Eureka - An Exposition of the Apocalypse - John Thomas
Chapter 8 7.
The Laodicean State The Laodicean State is parallel with the Seventh Seal from its opening to the Fall of Babylon after the appearing of "the Ancient of Days." a.d. 324 to a.d. 1864-8, or thereabout. See Vol. 1, p. 428 2. Second General Division of the Scroll The Seventh Seal, Seven Trumpets, and the Six Vials to the appearing of Christ "as a thief;" exhibiting the development of the Ten Horns of Daniel's Fourth Beast in the wounding of the Sixth Head and establishment of the Seventh (Apoc. 8); the subversion of the Greek Catholic Dynasty of Constantinople (Apoc. 9); the rising of Daniel's episcopal eleventh horn, or Eighth Head, that speaks blasphemies, and "as a Dragon" (Apoc. 13:1-5); the war of the saints with this power; their subjugation, death, resurrection and ascension to the heaven at the ending of the Sixth Trumpet (Apoc. 11:3-12; 12:14, 16, 17; 13:6-10), judgments upon their enemies, the Horns, Eighth Head and Image; (Apoc. 16:1-11); and the preparation of their way (Apoc. 16:12-14). time of events From a.d. 324 to the Fall-Seasons of a.d. 1864-8, or thereabout. TRANSLATION Apoc. 7 1. And after these things, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, restraining the four winds of the earth, that a wind blow not against the earth, nor against the sea, nor against any tree. 2. And I saw another angel having ascended from sun's rising having a seal of the living Deity: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given for them to injure the earth and the sea: 3. Saying, Injure ye not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, while that we may seal the servants of our Deity upon their foreheads. 4. And I heard the number of them who had been sealed -- a hundred and forty-four thousands having been sealed out of every tribe of Israel's sons. 5. From Judah's tribe, twelve thousands having been sealed; from Reuben's tribe, twelve thousands having been sealed; from Gad's tribe, twelve thousands having been sealed; from Asher's tribe, twelve thousands having been sealed; from Nephthalim's tribe, twelve thousands having been sealed; from Manasseh's tribe, twelve thousands having been sealed; from Simeon's tribe, twelve thousands having been sealed; from Levi's tribe, twelve thousands being sealed; from Issachar's tribe, twelve thousands having been sealed; from Zebulon's tribe, twelve thousands having been sealed; from Joseph's tribe, twelve thousands having been sealed; from Benjamin's tribe, twelve thousands having been sealed. 9. After these things, I saw, and behold, a great multitude, (which, that it be numbered, no one was competent to do) out of every nation, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, who had been standing before the throne, and before the Lamb, having been clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10. And vociferating with a loud voice, saying, "The salvation be ascribed to him who sits upon the throne of our Deity, and to the Lamb!" 11. And all the angels stood in the circle of the throne and of the elders, and of the four living ones; and they fell before the throne upon their face, and did homage to the Deity; 12. Saying, "So let it be! The blessing, and the glory, and the wisdom, and the thanksgiving, and the honor, and the power, and the majesty, be to our Deity for the cycles of the cycles! So let it be!" 13. And one from among the elders was speaking, saying to me, "These who have been clothed with white robes, who are they, and whence came they? 14. And I answered him, "Sire, thou hast known." And he said to me, "These are they who came out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes, and made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. 15. On account of this, they are before the throne of the Deity, and they shall minister to him day and night in his temple; and he that is sitting upon the throne shall pitch his tent over them. 16. They shall hunger no more, neither shall they thirst any more, neither shall the sun smite them, nor any heat. 17. Because the Lamb in the very midst of the throne shall tend them, and lead them to living fountains of waters, and the Deity shall wipe away every tear from their eyes." 1. Of Things Written on the inside of the Scroll The arena upon which the predicted operation of sealing the servants of the Deity was to be performed was "the earth and sea." The reason given why the four angels were to restrain the four winds from blowing to the injury of these, is proof of this. The blowing of the winds upon the earth and sea, by injuring them with the tempests they were capable of exciting, would have rendered the work of sealing impossible. Greece, Italy, Britain, France, Spain, Africa, the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean, the countries of the Danube, the Rhine, and the heights and valleys of the Alps and Appenines -- these constituting the western Roman empire, were "the earth and sea" upon which the apocalyptic tempests were forbidden to blow until the work of sealing should have been complete. At the four corners of the terrestrial of this arena, stood four angels, or restraining powers, having a certain mission to execute in favor of the inhabitants of the earth and sea. In the period of the sixth seal, the Devil had come down to them with great wrath, knowing that he had but a short time (ch. 12:12); but that time had passed with the termination of the seal period, a.d. 324; and now a period of tranquillity was granted them, for the sake of those who might be separated among them as the sealed ones of the Deity. History shows us that the first "wind" began to blow upon "the earth" a.d. 396. Hence, the interval between a.d. 324 and a.d. 396, a period of three score years and twelve, must be regarded as the time allotted for the work of "sealing the servants of the Deity in their foreheads." There can be no doubt of the sealing period commencing after the sixth seal, and not contemporary with it, as some suppose, inasmuch as this seventh chapter begins with the words meta tauta, after these things; and the only things that can be intended, are those recited in the sixth seal which immediately precede the chapter. I suppose the notion of the sixth seal including the sealing arises from the position of the chapter between the prophecy of the sixth seal and the intimation of the opening of the seventh in ch. 8. But the truth is, that the sealing is the opening event of the Seventh Seal, concurrent with "the silence in the heaven." It does not terminate with the breaking of the silence, but continued long after. The seventy-two years of the sealing were the first seventy-two years of the seventh seal-period; and though the Laodicean Catholic Apostasy imperialized in the heaven, richly deserved all the judgments restrained by the four angels, its adherents were spared the infliction for the sake of the servants to be sealed. The first seal-period was peaceful and prosperous for the idolatrous empire under Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the Antonines; not for the sake of the pagans, but for the sake of the work the Holy Archer had to perform in the period: so in this opening period of the Seventh Seal, judgment was restrained, not for the sake of the Laodiceans, but on account of the sealing angel's work. 2. The Sealing Angel But, beside the four angel-powers standing at the four corners of the earth restraining the four winds thereof, John saw a fifth, or "another angel." Of this angel, he says, anabanta apo anatoles heliou, having ascended from sun's rising. He did not see him, as the English version would lead us to suppose, in the act of ascending from sun's rising; but having ascended at some previous epoch not indicated in this scene, he sees him at the expiration of the sixth seal, in possession of a certain seal, and about to make use of it in all the period the winds are restrained from blowing upon the arena of his operations. The word anabanta, rendered in the English Version ascending, as if it were the present participle, is really the second aorist participle; and signifies a past action, the effect of which, may or may not be in operation. Having once ascended, is the force of the tense or time of anabanta. When John saw him he was up. He was not down east, and about to set out on his ascent. John did not in this scene catch sight of him there, and then see him ascending westward; but he saw him in the west -- "having ascended from sun's rising." His back was therefore towards the sun rising, and his face consequently westward. His ascending from east to west had been completed when John saw him in this scene. The phrase quoted shows this. The exact rendering of anabanta relieves us of a great difficulty. On the hypothesis of John seeing him start from the east, and beholding him travelling an ascending course until he had gained his highest altitude in the west, we must have sought for something in the history of the times immediately succeeding the expiry of the sixth seal answerable to the symbolization; but we should have sought in vain; for there is no testimony in history ecclesiastical or profane that gives anything analogous to it. There was nothing remarkable transpiring in the east connected with "a seal of the living Deity" in any part of the three score years and twelve succeeding the expiration of the sixth seal. The seal for sealing was inoperative there at that time, and has continued so even to this day. No symbolic angel was seen there commencing a sealing work, and ascending in that work until he had established himself and his labors in the west. We might seek for this, but we should not find it. Not so, however, our search for an ascended angel in the west. There we find one in activity who had already arrived from the east. We find him there, too, just at the right time -- the time the Woman turned her back upon the emperors and courts and fled into the western wilderness, where she had henceforth two wings of the Great Eagle -- a place which had been prepared of Deity, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days (ch. 12:6, 14). We find him effecting her transition from imperial sunshine, and developing her as the Mother of the Servants of the Deity being sealed in their foreheads; and thus, by the sealing, constituting them "the remnant of Her seed, who keep the commandments of the Deity, and have the testimony of the Anointed Jesus" (ch. 12:17). In other words, the persecuted woman and the remnant of her seed, are identical in time, place, and persons, with the sealed ones, or 144,000. But this sealing angel was not a single individual. He was neither, according to the Rev. Mr. Elliott's notion, "The Angel of the Covenant, the Lord Jesus;" nor, according to the Rev. P. Allwood's "evidently Constantine the Great." He was a symbolical personage representative of a class of agents engaged in the work of sealing. This is manifest from the terms of the proclamation put into his mouth by Him who invented the heiroglyphic. In his address to the four angels, he commands them not to injure any thing, "while that we may seal the servants of our Deity in their foreheads." Here, the "we" and the "our" are indicative of a plurality associated in the sealing operation upon the foreheads of men. The agency divinely appointed for the carrying on of this work when the apostles and their inspired colaborers should have been withdrawn from the scene, was that enjoined by Paul in 2 Tim. 2:2, where he says to his son in the faith, "The things which thou hast heard of me with many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also." Were there any faithful men competent to teach the faith once delivered to the saints, contemporary with the establishment of the "Holy Apostolic Catholic Church" as the religion of the Roman Dragon? Where were those "few names even in Sardis;" the "little strength" of the Philadelphian State? Were there none in the Laodicean state of Apostasy now fully developed, and firmly established, who had escaped the general lukewarmness; who heard the voice of Him standing at the door and knocking, and opened to him? To these inquiries we may confidently reply, that there was extant at this time a class of true believers, or Brethren of Christ, Christadelphians, who refused to identify themselves in fellowship with those "Fellowservants," who now styled themselves the "Holy Apostolic Catholic Church;" -- a class which included the "few names," the "little strength," and the "loved, convinced, and instructed," who still lived to witness the Jews after the flesh, and the heathen humiliated, and compelled to do homage to "the Galileans." Only twenty one years had elapsed since the beginning of the emblematic cry of the symbolic souls underneath the altar. In this sanguinary period, some of their number had been killed by the enemy; but he had not succeeded in exterminating them all. There were many survivors of the Christadelphian class, styled "the Brethren;" yet, compared with contemporary "Fellowservants," they were what would now be called "a contemptible few." But few and contemptible as they may have been in the judgment of "the Synagogue of the Satan who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie," they were the enlightened few, beloved, convinced and instructed by the Lamb. They were those of the fourth century who had responded to the counsel of the Spirit in Apoc. 3:18-20. They had bought of Him "gold tried in the fire,' that they might be "rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom" promised in verse 21: they had bought of Him also, "white raiment that they might be clothed, and that the shame of their nakedness appear not;" and they had "anointed their eyes with eye salve, that they might see." The effort made in the Diocletian and Galerian persecution of the fifth seal period to destroy every copy of the Holy Scriptures that could