Timely Greetings Volume 2, No. 18
THE FINAL WORLD GOVERNMENT, COMMUNISTIC OR CAPITALISTIC–
WHICH? Revelation 17, 18
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF D. SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, DECEMBER 13, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
TEXT FOR PRAYER
Surround Youth With Right Influences
I am reading from Christ’s Object Lessons, pg. 53:
“When the mind is youthful and vigorous, and susceptible of rapid development, there is great temptation to be ambitious for self, to serve self…. In this formative period of their children’s life, the responsibility of parents is very great. It should be their study to surround the youth with right influences, influences that will give them correct views of life and its true success…. The more the desire for pleasure is indulged, the stronger it becomes. The interest of these youth is more and more absorbed in amusement, until they come to look upon it as the great object of life. They form habits of idleness and self-indulgence that make it almost impossible for them ever to become steadfast Christians.”
We are here enjoined to pray that the youth be trained and weaned from serving self; that the parents themselves learn this, for in many instances parental impulses lead the children into worldliness and pride; that the parents and children realize that the more the desire for pleasure is indulged, the stronger it becomes and the more impossible it is to satisfy; that we all understand that unless the youth are given correct views of life and its true success, they will become absorbed in amusement and come to look upon it as the great object in life.
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THE FINAL WORLD GOVERNMENT, COMMUNISTIC OR CAPITALISTIC–
WHICH? Revelation 17, 18
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Rev. 17:1-3 — “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”
This beast is seen to portray the world in its day as are all the beasts of Daniel and The Revelation seen to portray the world in their day.
The wilderness being opposite of the vineyard denotes that the beast’s domain is not in the Promised Land, not in the vineyard (Isa. 5:7), but in the lands of the Gentiles, the “wilderness.” From his domain, therefore, is excluded the Holy Land. And by the fact that the woman is sitting on the beast, driving it, is positively shown that she is ruling it, and that the beast itself is the symbol of the dominion of Babylon the Great.
The beast’s ten horns portray civil powers, as do the horns of any symbolic beast. And if the wounded head of the leopard-like beast of chapter 13 is symbolical of a religious organization, as is taught by the Denomination, then his seven heads must likewise be figurative of religious bodies! Thus it is that this beast in its entirety, like all the other such beasts of the Bible, symbolizes the Gentile world in its entirety — civil and religious bodies (horns
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To blaspheme is for one to speak lightly of God, to work hypocrisy, to profess to be something other than what one actually is. Inspiration’s definition is this: “…I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” Rev. 2:9.
Rev. 17:4-6 — “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: and upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”
This woman does not symbolize something new, but something as old as the time of the martyrs, for she is the cause of their slaying. What could she be but a counterfeit religion which originated with Cain’s unacceptable sacrifice? Since then she has brought forth sectarianism, has become a mother of harlots. Her abominations, you note, are made very attractive, being dispensed from a golden cup held in hands that are gorgeously decked with the costliest things of earth.
Rev. 17:7-13 — “And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that thou sawest was, and is
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not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth 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. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. 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.”
Here is a beast whose make-up is similar to that of the leopard-like beast of chapter 13. The horns of this scarlet-colored beast, though, are crownless, and none of his heads are wounded. Also, rather than having the name of Blasphemy written only over his heads, his whole body is full of names of blasphemies.
In previous studies we learned that the leopard-like beast symbolizes the world from the fall of Pagan Rome to our time (The Great Controversy, pg. 442). Now, since the scarlet-colored beast also has ten horns and seven heads, it is again seen that he, too, is in the stream of time a symbol of the world with its civil and religious powers — horns and heads.
Inasmuch as his head is not wounded as is the head of the leopard-like beast, and since the wound of the leopard-like is healed, it is
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clear that the scarlet-colored beast represents the world in the time the wound is healed, in the time the two-horned beast (Rev. 13:11-18) makes a likeness of the leopard-like beast in its pre-wounded state.
You notice that the horns of Daniel’s fourth beast were crownless, and the horns of John’s leopard-like beast crowned, and again that the horns of the scarlet-colored beast are crownless. Inspiration by means of these symbolical beasts portrays three periods of time, one following the other: (1) the period before the European kings received their crowns; (2) the period in which they were crowned; (3) a period of crownless kings in which Babylon the Great reigns supreme.
The fact that nearly all crowned kings of the world have already been dethroned is proof in itself that Period No. 2, the period of the leopard-like beast (crowned horns) is about to pass away, and that Period No. 3, the period of the scarlet-colored beast (crownless horns) is about to be ushered in. In order to make the transition, the present distress of the nations is therefore inevitable.
Rev. 17:14-18 — “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful. And He saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put
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in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”
Again, the fact that the ten horns (kings) have one mind (unlike the toe-kings of Daniel 2:42, 43), but have no kingdom of their own, besides the fact that the woman rules the beast, and also the fact that the Communist leaders (crownless kings) of the nations and have one mind (work together for one common cause), — all these facts show that though Communism appears to be the next power to rule the world, this symbolical prophecy points out that the world will next be ruled by an international religious system, by Babylon the Great, a rival of the religion of Christ, and a counterfeit of the woman in Revelation chapter 12. The scarlet-colored beast, therefore, is the symbol of the world government into which the United Nations will finally evolve.
Since those who have no part in the first resurrection, all the unrepentant sinners from the beginning of the world to the Millennium, are to be resurrected after the 1000 years, they will then positively discover that their names were not written “in the Book of Life”, — no, not one of them, even from the foundation of the world. The truth thus stands out clearly that then only will they behold the beast in its three phases (“that was, and is not, and yet is”); that is, he “was” before the Millennium; “and is not” during the Millennium; “and yet is” after the Millennium.
