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like herself, for she is called the mother of harlots. Therefore if the Catholic church is the harlot, then the Protestant churches, which came originally out of her, must be the daughters. They call themselves Protestants, that is protesters against the errors of the “mother church " and they trace their origin back to the Reformation and call themselves reformers. But what are they reformers of? Why, the errors in the mother church. But while Protestants protest against many things in the Roman Catholic Church which they hold to be wrong, nevertheless in nearly all the leading features of their faith and works they are agreed. For instance, the ministry in all of these great religious bodies is tugging away and pulling on the same rope, all trying to save what they call men's immortal souls. Now as men have no such things as immortal souls to save, it follows that the combined effort and labors of Protestant and Catholic priests, as well as the priests in the great religious systems of the world, go for nothing, and all the money that is spent in these religious bodies to that end, is thrown away. And the religious teachers who hold these errors have no power to either understand or to interpret the Scriptures.
But laying aside this spurious interpretation of this oracle of God, by which Protestant ministers attempt to foist upon the Catholic church the odium of being the harlot spoken of in the seventeenth chapter of the Book of the Revelation and elsewhere, we may say that, notwithstanding, both the Protestant and Catholic churches and their spiritual guides of the present day are subject to the veil that is spread over all nations, yet in neither of these great religious bodies is this harlot to be found; but instead, it is a manifestation in a future age, and not then among Gentiles but in the midst of the rebellious house of Israel in their own land.
THE DAUGHTERS OF THE HARLOT The daughters of the harlot are those nations in the latter days who mingle themselves with the house of Israel and who worship their gods, and who coöperate with God's evil family to trample his truth underfoot, to defile his holy house, the Temple, and to slay the righteous and shed the innocent blood. These nations, therefore, drink of the golden cup which she
. holds in her hand, which is full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication, or as Jeremiah testifies, “The nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad” (51:7). These nations therefore are themselves called women by the Prophet Ezekiel, who says of idolatrous Israel, “She became famous among women ” (23: 10); again, “They shall execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women" (Ezek. 16:41); and again, “That all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness (Ezek. 23:48). These nations coquette with faithless Israel, they drink of her wine, for which reason, after God has given to his own people the cup of his fury to drink thereof all the dregs of the same, the nations will be compelled to wring out the wine thereof, and drink it.
John says (verses 6-7), “I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw, I wondered with great astonishment.” That is, when he saw this gorgeous spectacle, he wondered with great admiration, mingled with astonishment; accordingly the angel said unto him, “Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will show thee the mystery of the woman and the beast which carrieth her, which hath seven heads and ten horns."
THE MYSTERY OF THE WOMAN AND THE BEAST (REV. 17:8-14) These mysteries, or riddles, of the woman and the beast can only be solved by the aid of the prophets. Therefore we read what the angel said to Daniel concerning the doings and movements of the beast at the time of the end, under the name of the king of the north, saying, “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south (the king of Egypt) push at him (at the king of Israel); and the king of the north (the Assyrian) shall come against him (that is against the king of Israel also) like a whirlwind with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships; and he (the Assyrian) shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land (the land of Palestine) and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom and Moab and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape, but he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (Dan. 11:40-45).
This prophecy constitutes the basis and furnishes the materials out of which comes the mystery of the woman and the mystery of the beast, as the angel stated it to John, saying in verse 8, “The beast which thou sawest, was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition."
the BEAST THAT WAS”
That is, he was king over Israel when he came up out of the sea and overflowed the land of Israel, and when the dragon king of Israel as a military necessity surrendered to him his power, and his seat (his throne) and great authority; then the Assyrian was their king. This is the time that "he was.”
AND WAS NOT
After the king of the north, the beast, has been established in Jerusalem as king, there will yet be the refractory Ethiopian head to be slain to death and conquered and brought into line, and Egypt also, which has been a strong antagonist of the king of the north, must be conquered, robbed, and spoiled (Dan. 11:42-43). Immediately after the beast leaves Jerusalem to go down into the bottomless pit of nations to chastise Ethiopia and to destroy Egypt, the king of Israel revolts and plucks up three of the horns of the beast by the roots, Edom, Moab, and Ammon, and subjects them to his own power (Dan. 11:41-44; Isa. 11:14). While this condition of things continues, the beast" is not," that is to say, he is not at this time king over
Israel. But tidings from the north and from the east, that is from the land of Israel on the north, and from the land of Edom, Moab, and Ammon on the east, trouble him (Dan. 11:44).
HE SHALL ASCEND OUT OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT
This saying is fulfilled when he comes up again from the scenes of his triumphs among the nations in the land of Egypt and Ethiopia, and when the Libyans and Ethiopians are at his steps and march with his conquering army. Then he goes forth with great fury to reëstablish his power and authority over Israel at Jerusalem, which he accomplishes successfully and establishes himself as king in the holy city the second time, as the angel spake to Daniel, saying, "He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas (the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea) in the glorious holy mountain" (Dan. 11:45).
