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The Revelation

of [ST.] JOHN [THE DIVINE]*





EXPLANATORY NOTE

This posthumous work of Pastor Russell (arranged for use as a textbook) is much condensed, including the extracts from the Pastor's pen, all of which are referred back to his works. The abbreviations used are:

A, B, C, D,E, FThe six preceding volumes of "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES".
(Citations to E in italic figures refer to old editions, figures in ordinary type to later editions.)
B. S. M..........."THE BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY."
H....................."What Say the Scriptures ABOUT HELL?"
P-D................. "PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION" Scenario.
T....................."TABERNACLE SHADOWS."
S....................."SPIRITISM" Pamphlet.
Z......................"ZION'S WATCH TOWER," followed by year and page.

The citations to REVELATION and EZEKIEL refer to the comments herein, as well as to the Bible text.
Other abbreviations used are:

Barnes..........Barnes' "Revelation".
Brit................."Encyclopedia Britannica."
Buck..............Buck's "Theological Dictionary".
Coffin............Coffin's "Story of Liberty".
Cook.............Cook's "Revelation" ; a compendium of the presentations of seventy-two leading commentators on Revelation, in all languages and all ages of the Church.
Edgar............Edgar's "Pyramid Passages". Vol. II.
McC...............McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia.
Mosheim......Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History.
S. B. D...........Smith's Bible Dictionary.
Smith.............Smith's "Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation".
Weym............Weymouth's New Testament in Modern Speech.



REVELATION 16

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ECCLESIASTICISM'S SEVEN PLAGUES

16:1. And I heard a great voice out of the Temple. — Pastor Russell was the message-bearer thus used. (Rev. 7:2; 10:3.) He was of the true Temple, and "out of" the nominal temple at the time these plagues were poured out.
Saying to the seven angels. — The seven volumes of Scripture Studies. See Rev. 8:2-5 and 14:17-20. "The plagues upon Egypt were intended in some measure to foreshadow, to illustrate, the plagues with which this Gospel Age will end." (F175.) Pastor Russell walked in the light. When the plagues actually appeared, he no longer held to the explanation published in 1883, before they appeared, and so stated in 1916 in answer to a question.
Go your ways, and pour out the SEVEN vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. — In the prefaces to the several volumes of Scripture Studies such expressions abound as "I send forth this volume with prayers," "and now it is sent forth in the faith," etc., etc.
16:2. And the first went, and poured out his vial [upon] INTO the earth. — Volume I was distributed among those already under religious restraint.
And there fell a [noisome and] grievous AND NOISOME sore. — The book seemed to ecclesiastics like an evil and malignant ulcer, a painful, running sore, which eats, corrupts and destroys.
Upon the men which had the mark of the beast. — Roman Catholics.
And upon them which worshipped his image. — Protestants affiliated with the Federal Council of Churches. Rev. 13:11; 13, 14, 15; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:13; 19:20; 20:10; Matt. 24:24. Another view of the book, from the standpoint of the clergy, is afforded by the plague of flies (Ex. 8:20-32.) It seemed to them like an old-time Egyptian curse, with which they were quite familiar, namely, one more of the Evangelistic firms already cursing society, and interfering with the regular clergy business. "The Scriptural details are as follows: The arab filled the houses of the Egyptians, they covered the ground, they lighted on the people, the land was laid waste on their account. A biting, insidious creature, which comes like a dart, with great noise, and, rushing with great impetuosity
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on the skin, sticks to it most tenaciously. They boldly beset cattle, and not only obtain ichor, as other flies, but also suck out blood from beneath, and occasion great pain.
"They have no proboscis, but, instead, have double sets of teeth, like wasps, which they infix deeply in the skin; they greatly infest the ears of dogs. This genus is most impudently pertinacious in its assaults, spares neither man nor beast, gorges itself to bursting with blood, infusing an irritating venom at the same time. No idea can be formed of their obstinate rapacity. It is in vain to drive them away; they return again in the self-same moment, and their perseverance wearies out the most patient spirit." (McC.) These flies, flying a short distance into the heavens, do their work around the dunghill of human tradition, but the collections of one of them recently amounted to $400,000 in eight American cities, so the business can be made a money maker by those willing to cater to the demand for sensationalism, and who have no hesitancy in repeating ancient blasphemies against God's holy name.
These flies are called dog-flies, because they infest the ears of dogs; and when it is remembered that the Scriptures refer to the clergy as "dumb dogs" (Isa. 56:10, 11; Phil. 3:2) we can readily see the application. The clergy of an entire city will sit on a platform, facing virtually the whole population, and hear themselves called liars, hypocrites, false-alarms and other villainous names. But because they hope to get a few "converts," and therefore a few shekels for the "sanctuary," they will take it all meekly, and prefer to take it rather than humbly admit one item of truth in all Pastor Russell's beautiful writings. After the firm has left town, they frequently bemoan the treatment received and think longingly of the wherewithal taken by the fly that was not satisfied with mere ichor, but wanted the real blood.
At this point it may be well to explain the plagues of frogs and lice. The former seems to represent the Old Theology Quarterly which Pharaoh found everywhere contaminating his kingdom, but which, at the hand of the Lord, suddenly died out completely. The latter seems to represent The Bible Students Monthly. There is no record that the plague of lice was discontinued, and even yet the Egyptians (people of the world) and Pharaoh (the Devil) and his magicians (the clergy) scratch their heads many a time, wondering how to deal with a plague which they cannot duplicate.
16:3. And the second [angel] poured out his vial upon the sea. — Volume II, Scripture Studies seemed to the beast and his image to reach and affect only the discontented.
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those who never were very subservient to the ruler of this present evil world, or any of his systems.
And it became as the blood of a dead man. — After death the blood separates into a watery liquid, called serum, and a solid substance termed clot. As soon as this separation takes place the clot begins to putrefy or corrupt Thus it seemed to worshipers of the beast and his image that anybody that would accept the teachings of Volume II would be in a hopeless condition.
