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The Revelation

of [ST.] JOHN [THE DIVINE]*





EXPLANATORY NOTE

This posthumous work of Pastor Russell (arranged for use as a textbook) is much condensed, including the extracts from the Pastor's pen, all of which are referred back to his works. The abbreviations used are:

A, B, C, D,E, FThe six preceding volumes of "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES".
(Citations to E in italic figures refer to old editions, figures in ordinary type to later editions.)
B. S. M..........."THE BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY."
H....................."What Say the Scriptures ABOUT HELL?"
P-D................. "PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION" Scenario.
T....................."TABERNACLE SHADOWS."
S....................."SPIRITISM" Pamphlet.
Z......................"ZION'S WATCH TOWER," followed by year and page.

The citations to REVELATION and EZEKIEL refer to the comments herein, as well as to the Bible text.
Other abbreviations used are:

Barnes..........Barnes' "Revelation".
Brit................."Encyclopedia Britannica."
Buck..............Buck's "Theological Dictionary".
Coffin............Coffin's "Story of Liberty".
Cook.............Cook's "Revelation" ; a compendium of the presentations of seventy-two leading commentators on Revelation, in all languages and all ages of the Church.
Edgar............Edgar's "Pyramid Passages". Vol. II.
McC...............McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia.
Mosheim......Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History.
S. B. D...........Smith's Bible Dictionary.
Smith.............Smith's "Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation".
Weym............Weymouth's New Testament in Modern Speech.



REVELATION 6

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SIX SEALS AND THE PAPACY

6:1. And I saw. — "God does not display His plans to satisfy mere idle curiosity. If we would comprehend what is revealed within the scroll we must be sincerely desirous of knowing the details of God's Plan in order to an earnest co-operation with it. Such, and such only, are worthy to know, and such only ever come to see, in the sense of understanding and appreciating, the deep things of God written within the scroll. Such are the righteous for whom the light (Truth) is sown. This worthiness is inquired for not only at the beginning, but all along the path of light If we are not found worthy by the various tests applied from time to time, we cannot proceed in the path of light; and unless the unfaithful ones arouse themselves to greater diligence and watchfulness, the light that already is in them will become darkness. And how great, how intense must be the darkness of one cast out of light! (Matt 6:23.)" — Z.'02-332.
When the Lamb opened. — "The opening of the seals has progressed during all the Gospel Age. It has required all of the present Age and will require all of the next Age to complete the Plan. We may suppose that the Lord Jesus was made aware of all its features after His ascension to the presence of Jehovah. The Master declared that as the Father revealed them unto Him, so would He reveal them unto us." — Z.'16-253; Rev. 5:5-9.
One of the SEVEN seals. — "Each seal as it was loosed permitted the scroll as a whole to open a little wider, and a little wider, thus permitting 'the mystery of God' to be a little more clearly discerned." — Z.'97-257.
And I heard [as it were the noise of thunder]. — The roar of a Lion.
One of the four beasts. — Justice, typified by the Lion. — Rev. 4:7.
Saying, AS IT WERE THE NOISE OF THUNDER, Come and see. — Come and see Infinite Justice permitting one of the greatest acts of injustice ever perpetrated.
6:2. And I saw. — John beheld in vision the first strange and wonderful feature of the Divine plan for the permission of evil as it related to epochs of the Church, beyond his own epoch — that of Smyrna.
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And behold a white horse. — The doctrines, teachings of the Lord and the Apostles recognized as the one and only rule of faith and practice of God's Church.
And he that sat on him. — The Bishop of Rome, the embryo Pope, the personal representative of Satan.
Had a bow. — "They bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not Me, saith the Lord." — Jer. 9:3.
And a crown. — Great honor and authority in the Church. Was given unto him. — "Under the reign of Constantine (who murdered his own son in the same year in which he convened the Council of Nice) the opposition of the empire to Christianity gave way to favor, and the Imperial Pontifex Maximus became the patron of the professed but really apostate Church of Christ; and, taking her by the hand, he assisted her to a place of popularity and splendor from which she was able afterward, as the imperial power grew weak, to put her own representatives upon the religious throne of the world as Chief Religious Ruler — Pontifex Maximus." — B290.
And he went forth conquering, [and to conquer] AND HE CONQUERED. — Thus we see the apparent defeat of Infinite Justice in this first epoch. Apparently, God forsook His Church, having jeopardized all its interests by placing the power in the hands of a self-seeking ecclesiastical system. But worse things are coming!
6:3. And when He had opened the second seal. — Revealing the second period of the history of the Antichrist.
I heard the second beast. — Infinite Power. See Rev. 4:7.
Say, Come and see. — Come and see Infinite Power consenting to a thing apparently in victorious opposition to it.
6:4. And I beheld and lo there went out another horse. — A creed-horse, quite different from the Scriptures which it misrepresented.
That was red. — The color of sin — imperfection. "Though, your sins be as scarlet." — Isa. 1:18.
And power was given to him that sat thereon. — The same rider, the Antichrist.
To take peace from the earth. — To embroil in controversy those who were under religious restraint — in other words, the entire professed church of God.
And that they should kill one another. — Depose and destroy one another as teachers, by inveighing the Roman power against all offenders.
And there was given unto him a great sword. — As the Lord has a great and powerful sword, the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17), and as it
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is represented as coming out of His mouth, so the Papacy has a great and powerful sword, in opposition to the Sword of the Spirit, and it, too, comes out of Papacy's mouth. [The word here is different from Rev. 1:16 and refers to the butcher knife — Gen. 22:6, 10.] "The pope (each pope in his turn) is the head of the false church, which is his body, even as Christ Jesus is the Head of the true Church, which is His Body. Since the head is the representative of the body, and its mouth speaks for the body, we find, as we should expect, this feature of Antichrist prominently referred to in the Scriptures. In Daniel 7:8, 11, 25, and Rev. 13:5, 6, the mouth of Antichrist is brought specially to our notice as a leading characteristic." — B304.
This period, beginning with the year 325 A. D. and extending to the year 539, was the period of formation of creeds. "Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings." (Josh. 10:24.) Once they were very powerful, but they are quite harmless now. The Lord (Joshua-Savior) has humbled them all by His own Sword of the Spirit in the hands of Pastor Russell.
"Neither Luke in the Acts of the Apostles, nor any ecclesiastical writer before the fifth century, makes mention of an assembly of the Apostles for the purpose of forming a creed. Had the Apostles composed it, it would have been the same in all churches and ages. But it is quite otherwise." (McC.) So much for the well-known "Apostle's Creed," which, it is alleged, "comprehends the leading articles of the faith in the triune God."
But this was not triune enough, so the Nicene Creed improved the matter, A. D. 325:

