Seventh-day Adventists lay great stress upon their interpretation of this symbol. Rev. 13:11-18. Their theory of the mark of the beast, and his image, the seal of God, the Third Angel's Message, and all their special work about the Sabbath is built upon their assumption concerning that beast. If they are mistaken here, their whole system collapses. They claim that this beast is the United States, and that soon we shall have here church and state united, the image of the beast, the papacy. The mark of the beast is Sunday-keeping. A law will enforce this upon Seventh-day Adventists. They won't obey. Then they will be outlawed, persecuted, and condemned to death! Of all the wild Advent speculations in the prophecies, this deserves to stand among the wildest.
1. Does the Bible SAY that this beast is the United States? Oh, no; they have to assume and argue out all this.
2. Do they KNOW that their arguments on this are infallibly correct? No.
3. Were their leaders quite as sure in 1843, and then again in 1844, that they were right? Yes; and yet they failed both times.
4. Have they not made many mistakes in interpreting the prophecies? Yes; many of them.
5. Did not Elder White, their leader, set three different times for the end of the world, and fail in all? Yes.
6. May they not then POSSIBLY be mistaken also in this? Of course, as they must admit. So their system rests upon an uncertainty. Or are they infallible?
7. Do our hopes of heaven depend upon such uncertainties as these? Would it not be safer to follow the plain precepts of Christ (Matt. 7:24,25), than to turn after these uncertain speculations? Better than to follow the lead of Adventists who have been making mistakes over and over again for eighty years? "Take heed that no man deceive you." Jesus. Matt 24:4. I will offer a few out of many facts showing that their application of this symbol is not correct.
While Seventh-day Adventists largely quote and follow the leading commentators and Protestant churches in their application of the other beasts, here they take a wild leap into the dark, unsupported by one single biblical scholar. Evidently this lamb-like beast represents the Papacy, or the spiritual and ecclesiastical power of the Roman church, and is so applied by every commentator I have consulted. Thus: "This beast is the spiritual Latin empire, or, in other words, the Romish hierarchy." Clarke, on Rev. 13:11. "It was, therefore, the emblem of the Roman hierarchy." Scott, on Rev. 13:11. "The generality of interpreters confine this second beast to the papal power." Eclectic Commentary on Rev. 13:11-18. "An exact description of the rise of the spiritual power of the Papacy." Notes on Rev. 13:11, by the American Tract Society. "The beast with two horns like a lamb is the Roman hierarchy, or body of the clergy, regular and secular." Joseph Benson. "The two-horned beast or Romish church." Bishop Newton. Albert Barnes the same. Indeed, there is a perfect agreement among all commentators that this lamb-like beast represents the Papacy. For the argument on this I only need refer the readers to the commentaries.
Against this unanimous agreement of all Protestant churches and authorities, you have the unsupported speculations of the Adventists, who have made so many mistakes before. The proofs that this lamb-like beast is the Papacy are many, clear, and easily seen; while the effort to apply it to the United States is labored, and the arguments strained, long, and far-fetched. Thus, in U. Smith's "Thoughts on Revelation," he devotes only ELEVEN pages to the dragon of Chapter 12:1-17, and only EIGHT pages to the leopard beast of Chapter 13:1- 10, but wades heavily through OVER ONE HUNDRED PAGES on the eight verses relating to the two-horned beast! This alone is proof of the desperate task he had on hand to prove that it was the United States.
Beginning with Rev. 11:19, and ending with Rev. 14:5, is a line of prophecy reaching from the First to the Second Advent - the dragon, the leopard beast, and the lamb-like beast. The dragon, Chapter 12:1-17, is the pagan Roman empire. So all agree; Seventh-day Adventists as well. The dragon had "seven heads and ten horns." Verse 3. This is succeeded, Chapter 13:1-10, by the leopard beast with "seven heads and ten horns." What is this? Evidently the same Roman empire, the same ten kingdoms of Europe, with merely a change of religion from pagan to Catholic. Thus, Dr. Clarke: "The beast here described is the Latin empire, which supported the Romish or Latin church." On Rev. 13:1. So says Scott and all I have seen. This was the civil or political power of the ten kingdoms after professing Christianity. That this ten-horned leopard beast is not the Papacy nor the Catholic church, is shown by Rev. 17:1-5, where the same beast is again introduced with a woman riding on and ruling over it. The beast is the civil power, while the woman is the church. Even Elder Smith had to confess this. He says: "We here have the woman, the church, seated upon a scarlet-colored beast, the civil power by which she is upheld and which she controls and guides to her own ends as a rider controls a horse." On Rev. 17:1-5. So, then, the leopard beast is the civil power. Just what it is in Rev. 17 is what it is in Rev. 13. Did the Papacy have ten horns? Did it have seven heads? No, but political Rome did.
That the lamb-like beast of Rev. 13:11-18 is not the United States at all, but is the Papacy , or ecclesiastical and spiritual power of the Romish church, is manifest. 1. Rev. 17:1-5, where the woman, the church, is distinct from the ten-horned leopard beast and rules over it, shows that the beast is not the Papacy. 2. Just so; the lamb-like beast of Rev. 13 rules through the power of the leopard beast. 3. Whatever the woman is in Rev. 17, that is what the lamb-like beast is in Rev. 13. Hence, they both are the papal power of Rome.
