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system of infidelity that was spread over Europe, Dr. Adam Weishaupt of
the University of Ingolstadt, formed a secret society under the name of
the Illuminati in order the better to spread these wicked principles. A
quotation was also made showing that "_Freemasonry_ being in high repute
all over Europe when Weishaupt first formed the plan of his society, he
availed himself of its secrecy to introduce his new order, which rapidly
spread, by the efforts of its founders and disciples, through all those
countries." Now, if Freemasonry was such an excellent channel for the
dragon to begin his work through, is it not reasonable to suppose that
he would still retain his position in that order, and especially since
_the very name of Christ_ is barred from its rites, rules, and
ceremonies? And this thought is especially convincing when we consider
the fact that Freemasonry is in its very nature and constitution only a
form of Paganism. This vast body is founded on what they call the
"ancient mysteries." The following is taken from Masonic Salvation by
Fred Husted:

"Warburton says: 'Each of the Pagan gods had (beside the public and
open) a secret worship paid unto him, to which none were admitted but
those who had been selected by preparatory ceremonies called initiation.
This secret worship was called "the mysteries."'

"Mackey, another member of this order, says: 'These mysteries existed in
every country of heathendom, in each under a different name, and to some
extent under a different form, but always and everywhere with the same
design of inculcating (teaching) by allegorical and symbolical teachings
the great Masonic doctrines of the unity of God and the immortality of
the soul. This one important proposition and the fact which it
enumerates (states) must never be lost sight of, in any inquiry into the
origin of Freemasonry; for the Pagan mysteries were to the spurious
Freemasonry of antiquity precisely what the Masters' lodges are to the
Freemasonry of the present day.'

"This is certainly a frank statement, coming as it does from a man who
is an acknowledged and highly esteemed authority in matters pertaining
to the craft. Daniel Sickles says, 'In Egypt, Greece, and many other
ancient nations Freemasonry, that is, the Mysteries, was one of the
earliest agencies employed to effect the improvement and enlightenment
of man.' Pierson says, 'The identity of the Masonic institutions with
the ancient Mysteries is obvious,' which means clearly to be seen,
manifest to any and all.

"Masons say that the order is founded on the Bible - that is, unlearned
Masons say so. Geo. Wingate Chase, in the Digest of Masonic Law, says:
'The Jews, the Turks, each reject either the New Testament or the Old or
both, and yet we see no good reasons why they should not be made Masons.
In fact, Blue Lodge [first three degrees] Masonry has nothing whatever
to do with the Bible. It is not founded on the Bible. If it were, it
would not be Masonry; it would be something else.'

"Sickles says in speaking of the third, or Master Mason's degree, 'There
are characters impressed upon it which can not be mistaken. _It is
thoroughly Egyptian_.' He further says that the tradition is older by a
thousand years than Solomon. 'That our [Masonic] rites embrace all the
possible circumstances of man, moral, social, and spiritual, and have a
meaning high as the heavens, broad as the universe, and profound as
eternity.' Sickles in Gen. Chiman Rezon.

"The writer was informed when the charges were given him 'that our
ancient brethren worshiped in high hills and in low vales, and that
guards were placed to keep off cowans or eves-droppers.' By referring to
Scripture we at once find the character of those who worshiped in high
hills and low vales, and why they needed a guard to keep off
eves-droppers. 'Thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high
hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.'
Jer. 2:20; 3:6. 'Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the
nations which ye shall possess served other gods, upon the high
mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree.' Deut. 12:2.
'Enflaming themselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the
children in the vales under the clifts of the rocks.... Even thither
wentest thou up to offer sacrifice.' Isa. 57:5-7. They were not afraid
of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Kings 7:10; 1 Kings 14:23), and they grew and
multiplied in their reigns, and in the reigns of all those of whom it is
recorded that 'they did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.'
Some of the kings of Israel and of Judah destroyed their high places for
them and were highly favored of God for so doing.

