THE SOURCE FROM WHICH THE APOCALYPSE EMANATED; ITS PURPOSE; THE SYMBOLIZATION OF THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS; THE MANNER OF THE COMING OF THE SPIRIT-MAN PROCLAIMED, SYMBOLIC VISION OF THE MAN, AND THE MYSTERY OF THE SEVEN STARS AND LIGHT-STANDS REVEALED.
SECTION I. 1. The Title
"A revelation of Jesus Anointed which the Deity committed to him to exhibit to his servants things which must be speedily accomplished." -- Apoc. 1:1 APOKALUYIS, apokalupsis, is the first word of the last book of the New Testament in Greek. The book is, therefore, in that language styled, Apokalupsis. But this name is not restricted to the original. It is very often employed in speaking and writing as the title, or name, of the book in the English; although it is not so designated in the common Version. It is styled in this "The Revelation;" which, indeed, expresses the truth; for the book is a revelation, and one specially imparted: but still, the name is objectionable, inasmuch as it is only a very small part of revelation; nevertheless small as it is, a most important, and highly interesting, portion thereof. To distinguish it, therefore, from revelation in general, many are accustomed to anglicize the Greek name, and to style it The Apocalypse. For this reason, which appears sufficient, I have concluded to adopt it also; so that the reader of this volume will understand, that when "the Apocalypse" is named, that book of scripture is meant, which in the English Version is called "The Revelation of St. John the Divine." Though published by "special command of the Most High and Mighty Prince, James, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland; and Defender of the Faith;" and "appointed to be read in Churches" -- the reader must not suppose that the words "The Revelation of Saint John the Divine," are the divinely authorized inscription. The Holy Spirit does not speak in this style, even of an apostle. It is only The Apostasy, so conspicuously exhibited in The Apocalypse,
that confers titles upon the Fishermen of Galilee, and their brethren, to give them sanctity and respectability in the estimation of the kings and princes of the world. The Apostasy uses the words "saint" and "divine" as applicable only to "Christians," who have attained sanctimonious preeminence among their fellows; and who are skilled in "divinity," and have received ordination, and a license to preach. But these words are not so used in scripture. Saint is there applied to all that are separated, or made holy, by the blood of the covenant; as it is written, "Gather my saints together unto me: those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice" -- Psal. 50:5: "having their hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience (by the blood of sprinkling, Heb. 12:24) and their bodies washed with pure water" -- Heb. 10:22. The sprinkling of heart, and the washing of body, are common to all in Christ, whether apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, or private persons. In apostolic times, these were all saints, or "the faithful in Christ Jesus" -- 1 Cor. 1:2; Col. 1:2. There was then no canonization of obedient believing men and women into saints: all who believed and obeyed "the truth as it is in Jesus," in that obedience became saints and children of the Most High.
The apostle John had no titles. He was neither "Saint John" nor "John the Divine." He was one of the saints in Christ Jesus; but not "Saint," as an ecclesiastical title of honor and distinction. He might as well have been styled King John or Priest John; for he was not only a saint, but a king and a priest for God. Ecclesiatical titles are of the pride of life, and not of God. They are assumptions of lordship over the saints; and strictly forbidden by their Prince. "Ye are all brethren; and the greater of you shall be servant" -- Matt. 23:8, 11. This is the spirit of Christ, who, although the Teacher, and Lord, was as one who served. The reverse of this is the spirit of Antichrist. Wherever, therefore, men professing to be Christians, exalt themselves, or allow themselves to be exalted, to high ecclesiastical estate, there is "the mark of the beast," and there "the number of his name." All this sort of thing was repudiated with contempt by the apostles, after they were converted and became as little children -- Matt. 18:3. "Be of the same mind towards one another; not minding high things, but being conducted with the despised" -- Rom. 12:16. This was the doctrine they inculcated, and practised; and in so doing, though dead, still speak repreheding the unhallowed ambition of those who pretend to have succeeded them in all but their penury and woe -- 1 Cor. 15:19; 2; 2 Ep. 11:21-28. The apostle John is the only one upon whom The Apostasy has conferred the title of "the Divine." Paul, James, Peter, and Jude are
termed simply apostles, or messengers; while the messenger John is, as an especial honor, erected into ho theologos, the Theologian, or "Divine!" Was it imagined that he was Professor of Divinity in a Theological Seminary at Jerusalem; or, was it because he has narrated the discourses of Jesus on the relations of the Father and the Son, which are not found in the other testimonies? Whatever may have been the reason, it must of necessity be infinitely puerile. None of the apostles had any thing to do with what King James's flatterers and courtiers call "divinity," or "theology," but to condemn it as a corruption of "the faith once delivered to the saints." They denounced it as "profane, and old wives' fables;" and its professors as "seducing spirits" and "demons," "unruly and vain talkers, and deceivers." Paul the Divine, Peter the Divine, or John the Divine, are epithets that desecrate the renown of the noble men whose names are thus entitled. John had no divine pretensions over Peter and Paul. James, Peter, and John were "pillars," and Paul was not a whit behind them; for He that wrought effectually in Peter, was also mighty in him. They made no ostentatious display of their names; and in themselves claimed to be no more than weak earthen vessels, in whose feebleness and frailty the glory and power of God became more strikingly manifest. The Holy Spirit was the holy oil of their earthen lamps. By it they were guided into all the truth; and the light which shone around them was of that anointing, not of them. "The Revelation of Saint John the Divine" is a spurious title. The real inscription is contained in the first words of the book -- apokalupsis iesou xristou, Revelation of Jesus Anointed. The contents of the book did not come to John direct from God. They emanated from Him "who dwells in light," who had hitherto reserved them in his own power -- Acts 1:7. Till this emanation they were sealed up, and "known to no man, no not the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father" -- Mark 13:32. Jesus affirmed this want of knowledge with reference to his apocalypse. "Watch ye therefore," he continued; "for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping."
This universal ignorance of "the Times and Seasons" is the subject of one of the scenes of this book. In chap. 5:1 The Apocalypse is represented as a book in the right hand of God completely sealed up. When John saw the book, he heard a loud voice inquiring, "Who is worthy to unroll the scroll, and to loose its seals?" But no man or angel came forward. "And no man," says John, "in the heaven, nor upon the earth, nor under the earth, was able to unroll the scroll, nor to
see it." John was exceedingly distressed at this. The words and the book that Daniel had been commanded to shut up and seal (ch. 12:4, 9) no man in the heaven, earth, or grave, was found worthy or able to open. Therefore John wept exceedingly. "I wept much," says he, "because no man was found worthy to unroll and read the scroll, nor to see it."
The book remained thus concealed with God until the time of John's residence in the Isle of Patmos. He was there, he tells us, "on account of the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ." He was in tribulation, and doubtless "wept much," both on account of his sufferings, and his inability to say "how long to the end of the times" -- Dan. 12:6, 8; when the Lord Jesus should appear in his kingdom -- 1:9. But, at this crisis, a Messenger reached his place of exile, whom he styles "one of the elders," a constituent of the symbolic twenty-four, ch. 4:4; 5:8, 9 -- and said to him, "Weep not: Behold, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to unroll the scroll, and to loose its seals" -- 5:5. Thus "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews," is brought before the reader as the only personage from among the dead, or among the living, who could open the words and unseal the mystery of God, as he hath declared the glad tidings to his servants the prophets -- 10:7. That mystery required the cutting asunder a covenant for the covering of iniquity; and for causing to come in a righteousness of Aions -- Dan. 9:24. In other words, "Messiah the Prince" had to be cut off; and so to be made a covenant of, according to the saying, "I will give thee for a covenant of the people" -- Isai. 42:6; 49:8. Until this were accomplished no practical solution could be given of the end. Had the Second Adam failed to establish his worthiness, like the first, John's weeping would never have been assuaged. But Jesus did "prevail:" for, though in all points tempted as we are, according to the likeness of his nature to ours, yet he did not sin. Though a Son, he learned obedience by the things which he suffered. He was made perfect through sufferings, having been obedient unto death. He kept his body under, triumphing over its lusts; and, though sorely tried, he yielded not, but evolved a character that was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners -- Heb. 2:10, 14, 16; 4:15; 5:2, 7-9; 7:26. When he died, he was delivered from death, and now lives for evermore. Death hath no more dominion over him. For he had power to lay down his life, and to take it up again; a commandment which he had received of the Father. This he did; and in so doing, abolished the power of death, having led captivity captive, and brought to light the life and incorruptibility of the gospel of the kingdom -- Psal. 68:18, Eph. 4:8; 2 Tim. 1:10. Having established his worthiness in this moral conflict with the world and the flesh, God accepted him as the most excellent of all the intelligences of his universe; and in consequence gave to him what no one else possessed, namely, power to unroll the scroll and to loose its seals. The Apocalypse is therefore styled, "A Revelation of Jesus Anointed which the Deity committed to him." Now, Jesus Anointed is Power, or Spirit, manifested in flesh, and justified in Spirit -- 1Tim. 3:16: or, "Made of the seed of David according to flesh; and constituted Son of God in power, according to spirit of holiness, out of a resurrection of dead ones" -- Rom. 1:3, 4: and therefore styled "the Lord the Spirit," or "a life-imparting Spirit" -- 1 Cor. 15:45; 2 Cor. 3:17, 18. Here are Spirit and Flesh. The Spirit is Theos, or Deity; the Flesh was the Son of Mary, and named Jesus; and when anointed with Spirit again at his resurrection, became Jesus Christ, or the Anointed Jesus. This anointing was his begettal of spirit by which he became Spirit; as he said to Nicodemus, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" -- John 3:6. The Eternal Spirit, then, imparted to Jesus, after his glorification, the times, and seasons, and mode, and circumstances of his reappearance upon earth; all of which constituted a revelation such as he had not yet been the subject of. It is a revelation of Jesus Christ very unlike the revelation of the man of sorrows acquainted with grief. This was a revelation of the Son promised to Israel and David's house, as a helpless babe, born in a stable and cradled in a manger; as a fugitive in the earth, escaping from the sword of power; as a mechanic, laboring at the bench for his daily bread; as a preacher of righteousness, denouncing the hypocrisy and blasphemy of the clergy; and calling upon the people to renounce the traditions of their blind guides; and to become enlightened in the wisdom from above; as a man persecuted for righteousness' sake by the pious and the powerful of the Church and State; as a man accused of blasphemy, sorcery, and perversion of the people; as an alleged enemy to God, and a traitor to kings reigning by his grace; as a man, in fine, adjudged "guilty of death," and worthy only of being "numbered with transgressors," and ignominiously executed with thieves. Such was the revelation of "Messiah the Prince" in Heaven's gift of him "for a Covenant of the People," which has now for many centuries been presented to the nations in New Testament history, and memorialized in the ecclesiasticism of the Beast. "Messiah the Prince," or High Priest, was "cut off," or covenanted, as the spirit had revealed to Daniel. But before he died, he cried with a loud voice, in the words of Psal. 22:1., saying, Aili, Aili, "My strength, my strength, why hast thou forsaken me!" Before he
had uttered this exclamation, the Holy Spirit, which had descended upon him from the Habitation of Light and Power, in the form of a dove, and rested upon him, from the time of his immersion in the Jordan, had been withdrawn. The Father-Spirit had evacuated the son of David's daughter, who is styled, in the Songs of Zion, "the Handmaid of Jehovah," Psal. 116:16. The Son was, therefore, left without strength or power, and consequently without God. Still he was suspended to the tree a living man; a man crucified through weakness (2 Cor. 13:4), and dying of his own volition in obedience to God. But after the God-Power had forsaken him, and before he committed his life to the Father in breathing his last, there was an interval in which, after the example of Abraham at the typical confirmation of the covenant, "a horror of great darkness fell upon him" (Gen. 15:12); "for there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour." In this darkness he cried aloud; and drank the bitterness of gall and vinegar; and again cried with a loud voice; and the deep sleep fell upon him from which he did not awake until the early dawn of the third day. In this death-state the Son of David was prevailed against by the Little Horn of Daniel's Fourth Beast; and a prisoner of captivity. In this crisis he was neither God nor Spirit: but as testified concerning him in Psal. 22:6, "A worm and no man;" poured out like water; bones all out of joint; heart like wax, melted in the midst of the bowels. Strength dried up like a potsherd; tongue cleaving to the jaws; lying in the dust of death -- vers. 14, 15. But things were only to remain thus for a short space. The man Jesus, who had left behind him a character which the Father-Spirit acknowledged as His own, had been too excellent and admirable a person to be abandoned to the power of the enemy. The corpse rested, waiting to become the basis, or hypostasis, of a new revelation -- a new, or further, revelation of Spirit. The Father-Spirit had been manifesting himself for three years and a half, terminating at the crucifixion, in word and deed; teaching great truths, and working mighty wonders and signs which Omnipotence alone could operate; this was Spirit-revelation through Mary's Son -- "Power manifested in flesh." but a Spirit-revelation was to be given to the Body Repaired [font class="greek"](swma de kathrtisw moi[/font], a body thou repairedst for me -- Heb. 10:5). A breach had been made in it. Its "loins were filled with a loathsome disease: and there was no soundness in its flesh" -- Psal. 38:7. This was its condition while prostrate and hidden in the noisome pit (Ps. 40:2) beneath the turf. But though sealed up in Joseph's cave, it was not concealed from the Father-Spirit, who had so recently forsaken it. Walls, and seals, and soldiers, could not bar out the Spirit from the Body he was about to repair for future manifestations. Hence the Spirit in David represents the Son as saying, "My body was not concealed from thee when I was made in the secret place; I was embroidered in the under parts of the earth. Thine eyes saw my imperfect substance; and in thy book all of them were written as to the days they were fashioned, when there was not one among them," Psal. 139:15. The body was repaired, and in its being freed from the loathsomeness of death, it was created a Spiritual Body with all the embroidery of spirit. "It was sown in corruption," though "not permitted to see corruption;" it was raised in incorruptibility: it was sown in dishonor, it was raised in glory; it was sown in weakness, it was raised in power; it was sown a soul-body, it was raised a spirit-body," incorruptible, glorious, and powerful: #GREEK# egeneto o escatov adam eiv pneuma #GREEKOFF#, the last Adam was made into spirit; he was freed from all those qualities of body which make our human nature inferior to the nature of angels; and acquired new ones, by which the nature he now rejoices in is so intimately combined with the Father-Spirit, that what is affirmed of the one is true also of the other, according to what is written in John 10:30, 38, "I and the Father are one;" the Father is in me, and I in him." "This is the true Theos, and the Aion-Life," 1 John 5:20, and therefore he is styled by Paul, "the Lord, the Spirit," imparting life. 1 Cor 15:42-45. Now, though the world has witnessed the revelation which Light and Power gave to David's Son in the days of his psychical, or soul-body, commonly styled "his flesh;" it has never seen the apocalypse predetermined and recorded for manifestation through the pneumatical or spirit-body, begotten from among the dead. This revelation has been imparted to the glorified Jesus, to the once-dead body now anointed with spirit with which the Deity has sealed him." John 6:27. "A revelation of Jesus anointed which God gave to him;" not to be held as a secret with himself, which no other intelligences should know, until the things revealed should burst upon the world, and take even the saints at unawares. This was not the purpose for which it was given to him; simply, as it were, to make the Son equal in knowledge with the Father, and more intelligent than the angels in heaven. It was given to him as "The Head of the Body the Ecclesia; the Beginning, the first begotten from among the dead, that he might be among all preeminent; for it pleased that in him all the fulness should dwell." Col. 1:18. He was to be the depository of wisdom, knowledge, and power for the heirs of the world. The apocalypse of his future was given to him for their benefit, that they might know the things which must be accomplished speedily. The inscription therefore reads, "A Revelation of Jesus anointed which God gave to him to show to his servants things which must come to pass speedily." The revelation was only intended for these. It was not communicated for the information of the wicked; for it had long before been noted in the scriptures of truth that "None of the wicked should understand." Dan. 12:10. "To the wicked, God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee." Psal. 50:16, 17. 2. Who are the Servants of God
From this testimony we learn that "the wicked" are a larger class than is generally supposed. They are not restricted to murderers, drunkards, thieves, and the licentious. The wicked are to a great extent very pious and religious people. They have "a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." Being ignorant of God's righteousness, they go about with great diligence and at enormous cost, to establish their own righteousness, not having submitted to God's. They compass sea and land to make proselytes; they make long prayers; sing with sweetest music the praises of him they profess to worship. The world is full of their piety; for it is fashionable to be religious, or rather to "profess religion;" so that Christianity is thought to be habited in "fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet;" to walk in silver sandals; and to be "adorned with pearls and precious stones." Apoc. 18:12. But, be this as it may, there is a characteristic of wickedness which no sect, party, name, or denomination, regarded as "orthodox," can repudiate as inapplicable to itself. That characteristic is, "Thou castest my words behind thee," saith God. No man, sect, or party, can offer a greater insult to Jehovah than this; for it is testified, that He hath magnified his word above all the attributes of his name; Psal. 138:2; and it was foretold in commendation of Messiah, that when he should be revealed, he would "magnify the law and make it honorable." Isai. 42:21. "I came not," said he, "to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfil; for the heaven and earth may pass away, but not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." He continually impressed upon his hearers the necessity of believing the words of God, and of doing his commands: and never ceased to make the "obedience of faith" the test of men's devotion and affection for him. "If ye love me," saith he, "keep my commandments;" and "ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you;" for "love is the fulfilling of the law."
Now these are principles which no sophistry or reasoning can set aside. They are as true to-day as when they fell from the lips of him who gave utterance to the words of God." "My words," saith he, "are spirit and life;" and Moses has testified, saying, that whosoever would not hearken unto Jehovah's words which he should speak in his name, He would require it of him." Deut. 18:15-19. The reader may profess to believe that Jesus of Nazareth is he to whom Moses referred; for, Jesus said, "He wrote concerning me." But does the reader know what the Father commanded the prophet like unto Moses to speak in his name? If he know it, does he believe it? And if he believe the things spoken, has he obeyed them? To believe and do is the only evidence a man can give that he does not cast Jehovah's words behind him. "Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Hear this, ye bishops, priests, and ministers! Hear this, all ye eloquent "divines," and leaders of the people! All ye scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites, whose garb, grimace, and tone, are the counterfeit of wool to disguise the ravening wolf! Hear this, all ye zealots of the world religious; this question is for you who call Jesus, Lord, and do not the things which he says! Deny not the truth of the indictment; for your "names and denominations," in their creeds, institutions, and practices, are standing memorials of your guilt. Do ye know what the glad tidings were Jesus was anointed to preach to the poor? Do ye know what that kingdom was whose gospel he announced? What was that acceptable year of Jehovah he proclaimed? Can ye define that righteousness of God attested by the law and the prophets, he exhorted men to seek with the kingdom? Do ye consent to his words, appointing men to believe the gospel he preached, and to be immersed, that they may be saved? Do ye not rather make void all this by your traditions, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men? To believe and do, ye practically repudiate, in affirming the salvation of those who neither know, believe, nor obey. Now He whom ye call Lord, testifies against you, saying, "He that receiveth not my words, the word that I have spoken, the same shall condemn him in the last day." "The gospel of the kingdom" is "the word of the kingdom," which he sowed in his field. By faith in this word men will be justified; without it, they will be condemned; for the words of Jesus are, "He that believeth not shall be condemned."
Now, it is notorious, O ye clergy of all orders and degrees, that ye do not consent to "the truth as it is in Jesus;" but that ye substitute all sorts of foolishness in its place. Ye blaspheme "the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," by invoking it in the rhantism of babes, who, you teach, are by that absurdity engrafted into the body of Christ. This is taking the name, "the Glorious and Fearful Name," Jehovah-Elohim, in vain. That name is holy and reverend, and He hath commanded, saying, "Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thine Elohim in vain; for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain" -- Exod. 20:7. And surely it is an egregious vanity, in view of the testimony, "that without faith it is impossible to please God; for he that cometh to him, must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him" -- to bring a puling babe to a pint basin, incapable of faith, ignorant of any thing called God, and a diligent seeker only of its mother's breast! And this ye do, and many other abominations too, O ye Destroyers of the people. Hear, then, what Paul, whom ye style "the Great Apostle to the Gentiles," hath declared to your confusion. In 1 Tim. 6:3, he says, "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the teaching which is according to godliness; he has been besmoked, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
It is manifest, then, from these premises, that the pious zealots of the names and denominations of Gentile Christianity, together with their professional guides, are all of the same category. Though very respectable and orderly members of society, they are besmoked know-nothings, and wicked, not consenting to the words of Jesus, but casting his words behind them, and denouncing them as "heresy." The revelation before us, "which the Deity gave to him," was not for them. It was for "his servants;" and the "spiritual guides" of the people are not his servants. This is the reason why there is no interpretation of the Apocalypse extant, written by "a theologian" or "divine," that has any claim to consideration or respect as a scriptural exegesis of the book. Though learned in mythology and the dead languages, in history ancient and modern, in general literature and science, they are not learned in Moses and the Prophets, and the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles. "The fear of Jehovah," as taught by these, "is the beginning of wisdom;" and this commencement they have not made. No man can interpret the Apocalypse in harmony with the prophetic writings, who believes that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David, are now inheriting the promises covenanted to them; or that the inheritance covenanted is beyond the skies. An occupant of an episcopal throne in the State Church of any nation, cannot interpret the book, not being able to see that his own church is one of the daughters of the Mother of Harlots, and that he himself is one of "the merchants of the earth," whose merchandise is of tithes, bodies, and the souls of men. He that denies the personal reappearance of Jesus Christ upon Mount Olivet, who affirms that he is now sitting upon the throne of David; and that consequently there will be no rebuilding of David's dwelling-place, or reestablishment of his throne in Zion: he that denies the restoration of the twelve tribes of Israel to their native land; maintains that they are for ever outcasts; and that no kingdom will be restored to them -- cannot "read the book, nor see it." Believers in a "past millennium" are literally shut up and sealed, and totally destitute of all spiritual perception. In short, the grand prerequisite for an expositor of this wonderful little book is, that he understand the gospel of the kingdom as exhibited in the prophets; the preaching of Jesus as the Christ; and the revelation of the mystery as set forth by the apostles. He must have a comprehensive understanding of the Scriptures from Genesis to Jude; for the light shining from all these testimonies converges upon the apocalyptic page, whose crises, as a mirror, reflect the kingdom promised to the saints.
"The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ" is then for the servants of God: -- for those who believe the Gospel of the Kingdom it exhibits; and have been "washed from their sins in his blood," in being baptized into his name. "Know ye not," says Paul, "that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of Sin unto death, or of Obedience unto righteousness?" Here are two masters; the first, the Lord of the world, the last, the ruling principle of Jehovah's people. "Sin is the transgression of law;" and because this is the natural tendency of our nature, "sin" is sometimes used for "the flesh." He, therefore, that serves his own lusts, "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life," which not only constitute the man, but the world, or aggregate of such, is Sin's servant or slave. Such a man, be he "priest," "clergyman," "minister," or "layman," serves sin unto death. Being of the world he speaks of the world, and the world hears him -- 1 John 4:5. He is essentially a man-pleaser, who holds men's persons in admiration for the sake of advantage; and therefore cannot be the servant of Christ -- Gal. 1:10; Jude 16. The thinking that characterizes such is termed "the thinking of the flesh." What they think and give expression to is palatable to those who do not know the Scriptures, which is a great cause of error in the world. Their thoughts and reasonings are at issue with the thoughts and ways of God; and therefore, the thinking of the flesh is said to be at enmity with God, not subject to his law, neither indeed can be -- Rom. 8:7. When a clergyman or layman thinks on God and his purposes; on what would be pleasing to him; on his own destiny or that of nations and the earth; and judges of these, not according to what is written in the Bible, but according to what appears to him to be "the fitness of things," and according to the institutes of theological schools and seminaries; such thinking and judgment is the thinking of Sin, and inevitably at variance with the mind of Christ. Sin reigns in his thoughts, in his flesh, and in his ways. He is Sin's servant, and though a slave, being free from righteousness, he serves him with delight.
Paul reminds the Saints in Rome that they were all the servants of sin once; but thanks God in their behalf, that they had been freed from sin, and were now the servants of righteousness, "having obeyed from the heart a form of teaching, "tupon didachv", into which they were delivered" -- Rom. 6:17. They obeyed a form of teaching which emancipated, liberated, or set them free, from the lordship of Sin. This was Paul's mission -- to invite men to a change of masters. He addressed himself to free men and slaves, all of whom, whatever their political or social position, were in bondage to the devil or sin. He did not invite slaves to abscond from their fleshly owners; on the contrary, he told men to remain in the several callings of life in which they were when they first heard the truth. "Let every man," says he, "abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called, being a slave? Care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather." As if he had said, "Social or political liberty is a small matter in view of what men are called, or invited to, by the gospel of the kingdom. My mission is to "open men's eyes, to turn them from darkness [of mind] to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among the sanctified by faith [which leads] into Jesus" -- Acts 26:18. He invited Sin's servants to become Jehovah's servants upon the principle of purchase; so that, in addressing those who had abandoned the synagogue and temple for the house of Christ, he says to them, "Ye are bought with a price. They were "not their own," being bought bodily and spiritually; "therefore," said he, "glorify God with your body and with your spirit, which are God's -- 1 Cor. 7:23; 6:19, 20. When a man's body and spirit become another's property, all property in himself is surrendered to the purchaser. All that he used to call his before he was sold, is transferred to his owner; and, if allowed to retain it, he must use it as the steward of his lord.
Redemption is release for a ransom. All who become God's servants are therefore released from a former lord by purchase. The purchaser is Jehovah; and the price, or ransom, paid, the precious blood of the flesh through which the Anointing Spirit was manifested. It is therefore styled, "the precious blood of Christ:" as it is written in the words of Peter to his brethren, saying, "Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conduct paternally delivered; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without spot and without blemish" -- 1 Epist. 1:18. If this Christ-Lamb had not been slain, the fifth and sixth verses of the first chapter of the Apocalypse could not have been written; the "New Song" of chap. 5:9, 10, could never have been sung; the 144,000 could never have been sealed, the robes of the saints, the palm-bearers of ch. 7:9-14, could never have been washed white in blood; there would have been no Altar, no worshippers thereat, nor souls underneath it in death -- ch. 11:1; 6:9; and there would have been no "fine linen, clean and white," to clothe the body guards of "the King of kings" -- ch. 19:8, 14. All these parts of the Apocalypse are based on the slaying of the Christ-Lamb as the redemption price of the servants of God.
Satan took the price of release. In the day of his power he valued the blood at thirty pieces of silver. In this was fulfilled the saying of the prophet, "They weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver: and cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prized at of them" -- Zech. 11:12, 13. The life being purchased for this amount of blood-money, Satan nailed the Christ-Lamb to the tree; and poured out his life with a spear. Jesus entered no protest against the arrangement. On the contrary, he lovingly laid down his life for the sake of those who had died under the law of Moses, walking in the steps of Abraham's faith; and for them also, who should afterwards become Abraham's children by adoption through himself. With the first class, as a man, he had no personal acquaintance; with the last, comprehending multitudes of his contemporaries, his acquaintance cost him his life. Unknown by the one, and condemned and persecuted by the other, he nevertheless laid down his life to purchase their release from the bondage of Sin and Death. "I am," said he, "the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep; and I lay down my life for them of myself. No man taketh it from me. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again" -- Jno. 10. He regarded this as the greatest evidence of love; for, as Paul reasons, "Scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Well, therefore, may it be said, "Unto him that loved us, to him be glory and dominion for the Aions of the Aions" -- ch. 1:5, 6.
The "servants of God, sealed in their foreheads," are represented by the square of 12; so that their measurement is 144 cubits, and their numerical representation 144,000 -- Apoc. 7:3, 4; 14:1; 21:17. This square is the sum of all released from bondage to Satan, consequent upon their "obeying the form of teaching delivered unto them." The releasing them, of course, is an affair of the ages, seeing that the redeemed do not belong to one and the same nation and generation. Jesus died and rose again for the release of these -- his sheep scattered among the nations and generations of centuries. In the providence of God, "the Form of Teaching" is brought before them; and being of his sheep, they discern in the teaching the Great Shepherd's voice, and follow it -- John 10:26, 27: and as he said to Paul at Corinth, "Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace; for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city" -- Acts 18:10. After this encouraging admonition, Paul continued speaking in Corinth a year and six months, for the manifestation of this people. They heard; they believed; and they were baptized. They believed "the teaching," and "obeyed the form." The teaching was the Gospel of the Apocalypse of the Lord Jesus Christ. He tells us that "Christ sent him to preach the gospel; which is the power of God for salvation to every one believing; for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith" -- 1 Cor. 1:17; Rom. 1:16, 17. In preaching this, he says, "I came declaring the testimony of God;" and "speaking the hidden wisdom of God in a mystery, which had been hid from the Aions and the Generations, but now is made manifest to his Saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" -- 1 Cor. 2:1, 7; Col. 1:26, 27.
In the teaching, he taught them "the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the Name of Jesus Christ;" so that, as the result of his instruction, they came to be "washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of God" -- 1 Cor. 6:11: and to wait for his Apocalypse -- ch. 1:7. Here was a form of teaching or doctrine presented to them in the formula of the name. He told them about the kingdom and glory to be apocalypsed when the hour should arrive for Jesus Christ to hurl Satan, their master, like lightning from the heaven. His testimony to this effect was confirmed among them by "the demonstration of Spirit and power, that their faith might stand in the power of God" -- 1 Cor. 1:6; 2:4, 5. Having convinced them of this, he invited them to a cooperation with Jesus in the overthrow of Satan, and in the government of the nations when Satan should be cast into the abyss, and shut up, and sealed, so that he could deceive them no more -- Apoc. 20:2, 3. But, at the same time, he taught them that that government which was to succeed Satan's, was to be a pure, indestructible, divine, and righteous dominion, and that consequently, flesh and blood, or mortals, and the unrighteous, could not possibly have any share in it -- 1 Cor. 6:9; 15:50. This declaration, attested by the Spirit, brought up the inquiry, What does God require a believer of his promises to do that he may become righteous, and capable of inheriting them? In other words, What must he do to become the subject of the righteousness of God? Of that righteousness, which Paul says is "witnessed by the law and the prophets?" The answer to all who believe the promises, and that Jesus is the Anointed Son of Jehovah, in whose crucified flesh sin was condemned; and that he rose from the dead for the justification of all given to him for brethren by the Father: the answer to such is, Do what Peter commanded the same class to do in Acts 2:38. Do what is prescribed in Acts 3:19. Do what the Samaritans did in Acts 8:12, 16. Do what the Cushite officer did in Acts 8:38, 39. Do what Paul himself did in Acts 9:18; 22:16. Do what Peter commanded the devout Gentiles to do in Acts 10:48. Do what was prescribed to the Philippian household in Acts 16:33. Do what the Corinthians did in Acts 18:8 : -- for they all did the same thing. They believed the same teaching, and "obeyed the" same "form," in conformity with the command to "be baptized into the name of Jehovah."
In becoming thus enlightened and obedient they became "the servants of God," purchased from Satan at the price of blood sold to him for thirty pieces of silver. By right of purchase, God calls upon all the purchased in Satan's household to leave his service, and come over to him. "The Lord knoweth them that are his." This is the seal of his foundation -- 2 Tim. 2:19; and he sent out his trumpeters to make proclamation, and to invite his own to present heirship of the kingdom and eternal glory, for which he has purchased them of the enemy -- 1 Thess. 2:12; 2 Epist. 1:5; James 2:5. "He that receiveth the testimony of Jesus hath set to his seal that God is true" -- Jno. 3:33. He endorses understandingly all that God hath done. He rejoices in the purchase, or redemption, refuses any longer to serve sin, and sings, "Unto him that loved us, and redeemed us to God by his blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, and washed us therein from our sins, and hath made us kings and priests for God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for the Aions of the Aions" -- Apoc. 1:5, 6; 5:9.
These immersed believers of the exceeding great and precious promises covenanted to the fathers, and confirmed in Jesus, the Minister of the Circumcision (Rom. 15:8) by obeying the form of teaching were brought into a patient waiting for what they believed in and hoped for. In writing to some of them at Corinth, Paul says, that they came behind in no gift, "waiting for the coming of the Lord, the Anointed Jesus" -- 1 Cor. 1:7. Thus it reads in the English Version; but in the original "the coming" is expressed by thn atokaluyin, the Apocalypse. They waited for the Apocalypse of Jehovah, the Anointed Jesus. For the information of the mere English reader we may remark that apocalupsis is derived from a verb which signifies "to uncover, bring to light what was hidden." The noun, therefore, signifies a disclosure, a revelation. The subject of the disclosure may be ideas, persons, or events. In the sense of new ideas being put into the mind with enlightening effect, apokalupsis is used in Luke 2:32, where Simeon, speaking by the Holy Spirit of the future of the child Jesus he then held in his arms, styled him "A light for an apocalypse of nations, and a glory of Jehovah's people Israel." In this text, it clearly signifies illumination. That is, that at some period of the history of the nations, Jesus would be, at one and the same time, a light and a glory to them and Israel. Moses says by the Spirit wmma mywg wnynrh , harninu, goyim, ammo, "Rejoice, ye nations, his people;" but Paul, quoting from the Septuagint, says "with his people." Either way answers to the truth; for when the nations are caused to rejoice, they will have previously become Jehovah's people (Zech. 2:11) and will also rejoice with Israel and the Saints. Now, when this shall be the order of the day, the nations will have been apocalypsed by him who will be "the glory of Israel." He will be a light in Zion in the midst of the nations, confounding the moon, and putting the sun of the former heavens to shame.
He will be "a light for an apocalypse of nations." The nature of this apocalypse may be discerned from a few testimonies of the prophets "In Zion," says Isaiah, "shall Jehovah of armies make unto all people a feast. And in this mountain he will destroy the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and Jehovah Elohim will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for Jehovah hath spoken it" -- 25:6. The veil or covering the prophet speaks of here, is that "strong delusion" to which Paul alludes in 2 Thes. 2:11, where he predicted the present moral condition of the nations under the Man of Sin, or Satan of the Apocalypse, 12; 20. The nations of "Christendom" are all under the veil. God sent the truth among them; but Paul says, "they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause," he continues, "God shall send them Strong Delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be condemned who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness." Here is their sin and punishment. They corrupted the truth, and the corruption waxed strong in them; and deluded them into the belief of a lie, or system of falsehood. By this the nations of "Christendom" are overspread as by a covering No nation is exempt from the delusion. The most enlightened believe "the Lie" in common with the least. Greekism, Romanism, and Protestantism, in all their "Names and Denominations," are elements of the Strong Delusion. They all pretend to be Christianity; while in reality they are only abominable, and badly executed counterfeits.
Delusion and delirium have a near and intimate relationship; and the stronger the delusion the more intense the delirium. In the Apocalypse, therefore, when the "strong delusion," in its effects upon the nations of "Christendom," comes to be "signified" or represented, they are described as having been "made drunk," and as being drunk. "The inhabitants of the earth," said the Angel to John, "have been made drunk with the wine of the Great Harlot's fornication" -- Apoc. 17:2; 18:3. The last text declares that "all nations" are intoxicated. The drunkenness is, therefore, not restricted to the Greek and Latin communions; but comprehends all Protestant nations as well. They are all deceived by Satan, by whose energy, and deceivableness of unrighteousness, the soul-merchants of the earth have been able to establish themselves as the spiritual guides of the people. Blind, intensely blind and intoxicated, they are leading the blind and reeling multitudes into an unfathomable abyss; and they themselves are rapidly approaching that universal bankruptcy, when their commerce in souls will be extinguished, "and no man will buy their merchandise any more." The days of the schools, colleges, seminaries, and ecclesiastical establishments of the nations are numbered; and the end of their theological craft decreed. They are weighed in the balances and found wanting -- wanting in the knowledge of "the truth as it is in Jesus." Though they boast of the light and glory of our century; and are upon such admirable terms with themselves as the people of the Lord, basking in the sunshine of his favor and delight; the Scriptures denounce their pretensions, and resolve them into the grossest darkness, sensuality, and wickedness. And this is unquestionably true. No other conclusion can be come to in view of what the Spirit saith. Speaking by Isaiah he declares that if any one do not speak according to Moses and the Prophets he is a dark body -- ch. 8:20. "There is no light in him." Now it is notorious, that the professors of the theological institutions of all sects, and the clerical, or ministerial, orders of all denominations, are grossly ignorant of the Old Testament writings. In presuming, therefore, to preach from, or to explain the New, it is utterly impossible for them to speak according to Moses and the Prophets. A man cannot speak in accordance with what he knows little or nothing about. The testimony, therefore, convicts them of utter incompetency. It declares them to be utterly without light: which is equivalent to saying that they are in gross darkness. And, this being the condition of the ecclesiastics, how awfully dark must the people they call the "laity" be! "Like priest, like people," -- darkness added to darkness until it becomes Egyptian, or darkness to be felt.
If the nations were enlightened the Apocalypse of the Anointed Jesus would be unnecessary. He comes because of the darkness of the world. He comes as a light, as the Day Star, to illuminate the nations. He does not come because they are enlightened. If his coming be postponed to this, he never will come; for instead of a knowledge of the truth increasing among them, the darkness is intensifying day by day.
Now that the Lord comes while darkness reigns, is manifest from the following testimony: -- Isaiah informs us, that "the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob;" and that then she shall "arise and shine; because her Light is come, and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon her." He then tells us the reason why Jehovah, or the Anointed One, comes to shine upon her; and the following is the reason: "Because darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people." This is the mental, or intellectual and moral, condition of clergy and people, Gentiles and Jews, at the epoch when Christ comes as "A Light for their apocalypse." Such is, and such will continue to be, the spiritual condition of the world until then. But when they have been apocalypsed, or illuminated, the change will be glorious. "The earth" will then "be full of the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters cover the sea," even as God had sworn to Moses -- Numb. 14:21; Isaiah 11:9; Hab. 2:14. Then "Many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain (or kingdom) of Jehovah, and to the house of the Elohim of Jacob: and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. And he shall rule among the nations, and he shall punish many peoples; and" in consequence of that rebuke, "they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
Having spoken peace to the nations, and being established in his glory, the day of Jehovah's exaltation will have been apocalypsed, or revealed -- that day in which, it is testified, "Jehovah alone shall be exalted" -- Isaiah 2:10, 11, 16, 17. "At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the Name of Jehovah, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart" -- Jer. 3:17. This is a very plain testimony. Jerusalem is to become the throne of a government which is to have universal dominion; and that when it exists, the nations will have abandoned the strong delusion, or "imagination," by which they are now deceived. The occupation of the "Reverend Divines" of "Christendom" will then be gone. All names and denominations of blasphemy ending in ism will then be abolished; and they will be all as clean swept away as was the old world by the flood. What a glorious riddance for the world! The "seducing spirits," "the demons," "the captivators of silly women laden with sins," the "transformed ministers of Satan," teachers heaped up to themselves after their own lusts to tickle their itching ears: men of corrupt minds, who speak lies in hypocrisy; unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness -- these, with all their old wives' fables and traditions, will all have been precipitated as Satan, with lightning volocity from the heavens, into the promiscuous confusion of the bottomless abyss. No clergyman will then venture to lift up his voice to sermonize the people; for "It shall come to pass that when any shall yet prophesy (or preach), then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of Jehovah; and they shall thrust him through when he prophesieth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets (or preachers) shall be ashamed every one of his vision when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear hair garments to deceive" -- Zech. 13:3, 4. If the ecclesiastics were to be dealt with upon this principle at the present time, not a soul of them would escape death upon the spot; for it is their craft to "speak lies in the name of Jehovah," and to wear peculiar garments for professional deceit. The world that now fawns upon and flatters their vanity, and glorifies their foolishness, will then curse their memorial. In that day of affliction to the Apostasy, it is testified, that "the Gentiles shall come unto Jehovah from the ends of the earth, and shall say: Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit" -- Jer. 16:19. This is what they will say of Episcopalianism, Presbyterianism, Lutheranism, Methodism, Congregationalism, Universalism, Mormonism, Millerism, Campbellism, Romanism, Greekism, &c., &c., &c., -- all false, vain, and unprofitable. This is their true character; for they make up the ecclesiasticism of the nations; and how is it possible for drunken nations, overspread with strong delusion as a thick veil, to hew out for themselves cisterns capable of holding water from the fountain of life? 3. The New Testament Use of the Word Apocalypse
The word apokalupsis is used eighteen times in the New Testament. The first place where it occurs is that we have just been considering; the last is in Rev. 1:1; as the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ which the Deity committed to him to show to his servants things which must come to pass speedily". Here the apocalypse is an exhibition of things to be transacted subsequently to the communication of it; and when we look into it we find its signs, scenes, and so forth, all tending to, or terminating in, the personal manifestation of Jesus Christ before the nations, the overthrow of their dominions, and the victory of his Brethren, the Saints, over the grave, and over the Satanism of "Christendom" in Church and State in whatever form they may be found. Hence the Apocalypse exhibits what the testimonies already adduced predict without a symbol, God has determined shall come to pass in the Anointed Jesus shining as "a Light for an apocalypse of nations." The apostle Paul uses the noun apocalupsis thirteen times in his writings; and the verb apocalupto also thirteen. In Rom. 2:5, he uses it in relation to a manifestation of judgment, "in a day of wrath and apocalypse of God's righteous judgment." This is a day yet future; because in it, Paul says, the glory, honor, incorruptibility, and life of the Aion will be rendered to the righteous; and indignation and wrath to "those who obey not the truth." It is "a Day of Wrath and Apocalypse": hence, whatever constitutes the apocalypse, is to be looked for in "a time of trouble," as Daniel terms it; or "a day of affliction," in the words of Jeremiah. They may cry "Peace and Safety;" but there will be neither in the Day of Apocalypse; but rather "sudden destruction as travail upon a woman with child" -- 1 Thess. 5:3.
In Rom. 8:19, he uses the noun in reference to the disclosure of the Sons of God to the view of the nations, from which they are at present concealed. The Sons of god are to be apocalypsed, and glory is to be apocalypsed in them, as well as Jesus, their Elder Brother. "I reckon," says Paul, "that the sufferings of the present time are not comparable with the future glory to be apocalypsed in us. For the earnest hope of the creature is looking for the Apocalypse of the Sons of God." In the English version this is rendered by "the manifestation of the sons of God." The meaning is this: Mankind are divided by Scripture into Two Classes -- the Serpent and his seed; and the Woman and her seed -- Gen. 3:15. As early as the times before the flood, the former were styled simply "men;" the latter, "the sons of God" -- Gen. 6:12. By the flood, "men" were swept from the earth which they had filled with violence; and their apostasy was extinguished with them: that is, "the earth was corrupt; For all flesh had corrupted God's Way upon the earth" -- Gen. 6:11, 12. They had set up a corrupted way of worshipping God, which constituted an apostasy, or departure from the Original Way instituted in Eden. This did not suit their evil nature; therefore they altered it to please; and under its inspiration filled the habitable with their abominations. Only one small family protested against this apostasy; a family of eight persons, all that were left on earth of the Sons of God among the living. These were saved by the earth's baptism; while the apostasy, in all its ecclesiastical, civil, and social relations, was torn up by the roots, and swept away.
Sons of God is a title conferred upon certain descendants of Adam, which places them in the same class of intelligences as the Angels. These are also styled "Sons of God" and Stars of the Dawn," or "Morning Stars" -- Job 28:7. We do not mean to say that the Sons of God, called in Scripture angels, or messengers, and Gods, are now mortal and corruptible, and weak of mind and body as we are; they have passed through this state, and now occupy a state beyond it, in which they are incorruptible, immortal, glorious, powerful, wise, and of spirit-corporeality. In their former state they were Sons of God subject to evil as we; in their present, they are sons subject only to good. Men are invited to the same destiny. They are invited now to enter Jehovah's family, and to become his sons and daughters, with the promise of hereafter being promoted to a physical equality with the angels. Thus it is written, in 2 Cor. 6:17, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith Jehovah, and touch not the unclean; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my Sons and Daughters, saith Jehovah Ail-Shaddai."
But he not only gives men invitation to become his children, but he gives them power also. Thus the Jehovah-Spirit came to his own land (ta idia) but his own people (hoi idioi) the Jews, received him not. Nevertheless, as many as received him, to them gave he power to become children of God, to them believing into his name, who are born not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" -- Jno. 1:11-13. Here the fleshly principle is repudiated. "The flesh profits nothing." No man is a Son of God, because he is descended from "Adam Son of God" -- Luke 3:38; but Adam's sons become Sons of God by adoption through His Name. They must believe the promises covenanted; believe in Jesus, as the Jehovah-Spirit manifested in flesh, made a sin-offering, justified in spirit, for the justification of believers; and be immersed into the Name, that they may be the subject of the repentance and the remission of sins which are offered in that name; and communicable only to such in putting on the name according to divine prescription. The power of becoming a son of God consists in obeying the form of teaching apostolically delivered. In putting on Christ the Son of God by eminence, a man becomes a son of God. Addressing the sons of God in Galatia, Paul says: "In Jesus anointed ye are all sons of God through the faith: for as many of you as were immersed into the Anointed have put on the Anointed. And if ye be the Anointed's, then ye are the seed of Abraham, and Heirs according to the promise" -- ch. 3:26-29. When a son of Adam is thus adopted into Abraham's family, he is a son of Abraham because he is in Jesus who was his descendant according to the flesh. He is in God the Father, -- and in the Son, by constitution; and Christ dwells in him by faith that works by love, and purifies the heart" -- Eph. 3:17; 1 Thess. 1:1. This step being assured, what follows is of course. "If children," says Paul, "then heirs, Heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together."