And every living soul died in the sea. — To the worshipers of the beast and his image it seemed as though such would be lost and would surely go to hell to be tormented forever. An "evangelist" who held these views called at the home of a lady in Scranton. Entering the hall he saw an elegant picture of Pastor Russell. Instantly he lost control of what mind he had and vehemently said, "I called here as a Christian minister, but I see you have old Russell's picture here. Are you a follower of his?" The lady replied that she was. He then said, "He is in hell, and you will be there too, if you follow him." Quick as thought the lady reopened the door through which he had just entered, invited him to the porch overlooking the valley; and as he stood there gazing into space she said, "Tell it to the atmosphere," and left him while she attended to more important duties.
Another picture of the effect of Volume II on the antitypical Egyptians may be seen from the plague of the murrain (Ex. 9:1-7.) "This consisted in some distemper that resulted in a sudden and dreadful mortality among the cattle in the field, including horses, asses, camels, oxen and sheep. It was, however, confined to the Egyptian cattle, and to those that were in the field; for though the cattle of the Hebrews breathed the same air, drank the same water, and fed in the same pastures, not a creature of theirs died. The Egyptian cattle that survived in the sheds, and were afterwards sent into the fields, were destroyed by the succeeding storm of fire and hail." (McC.) These creatures were valuable to the Egyptians. They used them for bearing their burdens, for sacrifices and for food. They represent the classes that go to make up the nominal church and support it. Thus it seemed to the worshippers of the Beast and his Image that the only way to prevent the loss of all their live stock would be to keep them securely impounded, allowing them no liberty whatever.
16:4. And the third [angel] poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters. — It seemed to the worshippers of the beast and his image that the teachings of
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Volume III of the Scripture Studies had contaminated the Scriptures, the Waters of Life, at their very source, by extending the call to people to come out of Babylon while they were busy trying to get people in.
And they became blood. — Seemed repulsive, undesirable, bloody. — Z.'07-279; Ex. 7:20; Rev. 14:20.
Another view of how Volume III appears to the worshipers of the beast and his image is shown by the plague of boils described in Ex. 9:8-12. "The boil was a scab or pustule, which might or might not break out into an ulcerous sore (Lev. 13:18). With this, in one of its worst forms, Job was afflicted (2:7), and by this Hezekiah was brought to the verge of the grave. (2 Kings 20:7; Isa. 38:21.) It was an eruption of a very painful kind accompanied with a burning itch, tending to produce a permanent state of foul and wasteful disease. One form of this disease which seized upon the legs and knees, and was regarded as incurable, was peculiar to Egypt, and was hence called 'the botch of Egypt' (Deut 28:27, 35.) In the case before us, this eruption had a tendency to break out into larger swellings and became probably the disease called elephantiasis, a disease said to be peculiar to Egypt, or the black leprosy, a disease which also affects cattle." (McC.) It was "ashes of the furnace," loyalty to the memory of the bullock, the one perfect Sacrifice for all, Christ Jesus, that caused the bolls; and it is particularly noted that the magicians (clergy) could not withstand this plague, the message, "Come out of her. My People."
16:5. And I heard the angel of the waters. — Volume III. Scripture Studies. Say, thou art righteous, [O Lord] which art, and wast. — See Rev. 1:4; 15:3; 19:2.
[And Shalt be], THE HOLY. — The Lord, the Holy One, was present, at the time Volume III was written.
Because Thou hast judged thus. — Made the beautiful Harvest truths appear "bloody" to those not consecrated.
16:6. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets. — Literally and figuratively. — Matt 23:34, 35; Rev. 13:15; 18-24.
And thou hast given them blood to drink; [for] THAT WHEREOF they are worthy. — See Rev. 14:20; Isa. 49:26.
16:7. And I heard [another out of] the altar. — The "Altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt" (Isa. 19:19) at the time these plagues are being poured out upon the antitypical Egyptians, is the Great Pyramid discussed in a separate section of Volume III.
[Say] Saying Even so, Lord God Almighty. — The Lord Jesus — Rev. 1:8; John 5:22; Matt 28:18.
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True and righteous are Thy judgments. — The teaching of the Great Pyramid is in full accord with the rest of the book. See Rev. 14:15. "it is by no means an addition to the written revelation: that revelation is complete and perfect, and needs no addition. But it is a strong corroborative witness to God's Plan. Isaiah testifies of an altar and pillar in the land of Egypt, which 'shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt' And the context shows that it shall be a witness in the day when the great Savior and Deliverer shall come to set at liberty Sin's captives." — C315.
16:8. And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun. — Volume IV of Scripture Studies, as soon as published, was sent free to all clergy whose names could be obtained. They are taught, and teach others, that they are important luminaries in the heavens, suns, rivalling in brilliancy and wisdom the Lord Himself, whose place they take in the minds of the people, by setting forth their own views on every subject, rather than the Lord's Word. Volume IV, then, sent to this class, and calling attention to Babylon's fall, seemed to them as the height of all presumption in wickedness.
And power was given unto him to scorch men. — Greek "The Men," i. e., the worshipers of the beast and his image.
With fire. — Perhaps some of the clergy became a trifle warm as they read Volume IV, as their later conduct seems to suggest. Why they should have disliked Pastor Russell when he told the truth, and proved it, is remarkable.
And men. — Greek "The Men;" the clergy. In Rev. 8:9 the clergy are not so honored.
Were scorched with great heat. — Became warm, indignant at the Pastor's kindly explanation of the whore and the harlots, and the plainly evident application to the Papacy and the Protestant sects.
And blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues. — Misrepresented the name and character of the mighty one, Pastor Russell, to whom the Lord committed the task of presenting to His Church this meat in due season. This misrepresentation burst like a storm after the publication of Volume IV, Studies, and continued until the Pastor's death, yea, and shame to say it, even afterwards, in the columns of such sheets as the New York World and the Brooklyn Eagle. What monuments of infamy these people have reared for themselves! They richly deserve all they will get when the tide turns.