"We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, Only-begotten, that is of the substance of the Father; God of God: Light of Light; very God of very God; begotten, not made; of the same substance with the Father; by whom all things were made, both things in Heaven and things in earth; who for us men and our salvation became flesh, was made man. suffered, and rose again the third day. He ascended into Heaven; He cometh to judge the quick and dead. And in the Holy Ghost. But those that say there was a time when He was not; or that He was not before He was begotten; or that He was made from that which had no being; or who affirm the Son of God to be of any other substance or essence, or created, or variable, or mutable, such persons doth the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematize."

Fifty-six years later, at the second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, A. D. 381, the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed was put on the market:

"I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven
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end earth, and of all things visible and invisible: and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who (or us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, He Buffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose Kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son. who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spake by the Prophets. And I believe in the one catholic and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come."

This did very well until the fourth Ecumenical Council, A. D. 451, when the Chalcedon Creed was worked up. But very little is said about this creed nowadays; for "the two parties in the council were roused to the highest pitch of passion, the proceedings, especially during the early sessions, were very tumultuous, until the lay commissioners and the senators had to urge the bishops to keep order, saying that such vulgar outcries were disgraceful." However, we give it for what it is worth:

"We confess and with one accord teach one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, perfect in the divinity, perfect in the humanity, truly God and truly man, consisting of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the manhood; in all things like unto us, sin only excepted who was begotten of the Father before all ages, according to the Godhead; and in the last days the same was born, according to the manhood, of Mary the Virgin, Mother of God, for us and for our salvation; who is to be acknowledged one and the same Christ, the Son, the Lord, the Only Begotten in two natures, without mixture, change, division or separation; the difference of natures not being removed by their union, but rather the propriety of each nature being preserved and concurring in one person and in one hypostasis, so that He is not divided into two persons, but the only Son, the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, and one and the same person."

A merciful oblivion has hidden the name and the date of authorship of the next creed, the Athanasian, the cream of all the creeds; hut it was probably manufactured by Satan for use about 539 A, D. By 570 A. D. it had become very famous. "The creed is received in the Greek, Roman and English churches, but is left out of the service of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America," The nature
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of this creed may be judged by the following extract from an 1855 issue of the Church, of England Quarterly:

"The Athanasian Creed finds few real lovers as a portion of a public service. No one supposes that it was the work of Athanasius. [Athanasius originated the monastery-convent system. He was the Bishop of Alexandria and friend of the Emperor Constantine who caused the banishment of Arius.] No one is now, at least among us, in any danger from the errors it denounces; for no one believes that all the members of the Greek Church are necessarily consigned to everlasting damnation; and thus, every time the creed is read, the officiating minister has solemnly to enunciate what neither he nor any of his hearers believes. It is true that by distinguishing between the creed itself and the damnatory clauses he may save himself, mentally, from declaring a falsehood; but surely this is reason enough for the removal of the creed from our Liturgy. We have had too much in our Church of mental reservations. So far as the doctrine of the Trinity is concerned, it is abundantly insisted on in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds."

