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Rev. 13:1. “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.”


In this verse we are taught that John had a vision, and saw himself standing among the tumultuous nations of the earth; and he saw the Roman kingdom rise up out of the nations, having seven forms, or all kinds of governments, seven being a perfect number in this prophecy. Heads denote governments, or supreme power: 1, Republican; 2, Consular; 3, Decemvir; 4, Dictatorial; 5, Triumvirate; 6, Imperial; 7, Kingly. John saw until the Roman was divided into ten kingdoms, all jointly reigning at one time over these ten separate kingdoms, denoted by ten crowns; and this kingdom was a blasphemous power, because they claimed the ecclesiastical power or authority over mind, and dictated how and what men should worship.


v2 “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” 


The Roman kingdom, John saw, was like the Grecian in conquering the world; and his march, or power to tread under foot, was equal to that of the Medo-Persian kingdom. His laws and commands were as lion-like as Babylon, and as imperious as Nebuchadnezzar's decree. The Emperor of Rome, who had obtained power by means of the arch-deceiver of mankind, the devil, Rev.12:9, having received his august, supreme power over all nations, and exercised the ecclesiastical power of Paganism over the people of the earth—he, the Emperor, called “the dragon” in the text, would destroy or take Paganism out of the way, 2 Thess. 2:6, 8; and would give the saints into the power of the Bishop of Rome, Daniel 7:25.  Thus  the  Emperor  Justinian  did give the Pope of

REMARKS ON REVELATIONS 13th, 17th, and 18th chapters

By William Miller

Revelation 13

Rome power over all the Christian churches, eastern and western, and gave him "his seat" the city of Rome in the west; he also gave him great or supreme authority in his pandect or code of laws. This was in the year A. D. 538; from which time the Pope exercised his supreme power over the saints and kings of the earth, until A. D. 1798—during 1260 years of Papal supremacy.


v3 “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the beast.”


John saw the blasphemous Pagan head wounded to death and taken away, and the Papacy take its place as a supreme head. Then the deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered when they saw the power of the Pope of the Roman kingdom.


v4 “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?”


And they worshipped Justinian, the Emperor of Rome, submitted to his arms and Orthodoxy, and they worshipped the kingdom of Rome, saying, boastingly, Who is able to make war with the kingdom of Rome?


v5 “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.”


A mouth was given to the Pope, or Papal civil power, to speak great words or things and blasphemies, claiming universal power over the kings and kingdoms of the earth, as vicegerent of God; and he was to exercise this power forty-two months, or 1260 literal years, beginning A. D. 538, and ending A. D. 1798. Dan. 7:10, 20, 21, 25; 2 Thess.2:4.


v6 “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.”


The Papal power blasphemes God by calling himself by names which belong only to God; claiming the offices and power of a God, by his pretended power to forgive sin, not only in this world, but in the place of departed spirits. He blasphemes them which dwell in heaven, by praying to, and teaching others to worship and to pray to the departed saints. He also blasphemes the tabernacle of God by calling the city of Rome a holy city, and their abominable places of idolatry and sin, holy places.


v7 “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”


This Papal kingdom will make war with all real Christians and churches, who will not obey the laws of the Catholic church. This power will make war upon and overcome the kingdoms and nations of the world. This prophecy has been literally fulfilled for more than twelve centuries past.


v8 “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world.”

And all who dwell upon the earth shall worship this Papal power,—shall confess and acknowledge the Papal church to be the only catholic church on earth: for the true church of Christ will be in the wilderness, not recognized among the nations of the earth. It is remarkable that no historian for ages ever pretended to find the Church of Christ, only as they traced it through the church of Rome. And even to this day, many trace their pedigree through her who had fallen from the true faith ages before. Yet God had a true people in the wilderness of this world, who were truly converted to God, and had their names written in the Lamb’s book of life—who believed in the atoning sacrifice of Christ, which God had prepared from the beginning of this cursed earth, as a medium of salvation for lost man.


v9 “If any man have an ear, let him hear.”


An exhortation. If any man wishes to hear of the true way of salvation, let him come to Christ, who is the way of reconciliation to God, and not depend on a false church; for none but Christ has power to forgive sin.


v10 “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity; he that killeth with the sword, must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and faith of the saints.”


