“A Great Storm Approaches” Part 14

VERSE 14And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted
to do
in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the
beast who was wounded by the sword and lived
.”

Most brethren acquainted with me know how highly I favor the “New Albany Notes on Revelation”
when it comes to commentaries on Revelation, in fact I consider it one of the best Revelation
commentaries available, however as an independent thinker (something which our liberty in Christ grants
us all) I have the right, nay the duty to seek out that which I personally believe to be
the truth on each
and every subject, and so even though I may highly favor the New Albany Notes this does not preclude
me from disagreeing with them on specific items or perchance seeing an alternative view point or
interpretation which I believe more clearly fits the picture, thus you will note that in the following I have
quoted from another very good Revelation commentary, Brother Frank Shallieu’s book
“The Keys of
Revelation”
.

The following is very insightful and relevant to our study, and I believe very important for the bible
student here at the end of the age to properly grasp therefore I will present it in its entirety over the
next few post (as I could not hope to state matters any clearer than has Brother Shallieu here)
.

The expressionin the sight [or presence] of the beastindicates something even more
significant; it has the sense of
before or on behalf of, that is, with the consent or approval of the
papal beast
. When the time comes, in the near future, for the fulfillment of this Scripture, the “image,” in
a later development of the two-horned beast, will allow itself to become spokesman or
false prophet on
behalf of itself and the first or papal beast (
Compare Rev 16:13).

The clause following directs attention to a particular class, namely, “
them that dwell on the earth.” As
the earth” previously symbolized those obedient to and supportive of either the first beast or the
second beast (or both beasts), depending on context, and thus under religious restraints, so “
them that
dwell
on the earth,” in this instance, includes other independent Christian fellowships also under religious
restraints who have not supported either of the two beast systems but who are subsequently
confronted with a fateful choice.”

In the time period from 1800 to 1846, great numbers of new sects arose, whereas before that, sects were
few and prominent. Leaders of the various older denominations grew increasingly uneasy, wondering
where this development would lead.
As the Bible came to be read more and more by the masses,
occasional individuals felt free to preach what they thought it taught, regardless of
denominational creeds
and the views of older sects. As a consequence, Protestants were fast splitting
up into fragments. Denominational leaders began to ask, “
By what means shall we check and stop this
disposition to individual thought and opinion relative to the teachings of Scripture?
They
wanted to stop the very thing God desired
; namely, that each individual should be free and
independent of restraint, with his faith based not on the views of others, not on the decision of
the pope, not on things sanctioned by the head of the English Church, but
on the Word of God.

The question arose: “
How can we restrain these so-called preachers?” This was a quandary to all
except the Roman and Episcopal churches, since these both claimed the “
Apostolic Succession,” an
ordination conferring upon their minister’s
special power and authority to preach and to administer
the “
sacraments,” and hence asserting that no others had a right to do so, for they were clerical
pretenders.

The
example of the Church of England showed what prestige she had; by reason of the voice of
authority
, she commanded a reverence for her clergy and her teachings. This teaching by example was
not lost.
The various denominations felt a necessity for some common standard of doctrine that
would be supported and upheld by all of them, and thus give prestige to their teachings and
bring the combined influence of all against any further advance in knowledge or the
development of any different phase of truth
. They would protect themselves by being able to say, in
substance: “
The combined opinion of all Protestants is against you; therefore, you are heretics
and we will shun you and not call you brethren, but use all our influence against you
.”

In 1846 the Evangelical Alliance was formed. One of the objects of the Alliance (and it is believed to
be the principal one) was to “
promote between the different evangelical denominations an effective
co-operation in the efforts to repel common enemies and dangers
.” Thus, by their actions, the
Protestant denominations were following Papacy’s tactics, and
in that Alliance they did makean
image
.”

How much, in part, the image of 1846 resembled the papal beast may be judged from the fact that the
Roman pontiff acknowledged the image—owned it as a creditable likeness—by
sending “greetings” to the
last meeting of the delegates of the Evangelical Alliance
. Strange to say, the latter had so far lost sight
of the principles and doctrines which had led to the protests against the papal Church (that it was the
harlot Church—the Antichrist and the Man of Sin—mentioned in Scripture), that they actually felt flattered
by the pontiff’s notice,
instead of being alarmed and examining how and why he who is THE
[chief] ANTICHRIST
should feel pleased to greet them as fellows.