"Again, 'The precepts of Jesus could not have been made obligatory upon
a Jew. A Christian would have denied the sanction of the Koran. A
Mohammedan must have rejected the law of Moses, and a disciple of
Zoroaster would have turned from all, to the teaching of his
Zend-Avesta. The universal law of nature, which the authors of the old
charges have properly called the moral, is therefore the _only law_
suited in every respect to be adopted as the Masonic code.' Mackeys'
Textbook, Masonic Jurisprudence. If the statements just quoted do not
place the secret society of Masonry on a footing decidedly Pagan, it is
difficult to say just where it does stand....

"Tammuz, or Osiris of Egypt, who is declared to be the original of Hiram
Abiff the temple-builder, is still mourned for. Ezek. 8:14. See Young's
Analytical Concordance or any standard Greek Mythology. Now see
Piersons' Traditions of Freemasonry. 'The Masonic legend stands by
itself, unsupported by history, or other than its own traditions. Yet we
readily recognize in Hiram Abiff the Osiris of the Egyptians, the
Mithras of the Persians, the Bacchus of the Greeks [god of drunkenness,
or feasts and the like], the Dionysis of the fraternity of artificers,
and the Atys of the Phrygians, whose passions, deaths, and resurrections
were celebrated by these people respectively.' Thus it is clearly shown
that each of these ancient nations had its counterfeit Savior and
Redeemer, and it is here proved by the words of Masonic Grand Masters,
authors, and authorities, that Masonry is of Pagan origin."

When we think of the millions of devotees of this form of Paganism,
multitudes of church-members and preachers, surely it is not difficult
to see that the dragon is loose in deceiving power again. That he is
meeting with great success in forming his confederation of all false
religions, is obvious. The world's Parliament of Religions, held in
Chicago in the year 1893, is an illustration of this statement. The
dragon, the beast, and the false prophet met in "mutual confidence and
respect," a "brotherhood" of religions. Theism, Judaism, Mohammedanism,
Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, Zoroastrianism,
Catholicism, the Greek Church, and Protestantism in many forms - all
these were represented. And the devotees of these religions met, as they
said, "To unite all religion against all irreligion; to make the golden
rule the basis of this union; and to present to the world _substantial
unity of many religions_." The following are a few extracts from
addresses made before the Parliament.

President Charles Carroll Bonney, in the opening address, said:
"Worshipers of God and lovers of man: Let us rejoice that we have lived
to see this glorious day.... That we are permitted to take part in this
solemn and majestic event of a World's Congress of Religions. The
importance of this event can not be overestimated. Its influence on the
future relations of the various races of men, can not be too highly
esteemed. If this Congress shall faithfully execute its duties with
which it has been charged, it shall become the joy of the whole earth,
and stand in human history like a _new Mount Zion_, crowned with glory,
and marking the actual beginning of a _new epoch of brotherhood_ and
peace. _For when the religious faiths of the world recognize each other
as brothers, children of one Father_, whom all profess to love and
serve, then, and not until then, will the nations of the earth yield to
the spirit of concord and learn war no more.... We meet on the mountain
height of absolute respect for the religious convictions of each
other.... This day the sun of a new era of religious peace and progress
arises over the world, dispelling the dark clouds of sectarian strife.
_It is the brotherhood of religions._"

Chairman John Henry Barrows, in his address, said: "We are here not as
Baptists and Buddhists, Catholics and Confucians, Parsees and
Presbyterians, Methodists and Moslems; we are here as members of a
Parliament of Religions, over which flies no sectarian flag, ... but
where for the first time in large council is lifted up the banner of
love, fellowship, brotherhood.... Welcome, one and all, thrice welcome
to the world's first Parliament of Religions! Welcome to the men and
women of Israel, the standing miracle of nations and religions! Welcome
to the disciples of Prince Siddartha, the many millions who worship
their lord Buddha as the light of Asia! Welcome to the high-priests of
the national religion of Japan! This city has every reason to be
grateful to the enlightened ruler of 'the sunrise kingdom.' Welcome to
the men of India, and all faiths! Welcome to all the disciples of
Christ! ... It seems to me that the spirits of just and good men hover
over this assembly. I believe the spirit of Paul is here. I believe the
spirit of the wise and humane Buddha is here, and of Socrates the
searcher after truth.... When a few days ago I met for the first time
the delegates who have come to us from Japan, and shortly after the
delegates who have come to us from India, I felt that the arms of human
brotherhood had reached almost around the globe." World's Parliament of
Religions, Chap. III. Similar congresses have since been held. While I
never expect to see all these principles of evil under one organized
form, yet it is evident that the spirits of devils that have gone forth
into "all the world" are uniting them all under one _spirit_ - that of
Antichrist.

