THE CHAPTERS OF THIS VOLUME ARE NUMBERED ACCORDING TO THE NUMBERS OF THE CHAPTERS OF THE APOCALYPSE; SO THAT THE FOURTH OF THIS WORK IS AN EXPOSITION OF THE FOURTH OF THE APOCALYPSE, AND SO ON TO THE ELEVENTH INCLUSIVE. SUBJECT. THE THRONE COVENANTED TO THE SON OF DAVID ESTABLISHED IN THE HOUR OF JUDGMENT TRANSLATION Apoc. IV. 1. After these things I looked, and behold a Door opened in the heaven, and that first voice which I heard as of a trumpet speaking with me, saying, Ascend hither, and I will exhibit to thee things which must come to pass after these." 2. And immediately I was in spirit: and behold a Throne was established in the heaven, and upon the throne One sitting. 3. And the One sitting was in appearance like to a jasper and sardine stone, and a Rainbow circled about the throne in appearance like to an emerald. 4. And circling about the throne were Twenty-four thrones: and upon the thrones I saw the twenty and four Elders sitting, having been invested with white garments; and they had upon their heads golden coronal wreaths. 5. And out of the throne burst forth lightnings and thunders and voices: and Seven Lamps of Fire burning before the throne, which are the Seven spirits of the Deity. 6. And before the throne a translucent sea like to crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and in the circle of the throne, Four Living Ones, being full of eyes before and behind. 7. And the First Living One was like to a Lion; and the Second Living One like to a Calf; and the Third Living One having the face like to a Man; and the Fourth Living One like to an Eagle flying. 8. And the Four Living Ones, one by itself, had each six wings circling about it; and within they were full of Eyes; and they have no intermission day and night, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord, the Omnipotent Deity, who was and who is and who is coming. 9. And when the Living Ones shall give glory, and honour, and thanks, to the One sitting upon the throne, who liveth for the Aions of the Aions, the twenty and four Elders fall before the One sitting upon the throne, and they do homage to Him who liveth for the Aions of the Aions, and they cast their coronals before the throne, saying, 11. "Worthy art thou, O Lord, to receive the glory and the honour and the power; thou createdst all things, and on account of thy will they exist, and were created." Exposition SECTION I. A DOOR OPENED IN THE HEAVEN, AND THE LOUD TRUMPET VOICE "After these things I looked, and behold a DOOR OPENED in the heaven, and that first voice which I heard as of a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Ascend hither, and I will exhibit to thee things which must come to pass after these." -- Verse 1. In the English version, the fourth chapter of the Apocalypse begins with the words "after this;" as if the Spirit referred to one particular thing noted in the previous chapter, after which the subject of the fourth was to be initiated. But the original phrase is meta tauta, and should be rendered "after these things;" the Spirit thereby intimating a plurality of things to be accomplished before the establishment of the throne. The things to be perfected before the setting up of the kingdom were those styled in ch. 1:19, "the things which are." This sentence must be interpreted of the things existing while John was in Patmos. There are three sets of things indicated in ch. 1:9: first, "the things thou hast seen;" second, "the things which are;" and, third, "the things which shall come to pass, meta tauta, after these." The first set consisted of the Seven Lightstands, the Son of Man, and the Seven Stars; the second, of the things treated of in the epistles to the Seven Ecclesias in relation to their spiritual condition, which was developing itself into irremediable apostacy and delusion; and the third, of the things to be accomplished after the removal of the lightstands out of their place in the ecclesias -- ch. 2:5; after the tribulation of the ten days -- ch. 2:10; after fighting against the Balaamites with the sword of the Spirit's mouth; after the casting of Jezebel into a bed, and them who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, and the killing of her children with death -- ch. 2:22; after his coming upon the dead in trespasses and sins as a thief -- ch. 3:1, 3; and after the Spirit had spued them out of his mouth -- ch. 3:16. These things were all to come to pass before the promises affixed to each epistle could be fulfilled; which promises in their development in the "Hour of Judgment" -- ch. 15:7 -- are symbolized in ch. 4:2-11. But as to the time that was to elapse from the epoch of John's abode in Patmos to the opening of a door in the heavens, or from the spuing of the sevenfold ecclesia in Laodicean manifestation out of the Spirit's mouth, to the establishment of the throne in the opened heavens, it is not stated in this chapter how long. As I have shown, the ecclesia (a remnant only excepted), transformed into "the Holy Catholic Church," had been spued out in the Constantine Era; still "the Church" continued. Jezebel and Balaam still flourish in the heavenlies, or high places of the earth; where they revel in all the pleasures of sin, and in the enjoyment of all the rewards of unrighteousness, the Gentile Balac, the son of Bosor, or the world-rulers of "the state" can bestow. As we have shown, Jezebel is representative of what Papists and Protestants agree to call "the Church," which maintains its ascendancy until the opening of a door "in the heavens;" and Balaam is representative of the Clerical Orders of "the church" which will also prevail as "the spirituals of the wickedness in the heavenlies" (Eph. 6:12), until the throne is set. This is the order of things pertaining to the course intermediate between Constantine, a.d. 312-337, and the apocalypse of the Sons of the Deity, which is near at hand. In all this long period of over sixteen hundred and twenty years, Laodiceanism has prevailed in the form of the Beast of the Sea, the Beast of the Earth, the Image of the Beast, the False Prophet, and the Scarlet-colored Beast bearing Jezebel, the Mother of Harlots, and of All the Abominations of the earth. The root of all these things is that Mystery of Iniquity at work in the christian community in Paul's day -- 2 Thess. 2:7. It was then only being sown by those wolves in sheep's clothing he predicted would arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them. In this they succeeded marvellously; so that the true believers were reduced to a mere remnant, which at the present time is too inconsiderable to command the respectful attention of "the church". But this Jezebel and Balaamite Mystery of Iniquity which continues to the adventual epoch, is to be consumed by the Spirit of the Lord's mouth, and utterly destroyed by the manifestation of his presence. Such is the testimony of Paul and Daniel, to say nothing of the rest. Now, this consuming and destroying manifestation of spirit is what John saw when he "looked and beheld a door opened in the heaven" of the apocalypse. What he saw is the epiphany, or manifestation of the Spirit's parousia, or presence. He beheld it in belligerent operation; for "out of the throne," he says, "proceed lightnings and thunders and voices," which are the symbols of war. 1. The Heaven and the Door I need not here repeat what has already been said about "the heaven." It will be sufficient to refer the reader to the captions on pages 139 and 146 of vol. 1. To the saints this aerial expanse is closed. At present they do not shine there as the sun, moon, constellations, and stars of the firmament. The luminaries of the heaven are the dignities, or glories, incarnated in the officials who figure as the civil and spiritual rulers of "the earth and habitable." Although the saints are promised "power over the nations to rule them" (ch. 2:26, 27), "the heaven," in which national government is located is shut and fast closed against them. Their principles incapacitate them for sharing power with the world-rulers in Church and State. A saint, who is one in deed as well as name, cannot condescend to subject himself to the conditions necessary to obtain the favor of the political mob, whether that mob be a mob of aristocrats, or a mob of what these call "the swinish multitude" he cannot, I say, condescend, as a son of the Deity, a brother of Jesus Christ, and a king and priest elect for God, to seek the favor of "the dead in trespasses and sins" whose votes and patronage are indispensable to his exaltation to the heaven; in which he may figure by the eloquence of his speech, or the gaudy decorations of a court, as a star of the first or an inferior magnitude. No saint could by any other possibility than that based upon apostacy, consent to occupy the Papal Chair, or to fill an archiepiscopal, or other ecclesiastical or secular throne. The heaven, in which these seats of glory, honor, wealth, and power exist, is infected with such malarious and poisonous exhalations of sin's flesh, that he could not breathe them, and live and move, and have continued healthful spiritual existence in the Deity. Fortunately for the saints this heaven is shut against them, and its door bolted, locked, and barred to keep out all who will not fall down and worship the Satan, who is prince of the Aerial, and bestows its glories upon whomsoever he approves. But this heaven is not always to be shut up and barred against the saints -- against the Lord Jesus and his Brethren. The Satan that now fills it, and monopolizes its heavenly things, is to be hurled from it with a mighty overthrow. This Satan, which is Sin in official manifestation, holds the power and glory of the world's dominions. They are delivered unto him, and to whomsoever he will, he gives them -- Luke 4:5, 6. All the evil that afflicts humanity is "the power of the enemy," or the Satan, whether that evil be enthroned in the heaven, or be found in the poison of serpents and scorpions. But the Satan in the heavenlies is doomed; for Jesus in vision of the future, said: "I beheld the Satan as it were lightning fall out of the heaven." -- Luke 10:18. He falls thence by virtue of a stronger than the Satan breaking into the heaven and casting him out. The Satan's house or kingdom is strongly fortified against all burglars and besiegers, at present upon the earth. Under existing circumstances, there is no chance of the saints being able to make a breach, or to open a door in the heaven, to effect an entrance into it, and after the example of Cromwell and his Ironsides, to expel the Satan, and eject him with all his instruments of mischief and abomination. But though this present inability exists, the expulsion is to be accomplished. The oracle before us proclaims "a door opened in the heaven," which is equivalent to saying, that a power had been apocalypsed on earth, stronger than the Satan; that this power had made a breach in the enemy's works; and that this breach had become practicable, so that the breaching power could march through it as through a door, and take possession of the heaven, or "kingdom under the whole heaven." -- Dan. 7:27. The oracle does not say that doors were opened. Our attention is restricted to a door, that is, to one door. A door is that opening in a wall through which you pass into the area or room beyond. This is the scriptural use of the word. Understanding this, and that the apocalyptic heaven is that constitution of things expanded over all peoples, and nations, and languages, as the government by which they are regulated and controlled; the reader will perceive, that the coup-d'etat by which the smiting power succeeds in placing itself in power and authority over any part of those nations or peoples, is a door of entrance to that new power into the heaven. That coup-d'etat, which gave Louis Napoleon introduction into the heaven, and placed him there enthroned among "the Powers," was "a door opened in the heaven" for him to pass through. This is easily comprehended, and makes the oracle before us easy of comprehension, as we shall endeavour to show. From the condensed view I have given of "the Mystery of the Deity as he hath revealed the glad tidings to his servants the prophets," under the caption of "the Apocalypse Rooted in the Prophets," page 41, vol. 1, the reader will have learned that the Deity proposes to enact a great and mighty coup-d'etat, or stroke of policy, upon the world's government. He intends so to shape and overrule its ambitions and schemes, as to cause them to make the territory of His kingdom the seat of war between hostile confederacies, contending for dominion over the hundred and twenty seven provinces of Daniel's lion, bear, and leopard. "I will gather," saith He, "all the nations against Jerusalem to war; and I will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat." "They shall pitch the tents of their entrenched camp between