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The Revelation



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.)
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.




17:1. And there came one of the seven angels. — Volume VII, Studies in the Scriptures.
Which had the seven vials. — An explanation of the plagues upon symbolic Babylon.
And talked with me. — The John class, the Church in the flesh.
Saying [unto me] Come hither; I will shew unto thee. — In the 8th, 9th, 16th and 18th chapters of Revelation, and throughout the Book of Ezekiel. — Nahum 3:3, 4.
The judgment of the great whore. — Papacy, the "beast."  — Rev. 19:2.
That sitteth upon many waters. — The peoples of the earth. — Jer. 51:13; Rev. 17:15.
17:2. With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication. — "The kingdoms of Europe today claim to be Christian kingdoms, and announce that their sovereigns reign 'by the grace of God,' i.e. through appointment of either Papacy or some of the Protestant sects." — A268; Rev. 18:3; Isa. 1:21; Jer. 2:20-24; 3:6; Ezek. 16:15.
And the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk. — "So great an institution as made all nations drunk with her false doctrine must be very prominent, indeed, to those who were made so under the influence of the stupefying draft from her cup." — Pastor Russell.
With the wine of her fornication. — The mixed doctrines, part truth and part error, that originally led to the union of church and state, — the spiritual harlotry. — Jer. 51:7; Rev. 2:20; 17:5; 18:3; 19:2.
17:3. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness. — "All who would get a true view of Babylon must, in spirit, take their position with the true people of God 'in the wilderness' — in the condition of separation from the world and worldly ideas and mere forms of godliness, and in the condition of entire consecration and faithfulness to and dependence upon God alone." — D27.
And I saw a woman. — The Roman Catholic Church.
Sit upon a scarlet colored beast. — Rule by violence, the support of spiritual harlotry all through the centuries.
Full of names of blasphemy. — "From Ferraris' Ecclesiastical Dictionary, a standard Roman Catholic authority, we
quote the following condensed outline of papal power as given under the word papa, article 2nd: 'The pope is of such dignity and highness that he is not simply a man but, as it were, God, and the vicar [representative] of God. . . . Hence the pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven, of earth and of hell. Nay, the pope's excellence and power are not only about heavenly, terrestrial and infernal things, but he is also above angels, and is their superior; so that if it were possible that angels could err from the faith, or entertain sentiments contrary thereto, they could be judged and excommunicated by the pope. . . . He is of such great dignity and power that he occupies one and the same tribunal with Christ; so that whatsoever the pope does seem to proceed from the mouth of God. . . . The pope is, as it were, God on earth, the only prince of the faithful of Christ, the greatest king of all kings, possessing the plenitude of power; to whom the government of the earthly and heavenly kingdom is entrusted.' He further adds: 'The pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, declare or interpret the Divine Law.' 'The pope can sometimes counteract the Divine Law by limiting, explaining, etc.'" — B310.
Having seven heads and ten horns. — See Rev 12:3; 13:1: 17:9-12; Dan. 7:7, 20; Rev. 5:6; 1 Sam. 2:10; Deut. 33:17; 1 Ki. 22:11.
17:4. And the woman was arrayed in purple. — Symbolizing the apostate church's claim to royalty. "I sit a queen and am no widow." — Rev. 18:7, 12, 16.
And scarlet color. — Symbolizing her claims to share in Christ's work of sacrifice, in the doctrine of the mass.
And decked with gold. — Symbolizing her claim that she includes in her membership all the true Church of God, those who shall ultimately attain the Divine nature.
And precious stones. — Symbolizing her claim that she is the sole custodian of the Lord's precious jewels of truth and character. — 1 Cor. 3:12; Mal. 3:17.
And pearls. — Symbolizing her claim that she has sole power over all that the Lord bought by His death. — Matt. 13:45, 46.
Having a golden cup in her hand. — Symbolizing her claim that she is the repository of all Truth Divine. — Jer. 51:7.
Full of abominations and [filthiness] FILTHINESSES of [her] THE fornication OF HER AND OF THE EARTH. — "Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that made all the earth drunken; the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad [intoxicated with her errors]. (Jer. 51:7-0.)" — C156; Rev. 18:6; Isa, 65:4.
