Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
ELIJAH—TYPE AND ANTITYPE.
1 Kings 17—2 Kings 1.
THE KEY TO THE ELIJAH TYPE. ITS CHRONOLOGY ALSO HELPFUL. THE ELIJAH ANTITYPE'S FIRST FIVE CENTURIES. THENCE TO 799. PROTESTERS AGAINST PAPAL ABSOLUTISM AND IDOLISM. AT ANTITYPICAL ZAREPHATH. THREE ATTEMPTS TO AROUSE A REFORM MOVEMENT. THE REFORMER MOUTHPIECE RESUMES PUBLIC ACTIVITY IN TIME OF CONTROVERSY. MEETS THE CIVIL POWERS. THE GREAT PAPAL SCHISM. TWO SETS OF REFORMERS AND THEIR REFORMATIONS. A FAMINE OF BIBLES. THE STORY OF MARY JONES' BIBLE. ITS EFFECTS. ANTITYPICAL ELIJAH'S COURSE FROM 1804 TO 1914. ANTITYPICAL ELIJAH'S ANOINTING OF ANTITYPICAL ELISHA. A SUMMARY OF THE ANTITYPES OF 1 KINGS 20-22. THE REFUTATION OF CERTAIN ERRORS ON ANTITYPICAL ELIJAH'S ADVENT. NATIONALISTIC EUROPE'S EXPERIENCES AND CONTACTS WITH ANTITYPICAL ELIJAH DURING THE WORLD WAR. THREE ATTEMPTS TO CAPTURE ANTITYPICAL ELIJAH AND THEIR RESULT. BEREAN QUESTIONS.
WHILE reviewing J. F. Rutherford's statement of his "third new view" given in "The Tower" of August 15, 1919, we promised the friends details on those parts of the Elijah type not given by our dear Pastor. While giving these we will also examine some of Brother Olson's views on some phases of the subject. Vagueness is a mild characterization of his views on this subject. All of us accept the Scriptural thought expounded by our dear Pastor in re the typical character of Elijah to the effect that he types the Christ Class in the flesh as God's mouthpiece to the world seeking to reform it (Mal. 4: 5, 6; Matt. 11: 14, see Diaglott). This thought of the Reformer Mouthpiece of God to the world is the key that enables us to unlock the Elijah type. We are, therefore, to look for the antitype in the Reform movements in the world carried on by the Faithful. The Elijah type furnishes also certain chronological data enabling us to place the various events of the antitype. Next to the
key these chronological data are the most important features enabling us to construe the type. These will enable us to test Brother Olson's and J. F. Rutherford's views on various features of Elijah in antitype. 1 Kings 17: 1-4, referring to events prior to 539, when antitypical Elijah fled into the wilderness, gives us our first chronological clue. 1 Kings 18: 1 by the expression "the third year" (of his wilderness experience) gives us our second chronological clue; consequently the events of 1 Kings 17: 1-24 were fulfilled before 1259 A.D., which began the third antitypical year of the antitypical Elijah's wilderness experience; for two symbolic years of 360 literal years total 720 literal years; and 539 A.D. plus 720 years would bring us to 1259 A. D. Another chronological feature is the time of the drought, 3 1/2 years (Jas. 5: 17); this would bring us to 1799 A. D., within a few years after which the antitypical rain broke the drought. The two awakenings (1 Kings 19: 5-7) mark the years 1829 and 1874; while the 40 days' journey end in 1914. These chronological features will greatly assist our construing the antitype.
(2) Our chronological data show us that all of the antitypes of 1 Kings 17: 1-24 precede 1259, while Brother Olson makes the scene of the dead child antitype the Reformation events between 1517 and 1799, with its awakening corresponding to the revival of foreign missionary work for the heathen, beginning 1792. He says that the antitype of Elijah's address to Ahab occurred from 325 to 539. We understand it to have occurred from 33 to 539 as follows: It began with our Lord, the Head of the Elijah class, making His good confession before Pilate, the representative of antitypical Ahab (1 Tim. 5: 15; John 18: 37), claiming that He and His Own were the exclusive (no dew or rain except at their word) mouthpiece of the Divine Revelation. This same claim was made in pantomime by St. Paul before Felix, Festus and Agrippa,
representatives of antitypical Ahab. During the Pagan Roman persecutions from 64 to 313, this same claim was made by the Faithful before Roman Magistrates, Governors and Emperors. When Pagan Rome changed into Christian (?) Rome, and the Emperors became "orthodox," the Faithful, contending against the errorists before these Emperors and their representatives by word and deed, acted out the same antitype, and this continued until they were in 539 compelled to go into the wilderness.