It seems almost incredible that any one seriously believed the following amazing statements:

"Whoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith, which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all one; the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal. As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty. And yet there are not three almighties, but one almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet there are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords, but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say there be three Gods and three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son. not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after other; none is greater or less than another. But the whole three persons are co-eternal together, and co-equal. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped.
"He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity. Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that
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he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of His mother, born in the world. Perfect God and perfect man, or a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood. Who. although He be God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into Heaven; He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty. From whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again in their bodies, and shall account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic faith which, except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen."

This put an end to the business of creed making, Satan's powers of concocting gibberish to take the place of the Bible having been temporarily quite exhausted. But a thousand years later the "Creed of Pope Pius IV" was issued in the form of a bull in December, 1564. "AH bishops, ecclesiastics, and teachers in the Romish church, as well as all converts from Protestantism, publicly profess assent to it." It follows:

"I, A. B., believe and profess with a firm faith all and every one of the things which are contained in the symbol of faith which is used in the Holy Roman Church; namely, I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true Cod, begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was burled, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose kingdom there will be no end; and in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Life-giver, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who, together with the Father and the Son, is adored and glorified, who spake by the holy prophets; and one holy catholic and apostolic church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins; and I expect the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. I most firmly admit and embrace apostolical and ecclesiastical traditions, and all other constitutions and observances of the same church. 1 also admit the sacred Scriptures according to the sense which the holy mother church has held and does hold, to whom it belongs to judge of
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the true sense and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures; nor will I ever take or interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the fathers.
"I profess, also, that there are truly and properly seven sacraments of the new law, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and for the salvation of mankind, though all are not necessary for every one — namely, baptism, confirmation, eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders, and matrimony, and that they confer grace; and of these, baptism, confirmation, and order cannot be reiterated without sacrilege. I do also receive and admit the ceremonies of the Catholic Church, received and approved in the solemn administration of all the above-said sacraments. I receive and embrace all and every one of the things which have been defined and declared in the holy Council of Trent concerning sin and justification. I profess likewise that in the mass is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; and that in the most holy sacrament of the eucharist there is truly, really and substantially the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that there is made a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, which conversion the Catholic Church calls Transubstantiation. I confess, also, that under either kind alone, whole and entire, Christ and a true sacrament is received. I constantly hold that there is a purgatory, and that the souls detained therein are helped by the suffrages or the faithful. Likewise that the saints reigning together with Christ are to be honored and invocated, that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be venerated.
"I most firmly assert that the images of Christ, and of the Mother of God, ever Virgin, and also of the other saints, are to be had and retained, and that due honor and veneration are to be given to them. I also affirm that the power of indulgences was left by Christ in the Church, and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people. I acknowledge the holy catholic and apostolic Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all churches; and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman bishop, the successor of St. Peter, prince of the apostles and vicar of Jesus Christ. I also profess and undoubtedly receive all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred canons and general councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent; and likewise I also condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies whatsoever condemned, rejected, and anathematized by the Church. This true catholic faith, out of which none can be saved, which I now freely profess and. truly hold, I, A. B., promise, vow, and swear most constantly to hold, and profess the same whole and entire, with God's assistance to the end of my life; and to procure, as far as lies in my power, that the same shall be held, taught, and preached by all who are under me, or are intrusted to my care, by virtue of my office. So help me God, and these holy Gospels of God. Amen."

