Revelation Chapter 14a | Table of Contents | Revelation Chapter 14c

Revelation Chapter 14 continued (b)

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      Babylon is not confined to the Roman Catholic Church. That this church is a very prominent component part of great Babylon, is not denied. The descriptions in Revelation 17 seem to apply particularly to that church. But the name which she bears on her forehead, “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth,” reveals other family connections. If this church is the mother, who are the daughters? The fact that these daughters are spoken of, shows that there are other religious bodies besides the Roman Catholic Church which come under this designation. Again, there is to be a call made in connection with this message, “Come out of her, My people.” Revelation 18:1-4. As this message is located in the present generation, it follows, if no other church but the Roman Catholic is included Babylon, that the people of God are now found in the communion of that church, and are to be called out. But this conclusion, no Protestant at least will be willing to allow.
      Babylon is not the city of Rome. The argument relied upon to show that the city of Rome is Babylon of the Apocalypse runs thus: The angel told John that the woman which he had seen was the great city which reigned over the kings of the earth, and that the seven heads of the beast are seven mountains upon which the woman sits. Then, by taking the city and the mountains to be literal, and finding Rome built upon seven hills, the application is made at once to literal Rome.
      The principle upon which this interpretation rests is the assumption that the explanation of a symbol must always be literal. It falls to the ground the moment it can be shown that symbols are sometimes explained by substituting for them other symbols, and then explaining the latter. This can easily be done. In Revelation 11:3, the symbol of the two witnesses is introduced. The next verse reads: “These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” In this case the first symbol is said to be the same as another symbol which is elsewhere clearly explained. So in
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the case before us. “The seven heads are seven mountains,” and “the woman is that great city;” and it will not be difficult to show that the mountains and the city are used symbolically. The readers attention is directed to the following:
      We are informed in Revelation 13 that one of the seven heads was wounded to death. This head therefore cannot be a literal mountain, for it would be folly to speak of wounding a mountain to death.
      Each of the seven heads has a crown upon it. But who ever saw a literal mountain with a crown upon it?
      The seven heads are evidently successive in order of time, for we read, “Five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come.” Revelation 17:10. But the seven hills on which Rome is built are not successive, and it would be absurd to apply such language to them.
      According to Daniel 7:6, compared with Daniel 8:8, 22, heads denote governments, and according to Daniel 2:35, 44, and Jeremiah 51:25, mountains denote kingdoms. According to these facts, a literal translation of Revelation 17:9, 10 removes all obscurity: “The seven heads are seven mountains on which on which the woman sitteth, and are seven kings.” It will thus be seen that the angel represents the heads as mountains, and then explains the mountains to be seven successive kings. The meaning is transferred from one symbol to another, and then an explanation is given of the second symbol.
      From the foregoing argument, it follows that the “woman” cannot represent a literal city, for the mountains upon which the woman sits being symbolic, a literal city cannot sit upon symbolic mountains. Again, Rome was the seat of the dragon of Revelation 12, and the dragon transferred it to the beast. (Revelation 13:2.) Thus it became the seat of the beast; but it would be a singular mixture of figures to make the seat, which is sat upon by the beast, and a woman sitting upon the beast refer to the same thing.
      Were the city of Rome the Babylon of the Apocalypse, what nonsense should we have in Revelation 18:1-4, for in
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this case the fall of Babylon would be the overthrow and destruction of the city, in fact, its utter consumption by fire, according to verse 8. But mark what takes place after the fall. Babylon becomes “the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” How can this happen to a city after that city is destroyed, even being utterly burned with fire? Again, after this a voice is heard, saying, “Come out of her, My people.” Are God’s people all in Rome? —Not to any great extent. How many can we suppose to be there to be called out after the city is burned with fire? It is not necessary to say more to show that Babylon cannot be the city of Rome.
      What Does Babylon Signify? —Babylon signifies the universal worldly church. After seeing it cannot either of the other two possible things to which it could be applies, it must mean this. But we are not left to this kind of reasoning on this subject. Babylon is called “a woman.” A woman, used as a symbol, signifies a church. The woman of Revelation 12 was interpreted to mean a church. The woman of Revelation 17 should undoubtedly be interpreted as also signifying a church. The character of the woman determines the character of the church represented, a chaste woman standing for a pure church, a vile woman for an impure, or apostate church. The woman Babylon is herself a harlot, and the mother of daughters like herself. This circumstance, as well as the name itself, shows that Babylon is not limited to any single ecclesiastical body, but must be composed of many. It must take in all of a like nature, and represent the entire corrupt, or apostate, church of the earth. This will perhaps explain the language of Revelation 18:24, which represents that when God makes requisition upon great Babylon for the blood of His martyrs, in her will be found “the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all” that have been slain upon the earth.
