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Babylon during the period that Judah was captive there were not simply to teach these great kings of Babylon, whose kingdoms extended over all the earth, that the heavens do rule, but as is set forth in the king's proclamation, it is intended for the information and benefit of all people, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth, to show to them that the Most High rulcth in the kingdom of men (as the watcher that came down from heaven said) and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
But this valuable lesson was soon forgotten by Nebuchadnezzar's successors, for it is said of his son Belshazzar, “Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem ; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God, which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of silver, and of gold, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
“In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another."
Then the king, like unto his grandfather, called in his wise men, his astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers, but they could not interpret the mysterious writing upon the wall. Then the queen reminded him of Daniel, one of the captives of Judah, who had before been made master of the magicians and wise men of Babylon; and he was called in and offered great rewards if he would interpret the writing. Then Daniel, in the presence of the king and this august assemblage of princes and lords, rebuked the king, and spake to him, and to all those present, in the wisdom of God, those memorable words, never to be forgotten by kings, princes, or people, saying, “O thou king, the most high God gave thy father Nebuchadnezzar a kingdom, and majesty, and honor. And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he slew, and whom he would, he kept alive, and whom he would, he set up, and whom he would, he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his kingly glory from him. And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he knew that the most high God ruleth in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
" And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; but thou hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know; and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.” Then Daniel interpreted the writing, and showed the king how God had numbered his kingdom, and finished it. In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain, and Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about three score and two years old (chapter 5).
In this short oration Daniel informed this proud and haughty prince how his father became such a mighty potentate in the east. It was not because of his own great wisdom and might that it had been accomplished, but as the prophet informed him, “the most high God gave him a kingdom, and majesty, and glory and honor, and for the majesty that he gave him, all people, and nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him, insomuch, that whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive." This is the great lesson that all these wonders that the God of heaven showed in those days were intended to teach, and not that the great empires of antiquity came into existence by human agency, or, as many who are overtaken by the sin of unbelief would like to have it understood, that these things came by chance. And to show more fully the great truth that Daniel enforced upon the minds of Belshazzar and his lords, we will cite one more instance here. The Lord says of Cyrus, the great commanding officer who turned the river Euphrates and dried up her waters so that his army marched through her channels into the city of Babylon, slew Belshazzar, and took his kingdom, of him the Lord speaks as follows, “That saith to the deep, be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers; that saith of Cyrus, he is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the Lord to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates and the gates shall not be shut. I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron.
" And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me; I girded thee, though thou hast not known me, that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me: I am the Lord, and there is none else" (Isa. 44:27-28; 45: 1-6).
Therefore the great kingdoms and empires of antiquity, were neither built up nor torn down by human agency, but they were the creations of him who had a purpose in view in clothing man with such royal majesty, and in grouping together so many nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples into one great and mighty empire. And it must be observed that these great kingdoms of the olden time, flourished contemporaneously with the house of Israel; and the Lord employed them against his people to punish them for departing from his law. And after the Assyrians carried away the ten tribes, Judah remained until the days of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who carried Judah captive out of their own land because of their idolatry and wickedness. In this captivity they continued for a period of seventy years until the reign of Darius the Mede, and Cyrus the Persian. Then by God's command Cyrus issued a decree restoring Judah again to their land with means and directions to rebuild the city and temple which Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed and burned with fire. Judah then continued till Shiloh came, and then this city and temple were again destroyed by the fourth kingdom, spoken of in the visions recorded in the book of Daniel, and by that power Judah was dispersed and driven out of their own land, that is, driven out of God's sight. That dispersion continues till the present day and will continue till the time of the second exodus in the latter days.
These great kingdoms of the past, therefore, Aourished contemporaneously with the existence of the people of Israel until Judah ceased to be a people and nation; and now we must mark and take special notice of this important fact that after Judah ceased to be a nation, there is no more notice taken of them and their doings by the prophets; and the time that lapses between the dispersion of Judah and the second exodus of the whole house of Israel is a blank, a time that God winks at and passes by as unworthy of notice by his servants the prophets.