Another form in which the old dragon is manifesting himself and uniting
thousands of people against the truth, and one in which the "miracles"
ascribed to this latest confederation of Satan are performed, is that of
"Christian Science." Attracted by its healing doctrine, multitudes are
lured into this deceptive communion of Mrs. Eddy's. At the very best her
system is, as every historian knows, only a slight revision of the
Oriental Philosophy; and notwithstanding its forged name _Christian_, it
is truly subversive of the doctrine of Christ. Her grand central
doctrine of the "allness" of mind and the unreality of matter is a true
copy of the "fantastic idealism" of the Gnostics. Gnosticism was based
on "speculative knowledge." So is Mrs. Eddy's theory. Gnosticism denied
the "_true humanity_ of the Redeemer, and made his person a mere
phantom, and his work a mere illusion." So does Christian Science.
Although Mrs. Eddy clamours loudly that her work is _Christian_ and her
multitude of followers believe her claim, still a careful study of her
work Science and Health will convince any unprejudiced person that she
utterly repudiates the atonement-work of Jesus Christ by denying his
person and the reality of sin and matter. Though the system may contain
some good moral principles, yet it has no power to save men from sin,
since it denies the existence of actual sin. Her denial of the one
personal God - "all is infinite mind, and its infinite manifestations," -
is but a swing of the pendulum from the godless and graceless system of
the materialistic philosophy propounded by Darwin and Haeckel and is as
absurd and unscriptural (although opposite) as the rankest Pantheism.

The salvation of the soul through faith in Jesus Christ has absolutely
no place in the Christian Science creed. It is nothing but a species of
universalism. Individuals of every evil class and character -
self-lovers, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to
parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers,
false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God,
profane, murderers of fathers and mothers, man-slayers, whoremongers,
liars, drunkards, sorcerers, perjured persons, backbiters, haters of
God, despiteful, inventors of evil things, implacable, unmerciful,
abominable, and those unto every good work reprobate - any and all of
these characters can and do come to the healers of Christian Science,
and _not one word is said to them about getting salvation_ through
repentance and living faith in the Savior; but, on the other hand, they
are received as follows: "As _children of God_ you have a right to the
healing of your bodies"! The dragon is in it! I warn people to beware.
"They are the spirits of devils, working miracles," and form an
important proof that we are near the end of time.

Another form in which the dragon is manifesting his power on the
deceptive and miracle-working line is modern Spiritualism. Multitudes of
people of all classes are believers in this soul-destroying doctrine.
The system is generally acknowledged to be but a modern form of what was
anciently styled witchcraft, necromancy, magic, etc., while the mediums
of to-day are of the same class as those formerly known as "witches,"
"sorcerers," "magicians." This they themselves often admit. The system
is so well known both in doctrine and in its pernicious effects that I
will not devote further space to the matter.[15] In many other forms the
dragon is working his deceptions upon the people.

[Footnote 15: For further consideration of this subject read the book
"Modern Spiritualism Exposed," by the publishers of this work.]