the seas to the mountain of the glory of holiness"; a region which in Apoc. 16:16, is indicated by the Hebrew word "Armageddon". This concentration of the hosts of the nations in the Holy Land, is its invasion by Gog, the Prince of Rosh, in hostility to the Merchant Power of Tarshish and its allies, then in possession of Jerusalem. But "this city shall be taken"; "and the land of Egypt shall not escape." Advanced to this sovereignty, the Gog-dominion stands forth as "the Dragon, the Old Serpent, surnamed the Diabolos and the Satan" -- Apoc. 20:2; and as the Image of the kingdom of men in its latter day manifestation, as represented to Nebuchadnezzar in his dream. In the development of these events a crisis is formed, such as the world, for magnitude and importance, has never seen before. The Satan will then have attained to the loftiest pinnacle of the temple, with the presumption that universal sovereignty is within the grasp of his omnipotence. The heaven will be filled with his glory; and no son of sin's flesh will find admission there, whose zeal runs not in the way of a ready and devout allegiance to the God-defying principles of "the spirit that works in the children of disobedience." But things having arrived at this crisis, under the leadership of the Lawless One, the time will have also arrived for opening a door into Satan's heaven, through which the saints may enter in. This will be done by a divine coup-d'etat such as the Satan little expects. This political stroke consists in the power represented by a Stone falling upon the enemy, and crushing them with a terrible overthrow. This Stone-Power is the power of the Eternal Spirit in Jesus and the saints; who with sword, pestilence, rain, hail, fire and brimstone, plead with the adversary, and destroy him from the Promised Land. In this way Yahweh makes Jerusalem "a cup of trembling, unto all the people round about when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem: also a burdensome stone for all people, all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." Their multitudes and power will not appal him. He will go forth and fight against them, and stand victorious upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east. In this way, He, who the prophet styles, Yahweh my Elohim comes in, all the saints with him. In proof of all this, the reader is referred to Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, and Zechariah. Thus Yahweh Elohim, the saints, "come in." By the crashing power of the Stone a door is opened, and they march in. Their Prince, who came as a thief, obtains possession of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and becomes a potentate among the thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers of the heaven, in which, until He breaks in upon them, "the Devil and his Angels" only can be found. 2. The First Voice as of a Trumpet A door being opened in the heaven when John was looking, a voice issued forth from the opening, and addressed him. He tells us that the voice was identical with "that first voice which he heard as of a trumpet speaking with him." This first voice is noted in ch. 1:10. It was a loud trumpet-like voice, and he heard it when "in spirit." In all this, John was a dramatic person; or, one through whom was represented in action certain things not narrated. When in Patmos, and about to behold something pertaining to "the Day of the Lord," he says he was "in spirit." This is equivalent to saying that, when he shall behold the reality of the similitude he saw in spirit, he will also be "in spirit"; which likewise intimates by implication, that he will have previously risen from among the dead and be spirit. The first voice, then, he heard behind him as the loud sound of a trumpet, was a symbolical voice of the seventh trumpet period, which will awake him from his death-sleep; for it is under the seventh, which is also the last, that the dead are raised, the prophets and saints are rewarded, the day of the Lord is introduced, and the Satan ejected from the heaven, bound hand and foot, and shut down in the bottomless profound there to remain for the thousand years ensuing -- ch. 11:18. Now, in John having referred us in ch. 4:1, to the first voice of ch. 1:10, it was equivalent to telling us, that the first and second hearing of the same voice related to the same epoch, or point of time. They both relate to the seventh trumpet period; and as John "turned to see" in the first instance, and "looked" and ascended in the other, the vision of the Son of Man, and the vision of the thrones, the elders, and the living ones, are both representative of things destined to come to pass after the advent of Christ and the resurrection of the saints. The apocalyptic Son of Man is the Stone-Power in manifestation. He shatters Nebuchadnezzar's image to pieces; and having opened the heaven, establishes therein a throne, which becomes the centre of a dominion extending over all the earth. The first time John heard the voice of this trumpet, it was "loud." It awoke him from the dust of death. But the second time, he does not say it was loud; this may be inferred, because it was the same voice. He was "looking," before the words of the voice addressed him. He had risen, and was contemplating the opening of a door in the heaven; and while so looking, there was a speaking from the opening inviting him into the heaven. Hence, the beginning of the first voice awoke him to life and action; and afterwards the same voice invited him to ascend to the heaven and to inherit the kingdom established there. The trumpet to which this "loud," "first voice" belongs, is that represented in "the memorial of the blowing of trumpets," on the first day of the seventh month -- Lev. 23:24. It is that sounding by which the princes, heads of the thousands of Israel, are summoned to gather themselves together unto Christ, the King of Israel -- Num. 10:4. It precedes the sounding on the tenth of the seventh month, Which proclaims liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof -- Lev. 25:9. The saints are first raised and exalted to the heaven; in other words, "meet the Lord in the air," as symbolized in this fourth chapter; and then afterward "the Great Trumpet" of the Jubilee is blown by Yahweh Elohim, who in the "lightnings and thunders which proceed out of the throne" (v. 5), goes forth with the whirlwind of the south -- Zech. 9:14. The silver trumpet that sounds upon the first day of the seventh month, gathers together that "great multitude which no man can number of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues"; of which John says he beheld that "they stood before the Throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands" -- chap. 7:9. "These had been dead, but when the trumpet sounded at the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that Yahweh Elohim should give reward to his servants the prophets and to the saints, and to them that venerate his name, small and great" (ch. 11:18), when the loud trumpet-voice was heard at this time in the lower parts of the earth, all these, with John among the number, "turned" and "looked" -- awake from their dusty bed, come forth from their graves, and gather together unto him (2 Thess. 2:1) who, by the energy of the Eternal Spirit, will have raised them from among the dead. This "first voice" which brings them together to stand before the throne in the heaven, plants them as the symbolical 144,000, upon Mount Zion, the area of the throne and Most Holy Place of the heaven; it plants them there with the Lamb, in preparation to "follow him whithersoever he goeth" -- ch. 14:1, 4. In preparation to go forth, not in actual progress. Another "loud voice" must be heard before they go forth in the lightnings and thunders of the war of "the great day of God the Almighty" -- ch. 14:15; 16:14. While prepared for war, but the lightnings and thunders not yet flashed forth from the throne (ch. 4:5), the trumpet of the Jubilee is sounded for the gathering together of the congregation of Israel from the four corners of the earth. The sound of this trumpet is not an alarm for war -- Num. 10:7. It is the "loud voice" of the class-angel that flies in mid-heaven, making proclamation of the good news pertaining to the Millennial Aion; announcing that the time of its introduction has arrived, and inviting mankind of all nations and tongues, to fear the Deity and give glory to him, because the hour of his judgment is come -- ch. 14:7. "The Great Trumpet," says Isaiah, "shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship Yahweh in the Holy Mount at Jerusalem" -- ch. 27:13. This testimony informs us that the blowing of the great jubilee trumpet on the tenth of the seventh month, will ultimate in the return of Israel to their fatherland; but this return will not result without war. The North will not give up, and the South will keep back, until both North and South are harvested, and gathered into the winepress of the wrath of God -- ch. 14:15, 20. Assyria, or the North, and Egypt, or the South, will be the enemy oppressing them in their land. This being their condition, the ordinance appointed for their generations during the Mosaic Olahm, enjoined upon the priests to blow the two silver trumpets, with the assurance that the blasts thereof should cause them to be remembered before Yahweh their Elohim, and that consequently they should be saved from their enemies -- Num. 10:9. This was a prophetic memorial, the body or substance of which is of the Christ -- Col. 2:16, 17. It signifies, that in "the latter end," when oppressed by the enemy, "the Devil and Satan," the loud angel-voices sent forth out of the throne (ch. 4:5), should proclaim war; and command the Son of Man in his white clouds of warriors, to thrust in the sharp sickle, and reap down their oppressors, and so save them from their enemies. The "first voice," then, is the apocalyptic antitype of the Mosaic ordinance of the memorial of the blowing of the two silver trumpets, which were blown for the calling of the assembly, a holy convocation; and for the journeying of the camps. This "first voice" is heard by the class of which John is the apocalyptic representative, before the pouring out of the Seventh Vial "into the air;" by which a breach is made, through which, as "a door," the saints, who are raised under the Sixth Vial -- "the kings which are from the Sun's risings" -- who hear the first voice as of a trumpet speaking to them, enter into the heaven. Raised under the Sixth Vial, which has been pouring out upon the symbolical Euphrates for the last forty years of the present century, they await further developments. They await the smiting of the Nebuchadnezzar Image upon the feet, which is to manifest the temple of the Deity in the open heaven; and in the midst of that temple of holy ones, the Messianic Ark of his Covenant, whose propitiatory or mercy seat, is the crucified Nazarene -- ch. 11:19. 3. "Ascend Hither." "Ascend hither, and I will exhibit to thee things which must come to pass after these." -- Ch. 4:1. After resurrection is ascension; but not necessarily instantaneously after. This is evident from the example given in the case of the Lord Jesus. He first came out of the sepulchre; and then, after a certain interval, "ascended to the Father;" an ascent which is not to be confounded with his assumption from the Mount of Olives, forty-three days after his crucifixion -- John 20:17; Acts 1:11. He ascended to the Father before he was "taken up." The ascent was a necessary preparation for the taking up of the resurrected body; for a body such as he had, when he forbid Mary to touch him, was unfit for translation through the higher regions of our atmosphere, and the airless ethereal beyond. It was necessary that he should be "in spirit" and so become spirit, that he might be with the Father. So John "looked" and "heard," which are vital actions; but though living and looking he saw nothing until after the invitation to ascend, with the promise, that subsequently to the ascent he should see an exhibition of things which should come to pass when "the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom" (Dan. 7:22); which implies their resurrection and ascent after the similitude of the dramatic resurrection and ascension of John. The invitation to John to ascend into the heaven was equivalent to inviting him to "meet the Lord in the air;" and by implication, an invitation to all whom he represented to do so likewise at the appointed time. This is the only place in the apocalypse where it is said to John anaba hode, ascend hither! In ch. 17:1, and 21:9, it is said deuro, come here, or "come hither;" and in doing so, he is "in spirit borne away into a wilderness;" and "upon a great and high mountain." In the wilderness he sees the Mother of Harlots, and the ensanguined Sin-Powers by which she is sustained; and from upon the mountain that overtops all other mountains, he beholds "the House of the Elohim of Jacob" (Isa. 2:3), or, the New Jerusalem Community, in the light of which the nations of the Millennial Aion walk in peace and goodwill. But when "a door in the heaven is opened," John is not borne, or carried away; he is called up. He is invited to "ascend" -- to ascend to the kingdom and throne to be established in the heaven. There is a testimony analogous to this in ch. 11:12, where a class of persons not represented by John are addressed in the words, anabete hode, ascend ye hither! And it says "they ascended into the heaven in the cloud which ascended." This cloud of witnesses was the political element of the "Two Witnesses," which had been politically dead, but unburied, for 105 years, at the end of which, that is, in the 1789-'90, they rose again, and ascending to the heaven in the sight of their terrified enemies, became the ruling power in the state. Hence for John to ascend into the heaven dramatically was indicative of those he represents, who have been prevailed against by the Sin-Powers of the Habitable, trodden under foot for the previous forty-two months of years, and sleeping in the dust, ascending from these depths of humiliation and degradation, to the high and exalted position of kings and priests for the Deity, through whom the world shall be ruled for a thousand years. 