be found, while it failed, served to endear these writings to the faithful, and to stir them up to a more diligent study of their contents. The Satan perceived, that "the truth as it is in Jesus" could not be extinguished so long as a single copy of the writings of the apostles and prophets remained in circulation. It has been the satanic policy, therefore, of all the ages and generations, either to suppress the scriptures, by destroying them, or forbidding people to read them; or to persuade readers of them, that their true meaning is too recondite and obscure to be "seen" by any, but a highly educated and learned few. This has been the policy of pagan, catholic, papist, and protesant; a policy, that has been circumvented by "the Brethren" by all means within their reach. They are devoted students of the scriptures themselves, and earnest in their endeavours to induce all within the sphere of their influence to study them also; and to enable them to understand them that they may believe and obey the truth; for they believe with full assurance of faith, the saying of Paul, that "Every scripture divinely inspired is also profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for the instruction in righteousness; that the man of the Deity may be perfect, completely fitted for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16). There was, then, in this sealing period, a class of men "completely fitted" by scripture study, for the "good work" of sealing those of their contemporaries who were teachable. They were Paul's "faithful men, able to teach others;" and who in this crisis of Laodiceanism, heard the voice of the Spirit, who had come into them, and supped with them, and they with Him (ch. 3:20). These repudiated the alliance of "Church and State" with indignation and disgust; and would have no fellowship with such an abomination. It could hardly be styled a fellowship of righteousness with unrighteousness; or a communion of light with darkness; or a concord of Christ with Belial; for the thing called "Church," that could ally itself with "the Powers that be," or accept their patronage and donatives, as do catholics, papists, protestants and dissenting sects, is already Belial, in utter darkness and unrighteousness. The Ecclesia of the Deity, in this sealing period, would have no fellowship with "the Church" of the Dragon; but protested against it as antichristian, and rejected all its institutions and traditions as mere will worship, after the commandments and doctrines of men (Col. 2:8, 18-23). Now, in the apocalypse, the Ecclesia is symbolized by a persecuted woman; by the 144,000; by the temple of the Deity and the Holy City; and by the Lamb's wife made ready (ch. 12:6; 7:4; 11:1, 2; 19:7): while "the Church" so-called, is styled "the Synagogue of the Satan;" "the Court of the Gentiles without the temple;" "the Great City, spiritually called Sodom and Egypt;" "a woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars;" "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth," and "Names of Blasphemy" (ch. 2:9; 3:9; 11:2, 8; 12:1; 17:3, 5). Between these two institutions, there has been since their contemporary development irreconcileable "enmity." so long as the Brethren of the Ecclesia are faithful to the Word of the Deity, there can be nothing else; for they are "the Seed of the Woman," who "keep the commandments of the Deity, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Gen. 3:15; Apoc. 12:17): while "the Church" is "the Seed of the Serpent;" and between these two seeds, the Deity has put an "enmity," which can only cease by the destruction of one or the other party, or by apostasy from the truth. The enmity between these hostile institutions is amply illustrated in the apocalypse. Thus, the Church, or Court of the Gentiles, treads under foot the Ecclesia, or Holy City, forty and two symbolical months; and the Church again, becomes "drunken with the blood of the Saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus." But though the Church prevails against the Ecclesia for a symbolic "time, times, and a half," this period has an end; and in that end, the Church is humbled in the dust at the feet of the Ecclesia; as it is written: "I will make them of the Synagogue of the Satan who say they are Jews (or christadelphians) and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." This state of things, however, in connection with the Body of Christ, did not obtain in the beginning. There were then no rival bodies, each claiming superiority over the other "There is," says Paul, "one Body;" and that body he styles "the Ecclesia;" of which the Head is Jesus; and the foundation, the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself the chief corner (Eph. 4:4; 1:22, 23; 2:20). In the beginning, the members of this body were brethren, the sons of the Deity; and consequently, the brethren of Jesus Christ. There were no sects, nor any Catholic or Protestant churches. But all the brethren were of one mind and disposition; or, in the words of Luke, "the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul;" an original unity to which the Brethren of the Ecclesia in all ages and generations, are earnestly exhorted, both by their Elder Brother and Lord, and his apostles. "Holy Father," said he, "keep through thine own name those (the apostles) whom thou hast given me, that they may be one as we are, sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. I pray for them also who shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us -- that they may be made perfect in one" (John 17). And Paul says: "The Deity of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another after Jesus Christ; that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify the Deity" (Rom. 15:5, 6); and in 1 Cor. 1:10, he says; "I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment." Like passages might be also quoted, but these are enough to show the mind of Christ. But, though things were thus in the beginning, the Spirit expressly predicted the development of division and factions among the professors of the faith; and that they would be originated by "grievous wolves" speaking perverse things in the very eldership of the body; and for the purpose of drawing away disciples after them. These "evil men and seducers" were those whom Jude declares, "crept in among them unawares;" and set up to be Clergy, and lords over "the flock." They were the founders of "the Church," or Kingdom of the Clergy; and by all of their communion, are styled and revered as "the Fathers." Hence, the Spirit through Jesus and the Apostles founded the Ecclesia; and "the Fathers," the Church. But a divinely formal separation between the two classes did not ensue until the Clerical Apostasy was consummated in its alliance with the Dragon power. The Spirit had forewarned them by John, that He would "spue them out of his mouth." This is a very remarkable and forcible expression. The word emeo, to spue, is used metaphorically by Eunapius in the fourth century, in the sense of to throw up a flood of bad words. Hence, in the metaphorical phrase above quoted, we are to understand the Spirit as threatening to "throw forth from his mouth words of evil against them." "Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spue thee, mello se emesai, out of my mouth." The time had now arrived for this work -- the vomiting forth a testimony against the Clerical Adulteress, in the sealing of the servants of the Deity in their foreheads. As I have already remarked, there was a class of enlightened believers, who were able to discern the signs of their times, and who had in their understandings and affections, "the testimony of Jesus Christ." Armed with this, they were prepared as the Spirit's Mouth, to fight against the clerical Nikolaitanes and children of Jezebel with his sword. By the possession of the testimony, they were completely fitted for the good work of unmasking the Laodicean Apostasy; and, having full assurance in what they understood, they were stirred up by the testimony, as a few are in our time, to "contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints." "Having the very spirit of the faith, as it has been written, 'I believed, and therefore have I spoken;' we also believe, and therefore speak." They had been sanctified by the truth, and they boldly stepped into the arena of the west, to do battle for it against the Apostasy, as in former times they had combated against paganism to the death. In the symbolization before us, this intelligent and enterprising class of believers are dramatized by the "Angel who had ascended from sun's rising." They had a seal of the living Deity, whom they claimed as "our Deity," and thereby, in effect, repudiating the right of their adversaries to any relationship with him. Having been themselves sealed, as are all the faithful in all ages and generations, they went forth in all the region of the "two wings of the Great Eagle." The third wing was not included in the scene of their labors. They had ascended from this, and, in the early years of the Seventh Seal, were engaged in organizing a community whose mission should be to witness for the truth against "the Church" that "worshipped demons, and images of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and wood" -- images of saints -- "which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk; and which repents not of its murders, nor of its sorceries, nor of its fornication, nor of its thefts" (Apoc. 9:20). The apostasy in the third division of the Great Roman Eagle was abandoned to its own corruption. In this it was allowed to perish. John did not see the Angel sealing in the East. Syria and Egypt were beyond the limits of his mission. Empire, for many ages, was destined to proceed westward; and this would be the empire of the Apostasy. It was deemed necessary, therefore, in view of the end, to antagonize it with a living organized testimony. We can now see that such a testimony in the Asiatic provinces of the Dragon would have been for ages past of no use, Mohammedanism having there tormented it and then suppressed it. Hence, it was in the west that John saw him sealing -- an operation the effect of which is still felt by the populations of that section of the earth. But, though John did not see these Angel-sealers in the East and ascending, their class had executed a like mission there, and had been ascending thence toward the Roman Metropolis and throne, during the previous period of nearly three hundred years. They commenced operations at "sun-rising," both in a doctrinal and natural sense. Doctrinally, they began the sealing when the Sun of Righteousness had risen from beneath the horizon of life. They could not begin it before, because it was indispensable that He should rise, that justification of life might be proclaimed through his resurrection -- "He was raised for our justification." They proclaimed the rising of a Sun, anatole heliou, whose rays would shed life and vigor, with endless glory, upon all who should be warmed by them. From this Sun's rising they took their departure. No one could be sealed who did not believe that the Deity had raised him from the night of the invisible, and had placed him in the heavens to rule the day. The death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus are essential and indispensable elements of the faith that seals the intellects of men. Believe every thing else, but reject these facts and their doctrinal signification and no such professor can be saved -- he is unsealed with the seal from a sun's rising. In a natural sense, these Angel-Sealers took their departure from the sun's rising. They were commanded to "begin at Jerusalem," and from thence to proceed to the ends of the earth. This commission they had executed they had preached the gospel to every creature under heaven (Col. 1:23) -- and had therefore "ascended;" and now, in this scene, John, seeing them thus, also sees their class prepared for a new effort against a new enemy in the West -- against the self-styled "Holy Apostolic Catholic Church," the unholiest and least apostolical community that can be conceived. In dismissing this part of the symbolization, it may be remarked that the phrase apo anatoles heliou is rendered in the translation as literally as our language will admit. It is destitute of articles and I have inserted none. From sun's rising is a formula that leaves the subject of discourse to determine whether it be the natural sun or the Sun of Righteousness whose rising is intended. Although it is true that the apostolic sealers began in the geographical east, I believe that the symbolization has more especial reference to the rising of the Sun of Righteousness as the doctrinal point of departure; in other words, that the Angel-Sealers, in their new western enterprise against the Laodicean Apostasy, labored to bring back the minds of their contemporaries to "the Revelation of the Mystery," based on the rising of the Christ-Sun, as it was originally proclaimed by the apostles on the Day of Pentecost. They were, therefore, in every sense, Messengers from Sun's rising. But, in Apoc. 16:12, "the East" is again in the English Version made the substitute for a similar formula. There the phrase reads he hodos ton basileon ton apo anatolon heliou, literally, "the way of the kings which (are) from risings of sun." There is doubtless a good reason for anatolon here being substituted for anatoles, as it is in ch. 7. The one is genitive plural, the other is genitive singular. In ch. 7 there is but one rising; but in ch. 16:12, we have a plurality -- as many risings, in fact, as there are kings. In other words, every king is an individual rising emanating from the Sun. The formula is the symbolization of the oracle in Mal. 4:2 -- "Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do, saith Yahweh Tz'vaoth." Here this Sun is a rising and a healing to every one that fears his name. Symbolically, he is a sun's rising, and where there are many they are sun's risings. 