And they repented not to give Him glory. — "One great obstacle to many is the contracted idea generally entertained of the meaning of the word god. They fail to note
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that the Greek theos (god) does not invariably refer to Jehovah, but signifies a mighty one. In the following texts the word god (theos) is used to refer to others than the one supreme being, Jehovah — viz.: — John 10:34, 35; Acts 7:40, 43; 17:23; 1 Cor. 8:5." — B274.
Another view of how the publication of Volume IV looks to the worshipers of the beast and his image is shown in tie plague of hail, described in Ex. 9:13-26. "The character of this and the following plagues must be carefully examined, as the warning seems to indicate an important turning-point. The ruin caused by the hail was evidently far greater than that effected by any of the earlier plagues; for it destroyed men, which those others seem not to have done, and not only men, but beasts and the produce of the earth. In this case Moses, while addressing Pharaoh, openly warns his servants how to save something from the calamity. Pharaoh for the first time acknowledges his wickedness." (McC.) The appropriateness of these comments to the subject matter of "The Day of Vengeance," or "The Battle of Armageddon", (as it is now called) as the latter would appear to the mind of the clergy, is self-evident. Your true clergyman has the greatest abhorrence for any truth that would tend to lessen men's reverence for himself or the systems which he aims to perpetuate.
16:10. And the fifth [angel]. — Volume V, of Studies.
Poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast. — Thoroughly and scripturally analyzing the subjects of trinity, human immortality and eternal torment, the foundation of all Papal doctrine, as well as constituting a large part of the stock in trade of the Protestant aggregation.
And his kingdom was full of darkness. — Complete ignorance of the truths on these subjects as taught in the Bible.
And they gnawed their tongues for pain. — "Note the expression of Rev. Samuel T. Carter in a Presbyterian journal — The Evangelist. He says: 'It must be admitted that if a Church is honest, that which stands in its Confession is its faith. It must be acknowledged that what is contained in its Confession is the faith of any honest church. The Westminster Confession of Faith is still the unquestioned Confession of the Presbyterian Church. Is the Presbyterian Church honest in its zeal for purity first and peace afterward? Be it known, then, to all the world that the Presbyterian Church by its Confession declares that all the heathen perish, that many men are hopelessly lost from all eternity by the decree of God, and that there are infants in hell. ... In reality the church does not believe these dreadful doctrines. Then it stands before God and man with a lie in its right hand.'" — Z.'00-148,
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16:11. And blasphemed the God of Heaven. — "In token of entire allegiance to the beast." — Cook.
Because of their pains [and their sores], and repented not [of their deeds]. — "The commotion amongst Presbyterians continues — some standing firm for their church creed, others repudiating it and begging to be released from it. Many thus indirectly confess that they have despised it for years, and have realized it to be a He and a blasphemy against God, and after confessing to this acting and confessing a lie for years they beg to be released without cost or loss either of human or Divine favor, and especially without loss of bread and butter." (Z.'00-148.) The way in which Volume V, Scripture Studies, appeared to the worshipers of the beast and his image is further illustrated in the plague of locusts, described in Ex. 10:1-11. "This plague has not the unusual nature of the one that preceded it; but it even exceeds it in severity, and so occupies its place in the gradation of the more terrible judgments that form the latter part of the series. Its severity can be well understood by those who have been in Egypt in a part of the country where a plague of locusts has alighted. In this case the plague was greater than any ordinary visitation, since it extended over a far wider space, rather than because it was more intense; for it is impossible to imagine any more complete destruction than that always caused by locusts." (McC.) With what dismay must the clergy have read the kind words for volume V, which appeared in the columns of the secular press.
16:12. And the sixth [angel]. — Volume VI of Studies in the Scriptures.
Poured out his vial upon the great River Euphrates. — Seemed to the worshipers of the beast and his image to be instituting a new and horrible thing, a people's church, in which there is no place for clergy, collections, church edifices, reverence for one day above another, or in fact any of the customs cherished in the nominal church.
And the water thereof was dried up. — "Literal Babylon was built upon the literal river Euphrates, while in the Gospel age mystic or figurative Babylon, which carried away captive Spiritual Israel, is portrayed as sitting upon the mystic Euphrates. In the type, the golden vessels of the Temple were carried away and profaned by literal Babylon: in the antitype, the precious, Divine (golden) truths, pertaining to the service of the true Temple, the Church (1 Cor. 3:16, 17; Rev. 3:12), were far removed from their proper places, perverted and misapplied by mystic Babylon. Literal Babylon being built upon the river Euphrates, which materially contributed to its wealth
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and resources, its overthrow was accomplished by the turning aside of those waters. So mystic Babylon sits upon, is supported by, many waters (peoples, nations), and its fall is predicted, through the turning aside of its supporters and sustainers, the people." (B209; Jer. 50:38, 51:36.) "Ecclesiastical circles in Germany are much exercised at the rapidly increasing desertions from the State Church. Although the process of official separation from the Church is one of the greatest difficulty, delay and expense, it is computed that in Berlin alone considerably over 10,000 persons have severed their connection with the Church during the past year. So great is the number of those who are notifying their intention to terminate their membership that special offices have been opened in Berlin to receive their applications, which now number between 300 and 400 daily. Among the working classes, especially those attached to the Social Democratic party, there exists a bitter hostility to the clergy." — Z.'09-83.
"A program for a general strike against the Church is the latest plan of action. The 'No-Creeders' (Monists) in league with the Socialists, convened mass meetings in Berlin, Brunswick and Saxony, in which every means of incitation was employed in an appeal toward a secession from the State Church. At these meetings over 1,300 persons signed a declaration announcing their intention to secede from the Church. Four thousand more followed, and according to judicial court-records received towards the end of December, 17,000 secessions took place in December up to the 23d, and the day after Christmas 8,000 more announced their intention. The following press reports may serve as a typical illustration of the mode of procedure in such meetings. "Without exception, every one who even by vague allusion, ventured to take a stand for his Church was howled down, hissed from the rostrum and subjected to filthy invectives. To illustrate: When a minister ascended the platform, the following was heard, 'He looks it!' 'Old Sky-pilot!' And from another part of the hall the same evening we heard the following words aimed at the ministers: "Damned Rags!' 'Pig-priests!' A gentleman who interrupted was yelled at, 'Rous mit the Parson-face!'" — Z.'14-133.