The Papal supreme power, which had led the world into idolatry and the saints into captivity, will, at the end of forty-two months, or 1260 years, verse 5, itself have to yield to the supreme power of an Emperor greater than the Papal, and the Papal head be led into captivity in turn. And as Papacy had killed millions in war, so, in turn, it would be killed by the next supreme power, in a war for the power it had before exercised over the kings of the earth. All this was literally fulfilled in the French Revolution.—Then let the saints have patience, and wait for this time, when their faith in the promised deliverance will be increased, and their hope brightened for a future and final deliverance.


v11 “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.”


What other kingdom is this? I answer: It must be an image of the one just described. It must be an ecclesiastical kingdom, for it has, or pretends to have, two powers of Christ, the Lamb of God. It also speaks with the same authority as the Roman Emperors before him. It is evident, then, that it is the next succeeding ecclesiastical Roman power to the imperial power of Rome, and must, of course, mean the Papacy; for the Emperor gave this its power, and seat, and great authority. The Papal power of Rome did copy after the old Roman form and laws of government; although this was the eighth, yet it is of the seven, Rev. 17:11. Papacy did pretend to work miracles; to call fire down from heaven, to burn heretics, and to forgive sin. Then this kingdom, which arises out of the fourth or Roman kingdom, is no less than the Papal ecclesiastical power. The prophet having in the preceding verses described the civil power of the same, now gives us a prophetic description of his ecclesiastic authority, which he exercised over the saints.


v12 “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein, to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.”


In this verse the prophet describes the Pope as exercising all the Roman Pagan power which existed in the Latin kingdom before him. And he causes men to worship in like manner as did the Roman Emperors under the Pagan worship, which head had been wounded to death by the pretended or real conversion of the Latin Kings, and which ecclesiastical head was healed in the establishment of another blasphemous head under Papacy, an image, erect and bloody, equally supported by the civil power, as the former Pagan Rome.


v13 “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.”


Here we have described the miracles which Papal Rome would pretend to have power to perform in public, to deceive the multitude, and make men worship as the Roman Papal power might direct.


v14 “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast which had the wound by a sword and did live.”


We are here told the object of this power: to deceive those who dwell on the earth, by means of those miracles which he pretended to have power to do, in the presence of the civil power; and by so doing to cause the citizens of Rome and the subjects of that kingdom to give the same power, both civil and ecclesiastical, to Papacy, which had before been held by Pagan Rome under the Emperors; and by so doing to establish a second kingdom, as an image or a corresponding power to the first, both civil and ecclesiastical, thereby to heal the head of wounded Paganism, and there would be established in Rome Papal what had been lost by Rome Pagan.


v15 “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”


The Papal power received great authority, so that it could give life or death, as the case might be, and cause as many as would not obey the Bishop of Rome to be killed: Papacy being the image of the Pagan Roman Empire.


v16 “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.”


And he (Papal Rome) caused all under his authority, from the infant in its mother's arms to the aged man of many years, rich and poor, bond or free, to receive the mark of initiation and confirmation into the church of Rome, under the control of this ecclesiastical power. The initiation rite, which they call baptism and regeneration, is performed in their foreheads, and the confirmation, or token of fellowship, by the right hand. These marks bring them into full fellowship and communion with the great body of the Roman Church, and were both established by a law of the Roman Church.


v17 “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”


No man, during the reign of Papacy, where the laws of Papacy were supreme, could buy or sell, or use any lawful trade, except such as were initiated into the Roman church, had a name in this Roman church or kingdom, and were numbered with the multitude in the great association of this blasphemous power.


v18 “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.”


Here it is necessary that the reader should exercise the wisdom given to us of God in his word, and by comparing Scripture with Scripture, get an understanding of:


  1. What is the meaning of the beast in this text?

  2. What it is to number the beast?

  3. What is the number of a man?

  4. To understand the number given, and apply it to the beast.


  1. It cannot mean the Papal kingdom; for that is an image of this beast. Then if we can learn what Papacy is the image of, we shall have a clue to an understanding of the beast. It is a beast which existed before Papacy did, or how could Papacy be made in its likeness or imageSee 12th verse. Now compare Rev. 13:1, with Rev.12:3, 4, and 17:17; also with Daniel 7:7, 8, 23, 24; which shows plainly that it is the 4th or Roman kingdom, and a blasphemous, bloody, persecuting power. Then it is a plain matter of fact, that it is a full and clear description of Rome Pagan.