(3) Vs. 2-7. The Catholic party developing Papal errors and gaining the chief influence among great and small, and the Faithful being more and more driven into the background, the Lord through the principles of His Word and through His Providences indicated to the Elijah class His will that they go more and more into the isolated condition, the wilderness (vs. 2-4). Briefly stated the following was the course of these events: The great falling away began along clericalistic lines (2 Thes. 2: 7); then about 100 A. D. it began to be marked by doctrinal errors on the organization of the Church. Traces of the immortality of the soul can be found as early as in the writings of Justin Martyr, a converted Greek philosopher, who was beheaded about 165. A little later belief in the Millennium began to be undermined. About 230 the first steps toward error on Christ's relation to the Father began to be taken, and the doctrine of their equality was fixed at the Nicean Council, 325, while Trinitarianism was completed at the first Council of Constantinople, 381. With the setting aside of Millennarianism and the introduction of human Immortality and of the Trinity, eternal torment found a fertile garden, in which it grew. Next in the Nestorian controversy, 428-431, decided at the Council of Ephesus, 431, and in the Eutychian controversy, 444-451, decided at the Council of Calcedon, 451, errors on the relation of Christ's human and divine natures triumphed.
From 412-529 errors on sin, the human will, justification, election and free grace triumphed. In every one of these controversies the faithful Elijah strove against the errorists; and an unorthodox class of theologians, though not of Elijah, as defenders of vestiges of Truth against the encroaching errors, stood in part with the Faithful. These theologians as sectarians founded sectarian systems, some of which passed away after many hard experiences, and some of which, like those of the Nestorian and the Coptic Christians, continue to our day. These Sectarians, as opposers of the ever triumphant Catholics, we understand to be the antitypes of the ravens, who gave some nourishment to the Faithful during the next period, 539799. During these years, 539-799, Arianism died completely out, the last Arian nation, the Longobards, being entirely converted to Catholicism before 700. Brother Olson says that the Arian faith and people, his antitypes of the widow of Zarephath and her son (his treatment of the antitypical widow and her son is very vague and ambiguous), continued until after Waldo's time, 1173-1217. This statement is historically untrue. (See article on Arianism in McClintock & Strong's Cyclopaedia.) Waldo as well as the other Reformers from 799 until 1530 A. D. were all Trinitarians. Nothing therefore that he gives on the antitype of the Widow of Zarephath, her son, and Elijah's relation to them is historically true. Will he kindly cite only one authority to prove that Arianism was professed until and after Waldo's time before 1530 A. D.? and that Waldo was an Arian in faith and practice?
(4) Cherith (cutting, dividing, 2 Tim. 2: 15) represents the little Truth that was left with the Faithful after the above-mentioned errors were introduced. It was held in the presence of the peoples (Jordan) by those who were driven back into a more or less isolated state.
(5) There were four notable controversies between 539 and 799, during which the antitypical ravens, sectarians, nourished the antitypical Elijah: (1) whether there is now one nature in Christ or two (544-553), decided at the second Council at Constantinople, 533; (2) whether there is now one will in Christ or two (633-680), decided at the third Council of Constantinople, 680; (3) whether Christians are to give religious veneration to images or not (717-787), decided at the second Council of Nice, 787; (4) whether Christ as a Human Being was as truly God's Son as He is as a Divine Being (782-799), decided at the Frankish national Synod at Aachen, 799. Divisions, sects, were formed by these controversies. The little Truth (Cherith) that was brought over from the former period on the subjects: God, Christ, Holy Spirit, Man, Sin, Free Grace, Election, the Church, etc., was dried up during these controversies. The last of these was decided when Felix of Urgel, Spain, the leader against the Catholics, renounced his view and accepted the Catholic view after a six-day debate at the Council of Aachen, 799. Thus with the advent of the Papal Millennium, 799, antitypical Cherith dried up, and the antitypical ravens ceased to feed Elijah. It is this event, with what happened in connection with it, that enables us to fix the date when antitypical Elijah received word to go to antitypical Zarephath, smelting place.