4. The Throne "I was in spirit: and behold A THRONE was established in the heaven." -- 4:2 The word throne is from the Greek thronos, an elevated seat with a footstool; and derived from thrao, to sit, metonymically, it signifies imperial and regal power. In the text before us it stands for "the dominion, glory, and kingdom," which Daniel says "was given to the Son of Man, that all peoples, and nations, and languages might serve him" -- ch. 7:14. As soon as the invitation was given to ascend to the heaven, John was "in spirit." Immediately upon this he saw a throne in the heaven, which had not been there before in such glorious manifestation. It had many ages anterior to his time, occupied a place in the heaven contemporarily with the thrones of Tyre, and Egypt, and Sheba, and Babylon; but, while he was in Patmos, and for many ages before and since, even to this day, there is no such throne in the heaven. When it existed there of old, it was occupied by David and Solomon as the kings of Yahweh over Israel. It was then styled "the throne of Yahweh," and the throne of the kingdom of Yahweh over Israel" -- 1 Chron. 28:5; 29:23. By the covenant of the Olahm, or Hidden Period, this throne was established in the family of David. The proof of this is found in numerous places of the Scripture. Thus in 2 Sam. 7:12-16, the covenant to David reads, "Yahweh will make for thee a house. When thy days shall be completed, and thou hast slept with thy fathers, I will cause to raise up after thee thy seed who shall proceed out of thy bowels; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom ad-olahm, during the hidden period;" that is, the Millennium. "I will be to him for a father, and he shall be to me for a son; whom, in his being caused to bow down, I will chasten with a sceptre of men, and with stripes from the sons of Adam; but my mercy I will not take from him as that I put away from with Saul, whom I removed from before thee. And thy house and thy kingdom shall be established during the Olahm before thy face; thy throne shall be set up for the Olahm," or the thousand years. Now when David's days were about completed, he thus expressed himself in reference to this covenant of the throne and kingdom. In 2 Sam. 23:1, it is written: "Now these words of David, the last, are an oracle of David, son of Jesse; even an oracle of the mighty man enthroned, concerning an Anointed One of the Elohim of Jacob; and the pleasant theme of Israel's songs. "Yahweh's spirit spake by me, and His word was upon my tongue; Elohim of Israel spake to me, and the Rock of Israel discoursed, saying, There shall be a Ruler over mankind, ruling in the righteous precepts of Elohim. And as brightness of morning, He shall rise the Sun of an unclouded dawn, shining forth after rain upon tender grass out of the earth. "Though my house is not so with Ail, yet He hath appointed for me the Convenant of the Olahm, ordered in everything and sure: truly this is all my salvation, and all my delight, though he cause it not to spring forth. "But the wicked shall be all of them as a thorn-bush to be thrust away; yet without hand shall they be taken; nevertheless a man shall smite upon them. He shall be filled with iron and the shaft of a spear; but with fire to burn up while standing, they shall be consumed." The above testimonies I have translated from the Hebrew. The reader can compare them with the English version, and adopt which he thinks the more intelligible and correct. He will find that both renderings agree in affirming this: 1. That a dynastic house was guaranteed to David; 2. That the kingdom and throne of this dynasty should be established during a future period; 3. That the commencement and duration of that period were hidden from David; 4. That said kingdom and throne should be established by Ail; or, as Daniel says, by "the Eloah of the heavens;" 5. That the occupant of said throne should be a resurrected seed of David and Son of the Deity; 6. That this seed should come to his death by the violence of his enemies; and be pierced with a spear: 7. That the establishment of said kingdom and throne should come to pass after David's sleep with his fathers, and before his face; so that the establishment of the throne and kingdom would be after David's resurrection from among the dead; 8. That this Covenant of the then, and yet, Hidden Period, ordered in all things and sure, contained all that constituted the salvation looked for by David; and in which was his delight; 9. That He who should be at once seed of David and Son of the Deity should be Ruler over mankind, ruling them in righteousness and in glory, when occupying the covenanted throne; and, 10. That he should utterly destroy the power of the wicked. When these things were revealed to David, concerning his royal descendant and his kingdom and throne, they became the anchor of his soul both sure and steadfast behind the veil of a future undefined. Now, David was a great poet; we may say, the greatest poet that ever lived; for the Songs of Israel were from his pen indited under the inspiration of Yahweh's spirit which spake by him, putting divine words upon his tongue. The covenanted seed, and the glorious things to him belonging, were "the pleasant theme of Israel's songs." In these songs, that which was "all his salvation and all his delight" was always prominent; and made them, not merely David's, but Yahweh's songs, which "Israelites indeed," found difficult to sing when captives in a strange and foreign land Psalm 137:4. In the eighty-ninth of these songs, the Rock of Israel discoursed concerning the covenant, saying, "A hidden period of mercy shall be builded; thy faithfulness in them, the heavens, thou wilt establish. I have devised a covenant for my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant, saying, during a hidden period I will establish thy seed; and I will build thy throne for a generation of the race." And in verse 24, "In my name shall his horn be exalted. And I will set his hand in the sea; and his right hand in the rivers. He shall call upon me, saying, Thou art my Father, my Ail, and the Rock of my Salvation. Yea, I will appoint him the Firstborn, the Most High to the kings of the earth. For the hidden period I will keep my mercy for him; and my covenant shall be steadfast for him. And I have appointed his seed la-ad, for eternity (see diagram on p. 131, Vol. 1) and his throne as the days of the heavens." Once have I sworn by my holiness, verily I will not lie to David: his seed shall be for the hidden period; and his throne as the sun before me. As the moon it shall be established a hidden period; and as a witness steadfast in the firmament" -- ver. 35. "As the sun" the throne will always be; but "as the moon," as a priestly throne, it shall continue only for the thousand years, until sin and death shall be destroyed. Now, when we look into the heaven we behold no such throne and kingdom as those covenanted to David among the powers. We see there the Papal throne, the thrones of the Romish kingdoms, the imperial thrones of the Austrian, and Russian, and Turkish dominions, and so forth; but no kingdom and throne of David over Israel in the promised land. Is this present condition of the heaven permanent and final? Are these thrones and governments of the eastern and western hemispheres, always to rule the nations, and is there never to exist a throne and kingdom of David occupied and governed by his immortal household, as the kings and priests of the Deity? Whoever affirms these things, in so saying avers that Yahweh's spirit has "lied to David." He charges the Deity with falsehood; and in so doing proves, that he himself is like his father the devil, "a liar, and that the truth is not in him." But no. The existing order of the heaven is not final. The things which are seen there are only temporary: ta blepomena proskaira -- 2 Cor. 4:18. These thrones are to be cast down when the Ancient of Days shall sit; and judgment shall be executed by the saints -- Dan. 7:9, 22. When "his throne as a fiery flame" shall be manifested it will be established in the heaven, and not withhold its "lightnings, and thunders, and voices," till every one of them shall be in the possession of the seed covenanted to David. But the absence of the throne and kingdom of David from the heaven for a long series of ages anterior to his resurrection was contemplated and expressly declared by the spirit in David and the prophets. In view of their suppression the spirit says in the psalm quoted, "But thou hast cast off and rejected; thou hast been very wroth with thine anointed one. Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant; thou hast profaned his crown to the earth; thou hast broken down all his defences; thou hast reduced his strongholds to ruins. All who pass by the way spoil him; he hath been a reproach to his neighbors. Thou hast exalted the right hand of his adversaries; all his enemies thou hast made glad: yea, thou wilt turn the edge of his sword, and make him not to stand in war; thou hast made his brightness to cease, and his throne thou hast cast down to the earth. The days of his youth hast thou shortened; thou hast covered him over with shame. How long, O Yahweh? Wilt thou hide thyself la-netzach, perpetually?" Such was the condition of things in relation to the throne in John's day as in our own. David, John, and all the saints from their time to ours, are all interested in the inquiry "How long?" Until when shall the kingdom and throne of David and David's Lord, be prostrate in the dust, and exist only as a matter of hope? This question has been long since answered by Ezekiel, who in ch. 21:27, says, the throne shall not exist "until He come whose right it is," and Yahweh Elohim will give it him. Jesus being the Christ, is He whose right it is. This is evident from Gabriel's word in Luke 1:3, saying to Mary, "Thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and Yahweh Elohim shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob eis tous aionas, during the Aions, and of his kingdom there shall not be an end. The right to the throne, then, belongs to Jesus. But when he came into the world it was not in existence, nor while he remained here; and when he departed from the earth, instead of possessing a throne, "he went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom;" and having received it "to return," -- Luke 19:12. He has not yet returned, which is a proof that he has not "received for himself a kingdom." But he will certainly receive it according to Daniel's vision of the night -- ch. 7:13, 14; and when he returns in power and glory, and all the holy angels with him, then will he build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down; and build again the ruins thereof, and set it up as in the days of old; and occupy the throne, which will then be the throne of his glory -- Matt. 25:31; Amos 9:11; Acts 15:16. And this is that throne which John beheld "established in the heaven." But it may be asked, in what terrestrial locality will this throne in the heaven be established? What is the topography of the substance, or reality, of the vision John beheld "in spirit?" The answer is Mount Zion in Jerusalem. This is where the Davidian covenant locates it, in saying to David, "Thy kingdom shall be established during the Olahm before thy face; thy throne shall be set up for the Olahm," or hidden period of a thousand years duration. When these words were spoken to David he was reigning in Mount Zion in Jerusalem in the presence of