The less Bible, the more Creed, and the thicker and blacker the darkness! Bible students will not fall to notice the progressive darkness of these creeds. Incarnation is first mentioned in the third creed, mariolatry in the fourth, and trinity and purgatory in the fifth.
in the Millennial Age the creed-formers will feel like adding a postscript to their work, reading about as follows:
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"P. S. — We have had our eyes opened and now see that Jesus was the Alpha, the Beginning of the creation of God, and the Omega, the Last of the Father's direct creation (Rev. 22:13; 1:8); that as the Logos, or Representative of the Father, He was a God (mighty one) but not the God, Jehovah (John 1:1); that all things were made by Him (John 1:3); that Jehovah sent His Son to save mankind (1 John 4:10); that! the Logos was made flesh (John 1:14) and in the days of His flesh (Heb. 5:7) became poor (2 Cor. 8:9), lower than the angels (Heb. 2:9), a servant (Phil. 2:7), a man (Phil. 2:8); that while a man He did not have all wisdom (Luke 2:52) but admitted the Father's greater power (John 14:28) and knowledge (Matt. 24:36); that as the Father had previously said that He would give His own personal glory to no one (Isa. 42:8), so Jesus admitted He and the Father were two separate persons (John 8:17, 18); that He admitted He had not the glory of the Father (John 17:5) and expected the same unity between the Church and the Father as existed between Himself and the Father (John 17:21-23); that when He died He was really, truly, completely dead, as dead as though He had never previously existed (1 Cor. 15:3; Rev. 1:18); that God raised Him from the dead (Acts 2:24; Gal. 1:1); highly exalted Him (Phil. 2:9) to Divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4); making Him the express image of Himself (Heb. 1:3); but that even since His resurrection our Father is still Jesus' Father and our God is still His God (John 20:17); that a thousand years hence Jesus will still be subject to the Father (1 Cor. 15:28); that to us there is but one God (1 Cor. 8:6) and that every doctrine that confesseth that Jesus Christ when He came in the flesh came as anything more or less than a fleshly being is the spirit of Antichrist which dictated every one of the creeds aforementioned (1 John 4:3)."
6:5. And when He had opened the third seal. — Disclosing the third epoch in the history of Antichrist
I heard the third beast. — Infinite Love.
Say, Come and see. — Come and see the apparently complete triumph of the powers of darkness and the apparent inaction of Infinite Love in permitting it.
And I beheld, and lo, a black horse. — Complete disregard of the Scriptures by clergy and people alike, and in their place the ugly creeds and bulls of popes and councils.
And he that sat on him. — The same rider, the Antichrist.
Had a pair of balances in his hand. — "Balance joined with symbols denoting the sale of corn and fruits by weight, becomes the symbol of scarcity; bread by weight being a curse in Lev. 26:26 and in Ezek. 4:16,17." (McC.)
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During this period the common people could have in their own tongue only a few words or verses of the Scriptures; and for these they were obliged to pay large sums to the clergy, who alone had the ability to translate from the dead languages, or even to read at all. As the services were in Latin the people were starved spiritually.
6:6. And I heard AS IT WERE a voice. — The message of the Lord Jesus, the Guardian and Caretaker of the true Church. — Matt. 28:20.
In the midst of the four beasts. — "in the midst of the Throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the ciders, stood a Lamb." — Rev. 5:6.
Say, A measure. — "The word chenix denotes a measure containing one wine quart and a twelfth part of a quart."  — Diaglott.
Of wheat. — The true children of the Kingdom. — C137.
For a penny. — "A denarius was the day-wages of a laborer in Palestine (Matt. 20:2, 9)." (Diaglott.) These wages, a little more than a quart of wheat for a day's work, show how great was the effort, in those dark and terrible days, to find some "grains of wheat," — Amos 8:11.
And three measures. — Three chenices, three quarts.
Of barley. — Spiritual adulterers and adulteresses, courting the friendship of the world. (Jas. 4:4) Barley is the symbol of the adulteress as wheat is the symbol of the virgin. — Num. 5:15; Hos. 3:1, 2.
For a penny. — For a denarius. It was three times as easy to find the faithless as the faithful.
And see thou hurt not the oil. — The supply of the oil, the Holy Spirit of full submission to the will of God was low; the light of the true Church was feeble indeed.
And the wine. — Wine is a symbol of doctrine, true or false, and its accompanying joys. In this case it refers to the true doctrines of the Kingdom. But little knowledge of the coming Kingdom was prevalent then, and the Joys of the Church were proportionately small. (See comments on Rev. 2:12-17, synchronous with events of second and third seals.)
Lest it be supposed that the Roman Catholic church is now different from what it once was, and that at present it is holding to the Scriptures, we quote the following from Strength of Will by E. Boyd Barrett, of the Society of the Jesuits, approved by the Roman Catholic censor, Remy Lafort, and approved by John, Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York, November 24th, 1915:
"Catholic ascetics teach us, in this matter, first of all to have a clear and definite view of the object we propose to ourselves — let us suppose that it is to overcome