This contemporary glorification of Jesus and his brethren of the Abrahamic Family is the subject matter of their apocalypse; and points to their development as sons of God. This occurs "in the resurrection," an Aion-period in which the sons of God obtain their new nature, or materiality. Mentally, that is, as to mind, disposition, and character, or as we might say, spiritually, and constitutionally, they are sons of God; but as to the flesh, they are, on this side the resurrection, still the children of Adam. They are flesh and blood, but they do not walk after, or according to, its impulses; living a life of self denial, being led by the spirit, in being led by the truth understood, believed, and affectionately obeyed, as it is written: "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." But, to be sons of God in the full import of the title, they must put off the Old Adam, in respect to body as well as to conduct and intelligence. They must become sons of God bodily as well as spiritually. They are waiting for this namely, "for the adoption, the redemption of their body." Jesus referred to this in his argument with the Sadducees, saying: "They who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that Aion, and the resurrection which is from among the dead, cannot die any more; for they are equal to angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection" -- Luke 20:35, 36.
Now hear what John says upon this subject in 1 Epis. 3:1, 2. "Behold," says he, "what great love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be styled sons of God! Because the world does not know him, therefore it does not know us. Beloved, we are now sons of God, though it doth not yet appear what we shall be: nevertheless we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one having this hope in him purifies himself as he is pure." From this testimony, then, it is clear, that the Sons of God are not yet apocalypsed, or manifested. Therefore, the world does not know them, though, if it have an opinion in the matter, and were invited to point them out, it would certainly judge, that if God had any sons among men, they were those whom it recognizes as the "Ambassadors of Jesus Christ," and the "successors of the Apostles," together with the pious of their flocks. By the world, we mean what is called, or what rather is self-styled, "the Religious World," made up of all members and supporters of the ecclesiasticism of what they call "Christendom." But this world knows not the Father, how therefore can it know the sons. Neither can it know them before their apocalypse; for the testimonies by which they are defined they will not trouble themselves to understand. No man is led by the Spirit of God who is not led by an intelligent belief of the truth. This truth the world and its soul-merchants do not know. They are therefore not led by it; and are consequently according to Paul, not the Sons of God. "They are of the world; therefore speak they of the world; and the world heareth them." By this rule it is easy to perceive that the world's judgment is wrong. They whom the world hears are not of God. He never sent them, nor were they ever adopted into his Abrahamic Family. If they were God's sons the world would not listen to them; but would hate and persecute them. They profess to admit that the apostles were of God; but they pay no regard to what they teach. Their whole ministry is spent in falsifying and destroying their doctrine. "Be mindful," says Peter, "of the words which were spoken before by the Holy Prophets, and of the commandments of us the Apostles of the Lord and Saviour" -- 2 Pet. 3:2. But Peter may as well speak to a post as to the ecclesiastics of the world. They only care for him and his words so far as they can turn them into cash, or make them available for the preservation of vested interests. They have long ceased to hear both prophets and apostles, as any one may know who will take the trouble to compare their traditions and practices with the commandments and testimonies of God. "He that knoweth God heareth us," says John; "he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the Spirit of the Truth, and the Spirit of the Delusion."
After so plain a declaration as the foregoing, is it possible to admit that the Religious World and its rulers are of God; and worship him in spirit and in truth? That the Spirit of the Truth is formative of their systems? Or that its worshippers are his sons? Nay, verily, its formative spirit is that of Antichrist, which is discerned in their "love of the world, and of the things which are in the world;" a love, which is earnestly deprecated by the apostles of Christ. "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him;" but are not the people's spiritual guides devoted to the world? Are they not the world's hired servants? Are they not them whom the world delights to honor? Are not their flocks perfect incarnations of "all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life?" All of which the apostle testifies "is not of the Father, but is of the world" -- 1 Jno. 2:15, 16. The affirmative to these inquiries is alone admissible; and the apostolic principles clearly determine that the ecclesiastical system, in its totality of names, denominations, churches, reverend orders, institutions, and worshippers, is of the Devil, and not of God. We therefore verily believe, that when the reality of things is vindicated in the apocalypse of the Sons of God; when his glory shall be apocalypsed in them; and when the Captain of their salvation as "a Light for an apocalypse of nations," shall appear -- we believe that when this shall come to pass, He will say to the flocks and shepherds of the religious world, as he said to the same class in Judea, "Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts of your father ye will to do. He was a manslayer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own things; for he is a liar and the father of it." "He that is of God heareth God's words; but because ye are not of God, therefore ye hear them not." If we are to judge a tree by its fruits, what other conclusion is it possible to come to? The pious of the world are adepts in all the lusts of the flesh; they do not stand in the truth, which is an offence to them; when they speak, they lie against the truth, and speak of their own conceits; they do not hear, or believe and obey, the words of God; and therefore the conclusion is inevitable that they are not of God; and therefore of necessity of the Devil. This is also manifest from another consideration. If the ecclesiasticism of Christendom were the worship of God in spirit and in truth, the poor in this world, rich in faith, would be the notables, revered and beloved by the rich; who would rejoice in emptying themselves of their glory and honor, that they might be exalted in due time. But the reverse of this is the fact. Mammon reigns in Church as well as State; and the members of the one are the ambitious and brawling politicians of the other. All this is of the flesh, or Sin Incarnate, which is the Devil. Now the mission of Jesus is to destroy the Devil, and the works of the Devil -- Heb. 2:14; 1 Jno. 3:8: and we have already seen, that the Gentiles are to come to him after his apocalypse, and to confess that what they now cherish is only lies, vanity, and unprofitable. They will then acknowledge that their denominations are works of the Devil; and as such they will rejoice in their abolition, and glorify their destroyer. The whole system now existing is a monster iniquity, which only awaits the "apocalypse of the Sons of God" for its disruption, and utter annihilation Another place in Paul's writings where he uses this noun in a notable manner is in 2 Thes. 1:7. He there tells his persecuted brethren that God will recompense to them "a rest with us (Paul, Sylvanus, and Timothy) in the apocalypse of the Lord Jesus from heaven, with angels of his power, in fire of flame, inflicting vengeance on those who know not God, and who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Anointed; who shall suffer punishment, Aion-destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his might, when he shall come to be glorified with his Saints, and to be admired with all the believers in that day."
In the next chapter, ver. 8, he informs the reader that a certain power would exist, contemporary with the apocalypse of that day, which should be wasted and destroyed. He styled it the Lawless One, "whom," says he, "the Lord shall consume by the spirit of his mouth, and destroy by the manifestation of his presence." In writing to the faithful, Peter also directs their attention to "the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ" as the time when their faith should be "found unto praise and honor and glory." He exhorts them to "hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought in the apocalypse of Jesus Christ;" and in a third place of the same epistle he says, "Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that in the apocalypse of his glory, ye may be glad also, leaping for joy" -- 1 Pet. 1:7, 1; 4:13. It must be evident, then, to all who have examined the testimonies adduced, that apocalypse, in the New Testament use of the word, is not used indefinitely or vaguely, importing merely a disclosure or uncovering of ideas previously concealed: but that it has a special and appropriated signification -- a doctrinal meaning peculiar to itself: teaching,
- The introduction of a Day, styled the Day of Apocalypse;
- The manifestation in that day of a Light for the Apocalypse ofNations;
- The inflicting of vengeance and punishment on the lawless anddisobedient in that day;
- The personal appearance of Jesus Christ, as the Light of the Day ofWrath and Apocalypse;
- The manifestations of the Sons of God by resurrection from amongthe dead, and glorification with Jesus Christ -- the Apocalypse ofSalvation in the last time.
But here we beg leave to remark, that the doctrine of Messiah's reign with the Saints on earth for a long season did not originate with the Apocalypse. It is the burden of all the prophets from Moses to Malachi. Moses teaches that the seed of Abraham shall be a great nation; that that nation with Abraham and his Seed, the prophet like to him, shall possess the Holy Land for ever; that all nations shall be blessed in them; and that then the whole earth shall be full of Jehovah's glory. This is the future state which Moses preached as the gospel to Israel. Nor was the preaching confined to him. The proclamation was amplified in all the prophets. The "Songs of Jehovah" are full of it. Isaiah announced it in glowing terms, and tells us that in vision he saw the King upon his throne, who is to reign in righteousness, on Mount Sion and in Jerusalem gloriously in the presence of his Ancients, or Saints, whose death shall be swallowed up in victory -- ch. 6:1-5; 32:1; 24:23; 25:8. Jeremiah testifies to the same effect, telling us that Jehovah will raise up to David a Righteous Branch; that this man shall be King of Israel, reigning and prospering, and executing judgment and justice in the earth; that in his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; that He shall be for the righteousness of the nation; that then Jerusalem shall be called the Throne of Jehovah, that all nations shall be concentred to it as the throne of empire; and that they shall all be enlightened, and blessed in their king, who shall be called "The God of the Whole Earth" -- ch. 3:17; 23:5, 6; 33:5; Isai. 54:5. The Apocalypse in Ezekiel.
Ezekiel prophesies that the Dry Tree of Israel, which now bears no fruit, shall be made to flourish in the mountain of the heights of Israel; where it shall shoot forth boughs, and bear fruit; and that under its branching foliage shall dwell all fowl of every wing -- ch. 17:22-24. He tells us concerning that epoch, that the kingdom of Israel shall be given to a man of low station whose right it is; that he shall be a Plant of Renown; that he shall be a David; that he shall be Prince, or High Priest of Israel for an Aion; that he shall be immortal; that the Holy Land shall be as the Garden of Eden, or Paradise; that the twelve tribes of Israel shall be a united nation, and form one kingdom in the land; that a magnificent temple shall be built in Jerusalem differing from that of Solomon; that the Dead Sea shall be healed, and become as productive of fish as the Mediterranean; and that from the time of the establishment of these things, the old name of the city shall be abolished -- that it shall no longer be Jeru, "they shall see," shalaim, "peace;" but Yahweh-shammah, He who shall be is there -- ch. 21:26, 27; 34:29, 23; 37:25, 22; 36:35; 47:8-10; 48:35. The Apocalypse in Daniel.
Daniel foretold the establishment of a kingdom which shall be a great military power in its beginning, and of perpetual continuance: that it should conquer all kingdoms extant in the Latter Days; that until then "the Kingdom of Men" would bear rule over all the earth -- until seven times, 2520 years, should be completed; which is the age of Nebuchadnezzar's Image from the first year of his reign, b.c. 608. That these two kingdoms, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Men, should be antagonist kingdoms in all their elements and principles; that till the end of a period of 1260 years, the Kingdom of Men should "prevail against the Saints," or Heirs of the Kingdom of God; that it should also detroy the power of the Jews, and rule over Palestine to the end of that period; that when this end should arrive, the power of God should be Apocalypsed, or revealed, in the person of Michael, the Prince of princes, who shall appear to deliver Israel, and awake the dead; that in effecting this deliverance, the thrones, or kingdoms of this world, shall be cast down, and the Kingdom of Men transferred to the Saints, who shall possess it under the whole heaven ad-ahlmah, "during an Aion," or Millennium, we-ad ahlam ahlmayah "even for the Aion of the Aions," or "a season and a time" -- ch. 2:44; 4:15, 16; 8:24; 7:21, 22, 25; 12:1, 2, ; 7:9, 18, 27, 12. The Apocalypse in Hosea.
Hosea declares that Judah shall be saved by Jehovah their Elohim; that is, by Messiah; that in the countries where it is now said to them, "Ye are not the people of Jehovah," there they shall be called, "The sons of the living God." He says also, that at that time Judah and Israel shall become a united nation, and agree to place themselves under One Chief; that he shall betroth the nation to himself for the Aion; that they shall hear Jezreel; that he shall be a David; and that this shall come to pass in the Latter Days; and that these, the days of their national resurrection, shall be "in the third day" after their being rent, and removed out of his sight. This can only mean during a third period of a thousand years. The present year of Ephraim's rending and dispersion is 2588, which is synchronical with that of our era 1861 -- ch. 1:7, 10, 11; 2:19, 22; 3:4, 5; 5:14, 15; 6:2. The Apocalypse in Joel.
JOEL, though brief, is very explicit, and coincident with the above. After predicting terrible calamities upon Israel and their country by the lions of Assyria, and others, he consoles the nation with the assurance that after the Gentiles had filled up the measure of their abominations, Jehovah will be jealous for his land and will pity his people; and that they shall no more be made a reproach among the nations. He predicted that Jehovah will do great things, at which the children of Zion shall be glad, and that they shall rejoice in Jehovah, their Elohim, or Christ: that he would give them the latter rain of the Spirit, as on Pentecost, of the first month; and the former rain litzdahkah, on account of righteousness, in the seventh month, which is also the first of the civil year. That in this period there shall be restoration, and that henceforth Jehovah's people shall never be ashamed. He foretold that between the two Spirit-Rain periods, Zion's Sun should be turned into darkness, and the Moon of her ecclesiastical heavens into blood, before the great and terrible Day of Jehovah should be apocalypsed, or revealed, upon Israel's enemies; whose destruction shall proceed from Mount Zion and Jerusalem, in which shall be deliverance for the remnant whom Jehovah shall call. He further makes known, that in the days of the Restoration of Judah and Jerusalem, Jehovah will gather all national armies into the valley of Jehoshaphat or Armageddon; and there contend with them in battle for the possession of the Holy Land: that on the eve of this contest a proclamation shall be made among the nations, stirring them up to the war, which in the Apocalypse is styled "the war of that great day of God Almighty": that, at this epoch of restoration, Jehovah shall lead down his warriors to the conflict in the valley of judgment; that the harvest-sickle, and the vintage press, shall then do their work; that Jehovah, as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem, and shake the heavens and the earth of the non-Jewish world, whose Sun and Moon shall be darkened, and the shining of their stars shall be destroyed; that when this is consummated, Jerusalem shall be holy; and no strangers, or enemies, shall pass through her any more; that the land shall be as Paradise, flowing with wine and milk, being so rich in vines and pasturage, fountains and running streams; and to crown the whole, Joel testifies with Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah, that Jehovah then dwells in Zion, the place of rest, and city of the Great King (ch. 1:6: 2:18,19,23,24,26,31,32: 3:1,2,9,11-18,20,21). The Apocalypse in Amos.
Amos, who was contemporary with Isaiah, adds his testimony to a like effect. He says that Jehovah will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; but that he will do nothing without first revealing it unto his servants the prophets. He predicted that the ten tribes of israel should be carried into captivity beyond Damascus; that there should come a famine of hearing the words of Jehovah, and that Israel should run to and fro to seek the word, but should not find it, as it has come to pass for the past eighteen hundred years. He foretold the desolation of the kingdom in all its elements, but also that Jehovah will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob; but that he would sift them among all nations as grain is sifted in a sieve, yet that not one good seed should fall to the earth to rise no more: for that when the indignation shall be completed, Jehovah will raise up the dwelling-place of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; he will raise up David's ruins, and build the kingdom AS in the days of old; that they who shall inherit it, may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the nations when Jehovah's name shall be proclaimed to them: then Israel shall be planted upon their land, and rooted up no more from thence, saith Jehovah Elohim, who hath given it to them, and not to the Gentiles ch. 1:2; 3:7; 5: 27; 9:8, 11-15.
The Apocalypse in Obadiah.
Edom, in the prophecies concerning the restoration of Israel's kingdom in "the latter days," is representative of the enemies of Jacob, banded together under the guardianship of Gog, who is then the Chief of the House of Esau. Obadiah had a vision of this Confederacy, occupying a similar relationship to Israel hereafter, that Edom did in the typical times of the prophet. Obadiah has placed on record the sentence that "Every one of the Mount of Esau shall be cut off by slaughter for ever, and shame shall cover them, because of their violence against Jacob;" that as Edom has drunk upon Jehovah's holy mountain, (where also they revel to this day), so shall all the nations drink, and they shall be as though they had not been: for that upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance, and it shall be holy; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions; and the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, (or as Paul styles it, "a fire of flame" in 2 Thess. 1:8, ) and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; and that at the time appointed for this, deliverers shall come up in Mount Zion to judge the Mount of Esau; and the kingdom thus obtained shall be Jehovah's -- verses 9, 10, 16-18, 21. The Apocalypse in Micah
Micah was contemporary with the times of Amos and Isaiah. He opens his prophecy apocalyptically by saying, "Behold Jehovah cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth." He predicted that because of the iniquity of the Israelites and their rulers, Zion should be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem should become heaps, and the mountain on which the temple stood as the high places of the forest. But, he goes on to say, that Zion, Moriah, and Jerusalem, although thus trodden under foot of destroyers, should not always be abased. He coincides with Isaiah, and testifies in the same words, that in the latter days yet future, the kingdom of Jehovah, which he terms "The mountain of the house of Jehovah," shall have the sovereignty over the empires and kingdoms of the earth, and that all nations shall concentre around its throne: that Jehovah the Elohim of Jacob will enlighten, or apocalypse them, and that they will in consequence walk in his ways: that a law and a word will be promulgated from Zion and Jerusalem, and be universally obeyed: that war will then be abolished, peace be established as the order of the day, and good-will everywhere prevail. He further testifies, that Israel shall then be a strong nation, with Jehovah (Christ) reigning over them in Mount Zion from thenceforth, and for the Olahm, or Millennium -- the First Dominion shall come to Zion; and the kingdom to the daughter of Jerusalem. But he also testifies, that before this exaltation to dominion, Zion's daughter should dwell in Babylon, in the ten streets of which she is a wanderer to this day: that in Babylon she shall be delivered: in Babylon Jehovah shall redeem her from the hand or power of her enemies, the Gentiles. He testifies that when the time of this deliverance shall arrive, the Daughter of Zion (which is constituted of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the Saints) shall arise and thresh with horn of iron and hoof of brass, and beat in pieces many people, whose spoil shall be consecrated to Jehovah the Judge of Israel, and the Adon or Sovereign Ruler of the whole earth; who, in the days of his humanity, should be smitten with a rod upon the cheek by the rebellious. Isaiah had foretold that the Judge of Israel should come of the house of David (Isai. 9:6, 7); and Micah predicted he should be born in Bethlehem Ephratah. But, because of the unworthy treatment he should experience at their hands, he should abandon the nation to its calamities, until the time of Zion's travail, when he shall be apocalypsed as a thief in the night; and then the remnant of his brethren shall return on account of the children of Israel. He goes on furthermore to say, that in this day of apocalypse, the Judge of Israel shall stand and rule in the strength of Jehovah, in the majesty of the name of Jehovah his Eloah; that Israel shall then abide, or dwell safely in the Holy Land, because their Divine King shall be great to the ends of the earth. That when he is apocalypsed in the day of Zion's travail, writhing in pain under Gentile oppression, the Bethlehem-born Judge of Israel shall be the nation's peace; because He and his brethren princes shall expel the Assyrian from Judea, and, carrying the war into the land of Nimrod, shall reduce the enemy to the necessity of suing for peace, which will be granted with the loss of dominion and independence. That the remnant of Jacob in more distant nations of the earth shall be as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among a flock of sheep; who, if he go through, both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. But though Israel is to do valiantly in the latter days, he showed that they should previously suffer much because of iniquity, transgression, and sin. That they would be not only nationally corrupt, but socially treacherous and cruel, so that a man's enemies would be those of his own house. That, though they should cause the fall of One, he should rise again; and though they should cause him to sit in the darkness of death, Jehovah should become to him a light. That after this cruel treachery, Jerusalem, his enemy, should be covered with shame, and trodden down as mire in the streets; and that when the day of her rebuilding should arrive, the decree authorizing it should come from afar. Micah, perceiving that there was hope in Israel's end, petitions Jehovah in their behalf. He prays that they may be fed in Bashan and Gilead "as in the days of old." His supplication is heard, and he is informed by Jehovah that their Exodus from Babylon should be after the type and duration of that from Egypt into Canaan: that in this exodus from Babylon the nations shall be confounded when they shall behold the prowess of the Jews; that they shall lick the dust like a serpent, and be afraid of Jehovah our Elohim (Christ), for he will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the nations, such as they have not heard. But concerning Israel the prophet testifies, that the Conqueror of the nations will pass by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage that he will have compassion on them; that he will subdue their iniquities, and cast all their sins into the depth of the sea; that he will perform the truth to Jacob, the mercy to Abraham, which he has sworn to Israel's fathers from the days of old -- ch. 1:3; 2:12, 13; 3:12; 4:1-4, 7, 8, 10, 13; 5:1-8, 15; 7:6, 8, 10, 11, 14-20. The Apocalypse in Nahum.
Nahum saw Israel oppressed by Nineveh; and predicted its overthrow, because its monarch was wicked, and imagined evil against Jehovah. But Israel's deliverance from the Assyrian by the fall of Nineveh was only the type of a greater deliverance at the apocalypse of Messiah. The prophet, therefore, looking forward to this, concerning which Micah's testimony is already before the reader, says, "Behold upon the mountains the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows; for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off" -- ch. 1:15. This must be future, because the wicked are not yet cut off, but are in possession of the Holy Land. The Apocalypse in Habakkuk.
Now while Nahum looked at the latter day deliverance of Israel through the fall of Nineveh, Habakkuk contemplated the same consummation through the typical fall of Nebuchadnezzar's Dynasty. He saw Babylon in the plenitude of its power. Success would intoxicate the Golden Head, whose spirit would change, and he would transgress and offend by imputing his power to his own strength. And while Babylon triumphed, he saw that Israel and the nations were enclosed in its net, being subjected thereby to spoliation and great distress. He was desirous to know what all this would result in. He therefore besought Jehovah to reveal to him what the end would be. His petition was granted, and the consummation was represented to him in a vision, which is to speak "at the end." He saw in that epoch, which is termed "the Day of Trouble," a chief of nations, proud, covetous, rapacious, and impious, as Belshazzar; who will not confine himself to his own territories, but will enlarge his desire as the grave, and will be as death, which cannot be satisfied, but will gather to his throne all nations, and laden himself with all people as with thick clay. He saw this Power in vision execrated in its time as the spoiler of the nations, and the violator of the land of Israel, Jerusalem, and its inhabitants. This is the Gog of Ezekiel, the Assyrian of Isaiah and Micah, the King of the North of Daniel, the Lawless One of Paul, and the Dragon of Apoc. 20. Habakkuk saw that "the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah as the waters cover the sea;" but he saw also that this could not be the character of the times until this Clay-Power should be removed out of the way. It was accordingly shown to him that the power should be broken by certain who should "rise up suddenly" and "awake;" and that the sleepers who shall awake to life and stand upon their feet for action, shall bite, and vex, and spoil him. These are the Saints he saw in vision, in whose midst is the Stone of the Wall, which shall cry out against him. After the prophet had seen the vision, and heard the speech accompanying it, in his hymn to Jehovah he recounts the glorious apocalypse he beheld. He saw Israel in extremity, and the Thick-Clay Power in Egypt in all the confidence of victory. But the Stone out of the Wall makes proclamation against him, which results only in stirring him up to fury; and the prophet sees his hosts in tempestuous motion "coming out as a whirlwind to scatter me, and rejoicing in the prospect of devouring the poor in the lurking-place." The tents of Cushan and Midian, in this "day of Midian" -- Isai. 9:4 -- overspread the wilderness of Mount Paran, the country of Teman, situated between Palestine and Egypt, south of the Mediterranean, and between the Gulph of Suez and the Gulph of Akaba or Elath, north of Mount Sinai. The mistar, or lurking-place of Judah's Lion, the place of his encampment in the vision, is the region of Edom and Moab running down to the Gulph of Elath. After the type of the Exodus from Egypt, Jehovah will rise up from Seir, and shine forth from Mount Paran -- Isai. 16:3, 4; Dan. 11:41; Deut. 33:2; Hab. 3:3. This arrangement places the Gulph of Elath, "the Tongue of the Egyptian Sea" (Isai. 11:15), the Elanitic Gulph of the Red Sea; in other words, between the Gogian army of Egypt, and, as the Egyptian forces imagine, the feeble and dispirited outcasts of Moab. But they know not that with these outcasts is the antitypical Joshua, the prophet like unto Moses, and the antitypical Gideon, with the sword of Jehovah and his chosen band, as represented in Apoc. 19:14; 17:14. If the reader keep these geographical relations before his mind, he will discern what Habakkuk testifies in saying, "Thou didst march thine horses into the sea through a heap of great waters;" "was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thy horses, thy chariots of salvation?" No, the prophet saw that the wrath was against the tents of Cushan, and the curtains of the land of Midian, which, when they came to see the water open a way into their encampment for their enemy's cavalry, trembled in dismay. Brightness as the light burst forth upon them; beams of light from his hand, the hiding-place of his power. The prophet saw him march on in indignation, and thresh the heathen in anger. The conqueror's feet were like hind's feet; he overtook the flying enemy, and cut them in pieces with his troops. Israel in Egypt had cried unto Jehovah because of the oppressors, and he sent them "a Saviour, even a Great One," whom Habakkuk beholds from his watch-tower. "Thou wentest forth," says he, "for the salvation of thy people, for salvation with thy Christ (Anointed) thou woundedst the Head of the house of the wicked." Thus Jehovah becomes known to Egypt, and his outcasts in the land of Egypt are redeemed, and the way opened for them to return to the land of promise. The land of Judah now becomes a terror to the land of Egypt, and is terribly smitten from thence; so that every Egyptian that maketh mention thereof shall tremble because of the counsel of Jehovah of armies, which he determines against it. His counsel is this. "I will bring Israel again out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria, and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon, and room shall not be found for them. And he shall pass through the sea in adversity, and he shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the depths of the Nile shall be dried up; and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away" -- Zech. 10:10, 11. But though Jehovah Elohim shall thus "smite Egypt," he will afterwards "heal it." His conquests, however, and its terrible accompaniments will never be forgotten. For "in that day five cities in the land of Egypt shall speak the language of Canaan, and swear allegiance to Jehovah of armies. City of the Destruction shall one be called. In that day there shall be an altar to Jehovah in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to Jehovah: and it shall be for a sign, and for a witness to Jehovah of armies in the land of Egypt. And the Egyptians shall know Jehovah in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall promise a votive offering to Jehovah, and perform. And they shall turn to Jehovah, and he shall be entreated of them, and shall heal them. In that day there shall be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria; and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria; and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land; whom Jehovah of armies shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance" -- Isai. 19:17-25. After the conquest of Egypt, then, Habakkuk, whose position may be supposed to be Jerusalem, sees, in the vision of the end, "Eloah coming out of Teman, and the Holy One (or Christ) from Mount Paran." He has now taken away the dominion of the Lion and the Bear from India to Ethiopia, and possesses for his own Egypt, Israel, and Assyria. "His glory covers the heavens, and the earth is full of his praise." In making these conquests, and those which remain, in relation to the Leopard, and the Fourth Beast of Daniel, "the pestilence goes from before him, and a flame from his feet." What follows is very grand. Viewing the work of conquest to be done, the prophet says, "He stood and surveyed the earth; he beheld, and drove asunder the nations: and the mountains of antiquity (or empires) were scattered, the perpetual hills (or ancient kingdoms) did bow: the ways of antiquity are for him." That is, the kingdoms and empires existing in the hour of the end are for Jehovah's Christ. These "mountains saw him and trembled: the overflowing of the water," their military inundation, "passed by: the deep uttered his voice," the roaring of the bottomless pit of nations; but He, after the type of Joshua, commanded "the Sun and the Moon to stand still in their habitation; and his arrows went in the light, and his glittering spear in the shining." Judah his bow, and Ephraim his arrow, arrest the sun and moon of the Gentile heavens, and go in the light thereof. The Apocalypse in Zephaniah.
Zephaniah was contemporary with Jeremiah, and prophesied in the reign of Josiah, king of Judah. Jehovah declared by him, that he would utterly consume all things, constituting Judah's commonwealth, from off the Holy Land. This was to come to pass, because Jerusalem "obeyed not the voice; received not correction; trusted not in Jehovah; drew not near to her Elohim. Her princes within her were as roaring lions; her judges as evening wolves; her prophets light and treacherous persons; and her priests had polluted the sanctuary, and done violence to the law." We can look back by the light of history, and see how terrible hath been the indignation of Jehovah and his Christ. The sea coast of Palestine, once so rich and flourishing in the hands of the Philistines, has become, as Zephaniah predicted, "dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks;" and "an afflicted and poor people only is left in the midst of the land." The Philistines, and Moab, and Ammon, and Nineveh, and Khushistan, people all contemporary with the prophet, have all passed away as he foretold; and a despised remnant of his countrymen alone continue, a living monument of woe. But of this remnant and their country the prophet has recorded great and glorious things. "The sea coast," says he, "shall be for the house of Judah; and they shall feed thereupon: for Jehovah their Elohim shall visit them, and turn away their captivity." "They shall spoil Moab and Ammon; and shall possess them." This change in the fortunes of the poor and afflicted remnant of Israel, the prophet shows, is to occur at a period when Jehovah's wrath is to be let loose against the nations. Jehovah informs us through the prophet, what his determination is with respect to the world at the coming crisis. Addressing the afflicted remnant, Jehovah says "Wait ye for me, until the day that I rise up to the prey" -- "the Day of Wrath and Apocalypse" of Paul: "for my determination is to gather the nations, to assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for with the fire of my jealousy all the earth shall be devoured." The result of this manifestation and outpouring of wrath will be sevenfold;
- The Apocalypse of Jehovah, the King of Israel in Jerusalem;
- The taking away of judgments from Jerusalem;
- The purification and pardon of the remnant;
- The exaltation of Israel to fame and praise throughout the world;
- Their restoration to the Holy Land from all parts of the earth;
- The abolition of all the "Names and Denominations," and other superstitions of everyform, shade, and color, that now bewilder and divide mankind; and which are sustained aselements of the civil and ecclesiastical polity of the nations; and,
- The establishment of One Religion and One Government for all the world.
Haggai prophesied about a century after Zephaniah; and was contemporary with Zechariah, and the rebuilding of the Temple after the return from Babylon. He stirred the people up to finish it. Zerubbabel, son of David, and ancestor of Joseph the husband of Mary, and of Mary and Jesus, was Governor of Judah under the Persians; and Joshua, the son of Josedech, high priest. These were "men of sign;" that is, men representative of One, who shall afterwards himself occupy, at one and the same time, the position of Governor and High Priest of the nation. Zerubbabel and Joshua are so regarded both by Haggai and Zechariah. In reference to the apocalypse of the Holy One they typified, Jehovah says in Haggai, "Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry; and I will shake all nations, and that to be desired of all nations they shall come (Wabbahu, 3 p. plur.), and I will fill this house with glory. And this "yet once more," says Paul, "signifieth the removing of those things which may be shaken as of things that are constituted, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain." The heavens and earthshaken in the Babylonian desolation, were shaken "once more" in the Roman. But the time approaches when the heavens, earth, sea, and dry land of the Gentile world, are also to be convulsed. Therefore Jehovah commanded Haggai to speak to Zerubbabel, and say, "I will shake the heavens and the earth: and I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by thesword of his brother. In that day, saith Jehovah of armies, I will take thee, O Zerubbabel,my servant, son of Shealtiel, and will make thee as a signet; for I have chosen thee, saith Jehovah of armies" -- ch. 2:6, 7, 21-23. Now as these things did not come to pass in the lifetime of Zerubbabel, he was either a representative of his descendant the Son of Mary who shall be the ensign; or he must be raised from the dead if it is to be personally accomplished in him. Whichever alternative may be accepted, this is certain, that Zerubbabel is to be a living man when the shaking of the nations predicted shall come topass. The prophecy then, relates to our future, and will be found hereafter to have been incorporated in some of the scenes of the Apocalypse.
The Apocalypse in Zechariah.
The next prophet in the order of the Old Testament is Zechariah; a book which, like all the preceding, is intimately connected with the Apocalypse of the Anointed Jesus. Zechariah was contemporary with Zerubbabel, Joshua the High Priest, and Haggai, and prophesied about 520 years before the birth of Jesus.
Like John in Patmos, Zechariah had a Vision of Horses of divers colors -- red horses, bay horses, and pale horses, ranged behind a Man upon a red horse, standing among myrtle-trees. The branches of myrtle-trees were used in the construction of booths under which Israel dwelt in celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles. In their rebelliousness the Jews are regarded as briers and thorns; but in restoration, because of righteousness, they are olive-branches, pine-branches, myrtle-branches, and palm-branches. When, therefore, it is prophesied in Isaiah 55:13, "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree: and it shall be to Jehovah for a name, for an Aion-memorial that shall not be cut off;" and in Ch. 41:19, "I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah-tree, and the myrtle, and the olive-tree: I will set in the desert the fir-tree, the pine, and the box-tree together; that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of Jehovah hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel (Christ) hath created it:" -- when these things are declared, it not only imports that the land previously desolate shall become like Eden, the Garden of Jehovah (Ezek. 36:35), but that all its inhabitants in Messiah's Olahm, the Millennial Aion, shall be trees of righteousness, the planting of Jehovah, that he might be glorified": -- Isai. 61:3.These considerations fix the time of Zechariah's horses at rest, -- at the Feast of Tabernacles first ensuing, when the Holy One of Israel, the Man on the Red Horse, shall have completed his conquests, and shall be Prince of Peace in the midst of Israel. He and his cavalry march to and fro through the earth with blood, signified by redness, famine by the bay, and pestilence by the pale or whitish, until the earth is reduced to submission, and obtains rest from these calamities. This vision is reproduced in the Apocalypse, only on a more extended scale; but with the same result. "Thus saith Jehovah of armies," who, as Moses saith, "is a Man of War" and "a Jealous Power," "I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the nations at ease; for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction." Now, if this were the state of Jehovah's mind in the days of Zechariah, what must be the intensity of his jealousy for Jerusalem and Zion at this day! The Chaldeans destroyed Jerusalem, and burned the temple, and overturned the kingdom and throne of David; and he punished the Chaldean Babylon with the loss of empire, and a conversion into heaps of ruins as at this day. The Roman nations followed in their steps; and have aggravated the affliction and their own guilt, by great cruelty towards Israel, and slaughters, or rather torments inflicted upon the brethren of Jesus, the Saints. The Little Horn Babylon, therefore, of our times, will be subjected to a more terrible vengeance than hitherto experienced by any power, or confederacy of powers, hostile to the Jews. The decree of Jehovah concerning Jerusalem and Zion hath gone forth; and he commanded Zechariah to proclaim it, saying, "Thus saith Jehovah of armies, My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and Jehovah shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem." But how shall this come to pass? In reference to this inquiry the prophet is introduced to another scene -- the visions of the Four Horns, and of the Four Carpenters or artificers. He is told that the Horns represent the powers by which Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem are scattered; answering to the Lion, the Bear, the Leopard, and the Fourth Beast of Daniel; whose oppression has so completely scattered the power of Judah, "that no man doth lift up his head." And in this prostrate condition the Jews and Jerusalem must remain until the "Four Carpenters" are apocalypsed or revealed for the work assigned them. This work the prophet says, is to terrify the horns; to make them afraid; to cast out the horns of the nations, which lift up their horn, or power, over the land of Judah to scatter it. No such power, with such a mission, has appeared since the days of the prophet: on the contrary, all the powers that have arisen have been Gentile, and ambitious of exclusive sovereignty over Jerusalem and Judea, as at this day. These "Four Carpenters" are, therefore, not Gentile, but of Jewish nationality; and are yet to be apocalypsed, or revealed. We may here say in passing, that they are the Brethren of the Carpenter's Son; the squadrons of the Man in the midst of the myrtle-trees; the Seraphim of Isaiah; the Four Cherubim of Ezekiel; and the Four Living Ones of the Apocalypse. These are they by whom the Horns of the Gentiles are to be broken, and the Holy Land and City are to be avenged, and Zion comforted. But the prophet and his friends would, doubtless, delight to know "the times and seasons" when Jerusalem should be exalted to the dignity of "Jehovah's throne" -- Jer. 3:17. Might this happen in Zechariah's day; or when Ezekiel's 430 years were expired during which Judah and Israel were to eat defiled bread among the Gentiles (4:4-6, 13); or were there any times measured off that must expire before the work of the Four Carpenters could be commenced? To afford them some idea of the fact in relation to this matter, another vision was granted to the prophet. He saw a man with a measuring line in his hand, who told him he was going to measure the length and breadth of Jerusalem. He saw by this that there were measurements, and that the fortunes of the city were not abandoned to accident or caprice. He was told what the line of Jerusalem's humiliation extended to; but he was not informed of the number of the years that humiliation should continue. He could not discern from what he saw, whether the treading of Jerusalem under foot by the Gentiles should terminate in a.d. 35, when the apostles inquired if the kingdom should then be restored again to Israel; or in a.d. 1864-8, to which we look with earnest expectation. Zechariah was told what the line was for, but he was not informed of the details of the measurements. These details were reserved by the Father, to be communicated afterwards to the Anointed Jesus, that he might send and "indicate them by sign," represent them symbolically, to his servant John. The apocalypse, however, to which the "measuring line" extended, was communicated to Zechariah. He was told these words, "Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, for the multitude of men and cattle therein:" and the reason given why it should be so secure in such a country was, "Because, saith Jehovah, I will be unto her a Wall of Fire (the Jasper-wall of Apoc. 21:12, 14, 18) round about her, and will be the Glory (the Jasperstone, clear as crystal -- ver. 11) in the midst of her." He perceived from this, as we may also perceive, that Jehovah would appear in Jerusalem at the end of the measuring line. He found also, by attending to the words spoken, that when he should be therein apocalypsed or unveiled, he will make a proclamation to the Israelites dwelling in the countries north of Jerusalem, called "the Land of the North," the territory under the dominion of Gog, the then Head of the Little Horn Babylon of our future. The Israelites dwelling in this Babylon-Confederacy of Greeks and Latins are thus addressed in the proclamation stirring them up to war, "Ho! ho! Come forth and escape from the land of the north, saith Jehovah; for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heavens. Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon." Here is a call upon the Jews to rise against the governments of the nations, and doubtless because those governments will not regard the proclamation of the Apoc. 14:6, 7. Zion, thus appealed to, will respond to the invitation; and in concert with the Four Carpenters (the resurrected saints and the true believers living at the time of the proclamation) proceed to break in pieces and consume the power of the nations. These are to be spoiled and subjugated by their servants, the Jews; and after that the glory will be apocalypsed. Things will proceed very much upon ordinary principles before the public; only those who carry on the insurrection, or revolution, will know the reality of things. This is the import of the words spoken to Zechariah in connection with the call upon Zion to "arise and thresh the nations" -- Mic. 4:13. "After the glory he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you; for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of Jehovah's eye." "For, behold, I will shake my hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants; and ye shall know that Jehovah of armies hath sent me," the Christ. "After the glory" is apocalypsed in Jerusalem, in other words, after Messiah effects his entrance into Jerusalem, the work begins that is to result in removing the veil from the mind of Israel with respect to Jesus; in their restoration to Palestine; in the subjugation of the nations; and their subsequent enlightenment. When this work is accomplished the apocalyptic millennary is introduced, in which the things expressed in the following words of Zechariah became the order of the times: "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for, lo! I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith Jehovah; and many nations shall be joined to Jehovah in that day (the Day of Christ), and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of thee; and thou shalt know that Jehovah of armies sent me (Jesus) unto thee. And Jehovah shall inherit Judah, his portion in the Holy Land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be at rest, O all flesh, from before Jehovah; for he is risen up from the habitation of his holiness" -- ch. 2:13. The mind of the prophet having been thus fixed upon Him who is to deliver Israel, and to rule over them in Jerusalem, becomes the subject of a vision in which is brought before him the Apocalyptic Stone, the Jasper and Sardine Stone, with Seven Eyes, the Head Stone, whose graying is of Jehovah; and which being laid before Joshua and Zerubbabel, men of sign, is representative of the Divine Governor and High Priest of the house of David. He sees Joshua, the High Priest of the Restoration, angelized, and clothed in filthy garments. That is, he represents the Christ, in the capacity of Jehovah's Messenger, "the Angel of the Covenant," clothed with "the flesh of sin," in which, Paul tells us, "dwells no good thing." While Joshua was in these filthy garments, Zechariah sees the Adversary at his right-hand; that is, in power, standing to resist him. This represents the resistance of power that would be brought to bear against the Christ in the days of his flesh. But that the Adversary should not finally prevail is indicated by the words of Jehovah to the Adversary, saying, "Jehovah shall restrain thee, O Satan; even Jehovah that hath chosen Jerusalem shall restrain thee: Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" That is, that although the Adversary that possessed Jerusalem might resist the, and wound him in the heel, He shall, nevertheless, wrest Jerusalem from his grasp, and restrain, or bind him, as is apocalyptically represented in ch. 20:1-3. While Zechariah was beholding, he saw the garments of Joshua, the High Priest, changed; and was instructed that the action represented the putting away of iniquity which the priest is supposed to bear. In this we see, by the light of New Testament, the change of nature, or body, in relation to the Christ, "whom," says Paul, "we know henceforth no more after the flesh." He was crucified in "flesh of sin;" and then sin was "condemned in the flesh." But when he rose again he became spirit-body, called by Paul pneuma hagiosunes, spirit of holiness -- Rom. 1:4. He is now the Angel-High Priest of Jehovah, no longer oppressed with our filthy nature, but "clothed in a garment white as snow" (Dan. 7:9) reaching to the foot (Apoc. 1:13): and the words of Jehovah are now addressed to him, saying, "If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house (rule my kingdom), and shalt also keep my courts (be High Priest of Israel), and I will give thee places to walk among those that stand by," the Angel Princes, or Elohim, we read of in Daniel. The Stone and the Mountain.
But there was yet another incident beheld by Zechariah. He saw Joshua and his associate priests, whom he styles "men of sign," as were Isaiah and the children Jehovah had given him -- 8:18; Heb. 2:13. He saw a Stone laid before Joshua, upon which were Seven Eyes, which are declared to be the Eyes of Jehovah; therefore that Stone represented Jehovah the High Priest; the servant of his Father Jehovah, and named the Branch. Concerning this Stone, the reader can consult the following texts: -- Ps. 118:22; Isai. 28:16; 8:14; Gen. 49:24, Dan. 2:34. This Stone is Jehovah's signet, the inscription upon which is "Holiness to Jehovah," an engraving inwrought by the workmanship of Jehovah himself, as Zechariah was informed; and through which he will remove the iniquity of the land of Israel in one day; upon which every man therein shall call to his neighbor under the vine and under the fig-tree, emblems of the kingdom of the heavens. But the mission of the Stone is not exclusively to take away the iniquity of Israel. He has to level the "Great Mountain," which, at his apocalypse, will be found "destroying the earth." The Chaldean Babylonish empire is styled by Jeremiah "the destroying mountain which destroyed all the earth" -- 51:25. Zerubbabel was contemporary with it, but it did not become a plain before him; he died without witnessing such a result. Nevertheless, it is written, "Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain; and he shall bring forth the Head Stone with shoutings of Grace, grace unto it." Here, then, is a work still to be accomplished. A great mountain to be levelled in the presence of Zerubbabel; and consequently, to be levelled after his resurrection, when he shall have awakened out of his sleep: for then, as we have seen in Haggai, "Jehovah will shake the heavens and the earth, and overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations." These make up the great mountains to be levelled, or abolished, as symbolized in Apoc. 16:20. The Four Carpenters, of which Zerubbabel is an element, are "to cast out the horns of the Gentiles;" and are therefore to level this great political mountain. Now the resurrection of the dead is as necessary for their development as for his. This being so, their resurrection is dramatically foreshadowed by Zechariah, another constituent of the Four, being awaked by the Angel. He says, "The angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep" -- c. 4:1. This is the resurrection of the prophet; so that what he saw after he awoke is to be referred to the time after the resurrection for its accomplishment. The Seven-Branched Lampstand and Olive-Trees.