  2. What may we understand by numbering this kingdom? I answer, it is to finish, or take it away. See a sample in the first of the four kingdoms Babylon. Read Daniel 5:26, 30. To number, then, is to finish or take away.Compare Daniel 11:31, and 12:11, with 2 Thess.2:7.

  3. What is the number of a man? It is the number of his days, or the years of his life. See Psalm 90:12; Job 10:5; 14:5, 6,14; 16:22. See margin, years of number.  The number of the years of the Roman kingdom under its first blasphemous head of

  4. Paganism, was six hundred sixty-six years, beginning B. C. 158, and ending 508 A. D.: it being 666 years that   Pagan Rome reigned as the supreme power over the earth, and was that bloody, persecuting power over the people of God, which destroyed the city and sanctuary, and trod down the holy people, until its power was taken away, to make room for the image-beast of Papacy, which reigned supreme forty-two months or twelve hundred and sixty years.


30 days = month; 42 months x 30 days = 1260 days

A day for a Year Prophecy

(see Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:5—6) 1260 days = 1260 years

Revelation 17



Rev. 17:1. “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.”


In this chapter, John, by the angel, is shown the character and judgment of the great false Church of Rome, which sitteth on many people, multitudes, nations and tongues. See explanation, in the 15th ver., of the waters.


v2 “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.”


With this false Church of Rome, the Kings of Rome have committed fornication. They have united their civil with her ecclesiastical power, and thereby produced a blood-thirsty and a supreme monster of iniquity, which has made the inhabitants of the earth giddy with ignorance, superstition and bigotry, and caused them to have fellowship with this monster of iniquity, in the union of church and state; worshiping according to the laws of the abomination that maketh desolate.


v3 “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”

John was carried away in his spirit, into the then future desolations of  the Roman earth,

when  the  Emperors  of  Rome  would  lose

their power in the desolations of the empire by the barbarian Kings. These conquered the empire, and afterwards gave their power to the false, bloody church of Rome, which received her power, seat and great authority from the Emperor

Justinian, and her homage from the ten kings.


v4 “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet-color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.”


The raiment and splendor, with the riches of this false Church, is literally fulfilled in the dress and pomp and show of the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, Legates and Priests of the Roman Catholic Church. The golden cup in her hand, is the political bait she holds out to all nations. In a republic she can be a great republican; and in a kingdom, a flaming royalist. Her golden cup is held out to all sorts of governments, so that if possible by false pretenses, plighted faith and broken vows, she may obtain her object—power over all. These political movements of Priests and Jesuits are too well known to need any more description of her abominations, filthiness and fornication with the governments of earth.




In the very front of this false Church is her public profession— MYSTERY—written. She claims the single and sole power of explaining the mysteries of God’s word; and forbids any of her liege subjects from reading, or believing and practicing any of God's precepts, excepting in accordance with her comments and permission.




This is as plainly fulfilled as the former. Nebuchadnezzar, the head of the Babylonian king, claimed the power of a God, pretended to make a God, and then compelled his subjects to fall down and worship it; and if they would not, death was the consequence. This mystical Babylon has done the same. The Pope claims to be the vicegerent of God on earth. He also claims the power of making the common bread and wine, the actual body and blood of God. They have also put to death many millions of heretics, as they call those who do not follow in their creed.  THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS.


Well may the Church of Rome claim the title of Mother Church; and those churches which have come out from her may as well be called HARLOTS. For there are few of them at this time, but are partaking of the old mother's character, and committing the same ABOMINATIONS of pride, vain show, worldly grandeur and riches, popular applause and political power.—Where is there a Protestant sect but now claims the same authority as the Pope over those who may honestly differ from them in understanding the word of God? Never did the Church of Rome persecute the Protestant Covenanters more when they fled from her fellowship, than the sects of the present day would the Adventists had they the power. See the venom of our sectarian papers which is cast out against those who believe in the near coming of the dear Savior. They have all, in their turn, been Come-outers. Why not let the Advent brethren have the same privilege? Why complain? You gave us a sample, we are only working after the copy. You once called the Church of Rome the MOTHER OF HARLOTS. We, because you partake of her nature, and perform her acts, call you HARLOTS. This is the Scripture language, and was once yours, when you came out.


v6 “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.”