He “is not” during the 1000 years because at
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the commencement of the 1000 years, the beast and the false prophet are “cast into the lake of fire,” then the “remnant,” all the rest who came not out of Babylon’s domain, are “slain with the sword” of the “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Rev. 19:21, 16.
To summarize, having lived before the Millennium, and also after the Millennium, and being dead during the Millennium, the beast is seen in three phases, in three periods: the pre-millennial in which he “was,” the millennial in which “he is not” and post-millennial, in which he “is.”
He “shall ascend out of the bottomless pit” (out of the pit, in which Satan himself is to be bound for a 1000 years), and then “go into perdition” (Rev. 17:8); that is, he will shortly be put to his second death from which there is no resurrection.
“He is the eighth, and is of the seven”; that is, there are four beasts in Daniel 7, two in Revelation 13, and one in chapter 17 — seven beasts in all. But the seventh lives twice, and thus after his resurrection “he is the eighth,” but “is of the seven.” Then he goes into perdition, — suffers the second death.
The statement, “and there are seven kings,” shows that these kings are not in the symbolism; that is, they are not the horns, nor are they the heads. All the horns and the heads are present on the beast, whereas the “seven kings” are not there symbolized — five are fallen, one is, and the other is yet to come.
We must fully realize that God through this
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symbolism summarizes the history of the entire world, for the beast, as I said before, is symbolical not only of the pre-millennial world but also of the post-millennial wicked world. The seven kings of kingdoms “from the foundation of the world before the flood; (1) The ancient world before the flood; (2) The ancient Babylonian Empire; (3) The Medo-Persian Empire; (4) the Grecian Empire; (5) The Roman Empire. These are fallen. (6) The one that is, is the world to which the present distress of nations is to give birth (the pre-millennial), and of which the beast itself, in his first phase, is the symbol. And (7) the one that is to come, is the world after the 1000 years, of which the beast itself, in its third phase, is also a symbol.
Thus along with this symbolism the world of sin is represented from its beginning to its very end. This beast, therefore, is the symbolical summary of the whole world.
The “one hour” is obviously the time from the eleventh to the twelfth allegorical hours as set forth in Matthew 20:6.
Number ten in this instance, as elsewhere in the Bible, carries the meaning of universality. The ten kings have no kingdom while the woman drives the beast, but jointly with the beast they will have power as kings. The phrase, “as yet,” implies that after the one hour they will receive their kingdom.
Rev. 17:14 — “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”
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These kings are to be anti-religious and therefore anti-Christian. They shall eventually make war with the Lord and with His called, chosen, and faithful ones, but “the Lamb shall overcome” the kings.
The woman, as shown before, is the symbol of a confederated religious system with which the horns are not only in disagreement but are also her enemies. Consequently, after the symbolical hour is passed, they unseat her from the beast, make her desolate, and burn her with fire. Then it is that they receive their kingdom “for a season and time.” Dan. 7:12.
Rev. 17:17 — “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”
The call to come out of Babylon (Rev. 18:4), is a call to God’s people to come out of her geographic dominion.
The eighteenth chapter is a continuation of the seventeenth, and so we shall study it also:
Rev. 18:1 — “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.”
After what things? — After the scarlet-colored beast comes into being and while the woman, Babylon, is sitting upon him. It is then that the earth is to be lightened with the glory of the angel, with the message of the hour.
Rev. 18:2-4 — “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is
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fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
A heavenly voice, the Spirit of Truth, is heard calling God’s people out of Babylon after the earth is lightened with the glory of the angel. For God’s people to come out so that they be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues, they must necessarily be called into a place that is free from sin, and thus be saved from Babylon’s plagues. Consequently they go into a purified sinless church, and a land that is not in danger of the plagues.
Rev. 18:5-7 — “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.”
She has rewarded God’s people with evil, and now she is to be paid back double. She has boasted of ruling the world, and has said in her heart that she is not a “widow,” that God is her husband, but she finds herself mistaken.
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Rev. 18:8-13 — “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God Who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: the merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots and slaves, and souls of men.”
She has had everything put into her hands, and her hands put into everything, but now her glory comes to an end.
Rev. 18:14-21 — “And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come
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to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.”
What violence! and what an inglorious end when the ten horns take hold of Babylon, the headquarters of that pretentious, self-righteous world-wide power. Now is our time and opportunity to get ready for the four winds to be let loose, and prepare an asylum, a sinless place for the gathering of the people, and for the finishing of the gospel work in all the world.
Rev. 18:22-24 — “And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; and the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were
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slain upon the earth.”
We see that this system of government is set up for no other purpose than to make its adherents rich in the name of religion, a practice which supersedes all other forms of idolatry.
If our hearts are set on wealth, if our love of money becomes greater than our love to help set up the Kingdom, then there is no hope. Such shall find themselves magnetically drawn down into Babylon. We must remember that the love of money is the root of all evil; that it is easier for a camel to go through the needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom. But, sad to say, in spite of this solemn warning, we see even the most informed in the things of God fall victims to such filthy lucre.
If we have the dollar when we need it, also are certain from day to day of our clothing, food, and a bed to sleep in, we should feel rich. We should feel as if we had a million dollars in the bank. Yes, if we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and mind the Lord’s business, being slothful in nothing and conscientious in everything, then we shall have all these added unto us (Matt. 6:31-33).
We have therefore again seen that the final world government is to be neither Communistic nor Capitalistic, but ecclesiastical and more in favor of Capitalism than Communism.
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