(6) Vs. 8-16. Keeping in mind the key to the Elijah type, i.e., that we are to look for antitypical Elijah's activity in connection with protesters against error and in connection with Reform movements, we will be able to trace the antitypes of these and the following verses of this chapter. Our beloved Brother John Edgar showed us how the Counterfeit, the Papal, Millennium was from 799-1799. Such a Millennium of course had to have as its forerunner the drying up of the antitypical Cherith, and the inactivity of the
antitypical ravens within the domain under Papal control; and antitypical Elijah would have to remove to such territory as would be measurably outside the absolute control of the Pope, and under the control of a party antagonistic to such Papal Absolutism. Such territory we find in Northern Italy, in Southern and Eastern France, in Switzerland and in Germany; for in this territory, under more or less State protection, people lived who were opposed to the Pope's Absolutism and to some of the peculiar practices of the Church of Rome. The leaders of this party from 799-840 were first Emperor Charlemagne, and later his eldest son, Louis, called in history Louis, the Pious, who succeeded his father as Emperor in 814. Charlemagne and especially Louis resisted the papal claims to supremacy in the Church, standing for the rights of the Franco-Longobardo-Germanic clergy against the Pope's claims, and insisted on his subordination to the Emperor in the State. Furthermore, they opposed the Idolism of the Papacy as it was manifest in its saint, angel, relics and image worship. On these questions they were supported by many of the clergy, nobility and people of their dominions, the countries mentioned above. This party, therefore, consisted of the protesters against Papal Absolutism and Idolatry, and is according to our understanding the antitype of the Widow of Zarephath. They were an antitypical Widow, because they were bereaved of the support and fellowship of the ever increasing powerful party standing for Papal Supremacy and Idolism. It was to the former party, as to a supporter, that the Lord by certain principles of His Word and by His Providences led the Elijah class, especially in the persons of two of its leaders, a Claudius, afterward Bishop of Turin, Italy, who in Church History is called the first Protestant Reformer, and who died in 839, and an Agobard, afterward Archbishop of Lyons, France, who died in 840. It is
certain of the former and it is highly probable of the latter that they with other consecrated brethren came with Felix of Urgel, the last raven, from Spain, the scene of the last and fourth controversy of the period 539-799 to attend the debate mentioned above at the Frankish national Synod at Aachen, 799. As the outcome of the debate all of these saw Cherith entirely dried up, and the ravens no more giving the Elijah Class antitypical bread and meat. While thus engaged they met Louis, the Pious, who was then ruling over a part of his father's Empire in Southern and Southeastern France and Northwestern Italy. At their earnest request he invited them to the privileges of his monastic educational institutions, where among other things Louis' views against Papal Supremacy and Idolism were taught these young men. They were very hungry for the Scriptural instructions obtainable in these institutions; and Louis later invited some of them, notably Claudius and Agobard, to his court as counselors, teachers and priests. After they had thus been fed with the knowledge obtainable from the protesting party, all of these young men became very active in advocating reforms antagonistic to Papal Supremacy and Idolism; especially was this the case with Claudius at Turin from 813 to 839 and Agobard at Lyons from 813 to 840.
(7) With these briefly sketched facts in mind let us look at the type. Zarephath, smelting place, represents the trying position of the Protestors against Papal Absolutism and Idolism. Its belonging to antitypical Zidon, fishing, implies that they lived in a sphere out of harmony with the general trend of Nominal spiritual Israel, and yet were more or less compromising (fishing, merchandising) with it. The widow being at the gate of the city represents the prominence of the protesting party. The two sticks represent Antipapal Absolutism and Anti-idolism. Collecting them represents gathering Biblical, factual and reasonable
arguments on these subjects. Elijah's finding her there, and requesting food and drink to be given him, and that before she should prepare it for herself and her son, who represents the reform movements of the Protesters, are typical (1) of the consecrated brethren coming from Spain finding the Protesters in public as a prominent party studying and working against Papal Absolutism and Idolism; and (2) earnestly seeking from these protesters as the latter's first activity, instruction along the line of such Truth as they had in their power to give. Antitypical Elijah then promised them subsequent nourishment along these lines. The barrel represents the Bible which Charlemagne and Louis had had copied by the monks, and placed in the churches and monasteries of Lombardy, France and Germany. The meal represents the little Biblical Truth that they found in the Bible. The cruse of oil represents the spirit of understanding on certain Biblical subjects (Matt. 25: 1-12). The protesting party as shown above gave the antitypical Elijah the desired Truth, and then followed feasts that sustained throughout the antitypical drought, the protesting party and their reform movements, the latter for a century, as antitypical Elijah promised.
