The Image To
Early Efforts To Unite Church
IN HOLY Scripture Christ Jesus is
repeatedly spoken of as the Lamb of God. Bible prophecy represents
America by a similar symbol, which "had two horns like a
lamb." The word of God informs us, however, that this peace-loving
power, despite its lamb-like principles, eventually would say "to
them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the
beast [the Papacy], which had the wound by a sword, and did live."
Revelation 13:14 The Papacy was formed by a union of church and state,
which resulted in the persecution of dissenters. An "image,"
or "likeness," to the Papacy in America would be a union of
church and state, or a cooperation between them, as in the days of papal
Rome. And, seeing it is to be "an image to the beast," it
cannot be the beast itself, but must be an effort started among
Protestants, who desire the aid of the state to enforce some of their
dogmas. For nearly three quarters of a century Protestant churches and
civic organizations have been at work to create just such a relation
between church and state in the United States.
In 1863, representatives of
eleven Protestant denominations convened at Xenia, Ohio, and organized a
federation, with the avowed purpose of placing the name of God in the
Federal Constitution. This National Reform Association declared in
Article II of its constitution:
"The object of this Society
shall be to . . . secure such an amendment to the Constitution of the
United States as will declare the nation's allegiance to Jesus Christ
and its acceptance of the moral laws of the Christian religion, and so
indicate that this is a Christian nation, and place all the Christian
laws, institutions, and usages of our government on an undeniably
legal basis in the fundamental law of the land"–"American
State Papers," William A. Blakely, p. 343. Washington, D.
Their official organization, The
Christian Statesman, (1888) points out their reason for such an
amendment to the Federal Constitution in the following words:
"We need it to correct our
most unfortunate attitude under the First Amendment, which restrains
Congress from prohibiting the free exercise of any false
religion."–"Facts for the Times," p. 165.
That is, the First Amendment to
the Federal Constitution, which safeguards religious liberty, must be
made null and void by their proposed amendment, just as the eighteenth
amendment was nullified by the twenty-first.
Rev. M. A. Gault, a district
secretary of the organization, said:
"Our remedy for all these
malefic influences is to have the government simply set up the moral
law, and recognize God's authority behind it, and lay its hand on any
religion that does not conform to it."–"The Christian
Statesman," Jan. 13, 1887; quoted in "Facts for the
Times," page 166. Jonathan Edwards, another of their speakers,
"We want state and religion,
and we are going to have it. . . So far as the affairs of the state
require religion, it shall be religion, the religion of Jesus Christ
.... We use the word religion in its proper sense, as meaning a man's
personal relation of faith and obedience to God. Now we are warned
that to engraft this doctrine upon the Constitution will be
oppressive; that it will infringe the right of conscience; and we are
told that there are atheists, deists, Jews, and Seventh Day Baptists
who would suffer from it. These all are, for the occasion and so far
as our amendment is concerned, one class .... What are the rights of
the atheist? . . . I would tolerate him as I would a
conspirator."–"Religious Liberty in America," C. M.
Snow, pp. 266, 267. The Lord's Day Alliance is another organization
working for the same ends. In their "Lord's Day Papers"
(Milwaukee, Wis.), No. 117, p. 4, they say of those who do not
sanction their propaganda for Sunday laws: "That anarchistic
spirit that tramples on any law that one does not like needs to be
Joining Hands With Catholicism
The Federal Council of Churches
of Christ in America has also interested itself along the same lines,
and has co-operated more or less with the other two organizations.
November 21, 1905, twenty denominations met in New York, and invited the
co-operation of the Roman Catholic Church to help solve these civic
questions. Another meeting was held in Chicago, December 4-9, 1912,
where representatives of thirty-two denominations, having a constituency
of nearly 18,000,000 people, met in council. The Inter-Ocean of December
7, 1912, reported:
"Federal Council Opens
Its Doors To The Catholics "Word Protestant Is Stricken From
Committee Report On Object Of Association Of Churches.
