after A.D. 330; West, with capital at Rome, and East, with capital at Constantinople. John also pictures this BEAST, not as a church, or as an individual man, but as a powerful GOVERNMENT having a great ARMY. For they worshipped the Beast by saying: "WHO IS ABLE TO MAKE WAR WITH HIM?" (Rev. 13:4).
The Toes and the Horns
Let us now notice the symbolism of the toes of the image (Dan. 2), and the horns of the fourth Beast of Daniel 7 and of the Beast of Revelation 13.
HOW TO STUDY THE CHART Only by taking ALL the Scriptures describing the world reign of the Gentiles (Dan. 2, 7, 8, Rev. 13, 17, and putting them all properly together in a CHART, can a right understanding be gained. It is because Bible students have tried to solve these different chapters SEPARATELY, that so many erroneous and confusing theories have come. In this chart, read across, and read down. All symbols listed in a horizontal column represent the same thing. The golden head of the image represents the same thing as the first beast, the lion, or the Chaldean Empire.
The ten toes and the ten horns both symbolize the same thing — the ten stages of government continuing out of the Roman Empire after its fall, 476 A.D. "The ten horns out of this kingdom" (the fourth — the Roman Empire, 31 B.C. to 476 A.D.) "ARE TEN KINGS that shall arise... and the KINGDOM and the dominion, and the greatness of the KINGDOM under the whole heaven" (not IN heaven) "shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High." (Dan. 7:24, 27). The ten horns, then, are ten KINGDOMS to arise out of the Fourth Kingdom, the Roman Empire. These kings, also called KINGDOMS, continue from 476 A.D. until the time when the Stone, Christ and His Kingdom, smashes the image no its toes, and the KINGDOM is given to the SAINTS. Therefore, since in actual history there have never been ten contemporaneous kingdoms that have continued out of the Roman Empire, side by side, down to the present — and since there HAVE been NINE successive kingdoms ruling that territory from 476 to the present, with the tenth one now being form by Mussolini — therefore we know that the kingdoms represented by the toes and the horns are SUCCESSIVE, not contemporaneous.
The Deadly Wound
Now let us return to our description of the "Beast" in Revelation 13. "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. "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make WAR with him? "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to CONTINUE FORTY AND TWO MONTHS." (Rev. 13:3-5). The "Beast" here symbolized is the one which included the royal splendor and kingly power symbolized by the MOUTH of the lion (Babylon); the ponderous strength symbolized by the FEET of the bear (Medo-Persia), and the speed, cunning, and cruelty of the leopard (Greece). And since the INTERPRETATION of these symbols is found in Daniel 7, and since the fourth beast alone INCLUDED all these characteristics, and since the fourth beast alone included all SEVEN of the heads, and had the TEN HORNS, the Bible interpretation of the BEAST of Revelation 13 is the FOURTH BEAST of Daniel 7, — the Roman Empire, of 31 B.C. to 476 A.D. The Beast described by John in Revelation 13 also included 7 heads, but the only head existing at the time of this non-descript beast which included the most powerful characteristics of all the beasts symbolizing its predecessors was the fourth beast, containing the SEVENTH HEAD, and also the TEN HORNS. So the specific "one of its heads" that was wounded to death was the seventh head of the Roman Empire — the head out of which TEN HORNS grow. The ten horns, then, as Daniel interprets, represent ten successive governments OUT OF the Roman Empire, which were to continue until the setting up of the KINGDOM OF GOD at the second coming of Christ. The DEADLY WOUND, then, was the one administered to the Roman Empire when, in its last decaying stages, the barbarians overran it, ending its government in 476 A.D. Notice the DRAGON gave his power to the Beast. Who is the DRAGON? Some say "pagan Rome." But will we be guided solely by the BIBLE INTERPRETATION of its own symbols? Then, if we will, the Dragon is a symbol which means SATAN, THE DEVIL. Notice Rev. 12. "The great DRAGON... that old serpent, called the DEVIL and SATAN." (verse 9). "He was cast out into the earth... the DEVIL is come down unto you, having great wrath... and when the DRAGON saw that he was cast unto the earth." (v. 9, 12, 13). "And he laid hold on the DRAGON, that old serpent, WHICH IS THE DEVIL, and SATAN." (Rev. 20:2). They worshipped the "Beast" (Rev. 13:4). Therefore some conclude, from this one statement alone, that the "Beast" must be the Papacy, not knowing that the people worshipped the Roman Empire and its emperors! Notice HOW they worshipped the Beast — "saying WHO IS ABLE TO MAKE WAR WITH HIM?" The Roman Empire was the greatest WAR MAKING POWER the world had ever known, but the Catholic church never had an army. This beast killed WITH THE SWORD (v. 10) but the Catholic church never did. History is full of accounts of the worship of the Roman emperors, for paganism was a STATE RELIGION. The following is from Robinson's "Medieval and Modern Times," a college text book, page 7, chapter 1: "The worship of the emperor: In a word, the Roman government was not only wonderfully organized... everyone was required to join in the worship of the emperor because he stood for the majesty and glory of the dominion... all were obliged, as good citizens, to join in the official sacrifices to the head of state, as if he were a god." But, when the seventh HEAD of this great beast received its DEADLY WOUND in 476 A.D., was that the end? No, the prophecy says "HIS DEADLY WOUND WAS HEALED... AND POWER WAS GIVEN UNTO HIM TO CONTINUE FORTY AND TWO