17:5. And upon her forehead [was a name written]. — In plain sight of all the spiritually minded. (And how strange it is that everybody does not see it!)
Mystery. — "We have already called attention to the fact that the Church of Christ is called in the Scriptures the 'Mystery of God,' because, contrary to expectation, the Church was to be the Messianic Body which, under its Anointed Head, Jesus, shall rule and bless the world. We have also drawn attention to the fact that the Scriptures refer to Babylon as a counterfeit system (mother and daughters — some more and some less corrupt, some better and some poorer counterfeits), and there designated the 'Mystery of Iniquity.' We are to remember that it is Satan who in the Scriptures is credited with having 'deceived the whole world' on this subject; putting evil for good and good for evil; light for darkness and darkness fop light. Satan 'now worketh in the children of disobedience' (Isa. 5:20; Eph. 2:2) even as he proffered his cooperation to our Lord Jesus." — F199; 2 Thes. 2:7; Prov. 5:6.
Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. — "Since Papacy, the mother, is not & single individual, but a great religious system, in keeping with the symbol we should expect to see other religious systems answering to the illustration of daughters of similar character. To this description the various Protestant organizations fully correspond. The daughter systems parted from the mother under circumstances of travail, and were born virgins." (D29.) "But some sincere Christians may still be anxiously inquiring, — 'If all Christendom is to be involved in the doom of Babylon, what will become of Protestantism, the result of the Great Reformation?' This is an important question; but let the reader consider that Protestantism, as it exists today, is not the result of the Great Reformation, but of its decline." — D28; Ezek. 16:44; Hos. 2:2-5; Isa. 1:21; Rev.. 18:9; 19:2.
"The claims of apostolic succession and clerical authority are almost as presumptuously set forth by some of the Protestant clergy as by the Papal priesthood. And the right of individual private judgment, — the very fundamental principle of the protest against Papacy, which led to the Great Reformation, — is now almost as strenuously opposed by Protestants as by Papists. Protestants seem to have forgotten, — for they truly ignore, — the very grounds of the original protest, and, as systems, they are fast drifting back toward the open arms of the 'Holy (?) Mother Church.' 'Let us hold out to you our hand affectionately' (says Pope Leo to Protestants in his famous Encyclical addressed "To the Princes and Peoples of the Earth"), 'and
invite you to the unity which never failed the Catholic church, and which never can fail. Long has our common mother called you to her breast.' The doctrine of 'the Divine right of kings,' taught or supported by almost every sect, is the foundation of the old civil system, and has long given authority, dignity and stability to the kingdoms of Europe; and the doctrine of the Divine appointment and authority of the clergy has hindered God's children from progressing in Divine things and bound them by the chains of superstition and ignorance to the veneration and adoration of fallible fellow-beings, and to their doctrines, traditions and interpretations of God's Word. It is this entire order of things that is to fall and pass away in the battle of this great day — the order of things which for centuries has held the people docile under the ruling powers, civil, social and religious. All this has been by God's permission (not by his appointment and approval, as they claim). But though an evil in itself, it has served a good, temporary purpose in preventing anarchy, which is immeasurably worse, because men were not prepared to do better for themselves, and because the time for Christ's Millennial Kingdom had not yet come. Hence God permitted the various delusions to gain credence in order to hold men in check until 'The Time of the End' — the end of 'The Times of the Gentiles' (which expired October 1, 1914)." — D33.
17:6. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints. — "'But the blood of Protestants is not called the blood of saints, no more than the blood of thieves, man-killers, and other malefactors, for the shedding of which, by the order of justice, no commonwealth shall answer.'  — Rhemish (Catholic) translation, footnote. (B320.) "'She wore out the saints of the most high God,' and 'was drunken with the blood of the saints.' — Rev. 18:24." — Z.'04-236; Rev. 16:6.
And with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. — Most of these martyrs will doubtless be honored by a place in the Great Company. (See Rev. 7:9.) This Scripture was fulfilled in the Dark Ages, but we are still in the Dark Ages, and will be until this system is destroyed. It takes more than a mere profession of faith to make a Christian. "Jezebel today has daughters — systems termed Protestant  — which, nevertheless, copy largely the mother's spirit. It is through the influence of the daughters that the anti-typical Elijah may expect future persecutions, instigated by the mother, accomplished through the daughters, as typically represented in the case of John the Baptist, beheaded by Herod at the instance of Salome, but at the instigation of Herodias — Jezebel," — Z.'04-237.
