Radio speakers tell us that the church of the future
will be a very fine thing. All agree that doctrine will be taboo,
but that humanitarian principles and matters of social uplift will be
We have a picture of that church, in the sacred
scriptures. It will consist of the religion of the Chinese and the
Japanese, the religion of the people of India, the Mohammedans religion,
and the Christian religion, with Christ entirely absent from it.
That the teaching of doctrine will be left out, I have no doubt.
And there is no reason to deny that it will be a pretense at uplift and
But I am getting ahead of the story. Daniel, in
the seventh chapter of the prophecy that bears his name, tells of a
vision, in which he saw four great beasts. The eastern one was a
lioness, the next a she-bear, and the next a leopardess and the fourth,
or western one, a female monster that could not be named. The
leopardess had four heads and the monstress had ten horns.
Brother A. E. Knoch has recently written some
interesting and instructive articles on this part of the
scripture. The fact that these beasts are feminine, shows that
religions are meant. That there is rule, is evident. The
lesson seems to be political powers under the sway of earth's four great
religions. Brother Knoch's articles are printed in his magazine,
Unsearchable Riches, published at 2823 East Sixth Street, Los Angeles,
California. The magazine is priced a dollar a year. I wish every
reader of the Messenger were also a reader of that magazine.
The eastern religion is Buddhism; that of India is
Brahmanism; Mohammedanism is to be found among the Arabs and others in
that part of the world; Christendom is found in Europe and
While the most beautiful principle on earth, is the
principle of Christ Jesus, the great bulk of Christendom knows nothing
of such a spirit. In stead, it has done just what the monstress in
the vision was doing. It has trampled on the peoples of the other
religions, and in the name of Christ, but certainly not under the
influence of His spirit, some of the nations of Christendom have taken
what they wanted from nations that were under the other religions.
The business man has followed the missionary, and has used the successes
of the former, to fill his own coffers with the goods of others.
Christian nations have grown rich by plundering, in one way and another,
the nations represented in the picture, as under the lioness, the
she-bear and the leopardess.
Daniel saw those four beasts in the course of their
history. John saw the four, combined into one. He calls it a
wild beast, Unveiling (Revelation) 13. He saw it as it will be in
the futurein the Lord's day, Un. 1:10. He says, "And
the wild beast which I perceived was like a leopard, and its feet were
as a bear's, and its mouth as the mouth of a lion," Un. 13:2.
He had previously said the beast had seven heads and ten horns.
The lioness, the leopardess and the monstress of Daniel's vision each
had one head, making three heads. The leopardess had four
heads. This makes seven. The wild beast has seven heads, and
the same ten horns that Daniel saw on the monstress.
The wild beat is in the temple or religious section
of the Unveiling. Thus it represents a religious power. Its
authority will be over "every tribe and people and language and
nation," verse 7. This shows that it represents a
political state that shall include the entire surface of the
earth. "And all who are dwelling on the earth will be
worshiping it, everyone whose name is not written in the scroll of life
of the Lambkin. Which has been slain from the disruption of the
world," next verse. Thus it will be a religion power as
well. In other words, it will be a world-wide stare and a
world-wide religiona union of church and state.
It will be an absolute dictatorship, politically, and
a combination of Buddhism, Brahmanism, Mohammedanism and Christendom
religiously. But there will be no real Christianity in it.
It cannot assume the form described by John, until the ecclesia which is
the body of Christ is taken out of the earth. John came to be in
the Lord's day, in spirit, Un. 1:10. Nothing of which he wrote can
take place until the day of the Lord comes. And that day will not
come until the man of lawlessness is unveiled, which cannot be done
until that which is detaining at present is taken away, II Thes.
2:1-12. That which is detaining is the fact of the presence of the
ecclesia which is the body of Christ.
After the ecclesia is taken away not a believer will
be left on earth. However, churches will be left here as well as
representatives of the other three religions. These will combine
to form "the synagogue of Satan," Un. 2:9. In the
meantime, Jewish ecclesias will have been formed, as seen in the seven
churches of Asia. One of those synagogues of Satan will, for some
reason, seek fellowship with the ecclesia of Smyrna, and will falsely
claim to be Jews.
The church of the future will be a Christ less thinga
mass of unbelievers, controlling the world political state.