John saw this false church of Rome persecuting the saints, and shedding the blood of the martyrs of Jesus; and when he saw her cruel and bloody acts, he marvelled and wondered greatly why such a power could exist among rational, and intelligent men.


v7 “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 angel inquires of John why he should marvel? He then informs him that he will tell him the mystery of this false Church, that has her power, seat and great authority from the Roman empire; and also of the Roman empire, which had the seven forms of government and ten kings.


v8 “The beast that thou sawest, was, and is 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.”


The kingdom thou sawest John, was already in existence before you saw it in your vision. It is not yet under the power of the false Church of Rome. But this Church shall arise out of the gross darkness that shall cover the earth, when the Church shall fall away, as Paul tells us, 2 Thess. ii. 3, into ignorance, superstition, will—worship, pride, bigotry and idolatry; and shall go into perdition, or be destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s coming, when he shall come to take vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the Gospel. And then they who dwell upon the earth shall wonder at their own stupidity and base ingratitude, in not believing the word of God, and in slighting the overtures of mercy, while they enjoyed a probation; yet they will neglect so great salvation, and not have their names recorded in the Lamb's book of life, which God prepared in the beginning of the world, for all those who would believe and obey the gospel. And they will wonder and perish in the general destruction of the kingdoms of the Roman empire, which is now Pagan, not yet Papal. But it is the same bloody persecuting power it will be when it becomes Papal; for then it will only be an image of what it now is.


v9 “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.”


This is an explanation for the inquiring minds of those who desire an understanding in the word of God. The seven executive heads are seven forms of government. See comments on Rev.13:1.


v10 “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.”


These seven executive heads, here called Kings, have and will exist in the Roman kingdom. Five of them—1, Republican; 2, Consular; 3, Decemvir; 4, Dictatorial; 5, Triumvirate—these forms had all passed when John saw his vision; “and one is” that is Imperial, then in power; the “other” Kingly, “is not yet come.”  The kings did not exercise their power over the empire of Rome until after about 508 years after Christ. Then the Kingly must be the supreme head for a short space; all of which did take place between A. D. 508 and A. D. 538.


v11 “And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.”


The kingdom of Rome, which was in power then; but not in its church state. For when the Church of Rome should obtain its supremacy, it would be the eighth head, in succession. Yet the Roman Church would be of the seven; that is, it would have all the seven forms of government of the former Roman, and no other; and although it would be in the succession, the eighth head yet it only retains the seven forms. In that sense, it would not probably be a new form of government, but “is of the seven”—combining all forms of government into one; and at the end it shall go into perdition.


v12 “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.”


This is an explanation of the ten horns, that represent ten kings, which had not received their place among the seven heads when John saw this vision; but they will receive their power in the kingly form of government a short space of time in this Roman empire of seven heads.


v13 “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”


These kings, after they are all converted to one faith, or one mind, became, as they then called it, orthodox. These “shall give their power” i.e. supremacy or head, “and strength,” meaning the physical strength of the military to assist the Bishop and Church of Rome in obtaining the supreme power over all other sects, kingdoms and powers.


v14 “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.”


These ten kings or kingdoms, shall support this Anti-Christian power, the Church of Rome, and by so doing will oppose or make war against the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ; and the Lamb of God shall overcome them; for Jesus must reign on his Father’s throne until he puts down all rule, and all authority and power, and he must reign until he puts all enemies under his feet, l Cor. 15:24, 25. When he [Jesus] shall come, he will dash them, like a potter's vessel, to pieces.  Compare Psalm 2:8, 9; Daniel 2:35, 36; 7:22; Rev. 2:27.  He will grind them to powder. He will carry them away as the wind carries away the chaff of the summer threshing floor, so that no place on earth shall be found for them: for Christ is Lord over all lords, and King over all kings; and will by these means take possession of his lawful inheritance, the earth, and reign forever and ever. Then will those who are his by faith be redeemed by his grace from all their enemies, even from death, and they shall be with him where he is, and be like him, called by his Spirit and word, being chosen by his grace, and having chosen salvation through grace. He has faithfully performed his promise unto them, and they are faithful in their obedience to him.


v15 “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”


This verse is an explanation of the first verse, and means just what it says—showing over whom the false Church of Rome would have power, and who would sustain her in that power, and be her followers even down to perdition. Oh, that men would be wise!


v16 “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.”


