Revelation Part 4
THE BOOK OF REVELATION
By: Bertrand L. Comparet
Lesson #4 Of A Series Of 14, Transcribed From Audio Tapes
Clifton A. Emahiser’s
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Fostoria, OH 44830
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[Unless in brackets, all of the message is by Bertrand L. Comparet.] We’ve been working the last few months on the Book of Revelation. That’s a big subject, and we’re going to go through a good many more months before we finish it all. We had gotten into the matter of the opening of the seven seals. We saw that at the opening of the first seal, John had a vision of a white horse. The man who rode upon the horse wore a crown. He was given a bow and went out conquering, and continued conquering, symbolic of the Roman Empire in its period of expansion. We saw that was fulfilled exactly in the history of the Roman Empire, covering the period from 31 B.C. to 180 A.D. Then, the second seal was opened and John said, when he had opened the second seal: “I heard the second living creature say, come and see, And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.” [See note #1 at end of lesson.]
You notice the first rider on the white horse, this was symbolic of the Roman Empire because it was, you might say, a matter of uniform. The emperor, in all his processions, always rode a white horse, and the conquering Roman generals in their triumphal processions always rode on white horses. During this first period the rider had a bow, a weapon which strikes at a long distance away. Rome had peace and prosperity at home, while the warfare was on her borders as she expanded by conquest of other nations. But now this second one – this rider was given a sword, a weapon with which you can strike just at arms length. “And power was given him to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another.” Hence, this obviously symbolizes civil warfare at home. And so it was.
You had a period in Rome, from 180 A.D. to 312 A.D., where much of the time you didn’t have an orderly, legitimate succession of emperors coming to the throne by legitimate inheritance. There were a few of them, but more often the throne was seized by a military adventurer – whoever could get a sufficiently large part of the army to back him was the next emperor. And he didn’t always wait for the preceding emperor to die. He sometimes saw to that little detail himself as part of his getting to the throne.
So, you had a group of, generally, thoroughly bad emperors in that period. Commodus was one of the bloodiest and most licentious tyrants in history. Two emperors in the period 192-193; Septimius Severus, 193 to 211 A.D.; Caracalla, 212 to 217, (noted for his brutality); Elagabalus, 218 to 222, who was only noted for his debauchery; Alexander Severus, 222 to 235, a barely able ruler; and then utter chaos. Twelve emperors in the next 33 years, all of them put in office by armies, nearly all of them assassinated by soldiers to make room for some new emperor. And finally, the last of these emperors, Diocletian, from 284 to 305 A.D. Diocletian was a fairly able administrator and he did make some reform, but at the cost of building up an enormous, top-heavy bureaucracy, with of course, the attending enormous expenses, and increasing an already crushing burden of taxation. And finally, Diocletian abdicated in 305 A.D., leaving the empire to break down in total chaos, with the wild scramble of many military adventurers trying to get the throne. Constantine, who had been in charge of the forces in Britain – a very able soldier, a good administrator, very well liked by the army – Constantine got the necessary military backing and seized the throne in 312 to 313 A.D. [See notes #2 and #3 at end of lesson.]
Now the third seal was symbolic of another stage of the breakdown and dissolution of the Roman Empire. “And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say: Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say, A measure of wheat for a denarius, and three measures of barley for a denarius; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”
Note that the rider on this horse had no crown. This was not an emperor. This measure of wheat; a choínix, was about one quart. The Roman coin, a denarius, worth about 24 cents in modern money, was a day’s wage for a common laborer in those days. Thus, for a day’s wages you could get a quart of wheat. Definitely hard times and inflation. That phrase “see that thou hurt not the oil and the wine”, doesn’t seem to make very much sense. An alternative translation of that is equally available. It reads: “see that thou be not unjust regarding the oil and the wine.” Probably, under the circumstances here, this is the correct one. Now the black horse, of course, is symbolic of depression and gloom. The balance scale that the rider carried was a well known symbol in the Roman Empire for two things. One was justice; the claims of the opposing parties were weighed in the scales. And the other was a symbol for commerce because, of course, the things bought and sold were largely sold by weight, and while coined money was in use, its use was not exclusive and you still, in many instances, had to weigh out an ingot of gold or silver and determine the weight of it from which you could compute the money values.
Now the burden of taxation at this stage of the Roman Empire was frightful. Taxes could be paid, of course, in money, by those who had the money, and these were principally the people in the cities. Farmers then, as today, saw very little money. Theirs was a barter economy. A farmer generally had to pay his taxes in kind, from his crops. A farmer was assessed a certain sum of money as his taxes for that year. Well, how were you to determine what amount of his crops would equal that? There had to be a set standard. So a choínix, a quart of wheat, would serve for a denarius of taxes. As to the oil and the wine? Apparently there was more fluctuation in value there, and this “see thou be not unjust regarding the oil and the wine” – which as I say is an equally available translation of the word – would seem to be a statement to the tax collectors: “Don’t try to make an extra profit for your own pocket by valuing the oil and the wine too low.” The period covered by this is, oh, 212 to 400 A.D. Roman taxation always was heavy and burdensome, but a Roman citizen, in addition to his extra privileges as a citizen, also carried some extra burden. There was a special tax assessed on Roman citizens, in addition to the tax which was assessed on mere non-citizen residents.