Now being awake, he saw a Seven-Branched Lampstand of gold, standing between Two Olive-Trees, a branch from each tree connected with the lampstand by a golden pipe, making Two Branches and Two Golden Pipes, through which pipes the golden oil was transmitted from the Branches to the bowl of the Lampstand for the supply of the Seven Lamps. The prophet was told, that "these Seven" are the Eyes of Jehovah, which run to and fro through the whole earth, as the horsemen in the myrtle grove are said to do: and that the Olive Branches are the Two Anointed Ones that stand beside the Adon, or Lord, of the whole earth. By the light of the New Testament we are able to arrive at an understanding of this enigma, which symbolically represents the nature and character of the power destined to "establish and make Jerusalem a praise in the earth." The symbol as a whole is an apparatus of brightness; and the Golden Oil in combustion upon the seven burners, styled in the Apoc. 4:5, "Seven lamps of fire burning before the throne," is the Spirit of God, which, in its sevenfold distribution, is styled in Apoc. 5:6, "Seven Eyes, which are the Seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth." Hence, what is accomplished "in all the earth," namely, the levelling of the great Babylonish mountain, and the bringing forth the Head Stone to lordship over the whole earth, as the word of Jehovah says to Zerubbabel, is "Not by army, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith Jehovah of armies;" that is, the effectuation of these results by such means alone as one nation employs to overturn the power of another, in which it's success depends upon numbers, discipline, artillery, and so forth, courageously and scientifically applied, is impossible. Jerusalem will never attain to her destined exaltation as Jehovah's throne, by the mere prowess and strategy of an Alexander or a Napoleon. It is to be accomplished by "Zerubbabel", in whose hand is the plumb line, which distinguishes him as the Builder of David's tabernacle -- of "the City which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" -- Heb. 11:10. "By my Spirit," saith Jehovah, "it shall be done, even by those Seven Eye-Lamps of Jehovah. But shall this post-resurrectional work be performed by Jehovah's Spirit unclothed; by pure naked spirit, as a psychologist would prevail over a subject -- by afflation, and a simple exercise of will? The answer from the testimony before us is, by no means. "That which is born of the Spirit is Spirit" -- Jno. 3:6. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua the High Priest, Zerubbabel, and all the prophets, which includes Jesus and the Apostles, together with many from the east, west north, and south (Luke 13:28-30) will be born of the Spirit in the resurrection, and will therefore be "Spirit" -- #GREEK#pneumatov agiou#GREEKOFF#, as Jesus is now, isaggeloi, as angels, "walking among those that stand by:" "when He (Jesus) shall appear," says John, "we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" -- 1 Ep. 3:2. By Spirit in organic manifestation the face of the world shall be changed, and Jerusalem shall be made to shine; for "Her Righteousness (Jer. 23:5, 6; 33:15-17) shall go forth as Brightness; and her Salvation (that which effects her deliverance) as a Lamp that burneth" -- Isai. 62:1. Now the Organic Manifestation is represented by the Lampstand, with its Bowl on the top, and Seven Pipes projecting from it, and terminating in Seven Burners; by the Two Olive-Trees, Two Branches of the same, and Two Golden Pipes passing from the branches to the Bowl. We are told that the Seven Burnings are the Eyes of Jehovah, which leads to the conclusion that the Lampstand, with its Bowl and Pipes, is representative of Jehovah as manifested in David's Son and his brethren. This conclusion is ratified by Psal. 132:17, "There (in Zion, ver. 13) I will make to spring a Horn for David; I have prepared a Lamp for my anointed." David was Jehovah's anointed; and David's Son and Lord, Jesus, is the Lamp Stem, and the Lamp Bowl, or Reservoir, of the Anointing Spirit, which is thence distributed to the Seven Burners. "Ye are the Branches," said Jesus to his disciples; "and severed from me ye can do nothing." This is true, whether Jesus be regarded as a Vine, or as a Seven-Branched Lampstand. The branches of the Olive-Trees are connected with the Bowl by the two golden tubes, which makes them thus Branches of the Lamp. The Olive-Trees represent Israel after the flesh, and Israel after the Spirit, in their postresurrectional relation to the Lamp of David's house. "The iniquity of that land being taken away in one day" (Zech. 3:9) then, says Jehovah, "I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall blossom as the lily, and strike forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the Olive-Tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under His shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and blossom as the vine; the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard, and observed him; I am like a green firtree. From me (O Ephraim) is thy fruit found. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? Prudent, and he shall know them? For the ways of Jehovah are right, and the just shall walk in them; but the transgressors shall fall therein" -- Hosea 14:5-9. Here, then, is one olive-tree Israel in post-resurrectional relation to the Lamp of David's house; the other olive-tree is the Wild Olive-Tree also in its post-resurrectional relation to the same. In Rom. 11:17, Paul tells us that the Gentiles are represented by this tree. Thus we are left without doubt as to the two olive-trees. But Zechariah saw something more in detail than the Two Trees and Lamp. He saw also "two olive-branches," and "two golden tubes." By these branches and tubes a connection was established between the Lamp-bowl and the two trees. The golden colored olive-oil is exuded from the two branches through the golden tubes into the Lamp-bowl, from which it is combusted through the Seven Burners, for the illumination of all the nations of the earth, then "blessed in Abraham and his Mystical Seed," which is the Christ and all in Him. Zechariah was told that these two branches represented the Anointed Ones, or Sons of Oil, standing before the Ruler (Adon) of all the earth. In other words, these two branches represent the Saints, who are separated, first, from the Israelitish Olive-Tree; and secondly, from the Gentile Olive-Tree, by nature wild. The Two Branches are not to be confounded with the Two Trees. These are not the Anointed Ones, but only the nationalities whence the Two Branches are developed. These two branches stand before the Ruler of all the earth. They rule with him as Kings and Priests, being all anointed with the Holy Spirit from the throne of the Invisible Father. They are his eyes, hands, body, and feet, in the subjugation and government of the world. He fills them with his spirit; in fact, they are His spirit corporealized -- condensed, if we may so speak, into a multitude of living, incorruptible, and intelligent personages: "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit" -- the multitudinous Spirit-Man. These symbols, then, seen by Zechariah after he was waked up by the angel out of his typical sleep, are representative of the Spirit of Jehovah; that is, of that Spirit's manifestation in the resurrected Sons of God, who are spirits. Let me simplify this idea, if possible, yet more. When a true believer dies, he falls asleep in Christ. He corrupts; and when the process of decomposition is complete, he is reduced to dust, which is all that remains of his former self. Nevertheless, he reappears, his restored consciousness claims his former self as his. The dust to which he is reduced is at once the debris of his former, and the nucleus of his future, self. In reference to this nucleus, or detritus of the animal body sown into the grave, Paul says in 1 Cor. 15:53, "It is necessary that this corruptible put on incorruptibility, and this mortal put on deathlessness." This putting on, he tells us in Rom. 8:11, is effected by the Spirit of Him who raised up Jesus from among the dead. The Spirit operates upon the dust of the former man, and fashions it into a new man, after the image of Jesus as he now is. Being formed, the formation is caused to live. In commencing life again at this epoch, this renewed man is said to be "waked as a man that is wakened out of his sleep." At this awaking, he is as Adam was before he fell; because, having been pardoned, or justified from all sin by an obedient faith, perfect in kind and degree, in his former lifetime; and after that, "walked worthy of God" to the end thereof; in the resurrection he is awakened as a man without sin. Being thus renewed, he is still in the image of the earthy Adam, but before he fell. But he is not always to continue in this image; for Pauls says, "As we bear (ephoresamen, 1 aor.) the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." A change must, therefore, take place; as a change must have been operated upon the first Adam in order to transform him from "a living soul" or animal, into an incorruptible and deathless creature, or spirit. In his case, this would have resulted from eating of the Tree of the Lives in Paradise, if he had been permitted. Through that appointed medium, the Eternal Spirit, self-named Jehovah, would have changed the body of his lower estate, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," into a like form with that which Jesus now possesses, and the Saints are hereafter to possess. But transgression prevented this, and postponed the spiritualization of the Adamic Nature until the resurrection era, in which, instead of two persons only becoming spirits, a multitude of their descendants, numerous as the stars of heaven, will bear the image of the heavenly, who is "the Lord the Spirit." The dead saints being awakened to renewed bodily existence, they are prepared for bodily change. "This corruptible must put on incorruptibility; and this mortal, immortality;" but at what precise moment, or point of time, after being brought up out of their graves the saints shall be immortalized, does not appear to be explicitly revealed. This is certain, -- those who are among the dead will be awakened first; and afterwards the saints among the living will be, "together with them," exalted to the Aerial, where the Ruler will have appeared. This "together with them" indicates to my mind, that the saints from among the dead and the living will be simultaneously exalted to dominion, and therefore immortalized in the same epoch; the saints among the living must wait for their glorification, till the saints are awaked from among the dead; but how long it will be from the awakening to the immortalization of the whole body, does not distinctly appear. I say, exaltation to dominion, and therefore immortalization, because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." Now, the "meeting the Lord in the Air," as Paul expresses it, is in the style of Daniel, "the Saints possessing the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven; which they cannot do until immortalized, or flesh and blood be changed into spirit. Neither will this dominion be possessed till it is conquered; for, it is a great mountain, that has to be reduced in the presence of Zerubbabel to a plain. This reduction, I apprehend, occurs before the saints are glorified, and after their resurrection; so that several years may intervene after the awaking from death to the shining as the sun in the kingdom. This seems to be indicated in Zech. 14:5; there he says, "Jehovah my Elohim, all the saints shall come with thee. And it shall be in that day there shall not be brightness, the splendid ones drawing in. And it shall be one day that shall be made known by Jehovah, neither a day nor a night; but it shall be at the time of evening, there shall be brightness." From this we learn, that the Eternal Spirit, or Jehovah, and the saints will be in the midst of mankind in a period called "the time of evening," or Daniel's "time of the end;" but that when here they will not therefore be in their brightness, after the example of Moses' face, and that of Jesus when transfigured. To shine out thus, would be incompatible with the work to be performed upon the nations, and upon Israel; which is to be conducted on the principle of faith and judgment. This will require that mankind at large should have to deal with the saints as if they were contending against ordinary men. They must "walk by faith and not by sight;" and they must come to know the power of the saints, be feeling the sharpness of the two-edged sword to be placed in their hands for judicial purposes. When the Saints shall have "executed the judgment written," the "moment" of the Evening Time will have arrived for them to draw themselves in no longer, and "brightness" will be displayed; and thenceforth they will be resplendent in glory as well as immortal. "In a moment we shall be all changed," says Paul. The judgments of the last trumpet being exhausted, Jehovah's changed ones enter into their glory. But the judgments must first be finished; and while these are smoking from the glory of the Eternal Spirit, and from his power, "no man can enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the Seven Angels be finished" -- Apoc. 15:8. To enter into that temple is to rest from labor in glory. The epoch comes, then, at the end of the Seventh Seal; at the end of judgment; and consequently, not at the instant of awakening from death. To be in glory is to have eaten of "the Wood of Life," when quickened, and to enter into the peaceful and glorious rest of the Millennium. This is the consummation. As the leaves and branches feed upon the sap that circulates through the vessels of the tree; so do the saints, as the Leaves of the Wood, feed upon the Spirit, which will circulate through the Two Branches of the Two Olive-Trees; through the leaves of which branches the spirit will breathe its healing influences upon the nations. The Lamp and Olive-Trees, then, are an organization of spirit manifested in the Saints and nations of the earth blessed in Abraham and his seed, after the resurrection -- the Spirit in full evening tide manifestation. The symbol does not exhibit the details of spiritualization spoken of above, and occurrent between the waking up of the saints, and the establishment of blessedness in all nations consequent upon their enlightenment. The Eternal Spirit, or Jehovah, is to do everything; -- but through what organization? By his spirit through the Two Olive-Branches, or Jesus and His Brethren, as represented in the visions of the Apocalypse. If this be understood, the connection between the question and answer in Zech. 4:5, 6, will be readily perceived. The angel asked the prophet, if he knew what the Lamp and Olive-Trees signified? He replied, "No, my Lord." The angel said no more about them at that time; but proceeded to remark saying, "This is the word of Jehovah unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by power, nor by strength, but by my Spirit, saith Jehovah of armies." That is, as indicated in the seventh verse, there will exist contemporary with the resurrection, when Zerubbabel shall stand up again, "a great mountain" in the political world, which is to be reduced to "a plain." But that this will not result by the power and strength of Israel under any organization they might constitute; for at that crisis their power and strength will have been utterly scattered; but it shall be accomplished by Jehovah's Spirit, which will raise Zerubbabel and his companions from among the dead, to be the captains of Israel together with the living believers; and will be the strength and power energizing them all to the complete reduction of the Great Political Mountain of the Gentiles to the level of a summer threshing-floor: even to cause to go forth the Head, or Chief Stone, with shoutings of "Grace, grace unto him!" In the vision we have been considering, the prophet contemplated a great crisis, which may be termed, the fall of Gentile Dominion; and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God. Such is the future catastrophe of the vision of the Great Mountain, and the Lamp and Olive-Trees. But the vision had not revealed to him any particulars concerning the mountain. Contemporary with his own times, the great Gentile dominion that dominated Jerusalem and Judah, and all the rest of "the Earth" from India to Ethiopia, being one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, under the three presidencies, or "ribs in the mouth, and between the teeth of it" (Dan. 7:5), was that of the Bear under the dynasty of Darius the Persian. Zechariah knew from Daniel that this was not the "Great Mountain" to be destroyed before Zerubbabel; but by the Leopard-power that would succeed it. He also knew from Jeremiah, and the history of his own times, that the Lion, standing upon its feet, with a man's heart, was not the constitution of the Mountain Power under which it is to "become a plain before Zerubbabel." This Lion-manifestation of the great mountain had passed away before Zerubbabel had become Governor of Jerusalem. Jehovah had said concerning the Chaldean Babylon that had done evil to Zion in the days of Jeremiah, "Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith Jehovah, which destroyest all the earth; and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a Burnt Mountain. And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolations of an Olahm, saith Jehovah" -- Jer. 51:25, 26. In this decree was the sentence which has been practically illustrated for the past 2400 years. From the capture of Babylon by Cyrus, the Chaldeans and their city began to decline, until the two have ceased to have any more existence racially, politically, or architecturally, than if they had never been. The site of the old city of Nimrod on the Euphrates is literally "a burnt mountain -- a mound of ruins made by fire; and a type of the dominion peculiar to the Chaldee race and dynasty, in all the countries where they formerly ruled in power and great glory. Architecturally, a stone of the ruins has not been taken for the corner and foundations of any new edifices; nor has a Chaldean, by his own prowess, nor by the voice of a people, been made the corner, or foundation stone of a new political institution. This is what has not been for 2400 years; and the prophecy decrees the continuance of the same condition without limit, in saying to the Burnt Mountain, "desolations of an Olahm shalt thou be, saith Jehovah" -- an Olahm, which began with the building of Babel, and ended with the fall of Belshazzar, Lucifer Son of the Dawn, who was hurled from the heavens by Jehovah's "sanctified ones," the Medes and Persians, under Cyrus his Anointed Shepherd -- Isai. 13; 14; 44:28; 45:1-4. Many of Zechariah and Haggai's countrymen, who had witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple of Solomon by the Chaldeans, had lived to see the fall of Nebuchadnezzar's dynasty, and the completion of the new temple, which was finished shortly after Zechariah had the vision of the Lamp and Olive-Trees -- Hag. 2:3. They knew that the Burnt Mountain was among the things of the past; and that Zerubbabel had had nothing to do with its burning, and its downfall from the rocks: what, then, could the eternal spirit mean by the "Great Mountain" he apostrophized, as destined to become a plain before Zerubbabel after his resurrection from among the dead? It was not the Chaldean, nor the Bear, nor the Leopard; for they saw by Daniel that all these were removed by conquest in the ordinary way. What else could it be, then, but that fourth Beast dominion which is to be destroyed by the Saints? To this, then, Zechariah's attention was turned. The dominion was "diverse" from all that preceded it. "It spoke great words against the Most High, and wore out the Saints of the Most High Ones, and thought to change times and laws." This was a very peculiar dominion; and it was judged proper to give the prophet, and his readers, some idea of its origin; of the original of its peculiarity. Hence, the prophecy of the "Flying Roll" and "the Ephah." The Harlot of the Ephah
In Zech. 5:1; the prophet tells us that he "turned." In doing this, he occupied an altered position, which caused him to face new objects. The Lamp and Trees were behind him; and on lifting up his eyes, and looking he beheld "a roll twenty cubits long, and ten cubits broad, flying." On this roll a curse was inscribed; it is, therefore, styled "the curse." The flying of the roll indicated its progress, which became coextensive with the whole earth. The angel's words express this. In telling the prophet what it signified, he said, "This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of all the earth:" not of all the globe; but of "all the earth" in the sense of the phrase as it is used in Dan. 2:39; 4:22. In these places, the dominion of Nebuchadnezzar is said to extend "to the end of the earth;" and the brazen kingdom of the Greeks to "bear rule over all the earth:" the extent, however, of these two dominions was unequal; and neither of them included the countries now known as China, Burmah, Central India, Russia, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, the British Isles, and other countries. We need not, therefore, look for something coextensive with the globe as the significancy of the symbol; but coextensive with that section of it over which the subject of the symbol prevails. This is "all the earth" in relation to it, though of very limited extent in regard to the globe at large. The roll contained cursing on both sides upon certain criminals designated as thieves and perjurers. These were not common criminals; but "the prophets that steal my words, saith Jehovah, every one from his neighbor, and use their tongues, and say, "He saith" -- Jer. 23:30. These prophets were not only thieves, but also swearers -- they invoked the name of the Lord falsely. "Both the prophet and the priest were profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith Jehovah." This was the moral condition of the leaders of the Jews who caused them to err, and brought the Chaldean desolation upon them, from which a remnant had just been saved. The roll, therefore, which Zechariah saw, related not to the past, but to the future; when the prophets and priests in Jehovah's house should become thieves and swearers falsely by his name. In due time the curses of the roll would be brought forth upon them to their utter destruction -- "they shall be consumed, together with the timber and stones of their house" -- Zech. 5:4. The resemblance of these ecclesiastical thieves and false invokers of Jehovah's name, is an "Ephah going forth." It is the measure of their wickedness, which, when filled up, would cause them to be brought forth from their land, as their fathers were. "This ephah is their resemblance over all the earth." But their wickedness which filled the measure is personified by a Woman, who is confined within the measure by a leaden weight, indicative of their being destined for the furnace of Jehovah's anger, which should blow upon them like fire, and melt them as lead -- Ezek. 22:18-22. A measure of wickedness subjected to the melting fury of Jehovah inscribed upon the sides of the roll is the signification of the Talent of Lead, the Woman, the Ephah, and the Roll. But, in order to show whose wickedness is contained within the ephah, Ezekiel's Two Women are attached by the Spirit to the ephah. They were seen by Zechariah "lifting up the ephah, between the earth and the heavens;" that is, exalting wickedness to high places. These women are Aholah, or Samaria, and Aholibah, or Jerusalem -- Ezek. 23:4, 5; the two capitals put representatively for the nation. At a future period of their history, Zechariah saw them in vision, "going forth," and "carrying the ephah," or measure of their wickedness, with them into the land of the enemy, that rends them with its "great iron teeth" -- the land of their captivity, where they build for their wickedness "a house which should be established upon its own foundation;" -- a house destined, with its occupants, to be consumed "to the timber and stones thereof." The two women are represented with wings, like the wings of a stork. Moses classed the stork with unclean birds; so that for them to have such wings, shows that they were lewd, or unclean, women or communities. The stork is also a bird of passage, migrating from one country to another, at an appointed time; hence the women-bearers of the ephah being storklike in their means of flight, were to migrate at an appointed time from the land of their uncleanness. The last feature of the symbol to be named is that "the wind was in their wings." Wind is air in motion. When birds fly the air fills their wings, and eddies into them, so as to waft them onwards in the course of flight. The wings of the two women indicate that they were fugitive; and being storklike, as we have said, that they were unclean and migratory. But wings are of no use without air to fill them; and no bird can pass through the air without setting it in motion, or producing wind. A bird could not fly in vacuo. Hence these unclean, and fugitively migratory communities must be propelled by wind. What is "wind" in relation to such? "Terrors," says Job, "pursue my soul as the wind" -- 30:15. In Jer. 4:11-13, the coming in of an army swiftly and fiercely, destroying all before them, is expressed by a dry wind, and a full wind. Thus, "It shall be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A dry wind of the high places in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people, not to fan, nor to cleanse: even a full wind from those places shall come unto me. Now also will I give sentence against them. Behold, he (the Destroyer of the Gentiles) shall come up as clouds, and his chariots as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled." This was the kind of wind that was in the storklike wings of the two ephah-bearing women. They were borne on the wings of the wind, into the land of the spoiler. Here, then, in the vision of the Roll Flying, and the Ephah, was a symbolical representation to Zechariah of a captivity of Jerusalem and Samaria, in a period of judgment subsequently to his time. Hence, in searching out the meaning of the vision, we have to consult the history of the Jews posterior to the times of the prophet, and to ask of it this question -- What "going forth" or captivity, on account of wickedness, has happened to Judah, since her return from the seventy years in Babylon? The only answer that history gives, and therefore the only answer that can be given, is, the "going forth," compelled by that dry and full-destroying wind which swept over the land as a whirlwind when the legions of the Little Horn of the Goat came from the eastern frontiers of the empire; and planted their Eagles before the walls of Jerusalem, under Vespasian and Titus. It was the prophecy of Daniel in ch. 8:9-12, 23-25; 9:26, 27, symbolically reproduced before the mind of Zechariah; and embodied by the Lord Jesus in his denunciations of the ecclesiastical thieves and perjurers, who "filled up the measure" or Ephah "of their fathers" in crucifying him, in rejecting and perverting the glad tidings of Jehovah's Kingdom and Name; and in imprisoning, banishing, and killing the apostles whom he sent to them: so that upon Jerusalem and Samaria, with all that adhered to their wickedness, personified in the Apocalypse as "that woman, Jezebel, who styles herself a prophetess, teaching and seducing the Lord's servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols" -- ch. 2:20 : -- upon her came all the righteous blood shed upon the land, from the blood of righteous Abel even to the blood of Zechariah, son of Barachus, whom they slew in the siege between the temple and the altar all came upon this generation -- Matt. 23:32-36. But the wind in their wings was not to fan nor to cleanse, but to spoil, and send the women and their wickedness of the ephah, forth from the land they had defiled. That "wicked generation" was as a man exorcised of an unclean spirit; but afterwards repossessed of one seven times more wicked. John the Baptist had ministered to all "Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jerusalem," the immersion of repentance, on the confession of their sins; and many of the Pharisees and Sadducees even came to be baptized -- Matt. 3:5-7. This was a great national repentance; a casting out of the unclean spirit -- an emptying, sweeping, and garnishing of the house of Judah, which now waited for the manifestation of the King of Israel, whom John proclaimed to be in their midst, though unknown to him and them. But when their attention was directed to Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Mary, -- who was claimed by a voice from heaven, and designated by the descending Spirit in dovelike form, as Son of God, they "saw no form nor comeliness; no beauty in him, that they should desire him." This national feeling of disappointment was aggravated by the rulers, whose hypocrisy he unveiled and denounced. The old spirit of evil, sevenfold increased, effected its entrance into the house of Judah, and dwell there. Under its inspiration, Jesus was despised and rejected; they hid their faces from him, and esteemed him not. They oppressed and afflicted him; and though he had borne their griefs, and carried their sorrows, healing their diseases; yet they scourged, imprisoned, and ignominiously crucified him between thieves -- Isai. 53. Thus Jerusalem, that killed the prophets, and stoned those that were sent unto her, when she had added to her crimes the death of Jesus, and the iniquity of the subsequent forty years, had attained to the consummation of transgression; and nothing remained but for "her house to be left to her desolate." So that, though the first of that generation was bad enough, its last condition was worse. In the green tree they had crucified the Holy and the Just One; in the dry, there was no abomination they eschewed. The ephah was filled, and the lead for the furnace rested upon it, to be melted when the fire should be kindled in Zion.
But before the fire was kindled, Jerusalem and Samaria had received the word of the Lord Acts 8:14: 5:28; 6:7. They did not, however, long continue faithful; but began to steal the words, and to swear falsely by the name of the Lord. They began to teach contrary to the wholesome words of the Lord Jesus; and to assume authority in rivalry of the apostles themselves. They were opposed to the glad tidings of the kingdom being preached to any but Jews; but not being able to prevent it, they contended that all Gentiles ought to be circumcised, and to keep the law of Moses, as well as to believe the gospel and be baptized, or they could not be saved -- 1 Thess. 2:16; Acts 15:1-5. These Judaizers were particularly troublesome to the apostles. They commended themselves and gloried after the flesh, saying that they were Hebrews, and Israelites, and the seed of Abraham, and apostles, and ministers of Christ -- 2 Cor. 10:12; 11:13, 18, 22. But Paul says that they were false apostles, deceitful workers, and ministers of Satan, who perverted the truth, and preached another Jesus, another Spirit, and another Gospel; and that therefore they were accursed -- Gal. 1:6-9; 2:4; 4:17; 6:4. These accursed Judaizers were indefatigable in exalting themselves to the exclusion of Paul and the other apostles. Peter, James, John, and Jude are very hot against them in their epistles; and in the letters to the seven eccesias, they are denounced as pretended apostles, Nicolaitans, the Synagogue of Satan, holders of the doctrine of Balaam, Jezebel the pseudo-prophetess, Satan, liars, and so forth. They were evil men and seducers, deceiving and being deceived; having forsaken the right way; and therefore "cursed children." These were the "false prophets" that Jesus predicted would arise, and deceive many. The effect of their teaching was to cause the spread of iniquity in all the cities of the land; and because of this the love of the many became cold; and the congregations in Judea became as apostate as the faithless generation whose carcasses fell in the wilderness. Jerusalem and Samaria had again earned for themselves the character of Ezekiel's Aholah and Aholibah, two women of lewd and treacherous demeanor. The Judaizers had corrupted them, and nothing remained but for them to be brought forth from the land with judgment, according "to the curse," or Roll in flight. When the Apostasy in Judea was fully matured, the Ephah contained the Woman under the Talent of Lead; and when the Mosaic Law and institutions had vanished away as the result of the desolation of the Temple, all that were not slain or imprisoned, became sojourners in the lands of the Little Horn of the Goat. This national dispersion of the Jews was the flight of the two women into the countries of the Fourth Beast dominion, then pagan. In their flight, the Judaic Apostasy from the Christian Faith was not left in Judea, to grow up into a papacy there. But having been formed and organized in that country, and propagated from that centre, it was expelled from thence, and driven by the national calamity, the wind in the storklike wings of the two women, out of Canaan, that "they might build for her a house in the land of Shinar." This saying connects the Judaic Apostasy with the Babylon of the Apocalypse -- that "they," theHarlot-Judaizers of Judea and Samaria, "might build for her," the Wickedness, or Falsehood, #HEBREW# Klvyw hevrh #HEBREWOFF#, systematized by them, and symbolized by the Ephah, Woman, and Lead, they bore with them in their flight, "a house," or kingdom, "in the land of Shinar," into which they were expelled. The house of Judah, in which Christianity was born and nourished, and transformed by "false brethren" into a system of falsehood, had been demolished. If this had not come to pass, they would, doubtless, in process of time, have got the upper hand in the Jewish State; and have built for their Harlot of the Ephah a kingdom in the native land of Christianity. But the demolition of Judah's Commonwealth, and the dispersion of all Jewish communities from Judea and Samaria, compelled the adherents of the Harlot of the Ephah, or Jezebel the Prophetess, to build for her a house in some other region than the Holy Land. This other region is styled in Zech. 5:11, renv Ura eretz Shinar. This phrase is as symbolical, or representative, as the ephah, the woman, the lead, and so forth; and consequently is no more to be interpreted of the Shinar where Nimrod flourished, and his contemporaries built the Tower of Babel, than that "Ephah" is to be interpreted of three pecks and three pints; or the woman therein, of a literal woman shut up in a three-peck measure under a cover of lead. The literal and typical land of Shinar was that country into which Aholah and Aholibah had gone forth, because of profanity and falsehood against the Mosaic Law; and from which they had returned before Zechariah saw the vision of the Harlot of the Ephah. That was the Shinar of the past -- the Shinar of the Chaldeo-Babylonian Olahm, beginning with Nimrod and ending with Belshazzar. The Chaldeans, the rod of chastisement in Jehovah's hand, had blindly punished Judah and her companions for their apostasy from Moses; and had afterwards been punished in turn for their own crimes by the Medes and Persians. Thus, the Chaldeans being set aside, Judah and the nations entered upon a new cycle. The judgment on Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and the judgment on Babylon by Cyrus, had avenged the past. A new era was now commenced, as indicated in Jehovah's words by Haggai, saying, "Consider, now, from this day and forward; from the four and twentieth of the ninth month from the day that the foundation of Jehovah's temple was laid, consider. Is the seed yet in the barn? As yet the vine, and the fig-tree, and the pomegranate and the olive-tree have not brought forth: from this day will I bless" -- ch. 2:19. Judah was thus invited to faithfulness, and consequent blessedness. Nevertheless, Jehovah, foreseeing that, when Messiah should appear among them, and cause that system of truth to be proclaimed, which was the great burden of the Law and the Prophets, they would become more wickedly apostate even by sevenfold than when carried off the land to Babylon, -- revealed it to Zechariah in the vision of the Harlot of the Ephah, who should dwell in a future Shinar, antitypical in its relations to Judah and her Apostasy from Jehovah to the Shinar of the past. The word Shinar is derived from the nouns shain, a tooth, and ar, an enemy; it means, therefore, Enemy's Tooth; as Shinab signifies Father's Tooth. Hence the phrase eretz Shinar, means "the Land of the Enemy's Tooth." This was a very appropriate appellation for the region into which the Harlot of the Ephah was to be transplanted; and to acquire a house set up upon the foundation of her own wickedness. The Fourth Beast of Daniel's vision, the beast of the "Great Iron Teeth," had been a wind in the storklike wings of the two women by whom the Harlot of the Ephah was carried forth; and the testimony of the Apocalypse, as we have already seen, reveals her subsequent existence with all the impudence of a harlot and pretended prophetess, in the midst of the Seven Ecclesias of Asia Minor. This was a province of the dominion of the Great Iron Teeth; the enemy of Jews by nature, and of Jews by grace; in other words, the land of the enemy's tooth, or Shinar's land, where "Babylon the Great" was to be built up for Jezebel, the Harlot of the Ephah, by those "who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie, and are of the Synagogue of Satan" -- Apoc. 2:9; 3:9 -- the two women that carry the Ephah. When John was in Patmos, the Judaic Apostasy as leaven was leavening the whole lump. It was on this account that the seven letters were written to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. It was an era of contending elements, from which a new civil and ecclesiastical order of things was to "be established, and set upon her own foundation in the land of the Great Iron Teeth." At the epoch of the Apocalypse, the Iron Teeth were a pagan power; and ready to rend all that were not pagans. The Jews were divided between the Synagogue and the Church; and though the former boasted in Moses, and the latter in Jesus, the Iron Teeth regarded them all as Jews, and was the enemy of both. But in John's day, the Jews of the Church were divisible into two classes; first, those who were Jews inwardly without regard to flesh; and secondly, those who said they were Jews, but were liars. The first class were in scriptural fellowship with the apostle, but rapidly falling into the minority; so that in Sardis, for example, only "a few names" remained undefiled. It was the second class of Jews that constituted the great majority of those who passed current by the name of Christian. It was these who labored indefatigably in building a house for the Harlot of the Ephah. They became a powerful political faction in the land of the enemy; and having found a warrior to their mind in Constantine, they placed themselves under his leadership; and in a.d.324, became the sole ruling power "in the land of Shinar" as defined. The twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse opens with the exhibition of Jezebel the Prophetess, tricked out with the paraphernalia of royalty -- not the royalty of the Kingdom of God, but the royalty of "the Twelve Ceasars." In this chapter, the two classes of Jews are necessarily comprehended in the same symbol until the birth of the Man Child, after which a separation ensues; or rather, is symbolically manifested. Those who are Jews inwardly are represented by the fugitive woman, a persecuted community, defended by "the earth," and nourished in the wilderness for 1260 years. But the Jezebel faction, commonly styled "Catholic," and "Holy Catholic Church," had become the Harlot of the State. Her palace was built in the land of the enemy's tooth; for the Fourth Beast dominion had become her habitation to dwell in. But she was not content to be subject to the civil power. She aimed to be The State; and the State she at length became. Her growth was rapid, and her power became supreme over the Kings of the earth. She is brought out in this relation in Apoc. 17 and 18. There she is seen in her house or kingdom, as the Great Harlot, ruling over many peoples, multitudes, nations, and their Kings; drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus; and saying, "I sit queen, and am not bereft, and sorrow can not at all behold." Such is the Harlot of the Ephah in the apocalyptic manifestation of Zechariah's vision. She is a ruling element in that "Great Mountain" which is to become a plain before Zerubbabel, according to the vision of the Lamp and Olive Branches -- the Anointed Ones that stand before the Ruler of all the earth. The Four Spirits of the Heavens
Having beheld the Harlot of the Ephah keeping house in the land of Shinar, the prophet again informs us, in chap. 6:1, that he "turned" -- "I turned," says he, "and lifted up mine eyes, and looked." This indicates that his attention was directed to new objects, which he describes in the following words: "I looked, and behold Four Chariots going forth from between two of the mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. In the first chariot red horses, and in the second chariot black horses; and in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot spotted horses, and fleet. Then I responded and said to the angel speaking with me, What are these, my lord? And the angel replied and said to me, These are the Four Spirits of the Heavens going forth from standing by the Ruler of all the earth. The black horses which are therein are going forth to the land of the north, and the white went forth to follow them; and the spotted went forth to the land of the south. And the fleet ones went forth; and they asked to go for to run to and fro through the earth: and he said, Go, run to and fro through the earth! So they ran to and fro in the earth." "Then he proclaimed to me, and spake unto me saying, Behold, those going forth to the land of the north have caused my Spirit to rest in the land of the north." Here is an amplification of the vision of the Two Olive-Branches, or Anointed Ones, that stand by the Ruler of all the earth. The reader will perceive that the Two Branches and the Four Chariots and their Horses, all relate to the same agents, by comparing Zech. 4:14 with ch. 6:5. In these places they are all said to "stand by the Ruler of all the earth." In both these chapters they are represented as symbols of Jehovah's Spirit -- "These," the chariots and horses, said the angel, "are the Four Spirits of the Heavens going forth from standing by the Ruler of all the earth." In the first passage they are in the standing position; in the last, they are in motion from thence, on their appointed mission. These four chariots are the cherubim of glory, which constitute the Chariot of Jehovah. In speaking of the four-faced figures with wings outstretched over the Mercy Seat of the Ark in the Most Holy Place, David styles them in 1 Chron. 28:18, "the Chariot of the Cherubim." The Spirit of Jehovah rested in the form of a cloud between and upon their wings, from the dedication of Solomon's temple until the Glory took its departure in the days of Ezekiel, and shortly before its destruction by the Chaldeans. Alluding to this cherubic incumbency of the Spirit, David says in Psal. 80:1, "O Shepherd of Israel inhabiting the Cherubim, shine forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh arouse thy might, and come for salvation to us. O Mighty Ones (Elohim), turn us, and cause to shine thy Faces, and we shall be saved." The Cherubim were the typical throne of Jehovah in Jerusalem, before which the High Priest presented himself on the occasion of the annual covering of the sins of the nation. In the first and tenth chapters of his prophecy, Ezekiel shows what they typify or represent. Let the reader peruse these chapters in connection with Apoc. 4 and 5; and he will find that the cherubim are representative of the Spirit corporealized and manifested in the Saints, the Elohim of Israel -- the One Eternal Spirit in multitudinous manifestation. "Whithersoever the Spirit was to go, they went;" "they ran and returned as a flash of lightning;" "and the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, as the voice of Mighty Ones in their going, the voice of speech, as the noise of a camp." Zechariah's Four Chariots are identical with these. They represent the resurrected saints in the execution of the judgment written, Ps. 149. There are "four" of them, because there were four faces to the typical golden cherubim of the Ark of the Covenant in the temple; and "four living creatures" in Ezekiel's vision; and "four living creatures" in the Apocalypse; and the reason why there are four, and not three or five, is because in the military organization of Israel the twelve tribes were set off into four camps; the Camp of Judah, the Camp of Reuben, the Camp of Ephraim, and the Camp of Dan. The standard of Judah's camp of host, was a Lion; that of Reuben, a Man; that of Ephraim, an Ox; and that of Dan, an Eagle; and the faces of these four were united in the Two Cherubim of the Most Holy Place; and become the Elohim-Faces of the Eternal Spirit, self-named Jehovah, which stood by the Ruler of all the earth, while he dwelt in them anterior to the Babylonian captivity. Now, as the Saints, without regard to the accident of their fleshly descent, are all Israelites by adoption through Christ, their organization is based on that of the twelve tribes; so that they come thereby to be represented by the standards of Israel's camps. In vision, the four camps of the Saints, constituting, nevertheless, one encampment, occupy the position of the four camps of Israel in the wilderness -- Judah on the east side; Reuben on the south; Ephraim on the west; and Dan on the north. For this reason, Zechariah's Four Chariots are termed "the Four Winds," or Spirits, "of the Heavens;" and in their New Jerusalem symbolization, the Saints' city is said to "lie four square." The Two Mountains of Brass.
Zechariah saw the four cherubic chariots going forth from between Two Mountains of Brass. This metal connects these mountains, or dominions, with the brazen part of Nebuchadnezzar's Image, the Body and Thighs; and with the "Claws of Brass" pertaining to the Fourth Beast; and the "Band of Iron and Brass" around the Stump of the Babylonian Tree. The two mountains of brass and the two thighs of brass are identical; and represent the Greek Element of the "Great Mountain that is to become a Plain before Zerubbabel, before the Two Anointed Ones, before the Four Chariots, and their horses, -- before Israel and the Saints In the days of the Maccabees the two mountains were the Greek Kingdom of Egypt, and the Greek Kingdom of Syria, including Assyria and other adjacent countries; the former styled in Dan. 11 the King of the South; and the latter, the King of the North. Now, though these countries are and will be in other hands than those of people purely and simply Greeks, they are nevertheless regarded in prophecy as the countries of the Brass Dominion; and so designated, as in the place before us. At the epoch of the Four Chariots, that is, just before they are seen going forth, we learn from Daniel and Ezekiel, that there will be two antagonist dominions, the one occupying Egypt and the other Syria and the adjacent countries. The latter is the King of the North, existing on the political map in the Time of the End; and called Gog by Ezekiel: the other, the Kingdom of Egypt. These two mountains of brass will be in a state of war before the going forth of the cherubic chariots; and as Daniel tells us, the Egyptian province of the South Mountain of Brass will "not escape" subjection to the brass dominion of the north -- "the land of Egypt shall not escape," 11:42. This will be the relative position of the two mountains, with the Holy Land between them, the battleground and bone of contention between the two powers, at the going forth of the chariots. But, we may remark here, that though the rulers of the two mountains, or the dominant race, will not be racially Greek, still the North Mountain of Brass will be Greek in its superstition, or State Ecclesiasticism; and the South Mountain also Greek, in the possession of the Greek islands of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas: being, therefore, Hellenistic, ecclesiastically or geographically, or both, they are dominions of brass, occupying, in relation to the Holy Land, the same political status as the two kingdoms of the Ptolomies and Seleucidae in the days of the Maccabees, or Era of the Asmoneans, 358 years after Zechariah saw the vision of the chariots; and 167 years before the birth Jesus Christ. Zechariah saw the Four Chariots of Cherubim "going forth from between" these two mountains of political geography. He must, therefore, have seen them going forth from the Holy Land, which occupies that position. They first stand by the Ruler of all the earth as the Two Anointed Ones of the Four Faces. In this position they are the "Four and Twenty Elders," and the "Four Living Creatures full of Eyes before and behind," filled with the Spirit as a lamp is filled with oil; and which in them burns before the throne, as "the Seven Spirits of God;" which, when in motion, "are sent forth into all the earth." But, before they leave their standing position "to run to and fro," they sing to the Captain of their salvation, "Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the Seals thereof, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us for our God Kings and Priests: and we shall reign on the earth." When they sing this song they are in the land of Judah -- Isai. 26:1. They are there as "the kings which are from a Sun's risings;" to prepare whose "way" the political Euphrates is "dried up" -- Apoc. 16:12; and the two mountains of brass are found temporarily occupying the place of its waters. But Zechariah saw them "going forth." The wings of the cherubim are their armies; and the Horses of the chariots are the same. "When they stand," says Ezekiel, "they let down their wings," which in motion are "as the noise of great waters," or a multitude of people. They go forth to conquer for themselves their dominion; or, as Daniel expresses it, "to take the kingdom;" to "slay the Fourth Beast, and to destroy his Body;" to "take away his dominion, to consume, and to destroy unto the end." They "shall reign upon the earth;" but they must first conquer the nations; for the nations will not accept them for kings and priests without compulsion. The Saints in their career of conquest are the Stream of Fire flowing and issuing from before the Ancient of Days;" they are "the angels of Christ's power in a fire of flame;" the tormentors of the worshippers of the Beast, and his Image, and the receivers of the mark of his Name, with fire and brimstone in the presence of the Lamb; and the 144,000 redeemed from the earth: the First fruits; who follow the Lamb whither-soever he goeth. They are the chariot wheels of the Spirit, full of eyes, and a burning fire -- Dan. 7:9, 10; Apoc. 14:10, 11, 3, 4; 2 Thess. 1:7, 8; Ezek. 1:18. The Four Chariots in motion are the "called, and faithful, and chosen," in company with the King of Kings, in actual conflict with the nations of the earth -- Apoc. 17:14; and are seen in chap. 19:14, as "the armies in the heaven following the Word of God upon white horses, who smites the nations with the sword of his mouth, and rules them with a rod of iron. They are the war-chariots of the Spirit in the conflict of "the great day of God the universal Ruler" -- pantokrator. They invade the north and the south, and then make their expeditions into all other parts of the earth. The horses of the chariots represent the forces commanded by the Saints, and the colors of the horses, their operations upon their enemies. The chariot horses are not literal horses; for it is written in Hos. 1:7, "I will have mercy upon the House of Judah, and will save them by Jehovah their Elohim, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen;" but "he will make Judah as his goodly horse in the battle" -- Zech. 10:3; and "they shall be as mighty ones who tread down in the mire of the streets in the battle; and they shall fight, because Jehovah is with them, and the riders of horses shall be confounded. And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them; and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am Yahweh their Elohim, and will hear them." This testimony of the Spirit presents us with the grand result accomplished by the issuing forth of the chariots and their homes; namely, the conquest of the enemies of Israel, and the reengraftment of Abraham's descendants into their own national olive tree. This great result must be kept in view in a scriptural exposition of the Apocalypse; for it is the consummation of the mission of the Chariot-Hosts; and the Apocalypse proposes no other development than that so palpably and luminously predicted in all the prophets. The four chariots, then, in motion, are the Four Living Ones of the Apocalypse, issuing forth at the head of Judah and Joseph against the Gentile dominions of the north and south, that they may "give up" and "keep" no longer "back." -- Isaiah 43:6. The chariot-horses are differently colored; The first are red; the second, black; the third, white; and the fourth, grizzled and powerful. They are the same horses that are seen with the Angel of Jehovah in Zech. 1:8-11. This Angel in the Apocalypse is entitled "King of kings and Lord of lords," and is prepared for battle with the Ten Horns, or kings of the earth, and their armies. -- Apoc. 17:14; 19:21. Hence, Zechariah sees him "riding upon a red horse," and "followed by red horses, grizzled, and white" -- their colors indicating the sanguinary and tormenting character of their mission, ultimating in victory and peace. The import of these colors is plainly set forth in the symbolography of the first four Seals. The first of these horses is white, indicating the victorious career of the power represented; for it is said, "he went forth conquering, and to conquer." This, then, is the signification of white. It symbolizes a conquering power. The horse of the second seal is red. This indicates a state of sanguinary warfare on the earth contemporary with the operations of the red symbol-power. This is evident from what is said of the red horse's rider; as, "it 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." This indicates a period of much blood shedding, which is fitly represented by red. The horse of the third seal is black. This color is indicative of famine, or the injuring of the wheat and barley to such an extent as to cause great scarcity, and consequent starvation, with all its hideous accompaniments. When the word of Jehovah spoke to Jeremiah of the grievous famine, he describes the gates of Judah as "black unto the ground." It represents destitution of water in the wells, the absence of rain, and total want of grass. -- Jer. 14:1-6. The connection of black with this calamity is also established by the words of Judah's lamentation, saying, "We got our bread with the peril of our lives, because of the sword of the wilderness. Our skin was black like an oven, because of the terrible famine." -- Lam. 5:9, 10. The horse of the fourth seal is chloros, rendered pale. It answers to Zechariah's "grizzled," the black of which is paled by a mixture of white. The seal-horse was of a corpse-like hue; and symbolical of destruction by pestilence, famine, and sword combined. This being the import of the colors, we may understand that the four chariot-hosts will conquer the world, and establish the sovereignty of the Saints by the judgments of the Deity poured out upon the nations in war, famine, pestilence, and all their terrible concomitants. The grizzled horses are termed also "powerful." All the chariots are manifestations of power; but the fourth, and last, is preeminently so, the judgments being intensified, and the catastrophe complete. These things being understood, we are prepared for the answer to Zechariah's question, "What are these, my Lord? -- What do these four chariots, thus distinguished by the colors of their horses, represent?" The answer given is that they are "the Four Spirits of the heavens going forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth." That is, the Saints and their forces in their four encampments, to whom the kingdom under the whole heaven is assigned, in movement against their enemies. Before the movement begins, they are standing with the Lord of the whole earth; as John saw them in Apoc. 14:1. "I looked," saith he, "and, lo! a Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father's Name written on their foreheads." While in the attitude of standing they are awaiting orders from the throne to march against the enemy. While standing, the political expanse is like the physical firmament before the outburst of the earthquake and storm -- "still as dry heat impending lightning, as a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest." During this sultriness, unfanned by breeze or zephyr, the Lord is in his dwelling-place, as an ensign on the mountains, awaiting the result of his manifesto to the world, according as it is written in Isaiah 18:3: "All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the land, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains, tremble; and when he bloweth a trumpet they shall hear. For thus Jehovah saith unto me, I will be still (yet in my dwelling-place I will be without fear) as dry heat impending lightning, as a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest." While this electrical quiescence is pervading, the good news of the Millennial Aion is being heralded among the nations, and announcing that "the Hour of the Judgment," which Daniel had predicted was to "sit" upon the four beasts, had come. -- Apoc. 14:6, 7. The Four Spirits of the heavens are restrained, that scope may be afforded to the world to show whether it will "fear the Deity and give glory to him," in joyfully receiving the good news; or whether the chariots of Jehovah must be sent out against the nations; and by the red, black, white, and grizzled judgments of their mission, compel mankind to lay down the arms of their rebellion, and to "wait for his law." But the latter alternative will assuredly obtain; for "he shall rebuke strong nations afar off" from Jerusalem. He shall rebuke them with his chariots and horses, the four spirits of the heavens; and as the result of it, "they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." -- Mic. 4:3. Zechariah saw the Saints, as the four spirits of the heavens, "going forth." John also, in Apoc. 19:14, saw them in their going, as indicated in these words: "and the hosts in the heaven followed the Word of the Deity, upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." John saw the Faithful and True Word engaged in war against the nations. He saw him riding "a white horse," the emblem of conquest; while he himself was clothed with a blood-red garment (in Zechariah he sits upon a red horse among the myrtle trees), indicative of his mission to smite the nations, and to tread them in the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of the Almighty Deity. This is to be the result of his going forth with his hosts of the heaven. He is to conquer the Ten Horns, and utterly to destroy the Beast and False Prophet. Zechariah saw the same consummation; for he tells us that the horses, on their return from their expeditions through all the earth, delivered in their report, saying, "Behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest." -- 1:11. But it would seem, and doubtless is the case, that there is an established order after which the conquest of the nations is to be effected. Zechariah seems to intimate that "the north country" will be first invaded; and then "the south country" -- that is, north and south in relation to Jerusalem. The brass-mountain of the north is levelled before Zerubbabel by the operations of the black and white horses -- by famine and sword; while the brass-mountain of the south becomes a plain, by the judgments of sword, pestilence, and famine, symbolized by the "grizzled." The north and south being subdued, the time comes "to fly upon the shoulders of the peoples toward the West, and to spoil the children of the east together." -- Isaiah 11:14. This is indicated by "the powerful horses" -- the bay, as they are styled in the C.V. -- seeking permission to march to and fro through the earth. The answer to the request is, "Go, march ye about in the earth!" "So they marched to and fro through the earth." The work of Jehovah's hosts being consummated in the north and south countries, brings out the accomplishment of the prediction in Isaiah 19:17: "In that day the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt; every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of Jehovah of hosts, which he hath determined against it." The prophet then declares the result of the execution of this terrible counsel, namely, the subjugation of Egypt, the establishment of the true religion there, and the deliverance of that portion of Israel living under the oppression of modern Egypt. Referring to these, the Spirit says, "They shall cry unto Jehovah because of the oppressors, and He shall send them a Saviour, even a mighty one, and he shall deliver them." And, as the consequence of this operation of the grizzled horns, "Jehovah shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know Jehovah in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto Jehovah, and perform it. And Jehovah shall smite Egypt" with the sword that goes out of the mouth of the Faithful and True One. -- Apoc. 19:15: "He shall smite and heal it; and they shall return to Jehovah, and he shall be entreated of them, and shall heal them." So much for the south country. In respect of the north country under the operation of the black and white horses, the Spirit saith in Micah 5:4, that the Bethlehem-born Ruler of Israel "shall stand and feed in the strength of Jehovah, in the Majesty of the Name of Jehovah his Elohim; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great to the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace when the Assyrian shall come into our land, and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise up against him seven shepherds and eight princes of the man. And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof; thus shall he deliver from the Assyrian when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth in our borders." Thus are beaten in pieces the north and the south by the daughter of Zion, whose horn hath become iron, and her hoofs brass. Her four chariots and horses have finally overthrown her enemies, and "consecrated their commerce to Jehovah, and their wealth to the Ruler of all the earth." Thus Jehovah's spirit is quieted, and they are at rest. Assyria, Egypt, and Israel will no more vex and annoy one another. No longer under the dominion of ambitious rivals, seeking to increase the glory of their dynasties by international wars and spoliations, their populations will live in peace and good will; and will circulate freely and safely from land to land. Mohammedanism will have been abandoned, and its former devotees will be blessed in Abraham and his seed, the Elohim of Israel. The prophecy of Isaiah will then be complete; for "in that day there will be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and Assyria -- a blessing in the midst of the land; whom Jehovah of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance." -- Isaiah 19:23-25. The Four Carpenters, the Four Chariots, the Four Spirits of the heavens, the Four Cherubim of Ezekiel, and the Four Living Ones of the Apocalypse, are all symbolical of the same class of agents -- the Eternal Spirit post-resurrectionally corporealized in Jesus and his Brethren, and constituting in the aggregate #HEBREW#myhla hwhy#HEBREWOFF# Yahweh Elohim, "the glorious and fearful name" of Deity. -- Deut. 28:58. The manifestation of Deity in the chariots and horses is the last of the symbolical visions granted to Zechariah illustrative of "the time of the end." They leave him in contemplation of "the man whose name is the Branch," sitting and ruling upon his throne as a priest, and bearing the glory; in other words, he sees the kingdom of David in glorious manifestation, with his descendant occupying the throne; and constituting what the Apocalypse styles "the Kingdom of the Lord and of his Anointed." This kingdom is the point of convergence whether we take up our position with Zechariah in Jerusalem or with John in Patmos. The latter does, indeed, tell us a few particulars of what shall transpire at "the end, when the son shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father," but with these excepted, the grand development of the Apocalypse, in common with all the prophets, is the kindom of God. The Apocalypse in Malachi.