3. The Seal and the Foreheads Sealed John says, the angel who had ascended had a seal. It was a remarkable seal, and pertained to "the living Deity," as opposed to all other deities flourishing in those times which had no life in them. Of course, it was a symbolical seal he saw, and represented something capable of making an impression upon the sealed. Seals were anciently, as in modern times, engraved with devices, that when pressed upon a softened surface the device might be transferred thereto, as the mark of the owner of the seal. The Deity has a device which he has himself engraved upon his own seal, the counterpart or mark of which is transferred to the hearts of those who are impressible, and they become his sealed servants. It is written in Job 33:16, "The Deity openeth the ears of men and sealeth their instruction." From this we may learn that sealing has to do with teaching; and, consequently, as the seal of the Deity is applied to a surface capable of thinking, his seal is that which impresses his ideas, or "thoughts and ways," upon the brains of his creatures. Now, all the true servants of the Deity are thus "sealed in their foreheads," which, hieroglyphically, are symbolical of their intellects and affections. The Chief of these servants, the Messiah or Christ, was himself to be sealed. This predetermination was revealed by the Spirit to Daniel the prophet, in ch. 9:24. In that place we are informed that, within the Seventy Weeks, prophetic time, "the Vision and Prophet" should be sealed, lakhtom khazon wenavi; and, besides this, "the Holy of holies" should be "anointed", limshoakh kodesh kodashim. Within the period prescribed, Jesus was manifested, and put in his claim to be the Prophet; and, from the New Testament, we learn that he was both anointed and sealed. "The Deity," says Peter, "anointed Jesus of Nazareth with holy spirit and power" -- pneumati hagio kai dunamei -- (Acts 10:38); and, speaking of the Son of Man, Jesus says, "him hath the Father, the Deity, sealed." Now, as sealing has to do with instruction, we find Jesus was not only able to do works of power, in "healing all that were oppressed of the devil," but he could speak words of spirit and life which the sealed only can do. "The words I speak unto you," said he, "are spirit and life." And, again, he said: "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." "I have not spoken of myself; but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment what I should say and what I should speak." "I am in the Father and the Father in me. The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself." Hence, the discourses of Jesus must be received as the discourses of the Deity or Spirit in him. What he gave utterance to was "the word," or teaching of the Spirit -- the things sealed or impressed upon his brain by the Deity. To be sealed is, therefore, to be taught of the Deity; and, in regard to those who in very deed come to Christ, it is written in the prophets, "they shall be all taught of the Deity." "Every man, therefore," saith Jesus, "that hath heard and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." The Father teaches men by what he causes them to hear, that they may learn it. "I have told you the truth which I have heard of the Deity." "I speak to the world those things I have heard of him." These things spake Jesus. He was sealed by what he heard; and the things spoken to him were the seal of the Deity by which he was impressed. The impress of a seal on an object established the right of possession to the owner of the seal. The impress was usually made in clay and allowed to harden. The above seal was found during the excavations at Megiddo. The inscription reads: "Belonging to Shema, servant of Jeroboam." The seal of the Deity, then, is divine teaching. This may be sealed or impressed upon the brains or "foreheads" of men directly or indirectly. Jesus was sealed directly. He heard in his sensorium what no one heard but himself. "How knoweth this man letters not having been taught?" said the Jews. "He knew what was in man," says John. This was inspiration. Select ones alone were sealed thus. "The Revelation of the Mystery" was sealed upon the foreheads of the apostles in the same way. "I have yet many things to say unto you," said Jesus to the apostles, "but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when he the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak from himself, but whatsoever he shall hear he shall speak, and will declare to you the things coming. He shall glorify me." And, on another occasion, he said to them, "When they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given to you in that very time what ye shall speak: for it is not ye who are speaking, but the Spirit of your Father which is speaking by you." This was divine sealing direct, without the intervention of any human agency. The Father could have sealed or taught all men in this way. There can be no question of his ability so to do; but it did not so please him. It would have saved mankind a great deal of trouble, and might have saved them from much error. It would have been a system of infallible sealing or teaching, which would have left them nothing to think out; so that, for want of use, their brains might have become enervated and imbecile. Thus, extremes meet. Imbecility from knowing all the truth without mental effort, and imbecility from knowing nothing about it, as in the case of our contemporaries who have sold themselves to the clerical soul-merchants of the world (Apoc. 18:13). But except in the class of cases adduced, the Father requires men to use "their foreheads" upon what he causes to be presented to them for faith. He requires them to listen and to understand what the Spirit saith. He hath created them with ears for the purpose of hearing what he hath to say, that by the hearing they may learn the truth and believe it. "Faith comes by hearing the word of the Deity," says Paul; and it matters not how the hearing gets into our "foreheads" so that the word heard effects a lodgment there. In the case of Jesus and the Apostles, there were no writings from which they could learn the mystery hidden from the ages and the generations. The knowledge of this had to come by direct sealing. There was ample material for them to exercise "their foreheads" upon in the scriptures of the prophets, so as to sharpen them by reason of use. But they had to speak things about which all antiquity was silent, and this required direct sealing or teaching by the Deity himself. When men are sealed they are sanctified; and it is written "Sanctify them by thy truth; thy word is truth;" and John says: "to pneuma estin he aletheia, the Spirit is the truth." To be sealed, then, by the truth is to be sealed by the Spirit; and to be sealed by the Spirit is to be sealed by the truth; and he that is ignorant of the teaching of Jesus and the apostles, which was in strict harmony with the prophets, is not sealed at all, however pious or religious he may feel. The feelings are blind, and excitable by any and every kind of foolishness; so that pious and religious feeling may, and does, result from faith in the dogmas of Confucius, of Mohammed, and of all classes of so-called "divines" in all the realm of the catholic and protestant Laodicea. Hence, pious feeling is no evidence of a person being one of the sealed servants of the Deity. The New Man these sealed ones put on is "made new by exact knowledge -- eis epignosin -- after the likeness of him who created him;" for "they are the Deity's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works" (Col. 3:10; Eph. 2:10). Ignorance of the truth in its effects and consequences is the reverse of all this. Gentiles of mere pious and religious feeling "walk in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened (their foreheads, in other words, unsealed), being alienated from the life of the Deity through the ignorance that is in them, because of the insensibility of their heart" (Eph. 4:17). The symbolical seal of the Deity, then, John saw in the possession of the Angel-sealers who had ascended, was something to be exactly known; in other words, it represented the truth -- "the word of the truth of the Gospel." This is the seal of the Deity -- "his power for salvation to every one who believes: for therein is his righteousness by faith revealed for faith; as it has been written, The just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:16); so that, in writing to Jews and Gentiles in Corinth, who, having heard from him "the Word of the Kingdom," "believed and were immersed" (Acts 18:8), Paul says to them, in 2 Cor. 1:21 "Now he who stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is Deity; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." Here the sealing is additional to "the anointing" and "the earnest." The three thousand on the day of Pentecost were first "sealed in their foreheads," and when, as an evidence thereof, they inquired what they should do, they were commanded to "change their minds, and be immersed upon the Name of Jesus Christ into the remission of sins," and then promised the gift of the Holy Spirit, or "anointing" and "earnest." Where "the gift" was received (for it was not given to every one who was immersed, but only to such of certain qualifications, who were selected for "prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers" -- 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Eph. 4:11), they were sometimes said to be "sealed with the holy Spirit of the promise," as, "Ye trusted in Christ after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom, also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of the promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, for redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory." Here the sealing with Spirit is preceded by sealing with the gospel teaching. The power of the truth taught caused them to believe and trust; and after these results were evinced which showed that they had been "sealed in their foreheads," they were sealed with holy spirit, as promised, and could exercise gifts which none have had access to since the Apostasy was enthroned. They could use these sealed gifts or "spirits," or abuse them; for "the spirits of the prophets" were "subject to the prophets." They were, therefore, exhorted to "grieve not the Holy Spirit of the Deity by which they were sealed for a day of redemption" (1 Cor. 14:32; Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The exhortation, however, was not generally heeded. They abused "the Spirits" or spiritual gifts, and therefore the consequences threatened were manifested in the withdrawal of the Spirit, or, symbolically speaking, on "removing the lightstand out of its place," by which they were left in the "outer darkness" of the kingdom of "the Spirituals of the wickedness in the heavenlies" of the world. The reader will perceive from these premises, that the traditions of "the Church" (in which we include all "the Names and Denominations of Christendom" that practise baby-sprinkling; and all others which practise immersion of adults, without their being first "sealed in their foreheads" with the gospel Paul preached as "the seal of Deity") are altogether contrary to scripture. "The Church" has substituted sacramentalism for Christ. This was especially the feature of the times concurrent with the ministry of the Angel-Sealers. The Rev. Mr. Elliott, himself a baby sprinkler and signer of the cross upon their unsealed and unsealable foreheads, speaking of these times, says: "But what of the neophytes' personal looking in faith to Jesus, as the soul's life and light, whereby alone to secure the spiritual blessing shadowed out in the sacramental rite (baptism)? Of this and of the doctrine inculcating it, we read little. On the other hand, it is scarce possible for a student of the church history of the times not to be struck, as he reads, with the exaggerated and unscriptural notions then widely prevalent of the virtue attached to the outward baptismal rite as if in itself sufficient to secure them: that is, when duly performed by the ministering presbyter; or, as in Levitical phrase, and with Levitical functions attaching, he was now generally called, the ministering hiereus, sacerdos, or priest? Throughout the whole of the preceding (third) century, and even earlier, a preparation had been making for these views by the accumulation of titles of honor on it (baptism). Besides its earlier title of the loutron paliggenesias ('laver of regeneration' Tit. 3:5) it was now denominated, as Bingham tells us, sphragis seal, karakter kuriou, the Lord's mark, photismos, the illumination, phulakterion, phylactery or preservative, aphtharsias enduma the investiture of incorruption, soterion, the salvation. In the language of an eminent (catholic) bishop of that day (Cyril): "It was the ransom to captives the remission of offences, the death of sin, the regeneration of the soul, the garment of light, the holy seal indissoluble, the chariot to heaven, the luxury of Paradise, the procuring of the kingdom, the gift of adoption' -- A magical virtue, as it has been expressed, was too generally thought to attach to the rite; and that not only were all sins ipso facto washed away by it, but all evils, as by an amulet, averted. The ceremonies now superadded to the simple form prescribed and practised at its original institution, added to this impression. The custom is recorded how the candidate turned to the West, while priestly words of exorcism were uttered, by which it was supposed that he was now at length delivered from the dominion of the Prince of Darkness; then to the East, as to receive, together with the baptismal immersion (Elliott's own phrase, and equivalent to immersional immersion) the illumination of