(8) Louis, the Pious, in 813 sent Claudius to Turin, and Agobard to Lyons with the express charge to work against Papal Absolutism and Idolism. They, especially the former, supported by numerous likeminded brethren waged a valiant fight along these lines, even casting the images and relics out of the churches. This brought Claudius in conflict with the Pope, who was told by the former, while protesting against his reform activities that, if he, the Pope, would act as an Apostle, he would respect him; but if not, Matt. 23: 24 applied to him! Both the oral and literary activity of these brethren centered especially upon Claudius, their champion, the hatred of the Papal party; but it heartened the Protesting party and
kept its reform movement (the widow's son) active, especially in Lombardy, France and Germany, resulting in the French, Longobard and German clergy and rulers gaining laws and powers that gave them liberties, later called the "Gallican Church Liberties," and a liberal spirit above those found anywhere else in Christendom. This spirit and these liberties enabled many of the French and German clergy under the leadership of the Metropolitan Hincmar, Archbishop at Rheims, France, 845-882, and the Metropolitan Hatto I, Archbishop at Mainz, Germany, 891913, successfully to resist Papal Absolutism. This spirit kept France and Germany relatively free for a long time from the gross idolatry that reigned elsewhere in the worship of angels, saints, images and relics. This spirit enabled a Ratrammus ably to refute Transubstantiation (Idolism) which was being advanced as an idolatrous basis for the Mass by its originator, his abbot, Paschasius Radbertus, who died, 865. Yea, without the support of such a party, animated by such a spirit, and supporting such liberties, antitypical Elijah could not have survived amid the existing Papal spirit.
(9) Vs. 17-24. As above indicated, throughout the ninth century reform movements advocated by antitypical Elijah were kept alive by the Protesting party. The widow's son lived. But early in the tenth century, which history calls "the dark century," the above described reform movements (the widow's son) died and nothing was done to resuscitate them until the middle of the next century. The effort at resuscitation was not attempted by the Protesting party (the widow), which was during this time deeply depressed, overpowered and overawed; but it was done as a nonpartisan work (Elijah taking the dead child from its mother to his own chamber) entirely in the consecrated religious domain. In all it required three long efforts to be made against Papal Absolutism and Idolism,
before a reform movement along these lines could be permanently established (the awakening of the dead son). In all three of these movements the two objects of reform, Papal Absolutism and Idolism, were contended against.
(10) The celibacy of the priesthood, freeing the clergy from social, and thus measurably from national ties, binds the Roman Catholic Clergy to the Pope's supremacy rather than to that of the States where they live. Hence Papacy has stood for it. Whatever advanced it advanced the Papacy; whatever weakened it weakened the Papacy. Hildebrand (1015-1087), afterward as Pope called Gregory VII, both before and after becoming Pope, stood alike against the immorality and the marriage of the clergy, and adroitly turned the sentiment of the people against the marriage of some, as well as the immorality of others of the clergy, claiming that both alike were adultery. In Lombardy many of the clergy were grossly immoral. Hildebrand sought to enforce both morality and celibacy on these. For the latter he was resolutely withstood by the Longobard clergy and nobility, at whose head stood Guido, Archbishop of Milan. In the ensuing conflict allegiance to Rome was renounced. For 30 years, 1046-1076, the struggle continued, and Rome won. Antitypical Elijah failed to arouse a permanent reform against this feature of Papacy's Absolutism, in whose interests much blood was shed in this conflict. Simultaneously from 1045-1079 a reform movement was attempted against Idolism in the form of Transubstantiation by Berangar of Tours, France, one of the ablest men of his day, who aroused quite a controversy, but was forced to give up by Hildebrand, 1079; and the reform movement against Idolism failed of results at the hands of Hildebrand, one of the three most powerful Popes. These unsuccessful efforts against Papal Absolutism and Idolism antitype Elijah's first unsuccessful effort to resuscitate the widow's
son. This simultaneous and unsuccessful effort at inaugurating a reform movement was the first of such efforts since the close of the ninth century, 150 years before, during which time the antitypical child was dead.