In the year 212 A.D., the emperor Caracalla extended Roman citizenship to all free men living in the Roman Empire. Now there is no record of any Roman emperor ever doing anything good as a favor to anybody, I believe, at least not on any large scale. And he was not trying to favor them with Roman citizenship. He was making a rather large group of men subject to the additional citizen’s tax. During this period of civil wars the treasury, of course, was looted and had to be replenished as a rather constant thing. So, you really had problems. The burden of taxation was growing very heavy.
From the death of Constantine in 337 A.D., there was a period of civil wars up to 351 A.D., then a rather precarious balance of authority, and the empire was split in two in 379 A.D. You had the eastern portions of the Roman Empire ruled from Constantinople, and the western and African portions of it ruled from Rome. From about 395 to 400 A.D., the excessive taxes, and then the beginning of the so-called barbarian invasions, ruined first the outlying provinces, and finally Rome itself. The farmers gradually were being driven off the land. They couldn’t raise the money to pay the excessive taxes. They gave up the farms and drifted to the cities to become part of the landless city rabble, supported on the public dole. You remember their cry, “give us bread and circuses.” So vast areas of fertile farm lands were left waste out in the provinces, and meantime, through all this disintegration and decay, came the invasion of the so-called barbarian tribes. Hence the black horse of depression and trouble is a good [symbol of bad times.]
Now let’s go on to the fourth seal. This is Revelation 6, verses 7 and 8: “And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” Most translations seem to use that word “pale” for this horse; actually it’s the Greek word chlorós, which means greenish. Decaying flesh is apt to get a somewhat greenish tint, so it was symbolic here of death. The rider was death, and “hell” was the Greek word hádes, meaning the unseen world. Power was given them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with the sword, with hunger and with death. Ferrar Fenton and Moffatt, for example, translate that word “death” as “plague” or “disease”, because it’s what the obvious meaning is here. “And with the beasts of the earth.” The period covered by this was from about 250 to 300 A.D. This was reprobation coming on the Roman Empire for the conditions of the second and third seals. You know, it’s characteristic of Yahweh’s judgment that you always get the logical consequences of your own misdeeds. You could tell in advance what’s going to happen to you if you didn’t reform, because the punishment, if you got it, was going to be just what your own misdeeds built up.
So there had been a long period of civil wars; desolation by contending armies and by excessive taxation. During this period, from 250 to 300 A.D., there were still intermittent civil wars going on, rival contenders to the throne, and of course many killed that way. But the great invasions of the so-called barbarian tribes gave them warfare on a tremendous scale and did indeed kill great numbers. The combination of excessive taxes and ruthless warfare left great areas devastated and uncultivated, so famine was a logical consequence, and many places had it. These big abandoned areas led to the great increase in the number of wild animals. And the wolf, you know, right down into relatively modern times, has been quite a common predatory animal in Europe. Therefore, with great areas abandoned and left vacant, you had a tremendous increase in the wild beasts, the wolves who also took their toll. [See note #4 at end of lesson.]
Speaking of this period, the historian Gibbon, in his monumental work The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire says: “Plague raged without interruption in every province, every city, and almost every family in the Roman Empire. During this period, sometimes 5,000 persons died daily in Rome.” Well, the barbarian invasions here covered especially the period from 235 to 284 A.D. The German tribes, we know were among our own ancestors, the Israelites who had come out of western Asia as the Scythians in their march into Europe. The German tribes began this invasion of the provinces. A group of three of them, collectively called the Franks, overran the entirety of Gaul, modern France, and then went down into Spain, and from the coast of Spain and France they seized ships and spread all over the Mediterranean shores. By this, however, they scattered their military forces so widely that they lost a good deal of their power.
Four other Germanic tribes, under the collective name of the Alemania, forced their way over the Alps and overran all northern Italy down to Ravenna, in 272 A.D. Remember, they had to fight their way, every inch of the way, in there. So this business of killing a fourth of the people with the sword was a considerable reality. The two Gothic tribes, the Visigoths and Ostrogoths, appeared on the lower Danube river along the Black Sea coast. From there they ravaged the coast of Asia Minor on the south side of the Black Sea and overran Greece and the islands of the Aegean Sea. Persia, meanwhile, was beginning to overrun the Roman provinces in Asia Minor. The Saracens were already starting to harass the borders of Egypt and Palestine. However, that the Persians and the Saracens are really a part of a latter stage, we’ll deal with it in detail later. One historian has said of this period, “Throughout the empire, the country parts were infested by bands of brigands, and government hardly existed outside the walls of the cities.” [See note #5 at end of lesson.]
Now the emperor Decius, an old school pagan Roman, felt the only salvation for Rome was a return to the stern discipline of ancient Rome. And since the Christians resisted his attempt to force paganism on them, he ferociously persecuted the Christians. The emperor Valerian, who ruled from 253 to 260 A.D., was incapable of defeating these invading so-called barbarian tribes, so you had the frontier provinces being overrun by the Franks and Goths. The emperor Aurelian, 270 to 275 A.D., defeated the Goths on the Danube river. But where the Roman Empire had gone beyond that, clear through Romania, he abandoned everything beyond the near bank of the Danube river, drew his troops back and fortified the westerly bank of the Danube, hoping that he could hold that. Also, he built new walls around the city of Rome because he expected it to be besieged by the Alemania, who had driven deep into Italy.