"The Federal Council of
Churches of Christ in America took one of the most important forward
steps in its history when it adopted a resolution presented by the
executive committee eliminating the word Protestant from the report of
the committee, and virtually threw down the bars and invited the Roman
Catholic Church of America to join the council, and lend its titanic
strength toward solving the common problems of the church."–
Quoted in "Review and Herald," Jan. 9, 1913.
A strong resolution for the
enforcement of Sunday laws by civil government was then adopted.
In forming the Papacy during the
fourth and fifth centuries the Catholic bishops, in conjunction with the
state, enforced the pagan Sunday as one of the first steps in uniting
church and state, thus producing what prophecy terms "the
beast." And now in forming "an image to the beast" the
Protestant and Catholic clergy will again make Sunday laws the entering
wedge in their attempt to enforce religion by law, because Sunday
legislation constitutes the neutral ground for co-operation between
Catholics and Protestants, and in this work they seek each other's
assistance. Rev. S. V. Leech, a Protestant Sunday advocate, said in an
address at Denver, Colorado:
"Give us good Sunday laws,
well enforced by men in local authority, and our churches will be full
of worshipers .... A mighty combination of the churches of the United
States could win from Congress, the state legislatures, and municipal
councils, all legislation essential to this splendid
result."–"Homiletic Review," November, 1892; quoted
in "American State Papers," William A. Blakely, p. 732.
Washington, D. C.:1911.
Rev. Sylvester F. Scovel, a
leading National Reformer, says:
"This common interest [in
Sunday] ought to strengthen both our determination to work, and our
readiness to co-operate with our Roman Catholic fellow citizens ....
It is one of the necessities of the situation."– "Views of
National Reform, Series One," Bible Students' Library, No. 3, pp.
85, 86. Oakland, Calif.:Jan. 15, 1889.
"Whenever they [the Roman
Catholics] are willing to cooperate in resisting the progress of
political atheism, we will gladly join hands with them."–
"Christian Statesman," Dec. 11, 1884.
The Catholic Lay Congress, held
in Baltimore, November 12, 1889, said: "We should seek an alliance
with non-Catholics for the purpose of proper Sunday
observance."–Quoted in "Religious Liberty in America,"
C. M. Snow, pp. 283, 284.
When the great Federation of
Catholic Societies was organized in 1906, they said:
"The Federation is a
magnificent organization that is bound to root out prevailing and
ruling national evils; a patriotic undertaking in which Catholic and
non-Catholic may join hands."–"The Catholic Union and
Times," Aug. 2, 1906; quoted in "Signs of the Times,"
July 8, 1908. The following resolution was adopted by the Boston
Archdiocesan Federation of Catholic Societies:
"We are unalterably opposed
to any relaxation of the Sunday laws. Sunday is a day of rest to be
devoted to the praise and service of God. We hold the safest public
policy at present is to adhere to the rigid observance of the laws now
safeguarding the sanctity of the Lord's day."–"Boston
Pilot," official organ of Cardinal O'Connell, March 16, 1912.
In 1910 forty-six Protestant
denominations co-operated in an effort to reunite all the Christian
churches in the world, and fifty-five commissions were appointed to
attend a world's conference. They were to have been sent in September,
1914, to different countries to explain the plan, but the World War
delayed it. Another effort was made in 1917, when delegates from
"many denominations, including Protestant Episcopal, Baptist,
Lutheran, and Presbyterian," met at Garden City, N. Y., where they
received a letter from Cardinal Gasparri, Papal Secretary of State; and
in 1919 three Episcopal bishops were sent to Rome to interview the pope
on this question of church union, for Pope Benedict XV had already
(1917) started a "move for reunited Christianity."
The daily papers reported in
January, 1930, that a plan for a world federation of Lutheran churches
was being worked on by a sub-committee of the National Lutheran Council
at New York. Reports at that time stated the federated church would be
headed by a world executive comparable in administrative respects to the
Roman Catholic pope. Decorah Posten (Norwegian) for January 21, 1930,
gives a similar report. So "federation'' and
"consolidation" are in the air.
Earnest Men See The Danger
God-fearing men in different
denominations, who see the trend of the times, fear the consequences.