And when I saw her. — Discerned her true character.
I wondered with great admiration. — "With great wonder" (Diaglott), that the Lord would permit such an institution to exist
17:7. And the angel. — Volume VII, Scripture Studies. Said unto me. — See Revelation, Chapters 4, 5 and 6.
Wherefore dost thou marvel. — This is all quite right and necessary. The Papacy was foreseen and permitted as a part of God's wonderful plan for developing and testing His Church, proving who are worthy to be of the First Resurrection, joint-heirs with Christ.
I will tell thee the mystery of the woman. — The apostate Church of Rome.
And of the beast that carrieth her. — The dominion of violence, now represented in earth's warring governments.
Which hath seven heads and ten horns. — See Rev. 12:3; 13:1. The exposition of the remainder of this chapter was greatly assisted by the following letter: "Your request for my version of what I understood Bro. Russell's expectations to be respecting the fulfillment of the 17th Chapter of Revelation received and after considerable meditation upon the matter I have decided to submit the following: Brother Russell stated that there were three possible fulfillments of this Chapter, and that he did not or would not go on record as to which would be the correct interpretation, for the reason that this Chapter could not be interpreted in a positive way until after its fulfillment. He stated that this Chapter was the key to all of the pictures, or prophecies, of Revelation, which are as yet wrapped in mystery. On various occasions I requested Bro. Russell to give me his idea respecting the three possible fulfillments; but he remained absolutely mum respecting two of the ways, but freely expressed his opinion respecting the third way, which he believed would be the way in which the prophecy would be fulfilled. 'The beast that thou sawest was, and is not and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition,' we understand to be the Holy Roman Empire — Church and State, united in power from 799 to 1799. The term 'Thou sawest' refers to the thousand-year reign of the Pope, and the term 'And is not' refers to the present non-existence of the Empire in power, and the term 'And shall ascend from the bottomless pit and again go into perdition' refers to the re-establishment of the Holy Roman Empire in power and its subsequent destruction. The statement 'When he cometh, he must continue a short space,' was understood by Bro. Russell to mean that the beast would rule only for a very short time. In answer to a direct question on this point
Bro. Russell stated that he did not believe this short space could be interpreted in days, months, or years, but that it simply meant a short time. In the 12th verse, we read that 'The ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet, but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.' This seems to set forth the Papal view respecting the various kings of Europe which at the present time have not received the official anointing by the Pope, and consequently have not as yet received their kingdom. If this is correct, it would then also mean that if the Pope should anoint these kings and declare them to be ruling by Divine right, they thereby would officially receive power as kings, and would rule with the Pope and together with the Pope would constitute the beast again in power.
"Bro. Russell was anxiously awaiting the settlement of the present world war for the reason that it seemed very probable that the Pope would be the leading figure in bringing about its settlement, and possibly the very basis of the settlement will be the recognition of the Pope as the Holy See. If the Pope receives such recognition, he could in return immediately grant an official anointing of the rulers of the various governments included in the settlement, and they then as stated in Verse 13, will be 'Of one mind and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.' If this is to be the fulfillment of this picture, then it will only be a question of time until these same governments will turn upon the Roman Church and 'Shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire.' (Rev. 17:16.) The foregoing briefly outlines what Bro. Russell seemed to think would be the outcome of the present war. He had certain articles in prospect which, if backed up by fulfilled prophecies, were to be the absolute and irrevocable proof to the world of all of the leading pictures given in the entire book of Revelation. Personally, I think everything seems to be shaping itself towards the fulfillment of the Chapter on the line above specified. If you are making any use of this letter, kindly specify or emphasize the fact that Bro. Russell considered the matter largely as a speculation, and that he positively stated that he would not go on record in the matter for the reason that when he treated the matter he would do so in the light of fulfilled prophecy as the last word and as the unsealing of the entire book, and that he would not attempt to do this until such a time as the interpretation could not be refuted." That time has evidently now come.
17:8. The beast that thou sawest. — The Antichrist.