Some of the Roman emperors, during this period, did succeed in defeating some of the Gothic armies in individual battles, but while they could win an occasional battle, they could never win the war, and the Roman forces were successively driven back into Rome itself. The emperor Diocletian, who ruled from 284 to 305 A.D., ruled simply as a typical oriental tyrant – no pretense of respecting the ancient Roman constitution. He did get several military victories over the barbarians, but as I say, he abdicated in the year 305 A.D. and left everything open to chaos. A well written and thorough history, The History Of Nations, volume 4, pages 115 and 116, sums up conditions: “The system of imperial taxation was intensely oppressive. Peasants, though legally free, were in fact registered and bound to the soil in order to guard against any of them evading his share of taxes. The restrictions thus placed upon natural movements of population, produced in time of famine, pestilence, or war, the direst distress.”
In the best of times the local officials could only escape ruin for themselves by grinding to the utmost the classes below them. Under this evil system, the wealth and population of the empire were fast sinking, while the luxury of the managers and the necessities of the government increased.
Gaul had suffered much from the incursion of the barbarians and from civil wars during the last half century, and this distress led to the insurrection of the Begandæ, or rustic banditi. For several years the country was overrun with troops of fanatic and furious marauders who attacked all property, and in the case of Autun, sacked and destroyed one of the chief centers of Gaulish civilization. The insurrection at length died out, but the imperial government failed to learn from it the urgent necessity of devising some less exhausting system of taxation. A bit later, in the same area, it was said of the Bourbon kings, “They could never learn anything and they could never forget anything – they always repeated the same old mistakes.” And that is also the case with the Roman emperors. [See note #11 at end of lesson.]
Now, going on to the fifth seal – this is thrown in here as sort of a parenthesis – Revelation 6, verses 9 to 11: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of Yahweh, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Yahweh, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
In other words, as part of Yahweh’s destiny, it had been determined that a certain length of time had to go on, that a certain number of people had to be given their opportunity to hear Christianity preached, to see if they had what it took to really absorb it and live up to it under conditions of terrific difficulty and oppression. So, those who had been previous martyrs were told “You rest. There is yet more to come, more martyrs; not until the number of them is complete will the end be.” This perhaps referred to the last period of pagan persecution of Christians under Diocletian, from 293 to 303 A.D. This was the most severe persecution there had been since that under Nero, 64 to 68 A.D.
How far into the future this looks is a matter of opinion (maybe your guess is as good as mine). It certainly covered the frightful religious persecutions of the middle ages. I don’t doubt it covered the frightful persecution of Christians under Communism in Russia and the satellite slave states she controls. Over 30 million Christians have been murdered on account of their religion. That came within our own lifetime. And what about persecution yet to come under the further spread of Communism? How much of this will we see in our own land when the traitors who are in high public office sell us out to Communism, as they are so diligently trying to do right now? [See note #6 at end of lesson.]
Next, going on to the sixth seal, Revelation chapter 6, verses 12 to 17: “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”
This definitely depicts the final break-up of the old Roman imperial system. Remember that the Book of Revelation is entirely symbolic in form. When it talks about the stars of heaven falling to the earth, it doesn’t mean that stars bigger than our whole solar system are going to fall on the earth. These aren’t the literal stars of the universe. These heavens, as used here, are the background against which all this exists. The Roman Empire, ruling a vast area of other nations of subject peoples, was depicted as the sun. And the power of it was entirely destroyed; the sun, it says, “was darkened black”, it gave no light. The moon dimmed to the color of blood.” Sometimes you’ve seen the moon rise through the smoke of a forest or brush fire and seen it gleam almost blood red like that. Indeed, you had some of that in this period because you did have cities burned and looted in the warfare that went on. “The stars of heaven falling” – well those stars were the Roman nobles who were nearly all pagan. Paganism continued to exist side by side with a certain variety of “Christianity” for centuries. I say a certain variety of “Christianity” because only a part of them were real deeply sincere Christians, and a considerable part of them were, as you find in any age when it doesn’t cost anything to be a “Christian”, people who just go along for the ride. It’s the fashionable thing to do, to go to “church,” and you know, you meet somebody there who maybe you want to sell insurance to a little later, and so on. So, you had that type of person in the “church”, as well as those who were deeply sincere Christians. [See note #7 at end of lesson.]
When Constantine was putting on his battle for the throne, one of the generals who opposed him, Licinius, was the last one who openly campaigned as a pagan. He tried to overthrow Constantine after Constantine had gotten the throne in 323 A.D. Constantine had campaigned openly as a Christian, and Licinius was the last one who made an issue of his paganism. Since it was generally believed in ancient Rome that her military successes came from her loyalty to her old pagan gods, for several generations after Constantine, whenever Rome was in military danger, there was a revival of paganism because, as I say, you had it existing side by side with Christianity. The first emperor to refuse the pagan title of Pontifex Maximus, the high priest of Jupiter, was the emperor Gratian in 375 A.D. Constantine, while he claimed to be Christian right to his dying day, bore the title of Pontifex Maximus, high priest of Jupiter. It was not until on his death bed that he was baptized and became formally a member of the Christian “Church”. Constantine had established a new capital of the empire at Constantinople, and afterward very rarely visited Rome, and the emperors after him followed that. So the city of Rome itself, without being formally disavowed, particularly sank to the actual status of a mere provincial capital like Alexandria. [See notes #8 and #9 at end of lesson.]