Not only is that state called a wild beast; the
dictator is called by the same title, in Un. 13. This is not
strange. We do that, even today. Don't we speak of Hitler,
when we mean Germany? Do not German papers say
"Churchill," when they mean England? And is not our
country often referred to by people abroad, as Roosevelt? If a
ruler is a dictator, or if we think he is, we refer to him as the
state. This is why the world dictator of the time of the end, is
called the wild beast.
The seven heads are declared to be mountains, Un.
17.9. The wording of the original shows this to be a figure of
speech. In other words, the seven heads, the seven heads represent
seven mountains. And mountain is a symbol of government. It
seems the church-state will be supported by seven stable
governments. Horns are used for fighting. I will not try to
identify the seven governments, but it is easy to see that the ten horns
represent ten military powers, and that these are western, or
"Christian" powers, since the ten horns are on the monstress
that Daniel saw.
So here is the picture: There will be a world state,
governed by a world church, with a dictator at the head of both church
and state. Seven stable governments will give stability to the
state, and ten western military powers will enforce its decrees .
And what kind of uplift will be undertaken?
Uplift at the expense of Gods earthly people, the Jews. In the
Unveiling, persecution seems to be directed at them. The thought
will be: "Jews must be exterminated from the earth. Then
everything will be all right."
But it will be a time when God is blessing His
earthly people, or some of them. He will give them hearts of flesh
instead of their present stony hearts. He will put His spirit in
them. Ezek. 36.
The dictator will demonstrate to the satisfaction of
all unbelievers, that he is God. In this he will be supported by
his prophet, who is described as the second wild beast and the false prophet.
It will be the function of this man to see that the people worship the
This will not be such a long step downward.
Christendom, in large measure, deifies man today. Even some of the
saints are tainted with this. When the ecclesia is gone
Christendom will naturally gravitate to the level where the man of
lawlessnessthe wild beastwill be recognized as God.
Those who will not so recognize him are believing Jews. Hence the
bitter persecution that will be directed against them.
The end of the church of the future is shown in Un.
19. It will be effected by the coming of Christ to establish His
kingdom. Millions of the soldiers of the church will be gathered
together, and shall be smitten by the coming Lord. Only the wild
beast and the false prophet will be left alive. They will be cast
in the lake of fire and brimstone.
The church today dreams of world conquest. Ever
since a Roman emperor claimed to have been directed to conquer in the
sign of the cross, the church has had this aim. Nor is there any
appreciable difference between Catholics and Protestants. While
the former claims the right to rule nations, the latter believes it has
the right to direct and demand legislation. It expects to bring in
the millennium through such means. Taken as a whole, it does not
long for the coming of Christ. If He will just stay away long
enough, it will get things in good shape! It will do it through
social work and legislation! And the fact that He is coming, is
well nigh lost sight of. Not heaven, but a
socially-and-politically-right world, is what the church aims
Let us be humbled by this. We are part of
Christendom. But let us not partake of its activities. Let
us, like Paul, look to the progress of the evangel, leaving social and
political "betterment" to others.
And let us rejoice and give thanks that the career of
the church of the future will be a short oneonly 42 months.
While we will not be on earth, perhaps some of our loved ones
will. Let us rejoice that the church of the future will not be
allowed to destroy the Jewish ecclesia. And let us rejoice that,
for a thousand years, that ecclesia will be used of God to bring to the
earth real social and political blessing, after the church of the future
has had its career stopped by the personal intervention of Him Who is
"Church," today, means no more than
synagogue. It is a group led together. The ecclesia is the
out-called of God. Many of its members are mixed in with the
churches. Some are not. The ecclesia is found in many
nations. Membership in religious organizations counts for nothing,
and, in many cases, less than nothing. That which really counts,
is the fact that God called them out. The church will be left here
to go on its way unhampered, after the ecclesia is snatched away for
meeting the Lord in the air, I Thess. 4:13-18. And, unhampered it
will go, until the day when He Who is the Word of God will come to fight
against a Godless and Christless church.
This is not the same picture that the radio speakers
paint for us. But it is the one that is painted by the inspired
word. Many are the preachers who paint a rosy future for the
church. More and more, doctrinal preaching is discouraged.
Social work is more and more in demand.
But churchmen will not believe the church of the
future will turn out bad. They look for it to become more and more
glorious, until the millennium is here in full blast.
However, the word of God tells us that the future
glory for the earth will come about by the destruction of man's effortsnot
by its success.