the Spirit. And then he was enrolled in the churchregister, as being of the number of the Christian Israel. A crown was borne by him, in token of his victory over sin and the world; a white dress put upon him, as on one washed from sin, and robed for immortality: and moreover, as Gregory Nazianzen tells us, he was led up before the altar in token of the beatific vision of the life to come; and received with psalmody, as in foretaste of the hymnings of the blessed." Such was the ritualistic initiation of crowds renouncing idolatry into the catholic church in the days of Constantine, who figured in all the sixth seal, and in the half hour silence of the seventh. They claimed to have been marked with the Lord's Seal and Mark upon their foreheads. But it was Mother Church's seal, "impressed on them," says Elliott, "by the officiating presbyter, and perfected by the chrism of the confirming bishop; this last being deemed an essential point:" and he might have added, constituting "the mark" which "the Beast" afterwards required all to receive upon pain of death if refused (Apoc. 13:16). The presbyter only baptized by permission of the bishop. The bishop's confirmation, of which anointing was the sign, was then administered soon after baptism, or immersion; but now years after sprinkling, but without the oil. This was the origin of the idea of baptism being a christening, or anointing. Thus, the sealed foreheads of the Church, were foreheads wetted with water, and greased with oil, by presbyters and bishops. This sealing, however, did not get below the skin. It did not reach the intellect and affections; and therefore effected no spiritual good. The Laodiceans thought otherwise. "The neophyte emerged from the waters of baptism," say they, "in a state of perfect innocence. The dove (Holy Spirit) was constantly hovering over the font, and sanctifying the waters to the mysterious ablution of the sins of the past life. The water itself became, in the vivid language of the church, the blood of Christ" -- Milman, Hist. Christ. With such "Holy Water" what need of understanding and belief? The church administers to its devotees its "sacraments" without regard to their quality. Though the seal of the Living one teaches, that "without faith it is impossible to please Him," the Church pays no regard to the principle; but sacramentalizes all sorts, the only disqualification being, to be "sealed in the forehead by the seal of the living Deity," which all her officials denounce as heresy not to be tolerated or endured. Thus, sacramentalism substitutes mere water, oil, bread, wine, and priestly ministration, for the faith that comes by hearing, and understanding the gospel Paul preached. According to the Church, a babe, or an idiot, is regenerated by sprinkling its face with sanctified water. The spirit held in solution by the water mysteriously ablutes original and actual sin. Hence, faith is superfluous; and if babes and idiots may be regenerated by sanctified water, and saved from the flames of hell, why may not benevolent and well meaning people, go up to heaven at death, who, like the quaker pietists, make no use of water at all? Yes, why not? And because the Church sees no valid objection, it recognizes these pious deists as christians! Thus, the Church having lost sight of the faith; having transmuted baptism of believing adults into rhantism of unconscious babes; and substituted priestism for the word; she was repudiated by the Spirit as an unbaptized apostate, "wretched, and pitiable, and poor, and blind, and naked." As, therefore, she was no longer competent to teach "the words of eternal life;" and that He might still have a light in the world -- a "name" and a "tabernacle," in which heavenly place his sealed ones might dwell (Apoc. 13:6); and that an enlightened agency might be organized for the developing from succeeding ages and generations those, "whose names had been written (gegrammenoi) in the book of life" -- He stirred up faithful men to an active and energetic testimony against "the Church," who unveiled its imbecility and folly; and showed their contemporaries of the fourth century a more excellent way. They went forth mighty in the word with their faces westward, convincing and converting catholics from the error of their superstition; teaching them "the things concerning the kingdom of the Deity, and the name of Jesus Christ;" and then immersing the taught "both men and women" (Acts 8:12). Thus, many Laodiceans bought gold tried in the fire, and white raiment, and anointed their eyes with eyesalve, and became rich, clothed, and seeing; they heard the voice of the spirit in having the word preached, and opened to them, and "he dwelt in their hearts by faith" (Eph. 3:17); and thus, with this potent seal, they were sealed in their foreheads as the servants of the Deity to the number, symbolically expressed, of "144,000 of all the tribes of the sons of Israel." Between "the Church," then, and the Ecclesia, an antagonism was established by the sealing, direct, uncompromising, and irreconcilable, on all points of faith, practice, discipline and policy, which has continued to this day; and will continue till "the Church" is abolished by the Ecclesia; and the homage of emancipated and enlightened nations be willingly and joyfully given to Jesus and the sealed. Had it not been for the sealing of the 144,000, at the period under consideration, real christianity would have soon become extinct. But by this divine interposition, the Ecclesia was extricated from her great peril; and enabled to maintain a testimony for the truth for many ages after. 4. Tribes of Israel's Sons John says, that the servants of the Deity were sealed from among, or out, of every tribe of Israel's sons -- ek pases fules huion Israel. This, of course, is metaphorical -- a simile comprised in a phrase not according to the primitive meaning of the words. The real signification of the phrase, is the mystery it conceals from the eye of the unsealed -- from the perception of the churchman, or "natural man." The Seven Stars, and Seven Golden Lightstands, of ch. 1:20, were not to be taken literally, as what are vulgarly styled stars and lamps. They had "a mystery" hidden in the words; "star" being used to signify in that place, angels, or Spirit-anointed elderships, of the Ecclesia; and "lightstands," the Ecclesias themselves. So in the sentence before us, Israel, tribe, sons, are words used apocalyptically in a metaphorical sense. They each contain a mystery, which is the literal apocalyptic import, or true meaning of their use in this place. In the prophetic and apostolic writings, "Israel" is used in more senses than one. The first time it was used is found in Gen. 32:28. The divine man with whom Jacob wrestled said to him, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but also Israel; for thou hast power as a prince with Elohim, and with men, and hast prevailed." In Exod. 4:22, it is applied to the whole of Jacob's descendants who came out of Egypt under Moses. "Israel," said Yahweh to Pharaoh, "is my son, my firstborn." Here it stands for a nation of twelve tribes, which comprised also "a mixed multitude," who were not the fleshly descendants of Jacob (Exod. 12:38). Tried by a law of faith, this nation was partly believers of the promises, and partly not. The believing section, which was always a small number, were the real "Israel;" all the rest of the fleshly descendants were "not Israel;" as it is written in Rom. 9:6: "They are not all Israel who are of Israel: neither because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children: but in Isaac, O Abraham, shall thy seed be called. That is, they who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of the Deity; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed." Moses, Phineas, Joshua, Caleb, David, the prophets, and those of their school, were "Israel;" Korah, Dathan, Abiram, Saul, Ahab, Manasseh, and their class, though descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, after the flesh, were "not Israel." The difference between these two classes of the same nation, was purely a matter of faith. The Mosaic Law condemned both classes to death; for "by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified;" "for by the law is the knowledge of sin." "The law was weak through the flesh," in Which "dwells no good thing;" therefore the law which was good in itself, became death to those who lived under it: for it is written, "Cursed be every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." No Israelite ever escaped this curse; for, although Jesus was "without sin," the law cursed him, saying, "Cursed is every one that hangeth upon a tree." From these premises it will be seen, that Israel, not only signifies the man Jacob, and the Twelve Tribes his descendants according to the flesh, but men of the nation who are Israel in the highest and noblest sense of the word -- the metaphorical. Hence, in regard to the question, who are the seed of Abraham; who are the sons of Israel; who the sons of the Deity? Christ Jesus interposes, and says, "the flesh profits nothing." Israelites will not inherit the blessing promised to Israel, because they descend from Jacob, they must be men of faith, "Israelites indeed in whom there is no guile" -- Israelites, the sons of the Deity, who believe into his name; "who have been begotten, not of bloods, nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the Deity" (John 1:12, 13). Therefore it is that, because "the flesh profits nothing." Israel after the flesh, are not now the people and sons of Deity. They are broken off because of unbelief in the gospel Paul preached. But, they will not always continue a faithless and stiffnecked generation; for "they shall be willing in the day of the power of David's son and Lord" (Psa. 110): and then, "in the place where it was said to them, 'Ye are not my people,' there it shall be said unto them, ye are the sons of Ail the living one" (Hos. 1:10). But, before they were broken off because of unbelief in "the truth as it in Jesus," efforts were made by John the Immerser, Jesus Christ, and the Apostles; in other words, by the Spirit of the Deity through them; to manifest a generation of "Israelites indeed," of the sons of Abraham and Israel, and therefore, of sons of the Deity, by faith, repentance, and immersion: -- by faith in the promises covenanted to Abraham, and David, and in Jesus as their promised seed, delivered for the offences, and raised for the justification of all who believe the promises: by repentance, characterized by a thinking and disposition such as Abraham evinced: and by immersion, into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, for the remission of sins. Many "of Israel" became "Israel" after this method. They were begotten of the will of the Faher of Lights by the word of truth, which they received with meekness as the engrafted word which was able to save their souls (Jas. 1:18, 21). But, after all done, compared to the whole nation this was but an election, and that only a remnant. It did not afford Israelites indeed in sufficient number for the kingdom of the Deity. They of Israel "who were bidden were not worthy." Those servants, therefore, who had the seal in those days, were sent into the highways to gather people together of all sorts that the wedding of the King's Son might be furnished with guests; and his house be filled. This was quite a new crisis in Israelitish affairs. It consisted of nothing less than, as it were, raising up children to Abraham from stones -- creating Israelites out of Gentiles upon the same principle that "Israelites indeed" were created out of mere natural Jews styled by Paul "Jews outwardly." Peter, to whom the opening of the kingdom to the Gentiles was committed, went to the house of Cornelius upon this mission. He invited them to become Israelites in every respect except the accident of fleshly descent, which "profited nothing" in the begettal of sons to Deity. When he recounted what he had done to the brethren, he told them that "Deity put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith." And afterwards, when writing to these newly created Israelites, he says: "Ye as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to the Deity through Jesus Christ." Again, he says: "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a Holy Nation, a purchased people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light ('the Gospel of the Kingdom'); who in time past were not a people, but are now the people of the Deity; who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy" (1 Pet. 2:5-10). Paul also in treating of the same subject, says, that "he is not the Jew who is one outwardly; but he is the Jew who is one inwardly" (Rom. 2:28). That is, he is not the Jew who is the seed of Abraham in the sense of being heir of the promise, who is only a Jew by accident: to be the seed of Abraham, a man must be a Jew inwardly; he must be sealed in the forehead with the truth which is Deity's seal: in other words, addressing both natural Jews and natural Gentiles, Paul says: "Ye are all sons of Deity in Christ Jesus through the faith;" and here follows the reason: "For as many as have been immersed into Christ, have put on Christ." In whom "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male or female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:26). "They who are of faith, the same," saith he, "are the children of Abraham." And again likewise, addressing the Gentile element of the Ecclesia in Ephesus, Paul calls upon them to remember that in time past they were uncircumcised Gentiles in the flesh, and consequently, "without Christ, being aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope, and atheists (atheoi) in the world." But now, all this was reversed when they came to be sealed, and to be constituents of the New Man -- "The Israel of the Deity" (Gal. 6:16): "the