(11) A second and unsuccessful effort at reform against Papal Absolutism and Idolism received its impulse from Peter Abelard (1079-1142), the ablest teacher and theologian of the twelfth century. Among other things he advocated the use of Reason in interpreting Scripture doctrines and Church Government. His principles led him and his pupils into a spirit antagonistic to the reigning spirit; and some of these, like Peter of Bruys, Holland, Henry of Lausanne, Switzerland, in Southern France, from 1106 to 1148, and Arnold of Brescia, Lombardy, 11361155, in Italy, attacked Papal Absolutism. Considerable excitement arose, as a result, amid which Peter, 1126, was burned at the stake, Henry, 1148, was condemned to life imprisonment, and Arnold was strangled, 1155; hence there was a failure in their efforts to form a successful reform movement against Papal Absolutism. Simultaneously Abelard was terribly persecuted, and forced to be silent, and his able pupil, Folmar of Triefenstein, Germany, was forced to give up his fight against Transubstantiation, Idolism. Thus a second time antitypical Elijah sought to arouse a reform movement against Papal Absolutism and Idolism and failed. The widow's son failed a second time to come to life.
(12) The third attempt to arouse a reform movement against Papal Absolutism and Idolism was made by Peter Waldo, whose activities were from 1173 to 1217, and by his colaborers, the French and Italian Waldensians. In the French movement, especially, a reform against Papal Absolutism was carried out, while the Italian Waldensians added to this a reform against Idolism. This movement spread over large
parts of Europe; and a papal crusade and inquisition (for details see B 335-337, 341, 343), especially under Innocent III, the most powerful of Popes, sought in vain to overthrow it. It lived and today lives, being the oldest of existing Protestant movements. Waldo and others, arousing it into activity, are the antitype of Elijah in his third and successful attempt to raise the widow's son to life. And the antitype shows that the protesting party from that time onward acknowledged the faithful servants of God as His mouthpiece; for many Antipapists who did not become Waldensian Reformers stood with the Faithful in the antipapal cause.
(13) If Church history is searched up to 1259, the above-described works of Reform will be found to be the only marked ones; and these antitype Elijah's works of this chapter. We call the attention of those brethren who have read Brother Olson's explanation of 1 Kings 17 to note in contrast with the above specific description of the reform works of antitypical Elijah, the vague and unhistorical statements of Brother Olson on these types. He correctly fixes 1259 in harmony with 1 Kings 18: 1 as the beginning of the third antitypical year; but he must have been asleep and dreaming, when he overlooked the statements of this verse, which prove that the antitypes of the seventeenth chapter preceded the antitypical "third year" of this verse, for he makes the antitype of 1 Kings 17: 17-24 take place between 1517 and 1799, even claiming that the foreign missions revival toward the end of the eighteenth century antityped the awakening of the child! He has incurred great responsibility in misleading guileless brethren unacquainted with Church History!
(14) Properly to understand 1 Kings 18: 1-46 two things must be kept in mind: (1) the key: Elijah representing the Church as the Reformer Mouthpiece of God to the world, and (2) his encounter with the
priests of Baal, according to v. 1, occurring during the third year of the drought, therefore some time between 1259 and 1619. This latter date was one year after the commencement of the great war between the Catholic and Protestant powers, called the Thirty Years' War, 16181648. If these thoughts are kept in mind, we will readily see, both as set forth in the Bible and in our dear Pastor's writings, how grossly erroneous was J. F. Rutherford's claim, Z '19-244, that antitypical Elijah's slaying of the antitypical prophets of Baal occurred in 1917 and 1918!