      Through the centuries practically every country of Europe has had its state church, and the most of these countries to the present day have their established religions, and zealously oppose
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dissenters. Babylon has made all nations drunken with the wine of her fornication, that is, her false doctrines. It can therefore symbolize nothing less than the universal worldly church.
      The great city Babylon is composed of three divisions. So the great religions of the world may be arranged under three heads. The first, oldest, and most widespread is paganism, separately symbolized under the form of a dragon. The second is the great papal apostasy, symbolized by the beast. The third is the daughters, or descendants from that church symbolized by the two-horned beast, though that does not embrace them all. War, oppression, conformity to the world, religious formalism, the worship of mammon, pursuit of pleasure, and the maintenance of very many errors of the Roman Catholic Church, identify with sad and faithful accuracy the great body of the Protestant churches as an important constituent part of this great Babylon.
      A glance at some of the ways in which the Protestant church has deported herself will still further show this. When Rome had the power, she destroyed vast multitudes of those whom she adjudged heretics. The Protestant church has shown the same spirit. Witness the burning of Michael Servetus by the Protestants of Geneva with John Calvin at their head. Witness the long-continued oppression of dissenters by the Church of England. Witness the hanging of Quakers and the whipping of Baptists even by the Puritan fathers of New England, themselves fugitives from like oppression by the Church of England. But these, some may say, are things of the past. True, yet they show that when persons governed by strong religious prejudice have the power to coerce dissenters, they cannot forbear to use it— a state of things which we look for in this country under a further fulfillment of the closing prophecy of Revelation 13.
      It was the will of Christ that His church should be one. He prayed that His disciples might be one, as He and the Father were one; for this would give power to His gospel, and
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cause the world to believe in Him. Instead of this, look at the confusion that exists in the Protestant world, the many sectional walls that divide it into a network of societies, and the many creeds, discordant as the languages of those who were dispersed at the tower of Babel. God is not the author of all these. It is this state of things which the word “Babylon,” as a descriptive term, appropriately designates. It is evidently used for this purpose, and not a term of reproach. Instead of being stirred with feelings of resentment when this term is mentioned, people should rather examine their position, to see if in faith or practice they are guilty of any connection with this great city of confusion. If so, they should separate at once therefrom.
      The true church is a chaste virgin. (2 Corinthians 11:2.) The church that is joined with the world in friendship, is a harlot. It is this unlawful connection with the kings of the earth that constitutes her the great harlot of the Apocalypse. (Revelation 17.) Thus the Jewish Church, at first espoused to the Lord (Jeremiah 2:3; 31:32), became a harlot (Ezekiel 16). When this church apostatized from God, it was called Sodom (Isaiah 1), just as “the great city” (Babylon) is so called in Revelation 11. The unlawful union with the world of which Babylon is guilty, is positive proof that it is not the civil power. That the people of God are in her midst immediately before her overthrow is proof that she is professedly a religious body. For these reasons, it is very evident that the Babylon of the Apocalypse is the professed church united with the world.
      “Babylon Is Fallen.” —The fall of Babylon will next claim attention. After learning what constitutes Babylon, it will not be difficult to decide what is meant by the declaration that Babylon is fallen. As Babylon is not a literal city, the fall cannot be a literal overthrow. We have already seen what an absurdity this would involve. Besides, the clearest distinction is maintained by the prophecy itself between the fall and the destruction of Babylon. Babylon “falls” before it is with violence “thrown down,” as a millstone cast into the sea, and
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“utterly burned with fire.” The fall is therefore a spiritual fall, for after the fall the voice is addressed to the people of God who are still in her connection, “Come out of her, My people.” The reason is immediately given, “that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Babylon therefore still exists in sin and her plagues are still future after the fall.
      Those who make Babylon apply exclusively to the papacy, claim that the fall of Babylon is the loss of civil power by the papal church. Because of the fall of Babylon, she becomes the hold of foul spirits and hateful birds; but such is not at all the result to Rome of the loss of civil power.