Notice the similarity of the two: a woman in one place, a lamb in the other, both having the appearance of gentleness and innocence. The church is represented by a pure woman, II Cor. 11:2, and by lambs, John 21:15; false religious teachers are represented by bad women, Rev. 2:18-23, and by beasts clothed like sheep, Matt. 7:15. The woman and the beast work together in Chapter 17; so the lamb-like beast and the leopard beast work together in Rev. 13:12,14. The woman is drunk with the blood of saints, Rev. 17:6; the lamb beast causes the saints to be killed, Rev. 13:15. The woman is burned with fire, Rev. 18:8; so is the lamb beast, Rev. 19:20. The woman sits upon the beast, guiding and ruling it, Rev. 17:3; so the lamb beast "exerciseth all the power of the first beast," Rev. 13:12. It does not simply exercise SIMILAR power, or AS MUCH power as the beast, but it uses the power of the beast itself, the same as the woman did. He does not himself kill anyone, but CAUSES them to be killed, Rev. 13:15. This is exactly what the Papacy did. It ruled over the kings of the earth, Rev. 17:18, and "caused" heretics to be put to death by the secular power. "He exerciseth all the power of the first beast."
It has ever been the boast of the Roman church that SHE never puts heretics to death. She simply anathematizes them, turns them over to the civil powers, and by her influence with these, CAUSES them to be killed by the secular powers. How exact is the language: he "causeth" it to be done; "he exerciseth [or useth] all the power of the first beast."
Seventh-day Adventists argue that the leopard beast, Rev. 13:1-10, is the papacy, because it does the same work as the little horn of Dan. 7:8,25, which is agreed by all to be the papacy. But they overlook the fact that the leopard beast does all its work simply as the agent of the church, the woman in Rev. 17, and the lamb-like beast in Chap. 13. Hence, of course, it does the same work that the little horn of Dan. 7 does.
Notice the inseparable connection between the leopard beast and the two- horned beast, the Roman civil government and the Papacy. 1. The lamb-like beast controls all the power of the first beast. Verse 12. 2. He does this in the presence and in the sight of the beast. Verse 12,14. This shows that both occupy the same territory. 3. He causes men to worship the beast. Verse 12. 4. He causes men to make an image to the beast. Verse 14. 5. He causes men to receive the mark of the beast. Verse 16,17. 6. The two beasts are working together when Christ comes. Rev. 19, 20. 7. Together they go into the fire. Verse 20.
Evidently, then, these two beasts operate together in all their work. This is precisely what the Catholic church and the Catholic political powers of Europe have done for ages, as all know. Has the United States ever thus cooperated with the papacy? Emphatically, no. Is any man fanatical enough to believe that it ever will? The papacy has exactly fulfilled every specification of the lamb-like beast. 1. It came up in the right place "in his presence." Diaglott, Bible Union, Living Oracles, etc. 2. It came up at the right time after the wounding of the head. Rev. 13:3. The interpretation adopted by Clarke, Scott, and the best authors, "refers it to the extinction of the old Roman Empire under the imperial form in the latter part of the fifth century, and its revival again under Charlemagne." Notes of Am. Tract Society. 3. The papacy came up in the right manner, peaceably and quietly. 4. It had the appearance of a lamb. 5. It has spoken like a dragon. 6. It has exercised all the power of civil Rome. 7. It brought the earth in subjection to Rome. 8. By its great signs and wonders it has deceived millions for ages. 9. It has made an image to the beast. 10. It has caused millions to be killed. 11. It has imposed its worship and mark upon all. 12. It has prohibited heretics from buying or selling. This is too well known to require proof.
The lamb-like beast is not the United States; because 1. "This two-horned beast symbolizes a religious or ecclesiastical government. The false prophet of Rev. 19:20 performs the same work as this beast (see verse 14), and therefore must be identical with it. This is admitted by Seventh-day Adventists. Now, as a prophet is a religious teacher, a false prophet must be a false religious teacher; and as this applies to a government, it must therefore apply to an ecclesiastical government. Such the United States is not, for its government is PURELY political; for one clause of its constitution is as follows: 'Congress shall MAKE NO LAW respecting an establishment of RELIGION, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'" The Two-Horned Beast, by A.C. Long.
2. The manner of its rise. The lamb-like beast comes up quietly and peaceably "out of the earth," Rev. 13:11, while the other beasts come up out of the troubled sea. Rev. 13:1. So the papacy came up quietly at first, with all the appearance of a lamb, but afterwards it spoke like a dragon. Witness its persecutions and tyranny. Not so with our nation. It was born in a terrible war of seven years. Then followed the war of 1812, the war with Mexico, the war of the Rebellion, and war with Indians almost every year. Not very peaceable.
3. It was to exercise ALL the power of the first beast. Seventh-day Adventists say that the first beast is the Papacy, which put to death over fifty million people, ruled over other kings, and over the consciences of men. Even Adventists do not believe the United States will do this.
4. "Church and state must be united. This is against one of the fundamental principles of our government. The constitution expressly forbids it, consequently it must first be changed. And will the intelligent voters of these United States, with the history of past ages before them, deliberately change one of the main pillars of our government, and raise up the Inquisition, the block, the rack, etc., and thus put to death many persons, simply for their religious faith? It does not look reasonable." A.C. Long. Besides, all the tendency of the age is against a union of church and state.