Dr. A. C. Dixon says:
"The purpose of this
'Inter-church' movement seems to be to make a great ecclesiastical
machine which will dominate all smaller bodies. It is an attempt to
form a papacy without a pope; and, if evangelical truth is to be
sacrificed or compromised, such a papacy without a pope will be no
improvement upon the present ecclesiastical machine which has its
center in Rome."–A front-page article in the "Baptist
Messenger," June 23, 1920. Oklahoma City, Okla.
Dr. George A. Gordon, Pastor of
Old South Church, Boston, says:
"The church was united once,
the holy Catholic Church throughout the world, and what was it?–An
ineffable tyrant, denying freedom over its whole broad domain, and
crushing the intellect and the spirit into a dead uniformity .... Your
one holy Catholic Protestant American Church would give me much
uneasiness if it should come into existence tomorrow."–
"Review and Herald," May 11, 1913.
How clearly these God-fearing
men, and many others we could have quoted, see the trend of the
Protestant church in forming "an image to the beast" and even
seeking the aid of the Papacy in their efforts to form a "holy
Catholic Protestant American Church," that could control the state
as the papal church did during the Middle Ages!
As long as a church has a living
connection with Christ, its true Head, and is loyal to His written word,
she is supplied with divine power to do His bidding (Matthew 28:18-20;
Acts 1:8; 5:32; Romans 1:16; John 1:12), and feels no craving for the
power of the state to enforce its teachings. But when apostasy has
robbed it of its divine power, and the power of love (2 Corinthians
5:14) has been exchanged for the love of power, it usually seeks the aid
of the civil arm. All attempts to secure the enforcement of religion by
civil laws is therefore a confession of apostasy from apostolic purity.
A Miracle-Working Power
Whenever God has sent a message
of reform to prepare His people for some great crisis, the archenemy has
always tried to counterfeit it. When Moses was sent to deliver Israel
from Egypt, Jannes and Jambres withstood his message by counterfeiting
his miracles. (Exodus 7:10-13, 22; 8:6, 7; 2 Timothy 3:8, 9.) And so it
was when the message of Christ's first coming was given. In these last
days God has promised to send a message in the power and spirit of
Elijah to prepare His people for "the coming of the great and
dreadful day of the Lord." Malachi 4:5.) The devil knows this, and
so he will counterfeit this message. The prophet, in speaking of the
United States, says: "He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh
fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men [as Elijah
did]. And he deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of
those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast,
saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to
the beast, . . . and he causeth all . . . to receive a mark in their
right hand or in their foreheads." Revelation 13:13-16. Thus we see
that this country was to become a miracle-working power.
It was here in the United States
that modern Spiritism originated in 1848. And it is working miracles.
But what is the source of this miraculous power? We will let the leaders
of Spiritism answer this question. In Spiritten [a Norwegian Spiritist
periodical], for December 15, 1889, page 2, we read:
"Spiritism is the serpent in
Paradise offering man to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and
To understand this statement we
must remember that God told man not to eat of this tree or he would
"surely die," but Satan assured Eve: "Ye shall not surely
die." Genesis 2:17; 3:4. And Spiritists have based their belief on
the devil's words, claiming that people at death do not actually die,
but simply pass into the spirit world. Moses Hull, a leading teacher and
lecturer among them, makes this point clear. He says:
"A Truthful Snake .... In
answer to the question, 'Who, then, are we to believe–God or Satan?'
I answer, The facts, in every case in the Bible, justify us in
believing Satan, he has ever been truthful; that is more than can be
said of the other one .... It was not the devil, but God who made the
mistake in the Garden of Eden .... It was God, and not the devil, who
was a murderer from the beginning."–"The Devil and the
Adventists," pp. 15, 16. Chicago:1899.