A prominent characteristic of the beast, copied by the image, is the honoring of a special class, the clergy,
with undue homage and titles. They are known as Reverends, Divines, etc., whereas Jesus, the Son of
God, said, “
Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am” (John 13:13). “Be not ye
called Rabbi [Teacher]: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren
” (Matt 23:8).
These titles are assumptions fashioned after those of Papacy.

At this juncture several important points need clarification. The image, formed in 1846, was not
another
beast.” To be a beast in the sense of this symbol, it would have to become an
ecclesiastical power united to and as a part of the civil government
. The image was never even
contemplated as such by the Alliance, nor has anything happened historically thus far to indicate that it
has developed into a beast-government.
It has remained just as that term in its simplest sense
signifies,
an image—a thing that takes on outward form and outline and thus appears as a beast,
but is not actually an ecclesiastical government allied with civil government
.

For this reason, and for other reasons, the Evangelical Alliance of 1846, though an image of the
beast in its past form,
does not fit the specific reference to the image in Revelation 13:14. In that
verse the two-horned beast addresses those “
that dwell on the earth” (independent groups of
Christians, as well as Christians in the Evangelical Alliance and other federated churches that have arisen
since 1846), saying “
that they [including, also, the two-horned beast] both [Greek kai—Sinaitic MS]
should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”

In Verse 13 the two-horned beast does not use fire from heaven to make men worship either
itself or the first beast; rather, a
neutralimage to the beastis made. How very clever! An edict
will not be published forcing one to choose between being a Roman Catholic or an Episcopalian
or else be put to death; instead,
a third or new arrangement will come into being. Standing by
this new arrangement will be Catholicism (the beast), and included in the arrangement will be all
Protestantism united with the two-horned beast. The two-horned beast will do the talking, saying, “
If you
do not worship this other third party or have the mark, you will be put to death
.” That third
party will have
the markof the beast andthe number of his name.” In other words, the spirit
and organization of Papacy will be
in this third system (Rev 13:16, 17).

The arrangement will be cleverly done in this neutral manner so that people cannot protest
because of not being Catholic, Episcopalian, etc. Catholics would not accept Protestants
speaking alone, but
a third system, a new arrangement, which purports to be for unity and the
spirit of ecumenism
, will receive their support. Both sides—Protestant and Catholic—will concede to
the new arrangement,
considering it a necessity. Accordingly, the Church of England is often called the
bridge” between Protestantism and Catholicism; because it has more the forms and rituals of Catholicism
than of Protestantism, yet originally seceded from Catholicism, the Church of England has some
sympathetic interest to both Protestants and Catholics and is in between the two. As the spokesman
between Protestantism and Catholicism, the Church of England will be influential in the future in doing the
damage; it will be the church nearest the mother system’s tongue. Several past archbishops of
Canterbury have been very strongly in favor of union with Rome.

The next point to be observed is contained in the concluding clause of
Verse 14: “the beast, which had
the wound by a sword, and did live
.” First, it is important to note that this clause is not of a
parenthetical nature or a mere mark of identity, but it constitutes the very reason or basis for making the
image in the first place. A most impressive lesson was and is drawn by others from the past experience of
Papacy. The first beast was slain and
arose from death. What more important conclusion could other
sects, including the Anglican episcopacy, draw than this?—that Papacy flaunted death itself! The keynote
here is the theme and hope of survival from destruction.

Now a most important clue comes to light in Verse 14; viz., that the image referred to could not
have been
fully formed prior to 1929, for in that year the temporal power of the pontificate was
restored.
Only then was the death-stroke healed. Therefore, only sometime subsequent to 1929
could the two-horned beast be portrayed as saying to those who dwell upon the earth that they
should make an image of the beast
which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” (“The Keys
of Revelation”, Pages 353-356
)

We will examine this last statement a little more in our next post.


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