BY APOSTOLOS MAKRAKIS
Delivered in Concord Square the City of Athens, Greece – July 31st, 1866
While in last Wednesday’s speech, the mystery of the “great harlot” was revealed to us, the Angel of God comes today, as we promised, to reveal also the mystery of the beast that bears her. Once these mysteries become revealed to all men, the annihilation of our enemies will follow without fail.
The Angel of God, as you recall, said to St. John: “Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great harlot that sitteth upon many waters” (Revelation 17:1). Now St. John who was led away in spirit by the angel into the wilderness beholds a woman sitting upon a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. Why then is it that, while the angel says that the harlot whom he is about to show is sitting upon many waters, St. John sees her sitting upon the scarlet beast? The angel himself answers this question by explaining the meaning of “the many waters.” “The waters,” says the angel, “which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”
Because the nations bearing the harlot know not God and live according to the will of the Devil, they appear to St. John as a scarlet beast full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. That is, these nations seem to have the color and form of Satan. For St. John in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation beheld in heaven the form of a red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns: “And there appeared,” he writes, “another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.” This great dragon, writes St. John further on, is the ancient serpent called the Devil and Satan who deceives the whole world. From the Scriptural text cited above, we learn that “the many waters” are identical with the scarlet beast bearing the harlot; and that the beast depicts peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues who do not know God and are living after the manner of the beast.
As regards this beast which has the form and the name of the great dragon called the Devil and Satan, the Angel says that it “… was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition.”(Revelation 17:8). What do these words of the Angel mean? The words, “was, and is not” signify the past, for the past “was” and is no longer in the present. That the beast “shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition” points to the future. The angel, therefore, with regard to the point in time when he is speaking, means that the beast depicts both the past and the future of ungodly people who disregard God and live on earth after the manner of the beast according to the lusts and passions of corruptible flesh. It becomes clear from the interpretation which St. John offers below concerning the seven heads of the beast that this is indeed the meaning of his words: “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.” (Revelation 17:9).
The five fallen kings belong to the past; the one belongs to the present; and the other one who has not yet come belongs to the future, in relationship to the time when the angel is speaking. Thus no doubt remains at all that this scarlet beast which St. John sees in the wilderness represents the totality of ungodly peoples and nations from the beginning to the end of time. The seven heads of the beast depict seven great monarchies raised, as it were, above the peoples and nations which knew not God. Five of these kingdoms were past history when the angel was speaking; one was in existence; and the seventh and last was yet to come, according to the truthful testimony of history.
We know from history that at the time when the angel spoke to St. John, the Romans were ruling. Before the Romans there ruled the Macedonians who in turn were preceded by the Persians. The Medes ruled before the Persians, while the Babylonians ruled before the Medes. Before the Babylonians, the Assyrians reigned supreme. Macedonians, Persians, Medes, Babylonians, Assyrians – there are the five fallen heads of the beast. The Romans are the sixth head. The seventh head are the ungodly Mohammedans who arose in power after the fall of the Romans and continue to this day. The words of the Angel are precisely identical with the testimony of history; and upon the voice of these two truthful testimonies every word stands incontestable.
Once we comprehend the mystery of the beast, we can easily understand also all the angel’s words about the beast. First, the angel says: “The beast that thou saweth was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition.” With these words the angel prophesies that after the fall of the Romans there was to rise out of the bottomless pit, i.e. out of the ungodly peoples and nations, the most wicked and beastial monarchy of the Mohammedans; and that this kingdom was to suffer perdition too, once, of course, the time of its duration is fulfilled.
Then the Angel says: “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.”(Revelation 17:8). “They that dwell upon earth” here refers to those in the Roman Empire who were only nominal Christians, because there was little difference between their lives and that of the pagans. This is why their names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. Seeing that the beast was, and is not, and shall be, i.e. that it is to ascend out of the bottomless pit and suffer perdition, such people who are Christians in name alone shall wonder. In other words, they shall be scandalized and shall worship the beast.
In the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation, St. John foresaw the most ungodly authority of the Moslems which was to emerge out of the bottomless pit. He writes as follows: “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. 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.”
We interpreted the meaning of this beast in the related speech. Here we need only compare this beast with the scarlet beast upon which the great harlot sits, so that through a study of the similarities and differences we may interpret the words of the angel precisely. The two beasts have in common the seven heads and the ten horns. But they differ as the genus differs from the species. The scarlet beast signifies the totality of ungodly peoples and nations from the beginning to the end of time. This is the general beast from which there were formed and there arose upon the world scene the various specific beasts, such as the lioness, the bear, and the leopard.