"Reports in Great Britain show that Baptists, Congregationalists and the various Methodist denominations there are declining in numbers and prestige. The cause of this is not far to see. Christianity has become merely another name for decency and civilization. All doctrines are Abandoned as merely speculations. Churches are becoming merely social clubs in which form and ceremony mark the
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quality. This accounts for the growing unpopularity of those sects which once stood for the highest standards of earnestness and Christian zeal and liberty, non-conformity and simplicity." (Z.'10-324.) "The pastor of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, New York City, Rev. Dr. Charles F. Aked, who came to its direction from a London pulpit, in his sermon Sunday said: 'When I interview my parishioners, and they are among the most representative in the city, I find the spirit of religious depression very unlike the spirit of abounding enterprise in business, in manufacturing, in engineering and construction. There are about 16,000,000 Catholics in continental United States. Now, in our immigration for ninety years back, no less than 15,000,000 were Catholics. If all remained loyal to its tenets they would number 45,000,000 now instead of 16,000,000. The Protestants have lost ground, too, when the filling up of the country is counted. Our own denomination, the Baptists, reflects the general trend. The increase among the Baptists of America has been equal to only one-fourth of the birth rate among us, proving that three out of four of our Baptist population have fallen away from us. The decline of Christianity is universal.
"In England, in France, in Spain, Italy and Germany we hear the same cry. Only lately I was talking to an English clergyman. He told me that not merely is there a great falling off in churchgoers in England, but that the class of people who frequent churches is becoming inferior.
"The church is out of touch with the masses. Everything has progressed except Christianity. The pulpit has too many bigots, too many bores, too many hell-fire screechers for the enlightened thought of the day. The church is obliged to accept any applicant for the ministry who is respectable. Even with this latitude, Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist vocations show a remarkable falling off in twenty-five years.'" (Z.'08-324.) "Rev. Charles A. Eaton at the Euclid Avenue Baptist Church, Cleveland, spoke as follows: 'In Italy one-third of the people at the very outside, are more or less nominal followers of the) Church of Rome; another third, possibly, are more or less sympathetic toward the Church; while another third are out and out continually and completely antagonistic, apparently, not only to the Church of Rome, but to all forms of Christianity. You enter France — the same story is true, only aggravated and multiplied a thousand fold. You enter Great Britain, which I consider to be the last citadel of Christianity in the world, with a people more robust and sane in their religious interests and sympathies than any other people. And what is the condition there? The non-
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conformist churches of Great Britain last year not only made no progress, but met, according to their statistics, with an absolute loss of 18,000; the Baptist Church of Great Britain last year lost 5,000 people. In the year 1905 there were nearly 7,000 Presbyterian, Congregationalist and Methodist churches that had not one single member unite with them in twelve months. In a recent year in New York city, according to the statement of Dr. Aked, of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, 335 Protestant churches reported a net gain that year of 386 members. That is to say 335 churches gained one member apiece and fifty of them gained two in twelve months. Brethren, I say to you this morning, that the American Church is dying — it is dying! It is dying! Don't forget it.'" (Z.'08-211.)
"A declaration by the Rev. Dr. Charles E. McClellan, pastor of the Fairhill Baptist Church, that 'Protestantism in the United States is fast decaying and will soon be a thing of the past,' aroused a storm at the fifty-third session of the North Philadelphia Baptist Association. Doctor McClellan spoke on what he called the decline of Protestantism while making his report as chairman of the missionary committee. 'The spirit of Protestantism is dying in the United States, and it will soon be a thing of the past,' he said. 'Philadelphia, both denominationally and religiously, is going to perdition at a rapid rate. Recently I attended the services in one of our churches, at which I had been invited to speak. I found in attendance nineteen adults and one child. The same condition exists all over the city. We have large, magnificent churches, but email congregations, showing that it is easy to get money, but hard to get men.' " — Z.'10-373.
That the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. — "He must be comparatively blind -who cannot see that the wonderful prophecies which speak of the fall of Babylon (Isa. 14:22; Jer. 50 and 61) were not wholly fulfilled by Cyrus the Persian. Much of the prophecy still waits for fulfillment in mystic or symbolic Babylon today. The Kings of the East, or kings from the sunrising, are, we understand, the kings of Christ's Kingdom, who are also priests — the Body of Christ, the Royal Priesthood. 'Thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.' From this standpoint, Cyrus, who with his army overthrew literal Babylon, was a figure or illustration of Messiah, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Isa. 41:25; 44:28; 45:1-14.)" — Z.'99-174; Rev. 7:2.
16:13. And I saw three unclean spirits. — Denoting demoniacal origin. (Matt. 10:1; Mark 1:26; Luke 4:33.) "The Lord's people must discriminate between doctrines
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presented to them as truth — they must 'try the spirits,' whether they be holy or evil, of God or of the Evil One — the Spirit of Truth or the spirit of Error. These both are introduced by prophets, or teachers." — E320, 295.
[Like] AS IT WERE frogs. — Frogs are garrulous, have a very wise look, large mouths, are much puffed up and Titter only croakings. In the "distress of nations with perplexity" which has come upon Christendom as a result of her sins, the croakings of the wise now fill the air everywhere. Actually all knees are "weak as water." — Ezek. 7:17; 21:7. See especially D i-xvi.
Come out of the mouth of the dragon. — The three fundamental truths of history are man's Fall, Redemption and Restoration. Stated in other language these three truths are the mortal nature of man, the Christ of God and His Millennial Kingdom. Standing opposite to these Satan has placed three great untruths, human immortality, the Antichrist and a certain delusion which is best described by the word Patriotism, but which is in really murder, the spirit of the very Devil. It is this last and crowning feature of Satan's work that is mentioned first. The other two errors are the direct cause of this one. The wars of the Old Testament were all intended to illustrate the battlings of the New Creature against the weaknesses of the flesh, and are not in any sense of the word justification for the human butchery which has turned the earth into a slaughter-house. Nowhere in the New Testament is Patriotism (a narrow-minded hatred of other peoples) encouraged. Everywhere and always murder in its every form is forbidden; and yet, under the guise of Patriotism the civil governments of earth demand of peace-loving men the sacrifice of themselves and their loved ones and the butchery of their fellows, and hail it as a duty demanded by the laws of heaven.