One Body." They were now "no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens of the saints, and familiars of the Deity" (ch. 2:11-19). They had become the adopted citizens of Israel's Commonwealth or polity. They were Jews inwardly, "walking in the steps of that faith of their father Abraham which he had before he was circumcised." They differed from common Jews in not being of the same fleshly descent, which was a matter of no profit; and they differed from them also in being men of faith like Abraham. But the only difference between them and those noblest of all Jews, the prophets and their class, was the accident of birth. Ezekiel, Daniel, Cornelius, Crispus, Gaius, Erastus, and such like, though Jews and Greeks, were yet all "Israelites indeed" through faith -- the Jews inwardly, living under the law before the faith came by Jesus, being justified "by faith" in the promises (ek pisteos); and the Jews inwardly, living after the faith came, being justified by one and the same Deity, "through the faith" dia tes pisteos, in the promises, or "the truth as it is in Jesus" (Gal. 3:23-25; Rom. 3:30; 4:12-16). Now, the citizenship of the Old Israelites commenced on earth; while the politeuma, or citizenship of the New Israelites begins in heavens, en ouranois huparchei. The citizenship of mere common, or outward Jews, begins with circumcision -- with the flesh. If they omit this, the accident of birth from Jewish parents goes for nothing, they are regarded by the law as cut off from their people, having broken the covenant of Yahweh in the omission of the rite on the eighth day (Gen. 17:14). They are neither "Israel" nor "of Israel." But the citizenship of the New Israelites, or Israelites of the New Covenant, begins in heavens, and also with circumcision -- it begins with faith, with the truth believed and obeyed, with the Spirit. A Jew, or Greek, comes to "believe the things concerning the kingdom of the Deity, and of the name of Jesus Anointed;" and to fall in love with them above all other things; he acquires a "faith," in other words, that "purifies his heart," and "works by love" -- he receives the doctrine of the kingdom of the Deity as a little child -- with all humility and teachableness; and demands only to know what the Lord would have him to do, that he may do it. He is required, then to be circumcised in Christ, to "purify his soul in the obedience of the truth" -- to "put off the body of the sins of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ." The churchman, or mere pious natural man, discerns not these "deep things of the Deity;" but such a Jew or Gentile as we are considering, being "filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding," knows that, by being buried with Christ in the one immersion, he puts on Christ; and that when thus invested with him as with a white robe, all his sins are covered over, remitted, or washed away; and that he stands "complete in him." Jesus was circumcised the eighth day, according to the law; he was a Jew; the son of Abraham, David, and the Deity; the Heir of all things; he was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners; he is king, priest, and so forth. Now, it is only those Jews and Gentiles, the eyes of whose understandings have been enlightened by the word of the truth of the gospel of the kingdom, who can by immersion get into Christ; for men are saved "through the faith," dia tes pisteos; and "without faith," which Paul defines as, "the confidence of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen," -- "it is impossible to please the Deity." This, then, is the indispensable prerequisite for introduction into Christ, and completeness in him. Those who are thus qualified in the act of passing through the bath of water, pass into Christ. Before entering the bath, the truth believed has changed their minds, made them "dead to sin," and "quickened them with Christ" (Rom. 6:2, 11; Eph. 2:5): when they are in the bath, and buried under the water, they are "buried with Christ by the immersion into his death," which was for sin. Hence, this water burial is their investiture with Christ as with a white robe. The burial is, therefore, a clothing, or covering over by which their sin-nakedness is metaphorically concealed; and they are in that situation in which it may be said of them, in the words of the Spirit, "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered over" -- epekaluphthesan (Rom. 4:7). This is the point of time in which they are "circumcised with the circumcision made without hands;" and, as in the circumcision performed with hands, there was a cutting, or putting, off, of flesh, so in the circumcision made without hands, there is a metaphorical putting off of flesh, "in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh in the circumcision (en te peritome) of the Christ, being buried with him in the immersion" (Col. 2:11, 12). Being therefore thus introduced into Christ's circumcision by faith and burial, they are the subjects of "circumcision of heart in spirit, not in letter" -- "the foreskins of their hearts are circumcised, and they are no more stiffnecked" (Deut. 10:16) like many that could be named. "We are the circumcision," says Paul, "being servants to Deity by spirit (or by the sealing truth) and rejoicing in Christ Jesus, and having no confidence in flesh." By this admirably devised scheme, Jews and Gentiles get into Christ, though at the right hand of Deity and they upon earth; and "their citizenship begins in heavens." He, being the truth, dwells in their hearts by faith; and having got into him constitutionally by water burial, they continue to dwell in him; so that having come forth from the water-grave, the life which they live in the flesh, they live by the faith of the Son of the Deity, who loved them, and gave himself for them (Gal. 2:20). Being thus circumcised in their water burial by the truth believed they become Jews in the noblest sense of the word. They went into the bath dead to Judaism and Gentilism, and were born of the water in coming out of it, Israelites indeed, sons of Abraham, David and the Deity; brethren of Israel's King; heirs with him of all things; holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners; citizens of the commonwealth of Israel; kings and priests for the Deity -- they become all this and more, because Christ is such, and they are "complete in him." Hence, circumcision of heart, in the sense explained, is as indispensably necessary to the Israelitish citizenship which begins where Christ now is, as circumcision of flesh was to Israelitish citizenship beginning the eighth day after birth. The two circumcisions developed two Israels -- the carnal and the spiritual. While occupying Palestine, the Carnal Israel were the kingdom of the Deity under the Mosaic Constitution; and the throne upon which David and Solomon reigned in Jerusalem was "the throne of Yahweh." Deity permitted them to continue in the land so long as the constitution was respected; and there were enough "Israelites indeed" among them, to preserve the nation from putrefaction. These were the real, spiritual, life of the nation -- the salt of the land; and when they became insipid; or, when they, as the chosen generation, died off from the arena, the nation became "a carcase," fit only for the talons of the Roman Eagle, according to the predictions of Moses, Daniel and Christ (Deut. 28:49; Dan. 8:10-12, 24; Matt. 24:28). But, when the Israelitish Carcase was rent and devoured by "the Great Eagle," "the Israel of the Deity," consisting of Jews and Greeks in other lands, or sections of the habitable, who were Jews in Christ, was still an organized and flourishing community, styled also by Paul, "the Ecclesia, his Body," of which Jesus Christ is the Head; and the "One Body." This new community figures in symbolic writing, as "The Seven Ecclesias which are in Asia;" these seven being representative of all Israelites, "circumcised with the circumcision made without hands," in all the habitable. This Israel was rooted in Jacob's twelve sons, as the patriarchs of the tribes. "First that which is natural," says Paul, "and then that which is spiritual." This is the order of the Deity's developments in relation to body, world, and nation. Hence, the spiritual body is developed out of the natural; the spiritual world out of the natural; and the spiritual Israelitish nation out of the natural, we Gentiles coming in by adoption through the King of Israel, who himself was first natural before he became spirit. The principle is fundamental, and perceived in the generation of all things -- first, the naked grain, or body; then that which shall be fruit-bearing in the field. Jacob was the wall of Israel, and his sons his twelve gates, in the beginnings of things. Jesus and the Apostles emerged from Jacob through these gates; being descended from Jacob in their line. But said the Spirit in Jesus, "before Abraham was I am." He was "the Root" of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David; and when He came to be manifested in Jesus, in this combination of flesh and spirit, he was "the Off spring" of those patriarchs. While, therefore Jacob was a wall enclosing the whole future nation in his loins, "the Root and Offspring of David," and therefore of Jacob (Apoc. 5:5; 22:16), is the Jasper Wall, great and high, "in whom" is contained all "the Israel of the Deity." At the natural gates of the twelve tribes, the apostles stood as so many Angels or messengers (ch. 21:12). They went forth inviting Jews and Gentiles to "enter in through the gates into the city," enclosed within the Jasper Wall (22:14) to enter into Christ through adoption into the commonwealth of Israel; that in so entering, they might, as precious stones, garnish the twelve foundations which represent the twelve apostles of the Lamb. "The Israelitish carcase was rent and devoured by 'the Great Eagle' " -- Eureka p. 317. Many national enemies of Israel used the symbol of the eagle, including Egypt, Rome and Germany! Shortly before 100 b.c., Marius ordered a likeness of the eagle to be affixed to the standard of each legion. It was the custom of standard bearers to throw the ensign at the advancing enemy, and the warrior who retrieved it was rewarded. The onyx relief above dates from about the time Rome took the Jewish people into captivity. By then the eagle had come to symbolise the power and majesty of imperial Rome. The apocalyptic Jasper Wall, which constitutes the limit of the Holy City, is Deity manifested in flesh; who, in Zech. 2:5, saith "I will be unto Jerusalem a Wall of Fire round about her, and will be the glory in the midst of her." The Chief Corner, or Prince, of this foursquare wall is Jesus. The Deity, before his manifestation in him, said unto him in prophecy, "Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified -- It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the desolations of Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my (Yeshua or Jesus) salvation to the ends of the earth" (Isa. 49:3, 6). Thus, the Deity manifested in Flesh is herein styled Israel; and in calling him, "my salvation," He is also styled Jesus. Now, the spirit in Hosea 11:1, says of him, what is equally true of the whole nation in Moses, "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt;" which saying, as a part of its mystery, Matthew says was fulfilled in the child Jesus (ch. 2:15). Christ, then, being Israel, all who "wash their robes, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb," become Israel also -- the metaphorical Israel developed out of the outward, whose polity flourished two hundred and fifty years after the destruction of Jerusalem. This spiritual commonwealth, I have said, is symbolized during this period by the Seven Ecclesias, which were encamped in the territory of the Great Eagle, an imperium in imperio; and symbolized again, in the periods of the first four seals, by the Four Living Ones full of eyes. These all were the spiritual "tribes of Israel's sons" -- the Sons of Deity, and brethren of Jesus, constitutionally manifested as such by immersion, as the outward sign. Speaking of this honor, John saith: "Behold what great love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called children of Deity!.