I must ask pardon of the readers
for quoting such blasphemous words, but the only fair way of revealing
the true nature of Spiritism is to allow its followers to speak for
themselves. In later years, however, Spiritism has changed its face, but
not its heart, by professing Christianity; and in that garb has
succeeded in getting into the churches. Some startling revelations have
been unearthed of late years regarding the work of Spiritism in the
different churches all over the world. Many in these churches have felt
the emptiness of formalism, and have craved spiritual power, but have
been unwilling to get it by the way of the cross. Humble confession,
heartfelt repentance, and straightening up of wrongs done to neighbors
is a road too narrow for many to walk; unpopular truths, which cut
across their selfish path of ease, are unwelcome to them; but Spiritism
in its Christian form offers the desired power without such sacrifices,
and the easy road is accepted with eagerness by many. (Compare Mark
8:34, 38; Acts 5:32; Matthew 4:3-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11; Matthew
24:24.) They mistakenly accept spiritual power and miracles as evidence
of their being right with God (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 9:55), but God's
children cannot thus prove whether a movement is true or false, for the
enemy can work miracles.
Judge I. W. Edmonds, a noted
Spiritist, says of his daughter:
"She knows no other language
than her own native tongue, the English, except a little French she
learned in the girls' school; and yet she has talked in nine or ten
different languages, often a whole hour at a time, with the same ease
as a native. Quite often strangers in their native tongue hold
conversation' with their spirit friends through
her."–"Spiritualism Before the Judgment Seat of
Science," p. 42.
In the near future Spiritism will
influence people in America to form a union of church and state. When
this is accomplished, the Papacy will step in and take charge of it.
Thus every effort to form this union is helping the Papacy to power.
This is so strikingly pictured by the prophet Zechariah that we must
take the space here to refer to it.
The Woman In The Ephah
The prophet saw "an ephah"
(which is a fitting symbol of the business world) and "a woman that
sitteth in the midst of the ephah." Zechariah 5:7. A woman in
prophecy symbolizes a church, and in the book of Revelation this woman
is called "the mother" church, which is "drunken with the
blood of . . . the martyrs of Jesus." It is also represented as
"that great city" on "seven mountains." (Revelation
17:5, 6, 9, 18.) M'Clintock and Strong says, "The city of Rome was
founded · . . on the Palatine Hill; it was extended by degrees, so as
to take in six other hills."–Encyclopedia, art. "Rome."
This woman is said to be trading in all kinds of
"merchandise", linen, silk, wine, flour, sheep, chariots, and
souls of men. (Revelation 18:12, 13.) A more striking picture of the
Papacy could hardly be given, for no advantage in the business world
escapes her vigilance. She always seeks to place her members in
strategic government positions, and at advantageous labor posts.
The ephah, in which this
prophetic woman sat, was covered with "a talent of lead," and
when this cover was lifted the "wickedness" was seen, or, as
the Septuagint has it, "This is the iniquity." (Zechariah 5:7,
8.) And just so, when the Reformation of the sixteenth century pulled
off the cover, "the mystery of iniquity" was seen in all its
"wickedness." (2 Thessalonians 2:7, 8.) But the prophet saw
the cover placed back on again, and, through the efforts of Jesuits,
this covering-up work is being accomplished. "Two women" are
next seen who "lifted up the ephah between the earth and the
heaven." (Zechariah 5:8, 9.) That is, after the true nature of the
papacy has been concealed, the miracle-working power of Spiritism in
some Christian form, and fallen Protestantism (these two women) will
raise the Papacy to the sky.
"Then said I to the angel
that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto
me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar, and it shall be
established, and set there upon her Own base." Verses 10, 11. It
was "in the land Shinar" that the former tower of Babel was
built, as a manmade way to heaven, so as to avoid the judgment of God in
case of another Flood. The builders called it "Babil,"
"Gate of God," but God called it "Babel,"
"Confusion." It was around this tower that the city of Babylon
was built; and it stands as a synonym for a man-made way of salvation;
and for this reason the Roman Catholic Church is called "BABYLON
THE GREAT, THE MOTHER." Revelation 17:5. Even Cardinal Gibbons
declares: "'Babylon,' from which Peter addresses his first epistle,
is understood by learned annotators, Protestant and Catholic, to refer
to Rome"–"Faith of Our Fathers," edition of 1885, p.
131; and p. 106 in "Eighty-third Revised Edition" of 1917. It
is natural, therefore, when the prophet speaks of the Papacy's being
established "there upon her own base," that he should
symbolically refer to it as "the land of Shinar," or Babylon.