After the division of the empire in 379 A.D., you had one emperor ruling the eastern half of the Roman Empire from Constantinople and one ruling the European and North African parts. The Western Roman Empire rarely ruled from the city of Rome. Usually, the cities of Ravenna or Milan were the official capitals. Hence, you can see how the Roman sun had lost its light! Now the absence of the emperor from Rome left no one else to whom popular support could rally, except the “church.” The growing power of the bishop of Rome as Pope of the “Church” dates from this period, because with other power vacated, somebody had to take over and keep order. In the History Of Nations, volume 4, page 131, it says: “In the absences of the emperors from Rome, the position of the bishop of that city had become one of no mean secular importance. It conferred wealth and splendor, attracted the devotion of women of the highest rank, and raised its fortunate holder to the pinnacle of fashion as well as luxury. Accordingly, it became the object of contentious rivalry and was sought for with all the artifice and violence which had formally disgraced the competition for the consulship. The Episcopal chair of Rome was now indeed a prize worth contending for by any ambitious man.”
As I said, the emperor Gratian, 375 A.D., refused the pagan title of Pontifex Maximus. Gratian ordered the removal of the altar and the idol of the goddess of Victory from the senate house. Now all through Constantine’s time, here in the house of the Roman Senate, stood this pagan idol of Victory with the altar. The senators made their sacrifices on this altar of Victory, which Constantine himself took part in periodically. But now Gratian was making a clean sweep of it. There was a bitter contest over that. Paganism was still strong enough to make quite a fight, but an unsuccessful one. Thus, with the pagan priests and nobility, “the stars fell to earth”; the Roman sun lost its power. The moon, possibly symbolic of the emperor himself, because remember, the western part of Rome, overrun now by invading so-called barbarian tribes, was losing its power and prestige rapidly. In fact, from the death of the emperor Gratian in 383 A.D., the military conqueror often disdained to take for himself the title of emperor. He would put some puppet in power as emperor while the conquering general himself, who exercised the real power, didn’t bother taking the title. Some of them, for example, merely adopted the title “patrician.” Well from this time on the breakdown of the whole Roman civilization was complete.
You find no example of men of greatness contending for power in there. You had little groups of treacherous, violent politicians contending for the power, trying to get what they could by violence; and what they couldn’t by violence, to gain by treachery. It was a period of completely ignoble men. Only the invading Goths showed truthfulness, fidelity and good character. An allied association of these Germanic tribes, the Suevi, Alemania, Vandals, and Alans invaded Italy in 406 A.D. and got as far as the city of Florence before they were defeated and turned back. But they went on through Gaul into Spain, and those provinces were very quickly lost from the Roman Empire. Rome had no more control over either Gaul or Spain. The Visigoths, under Alaric, besieged Rome in 408 A.D. In fact, they got to the gates of the city and were finally bought off by an enormous ransom paid to them.
In 409 A.D., Alaric returned with his Visigoths and blockaded Rome, which surrendered. Alaric appointed, as emperor, one of his own officers, Attalus. In 410 A.D., Alaric returned, captured Rome and allowed his soldiers six days to pillage the city. Now it’s worthy of note that the Christian “churches” were respected as places of sanctuary. He gave orders to all his men that no Christians were to be bothered or interfered with in any way. They couldn’t be plundered or killed, and those who gathered for safety in the Christian “churches” were not molested in any way. Alaric then went on to plunder the rest of central and southern Italy. He then withdrew his forces, crossed through southern Gaul and into Spain and Portugal, and these Visigoths set up a kingdom in southern Gaul, and in Spain and Portugal. From then on – oh, allow them to, perhaps, 425 A.D. to get over there – from then on the Visigoths were the dominant people in Spain and Portugal, until 711 A.D, when the Moorish conquest began. [See note #10 at end of lesson.]
Most of the Christian Romans saw this series of terrific defeats and plundering as Yahweh’s judgment on paganism. So the pagan temples were turned into Christian “churches”, and the Catholic “Church” simply took over the existing paganism. They took over the old pagan temples and made them “churches.” The idols in them were now said to be statues of Saint Peter or “Saint somebody else”, and the congregations were welcomed into the Catholic “Church.” You see, unfortunately, any institution or organization which must be administered by people is subject to their errors of judgment, and this was a terrific one because it didn’t Christianize the pagans. It just paganized the Christians.
The invasions of the so-called barbarian tribes continued heavier and heavier. Who the Romans called Attalus was, of course, a German named Adolf, successor to Alaric as chief of the Visigoths, who led the Visigoths out of Italy and into Spain and southern Gaul. Even after they settled there, they themselves were overrun by an enormous horde of Suevi, Alans, Vandals and Burgundians who largely went on to the south of Spain. Now, you know of course, there is in Spain a province which we call Andalusia, but the name of it originally was Vandalusia because that is where the tribe of Vandals settled. When they overran Italy and Rome, they showed no respect for the Roman pomp and splendor. Pagan Rome was receiving its judgment at the hands of Yahweh, and it was getting a thorough judgment. As pagan Rome had overrun nation after nation with terrific brutality, so pagan Rome was getting a taste of the same thing. And, from then until today, they have made “vandal” a name for somebody busting things up. But the Romans got it back themselves as a well earned judgment. [For reference to “Burgundians”, see note #11 at end of lesson.]