      The people of God are called out of Babylon on account of her increasing sinfulness resulting from the fall, but the loss of the temporal power of the papacy constitutes no additional reason why the people of God should leave that church.
      Babylon meets with this spiritual fall “because she made all nations drink of the wine of wrath [not anger, but intense passion] of her fornication.” There is but one thing to which this can refer, and that is false doctrines. She has corrupted the pure truths of God’s word, and made the nations drunken with pleasing fables.
      In the form of the papacy she has supplanted the gospel by substituting for it a false system of salvation:
      Through the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception she denies that God in Christ dwelt in human flesh.
      She has sought to set aside the mediation of Christ and has put another system of mediation in its place.
      She has attempted to take away the priesthood of Jesus and substitute an earthly priesthood.
      She has made salvation dependent upon confession to mortal man and thus has separated the sinner from Jesus, the only one through whom his sins can be forgiven.
      She condemns the way of salvation through faith as “damnable heresy,” and substitutes the doctrine of salvation by works.
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      Her crowning blasphemy is the doctrine of transubstantiation, or the idolatrous sacrifice of the mass, which is declared to be “one and the same as that of the cross” and which, in “some senses,” is said to have “the advantage over Calvary,” for by it “the work of our redemption is carried out.”
      Among the doctrines she teaches contrary to the word of God, may be mentioned the following:
      The substitution of tradition and the voice of the church as an infallible guide in the place of the Bible.
      The change of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, the seventh day, into the festival of Sunday as the rest day of the Lord and a memorial of His resurrection, a memorial which has never been commanded, and can by no possible means appropriately commemorate that event. Fathered by heathenism as “the wild solar holiday of all pagan times,” Sunday was lead to the font by the pope, and christened as an institution of the gospel church. Thus an attempt was made to destroy a memorial which the great God had set up to commemorate His own magnificent creative work, and erect another in its state to commemorate the resurrection of Christ, for which there was no occasion, as the Lord Himself had already provided a memorial for that purpose in baptism by immersion.
      The doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul. This also was derived from the pagan world, and the “Fathers of the church” became the foster-fathers of this pernicious doctrine as a part of divine truth. This error nullifies the two great Scripture doctrines of the resurrection and the general judgment, and furnishes an open door to modern spiritism. From it have sprung such other evil doctrines as the conscious state of the dead, saint worship, mariology, purgatory, reward at death, prayers and baptisms for the dead, eternal torment, and universal salvation.
      The doctrine that the saints, as disembodied spirits, find their eternal inheritance in faraway, indefinable regions, “beyond the bounds of time and space.” Thus multitudes
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have been turned away from the Scriptural view that this present earth is to be destroyed by fire at the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, and that from its ashes the voice of Omnipotence will evoke a new earth, which will be the future everlasting kingdom of glory, and which the saints will possess as their eternal inheritance.
      Sprinkling instead of immersion, the latter being the only Scriptural mode of baptism, and a fitting memorial of the burial and resurrection of our Lord, for which purpose it was designed. By the corruption of this ordinance and its destruction as a memorial of the resurrection of Christ, the way was prepared for the substitution of something else for this purpose— the Sunday rest day.
      That the coming of Christ is a spiritual, not a literal event, and was fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem, or is fulfilled in conversion, at death, or in spiritism. How many minds have by such teaching been forever closed against the Scriptural view that the second coming of Christ is a future definite event, literal, personal, visible, resulting in destruction of all His foes, and everlasting life to all His people!
      The doctrine of a temporal millennium, or a thousand years of peace and prosperity and righteousness all over the earth before the second coming of Christ. This doctrine is especially calculated to shut the ears of the people against the evidences of the second advent near, and will probably lull as many souls into a state of carnal security leading to their final ruin, as any heresy which has ever been devised by the great enemy of truth.
      Application of the Fall of Babylon. —To come now more particularly to the application of the prophecy concerning the fall of Babylon, let us see how the religious world stood with reference to the possibility of such a change when the time came for the proclamation of such a change when the time came for the proclamation of this second message in connection with the first about the year 1844. Paganism was only apostasy and corruption in the beginning, and is so still. No spiritual fall is possible there. Roman Catholicism had been in a fallen condition
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Picture on this page.
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for many centuries. But the Protestant churches had begun the great work of reformation from papal corruption and had done noble work. They were, in a word, in such a position that with them a spiritual fall was possible. The conclusion is therefore inevitable that the message announcing the fall had reference almost wholly to the Protestant churches.