(Zechariah 5:10, 11.) Thus we see, that, through the cooperation of
modernized Protestantism, and Christianized Spiritism, the Papacy will
be brought back to power. This is so aptly stated by another author that
we give the quotation here:
"When Protestantism shall
stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power,
when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism,
when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall
repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and
Republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of
papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has
come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is
near."– "Testimonies," Vol. V, p. 451.
Then the "deadly wound"
will be fully healed (Revelation 13:3), and in her restored relationship
to the kings of the earth, the Papacy will exclaim in the pride of her
power: "I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no
sorrow." Revelation 18:7. But, as pride and "a haughty
spirit" go before a fall, her glorying will be short, for she shall
"go into perdition." Verse 8; 17:8. Thus we can better
understand the seven heads of the beast. The Papacy is said to be one
"of the seven" heads, and yet it is "the eighth"
(Revelation 17:11), because, as one of the seven it received its deadly
wound, and when this is healed it comes back as the eighth in rotation,
while in reality it is only one of the seven coming back to life and
power. (Compare Revelation 13:3 with 17:8, 11.)
"That No Man Might Buy Or
"And that no man might buy
or sell, save he that had the mark." Revelation 13:17. We have
seen that the Papacy has adopted Sunday as "a mark of her
ecclesiastical power and authority," and the Protestant
organizations have also adopted this mark, as the following quotations
"This day [Sunday] is set
apart for divine worship and preparation for another life. It is the
test of all religion."–Dr. W. W. Everts, in Elgin (Ill.)
"Sunday Convention," November, 1887.
"When the people, through
their representative, legalize the first day of the week as a day of
rest and of worship for those who choose so to observe it, it is a
sign of the Christian nation."–From a sermon reported in
"Christian Oracle," January 12, 1893.
The Puritans in the United States
made Sunday "a sign between them and the heathen world around, and,
to a large extent, it has continued to be a mark of American religion to
the present day."–Rev. J. G. Lorimer, in "Christian
Treasury"; all quoted in "Signs of the Times," April 1,
When these large religious
organizations, that are so vitally interested in Sunday enforcement,
combine in their efforts, it is not remarkable that they should attempt
to deprive dissenters of their natural rights of attaining their
livelihood, for we have seen that this combination is making "an
image to the beast" (Revelation 13:14-17); and the beast, or
Papacy, did this very thing. At the Synod of Tholouse, A. D. 1163, it
made the following decrees against Sabbath-keepers:
"The bishops and priests
[were] 'to take care, and to forbid, under the pain of
excommunication, every person from presuming to give reception, or the
least assistance to the followers of this heresy, which first began in
the country of Tholouse, whenever they shall be discovered. Neither
were they to have any dealings with them in buying or selling; that by
being thus deprived of the common assistance of life, they might be
compelled to repent of the evil of their way. Whosoever shall dare to
contravene this order, let them be excommunicated, as a partner with
them in their guilt. As many of them as can be found, let them be
imprisoned by the Catholic princes, and punished with the forfeiture
of all their substance.'"
Stirred by this decree, King
Ildefonsus of Arragon banished all Waldenses in 1194.
"He adds, 'If any, from this
day forwards, shall presume to receive into their houses, the
aforesaid Waldenses and Inzabatati, or other heretics, of whatsoever
profession they be, or to hear, in any place, their abominable
preachings, or give them food, or do them any kind office whatsoever;
let him know, that he shall incur the indignation of Almighty God and
ours; that he shall forfeit all his goods, without the benefit of
appeal, and be punished as though guilty of high
treason."–"History of the Inquisition," Philip
Limborch," pp. 88, 89. London:1816.
That the "image to the
beast" will actually duplicate the work of the Papacy also in this
respect is seen from the following utterance, among many others we could
quote Dr. Bascom Robins, in a sermon on the "Decalogue,"
preached in Burlington, Kansas, Sunday, January 31, 1904, said:
"In the Christian decalogue
the first day was made the Sabbath by divine appointment. But there is
a class of people who will not keep the Christian Sabbath unless they
are forced to do so. But that can be easily done. We have twenty
million of men, besides women and children, in this country, who want
this country to keep the Christian Sabbath. If we would say we will
not sell anything to them, we will not buy anything from them, we will
not work for them, or hire them to work for us, the thing could be
wiped out, and all the world would keep the Christian Sabbath."