Was. — Exercised actual dominion until 1799 A. D.
And is not. — Has not had even a vestige of temporal power since 1870. Since then it has been in oblivion, the "bottomless pit."
And shall ascend out of the [bottomless pit], ABYSS. — "Private letters from the Vatican, received by Dr. A. Palmieri of the Library of Congress, a recognized writer on ecclesiastical subjects, announce that Pope Benedict XV is about to appoint a commission of four cardinals to renew a movement begun by Pope Leo XIII, and abandoned by Pope Pius X, looking to a reunion of Christianity and the cultivation of friendly relations with the Anglican Church. A public announcement on the subject from Rome is expected soon. Dr. Palmieri said that the new movement, as outlined in his advices, will be directed particularly toward an establishment of the reunion of the Russian church and the Papacy and to a thorough re-examination into the validity of Anglican or Episcopal ordinations, which was settled in the negative in a papal bull 'Apostolica Sedis,' by Pope Leo X. The interest of the Pope in the problem of Christian unity is said to have been intensified by the recent progress of the world congress, initiated by the American Episcopal Church.
"'The new Pope,' said Dr. Palmieri, summarizing the information received from Rome, 'has taken a considerable part in the efforts of neutral nations to establish peace among nations. The Vatican's efforts have been suggested not only by a humanitarian spirit, but by a longing for Christian unity and to end the conflict which long since has divided Christian churches. Efforts of Leo XIII for carrying out the reunion of Christianity were abruptly stopped by Piux X, who aimed at an inner reform of the Catholic clergy and turned all his energies to the crushing of modernism [Higher Criticism and Evolution]. Benedict XV thinks it is time to renew the policy of Leo XIII, also that a re-establishment of a political peace would be the first step toward renewed attempts to stop the splitting of Christianity into a greater number of sects. It seems to the Vatican that the Orthodox Slavs will be very soon called to take a more active part in the life of western nations, either Protestant or Catholic, and that it is necessary to come to an understanding with them to avoid evils produced by religious intolerance. The newly planned commission of cardinals will pay attention to yearnings for unity, which from time to time manifest themselves in the Orthodox church, and to cultivate friendly relations with the Anglican church. One of the most important tasks of the new commission will be a thorough re-examination of the arguments pro and con on the validity of Anglican
ordinations. The bull Apostolica Sedis by Leo X has settled in the negative the problem of that validity, but generally theological schools assume a more favorable attitude toward acknowledgment of the validity of Anglican orders, and the new commission of cardinals will carefully ponder the reasons set forth by Russian and Anglican divines against the decision of Pope Leo X. The friendship of the Anglican church is appreciated by Rome, for she may be as a link of union between Roman Catholicism and Russian Orthodoxy.'" (Z.'17-52.) We assume that the foregoing plan of the pope will succeed. "This is the supreme chance for Christianity 'to assert her authority and guide the world out of the darkness enshrouding it,' observes The Northwestern Christian Advocate (Methodist, Chicago), and it wonders whether the organized Christianity that 'failed — ingloriously failed' — in 1914 will again 'miss her golden opportunity.'" (Literary Digest.) "An old writer has observed that the Beast reappears from the Abyss (see on ch. 11, 7) without his diadems, as though, in this last stage, he would symbolize rather the violence of popular rage than the prescriptive sanctity of monarchical supremacy." — Cook. And go into perdition. — Be utterly destroyed at the hands of the masses it has so persistently and outrageously deceived. — Rev. 17:11.
And they that dwell on the earth. — All independent Christians, not entangled in the systems of either the beast or the image. See Rev. 13:13, 14.
Shall wonder. — Be astounded, perplexed and dismayed. "At the reappearance of the beast." — Cook.
Whose names. — As a class, not as individuals.
Were not written in the Book of Life. — But not necessarily in so-called Church books, kept here on earth, for collection purposes.
From the foundation of the world. — "The book or scroll covenanting life to an elect number was prepared from the foundation of the world. The names in it have been written as the individuals have made consecration of themselves, coming under the terms of the Divine call. In this view of the matter the book or scroll would represent the original Divine purpose — God's intention to have a Church, of which our Lord Jesus would be the Head. — (Rev. 3:5.)" — Z.'99-265.