And here is another important fact that is overlooked by modern interpreters or attempted interpreters, of the historical prophecies, and which is fatal to their attempts to unfold the meaning of these great revelations, which is this; when God's people dropped out of sight, the line of great empires, terminating with the Roman, which spoiled Judah, dropped out of sight also, and their acts and doings since that time are no more chronicled upon the sacred page than are the acts of the people of Israel, who are not a people, while they remain out of God's sight. The prophets are silent concerning the rise and fall of the nations of the earth during the last eighteen hundred years, and not till the times of the second exodus will either the nations or the people of Israel come again into sight, so that you may see in their movements and doings those things which are a fulfillment of prophecy.
What has already been manifested among the mighty empires and kingdoms of the past is but a pictorial representation of what is again to appear in the latter days on a much larger and grander scale, and chiefly upon the same territories and in the same countries. The same also will be true of Israel. Their past doings and history form a picture of what they will do and manifest again in the future, under the second part of the law, insomuch that what the prophets have said of Israel and the nations that has not been fulfilled in the past, will be completely fulfilled to the last jot and tittle in the future.
What we mean is this, that the fourth, or Roman, kingdom represented by the legs of iron in the image, was not ground to powder in the first end of the Mosaic world, nor was the body of the fourth beast, as it appears in Daniel's vision (which is the same thing as the legs of iron), given to the burning flame at the time when the temple, Jerusalem and Judah were destroyed, nor did Christ come, nor were the dead raised in the first end of the Mosaic world which was destroyed by the hand of the Romans. But what did not transpire
in the first end of Israel's world will be fully fulfilled in the second, or last end. And what was not fulfilled of all that is testified of the end of the great nations in the past, will be fully accomplished in the latter days. Therefore, when the Lord brings Israel out from among the nations and plants them again in their own land, then again will he revive those ancient empires and kingdoms in the east and north, and bring them into his land, to grind his own rebellious people to powder, after which he will reduce them to powder as was shown in the visions of Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel.
THE VISIONS OF JOHN
INTERPRETED BY THE AID OF OTHER SCRIPTURES
Jerusalem shown as a woman, called Babylon the great Beast upon which the woman sits Its ten horns Selah Judgment of Harlot Jerusalem, according to prophecy — Aholah and Aholibah — Their union - Proof of
- - — futurity -- Two horned beast, and false prophet — Dragon becomes a mouth to beast War upon saints — Works of the two horned beast Image of beast The Father's name, and name and number of the beast — His deadly wound A woman clothed with sun - Great red dragon Falling away and manifestation of man of sin.
The great central figure brought to view in John's visions, is the woman that he saw, and who the angel said, " is that great whore, that sitteth upon many waters.” Again, he says that she sits upon a scarlet colored beast, and again, upon seven mountains. Her name is written upon her forehead which is, "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.”
"BABYLON THE GREAT” (REV. 17) This woman, called Babylon the great, was drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And it must be remembered that among those martyrs and saints are included the apostles and prophets; for when this drunken woman, Babylon the great, is destroyed, it is said, “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets, for God hath avenged you on her.” The blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus and of the apostles and prophets was shed by her and at her hand will that blood be required, for God avenges the blood of these righteous people upon her that shed it, for it is said, “In her was found the blood of saints, and of prophets, and of all that were slain upon the earth” (Rev. 18: 24).
Now to divest this subject of mystery and to speak plainly and not in parables, we ask at whose door, and upon whom is laid the crime of shedding the blood of all these righteous people? Our modern, and especially our Protestant interpreters, say that this harlot is an Italian harlot, that it is papal Rome, consisting of the Popes and their people, the Roman Catholic church, and that therefore the blood of all these righteous people will be required at their hands, and that they will be avenged on papal Rome.
Now the fallacy, not to say the absurdity, of such a contention any one may see who will exercise his reason, for from the first Pope that flourished in papal Rome to the one who sits there to-day, not one of them or one of their adherents ever saw an apostle, or prophet in their lives, and are therefore not