The beast which emerges out of the sea signifies only the followers of the anti-Christ Mohammed, the seventh and last rule of the ungodly upon earth. Now why is the beast made up of the three specific beasts. viz, the bear, the leopard, and the lion? This too was explained in one of the past speeches. Here we need only ask, why does this last specific beast have the seven heads and the ten horns of the general beast? As regards the ten horns, we have to say that these signify the European kingdoms which co-exist with that of the Mohammedans and support them as though they were Turkish forces. Thus the last distinct beast appears with the ten horns of the general beast in order to indicate both the co-existence of the kingdom of Mohammed with those of Europe, and the support which the ungodly authority of Mohammed receives from the potentates of Europe.
The scarlet beast has also the seven heads of the general beast, because the latter is made up of the three beasts whose heads were six in number, just as the prophet Daniel envisioned them. The lioness and the bear had one head apiece, while the leopard had four. These six heads, together with the head which received the mortal wound and depicts the Ottoman monarchy, become seven in number. The last beast has these seven heads because it has a body made up of the three older beasts whose significance we explained earlier. St. John also states that the dragon gave all the might and great authority he had to this last beast. The last kingdom of the ungodly contains within itself all the others, and this is why the final beast appears to be coequal and as powerful as the general beast, having both its seven heads and its ten horns.
This distinction between the general and the specific beast contributes most significantly to the solution of a great query which we shall presently set forth. There are seven heads upon the general beast to which the angel ascribes a double significance, saying: “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.” (Revelation 17:9).
We already know from the distinction made above that the beast which was and is not and shall come out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition, signifies the seventh and last kingdom of the ungodly upon earth. The angel here calls this seventh kingdom the eighth one as well, for he says: “And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” How can the last specific beast be both the eighth one and of the seven, i.e. the seventh one? This occurs according to the manner in which one counts the kingdoms, a matter with which we shall presently become concerned.
The kingdom of the Assyrians and that of the Babylonians are numbered both one and two, just as are those of the Medes and the Persians. For whereas these nations were two, they were later combined into one state. The Greek Macedonian kingdom is numbered both one and four, for the one kingdom of Alexander was later divided into four. If one, therefore, numbers the kingdom of the Macedonian Greeks, one; those of the Persians and the Medes, two; those of the Babylonians and the Assyrians, two; that of the Romans is listed sixth, and that of the Mohammedans, seventh. But if one numbers the kingdom of the Macedonian Greeks, four; that of the Persians and the Medes, one; and that of the Babylonians and the Assyrians, one; then the Roman Empire is listed as seventh, and that of the Mohammedans, as eighth.
In order, therefore, that the Angel might indicate that the kingdoms were both united and divided, and that he might speak consistently from the resulting perspectives, he called the beast both eighth and of the seven, i.e. seventh. Now the harlot sits upon the seven heads of the general beast, which, however, signify seven mountains, and not the seven kingdoms of which we have spoken above. What do the seven mountains upon which the harlot woman sits mean? Since the woman signifies the great city of Rome, one can understand what the seven hills upon which this great city lies mean. This is the manner in which exegetes have understood the seven mountains.
The ”harlot woman” has a moral connotation; she represents the Church which has denied her own bridegroom and has committed fornication with Satan. Hence the seven mountains must be understood ethically, meaning that they represent the seven satanic vices through which the woman acquired her glory and upon which, as it were, she is basing herself and is reposing. We explained these vices in the interpretation of the Beatitudes, and indicated how they are contrary to the seven Christian virtues. Here we simply say that the satanic vices are called mountains because of the arrogance of the harlot woman. When Isaiah states that every mountain and hill shall be humbled, he means nothing else but the downfall of those who exalted themselves through wickedness and in a satanic manner opposed God with arrogance.
This moral interpretation of the seven mountains upon which the woman sits is in no way contrary to a physical interpretation, since there is similarity and analogy between the physical and the moral realms. Scripture employs physical forms and colors to represent moral virtues and vices, and there is nothing strange in that the physical situation of Rome depicts the moral state of the Roman Church.
Having explained the double meaning of the seven heads of the general beast, the Angel thereafter explains also the significance of its ten horns, saying: “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.” The princes of Europe who co-exist and reign together with the beast and the harlot do not exercise absolute rule, but rather receive this power for one hour alone, the hour during which they summon to their palace whomever they wish in order to establish a ministry. Once the ministry is set up, the kings of Europe no longer enjoy sovereign rule. These kings, says St. John the Divine, have one intention, to support the beast with whatever power and authority at their command, i.e. to defend the integrity of Turkey and the sovereign rights of the Sultan: “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” Now this unanimity, continues St. John, springs from God: “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.”