The Roman legions had been withdrawn from Britain in the year 408 A.D. The last Roman troops were taken home in the vain hope of saving Rome. But you remember, in 409 and 410 it was taken by the Visigoths. Now the Vandals, after going through this Visigothic kingdom down to the south of Spain under their leader Genseric, crossed over into Africa in 429 A.D. In the year 434, the emperor Valentinian formally ceded the province of Africa – that’s all of North Africa except Egypt – to Genseric. So here, in the break-up of it, you had the European provinces overrun, till Rome couldn’t even hold Italy. She had lost Gaul, she had lost Spain and she had lost North Africa. Genseric built an enormous navy at the sea ports on the north coast of Africa, conquered many Mediterranean islands, and harassed the coast of Italy and Greece.
A little after this there appeared a new scourge, the Huns, under Attila. These were a Mongolian people, horsemen. Attila called himself “the scourge of God.” And he was interested not merely in conquest and loot, but in utter cruelty, murder and desolation. It was his own boast that “the grass never grows again where my horses’ hooves have trod.” He ravaged Thrace and Illyria, attacked tribes as far up as the Elbe river on the shores of the Baltic Sea, and attacked the Visigoths in Gaul, where the Visigoths finally defeated the Huns with heavy slaughter near Chalons in France on the Marne river in 451 A.D. So Attila retreated then; pulled back. In 452 he invaded Italy. He was persuaded by Pope Leo the Great to spare the city of Rome on condition of being paid an enormous tribute bribe from the emperor Valentinian. Hence he led his troops back to the river Danube, and died there. [See notes #12A, #12B and #13 at end of lesson.]
That broke up the Hun invasion. All the various sub-chiefs under Attila were willing to be sub-chiefs under his leadership. But now that he was gone, every one of these sub-chiefs felt himself just as worthy as any other to take Attila’s place as leader of the horde. But there was nobody who could hold it together and they retreated back into Mongolia. [See note #14 at end of lesson.]
In 455 A.D., a fleet of Vandal ships from the North African coast sailed up the Tiber river, captured the city of Rome and pillaged it for 14 days. They carried off all the treasure; all the gold and silver they could find. Now Rome had brought back to the city as trophies many great treasures. You’ll remember that when they conquered the city of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, they looted the Temple there of all its gold and silver that came from ornaments, and so on. In the city of Rome, the Arch of Triumph set up by Titus showed, among the other carved panels on it, Roman soldiers carrying off the seven branched golden candlesticks from the temple at Jerusalem. Well, that was still held in Rome at 455 A.D., and the invading Vandals captured this golden candlestick and took it back to Africa with them. Storms sank some of their ships and some of the treasures were lost, but this one with the golden candlestick made it safely. About a century later, the emperor Justinian, ruling the Eastern Empire, recovered this, and he had it replaced in Jerusalem. That’s the last that is known of it. Nothing is known of its fate from then on.
Besides taking the city of Rome and looting it, the Vandals plundered all the more southerly Italian cities. Then the Germanic tribe of Suevi, under their leader Ricimer, captured and pillaged Rome again in 472 A.D. The last emperor of the western half of the Roman Empire, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed by Odoacer, the chief and leader of a group of Germanic tribes. So in 476 A.D., Romulus Augustulus was deposed and sent home. Odoacer didn’t bother killing him. He just said “here, go home; you have no authority.” Most historians agree, that is the definite end of the Empire of Rome.
Some of these invasions perhaps blend in to part of the invasions and destruction of the empire, which was symbolized by the next series of things under the seven trumpets. We’ve already covered the opening of the sixth seal. When the seventh seal is opened, instead of that bringing about by itself any particular incident like the earlier six, it is marked by divisions of seven different revelations, each coming at the time of the blowing of the trumpet. Now that is a big and complicated subject and there is no point in trying to get into it tonight because we couldn’t do enough to be worth it in the time we have left. Therefore, I think this is a good place to break off on what we have been studying tonight. Now does anybody have any questions on it? [See note #15 at end of lesson.]
[Question from the audience:] “The question of these so-called barbarians. Aren’t they actually the old ancient Israelites?” [Answer:] They were. The Israelites had been deported into the area around the southerly end of the Caspian Sea, which came to be called Scythia. They extended, of course, not just around the southerly end, but up the western and eastern sides of the Caspian Sea. There, for a period of time, they grew great in number and tremendous in military strength. And then they began their long march into their European homeland going, some of them, around the easterly end of the Caspian Sea and across the base of the Crimean peninsula at the east end of the Black Sea, into the Danube valley. Others came up on the westerly side of the Caspian Sea and in the narrow mountainous region between that and the Black Sea, where the Caucasus mountains are. They came through there and moved on up into the areas of Europe. Because they came through the Caucasus mountains, the white race of Europe is often called Caucasian. But, the historians who recognize them as Caucasians ought to look a little farther and ask: “Where were they before they came through the Caucasus mountains?”
[Question from the audience:] “Who were the Alemania?, I know ‘what’s-his-name’ there – Armstrong – says they are the ancient Assyrians.” [Answer:] No. The pagans and the atheists have not been any great burden to Christianity. Those who have harmed Christianity the most have been those who tried to consider themselves devout Christians out of their unlimited and total ignorance they scrambled everything up, trying to make it accord with what they think the Bible says. Now just as they try to say that the Turks are the Edomites, had they only bothered to read history, they couldn’t have made that mistake, because you can’t trace any more Edomites into Turkey than you can trace into Brooklyn, New York. [I think Comparet goofed by making a comparison to Brooklyn N.Y. where there are many Edomite-Jews.] And so, they have tried to say the Germans are the descendants of the old Assyrians.