(15) Both by the Parallel Dispensations and the Pyramid, as our dear Brothers Edgar have shown, the year which is 50 years after 1259 is marked as the beginning of the reformatory activity of antitypical Elijah following the Waldensian movement. Marsiglio, the parallel of Zerubbabel, the first of this line of Reformers, began his reform work in 1309. He is the first one of antitypical Elijah to whom "after many days" (following the inauguration of the Waldensian movement), "in the third year," 1269-1619, the Lord's command came to step forth on the stage of reform activity in the presence of the European Civil Rulers, antitypical Ahab. Let us summarize some aspects of the history of that period and the antitypes will become clear. Brother Olson's time, 1517-1799, for this antitype contradicts his time, "toward 1799," for the awakening of the antitypical Widow's son and the sacrifice of the antitypical prophets of Baal.
(16) Phillip IV, the Fair, 1285-1314, one of the most powerful of French kings, quarreled with Pope Boniface VIII, 1294-1303, almost throughout the latter's pontificate. Boniface in several bulls publicly attacked Phillip; because the latter wanted to appropriate certain revenues which Boniface wanted. In his bulls the most extravagant claims of absolute power over Church and State were made by the Pope, among other things asserting that rulers were subject
in temporal matters to the Pope, were their representatives in office, and must therefore conduct civil affairs according to the Pope's directions on pain of anathema and freeing of their subjects from the oath of allegiance. Boniface then sought to interfere in the affairs of France, and called a council to examine Phillip's affairs at Rome. Had the Bible in its influence (rain) been on the earth the laws (asses and horses) of the French Church and State would not thus have been trampled under foot by the Pope. Civil and Ecclesiastical France arose in mighty protest against the Pope's claims and course, siding unanimously with the King. The Clergy, led by the Dominican theologian, John of Paris, asserted the Gallican Church Liberties, and at the King's behest began to search for arguments (fountains and brooks) to preserve their doctrines (asses) on the powers of the French Clergy; while the Civil Power, especially through the nobles and lawyers led by the advocate, Peter DuBois, sought arguments to sustain their views (horses) in the secular law. Thus there was a sore famine (lack of civil rights whose support is in the Bible teachings) in antitypical Samaria (the State). Ahab represents the autocratic civil rulers, the State party, and Obadiah, the Catholic Church party which stood out against Papal Absolutism. Boniface was defeated in his efforts against Phillip; and with him Popedom, which he found at the very summit of power in the earth, began to decline. Boniface and his successors utterly failed against the French; rather from 1305 to 1377 the popes were compelled to live in France, from 1309 to 1377 at Avignon, subject to the French government. Boniface and his successors were, however, more successful in their conflict with the Germano-Italian Emperors and clergy with whom they waged warfare similar to that which Boniface carried on with Phillip. In Germany and Italy strong, but not very successful efforts were made to preserve
the legal rights of the Civil and Ecclesiastical party, especially the former set of rights, as against Papal pretensions. Similar conflicts were waged in other countries, notably Britain. It was thus manifest that there was a dearth of legal and ecclesiastical power as against the Papacy in antitypical Samaria. Each of the anti-papal-Absolutism parties (Ahab and Obadiah) sought in its separate sphere (vs. 5, 6) by legal, ecclesiastical and Scriptural arguments (fountains and brooks) to preserve its set of laws and the privileges guaranteed by them. The Franco-German liberal party had for centuries (v. 4) sought to shield the so-called heretics from papal persecution, among other things preventing the legal introduction of the Inquisition into Germany. As we saw previously, they more or less protected the teachers (the hundred prophets) who stood out against Papal Absolutism and Idolism. Yet as a class they were more or less compromising with Rome, only then earnestly fighting the Pope, when he sought to overthrow their rights. From this we can readily see, as against J. F. Rutherford's claim, that Obadiah does not type the Great Company, though doubtless some individuals of that class are involved in the Obadiah picture; for Obadiah's course is in some ways Great Company-like.