The ten horns are a representation of the ten kingdoms that would arise out of the division of the old Roman empire, as it stood when it began its conquest of Macedonia and the east. These kingdoms would, for the time, give unto the false Church of Rome their power and strength. Yet after the time appointed of her reign over the kings of the earth, 1260 years, these kingdoms would hate the supreme power of the Roman church, and would take it to themselves, would strip her of her benefices, confiscate her goods, take away her supremacy, carry her captive, make her desolate, eat up her power to rule over kingdoms, and divide it among themselves. They would burn her palaces and chapels, her prisons and nunneries, her pictures and pleasant things with fire, and lay waste her cities and territory by war and the sword. This was literally accomplished in the French Revolution.


v17 “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”


We learn by this verse that God has a supervision over the kingdoms of men—that while they pursue their wicked propensities, they execute unknowingly the purposes of God. These rulers, or kings of these kingdoms, must first be agreed, before Paganism could be taken away. They, then, must be converted to the Orthodox faith of the Catholic Church of Rome, before they would yield their power and submit to the Bishop of Rome, and establish the Papal Hierarchy. In the beginning of the sixth century these kings were converted to the Christian faith; yet many of them were Arians. But this was sufficient to take away Paganism. Justinian was then raised up to make war against the Arian kings, and compel them to submit and agree to Orthodoxy; so that in A. D. 538, they gave their power and strength to the Church of Rome; and the Bishop of Rome became head over the kingdoms, as well as the churches, and the two horned beast came up out of the Roman earth.—The words of God were thus far fulfilled, and the world knew it not. Why? Because they believed not in the words of God, and regarded not the unseen hand of the Almighty.


v18 “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”


The Church of Rome, in this verse, is very appropriately called a great city. First, because of its great multitude. Secondly, because of its great influence. Thirdly, because of its combination. Fourthly, because of its mode of government; and lastly, because of its laws and ordinances.


  1. Like a great city. Rome, as a Church, has claimed for her communicants a vast multitude among all nations, of all grades, colors and conditions.

  2. A great city has a great influence over the country where it is situated,in the manners, customs, religion and politics of the inhabitants of the same. So likewise with the Church of Rome. Who cannot see that in all the countries where she has gained any ascendancy, the same dissolute manners, and vain show and costume have prevailed? The same moral blight and political degradation, in every Catholic country in Europe, is at this time true to the very letter.

  3. A city is a large corporate body; and so is the Church of Rome. It is not many bodies, but one at least in profession. Wherever their influence is felt, and votaries are obtained, they belong to the same combination; and this is the reason why the Pope of Rome, to this day, calls Catholics his subjects, whether belonging to the Czar of Petersburg or to Queen Victoria of England;whether they are the vassals of the Mogul of the East, or freemen of the land of liberty in the West. All, all are the subjects, or sworn citizens of this great city.

  4. Its mode of government, Great cities have a Mayor, Aldermen, Council, Police, Watchmen, etc. So with the Church of Rome. She has her Pope and Cardinals, her Archbishops and Bishops, her Priests and Jesuits, all watching for the interests of this one great Roman Church, like a vast city.

  5. The laws of the Catholic Church are concocted, promulgated, enforced and obeyed, in like manner with the laws and ordinances of a great city. Her business is like a city. Read Rev. xviii. 10, 20. What better figure could the inspired penman use to describe this abominable church, reigning over all kingdoms of the earth, than a great, wicked city?

Revelation 18




v1 “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.”


After John had seen the vision in the 17th chapter, in which the character and acts of the Roman kingdom had been minutely described, under both of its blasphemous heads, Pagan and Papal.  He, in this chapter, has a view of the fall and final destruction of the Papal power, and the overthrow of the last Satanic kingdom on the earth. This first verse represents the coming of Christ from heaven, in his power and great glory, to take vengeance on those that obey not the gospel, who have worshipped the kingdoms of the earth, and obeyed only the laws of Papacy—the blasphemous power of the man of sin, the servant of Satan. Compare Psalm 97:3, 8, Isa. 2:6 to 21, Matt. 24:20.


v2 “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”


He comes with a strong voice, which is the final shout of victory.  I Thess. 4:16, “saying, Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen.” This shows me that the Papal Church is to have two overthrows—one “fall” under the power of the ten kings, as in the French Revolution, when she became a cage for every unclean and hateful bird, which is in agreement with Paul's description of the same event, 2 Thess. 2:8. The other “fall” is the final destruction of all Satanic power on earth, when the shout of victory

is given from all the heavenly host, as is given in Rev. 11:15, also 14:7, 8, when the battle is won and the victory completed. Then this voice will raise the righteous dead, and put the last enemy under his feet. The first “fall” was the loss of supreme power, and exposure of her abominations. It will show that the devil and Satan, and all foul spirits, dwelt in this kingdom; and it was a cage in which dwelt all manner of tyrants, wicked, proud and unclean men, from every nation under heaven. The second “fall” will be the final destruction of all, when it will be said to the saints, “God hath avenged you on her,” 21st verse.

v3 “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.”  