The Apocalypse is contained in Malachi as well as in all the rest of the prophets; that is, the same development of the divine purpose is exhibited in Malachi's predictions as in the Patmian revelation. Malachi informs us that "from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same Jehovah's name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered to his name, and a pure offering: for his name shall be great among the nations, saith Jehovah of hosts." John testifies the same thing in saying, "every creature which is in the heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for the Aions of the Aions." -- Apoc. 5:13. This is a universal ascription, which ascends from every place as incense and a pure offering to his name, which is "dreadful among the nations" at that time. This name is not dreadful now, but a by-word in the lips of the profane. This, however, will not always be. Malachi directs our attention to "the day of the coming of the Messenger of the Covenant" as to a day that few will be able to abide. "Who," saith he, "may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap." In this day men will be taught to venerate this name, and not to take it lightly into their lips. The Apocalypse treats of this same great and terrible day of the Lord's coming, and of its effect upon the wicked: "Behold he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they who pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." -- Apoc. 1:7. And, "behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." -- ch. 16:15. And again, "Behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." -- ch. 22:12. And when this coming is manifested, "the Ark of God's Testament" is seen; and there are "lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." -- Apoc. 11:19. These judgments make the day a dreadful one; and, as Malachi testifies, a day burning as an oven, in which the proud and wicked doers of the epoch shall be destroyed as stubble, and neither root nor branch of them be left behind. This total and utter extirpation of the world-rulers is attributed to the saints both by Malachi and John in their postresurrectional operations. Malachi predicts their resurrection in these words, saying, "Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his beams; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall." Being thus raised, the work they have to do is expressed in the words, "and ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do, saith Jehovah of hosts." The Apocalypse teaches the same doctrine. It sets forth the preregnial resurrection of the saints, and their postresurrectional judgment of the world-rulers and their hosts. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection * * * they shall be priests of the Deity and of the Anointed; and shall reign with him a thousand years." Having part in the first resurrection, "they sit upon thrones, and judgment is given to them." The execution of the judgment appointed puts them in possession of the thrones; and in executing the judgment written, they bind the Dragon, cast the Beast and the False Prophet into a lake of fire, overthrow Babylon, and torment with famine, pestilence, and sword, the worshippers of the beast and his image, and the receivers of his mark in their forehead, or in their hand. Thus apocalyptically "they tread the wicked as ashes under the soles of their feet," as foretold by Malachi; and by conquest establish their right to rule all nations as kings of God, seeing that they will have subdued them by his spirit energizing them with the might of omnipotence. Thus, then, from this summary of the prophets, it must be evident to the reader, I think, that the doctrine of Messiah's reign on earth for a long season did not originate with the Apocalypse; but is a doctrine of far greater antiquity, being the teaching of the Spirit from the beginning, and consequently, the faith of God's elect in all ages of the world. When the spirit in the prophets revealed the contents of their writings, he signified in what he inspired them to write, more, or deeper things, than they were able to fathom. They did not see into all that was testified about the sufferings of the Christ, and the glory that should follow those sufferings; nor did they comprehend "what manner of time" it was they noted down in the periods they recorded concerning them. This was unquestionably the truth of the matter from what Peter says in 1 Ep. 1:8, and Paul in Rom. 16:25. These deep things of the Spirit, though written in the prophetic Scriptures, constituted "the wisdom of the Deity in a mystery hidden" from the prophets, and the angels likewise. This mystery pertaining to the sufferings of the Christ, and the glory that should follow, was unfolded by the Spirit in the preaching and writings of the apostles; and constitutes, in its exposition, "the Revelation of the Mystery." But while the apostles had full comprehension of this mystery, they did not understand "what manner of time" was to divide "the sufferings of Christ" from "the glory that should follow." They thought the glory and kingdom were immediately to follow the resurrection of Jesus; hence the question they put to him: "Wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" But they were told that "it was not for them to know the periods, or fixed times, which the Father had put in his own power." With the exception of John, they never did know them. It was reserved to him in Patmos to be made acquainted with them apocalyptically. The 'manner of time" hidden from both prophets and apostles is exhibited in the Apocalypse, which embodies both the mystery of the sufferings, the mystery of the glory, and the mystery of the time. These are all exhibited, or indicated, by sign or symbol. the sufferings of the personal and corporate Christ are represented by "a Lamb as it had been slain," and slain souls under the altar. The glory is symbolized by the four living ones in the midst of the throne, and by the New Jerusalem; and the time during which the sufferings are to continue, antecedent to the manifestation of the glory, are typified by 1260 days, 42 months, "a time, times, and a half," "three days and a half," "five months," "an hour, a day, a month, and a year," "half an hour," "a third part of a day," "a third part of a night," "an hour." These are times in miniature, in which the less is representative of the greater, which is the real or true time. Hence, then, I should define the Apocalypse to be a symbolical revelation of the hidden mystery of the Deity originally declared to the prophets. It was declared to them as an enigma which they could not unravel. The Apocalypse is preeminently the solution of that enigma, especially in regard to the "times and seasons," which, since it's communication to John, are no longer reserved by the Father in his own power. By his revelation to John he has put them in the power of his servants, for whose benefit they were specially revealed. These servants have believed the glad tidings, and obeyed the law of the faith, which exhibits to their minds the kingdom and glory of the Deity. How long to the appearing of that kingdom? This is a question in which they are greatly interested, for their redemption from this evil world is dependent upon its judicial manifestation. To this inquiry a testimony from the Apocalypse responds, that "in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall sound, even the mystery of the Deity shall be finished, as he hath declared the glad tidings to his servants the prophets." -- Apoc. 10:7. This seventh and last trumpet will not cease to sound until the things I have summarized from the prophets shall all be accomplished. They are the glad tidings, or, as Paul expresses it, "the gospel of God, which he promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures." Study the prophets, then, for the Apocalypse reveals the mystery they contain, and is therefore enrooted deeply in all the ramifications of their testimony. SECTION 2.
THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS APOCALYPSE IN SYMBOL.
"I am the First and the Last, and the Living One; and I was dead, and behold I am living for the Aions of the Aions; Amen." The Apocalypse being a revelation of the mystery hidden in the prophetic writings, it is to be presumed that it would certainly not omit to exhibit that cardinal element thereof, styled by Paul "the mystery of godliness," which he says is "great." We find it, therefore, introduced to the attention of the reader in such terms and phrases as God, Jesus Christ, "He who is, and who was, and who is coming," "the Seven Spirits which is before his throne," "the Father of Jesus Christ," "the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and ending, the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is coming, the Almighty," "I am the First and the last, and the living one, and was dead, and behold I am living for the Aions of the Aions." These are very remarkable, and, apart from revelation, very mysterious and impenetrable sayings. There is One who speaks of himself in them as "I;" and he saith of this "I" that he was "the First," "the Alpha," "the Beginning," "the Lord the Almighty." This is intelligible enough, and we readily comprehend that the Deity, the self-existing, and first cause of all things, is meant. We also recognize in the terms the epithets bestowed by the Deity upon himself in the prophets, and with a claim to them as his exclusively. But when we come to read the Apocalypse, we find the same terms applied to one who saith, "I am the First who was dead." This would very naturally suggest the inquiries, "Did the Deity, who is the creator and upholder of the universe, ever die? And while he was dead, how was that universe sustained? And, seeing that death is an utter destitution of all power, how was life restored to the dead creator of all things? These are questions which obtrude themselves upon the thoughtful in view of these apocalyptic sayings. Apart from revelation they are unanswerable, for "the world by wisdom knows not the Deity;" and none by searching can find him out. Philosophy, then, cannot help us; for philosophy is the system of speculation elaborated by the thinking of the flesh, independently of revelation. A brain destitute of God's thoughts is unenlightened, and, of necessity, incapable of thinking, speaking, and writing correctly concerning Deity, either in relation to his essence, mode of existence, system of manifestation, purposes, or requirements. We are compelled, therefore, from very helplessness, to accept God's own account of these things, which is revelation, or to remain in hopeless ignorance of the truth.
There is then a mystery in the premises, which, as the apostle saith; "without controversy is great." By "mystery" is meant a secret -- a secret which the Deity only could reveal. He has made it known, yet the revealed secret continues to be styled a mystery, in reference to what it was originally. Paul terms it "the Mystery of Godliness." In particularizing it, he shows that by "godliness" he means, a visible manifestation of Deity, testified and believed by men. In specifying it, he saith of the mystery, that it consisted, when revealed, of "Deity manifested in flesh, perfected in spirit, seen of messengers, preached unto the nations, believed on in the world, received up in glory." -- 1 Tim. 3:16. Here is Deity set forth by implication in two states -- Deity before manifestation, and Deity in manifestation. Does the fact of manifestation transform Deity into that which is not Deity? Certainly not. Or, is not Deity in manifestation as much Deity as before he made himself visible? Certainly he is. The nature of the medium through which the manifestation is made does not change the nature of that which is manifested. Deity is Deity though he manifest his wisdom and power through mortal flesh. The mortality of the flesh does not necessitate nor imply the mortality of the Deity; nevertheless, Deity becoming flesh, and constituting a manifested individual, if that individual die, and be raised again to life, and Deity again enter into combination with the resurrected body, so as to transform it into substance like the divine essence; in other words, to make that spirit which was before flesh, and so exalt it to the Father, Deity may say, with the strictest propriety, "I am the First who was dead;" and yet, abstractly from the medium of manifestation, did never die. The mystery of godliness is practically exhibited in the incarnation of the Word in the conception and anointing of Jesus; in the perfecting of his body at its resurrection, when Deity in Spirit was as visible to the apostles as Deity in Flesh had been to them before the crucifixion. They preached Deity in Spirit seen of men as a testimony to be believed: it was believed, and that extensively, producing, through the teaching predicated upon it, the most remarkable moral effects "Believed on in the world," saith Paul, "received up in glory." Deity in Spirit having sojourned on earth with the sons of men for forty days, "received up in glory," where he has been, for the past eighteen hundred years, awaiting the appointed time to reappear in the world, not as Deity in Spirit manifested in one man only, but in "a multitude which no man can number" -- a multitude, whose symbol is exhibited in the Son of man in the midst of the Seven Lightstands, the Head of whom is Jesus. -- Apoc. 1:11-18. The Apocalypse, like the prophecy of Ezekiel contains mareoth Elohim, "visions of Elohim:" that is, of Deity in Spirit multitudinously manifested. Ezekiel saw this in symbol, but did not understand the mystery of their development from the sons of Adam; for the great exemplar, Jesus, had not then solved the problem in his own person. The revelation of the mystery through him and the apostles has explained the principles, and shown how flesh may become spirit, or how a dark-minded pagan may be transformed into a manifestation of Deity in spirit. These principles in manifestation are individualized; and being so exhibited, they are symbolized, or indicated by signs, and graphically described in the imagery and writing of the Apocalypse. Hence, the mystery of godliness being so intimately blended with the visions of John, its signs and descriptions can not be intelligibly expounded apart from, or independently of, the scripture teaching concerning Deity. I shall therefore devote this section of my exposition to such an explanation as will, I think, enable the reader to comprehend the remarkable terms and phrases of the Apocalypse chosen by the Spirit for the communication of his ideas upon this deeply interesting and highly important subject. First, then, I propose to consider it under the aspect of 1. Deity before manifestation in Flesh
2. Deity manifested in Flesh; and,
3. Deity manifested in Spirit.
1. Of Deity before Manifestation in Flesh.
The apostle who had the honor of receiving the Apocalypse for transmission to the servants of the Deity, has called our attention to the consideration of the fountain and origin of life and power in what is commonly called the gospel according to John. He there points us to a certain commencement, and saith, "In the beginning was ho logos, and the Logos was with the Theos, and Theos was the Logos." In the Common Version this reads, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." We may see from this the propriety of God styling himself "the First," "the Beginning," and "he who is and who was." He was from the beginning, whether that beginning be referred to the creation narrated by Moses, or a remoter beginning before ever the earth was; and none but a fool, the Spirit saith, would affirm that God is not. Though John introduces two words into the text, he is careful to inform us that they are not representative of two Gods contemporary with the beginning, but of one only; for he expressly says that "Theos was the Logos." In this text, then, there is One Deity, and he is styled the Logos. This word signifies, "the outward form by which the inward thought is expressed and made known; also, the inward thought or reason itself. So that the word comprehends both the ideas of reason and speech." Hence, by John styling Him the Logos, it was equivalent to affirming that he was a reasoner and a revelator: or, as Daniel declared to Nebuchadnezzar, that "the Elahh, in the heavens revealed secrets," even "the deep and secret things." But was the Deity reason and speech only? In other words, an abstraction independent of substance; or, as some affirm, "without body or parts?" To preserve us from such a supposition, John informs us that "the Logos was with the Theos." Here was companionship and identity -- "the Logos was with the Theos, and Theos was the Logos." Never was there a conceivable point of time, or eternity, when the one existed without the other. "Jehovah possessed me," saith the Logos, "in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from olahm (the hidden period) from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the open places, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens I was there; when he set a compass upon the face of the deep; when he established the clouds above; when he strengthened the fountains of the deep; when he gave to the sea his decree that the waters should not pass his commandment; when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him as one brought up with him (the Logos was with the Theos): and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights with the sons of men." -- Prov. 8:22. No Logos, then there would be no Theos; and without Theos, the Logos could have no existence. This may be illustrated by the relation of reason, or intelligence and speech, to brain, as affirmed in the proposition, No brain, -- no thought, reason, nor intelligence. Call the brain Theos; and thought, reason, and understanding intelligently expressed, Logos; and the relation and dependence of Theos and Logos, in John's use of the terms, may readily be conceived. Brain-flesh is substance, or the hypostasis, that underlies thought; so Theos is substance which constitutes the substratum of Logos. Theos is the substance called Spirit; as it is written, " Theos is Spirit;" and he who uttered these words is declared to be himself both substance and spirit. But why is the Divine Substance called Theos? It is a name reclaimed by the Septuagint translators from the heathen; and from them appropriated by the apostles, who wrote in Greek. The derivations proposed of the word are various. The most probable seems to be that which deduces it from the verb, theo, to place, appoint, constitute, ordain. Phurnutus the Stoic, who wrote in the reign of Nero, says, "It is probable that theoi (the gods) were so called from thesis, position or placing; for the ancients took those for gods or theoi whom they found to move in a certain regular and constant manner, thinking them the causes of the changes in the air, and of the conservation of the universe; these then are theoi or gods, which are the disposers (theteres) and formers of all things." And long before Phurnutus, Herodotus had written that the Pelasgi, the ancient inhabitants of Greece, "called them theoi, because the gods had disposed or placed in order all things and all countries." Theos, then, in the singular, may reasonably be supposed to have been adopted by the sacred writers of the New Testament, as an appropriate designation for the Divine Substance, as the disposer and "former of all things;" especially as he claims to be so in Jer. 10:16. With a softer pronunciation, that is, by changing th into d, and o into u, the Romans borrowed this word from the Greeks, and called it Deus, from which we derive our word Deity. In my translation I have used this word wherever Theos occurs in the original, except in two places in which the word "God" will be found for the sake of the metre -- ch. 4:9, 10. Deity, then, declares the Divine Substance to be the Disposer and Former of all things; a truth which the Spirit in the scriptures is careful to place prominently before the minds of men. A few instances will show this. "This people (Israel) I formed for myself. I am Yahweh that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I, Yahweh, do all these things. I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. Thus saith Yahweh, He the Elohim that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I, Yahweh; and none else" -- Isaiah 43:21; 45:7, 12, 18. He is truly "the Former of all things," alone and by himself; hence his title of The Deity, which suggests this great truth to all who are acquainted with him. As to the Anglo-Saxon word "God," it is a term that may be applied to any one of goodness and authority without profanity. God is a contraction of the word Good. Hence, God signifies the Good One; and was perhaps suggested to our ancestors by the saying of Jesus, that "there is none good but the Theos," or Deity. But the Deity has not chosen to designate himself by this term. The idea of goodness is not contained in the word Theos; and therefore I do not use it as its representative. And here it may be remarked that the seventy Israelites who translated the Hebrew scriptures into Greek for the king of Egypt, used the word Theos as equivalent for Ail, and Elohim; the first a noun singular; and the last, plural. By so doing, the true import of a multitude of passages was obscured. This defect of the Septuagint has been transferred to the English Version by rendering them indiscriminately God, which does not at all express the signification of the Hebrew terms. Theos comes nearer to these than God; for a being might be Good, but far from mighty for the formation of all things; but he could not be theos, the Disposer and Former of all things, without being Ail in the almightiest sense of the word. The Seventy, however, erred in not respecting the Hebrew distinction of singular and plural. In adopting Theos for Ail, they ought to have written theoi for Elohim in the plural. But they did this evil that good might come; at least, so it is said. "The Seventy," says Parkhurst, "have constantly (very few passages excepted) translated the plural name elohim, when used for the true God, by the singular Theos, never by the plural, theoi. In so doing one may at first sight think them blamable. But let it be considered that, at the time the Septuagint translation was made, the Greek idolatry was the fashionable superstition, especially in Egypt under the Ptolemys, and that according to this, their gods were regarded as Demons, that is, intelligent beings totally separate and distinct from each other; and that consequently, had the Greek translators rendered the name Elohim by the plural Theoi, they would thereby have given the grecizing heathen an idea of the true God, inconsistent with the Unity of the Divine Essence, and conformable to their own polytheistic notions; whereas, by translating it Theos in the singular, they inculcated the grand point (with the heathen, I mean) of God's unity, and at the same time did not deny a plurality of agents or persons in the Divine Nature; since the Greeks called the whole substance of their God the Heavens, Theos in the singular, as well as theoi in the plural." As we have said, the Hebrew representative of Theos is Ail. This is a primitive word, which to the mind of the Hebrew always presented the idea of strength and power. It is applied in the prophets to the Former of all things when contemplating him in his almightiness. The meaning of the word is strength, might, power, and when used of a person, signifies a mighty one, a powerful one, a strong one, a hero. The first place in which it occurs is in Gen. 14:18, where Melchizedec is styled "the priest of the most high Ail." This teaches, by implication, that there are other ailim, but that He whose priest Melchizedec was, was the highest of them all. The term is used in a multitude of places in the Old Testament, in the greater number of which it is rendered "God." This, however, does not at all express its meaning, for goodness is no element of the word. The Deity informs us through Moses that it is a part of the name he chose for himself in his communications with Abraham. "I appeared," said he, "to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by the name Ail-Shaddai; but by my name Yahweh (commonly, but erroneously, pronounced Jehovah) was I not known unto them." -- Exod. 6:3. In the English Version, Ail-Shaddai is rendered "God Almighty;" but this does not express the original. Shaddai is indeed rendered almighty, omnipotent, by lexicographers; but their reason for so doing is theological, not etymological. They have invented what they call a pluralis excellentioe, by which a plural noun is applied to a person or thing in the singular, to express its excellency. Hence, to show how excellent the Deity is in power and majesty, they suppose the scriptures speak of him as many powers or many gods, as is implied by Elohim, Shaddai, and so forth. But this is a weak invention, which only reveals the ignorance of the learned respecting the Name of the Deity exhibited in "the Mystery of Godliness." Their pluralis excellentioe is a mere fiction. It admits plurality in regard to Deity, but has entirely failed in giving a rational and scriptural exposition. Shaddai is a plural masculine, and derived from the root shahdad, "to be strong, powerful." Shaddai is the plural of shad, "mighty, powerful," and therefore signifies the mighty or powerful ones. Three of them appeared to Abraham in the plains of Mamre. Moses informs us that "Yahweh appeared to him there;" and that when he lifted up his eyes to see Yahweh apparent, "he saw three men standing by him." Hence Yahweh, or Jehovah, was apparent in these three men. Here was One-Three, or Three-One. Ail was the One, Shaddai the Three. These "three men" were mighty, powerful, strong, and therefore they were styled Shaddai. They were harmless, patient, and sociable with Abraham and Lot, but terrible in power to Sodom, Gomorrah, and the cities of the plain. But was their power absolute and independent, or was it derived? Could they say, "Before us there was nothing formed of Ail?" Could they say, "We three are the Divine Nature in Trinity, original, uncreated, underived?" The name by which they were known to Abraham answers these questions in the negative. Their power was not absolute and underived. It was derived from the Divine Substance John terms Theos, and which Paul says, "only hath deathlessness (aqanasia), dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see." But Abraham saw the three men, or Jehovah apparent, therefore they were not the Eternal First Cause, but a Spirit-Manifestation of Him, whose name was known to Abraham as Ail-Shaddai, the Strength of the Mighty Ones.
Now the Deity was also known to Jacob by the same name, and appeared to him in like manifestation as to Abraham. Jacob saw a host of Shaddai, styled by Moses myhla ykalm malachai elohim, "Messengers of Elohim" -- Elohim sent of Ail. He wrestled with one of them, and prevailed, and in consequence received the honorable title Isra-ail, "because as a prince hast thou power with Elohim." "And Jacob called the name of the place (where he wrestled) Pen-ail," "Faces of Power;" "for," said he, "I have seen Elohim faces to faces, and my life is preserved." -- Gen. 32:2, 28, 30. Here was the most high Ail in multitudinous manifestation. Jacob never saw his person, for no man has ever seen that; but he saw persons like him in form and substance; as much so as sons are like their father in these particulars. He saw as much of the Father Ail as men see of an invisible father in his children. They study the father in these in the absence of other data. Their father is in them as a Flesh-Manifestation of their parental original. The Shaddai are styled Elohim, as expressive of the parental relation subsisting between them and Ail in nature and power. As the Highest and Most Powerful One in the universe, He styles himself the Ail-Elohim -- the Power of powers: a truth memorialized by Jacob in the Altar he named Ail-Elohai-Yisra-ail -- the Strength of the Powers of Israel. Elohim myhla , is a plural noun, which in the singular is written hla Eloah. The use of this in Hab. 1:11 shows that the idea of strength or power is the radical meaning of the word w:hla:l w:xk wz , as to this one, his strength is his Eloah, or the one in whom he trusts. Three men who appeared to Abraham were each of them an Eloah, but not each of them Elohim: the three together were Elohim. Eloah occurs fifty-six times in the scriptures, and four of these times only in the Psalms; but in Job forty-one times. The use of Ail and Eloah by Job would indicate that one and the same being is meant. Every member of the heavenly host is an Eloah, but of all the Elohim one only is the original and self-existent Ail -- the absolute, omnipotent, and independent power of the universe.
Speaking of Himself in his address to the ends of the earth, he says, "Look unto me, for I am Ail, and none else" -- Isaiah 45:22; and to Israel he saith, "Ye are my witnesses, and my servant whom I have chosen, that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I, Yahweh, am He; before me Ail or Power, has not been formed, nor after me shall be" -- Isaiah 43:10: a testimony that identifies Ail with the Logos and Theos of John, which as One Power, he saith, "made all things; and without him was not any thing made that was made." From him came the Apocalypse; as it is written, "a revelation which the Theos committed to Jesus Christ." Having thus shown the meaning of these several terms applied in the scriptures to Deity, I proceed to offer a few ideas upon the Divine Nature as suggested in the revelation of the mystery. We learn from the Bible that the Deity it reveals has both body and parts. Paul teaches us this in declaring that the resurrected and anointed Jesus is "the apaugasma, or reflexion of the glory, and charakter or peculiar nature of the hypostasis or substance of the Theos -- Heb. 1:3. In other words, he partakes of the Divine Nature; so that what he now is, is what the Deity hath always been. The substance of the Theos is essentially living substance. It could not exist and yet be dead substance, for "the Father hath life in himself," and that life is his inherent peculiarity. It is underived from any antecedent existence; nor can it forsake the Divine Substance, for in that event the Deity would be mortal. But Paul styles him "the Incorruptible Theos," and says that "He is the only one having athanasia or deathlessness." Hence, the essential qualities of the substance, which underlies all that is predicable of him, are incorruptibility and life. Incorruptible and living substance, then, is the Body of the Deity; and, as the glorified Jesus is "the Image of the Invisible Theos," he must have "parts." It is not, therefore, a mere figure of speech to speak, as the scriptures do, of the hand, ear, eye, and so forth, of the Invisible Eternal Power. He has form and parts, as well as body, and is the Great Archetype, or divine original, after which all the Elohim, or immortal intelligences, of his universe are modelled and made. He dwells in unapproachable light, and is "a consuming fire." Light and heat, then, in their essentiality, with incorruptibility and life, are concentred in his substance; for He is the great focal centre of these in all the universe of power. If I might venture a conjecture upon so profound a subject, I would suggest, that the Divine Nature is that wonderful and extraordinary essence observed in that terrible and destructive agent the scriptures term "spirit," and philosophy, electricity, consolidated and corporealized from the necessity of the thing. This glowing substance is too intensely bright for human vision, therefore Paul not only says, "whom no man hath seen," but adds, "nor can see." Now these suggestions are sustained by "the likeness of the glory of Jehovah" which appeared to Ezekiel. "Above the firmament," says this prophet, "that was over the heads of the four living ones, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a Man above upon it. And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about; as the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yahweh" -- ch. 1:26. This was the Deity in symbol, which is brought out again in ch. 8:2, 3. In this place Ezekiel adds, that He whom the likeness represented "put forth the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my head." Being thus secured, he says, "the Spirit lifted me up." This was equivalent to saying, that the likeness represented the Spirit, which Jesus says is Theos of Ail. All the similitudes in the prophets representative of the Deity are of this bright and burning character. In Daniel he is exhibited as the Ancient of Days sitting upon a throne like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire, with a fiery stream issuing forth from before him -- ch. 7:9. And so in the Apocalypse; "out of the throne" He sits upon, "proceed lightnings, and thunderings, and voices; and before the throne seven lamps of fire burning, which are representative of "the Seven Spirits of the Deity" -- ch. 4:5. Light, heat, incorruptibility, and life, concentrated in one Eternal Substance, is the great self-existing and central power of the universe. This substance is Spirit, for "the Deity is Spirit." All power, life, and light concentre in him, so that not a sparrow falls to the ground without his perception thereof. "He upholdeth all things," and "in him we live, and move, and do exist." This is by "the Seven Spirits which is before his throne" -- Apoc. 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6. Though symbolically "seven," they are complete in one, for saith Paul, "there is One Spirit" -- Eph. 4:4. Seven is the symbol of unity and perfection. Hence, being representative of the one spirit, the substantive verb is expressed in the third person singular, and not in the plural, as the grammar of the sentence requires. "The Seven Spirits which is," not "which are before the throne." There is but one spirit there, and this one is the nominative to the verb "is." The Father of the spirit is the Divine Substance, for it proceedeth forth from thence; and because it issues thence, He is styled "the Father of glory." Spirit irradiates the boundless universe from the throne of light, and pervades it in all its space. Thus the spirit is consubstantial with the divine nature, or "free," radiating from unapproachable light, everywhere, and illimitably, so that wherever spirit is, there is the Deity present; and consequently, as Paul said to the Athenians, "not far from every one of us." This universality of the divine presence by His "free spirit," is beautifully and forcibly expressed in Ps. 139:7-12, as, "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend into the heavens, Thou art there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." "There is one Deity, the Father, ex ou, out of whom are all things" -- 1 Cor. 8:6. The divinity of the schools gives us an idea contrary to this. By the schoolmen we are told that God created all things out of nothing! Where they got this notion from we know not, save from their own imaginations. The proverb says, "take nothing from nothing and nothing comes;" but they have reversed all this, and taught the world that out of nothing something doth come, and that something the universe of God! But away with this foolishness. Out of Deity all things have proceeded. His free, radiant spirit is the substratum of every existing thing, from the star of the first magnitude to the minutest insect of the air. The all-pervading electricity is the simple undecomposable radiation "out of" the Divine Substance, which, under the fiat of His will, constitutes the atomic nucleus of all bodies, solid, fluid, or aeriform. Thus, "by His spirit he garnished the heavens," illuminating boundless immensity with orbs of light, teeming with life, and all the wonders of his wisdom and power.
Such, then, was Deity before the appearance of Jesus -- Spirit, substantial and radiant: substantial in his own person; radiant thence into all the Elohim of his universe, in whom the radiant matter, by the fiat of the Divine Will, became fixed, organic, corporeal, and consubstantial with the Deity himself. Thus, He is Eloah in chief; and "without me," he saith, "of Elohim there is none else," and "without me there are no Elohim," and therefore it is we find the phrase in Isaiah 45:18, myhla h avh , hu-hahelohim, "He the Elohim" -- He, the only Deity, by his Spirit, a multitude of mighty ones. Having considered the Deity under the apocalyptic aspect of "Him who was," of the "Alpha," of "the First," and of "the Beginning," I shall proceed to treat, in the next place, of the same Deity "who is," in the development of the great mystery. 2. Deity Manifested in Flesh
Until nearly 430 years after the typical confirmation of the covenant made with Abraham, (Gen. 15.,) the Deity was known to his servants only by the name of Ail-Shaddai, the Strength of the Mighty Ones. But when the time had come to bring Israel out of Egypt, the Elohim of the Deity were sent to Moses to inform him, among other things, of a new name by which he was pleased to be known to his people. In answer, then, to the question, What is this name? The Deity said to Moses by his Elohim, hyha rva hyha ehyeh asher ehyeh, I will be who I will be; and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, hyha Ehyeh hath sent me unto you. The Elohim said moreover to Moses, Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel, hwhy Yahweh, Elohim of your fathers, Elohim of Abraham, Elohim of Isaac, and Elohim of Jacob, hath sent me unto you. This is my name, mlv l le olahm for the hidden time, and this is my memorial; rD rdl ledor dor for a generation of the race." In the name and memorial thus revealed at the bush, the Deity declared that he would be a person, or persons, not then manifested. He announced to Moses, that he was the Mighty Ones who had appeared as "three men" to Abraham, and as "a host" to Jacob: but that at a future period He would manifest himself in others, even in persons of the Adamic race. Hence, in view of this new manifestation, and to keep it constantly in remembrance, he imposed upon himself the name of Ehyeh, "I will be." And this name of the Deity was to retain its import in a certain time hidden in the future. The time when it shall no longer be memorial is not yet arrived. It is to continue for the Olahm -- for that epoch when "he who is, and who was, and who is coming," "shall come with the clouds, and every eye shall see him; and all the tribes of the earth shall wail before him" -- Apoc. 1:7. When this terrible crisis is passed, the ascription of chap. 16:5, "Thou art righteous, O Lord, who art, and wast and shalt be," will be anachronous, for it will be no longer "shall be" on earth, seeing that he will then be here, and "reigning on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously" -- Isai. 24:23. The word rva asher in the memorial is the relative pronoun who; and is both singular and plural, masculine and feminine. It stands, therefore, for a multitude as much as for one person. Yea, it is clear that a multitude was intended, by reference to the parallel text in Exod. 6:7, where the Deity commanded Moses to say to Israel, "I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you for Elohim; and ye shall know that I am Yahweh your Elohim." The Elohim here indicated in the aggregate are "the generation of the race," in which the Deity will manifest himself by "the Seven Spirits before the throne." In regard to this term Ehyeh, etymologically and orthoepally, I may remark here, that it is the first person singular of the future tense of the verb hahyah, "to be, or become." It does not mean, and never did, what it is made to signify in the English Version, i.e., "I am." The Deity did not give himself this name; but, on the contrary, said, "My name is I will be; and by this name I was not known to Abraham;" not to any one else till he revealed it at the bush. Yet, it appears in the second chapter of Genesis, and in the history of Abraham; but this happens because of the compiler of those accounts -- that is, Moses -- being acquainted with this new name, and introducing it wherever it was appropriate. The English versionists have suppressed the name of the Deity wherever in their opinion it was not specially emphatic, and have substituted for it Lord, which does not at all express the sense of the original. Where they have thought the name emphatic they have represented Ehyeh, in its subsequent form, by "Jehovah," which they have only introduced nine times; though the word YHWH occurs so often, that the citation of the texts occupies seven royal octavo columns of nonpareil.
The form of the name which subsequently prevailed over Ehyeh, is YHWH pronounced Jehovah, according to the Masoretic pointing invented five hundred years after the time of Jesus. But all philologists and theologians are now agreed, that Jehovah is a spurious pronunciation. It was devised by Jewish superstition, which did not permit an Israelite to pronounce this sacred name correctly. They have another word ynda Adonai, "lord, ruler, sovereign." From this they took the signs or points, and attached them to YHWH, thereby giving to it the incorrect orthography, "Jehovah." All critics, however, are now agreed that the true pronunciation of the word is Yahweh, which they predicate on the fact of the word used in Exod. 6:2, 3, being the old form of the third person, future tense. Yah is the same in a contracted form; and is used of the Deity upwards of fifty times; one of which exhorts us to "extol him by his name Yah." Yahweh or Yah, as a noun, and signifying "He who will be," is then the memorial name the Deity chooses to be known by among his people. It reminds them that He will be manifested in a multitude; and that, in that great multitude which no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, which shall stand before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands (Apoc. 7:9) -- in each and every one of them, "He will be the all things in all" -- 1 Cor. 15:28; or, as it is expressed in Eph. 4:6, "there is one Deity and Father of all, who is upon all, and through all, and in you all." The Deity, then, in a multitude, is a conspicuous element of apostolic, as well as of Old Testament teaching. It is not "One God in three Gods," and "Three Gods in One;" but one Deity in a countless multitude revealed in the memorial name, and expounded in the mystery of godliness. The knowledge of this mystery was lost sight of by the Babel-builders of the third and fourth centuries; who, as a substitute, invented the Athanasian conceit of three persons in the Divine Essence, coeternal and coequal. They bound up the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, three distinct persons, into one person, or body; and called the fiction "the Triune God." They did not perceive that the Deity was but one person, and one substance, peculiar to himself. One Deity and not three; that Holy Spirit is an emanation from his substance, intensely radiant and all pervading; and that, when focalized under the fiat of his will, things and persons without limit, as to number or nature, are produced. This multitudinous manifestation of the one Deity -- one in many, and many in one, by his spirit -- was proclaimed to the Hebrew nation in the formula of Deut. 6:4, "Hear, O Israel, Yahweh our Elohim is the one Yahweh;" that is, "He who shall be our Mighty Ones is the One who shall be." Certain Mighty Ones are promised to Israel -- "pastors according to Yahweh's heart, who shall feed them with knowledge and understanding" -- they will be spirit, because "that which is born of the spirit is spirit." He, the Spirit, the Ail, or Power of the universe, self-styled Yahweh, is their Divine Father. His nature will be theirs; so that they will be consubstantial with Him, as all children are consubstantial with their parents. The Deity will then be manifested in the Sons of Deity; he in them, and they in him, by the one spirit. And this company of sons, led to glory by the captain of their salvation, is "the One who shall be," or "the One Yahweh." Of these sons, or Elohim, One is "the Firstborn" -- "the child born, and the son given" -- Isai. 9:6. He is Eloah in chief, "the Head of the Body;" in whom it pleased the Father that all the fulness should dwell," that among all he might have the preeminence.