(17) Vs. 7-18. It was while these struggles were going on that God aroused first Marsiglio, 1309, then later as his colaborers John of Jandun, Michael of Cesena, General of the Franciscan order of monks, and William Occam, a prominent member of the same order, who with lesser lights appeared from a Biblical standpoint as the ablest defenders of the rights of the State and the Church as against the Papal Absolutism. Their views were so far in advance of those of the Franco-Germano-Italian anti-papal clergy, that they were at once by these recognized as the spiritual kinsfolk of the so-called "heretics" of old, antitypical Elijah; and this clerical party (typed by the conduct
of Obadiah, vs. 7-14) feared to have the civil rulers think them associated with such "heretics." However, unable to divert these faithful men from their course (v. 15), they introduced their views to the French rulers and later to the Germano-Italian Emperor, Louis, the Bavarian, etc., preparatory to these rulers receiving antitypical Elijah and discussing matters with him (v. 16). There was some difficulty in making the civil rulers believe in the innocence of these Reformers (vs. 17, 18), since the former had been deceived by the Papal party into believing that "the heretics" were mainly responsible for the evils in Christendom. But in due course they succeeded in proving to the civil rulers that the trouble was due to the civil powers' yielding to Papacy's claims. This lesson was largely learned by the rulers before Wyclif, who for years had been defending the English King, Parliament and People against papal claims, appeared as a doctrinal Reformer in 1378. Thus antitypical Elijah succeeded in part in convincing the civil powers of Europe that Papacy's unscriptural, unreasonable and unfactual claims were mainly responsible for the current corrupt conditions in Church, State and Society. And what in this respect they failed to achieve completely was accomplished by the Papal Schism.
(18) Vs. 19-25. The year 1377 witnessed the return of the Papacy from Avignon to Rome; and the next year the great Papal Schism began, lasting until 1417, by which Christendom was treated to the unedifying spectacle of two and sometimes three rival popes anathematizing one another and one another's adherents, and seeking by base diplomacy to steal from one another the support of various States and influential individuals. This schism called forth Wyclif (1378-1384) and Huss (1391-1415) as Reformers, who with many supporters cried out for a Reform of doctrine, organization and practice along Biblical lines. When rogues quarrel the truth comes out! Hence each
Papal party exposed the wickedness of the other. The Reformers cried out to the rulers to call for a Reformation. The rulers became convinced of its necessity and throughout Christendom set into operation policies having this end in view (vs. 19, 20). Certain civil rulers induced some of the leading Catholic theologians and prelates of the more liberal kind, who with shame acknowledged the corruption in church discipline and life, to demand reform (v. 20). Notable among these were Cardinal D'Ailly of France, Gerson, Chancellor of the Paris University, Nicholas Clemanges, Rector of the Paris University, Cardinal D'Aleman, Henry of Langenstein, Dietrich of Niem and Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, with a horde of others great and small (vs. 19, 20). Thus by the exposures of ecclesiastical evils two reform parties came into prominence (1) a Biblical one, antitypical Elijah, demanding a Biblical reform of doctrine, organization and practice and (2) a Clericalistic (Baalistic) one which strove for an external reformation of life, leaving the doctrines, organization and practices of Rome untouched. The antitypical prophets of Baal stood for Clericalism, but not for Papal Absolutism, claiming that a general council was superior to the Pope.
(19) Wyclif and Huss, etc., appealed to the people as well as to the rulers, and aroused a universal sentiment for reform; but the people did not respond fully to the kind these Reformers wanted. They halted between two opinions (v. 21). The charge that they were but few compared with the other Reform party antitypical Elijah acknowledged (v. 22), and turned into an occasion of a test as to whose reformatory sacrificial principles and work would meet with God's manifested approval. (Answer by fire, Lev. 9: 24.) Assembling at Carmel (garden, fruitful) represents that practical results from the reformatory sacrifices were sought for. Each reform party claimed that its
own program was the only practical one; and antitypical Elijah counseled the people to choose between the two and their principles (vs. 21, 22) according to the results, as the manifestation of God's acceptance (v. 23, 24). Antitypical Elijah could safely do this, because he knew Satan would not reform his kingdom. The people generally considered this a proper way to decide (v. 24). Each bullock represents the humanity of the respective offerers. The pieces represented the separate participants in the two reform movements. The wood represented the Scriptures and arguments used by each side. No fire being put under either bullock represents that each side was to leave it to what was in reality its God, Jehovah or Satan, to manifest acceptance of the work. Antitypical Elijah naturally deferred to the vast number of the other Reform party, in the use of the first chance to reform the Church (v. 25).