"And they that dwell on the earth (that is the people of Israel) shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is" (Rev. 17:8). That is, "the wicked shall not understand, but the wise shall understand," which is as much as to say that the righteous who live in those times will have knowledge of these things, and therefore will not be surprised at what their eyes see, but the wicked will wonder when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
HE IS NOT, AND YET IS
Now when the beast goes down into Egypt and Ethiopia, it is then that it is said of him, "He is not, and yet is," which is to say that although he has gone down out of Israel's country among the nations, yet he still lives and will surely return again and reassert his authority and reign again over Israel, though but for a short time, after which he goes into perdition upon the mountains of Israel.
THE SEVEN HEADS (REV. 17:9)
'And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth." The seven heads of the beast are here, as well as in the prophets, called mountains. The names of these mountains, as we have already shown, are Meshech, Tubal, Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya, Gomer, and Togarmah. These are the seven heads of Gog, or the beast. They are seven great kingdoms in the earth in the latter days under the guardianship of Gog, and they come into the land of Israel by God's command and will first be employed as instruments to execute judgment upon the rebellious house of Israel; after that is done they go into perdition. These are the seven mountains on which the woman sitteth when she saith, “I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow."
The Dark Mountains
But these will prove dark mountains to her, wherefore the prophet saith,
Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and while ye look for light, he
turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness (Jer. 13:16). She sits on these mountains, that is she stays upon them, which is elsewhere called "staying upon the Assyrian.” These mountains convey no allusion whatever to the seven little hillocks on which the city of Rome is built, nor to the different forms of the Roman government, as many writers and commentators on these prophecies have erroneously set forth, who wrest the Scriptures to their own destruction.
AND THERE ARE SEVEN KINGS' (REV. 17:10) These seven kings must not be confounded with the seven heads, as they are commonly done by modern writers. The seven heads are heads of the beast. The seven kings are kings of mystical Babylon, that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth; that is, they are kings of Israel.
Five Are Fallen" At this certain point in the prophecy Israel will have a rapid succession of kings in the latter days when she draws near her last end. Kings of Israel are called shepherds; therefore the Lord saith of his evil shepherds, “ Three shepherds also I cut off in one month, and my soul loathed them and their soul also abhorred me” (Zech. 11:8). When the Lord pours out his plagues upon the kings, princes, priests, false prophets, and people of the land in that day, instead of their producing repentance, they abhor God and blaspheme his name because they are ripe for destruction, and their hearts are hardened, and their doom is sealed. The Lord speaks by the hand of Hosea (10:7-8) saying, "As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam upon the water, the high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed; the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars, and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us." This saying plainly indicates that this prophecy relates to the latter days of Israel. Again this prophet saith (7:7), “They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen." That is, five are fallen, which is the number of Israel's own kings up to this point in the prophecy.
And One Is ” This one that is king at the time where this saying applies is the sixth king, but he is not of Israel's own people. The sixth king is the Assyrian, as is testified by the prophet saying, “ The Assyrian shall be your king.”.
"And the Other Is not yet Come" This is the seventh and last king of Israel who is of their own brethren, " and when he cometh he must continue a short space.”
The Eighth King “And the beast that was and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition." That is, the beast is king twice, he is the sixth, and is therefore one of the seven. But the beast, the sixth king, goes down to Egypt and Ethiopia, and while absent upon that invasion of the southern countries, the king of Israel revolts from under the beast and is exalted as king of Israel. This king is the seventh. But the beast returns from invading and making an inroad in the south with great fury, and speedily recovers to himself his lost position as king over Israel. This constitutes him the eighth king, and inasmuch as he is king twice, therefore it is said (verse 11), “And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven (that is, he was the sixth) and goeth into perdition.”
When the beast has attained to the position of the eighth king over mystical Babylon, he is then approaching near to his end, as the man clothed in linen said to Daniel (11:45), “He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain ; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him," or as it is said in the Revelation, that he then goes into perdition.
Some writers in attempting to solve these riddles, where it is said, “The beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth,” mistake this saying, as though it referred to another head of the beast, thus making eight heads to the beast, instead of seven. This is an error, there is no such thing as eight heads in this prophecy. The beast has only seven heads, and they are called by their proper names; this is not spoken of heads of the beast, but of kings over Babylon. The beast is the eighth and last king over Israel, and thence he goeth into perdition.
The Ten HORNS (REV. 17:12-17) We come next to consider the horns of the beast. These horns are the old neighbors of Israel who, as well as herself, will be revived again in the latter days. These horns will be allied with the Assyrian and will be employed by him to thrust at Israel in the day of her calamity, and to tear them in pieces, and to destroy and burn Jerusalem with fire. Their names are recorded in the eighty-third Psalm, as we have before proved when treating of the visions of John as interpreted by the prophets, and are as follows: “Edom, and the Ishmaelites; Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur (that is, the Assyrian) also is joined with them; they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah." These provinces will be erected into kingdoms with kings appointed over them, and crowned as John saw them, saying, “ I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns.”
(Rev. 17:12-13) “And the ten horns which thou sawest, are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet, but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast." This is just what is testified of them in the eighty-third Psalm (verse 5) saying, “For they have consulted together with one consent," or as the marginal reading has it, “with one heart.” That is, they have one mind, as it is written in the Revelation, and give their power and strength unto the beast, or as it is said in the Psalm, Assur is joined with them.” They are confederate together, and their declared purpose is to utterly annihilate the house of Israel, including the remnant,