This Eloah is the great theme of prophecy. His manifestation was predicted in the promise of the Woman's Seed (Gen. 3:15); in Isaac (ch. 21:12); of the royal Shiloh from Judah (ch. 49:10); of the sceptred Star out of Jacob (Numb. 24:17); of the Divine Son assured to David (2 Sam. 7:14, ) born of a virgin (Isai. 7:14) and to rule upon his throne (Isai. 9:6, 7.) In these testimonies it was revealed, that he should be both Son of man and Son of Deity. How this could be otherwise than is related in the New Testament would be impossible to devise. "Is there an Eloah without me?" saith the Spirit: "Yea, there is no Rock; I know none" -- Isai. 44:8. The manifestation therefore, must be by the spirit of the Deity, or not at all. The time of manifestation was appointed and placed on record in Dan. 9:25; and "when the fulness of the time was come, the Deity sent forth his son, made of a woman;" begotten, not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the Deity; by holy spirit coming upon her, and power of the Highest enveloping her; therefore also the holy thing she bore was called a Son of Deity, and named Jesus -- Luke 1:31, 35. Thus, "the Logos became flesh, and dwelt among us," says John, "and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth;" for "the law was given through Moses; the grace and the truth came through Jesus Anointed" -- Jno. 1:14, 17. Now, "Theos was the Logos," says John; that is, Deity was the Word; and this Word became flesh in the manner testified. Was the product, therefore, not Deity? Did the union of spirit with flesh annihilate that spirit, and leave only flesh? Was the holy thing born a mere son of Adam? or "the fellow" and "equal" of the Deity? -- Zech. 13:7; Jno. 5:18; Phil. 2:2. The latter unquestionably. After this manner, then, the Eternal Power, or Yahweh, became flesh; and commenced the initiation of his promise, that He would be to Israel for Elohim. The chief Eloah was now born; and, as the Star of Jacob cradled in a manger, received the homage of the wise, and the acclamation of the heavenly host. This babe was the "body made in secret" through which "the Eternal Spirit," when it should attain to "the fulness of the times," designed to manifest himself. That time had arrived when "Jesus began to be about thirty years of age." He was now to be "sent forth;" "being made under the law, that them under law he might purchase from it, that we might obtain the Sonship" -- Gal. 4:5. His sending forth was subsequently to his immersion, and preceded by his anointing with holy spirit. Though born of "Yahweh's Handmaid" six months after John the Immerser, John said of him, "after me cometh a man who hath been preferred to me; for he was before me." Isaiah styles him Yahweh and Elohim, in his prophecy concerning John as "The Voice" that was to herald his manifestation; saying, "Prepare ye the way of Yahweh, make straight in the desert a highway for our Elohim" -- ch. 40:3. The Father was one Eloah, and Jesus was another; so that in this unity were developed two, who, in the Hebrew plural, are termed Elohim. Here, then, was a practical illustration of the phrase, so often occurring in the scriptures of the prophets, "Yahweh Elohim," most incorrectly rendered in the English Version, "Lord God." Based upon this combination of holy spirit and flesh, Jesus said to Nicodemus, "I say unto thee, We speak what we do know, and testify what we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. Here was plural manifestation in unity. This is abundantly evinced in all the New Testament. Hence, on another occasion, Jesus said to the Jews, "I and the Father are one" -- one what? We are, in the words of Moses, "One Yahweh." The Jews, who "judged after the flesh," were indignant at this, and attempted to stone him for blasphemy; saying that, "because being a man, he made himself Deity." But Jesus rebuked the charge of blasphemy with an argumentum ad homines which was unanswerable. "Is it not written in your law, I said ye are Elohim, and Sons of the Highest, all of you?" Ps. 82:6. If He (the Deity) called them Elohim to whom the word of the Deity came, (that is, to their fathers,) and the scriptures cannot be broken; say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, 'Thou blasphemest' because I said, I am Son of the Deity? "Know that the Father is in me, and I in him:" -- and that "he who hath seen me hath seen the Father" -- John 10:30; 14:9. Such discourse as this was an impenetrable enigma to the Jews. They did not recognise that "the words they heard were spirit" -- John 6:63. They judged after the flesh (ch. 8:15), and therefore imagined that his words were flesh; that is, the mere utterances of the thinking of the flesh. But he told them that this was not so; for he said, "My teaching is not mine, but His who sent me;" and John also testified that "he whom the Deity had sent, spake the words of the Deity," as Moses had predicted in Deut. 18:18, concerning the Christ, saying, "I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall be, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him." And so when the Word became flesh, the Word-Flesh recalled attention to what Moses had written and said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words * * * the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak" -- John 12:47 -- "the words of eternal life." The words, then, that came out of the mouth of Jesus, are to be received as the direct teaching of the Eternal Spirit, and to be interpreted of him. When, therefore, the utterance saluted the ears of the disciples, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father," the Eternal Spirit was communing with them from upon the Mercy-Seat, from between two of the Cherubim upon the Ark of the Testimony -- Exod. 25:22. He was speaking of himself, and not of the flesh which he had anointed. That flesh was the caphporeth, coverlid, or propitiatory, to be sprinkled with blood, as the result of the condemnation of sin unto death in the flesh -- Rom. 8:3. It was the Veil, which, in regard to the Elohim, Jesus and his Brethren, divides their present and future states. It was the veil rent in twain by the stroke of death, in which the Eternal Eloah "forsook" the Eloah Jesus; and they continued "twain" until his postresurrectional ascent to the Father -- John 20:17. Such was "the Faithful Witness," as he was before he was "perfected" on the third day -- Luke 13:32. He came into the world to bear witness to the truth that he is King of Israel; to this he was faithful unto death by crucifixion; in which he bare in his own body the sins of all who through him become the Elohim of Israel, whether by nature Jews or Gentiles -- 1 Pet. 2:24. When these come to know the Deity, and to believe his promises with honest and goodheartedness, as initiated in Jesus, and to do his commandments, they obtain participation in "the Sonship," and become, even in this present state, Elohim, or sons of the Deity. In view of this moral manifestation of Deity in flesh, termed by Peter the Divine Nature, one of these Elohim, in writing to others of them, says, "Behold what great love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of Deity. Because the world knew him not, therefore it doth not know us. Beloved, we are now children of Deity; but it hath not yet appeared what we shall be: nevertheless, we know that when he may appear we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every one having this hope in him purifies himself even as he is pure." -- 1 John 3:1-3. "We are now children of Deity." He is manifested in them through the truth affectionately and righteously believed. If "the truth as it is in Jesus" be in men thus, Christ, who is the truth, is in them; the spirit of Christ is in them; for "the spirit is the truth" -- 1 John 5:6: which comprehends the exceeding great and precious promises given to us, that by these heartily believed, they may be partakers of the Divine Nature. -- 2 Pet. 1:2-4. From the premises before us, I presume that the reader will have perceived the development of "a Name" -- a name of Deity. The name is a divine manifestation. The Eternal Increate manifested in Jesus by holy spirit. This manifestation is expressed in the formula of "the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" -- Matt. 28:19. This is the name which is above every name; and embraces everything attributable to the Father and the Son. To become an Eloah, a believer of the right stamp must be immersed into this name. He will then be "in the name;" and, consequently, "in Deity the Father and the Lord Jesus Anointed." A multitude may be in this name contemporaneously. They in Deity, and Deity in them, by faith and obedience. Thus, the name which comprehended only two in the beginning, becomes "a great multitude which no man can number." And in reference to these, Jesus, in the days of his flesh, said to his Father, "I have manifested thy Name unto the men (the apostles) which thou gavest me out of the world: thine thy were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. I have given unto them the words that thou gavest me, and they have received them. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me. Holy Father, keep them in thy name whom thou hast given me, that they may be one even as we. Sanctify them in thy truth; thy word is truth. I pray for them also who shall believe through their word into me; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one" -- John 17:6, 23. In conclusion, then, under this caption the following recapitulation of the points developed in the testimony in regard to this great mystery of godliness, which is the basis of the Apocalypse, may be useful as a remembrancer:
1. There is one Eternal Uncreated Substance, which is essentially power, incorruptibility, and life, dwelling invisibly in unapproachable light; and known before the days of Moses by the name of Ail-Shaddai, "the Strength of the Mighty Ones;" and from his interview with the Angel at the Bush, by that of Yawheh, or Yah, "He who will be." 2. This Eternal power is the Logos, or Word, which is identical with Theos, or Deity, glowing in light. Spirit substantial and corporeal.
3. From Deity, as the centre of the universe, is intensely radiated spirit or power; which is all-pervading, and fills immensity, and styled "Free Spirit" -- the ocean of life, "in which we live, and move, and have being." So that Deity is not far from every one of his creatures.4. All things are "out of Deity." Spirit, by the fiat of His will, becomes substance, both organic and inorganic; and the former, instinctive, or divinely intelligent.
5. The Deity is Wisdom as well as Power. Hence the Divine Nature is a moral nature as well as substantial; so that His moral attributes are constituents of his glory, equally with those of his substance, in its essentiality and power.
6. Jesus of Nazareth, in the days of his flesh, was the reflection of the Moral Attributes of the Deity; as likewise are all his brethren who walk in his steps.
7. Since his ascension, he is consubstantial with Deity; i.e., the peculiar nature he now has is identical with the original substance of the Eternal Power, between which and his own this sole difference obtains; namely, that the substance of Jesus as it is, was created by the Deity out of His own free spirit -- ek tou pneumatos; -- whereas His own substance was derived from no antecedent power or creator.
8. Jesus is the Chief-Begotten Eloah of Ail; and, when sealed with holy spirit at his immersion in Jordan, the Deity manifested himself in him by the truth he spoke and the wonders he performed.
9. In this manifestation the development of the Memorial Name was initiated. The One had become Two; and Yahweh Elohim, in relation to the human race, had become a fact. But, 10. The manifestation of the Name is only initiated, not completed, in the person of Jesus Christ. The manifestation of Deity in flesh, by holy spirit or truth, is amplified in the characters of the true believers among men, who are "partakers of the Divine Nature" in its moral constitution, as the earnest of their future participation in the Divine Substance, when they shall be as Jesus is now.
11. All the true believers who have been immersed into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit -- not three names, but the One Name of the Divine Manifestation -- are a manifold unit -- One in many, and many in one. They are "the one who shall be" -- the Yahweh echad, the One Jehovah, not yet perfected and glorified; but when so, to be "King over all the earth" -- Zech. 14:9; Apoc. 5:10.
But, in order to reach these things fully, as they are "indicated by sign" in the Apocalypse, I must request the reader's particular attention to the third division of this great mystery of godliness, or Deity manifested in spirit.
3. Deity Manifested in Spirit.
However perfect and complete the moral manifestation of the Deity was in Jesus of Nazareth, the divine manifestation was nevertheless imperfect as concerning the substance, or body, of Jesus. This was what we are familiar with as the flesh. It was not angel-flesh, or nature; but that common to the seed of Abraham, styled by Paul sarx hamartias, flesh of sin; "in which," he says, "dwells no good thing" -- Rom. 7:18; 8:3. The anointing spirit-dove, which, as the Divine Form, descended from heaven upon Jesus at his sealing, was holy and complete in all things; the character of Jesus was holy, harmless, undefiled, without spot, or blemish, or any such thing; but his flesh was like our flesh, in all its points, -- weak, emotional, and unclean. Had his flesh been like that of Angel-Elohim, which is consubstantial with the Eternal Spirit, it would have been unfit for the purpose of the Deity in his manifestation. Sin, whose wages is death, had to be condemned in the nature that had transgressed; a necessity that could only be accomplished by the Word becoming Adamic-Flesh, and not Elohistic. For this cause, "Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death; * * * that he, by the grace of the Deity, might taste death for every man." For this cause, and forasmuch also "as the children (of the Deity) are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy that having the power of death, that is, the diabolos," or elements of corruption in our nature, inciting it to transgression, and therefore called "Sin working death in us" -- Rom. 7:13; Heb. 2:9, 14. Another reason why the Word assumed a lower nature than the Elohistic was, that a basis of future perfection might be laid in obedience under trial. Jesus has been appointed Captain of Salvation in the bringing of many sons to glory. Now these sons in the accident of birth are all "subject to vanity," with inveterate propensities and relative enticements, inciting and tempting them to sin. A captain, therefore, whose nature was primarily consubstantial with the Deity, could not be touched with the feeling of their infirmities. He would be essentially holy and impeccable, and of necessity good. But a necessitated holiness and perfection are not the basis of exaltation to the glories of the Apocalypse. These are to be attained only by conquest of self under trial from without, by which "they come out of great tribulation" -- Apoc. 7:14. Its promises are to those who overcome, as their captain has overcome, when it can be said his victory is apocalyptically complete" -- Apoc. 3:21; 11:15. Hence, then, "it became the Deity to make the captain of the salvation of His many sons perfect through sufferings; and to effect this, he must be of their primary nature, that when the Great Captain and his associates shall rejoice together in the consubstantiality of the Deity, they may all have attained to it upon the principle of voluntary obedience, motivated by faith, and maintained in opposition to incitements within, and enticements and pressure from without. The flesh is, therefore, a necessary basis for this; and making it possible for him to be tempted in all points according to the flesh-likeness, without sin. Hence, though the son of the Deity, and Heir of all things, yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered; and being Made Perfect He became the author of aion-salvation unto all them that obey him" -- Heb. 4:15; 5:8. Perfection of character and substance, then, is the consummation predetermined by the Deity in his manifestation by spirit in Jesus and his brethren. In his wisdom, which is "first pure," he requires perfection of character first; and as a recompense for this, he confers perfection of substance, or consubstantiality with himself. This was the order of the Divine Manifestation in the son of David's daughter; who is the great model after which the One Yahweh-Elohistic development is to be apocalypsed. Perfection of character was first manifested in Jesus, who was faultless before the Deity. The character of Jesus was the character of the Deity -- a mirror in which was reflected the moral attributes peculiar to him, the Word, before manifestation in flesh. Nevertheless, though Jesus could truly say, "I always do those things which please the Father;" yet he said, "there is none good but the Deity,' nor am I yet perfect. He testified his own imperfection in declaring that he could of his own self do nothing; that he must die; and that he would be perfected in the third day of his mission. "Behold," said he, "I cast out demons, and I do cures to-day, and to-morrow, and the third I shall be perfected" -- Luke 13:32. In this third, "he was made perfect" ex anastaseos, from, or out of resurrection, when he "ascended to the Father;" and being thus exalted to consubstantiality with him, Paul speaks of him as, "Having been perfected for the Aion" -- #GREEK#eis ton aiona teteleiomenon#GREEKOFF#; or apocalyptically, "I was dead, and behold I am living for the Aions of the Aions" -- ch. 1:18.
Jesus, then, like all his brethren, is to be considered in two states, each state having a nature peculiar to it. In the former state, "he was crucified through weakness;" but in the after state wherein he now is, "he liveth by the power of the Deity -- 2 Cor. 13:4. In the former state, the flesh was "the filthy garments" with which the Spirit-Word was clothed (Zech. 3:3) ; "the iniquity of us all" that was laid upon him; the soul made an offering for sin" (Isa. 53:6, 10) ; but, as He now is, the filthy garments have been taken away; "his iniquity has passed from him," and he is clothed with "change of raiment." His flesh thus designated has been subjected to the transforming energy of the radiant power of the Eternal Spirit. By this energy his flesh has been transformed into spirit, styled by Paul, pneuma hagiosunes, spirit of holiness. That is, a nature in which there is no filthiness of flesh or spirit. It is therefore Holy Spirit Nature; a nature, generated out of the free spirit radiant from the Eternal Substance. It is therefore like that substance, and hence consubstantial with it. Begotten of spirit it is spirit; as that which is begotten of flesh is flesh -- Jno. 3:6. Therefore, Paul speaks of the exalted Jesus, saying, "he was made into a life imparting spirit;" and elsewhere he styles him "the Lord the Spirit" -- kurios pneuma.
Now Jesus as the Lord the Spirit, is the manifestation represented in the Apocalypse by the title of "the Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; and the Seven Spirits which is before the throne" -- ch. 1:4. In relation to Jesus Anointed as he is now, these Seven Spirits are his Seven Eyes. This appears from ch. 5:6, where John says, "I beheld a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven Horns and Seven Eyes, which are the Seven Spirits of the Deity sent forth into all the earth." Seven is the number of perfection and completeness. The seven spirits are symbolical of the "One Spirit" in perfect manifestation; the seven eyes, of omniscience and perfection of vision; and the seven horns, of omnipotence and perfection of power. Hence, he who was slain is now a perfect manifestation of Deity, omniscient, all-seeing, and all-powerful -- "Jesus Anointed, the faithful witness, the Chief Born from among dead ones, and the Prince of the kings of the earth;" from among those dead, who are to awake from their sleep in the dust of the earth; and Prince in their midst, when they shall reign with him for a thousand years -- ch. 20:6. Jesus, in view of his exaltation to this glory, said to his contemporaries, "Verily I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself" (or apart from the "Seven Spirits") but what he seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son: that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father who hath sent him. The "greater works" than those wrought by Jesus in the days of his flesh, which he said the Father would show him, are the works exhibited in the Apocalypse, which are to be executed at his second appearing. They are the works of the judgment hour, which are to bring all nations into obedience to his rule -- Apoc. 15:4: for "all authority to execute judgment is given to him, because He is Son of man." But the manifestation of Deity in spirit does not terminate in the perfecting of Jesus on the third day. He was the free-will offering of the Eternal Spirit made perfect for acceptance (Lev. 22:21: Heb. 9:14); but he was only one of "the flock of the Deity which he had purchased with his own blood." There were other sheep -- sheep of the fold of Israel, and others not of that fold; all of perfect character, to be "made perfect in one:" that there might be one fold and one shepherd.
All who have heard "the things concerning the kingdom of the Deity and the name of Jesus Anointed," have believed them with true affection, and have been immersed, are addressed in the apostolic epistles as "the perfect." "We speak wisdom," says Paul, "among the perfect;" and again, "Let us, as many as be perfect, be thus minded." But, as in the case of Jesus, this perfection was concomitant with imperfection. It was perfection of spirit, or conscience, resulting from faith and obedience. Paul says, that the law of Moses could not make the worshippers perfect, so that they should have no more conscience of sins. Hence, a person whose sins are covered over, or pardoned, is perfect. His conscience is the spirit of a just man who has been made perfect. Jesus tasted death for him, in which death he becomes interested by believing into him. Thus, "by his one offering the Eternal Spirit hath perfected for a continuance them that are sanctified," or purged in conscience from dead works, to serve the living Deity. Being in Christ, they are invested, or covered over, with him; and, if the truth have had its due effect, they are cleansed from all filthiness of flesh and spirit; and can truly respond to the apocalyptic ascription to him as their Prince, and say, "Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his blood, and made us kings and priests for the Deity even our Father: to him be the glory and the supremacy during the Aions of the Aions. Amen" -- Apoc. 1:5. But, notwithstanding the saints are a community of "spirits of just ones made perfect;" they have while in the flesh, continual experience of imperfection. The experience of Paul is theirs, who says, "Not as though I were already perfect." He was perfect in conscience, but very imperfect in nature; as was also that great cloud of witnesses, of whom the world was not worthy, who all died in faith, not having received the promises; the Deity having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect -- Heb. 11:13, 40. That which is perfect, however, is not yet come; but we wait for it. Perfect in conscience and character, we wait in full assurance of hope, the transformation of our bodies at the Apocalypse of Jesus Anointed; "for in heavens our commonwealth subsists; out of which also we await the deliverer, the Lord Jesus Anointed: who shall transform the body of our humiliation that it may become conformable to the body of his glory, according to the energy of his ability even to subdue all things to himself" -- Phil. 3:20, 21. When this transformation shall have been effected, the prayer of Jesus will have been answered; and his brethren will have been "made perfect in one," as the Father is in Him, and He in the Father, and they one in them both. Such a perfection as this is consubstantiality with the Deity; who, by his spirit is manifested in them all, as the Elohim of Israel, and the Sons of the Highest -- the "Who" he said he would be, when he communed with Moses at the Bush. The transformation of body is posterior to resurrection, as in the case of Jesus. The dead saints are first to be "raised," and afterwards "quickened." "As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." The Son will quicken those only of the raised up whose walk in the present state he approves. Many are "raised up" who are not "quickened." It is only those of the "raised up" who are pleasing to the Son that he quickens. Some of the "raised up" are awaked from the dust, as Daniel tells us, "to the reproaches and contempt of the Olahm" -- ch. 12:2; or, in the words of Jesus, "they come forth for a resurrection of judgment" -- John 5:29. The Son wills not to quicken them, but to drive them from his presence with eternal reprobation. The word quicken in the original is zoopoieo, and signifies to make alive. From the fact that all the raised are not "quickened," and yet are living in postresurrectional contempt, it follows that the quickening is an operation superadded to the formation of living bodies from the dust of the ground. It is the making alive of living saints with life eternal. Hence, there is a certain predetermined order of development in the multitudinous Apocalypse of the Sons of the Deity (Rom. 8:19), as there was in the manifestation of Deity in spirit in the case of Jesus. And this order, as deduced from the premises before us, is apparently as follows:
- Formation of body from the ashes of the dead;
- Impartation of life, making it a Body of Life;
- Appearance at the Tribunal of Christ -- 2 Cor. 5:10;
- Quickening consequent upon approval; in other words, "ascend ing to the Father," so as to be consubstantial with him. -- John 20:17.
Now, this "Apocalypse of the Sons of the Deity" is represented in the Apocalypse by different remarkable symbols. The first is that described in chap. 1:13-16, and styled "Son of Man." This does not represent an individual man. It represents many in One. What John saw among the lightstands was a similitude or likeness -- omoion huio anthropou, like to a Son of man. The voice John heard proclaimed the reality of this likeness to be "the Last" -- the Spirit in the last manifestation; the One Yahweh in many Elohim. In the time of manifestation it is "the Living One," which anterior to apocalypse "was dead," but being apocalypsed, "is living for the Aions of the Aions;" and as "the First" before this apocalypse, and limited to Jesus Anointed, "had the keys of the invisible and of death" -- ch. 1:18.
This apocalyptic plurality in victorious progress was obscurely communicated to Isaiah in the following testimonies: "Who raised up righteousness from the east, ('the kings from a Sun's risings' -- the saints, ) called Him (that which is indicated by the symbol before us) to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made rule over kings?" (Apoc. 2:26, 27). He gave them as dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow (Ephraim and Judah -- Zech. 9:13; 10:3, 4). He (the symbolical Son of man) pursued them, and passed in peace; by the way he had not gone with his feet. Who hath wrought and done this, naming the generations from the beginning (at the Bush)? To which inquiries the Eternal Spirit answers, hwhy yna Ani Yahweh, I who will be rishon the First One, and eth-acharonim, the Last Ones; I -- He. The isles saw, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came. They helped every one his neighbor, and said to his brother, Be of good courage" Isa. 41:2-6. In this passage "the Last" is in the plural, but in Isa. 44:6, it is used in the singular, according to the formula, "Thus saith Yahweh, king of Israel, and his (Israel's) redeemer, Yahweh Tz'vaoth (or, He who will be of hosts, that is, "Commander" of them, ch. 55:4). I the First One and I the Last One; and without me no Elohim. And who as I shall proclaim, and declare it, and set it in order for me since I appointed the people of Olahm? And the things that are coming, and shall come, let them show unto them." The "Last Ones" of the forty-first chapter are comprised in the "Last Ones" of the forty-fourth, which, though expressed in the singular, clearly indicates a plurality by its association with the sentence, "and without me no Elohim" -- without the Spirit which quickeneth there will be no glorified saints, for "the flesh profits nothing;" they are "the people of Olahm," destined to reign with the Christ a thousand years -- Apoc. 20:6. And here the reader is requested to bear in mind, that the titles and expressions by which the Eternal Power designates himself in the scriptures of the prophets are all reproduced in the New Testament and the Apocalyspe, and therein applied to Jesus and his Brethren when "perfected in spirit," or "glorified together" -- Rom. 8:17. Thus, the prophetic Yahweh Elohim styles himself "the First and the Last," so doth the symbolical Son of man; Yahweh says he is the only Rock. Paul speaking of the Rock terms it Christ; Yahweh styles himself King of Israel, Christ Jesus calls himself the same; Yahweh declares that he is a saviour, and that there is none beside him: the Word made flesh was called Jesus, because he should save his people, or be their saviour -- "I, I Yahweh, and there is no saviour beside me" -- Isa. 43:11. John saw the Son of man similitude in the midst of the Seven Lightstands, or aggregate of ecclesias, and heard "the voice of the many waters" from their midst, as indicative of the source from whence the persons constituting the reality symbolized by the similitude are derived. The promises symbolized in ch. 2:7, 11, 17, 26-28; 3:5, 12, 21, are all made to the constituent members of this similitude of the mystical Son of man -- the "One Body" the church when victory is complete. Another vision of the Sons of the Deity in Apocalypse is described in the fourth chapter of the revelation. When John was "in spirit" he saw the similitude of their manifestation when they shall be "in spirit" on the day of the Christ. He saw them enthroned as "the twenty-four elders, clothed in white raiment, and crowned" -- ch. 4:4. He saw them enthroned in a stormy period, when "lightnings, and thunderings, and voices" were issuing forth from their enthroned omnipotence -- ch. 4:5. He saw the going forth of their power into all the earth in the burning of the Seven Spirits -- ver. 5; 5:6, which seven, symbolical of the One Spirit, in judicial exercise upon the dominions of the world, he saw in the similitude of the Four Living Ones, omnipotent and omniscient -- the One Spirit manifested in the redeemed, careering in victorious conflict, and proclaiming the superlative holiness of Yahweh Elohim almighty, the "Who was, and Who is, and Who is coming." -- vers. 7, 8. He saw these in progress through the earth, contending for dominion over it, with the full assurance that they would succeed. "We shall reign," say they, "on the earth" -- ch.5:10. John also beheld the Sons of the Deity in Apocalypse in the mighty angel of chap. 10:1. This "comes down out of the heaven invested with a cloud; and a rainbow upon his head, and his face as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire." His lion-roar proclaims the consummation of "the mystery of the Deity as he hath declared the glad tidings to his servants the prophets" -- ver. 7; which accomplishment ultimates in the constituents of this mighty angel taking possession of the kingdom under the whole heaven, and the consequent establishment of the reign of Yahweh and of his Elohim for the Aions of the Aions. This is the result of the seventh and last trumpet having exhausted the judgment pertaining to it. The consummation of this trumpet, which is also the consummation of the Seventh Seal, is the work of the mighty angel, symbolizing the heaven-descended Jesus and his Brethren, the saints. The Seventh Vial is the work allotted for them to do; and in their mission they march to victory with "face as the sun, and feet as pillars of fire." Again they appear upon the apocalyptic page in chap. 14:1. Here they are the sealed nation of chap. 7:4-12, resurrected with the Lamb, Jesus, in their midst. Their symbolical number, a definite for an unknown, (ch. 7:9, ) is 144,000. In this vision they are stationary, as indicated by "stood" in reference to the Lamb with whom they are. They are standing, awaiting the result of the proclamation which announces to the nations that "the hour of Judgement is come" -- 14:6, 7. They wait the issue of this before they go forth, as "the Seven Spirits in all the earth," to overthrow Babylon, and to torment the worshippers of the Beast and his Image -- 14:8-11. In chap. 15:2, the Sons of the Deity are again apocalypsed. Here they are in the attitude of victory and blessedness. They are in joyous repose, "standing upon a translucent sea, having the harps of the Deity." This sea of nations had been "mingled with fire;" but "they had gotten the victory" over the Beast and his Image, and over his Mark and Number, which as dross had all been destroyed from the sea by the fire of their indignation and power; and they are seen here in "rest from their labours, and their works following them." This scene is the consummation of the Seventh Vial, in which it can be said, "Thy judgments are made manifest" -- 15:4. In getting the victory over the Beast they are apocalypsed in the vision portrayed in chap. 19:11-21. Here the Sons of the Deity appear in military array, in clouds of cavalry, styled "the hosts in the heaven," following "the Word of the Deity" in his campaigns against the nations; which he smites and conquers in treading "the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of the all-powerful Deity." They tread them "as ashes under the soles of their feet," and bind and shut up the Dragon in powerlessness for a thousand years. Having obtained this great victory over the kingdoms and dominions of the world, they are manifested as the occupants of thrones peculiarly their own; which continue undisturbed for a thousand years. Their victory inaugurates the universal dominion foreshadowed in the fifth chapter, from ver. 12 to 14. Peace being thus conquered by their omnipotence, "the spirit is quieted, and the earth is at rest." The Gentile earth and heaven have fled away from before them. With the Captain of their salvation they are enthroned as "the Kings of the earth;" and as a Divine Municipality, possess the glory and honor of the nations -- 21:26. In this relation they are apocalypsed as the New Jerusalem, "the city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is the Deity;" looked for, but not yet seen, by the patriarchs and prophets of the olden time -- Heb. 11:10; Apoc. 21:9-27. For a thousand years this Beloved City is the light of the nations, which are then "all blessed in Abraham and his Seed," according to the gospel of the kingdom. It is the Yahweh-Elohistic municipality, symbolized by one hundred and forty-four cubits, each cubit representing one thousand of the numerical symbol of this "Holy Nation," the Israel of the Deity -- ch. 7:4; 14:1; 1 Pet. 2:9; Gal. 6:16. But, at the ending of these thousand years, during which they have been an Arboretum of healing influences to the nations, the base ingratitude, malice, and envy of human nature find scope to organize rebellion against the Saints and their government. Their camp is beleaguered by countless myriads which gather together against them for war. But the Sons of the Deity are as powerful at the end as at the beginning of the thousand years. Peace and blessedness will not have enervated their incorruptible nature; and they will be prepared to give the rebels a crushing and final overthrow. As the Woman's Seed, their mission is to bruise the Serpent's Head -- Gen. 3:15. The war begun, their burning indignation overflows them as a consuming fire, in which they are "tormented day and night" to the end of the thousand years -- ch. 20:10. Thus "fire comes down from the Deity out of the heaven, and devours them." This establishes "the End," when the kingdom is delivered up to the Father; who will then have put all enemies under the Son's feet. At this crisis death is banished from the earth; the wicked utterly destroyed out of it; and the Deity apocalypsed, or manifested, in his Sons, considerably augmented in number by the accessions of the thousand years, becomes the sole occupant and inheritor of the earth -- 1 Cor. 15:24; Prov. 10:30; Apoc. 21:3, 4. 5. The Blessed.
In Apoc. 1:3, the Spirit pronounces a benediction upon individuals of a certain class in relation to the Apocalypse. They are characterized in the original by the terms ho anaginoskon, and hoi akouontes, and terountes; the first being rendered in the Common Version, "he that readeth;" the second, "they that hear;" and the third, "keep." But these renderings do not express the full sense of the original; for a man may read and hear and keep in memory the words prophesied, and the things commanded, and yet be very far from understanding, and heeding, and watching by the light of, what is written. The benediction of this verse is not pronounced upon such; but on those who answer to the import of the three words selected by the Spirit. The word anaginoskon signifies one who gathers exact knowledge of a matter or thing. Hence, in my translation I have rendered it, "he that knows accurately." Such a one might assume the position of an expositor; for knowing accurately the words of the prophecy, he would be competent to expound them to others. The first part of the benediction, then, falls upon him -- "Blessed he that can expound the words of this prophecy!" But, alas! if the benediction were confined to him only, how few in the generations subsequent to John's would be of the number of the "blessed!" Happily, however, it is not so limited. If one come to know accurately, others, who would never have been able to get an exact knowledge by their own unassisted efforts, may obtain from him such a knowledge as will enable them to be hoi akouontes; that is, not only hearers, but hearers who give heed to what they hear, and understand. They are not to be negligent hearers if they would be blessed; they must keep or "observe narrowly the things which have been written in it." They must scrutinize them, and by their aid "Watch." "Behold, I come as a thief," saith Jesus; "blessed is he that watcheth." But they only can watch to any purpose who "narrowly observe." The Apocalypse was given to this end -- that the servants of the Deity, who are keeping their garments, might be able to discern the signs of the times preceding the apocalypse of Christ; and the real nature of things extant in their several generations. No believer understanding this prophecy could be seduced into fellowship with the clerical institutions of the world; because he would see them all in their native deformity and sin. The reason given why they are blessed who know accurately, give heed to, and observe narrowly, the subject-matter of the prophecy, is "because the time is near." The time of the prophecy. When the prophecy was given, that the Seed of the Woman should bruise the serpent's head, the time was not near. But in respect of this prophecy symbolized in the Apocalypse, "the time is near." It began to be developed soon after it was published; and its development has been progressing onwards to its grand catastrophe ever since. Hence, all this long series of centuries from John to the apocalypse of the Sons of the Deity, and the consummation of their mission in the establishment of the kingdom of their Father, and the overthrow of the enemy, is the time of the prophecy. This long period had its beginning and its end, which are significantly indicated by the fact of the phrase occurring but twice; first in the verse before us, and next in ch. 22:10, at the end of the book; as if they had been so placed to enclose the prophecy between them. In the latter place it was said to John, "Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book; because the time is near." This instruction was contrary to that given to Daniel in ch. 12:4, 9. He was commanded to "shut up the words, and seal the book" of his prophecy, "till the time of the end;" which was an intimation that it would not speak intelligibly till then. But it was not to be so with the Apocalypse. This was to speak intelligibly to the blessed who came to know it accurately, and to give heed to it, in all its course, each generation discerning the signs of its own times, while all "the servants of the Deity," whose especial document it is, had among them a scriptural understanding of the consummation it reveals. "The time is near," then; not that the thousand years should begin, and Christ and the Saints should rule the nations, near to John's time, but that soon after the Apocalypse was revealed to him, the threatenings against the Nicolaitanes, the Balaams, the Jezebels, and the "liars," in the apocalyptic and other ecclesias of the time, in which John's contemporaries were personally interested, should begin to come upon them; and that this judgment, beginning at the house of God, would set in motion the comparatively, or rather politically, quiescent iniquity of the churches, which, in its working, would at length develop the results foreshadowed in the Dragon, the Beasts, and the False Prophet, and the events thereto relating, which, also, in their action and reaction upon one another in their efforts to establish their policies, should create such a situation of affairs in the Habitable, as should favor the interference of Omnipotence for their chastisement and overthrow, and the establishment of the kingdom of God upon the ruin of theirs. The Seed of the Kingdom had been sown in the whole Roman Habitable by the apostles. Ecclesias had been planted everywhere, and wherever they existed they embodied principles subversive of the existing order of things, for if their doctrine prevailed in its purity, converting all the world, as our clergy vainly imagine it is to do, both governors and governed, Judaism and paganism, would of necessity have been abolished; and if perverted and traditionalized, it would still be inimical to the existing order. A corrupted gospel would only intoxicate its believers. This was the condition of such men as Origen, Dionysius, Cyprian, Lactantius, Eusebius, and such like. Like the people and clergy of our day, they had acquired too much light to continue pagans, but not enough to become Christians. They became Catholic Politicians. If there had been no true Christianity, they would have continued pagans; but the truth being established, there existed a basis out of which flesh and blood could evolve a system of abomination agreeable to its own diabolism. This, as we shall see, had attained considerable development in John's period of exile. It was a powerful element in the "ha eisi, the things which do exist," that is, contemporary with John. Many professors were intoxicated; and when they no longer had the apostle, and the faithful men that overlived him, to keep them in check, iniquity broke loose, and gave an impetus to human affairs, and a direction to their policy, which ultimated in the establishment of a system of spiritual prostitution, variously denominated Catholicism, Romanism, Protestantism, and sectarianism, as at this day. But blessed is he that understands the Apocalypse, gives heed to, and observes narrowly the things which have been written therein, for it is utterly impossible for such a man to be imposed upon by any of these. He could as soon become a Mohammedan, as understanding, and honestly believing what he understands, to become a pious professor of any of the churches of what is absurdly enough styled "Christendom," and to imagine thereby that he was a Christian in faith and practice. The teaching of the clergy is opposed to, and subversive of, the Christian faith, and therefore, from alpha to omega, at variance with the doctrine of the Apocalypse in faith, hope, and practice. Blessed is the man who, instructed by its teaching, is delivered from the dogmas and commandments of the craft. SECTION 3. THE SALUTATION.
"John to the Seven Ecclesias which are in the Asia: joy to you and peace from the Who is, and Who was, and Who is coming; and from the Seven Spirits which is before his throne; and from Jesus Anointed, the faithful witness, the Chiefborn from among the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth: to him having loved us and washed us from our sins in his blood, and made us kings and priests for the Deity, even our Father, to him be the glory and the supremacy during the Aions of the Aions. amen" -- apoc. 1:4-6.
As we have seen, John, the beloved apostle, having tarried till the Lord came, and therefore witnessed the devouring of the Mosaic body politic by the Roman Eagles of the East, by the common consent of all reliable antiquity, was honored as the channel through which the wonders of the Apoclaypse should be communicated to men. Having informed us in the first verse whence he derived it, from the fountain and origin of all wisdom and knowledge, from the Theos, or Former and Disposer of all things, through the Anointed Jesus by his messengers and for the Servants of the Father, he now tells us to what special communities of the faithful the invaluable gift was to be confided; that they might multiply it, and circulate it among all the Ecclesias of the Habitable, as the last communication from heaven till the time should come for the glory and power to be manifested before the eyes of all nations. He was not left at liberty to send it to what congregations his own prudence might suggest; but he tells us, in the tenth and eleventh verses, "I came to be in spirit in the Lord's day: and I heard behind me a loud voice as of a trumpet, saying I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last: and what thou beholdest write for a scroll, and send to the Seven Ecclesias which are in Asia; to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea." Hence there was no alternative. The Apocalypse must be sent to these seven. In obedience, therefore, to this command, in writing he primarily addresses himself to "the seven ecclesias which are in the Asia."1. "Church."
In the rendering of the original before us I have not translated the word ekklesiai, but simply transferred it. It is generally rendered churches; but this word does not express the ideas of ecclesia. Church is a corruption of kuriake, which signifies "pertaining to a lord." The Anglo-Saxons took the first and last syllables of the Greek word, as kur-ke, which they spelled Circe; but which is more obviously shown in the Scotch kirke; both of which are equivalent to the modern English Chur-ch. "Something pertaining to a lord" is the etymological signification of the word; and although, in a certain sense, an ecclesia is something pertaining to a lord, and that lord the Lord of heaven and earth, yet the ideas of property and lordship are not contained in the word ecclesia. This is one reason why in this exposition of the Apocalypse we reject the word church as the representative of ecclesia. Another reason is, that ideas are conventionally associated with the word which are altogether unscriptural. Ecclesia never signifies in the Bible "the place which Christians consecrate to the worship of God;" nor does it signify such collective bodies of "professors of religion" as pass current for Christians in and with the world, under the various "names and denominations" of "Christendom." These, and many other ideas associated with the word church, such as churchman, church-warden, church-attire, churchyard, churching of women, and all such papistical foolishness, are altogether foreign from the scriptural use of ecclesia. In order, therefore, to get quit of all the rubbish we exclude church from our apocalyptic vocabulary, and hold on to the word used by the apostles. We have therefore transferred it in our rendering without translation. Still, as an expounder of the word of truth, it is our duty to make the word ecclesia perfectly intelligible to the unlearned reader; for we write principally for the benefit of such. 2. Of Ecclesia.
Ecclesia, then, is a word compounded of ek, "out of," and klesis, "a call, or invitation." Hence an ekklesis, is "an invitation to come out;" and the assembly of people convened in consequence of their acceptance of the invitation is an ecclesia. This is the etymology of the word, which is also in agreement with its scriptural constitution, which we shall briefly explain. The mission of the apostles was to the Jews first, and afterwards to the Gentiles, for the purpose of announcing to them an invitation from the Deity to certain things, which, when accepted, became to the invited "the Hope of the Calling." In delivering this message, or invitation, they distinctly defined the things to which their hearers were invited. In doing this, they informed them of the purpose of Deity -- that He had appointed a day in the which the whole inhabited earth should be ruled in righteousness by the Anointed Jesus, whom he had raised from among the dead -- Dan. 2:44; 7:14; Acts 17:31. But that, before that "day" of the administration of the world's affairs in righteousness should be introduced, He had, in his great mercy and goodness, determined to invite all Jews and Gentiles to share in that kingdom and glory with eternal life, upon certain specified and indispensable conditions. Hence the twelve apostles, constituting "the Apostleship of the Circumcision," were sent to the circumcised; and Paul to the uncircumcised, to invite all ranks and degrees of all nations "to God's Kingdom and Glory" -- 1 Thess. 2:12. The result proposed by this invitation was not the converting of the "immortal souls" of mankind, and the saving of them from eternal conflagration in the apocalyptic "Lake of Fire and Brimstone;" it was not that they might "get religion," and by its efficacy obtain a right and title to mansions in the skies: no such clerical result as these were proposed by the invitation. The invitation was designed, in the words of James, "to take out of the nations a people for His Name." The expected consummation was not the conversion of nations by the apostles and their successors in the faith, but the separation of a class from the general body of mankind, which class should constitute the "One Yahweh-Name;" and that by this Almighty Name the world should be ruled in righteousness. When this name is completed, -- that is, when the last believer shall be inducted into it, and all its elements shall be glorified, -- it will constitute the ecclesia in its largest sense. When glorified, its members will occupy "the heavens;" not the skies, but the apocalyptic heavens, to which the kingdoms of this world belong -- Rev. 11:15; Dan. 7:18, 27. In the present state, they are "an ecclesia of Chiefborns, who have been enrolled for heavens" -- Heb. 12:23. The apostles were engaged in enrolling men and women for the future administration of the world's affairs; so that when they shall attain to dominion they will be "the Heavens that rule." The gospel invites men to enrolment for becoming in due time the stars and constellations of the New Heavens, in which dwells righteousness, that they may shine as such in the kingdom of their Father -- Dan. 12:3; Matt. 13:43. But men and women become elements of this people of the Name upon certain specified and indispensable conditions. They are invited to God's kingdom and glory; and they accept the invitation in believing the gospel of the kingdom and name, and subjecting themselves to "the obedience of faith." What Paul styles "the wholesome words of the Lord Jesus," are these: "He having believed and been baptized shall be saved; but he having not believed shall be condemned." If it be asked, what is a man required to believe? The Lord Jesus replies in the previous verse, "The Gospel" -- Mark 16:15, 16. There is no salvation without belief of, and obedience to this. Hence when Philip, one of the seven deacons, preached to the Samaritans, it is stated in Acts 8:12, that "when they believed Philip evangelizing the things concerning the Kingdom of the Deity, and of the Name of the Anointed Jesus, they were immersed, both men and women." The things of the Kingdom and the Name are the great subject-matter of the Gospel of God, "promised before," says Paul, "through the Prophets in holy writings" -- Rom. 1:2: and "the power of God for salvation to every one who believes." Without this power none can be saved; hence the immense importance of "the gospel of the kingdom," which is totally different to anything preached for salvation by the clergy. "The things" must be known, understood, believed, and obeyed, with an honest and good heart. This is indispensable. But the work before me is not the exposition of the gospel; but the exposition of the Apocalypse for the benefit of those who have already comprehended and obeyed the gospel. Nevertheless, for the benefit of any sincere reader who is ignorant, we refer him to the Covenants made with Abraham and David, and to the testimony concerning Jesus in the writings of the apostles, and to the preaching by these as illustrated in the Acts, for an answer to the question, "What are the things to be believed for salvation?" -- See Gen. 12:1-3, 7; 13:14, 15; 15:6, 7, 8-21; 17; 22; 1 Chron. 17:11-15; Matt. 16; Acts 2; 3; 8; 10; 26:6, 7; 28:20, 23. Now when men and women became Christians after the apostolic fashion, (and this is the only way of any account,) they became members of "the Ecclesia of Chiefborns." They were addressed in the apostolic epistles as klhtoi kletoi, "the called," or invited, "of Jesus Anointed;" as "made holy in Jesus Anointed, called Saints," or holy ones; as "the faithful in the Anointed Jesus;" as "the faithful brethren in an Anointed One;" and as "the Ecclesia in God the Father, and in the Lord, Jesus Anointed." They, being in the Deity and in the Anointed One, and the anointing being in them, were a manifestation of Deity in flesh; and were addressed by Paul, saying thus, "Ye are all Sons of Deity in the Anointed Jesus through the faith: for as many as have been immersed into the Anointed, have put on the Anointed. There is (in him) neither Jew nor Greek; there is (in him) neither slave nor freeman; nor is there (in him) male and female: for ye are all one in the Anointed Jesus: and if ye be the Anointed's, then are ye the seed of Abraham, and Heirs according to the promise" -- Gal. 3:26-29. From these premises, then, it is evident that an Ecclesia is a community of men and women, who have accepted an invitation to the kingdom and glory of the Deity; in believing the promises and testimonies concerning the kingdom and name of Jesus Anointed; and in being immersed into him: by which faith and obedience they have been "washed from their sins in his blood; and made kings and priests to the Deity, even to the Father;" and so separated from the body of mankind for the Age to Come. The Ecclesia of Chiefborns is, therefore, not the Kingdom of God, as church, in the clerical sense, is styled; but it is the community of the Heirs of the Kingdom; and every one knows, or ought to know, the difference between the heirs of an estate, and the estate itself. From these premises, the reader will readily perceive that the distinction existing between church in the usual acceptation, and ecclesia as defined above, is not fanciful, but real and important. The churches of the Gentiles are not ecclesia. They make no pretensions to be such, according to the definition I have demonstrated. The members of the churches, judging from their prayers, extemporized and printed, are not saints, but "miserable sinners." This is the designation imposed upon themselves by the most pious of the most exquisitely orthodox establishments. Thus the evangelical divines, who lead the stereotyped devotions of the Fabers, the Flemmings, the Elliots, the Crolys, the Bickersteths, and McNeils, send up their voices to heaven, saying, Lord, have mercy upon us miserable sinners!" Now, if the most pious and orthodox denominate themselves thus, what must the schismatics of the heterodox conventicles be! They all, doubtless, know themselves; and as they one and all proclaim themselves to be miserable sinners, who have gone astray like lost sheep, it would be presumption in me to dispute it. I accept, therefore, their condemnation of themselves; and am, consequently, justified in saying that a church, as distinguished from an Ecclesia, is a community of miserable sinners, possessed by a lord commonly known as "the god of this world." It is not wonderful, then, that "all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life," should reign in the pulpits and all the pews. Churchmen, since the days of Eusebius, to go no further back, will have it that the church is the kingdom of God. Well, we grant it, with the understanding, that the God whose kingdom it is claimed to be is Sin, the great god, or power, or the world. There is nothing like understanding, and being understood, so that we may be able to call things by their right names. Here we have the line of demarcation broadly and distinctly drawn. The Ecclesias of the Scriptures are "the Heritages," or kleroi, the true clergies of the Deity, (1 Pet. 5:3, ) who shall possess the earth and all that it contains; while the churches are the Kingdom of Sin, possessed and administered by his clergy for their own glory and behoof. This being indisputable, the reader will understand that the Apocalypse is not addressed to the churches of "Christendom;" neither is the salutation of joy and peace to them. Joy and peace are only for the Saints in the Anointed Jesus, who know, and have obeyed the truth, having been purified thereby -- 1 Pet. 1:22. The salutations of the scriptures are only for these; never for "miserable sinners," whose case we dismiss for the present with the remark, that the apostles never commenced their epistles with "joy and peace to you, miserable sinners, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Anointed; but on the contrary, "to you, the Saints and faithful." God is the Father, and Jesus the Lord, only of the enlightened and obedient; hence to these only did they send greeting. 3. Seven Ecclesias.
The Apocalypse is remarkable for the number seven. The first time it is used in the Bible is in Gen. 2:2, "On the seventh day Elohim ended his work which he had made; and he rested (or ceased) on the seventh day from all his work which he had made." In this, the ideas connected with the number seven are completion and cessation. Any thing denominated by seven, is complete; it lacks nothing to make it perfect, and beyond it nothing remains to be accomplished.
The seven ecclesias are specified by name in the eleventh verse of the chapter before us; and upon the principle of completeness, seven were selected rather than any other number, to indicate that what was written to the seven was written to all the "One Body" throughout the Habitable in seven successive states thereof. No one of the ecclesias existed that could say it had no interest in the things apocalypsed.