1. "The two-horned beast must be the United States, because it can apply nowhere else."
ANSWER: It applies admirably to the Papacy.
2. "There must be some symbol to represent this great nation."
ANSWER: There is none for Russia, for Mexico, Brazil, Japan, China, and a dozen other nations, most of them professing Christianity too.
3. "The United States came up at the right time, about 1798, when the head received its deadly wound. Rev. 13:3."
ANSWER: This very point overthrows the argument for the United States; for that wound was given at the very rise of the leopard beast, more than 1,200 years before 1798. Look at verse 3-10; all the work of the beast comes AFTER the wound and not BEFORE. This locates the rise of the lamb-like beast just when the Papacy rose.
4. "The United States came up in the right place."
ANSWER: This is exactly what it DID NOT DO. The beast is located in Europe, and a whole ocean rolls between the two; whereas the two-horned beast was to come up "in his presence," in Europe, not America.
5. "Our government has 'come up' from small beginnings to a wonderful nation."
ANSWER: The Papacy began much smaller, and has 'come up' to be much larger.
6. "Our government is lamb-like."
ANSWER: So was the Papacy in its rise and all its professions. A lamb in appearance, a dragon at heart, fits Rome much better. Our government does not put on sheep's clothes to hide wicked designs. It acts openly and boldly. But the Papacy professed outwardly to be a humble follower of the Lamb, while inwardly it was a dragon.
7. "No crown on his horns. Hence it must be a republic - the United States."
ANSWER: The ten-horned beast of Dan. 7 had no crowns, yet all were kingly governments. So the dragon, Rev. 12:3, had no crowns on his ten horns, yet all were kingly governments. So there were crowns upon his seven heads, yet several of these heads represented forms of government that had no crowns. So this argument fails.
8. "Spiritualism has wrought miracles here."
ANSWER: The miracles of spiritualism are a humbug, nor are they in any way recognized or used by our nation in making laws. But in the prophecy the miracles are wrought by the official authority, and not by private individuals, wrought to secure and enforce laws for persecution. Verse 14. Spiritualism does not do this. And surely our nation will never lower itself to the working of miracles by official authority! But papal Rome has abounded in lying miracles, by which she deceived her followers for ages. Our nation is now over one hundred years old, and, according to Adventists, five or ten years more will end its work. But out of eight verses of the prophecy only ONE is yet fulfilled, is our nation. 1. The beast was to come up. Fulfilled. 2. He was to come out of the earth. Fulfilled. 3. Was to have two horns. Not fulfilled. 4. Was to look like a lamb. Fulfilled. But these specifications are much better fulfilled by the Papacy than by the United States.
5. Was to speak as a dragon. Not fulfilled. 6. Was to exercise all the power of the first beast. Not fulfilled. 7. Must cause the earth to worship the first beast. Not fulfilled. 8. Must do great wonders. Not fulfilled. 9. Must bring fire from Heaven. Not fulfilled. 10. Work miracles. Not fulfilled. 11. Id to make an image to the beast. Not fulfilled. 12. The image is to speak. Not fulfilled. 13. To cause all to be killed who do not worship the beast. Not fulfilled. 14. To cause all to receive the mark. Not fulfilled. 15. To prohibit all from buying or selling who do not have the mark. Not fulfilled.
Out of FIFTEEN points only FOUR have been fulfilled, and these relate simply to its rise. Of all the work it was to do, not a thing has been done yet. Adventists are always saying that the rest is just about to be done. But in the past forty years not one single point has been fulfilled, nor is there the least prospect that it ever will be. Unless God works a miracle, no such things as they are looking for can be accomplished anyway.
The mark was to be enforced upon bondmen, verse 16; but slavery is abolished, and that can not be fulfilled here, but it was fulfilled under papal Rome. Souls were beheaded for not worshipping the beast. Rev. 20:4. This was all fulfilled under the Papacy, but Seventh-day Adventists themselves say no one will be killed here.
We have now proved conclusively that the two-horned beast is not the United States. This being so, then Seventh-day Adventists are wrong on the image of the beast, the mark of the beast, the Third Angel's Message, and the Sunday question, and hence their whole theory collapses.
In Rev. 13:14-17; 14:9-11; 15:2; 19:20; 20:4, great prominence is given to "the image of the beast." God's wrath is threatened against all who worship it. It must, then, be some very wicked thing. Seventh-day Adventists claim that the image will be formed by a union of church and state in our nation. That will be an image to Catholicism, the beast, they say. See "Thoughts on the Revelation," page 581. Their great mission is to warn men of this coming image. Sunday-keeping, the Pope's Sabbath, is to be the chief feature of this image. After thorough investigation, I am satisfied that there is no truth in this claim.
1. If a union of church and state constitutes an image to the beast, then this image has been formed ages ago, and by different nations, wherever there has been a union of church and state as in England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Norway and Sweden, Mexico, Brazil, Abyssinia, Puritan New England, etc. But this would overthrow the Seventh-day Adventist theory that the image has never yet been formed.
