by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XX

May, 1941

Number 10.

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

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 prominent.  

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 social betterment.  

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 America.  

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 future—in 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 religion—a 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 thing—a 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 dictator.  

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 lawlessness—the wild beast—will 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 at.  

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 one—only 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 our Savior.  

"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 efforts—not by its success.