[Question from the audience:] “Could it possibly be the fact that after 70 A.D., when the Jews were driven out of Jerusalem – can they use that as a reason why the Edomite-Jews finally got up into Byzantium? Could that possibly be the reason?” [Answer:] No. In their stupendous ignorance, they don’t even recognize that the Jews, by and large, are the Edomites. They say, “Oh, those are the descendants of Judah.” No descendant of Judah was ever a “Jew” by race, and not too many of them were Jews by religion. What happened upon the overthrow of the ancient Assyrian Empire, was that the survivors didn’t dare stay around. Since they’d lost their military power, they didn’t dare stay around where they were close to the other nations they had formerly so horribly mistreated. – They fled. – And they fled on into southwestern Russia, one of the areas of Georgia and the Ukraine. Now, on the palaces of the Assyrian kings, the walls of their palace rooms were decorated with very beautiful glazed tiles with painted designs fired into the glazing on them in which they showed – this was the work of their own best artists – they showed Assyrians in various activities. This isn’t their enemies’ caricature of them. This is the Assyrians’ representation of themselves, and they were plain hooked-nosed kikes. Now you can’t find that type in Germany except of those who are definitely identified as Jews. [See note #’s16 and 17 at end of lesson.]
[At this point there is a question from the audience about Britain. Answer:] Well, there are a number of good things that can be said about the British. Counterbalancing it, there are no people in human history who have been given to as much lying about their enemies as the British. Their propaganda has been their strong force to try to line up sympathy and alliances. Not too long after the end of World War I, the Englishman who had been in charge of English propaganda during the war wrote a book exposing how he himself had directed English propaganda with stories of German atrocities which were completely false – never happened at all. He made them up as pure fiction, but he knew it would help to get America into the war on the side of England against Germany. [See note #18 at end of lesson.]
He told of one instance, for example, where he put out a dispatch saying that, when the German troops went into some little village in Belgium, they tortured the priest of the “church” for some hours until he finally agreed to ring the “church” bell in celebration of the coming of the Germans. Now no such incident happened, and the man himself, in his own book, admits it was a complete lie. As you probably know, there are two distinct groups of people in Belgium. There’s the one group whose language and sympathies are French, and the other group whose race and sympathies are German. Now whenever German troops went into a village where the people were of the German racial stock and sympathies, they were treated with joy. And undoubtedly, in some of those the “church” bells were rung as a celebration. Now if the German soldiers had wanted to order the “church” bells rung, they wouldn’t have waited several hours while the priest made up his mind under torture – they’d have rung it. Some German sergeant would have turned to a soldier and said, “go ring the bell.” And it would have been done. So, he was making up all kinds of fictitious atrocities that never happened at all. There were no more atrocities committed by the German army than there were with the American army in either war. They applied the name Hun to the Germans as part of a propaganda effort to get the American people all steamed up, to get them into the war on the side of Britain.
[Question from the audience:] “Is there any residual Mongolian stock in the Prussians?” [Answer:] No. Now East Prussia, you get to the point where there is a little overlapping of Slavic people. Our people are long headed, and there are among East Prussians some who have that typical bullet head of the Slavs. You’ll remember old General Von Hindenburg, who, as I say, could take his collar off without unbuttoning it. That betrays a mixture of Slavic blood there.
[Comment from the audience:] “You hear that Adenauer had Mongolian blood in him. I don’t know whether it is true or not?” [Answer:] Well, there have been, of course, among all modern nations, instances of some people who mixed with dark races, and it might be possible that in his family that had been done. But, it’s in no way characteristic of Germany. [At this point, there continues some unintelligible conversation, and then the subject of the Book of Esther in the Bible comes up. [At this time Bertrand L. Comparet continues:] No, you find the Bible consistently, with a couple of exceptions, written by prophets and apostles of one racial and religious group only. Now I say a couple of exceptions. I spoke to you before concerning the Book of Esther; it is a complete fraud – It never belonged in the Bible at all. For the first 200 years of its existence, it was well known that it was simply a work of fiction. But you’ll remember – it tells about the Jews murdering a lot of people and stealing their property. And whereas it had no standing among the Rabbis up until the fall of Jerusalem, after Jerusalem was taken and the Jews were driven out, most of them were driven up into Constantinople, then suddenly – oh, along in the neighborhood of 100 A.D. – the Rabbis began declaring that this was the holiest book of all, and that after all the prophets had been forgotten, that the Book of Esther and the law (the five books of the Pentateuch) would stand as the only remaining holy works. Now when the “church” came to choose what it would accept as the canonical books of the Old Testament, they sanctioned the Jewish accepted canon, and that was the books of the Old Testament. And by that time, the Jews said, “Sure, this is our holy book.” It tells about Jews murdering people and stealing their property. And so the “church” took it over, but it doesn’t belong in the Bible at all. [See note #19 at end of lesson.]
The Song of Songs of Solomon is a beautiful book of ancient poetry, very true. A great deal of poetry has been written by a great many people, yet has no religious significance whatsoever. And that is true of Song of Songs of Solomon, which doesn’t belong in there because there is no religious significance to it. [See note #20 at end of lesson.]