2. They say that the Papacy is the beast to whom the image is formed. Elder Smith thus defines the Papacy: "The Papacy, then, was a church clothed with civil power." Thoughts on Revelations, page 585. Is this definition correct? No; it is utterly false, as every scholar knows. It was made to fit a theory as false as the definition. Look at any dictionary. "Papacy: 1. The office and dignity of the Pope... 2. The Popes taken collectively." Web. The Papacy existed long before it was clothed with civil power. It has no civil power now, yet it is the Papacy still. So, then, an image to the Papacy does not necessarily include civil power or a union of church and state at all. On this false assumption is built the Advent theory of the image.
3. What is the Papacy? See Webster above. It is that ecclesiastical system of worship of which the Pope is head. Its distinguishing marks are these: 1. Popes. 2. Cardinals. 3. Monks. 4. Nuns. 5. Celibacy. 6. The mass. 7. Worship of the virgin. 8. Worship of saints. 9. Use of images. 10. Sign of the cross. 11. The confessional. 12. Use of incense. 13. Holy water. 14. Claim of infallibility. 15. A gorgeous worship, and the like. This is the Papacy, as known to everybody the world over. Now unite our Protestant churches with our state, pass a law and fine Sabbath-keepers, and how many of the above distinguishing features of the Papacy would you have? Not ONE. In order to have an IMAGE to the Papacy, you must have at least the main features of it, as above. But even Adventists do not expect to see any of the above items in their Sunday law. Their idea of an image to the beast is a senseless, unscriptural affair from the first to last.
4. A stringent national Sunday law, such as Adventists expect, would by no means constitute an image to the Papacy; because Catholics never had nor taught such a Sunday institution as that would be. Their Sunday is, and always has been, a loose holiday, a day for games, sports, beer gardens, saloons, dancing, voting, and even work, with a little church service and Mass in the morning. Look at the Sunday in any Catholic country or community. Such a strict Sunday as Adventists expect would be no more like that than a sheep is like an ox; hence, not an image to it. The Adventists themselves have shown that the doctrine of a strict Sunday did not originate with the Catholics, but with the Presbyterians and Puritans in the sixteenth century. History of the Sabbath, Chapter XXV. So, then, their Sunday law would constitute an image to the church of Scotland instead of the church of Rome! So their theory breaks down on all sides.
5. All this on the supposition that the Papacy is the leopard beast to which the image is to be made. But we have proved that the leopard beast is not the Papacy, but the empire of Rome under the ten kingdoms after their adoption of Christianity. But their conversion was only nominal. They brought with them very largely their pagan doctrines, customs, religious rites, images, gods, shrines, temples, and pomp of worship. This became the model after which the Papacy was gradually but finally formed. The Papacy in its full and final development was an image of this half heathen, half Christian, worldly kingdom.
The utter fallacy of the Seventh-day Adventist theory of these beasts is shown by the fact that they locate the deadly wound of Rev. 13:3 in 1798, at the END of the forty-two months of verse 5, after nearly all the work of the beast is done. But in the prophecy it is distinctly located in the very BEGINNING of the work of the leopard beast. Read Rev. 13:1-10, and see where the wound was made, verse 3. The worship of the beast, his power, his blasphemies, his persecutions of the saints, his forty-two months, his 1260 years reign, the subjection of all the earth to him - all these come AFTER the wound is healed, not before. On the overthrow of paganism, the breaking up of the empire by the northern barbarians, and the final extinction was about to be entirely extinguished. But right here Christianity conquered those barbarians, and brought them under the rising influence of the Papacy. New life was infused into the old carcass, the empire was revived, the wound was healed. See Barnes, Clark, Scott, etc.
1. Seventh-day Adventists assert in the most positive manner that the Pope changed the Sabbath to Sunday. "The Pope has changed the day of rest from the seventh to the first day." Mrs. White, Early Writings, page 55.
2. Then they affirm that "Sunday-keeping must be the mark of the beast." The Marvel of Nations, by U. Smith, page 183. "The Sunday Sabbath is purely a child of the Papacy. It is the mark of the beast." Advent Review, Vol. I, No. 2, August, 1850. They thunder this into the ears of the people, and threaten them with God's wrath if they keep Sunday, till they frighten ignorant souls to give it up.
3. This change in the Sabbath, they say, was made by the Popes at the Council of Laodicea, A.D. 364. Replies to Elder Canright, page 151. This was over 1500 years ago.
4. All who keep Sunday, they assert, worship the beast and receive his mark. "Sunday-keeping is an institution of the first beast, and ALL who submit to obey this institution emphatically worship the first beast and receive his mark, 'the mark of the beast.' .... Those who worship the beast and his image by observing the first day are certainly idolaters, as were the worshippers of the golden calf." Advent Review Extra, pages 10 and 11, August, 1850. This language is too plain to be mistaken. All who keep Sunday have the mark of the beast.
5. But, strange to tell, they now all deny that any one has ever had the mark of the beast. "We have never so held," says Smith, Marvel of Nations, page 184. All right, though this is a square denial of what they once taught, as above. It is a common thing for them to change their positions and then deny it. We proceed:
6. The United States will soon pass a strict Sunday law and unite church and state; then all who will keep Sunday will have the mark. Marvel of Nations, page 185.