The expression “her” in this text, must mean Babylon; and it must mean more than the nominal Church of Rome: for all men are not the visible members of her communion. Yet all nations have committed fornication with her, and will drink of the wrath of God, which he will pour out upon her and them. Babylon, then, must mean Church and State, and to unite them is fornication. Vesting the supreme power in both of these is Babylon, or confusion; for God has severed them, and says, My kingdom is not of this world. Then, when the church of Rome, or any other church or body of Christians, seek for and obtain the honors and emoluments of the political powers of the earth, they commit fornication with the nations and kings or kingdoms, as the case may be; and the kings or rulers of the Satanic kingdoms, when they seek to be defenders of the faith of the saints, and tyrannize over the minds and consciences of men, also, commit fornication with her; and both together form an alliance unnatural, and are Babylon in her robes of blood. All wicked, selfish and designing demagogues, bigots and sectarian leaders among men, are evidently intoxicated or drunken after or for this power of civil and ecclesiastical authority over their fellow-men. And it is a fact, that the great men, and rich men, the mighty and merchants of the earth, are waxing rich by means of the favors obtained, and privileges granted them by the civil and ecclesiastical powers in the countries where they reside. See the “corn laws” of England, the “tall laws” of Wales, and in many other countries; the “tithe taxes” of Ireland, and the “banking and company privileges” in our own and every other country—giving the rich and favored classes, lawful powers to take unlawful gain—making “the rich richer and the poor poorer”—as say your own statesmen.  How literally has this verse been fulfilled in our day.  See James 5:1,8.


v4 “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.”


This text is a warning voice from God to his people;—that when the governments of the world and the churches are seen thus engaged in wronging and enslaving the poor to favor the rich—when they are seen expending their thousands and millions to make a show and gratify their pride, while millions of human beings are suffering for their daily food and the bread of life,—to come out, and have no fellowship either with Church or State, lest when God comes out against them in his righteous judgments, we be found on the side of the enemy, and therefore be made partakers of the plagues God will send on the ungodly. For all these Satanic kingdoms and Anti-Christian churches will be carried away, and no place will be found for them.


v5 “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”


Surely the present moment is one in which the sins of the people are reaching to heaven. And God, remembering his oath, will not much longer delay his coming; and Babylon the Great will fall the second time, to rise no more forever.


v6 “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.”


This, with the following verses to the 19th verse, shows the situation and punishment the false Church will receive, between the first and second fall, when she will be utterly destroyed. She is now receiving her reward from the hands of the kings and nations of the earth. As she had made war against kings, and as they had depended on her for their political existence, so now they have made war against her, and have robbed her of her power and territory; and she is a dependant on kings for her existence, both political and ecclesiastical—being supported by Austrian bayonets.


v7 “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 glorified her earthly power, she has lived deliciously among the kings,—once commanding a revenue equal to any other kingdom in Europe, and is now a poor bankrupt, as to her national resources. She pretended to be the queen of heaven, the only Catholic Church, against which the gates of hell should never prevail; but behold her now, a desolate beggar at the feet of kings,—a fawning hypocrite among the political daughters.


v8 “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.”


Then her next fall will come upon her suddenly, “in one day,” and death perhaps, in every shape; mourning, famine, and fire will be her eternal destruction, for it will be done—by the strong arm of the Almighty God she will be finally judged.


v9 “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.”


Before she is burned, while the smoke is ascending, between the first and second fall, the kings of the earth political rulers, who have committed fornication with her, have been the means of favoring her claims, and have received help to power and office by her influence, will, when they see the smoke, or evidences of the loss of her influence, bewail and lament for her: for this is her torment and sorrow, to lose her influence over the minds and consciences of the common people.


v10 “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.”