"Everybody of importance in the early years of the twentieth century was an ardent champion of peace. A crowd of royal peacemakers in a world surcharged with thought and threats of war, a band of lovers strolling down an avenue which they themselves had lined with lyddite shells and twelve-inch guns. Prince Bulow, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannermann, Mr. H. H. Asquith, Mr. John Hay, and Mr. Elihu Root, pacific in temper, eloquent in their advocacy of the cause of international good will, were a galaxy of peace-loving statesmen under a sky black with the thunder-clouds of war. English and German papers were discussing invasions, and the need of increased armaments, at the very time that twenty thousand Germans in Berlin were applauding to the echo the friendly greetings
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of a company of English visitors. While ten thousand boys and girls in Tokio were singing loving greetings to our naval officers, there were men in the United States rushing from city to city urging the people to prepare for an American-Japanese war. After each new peace conference there was a fresh cry for more guns. While the Palace of Peace at The Hague was building, nations hailed the advent of the airship as a glorious invention, because of the service it could render to the cause of war. The fountains from which there flowed these dark and swollen streams of war rumor were all located within the military and naval encampments. It was the experts of the army and navy who were always shivering at some new peril, and painting sombre pictures of what would happen in case new regiments were not added to the army and additional battleships were not voted for the fleet. It was in this way that legislative bodies came to think that possibly the country was really in danger; and looking round for a ground on which to justify new expenditures for war material, they seized upon an ancient pagan maxim — furnished by the military experts — 'If you wish peace, prepare for war.' No guns were asked for to kill men with — guns were mounted as safeguards of the peace. No battleships were launched to fight with — they were preservers of the peace. Colossal armies and gigantic navies were exhibited as a nation's ornaments — beautiful tokens of its love of peace. The expenditure crushed the poorest of the nations and crippled the richest of them, but the burden was gladly borne for the cause.
"The most virulent and devastating disease of humanity now raging on the earth is militarism. There are demon suggestions which obtain so firm a grip upon the mind that it is difficult to banish them. The naval experts of Germany are dragging the German Empire ever deeper into debt, unabashed by the ominous mutterings of a coming storm. The naval experts of England go right on launching Dreadnaughts, while the number of British paupers grows larger with the years, and all British problems become increasingly baffling and alarming. The naval experts of Russia plan for a new billion-dollar navy, notwithstanding Russia's national debt is four and one-quarter billion dollars, and to pay her current expenses she is compelled to borrow seventy-five million dollars every year. With millions of her people on the verge of starvation, and beggars swarming through the streets of her cities and round the stations of her railways, the naval experts go on asking new appropriations tor guns and military equipment.
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"Like many another fever, militarism grows by what it feeds on, and unless checked by heroic measures is certain to burn the patient up. Bereft of reason are the nations by Satan's ingenious and terrible final beclouding of the minds of men.
"The militarist is comic in his seriousness. He says that if you want to keep the peace you must prepare for war, and yet he knows that where men prepare for war by carrying bowie knives, peace is a thing unheard of, and that where every man is armed with a revolver, the list of homicides is longest. Like many other diseases, militarism is contagious. One nation can be infected by another until there is an epidemic round the world. Is it possible, some one asks, for a world to become insane? That a community can become crazy was proven by Salem, in the days of the witchcraft delusion; that a city can lose its head was demonstrated by London, at the time of the Gunpowder Plot; that a continent can become the victim of an hallucination was shown when Europe lost its desire to live, and waited for the end of the world in the year 1000. Why should it be counted incredible that many nations, bound together by steam and electricity, should fall under the spell of a delusion, and should act for a season like a man who has gone mad?
"All the great nations are today facing deficits, caused in every case by the military and naval experts.
"Everything in Germany, Italy, Austria, England and Russia is held back by the confiscation of the proceeds of industry carried on for the support of the army and navy. In the United States the development of our resources is checked by this same fatal policy. We have millions of acres of desert land to be irrigated, millions of acres of swamp land to be drained, thousands of miles of inland waterways to be improved, harbors to be deepened, canals to be dug, and forests to be safeguarded, and yet for all these works of cardinal importance we can afford only a pittance. We have not sufficient money to pay decent salaries to our United States judges, or to the men who represent us abroad. We have pests, implacable and terrible, like the gypsy moth, and plagues like tuberculosis, for whose extermination millions of money are needed at once."  — C. E. Jefferson, American Association for International Conciliation. — Z.'09-179.
The first expenditure of the United States Government ($7,000,000,000), upon entering the world war, was 27% in excess of value of all the crops harvested in the United States in the banner year of its history. This amount would gridiron the country with macadam roads six miles
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apart, east and west, north and south. It is double the capital and surplus of every bank in the country. It is equal to our entire cost for education, from kindergarten to university, for ten years.
"War is in open and utter violation of Christianity. If war is right, then Christianity is wrong, false, a He. If Christianity is right, then war is wrong, false, a lie. The God revealed by Jesus, and by every spiritual leader of the race, is no God of battles. He lifts no sword — He asks no sacrifice of human blood. His spirit is love, His rule is peace, His method of persuasion is forgiveness. His law, as interpreted and promulgated by the Nazarene, is 'love one another,' 'resist not evil with evil,' 'forgive seventy times seven,' 'overcome evil with good,' 'love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.' Such a God and such a law, others may reconcile with war, if they can. I cannot; and what I cannot do, I will not profess to do. But I must go farther — I must speak not only of war in general, but of this war in particular. Most persons are quite ready to agree, especially in the piping times of peace, that war is wrong. But let a war cloud no bigger than a man's hand appear on the horizon of the nation's life, and they straightway begin to qualify their judgment; and if the war cloud grows until it covers all the heavens, they finally reverse it.