When they behold the beast that was, and is not, and [yet is] SHALL AGAIN BE PRESENT. — The Papal Empire restored.
17:9. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. — A problem requiring the aid of the Lord. — Rev. 13:18.
The seven heads are seven mountains. — The kingdoms enumerated in Rev. 12:3.
On which the woman sitteth. — Over which she once reigned in plentitude of power. Much of Revelation to written in such a way that both a literal and a symbolical explanation can be made, designed by the Lord to make the understanding of the book impossible to any except the fully consecrated. The following shows the physical explanation of this text which would most appeal to the unconsecrated. But it shows that the Mother of Harlots has her headquarters at Rome. And when we know who the mother is, it is impossible not to recognize the daughters. Rome is called in history the "seven-hilled city." "The original settlement of Romulus is said to have been limited to the Palatine mount. With this were united before the end of his reign the Capitoline and the Quirinal; Tullus Hostilius added the Caelian, Ancus Martius the Aventine; and finally Servius Tullius included the Esquiline and Viminal, and enclosed the whole seven hills with a stone wall. The growth of the state closely followed that of the city." (Brit.) It would not be possible to limit this explanation to seven forms of government which have exercised sway over the city of Rome. There have been many such governments. There were seven of them during the nineteenth century alone — the Roman Republic of 1798, the Kingdom of 1805, the Annexation of 1810, the restoration of the temporal power in 1814, the Revolution of 1848, the restoration of the temporal power in 1849, and the Italian occupation in 1870.
17:10. And there are seven kings. — Seven forms of government of the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE, the devil's own particular pattern of government.
Five are fallen. — (1) The Regal period, from 763 B. C. to 610 B. C. The "Kings" of this period were "not simply either the hereditary and patriarchal chief of a clan, the priestly head of a community bound together by a common sacra, or the elected magistrate of a state, but a mixture of all three." — Brit.
(2) The Republic, from 509 to 451 B. C. and from 448 to 60 B. C. "It is characteristic of Rome that the change from monarchy to republic should have been made with the least possible disturbance of existing forms. The title of king was retained, though only as that of a priestly officer (rex sacrorum) to whom some of the religious functions of the former kings were transferred. The two annually elected consuls or praetores were regarded as joint heirs of the full kingly authority, and as holding the imperium and the correlative right of taking the auspices,
by direct transmission from the founder of the city." (Brit) (3) The Decemvirate, a rule of ten men, from 451 to 449 B. C. (4) The Triumvirate, a rule of three men, from 59 to 49 B. C. and from 43 to 28 B. C. (5) The Dictatorship of Caesar, 48 to 44 B. C. All of these forms of the old Holy Roman Empire have completely passed away.
[And] one is. — The Dragon, still represented in the warring powers of Europe. (See comments on Rev. 12:3, 4, 7, 9, 13, 16, 17; 13:2, 4, 11; 16:13.) The rulership of Papacy during the Dark Ages, both directly in its temporal power, and through the governments which it controlled or influenced, and still influences, was — as has been shown — merely another aspect of the government of Pagan Rome, generally styled the Empire, but in Revelation called the Dragon, and the Devil, and Satan.
And the other. — The final form, of Arbitrator (whatever be the official title).
Is not yet come. — But is due to make its appearance after the close of the war, probably early in the year 1918. (See comments on Rev. 16:17-21; Ex. 10:23.) Pastor Russell foretold the darkness would commence in 1914, and it did!!
And when he cometh, he must continue a short space. — "The language is indefinite, the words 'must continue' alone being emphatic. It is a duration such that by means of it the Church should be exercised in patience." — Cook.
17:11. And the beast. — Rule by violence in an attempt to exercise dominion over conscience.
That was. — That once exercised temporal dominion and, through influence of the European governments, once actually ruled the world.
And is not. — Does not now have any temporal dominion.
[Even] he is the eighth. — The eighth horn which took the place of the three plucked up (Rev. 12:3); also the final form of the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE.