      The question may then be asked why this announcement was not made sooner, if so large a part of Babylon had been so long fallen. The answer is at hand: Babylon as a whole could not be said to be fallen so long as one division of it remained unfallen. It could not be announced, therefore, until a change for the worse came over the Protestant world, and the truth through which alone the path of progress lay, had been compromised. When this took place, and a spiritual fall was experienced in this last branch, then the announcement concerning Babylon as a whole could be made, as it could not have been made before— “Babylon is fallen.”
      It may be proper to inquire further how the reason assigned for the fall of Babylon —that she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication— would apply to the Protestant churches at the time in question. The answer is, It would apply most pertinently. The fault with Babylon lies in her confusion of the truth and her consequent false doctrines. Because she industriously propagates these, clinging to them when light and truth which would correct them is offered, she is in a fallen state.
      With the Protestant churches, the time had come for an advance to higher religious ground. They could accept the proffered light and truth, and reach the higher attainment, or they could reject it, and lose their spirituality and favor with God, or, in other words, experience a spiritual fall.
      The truth which God saw fit to use as an instrument in this work was the first angel’s message. The hour of God’s judgment come, and with it the imminent second advent of Christ, was the doctrine preached. After listening long enough to see the blessing that attended the doctrine, and the good
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results that accrued from it, the churches as a whole rejected it with scorn and scoffing. They were thereby tested, for they then plainly betrayed the fact that their hearts were with the world, not with the Lord, and that they preferred to have it so.
      But the message would have healed the evils then existing in the religious world. The prophet exclaims, perhaps with reference to this time, “We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed.” Jeremiah 51:9. Do you ask how we know this would have been the effect of receiving the message? We answer, Because this was the effect with all who did receive it. They came from different denominations, and their denominational barriers were leveled to the ground; conflicting creeds were shivered to atoms; the unscriptural hope of a temporal millennium was abandoned; false views of the second advent were corrected; pride and conformity to the world were swept away; wrongs were made right; hearts were united in the sweetest fellowship; and love and joy reigned supreme. If the doctrine did this for the few who did receive it, it would have done the same for all if all had received it, but the message was rejected.
      Everywhere throughout the land the cry was raised, “Babylon is fallen,” and, in anticipation of the movement brought to view in Revelation 18:1-4, those proclaiming the message added, “Come out of her, My people.” Thousands severed their connection with the various denominations as the result.
      A marked change then came over the churches in respect to their spiritual condition. When a person refuses the light, he necessarily puts himself in darkness; when he rejects truth, he inevitably forges the shackles of error about his own limbs. Loss of spirituality —a spiritual fall— must follow. This the churches experienced. They chose to adhere to old errors, and still promulgate their false doctrines among the people. The light of truth therefore left them.
      Some of them felt and deplored the change. A few testimonies from their writers describe their condition at that time.
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      The Christian Palladium, in 1844, spoke in the following mournful strain: “In every direction we hear the dolorous wound, wafted upon every breeze of heaven, chilling as the blast from the icebergs of the north, settling like an incubus on the breasts of the timid, and drinking up the energies of the weak, the lukewarmness, division, anarchy, and desolation are distressing the borders of Zion.” [15]
      In 1844, the Religious Telescope used the following language: “We have never witnessed such a general declension of religion as at the present. . . . When we call to mind how ‘few and far between’ cases of true conversion are, and the almost unparalleled impenitence and hardness of sinners, we almost involuntarily exclaim, ‘Has God forgotten to be gracious? or is the door of mercy closed?’” [16]
      About that time, proclamations of fasts and seasons of prayer for the return of the Holy Spirit were sent out in the religious papers. Even the Philadelphia Sun, November, 1844, had the following: “The undersigned, ministers, and members of various denominations in Philadelphia and vicinity, solemnly believing that the present ‘signs of the times’ —the spiritual dearth of our churches generally and the extreme evils in the world around us— seem to call loudly on all Christians for a special season of prayer, do therefore hereby agree, by divine permission, to unite in a week of special prayer to Almighty God, for the outpouring of His Holy Spirit on our city, our country, and the world.” [17]
      Charles G. Finney, well-known evangelist, said in February, 1844: “We have had the facts before our minds, that, in general, the Protestant churches of our country, as such, were either apathetic or hostile to nearly all the moral reforms of the age. There are partial exceptions, yet not enough to render the fact otherwise than general. We have also another corroborative fact— the almost universal absence of revival
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influence in the churches. The spiritual apathy is almost all-pervading, and is fearfully deep; so the religious press of the whole land testifies. . . The churches generally are becoming sadly degenerate. They have gone very far from the Lord, and He has withdrawn Himself from them.”