"This brings about the curious situation of all war being wrong in general, and each war being right in particular. Germans denounce war, with the exception of course of the present conflict with England. Englishmen condemn war, but exclude from their indictment the present fight against the central Empires. If you tell me that this war is fought for the integrity of international law, I must ask you why it is directed only against Germany and not also against England, which is an equal, although far less terrible, violator of covenants between nations? If you say it is fought on behalf of the rights of neutrals, I must ask you where, when and by what belligerent the rights of neutrals have been conserved in this war, and what guarantee you can offer that, after all our expenditure of blood and money for their defense, these rights will not be similarly violated all over again in the next war by any nation which is battling for its life? If you say that it is fought for the security of American property and lives, I must ask you how and to what extent it will be safer for our citizens to cross the seas after the declaration of war than it was before? If you say that it is fought in vindication
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of our national honor, I must ask you why no harm has come to the honor of other nations, such as Holland and Scandinavia, for example, which have suffered even more than we, but which, for prudential reasons, refuse to take up arms? If you say it is a war of defense against wanton and intolerable aggression, I must reply that every blow which we have endured has been primarily a blow directed not against ourselves but against England, and that it has yet to be proved that Germany has any intention or desire of attacking us. If you say that this was is a life-and-death struggle for the preservation of civilization against barbarism, I must ask you why we remained neutral when Belgium was raped, and were at last aroused to action, not by the cries of the stricken abroad, but by our own losses in men and money? If you say that this war is a last resort in a situation which every other method, patiently tried, has failed to meet, I must answer that this is not true — that other ways and means of action, tried by experience and justified by success, have been laid before the administration and wilfully rejected.
"In its ultimate causes, this was is the natural product of our unchristian civilization. Its armed men are grown from the dragon's teeth of secret diplomacy, imperialistic ambition, dynastic pride, greedy commercialism, economic exploitation at home and abroad. In the sowing of these teeth, America has had her part; and it is therefore only proper, perhaps, that she should have her part also in the reaping of the dreadful harvest. In its more immediate causes, this war is the direct result of unwarrantable, cruel, but none the less inevitable interferences with our commercial relations with one group of the belligerents. Our participation in the war, therefore, like the war itself, is political and economic, not ethical, in its character. Any honor, dignity, or beauty which there may be in our impending action, is to be found in the impulses, pure and undefiled, which are actuating many patriotic hearts today, and not at all in the real facts of the situation. The war itself is wrong. Its prosecution will be a crime. There is not a question raised, an issue involved, a cause at stake, which is worth the life of one blue-jacket on the sea or one khaki-coat in the trenches." — Rev. John Haynes Holmes, Church of the Messiah, Park Ave. and 34th St., New York City.
And out of the mouth of the beast. — The Antichrist doctrine of the Divine right of the clergy was the direct cause of the great war. This frog has been coming out of the mouth of the Papal beast for sixteen centuries. "The German Kaiser's reported proclamation to his army in
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Poland reads: 'Remember you (my army) are God's elect God's spirit has descended on me because I am Emperor of Germany. I am Jehovah's sword. His representative, the instrument of the Most High. Woe and death be to those who resist my will! and to all who do not believe my mission, and to cowards in my army! The enemies of the German people shall perish. God demands their destruction. He it is who through me commands yon to fulfill His will!' These false doctrines of the Dark Ages are bearing a terrible fruitage in the present war. Similarly the teaching of eternal torment, misrepresenting and blaspheming God's character, is bearing an evil fruitage. Millions of people are being turned away from faith in a God of Love and from faith in the Bible as His Message by the most monstrous blasphemies of the Dark Ages. I charge the responsibility of all this against the sects and creeds of Christendom. I charge that the ministers, whose eyes are now open to a saner comprehension, have neglected the Bible, have neglected the people, and, instead of helping them out of the darkness, are now leading them into darkness in an opposite direction — into Evolution and Higher Criticism and everything contrary to the Word of God. God is still misrepresented in the world. The creeds of the Dark Ages are still hugged to the bosom in outward pretense, while inwardly they are loathed. A great fraud, a great hypocrisy, you say? I answer, Yes; the most astounding the world has ever known. Two hundred thousand professed ministers of God and of Christ are standing before the "world today telling the legends of the Dark Ages and seeking to hinder the people from coming to a knowledge of the Truth, meanwhile receiving the people's money and reverence. Does not such hypocrisy, such blasphemy again God, such deception of the people, such keeping of them in darkness, deserve a great punishment, and is it not nigh?" — B. S. M.
"In all the warring countries the professed ministers of Christ are acting as recruiting agents. All kinds of arguments are used to persuade the young men of the country, contrary to the teachings of the Master. The same men who are accustomed to laugh at the declaration that the Turkish soldiers in former wars were promised, in the event of death, a sure passport to Heavenly Paradise — these same ministers are now urging all the eligible with whom they have influence to prepare to go to battle to lay down their lives. While the Germans have on every battle flag and upon their soldiers' belts, 'God with us,' the British ministers are quoting Bible texts to encourage enlistment of their young men and to throw a halo of
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glory upon their soldier dead." (Z.'15-267.) "The clergy are finding themselves in a tight place. They are expected to be faithful to their country, right or wrong. They are expected to preach the War as the will of God and the going to war as a meritorious matter that will have Divine reward and blessing. They must encourage recruiting, in obedience to the commands of their earthly king, and in violation of the commands of the Heavenly King, who has directed them to be peacemakers, and to follow peace with all men and do no murder, either under legal sanction or otherwise." (Z.'15-276.) "Recently in Canada the Editor was astounded by the activity of the preachers there — especially those of the Church of England. One was out in khaki uniform marching through the streets with the volunteers. Asked by a college friend, 'Did I see you in the ranks?' he answered, 'Yes, I wanted to encourage the boys.' 'And did you think of going to the front, to the trenches?' 'Not a bit of it!' He was merely acting as a decoy to get others to the front; just as a bull which they have at one of the Chicago stockyards, meets the. animals about to be slaughtered and, tossing his head in the air, becomes their leader up the gangway leading to the slaughter. There he knows his little niche, into which he glides and is sheltered; while the others drive and press one another forward to the slaughter." — Z.'15-259.