The number seven was also associated with the ecclesias to denote their relationship to the parabolic holy place. They were the anti-typical lightstands -- the heavenly things through which the darkness of the world was to be dispelled -- the Ecclesia of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth -- 1 Tim. 3:15.
They were located rn th asia, in the Asia, that is, in that province of Asia Minor, or Anatolia, called Asia, where their several cities, then in a highly flourishing condition, were situated not very far distant from each other. The salutation was to these as the representatives of the saints and faithful everywhere. And how highly honorable to them, when we consider who they were, and the exalted personage whence it came. They were communities of "the poor of this world," with not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble among them. To such, and not to the princes and potentates of the world, did the Creator of the universe salute them through John with "joy and peace." He presents himself to them as Deity by the Seven Spirits in Jesus the Anointed -- The Divine Logos In Flesh. He styles him self ho on, "He who is," which is equivalent to declaring that he is not dead, but "is risen, as he said;" also ho en, "He who was" -- He that is risen is the same as He who was before Abraham, and before the crucifixion: and ho erchomenos, "He that is coming" in power and great glory. But that they might not separate him in their minds from the anointing, the salutation is said to come from Him, "and from the Seven Spirits which is before the throne of him;" and that the source of the salutation may still stand out in bolder relief, it is said to proceed "from Jesus Anointed," who is "Deity manifested in flesh;" Jesus is the flesh, and the Seven Spirits the Deity with which the resurrected flesh is anointed so as to be omniscient and almighty. Thus combined, the salutation is from "the Lord the Spirit." He is styled "the faithful witness," because he came into the world that he might bear witness unto the truth; and did witness it before Pontius Pilate, in the face of the death which his confession brought upon him. "I am the King of the Jews," said he, and for that avowal he was put to death upon the accursed tree -- John 18:33, 37; 19:3, 12, 14, 19; 1 Tim 6:13. But though he suffered thus, he was "justified by spirit," and became "the Cheifborn from among dead ones," that in all things he might have the preeminence. He is also styled "the Prince of the Kings of the earth." These, however, are not the existing "crowned heads," nor the wearers of crowns in the days of John, but those kings and priests whom he hath made such unto the Deity, his Father and theirs. He is Prince, or Chief Priest and King of these, who shall with Him rule the Habitable in righteousness, and hence his apocalyptic title, "King of kings and Lord of lords" -- Rev. 17:14; 19:16: "to Him," says John, "be the glory and the supreme authority during the Aions of the Aions. Amen."
There is a peculiarity in our rendering of this salutation which deserves a little further attention than we have yet given it. The form of speech is this, "from the Seven Spirits which is before his throne." This is an ungrammatical form of words. Both Greek and English grammar require that the verb "is" should be "are," and in the English Version it is so rendered. But verbal accuracy would lead to a doctrinal mistake. It is written in the Greek, "Seven Spirits which is" -- a estinin; and the reason is, that these seven are not seven distinct and independent spirits, but the One Spirit in sevenfold or perfect manifestation. Paul says, "there is One Spirit, even as ye are called in One Hope of your invitation;" and "there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit;" and "by One Spirit we were all immersed into One Body; and have been all made to drink into One Spirit" -- Eph. 4:4; 1 Cor. 12:4, 13. Hence "seven" prefixed to "spirits" does not indicate plurality of spirits, but perfection in wisdom, knowledge, and power of one and the same spirit; so that this perfection is expressed by plurality of figure, while the oneness of the Spirit is expressed ungrammatically by the verb in the singular. The phrase, therefore, "the Seven Spirits which is," is a Hebraism like that in Gen. 1:1, Myhla arb bra elhym, "Mighty Ones he created" -- cases in which the rules of grammarians are ignored for the convenience of the truth. 4. "For Ever and Ever."
In response to the salutation from the Deity manifested by spirit in Jesus Anointed, John, as the representative of earth's future kings, ascribes to him as their Prince, "the glory and the supremacy during the Aions of the Aions." In the English version, those words in italics are rendered "for ever and ever;" and represent to the Angio-Saxon mind the idea of unlimited futurity, commonly styled Eternity. This acceptation of the phrase leads to the conclusion, that the supremacy of Jesus as Prince-Priest and King of a priestly dominion on earth, is to be eternal; a notion which implies that sin and death are destined to obtain on this planet eternally. But this conclusion is altogether set aside by the teaching of the New Testament. In 1 Cor. 15:23, Paul lays down a certain order of future development; as, first, "they who are Christ's, made alive in his presence;" second, "the End." Between these two epochs there is a long interval, the duration of which Paul does not define; but, having notified the arrival of "the end," he tells us what is to come to pass then. He says, that the kingdom that had been existing during said interval is to be "delivered up" to the Divine Father; and that this delivering up is consequent upon "all rule, authority, and power" having been "put down:" for the reign of the Son of man is decreed of Heaven to continue till this result shall be consummated. "He must reign Till he (the Father) have put all enemies under his feet" -- Ps. 8:6; 110:1. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." The Son, then, is to reign as the Father's kings and priests, until death shall be abolished from the earth. This implies the previous extermination of sin; for death is the wages of sin; and wages are not paid where services are not rendered. We see, then, that the Son of man is not to reign as the majesty of a priestly kingdom after sin and death are rooted out; and be it remembered, that the kingdom the apocalypse exhibits is the dominion of the Father's kings and priests. It contains but few hints of what is to be the order of things upon earth after "the End" indicated by Paul. The Melchizedec Kingdom of the Deity, subduing and reconciling terrestrial things to him, is the great theme of its visions and descriptions. When the end for which it will be established is accomplished, it will be delivered up, and then "the supremacy" of the Son, both in respect of "the Head" and "the Body," in other words, of Jesus and his Brethren, will cease. An end will be put to it. During the long interval of a thousand years, the supremacy of the saints is decreed. For all that time, two classes will exist contemporaneously upon earth -- the world-rulers, incorruptible and deathless; and the subject-world of nations, peccable and mortal. Flesh and blood cannot possess this Melchizedec or priestly kingdom. Jesus and the Saints alone can have it; so that while it continues, their supremacy must and will be upheld against all aspirations of the flesh. But when the time arrives for flesh and blood, or "corruption," to be abolished from the earth; and for all its future inhabitants to become Elohim. or incorruptible and deathless beings, consubstantial with Deity; the Elohim of the previous thousand years will no longer be priests offering gifts and sacrifices for them to the Deity. The priestly supremacy will terminate with the cessation of the necessity which originated it; and the Deity by spirit will be the all things in them all. Thus, "when all things shall be subdued unto him (the Son), then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him (the Father) that put all things under him, that the Deity may be the all things in all."
Hence, John, who was in accord with Paul, did not ascribe an eternal supremacy to the Son, as taught by Anglo-Saxonism. He was not contemplating the position of Jesus in a postmillennial order of things; but his position in relation to the Millennial Dominion. In reference to this, he said, "to Him the glory and supremacy during the Aions of the Aions." "For ever and ever," or even its parallel in Daniel, "for ever, even for ever and ever," are phrases, then, that do not indicate "eternity," being used of things which are in their nature, or constitution, terminable. But we must look to the original, and see what can be made of that. In the text of the Apocalypse, the phrase is eis tous aionas ton aionon. This occurs fourteen times, and is uniformly rendered "for ever and ever," except in chap. 1:18, where it is rendered evermore. In chap. 14:11, the definite article is omitted: the reading is, therefore, eis aionas aionon. Now, as the Apocalypse treats of the same subject as that revealed to Daniel in his seventh chapter, namely, the kingdom and conquests of the Saints, we ought to find the Chaldee original of this formula, so frequently occurrent in the New Testament. And this we do in the eighteenth verse of that chapter. In this, the time is specified how long the Saints shall possess the kingdom; the same kingdom that Daniel had told Nebuchadnezzar should "stand ayml[lleahlmayyah, for Olahms" -- chap. 2:44 : -- "they shall possess the kingdom ad ahlmah, wead ahlahm ahlmaiyah, for an Ahlmah, even for an Ahlmah of Ahlmahs." The Chaldee word ahlmah is identical with the Hebrew mlv olahm; and is represented in the Greek by aiwv, though in etymology different. The Hebrew and Chaldee nouns are derived from the verb ahlam, "to hide, to conceal." Hence an Olahm, in relation to time is a period hidden or concealed; hidden in the past, or concealed in the future. In prophecy, it designates absolutely a certain period to exist; but without defining its beginning or ending. The kingdom belonging to the Saints of the Most High Ones (elyonin) is to "stand for hidden periods," or olahms, comprised in one hidden period, or Olahm which must, therefore, be longer than all of them together. Hence this will be a Hidden Period of Hidden Periods, or an Olahm, even "an Olahm of Olahms." I have a translation of Dan. 7:18 before me which renders the time the Saints are to possess the kingdom by the formula, "for eternity, even for eternity of eternity." This, however, is a mere flourish, and no translation, and bears on the face of it proof that the inventor of the form knew nothing about the nature of the kingdom, nor the purpose for which it is to be established. As I have shown, the kingdom is not to continue eternally; so that the Saints cannot hold it for eternity; and as the scripture is true, they do not use the word here in the sense of ever and eternity.
The duration of this Chaldee formula may be approximated from another direction. Thus, the kingdom the Saints are to take is the dominion of the lion, the bear, and the leopard, three of Daniel's four beasts. They are utterly to destroy the fourth, but the political organizations represented by the other three, are to be continued in existence, but without sovereignty. While in existence, they are under the dominion of the Saints, whose administrations will not be superseded by other rulers. The existence of these organizations subjectively to the Saints is defined; and consequently, the duration of their holding of the kingdom is thereby defined likewise. In ch. 7:12, it says, "a prolonging in life was given the three beasts ad-z'man we-iddan, during an appointed time and a set time." This, then, is the duration of the Olahm, or Ahlmah, of the kingdom -- a hidden period containing an appointed time and a set time. The Apocalypse has revealed the number of years contained in these kinds of time, in telling us how long the Saints are to reign with Christ after binding the Dragon; whose dominion at the appearing of Christ covers the territories of the polities symbolized by the three beasts. They are to reign thenceforth with him during a thousand years -- Apoc. 20:6. The period consists of "a set time," and "an appointed time." A set time is indicated by iddan, which is equivalent to the Hebrew moaid, the word used in Gen. 17:21, where it is said, "Sarah shall bear unto thee Isaac, at this set time in the next year." This is, then, a period of gestation, which consists of 280 days; a day for a year in symbolic time. This, deducted from 1,000, leaves 720 years for the "appointed time;" or two times of 360 years each. Daniel did not discern "what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in him did signify" by the z'man we-iddan, nor by the ahlmah of ahlmahs; but not so with ourselves, -- for the Father has apocalypsed the solution in the thousand years. The reader will, therefore, understand, that the prophets, under divine inspiration, predicted the development in a future remote from their day, of a period that should continue "for a season and a time." They did not know when it should begin, nor what length of time was meant by the formula; and consequently, could not tell when it should come to an end: but that such a period should exist, and be of a very peculiar character, even most glorious to all the righteous who should be contemporary with it, they were all agreed, as is plainly to be seen in all their writings. "I heard," says Daniel, "but I understood not; for the words were closed up and sealed till the time of the end." For this reason, the period was called Olahm, or the Hidden; beyond which the prophets, and those instructed by them, did not often look. They saw it was terminable: and therefore if they spoke of anything not restricted to it, they would say, ad-olahm we-ad, "during the hidden period and beyond." The promises made to Abraham and to David had especial reference to this Olahm; and the Apocalypse shows symbolically how the Olahm is to be introduced, and how the promises to those patriarchs are to be performed. Thus, the Spirit said to Abraham in regard to Canaan, "All the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed ad-olahm, during a hidden period." And again, reminding Israel of the same promise, He says by Jeremiah, "If ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings * * * I will cause you to dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers l'min-olahm we-ad olahm for from (the beginning of) the hidden period, and during the hidden period;" which in the Common Version is rendered "for ever and ever," as though the Israelites were destined to be flesh and blood occupants of Canaan for eternity! The covenant made with David is styled by him in his last words, "a covenant of olahm." In the Common Version this is rendered "an everlasting covenant;" but it ought to be termed "a covenant of the hidden period." It was so styled, because it was to be established then; and as the subject-matter of this covenant is the throne symbolized in Apoc. 4, and the kingdom taken possession of by the Saints in ch. 11:15; Dan. 7:18, it is styled "a kingdom of Olahm, " or the kingdom pertaining to the hidden period. The Mosaic Period was on Olahm; for, although the Israelites knew when it began, none of them, not even Jesus, nor the angels, knew when it would come to an end. This is proved by Mark 13:32. When the Mosaic Heaven and Earth should pass away, that olahm would be ended, as it was a.d. 72. In this long period of 1695 years, there were numerous lesser periods, as the jubilees, or periods of restitution, recurring every fifty years. Hence the Mosaic was an Olahm of Olahms, one long period containing many lesser ones. But this system of periods did not terminate in itself. It was typical, or representative, of times and seasons belonging to the throne and kingdom of the saints. Thus, in Apoc. 14:1-5, we have the Pentecost in the Kingdom; in ver. 6, 7, the trumpet of the Jubilee sounding; and in vers. 8-11, the great and terrible day of national atonement, ultimating in the conquest of the nations, and their subjection to Israel's Elohim for the olahm -- Lev. 25:8-17, 39-46. Nor is this confined to the introduction of the olahm of the kingdom; there are periodically recurring olahms during all the thousand years, indicated by the observance of the Passover and Feast of Tabernacles to be observed by all nations -- Ezek. 45:21; Zech. 14:16-19. For this cause, therefore, the thousand years is called in Daniel "an Olahm, even an Olahm of Olahms; " but by no means an eternity. Presuming, then, that the reader comprehends the matter thus far, I proceed to remark, that the Seventy Israelites who translated the prophets into Greek for the king of Egypt, substituted for olahm the word AION. But, although this does not express the same idea as olahm, it was about as good a word as they could select. It was indefinite; as indefinite as olahm; for it neither defined the beginning nor the end of the period it was chosen to represent. Aion is compounded of aei and on. The word aei is from ao, aeo, or aemi, signifying primarily, "to blow, to breathe;" secondly, "to live, to pass or spend time." From this derivation aei would present the idea of a going on; and as a particle of time is expressive of that which is unlimited or undefined; "not so much that which cannot be bounded as that which is not bounded -- which is not attempted to be defined, but is considered as going on, on, on." Aei, therefore, alone, would not express the true idea of eternity, but only of time, whose end is not bounded by any specification. "This flowing word, indicative of passing time, must be connected with, and, as it were, anchored upon another of more stability, in order to give it any kind of fixedness." This other word is on, the participle of that verb of existence which expresses, in its philosophical sense, the highest mode of being. One part of the compound word, then, is unconfined; the other, since on is of all tenses, altogether excludes the idea of time. Aion, then, is not time, long or short, bounded or endless. Time is said to move in a circle, on account of its likeness to an Aion; hence an aion, and a cycle or circle, are analogous. It is therefore used in the idefinite sense of life, existence, or state of being. Thus, that end which contains the period of each existence is called is aion. The aion of man is threescore years and ten; while the aion of Deity is "from everlasting to everlasting." It is, therefore, a course of time, aei, circling around, wv, being; the circling depending upon the nature of the being circled. Hence, Deity being essentially life, the circling of time can never cease in relation to him; but priesthood and man being essentially terminable, the circling of time around them cannot always continue. The diameters of their aions may be measured by their continuance. "The Aions of the Aions" in the places cited, are the period of the apocalyptic reign, which is a priestly administration "after the Order of Melchizedec;" and therefore, of necessity, not eternal. Aristotle, whose mother tongue was Greek, says, that "the period of each existence is its aion." The thousand years is therefore the Aion of the Melchizedec Reign, containing aions or cycles within itself, in which Jesus, anointed with the Seven Spirits, will have and bear the glory, and exercise the supreme authority in the midst of his associates, over the nations of the earth to its utmost bounds. But in the mythology of the heathen, the heaven of their vain imagination, which they placed somewhere above the atmospheric firmament, and having for its supposed existences the gods of "High Olympus," and the ghosts of Elysium -- was an Aion, and so entitled: and as its presumed existences were regarded as of infinite duration, this aion with them was eternity. Hence, also, those styling themselves "members of the church," whose minds are traditionally embued with the vain philosophy of the Greeks, believe in the Aion of the heathen, styling it "heaven beyond the skies," whose existences they allege are the ideas they call "God," "Jesus," "angels" evolved from the souls of infants, ghosts of departed saints, etc. This they call eternity -- the Pago-Greek and Latin, the Catholic, Papal, and Protestant Eternity: and as the last three have had the translation of the scriptures under their control, and know nothing of any other Aion than an imaginary superatmospheric eternity, they almost universally render eis ton Aiona, and its kindred forms, by "for ever," and "for ever, even for ever and ever;" and adjectively, by "eternal." Now, to simplify this matter as much as possible, I have constructed the following diagram, which will perhaps enable the reader to comprehend more easily the explanation we have presented of the scripture Olahms and Aions. The Aion of Sin and Death, 7000 Years In this diagram, the parallelogram a b c d represents a period of 7000 years from the Creation until "the End," when the Son delivers up the kingdom to the Divine Father; and Death is abolished. It is the period during which sin and death exist on earth, and contains three Aions and four Intervals. The aions are indicated by circular lines; and the intervals of time elapsing from the end of one aion to the beginning of a subsequent one, by parallel lines. The perpendicular line a c indicates the Era of the Creation. The parallel lines between it and the first circle, represent the time that elapsed to The Fall. The first circle represents the Antediluvian Olahm, or Aion; and the figures in its diameter indicate that it terminated 1656 years from the Creation by the Flood. The second interval, or space between the first and second circles, represents the period from the Flood to the typical confirmation of the Covenant of the land with Abraham, a duration of 377 years. The second circle has a crescentic prefix on the left. In the crescent are the figures 430, which denote that it represents a period of that number of years from the confirmation of the Land Covenant to the night on which the Twelve Tribes left Egypt for the purpose of taking possession of it. The circle itself represents a duration of 1695 years, which terminated at the burning of the Temple by the Romans. This was the Mosaic Aion: and commenced at the baptism of Israel into Moses in the cloud and in the Red Sea -- 1 Cor. 10:1. The circle and its prefix enclose the whole period of 430 + 1695 = 2125 years; it embraced the aiones kai geneas, the Aions and Generations; and may therefore be termed the Abrahamo-Mosaic Aion, which, having waxed old, vanished away in blood and fire and vapor of smoke -- Heb. 8:13; Acts 2:19. The third interval, which lies between the second and third circles of the diagram, indicates the series of years which has already elapsed since the destruction of Jerusalem, and may yet elapse to the apocalypse of the Sons of the Deity in power and great glory to restore the kingdom again to Israel, an event which marks the commencement of the Regeneration. We have defined this interval by 1796 years from the destruction of the Holy City in the Vulg. Era 70. By the end of this period "the kingdoms of the World" will be about to become the kingdoms "of the Lord and of his Anointed; and he shall reign during the Aions of the aions" Rev. 11:15; the same phrase as in ch. 1:6. The end of this long period of 1796 years will terminate in the Vulg. Era 1864. About this epoch will begin as we believe, the wonders that are to introduce a thorough and complete revolution of human affairs, the representation of which enters largely into the scenes of the Apocalypse. The third circle of the diagram has also a crescentic prefix on the left, only smaller than the preceding. I have made it smaller because it represents a shorter period -- only 40 years, styled in the Apocalypse "the Hour of Judgment." It is the antitype to the 40 years in the wilderness, and the Aion of the Sickles (Rev. 14:14-20) introductory to the third circle, whose diameter is 1000 years. This is "the Aions of the aions," which are referred to thirteen times in the Apocalypse. It may be styled the Abrahamo-Messianic Cycle, because in it is fully displayed the covenant with Abraham concerning Messiah, Israel, and the Nations. This cycle of aions is "the Day of Christ," which Abraham, who walked by faith, rejoiced in foreseeing. It is commonly called "the Millennium," because of its continuance mille anni, a 1000 years. To this circle belong to xulon tes zoes, "the Wood of the Life," and the New Jerusalem. The Gospel treats of this aion, because it is the Aion of the kingdom, and styled by Paul "the Aion to Come" -- Heb. 6:5. No one has ever heard the gospel who is ignorant of the doctrine concerning this Aion -- the cycle enclosing the hope of all the faithful of patriarchal and Mosaic times. It ends about the Annus Mundi 6994. The fourth interval of the diagram represents the "Little Season," which intervenes between the termination of the 1000 years and the end of the 7000 years of the parallelogram. It is the brief period referred to in Rev. 20:3, 7, 8, in which the Dragon-power revives, and, as the Seed of the Old Serpent, contends once more with the Seed of the Woman for supreme authority over the earth. How long after the end of A.M. 7000 the contest may continue, is not apocalypsed. It will terminate, however, in the suppression of the rebellion, and the restoration of Yahweh's sovereignty throughout the earth. It is at this crisis that Sin, and "Death the wages of Sin," are finally abolished, with "every curse." The perpendicular line b d indicates the end of the 7000 years from the Creation. The fourth circle of the diagram represents ad. This monosyllable signifies "beyond," and is part of the form of works, lai-Olahm wah-Ed, so frequently used in Moses and the prophets in speaking of Messiah's aion and Beyond. It is the Aion of the New Things to be created by the Eternal Power, when the 7000 years shall have passed away -- Rev. 21:5. Of the duration of this the Apocalypse says nothing. It may or it may not be boundless, but this we cannot tell. Whatever may be its constitution, of this we are certain, that sin, curse, and death will have no more place in the earth, or the nature of its inhabitants. Its circling will be around incorruptibility and life.
1. "He is Coming"
"Behold he is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see him, and whosoever pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth shall wail before him. Yea, verily; so let it be." -- APOC. 1:7.
The Apocalypse begins immediately after the salutation with the announcement of the coming of Deity in Spirit, and concludes with the declaration, that "He who testifies these things (written in the Apocalypse) says, Verily, I come quickly;" and it points us also to the time when that coming may be expected, and in what sense "quickly" is to be understood in the warning recorded in ch. 16:15, beginning, "Behold, I come as a thief! Blessed is he that watcheth," and so forth.
No event is more prominently set forth in the apostolic writings than the coming of the Lord Jesus in power and great glory. The prediction is not peculiar to the Apocalypse, though it is made one of its most glorious themes, or rather the most glorious of all.In these words is an exclamation which is designed to direct the reader's attention to Jesus and the Saints, as the oJ ercomeno", ho Erchomenos, the One Yahweh who is coming as the anointed with the Seven Spirits -- "Behold, he is coming with the clouds." Thus, when Jesus was preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, he said, "The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his messengers; and then he shall reward every man according to his works" -- Matt. 16:27. And again, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy messengers with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory" -- ch. 25:31. And referring to this time, he also said, "I, Amen, say to you, that ye (my apostles) who followed me, in the Regeneration when the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, ruling the Twelve Tribes of Israel; * * * ye shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit Life Aionian" -- ch. 19:28. In these three testimonies, Jesus plainly teaches,
- That the Son will come in glory and power;
- That He will come with Holy Ones;
- That He comes to ascend and sit upon the throne of His glory;
- That the Regeneration shall be at this epoch;
- That the time for rewarding men according to their works is in this Regeneration Era; and,
- That in this Regeneration Era the thrones of the house of Israel will exist again, and be occupied by the Twelve Apostles, then possessed of the life pertaining to the Aion of the Son.
Such are the points inculcated in the teaching of the Seven Spirits, or Logos, with which the Son of David's daughter was anointed without measure. It is in strict accordance also with the teaching of the same Spirit in the prophets. Thus, Jude testifies that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, Yahweh cometh in his holy myriads (en muriasin hagias autou) to execute judgment upon all" -- ver. 14. This is precisely what Jesus taught. Yahweh, the Eternal Spirit, in Holy Myriads, in clouds of Holy Ones, constituting "One Yahweh and One Name," cometh to execute judgment upon all; and in so doing, to reward every man according to his works. Yahweh in his Holy Myriads is the Son of man -- Daniel's #HEBREW#Mydb vwbl dxa-vya#HEBREWOFF# Man of one -- ch. 10:5, referred to by Jesus in the remarkable testimonies already adduced. Moses, also, referring to the apocalypse of Yahweh,, says, in Deut. 33:26: "There is none like the Ail of Yeshurun, riding heavens in thy help, and in his Majesty of Clouds. Mighty Ones of the East is the refuge, even beneath the Powers of Olahm: and he shall drive out the enemy from before thy faces, and shall say, Destroy. Israel then shall dwell safely: the fountain of Jacob (shall be) alone upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall distil dew. Thy blessings, O Israel (are these:) who is like thee, O people saved by Yahweh, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy splendor? And thine enemies shall waste away because of thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places." This testimony of Moses is symbolized in the Apocalypse. Hence the apocalyptic coming of Eternal Power manifested in Spirit-flesh, is the Ail of Yeshurun riding heavens in his clouds of majesty to help Daniel's people scattered among all nations. His clouds are the Mighty Ones of the East, the Powers of the Millennium, or Age to Come, styled in Rev. 16:12, "the Kings from a Sun's risings." These are Israel's refuge, who shall expel the enemy from the covenant land, and cause them to dwell in it safely. They are the shield and sword of Israel, who shall make them a glorious nation, and subject all the nations to the majesty of Jacob. I do not propose to adduce all that might be quoted from the prophets concerning the coming of Messiah in his glory and power, but simply a specimen, to show upon what the sayings of the Apocalypse are founded. I shall therefore only add one or two more. Thus, in Isaiah 28:16, it is written, "Behold, saith Adonai Yahweh, I lay in Zion for a foundation a Stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation." Now this stone has been tried, but it has not yet been laid in Zion; for when laid, it is a foundation that will not be removed. Jesus is the stone; but hitherto he has proved only "a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offence" to Israel, as the same prophet predicted in ch. 8:14. It is necessary, therefore, that he return to Jerusalem, as he himself predicted in Matt. 23:39, that his power may be established there, and not be plucked up; and that it may be proclaimed to the cities of Judah, saying, "Behold your Elohim." Hence, because of this necessity, the same prophet has said, in ch. 40:10, "Behold, Adonai Yahweh will come in might, and his power (shall be) a ruler for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him;" or, as Jesus taught, "when he comes, then he shall reward every man according to his work." His work has to be performed after he comes. Hitherto, he has only been making preparation; when this is complete, then "Behold, he comes with the clouds!" And having accomplished the work he comes to do, then, as Jesus taught, "the Son of man will sit upon the throne of his glory;" or, as Isaiah expresses it in ch. 24:23, "Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when Yahweh of armies shall reign on Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem; and in the presence of his Ancients (there shall be) glory." "And in this mountain, Yahweh of armies shall make unto all the peoples a feast of fat things. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all the peoples, and the veil that is spread over all the nations. And he will swallow up death in victory; and Adonai Yahweh will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth" -- 25:6-8. Such is the work to be accomplished when he comes with the clouds; a work which will constitute Zion a saved city, and the worker her salvation; hence the prophet speaks on this wise: "Say ye to the Daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him" -- ch. 62:11. But, not only did Enoch, Moses, Isaiah, and indeed all the prophets, predict the coming of Messiah in power and great glory, according to the teaching also of Jesus himself before his ascension; but the apostles also, after that remarkable event, dwelt often and fondly upon it, as the great theme of hope and expectation. Thus, after they had been assured by angelic personages that "the same Jesus who had been taken up from them into the heaven should so come in like manner as they had seen him go into the heaven" (Acts 1:11), they went forth and proclaimed it in all the habitable. On the day of Pentecost, Peter declared that he who had ascended, even Jesus whom they had crucified, had been raised from the dead, for the future purpose of sitting upon the throne of David his ancestor, which every Jew present knew could only be fulfilled by Jesus coming back to Jerusalem in power; for to no other locality did the throne, or seat, of David's kingdom belong -- Acts 2:30. And not long after this, he told the Israelites in the temple, that the absence of Jesus from Palestine was only temporary. "The Lord," said he, "shall send the Anointed Jesus (who was before preached) unto you, whom heaven indeed must retain until times of restoration of all things, of which the Deity hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, ap' aionos, from the Aion's beginning." In other words, when "the times and seasons" apocalypsed shall arrive, the era of Israel's national regeneration will have come. It will then be time to restore the kingdom again to Israel, which implies the ingathering of all the tribes of that race, from the outlying countries of the earth; the conquest of the Holy Land from "the powers that be," and the moral purification of the nation, upon the principle of faith in Jesus as Son of Deity, and King of the Jews, and obedience to whatever form of truth he may be pleased to prescribe. Afterwards Paul announced to the learned and polite Athenians, that the Deity purposed to rule the inhabited earth by the Anointed Jesus, whom he had raised from the dead for this intent; and in all the cities he visited, he proclaimed Jesus as the future king of all nations, by which he turned the habitable upside down -- Acts 17:7, 31. This was in effect preaching the coming of the Lord in power; for unless he returned, and that with power, he could not do the things declared. This being the tenor of Paul's teaching, when he wrote letters to the ecclesias he had gathered, he addressed them as "waiting for the Apocalypse (or revelation) of our Lord Jesus Anointed;" and concerning certain things affecting himself, he exhorted them to "judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come * * * when every man shall have recompence from the Deity" -- 1 Cor. 1:7; 4:5: and in ch. 15:22, 23, he told them, that "they which are Christ's, shall be made alive at his coming." In writing to the saints of Philippi, he is very explicit. "Our politeuma, or commonwealth," says he, "subsists in heavens; out of which we look for the deliverer, the Lord Jesus Anointed, who shall transform the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of this glory" -- ch. 3:20: and to the Colossian believers, he says, "Your life is hid with the Anointed One in the Deity. When the Anointed, our life, shall appear, then shall ye also be manifested with him in glory" -- ch. 3:3, 4. The citizenship of the saints "subsists in heavens" -- in the holy, and most holy states. They put on Christ in the obedience of faith, and are then "in him;" and through him have access to the Divine Father. In putting him on, their names are engraven on his breastplate, and their citizenship begins. Their names are with him within the veil, while they are in the heavenly state, the ecclesia, upon the earth, where, as members of his body, having their hearts sprinkled with the blood of sprinkling from an evil conscience, and the body washed with pure water (Heb. 10:22), they are waiting for his Apocalypse; and "by them who are looking for him," says Paul, "He shall be seen of a second time without sin for salvation" -- Heb. 9:28. Of this manifestation upon earth "a second time," he writes copiously in his letters to the saints in Thessalonica. He mentions it five times in his first epistle; and three times in his second. "You turned from the idols to the Deity, to serve the living and true Deity, and to wait for his Son from the heavens, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath which is coming." And in relation to them, he says, "What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye before our Lord Jesus Anointed in his presence?" "The Lord stablish your hearts unblamable in holiness before the Deity and our Father, in the presence of our Lord Jesus Anointed, with all his holy ones." And when some of them were sorrowing for the loss of brethren who had died, he exhorted them not to grieve as the heathen who have no hope. "For," says he, "if we (the saints) believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also them who have been sleeping, the Deity through that Jesus, will lead out with him. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we, the living, who are surviving unto the presence of the Lord, shall not precede them who have been sleeping. For the Lord himself in command, with a voice of an archangel, and with a trumpet of Deity, shall descend from heaven, and the dead in the Anointed shall arise first; afterwards, we, the living, who are surviving, together with them, shall be hurried off in clouds unto a meeting of the Lord in air; and thus we shall be at all times with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words" -- 1 Thess. 1:9, 10; 2:19; 3:13; 4:14-17. Such is the manifestation of the Lord to his saints. But while he appears thus to their joy and glorification, he is apocalypsed as a consuming flame upon the enemy. "For you who are being afflicted," says he, (there shall be) "rest with us in the apocalypse of the Lord Jesus from heaven with angels of his power, in a fire of flame, inflicting vengeance upon them who know not Deity, and who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Anointed; who shall pay justice, Aion-destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his might when he shall come to be glorified with his holy ones, and to be admired with all who believe in that day." Those who know not Deity, and obey not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Anointed, are of the Apostasy; whose Prince is the Lawless One, called by Paul "the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition," "whom," says he, "the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and annihilate in the manifestation of his presence" -- 2 Epist. 1:7-10; 2:8. Lastly, upon this point, we remark, that Paul instructed his contemporaries who looked for the presence of the Lord Jesus Anointed, and their gathering together around him, that the day of that apocalypse should be preceded by an apostasy from the truth, which should attain great and powerful development. This Apostasy exists in what is called "Christendom," in all its "Names and Denominations;" and is largely treated of in the Apocalypse. It will shortly attain that maturity which precedes annihilation. The coming is for this purpose, that when abolished, "the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh may cover the earth as the waters cover the sea" -- Numb. 14:21; Isaiah 11:9; Hab. 2:14; Rev. 18:1. The Day of Christ is now at hand, the signs of his coming are abroad in the earth; and blessed will they be who are watching and prepared. 2. "He is Coming with the Clouds."
In the system of nature whence the symbol before us is taken, clouds are opaque congeries of aqueous particles, exhaled from the waters of the earth into the air by the electricity of the expanse. This being their nature and origin, they furnish a beautiful and expressive symbol representative of those who are present with the Lord in his apocalypse. In the revelation given to John, the inhabitants of the earth, in their various subdivisions, are styled "many waters;" as, "the waters which thou sawest, upon which the Harlot sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and languages" -- ch. 17:1, 15. From these waters have been exhaled by "the Spirit, which is the truth," from the generations of the past, particles which, when viewed in mass, constitute, as Paul terms them, "a great cloud of witnesses." But this cloud is only seen as a matter of testimony. The subjects of it are in the earth; and perceived only as particles to be exhaled, or drawn out, by the power of those beams, soon to irradiate from the Sun of Righteousness. When He shall "arise with healing in his rays," they will come forth from the womb of the dawn as dew. Every resurrected saint will be a dewdrop, sparkling in the star-like glory of a divine refraction. The appearance of dew from the womb of dawn, as representative of the resurrection of the saints, in the most beautiful of scripture similitudes. Before the sun rises, all nature is concealed in the womb of night; and although the herbage is wet with dew, yet is it invisible by reason of the darkness. The dew is, as it were, in Hades, waiting for the birth to be given it by the rising of the sun. As soon as the eastern portals of the sky begin to open to the light, which is the life of dew, its drops begin to sparkle with the prismatic glory of its refraction. The apocalypse, or appearing of the dew, is its birth from the womb of dawn; and, however clear the air may be at its birth, oftentimes the heat of the sun's rays exhales it from the herbage, and it becomes invisible until it reappears at the atmospheric dew point in the form of clouds. If the reader understand this he will be enabled to discern the relations of the saints to Jesus, as the Dew and Clouds of the Millennial Dawn to the Sun of the New Heavens, prepared "as a Bridegroom emerging from his canopy, and rejoicing as a Conqueror for the running of a course" -- Psal. 19:5. The following testimonies will present the matter in a still clearer light. That dew is sometimes used for people, appears from Mic. 5:7, as, "the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples as dew from Yahweh, as showers upon the grass; which shall not wait for man, nor delay for the sons of Adam." Mankind cannot control the dew nor clouds, so that the one should remain, and the other nor pour down their torrents of rain and hail till they were ready. In what sense the remnant is a dew that will not tarry, appears from the next verse; as, "the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations in the midst of many peoples, as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young lion among flocks of sheep; who, if he pass through both treadeth down and teareth, and there is no deliverer." Besides this dewy-remnant, we have holy ones who are compared to newly born dew in Psal. 110:3. This is a psalm of David, which he commences by declaring that Yahweh, the Eternal, had decreed concerning his (David's) Son and Lord, that he should sit at His right hand until his enemies should be subjected to him reigning in Zion in their midst. The enemies of David's Son and Lord are well known to be the Jews, who are not willing to acknowledge him as King of Israel. But in the third verse, the Spirit declares to the Son, saying, "Thy nation shall be willing in the Day of thy Might; in the splendors of holiness the Dew of thy Birth (shall be) to thee from the womb of the dawn." The Son's Dew, born from the womb of the Dawn, are his brethren, the saints; born of the Spirit from the invisible at the dawn of Messiah's Day -- the day of a thousand years. The resurrection is styled "thy birth," because "He, the Deity, who raised up the Lord Jesus, will raise us up also by Jesus" -- 2 Cor. 4:14; and "He that raised up the Anointed One from among the dead, shall also make alive your mortal bodies through his Spirit" -- Rom. 8:11. Hence, the birth given to the saints from the grave will be by Jesus through the Spirit; and therefore the birth, in the psalm, is styled "thy birth" -- the birth developed by David's Son and Lord; the subjects of which will be Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the prophets, and among them David himself, the apostles, and all that believe into Jesus through their word. In reference to this wonderful birth of the "Holy Nation" (1 Pet. 2:9) at the epoch of Israel's national regeneration, the Eternal Spirit says, in Isai. 66:5, 6, "Hear the word of Yahweh, ye that tremble at his word: your brethren that hated you, and cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let Yahweh be glorified! But he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. "A noise of tumult from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of Yahweh that rendereth recompense to his enemies," as in the destruction of Jerusalem. Then afterwards, "Before she travailed, she (Zion) brought forth: before her pain came she was delivered of a son. Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith Yahweh. Shall I cause to bring forth, and hold back? saith thine Eloah."
The resurrection, then, is emphatically "thy birth," O Yahweh, Son and Lord of David! Begotten of the Spirit, the subjects of it are as dew from the womb of the dawn. This beautiful figure has also been employed to illustrate the same subject in Isaiah 26:19: it is there written, "Thy dead shall live, (as,) my dead body they shall arise. Awake, and sing; ye that dwell in the dust: for the dew of lights is thy dew, and the earth shall cast forth the dead" -- "the earth shall disclose her bloods, and shall no more cover her slain." This Dew of Lights is Yahweh1s dew. In the English version, it is "thy dew is as the dew of herbs." There are only two places in the holy writings where trwa ohroth is rendered herbs; once in 2 Kin. 4:39; and once in the text before us. It is used once also in the singular in Deut. 18:4; but over a hundred times in the singular, and twice in the plural, it is rendered light. In Kings herbs are figuratively styled lights, because of their appearance when loaded with dew. Hence the light belongs to the dew, and therefore the propriety of the rendering, and the fitness of the expression as a similitude for the resurrected saints in the star-like splendor of holy spirit nature. The saints in the resurrection-state being thus indisputably likened to sparkling dew drops, the reader will, we apprehend, have no difficulty in regarding clouds as their representatives when with the Lord in the apocalyptic firmament, or expanse, styled in Dan. 7:27, "the whole heaven;" under which "the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the Kingdom" they are to possess for the "Aions of the Aions," are alone to be obtained. The clouds of this Millennial Expanse are the sparkling dew drops of Yahweh exalted by his energy to place and power; and gathered together about him as glorious and towering masses, pregnant with "lightnings, and thunderings, and voices, and great hail" -- Rev. 4:5; 11:19; 16:18-21. The power of Deity in every particle of these clouds is the omnipotence of the apocalypse. Eternal Power invested with clouds of virtuous and heroic immortals, constituted in the aggregate, Ezekiel's "Whirlwind out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself; and round about it brightness, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber even out of the midst of the fire; whence proceeded the likeness of four living creatures." If this be apparent to the reader, the following testimonies will present themselves with great force and beauty to his mind. Thus, "In the heavens, O Yahweh, thy mercy; thy truth is to the clouds" -- Psal. 36:5; that is, his promised kindness is manifested in the New Heavens; and his truth is for those clouds of witnesses who shall compose them. Again, "Ye kingdoms of the earth sing ye to the Elohim; sing the praises of Adonai, Selah; to Him who rides upon heavens of the heavens of old. Behold, with his voice he will give forth a voice of strength. Give ye strength to the Elohim, his excellency over Israel, and his strength in Clouds. Terrible, O Elohim, out of thy sanctuaries, the Ail of Israel (art thou:) He that giveth strength and powers to the nation. Blessed be the Elohim" -- Psal. 68:32-35. In this text, the Ail, Adonai, and Elohim are presented as One in Many and Many in One -- Ail, the Eternal Spirit, or Theos; Adonai, Lords, the Devar of Ail, or Logos, become Flesh, or Messiah, the Word; and Elohim, the Eternal Spirit incarnate in the Saints, each of whom is a sanctuary, or temple, of Eternal Power, out of which collectively is "the Ail of Israel," in the Aions of the Aions. With his voice, the Eternal will give strength to the Elohim, whom he will bring forth as sparkling dew; and will establish them as His excellency over Israel; so that his omnipotence will be in the Clouds of Elohim, by and through whom he will do terrible deeds throughout the earth. "He makes thick clouds his chariot; and goes on the wings of the spirit." A destroyer going up against a nation with great forces, is thus referred to by Jeremiah. "Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots as a whirlwind" -- ch. 4:13. This was spoken of Nebuchadnezzar's invasion of Judea. Ezekiel also speaks of Nebuchadnezzar's last successor and representative ascending and coming like a storm against the same country in the latter days, "like a cloud to cover the land" -- ch. 38:9. The apocalyptic "coming with the clouds" is the same as that described in Dan. 7:13: "I was seeing," says the prophet, "in the vission of the night, and behold, there was coming with clouds of heavens like a Son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before Him." These Clouds of Heavens were the "thousands thousands serving the Ancient of Days; and the myriad myriads that stood before him" -- the flames of his fiery throne, his wheels of burning fire, and the stream of flowing fire that issues from before him. Collectively a Son of man in whom the Ancient of Days, or Eternal Spirit, comes to execute the judgment written; and to set up and possess the kingdom -- ver. 22. The apocalyptic clouds with which the Anointed comes are the same as those referred to by Moses in the passage already quoted from Deut. 33:26. Here, the Ho Erchomenos anointed with the Seven Spirits, and styled Yahoshaia Mashiahk, or He shall be Deliverer Anointed, that is, Jesus Christ -- is styled Ail of Yeshuran: -- the "Who is Who was and Who is Coming?" Moses says, that, when he comes to help Israel, "he rides heavens in his majesty of clouds. Heavens is used for the constituents of governments, or administrations; as the sun, moon, constellations, and individual stars, in the celestial universe, constitute the heavens, because they are high. The Hebrew word shahmuyim, "heavens," comes from shahmah "to be high." Hence, a body of persons exalted to be a high position over "kindreds, tongues, peoples, and nations" are heavens which rule. Thus the Spirit in speaking of the overthrow of the political system in Idumea, says in Isai. 34:4, "All the host of the heavens shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling from the fig tree; for my sword shall be bathed in the heavens behold it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse to judgment." In this the phrase "the heavens" is interpreted to signify "the people of Yahweh's curse," who rule Idumea, and destined for a great slaughter in Botzra of that land -- Isai. 63:1; Rev. 19:17-21. Again in Isai. 13: in predicting the overthrow of the Babylonish empire the Spirit saith, "the stars of the heavens and their constellations shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine -- ver. 10. The meaning of this is explained in the succeeding verses, as the punishing of the taivail of Babylon, made up of its wicked, proud, and terrible, civil, idolatrous, and military peoples. Read the whole chapter. As to the Son of Babylon being darkened in his going forth, the fourteenth chapter exhibits it in beautiful style in the "proverb taken up against the king of Babylon," Belshatzar, in which he is apostrophized as the Day Star of the system, saying, "How art thou fallen from the heavens, O Day Star, son of the morning; thou art cut down to the earth, who didst weaken the nations!" And the reason of his fall is predicted in the next verse, "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of Ail; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation on the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High." Read in connexion with this Dan. 5:22-30, where this predicted impiety is forcibly depicted, as the cause of Nebuchadnezzar's Dynasty being cast out of the Babylonish heavens. When Isaiah wrote this prophecy, Babylon had only just begun to appear as a speck upon the political horizon of Judea: but in considering its development, he predicted that its government would aim to overshadow Yahweh's kingdom of Judah; and to establish its dominion above "the Stars" of Aaron and David's houses, and over "the heights" of Moriah and Zion, which were "the heights of the cloud" that rested upon the Wings of the Cherubim in the Most Holy Place. What has here been adduced will be sufficient to illustrate the scripture use of the word heavens, in a multitude of instances. In the same sense it is representative of the members of the divine administration of mankind's affairs in the Millennial Cycle, or World to Come. The Ail of Yeshurun rides these heavens, his eternal omnipotence being incarnated in each of them; so that, as Ezekiel says, "whither the Spirit is to go, they go;" or as John expresses it, "these are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth;" and "the body guards in the heaven follow Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean" -- "which is the righteousness of the saints" -- clouds of cavalry making war in righteousness; or carrying on a just, righteous, and necessary war -- Ezek. 1:12; Rev. 14:4; 19:14, 8. The Eternal Spirit rides these, whose Head, or Commander-in-Chief, is the Great Prince Michael, or "Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews." They are the Eternal Majesty in Clouds, or "the Mighty Ones of the East, the Powers of Olahm," who will be Israel's refuge in the terrible affliction that impends. "Whosoever boasteth himself in a gift of falsehood is as clouds and wind without rain." Such, Jude describes those men to be, who had crept into the ecclesias at unawares, speaking evil of the apostles' teaching, which they did not understand: "they are clouds without water carried about of winds -- wandering stars." This is what the saints of the right stamp are not. On the contrary, they are clouds with water, whose doctrine drops as the rain, and their speech distils as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: because they proclaim the Name of Yahweh -- Deut. 32:2. Finally upon this point, it is worthy of remark, that the rendering of Paul's words in 1 Thes. 4:17, "shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air," is objectionable. This is one of those things of Paul's writings, which Peter said were hard to be understood by the unlearned and unstable. These suppose, that Paul taught that the resurrected and changed should be carried up like Elijah to the dew-point of our atmosphere, the region of the clouds, there to remain for ever with the Lord. But, I object that Paul had no reference to either the clouds of our atmosphere, or to the air itself; and for these reasons. In the first place, arpagesometha, rendered "we shall be caught up," neither expresses the idea of up nor down; but signifies "to snatch, to seize, to take hold of forcibly, as a wild beast doth its prey;" and hence, the idea of hurrying off by any kind of force or power. In the next place, Paul does not say in the clouds, but simply, en nephelais, in clouds; instead therefore of "caught up in the clouds," we read "hurried off in clouds:" so that clouds of saints, by almighty power, will be removed from the east, west, north, and south, where they have been resurrected, "for a meeting of the Lord" in the territory of his kingdom, the Holy Land -- Luke 13:28, 29. 1. The Aerial.