The rulers will not dare to come out openly and boldly to favor the Church of Rome; but will stand afar off, for fear of the common people, and the loss of influence, which is her present torment; but will cry, Alas, alas! that great city of the union of Church and State—that mighty combination to obtain power over our fellows! For the hour is come, and is already manifest, when religion will no longer be used as a stepping stone to earthly power, and to enslave the minds of the freemen in Christ.


v11 “And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more.”


The merchants are the great men of the earth, see 23rd verse. These shall weep and mourn over this mighty engine to deceive men in morals as well as in politics, because of the loss of its power over their minds; for men will not be deceived by her sorceries any more, “For by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.”  See last clause 22nd verse.


v12 “The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyne wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble.”


v13 “And cinnamon, and odors, 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.”


v14 “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.”


These are a description of the merchandise in which this false church will be engaged, thus showing clearly that her treasures are on earth rather than in heaven. When we read over this catalogue of merchandise, and review the apparent condition of the Protestant churches at the present day, we cannot tell where to find the true church,—if these are the marks of a false church. It is no wonder our great men feel so anxious to get this book, (the Revelation) condemned as spurious, or to make it an enigma. That these texts are to be understood literally, as they read, I can have no doubt; for they are nowhere explained in the Bible as figures. They show that where a church is lusting after these earthly things, she has become false to her Lord, and may properly be called a harlot; and they go to show, that in the end all her earthly treasures will be taken from her, and the church will stand naked and ashamed before God in Judgment.


v15 “The merchants of these things which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off, for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing.”


These merchants are the great men of the earth, who have made themselves, by fraud and deceit, rich in this world's goods, who will stand off from this worldly and speculating church when they see the tokens of her fall, for fear of her torments. At the present day, many of the men of the world would be ashamed to be found in the feasts and fairs of some of our churches. Yet they weep and wail when any of the members come out of the rotten ship.


v16 “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!”


v17 “For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every ship master, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea stood afar off.”


The great men of the earth and the rich men, will mourn and lament for the downfall of the Church of Rome. In another place, Rev. 17:16, it says they will hate this same church, and make her desolate, etc. Why this contradiction? I answer: they hate her rule over them, and the degradation they suffer under her sway; but they only want her power to enslave others, and are only coveting the same rule which they hate in her. Yet in destroying her rule and power, the common people must be undeceived, which in the end operates against themselves; and when the people learn their rights in the one case, they will understand them in the other; and when the kings and great men were purposing to obtain the power of Papacy for themselves, the people discovered the mode of keeping it from both. Let me show a case in point. A few years since, our Protestant divines were loud and strong against the Papacy for suppressing the Bible from the common people, and compelling men to come to their Priests for an understanding of the Scriptures. The people learned their rights, and began to read and understand for themselves. And what do we hear from our Protestant Priests now? One says, “How dare Mr. Miller attempt to explain the Bible, seeing he understands neither Hebrew nor Greek?” Another, “We advise Mr. Miller to go home to his farm, and let alone the expounding the Scriptures unto them that understand Bible exegesis.” Still another, “If Mr. Miller had been brought up a sober Churchman, he would have gone to his Bishop to expound the Scripture for him.” Still another, “It is very impolite for ladies to study the Old or New Testament.” These are samples of the perfect inconsistencies of our would be great men. The great secret is, they covet power and worldly gain for themselves, deplore the loss of power, and hate the persons who possess it. Thus it is with all classes of worldly men.


v18 “And cried, when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city?”


v19 “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 also made desolate.”


Here is a continuation of the same mourning for the loss of the world's honors and goods; and the present troubles in the Italian states prove, and show plainly that the hour of her dissolution is at hand. Therefore God calls upon his people to:


v20 “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.”


For the last and final fall of this false church, with all other Anti- Christian power, has now come; also the vengeance of God is extended, and the last plague and indignation poured out.


v21 “And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great mill-stone, 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.”


This verse shows how it will be done;—like a great millstone sinking into the sea with violence—like a mighty earthquake—like the dashing in pieces of a potter's vessel, Psalm 2:9 —like a stone breaking in pieces the image, Daniel 2:34 —see Rev. 16:18 to 21.


v22 “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 mill-stone shall be heard no more at all in thee;”


v23 “And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of a 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.”