And out of the mouth of the false prophet, — The one cardinal error upon which all protestant (false prophet) sects agree is the doctrine of human immortality, the original lie told in Eden. (Gen. 2:17; 3:4) In speaking of it our Lord says, "When he speaketh the lie, he speaketh of his own." (John 8:44, Diaglott.) Speaking of it again, the Apostle Paul says, of the worshipers of the beast and his image, "They admitted not the love of the Truth that they might be saved. And on this account God will send to them an energy of delusion, to their believing the falsehood." (2 Thes. 2:10,11.) In each case the Greek gives the definite article. The frog issuing from the false prophet (the image of the beast) is the doctrine of human immortality. These deluded souls actually believe this error, and will be able to prove it to the satisfaction of the dragon, without a doubt. This error lies at the bottom of the doctrines of eternal torment and of the trinity. There is a hint in 1 John 4:1-8 that the cardinal error on which the false prophet will insist is that when Jesus came from the Father He was more than flesh, i e., had at least an immortal soul. — Rev. 13:11,13,14,15; 14:9,11; 15: 2; 16:2; 19:20; 20:10; Matt 24:24
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16:14 For they are the spirits of devils. — See Eph. 6:12. "We are naturally led by the analogy of the influence of evil spirits as described in the Gospels to compare the effect produced by the demons referred to in this verse, with the instances of possession of which we read elsewhere in the New Testament." — Cook.
Working miracles. — It is very possible that the strongest "proof" of the immortality of man will yet be obtained by the false prophet through materializations of evil spirits, perhaps first at preachers' meetings, and afterwards in public. We will wait and see. Meantime: the mental invasions indicated in Rev. 7:3 and 2 Thes. 2:11 will surely come, whether the physical materializations come or not — Rev. 13:13,14.
"The newspapers far and near are publishing the following item: Fred E. Foskett, a young machinist of Orange, Mass., has attracted the attention of Prof. James, of Harvard, and other leading members of the Boston branch of the American Society of Psychical Research, who gave him tests recently. Foskett poured a quart of alcohol into the basin, lighted it and then washed his hands, bathing them for nearly ten minutes in the burning fluid, washing it up over his arms and to his face — literally bathing himself in blazing alcohol. As soon as they were finished the physicians present examined Foskett, and they could not find the slightest trace of a burn or blister. Foskett then told them that the flames did not give him the slightest sensation of burning, that he felt comfortably warm and pleasant, and nothing more. The second tests were made at the home of Prof. James in Cambridge. A scientist who was there said that Foskett performed all of his experiments of the day before, and then 'absolutely and positively dematerialized. He seemed to dissolve into thin air as we watched, was gone forty-one seconds and then materialized.'" — Z.'09-83; Matt. 24:24; 2 Thes. 2:9.
Which go forth unto the kings of the [earth and of the] whole world, to gather them to the battle of [that] THE great Day of God Almighty. — Of which the present horrible European war is only the preliminary skirmish. — Rev. 17:14; 19:19.
"This battle, which will end with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced. The gathering of the armies is plainly visible from the standpoint of God's Word. The Sword of Truth, already sharpened. is to smite every evil system and custom — civil, social and ecclesiastical. The internal conflict is already fomenting. It will ere long break forth as a consuming fire; and human systems, and errors, which for centuries
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have fettered truth and oppressed the groaning creation, must melt before it. Yes, truth — and widespread and increasing knowledge of it — is the Sword which is perplexing and wounding the heads over many countries." (Psa. 110:6; B101.) "Not until great Babylon is utterly overthrown and her influence over the world broken — will the great mass of mankind come to realize the true state of the case. Then they will see that the great trouble through which they will have passed was that symbolically termed 'The battle of the great Day of God Almighty;' that in proportion as they have aided error and wrong, they have been battling against the law and forces of the new Empire and the new Ruler of earth; and that in proportion as their tongues, and pens, and hands, and influence, and means, were used to support the right and the truth on any subject, they had been to that extent fighting on the Lord's side. And during all the trouble there will be in the world those who will bear witness to its cause, declaring the Lord's presence and the setting up of His Kingdom which is in opposition to the powers of darkness to be the real cause of the trouble and shaking and overturning of society." — B141.
16:15. Behold, I come as a thief. — A thief comes unexpectedly, for the purpose of securing jewels only. — Mal. 3:17; 2 Pet. 3:10; Rev. 3:3; Matt. 24:42-44; 1 Thes. 5:2.
Blessed is he that watcheth. — "Because not heedless, careless, indifferent servants of the King, but faithful and earnest ones, the Watchers discern that there are three words of distinctly different signification, used in respect to the Lord's Second Advent; namely, parousia and epiphania and apokalupsis. Parousia is used in respect to the earliest stage of the Second Advent, while apokalupsis relates to the same Advent later." (Z.'02-86.) "The Greek words apokalupsis and apokalupto signify revealment, uncovering, unveiling (as of a thing previously present but hidden). The name of the last book of the Bible is from the same root — Apocalypse or Revelation." — Z.'02-92; 1 Cor. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:7; Lu. 17:29, 30.
And keepeth his garments. — Holds fast to his pledge of consecration even unto death.
Lest he walk naked. — As the nominal churches are doing even since the war council at Washington, May 6, 1917.
And they see his shame. — During the apokalupsis epoch now at hand. (Rev. 3:18.) "The exposure to the world that they lack what constitutes the Christian state." — Cook. — Matt. 5:43, 44.
16:16. And [he] THEY gathered them together. — The three unclean spirits do the gathering. — Rev. 19:19.