[Question from the audience concerning the proof of authentic inspired books of the Bible. Answer:] The proof consists of their ability to prophesy many centuries into the future, and have their prophecies come true. That’s the challenge that, in several books of the Old Testament, Yahweh hurls at the pagan gods. He said, “I foretell the future, and it comes to pass. Let’s see you do it.” Which, of course, none of them could. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating thereof, and the proof of the Bible is in the fulfillment of its prophesies. The prophesies in the Bible were not, any of them, the easy sort of thing that most anybody could prophesy. Any one of us could prophesy that, in another ten years, the smog will be worse, our traffic problem will be still worse, more people will be getting killed in traffic accidents, and so on. That’s the logical easy thing. But the Bible prophesies were all of the opposite type. In the light of the conditions existing at the time the prophet wrote these things, what he prophesied was so unlikely that the people just howled with laughter that anybody could be so silly as to prophesy such an unlikely thing. [End of Comparet’s Lesson #4.]
CRITICAL NOTES ON LESSON #4
Comments by William Finck initialed W.R.F.
Comments by Clifton A. Emahiser in brackets in lesson text as “your transcriber”
or initialed C.A.E. in critical notes.
Note #1: There is no question that, after Actium in 31 B.C., Rome’s form of government was permanently changed, that the “Republic” was gone, and that the empire would be ruled by a single man, after nearly 100 years of civil war (with Marius, Sulla, Crassus, Pompey and Caesar). However, Rome became an empire (by definition of the word) long before Actium. Before Actium, Rome had subjected Egypt, North Africa, Gaul, Spain, and much of the Near East. I would set the beginning of the period at about 201 B.C., at the end of the Punic Wars – or perhaps 264 B.C., at the start of the Punic Wars would be better! After Actium, in 31 B.C., Rome made few small territorial gains – offhand, I recall the conquests of Britain and Dacia and the securing of the eastern frontier with (or from) the Parthians, and little else. So by Actium, the “white horse” period seems to be waning, and the “red horse” period already begun! W.R.F.
Note #2: Some details are wanting in the succession of emperors given here, i.e. Macrinus was omitted et al. W.R.F.
Note #3: There were 13 emperors between Alexander Severus and Claudius II (see note #12, Lesson #3), and eight more, forgotten here, between Claudius II and Domitian. There were 51 years and a total of 22 emperors between Alexander Severius and Domitian! W.R.F.
Note #4: I do not agree that the “barbarian” invasions of Rome should be connected to the “pale horse.” The green (pale) horse represents the decay and sickness of the empire, no doubt, but the sword here seems to be an internal one; for the “barbarian” children of Israel are not “Death” and “Hell”! Comparet misses the true symbolism of “the beasts of the earth”, much to my disappointment. For the “beasts” here are clearly the “clay” of Daniel 2:41-43, the “seed of enosh” with which at least a portion of the Romans mingled themselves. Surely these beasts caused the people of Rome much trouble in their time of famine (the “black horse” period), and it was they who historically bore the “sword” here! Comparet’s comments concerning wolves – and surely four-legged wolves here – border on the incredulous, something I would expect rather from a modern “judeo-christian” minister. W.R.F.
Note #5: While the taking of some Roman provinces by the Goths surely must have contributed to the famine of Rome, which relied heavily on grain from its provinces, the Goths are not the “pale horse”, but I think they are rather the instruments of wrath described in the next, the 6th seal. The Black & Pale horses weakened the empire, giving the Goths opportunity. That a strain of malaria hit Rome circa 450 A.D., evidence of at least part of this “pale horse”, see Archaeology Odyssey, July-August 2001, page 12. W.R.F.
Note #6: The traitors who were, and still remain in high public office had already sold us to communism, even before these sermons were taped! W.R.F.
Note #7: The Roman nobles cannot be both the “stars of heaven” of Rev. 6:13 and the “great men” and “chief captains”, etc. of Rev. 6:15. While the sun and moon indeed represent the power and authority of the Roman empire – here being extinguished, the “stars of heaven” are the children of Israel (compare Judges 5:20), who were about to “fall unto the earth”, or invade Roman territory (earth). “The heaven departed” may signify the failing of administration and order within the empire. That “every mountain and island” were moved is obvious. Rev. 6:15 shows the fear of the Roman upper-classes for the invaders – and many of them probably did flee into hiding, as this was the beginning of the end for Rome’s empire. W.R.F.
Note #8: Constantine and Licinius each held and ruled territory within the empire from 307-323 A.D. W.R.F.
Note #9: As we have discussed elsewhere, it is evident that “Jupiter” is a contraction for “Iove, Pater”, and that it is the equivalent of “Yahweh Father.” Could it be that this was initially set up as a replacement for the high priest/temple model at Jerusalem by Israelite colonists in Italy, or first in Troy? And with good – albeit wayward – intentions? I surely believe so, and that “Pontifex Maximus” was a colonial continuation of such a model, is at least a possibility. W.R.F.
Note #10: If a Goth, “Attalus”, ruled over Rome from 409, why did Alaric have to again conquer Rome in 410? Comparet draws a very incomplete picture here. W.R.F.
Note #11: The learned Sharon Turner, in his History of the Anglo-Saxons, calls the Burgundians “Bagaudae”, as Comparet apparently also often has called them. On page 131 of his first volume, in chapter 8 of Book II, Turner gives in a note several versions of the word in other dialects, which mean “warlike” in Irish, “fighting” in Erse, and “rebel” in Hebrew. Turner’s source must be referring to a word related to those found at Strong’s Hebrew #’s 898, 899, 900 and 901. Turner calls the Burgundians “Affiliated Robbers”! W.R.F.