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the passion of anger. Now the resolution, 'not to give way to anger' would be far too broad and too great Applying the principle, 'divide et impera,' we content ourselves with resolving 'not to give way to external manifestations of anger.' But here again, our resolution is too broad and too great. We again apply the principle, 'divide et impera,' and resolve 'not to give way to angry retorts.' This resolution is pointed, definite and intelligible — it means that cross and peevish remarks must not occur. A time limit may now be added in order to make the resolution still more well-defined: 'Until the last day of this month I will not make an angry retort' Possibly, it might be advisable to limit this resolution still more, by conditions of place or circumstance, adding 'in such a place or to such a person, or during such a ceremony.'" Simple! All you have to do is to keep dividing.
6:7. And when He had opened the fourth seal. — Disclosing the history of the Papacy in its fourth stage, the period synchronizing with the Thyatira and Sardis epochs. See Rev. 2:18-29; 3:1-6.
I heard the voice of the fourth beast. — Infinite Wisdom.
Say, Come and see. — Come and see what would seem to be the most unwise thing the Lord could possibly permit to happen to His Church.
6:8. And I looked, and behold a pale horse. — The ghastly and horrible teachings that God's true people must be "exterminated." "The ghastly green of terror and of death. The word is used of grass in Rev. 8:7; 9:4; Mark 6:39." — Cook.
And his name that sat on him was Death. — Still the same rider, the Papacy; and an apt description of its chief claim to recognition during the pre-Reformation period.
"Pope Innocent III. first sent missionaries to the districts in which the doctrines had gained foothold, to preach Romanism, work miracles, etc.; but, finding these efforts unavailing, he proclaimed a crusade against them and offered to all who would engage in it the pardon of all sins and an immediate passport to Heaven without passing through purgatory. With full faith in the pope's power to bestow the promised rewards, half a million men — French, German and Italian — rallied around the standard of the cross, for the defence of Catholicism and the extinction of heresy. Then followed a series of battles and sieges covering a space of twenty years. The city of Beziers was stormed and taken in 1209, and the citizens, without regard for age or sex, perished by the sword to the number of sixty thousand, as reported by several historians. The blood of those who fled to churches, and
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were murdered there by the holy crusaders, drenched the altars and flowed through the streets. It is estimated that one hundred thousand Albigenses fell in one day; and their bodies were heaped together and burned. The clergy thanked God for the work of destruction, and a hymn of praise to God for the glorious victory was composed and sung." — B335.
And Hell followed with him. — All the people killed by the pope went to hell, and he himself went there also; but none of them went to the kind of hell to which the pope thought he was sending them. They went to the Bible hell, which is a place quite different from what is supposed. The average man believes in hell, but thinks few people go there and that nobody knows much about it. The Bible is the only authority on the subject, and no one can know anything about it, aside from the Bible. When we consider Christ's statement that unless a man loves Him more than "father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:26) and reflect that probably not one professed Christian in a hundred has reached either this standard or the other one which He set in the same chapter, that "Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:33), it should make us willing to consider carefully what is to become of the 9,999 out of every 10,000 of earth's population that do not meet these conditions.
We all know that "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God" (Psa. 9:17); but how many of us know that they will be re-turned there; that the passage, correctly translated, reads, "The wicked shall be returned into hell, all the nations that forget God" — showing that there are nations which go into hell once, come out of hell, learn of God, forget Him and are returned there? We may all know (Jude 11) that Korah, or Core, went to hell; but how many of us know that he was accompanied to this place by his house, with all his house-hold goods, and two other establishments similarly equipped? (Num. 16:32, 33.) We may all know that the Sodomites went to hell (Gen. 19), but how many know that they were accompanied by the city in which they lived and that there are other cities there? (Matt. 11:23.) We may all suppose that many heathen warriors of long ago went to hell, but how many of us know that they took with them their weapons of war, and that their swords are there now, under their heads, with what is left of their bones? (Ezek. 32:27.) We may understand that the wealthy go to hell, but how many know that in the
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same place are sheep, gray hairs, worms, dust, trees and water? — Psa. 49:14; Gen. 44:31; Job 17:13-16; Ezek. 31:16.