Does the Bible say that the mark of the beast is keeping Sunday? No, indeed. That is only another one of their assumptions. To establish this, they have to make a long, roundabout set of arguments, built upon inferences, none of which are sound. Their theory is false, because:
1. The Jewish Sabbath was abolished at the cross. [Col. 2:16] Hence, it was not changed by the Pope.
2. Sunday is the Lord's day of Rev. 1:18. See Chapter X of this book.
3. The Pope never changed the Sabbath. This point I have proved beyond all question in Chapter XI. This fact alone upsets their whole argument on the mark of the beast.
4. The Papacy is not the beast to whom the image is made, as they assume. Here again there whole story is demolished.
5. Merely keeping Sunday would not be an image to the Papacy any way, as I have shown.
6. The two-horned beast is not the United States at all, but is the Papacy, as I have clearly proved.
7. The image to the beast was made ages ago by the Papacy. So every one of their arguments for the mark of the beast fails.
1. Sunday-keeping has been the mark of the beast for 1500 years. During all this time millions have kept Sunday on the sole authority of the Roman church, and yet no one had the mark!
2. The keeping of Sunday has been time and again and in many countries enforced by law and severe penalties, just as they say it will be in the future here, and yet none of those who have kept it as thus enforced have had the mark of the beast!
3. Church and state have been united in various countries, and have enforced this institution of the Papacy, as they call it, and yet it was not enforcing the mark of the beast!
4. For over 1500 years, taking their own dates, all the pious of the earth, the martyrs, the reformers, the Luthers, Wesleys and Judson, have observed Sunday and enjoyed the blessing of God, but now, all at once, the whole world, Christians and all, are to be damned and drink the wrath of God for doing just what all holy men have done for ages! Of Sunday-keeping in the future, Mrs. White says: "That must be a terrible sin which calls down the wrath of God unmingled with mercy." Great Controversy, page 282. This terrible sin is just what all the church of Christ has practiced for ages, and yet have had God's blessing! How absurd.
5. It is attempted to dodge this point by saying that those of other ages did not have the light on the Sabbath. I have shown the falsity of that on other pages. Luther, Bunyan, Baxter, Milton, all had the "light" on the Sabbath question, and rejected it and wrote against it. Then I can do it, too, and not have the mark of the beast, if they did not.
6. If it is worshipping the beast to rest from physical labor on Sunday after one knows that Sunday is the Pope's Sabbath, then many Seventh-day Adventists are worshippers of the beast. Why? Because they often rest on Sunday. Book agents, colporters, teachers, drummers, persons visiting relatives, ministers in new places, etc., all frequently rest on Sunday, and even go to church all day! Are they worshippers of the beast? Why not? Do you say they only do it for convenience or from policy? Just so they can rest on Sunday for the same reason when the law shall require it, and not worship the beast any more than Adventists do now.
7. Deny it as they may, the Seventh-day Adventist teachings do make all Sunday-keepers, both now and in past ages, worshippers of the beast, having the mark of the beast. Here is proof in their own words:
1. The Pope changed the Sabbath. Sunday is only the Pope's day. See above.
2. "The mark of the beast is the change the beast made in the law of God," in the Sabbath. Marvel of Nations, page 175. Then the mark of the beast existed as soon as the change was made, which they locate 1500 years ago. Is not this conclusion inevitable? If the mark of the beast is the change of the Sabbath which was made by the Papacy in the fourth century, then that mark has existed ever since. There is no escape from this conclusion.
3. All who have kept the law since that date, as changed by the beast, have been keeping the law of the beast, not the law of God; have been worshippers of the beast, not worshippers of God. Here is their own argument for it: Referring to the prophecy that the Papacy should "change times and laws," Dan. 7:25, which they claim the Pope fulfilled A.D. 364, by changing the Sabbath to Sunday, Elder Smith says: "When this is done [which is 1500 years ago], what do the people of the world have? They have two laws demanding obedience" - the law of God and the law of the Pope. If they keep the law of God, as given by Him, they worship and obey God. If they keep the law as changed by the Papacy, they worship that power.... For instance, if God says that the seventh day is the Sabbath, on which we must rest, but the Pope says that the first day is the Sabbath, and that we should keep this day, and not the seventh, THEN WHOEVER observes that precept as originally given by God, is thereby distinguished as a worshipper of God; and he who keeps it as changed is THEREBY MARKED as a follower of the power that made the change.... >From this conclusion no candid mind can dissent." Marvel of Nations, pages 174 and 175.
Then, for the past fifteen hundred years, all who have kept Sunday have been "marked" as followers of the beast and have worshipped him! From their own argument, does not this inevitably follow? Of course, it does. When they try to deny and evade this abominable conclusion, they simply contradict and stultify themselves. Either their argument is a fallacy, or else this conclusion must follow. Look at this hideous Moloch which they have set up to frighten the ignorant. The Pope in the fourth century changed the law of God by changing the Sabbath to Sunday. This change is the mark of the beast; whoever after that keeps the law as thus changed, is keeping not the law of God, but the Pope's law; is worshipping, not God, but the Pope. But all Christians for fifteen hundred years have kept Sunday, the Pope's Sabbath, the mark of the beast, and, as Smith says, were "thereby marked as followers of the power that made the change." From this conclusion there is no escape. And so all Sunday-keepers have had the mark of the beast, and have it now.