-- Beloved, we are now children of Deity, but it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). Then will be "the apocalypse of the sons of the Deity;" and the world that knows them not now, because it knows him not, will be brought into such practical acquaintance with them, that its knowledge of them will never again fade from its remembrance (Rom. 8:19). But, after the apostles were withdrawn from the arena, it happened to the "Tribes of Israel's sons," as to the fleshly Israel after the decease of the elders who overlived Joshua, that they began to fall away from the institutions of the Deity. Immersionists, or as they would now be styled, "Baptists," began to teach "perverse things" to draw away disciples after them; and in so doing, to corrupt the way of the Lord, and to conceal it at length, under a cloud-capped mountain of "philosophy and vain deceit." As we have seen elsewhere, these evil men and seducers in Israel were denominated "Nikolaitanes," "that Woman Jezebel," "the Satan;" nevertheless, they pertinaciously claimed to be Jews. The Spirit, however, repudiated their claim, and denounced them for liars and blasphemers of the Synagogue of the Satan (Apoc. 2:9; 3:9). But as Paul predicted, they "waxed worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived," until they had succeeded in substituting sacramentalism for "the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Cor. 11:3). They preached "another Jesus," "another Spirit," and "another gospel" than Paul preached, as the basis of their immersion; and therefore were "accursed" Israelites, and degraded to a level with mere formalists, who had "a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof: from such, saith the apostle, "turn away" (2 Tim. 3:5; Gal. 1:8, 9). Here then, were two classes of Israelites in apostasy -- the one class composed of men circumcised in flesh; the other, of men having the form, immersion, which introduces to the circumcision of Christ. These had the form or profession of christianity without the power; the others had the form of Mosaicism, but without faith in the promises made to Abraham. The apocalyptic "tribes of Israel's sons" had substituted abstract spirit for belief of the truth -- abstract spirit was the power, or virtue, that accomplished everything for them. It entered the water they used, and made it holy, and purifying, to every faithless ignoramus they put into it; it entered the hypocritical and spiritually dead carcases of the "seducers" they ordained to "holy orders," and made them sanctifying administrators of ordinances; it entered the bread and the wine, and made them spiritual meat and drink: in short, this abstract quiddity mesmerized everything, as in all "the names and denominations" of our day, being the very essence of sacramentalism, as opposed to the "form of godliness" and its true "power." The Tribes of Israel's sons had degenerated into mere ritualists, who, in practising religious ceremonies, regarded them as both the form and power of christian godliness. The Jews of our time practising the mummeries of the synagogue; or papists genuflexing with their priests before images; or snoozing protestants dosing under the vaporous emissions of pulpit drones and imbeciles -- are legitimate and life-like representatives of "Israel's sons," established by Constantine the First as "the lords spiritual" of the Great Eagle of the earth. The following extracts from ecclesiastical writers on the times of Constantine, will afford the reader some idea of the condition of things in the apocalyptic "tribes of Israel's sons," called "the Catholic Church." "In the new order of things," says Jones, "which took place under the Emperor Constantine and his clergy, one of their first objects was to remodel the form and order of the christian church, the administration of which was, as far as possible, arranged conformably to the government of the state. The emperor himself (unimmersed as he was) assumed the episcopal functions, and claimed the power of regulating its external affairs -- in other words, he was constituted Head of the Church" -- the new-born Man of Sin. "He and his successors convened councils, in which they presided, and determined all matters of discipline. The bishops corresponded to those magistrates, whose jurisdiction was confined to single cities; the metropolitans to the proconsuls, or presidents of provinces; the primates, to the emperor's vicars, each of whom governed one of the imperial provinces. Canons and prebendaries took their rise from the societies of ecclesiastics, which Eusebius, Bishop of Vetceil, and after him Augustine, formed in their houses, and in which these prelates were styled their fathers and masters." Scarcely any two things can be more dissimilar than this new order of things, and the order instituted by the Apostles nearly 300 years before. Mosheim speaking of the episcopal presbyters, or overseeing elders, of the apostolic ecclesias and those of the second century, says: "Let none confound the bishops of this primitive and golden period of the ecclesia with those of whom we read in the following ages. For though they were both designated by the same name, yet they differed extremely in many respects. A bishop during the first and second centuries was a person who had the care of one christian assembly, which at that time was, generally speaking, small enough to be contained in a private house. In this assembly he acted not so much with the authority of a master, as with the zeal and diligence of a faithful servant. The ecclesias, also in those early times, were entirely independent; none of them subject to any foreign jurisdiction, but each of them governed by its own rulers and its own laws. Nothing is more evident than the perfect equality that reigned among the primitive ecclesias; nor does there ever appear in the first century, the smallest trace of that association of provincial ecclesias from which councils and metropolitans derive their origin." "Nothing," adds Jones, "could be more abhorrent to the first churches than to acknowledge any earthly potentate," and he not even a christian, "as their head." "Be not ye called Rabbi," said Jesus to the apostles, "for one is your guide, even Christ, and all ye are brethren. Neither be ye called guides; for one is your guide who is Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your minister; and whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." These divine maxims, which are constituent principles of the christian ecclesia, were lost sight of by the ecclesiastics who undertook to remodel the churches under the auspices of the Emperor Constantine, whom they, as a matter of courtesy, condescended to make their earthly head" -- the Head of every "Tribe of Israel's sons." In proportion as these Sons of Israel enjoyed any intervals of exemption from persecution, they became more litigious in their tempers, and more worldly minded. But now that the restraint was entirely removed by Constantine, the churches endowed, and riches and honors profusely heaped upon the clergy; when he authorized them to sit as judges upon the consciences and faith of others, he confirmed them in the spirit of this world -- the spirit of pride, avarice, domination, and ambition. The glaring delinquency that marked the conduct of the leading ecclesiastics, in professing a religion of humility and self-denial, and at the same time pursuing the pleasures and aspiring after the honors of this world, seems to have struck the very heathen themselves. Hence, a pagan historian who lived shortly after the days of Constantine, named Ammianus Marcellinus, remarked concerning some of the leading bishops: "It would be well if, despising the magnificence of the city, they would copy the example of some of the bishops of provincial towns, whose temperance, plainness of dress, and heavenly-mindedness, must recommend them to the Deity as his sincere worshippers." These to whom he refers were probably some of the sealed ones with whom he happened to be acquainted. These testimonies may serve to show us how "the Mystery of Iniquity" was then busily working in "every tribe of Israel's Sons," developing the already gendered Man of Sin Power, as well as the powerful hand the clergy, so-called, had in it. Restored to the full possession of their liberty, the places of worship rebuilt and secured to them, and the imperial edicts everywhere published in their favor, these new bishops soon gave the emperor convincing proof what manner of spirit they were of! As their several revenues became augmented, they grew more and more ambitious, less disposed to endure contradiction, more arrogant and haughty in their behavior, more litigious, and more reckless of the simplicity and gravity of their character and profession. Constantine's letters afford ample proof of the jealousies and animosities which reigned among them. Adverting to a quarrel that had arisen between Miltiades, Bishop of Rome, and Coecilianus, Bishop of Carthage, in which the principals had enlisted a host of their colleagues as auxiliaries, he tells them that it was a very grievous thing to him to see such a number of persons divided into parties, and even bishops disagreeing among themselves. He earnestly wished to compose their differences; but, in defiance of all his efforts, they persisted in their quarrels, which drew from him a feeling complaint, that those who ought to have been the foremost in maintaining a brotherly affection and peaceable disposition towards each other, were the first to separate from one another in a scandalous and detestable manner, giving occasion to the common enemies of Christianity to scoff at and deride them. To put an end to such disgraceful proceedings, Constantine summoned a council to meet at Aries, in France, in order, if possible, to bring to a friendly and Christian compromise this long pending altercation, at which the emperor condescended to be present, and there exerted all his influence to restore peace and harmony between them; but it proved to be with little effect. He had to do with the men Paul predicted, in 2 Timothy 3:1-13, would appear in "the Israel of the Deity," making the times perilous to his sealed servants. "Men," said he, "shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, devils, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those who are good, betrayers, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of the Deity; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." Constantine had sown fresh seeds of strife and contention among these mere ritualistic and sacramentarian Israelites, by his liberal endowment of their churches, and by the riches and honors he had conferred upon the bishops; and he was now reaping the fruit of his own folly. From this and much more that might be adduced from history, it is evident that the Wild Olive Branch, which had by "the engrafting word" been grafted into the good Israelitish Olive Tree, was in a perishing condition. In Romans 11, Paul, speaking to the Gentile element of Israel, exhorts them not to boast against the branches of the good olive tree, broken off because of unbelief in the word of the kingdom; and adds, "Thou standest by faith; be not highminded, but fear: for if the Deity spared not the natural branches" of the good tree, "take heed lest he also spare not thee." The goodness of Deity had been manifested to the pagan Gentiles in inviting them to fellow-citizenship with those Israelites who had already become Christians -- in offering them repentance and remission of sins, and a right to incorruptibility and life in the kingdom of Christ and of the Deity, on the same terms. It was, nevertheless, possible to place themselves in a position such as the Jews were in at the time of the breaking off by the Roman power. They had become faithless, and were broken off in consequence. If the New Israelites by adoption through Jesus, became faithless of the Word, the same fate awaited them; for they only stood in the favor of Deity by faith. Therefore, Paul adds, "if thou continue not in his goodness, thou also shalt be cut off." The "goodness" he refers to is, the exhibition of the goodness of the Deity set forth in the gospel of the kingdom, the belief of which "leads to repentance." We have seen that they did not continue in his goodness, but had turned their backs upon it, and bartered off faith in that goodness for irrational sacramentalism, and the wealth and honor of the state. The gospel, which is the "Deity's power for salvation," had no power over them. They had failed to continue "to stand" in it, and to hold fast to it, or keep it in mind. That "certain word" Paul preached was forgotten, and buried under those piles of rubbish, taught as orthodox theology by their descendants, in the schools, colleges and pulpits of our modern Laodicea. They could no more "handle the word" as skilled workmen, than the benighted spirituals of our "glorious and enlightened 19th century!" A "strong delusion had come over them, a vail had overspread them, the spirit of the world had "made them drunk," and, instead of the truth, "they believed a lie" (2 Thess. 2:11; Isa. 25:7; Apoc. 17:2, 6; 18:3). What was to be done with such unprofitable, blasphemous, faithless, and disgusting Israelites as these? -- these ancestors of modern Christendom? What but to pronounce upon them the sentence that awaits all such -- "Lo-ruhamah and Loammi"; "thou art not my people, and shalt obtain no mercy." This sentence is embodied in the words, "thou shalt be broken off." They had come into the situation they were warned against -- a state of unbelief -- and, as the Deity always fulfils his threats, as well as his promises of good, the time had almost arrived to do execution upon the guilty. But, there were many centuries and generations to come and pass away before "the Mystery of the Deity should be finished, as he had declared the glad tidings to his servants the prophets" (Apoc. 10:7); and he did not intend in breaking off the unbelieving tribes of Israel's sons, to leave himself without witnesses and a testimony against Loammi the Apostate. For this reason, the symbolic sealing angel proclaimed an arrest of judgment, that time might be afforded for taking out from the apostate tribes a "remnant," which would be more and longer faithful to the commandments of the Deity, and the testimony of Jesus Christ (Apoc. 12:17). To afford scope for this, he said to the four angel-powers, standing ready for the work of judgment at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds, "Injure ye not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, while we may seal the servants of our Deity in their foreheads." This sealing work accomplished, and there would be no cause for longer restraint upon the howling, and sweeping, and uprooting tempests, which were to signalize the breaking off of the decayed and sapless branch apocalyptically styled the tribes of Israel's sons. The judicial visitations of the first six seals were against the worshippers of the gods; while the more terrible judgments of the trumpets and vials, and thunders, were and are the indignation and wrath of the Lamb upon the apostate symbolical "tribes of Israel's sons," repudiated by the Spirit as "men of corrupt minds, reprobate, or of no judgment, concerning the faith," and therefore no longer the people of the Lord. 5. The 144,000 Sealed. John says: "I heard the number of them who had been scaled;" and then informs us that the number amounted to 144,000. As we are expounding a revelation hieroglyphically