We may all know that bad men go to hell, but how many of us know that the Ancient Worthies, Jacob and Hezekiah, fully expected to go there, and that faithful Job prayed to go there? (Gen. 37:35; Job 14:13.) We may all wish to keep out of hell, but how many of us know that David said there is not a man that liveth that shall deliver his soul from its power, and that Solomon says, thou goest there, whosoever thou art? (Psa. 89:48; Eccl. 9:10.) We may think that those who go to hell go there to stay forever, but how many of us know that Samuel said, "The Lord killeth and maketh alive; He bringeth down to hell and bringeth up" out of hell, and that David said, God has the same power to aid those in hell that He has to bless those in Heaven? 1 Sam. 2:6; Psa. 139:8.) We may think that those who go into hell never come out, and that there is no record that any have come out, yet there are at least two persons in history who have been in hell and come out of hell. One is Jonah, who prayed in hell and was delivered from hell (Jonah 2:2), and the other is Christ, whose soul went to hell, but "His soul was not left in hell," for God raised Him up out of it. (Acts 2:31.) And when Christ came out of hell He brought with Him "The keys of hell" and now has the power and the right to set all its captives free. (Rev. 1:18.) We may suppose that hell is to last forever, but the Prophet speaks of its coming destruction, and John the Revelator says that it is to be made to "deliver up the dead" which are in it, and it, itself, is to be destroyed. (Hosea 13:14; Rev. 20:13.) The last passage cited affords the explanation of the whole subject, for la the margin opposite Rev. 20:13 the translators have explained that the word "hell" means "grave." Reversely, in the margin opposite 1 Cor. 15:55, the translators have explained that "grave" means "hell." The terms are interchangeable and the meaning is the same. in every place foregoing in which the citations appear in italic type, the translators have rendered Sheol or Hades by "grave" or "pit" instead of "hell." In the margins of the old family Bibles, printed before Pastor Russell was born, we are told in seven places, and in both ways, in both the Old Testament and the New, that hell means the grave, and the grave means hell. — Psa. 49:15; 55:15; 86:13; Isa. 14:9; Jonah 2:2; 1 Cor. 15:55; Rev. 20:13.
And power was given unto them. — To his Holiness, the Pope, and all the cardinals, bishops, archbishops, priests, inquisitors, kings and rulers.
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Over the fourth part of the earth. — Over Europe, but not over Asia, Africa or America.
To kill with sword, and [with hunger] FAMINE and [with] death. — The destruction of New Creatures by wresting of the Scriptures and their spiritual starvation are here in evidence; but there was also a literal fulfilment "Human and Satanic ingenuity were taxed to their utmost to invent new and horrible tortures, for both the political and religious opponents of Antichrist; the latter — heretics — being pursued with tenfold fury. Besides the common forms of persecution and death, such, as racking, burning, drowning, stabbing, starving and shooting with arrows and guns, fiendish hearts meditated how the most delicate and sensitive parts of the body, capable of the most excruciating pain, could be affected; molten lead was poured into the ears; tongues were cut out and lead poured into the mouths; wheels were arranged with knife blades attached so that the victim could be slowly chopped to pieces; claws and pincers were made red hot and used upon sensitive parts of the body; eyes were gouged out; finger nails were pulled off with red hot irons; holes, by which the victim was tied up, were bored through the heels; some were forced to jump from eminences onto long spikes fixed below, where, quivering with pain, they slowly died. The mouths of some were filled with gunpowder, which, when fired, blew their heads to pieces; others were hammered to pieces on anvils; others, attached to bellows, had air pumped into them until they burst; others were Choked to death with mangled pieces of their own bodies; others with urine, excrement, etc., etc." — B346.
And with the beasts of the earth. — The evil governments. "Kings and princes who trembled for the security of their crowns, if they to any extent incurred the pope's displeasure, were sworn to exterminate heresy, and those barons who neglected to aid in the work of persecution forfeited their estates. Kings and princes, therefore, were prompt to comply with the mandates of the Papacy, and the barons and their retainers were at their service, to aid in the work of destruction." — B333.
6:9. And when He had opened the fifth seal. — Disclosing the Reformation in the days of Luther. See Rev. 3:7-13.
I saw under the altar. — Altars were originally made of earth. (Ex. 20:24.) To see under the altar is to see underground, in the tomb, the grave. At the bottom of the brazen altar all the blood of the victim was poured. — Lev. 4:7; 8:15; Heb. 8:5; 13:10; Phil. 2:17; 2 Tim. 4:6.
The souls. — The beings of those who had died. These souls were not in Heaven.
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Of [them] MEN that were slain. — Spiritually beheaded (some of them literally, also). — Rev. 20:4.
For. — Dia, "through" or "by means of."
The Word of God. — "Of His own will begat He us with the Word of Truth." (James 1:18.) It is this Sword of the Spirit that cuts us off from the world. — Heb. 4:12.
And for the testimony. — "And through the testimony"; through the Word of God. The word dia is here used again. It is the Word that does the beheading.
Which they held. — As witnesses in their hearts (Rom. 8:16) and to which they adhered at any cost.
6:10. And they cried with a loud voice. — Not actually, but in the same way that the voice of Abel's blood cried from the ground. — Gen. 4:10.
Saying, How long, O Lord. — How long will it be from this particular time, the Spring of 1518? — Rev. 3:7.
Holy and true. — See Rev. 3:7; 1 John 6:20; Mark 1:24.
[Dost] WILT Thou not judge. — Deliver us from the tomb. The judges of old were deliverers. — Judges 3:9-11.
And avenge our blood. — Cast off from all favor a system of nominal Christianity which is not Christianity at all.
On them that dwell on the earth. — On these that are "Of the earth, earthy." — Rev. 17:5; 3:10; 8:13; 13:8, 14. "The answer is given by the angel of the waters. See Rev. 16:4-7." (Cook.) Quite true. The answer is in Vol. Ill of Scripture Studies.