      In November, 1844, the Oberlin Evangelist remarked editorially:
      “Some of our religious journals deplore, and all attest the fact that revivals have almost ceased in our churches. It is long since a period of so general dearth has been known. There is a great revival of political spirit, and of zeal in all the departments of business operations: but alas! decline and death sit like an incubus on the bosom of Christian activity and of holy love for God as for souls. The external forms of religion are sustained, the routine of Sabbath duties goes on: but those seasons of ‘refreshing from the presence of the Lord,’ in which fearfulness surprises the hypocrite, conviction fastens on the sinner, and humble hearts cleave to the promises and wrestle for the conversion of souls —those seasons are known only as they [are] held in sweet remembrance— days that were, but are no longer.” [18]
      Not only did the churches suffer a distinct loss of spirituality in 1844, but the decline since then has been marked and continuous.
      The Congregationalist said in November, 1858: “The revived piety of our churches is not such that one can confidently infer, from its mere existence, its legitimate, practical fruits. It ought, for example, to be as certain, after such a shower of grace, that the treasuries of our benevolent societies would be filled, as it is after a plentiful rain that the streams will swell in their channels. But the managers of our societies are bewailing the feebleness of the sympathy and aid of the churches.
      “There is another and sadder illustration of the same general truth. The Watchman and Reflector recently stated that
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there had never been among the Baptists so lamentable a spread of church dissension as prevails at present. . . . Even a glance at the weekly journals of our own denomination will evince that the evil is no means confined to the Baptists.” [19]
      The leading Methodist paper, the New York Christian Advocate, in 1883 contained an article from which we copy these statements:
      “1. Disguise it as you like, the church, in a general sense, is spiritually in a rapid decline. While it grows in number and money it is becoming extremely feeble and limited in its spirituality, both in the pulpit and pew. It is assuming the shape and character of the church of Laodicea.
      “2. . . . There are thousands of ministers, local and conference, and many thousands of the laity, who are dead and worthless as barren fig-trees. They contribute nothing of a temporal or spiritual nature to the progress and triumphs of the gospel throughout the earth. If all these dry bones in our church and its congregations could be resurrected and brought into requisition by faithful, active service, what new and glorious manifestations of divine power would break forth!” [20]
      The editor of the Western Christ Advocate in 1893 wrote the following of his church:
      “To the Church of Methodists, Write, the great trouble with us today is, that the rescue of imperiled souls is our last and least consideration. Many of our congregations are conducted on the basis of social clubs. They are made centers of social influence. Membership is sought in order to advance one’s prospects in society, business, or politics. Preachers are called who know how to

“‘Smooth down the rugged text to ears polite,
And snugly keep damnation out of sight.’

      “The Sunday services are made the occasion of displaying the elegancies of apparel in the latest fashions. Even the little
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ones are tricked out as though they were the acolytes of pride. If the ’Rules’ are read, it is to comply with the letter of a law whose spirit has long since fled. The class-books are filled with names of unconverted men and women. Official members may be found in box, dress-circle, and parquet of opera and theater. Communicants take in the races, and give and attend cardparties and dances. The distinction between inside and outside is so obscure that men smile when asked to unite with the Church, and sometimes tell us that they find the best men outside.
      “When we go to the masses, it is too often with such ostentatious condescension that self-respect drives them from us.
      “And yet we have so spread out, under the inflation of the rich and ungodly, that they are a necessity to us. The enforcement of the unmistakable letter of Discipline for a single year would cut our membership in half, bankrupt our Missionary Society, close our fashionable churches, paralyze our connectional interests, and leave our pastors and bishops unpaid and in distress. But the fact remains, that one of two things must happen— the Discipline must purge the church, or God’s Holy Spirit will seek other organized agencies. The ax is laid at the root of the tree. The call is to repentance. God’s work must be done. If we are in the way, He will remove us.” [21]
      The New York Independent of December 3, 1896, contained an article from D. L. Moody, from which the following is an extract:
      “In a recent issue of your paper I saw an article from a contributor which stated that there were over three thousand churches in the Congregational and Presbyterian bodies of this country that did not report a single member added by profession of faith last year. Can this be true? The thought has taken such hold of me that I can’t get it out of my mind. It
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is enough almost to send a thrill of horror through the soul of every true Christian.