communicated, we must not suppose that this is the literal number of the sealed. Like all other numbers in the apocalypse, it is symbolical or representative; and subject to the like rule for its interpretation. They do not represent less numbers than themselves, but more. This remark, however, does not include the thousand years, which is the numerical symbol representative of "the Day of Christ," comprised between the binding of the Dragon, and his release for a little season. The 144,000 represent the whole number of the redeemed. This appears from ch. 14:3, where they are styled hoi egorasmenoi, "the redeemed" (or those acquired by the Lamb by a ransom or price paid, his blood) "from the earth." The real, or exact, number of the "redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot" (1 Pet. 1:18, 19), we are told in Apoc. 7:9, is "a great multitude which no man could number." Abraham was invited to number the stars, if he were able, which, of course, he was not able to do; upon which he was told, "So shall thy seed be" (Gen. 15:5). Paul tells us, we are Abraham's seed, if we be Christ's; otherwise, we are not; and in Rom. 4:18, informs us, that the promise embraces whole nations of mankind, which, in the day of Christ, when he dwells in the midst of Zion, will "be joined to Yahweh and be his people" (Zech. 2:11; Apoc. 15:4). The number of the redeemed, saved, or sealed, it is impossible for any but the Deity to define. He has chosen to be reticent upon this point -- to conceal it by saying nothing about it, further than to let us know that no man can count them. It is clear, then, that 144,000 is only a definite number representative of a much larger multitude, which the Deity himself alone can define to a man; for "known unto him are all his works from the beginning of the world" or aion (Acts 15:18) and every redeemed man is one of his works, as saith Paul, "we are his workmanship" (Eph. 2:10). In this counting up the number of the saved, he will, therefore, remember exactly how many he has created after the likeness of his Son Jesus. We must, then, be content to know simply the number by which he has thought proper to represent the unknown, and the mystery that number secretes, from all who have not the wisdom to "see" and understand. Thus, then, the 144,000 being a miniature representation of an unknown predetermined original, it cannot be interpreted by what is called the literal; a rule which, when applied to the Apocalypse, reduces it to an unintelligible absurdity, which commends itself only to the mind of a "churchman," or of one hopelessly spoiled by "philosophy and vain deceit." But what is the mystery of the Deity secreted in this number? Why should the number representing the redeemed be 144,000? Why might not 121,000, or any other number, have sufficed? I reply, because 12 and not 11, is the square root of "that great city, the Holy Jerusalem," which is the Bride of Christ (ch. 21:2, 9, 10). The holy root of the Good Olive Tree is 12; which, when multiplied into itself, produces 144, thousands, furlongs, or cubits, as the number or mensuration may be in the premises. If, in the Holy Root, there had been only 11 sons of Israel, "the Urim and the Thummim" would have consisted of no more than eleven precious stones; the foursquare breastplate of judgment would have been defective in one of its rows, a twelfth stone would have been wanting; there would have been only eleven oxen under the laver, and eleven tribes of Israel; only eleven lions on the steps of Solomon's throne; there would not have been a double 144, "instructed in the songs of Yahweh" (1 Chron. 25:7); nor a double 144,000, under twelve captains, or princes (1 Chron. 27:15): there would have been only eleven thrones of the House of David, which would have required only eleven apostles to occupy them in the regeneration (Matt. 19:28). Had 11 been the square root, and not 12, there would have been only twenty-two elders, and 121,000 sealed, 11,000 from each of 11 tribes; there would have been only eleven gates to the Holy Jerusalem, and at the gates only eleven angels standing; there would have been only eleven foundations to the city on which only eleven names of apostles would have been inscribed. The city would have been only 11,000 furlongs, and the encircling wall but 121 cubits; and lastly, the Wood of Life would produce only eleven fruits. From this, the reader may see how the difference of a unit in the root of the Holy Square would have affected the divine numerical system from Genesis to the end of the Apocalypse. Any number multiplied into itself will produce a square. In 144,000 we have a square number given, from which the square root is extractable according to rule. The extraction is the finding of the number, which, multiplied into itself, will make the given number. Thus, 12 x 12 = 144 -- thousands, furlongs, or cubits, as the case may be. It is the square of twelve, and, as the symbol of a commonwealth, polity, or city, applicable only to a community all of whose citizens are based upon a square root of 12. In the Apocalypse, this root is doubled in ch. 4:4, there being "twenty-four elders;" and in ch. 21:12, there being twelve gates and twelve angels at the gates. The reason of this is, that the Holy Square, styled Jerusalem "holy" and "new," and "above the Mother of us all," both Jews and Gentiles in Christ, consists of two classes; the one, based upon the prophets; and circumcision of flesh, which made them citizens of the polity founded on the twelve sons of Israel -- their faith in promises made and covenanted to the fathers, giving them citizenship in the Holy Square; one 12, therefore, is their symbol: the other class, without regard to flesh, are adopted into the Foursquare Polity, and partake of the square root 12 with those under the law; and are also based upon another 12, the apostles of the Lamb, with whom the believers before Christ came as yet had no acquaintance. Hence, to represent these two classes united in one and the same square, the square root is doubled in the elders, and the gates and their angels; and in Chronicles both the root and its square, where the numbers are 24 and 288, the last being a double 144. The 24 has been transferred to the apocalypse, where the 288 has been halved, 12 being the square root of neither 24 nor 288. 6. The Apocalyptic Urim and Thummim The apocalyptic 144,000, 144 furlongs, and 144 cubits, are the Breastplate of Judgment; that is, the thing signified in that splendid decoration worn on the breast of Aaron in the holy place, is fulfilled in those who are the units of the Holy Square. To understand this, the reader must first comprehend the Aaronic symbol itself. The first place mention is made of it is in Exod. 28:15. It was not a plate of metal, but a texture wrought of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen. It was foursquare and of equal sides. It was filled in with settings of precious stones; four rows of them, and three in a row, and each stone set in gold. Upon these twelve stones were engraved, as upon a seal, the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, thereby showing that these tribes were represented by them; so that symbolically speaking, the whole nation of Israel was contained in the square ornament, and borne upon the breast or heart of the High Priest in the holy place. This ornament, styled khoshen mishpat, and in our version, "the breastplate of judgment," was attached to the aiphod, a robe called ephod, or the overall, because it was put on over all other vestments. Having prepared the foursquare texture, Moses was commanded to put into it the Urim and the Thummim; that is, the twelve precious stones: not that the stones abstractly were the Urim and the Thummim, but were indispensable to its manifestation. The Urim were the glistering of the stones -- the lights refracted and reflected from their cut and polished surfaces, and developing lights of divers colors. These were styled, urim, lights; and the twelve stones themselves, thummim, fulnesses, that is, of number and measure -- fulness of number, and fulness of measure; or 144,000 and 144 cubits and furlongs; because these are the perfections, or square of 12. The next remarkable place where the Urim and Thummim are named is in Deut. 33:8. There Moses speaks of them prophetically. He addresses the tribe of Levi, whose chief pontiff wore the ornament, or as it is allusively termed by Paul, "the breastplate of righteousness," and saith, "Thy Thummim and thy Urim be of the Man thy Holy One, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah." In Exod. 17, the particulars of this strife are recorded. The question in debate was "Is Yahweh among us, or not?" This was affirmatively proved by his saying to Moses, "I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink:" and by his doing what he said. Now, in all this there was a mystery hidden, which they did not see into, nor Moses, nor the Elohim themselves; but which we may discern: for, in "the revelation of the mystery" taught by Paul, referring to this strife in 1 Cor. 10:4, he says: "They did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that Spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ." The Holy man, ish khasid, with whom they strove, stood upon the rock, and thus, in a figure, made the rock a part of himself; and representative of something afterwards to be smitten by certain, who, like Moses, should speak unadvisedly with their lips. In that way, it became a "spiritual rock." Paul says, "the Rock was Christ;" that is, it was representative of him. The Holy Man upon the rock was the Elohistic representative of the Deity dwelling in light whom no man hath, or can see (1 Tim. 6:16). He spoke the words of the Invisible One, by whose power, placed at his disposal, water was made to flow. Hence, Eternal and Almighty Power pervaded the rock in Horeb so long as the water gushed forth and followed them in their wanderings. The Holy Man himself was an embodiment of this power; and as the same power was afterwards to be manifested in the nature of Abraham, and thus become his Seed, the Rock became highly typical of Christ. Hence, the Power, of which the Holy Man on the rock was an expression, was Yahweh, or "He who shall be," first in Christ Personal, or Jesus; and afterwards, in Christ Mystical, or the Square of Twelve. In Moses' prophecy of Levi, he says: "They have observed thy word, and will keep thy covenant." The second generation of Levi in the wilderness had observed the divine word, but the covenant referred to they have not yet kept. Levi after the flesh has been in apostasy for ages, and will continue to be so until "Yahweh, the Messenger of the Covenant," shall come. When the time appointed arrives, he will suddenly come in, and proceed to the work of purifying the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto Yahweh an offering in righteousness (Mal. 3:1-4). From this future time, "they will keep the covenant," even the New Covenant, of which Jesus, not Moses, is the Mediator. Then, when Yahweh-Christ, the Branch of Righteousness, shall sit upon the throne of his father David, and execute judgment and righteousness in the land of Israel, "the priests the Levites shall not want a man before me," saith the Spirit by Jeremiah, "to offer burnt-offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually" (ch. 33:15-18). When Levi, then, is in this purified condition contemporary with the reign of the Lamb and the 144,000, Levi's Urim and Thummim will be, as Moses testifies, "of the Holy Man," who will then be their High Priest after the order of Melchisedec. He will not need to wear on his breast such Urim and Thummim as Aaron wore. The Lights and Fulnesses will be of himself, He being Deity Incarnately Manifested; for "it pleased the Father that in him all fulness dwell" (Col. 1:19). Ezra and Nehemiah, doubtless, understood that a priest was to stand up, in and from whom the reality signified by the Aaronic Urim and Thummim should proceed. This appears from Ezra 2:63; Neh. 7:65. In these places we learn that certain priests sought their genealogy in the register, but it could not be found; "therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood; and the Tirshatha said to them, that they should not eat of the most holy things until there stood the Priest kakkohain, for Urim and Thummim." Although they were thus excluded from the priesthood, yet, if they were Israelites of faith, when the Priest who shall himself be Urim and Thummim shall stand in the temple Ezekiel describes, they, having risen from the dead, will be permitted to eat of the most holy things in the Paradise or kingdom of the Deity. It has been remarked that, where the precious stones are mentioned, there is no mention of Urim and Thummim, as in Exodus 39:10; and that, where the Urim and Thummim are mentioned, there is no mention made of the stones, as in Lev. 8:8, which seems to show they are one and the same thing. The reader, however, will have perceived that they are not exactly the same -- that the difference between the Urim and the stones is the difference between various colored lights and the stones reflecting them; and yet, without the glistering gems there would be no light; so that the lights imply the stones, and the stones the lights, and the presence of the one argues that of the other. As to the Thummim, the difference between them and the stones is not a matter of lights, but of number and measure. If, by some accident, the filling in were deficient of one or more of the twelve stones, the Four-square Ornament would not have been Thummim, however bright the Urim of the gems present might have been. The deficient stones must have been supplied, and then Thummim would have been restored to the Holy Square. From this scriptural identification of the Urim and Thummim with the Expected Priest after the Order of Melchisedec, we have one of a