Note #12A: Was Attila the Hun a “Mongol” (chinaman)? The Barnes Review once ran an article, in a very early edition, that presented evidence that Attila was a blond of Aryan stock, as were his “Huns.” The Niebelungenlied is a Germanic poem of which most parts date to the 5th century A.D. The main characters of the poem were Burgundian nobles, whose kingdom had its capital at Worms in the Rhineland (and which is near my own Finck ancestral village). A Burgundian princess, Kriemhild, was married to Siegfried, a prince from the Netherlands who later died. After Siegfried’s death, the princess was remarried to Etzel, the king of the Huns, who in the poem was depicted as a just, civilized man deserving of much respect. “Etzel” is the Rhenish name for Attila. While the Niebelungenlied is laced with historical anachronisms, mostly due to the later additions to the tale by medieval monks and its historical value is thereby questionable, it does depict an Attila far different from that drawn by his biggest detractors: the “church” of Rome, and drawn by people with nothing to gain in his misrepresentation. Contrary evidence supporting Comparet’s assessment here shall be discussed in later notes. See also note #’s13, 14 and 12B below. W.R.F.
[Special note by Clifton A. Emahiser: There may be some who, when they read William Finck’s critical note #’s 12A & 12B at lesson #4 and note #’s 4B & 6 at lesson #5 pertaining to Attila, may think they see a conflict in what Finck is saying. But if one can grasp the context of his notes, there is no discord. Finck’s purpose in all these mentioned notes is to present a balanced view of Attila, as opposed to Comparet’s unbalanced opinion, since there are certainly two entirely different views of Attila’s character to consider, and therefore, it may be quite difficult to determine the truth of his identity, ethnographically speaking. What it all boils down to is this; Finck is endeavoring to present both sides fairly, hesitating to leap into false conclusions. Finck believes that once the facts are placed before the reader, it then becomes the reader’s responsibility to sort out the truth from the fiction. Above all, I would highly recommend that each reader seriously consider William Finck’s note #4B at lesson #5 concerning the term “wormwood.”]
Note #12B: I suspect that Comparet is correct in identifying the “star” of Rev. 8:10-11 with Attila, and will accept that for my purposes here. If so, then the “hail and fire” of Rev. 8:7 and the “great mountain” of Rev. 8:8 (note Dan. 2:45) must be the Germanic tribes – Goths and Vandals – who invaded the empire just before Attila did. If this is so, do the “bitter waters” indicate a mixed-blood people? Does the “star fallen from heaven” represent a “fallen angel” – that Attila was a descendant – at least, in part – of the serpents? This same symbol is used of the “angel” who released the Arab mixed-blooded hordes at Rev. 9:1. W.R.F.
Note #13: Britannica under “Attila” claims the “decisive engagement” between the Goths and the Huns was the “Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, or, according to some authorities, of Maurica (both places are unidentified).” Yet the American Heritage College Dictionary says at Châlons-sur-Marne: “The Huns under Attila were defeated here in A.D. 451.” W.R.F.
Note #14: I’ve never read – in what little I’ve read of the period – that the Huns “returned back into Mongolia.” I suspect this may be a “cover” for the fact that there are no “mongolians” found in Hungary for us to identify as “Huns.” W.R.F.
Note #15: The invasions are all a part of the same chain of events – it’s Comparet who is trying to divide them, artificially, between the sixth seal and the first four trumpets of the seventh seal. See note #’s 4, 5, 7 and 12B. W.R.F.
Note #16: Diodorus Siculus reports that a “colony” of Assyrians were deported to Pontus – on the south shore of the Black Sea, by the Scythians. Surely many peoples found their way up through the Caucasus in later days – and most of the strangers there were eventually Judaized or Islamized – but I have never read of Assyrians fleeing up into Europe in the period Comparet is talking about! W.R.F.
Note #17: Assyrian art distinctly shows two types of profile – the Adamic and the Hittite-Kenite, or “hooked-nosed” types. That there were Assyrians to repent – Adamites in Jonah 3:7- in the days of Jonah, shows that the Assyrians were NOT all “hooked-nosed kikes”, and Comparet is not as well enlightened as he ought to be in his assessment here. Just like England and America, Assyria was an Adamic Nation waxed powerful, and so infiltrated and influenced by “hooked-nosed kikes” – the same old story over again! Scripture rightly verifies that they were undoubtedly mixed, as the Assyrian leadership’s policy was to relocate various populations in order to promote further race-mixing; the same agenda as their mixed-blood descendants are promoting in all Israel lands today! No doubt, what the Assyrian-Adamites needed to repent of, was their race-mixing with those non-Assyrian-Hittite-Kenite-kikes! Comparet’s failure to see these things is quite disappointing. W.R.F.
Note #18: The Balfour Declaration, and not German atrocities, got America into World War I. The atrocity stories only helped to manipulate public opinion in favor of the war – which would have been entered into regardless. W.R.F.
Note #19: Adenauer was a flunky for Anglo-American interests, and probably a jew himself! W.R.F.
Note #20: While the Canticles (Song of Solomon, Song of Songs) has no “religious significance”, what does that matter? The book would not have survived if it weren’t part of “Scripture”, and fortunately it did survive, because it is of great anthropological interest: it proves beyond doubt that Solomon and his wife were white people! Comparet should have spent as much time studying it as he spent criticizing it! W.R.F.