Thirdly, eis aera, rendered "in the air,", is devoid of "the" in the Greek. It may be rendered in various ways, according to the preposition used, and with or without an indefinite article. I prefer that which may be found in harmony with Paul's use of the word elsewhere, when speaking of the administration of the existing order, commonly styled "world." Thus in Eph. 2:2, where he reminds the saints of what they were as pagans before they obeyed the truth, he says, "in which sins formerly ye walked about according to the course of this order (#GREEK#kata tou aiona tou kosmou toutou#GREEKOFF#) according to the ruling of the authority of the Air; of the Spirit which not works in the sons of disobedience: among whom also we all were conversant in times past in the lusts of our flesh." Here "the course of the order" is parallel with "the ruling of the authority of the Air;" which is based upon and nurtured by that flesh-and-blood "spirit" which rules in all sinners, and is essentially rebellious against God. In these phrases "the Air" and "the Spirit" are parallel. The ruling of the authority of the existing course of things in the Air or Spirit working. It is the Spirit of disobedience incarnate in the authorities exercising dominion and power over the nations, with whom Paul and his co-laborers "wrestled." Thus he says in ch. 6:12, "the contest for us is not against blood and flesh, but with the sovereignties, with the authorities, which the world rulers of the darkness of this Course (aionos) with the spirituals of the wickedness, in the upper regions." These uppers (epouranioi) are "the Air," which by metonomy is put for all politically contained. The Air, in apostolic times, which penetrated everywhere, was the power of the Fourth Beast. This Aerial Power, or Spirit, encountered Paul wherever he went proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and assailed him through the constituted authorities, Jewish and Gentile. He contended against them, endeavoring to open men's eyes, and to turn them from the darkness of the existing course, in which the spirituals of the system, the Chief Priests and Rabbis of Israel, and the Imperial Pontifex Maximus, and all the priests of his idolatrous worship, flourished to their heart's content. The chief Priests, Pharisees, and kings of Judah, Caesar, and all the civil and ecclesiastical or spiritual, authorities of the Roman empire, were the sovereignties, authorities, and world rulers of the darkness -- all of them the spirituals of the wickedness, constituting, in the aggregate, the Uppers; or, as it is expressed among us, "the Uppertendom" of the order of things at that time extant. This was the Devil and Satan in the apocalyptic heaven before he was cast out into the earth -- Rev. 12:9. In turning men from the dark superstition of his times, Paul turned them from "the power of Satan unto God" -- Acts 26:18; and if any of them happened to be spirituals of the wickedness in the uppers, of Air, -- that is, officials in Church or State, they were cast out into the earth, and had to eke out an existence among the undistinguished multitude, the best way they could. The Great Teacher, the Spirit in Jesus, uses "the Air" in this sense, in one of the parables illustrating the kingdom of the heavens. In Matt. 13:31, he likens this monarchy to a tree, the greatest among herbs, in whose branches the birds of the air come and lodge. The birds of the political aerial, that come and lodge in this tree, are clouds of saints, who are "for an air," and in the air, millennial. The Air is twice mentioned in the Apocalypse, where it has no reference to the natural atmosphere; first, in Rev. 9:2; and afterwards, in Rev. 16:17. In both these places, it stands for the same thing as in the epistle to the Ephesians, only at widely remote epochs of the times of the Gentiles; the former being the political air, contemporary with the invasion of the Roman empire by the Saracens; the latter, the same Air, only contemporary with the coming of Jesus Anointed with the clouds. Now the revealed purpose of the Deity is to change "the Air" -- to hurl the mighty from their thrones; exalt them of low degree, and to send the rich empty away -- Luke 1:52-55. When this is accomplished, the kingdoms of this world will have become those of Yahweh, and his Anointed, according to Rev. 11:15. The political air, in which the sun, moon, and stars of the nations now shine, will then be abolished, and a new order be substituted in their stead. This new order is styled in the prophets, "a New Heavens, and a New Earth, in which dwelleth righteousness." The course of this order, the ruling of the authority of this air, will be the Spirit that works in the sons of obedience. Instead of the apostles, or others like them, contending against, or wrestling with, the sovereignties, authorities, and world-rulers, of those upper regions of society, they will themselves be those rulers -- the spirituals of righteousness in high places. The spirituals of wickedness, such as the Pope, and locust-clouds of ecclesiastics, of which he is the acknowledged chief, with all other clergies of every "Name and Denomination" of the dominion of Antichrist, together with all the secular officials in place and power, will all be cast out, and punished by the Saints for their iniquity. This honor is assigned to them; as it is written, "The Saints shall be joyful in glory; they shall shout with joy upon thier couches. The high things of AIL shall be in their mouth, and a devouring sword in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the Gentiles, and punishments upon the peoples: to bind their kings with chains, and their honorables with fetters of iron: to execute upon them the judgment written; this honor is for all his Saints: Praise ye Yah" -- Psalm 149:5. To "an air," such as this, the Saints are conducted in clouds, for a meeting of the Lord, that henceforth they may be with him thus for evermore. 4. "Every Eye shall see Him."
The personage to be seen, is indicated in the next sentence as he who was "pierced." Every eye shall see him whom they pierced; as saith the Spirit in Zech. 12:10, "I will pour upon the House of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn before him as mourning on account of the Only Begotten, and be in bitterness before him as in bitterness on account of the Firstborn. In that day, great shall be the mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon, in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn; families apart from families; the family of the house of David, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart. All the families that remain; families apart from families, and their wives apart." The passage in the Apocalypse has reference to this. Its language is a condensation of Zechariah's -- "Every eye shall see Him, and they who pierced him, and all the tribes of the land shall mourn before him." But the "every eye" comprehends more than "all families that remain." The resurrection of certain of the dead is also implied. For, as the reader will remember, Jesus said to the Pharisees and others, in the days of his flesh, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer, and say unto you, I know ye not whence ye are. Then will ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me all workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of the Deity, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come (to where Jesus then was) from the east and west, and from the north and the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of the Deity. And behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last" -- Luke 13:24. Jesus spoke these things to persons then living, and while the genealogies of the families of the land were in existence, which is not now the case. The families and houses named by Zechariah cannot now be defined, hence the resurrection of the dead belonging to those houses is implied. To some of these families it was said by apostles, "to this end the Anointed One both died, and rose, and lived again, that he might rule over both dead and living ones. For we shall all stand before the tribunal of the Anointed One. For it is written, "As I live, saith Yahweh, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to the Deity," "that Jesus Anointed is Lord, to the glory of Deity the Father." (Phil. 2:11.) So then every one of us shall give account of himself to the Deity" -- Rom. 14:9-12; "that we may receive again through the body the things according to which he practised, whether good or bad" -- 2 Cor. 5:10. "Every eye," then, is comprehensive of classes of Israelites and Gentiles according to flesh and spirit. The eyes of the latter who shall see him in joy and peace, are the eyes of the Four Cherubic Living Ones, which are "full of eyes" before, behind, and within -- Rev. 4:6, 8. These eyes will not weep and mourn, for they will see the King, Yahweh of armies, whose "Eyes of Glory" they will be -- Isa. 6:5. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see the Deity" -- Matt. 5:8 -- the Deity manifested in spirit-flesh, and of which manifestation they shall be the hypostasis, or substratum. But "every eye" will be directed towards the Lord, as the great object of absorbing interest for weal or woe to all mankind; for "the glory of Yahweh shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see together" -- Isa. 40:5. Again, "it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory -- ch. 66:18. The glory which they are to come and see, is stated in verses 15 and 16, where it is testified, that "Yahweh will come with fire and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire; for by fire, and by his sword, will Yahweh plead with all flesh; and the slain of Yahweh shall be many." This is his coming with the clouds, at the time that "He has gathered all nations against Jerusalem to war;" for "then shall he go forth and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east." "Then," says the prophet, "Yahweh my Elohim shall come in -- all the holy ones with thee" -- Zech. 14:2-5. In this fight against the nations, Gog is overthrown "with pestilence and blood; and, saith Adonai Yahweh, I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone; thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am Yahweh," or He that shall be -- Ezek. 38:22, 23. But while the armies of the nations subjected to this terrible overthrow upon the mountains of Israel see the glory that defeats them, the multitudes of the nations themselves in their several lands are not eye witnesses. To these, therefore, it is made known by proclamation through certain who have witnessed it. Hence, speaking of the remnant of Israel in Jerusalem, the Spirit saith, "I will set an Ensign among them; and I will send of those that escape unto the nations, Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, sounders of the truth, to Tubal and Javan, the isles afar off, which have not heard my fame, nor seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations" -- Isa. 66:19; Rev. 14:6, 7. When "every eye shall see him" upon these principles, it will be manifestly a time of great trouble. It is, in fact, the "time of trouble," both of Jacob and the Gentiles, out of which, however, "Jacob shall be delivered" -- Jer. 30:7. Daniel declares it to be "a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation to that same time" -- 12:1. Israel's hopes will be at the lowest ebb; and unless another Joseph appear as in Egypt, for the salvation of his father's house, they must perish. But the Eternal Power has provided for them a Deliverer after the type of Joseph, who at his second interview with the nation, his brethren after the flesh, will reveal himself to them in the days of affliction; and when they shall discover, as Zechariah teaches, by the wounds in his hands, that he is Yahoshaia, or Jesus, who was wounded in the house of his kindred (ch. 13:6; 12:10); and that it is to him they are indebted for deliverance from the enemy, they will mourn and be in bitterness before him, as their fathers were in Joseph's presence, whom, as they had served Jesus, they sold for a few pieces of silver. All the tribes of the earth will howl, for the anguish of the times will be great -- Israel among the nations, as a lion among flocks of sheep; Yahweh's battle-axe and weapons of war to break in pieces the nations, and destroy the kingdoms; his new sharp threshing instrument to beat the mountains small, and to make the hills as chaff; his fan to fan them; a whirling wind to scatter them as thistle down -- Jer. 1:19; Isa. 41:15, 16; 17:13. "Even so, Amen." 5. Annunciation.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, beginning and ending, saith the Lord, the Who is, and Who was, and Who is coming, the Omnipotent" -- Apoc. 1:8.
These words announce to us that He who is coming is "The Almighty;" also that this almighty one pertains to the past, the present, and the future; that he has a "beginning" and also "an ending," as symbolized by the first letter of the Greek alphabet "to a," and by the last, or "to w" -- "the Alpha and the Omega."But let the reader understand, that this annunciation is not an announcement that the Eternal Theos, styled "the Father," had a beginning. If he had not always existed without beginning, there would have been no creation. To imagine a time, or point of past eternity, when Theos or Ail, commonly styled "God," did not exist, would be to suppose an epoch when there was nothing -- no existing thing; and this supposition would be to make nothing the intelligent and wise creator of something, which is palpably absurd. No; the annunciation before us carries us back no further than that "beginning" to which John had already introduced his readers, in the book he had already written, to convince men that Jesus is the Anointed One, the Son of the Deity; and that believing they might have life through his name -- Jno. 20:31 -- the beginning of the preexistent Deity, by his Spirit-Effluence, or Logos, becoming Flesh; the beginning of the "Great Mystery, Deity manifested in Flesh" -- 1 Tim. 3:16. This manifestation, then, as we have shown, had its beginning. It began in Jesus, Son of David and Son of Deity. Of him it was prophesied, "they pierced my hands and my feet." He was cut off, or covenanted; and afterwards removed by Eteral Power from this sublunary field of blood. But Jesus, though the Head, was not the Body. He had suffered, but his sufferings did not complete the sufferings of "His Body, which is the Ecclesia." Hence Paul says, "I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the affliction of the Anointed One in my flesh for His Body's sake, which is the Ecclesia -- Col. 1:24. But Paul did not consider that his sufferings, added to those of Jesus, would fill up the measure; for, in writing to the saints in Corinth he associates them with himself in the work. "As the sufferings of the Anointed One," says he, "abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth through the Anointed One. But whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is operative in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so ye shall be also of the consolation -- 2 Cor. 1:5-7. "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him" -- 2 Tim. 2:12. Thus the Body is pierced with suffering as well as its Head; and as Jesus, "though a son, learned obedience by the things which he suffered," so all his brethren must. It will be seen, then, that when the One Body is complete in all its elements, it will have been a suffering community. This is its Alpha, its Beginning, its ho on, or present condition. Most of its members are in the womb of death, shut up within "the gates of the invisible," which are so securely locked that no power can open them save that which is eternal. The key or power, is with Jesus, through whom it will operate as it did upon him when the power or spirit of the Father raised him from the dead. At present, the Saints sleeping in the dust, and the few that are living in this generation, are all waiting for "The Adoption;" for living or dead, they were all immersed in hope of being planted in the likeness of the resurrection of their Elder Brother. Being thus "baptized for the dead," they suffer with him, that they may be glorified together in the manifestation of the Sons of the Deity, who shall then "with him freely give us all things" -- Rom. 6:5; 8:23, 17, 19, 32. As the brain in the head has property in the body, and calls it his; so the Logos in Jesus has property in him and his brethren, and styles them members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones; so that they all become one flesh; "which is a great mystery," says Paul; "but I speak concerning the Anointed One and the Ecclesia" -- Eph. 5:22-32. When this great mystery shall be consummated in the resurrection and the subsequent anointing of the One Body, "the Omega," "the Ending," and "the Who is coming," will be manifested. The whole multitude will be "Deity manifested in Flesh" -- glorified flesh, which is Holy Spirit, or pneuma hagiosunes, the divine nature at present common to Jesus and the angels; and then participated in by all the Saints; all of which is the development of the principle affirmed by him to Nicodemus, that "that which has been born of the Spirit is Spirit." Here, then, is "a multitude which no man can number," evey individual of which is Holy Spirit Flesh, glorified substance, "equal to the angels;" the One Yahweh and the One Name. When they all attain to this Omega state, there will be nothing lacking. The Ending will be manifest. There will be no further proclamation inviting Jews and Gentiles to the kingdom and glory of the Deity. The Body will be complete, and have attained through much tribulation to a high estate. Whatever may be the destiny of the earthborns of the Millennial nations in relation to the post-millennial cycle, they will not be ranked with the Alpha and the Omega of this annunciation. The Second Adam and his Bride will be the embodiment of Eternal Power -- the Almighty inheritor of the earth and all that it contains; for "it is his and the fulness thereof." The symbol in the text is very expressive. It is the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Between these two are twenty-two other letters, which, with the first and last, make one alphabet -- twenty-four in one; an idea still further elucidated in the "twenty-four elders," who are representative of the Almighty Alpha and Omega manifestation of Deity. In connection with this annunciation, I would recall the attention of the reader to Isai. 41:4, where the Eternal Spirit says, "I, Yahweh the First One and the Last Ones, I -- He; the isles saw and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came." I have supplied the words one and ones to mark the singular and plural of the original. In this, "the Last Ones" are "the Omega," and "the Ending," and the "He who is coming," of the apocalypse. SECTION 5. SYMBOLIC VISION OF THE SPIRIT-NAME.
1. The Son of Man in the midst of the Seven Lightstands; and the Seven Stars.
I, John, both your brother, and a joint-partaker in the tribulation, and in the kingdom, and in the waiting for Jesus Anointed, was in the isle which is called Patmos, on account of the word of the Deity and on account of the testimony of Jesus Anointed.
I was in spirit in the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a voice as of a trumpet saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last; and what thou beholdest write for a scroll, and send to the Seven Ecclesias which are in Asia; to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.And I turned to see the voice which spake with me; and having turned I saw Seven Golden Lightstands, and in the midst of the seven lightstands I saw like to a Son of man invested to the feet, and compassed about the breasts with a golden zone. And his head, and the hairs white, as it were wool, white as snow; and his eves as a flame of fire: and his feet like to incandescent brass as if they had been glowing in a furnace; and his voice as a sound of many waters; and having in his right hand Seven Stars; and out of his mouth a sharp, double-edged longsword proceedeth; and his aspect as the sun shineth in his strength. "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying to me, Fear not! I am the First and the Last, and the Living One: and I was dead, and behold, I am living for the Aions of the Aions: and I have the keys of the invisible and of death. Write the things thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall come to pass after these. "The mystery of the Seven Stars which thou sawest at my right hand, and the Seven Lightstands which are golden, is this: The Seven Stars are the Angels of the Seven Ecclesias; and the Seven Lightstands which thou sawest are Seven Ecclesias" -- Apoc. 1:9-20. In introducing his description of the first apocaliptic vision with which he was favored, John gives us a brief notice, in which he defines his own position and circumstances at the time. In the salutation, he addressed himself to the Seven Ecclesias of the Lydian or proconsular Asia. But there he simply styles himself "John," saying, "John to the Seven Ecclesias." It is true, that in the second and third verses he says a little more about himself; but these verses were most probably prefixed after he had "written for a scroll" what he had beheld; for the preface to a book is always written last. Having, then, announced himself as the channel through which the divine salutation of joy and peace flowed to them, he proceeds to inform them, as there were many named "Johannes" besides himself, what particular man of that name it was who addressed them. It is "I, John, your brother," says he, "and joint-partaker in the tribulation, and in the kingdom, and waiting for Jesus Anointed." He and the Seven Ecclesias were in fellowship; of which he says, "and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Anointed. The Deity is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Anointed, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin" -- 1 John 1:3. They were brethren walking in the light of Deity; for in relation to them he writes, "The darkness is passed, and the true light now shines" -- ch. 2:8. It is evident from this, that if the true light shone in John's day, the "light" that now shines is not the true. The spiritual guides and their peoples profess to be walking in the light, in the very blaze of gospel sunshine; nevertheless "they do not the truth" -- they neither believe it nor obey it. John therefore proclaims their walk to be in darkness, and them to be not of the truth, but liars. "He that saith I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" -- 1 Epist. 2:4. This puts all clergy and all their "Names and Denominations" beyond the pale of John's fellowship, which was with Deity. He is not "brother" to the pietists of our day; neither are these, consequently, in fellowship with the Seven Ecclesias. Being the brother of these seven, he was, therefore, "a joint-partaker in the tribulation." This was a persecution which began to rage against the Christians in the latter end of the reign of Domitian, the last of the Flavian family, who became emperor of Rome a.d.81. The tribulation commenced a.d.95. He does not appear to have been embittered against them in the beginning. In imitation of his father Vespasian, he made inquiry for such of the Jews as were descended from the royal line of David. His motives were evidently political. But there wanted not those who were glad of any opportunity of wreaking their malice on Christians. Some persons, who were brought before the emperor, were charged with being related to the royal family of Judah. They appear to have been related to Jesus, and were grandsons of Jude the apostle, his cousin. Domitian asked them if they were of the family of David, which they acknowledged. He then demanded what possessions they enjoyed, and what money they had. They laid open the poverty of their circumstances, and owned that they maintained themselves by their labor. The truth of their confession was evinced by their hands, and by their appearance in general. Domitian then interrogated them concerning Christ and his kingdom -- when and where it should appear. They answered like Jesus when questioned by Pilate -- that his kingdom was not of this Order or kosmos; that its glory should appear at the consummation of the Order, when he would judge the living and the dead, and reward every man accoding to his works: poverty is sometimes a defence against oppression, though it never shields from contempt. Domitian was satisfied that his power was in no danger from Christian ambition; so the grandsons of Jude were dismissed with the same sort of derision with which Jesus had formerly been dismissed by Herod. They were indignant, but rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom promised to the obedient. As Domitian increased in cruelty, toward the end of his reign, he renewed the horrors of Nero's persecution, which began a.d.64, and was the first time the Romans persecuted Christians according to law. Domitian put to death many persons accused of atheism, the common charge against Christians, on account of their refusal to worship the pagan gods. Among these was the consul Flavius Clemens, his cousin, who had espoused Flavia Domitilla, his relation. Suetonius observes, that this man was quite despicable on account of his slothfulness. Many others were condemned likewise, who had embraced Jewish customs, says Dion; part of them were put to death, others spoiled of their goods, and Domitilla herself was banished into the island of Pandataria. Eusebius records the same facts with a little variation: but, as he professes to borrow from the pagan writers in this instance, we may be content with their account. The charge of indolence against Domitian's cousin was natural enough, and does honor to the unworldly character of Flavius, who could not partake with the spirituals in the wickedness of their high places. Domitian, as emperor, was also Pontifex Maximus, or the High Priest of the Roman Superstition; as the Pope, who is his Image in the same city, is at this day. Flavius Clemens and his wife, as Christians, must have been peculiarly obnoxious to him; and, in the spirit of the times, regarded by him as "the enemies of mankind." He therefore determined to get rid of them, and all such, whose unsociable atheism, as it was considered, was a troublesome rebuke and condemnation of the religion as by custom and law established. While the malignity of Domitian did not forbear to shed the blood of the imperial house, it was not to be expected that he would spare the ringleader of the sect eveywhere spoken against to which his relatives belonged. Tertullian accordingly informs us, that, by Domitian's order, John was apprehended, and cast into a caldron of boiling oil; but, after the example of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from Nebuchadnezzar's furnace, came out again from the scalding bath unhurt. This wonderful result, however, did not soften the iron-hearted Domitian, who might possibly suppose that the apostle had been fortified by magical incantations. He banished him into the solitary and desolate isle of the Archipelago, called Patmos, where he was while he wrote the words we are considering. This persecution affected all the ecclesias he was addressing; for he tells them he was their "brother and joint partaker in the tribulation." It continued to harass the saints until the death of Domitian, who was slain a.d. 96. He was succeeded by Nerva, who published a pardon for those who were condemned for impiety in the pagan sense, recalled those who were banished, including John, and forbade the accusing of any men on account of impiety, or Judaism, by which was meant Christianity. Others, who were under accusation or under sentence of condemnation, now escaped by the lenity of Nerva. Thus the "joy and peace" of the salutation came to the Ecclesias from the Deity. Only one person was not restored by Nerva's amnesty. Domitilla still continued in exile, probably because she was a relative of the late tyrant, whose name was now odious throughout the empire. After his return from Patmos, John is said to have continued among the seven ecclesias till the time of Trajan, about three or four years after his release, having been preserved to the age of about a hundred years, for the benefit of the Body of the Lord. He died about a.d. 103. Being a joint partaker in the tribulation as the consequence of his maintaining his fidelity to the "One Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one Hope of the invitation," he writes himself also "a joint partaker in the kingdom, and waiting for Jesus Anointed." He knew from him, and the collateral testimony of his brethren in the apostleship, that "it is through much tribulation we must enter the kingdom of the Deity." He did not, therefore, shrink from tribulation, having the assurance that "if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him." The Lord Jesus had promised him equality with angels; and a throne in his kingdom, on which he should sit, ruling one of the tribes of Israel. That this was to be when the Son of Man should sit upon the throne of his glory; and in the regeneration characterized by the restoration of all the things spoken of by the prophets. John was awaiting patiently for this, as his beloved teacher had instructed him, saying to him and his brethren, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men awaiting for their Lord, when he shall return on account of the nuptials; so that, coming and knocking, they may open to him immediately. Blessed those servants whom the Lord coming shall find watching" -- Luke 12:32-37; Rev. 16:15. This was John's position. He had witnessed the disruption and overthrow of the Commonwealth of Judah, the sacking of the Holy City and Temple, and the dispersion of his countrymen to the four winds. He was himself an exile, because of his fidelity to "the word of the Deity and the testimony of Jesus Anointed;" his life ebbing away, as it were, on a desolate island. Surrounded by all these circumstances, and enlightened by these testimonies, it was impossible for him to imagine that he was in any other kingdom than Satan's. But while in this, and feeling acutely Satan's tyranny in banishing him from the society of the faithful, he was still "as a man awaiting his Lord," and rejoicing in hope of his kingdom and glory, for which he had been accounted worthy to suffer tribulation. 2. "I was in Spirit."
While conditioned thus, he tells us that he came to be "in spirit" -- egenomen en pneumati. By reference to Ezekiel we find that when he was about simply to deliver a prophetic discourse, he introduced it by saying, "the Word of Yahweh came unto me, saying;" but when he was about to relate a prophetic vision he had seen, he prefaces his description by informing us that "there was upon me the hand of Yahweh, and he carried me out in spirit of Yahweh." When "in spirit," then, he both sees visions, and hears, and then proceeds to narrate. This was the case with John. He was "in spirit," and then he beheld, or was caused to see, what was invisible to men in their normal state. Hitherto he had seen nothing; but as soon as he came to be "in spirit," he beheld a vision, and continued "in spirit" so long as there was any thing to be seen. When the vision disappeared, he was again as usual, and proceeded to write whatever might be communicated. This was the case while writing the letters to the Seven Ecclesias; but when he had finished these, and the time had come to exhibit another vision, he tells us that, preliminary to beholding it, "immediately I was in spirit; and behold a throne" appeared -- ch. 4:2; and in 17:3, "and he carried me away in spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman;" and so in ch. 21:10. Hence, from the general use of the phrase in this book, we are to understand that when "in spirit," John was in such a relation to Deity as that he could see the things of Deity, which were known only to his Spirit; as Paul has said, "the things of the Deity knoweth no man, but the Spirit of the Deity;" in order, therefore, to know these things by primary visual representation, a man must be as John was, "in spirit." 3. "In the Lord's Day."
Having ascertained what the apostle meant by "being in spirit," the next consideration is, Where was he conveyed to? and then, What did he behold there? In regard to the first inquiry, he tells us, that being in spirit, he was in a certain day #GREEK#en te kuriake hemera.#GREEKOFF# He was in the kuriake day. And And what day, it may be asked, was that? Any one acquainted with the apostle's faith and hope, will be able to answer the question readily. He was in that day, which "Abraham rejoiced to see" -- Jno. 8:56: the day that Paul said should not come until an apostasy had been thoroughly matured, and had become ripe for destruction -- 2 Thess. 2:3-8: "the day in which," Paul proclaimed at Athens, "the Deity will judge the inhabited earth in righteousness in a man (#GREEK#en andri#GREEKOFF#) whom he hath appointed, having offered assurance to all, having raised him from among the dead" -- Acts 17:31. This was the great day, styled in Joel, "the great and terrible day of Yahweh" (ch. 2:31), and in Malachi, "the day that shall come, burning like a furnace," in which "all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh, shall burn them up, saith Yahweh of armies, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. And ye that fear my name shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall work, saith Yahweh of armies" -- ch. 4:1-3. This was the day that Peter referred to on the day of Pentecost, when he quoted the words of Joel, and told his hearers, that "it shall be, every one who shall surname by the name of Yahweh, shall be delivered." John stood up with him in the same proclamation; and all the saints, enlightened by their teaching, regarded it with great interest and expectation; and it was into this day that John, being in spirit, was conveyed in vision. What then, should such a day be called? -- "this day Yahweh hath made" -- Psalm 118:24? John calls it kuriake; but why? Because it is the day when "the Only Potentate" in the Saints shall lord it over mankind -- when those, represented by the symbolical Son of man in the midst of the Seven Lightstands, shall be the Sovereign Power of the earth to its utmost bounds. This power will be the Lord of all; and the word for lord in the Greek is kurios, from which comes kuriake, pertaining to a lord. This word is only used in one other place in the New Testament, as in 1 Cor. 11:20, "this is not to eat kuriakon supper;" which is properly rendered "the Lord's supper." We may, therefore, with the same propriety, style the day, "the Lord's day," only being careful not to confound it with Sunday, which is never so styled in the scriptures; but rather "the first day of the week," and "the eighth day." Upwards of seventeen hundred and fifty years have elapsed since John was in spirit -- since he was in the Lord's day in spirit, and that day has not come yet. Hence John was only conveyed into it in vision: bodily, he was in Patmos; but mentally, he was beyond the resurrection of the dead, by which the great and terrible day of Yahweh is introduced. He was taught this dramatically; for he first hears behind him "a loud voice as of a trumpet" speaking to him, and saying what is written in the eleventh verse. This was one state of things; and related to "those things which were behind" (Phil. 3:13); or, as expressed in verse 19, "the things which are." He then turned, as he says in verse 12; an action which brought him round, and placed him opposite to "those things which are before;" or, "which shall be after these, the things which are -- behind. Being now face to face with the Son of man, he was in another state of things -- "the Last." In this last state, he is told not to fear; and this exhortation to confidence and courage, falls upon his ears, while he is recovering from the death state. "When I saw like a Son of man in the midst of the Seven Lightstands, I fell at his feet as dead" -- verses 13, 17. It was necessary to introduce this action to represent that this vision related to things to be manifested after the resurrection of John and his brethren from the dead; who are also to be raised by the Spirit, in which he then was; and which is dramatically intimated by "the right hand" of the symbol being laid upon him, which is symbolical of the power of the Spirit. The trumpet said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last." This was the loud voice of the Spirit, who said, "write for a scroll, and send to the Seven Ecclesias in the (proconsular) Asia;" for when the letters are written, they are introduced as from him seen by John among the Lightstands; and conclude by saying, "he that hath an ear to hear let him hearken to what the Spirit saith to the ecclesias." What John beheld, then, and what he has described as the subject of his first vision, is a representation of the Eternal Spirit manifested first, in the things behind, as the Alpha and the First; and afterwards, in the things before, as the Omega and the Last; and that between these two sets of things, or manifestations, is the opening of the invisible, and the deliverance of the saints from death. In this turning point, or epoch, between the Alpha things, and the Omega things, of the Spirit-Manifestation, the Key-Power unlocks the Gates of the Invisible, and sets the prisoners free from the bonds of death: so that, when the Alphas of the Spirit shall become the Omegas, they will be able to say, as the constituents of the "One Yahweh and One Name," "I am the First and the last, and the Living One: and I was dead, and behold, I am living in (eis in, for, during) the Aions of the Aions;" or the Thousand Years: "Amen." Not that he shall live no longer; but, seeing that the Apocalypse treats almost solely of the Millennial Day and its antecedents, the duration of "the Living One" is only relatively, not absolutely, expressed. As Jesus taught, "they, who have been accounted worthy of that Aion, and to attain to the resurrection, which is from among the dead, cannot die any more: for they are equal to angels, and are Sons of the Deity, being sons of the resurrection" -- Luke 20:35. They live for the Olahm we-ad, the Millennium, and beyond; but it is only necessary to say that they live for the thousand years; for the resurrected who live all this time, will live also beyond, "and die no more." This first vision John beheld is the same that Daniel saw; and the proximate condition of both seers in beholding it, was the same. Daniel, as well as John, became the subject of symbolical death and resurrection. He speaks of himself while entering, being in, and coming out of the death state, in these words, in ch. 8:17, 18, saying, "When the Appearance of a Man came near where I stood, I was afraid and fell upon my face * * * and was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground, * * * but he touched me, and caused me to stand up upon my feet." He is still more explicit in defining his condition analogous to death, in ch. 10:8, saying, "I was left alone," as the dead are when buried; "and I saw this great vision; and there remained no strength in me; for my brightness was changed within me into corruption, and I retained no strength, * * * neither was there breath left in me." When a man is in a deep sleep prostrate upon the ground, destitute of strength and breath, his internal light extinguished, and corruption in the place thereof, he is dead. When, therefore, these things are affirmed of living men, as of Daniel and John, they are symbolically dead. Zechariah was in the same death state, and "was wakened out of his sleep" that he might behold the Seven-Branched Golden Lightstands, which, when burning with the Golden Oil, illuminate the earth with glory, after the resurrection of the dead -- ch. 4:1. These conditions, then, happened to these prophets that they might be testified; and that they might constitute boundary marks, by which the reader might know whether the visions recorded related to the times before or after the resurrection of the dead. The Spirit-Man John saw said to him, after he had laid the power of his right hand upon him, by which he was brought out of the death-state, "I am living in the Aions," or thousand years, by which we are taught that the Spirit did not refer to any period of that duration before the resurrection, but to a course of a thousand years after that event, dramatized in John's person. 4. Seven Golden Lightstands and Seven Stars.
"Having turned," says John, "I saw seven golden lighstands;" and in the last verse of the chapter, he records the signification of them as communicated to him by the Spirit, saying, "the seven lightstands which thou seest are Seven Ecclesias."
When the Hebrew would say that one thing represents, typifies, or symbolizes, another thing, it affirms that the one is the other; as, "that rock was Christ," "this bread is my body," "the seven lamps are the seven spirits," and "the seven lightstands are the seven ecclesias;" that is, "that rock typified Christ," "the bread represents my.body," "the seven lightstands symbolize seven ecclesias."
The golden lightstand, as a symbol, is taken from the seven-branched golden lightstand of the temple. It was peculiar to the Holy Place, where it stood on the south side, opposite to the table of Show-Bread. As there were no windows, the illumination was by the combustion of pure olive oil in its seven lamps. Without this lightstand and its burning oil, the holy was a dark place. It was therefore "a light shining in a dark place," both lightstand and light being typical of something else. This Mosaic lightstand was of one stem, with a lamp on the top, and three branches projecting from each side, with their several lamps, making in all seven lamps or burners. Thus, the stock, stem, or shaft, was "in the midst of the seven lightstands," altogether, stem, branches, bowls, knops, and flowers, consitituting one illuminator of the holy place.
This was part of "the parable," which Paul says was made up of "the patterns of things in the heavens" -- in the true holy places. The things that the Holy Spirit signified by the pattern-lightstand in the pattern holy place, are of the Christ; for in speaking of the substance, or body, of these shadowy things, he says, "the body is of the Anointed One" -- and that anointed one John beheld in his first vision. The are of the vision is the state of being between the resurrection and the entire exhaustion of the wrath of Deity contained in the seventh vial; for until the wrath of Deity is filled up, no man can enter into the Holy Place of the Apocalyptic Temple, which is the Millennial Aion -- Rev. 15:1, 8. In this post-resurrectional and pre-millennial holy state of being, the saints of previous generations are gathered together in Seven Ecclesias, or in complete assembly, as typified by the seven ecclesias of the proconsular Asia. These seven Asian ecclesias were very different in "gifts," "administrations," and operations," from anything extant, called "church," in our time. The assemblies of the faithful in Christ were constituted of two classes of saints -- the rulers and the ruled. "Obey them that have the rule over you," says Paul, "and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account" -- Heb. 13:17. "The Elders which are among you," says Peter, "I exhort, who am also an elder * * * feed the flock of the Deity which is with you, taking the oversight, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; not as domineering over The Heritages, but being examples of the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away" -- 1 Pet. 5:1. These official brethren, called episcopoi and diakonoi, "overseers and assistants," (Phil. 1:1, ) constituted the pneumatikoi, or spirituals, of the congregations, because they were endowed with pneumatika, or spiritual gifts, (Gal. 6:1, ) while the rest of the saints, constituting the ruled, were styled idiotai, or privates. To the Spirituals were given nine different gifts, called spirits, (pneumata pneumata -- 1 Cor. 14:12, ) not for their own gratification, but for the common good. These spirits are enumerated as, "a word of wisdom," "a word of knowledge," "faith to remove mountains," "gifts of healing," "inworking of powers," "prophecy," "discerning of spirits," "kinds of tongues," and "interpretation of tongues;" "all these inworked the one and the same Spirit dividing to each one respectively as he willed" -- 1 Cor. 12:1-11. Being thus ordered in Corinth and elsewhere, Paul said to them, "Ye are Christ's body, and members partitively" -- they were all of the body, but it was only specially endowed saints who constituted the foot, hand, ear, eye, and so forth, of the body; these special ones were members ek merous partitively -- special parts of the whole. The official saints collectively constituted in each congregation the presbytery, or eldership -- 1 Tim. 4:14; and that each brother might know his place, they were set in regular order. They were called "apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers" -- Eph. 4:11; and were ranked as, "first, apostles; secondarily, prophets; thirdly, teachers; after that, powers; then gifts of healing; sixth, helps; seventh, directors; eighth, kinds of tongues" -- 1 Cor. 12:22. This eldership thus remarkably endowed, was the Lightstand of the Ecclesia, each member thereof being a bowl, or vessel, containing the anointing oil, or spirit, so that when they exercised their functions in the midst of the saints, they were as trimmed lamps with their lights burning -- Matt. 25:4; Luke 12:35. They shone collectively as a bright Star in the midst of the body; and as the spiritual gifts were sent "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the building of the body of the Anointed," the Presbyterial Star is styled "the Angel of the Ecclesia," from aggelos, angelos, "one that is sent." Such was the arrangement of things in the seven typical ecclesias of Anatolia; typical, not of "the church" in seven periods of its history during the times of the Gentiles; but of the saints in their gathering together unto Jesus Anointed, after their resurrection, and before they pass from the Holy into the Most Holy of the Apocalyptic Temple. In the typifying relation of things (themselves typified and typifying) they were in the partitive, and not the perfect state. Referring to this, Paul says, "we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when to teleion, the perfect thing is come, then, that thing which is ek merous, in part will be done away." This phrase, rendered in the English Version "in part," is literally from parts -- "we know from parts," or partitively. That is, the word of knowledge, and the gift of prophecy, ("he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification and exhortation, and comfort") were "spirits" possessed only by certain individuals of an ecclesia -- by parts of the body, not by all the brethren: so that the knowledge and the prophecy preceeded ek merous, from parts, or specially endowed individuals. But "when the perfect thing is come," symbolized in John's first vision, "then that thing which is from parts," the partitive, or partially distributive, order of things in the seven Asian ecclesias, will be abolished. This has been abolished, and we may say, before the time -- before the arrival of "the perfect thing;" for this has not yet come, nor will it till after the resurrection. The knowing and prophesying from parts might probably have continued if "the Mystery of Iniquity" had not spoiled and desolated every thing; but as this prevailed through the working of Satan, the Angelic Presbyterial Stars, or Lightstands of the Ecclesias, shining by the Spirit, were abolished; or, in the words of the Spirit to the ecclesia in Ephesus, "I will come unto thee quickly, and will set thy lightstand a-going out of its place, except thou change thy mind." But things got worse instead of better; so that, as a punishment for apostasy, all the lightstands went out for want of the Golden Oil of the Spirit; and the ecclesias were turned into "churches," mere dark places in Satan, as we behold them at this day. But when "the perfect thing" symbolized to John, is come, the Saints, as "a perfect Man" (Eph. 4:13) will be caused to see face to face, and to know as they have been known. Let the reader turn to 1 Cor. 13:11. There Paul illustrates the relation of the general assembly of the saints to the order of things in his day, and to the order of things after the resurrection, by reference to himself as a child, and as a man. In the first century, the Body of Christ was in its childhood, and made up of nepia, or "babes;" liable to be "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph. 4:14.) The pneumatikoi, or Spirituals, and the idiotai, or privates, apart from the gifts, spake as children, thought as children, and reasoned as children; and, by the truth, looked into a mirror at an enigma (di esoptron en aivigmati): and multitudes of them were "corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." But when the Body becomes a Man -- "a Perfect Man" -- as represented by "the Son of Man in the midst of the Seven Lightstands with the Seven Stars in his right hand," in the post-resurrectional state of holiness, then there are no childish things found with it. Then every saint of the body will be in accord, seeing face to face, or eye to eye. Distribution of gifts to individuals only will not recur; and the body will no more be divided into spirituals and privates. Then all will be official and spiritual; and the idiotai subject to their jurisdiction, will be Israel and the Nations. Every individual member of the Perfect Man, will be omniscient, and omnipotent; for this Man was revealed to John as "He who is coming, The Almighty." There will be no knowing ek merous from parts then; for all the elements of the Perfect Man will be equally wise, and equally knowing; and the enigma, which is now revealed as a word and testimony, called "the Word of the Deity, and the Testimony of Jesus Anointed," on account of which John was in banishment, -- this enigma, as Paul styles it, will then be practically solved in the eyes of all nations. We have already shown the great and essential difference which exists between "church" and "ecclesia." The former is apocalyptically styled "the Synagogue of Satan." It is a clerical institution, existing for the advantage and behoof of certain theological empiries, who incompetently undertake to "cure souls" for a decent and respectable living in the world. This satanic institution has had its childhood, youth, and perfect manhood in Satan; and is now tottering upon its staff in the feebleness and idiotcy of extreme senility. The reader will please not confound any thing we have said about the childhood and perfect manhood of the Body of Christ, with any ideas he may have about the Body of Satan, called "church." This church is no illustration in any part of its history of the things spoken by Paul, which we have been considering. Its officials are "the spirituals of the wickedness of the darkness" which overspreads the habitable, when the lightstands were extinguished for the want of oil. The Body of Christ still lived, animated by "faith, hope, and love," which remained after the gifts were removed, but suffering, bleeding, and struggling for existence, until Satan's officials "prevailed against it," and crucified it, but were not permitted to bury it. It laid in the death-state "three days and a half," and when these expired, it rose again (Rev. 11:7-12; and lives to die no more, but to bear witness to the truth until the resurrection. But, though it exists, it cannot be identified by a clergyman, or clergyman's disciples. A man must come to the understanding of "the gospel of the kingdom" promised in the prophets, and preached by Jesus and the apostles, before he will have intelligence enough to discern the Body of Christ. When he understands that, he will know that the "Names and Denominations" of "the Religious World" are a miserably executed counterfeit of the true, and current only with such as are indifferent to, or ignorant of the truth. The mystery, or meaning, then, of the Seven Lightstands is, that they represent the sevenfold ecclesia; and of the Seven Stars is, that they are symbolical of the Elderships anointed with the Spirit, and shining with the gifts. While an anointed eldership was a lightstand to a particular ecclesia; this ecclesia was itself a lightstand to the pagan and rabinnical darkness on every side. But in the future state, no such distinction will obtain; for that which is "from parts" being nonexistent, and every saint "shining as the sun;" or, "as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars in the Olahm and beyond" (Mat. 13:43; Dan. 12:3.) The Sevenfold Ecclesia, as the Perfect Man, will be the Seven-Branched Golden Lightstand of the Earth. How brilliant then will be the illumination of the world; the whole earth will indeed be enlightened by the glory. 5. "The Son of Man."