(20) Vs. 26-29. The Clericalistic (Baalistic) Catholic Reform party found the Popes and the college of Cardinals their worst obstacles in the way of reform, and by these were continually impeded in, and finally defeated from accomplishing any results. Not that they did not labor most arduously to obtain them; for never was harder effort expended on a cause. Supported by kings and emperors, who required the calling of three general councils, (1) at Pisa, 1409-1412, (2) at Constance, 1414-1418, and (3) at Basel, 1431-1449, they made most strenuous efforts at reform. But refusing to reform Romish doctrines, organization and practices, and limiting their efforts to reforming Papal Absolutism and the morals of the Church in head (pope) and members (clergy) they stood for the general Catholic system of Clericalism, Baalism; and thus every effort of theirs was frustrated. This reform party thought it was laboring for Jehovah, but as Baal worshipers they were serving Satan, and they got no response; for Satan did not want their
Reformation (v. 26). They certainly trampled upon the Church (altar) by their exposures, e.g., at Pisa after terrible exposures they deposed the two opposing Popes, elected another, and as a net result of their labors had three Popes on their hands, all three having numerous followers! At Constance, where Huss, prosecuted by D'Ailly, was martyred, the most monstrous crimes, 72 in number, were charged and proven against Pope John XXIII, who was consequently deposed. Great reputations were blasted. Matters went even worse at Basel. The Catholic Church, the altar, in its hierarchy, head and members, was trampled under foot!
(21) To the confusion of the Catholic Reformers the course of John Huss, and of many of his and Wyclif's followers brought the Catholic Reformers into more or less contempt, as their fruitless efforts became more and more apparent, and were through the teachings and ridicule of antitypical Elijah set at naught (v. 27). "After their manner" they cut themselves with public confessions of, and penances for their wrong doings, and labored so hard that many of them died of sheer exhaustion (v. 28)! And though their hopes of reforming the Church were one after another frustrated by crafty Popes and intriguing Cardinals and their supporters, they continued their labors into unparalleled lengths. The Council of Basel lasted 18 years! Imagine a Convention lasting 18 years! And the holy Fathers were certainly longwinded; not a few of them orated eight days in a stretch with only brief pauses for necessary refreshment; and to prove that these were only average efforts, others drew out their long-windedness in speeches of thirteen days' duration! Oh! They certainly "prophesied until evening"! But to no avail (v. 29). Their principles and their works were set aside or diverted; so that after their reform efforts ceased, about ten years after the Council of Basel,
Popes, each one worse than his predecessor, culminating in Alexander VI, 1492-1503, perhaps the most wicked of all Popes, succeeded one another in a debauch of wrong doings as wicked as those of the Popes of the tenth century or of any other century.
(22) Vs. 30-38. Antitypical Elijah, in the persons of John Wessel, who died 1489, and his colaborers in Netherlands and Germany, and of Savonarola, martyred, 1498, and his colaborers in Italy, worked among the people, attracting very favorable attention, especially from 1479 onward. ("Come near me.") They aroused a spirit of genuine consecration among not a few ("repaired the altar," v. 30). Their appeal was to all the consecrated (twelve stones, the twelve tribes of Spiritual Israel) on the basis of the Bible as the sole source and rule of faith and practice, of Jesus as the only Head of the Church, of the Priesthood of all consecrated believers and of Justification by faith. Thus they gathered together the true Church, the altar. Luther and Zwingli a little later, espousing the same principles, began the antitypical sacrificing, and were shortly joined by numerous colaborers. The trench around the altar represents the sphere within which their reform labors would be confined, i.e., the Bible. The two measures of meal, the capacity of the trench, were its two parts, the Old and New Testaments, full of truths. Therefore they limited their reformatory efforts to Biblical doctrines, organization and practice, as far as these were then due (v. 32). The wood represents Scriptural passages and Scriptural, reasonable and factual arguments used in their reform efforts; the pieces of the bullock represent individually the humanity of the antitypical Elijah. The four barrels of water represent the four main principles of the Protestant Reformation: (1) the Bible, the sole source and rule of faith and practice, (2) Jesus, the only Head of the true Church, (3) Justification by Faith alone, and (4) the exclusive Priesthood of Consecrated