ancients, the princes of Israel. Deeply impressed with this truth, as the poet of the House of Jacob, he celebrated the glory of Zion when he should behold her full of palaces tenanted by the saints, the Elohim of Israel. Hence, the psalms, are not only styled "Yahweh's Songs," and "Israel's Songs," but "the Songs of Zion." The following is a specimen of the teaching of the spirit concerning Zion and Jerusalem. "Yahweh's foundation is in the mountains of holiness. He loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of the Elohim. Selah. This Man (the foundation-stone laid in Zion) was developed there: even to Zion it shall be said, the man, even The Man, was brought forth in her; and He the Most High, will establish her. In enrolling the peoples Yahweh will reckon (that) this Man was born there. Also singers as well as musicians (Apoc. 5:8, 9; 14:2; 15:2, 3) there: all my springs are in thee -- Psa. 87. Again. In Psalm 48 it is written, "Great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised in the city of our Elohim, the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful of situation, the joy of all the earth, is the mountain of Zion, the sides of the north, the citadel of the Great King. Elohim in her palaces has been known for a defence. For behold, the kings (under Gog) were assembled, they perished together. They beheld; so were they in consternation; they were terrified, in terror they hasted away. Trembling seized upon them there, and anguish as a parturient woman. With a wind of the east thou wilt wreck the ships of Tarshish. As we have heard so have we seen in the city of Yahweh Tz'vaoth, in the city of our Elohim. Elohim will establish her ad-olahm, during the hidden period," or Millennium. Again. In Psa. 50 "Ail, Elohim, Yahweh spoke and made proclamation to the earth from the rising of the sun unto its going down. Out of Zion the perfection of beauty Elohim shined forth. Our Elohim shall come, and not keep silence. A fire before him shall devour, and it shall be very tempestuous around him. He will make proclamation to the heavens from above, and to the earth for to vindicate his people: saying, Gather ye to me my saints, the separatists of my covenant by the sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness; for He, the Elohim, is judge. Selah." In Psa. 46:4, also it says: "There is a river whose channels shall gladden the city of Elohim, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High. Elohim in her midst, therefore she shall not be moved. Elohim shall help her at the opening of the dawn. The nations were enraged; the kingdoms were moved. He uttered his voice and the earth shall melt. Yahweh Tz'vaoth is with us; a fortress for us the Elohim of Jacob. Selah." In Psa. 122 it is written, "Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem -- Jerusalem! that is builded as a city compactly joined together. Whither have gone up the tribes, the tribes of Yah, a testimony for Israel, to give thanks to the name of Yahweh; because there they have established thrones for judgment, the thrones of the House of David. Seek ye the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper who love thee." Lastly, in Psa. 132:11, it is written, "Yahweh swore to David the truth; he will not turn from it, saying; Of the fruit of thy body I will set upon the throne for thee. If thy sons will keep my covenant and my testimony which I will teach them; their sons also shall sit in the throne for thee adai-ad, until the beyond" (see diagram on p. 131, vol. 1). For Yahweh has chosen to be in Zion; he has desired it for a dwelling for himself. This is my rest until the beyond. Here I will dwell, for I have desired it. Blessing I will bless her provision; her poor I will satisfy with bread. Also her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. There I will cause a Horn to bud for David; I have prepared a Lamp for mine anointed. His enemies I will clothe with shame; but upon him shall his crown florish." Such, then, is merely a specimen of what is testified in "the songs of Zion" of the relation she is destined to hold to Messiah's kingdom, when he shall sit and rule as a priest after the Order of Melchizedec, upon the throne to be established in the heaven, and shall bear the glory of his Father's house. The vision in the fourth chapter of the Apocalypse is of the "Great White Throne" of David's Son, encircled by the judicial thrones of the House of David, to be occupied jointly with him by the apostles and saints in general, as his ancients, according to his promise. They are the thrones to be established in the Era of Regeneration; when the Son of Man shall sit upon the throne of his glory, and the apostles upon twelve thrones governing the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:19), "then shall Jerusalem be called the throne of yahweh: and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the Name of Yahweh, to Jerusalem (Jer. 3:17); and because of its superior glory, majesty, and power, compared with any other throne that ever was on earth, or ever shall be for a thousand years; the luminaries of the political expanse which now shed their rays upon the earth of subject nations, peoples, and tongues, shall be darkened with a total and permanent eclipse, according to the testimony of the Spirit that "the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when Yahweh Tz'vaoth shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously." -- Isa. 24:23. 5. "Upon the Throne One sitting" "And upon the throne One sitting. And the One sitting was in appearance like a jasper and a sardine stone." -- Ch. 4:2 He whom John saw "in spirit" sitting upon the throne; that is, He who will occupy it when it shall have been established in the heaven, is he whom the Spirit in Zech. 6:12, styles "the Man, whose name is the Branch," styled also in ch. 3:8, "My Servant the Branch." This is the Son of the Deity to whom the throne belongs, and termed "His servant," because of his manifestation to do service for Yahweh in "planting the heavens, and laying the foundations of the earth, and saying unto Zion, "Thou art my people" (Isa. 51:16); or, as expressed in ch. 49:6, "His servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the desolations of Israel; and also to be for a light to the nations, and for his salvation to the ends of the earth." This is the "One sitting upon the throne" seen of Isaiah as well as by John. Isaiah saw him "in spirit" upwards of seven hundred years before he was made of a woman under the law" (Gal. 4:4); John beheld him in flesh, looked upon him with his eyes, and handled him with his hands, when he dwelt among the Jews; and seventy years afterwards while an exile in Patmos, saw a similitude representative of him sitting in Millennial glory upon the throne of David and of Deity, as indicated in the chapter before us. Isaiah being "in spirit" saw him enthroned. "I saw," saith he, "the Adonai (plural) sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. -- I saw the King, Yahweh Tz'vaoth" -- ch. 6:1, 5. He saw the king of whom the Spirit afterwards said, "Take away the filthy garments from him" -- the filthy garments of flesh, styled his "iniquity; and let them set a fair mitre upon his head" -- Zech. 3:4, 5. This has been accomplished in the perfecting of Jesus by spirit, as I have expounded it on p. 108, vol. 1. He is now prepared to rule the Father's house, and to keep His courts. He is the man, the Second Adam, to be enthroned upon that eminence, high and lifted up above all other high places of the political aerial, covenanted by the Eternal Power to his father David. Ezekiel, when "in spirit," saw him enthroned, and calls him "a Man"; that is Adam, not ish; but adam, as indicative of his original identity with the nature of the first man. John gives us to understand that he whom he saw sitting upon the throne was not only a man, ish, in the sense in which the three angel-elohim who appeared to Abraham are so styled; but that he was adam, a mortal descended from him who came out of adama, the ground. This is indicated by what he says in Apoc. 5:6: "I saw, and behold in the midst of the throne, and of the four living ones, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamp standing as if it had been slain, having seven Horns and seven Eyes, which are the Seven Spirits of the Deity sent forth into all the earth." In these words he exhibits a combination of flesh and spirit "in the midst of the throne," and therefore sitting upon it. The flesh is represented by a living lamb that had been slain, but had recovered from the death-wound. It is well known to one intelligent in the word, that "lamb" is the metaphor, and in the Apocalypse, the symbol, of the sacrificial man, Jesus, who was delivered to death for his people's offences, and whose mission is to take away the sin of the world; in other words, to "destroy that having the power of death," and to destroy the works of sin -- the Diabolos and all that has originated from the flesh. The sacrificial man, Jesus, then, is the apocalyptic lamb, one suspended upon a cross and forsaken of "the Seven Spirits of the Deity"; and consequently, not having at that time "seven Horns and seven Eyes"; but now, healed of the wound in his heel by resurrection and ascent to the Father, and by which he has become consubstantial spirit-flesh with Him, and therefore possessed of "the seven Spirits of the Deity," or holy spirit in perfection, by which he is omnipotent and omniscient, seeing and knowing all things; and therefore "a lamb with seven horns and seven eyes," and prepared to take up his position "in the midst of the throne," when a door shall be breached in the heaven, and the throne shall be established there. The Lord Jesus Anointed, then, is the Adam hereafter to sit upon the throne. Installed in the heaven, the four living ones will give glory, and honor, and thanks to him; and the twenty and four elders will fail before him, and do homage, and cast their coronets before him, saying, "Worthy art thou, O Lord, to receive the glory, and the honor, and the power; because thou createdst all things, and on account of thy will they exist, and were created" -- ch. 4:9, 11. In speaking of the appearance of the Man enthroned, John says, "it was like to a jasper and sardine stone." He is in this likened to a Stone most precious; not to a common stone, but to a very brilliant and inestimable living stone. He is symbolized here by a stone, because he is so designated in the prophets. In setting forth the military prowess of Joseph's posterity beacharith hayamim, "in the last one of the days," he predicts that the arms of his hands shall be made strong by the Mighty One, the Ail and the Shaddai of Jacob, out of whom is the Shepherd, whom he styles "the Stone of Israel" -- Gen. 49:24, 25. This Shepherd-Stone is typified in the two onyx stones of the Aaronic ephod, upon which the names of the twelve tribes were engraved in the order of the birth of their fathers, and which were to be borne before Yahweh upon the two shoulders of the one man officiating as High Priest, for a memorial -- Exod. 28:9, 12. The prophet Isaiah also speaks of him to Judah thus: "Sanctify," saith he, "Yahweh Tz'vaoth himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary. But also for a Stone of stumbling, and for a Rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem" -- ch. 8:14. This has in part been accomplished, and we wait now for this stone to be laid in the identical place where it was stumbled over; according to the words of the Spirit by the same prophet, saying, "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a Stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation; he that believeth shall not be confounded" -- ch. 28:16. This is "the stone which the builders refused" which will then have "become the chief of the corner" -- Psa. 118:22, the head stone with Seven Eyes brought forth with shoutings of "Grace, grace, unto it!" -- Zech. 3:9; 4:7, 10. Two precious stones are selected by the Spirit to represent the appearance of the Man enthroned. These are a Jasper and Sardius. The reason why two are indicated rather than one, is because the King is Spirit and Flesh in combination. Had he been mere flesh, or spirit uncombined with flesh, one stone would have answered every purpose; but being deity manifested in flesh, two precious stones were necessary: one to symbolize the Spirit, and the other to represent the Flesh. The jasper is the spirit symbol. It is a hard stone of various hues, as purple, cerulean, green. The glory and light of the New Jerusalem community are likened to "a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal" -- ch. 21:11; and in verse 23, this glory and light are styled the glory of the Deity and the Lamb. The wall of the city is also a jasper, which wall is the symbol of the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb; in other words, of the Spirit, who by Zechariah has said, "I will be unto Jerusalem a wall of fire round about, and the glory in the midst of her. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith Yahweh" -- ch. 2:5, 10. A beautiful cerulean gem clear as crystal, is the symbol of the Deity's spirit condensed into substance; and as it is the primary principle of the city whose builder and maker the Deity is, "the first foundation is a jasper." The other gem is named in Hebrew 'odem. These are the same letters that compose the word applied to the creature Yahweh Elohim formed from the ground to be the father of our race. By the invention of the Masorites, instead of being pronounced adam, it is pronounced odem, and on being translated into the Greek, the Seventy rendered it by sardion, because found about Sardis. It is a carnelian, and so called from its color having a resemblance to that of flesh -- a gem, therefore, fitly symbolical of the Adam-element of the one sitting upon the throne. 6. The Rainbow about the Throne "And a Rainbow circled about the Throne in appearance like an emerald." -- Ch. 4:3 The rainbow is referred to in four places in the scriptures, and it is from these only can be deduced the import of the symbol before us. In nature, the rainbow is evolved by the action of showery vapor upon the sun's rays, which, in passing through the aqueous globules, are refracted, and form an arch upon that part of the clouds opposite to the sun, glowing with all the colors of the prismatic, or solar, spectrum. The rainbow is never seen except when the sun is shining, and when rain is falling between the spectator and the part of the horizon where the bow is seen. These facts must not be lost sight of in considering the significancy of the rainbow when used as a symbol. Sun, light, rain, cloud, are elements necessary to the production of the natural bow; so are they also to the evolution of a symbolical arch in the heaven pertaining to the throne. In the absence of the Sun of Righteousness from the heaven, and of the light of life, glory, honor, and power, which he will irradiate the rainbow encircling the throne cannot be seen. Neither can the light irradiating from Him, be reflected to the spectator-world from the clouds of immortals about the throne, until the rain-showers of the heaven shall descend upon the mown grass to fertilize the earth. These are indispensable conditions to the evolution of the bow, which is the symbol of a clear and blessed sunshine after previous "lightnings, thunders, and voices from the throne," contemporaneously with gently descending rain. Based upon these principles, I remark that the order of the bow's development is, 1. The opening of the heaven by the Stone-Power smiting Nebuchadnezzar's Image upon the feet; 2. The establishment of the throne in the heaven by mowing the earth at harvest time (ch. 14:15); in the storm-period of "the lightnings, thunders, and voices proceeding from the throne" (ch. 4:5); by which the kingdoms of the world are taken possession of by the saints; 3. The grass of the earth being thus mown, its harvest reaped, and its vintage trodden out, the rain of the heaven descends in the blessing of Abraham upon the nations; which, being subdued, are blessed in Abraham and his Seed, or in Jesus and the saints; 4. "As brightness of morning, the Ruler rises the Sun of an unclouded dawn, shining forth after rain upon the tender grass of the earth." The effect of this shining is that the Rainbow-Throne covenanted to David is beheld through the descending rain, which diffuses the knowledge of its glory to the utmost bounds of the habitable world. The rainbow, then, is the token, or symbol of the Covenant. The bow in the natural heavens has been so designated by the Spirit from the days of Noah, after his salvation by water; and all who have looked upon the phenomenon with minds enlightened by the truth, from his day to this, have viewed it as the memorial of Yahweh's covenant. The first place in which this covenant is alluded to is in Gen. 6:18; it does not follow, however, that no covenant existed till the time therein indicated. Yahweh had a covenant which he styled, "My covenant." It was on account of this covenant that the race of Adam was perpetuated in Noah. If he had not found favor with Yahweh because of his faith in the covenanted promises, the race would have been exterminated from the earth. He became "heir of the righteousness which is by faith"; by that faith, which is "the substance of things being hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Noah died in this faith "not having received the promises." He has not received them yet; nor will he receive them "without us," for all the saints of all the generations are to be perfected together -- Heb. 11:7, 13, 39, 40. Hence, the things Noah believed were the promises of the covenant with which he had been acquainted several centuries before the Flood. They were the promises made when the lives of the animals were cut off in Paradise for Adam's transgression -- Gen. 3:15, 21. This covenant was renewed with Noah as its Heir, and afterwards with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David. It was the covenant l'doroth olahm, "for the generations of the hidden period"; and therefore styled berith olahm, the "covenant of the hidden period." -- Gen. 9:12, 16. Now, the total destruction of the Adamic race in the line of Cain did not shake Noah's faith in the covenant. He still hoped for the promises it revealed. Seeing this, the Eternal Spirit condescended to communicate with Noah, and to assure him through Angel-Elohim, that no such sweeping destruction by water should again afflict the race. Hitherto, he had seen the prismatic arch photographed upon the clouds by clear shining of the sun through the rain; but he had never beheld it as a token, or sign of any thing else than that the weather was about to fair off. The time, however, had now arrived when henceforth he would view it as the symbol of salvation. For Elohim said: "I have set my bow in the cloud; and it shall be for the token of the covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud. And I will took upon it, that I may remember the covenant of the hidden period between the Elohim and every living soul of all flesh that is upon the earth." In his "visions of the Elohim," Ezekiel beheld the same scene as that presented to John in Patmos, respecting the Rainbow-Throne. He saw the appearance of the Man upon the sapphire throne, which he describes as of the color of amber flaming from the loins upward, and as fire from thence downwards, and brightness about the whole; which brightness was as the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain. All of which represented "the glory of Yahweh" -- ch. 1:26, 28. The Man and the throne, and the glory he bears, being under the bow, are thereby indicated as the subject-matter of the covenant of which the rainbow is the token, symbol, or sign. This symbol points to a certain day, styled by Ezekiel, "the Day of Rain." There can be no bow except in such a day. "The day of rain" is a phrase which implies the existence of a day in which there is no rain; or, as the saying is "of a dry time." This is truly the character of the time in which we live; and not only so, but of all the time symbolized by "the court given to the Gentiles" (Apoc. 11:2), a time during which they are treading the Holy City under foot; concurrently with which also the Two Witnesses are prophesying, and the rain consequently, cannot descend; for "they have power to shut the heaven, that it rain not in the day of their prophecy" -- 11:6. As in nature, then, so in grace, no bow can be seen but in a day of rain. At present every thing is dried up and parched. "All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof as the flower of the field; the grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the spirit of Yahweh bloweth upon it; surely the people is grass; but the word (preached) of our Elohim shall stand to the hidden period" -- Isa. 40:6. Such being the past, and present, and the future till the lightnings cease to flash, and the thunders to roll forth from the throne, no rainbow can or will be seen. It is now a day of perdition for want of rain. The people are withered, and shrivelled up for want of moisture; for their clergies are wells without water, dry clouds driven about of winds, withered trees without fruit, from whom no spiritual sustenance can be derived. A day of rain is the opposite of all this; and that the reader may have some idea of the nature of things when the bow shall be in manifestation about the throne, I invite his attention to the following testimonies. "Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass; because I will publish the Name of Yahweh; ascribe ye greatness unto our Elohim. The Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment; an Ail of truth and without iniquity; just and right is he." -- Deut. 32:1. "There is none like the Ail of Yeshurun riding heavens in thy help, and clouds in his majesty. Elohim of the east a refuge, and underneath the powers of the hidden period: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heaven shall distil dew. Happy thou, O Israel; who like unto thee, O people, saved by Yahweh, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! And thine enemies shall waste away before thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places" -- 33:29. From the above we learn that when the name of Yahweh is being published to the peoples of the heavens and earth, the rain of the heaven is showering, and its dew in distillation; a state of the aerial favoring the appearance of the bow. Between the opening of the door in the heaven, and the going forth of the lightnings and thunders, and voices from the heavens, there is no rain to cool off the sultriness of the aerial. For when the Ensign is lifted up upon the mountains, and the trumpet is being blown through the earth, Yahweh saith, "I will be still (yet in my dwellingplace I will be without fear) as dry heat impending lightning, as a Cloud of Dew in the heat of harvest" -- Isa. 18:3, 4; but when the storm of thunder and lightning has subsided, and which is to result in presenting Israel before their King; and in bringing them to the place of the Name of Yahweh Tz'vaoth the Mount Zion; then "as the rain cometh down, and the snows from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth, and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 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 Yahweh for a name, for the sign of the hidden period which shall not be cut off" -- Isa. 55:10. This is the rejoicing of the nations with Israel, all blessed in Abraham and his Seed "in the day of rain" -- the third day in which Israel is raised up, and lives in Yahweh's sight; whose going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto them as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth -- Hos. 6:2, 3; see also Joel 2:21-29, in which it is foretold that the Spirit shall be rained down upon all flesh to the praise of the Name of Yahweh Elohim in the midst of Israel, dwelling in Zion, his holy mountain; "then shall Jerusalem be holiness, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more." The symbol of all this blessedness and glory in the day of rain is the "rainbow circling about the throne in appearance like to an emerald." The light green, the predominant color, typifying the fertilizing effect of the rain that forms the bow. The grass of the earth has become tender. It is then no longer tough and withered, and parched. The old grass has perished; and emerald fertility obtains on every side; for the covenanted glory of Yahweh covers the earth as the waters the area of the deep. SECTION 2 THE KINGS AND PRIESTS OF THE MOST HOLY "And circling about the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw the twenty and four elders sitting, having been invested with white garments; and they had upon their heads golden coronal wreaths" -- Ch. 4:4. 