Millions of church-members and thousands of preachers are numbered among
these antichristian organizations of Freemasonry, Christian Science,
Spiritualism, etc., etc., gathered together under the influence of the
spirits of devils working miracles, mighty signs, and wonders. On the
other hand, the churches are filled with persons who in spirit are
nothing but skeptics and infidels. Said T. De Witt Talmage on one
occasion, "There is a mighty host in the Christian church, positively
professing Christianity, who _do not believe the Bible_, out and out, in
and in, from the first word of the first verse of the first chapter of
the Book of Genesis, down to the last word of the last verse of the last
chapter of the Book of Revelation." Is it any wonder that such is the
case when a large number of the preachers themselves are in reality
skeptics? A newspaper clipping before me contains the following, uttered
on March 28, 1905, by the Rev. B.A. Green, pastor of the First Baptist
Church, of Evanstown, Ill., before about a hundred of his fellow
ministers: "All the truth in the world is not contained in one book, nor
in books of theology, God was too big for one temple and he is also too
big for one book. God is everywhere. His truth is found in all good
books. The pastor of to-day should read the modern psychology and modern
literature, _especially the works of fiction_ which deal with religious
or social phases of modern life." A large portion of the sectarian
ministry reject entirely the Mosaic account of the creation, and accept
instead the modern theory of evolution.

The following quotation is from the Rev. Minton J. Savage, pastor of the
Church of the Messiah, New York, N.Y., who is an acknowledged leader in
the "higher criticism." This was in answer to an attack made on the
higher critics by a convention of the American Bible League. "The men
who are leading in the higher criticism of the Bible and who are now
being assailed so bitterly by the American Bible League, are
representative scholars of the world, scientific thinkers, leaders,
teachers, who have given us a new universe, a new conception of God, a
new idea concerning the origin and nature of man. They are not seeking
to support or to undermine anything. They are seeking for the truth as
the only sacred thing on earth.

"I would like to consider what this book is about over which all this
controversy is raging. It is really not one book, but sixty-six small
volumes. They were written during a period of nearly a thousand years,
in different countries, by different people. The first book was written
about eight hundred years before Christ. The first five books of the
Bible were written between five and six hundred years before Christ. The
historical books tell us about the day of Judges, then of Kings, the
wars of Israel, until the time of captivity. Then the book of Job,
purely anonymous, and no one knows who wrote it. Then the book of the
Psalms, the hymn-book of the people of Israel, and the books of the
prophets. It would be more proper to call them preachers, for they make
no effort to foretell anything, but merely told the people that if they
followed certain lines of conduct certain things would happen.

"No book was placed in the Bible by anything that claimed to be divine
authority. No law concerning the Biblical canon was ever issued by the
church earlier than the sixteenth century and that changed nothing; it
simply recognized what had come to be a fact. These books drifted
together and came to be bound as one, by force of gravity, by common
consent, and there are one or two books in the New Testament which
scholars could miss without feeling any the poorer.

"Nobody, then, is assaulting the Bible, for the simple reason that the
Bible as such has never made any claim. The Bible does not claim to be
inspired; it does not claim to be infallible. No writer of one book is
authorized to speak for the author of any other book. One verse is
sometimes referred to as meaning something. The writer of the last book
in the Bible utters a curse against anybody who should presume to add to
or take from the words of that book. He does not say that the book is
infallible; he simple curses anybody that interferes with it, as
Shakespeare uttered a curse against anybody who interfered with his
bones. I suppose that God might have given us an infallible book, if he
had chosen, and if he had given us such a book he would have made us
sure that it was infallible."

"If I were compelled to believe that God holds me responsible for Adam's
sin and that the immense majority of the world is doomed to everlasting
torment, and that only a selected few here and there are to enter
eternal felicity, I might bow my head and accept it, but I could not
rejoice in it. It is barbarous. Men who try to make us accept such
dogmas are the real infidels of the world, and it is infidelity which
they are creating - infidelity a hundred times worse than that which they
call by the name. If you would blot out every Bible in the world to-day
you would not even endanger its life, nor would you destroy religion."
From _The Toledo News-Bee_, May 14, 1904.

