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The Pope Crowns Charlemagne Emperor


The Battle

of Armageddon

Part II

The Beast, Dragon, False Prophet
And 3 Frogs


Three Unclean Spirits Like Frogs

Coming to the interpretation of the symbols of Rev. 16:13-16, we find that there are three agencies connected with the gathering of the hosts to this Battle of Armageddon. We read that out of the mouth of the Beast, out of the mouth of the False Prophet and out of the mouth of the Dragon proceeded three unclean spirits like frogs; and that these three unclean spirits, frog-like, went forth throughout the whole world to gather the whole world into this Battle of Armageddon.

It is proper, then, for us to inquire what systems are meant by these symbolic words – the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet. After we shall discover what is meant by these terms, we shall ask what is symbolized by the frogs that came out from their mouths.

Beast Symbol

Throughout the Bible, a Beast is the symbol used to represent a government. In Daniel’s prophecy the great universal empires of the earth are thus symbolized. Babylon was the Lion, Medo-Persia the Bear, Greece the Leopard, and Rome the Dragon. (Dan. 7:1-8) The Roman Empire still persists. Christendom is a part of that great Roman Empire which began in the days of Caesar and which, according to the Scriptures, still is in the world.

Dragon Symbol

Practically all Bible exegetes agree that the Dragon of the Revelation represents the purely civil power, wherever it may be found. We do not understand this to mean that all the powers of the world are evil or of the Devil, but that the Dragon is the symbol which the Lord is pleased to use to represent civil power.

The Beast of Rev. 16:13 is the same that is mentioned in Rev. 13:2, where it is described as resembling a leopard-spotted. Protestant interpreters of the Revelation agree that this symbol refers to the Papal system – not to the Pope, not to Catholic congregations, not to individual Catholics, but to the system as a whole, which has existed for centuries.

Papacy’s Claim to Christ’s Reign
From 799 A.D. to 1799 A.D.

In His Word, God has been pleased to recognize the Papacy as a system, as a government. Papacy claims that the Kingdom of God, Messiah’s Kingdom, was established in 799 A.D.; that it lasted a thousand years, just as the Bible declares Christ’s Kingdom will last; and that it expired in 1799 A.D. They claim also that since 1799 this Kingdom of Christ (that is, the Papal system, represented in the Revelation as the Beast) has been suffering violence; and that during this time the Devil has been loosed, in fulfillment of Rev. 20:7.

History records that the era closing with 1799, marked by Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign, sealed and defined the limit of Papal dominion over the nations. Napoleon even took the Pope prisoner to France, where he died. This humiliating experience, Roman Catholics claim, marks the time of the loosing of Satan in fulfillment of Rev. 20:7.

A Different Interpretation

We cannot agree with our Catholic brethren’s interpretation of prophecy. Our Lord was surely right when He declared that "the prince of this world is Satan," and that this is "the present evil world" or age. The reason why there is so much graft, false doctrine, delusion, ignorance, superstition everywhere is that Satan is the great being who is deceiving the world. According to the Scriptures Satan is to be bound for a thousand years, that he may deceive the nations no more. (Rev. 20:3) After the thousand years shall have been finished, Satan shall be loosed for a little season to test mankind. Then he will be destroyed in the Second Death, together with all who are in harmony with him.

Bible students are only now getting their eyes open to see the lengths, breadths, heights and depths of the Love of God – His wonderful provision made, first, for the Church, who are to share in the Kingdom glory; and second, for the world of mankind, who will receive the blessing of an uplift to human perfection during that thousand years. This glorious Epoch is just approaching, instead of being in the past. So glorious will be the condition of humanity at the close of Messiah’s Kingdom that nothing ever dreamed will compare with it. But the great work of God will not be perfected until every human being will have reached perfection, or will have been destroyed in the Second Death, because of refusal to come into harmony with the laws of righteousness. Then every creature in Heaven and on earth, will be heard saying, "Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the Throne and to the Lamb, for ever and ever." Rev. 5:13

The False Prophet or "Image of the Beast"

The Dragon, then, symbolizes the Roman power, represented by the civil power in the world. The Beast is the Papal system of government. The third symbol, the False Prophet, remains to be interpreted. This, we believe, is another name for the system elsewhere called "the Image of the Beast." (Rev. 13:14) According to the Scriptures, this Image is a very exact representation of the Beast. The False Prophet, or Image of the Beast, we understand to mean the Protestant Federation of Churches.

Ecumenical Protestant Churches

In order to see why the Ecumenical Protestant Churches should be symbolized as the Image of the Beast and as the False Prophet, we must examine other symbolical Scriptures. In Rev. 17:5, our attention is called to a great "mystery." The word "harlot" in Scriptural symbolism does not mean an immoral person. It refers to the Church, which was to be the Kingdom of God, but which lost her virginity and became united to an earthly husband, instead of her Heavenly Husband. To what earthly husband did the Church unite? To the Roman Empire. In the minds of Luther and other reformers there was no doubt that there was a close union between the Church and the world. The Church for a time claimed to be waiting for Christ to set up His Kingdom. Finally she said, "I will not wait until the Second Coming of Christ, I will unite with the Roman Empire."