      “If this is the case with these two large denominations, what must be the condition of the others also? Are we all going to sit still and let this thing continue? Shall our religious newspapers and our pulpits keep their mouths closed like ‘dumb dogs that cannot bark’ to warn people of approaching danger? Should we not all lift up our voice like a trumpet about this matter? What must the Son of God think of such a result of our labor as this? What must an believing world think about a Christianity that can’t bring forth any more fruit? And have we no care for the multitudes of souls going down to perdition every year while we all sit and look on? And this country of ours, where will it be in the next ten years, if we don’t awake out of sleep?” [22]
      The state of spiritual declension into which the churches generally had “fallen” as a result of their rejection of the first angel’s message led to their acceptance of erroneous and corrupt doctrines. In the latter part of the nineteenth century a marked change was to be seen in the attitude of both leaders and people of the Protestant churches toward the basic doctrines of the Scriptures of truth. Having rejected the true, they accepted the false. The theory of evolution accepted by many church leaders in the words of one great religious writer “turned the Creator out of doors.” A religious apologist for the theory declared that “prayer is communion with my inner racial self.”
      The effects of the evolution theory on the faith of the churches is so apparent that public comments upon the situation are commonplace. A professor of philosophy in a great university remarks:
      “Today it seems that the great Hebrew-Christian moral tradition, the most ancient part of our heritage, is crumbling to pieces before our very eyes. . . . The faith in science has
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grown so strong, so self-sufficient, so deeply rooted in the processes of our society, that many of those who feel it have lost all desire to combine it with any other. . . . The man who trusts a physical science to describe the world finds no conceivable place into which to fit a deity. . . . The philosophies that express their [men’s] basic interests today are no longer concerned, as they were in the nineteenth century, with vindicating a belief in God and immortality. Those ideas have simply dropped out of any serious attempt to reach an understanding of the world. . . . The present conflict of religious faith with science is no longer with a scientific explanation of the world, but with a scientific explanation of religion. The really revolutionary effect of the scientific faith on religion today is not its new view of the universe, but its new view of religion.” [23]
      What that new view of religion is, is frankly stated by a spokesman of modern liberalism:
      “Liberal Protestants have abandoned belief in the verbal infallibility of the Bible.” [24] “We believe that Jesus was a human being, not a supernatural being different from all other men in quality. We believe that he was born in the normal way, and that he faced the problems and the difficulties of life with no secret reinforcements of miraculous power. . . . To us Jesus’ death is, in essence, no different from the death of other heroes.” [25] “Today the ancient belief that Jesus will reappear in the sky, inaugurate a dramatic world judgment, sentence Satan and the demons to hell, and lead the angels and the Christians into paradise, has dwindled from a universally accepted and enormously influential Christian conviction to the esoteric doctrine of a minority. Once a modern man accepts what historians tell him about the age of the universe, and once he accepts what scientists tell him about
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the nature of evolutionary process, he cannot believe that there will ever be any such spectacular wind-up of the world’s affairs as the one which the early Christians believed would presently take place.” [26] “We propose to take from the Christianity of the past the elements which seem of abiding value, combine with them the religious convictions and the ethical insights which have emerged during the recent times, and from this composite material shape a new formulation of the Christian message. We frankly admit that our gospel is not the ‘old gospel,’ or even the modified version of the old gospel which is now proclaimed in conservative pulpits. Ours is, we confess, a ‘new gospel.’” [27]
      The acceptance by Protestantism of the first angel’s message would have enabled the church to become a light to “all nations.” But betraying her trust by her rejection of the message, she left the nations without the witness of present truth that they might have had, to grope in the darkness of error and superstition resulting from the intoxicating and stupefying influences of the system of false doctrines she had built up and refused to relinquish.
      Robert M. Hutchins, president of the University of Chicago, in speaking of our spiritual condition, said: “We do not know where we are going, or why, and we have almost given up the attempt to find out. We are in despair because the keys which were to open the gates of heaven have let us into a larger but more oppressive prison house. We think [thought] those keys were science and the free intelligence of man. They have failed us. We have long since cast off God. To what can we now appeal?” [28]
      In its issue of May 24, 1941, the Philadelphia Inquirer editorially attempts to analyze our condition: “We appear to have reached one of those portentous periods in history when

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