And is of the seven. — "Cometh of the seven," Greek. — Grew up by the plucking of the three. The Papacy is either the seventh or the eighth form, depending upon how the matter is viewed. If it be viewed as having reigned separately from the Dragon during the Dark Ages (as it did, when it exercised temporal power), in its new guise it will be the eighth form, its separate rulership during the Dark Ages being counted as the seventh. But if it be viewed as having been a co-partner of the Dragon during the Dark Ages, then its forthcoming manifestation will be the seventh form. In any event the eighth form is one of the seven forms; and the regaining of the temporal power this time will be the cause of the Papacy's destruction.
See Z.'03-325 for a hint that Benedict XV will never have a successor. (He is personally the eighth pope reigning since 1799. Five of these popes had died prior to 1878. Here is a good secondary fulfilment.)
And goeth into perdition. — "Daniel, representing the saints, says (Dan. 7:11), 'I watched it then [after its dominion was gone and it was powerless longer to crush the Truth, the power of the holy people], because of the voice of the great words which that horn spoke, and I saw that [it obtained no power over the holy saints and the Truth, but it did have another effect] the beast was slain, the body thereof destroyed and given to the burning flame' — general anarchy. The destruction of the remnant of governments in the old Roman Empire, caused by the misleading influence of Papacy's continued bombastic utterances, even after its dominion is gone, is thus shown."  — C68; 2 Thes. 2:3.
17:12. And the ten horns which thou sawest. — Three of which were originally plucked up to make room for the growth of the Papacy. See Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 17:3; Dan. 7:7, 8, 20; Rev. 5:6; 1 Sam. 2:10; Deut. 33:17; 1 Ki. 22:11.
Are ten kings. — The rulers, whether kings, kaisers, presidents or others who have dragged into the slaughter house the descendants of the ten powers originally composing the Roman Empire.
Which have received no kingdom [as yet]. — No official sanction as rulers from the counterfeit "king of kings and lord of lords" — the Pope.
But receive power as kings. — "The absence of the diadem indicates that their kingdom is not full, regal power, but as being transient, is represented as if it were royal power." — Cook.
One hour with the beast. — The "one hour" in this verse (17:12) may signify one year, or thereabouts. The 'word in the Greek is hora. This is the same word which our Lord used when, in speaking of John the Baptist He said, "He was a burning and a shining light; and you were willing, for a time (hora — one year — the length of John's ministry before his imprisonment) to rejoice in his light" (Matt. 14:3; Z.'04-60.) In matters that are still future we can only use our best judgment as to the significance to be attached to expressions like this. "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." — Rom. 14:5.
17:13. These have one mind. — All are desperately anxious to stop the terrible waste of human life, now that they see what their father, the Devil, has accomplished through their worship and service of himself and his institutions.
And [shall] give their power and strength unto the beast.  — Support it in its apparently laudable but actually selfish efforts in trying to bring about peace on earth. "Deposit in his hands all the available means which they possess." — Cook.
17:14. These shall make war with the Lamb. — Endeavor to suppress the message of Present Truth. — Rev. 16:14; 19:19.
And the Lamb shall overcome them. — "Zion need not fear; for God is in the midst of her, and will help her. Her consecration is unto death, and her privilege is to prove her faithfulness: 'The disciple is not above his Master, nor the servant above his Lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master, and the servant as his Lord.' — Matt. 10:24, 26.
"It will probably be in an effort at self-preservation on the part of 'Great Babylon' — 'Christendom' — when she sees her power in politics, priestcraft and superstition waning, that the work of truth-spreading will be stopped as detrimental to her system. And probably at this Juncture the Elijah class, persisting in declaring the Truth to the last, will suffer violence, pass into glory and escape from the severest features of the great Time of Trouble coming — just in the crisis of affairs when men begin to feel that desperate measures must be resorted to, to sustain the tottering structure of Christendom. Although the exact time of the deliverance or 'change' of the last members of the Body of Christ is not stated, the approximate time is nevertheless clearly manifest, as shortly after the 'door' is shut (Matt. 25.: 10)." — C231.
For He is Lord of lords, and King of kings. — Has the entire situation under perfect control — is the real Pope. — 1 Tim. 6:16; Rev. 19:16.
And they that are with Him are called. — When they hear, understand and heed the message of complete consecration even unto death (Rev. 19:9). This clause, in the Greek, indicates that these also, as well as the Lamb, shall overcome them.
And chosen. — Elected as soon as they comply with the conditions, provided there are any vacancies.