6:11. And [white robes were] THERE WAS given unto [every one] EACH of them a white robe. — "God's grace cannot admit to heavenly perfection those who have not robes of spotless righteousness. How gracious is the provision of our God in thus presenting us with the Robe which covers all the repented-of blemishes of the past as well as the unintentional and unwitting imperfections of the present!" — Z.'11-342; Rev. 3:4, 5; 19:8.
And it was said unto them. — Not actually, but by the teachings of the parallel dispensations, which show that as Christ was raised from the dead in A. D. 33, the sleeping saints would be raised 1845 years later, in the Spring of 1878. See Rev. 3:14, 20.
That they should rest yet for a little season. — Greek Chronos, 360 years. See Rev. 2:21. This is the item which Pastor Russell had in mind in the following footnote: "When, in a succeeding volume, we examine the wonderful visions of the Revelator, it will be clearly seen that the time here pointed out by the word 'henceforth,' as marked by events, synchronizes closely with 1878, as indicated by the prophecies herein noted." (C24l.) Luther nailed the proclamation on the church door at Wittenberg
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Oct. 31, 1517, which was already one month into the year 1518, Jewish reckoning. But it took some time for the news to travel to all parts of Europe. Three hundred and sixty years from the Spring of 1518 brings us to the Spring of 1878, when we understand that God's promise made to the sleeping saints was fulfilled. They were raised from the dead, and Babylon was cast off.
Until their fellowservants also. — The other members of the Little Flock, all bond-slaves of Jesus. — Gal. 6:17, Diaglott, footnote.
And their brethren. — Fellow-believers, the Great Company.
That should be killed BY THEM as they were. — Similarly make covenants of consecration to the Lord. — Rev. 6:9.
Should be fulfilled. — Should be filled full, completed in number. "The Gospel age is for the very purpose of calling those who shall participate in the marriage feast. If, therefore, it be true that we are in the end of this Gospel age, it implies that a sufficient number of worthy guests have been found, or, to reverse the proposition, if a sufficient number of worthy guests have now been found, it proves that we are in the close of this age. It was after the wedding had been furnished with a proper number of guests, that 'the King came in' and began the inspection of the guests. This, we have elsewhere shown, marks the date April, 1878." — Z.'98-137.
6:12. And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal. — Disclosing the events leading up to and associated with the Lord's Parousia, presence.
And, [lo,] there was a great earthquake. — Literally, the great Lisbon earthquake, Nov. 1, 1755, which extended over 4,000,000 square miles; shocked all Africa and Western Europe, including Scandinavia and Greenland; slew 90,000 persons in Lisbon and many thousands elsewhere; destroyed every church and convent in the city; caused a tidal wave 60 feet high; split mountains from top to bottom; sunk an immense area to a depth of 600 feet and threw sailors to the decks hundreds of miles at sea. It is believed to be the most severe earthquake shock ever felt on the earth. Symbolically, the American Revolution, 21 years later (the underlying cause of the French Revolution); the most successful and most extraordinary movement upward of the lower strata of human society that had ever been seen in the world up to that time. God has so written Revelation that those who will not accept the symbolical significance of what is expressly declared to be a symbolical book (Rev. 1:1) may find literal fulfillments, and thus lose the light they would otherwise get.
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And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair. — Literally to the dark day of May 19, 1780, which extended ever 320,000 square miles. (D587.) Symbolically, the light of the papal heavens (the pope) became darkened when Napoleon fined the Pope ten million dollars, organized the Papal territory into a republic and took the Pope a prisoner to Prance. (C41, 55.) Symbolically, too, the light of the true heavens, the Gospel light, the Truth, and thus Christ Jesus, has become hidden from view of many by the denial of the clergy of our day that we were bought with the precious blood and by the teaching of the theory of Evolution. — D590; Joel 2:10, 31.
And the WHOLE moon became as blood. — Literally on May 19, 1780. Symbolically, the creeds (the moon of the papal heavens) have become repugnant, though still hypocritically professed. Symbolically, also the light of the Mosaic Law (the moon of the true heavens) has been made to appear evil by the claims of the clergy that the typical sacrifices were bloody and barbaric. — D590, 592.
6:13. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth. — Literally, the meteoric shower of Nov. 13, 1833, covering 11,000,000 square miles. (D588.) Symbolically, the bishops and the priestly stars of the papacy fell from their positions of power and influence over the minds and consciences of the people. Symbolically, also, the Protestant pulpit stars make a great display in coming down from spiritual things to the Christian-citizenship-politics level. — D595.
Even as a fig tree. — "The fig tree in this prophecy may be understood to signify the Jewish nation. (Matt. 24:32.) If so, it is being signally fulfilled; for not only are thousands of Israelites returning to Palestine, but the Zionist movement, started recently, has assumed such proportions as to justify a Convention of representatives from all parts of the world to meet in Switzerland to put in practical shape the proposal for the reorganization of a Jewish state in Palestine. These buds will thrive, but will bear no perfect fruit before October, 1914 — the full end of 'Gentile Times.' " — D604.