Son of Man is a title bestowed upon "the Perfect Man" to indicate his origin. Son expresses the idea of emanation; hence, that seen in the midst of the lightstands, as their stem or shaft, as it were, was an emanation from the race of Adam -- Son of Man. "Israel is my Son, my First-born." In this declaration to Pharaoh, a nation of some three millions of people, is styled the First-born Son of Yahweh; hence, the reader will find no difficulty in comprehending that the Son of Man in the midst of the lightstands was the form of a man representing a multitude of individuals taken by some certain process from the human race. This is indicated by the symbol itself; for John speaking of its voice loud as a trumpet, says, "his voice was as a sound of many waters;" and the apocalyptic waters are defined as importing "peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues." His voice was the voice of an election from these, saying, "thou has purchased us for the Deity with thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation; and made us for our Deity kings and priests, and we shall reign over the earth" -- ch. 5:9, 10; 17:15. This idea of a multitudinous Son of Man is clearly exhibited in Dan. 7:13, in the words, "I was seeing in the vision of the night, and behold there was coming with clouds of heavens like a Son of Man, and he came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him; And to him was given dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and tongues, should serve him: his dominion is a dominion of Olahm which shall not pass away; and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." Here the clouds of heavens constitute the Son of Man, who is brought before the Ancient of Days, when "they" who compose him, themselves come into His presence. The Ancient of Days is "the Lord the Spirit," the "Quickening Spirit," the Logos in David's Flesh, who is the Head of this Son of Man. In the fourteenth verse, the kingdom is said to be given to the Son of Man; and in verses 18, 22, and 27, it is said to be given to the Saints of the wyn/yk[ Elyonin, Most High Ones; as, "the Saints of the Most High Ones shall receive the kingdom, and shall possess the kingdom for the Olahm, even during an Olahm of Olahms," or during the Millennium. And, as in verse 22, the Horn prevailed against the Saints "until that the Ancient of Days came; and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High Ones, and the time came and the saints possessed the kingdom:" and in the twenty-seventh verse, "and the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under all the heavens shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High Ones, whose kingdom is the kingdom of Olahm (the Millennium) and all the dominions shall serve and obey him." If a kingdom be given to A, and the same kingdom at the same time be given to Z: then A and Z are one and the same, though called by different letters of the alphabet. This is the argument of the texts before us -- the Millennial kingdom is given to the Son of Man; it is also given at the same time to the Saints; therefore "the Son of Man" and "the Saints" are but different phrases for one and the same thing. Daniel and John both introduce a Son of Man as a similitude; they tell us that what they saw was omoion huio a thing like to a Son of Man. It had the exterior form of a man; but from the description of parts anything than the exact counterpart of a man. The only place where the same similitude is again introduced is in Rev. 14:14, where John says, he saw "a white cloud;" and then, in order to show what the cloud represented, he tells us he beheld "upon the cloud sitting like to a Son of Man, having upon his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle." This is the similitude of the cloud of saints ready to reap the harvest of the earth, and to tread the winepress without the city; they are styled "a white cloud," because white is the raiment with which they are everywhere invested as the apocalyptic emblem of conquest and righteousness. The head of the similitude is crowned to indicate that the Son of Man similitude is a Body Politic of Kings. The similitude exhibited to Daniel in ch. 7:9, 10, has reference to the same subject as John's. Daniel was attracted principally to the Head, the rest of the body being concealed by "a garment white as snow." The head of the similitude represents "the Ancient of Days;" "the hair of the head being like the pure wool." Daniel and John's symbols agree in this. White as snow, and pure wool, are emblems of purity: scarlet and crimson redness are representative of sin. Thus, it is written, "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" Isai. 1:18. The wool of the symbol connects it with the Lamb of Rev. 5:6, "as it had been slain" in which are the Seven Eyes of Deity. The other particulars of John's Son of Man are merged in the following scenery of Daniel's vision: "His throne the fiery flame, his wheels burning fire. A stream of fire glowing and issuing from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and a myriad myriads stood before him: the judgment was set, and books were opened." The white garment indicates the priestly and righteous character of the body clothed thereby; all of which are justified, and priests as well as conquering kings for God. When it was revealed to Daniel in ch. 8:14, that the holy should be avenged "after 2300 years had passed away; he fell into the death state and revived, to signify that the vengeance would be after the resurrection. At that time also he says, "Behold, there stood before me as the Appearance of a Man; and I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Understand, O Son of Man; for at the time of the end the vision is." Here Daniel is made to personate the Son of Man. He was lying on his face in a deep sleep at the time, but when touched, he stood up as the Son of Man raised from the dead, to hear about the breaking of the Little Horn at the epoch of vengeance by the Prince of princes. Again, the apocalyptic Son of Man appears to Daniel by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel, as narrated in ch. 10:5. In the English Version, he is said to have beheld "a certain man." This phrase in the original is djavya ish-ekhad, Man of One. It was not a real man he beheld; but, as he styles it in ver. 18, "the Appearance of a Man;" and in ver. 16, "like the Similitude of the Sons of Adam." It was a symbolical, or shadowy representation of the Man of the One Eternal Spirit. It was, therefore, truly "a certain man," not an uncertain, or indefinite, one. John, the Baptizer, "saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a Dove;" and Daniel, and John, the apostle, beheld the same Spirit, "like the similitude of the Sons of Adam," or, "like to a Son of Man." Now, the description Daniel gives of this symbol, or Spirit-Form is, that "He was clothed in linen, and his loins girded with fine gold of Uphaz. His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms, and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude." He saw this in Eden, by "the third" of its rivers, "the Hiddekel," where "the Cherubim and devouring fire" were originally located -- Gen. 2:14; 3:24. The reason why the locality of the vision is specified, is to acquaint the reader with the region of the earth where the glory of the Spirit Man is to be revealed. The general description of the two symbols being before the reader, I shall proceed now to examine them more in detail, commencing with the intimation, that the similitude was 6. "Clothed to the Feet."
While Daniel informs us that the Spirit-Man he beheld, was "clothed with linen," John states simply, that he was "clothed to the feet." Now, this clothing is significant of the character and office of the persons represented by the symbol. The holy garments of Aaron and his sons were of linen, "to cover their nakedness," that when they ministered in the holy places, "they bear not iniquity, and die" -- Exod. 28:42. "Nakedness," and "iniquity," are convertible terms in scripture; as it is written, "when Moses saw that the people were naked, for Aaron had made them naked to their shame," -- that is, they had transgressed in worshipping the golden calf: "blessed is he that keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." Hence, to be "clothed," and to keep the clothing white, and clean, is to be "righteous," or holy. When Adam sinned, "he knew that he was naked," and he was ashamed, and afraid; but the Spirit appointed for clothing skins of sacrifices, and his sin was covered. Hence, "blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered," or clothed. Joshua, son of Josedec, a type of Jesus in the flesh, is first introduced as clothed with filthy garments, representative of the flesh with its propensities and lusts; but when the type is changed to represent Jesus in pneuma hagiosunes, -- that is, in Holy Spirit Nature, such as he acquired after resurrection, Joshua's raiment is represented as being changed -- "Take away," says the Spirit, "the filthy garments from him. When this was done, then the Spirit addresses him, and says, "I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment." And when the time came to do it -- to clothe Jesus, and all in him; symbolized in Joshua, and "his Fellows," "they set a fair mitre (or priestly crown) upon his head, and clothed him with garments." These arc indicated in the visions of John and Daniel -- Zech. 3:3-10. "I put on righteousness," says Job, "and it clothed me;" and in Psalm 132:9, "Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness." In Rev. 19:8, it is said of the community, styled "the Lamb's Wife," that "to her it was given, that she should be arrayed in fine linen, pure, and bright." Now, they who constitute "the woman," are "called, and chosen, and faithful" -- Rev. 17:14; "they follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth" -- 14:4; as his clouds of cavalry, "clothed in fine linen, white, and pure," which is declared to be "the Righteousness of the Saints -- ch. 19:14, 8; who are "purchased from among men," and made for Deity "kings and priests to reign over the earth." The multitude, symbolized by the Son of Man, attains to this dominion through much tribulation, and by resurrection. When they stand up they have obtained the victory over death and the grave, through him that loved them, and laid down his life for them: they are therefore represented in ch. 7. as "clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands" -- robes "washed, and made white in the blood of the Lamb." Hence, these are robes of salvation and victory. In their mortal state, they put on Christ as a robe, when, having "believed the things of the kingdom of the Deity, and the Name of Jesus Anointed," they were immersed for that name, and into it. They fall asleep in him; and they arise to partake of the nature of his individual "body, of his flesh, and of his bones," that they may be like him -- 1 Jno. 3:2. When they are clothed with this Spirit-Nature, they are "clothed upon with their habitation, which is from heaven -- mortality being swallowed up under the life of spirit that is poured upon them" -- 2 Cor. 5:2, 4. This is the consummation of their investiture, which begins with their immersion into Christ, and is perfected in their post-resurrectional immortalization by the Spirit through Jesus. They are then the Body Corporate of God's Kings and Priests, the inhabitation of Eternal Wisdom and Power, clothed in the linen garment of righteousness, honor, majesty, and salvation. Then Zion will have clothed herself with them all as with an ornament, and have bound them on as a bride -- Isa. 49:18; 61:10; Psalm 132:16; 104:1. The reader will understand, then, that the linen clothing of these symbols indicates the persons, their character, office, and nature, of which they are representatives. A glorious body of people prepared to execute righteous judgment upon the nations, and to govern them in righteousness when subdued -- the Son of Man in glory and great power. 7. The Golden Zone.
The "Perfect Man," seen by John, was "clothed with a garment down to the Foot:" no elemental part of him was unclothed; but each had on his wedding garment, clean, and white, so that in this glorious Son of Man no nakedness could be discerned. The next item that arrested John's attention in the glorious apparel of this royal and priestly man, was a Zone of Gold encircling his breast, or, in the words of the English Version, he was "girt about the paps with a golden girdle." This would answer to a breastband rather than to a girdle, which in the dress of the ancients belonged to the loins. But Josephus says that the priests wore the girdle upon their breasts, under their arms; that a kind of flower work was there represented, with threads of purple, scarlet, and hyacinth; that it went twice round the body, was tied before, and the ends hung down to the feet. When they were in the act of sacrificing, they threw this girdle over the left shoulder, that they might perform their office with the greater freedom. This, however, cannot have been the "embroidered girdle." This was attached to the Ephod's lower margin, and below the breastplate of judgment, and could not have been thrown over the left shoulder without removing the whole ephod and its appendages. What Josephus refers to must have been something else than "the girdle of the ephod." This was made of "gold, blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen." These articles represented principles afterwards to be incarnated in the High Priest after the Order of Melchizedec. Aaron wore the representations upon his person; Jesus bore them in himself. The gold represents the wisdom of a tried and precious faith; blue, a cleansing principle; purple, the element of flesh; scarlet, the sin thereof; and fine twined linen, righteousness. These principles were embodied in Jesus, as "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners," as to character; yet "the likeness of sin's flesh, in whom sin was condemned" when crucified, as to nature; and the purifier unto righteousness of those who become the righteousness of the Deity in and through him. The gold and fine twined linen were embroidered through all the blue, purple, and scarlet, of this "curious" breastband with which the breasts were girded; so in the case of Jesus, though "made sin for us, he knew no sin," "yet was he tempted in all points like as we are, but without transgression;" wisdom and righteousness were intertwined in all his words and actions, according to the type. Thus "the body or substance is of Christ" -- Exod. 28:2-21; Rom. 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 2:14; 4:15; Col. 2:17; 1 Pet. 2:24. But when Jesus and his Brethren shall all have attained to the divine nature, even as Jesus hath already, the gold and the linen of the girdle will alone remain. The blue, the purple, and the scarlet, make no part of the garments for glory and for beauty of the Son of man, as beheld by John, because what John saw pertains not to the sufferings, but to the glory of the Christ, or Anointed Body. In regard to the girdle Daniel tells us, that the Spirit-Man symbolized to him was "girded with fine gold of Uphaz." This Uphaz is the Ophir of other passages. In the days of the prophets it was the gold region of the earth, whence the most abundant supplies of the finest gold were obtained. The Mosaic "patterns of things in the heavens" were all of gold, or of precious woods overlaid with gold. Mere "wood, hay, or stubble" found no place there, any more than "in the heavens" themselves. The Cherubim, the Ark of the Testimony, the Mercy Seat, the Altar of Incense, the Seven-Branched Lampstand, the Table of Shew Bread, spoons, tongs, censers, hinges, staves, and so forth, were all of gold, or overlaid with gold. And beside all this, "the holy garments for glory and for beauty," worn by the High Priest, who officiated in this temple resplendent with gold, were brilliant with the shining metal and precious stones. Gold was chosen as the most precious of all known metals, to represent the most precious of "heavenly things" before the Eternal Spirit, namely, faith perfected by trial, which is "much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be refined by fire;" and "without which it is impossible to please God" -- Heb. 11:6; James 2:22; 1 Pet. 1:7; 2 Pet. 1:1. It is the basis of righteousness unto life eternal; for "we are justified by faith;" the fine linen robe of righteousness is girded about the saints by the golden girdle of a tried faith. "When God hath tried me," saith Job, "I shall come forth as gold." Thus David, in celebrating the future glory of the New Order of Elohim, consisting of the King and his Brethren, styles the latter "the Queen," in Psal. 45:10, saying to His Majesty, "the Queen hath been placed at thy right in fine gold of Ophir." He then addresses the Consort of the Great King, who, being the Eternal Spirit manifested in David's Son, is both Father and Husband of the Bride, (thy maker is thine Husband; Yahweh Tz'vahoth is his name; the Elohim of the whole earth shall He be called -- Isa. 54:5, ) saying, "Hear, O Daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; and forget thy nation, and the house of thy father; and the King shall greatly desire thy beauty; for He is thy Lord, therefore do thou homage unto him. So the Daughter of Tyre with tribute, the rich of the people, shall suplicate thy favor. The Daughter of the King is all glorious within; her clothing is of interweavings of gold; in embroideries she shall be conducted to thee; the Virgins, her companions, following her, shall be brought to thee. They shall be conducted with joyous shouts and exultation; they shall enter into the palace of the King." Thus David sings of "the Spirit and the Bride," clothed in the holy garments of righteousness and of a tried and perfected faith, for glory and for beauty. They are apocalyptically represented as "like a Son of Man;" as "a great city," styled "the Holy City, New Jerusalem, having been prepared as a Bride adorned for her Husband;" "a city of pure gold, like to transparent crystal;" "the precious sons of Zion," saith the prophet, "are comparable to fine gold;" for in their glory they are the Spirit-Incarnations of a tried and precious faith, which is the shining girdle of their ephod. 8. His Head and the Hairs.
John says that the head and the hairs of the similitude he saw were "white, as it were wool, white as snow." This appearance identifies it with Daniel's Ancient of Days," the hair of whose head was "like the pure wool." Now, in regard to the head, Paul says, "I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God" -- 1 Cor. 11:3; and in Eph. 5:23, he says, "the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the Ecclesia; and He is the Saviour of the Body." The apocalyptic Son of man is the body, and Jesus Anointed occupies the position of Head to that body. This is the reason why the head is represented as invested with the appearance of wool, white as snow. The whiteness represents the purity of the head, and the wool that head's relation to "the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world;" and primarily the sins of those who constitute the community represented by the Son of man, of whom it may be said, that they had washed them in the blood of the Lamb, and made them clean; and that "though their sins were as scarlet they had become white as snow; and though they were red like crimson they had become as wool" -- Isa. 1:16, 18. Thus the snow-white wool becomes the emblem of the purity of the whole body in Christ when "presented to himself a glorious ecclesia, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but holy and without blemish" -- Eph. 5:27. 9. His Eyes as a Flame of Fire.
The eye is the symbol of intelligence, for "the light of the body is the eye." The nature of the intelligence in predominant activity is expressed by the character of the symbol; hence an eye as a flame of fire, indicates intelligence in wrathful activity. The word for "eye" in the Hebrew also signifies "fountain;" because tears are welled up from the eye as water from a fountain or spring. Hence the eyes of the Man of Multitude are fountains of flaming fire; they pour out flames as "a fiery stream," and he becomes "a consuming fire." There is nothing beneficent in symbolic flame. This will appear from the use of the term in all parts of scripture. Speaking of Dathan and Abiram, as examples of divine indignation, David says, in Ps. 106:18, "a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked." Isaiah in treating of the overthrow of the kingdom of men under its last head in our near future, says, "Yahweh, Yahweh Tz'vahoth, shall send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. And the Light of Israel shall be for a fire, and His Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briars in one day. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the Mighty Hero -- rwbyg la , ail givbor" -- ch. 10:16, 21. In this testimony "the Light of Israel" is the Logos of John; He is the fire; and his flame is the Holy One symbolized by the Son of man with his eyes as a flame of fire. This is the Mighty Hero to whom Jacob shall return. Again, in speaking of the coming of the Name of Yahweh, the same prophet says, in ch. 30:27, "Behold, the Name of Yahweh cometh from afar, His anger burning, and it's vehemence a conflagration; His lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire: and his breath as an overflowing stream shall reach to the neck, to scatter the nations with the fan of destruction." This name of Yahweh is apocalypsed in John's similitude, the flame of whose eyes is poured forth as a stream of fire to effect what is here testified by Isaiah. Many other passages might be adduced illustrating the significance of symbolic flame whether it be streaming from the eyes, or glowing about the feet; but these are sufficient at present to show that the mission of the company symbolized by the Son of man is not of peace, but a mission of judgment and retribution upon the nations of the earth. 10. "His Feet like unto Fine Brass."
"His feet," says John, "like incandescent brass, as if they had been glowing in a furnace." We have here to consider the import of the feet; why they are symbolized by brass; in what sense they glow; and in what furnace the glowing is evolved. First, then, what is suggested by the feet of John's Spirit-Man of Multitude? The ideas primarily suggested by feet are a treading upon, and an advancing towards, or after, any thing. The flaming attribute of the similitude as illustrated by the prophetic testimony which it symbolizes, has shown us that it has a mission against the nations. Hence, in relation to them the feet of the Son of man suggests a treading down and a pursuing to the destruction of their power. This suggestion is in harmony with the testimony of Rev. 14, where "the clusters of the vine of the earth are gathered, and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of Deity;" and "the winepress is trodden without the city." The Feet that tread this winepress are the symbolic feet of the Son of man. The following testimonies will enlarge our view of their operation. In Psal. 18:32, the Spirit inquires, "Who is Eloah besides Yahweh? And who a Rock except our Elohim, the Ail girding me with might? Even he will make my way complete. He causes my feet to be like hinds, and he will make me to stand upon my high places. He is training my hands for war; so that the bow of brass has been broken by my arms. Thou wilt cause my going to extend under me; and my ankle-joints have not wavered. I will pursue my enemies, and shall overtake them, and I will not return until they be destroyed; I will wound them so that they shall not be able to rise; they shall fall under my feet. Thou wilt gird me with might for the war (that styled, "the war of that great day of Almighty Power" -- Rev. 16:14.) Thou wilt subdue under me those that rise up against me. And thou hast given to me the neck of my enemies; and those who hate me, I will cut them off. They will cry for help, but there is none to save them -- unto Yahweh, but he answered them not. Then will I grind them as fine as dust before the Faces of the Spirit; as mire of the streets will I pour them out. Thou wilt deliver me from the conflicts of the nations; thou hast appointed me for Prince of the nations. A nation which I knew not shall serve me. At the hearing of the ear they shall obey me; the sons of the foreigner shall submit to me; the sons of the foreigner shall fall, and tremble from their strongholds. 47. Yahweh lives, and blessed be my Rock; and he shall raise the Elohim of my salvation. The Ail who giveth avengements to me, even he will subdue the nations under me. 49. Thou wilt exalt me. From the Man of Violence (Paul's "Man of Sin," the "Lawless One") thou wilt deliver me. Therefore, O Yahweh, I will give thee thanks among the Gentiles; and sing psalms unto thy name, magnifying the deliverance of His King, and performing the promise to his Messiah, to David, and to his seed, during the Olahm," or thousand years. In this passage the Eternal Spirit through the prophet speaks of Messiah in the crisis of his controversy for Zion, in which as the head or chief of John's Son of Man, he puts his feet upon the necks of the kings of the earth, scatters their armies like dust before the wind, and becomes Prince or head of the nations in their stead. But this is true also of all the other individual members of this "New Man." If the New Adam himself thus make war upon and trample in the mire the kings and armies of the Old Adam-nature, he has promised that all approved believers "in him" -- all who are Abraham's Seed by being Christ's -- that is, all the Saints shall do the same; and share with him in the fruits of his and their victory. In proof of this the reader is referred to the following testimonies: -- "The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily, there is a reward for the righteous; verily, there are Elohim ruling in the earth" -- Psal. 58:10, 11. "All the horns of the wicked I will cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted" -- Ps. 75:10. "He shall cut off the spirit of princes; he is terrible to the kings of the earth" -- 76:12. "Arise, O Elohim, judge the earth; for thou shalt acquire possession in all the nations" -- Ps. 82:8. "He will exalt the horn of his nation; the glory of all his saints; of the sons of Israel, a people near to him" -- Ps. 148:14. Now the phrase "all the saints" is comprehensive of Jesus and his Brethren, who collectively form Daniel's, "Man of the One Spirit;" Paul's "New Man;" and John's "Son of Man." The same things are therefore affirmed of all, both Jesus and the faithful in him. Hence, as a body, their feet will be like hind's feet, swift in the pursuit of their enemies, whom they will overtake and destroy. These will fall before their power; and as Malachi says, they will trample them as ashes under the soles of their feet: and when they have got the victory, they will rule with Jesus as "princes in all the earth" -- Ps. 45:16; -- the resurrected "Elohim ruling in the earth;" "the Elohim of Messiah's salvation." The feet, in the next place, are symbolized in brass to connect them with the temple-pattern of heavenly things. While gold was peculiar to the interior apartments, or holy and most holy places; brass was characteristic of the Court of the Priests where the sacrificing and washing were performed. The Altar of Burnt-offering and the Laver with his Foot, and the Two Pillars of the porch, and many other things of the Court of the Priests, were all of shining brass, or overlaid therewith. the brass pertaining to the temple was all holy. The Brazen Altar was "most holy," so that whatever touched it was holy; no Israelite, however, was permitted to touch it, unless he belonged to the seed of Aaron; and even they were not permitted to approach the altar till they had first washed their hands and feet in the Brazen Sea. The Altar of Burnt offering prefigured the One Body in sacrificial manifestation. The idea of an altar of sacrifice representing a personal, and divine plurality, is frequent in scripture. Thus, Jacob erected an altar at Shalem in the land of Canaan, and called it Ail-Elohai Yisraail; that is, the Strength of the Mighty Ones of Israel -- Gen. 33:20: and Moses before the law was given, and in memory of the victory of Joshua over Amalek, "built an altar, and called the name of it, Yahweh-nissi; that is, He shall be my Ensign -- He who was symbolized by the altar -- Exod. 17:15; Isai. 11:10, 12; 18:3; 31:9; Zech. 9:16. This Yahweh-nissi altar was superseded by an altar overlaid with plates of brass. These plates represented "the flesh of sin" purified by fiery trial. "Gold, silver, brass, iron, tin, and lead, every thing," said Moses, "that may abide the fire, ye shall make go through the fire, and it shall be clean; nevertheless, it shall be purified with the water of separation; and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water" -- Numb. 31:22. The connexion of the plates with sin's flesh is established by their history. They were "the censers of those sinners against their own souls," Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and their company, two hundred and fifty of them, who rebelled against the Strength of Israel. He commanded Eleazer, Aaron's son, to melt them, and roll them into "broad plates for a covering of the altar;" and for "a sign to the children of Israel" -- Numb. 16:37. The Brazen Altar, which was foursquare, had four horns of brass, one at each corner; and in sacrifice, the blood was applied to the horns by the priest's finger; and the rest was all poured beside the bottom of the altar -- Exod. 29:12. These Horns represent the same thing as the Four Cherubim, the Four Carpenters, and the Four Living Ones, of Ezekiel, Zechariah, and John; only in the Brazen State, which precedes the Golden Olahm, Aion, or Millennium. As Horns of Brass they "execute the judgment written," as a consuming fire; for brass and offering by fire, is the association of things in the type. The Brazen Altar and its Horns of Brass, then, are symbolical of AIL, the Eternal Power, in Elohistic, or sacrificial and judicial maniestation in flesh. "Eloah will come from Teman," saith the prophet, "The Holy One from Mount Paran. Consider! His glory covers the heavens, and his praise fills the earth: and the splendor shall be as the light: He has Horns out of his hand; and there is the covering of his Strong Ones. Before his Faces shall go pestilence, and from his feet lightnings shall proceed. He stood and measured the earth; he beheld, and caused the nations to tremble: and the mountains of antiquity were dispersed; and the hills of the Olahm did bow; the goings of Olahm are his" -- Hab. 3:3-6. The Horns of the Brazen and Golden Altars are the Eternal Spirit's Strong Ones who disperse the empires of antiquity, and subjugate the kingdoms of the latter days to Him and his Anointed; so that the current of the world's affairs will be directed by his Elohim in the ensuing thousand years, or Daniel's "season and a time." The saints, then, are the Feet of incandescent Brass, who have all passed through the fire, and the water of separation, and been consecrated by the blood of the covenant; and "are partakers with the Altar," even with Jesus -- 1 Cor. 9:13; 10:18; Heb. 13:10, 12: and those of them who have been slain, have been poured out "beside the bottom," or "under the altar," from whence the cry apocalyptically ascends to the Father, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell upon the earth?" -- Rev. 6:10; 11:1. Hence, those who dwell upon the earth, being like Israel of old, "grievous revolters, brass and iron, corrupters all" (Jer. 6:28) are to be cast into a furnace glowing with the heat of Yahweh1s indignaton. Israel has been passing through the process for ages. They have been trampled under foot of the Gentiles in a great furnace of affliction; for punishment was to begin first at the Jew; and afterwards to be visited upon the brass and iron of the Gentiles. Ezekiel's description of Israel's punishment by Gentile agency will illustrate that of the Gentiles by the agency of Israel under the direction of the Man, "whose Feet are like incandescent brass glowing in a furnace;" and will furnish an obvious interpretation of the text. "The word of Yahweh," says the prophet, "came unto me, saying, Son of Man, the house of Israel is to me become dross; they are all brass and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are the dross of silver. Therefore, thus saith Yahweh Elohim, because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it to melt it; so will I gather you in my anger, and in my fury, and I will leave you, and melt you. Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I, Yahweh, have poured out my fury upon you" -- ch. 22:17. In this testimony, Israel in the flesh are compared to brass and other metals full of dross. This drossy nature of the brass is the characteristic by which they are distinguished from the "fine," or "incandescent brass" of the Son of Man, or Israel in the Spirit, in glowing, or burning, operation upon the subjects of Yahweh's fiery indignation. Israel, as dross, is exemplified in the denunciations of the prophets. Their drossiness is seen in the abominations they practised in burning incense to reptiles, and filthy beasts, and idols of every sort; in their women weeping for Tammuz, the Adonis of the Greeks; and in their worshipping the sun between the porch of the temple and the altar, with their backs towards the sanctuary of Yahweh -- Ezek. 8:7-18. They are still in the drossy state, with the curse of Moses, and the blood-guiltiness they invoked upon themselves and posterity at the crucifixion of Jesus, lying heavily upon them. Israel lives in perpetual violation of the law; and yet professes to expect justification by that law, which only thunders the curses of Mount Ebal in their ears. Hence, they are to this day "the dross of silver in the midst of the furnace" of affliction; "left" of Yahweh, and "melted." But, if Israel be the dross of silver, the Gentiles are the dross of brass, iron lead, and tin. The Gentile dross is of no more value than Israel's; for "God has concluded all under sin." Israel boasts in Moses, and pays no regard to what he prescribes; and the Gentile bepraises Jesus, while their ears are closed, and their hearts steeled against his teaching and commands: so that Jews and Gentiles are both guilty before God; they only excepted who believe the gospel of the kingdom and obey it. They have all, therefore, to be gathered into a furnace glowing with intense combustion, before their races can attain to the blessedness that is to come upon all nations through Abraham and his Seed. Jews and Gentiles must be "melted in the fire of Yahweh's wrath," which fire will glow at the Feet of the Son of Man -- "the Saints executing the judgment written;" and "treading the wicked as ashes under the soles of their feet." As to the furnace in which this intense glowing wrath of Deity is to glow, we may state it in the words of Ezekiel as "the Wilderness of the Peoples." This is the "furnace" both for Israel and their enemies. In relation to Israel in this furnace, it is written, "As I live, saith Adonai Yahweh, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there will I plead you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith Adonai Yahweh. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the Covenant. And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am Yahweh" -- Ezek. 20:33-38. When thus purified from dross in this glowing furnace, the Jewish nation will be brass and silver well refined -- Mal. 3:2. The rebellious dross will have been cleaned out, and Anti-Mosaic Judaism, by which they are now caused to wander out of the way, will have been destroyed from the earth. This refining in the furnace is in "the time of Jacob's trouble," out of which he is to be delivered -- Jer. 30:7; and though they are now "prostrate among the cattle pens," they will be "the wings of the Dove covered with silver, and her feathers with the brightness of fine gold" -- Ps. 68:14; John 1:32. But the nations are to become molten brass, as well as Israel. Their brass, therefore, is also to be gathered into the furnace, that it may be melted and refined under the intense fire of divine wrath. Israel, commanded by the Son of Man, is a torch of fire in the wilderness, which not only purges them, but serves to consume its peoples. The wilderness thus converted into a smelting furnace, is that which John saw when he was carried away in spirit into the wilderness, where he saw "the Great Harlot sitting upon many waters;" which are interpreted to signify "peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues" -- Rev. 17:1, 15. The countries of Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Greece, Egypt, and, in short, all the Mediterranean and Euphratean countries, being the territories of the Four Beasts of Daniel, constitute the furnace in which the Nebuchadnezzar gold, and silver, and brass, and iron, and clay, are made to glow with fervent heat of sevenfold intensity; and in which the four men of God -- the Cherubim -- walk to and fro without hurt, "the fire having no power upon their bodies," as symbolized by Nebuchadnezzar's furnace, and by John's mystical Son of Man, who torments the worshippers of the Beast and the False Prophet "in the Lake of fire burning with brimstone" -- Rev. 19:20; 14:10. The melting and refining the Gentile brass in this Babylonian furnace, incandescent with the wrath of Deity, is Daniel's "time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation to that same time" -- ch. 12:1. It is "the day burning like a furnace," which shall consume the proud, and all that do wickedly with their Anti-Christian Gentilism, by which the peoples are deceived; but which shall have no power for evil against the people represented by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and the one with them like the Son of God; they shall come forth unharmed, unsinged, unchanged, and inodorous of the fire. For these are the Bride, the Daughter of Zion, to whom the Spirit saith, "Arise, and thresh, for I will make thine Horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many peoples; and I will consecrate their spoil to Yahweh, and their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth" -- Mic. 4:13. These brazen hoofs of Zion's daughter, which answer to the feet of John's similitude, are the feet of Ezekiel's cherubim, which, he says, "are straight feet; and the sole of their feet like the sole of a calf's foot; and they sparkled like the color of burnished brass" -- Ezek. 1:7. Thus, while Israel is passing through the furnace, under the conduct of the Saints, and are themselves being purged from dross, they are also made use of by their commanders, as a torch of fire among the sheaves, or a lion among flocks of goats (Mic. 5:8; Zech. 12:6) to destroy the power and kingdoms of the world, after the allegorical example of their transit out of Egypt into the land of the inheritance; for though passing under the rod themselves, they become also "a rod of iron" in the hand of Yahweh, for the destruction of the nations when their iniquity is full -- Rev. 2:26, 27. 11. "His voice as the Sound of Many Waters."
In the tenth verse of this first chapter, John informs us, that the first thing that arrested his attention, when he came to be "in spirit," was "a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last;" and in the fifteenth verse, he tells us, that the great voice was "as the sound of many waters." Now, in this book, "many waters" is defined to be "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues" -- ch. 17:15. This would give us the interpretation, that the voice of the Son of Man was the voice of a multitude; and that, consequently, the similitude was the symbol of a multitude -- a Multitudinous Son of Man. And this accords with the voice of Daniel's symbol, of which he testifies, that the voice of his words was as the voice of a multitude" -- ch. 10:6. Ezekiel, also in characterizing the noise made by the Wings of the Four Cherubim, says, "I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of many waters, as the voice of Mighty Ones (Shaddai) in their goings, the voice of speech, as the noise of a camp: in standing they let down their wings" -- ch. 1:24. The meaning of this is, that Ezekiel heard the voice of a multitude of Mighty Ones, speaking as the warriors of a camp in mortion against an enemy; and that when they were not in progress, their voice was not heard; "in standing they let down their wings," and consequently, there was no sound of war. The wings of the Ezekiel Cherubim, and the man-like Similitudes of Daniel and John, in speaking, sounded forth as the roar of mighty waters. This was when they were in progress, advancing in body and wings their brazen-footed batallions against the Fourth Beast, or the apocalyptic Beast and False Prophet, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, -- the former utterly consumed in the furnace, or "lake of fire burning with brimstone," and the kings of the earth, and their armies slain with the sword of the resurrected and Glorified Mystic Man. The multitude of mighty ones, apocalyptically, denominated "the Almighty," is that great multitude referred to in ch. 7:9 -- "a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, standing before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." These are the "many waters," when their work is done. Ezekiel heard "the voice of speech," and in uttering their great voice, some of the things they proclaimed are, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, honor, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they exist, and were created" -- ch. 4:11: and "Salvation to our Deity who sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb" -- ch. 7:10; 5:14. John likens the voice to the sound of a trumpet speaking, by which similitude it is connected with Paul's testimony, concerning the descent of the "Lord himself from heaven, with a shout, with a voice of an archangel, and with a Trumpet of Deity." The Apocalypse of the Son of Man is an affair of trumpets. His manifestation is preceded by the sounding of six trumpets; and in the sounding of the seventh, and last, it is that the Saints are raised, and apocalypsed in clouds to meet their Lord the King. The last period of the seventh trumpet is a momentous and terrible epoch in the world's history. It is the sounding of the voice of the Almighty Host, that is to make the world to tremble. Alluding to this, Isaiah says, "All the inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, when He lifteth up an Ensign upon the mountains, tremble; and when He bloweth a trumpet, they shall hear" -- ch. 18:3. The prophet tells us, that this is to be at the time when Israel shall be brought to Yahweh Tz'vaoth, in Mount Zion, as a present, to the place of the Name of Yahweh Tz'vaoth; which, as Jeremiah testifies, will at that time be called "the throne of Yahweh" -- ch. 3:17; Isa. 24:23. This is the trumpet of Israel's restoration among other events. This is manifest from Isa. 27:12, 13, which says, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that Yahweh shall beat off from the channel of the river (Euphrates) unto the stream of Egypt (the Nile),and ye shall be gathered to one another, O ye children of Israel. And it shall be in that day, that the Great Trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come who were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall bow down to Yahweh in the holy mount at Jeruslaem." This great trumpet shall be blown, and Zechariah tells us by whom. In ch. 9:14, having told us previously, that Zion's Sons should be raised up to become a sword upon Greece, it is said, "And Yahweh shall be seen over them, and his arrow (the Ten Tribes) shall go forth as the lightning; and Adonai Yahweh (Yahweh's Lords) shall blow the trumpet, and shall go forth with whirlwinds of Teman. Yahweh Tz'vaoth shall defend them, and they shall devour, and disregard the stones of the sling." The trumpet blown is for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps; first, for the gathering of the princes, the heads of the thousands of Israel; then for the convocation of all Israel; and thirdly, for war against their enemies -- the antitype of the Memorial of blowing of trumpets, and of the trumpet of the jubilee, on the first and tenth days of the seventh month -- Numb. 10; Lev. 23:24; 25:9. The Sons of Deity, his kings and priests, shall blow the trumpet, and proclaim, as the roar of many and mighty waters, to the inhabitants of the world, that they are "the Beginning and the Ending," "the Elohim of all the earth" -- Isa. 54:5, -- the Eternal Spirit multitudinously manifest in flesh. 12. "Out of His Mouth a Sharp Two-Edged Sword."
A sword proceeding out of the mouth of a symbol indicates that the community represented is prepared for military operations. "Yahweh," saith Moses, "is a Man of War;" and that warrior is before us in John's similitude of the Son of man. The Mouth of such a similitude, with a sword affirmed to be proceeding out of it, is representative of the Commander-in-Chief. "Joseph gave them wagons, according to the mouth of Pharaoh;" that is, "according to the command of Pharaoh." When the word of command passes out of the mouth of a general, it moves armies, and causes them to draw their sword, and to smite their enemies with great slaughter. His word that goes out of his mouth causes blood to flow; and, as the sword is the instrument of blood-shedding, the idea is fitly symbolized by placing a sword in apposition with the mouth, and affirming that it is going forth. If the Son of Man were in an attitude of speaking peace to the nations, his eyes would not be as a flame of fire, and his feet would not glow incandescently, nor would his countenance be as sun-smiting heat; but all this would be modified and changed, and instead of "a sharp double-edged long sword," an Olive Branch would stand related to the Mouth. According to the tenor of the words is the character of the symbol. The sword directed by the mouth of the similitude is said to be sharp and two-edged. It is sharp for cut and thrust -- the sword of a Mighty Man ready for execution, and which ever way directed is sure to smite effectively. The voice of the words of the great multitude symbolized by this sword, is the voice of the Eternal Spirit speaking through them as the ministers of his vengeance. Hence the sword is symbolical of what Paul styles, "the Spirit of his Mouth," which is the Lord Jesus Anointed, the Mouth of the Body. Thus, though represented by this cutting instrument, Paul says, "The Word of Deity is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." The word is sharper now, for it can penetrate in argument where a sword cannot reach; but, how much sharper will it be when the word of command shall find expression through a two-edged sword in the hands of the Saints. But while Jesus is mouth in a personal sense, He and the Saints are the Mouth of the Son of Man in a corporate sense. This personal and corporate sense, in its conjoint signification, must not be lost sight of in the prophetic and symbolic scriptures; or we shall fail to perceive their meaning in the full extent. Thus, Isaiah speaking of the One Body in its Alpha and Omega manifestation, says, in ch. 11:4, that "the Rod of Jesse's stem shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked * * * and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea:" so that the enemy is "slain by the words of his mouth" -- Hos. 6:5. By reading Isai. 49 it will be seen what is to be effected by this sword of the Spirit wielded by David's house -- it effects the restoration of Israel, and the salvation of the nations from the superstition, and misgovernment that destroys them on every side. The similitude of the Son of man is introduced in Rev. 19:11-16, where it is resolved into an army, consisting of the Commander-in-Chief, his staff, and the troops they command: or the Lord Jesus, the Saints, and the horses they ride, which are the armies of Israel. In this scene the Son of man has many crowns upon his head, which represents a multitude of Kings under one chief. "His vesture is dipped in blood," as he had just come from the sacrifice at Botzra; while his body-guards, or officers of his hosts, are "clothed in fine linen, white and clean," to indicate their righteousness, in peace or war; for "in righteousness he doth judge and make war." Thus prepared, they are ready for the conquest of the world; which is indicated by the testimony that, "out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of the Deity who is Almighty. And he hath on the vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords;" who, being jointheirs with their imperial chief, have a common destiny and inheritance with him -- Rev. 2:26; 3:21. 13. "His Aspect as the Sun."
"His aspect as the sun shines in his power." the words hJ oyi" autou, which I have rendered "his aspect," are expressed in the English version by "his countenance." In modern style, this is generally understood of the face. But John certainly did not mean this. He began his description at the hair of the head; and if he had meant the face he would doubtless have referred to it before he passed down to the breasts. What he had reference to, after finishing in detail, was the general external aspect of the whole figure.
This was typified in the general appearance of the Alpha on the mount of Transfiguration. Peter, James, and John, were witnesses of this. it was a representation of the power and coming, or Majesty, of the Lord Jesus Anointed. Peter, alluding to it, says, "We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the glory and coming of our Lord Jesus Anointed, but were eye witnesses of his majesty. For he received from Deity, the Father, honor and power, when a voice came to him from the excellent glory, saying, This is my Son the Beloved in whom I am well pleased -- 2 Pet. 1:16. On that occasion, "his face prosopon, shone as the sun, and his raiment became white as the light." This transfiguration scene exhibited the Son of man personal and corporate in the glory of the Father as he will be in the kingdom of Deity. His general aspect will be glorious; for "the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed when Yahweh Tzavaoth shall reign the glory on Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and in the presence of his Ancients" -- Isai. 24:23."Our life is hid with Christ in the Deity, and when he who is our life shall appear, then shall we (the Saints) appear with him in glory" -- Col. 3:4; and, says John, "we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" -- 1 Epist. 3:2. When, therefore, the apocalypse of the multitude of the Sons of God, represented by John's similitude of the Son of man, shall be manifested, being all like to Jesus in transfiguration, the aspect of the Body will be "as the sun when he shines in his power." Jesus being the Sun of Righteousness, and they like him, they will be all "as the sun;" and "when he shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory." He will then "shine forth in his power" the Sun of an unclouded day; and as he shines, so will they; for he has said, "to him that overcomes I will give to sit down with me upon my throne, as I overcome and sit down with my Father upon his throne" -- Rev. 3:21; "then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father" -- Matt. 13:43; and there will be no place found for the earth and the heaven, in which the Beast and the False Prophet, and their kings now shine in all the glory of Satan; for then they will have fled away from before the face and sun-like aspect of the Son of man, seated upon "the Great White Throne" established by his prowess for the Thousand Years -- Rev. 20:11. From the illustration of the transfiguration, the personal appearance of the Saints will be splendid with brightness. But there is reason to believe that they will not be distinguishable from ordinary men in appearance until their labors are accomplished. When the angels visited Sodom, the citizens did not discern any difference between them and Lot. And so will it be with the Saints who arise to execute the judgment written upon "the Great City, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified" -- Rev. 11:8. The nature of their work requires that they should have the aspect common to humanity, which is not at all incompatible with the symbolical glory of their Body Corporate. If they flashed light from their persons as the sun shoots forth his rays, their enemies would be so panic-stricken, that they would not stand in fight, by which their punishment would be greatly impeded. The resurrected saints will therefore appear upon the theatre of war, as Adam and Jesus when they first emerged from earth. Jesus was mistaken for the gardener. The Angel of the Lord who descended from heaven to open his grave, was of lightning-like countenance, and raiment white as snow; and the guards did shake, and became as dead men; but when Mary saw Jesus, she conversed with him without trepidation. There was an interval between the restoration of the body to life and the glorification of Jesus seven days before Pentecost. During this typical interval of forty days, he associated with the disciples, ate, drank, and conversed with them as usual. The body raised not having been "received up in glory," or displayed in the brightness of spirit-body, was in a condition to shine forth incorruptibility and immortality when the fitness of things required. Now Jesus was the great example of all things pertaining to his Brethren, the Saints. When their bodies come out of their graves, they come forth as Adam or Jesus. Had Adam the First (who was the figure of Jesus) shone forth in glory, it would have been when he should have been permitted to eat of the Tree of Life. All the time between his creation and such eating would have been ordinary human existence. It was so with Jesus; and will be so with the Saints. Between their resurrection and glorification is the resurrection state, styled "in the resurrection," a period of forty years preceding the Millennium, in which some of the most important events of the Apocalypse are to be transacted. The end of this judicial period, during which the kingdom is being established, or "set up," is the "Evening Time" -- the time preceding the Millennial Day. When the night has passed, the Day of Rest arrives, in which the Saints, who have been "scourging throughout the earth," cease from their labors, and their works do follow them. They enter the kingdom, covered with glory, which the nations will bear in lively remembrance for a thousand years. Now, according to this arrangement, Zechariah testifies, saying, that when the Mount of Olives shall be rent asunder by an earthquake, "Yahweh, my Elohim, shall come in, all the Saints with thee. And it shall be in that day there shall be no brightness -- the Splendid Ones shall draw in; and it shall be one day that shall be known to Yahweh, not day nor night; and it shall be at the time of evening there shall be brightness. * * * And Yahweh shall be for King over all the earth. In that day there shall be One Yahweh, and his Name One" -- Zech. 14:5-9. The "Splendid Ones" of this passage are the Elohim, or Saints, who will not shine forth in the brightness of their glory until the time of evening; then, when the kingdom is restored to Israel, they will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father, as Daniel, Zechariah, and Jesus have foretold. 14. "The Amen."
"I was dead, and behold, I am lying for the Aions of the Aions, Amen." This is from the Hebrew ahmain, "faithfulness." The Eternal Spirit both absolute and incarnate, is "the Amen." In the letter to Laodicea the Spirit speaks, and in speaking, says, "these things saith The Amen;" and in this first chapter, the Amen says, "I was dead." But the Spirit never died; therefore, here it must be understood of the Logos speaking from a body, personal and corporate, with whom he had united in a resurrection thereof from the dead. All the elements of this Body are faithful and true witnesses, and believers of the promises of Deity, which in Christ, are yea, and in Him, Amen, unto the glory of the Deity by us -- 2 Cor. 1:20. The Son of Man being constituted of firm believers of the promises, is styled ho Amen, the Faithful One; hence all his constituents are Elohai Amen, "Mighty Ones of Faithfulness," being all of that principle, faith, without which "it is impossible to please the Deity" -- Heb. 11:6. Because, therefore, of their faithfulness, or Amen characteristics, the Spirit saith, they shall eat, and drink, and rejoice, and sing for joy of heart. But to Israelites of an opposite character, he saith, "Ye shall leave your name for a curse to my Chosen One; for Adonai Yahweh shall slay thee, and to his servants proclaim another name; that he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the Elohim of Amen; and he that sweareth in the land shall swear by the Elohim of Amen (the Mighty Ones of Faithfulness); because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from my eyes. For, behold, I create New Heavens and a New Earth * * * for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy" -- Isai. 65:13. These Elohim, then, embodied in the Son of Man, are "the Amen," who, in the days of their flesh, "through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again; and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. And others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment; they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented (of whom the world was not worthy;) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens, and caves of the earth." Such were the constituents of "the Amen," the Mighty Ones of Faithfulness, who all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise; Deity having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect" -- Heb. 11:33; -- a perfection apocalypsed in "the Amen," who was dead and lives in the Millennial Olahm and beyond.