And faithful. — "The door of opportunity to engage, with Christ our Lord, in the work of the Gospel Age, will be closed when 'the night cometh wherein no man can work.' And all who have not previously, by faithful service, developed the necessary character and proved their sympathy, devotion, love and zeal for the Lord and His Truth (Matt. 10:37; Mark 8:38), will then be too late to do so. The closing in of this night will evidently put a stop
to any further labor to disseminate the Truth, which, misunderstood by the public generally, will probably be accused of being the cause of much of the anarchy and confusion then prevailing, instead of being seen in its true light as a foreshadowing of the Divine mind and revelation concerning coming troubles on the world and their true causes." — C210; Rev. 2:10.
17:15. And he saith unto me, [The] THESE waters which thou sawest where the whore sitteth. — See Rev. 17:1, 9.
Are BOTH peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. — And not, therefore, literal water or literal hills, or forms of government which have ruled the city of Rome. — Isa. 8:7.
17:16. And the ten horns which thou sawest. — The rulers of Europe and America, and their subjects, descendants of the ten powers which originally composed the old Roman Empire.
[Upon] AND the beast. — The re-established temporal dominion of the pope in Rome and elsewhere. "Of her boastings and threats the following from a Catholic journal of recent date is a fair sample: 'The Papacy will regain its temporal sovereignty, because it is useful and convenient to the Church. It gives the head executive of the church a fuller liberty and a fuller sway. The Pope can be no king's subject long. It is not in keeping with the divine office to be so. It cramps him and narrows his influence for good. Europe has acknowledged this influence, and will be forced to bow to it in greater times of need than this. Social upheavals, and the red hand of anarchy, will yet crown Leo or his successor with the reality of power which the third circle symbolizes, and which was once recognized universally.' Yes, as the day of trouble draws on, ecclesiasticism will endeavor to use its power and influence more and more to secure its own political welfare, by its control of the turbulent elements of society; but in the crisis of the near future the lawless element will spurn all conservative influence and break over all restraints, the red hand of Anarchy will do its dreadful work, and Babylon, political and ecclesiastical, shall fall." — D38.
These shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked. — People and governments will have a common hatred for their mutual enemy when the motives which actuate her are clearly revealed. — Ezek. 16:35-44; 23:22, 29; Zech. 1:19.
And shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire. — Unite to complete her utter destruction. — Rev. 18:8. 18; Dan. 7:11: C68; Gen. 38:24; Ezek. 16:41; Lev. 20:14; 21:9.
17:17. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill His will. — As expressed in His Word.
And to agree. — The European war would stop tomorrow if it were not for the officers holding the men to the task of butchery.
And to give their kingdom unto the beast. — Put their liberties into the hands of the Papacy, as Arbitrator.
Until the words of God shall be fulfilled. — And the travail of nominal Zion shall disclose her true character.
17:18. And the woman which thou sawest. — The Apostate Church, the antitypical Jezebel.
Is that great city. — The "HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE."
Which reigneth over the [kings] KINGDOMS of the earth. — "Expositors of every school generally agree that Rome Pagan, or Rome Papal, or Rome under both aspects, is intended here. In order to repel the application to the Papacy, many Roman expositors also apply what is said of the destruction of Rome, to the future — to Rome again become Pagan: This is the hypothesis, observes Bishop Wordsworth, of Suarez, Viegas, Ribera, Lessius, Menochius, C. à Lapide, and others, particularly Dr. Manning in our own day. Thus Stern writes: — Babylon is really the City of Rome, not only, however, according to the old-heathenish, but also according to the new-heathenish signification of the World's history." — Cook.
Could there ever come a time when men, the world over, could be more heathenish at heart than now; and does not, therefore, even Papal comment show that this Scripture is ready to be fulfilled?

"Whene'er the storms come down on thee,
And days of peace all seem to flee;
This thought thy peace again shall bring,
Why should I fear? — the Lord is King.

E'en when the tempest rages high,
And darkest clouds are drawing nigh.
With hands of faith to this, O! cling, —
Why should I fear? — the Lord is King.

Amid the stormy waves of life,
Above the tumult and the strife,
The chimes of hope still sweetly ring, —
Be not afraid — the Lord is King."

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