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Unto a place called in the Hebrew tongue [Armageddon] ARMAGEDON. — "The fact that St. John has employed a word (Har-Magedon), The destruction of their troop,' not found in connection with any locality or historical event, of itself points to a figurative interpretation. (Zech. 12:11.) Nor indeed are we to think of literal warfare." (Cook.) "The word 'mountain' in the term Armageddon — 'Mountain of Megiddo' — seems to have been used because Megiddo was in a mountainous region, though the battles were fought 1n a valley adjacent The meaning here is, that there would be, as it were, a decisive battle which would determine the question of the prevalence of true religion on the earth. What we are to expect as the fulfillment of this would seem to be, that there will be some mustering of strength — some rallying of forces — some opposition made to the Kingdom of God in the gospel by the powers here referred to which would be decisive in its character." (Barnes.) Another view of Volume VI, Scripture Studies, as it appeared to the worshipers of the beast and his image, may be had in the plague of darkness upon the Egyptians described in Ex. 10:21-29. The 3 days of terrible darkness over the land of Egypt represent the 3 years of mental obscurity respecting the cause (influence of the demons) of the World War ending with the publication of this book in 1917. While this plague was still in progress, Moses said to Pharaoh, "I will see thy face again no more." It is even so; Pastor Russell passed forever out of reach of the antitypical Pharaoh, Satan, in the fall of 1916. But in steadfast belief that "his works do follow him," we hold that he supervises, by the Lord's arrangement, the work yet to be done. See Rev. 16: 1.
16:17. And the seventh [angel]. — Volume VII, Scripture Studies.
Poured out his vial [into] UPON the air. — Seemed to the clergy to be directed against the ruling powers. "The terrors of the revelation of Christ will thus appear spread out over the Universe." — Cook.
And there came a great voice. — An earnest and vigorous setting forth of this prophecy and that of Ezekiel.
Out of the Temple of [Heaven, from the Throne,] GOD. — The true Church.
Saying, It is done. — See title of this book. — Ezek. 9:11. 16:18. And there were [voices, and] thunders. — Seven of them — indicating wide-spread interest in the Scripture Studies. There will probably also be some thundering by the esteemed clergy. If in the past they had thundered less and lightened more, the world would not be in its present predicament. — Rev. 8:5.
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And lightnings. — A good lighting up of the dark places of the ecclesiastical firmament.
AND VOICES. — The "voices" of the Great Company, who, after the Little Flock have gone beyond, will display unparalleled energy and faithfulness amid unparalleled difficulty. — Rev. 11:15; 8:5.
And there was a great earthquake. — Social revolution. The same mentioned in Rev. 8:5; 11:19 and 1 Kings 19:11, 12, following the War.
Such as was not since men were upon the earth. — Worldwide socialism, an unprecedented and sure-to-fail experiment in government.
So mighty an earthquake, and so great. — The following is from an address given to the Chicago Bankers Club in December, 1916, by Frank A. Vanderlip, president of the National City Bank of New York. "State socialism in Europe may develop problems, the like of which never concerned our minds. We may have to meet collective buying, State aided industries, forms of governmental control of ocean borne commerce and novel factors in international finance. There may come out of the war changes in forms of government that will have profound and worldwide influence."
16:19. And the great city was divided into three parts. — Christendom is now divided into three parts: Socialistic Russia, Imperial Teutonia, and the Representative Governments of the West; but we think a religious division is coming: The Greek church, the Papacy and the False Prophet Protestant aggregation, all under papal control. Or the city of Rev. 14:20, may be meant. — 2 Ki. 2:10,12,15.
And the [cities] CITY of the nations fell. — The reference is to Rome, the "city" mentioned in Rev. 17:18. By Rome is meant the Papacy. All other kings have already drunk deeply of the wrath of God and Sheshach's turn has come.  — Jer. 25:26; Rev. 14:8.
And great Babylon came in remembrance before God. — "The fall of Babylon will astonish the entire world, so complete is the illusion that Christendom represents the Throne and Government of Messiah among men. And, be it remembered, the vast majority in all the various sects and denominations of Christendom are worldly people who have no conception whatever of the true Church and her cause. Their ambition is to approximate righteousness and a form of godliness, but no more than this seems to them necessary, since they have not been begotten of the Holy Spirit and therefore cannot appreciate things from the divine standpoint" — Pastor Russell. See Rev. 18:5.
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To give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of [His] THE wrath. — The wine of the vine of the earth. — Rev. 14:17-20; Jer. 8:14; Isa. 51:17-20; Jer. 25:26-28; Rev. 18:6.
16:20. And every island fled away. — Even the republics will disappear in the time of anarchy.
And the mountains were not found. — Every kingdom of earth will pass away, be swallowed up in anarchy.
16:21. And there fell upon men. — Greek "The Men," the worshipers of the beast and his image, i. e., the clergy.
A great hall out of heaven. — Truth, compacted, coming with crushing force. A concluding statement of how the seventh volume of Scripture Studies appears to the worshipers of the beast and his image. — Rev. 11:19; Isa, 28:17; 30:30; Ezek. 13:11; Joshua 10:11.
Every stone about the weight of a talent. — 113 lbs. (Mal. 3:10.) Another view of the seventh volume of Scripture Studies, as it appears to the worshipers of the beast and his image, is found in the last of the Egyptian plagues, the death of the first-born, Exodus 11th. and 12th. chapters. As soon as this plague came the Egyptians, from Pharaoh down, were anxious to speed the parting guest, and willing to give up all the jewels of silver (the Great Company) and the jewels of gold (the Little Flock). In connection with the statement that "there was not a house where there was not one dead," it is admitted that if any sects were overlooked in the lists cited in comments on Rev. 8th and 9th chapters the omission was unintentional and will be corrected in later editions. The three days in which Pharaoh's host pursued the Israelites into the wilderness may represent the three years preceding the time of anarchy at which time all of Pharaoh's messengers will be swallowed up in the sea of angry humanity. The wheels will come off their chariots — organizations.
And men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail. — Apparently, the book will be unpopular for a time. "As soon as Divine restraints upon Satan were released, he moved the Sabeans to steal Job's cattle and to kill his servants; he caused fire to come down from heaven, which not only killed but burned up Job's flocks of sheep; he sent the Chaldeans who stole Job's camels, and finally produced a cyclone which smote the house in which Job's children were feasting together, and destroyed the house and killed its occupants; and he attacked Job's person with disease as soon as granted permission. (Job. 1:9-2:7.)" — S80.
For the plague thereof was exceeding great. — Quite a shower.
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