1. The Twenty-Four Elders The symbolization presented in this verse is representative of the fulfilment of the promise contained in ch. 3:21, saying, "The victor, I will give to him to sit with me on my throne, as I also vanquished, and sat with my Father on his throne." To represent this, twenty-four thrones are circled about one throne; so that in occupying representatively, that is, by a representative in the vision, one of the thrones, the individual victor sits with Jesus on his throne; in other words, shares with him in his kingly and priestly administration of human affairs in the Millennial Aion. The twenty-four elders, then, are the victors or conquerors who have overcome, in the sense indicated in the writing to the seven ecclesias. Hence, being victors, enthroned and wreathed, and invested with white, or priestly garments, we behold them in the vision as kings and priests for the Deity. We see them as those who have eaten of the wood of the life, and who are, consequently, in the Paradise of the Deity; who are, in fact, collectively that living arboretum. We see them also in a position not to be injured by the second death; in possession of the Morning Star; clothed in white garments; pillars in the temple of the Spirit's Deity to go out no more; with the name of Deity written upon them, the name of the New Jerusalem, even the New Name; for they are the manifestation of Deity, the New Jerusalem, and the New Name. As symbolical personages, the twenty-four elders are representative of the redeemed in their official capacity of kings and priests. This is apparent from the song they join in singing, in which addressing Him upon the rainbowed throne, they say, "Thou wast slain, and with thy blood hast purchased us for the Deity from every people, tribe, race, and tongue; and hast made us kings and priests for our Deity, and we shall reign upon the earth" -- ch. 5:9, 10. They are representative of "the people taken out from among the nations for the name of the Deity," to whom it was testified that "they must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God" -- Acts 15:14; 14:22. This is the testimony of James and Paul, who are two of the represented. Hence, in the apocalyptic drama, one of the elders declares the origin of the class invested with white garments (which is also the investment of the twenty-four), and in so doing the origin of himself and company, saying, "These are they who came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb; therefore are they before the throne of the Deity, and serve him day and night in his temple; and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and the Deity shall wipe away all tears from their eyes" -- 7:14. 2. Of the Number "Twenty-Four" The twenty-four elders in the temple are a verification in symbol of these promises. The Lamb is there in the midst of them, and all tears are dried from their eyes. They are before the throne, and in the temple ready for service continually. The white garments with which they had been invested indicate the priestly office of the elders. They are "clothed with salvation" (Psa. 132:16), having been raised from among the dead, and invested with holy spirit nature consubstantially with the High Priest sitting upon the throne. They are victor kings as well as priests, as indicated by their wreaths of gold; and they are "elders," because representatives of their class. Each elder is the symbol of an order, all the immortals being apportioned into twenty-four orders of royal priests after the type of David's divisions of the Sons of Aaron into four and twenty orders -- 1 Chron. 24. Aaron was a type of Christ in his family and official relations, though not his order. He had two sons, Eleazar and Ithamar; the former name signifying "God is his helper;" and the latter, "the place of Palm Trees." In David's time, Zadok was the chief of Aaron's sons in the line of Eleazar; and Ahimelech of those of Ithamar. Zadok signifies "the just one," and Ahimelech "the brother of the king." The interpretation of these names collectively is "God is (Israel's) helper" in "the place of palm trees," by "the Just One," the "fellow of the King." There were more chief men of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar. There were sixteen of the former, and eight of the latter; which together made twenty-four elders at the head of as many orders of priests, descendants of Aaron in the kingdom of David, that they might be princes of the sanctuary, and princes of the Elohim. Such being the priestly arrangement in David's kingdom, the symbols representative of it in the restoration of the constitution, "as in the days of old," are derived from its ancient polity. When the Lord Jesus shall sit upon David's throne, "he will sit and rule as a priest upon the throne, and bear the glory;" and as High Priest be the head of the houses of Eleazar and Ithamar, which are represented by the numbers sixteen and eight, or twenty-four. According to this, Eleazar and Ithamar constitute his priestly household. Sixteen of the Elders in John's vision are figuratively of the house of Eleazar, and eight of the house of Ithamar; or, if named by their representatives in the time of David, sixteen are of the house of Zadok, and eight of the house of Ahimelech. Not, however, fleshly descendants of these men; for in the reconstruction of the government of Israel's commonwealth, "the flesh profits nothing." All in Christ are "made priests for the Deity," by the fact of being in him; and as he takes the place of Aaron, all in him take the place of Aaron's sons, and become, by adoption, thus the sons of Zadok. This change of persons does not alter the ordering of things. The twenty-four orders of priests will still obtain in the restored kingdom of David; and are therefore foreshadowed in John's vision as encircling the throne. Collectively, they are Zadok, the just, and Ithamar, "the place of palm trees;" for they are washed from their sins in the blood of the Just One; and are represented in ch. 7:9, as "before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;" the emblems of salvation and victory. They are also Ahimelech in the presence of David's Son. They are many in one; all of them the children of a King; children given to Jesus for his brethren; and therefore collectively "the brother of the King," or Christadelphians. These twenty-four elders, then, are the twenty-four orders of the sons of Zadok, who shall enter into the sanctuary of Yahweh Elohim, and come near to His table to minister unto Him, and shall keep His charge -- Ezek. 44:15, 16. The flesh and blood descendants of Aaron, who ministered in the holy and most holy places in the Mosaic Olahm, will not be permitted in the Millennial Aion to come near unto the throne encircled by the elders. "They shall not come near unto me, saith Yahweh Elohim, to do the office of priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things in the Most Holy; but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed. But I will make them keepers of the charge of the house, for all the service thereof, and for all that shall be done therein" -- verses 13, 14. Thus the natural descendants of Aaron are degraded to an inferior station in the new heavens and earth. They were unfaithful to the Deity under the law. They turned their backs upon him when Israel went astray after their idols, before which they ministered, and caused them to fall into iniquity; and "therefore, saith Yahweh Elohim, I lifted up my hand against them, and they shall bear their inquity." This they will have to do during the thousand years; in which the saints will fill up the vacancy created by their degradation from their ancient rank near the throne to that of standing before the people to minister to them -- verse 11. But besides the twenty-four orders of Aaron's sons, there were, in the ecclesiastical department of David's kingdom, twenty-four orders of Levites, sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, whom he separated for the temple service, "to prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals, to give thanks and to praise Yahweh Tz'vaoth" The number of those "who were instructed in the songs of Yahweh," were two hundred and eighty-eight, and were divided into twenty-four companies of twelve each, "as well the small as the great, the teacher as the scholar" being reckoned in each twelve -- 1 Chron. 25:1, 3, 7. These were also typical of those symbolized by the twenty-four elders who were represented to John in ch. 5:8, as "having each one harps and golden censers full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; and they sang a new song." There are twenty-four symbolical elders because the sons of the High Priest and the singers who did the service of the temple under David's reign were twenty-four orders each; and in the aggregate typified the saints, the Elohim of Israel, who shall perform the temple service of the restored kingdom of David, when David's Son, the "Greater than Solomon," shall be High Priest of the kingdom after the Order of Melchizedec. The twenty-four elders represent both the priests and singers of the Ezekiel Temple which is to be built by "the man whose name is The Branch" -- Zech. 6:12, 15. There will be twenty-four orders "as in the days of old" -- Amos 9:11; who will be "the harpers harping with their harps, and singing a new song" -- Apoc. 14:2, 3; even "the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb" -- ch. 15:2-4. First in design, last in execution, is the order of the apocalyptic visions. The Spirit designs the priestly manifestation of the kingdom, as exhibited in the beginning of this fourth chapter; but it will be the last in execution, for the manifestation cannot obtain until the saints have become victorious over the potentates of the earth. "The victor shall be clothed in white garments;" and it is stated that "the twenty-four elders had been invested with white garments;" which is as much as to say that their wars were over; that they had destroyed the Fourth Beast of Daniel; and that they had taken possession of the kingdom under the whole heaven, and were now entered upon their priestly functions in the presence of the Melchizedec High Priest sitting upon the rainbowed or covenanted throne "in the day of rain." SECTION 3 THE LIGHTNINGS AND THUNDERS AND VOICES "And out of the throne proceed lightnings and thunders and voices; and Seven Lamps of Fire burning before the throne, which are the Seven Spirits of the Deity." -- Ch. 4:5. 1. The Lightnings The throne established in the heaven in its inauguration is a throne of judgment; so that when the throne is set, "the judgment is set and the books are opened" -- Dan. 7:10. This throne is "the Great White Throne" seen of John in ch. 20:11. It is all conquering; for from before the face of him who is to sit upon it, he says, "the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them." In other words, the Fourth Beast dominion was destroyed; and the other three beasts had their dominion taken away. At this crisis Daniel describes the throne as being a fiery flame, and the wheels, or hosts that obeyed its mandates, burning fire. He speaks of them as thousand thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. These he says, ministered to the King and stood before him; and in their going forth compares them to "a fiery stream issuing and coming forth from before him." The Spirit in David says, "He makes his ministers a flaming fire;" and therefore in this scene of the apocalypse, they are symbolized by "lightnings" with their attendant "thunders and voices." David also says, prophetically: "O Yahweh, bow thine heavens, and come down, touch the mountains, and they will smoke; flash forth lightning, and scatter them; send thine arrows, and discomfit them;" and the Spirit in Zechariah, foretelling the dissipation of the power of the sons of Greece at the advent, says: "I will render double unto thee, when I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee (Zion) as the sword of a Mighty Man. And Yahweh shall be seen over them, and his arrow (Ephraim) shall go forth as the lightning; and Yahweh Elohim shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south" -- ch. 9:13. The teaching of this testimony is, that "in the day of the great slaughter when the towers fall," there will be war between Israel and the rest of the world. That this war will have been kindled by the Messiah after his return. That he will be seen at the head of the armies of Israel, as their Commander, surrounded by the Sons of Zion, whom he will have raised up. He and they will be the captains of Israel, of whom Judah will be the bow, and Ephraim, or the Ten Tribes, his arrow. When this military organization is put into operation, and it goes forth for conquest in "the war of the great day of the Almighty Deity" (Rev. 16:14), it will issue forth as "a fiery stream" from the throne, burning with the fire of the King's indignation; as lightnings flashing from the throne of David's Lord and echoing their thunders and voices, from one end of the earth to the other, until "the controversy of Zion" shall be settled beyond all cavil or dispute. "In that day I will make the Governors of Judah as a hearth of fire among the wood, and as a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the peoples round about on the right hand and on the left; and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, in Jerusalem" -- Zech. 12:6. These "governors" are the saints in lightning operation against the dominions symbolized by the four beasts of Daniel. 