MONTHS." The TEN HORNS represent ten successive kingdoms OUT OF this kingdom to follow. So, thru the ten horns growing OUT OF this head (The Roman Empire of 31 B.C. - 476 A.D.), the BEAST (for the ten horns are PART OF the Beast) continues on until the second coming of Christ. The text does not say the whole BEAST died — but one of his HEADS was wounded to death. The BEAST included the seven heads and the ten horns. John sees the Beast living in the days of its seventh head, the Roman Empire. And when that HEAD of the beast had it deadly wound, HIS — the Beast's — deadly wound was healed. The HEAD was dead. But the BEAST continued. The horns now reign, one by one. In 476 the Empire was over-run by barbarians, under Odoacer. His government, set up at Rome, called the HERULI, was the first horn. But it did not heal the deadly wound, for this was a government IN ROME, but not a ROMAN government, but one of foreign barbarians. The followed the Vandals, of Northern Africa, who sacked Rome in 455 and ruled it for a brief space. Then was the kingdom of the Ostrogoths, 493-554, another outside foreign people who ruled in the territory. But they were driven out of Italy and disappeared. These three kingdoms, sweeping into the Roman territory, filled the period known in history as the "transition age." (See Myers Ancient History, page 571). That is, a TRANSITION between the wound and the healing. Now Daniel saw a "little horn" coming up AMONG these ten, before whom these first three were "plucked up by the roots." This "little horn" is identified as the Roman Catholic church, or the papacy, and it was at the behest of the pope that all three of these were "plucked up by the roots." That leaves 7 horns to come. And of the little horn, Daniel 7 says "his look was more stout that his fellows." The papacy dominated completely all the "horns" to follow!
The Deadly Wound HEALED!
It was the fourth kingdom (horn, or toe), succeeding the fall of the Empire in 476, which really HEALED the deadly wound, and restored the EMPIRE. In 554 A.D., Justinian, emperor of the East, from Constantinople, moved to Rome and brought about what is known in history as the "IMPERIAL RESTORATION" of the Empire. Now notice verse 5, of Revelation 13. Power was given to this "Beast", once healed, to "CONTINUE FORTY AND TWO MONTHS." In the prophecies pertaining to the Times of Israel's punishment, each day represents a year in actual fulfilment (Ezek. 4:4-8, Num. 14:34). Thus, the "healed" beast is to continue 1260 YEARS! Following the healing, in 554, came the Frankish Kingdom (French), the "Holy Roman Empire" (German), the Hapsburg dynasty, (Austrian), and Napoleon's kingdom (French). But, when Napoleon met his "Waterloo" in 1814, the healed beast continued no longer. "SO CLOSED," says West's Modern History, page 377, "A GOVERNMENT THAT DATED FROM AUGUSTUS CAESAR." (From 31 B.C.). It went into the abyss! And from 554 to 1814, the duration of the "healed beast", was EXACTLY 1260 YEARS! At that time, eight of the "horns" having appeared and gone, the "Beast" itself went into the non-existent condition symbolized in Rev. 17:8 as the "bottomless pit." But in the year 1870, Garibaldi united the many little divisions in the peninsula of Italy into one nation, and the kingdom thus established (the 9th horn), continues today. King Emanuel is its titular head, tho he is a "rubber stamp" with Mussolini in actual power and control.
The "Heads" the "Woman" rode
We shall deal later more specifically with the 17th chapter of Revelation in this connection. Then we shall prove beyond doubt that the "harlot woman," BABYLON THE GREAT, is the Roman Catholic church. But let us note in passing that the "woman," the Catholic church, with the papacy, never "rode" on any part of this Beast excepting its last seven "horns!" She is the "little horn" of Daniel 7, whose "look was more stout than his fellows," and who caused the first three to be plucked up by the roots. Justinian was the first ruler who ever acknowledged the supremacy of the pope, and bowed to his dictates! And since in the 17th chapter, the "woman" rode on all seven of the heads of the "beast" there pictured, and since she rode none of the "heads," but only the last seven of the "horns" of the 13th chapter "beast," it follows that the seven "horns" of the "healed beast" of the 13th chapter FORM the seven HEADS of the Beast of the 17th chapter! Notice, at the present time, five are fallen, one is, and one is yet to come (Rev. 17:10). The five that are fallen are the 5 during the 1260 years in which power WAS GIVEN, by the Papacy, for the "healed beast" to CONTINUE. The one that is, is the present kingdom from Garibaldi to the present. Yet it is not in any sense the old Roman Empire, so during the stage of this 9th horn or 6th head (Rev. 17) John speaks of it as the Beast that was, and is not, and yet IS, and shall arise once again OUT OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT. The 10th "horn", symbolized by the 7th head with its ten horns in the 17th chapter, yet to come, will be, as the 17th chapter explains, the revival of the BEAST, the Roman Empire, "out of the bottomless pit by a "United States of Europe," or federation of ten European nations within the bounds of the old Roman Empire. (Rev. 17:12-18). This, Mussolini is bringing about today! Five of these nations already are in his control! When Jesus comes, in the near future, the Roman armies (the BEAST) will be marshalled before Jerusalem for the BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON (Rev. 16:16; 19:19). Those who have the MARK of the "BEAST" will suffer the horrible tortures of the seven last PLAGUES! Now WHAT IS THE IMAGE? WHAT IS THE MARK? These things will be revealed beginning with the September-number!