All these allied powers of wickedness in conflict with the few of God's
saints who serve him acceptably, constitute the battle of
Armageddon - that battle of the last great day. It is not a literal
collecting of armies nor a literal conflict, but a fierce battle between
truth and error. The outward indications are that the enemies of God
will triumph; but let us remember that it is destined to "end in the
victory of Him unto whom triumph belongs." Fire will come down from God
out of heaven and devour them. This symbol is doubtless taken from the
circumstance of Elijah where he commanded fire to come down and destroy
his enemies; and it will be as with such an overthrow that the powers of
wickedness shall meet their doom in that last great day of God Almighty.

11. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from
whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was
found no place for them.

12. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and
the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the
book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which
were written in the books, according to their works.

13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and
hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were
judged every man according to their works.

14. And death and hell were cast, into the lake of fire. This is
the second death.

15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was
cast into the lake of fire.

This series of events, as far as it pertains to the doom of evil men,
ends properly with verse 10, where the combined powers of wickedness are
represented as being cast into the lake of fire. This last event,
however, is in the present scene more fully described. It is fitting
that the judgment scene should be more fully described; for with this
chapter we have the last special history of the powers of evil given.
Many times we have been led up to the time of the final overthrow of all
the powers of wickedness, but the manner in which that great event
occurs has not been perfectly detailed.

Here we have another illustration of that principle of symbolic language
laid down in the beginning - that objects and events whose nature forbids
their symbolization appear under their own names or titles and their
description must of necessity be literal. The appearance of the great
God must be considered an actual event; for, as clearly shown, he can
not be symbolized, neither can he appear as the symbol of some other
object, from the fact that there is no other object of analagous nature
of which he could stand as the representative. The resurrection of
itself is an event of such a peculiar nature as to forbid its
symbolization. What is there analagous to it which could here be
employed? There are, perhaps, analagous changes in the vegetable and
animal kingdoms; but symbols drawn from that quarter would indicate some
political change instead. Paul may, indeed, speak of the decay and the
growth of seeds to _illustrate_ the resurrection; but the decay of a
seed does not _symbolize_ the death of a saint, neither does its
germination _symbolize_ his resurrection. Nor is there any change that
can do it. There is the same necessity of speaking of the resurrection
in its literal meaning as there was of representing the spirits of the
martyrs under their own appropriate titles.

The earth and the heaven fleeing away from before God's presence so that
no place is found for them, must be understood as describing the literal
dissolution of this world when Christ comes; for it is clear from the
Scriptures that such an event will occur at that time. Peter says that
"the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which
_the heavens shall pass away_ with a great noise, and the elements shall
melt with fervent heat, _the earth also_ and the works that are therein
_shall be burned up_." 2 Pet. 3:10. Nothing can be found to symbolize
perfectly such a mighty event; hence it appears as a literal description
of the final catastrophe of this old world.

It is evident that there are symbols connected with this appearance of
God, as truly as there were symbols connected with Christ in his
appearance in chap. 19. The _throne_ is a symbol of judgment and of
supreme sovereignty, its dazzling whiteness indicating the impartiality
and justice of the proceedings. The _books_, likewise, are symbols. We
are not to suppose that there are literal books in heaven, in which
Christ or some angelic secretary notes down all the affairs of earth.
The language and the symbols of Scripture are accommodated to the human
understanding, hence books are used as a symbol to denote that the
character and the actions of men are all as perfectly known and
remembered as if they had been recorded in the archives of heaven. The
_book of life_, in which the names of the faithful are often said to be
inscribed, denotes that God knows all his chosen people. In the
following chapter it is called the Lamb's book of life.

This scene, then, as a whole, is a sublime description of the
resurrection and the final judgment of all men and the dissolution of
the earth on which we now live. That the righteous will be judged at
this time is shown by the fact that the book of life, in which the names
of the righteous only are recorded (Chap. 21:27; Exod. 32:33), will also
be opened; and verse fifteen implies that the names of some during this



Online LibraryF.G. SmithThe Revelation Explained → online text (page 27 of 30)