2. The Thunders. Lightning is what philosophy terms electricity in luminous excitation. Scripturally, it is the "free Spirit of the Deity." Thunder is the sound produced by the electrical condensation of the constituents of the aerial. The free oxygen and hydrogen floating in the air are electrically combined, and thereby caused to occupy less space than before, and so giving out lightning, and forming a vacuum, into which the surrounding air rushes, causing a loud report, or thunder. Hence, it is an appropriate symbol for that operation by which the temporary constituents of the political aerial (and the things which are seen there are temporary) are condensed into one dominion under the glorious luminary of the New Heavens. Jesus named the sons of Zebedee "the Sons of Thunder." These were James, and his brother John, to whom this vision of thunder was revealed. The agents in this throne-scene are all sons of thunder. They are the Spirit-incarnations condensing all things into one kingdom with the thundering tumult of war in ch. 10:3, symbolized by "the Seven Thunders," whose utterances are "sealed up" till the storm-period which precedes "the day of rain" when the bow appears. 3. The Seven Lamps of Fire. The whole scene is a manifestation of Spirit in preparation for the reduction of the great mountain before Zerubbabel to the level of a plain. This is to be effected, not by ordinary military prowess or force, "but by my Spirit saith Yahweh of Hosts" -- Zech. 4:6. He that sits upon the throne is spirit, those represented by the twenty-four elders will be spirit like him, and those symbolized by the four living ones will be spirit also; so that all that is manifested is an embodiment of spirit, and all effected by the manifested ones is done by the energy of Divine Power. This power is symbolized by the "Seven Lamps of Fire burning before the throne." These are interpreted to signify "the Seven Spirits of the Deity:" not that there are seven distinct and independent spirits. We learn from Paul that there is but "One Spirit;" which one was represented to John by the symbol of perfection, "seven lamps of fire." In ch. 5:6, these seven lamps are termed "seven horns and seven eyes." The reason why the Spirit is symbolized by stationary lamps burning before the throne, as in ch. 4, is because it is connected with the throne in Zion as its fountain or reservoir -- "all my springs are in thee, Zion;" but, as "seven horns and seven eyes" upon a lamb, in locomotion (ch. 14:4) the one spirit is represented as "sent forth" from Zion, "unto all the earth." The lightnings, and thunders, and voices, then, are those of the one spirit in seven-fold perfection sent forth into all the earth for the subjugation of the world. The spirit, however, does not go forth as free, uncombined, or naked spirit, as seen in the lightning and heard in the thunder of the material expanse. But it goes forth incarnated in the saints -- in the Lord Jesus and his brethren; who are symbolized by the One sitting upon the throne and the twenty-four elders, and the four living ones. 4. When the Seven Spirits go forth. The time when they begin to go forth into all the earth is, of course, subsequently to their resurrection. The sons of Zion are to be raised up against the sons of Greece, or the Gentiles. Being resurrected, they are in readiness to "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth" -- ch. 14:4. "Blessed are the dead dying in the Lord, haparti, at this time." The epoch has then arrived for the generations of me righteous, who have previously died in the Lord, to be blessed -- to take possession of the kingdom, or dominion, having been prepared for them from the foundation of the kosmos, or existing order of things; for all things are for their sakes -- Matt. 25:34; 2 Cor. 4:15. At that time, they are to "take possession of the kingdom, under the whole heaven," "that they may take rest out of their labors; yea, saith the spirit, for he follows their works with them" -- 14:13. The time when the Lord's dead ones are blessed, is when they have consummated the work symbolized by the sickles, which are set to work by the voices that proceed from the spirit throne with the lightnings and thunders. There are three voices. One announces their resurrection-blessedness; the second proclaims the harvesting of the earth, and the third the gathering the clusters of the earth's vine -- ch. 14:13, 15, 18. These voices belong to the Seventh Vial, which is the last period of the Seventh Trumpet, by which the Seventh Seal is consummated in all the events thereof. The wrath of the Deity is then exhausted, and peace reigns for the thousand years ensuing -- ch. 15:1. Until these lightnings, and thunders, and voices shall cease to proceed from the throne, "no man can enter into the temple" -- verse 8. Hence, the exhibition of the twenty-four priestly elders in the temple, is a scene that obtains, after "the war of the great day of the Almighty Deity" is over. The saints are then victors, and can give law and religion to the world. Hence, the Seventh Angel pours out his vial, into The Air; the result of which is that when it is emptied, "a great voice out of the temple of the heaven from the throne, says, "It is Done." But while it is pouring out by the saints who are engaged in taking the kingdom under the whole heaven, "there are voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great" -- ch. 16:17. This will be the time of trouble Daniel speaks of in ch. 12:1, to result in the abolition of all human governments, and the establishment of the kingdom of the Deity. 5. The Translucent Sea. "Before the Throne a translucent sea, like to crystal" -- Verse 6. In prophetic writing "Sea" is representative of nations. It is thus used in Ezek. 26:3, where Yahweh Elohim addressing Tyre, says, "I am against thee, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up." Here the waves of the sea represent the military forces of the nations marching against any enemy. Also in Jer. 51:42, 43, the forces of the Medes and Persians which captured Babylonia are styled the sea; as "the sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof: her cities are a desolation." Daniel's four great beasts are represented as arising out of the Great Sea, or Mediterranean, as the result of the striving of the four winds upon it. These four beasts are systems of powers which arose out of conflicts of the nations inhabiting that portion of the earth the central sea of which is the Mediterranean. Hence, this sea became their representative in the prophecy. It is also so used in the Apocalypse into the symbols of which it has been transferred, and with them incorporated. The beast having seven heads and ten horns exhibited in ch. 13:1, is a combination of Daniel's four, and therefore represented as "rising up out out of the sea," which of course, is the same sea. The second trumpet was prepared to "blow upon the sea; and when it sounded the great Attila mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea; and the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed." -- Apoc. 8:8. This was a representation of the judgments that were to fall upon the peoples of the Roman West occupying that third part of the great sea region and scourged by Attila and his Huns, as Moesia, Thrace, Macedonia, Illyria, Lombardy, and so forth. But, until the Sealing Angel had done his work upon the servants of the Deity, the Angel of the second trumpet was commanded not to hurt the sea -- ch. 7:1, 3 The rainbowed angel that descends from the heaven, is represented in ch. 10:2, 5, as planting his right foot upon the sea, and swearing that henceforth "there should be no delay in the finishing up of the mystery of the Deity as he had declared the good news," or gospel of the kingdom, "to his servants the prophets." This is the same sea; and the right foot of the angel resting upon it, indicates that it is to be subjected to the judgments of the Seven Thunders from the throne as well as the earth, or interior regions. In chap. 12:12, the sea is again introduced in the words, "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! for the Devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." Here the sea is regarded as an inhabited region to which the Devil would pay a visit in wrath. In this text it represents those provincial regions of the Fourth Beast habitable in which the last struggle for power between the Catholic and Pagan factions was to ensue, subsequently to the expulsion of the "what withholdeth," from the Roman Heaven, in the Constantinian epoch -- 2 Thess. 2:6, 7. In chap. 16:3, the second angel-power is exhibited as pouring out his vial upon the sea; "and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea." Here is a sea of living souls in anything else than a translucent state like to crystal. It was opaque with human blood to excess, as symbolized by the death of all the souls it contained. The naval anti-revolutionary war, which commenced in 1793, and continued with brief intermissions till 1815, illustrates this judgment upon the sea. It is a sea of living souls noted for their wickedness; and hence it is that the Spirit speaking of them, says, "The wicked are like a troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. No peace for the wicked, saith my Elohim." -- Isa. 57:20. This is the present condition of the Apocalyptic sea, representative of the nations of the four beasts of Daniel; the people of the interior, as of Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and so forth, being represented by "the earth." The sea-nations are more especially before, or in the presence of the throne; the earth-nations being more remote. Nevertheless, the nations, or "inhabiters of the earth and sea," are all of the same character, and in the hour of judgment "equally obnoxious to the wrath of the Deity. They are both a dead and a troubled sea, and so charged with mire and dirt," that nothing can make it transparent to the light of the divine glory, but the judgments of the Deity -- the bolts of the seven thunders pealing from the throne: "when his judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness;" and "all nations shall come and worship before Yahweh; because his judgments are made manifest" -- Isa. 26:9; Apoc. 15:4. This, then, is the purpose of the Deity upon the sea; to make it "like to crystal," transparent with righteousness and truth. This is the mission of Yahweh's servant when he comes in power to enlighten the earth with his glory. But this must be preceded by judgments upon the sea. The representation of this is found in Apoc. 15:2, in which John says: "I saw as it were a translucent sea that had been mingled with fire (memigmenen perf. part pass.)." But the fire had ceased to burn, and those who had gained the victory over the sea of nations, he also saw standing upon it, and with their harps celebrating their victory over the Papal and other dominions, and singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. The fire with which the sea will have been mingled is the wrath of the Deity contained in the Seven Thunders, or terrors of the Seventh Vial, to be hurled from the throne by Jesus and his Brethren, who constitute the Rainbowed Angel, "whose face is as the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire" -- ch. 10:1. When these judgments, which make the Deity "a consuming fire" (and "the Spirit follows with them," the saints) when they shall have subsided, "the Mystery of the Deity will be finished." The sea of nations will be no more lashed into fury and tempest for a thousand years. In the presence of David's throne it will be tranquil; and its waters so translucent, that those who stand upon it, having calmed its tempests and quieted its waves, will see into its utmost depths. But though at rest for a thousand years, and the power of the Satan submerged in the abyss, the sea will again become tempestuous, and cast up mire and dirt. "In the flesh dwells no good thing," and "it lusteth against the Spirit." At the end of the Millennial Period it becomes impatient of restraint, and the nations rebel against the saints who will have ruled them with a rod of iron so long in righteousness and peace. As "the sand of the sea" they again try conclusions with the saints; and as before the saints subdue them with a crushing and final overthrow. The end of flesh and blood upon the earth will have then arrived, and there will be "no more sea" -- ch. 20:8; 21:1. A full end will then be made of all nations -- Jer. 30:11. The nations of the earth and sea will then be superseded by "The Israel of God," every individual of whom, of all orders and degrees, will be consubstantial with the Deity, and the occupant of this then glorious planet which shall never be removed. SECTION 4 THE FOUR LIVING ONES "In the midst of the throne and in the circle of the throne Four Living Ones being full of eyes before and behind." -- Verse 6. These four living ones being "in the midst of the throne and in the circle of the throne," must be symbolical of those represented