God, who knows the end from the
beginning, has foretold that they would do this very thing, so
"that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark."
Revelation 13:17. But will God forsake His faithful children in this
trying hour? Oh, no! "He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of
His eye." Zechariah 2:8. As a loving Father He will step forward to
the protection of His children. (Psalm 103:13.) And His enemies will
find that "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the
living God." Hebrews 10:31.
When the world refuses to permit
God's people to "buy or sell," He will send drought and
famine, so that the wicked will have little or nothing to sell, and will
be unable to buy because their money will be worthless. The seven last
plagues will be God's answer to man's challenge, as the ten plagues of
Egypt were His answer to the haughty challenge of a Pharaoh against His
message in ancient time. (Exodus 4:22, 23; 5:2.) With men suffering from
sores and fever, and no water to drink, while the sun is scorching them
with great heat (Revelation 16:1-9), causing the most terrible drought
the world has ever witnessed (Joel 1:10-20), the earth will be in a
deplorable condition (Isaiah 24:1-6), and people "shall pass
through it, hardly bestead and hungry; and it shall come to pass, that
when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their
king, and their God" (Isaiah 8:21, 22). And they will turn against
the rich (James 5:1-5), who will "cast their silver in the
streets" to appease the angry mob, but "their gold shall be
removed" (Ezekiel 7:19). They hoarded millions, and cornered
markets, while working people were suffering, till at last the storm has
gathered around their well-filled palaces, and too late they make an
attempt to save themselves from the long-pent-up wrath.
The laws that deprive God's
people of their rights, and thus force them out of the cities, seem to
them a calamity, and many surrender the truth to support their families.
But what appears to be such a calamity is a blessing in disguise, for it
drives them out of the cities in time to escape this terrible
labor-revolution. Some day we shall find that no hardship comes to God's
loyal children but what is absolutely necessary to their salvation.
Those who make it 'their undeviating practice to put God's will first in
all their plans and habits of living, can safely trust Him for the rest.
(Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:19; Isaiah 43:2.) Driven from the cities,
they flee to mountain fastnesses and solitary places, where angels
supply their needs, as Elijah was fed. "Bread shall be given him;
his waters shall be sure." Isaiah 33:16. Oh, we have a wonderful
God. "Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him." Psalm
God's loyal children will be fed
by angels, while the world is starving. The fondest hopes of God's
people will be realized: "Thine eyes shall see the king in His
beauty they shall behold the land that is very far off." Isaiah
33:17, 18. No pen can describe that thrill of joy when we shall meet our
dear Saviour and our loved ones, and be taken home to that beautiful
land that knows no heartaches, no farewell scenes, no funeral trains.
(John 14:1- 3.)
The great question for each one
of us to settle is whether we will have our citizenship papers in order
when King Jesus shall come to claim His own. The reader might ask what
papers are required for citizenship in that kingdom. To answer that
question satisfactorily, we must remember that sin has caused all the
anguish, sorrow, and trouble in this world, and that God's heart of
infinite love has been wrung with pain for suffering humanity. He has
therefore decided that sin, with all its trail of woe, shall not be
permitted to enter His eternal kingdom, and that all who enter that
blissful home must part company with sin.
But sin is inbred in man, and
forms a part of his very character, so that he cannot, by his own
efforts, extricate himself from its toils. (Jeremiah 13:23; Romans 7:15,
18-24.) Christ, however, stands ready to free us from our sins. He will
deliver us if we will let Him do it. (Matthew 1:21; John 1:12.) But He
will not use force, even in things that are for our own good, for He has
created man a free moral agent, and respects his choice. (Isaiah 1:18;
Revelation 22:17; I John 1:7, 9.) A complete surrender to Christ is
therefore necessary, that He may change our desires, affections, and
characters so we can enjoy the society of the pure and unselfish
inhabitants of that happy land.