All know the result. The Roman Catholic Church was exalted, and reigned as a queen for centuries. This union of Church and State is represented in a famous picture found in Italy. On a throne the Pope and the Emperor sit side by side. On one side are cardinals, bishops, the lower clergy and the laity, in order of rank. On the other side are generals, lieutenants, soldiers, etc., down to the common people. Thus the union of Church and State was recognized.

On the basis of this union all earthly governments are called Christian; for they claim unity as part and parcel with the Church. History tells us that for centuries the Church appointed the earthly kings. Whosoever the Pope desired was crowned. In proof of the supremacy of the Church a story is told in regard to Emperor Henry IV of Germany, who had incurred the Papal displeasure and who as a punishment was compelled to stand for three days without the castle gates of Canossa, barefooted, and clad only in the haircloth shirt of a penitent, exposed to the inclemency of mid-winter. Then he was forced to crawl on hands and knees into the presence of the Pontiff, whose silk stocking was removed in order that the emperor might kiss the Pope’s great toe, in fulfilment of Psa. 2:12, "Kiss the Son, O ye kings of the earth."

To our understanding this is a mistaken application of Scripture. "The Son" is not the Pope. The "holy hill" is the Kingdom of God. His agency is symbolized as the holy Mount Zion. The great Messiah will completely overthrow all the things of the present time, and will establish the Kingdom of Righteousness and Truth, which will uplift mankind out of sin and degradation.

Roman Catholics believe that the Pope is the vicegerent of Christ, reigning in His stead. They believe that the present is the time when Satan is loosed to deceive the nations; that very shortly the Church will again get full power in the world; and that as a result every one who does not obey them will be destroyed. This interpretation points us to Revelation 13th and 20th Chapters. Protestants do not appreciate the situation. Doubtless all thinking people have noticed that overtures for union come from Protestantism, but never from Catholicism.

The question now arises, Why should the Scriptures picture Protestantism as an Image of the Beast? When and how did this come about? From the time of the Reformation, Protestants had been striving individually to get out of the darkness of the past and thus had formulated many creeds and had organized many denominations. But about the middle of the last century the leaders began to see that if every one continued to study the Bible individually the time would come when each one would have an individual creed. To prevent what seemed to them a loss of power, they planned a union of Protestants in a system called the Evangelical Alliance.

The Evangelical Alliance

The Evangelical Alliance, an organization of the different Protestant denominations, was formed in 1846 for the very purpose of doing in their own way the same thing that Catholicism would do in its own way. Seeing the great power that Roman Catholics would exercise because of a united system, Protestants said, "We are divided. We have no power. We will organize." Then and there, according to the Scriptures, they made an Image of the Beast.

The Bible says, however, that before the Image can do any particular harm it must receive life from the two-horned Beast. (Rev. 13:15) This two-horned Beast with horns like a lamb, but a voice like a dragon, we believe represents the Church of England, which is not a party to the Evangelical Alliance. The Church of England makes the claim which the Church of Rome makes-that she is the true Church; that all others are wrong; that she has the original apostolic succession; and that no one is commissioned to preach unless he has had divine, apostolic hands laid upon him. This has been the contention of the Church of England for centuries, and constitutes the difference between that Church and all other Protestant denominations.

Although the Evangelical Alliance was organized in 1846, it has not been able to accomplish its purpose, because it did not know how to operate. The denominations in the Alliance were united only in name, and hence have worked against each other. Denominations outside of the Alliance were declared to be unauthorized; and they, in turn, challenged the Evangelical Churches to show where they got authority to preach. As a result the Image had no power to act; it was trodden upon; and to get vitality-life-it would need apostolic succession; it must have something as a basis for operation. Today there is a great ecumenical effort to bring all segments of Protestantism into a Protestant association of churches. 

The Scriptures indicate that the Church of England will become intimate with the Evangelical Alliance and will give it apostolic authority to preach. Because of this union the Alliance will be able to say, "We have apostolic authority to preach. Let no one speak unless he has our sanction." This action on their part is described in Rev. 13:17. None will be allowed to buy or sell spiritual things in the spiritual market unless he has either the mark of the Beast or the mark of the Image.

In Rev. 16:13 we find mention of the False Prophet, another representation of the Image-the vitalized product of the Evangelical Alliance, which has taken the form of Church Federation, and has today a great deal of vitality. Whether we can expect it to have more remains to be seen. The Scriptures clearly indicate that the Image of the Beast is to get so great power that it will do the same thing that the Roman Catholic Church did in the past; and that the two systems, Catholic and Protestant, will rule the civilized world with a high hand through the civil power-the Dragon.