by the twenty-four elders, that is, of the saints. The elders, as we have seen, are representative of the saints in the peaceful exercise of their sacerdotal and regal functions, "resting from their labors" performed in "the war of the great day of the almighty Deity", while the four living ones represent the saints in cooperation with the Spirit carrying on the war to its victorious consummation. In the Common Version these four are styled "beasts." The word in the original is zoa, and signifies simply living ones. In Ezek. 1:5, they are styled chaiyoth, rendered in the E.V. "living creatures." They are symbols representative of what is to be, not of what is yet manifested. That which is to be manifested exists, but the form of manifestation does not. That which exists is the all-pervading spirit radiant from the Divine Substance; but the spirit-forms, which do not exist, are the dead saints. These must be raised, and then transformed into spirit-bodies, instinct with life and power omnipotent; a transformation which in all its elements is aggregately represented by these "four living ones full of eyes before and behind." The Spirit of the Deity, then, is the great reservoir of power out of which they are born or developed. "That which hath been born out of spirit is spirit." These are the words of Jesus to Nicodemus. The glorified saints, glorified after resurrection, are therefore spirit multitudinously manifested, and isaggeloi, equal to angels. In his "Visions of Elohim,; Ezekiel beheld this manifestation of the saints out of spirit in symbolic representation. He tells us that he was looking in a northerly direction, and in the distance behold "a whirlwind, a great cloud, and a fire came out of the North." This was the Spirit in tempestuous and destructive operation. But to show that it was not free spirit, but embodied spirit, he goes on to say, that out of the midst of the fire issued forth "the likeness of four living creatures." He then describes their appearance, and afterwards remarks concerning their movements, that they were identical with those of the spirit; for "they went," saith he, "every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went"; and of this going, John says, it was "into all the earth." They went with the Seven Spirits of the Deity, for they will be the seven spirits embodied. Hence the terms applied to the seven spirits by John, are applied to the four by Ezekiel, who says they were like burning coals of fire and like lamps; and that out of the fire, that is, from them went forth lightning; and that they ran and returned as a flash of lightning. But though Ezekiel introduces them as four living ones and four wheels in ch. 1:5, 16, in referring to them in ch. 10:15, he speaks of them as one, saying, "this is hachaiyah, the living one." In other words, the individuals of whom this Spirit manifestation is composed are, in the aggregate, what the voice issuing from their midst proclaims without intermission day and night, namely, the thrice or superlatively holy Yahweh, the Omnipotent Deity, who was, and who is, and who is coming -- Apoc. 4:8. These are the One Body, nearly all the atoms of which are now in death, "sleeping in the dust." But, speaking of them as they are now in reference to its future, the Spirit styles them "My Dead Body," and says "they shall arise," and, in view of the resurrection, exclaims, "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust." When they come forth from the dust they are no longer the Spirit's Dead Body, but they become the Spirit's Living One, and can then say, "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, the Amen." Jesus is the visible Head of these. Without Him the Living One would be incomplete -- Isa. 26:19; Rev. 1:18. Ezekiel clearly indicates what was represented by the four living ones and their wheels in ch. 1:24. He says, "The noise of their wings was like the noise of great waters, as the voice of shaddai, Mighty Ones, the voice of speech, as the noise of a host." This was equivalent to saying that their wings represented "great waters," which represented "Mighty Ones," who gave utterance to their will and purpose, and that there was a multitude of them. These were the waters John heard responsive to the voice issuing from the throne, saying, "Praise our Deity, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, small and great." "I heard," says he, "the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, hallelu Yah, praise ye Yah; for Yahweh Elohim the Omnipotent reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give the glory to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready" -- ch. 19:6. This glorious multitude will be the embodiment of the power that is "to execute vengeance upon the nations and punishments upon the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written:" that is to perform all those things I have sketched under the caption of "The Apocalypse Rooted in the Prophets" -- from page 41 to 85, vol. 1; to set up the kingdom and to establish glory to the Deity in the highest heaven, over the earth peace and goodwill among men. These four living ones and the four wheels are "The Chariot of the Cherubim." They are the chariot in which the Deity rides forth to battle against the enemies of the house of David, and upon which he sits enthroned over Israel. This appears from 2 Sam. 22:11, and Psa. 80:1. In the former place, Yahweh is said to ride upon a cherub; and in the latter, to inhabit the cherubim. The etymology of the word is regarded as obscure. In view of this, I would suggest that we may take the root charav, as having been the same with kharav, to waste, to destroy, from which comes, kherev, a sword. This derivation is suggested by the text where kheruvim, or cherubim, first occurs in the scriptures; as, "Yahweh Elohim placed at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned itself to guard the way of the tree of the lives." By rendering wav, by even, instead of "and," it would make the flaming sword expletive of the cherubim; as, "the cherubim, even the flaming sword" -- the flame containing the cherubic power, as Ezekiel's "whirlwind, great clouds, and fire," did the four living ones he saw. But, be the true etymology what it may, it is certain that they are symbols of a wasting and destroying power. When their wings are expanded they are in lightning operation; when let down, they are standing, and either preparing for action or "resting from their labors." They are "full of eyes before and behind;" or, as Ezekiel says, "their whole basar, flesh, even their backs, and their hand, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about." An eye is the symbol of intelligence; and when a multitude of eyes are aggregated together, each eye indicates a particular or individual intelligence. Ezekiel informs us that the eyes were in flesh which was full of them. Each eye, then, was a flesh-intelligence; and, as the four had each a human face and hand, and were endowed with the faculty of speech, the intelligence was that of a man. Hence, each eye is representative of a man; and as the four sing, "Thou hast redeemed us," each eye is symbolical of a saint. The eyes are "a great multitude which no man can number;" yet they are symbolized by four, by 144,000, by a city lying four-square, and 144 cubits -- that is, these numbers are symbolical of the saints; first, in relation to their encampment; second to their nationality; third, to their municipality; and fourth to their corporation limit. 1. Seraphim Identical with Cherubim In Isa. 6:2, these cherubic symbols are styled seraphim. "I saw the Adonai," saith he, "sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Seraphs stood near to it. "And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, Yahweh Tz'vaoth (He who shall be hosts): the whole earth (shall be) full of his glory." There is no obscurity about the etymology of seraph. It signifies burning, fiery, deadly. The fiery serpents sent among the people (Numb. 21:6) are styled by Moses seraphim. By the saints, the seraphim and cherubim of Messiah's throne, the whole earth is to be filled with his glory. Being incarnations of Spirit, they will be more than a match for all the powers of the world. They will cast down their thrones, overthrow Babylon, waste the land of Assyria, reap the harvest of the earth, tread the winepress of wrath, and as a stream of devouring fire destroy the body of Daniel's fourth polity with their burning flame. 2. The Four Faces. In the Most Holy Place of the Temple of Solomon there were two cherubic figures, which stood opposite to each other, with wings outstretched over the Ark of the Covenant. Each of these had four faces, which were so ordered that four different faces of the eight should look down upon the caphporeth, coverlid, mercyseat, or propitiatory. By this arrangement, the face of the lion, of the ox, of the man, and of the eagle, all looked upon the coverlid on which was sprinkled the sacrificial blood of the great day. Though the number of the cherubim varies, the faces are always four. In the temple there was one body to four faces. Ezekiel saw four bodies with four faces each, and John saw four bodies, each body having one face. But though the number of the bodies differed, they were only the subdivisions of a general whole. The faces are the faces of the Spirit. The show-bread placed on the golden table in the holy place is styled "the bread of the Faces taken from before the Faces of Yahweh," when it was given by the priest to David -- 1 Sam. 21:6. The faces of Yahweh were the cherubim faces over against the table embroidered on the curtain of the tabernacle. They symbolized the Spirit in flesh-manifestation and were therefore the faces of the Spirit. Now collectively the saints are an encampment, and are so represented in Rev. 20:9; where it is stated, that the rebel nations at the close of the Millennium go up against their "camp." As the saints are "the Israel of the Deity;" and though by the accident of birth multitudes of them were once Gentiles, yet by adoption through Jesus were grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel; they necessarily partake of its national organization. The camp of the saints, then, has its ensigns in conformity with those of the four camps into which the twelve tribes were distributed, whose captains or princes they become. From Numb. 2 we learn that the whole host of Israel was marshalled about four standards: the first, that of Judah; the second, of Reuben; the third, of Ephraim; and the fourth, of Dan; and in the midst of these four grand divisions was the camp of the priests and saints, and in their midst the tabernacle, in which was the throne of Yahweh over the Mercy Seat and between the Cherubim. Now, of these several camps of fighting men the following were their ensigns: first, the Lion, which symbolized the camp of Judah; second, the Man that of Reuben; third, the Ox that of Ephraim; and fourth, the Eagle for the camp of Dan. Hence it is that the Lamb in Rev. 5:5, is styled "the Lion of the Tribe of Judah." Being descended from that tribe, and the King of the nation too, the royalty of which belongs to Judah, he is symbolized by the ensign; and as the king is thus designated, so all his brethren, the saints, are apocalyptically divided into camps about the throne; each camp being represented by a living one; and the ensigns of the camps borrowed from the nation they are to rule. And that the reader may not erroneously suppose that the four living ones represent the fleshly descendants of Abraham, their standards are enumerated after a different order; it being first, the lion; second, the ox; third, the man; and fourth, a flying eagle. Apocalyptically, then, we have the whole multitude of resurrected and accepted saints marshalled into four camps in the midst of, and circling about the throne; and according to the law, "every man of the children of Israel pitching by his own standard with the ensign of his father's house." There will be the east camp composed of three gates, or tribes; on the north three; on the south three; and on the west three, ch. 21:12, 13; all ready to go forth following the Head to the place it may indicate (Ezek. 10:11) on the mission of the chariots and horses, of which we have treated already on page 74, vol. 1. In the new song they sing they say, "We shall reign on the earth;" not "we do reign." They go forth energized by the spirit to establish their dominion, and to fill the earth with glory; so that when their victory is complete they may as royal priests of the Deity, cast the coronal wreaths they have acquired before the throne; that he who sits upon it, whom in their wars they will have followed whithersoever he led them, may receive the glory and honor and power; for the reason that he has "created all things, and for his pleasure they are and were created."