These kings who are friends of the beast are enemies of the Lamb, for St. John says: “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.” This war of the kings of Europe with the Lamb is moral, rather than physical, in nature. For the Lamb does not become arrayed in battle with cannon and incendiary weapons to kill people and conquer the earth. The Lamb rather fights with the sword which proceeds out of His mouth to win over men’s souls and save the vanquished. He engages in battle through the persons of soldiers who are called and chosen and faithful, who through faith conquer kingdom and enforce righteousness and justice.
Moral battle of which we speak subdues our opponents with the weapons of the truth and justice, and befits man’s rational nature. Physical warfare which kills bodies, however, befits wild beasts and beastial men. Moral battle is the glory of the conqueror and the salvation of the vanquished; and this is the sort of glorious and saving war which the Greek nation must declare in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ against all the potentates of Europe.
How can such a moral battle be carried on and by what means can it be executed? By abolishing the constitution of the West and the legislature which stems from the West, and establishing Christian jurisprudence and Christian civilization. Such jurisprudence radically overthrows the present political status quo of Europe. It abrogates all the existing treaties, all human forms of government, all false laws which enshackle the freedom of nations and trample upon their rights. Christian jurisprudence establishes a new state and a new order of things.
The kings who consider the status quo to their interest shall fight with all their might against such a radical change which shall be proclaimed and put into effect for the good of the nations; however, they shall toil in vain and accomplish nothing. For, being the false kings that they are, they shall not show themselves to be mightier than the true King. The Lamb shall conquer them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called and chosen and faithful. All attempts by the kings to preserve the status quo and all acts against the Christian state shall be futile; finally all men shall yield to the just and peaceful will of the Lamb.
This prophecy should inspire us, the faithful people of the Lord, with an unshaken faith and a dauntless courage so that we may act in a manner worthy of the divine task which we have been called to complete, in no way fearing our adversaries, whoever they may be. St. John the Divine asks for two virtues of the nation of the saints patience and faith. Patience until the time of the rule of the beast is terminated; faith that all things shall happen according to God’s truth and justice. Patience is a passive virtue which consists in enduring hardships and perseverance. Faith, however, is an active virtue which moves mountains and hills. The time for patience is now gone by; the time for faith and action has arrived. The opportune time has arrived when we must enter the stage of the political scene armed with the truth and justice, so that we may subdue the kings of the earth, abolish the rule of the beast, and burn in flames the disgraceful harlot!
In this great and glorious struggle we have as an ally and helper the Angel of God who revealed to us the mystery of the woman and of the beast that bears her, the beast having the seven heads and the ten horns. It is by knowing exactly who our enemies are and what the divine judgment against them is that we can easily annihilate them. We gained precise knowledge of our enemies from the Angel’s words. Now it is our task to become prudent and avail ourselves of this knowledge for the purpose of doing away with our adversaries. We must now speak as regards just what such prudence is, and what value and benefit accrue from our knowledge of the mysteries.
It is the practice of experienced commanders to spy upon their enemies forces for general and particular information in order to subdue the foe easily. Spying for particular information consists in securing knowledge of each and every company of soldiers in the enemy’s army, i.e. knowledge of how many and which soldiers each company contains, and what position it occupies. Spying for general information consists in understanding how all the enemy forces communicate with each other, and how they assist and support each other. It is of no avail to a commander to have particular knowledge of the enemy without having such general knowledge. The whole technique of military tactics consists in severing communications between the enemy forces, lest, according to Homer, “clan may stand by clan, and friends by friends.”
Now since our task is also one of battle, and since we have many adversaries to combat, we must spy upon the enemy forces for both particular and general information. In this manner we shall acquire that prudence of military skill indispensable for victory. The divine word imparts to us the assistance required to acquire both kinds of information. First, as regards spying for particular knowledge of our foes, we have the particular images in which the nature and strength of each one of our adversaries are clearly indicated. For example, in order to spy upon Islam, we have the image of the horn of blasphemy, the image of the beast which emerges from the bottomless pit, and the image of the man of sin and son of perdition. By means of these three images, we learn what the nature and strength of Mohammedanism are.
For the purpose of spying upon Romanism we have the image of the two-horned beast which comes out of the earth and the image of the great harlot who sits upon the many waters. By means of these two images we can discover what the nature and strength of Romanism are. We also learn that besides these two enemies, the anti-Christ Mohammed and the pseudo-Christ Pope, we also have other foes, viz. the ten horns of the beast and those who have become drunk from the cup of the great harlot. From this particular information acquired through spying, we can see that there are four hostile battalions arrayed against us, viz. Mohammedanism, Romanism, European diplomacy, and the spiritually intoxicated nations of Europe.