[Casteth] CASTING her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. — The immature fruits of the Zionist movement were dashed to the ground by the great war. Thousands of the Jews already in Palestine were deported to Egypt at the breaking out of the war. At this writing the British are besieging Jerusalem and the Turks are driving the Jews into the desert to perish rather than permit them to remain and come under British control. Out of this turmoil Zionism will soon start afresh and the Jews become the actual rulers of their native land.
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6:14. And the heaven departed as a scroll. — "The 'sure word of prophecy" indicates very clearly that the various Protestant sects will form a cooperative union or federacy, and that Catholicism and Protestantism will affiliate, neither losing its identity. These are the two ends of the ecclesiastical heavens which, as their confusion increases, shall roll together as a scroll (Isaiah 34:4) for their self-protection — as distinct and separate rolls, yet in close proximity to each other." — D258; Psa. 102:26.
When it is rolled together. — "It will be impossible to reestablish the present order, (1) because it has evidently outlived its usefulness, and la inequitable tinder present conditions; (2) because of the general diffusion of secular knowledge; (3) because the discovery that priestcraft has long blinded and fettered the masses with error and fear will lead to a general disrespect for all religious claims and teachings as of a piece with the discovered frauds; (4) because religious people in general, not discerning that God's time has come for a change of dispensation, will ignore reason, logic, justice and Scripture in defending the present order of things. It will be of little consequence then that the ecclesiastical heavens (the religious powers, Papal and Protestant) will have rolled together as a scroll. (See Isaiah 34:4.) The combined religious power of Christendom will be utterly futile against the rising tide of anarchy when the dread crisis is reached. Before that great army 'all the host of heaven [the church nominal] shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll.'" — D551.
And every mountain. — Kingdom.
And [island] HILL. — "Little hills" refer to governments less autocratic than monarchies; but "hills" sometimes refer to the sharpest, highest, most jagged mountain peaks, and then mean the most autocratic of all governments. This is evidently what is meant here.
Were moved out of [their] THE places. — Did not occupy the same position as before with reference to the people. The places were never "theirs," but belong "to Him whose right it is." (Z.'05-253.) In recent years Turkey and Persia have been granted parliaments; China, Russia and Portugal have become republics; and other countries have become vast socialist communities. — Rev, 16:20.
6:15. And the kings of the earth. — The aristocracy.
And the great men. — The clergy. (Rev. 18:23, comment.) Rendered "lords" in Mark 6:21. See Job 12:2.
[And the rich men,] and the chief captains, AND THE RICH MEN. — The high military officers. Rendered "high captains" in Mark 6:21. The magnates and financiers.
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And the mighty men. — The labor organizers.
And every bondman. — Member of a labor organization.
And every free man. — Other worker (if not a bond-slave of Christ).
Hid themselves in the dens. — See Isa. 2:19-21.
And in the rocks of the mountains. — "As the trouble increases, men will seek, but in vain, for protection in the great rocks and fortresses of society (Free Masonry, Odd Fellowship, and Trades Unions, Guilds, Trusts, and all societies secular and ecclesiastical), and in the mountains (governments) of earth." — B139; Jer. 3:23; Hos. 10:8.
6:16. And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us. — "The Greek word epi, here used, is generally translated on, but has also the significance of over (Rev. 5:10) and about, and is so translated many times in the common version. The thought is that of protection, not of destruction. The common view of this passage, that it teaches that wicked men will get faith enough to pray for literal mountains to fall, is absurd. The real fulfilment is already beginning: the great, the rich, and no less the poor, are seeking to the mountains and rocks and caves for shelter from the darkening storm of trouble which all see is gathering." — B139; Hos. 10:8:
And hide us from the face. — Of Justice, now about to demand an accounting for our stewardship.
Of Him that sitteth on the Throne. — Jehovah. And from the wrath of the Lamb. — Whose followers we have falsely professed to be.
6:17. For the great day of [His] THEIR wrath is come.  — The wrath of the Father, the Son, and the glorified saints. — Rev. 2:26, 27; Isa. 13:6-19; Zeph. 1:14-18.
And who shall be able to stand. — "The answer through the Prophet is, 'He that hath clean hands [an honest life] and a pure heart [a conscience void of offence toward God and man]: he shall ascend into the mountain [Kingdom] of the Lord and stand in the holy place.'" (Psa. 24:3, 4; D582.) "Oh, what sorrow it gives us at times to behold some not standing well the testing of this hour, some who are developing tendencies of weakness, disloyalty to the cause, ambition for name and fame or position, desire to be greatest, tendencies to lord it over God's heritage, and who, unless recovered, will be surely cut off from membership in the Body, even though, as the Apostle declares, they may be saved so as by fire, as members of the 'great company.' — 1 Cor. 3:15." (Z.'06-309; Psa. 76:7.) The only ones who will stand are the twelve tribes named in the next chapter.

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