But they say that they do not teach that anyone as yet has had the mark of the beast. This shows the absurdity of their argument. Sunday-keeping is the mark of the beast, yet Sunday-keepers have not got the mark of the beast! For instance: I have a hundred counterfeit bills; I pay them out to fifty men in Otsego, and they take and keep them, yet not a man of them has a counterfeit bill! Isn't that clear - as mud? But they don't know that they are counterfeit bills, and so are not guilty for having them. But have they not got counterfeit bills for all that? Certainly. So, if Sunday-keeping is the mark of the beast, then every man that keeps Sunday has the mark of the beast, whether he knows it or not. God may not hold them guilty for it, but they have it just the same. Now, as soon as these fifty men are informed that their bills are counterfeit, are they not guilty if they use them after that? Yes. So, as soon as a man is informed that Sunday is the mark of the beast, if he keeps it after that has he not the mark of the beast as truly as ever he can have it? And if he still keeps Sunday voluntarily is he not just as guilty before God as though the law compelled him to keep it? Yes, and more so; because now he has no excuse, while then he could plead that he was compelled to do it. So, then, it needs no Sunday law to give men the mark of the beast. All Sunday-keepers have it already, and as soon as they are informed that Sunday is the mark of the beast, then they are guilty as worshipers of the beast. But Seventh-day Adventists have already informed thousands upon this point. Then if they have not the mark of the beast, why not? Surely I have been enlightened on it, and yet I keep Sunday, the Pope's Sabbath, the mark of the beast. Have I the mark of the beast? Let them answer if they dare. Remember that Luther, Milton, Baxter, Bunyan and Miller were all informed on the Sabbath question, and still wrote against it and kept Sunday. Reader, this Advent mark of the beast is an absurdity and only a scare-crow. Don't be frightened.
Even if the Pope did change the Sabbath to Sunday, that would not make Sunday HIS mark. The mark of any person was that which he used to mark things as belonging to him. In Bible times a master would put his mark on the right hand or forehead of his slaves. Heathen gods had their worshipers marked so. This custom is referred to and used here as an illustration. So the worshipers of the beast would be required to do something which would mark or distinguish them as his followers. But keeping Sunday does not distinguish a Catholic from members of other churches, for all churches keep Sunday - the Greek, Armenian, Lutheran, Episcopal, Methodist, etc. The Pope has never used Sunday to distinguish his followers from others, nor as proof of his authority as head of the church. He does point to the keys of St. Peter and his regular apostolic succession from him as proof of his authority. Says Dowling: "The Popes assert their divine right of supremacy in consequence of their claiming to be the successors of the Apostle Peter." History of Romanism, page 44. On this, not on Sunday-keeping, they base their claim of power. Some obscure catechism is quoted, claiming authority for the church to "command feasts and holy days," because that church has made Sunday holy. This falls infinitely short of making Sunday the proof of all their authority, the one "mark" of that church.
4. It is absurd to say that resting on Sunday is such a fearful crime as Adventists affirm. Hear Elder Smith: "Sunday-keeping must be the mark of the beast." "The reception of his mark must be something that involves the greatest offense that can be committed against God." Marvel of Nations, pages 170, 183. So keeping Sunday is more wicked than lying, stealing, or even murder or idolatry! Such a statement is monstrous. In the mind of any candid, thinking man, it must break down under the weight of its own absurdity.
Elder Smith himself stated this as clearly as need be: "It will evidently be some act or acts by which men will be required to acknowledge the authority of that image and yield obedience to its mandates." "So the mark of the beast, or of the Papacy, must be some act or profession by which the authority of that power is acknowledged." Marvel of Nations, pages 169, 172. Exactly; any act or acts by which men show their reverence for the beast or his image, any form of worship by which they acknowledge his authority, that would be worshipping the beast and his image and receiving his mark. Dr. Clarke says: "The Latin [Catholic] worship is the universal badge of distinction of the Latin church from all other churches on the face of the earth, and is, therefore, the only infallible MARK by which a genuine papist can be distinguished from the rest of mankind." On Rev. 13:16. This is the position taken by Protestants generally, and I believe it to be correct. A conformity to the system of worship set up by the Papacy, that great anti-Christian power, the image to the beast, would be worshipping the beast and his image and receiving his mark. To worship the beast is a great crime; but is it a crime to devote a day to God, even though the Bible has not required it? Surely not, for Paul says: "He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord." Romans 14:6. About doing this he says: "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Verse 5. So we are at liberty to regard Sunday unto the Lord, if we so choose. Hence, it cannot be a sin as Adventists claim, and so cannot be the mark of the beast.
The one great claim of Seventh-day Adventists is that they are preaching the three messages of Rev. 14:6-12. This is their constant theme. So the Mormons claim that Joe Smith preached this message. But there is not a particle of foundation for the claim in either case. Read the first message, verses 6,7. An angel is seen preaching the gospel to every nation, saying: "Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." This was fulfilled by the apostles and early Christians, as they preached the gospel to all nations. Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15. The angel in Rev. 14:6,7, is seen preaching the gospel to every nation, as Jesus commanded. Compare Paul's sermon to the idolatrous heathen at Lystra, Acts 14:15, with the words of the first message, Rev. 14:7, and they will be seen to be almost identical. Said Paul, We "preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein." So Rev. 14:7 says "Worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea." This, then, was a message to idolaters, announcing to them the living God who made all things, but of whom they had been ignorant. This is exactly what the early church preached to the heathen nations till idolatry was overthrown.