These verses show us the effect of God's final judgment and indignation upon the earth; for the great city Babylon meaning the Church of Rome, had corrupted the whole earth, by her abominations, her fornications, her sorceries, and breach of God's ordinances and laws, by her riches and power. Therefore the voice of music would no more be heard in her revels, nor in her palaces, nor in her idolatrous temples. No craftsman of any craft would ever be there to make her costly robes of purple or scarlet dye. The sound of her machinery would no more be heard. The light of the candle, nor the voice of the bridegroom and bride, all of merriment would cease forever. The reasons assigned are, “That her merchants are the great men of the earth,” and of course when the earth is renovated, none of the men of the earth, who have laid up their treasures on earth, will be there. The meek only will inherit the earth. When the wicked are cut off thou shalt see it, says the Psalmist, Psalm 37:34. David saw this same power, Psalm 37:35 and 36. Compare this with 20th and 21st vs. in the chapter we are considering. “For by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” It does not say all of all nations were deceived, but it must mean a part were deceived out of all nations.—And what may be considered as a corroborating fact, is, that the Roman church claims adherents and subjects in every known nation on the globe. This passage then, cannot apply to any other church under heaven; for there is no other church in one body that pretends to, or can claim converts among all nations. And if the character we have been trying to understand in these chapters we have thus far commented on, is not the Roman church, then there must be another exactly like it on this earthly ball. You may say that some of the Protestant churches are as fond of power as the Catholics, are as full of merchandise, and as fond of show, and love mind earthly things, and make slaves of bodies and souls of men, as do the Catholics. This may be all true, and for aught I can tell, they may be harlots, or daughters of the old mother, yet the marks given cannot all apply to any one Protestant church. Do not, you enquire, the Protestant churches break the laws of God by their traditions? Yes. Do they not worship their idols as well as Romans? Yes, if you please to have it so. Where then is the failure? you enquire. I answer: she rules over kings. But does not the Episcopal church rule over the king? No. The King or Queen rules over the church. Even the young Queen Victoria is now the head of that church. And no Protestant church has reigned over any king or kingdom. —Again, another mark:


v24 “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”


This then is a mark in which we cannot be mistaken. I defy the great men of the earth to show an instance in the history of the world, where any church, calling itself Christian, since the days of Christ, has had the power of life and death, even in civil authority, but the church of Rome; and in her may be found the blood of nearly or quite fifty millions of the human race, who died for their religion.—I have been truly astonished, of late, to hear and see our Protestant divines trying to prove that this Church of Rome is not the woman on the scarlet colored beast.—But to me it must be a certainty, that there can be no other; and if the Roman church is the woman spoken of in these chapters, we must be near the close of our world's history. We must be within the first and second fall of Babylon. Every thing is fulfilled that is here prophesied of, except the last thing, the overthrow and the final fall and destruction of all her earthly power and possessions. The kings have hated her, they have taken away her power over themselves, they have spoiled her goods and burned her palaces, they have broken down her prisons and demolished her nunneries they have made her that made kings tremble at her nod, now become a crouching hypocrite at the feet of kings, pleading for her pretended birthright, which she acknowledges is wrested from her by the kings in the French Revolution. Where then are we in prophetic chronology? I abjure you, kind reader, answer the question for yourself. Let nothing hinder you. If time has nearly run out, as the writer verily believes, how is the case between God and your soul? Has not the cry gone forth from every Christian land, “Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him?” Did you ever see or hear such a cry before, such a searching of Scripture, such a moving of mind from every land, such fearful forebodings of the hypocrites in every sect, so little good sense used by our opponents in their arguments, so much skepticism and German Neology, ridicule and scoffing, as the opposers of this cry use? Yet what has been the effect? The editors of our religious periodicals have refused to give our reasons. Denunciation, falsehood, bombast and ridicule, have been their common weapons of attack. But they have fallen harmless at our feet. Nothing can be more evident than that God is on our side. What! a few ignorant fanatics raise such a cry, that scores of our great, learned, doctorated men of science, puffed and lauded by every penny paper in the land, with all their skill and tact in argument, have never been able to start a pillar or remove a landmark! Surely my friend, you will examine these things; and if they are so, you will not, you cannot, you dare not fall to sleep and let that come upon you unawares, for which all Second Advent brethren are looking, and waiting, and watching—the Day of the Lord. Oh fly! poor sinner, fly!! Stay not in all the plain! Awake, awake! your life and soul is all at stake. No harm to watch—all men acknowledge this. Be ready then. And may we all be watching when our Lord may come, and then receive him with the grand response: “This is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us."


                                                        WM. MILLER.

                                                        July 2, 1844.

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