How do these four hostile battalions communicate and support each other? This matter will be ascertained by means of general information gained through spying. For this purpose we shall refer to the general image interpreted above. Therein can be seen all our enemies and the manner in which they support and help each other. This general image is that of the scarlet beast upon whose seven heads sits the “great harlot” holding in her hand the gold cup and making drunk the inhabitants of the earth.
The seventh head of the beast depicts the most ungodly monarchy of the Moslems. Its ten horns depict the kingdoms of Europe. The “harlot woman” represents the Roman Church. Her cup symbolizes the false teachings which disturbed and confused the thinking of nations. The nations which have drunk of the spiritually poisonous potion can be seen around the beast and the harlot. Thus we have in view all our enemies and the complete battle-array of the adversary. Let us now focus upon their communications and the aid which they extend to one another.
The harlot sits upon the beast, and the beast bears the harlot woman; and along with her, it bears the ten horns. Does the beast do this gratis? Of course not. The beast carries the harlot because she contributes to the preservation of the beast. The harlot woman intoxicates the inhabitants of earth with the wine of her fornication, so that they not only tolerate the barbaric authority of the beast, but also fight for her sake. If we were to suppose that the nations of Europe, were to become sober and were to understand who Christ is, and who the anti-Christ and the pseudo-Christ are, the authority of the beast would crumble, and the kingdom of the ten horns would collapse together with it.
The beast, therefore, carries the harlot, because it is itself borne by the harlot. The harlot woman labors in behalf of the beast, in order that it may sit as queen upon its heads, and continue being a mystery in the eyes of those intoxicated with the wine of her fornication. The ten horns fight in behalf of the authority of the beast, because once this is annihilated, they too are done away with. The defeat of the Turks shall establish principles and a civilization in the East which will shake the present political status quo of Europe to its very foundations.
Those who adhere to a diplomacy and policy of force and deceit are not unjustified in caring for the Sultan as though it were a matter of their own life or death. Turkism, Papal Romanism, diplomacy, and the religious and political beliefs of the European nations are one and the same system; and the collapse of one part entails the defeat of the rest. If we were to suppose that Turkism fell, and in its stead the Greek Orthodox Empire arose, Papal Romanism could not live even for one day. But the fall of Papal Catholicism would change the religious and political convictions of the nations of Europe. It is quite necessary, therefore, that new forms of government be established, new laws upon the basis of new principles, and that the present diplomatic machine fall together with the Roman Church.
If one were to suppose that Papism fell first, and that the European nations sought entrance into our Orthodox Church, Turkism would be left without a support; and could not survive even a single day. Once both Papism and Turkism are crushed, the whole continent of Europe can be transfigured and re-organized both politically and religiously according to new principles. If we were to imagine that the nations of Europe, having sobered up from their stupor, changed both their religious and their political convictions, Turkism, Papal Romanism, and diplomacy would collapse simultaneously. Then the saints of the Most High would take over the kingdom, and He who is mounted upon the white horse would reign over all the peoples and nations of the world.
Such a view explains current history and all the phenomena on the political scene. The effort by diplomats to preserve the authority of the Sultan is not inexplicable and without reason. The hatred of the Roman Church for Hellenism and the sympathy of the Roman Catholics of Europe for the Turks is not inexplicable and without reason. The oppression that our nationality is suffering from diplomats who fear our progress and the acquisition of our rights is not inexplicable and without reason. It is natural for one to assist his brother, and for friends to assist friends. It is natural for Roman Catholicism and diplomacy to support the Turks at all sacrifices and to oppress us; for, otherwise, they too are destroyed together with the defeat of our enemy.
It is not natural, however, for one to hope for help from his enemies. And those Greeks are fools who hope for assistance and protection from the defender of nationalities and from diplomacy in general. Heed not to words which are inconsistent and have double meanings. Look rather to the image of the divine word, and listen to the truthful voice of reality. It is for the sake of their survival that the horns are bound with the beast, and the beast with the harlot; It is the annihilation of all our enemies that is to our interest, however. And we can best and most quickly crush them if we succeed in severing the enemy forces’ communications and supply lines.
All the enemy’s strength is drawn from the cup of the harlot. If we shatter this cup, and if we too give the nations to drink from the completely different cup of the Wisdom of God about which we spoke earlier, we will thus transform the religious and political convictions of the nations. In this way the beast is most speedily felled together with the harlot and its horns. This is the strategem by means of which we shall break through the enemy’s battle-array, and best and quickest complete the task of 1821.
Now as regards the manner in which we can actualize this strategem, and give the inhabitants of earth to drink of the wine of Wisdom, we shall speak when we take up the subject of the technique of battle and the practical means to be employed. But now we must discuss the subject of the harlot’s cup and those who have become intoxicated from it, so that we may come to know the degree to which the wine of the harlot has harmed and is still harming our cause. The following speech will be on those who are spiritually intoxicated.