Paul says the gospel "was preached to every creature which is under heaven," Col. 1:23. This was before he died, and this exactly fulfilled Rev. 14:6,7. But the Advent work of 1844 was a small, local affair, limited to a few states; much less was it preached to all nations.
Adventists claim that Wm. Miller preached this message in 1840-4. He did no such thing. The burden of preaching was that the end of the world would come in 1843 and then in 1844. But he preached what failed both times, as we know. Does God send men to make such blunders as that? Miller did not preach the hour of judgment come. That was an afterthought, an interpretation put upon his work which was not thought of at the time.
It is claimed that the apostles could not have preached this message, as the judgment did not come in their day. Let us see. Jesus preached thus: "Now is the judgment of this world." John 12:31. Jesus said, "NOW is the judgment." Who will contradict him and say it wasn't? Peter said: "For the time IS COME that judgment must begin at the house of God." 1Pet. 4:17. Then the judgment did begin there. Here are two direct testimonies, and that is enough. So in exact harmony with these, the First Angel announces, "The hour of his judgment is come." Rev. 14:7. If anyone wants to see the truth, this is clear enough; if they don't want to, there is no use arguing with them further.
"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." What is Babylon, that great city? It is fully described in Rev. 17 and 18, and is regarded by all Protestants as the Roman church. Adventists themselves agree with this, though endeavoring to make Babylon also include the Protestant churches. Even with their view Babylon, "the great," must refer primarily to Rome, and only include other fallen churches as a secondary idea, as her daughters. Seventh-day Adventists claim that this message was preached by the Millerites in 1844. When the churches refused to believe Miller that the end of the world would come in 1844, and that he could tell the very day, then and for this unbelief all these churches were rejected of God and fell. Mrs. White says: "Satan has taken full possession of the church as a body....Their profession, their prayers, and their exhortations are an abomination in the sight of God." Early Writings, page 135. What awful thing had they done to fall so? Why, Miller said the world would end in 1844, and they said it wouldn't. He was wrong and they were right, but God rejected them and blessed the Millerites! This is a fair illustration of the egotism and inconsistency of the Adventists. Did they preach what Rev. 14:8 says? No! They said Babylon was fallen BECAUSE she rejected Millerism, but the message gives a far different reason. Babylon fell "because she made all nations drink of the wine of her fornication." The Bible gives one reason, Adventists give another. Did the Protestant churches in America in the short space of about five years, during Miller's preaching, and by simply rejecting his time-theory - did they thus make all nations drunk? The idea is absurd. This message must have a far deeper and broader meaning than this. So they never preached this message. Just a few of the churches in the eastern states heard and rejected Millerism; for all this the tens of millions of church members throughout the whole world, who never even so much as heard of Miller, were rejected of God! What an unreasonable position. Again, Babylon must at least include Rome. Did the Catholic church fall in 1844? No, for she fell ages ago, as every Protestant knows. So, then, the fall of Babylon does not mean what Adventists say, nor did they preach what the message says.
A thousand times more probable is the application of this message to the work of Luther and the Reformation. Till the time of Luther the Papal church was supposed to be the true church, and as such it ruled over the kings of earth and the consciences of men. Luther startled the world with the bold proclamation that the Roman church was the "Mother of harlots," "Babylon the great," of Rev. 17:1-6, and that she was fallen, as stated in Rev. 14:8; 18:1- 4. October 6, 1520, he published his famous book on the "Babylonish Captivity of the Church."
I will quote from D'Aubigne's History of the Reformation, Vol. II: "Luther had prepared a mine, the explosion of which shook the edifice of Rome to its lowest foundation. This was the publication of his famous book on the 'Babylonish Captivity of the Church,' which appeared on the 6th of October, 1520." Page 130. In it he said: "I know that the Papacy is none other than the kingdom of Babylon ." Page 131. "Christians are God's true people, led captive to Babylon." Page 133. "All the evils that afflicted Christendom, he sincerely ascribed to Rome." Page 138. Says Luther: "It is true that I have attacked the court of Rome; but neither you nor any man on earth can deny that it is more corrupt than Sodom." Page 139. "This Babylon, which is confusion itself." "Rome for many years past has inundated the world with all that could destroy both body and soul. The church of Rome, once the foremost in sanctity, is become the most licentious den of robbers, the most shameless of all brothels, the kingdom of sin, of death, and of hell." Page 140.
Here was a proclamation of the fall of Babylon, which was worthy of the name. Truly, Rome had made all nations drunk with her wine. She had ruled over all nations; had become rich; had lived in splendor; had killed the saints; had become the habitation of every evil spirit. All this is exactly portrayed in Rev. 17:1-6, where "Babylon the great," of Chapter 14:8. is more fully described. Then in Rev. 18:1-4 the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as noticed in Chapter 14:8, is more fully explained, but it is the same message. This fits Luther's work exactly.
Luther's message was a mighty cry, which enlightened the earth, announced the fearful corruptions of Rome, and called out of her millions of people, and gave to the world that mighty power, Protestantism. In all the history of the world such a mighty religious move had never before been seen. This was worthy of a notice in prophecy.
Consider this fact: While Adventists find hundreds of prophecies, whole chapters of them, applying to their little work, they find none foretelling the great religious movement of the Reformation which revolutionized the world! It illustrates how they interpret everything to fit themselves. No; the second message of Rev. 14:8, the fall of Babylon, applies to the Catholic church, not to Protestants, and was given three hundred and fifty years ago by Luther, not by the Millerites in 1844.
This warning against the worship of the beast and his image, and his mark, has been given by all the Protestant churches for the last three hundred years. Look at the multitude of books against popery and the corruptions of Catholicism. From press and pulpit has been thundered one continual warning against apostate Rome. Never was a prophecy more plainly fulfilled than this.
Seventh-day Adventists say that they are giving this message. Never was a claim more absurd.
1. They are mistaken entirely as to what the beast, image, and mark are, as I have shown.
2. According to their own showing, they have been preaching for seventy years against a thing which does not exist - the image, which they say is yet to be made!
3. That part of the message about the torment of the wicked, their smoke going up for ever and ever, etc., they never preach; for it is just what they don't believe.
4. Their egotistical claim that they are the only ones who "keep the commandments of God," is shown to be false in Chapter XX.
5. There are six angels mentioned in Rev. 14. If the first three represent messages of warning, then the other three do also; and, hence, there are yet three messages more to come after the Third Angels message! What do Adventists have to say about these? Nothing.
These few brief points are sufficient to show that their application of the three messages is entirely wrong.
Seventh-day Adventists claim that "the seal of God is his Holy Sabbath." Thoughts on Revelation, page 452. They are not sent to "seal" the 144,000 of Rev. 7:1-8 ready for translation. Not a soul living on earth when Jesus comes will be saved, unless he is thus sealed by keeping that day. Early Writings, page 11.
1. Does the Bible say that the Sabbath is the seal of God? No; this is another Adventist assumption which they claim to prove by a long, round-about, far-fetched set of inferences. It takes one of their ablest speakers an hour to make it appear even plausible when he has no opposition. Even then few can see through it.
2. The word "seal," as a noun and a verb, is used sixty-five times in the Bible, but not once is it said to be the Sabbath.
3. They argue that SIGN and SEAL are synonymous terms, meaning the same thing; and as the Sabbath is called a sign (Ex. 31:17), it is therefore a seal. To this I object, because (1) SEAL is never defined by the word SIGN, nor SIGN by the word SEAL; nor is one term ever given as the synonym for the other. I have carefully examined fourteen different dictionaries, lexicons and cyclopedias, and find no exception to this statement. (2) This original term for seal (Hebrew, 'chotham'; Greek, 'sphragis') is never rendered sign. (3) The original word for sign (Hebrew, 'oth'; Greek, 'semeion') is never rendered seal. Hence they are not synonymous terms.
4. Rom. 4:11 is used to prove that a sign is a seal; but it does not prove it. Anything may be put to two entirely different uses, as I may use my cane for a staff or for a pointer, but is therefore a staff and a pointer the same? No. So in Rom. 4:11, circumcision was used as a sign and also as a seal; but this does not prove that a sign is a seal. So the Sabbath is a sign. Ex. 31:17 Possibly God might also use it as a seal, but does he? Where is the proof? Nowhere.
5. The Sabbath was a sign between God and the children of Israel. Ex. 31:17. So was circumcision. Rom. 4:11. But neither is a sign to Christians.
6. The Sabbath was abolished at the cross. Col. 2:16. Hence it cannot be God's seal now.
7. If the Sabbath is God's seal with which he seals his people for translation, then every one who has the Sabbath is sealed and ready for translation. When God puts his seal upon a man, that must settle it that he is God's. So in Rev. 7:2-4, where the angel sealed a man with the seal of God, did he not thereby become one of the 144,000 who were "without fault?" Rev. 14:1-5. Yes. Then, if the Sabbath is the seal, all who keep it are sealed and ready for Heaven. But (1) the old Pharisees all kept the Sabbath strictly; (2) millions of Jews keep it now; (3) all Seventh-day Baptists keep it; (4) the Marion party, who bitterly oppose Seventh-day Adventists, all keep it; (5) many Seventh-day Adventists keep it who have been expelled from their churches for their sins. Are all these sealed and ready for salvation? No. Then the Sabbath as a seal, as the proof of God's favor, as a test of character and fitness for Heaven, fails entirely. Hence, it cannot be God's seal.
What then, is God's seal? It is plainly stated to be the Holy Spirit. Thus: "Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." IICor, 1:22. "In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." Eph. 1:13. "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Eph. 4:30. These texts are plain enough as to what the seal of the Lord is. It is the Holy Spirit. Strange that men will set aside these plain texts, and try by long, uncertain arguments to make out that the old Jewish Sabbath is the seal, when the Bible never says a word about it.
Adventists argue that the Sabbath is the seal to the decalogue. They say there is nothing else in the Ten Commandments to tell who gave that law. The assertion is utterly false. The very first words of the decalogue tell who gave it: "I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Ex. 20:2,3. This tells as plainly as possible who gave that law, and cuts up by the roots the Adventist argument on the seal. Now look at their "Law of God" chart. These words as God put them are left off. If left on they would clearly contradict the Advent argument.