multitude of instances in which, as Paul teaches, "the Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes" the gospel of the kingdom. But he is the beginning also, therefore he styles himself "the Beginning and the Ending" (Apoc. 1:8); hence, as it is written, "Out of him, and through him, and into him, are all things" (Rom. 11:36). The Mosaic law, in all its "weak and beggarly elements," compared with the things they represented, was all of or from Christ, and through Christ, and into or for Christ. He invented these "elements of the world," which "made nothing perfect;" through the Christ-Spirit he showed them to Moses, and taught him, and the prophets and apostles that they were a foreshadowing of "heavenly things," which were to soma tou Christou, the Body of the Christ (Col. 2:17), of which body Jesus is the head -- the Body, "the fulness of him who filleth all" the saints "with all things" (Eph. 1:23). In Hebrews 8:5, Paul tells us that the priests of the law served for an ocular representation and shadow of the heavenlies; that is, that Aaron and his priests, in their service, vestments, and relations to the Deity and Israel, submitted to the eyes of observers a shadowy representation of things pertaining to Jesus and his Brethren, the saints -- Christ personal and Christ mystical. These constitute "the heavenlies," "in the heavens," en tois ouranois, not in "the heaven," ton ouranon, where Jesus now is, but in the heavens in which they enjoy their great reward, when he shall sit upon the throne of his glory in Jerusalem, and they shall "reign with him upon the earth" over Israel and the nations, as the kings and priests of the Deity (Apoc. 5:10; 20:4). The law, in all its details, was a pattern -- a system of figurative righteousness, which represented a system of real righteousness, termed "the righteousness of the Deity." The figurative was prophetic of the real; so that, until the real was developed, no one could fulfil the righteousness of the law. When Jesus was about to be immersed by John, he said: "Thus it is becoming for us to fulfil all righteousness;" and what was becoming for him is deemed so by the Spirit for all who would become constituents of the Holy Square of Twelve. The Deity condemned sin in the flesh of his Son, says Paul, "that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit," or the truth (Rom. 8:4). This was a most remarkable development, that the prophets and priests under the law could not fulfil its righteousness. The High Priest might put on the ephod decorated with its sparkling jewels, and thus be invested with a holiness and brightness and perfection which, when put off and suspended in the wardrobe, left him in all the unholiness, dulness, and imperfection of a natural man. A man whose righteousness is in his dress fulfils not the righteousness of the Deity represented by the dress. This can only be fulfilled by those "who walk after the Spirit;" and they only so walk, who, whether Jews or Gentiles, it matters not, understand the gospel of the kingdom and the truth as it is in Jesus; who believe heartily what they understand, and obey the truth by immersion into the Christ, and a patient continuance in well doing. These, who were never under the Mosaic law, do what the priests and prophets could not do. By their intelligent obedience to the law of faith, they show the work of the Mosaic law written in their hearts, whereby they do the things contained in the law, and so fulfil its righteousness. Now, the Ephod, with its Foursquare of precious stones, represented to soma tou Christou, the Body of the Anointed. "By one Spirit we all into one body were immersed, whether we be Jews or Gentiles.-- and all into one Spirit have been made to drink; for the body is not one member, but many" (1 Cor. 12:13). For the development of this body, the Deity set forth Jesus as a Propitiatory or Mercy Seat in his blood. He was of the curiously wrought texture of the ephod, in common with all those who should become his brethren. "My body," said the Spirit in David, "was not hid from thee, when I was made in the hiding-place, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth" (Psa. 139:15). The Ephod was of the same material and workmanship as the Vail, with the addition of gold; and the vail, we know, from its being rent when the body of the Spirit was broken on the cross, and from the teaching of Paul (Heb. 10:20) -- represented the flesh, which, in Psa. 16:9, the Spirit styles "my flesh." The embroidering in of gold thread, in addition to the "blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen" of the Vail, indicated purity of the flesh after trial -- "when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." While Jesus, then, was living, and afterwards in death, he was typified by the Vail, whole and afterwards rent; but when he lived again, and ascended to the Divine Nature, and became Son of Deity with power by "Spirit of holiness," he was typified by the "curiously wrought" ephod, or Jewelled Overall and Robe put on by Aaron when standing before the Deity. As the living embroidered Ephod, he stands in the presence of the Father with the names of the twelve tribes of the "Holy Nation" engraven on his heart. He is set forth "for all," as an ephod to be put "upon all" who would enter the Divine Presence, that they die not. This ephod may be put on after the manner in which Jesus became the ephod -- by being born of water and Spirit. When the ephod is thus assumed, the immersed and resurrected believer is not only regarded as in it, but a part of it, and, consequently, as one of the Urim and Thummim -- one of the lights -- and, therefore, one of the elements of the twelve precious stones, or Thummim; for, as each stone in the type represented a tribe, a multitude of individuals must have been signified by a separate stone. It may be remarked here that the Apocalyptic Urim and Thummim, or 144,000, are presented before us in two states. In the present state, in which they are being sealed, and in the future state, with the Lamb on Mount Zion (Apoc. 7 and 14). The two states are divided by the resurrection. As the gold wire has been twined and interwoven with the blue, and the purple, and the scarlet, and fine twined linen of the Vail, as far as the Lord Jesus is concerned, the Ephod is perfected; but, in relation to his brethren, the gold is in their moral texture only as a principle -- a tried faith; but when by Spirit of holiness they are quickened, a golden thread of incorruption, as it were, will be interwoven throughout all their material substance, and they will be like Jesus, immortal. By being born of water, then, the true believer, and only such, is even now invested with the Ephod, and a light of the Urim and the Thummim of the Square of Twelve. The following testimonies will identify the saints as the Urim and Thummim of the foursquare of the Body of the Christ. The Spirit by Isaiah addressing the widowed Jerusalem, which shall hereafter be married to the Elohim of the whole earth, saith, "I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of Yahweh; and great shall be the peace of thy children" (ch. 54:11). In this, the children of Jerusalem the exalted, "the Mother of us all," are compared to precious stones of fair colors, or lights, Urim, without defining the Thummim, or full number of them. Peter styles the saints "living stones;" and all that are built upon the foundation that Jesus is the Christ, and stand firm by the truth, Paul calls "gold, and silver, and precious stones." And when he teaches, that they are citizens of the commonwealth of Israel, he says in effect, that they are Thummim, or individual elements of the precious stones, whose rootfulness of number is twelve, and its symbolical square 144,000. In Zech. 14:7, the saints who come in with Yahweh Elohim are styled yekaroth, the splendid shining or glorious ones. The word is used of stones, gems, and stars. Their splendor constitutes them Urim. They are the gems and stars through which the brightness of the Spirit enlightens the nations of the earth, when Jesus and his Brethren inherit all things. This reference to the Urim is very remarkable, and in the English Version very imperfectly translated. As it stands in verses 6 and 7, no sense can be made of it. It may be seen by the margin, which deepens the obscurity of the text, that "the authorities" do not know what to do with it. There is no obscurity, however, in the original to one whose mind is not darkened with clerical traditions, and who understands the glory, to which the saints are called in the gospel of their salvation. The passage should read thus: "Yahweh my Elohim (He who shall be my Mighty Ones, or righteous governors) shall come in, all the saints with thee. And it shall be in that day there shall be no brightness, the splendid drawing in. And it shall be one day that shall be made known by Yahweh; not day nor night, but it shall be in time of evening there shall be brightness," or Ur. From this we learn, that when the Lamb and 144,000 enter upon their work of judgment at eventide, they will not "shine as the brightness of the firmament and as the stars" (Dan. 12:3) they will not be manifested as Urim; but, though capable of so doing, they will draw in their brightness, and appear as men: but, when the judgment is over, and the kingdom established, and the time is come for them to rest from their labors, then they will no longer draw in their splendor, but "shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father" (Matt. 13:43); not in the "day" of Jerusalem under the law; nor in the "night" of her widowhood, "not day nor night;" but at eventide, which begins the seventh, or great sabbatic day. In the present state, the believers, who are constitutionally in the Christ-Ephod, and therefore citizens of the Foursquare Polity which decorates it, are Urim, and addressed as such by Paul in Phil. 2:15, in the words, "in a crooked and perverse generation, ye, the sons of the Deity, shine as lights," or Urim, "in the world:" and in Eph. 5:8, "ye were formerly darkness, but now light in the Lord; walk as children of light." Being in the Lord, they are the lights and precious stones of his breastplate -- the Urim and Thummim of his Ephod. They became such by the law and the testimony dwelling in them richly. This gives them their polish, and enables them to "shine as lights." Where the law and the testimony are not in the understanding, there is no light there. In such only darkness reigns; and while this continues, they can be neither Urim nor Thummim, nor in Christ. It was because of the darkness, or "strong delusion Deity had sent" the apocalyptic twelve Tribes of Israel, "that they should believe a lie; and all be damned who believed not the truth" -- sent by him as a punishment upon them for not continuing in the love of the truth he had given: because of this, he commissioned the sealers to make proclamation among them, that, if there were any disposed to return to first principles, they might be "sealed" with these principles "in their foreheads;" and thus polished and filled in, might shine as the Apocalyptic Urim and Thummim -- as the Lights and Fulness of the Body of Christ. All exterior to the sealed community, the Holy Square of Twelve, are mere denizens of the unmeasured Court without the Temple (Apoc. 11:2). These are mere Gentiles, who hold a like relation to the Foursquare Community, that mere Jews do to "the Israel of the Deity," constituted of Israelites under the law who were sons of Abraham by faith. Blindness has happened to these mere Gentiles of the Court, as it has to mere Jews. The mission of the Angel-Sealers in sealing the 144,000, was to preserve the faith from extinction. Had they not been stirred up by the Lamb through an intelligent belief of the truth, to "spue," or throw up a flood of words of evil against the apocalyptic tribes of Israel's sons, the catholics would have had everything their own way; and there would have been no Holy City for them to tread under foot for forty-two symbolic months; there would have been no Witnesses to prophesy in sackcloth a thousand two hundred and sixty symbolic days; there would have been no woman in the wilderness for a like period; there would have been no Remnant keeping the commandments, and having the testimony of Jesus Christ; there would have been no war between the Beast and the Saints resulting in their being conquered; and there would be none now to watch and keep their garments in expectation of the Lamb. In all the past fifteen hundred years and upwards, Deity would have had no Urim and Thummim to stand as embodied lights before him. The Body of the Christ would have perished the while; and nothing but "a wretched, and pitiable, and poor, and blind, and naked," world of apostate "tribes," calling themselves "the people of God," would have remained. But, the labors of the Angel-Sealers altered all this. By them, the Lamb "spued out of his mouth" those in place and power with all their adherents, "who said they were Jews, but," in so saying, "lied;" and organized anew the Holy Nation of Israel's sons. 7. The Tribes of the Apostasy That the tribes from which "the Remnant of the Woman's Seed" was to be separated were not the tribes of Israel after the flesh, appears from the specification of them. The reader will see from the following table, that the lists enumerating and specifying their names, vary according to the speaker or writer passing them in review. Thus: Apocalypse Ezekiel Jacob Moses 1. Judah 1. Dan 1. Reuben 1. Judah 2. Reuben 2. Asher 2. Simeon 2. Issachar 3. Gad 5. Nepthail 3. Levi 3. Zebulun 4. Ashr 4. Manasseh 4. Judah 4. Reuben 5. Nepthalim 5. Ephraim 5. Zebulun 5. Simeon 6. Manasseh 6. Reuben 6. Issachar 6. Gad 7. Simeon 7. Judah 7. Dan 7. Ephraim 8. Levi 8. Benjamin 8. Gad 8. Manasseh 9. Issachar 9. Simeon 9. Asher 9. Benjamin 10.Zebulum 10.Issachar 10.Naphtail Dan 11. Joseph 11. Zebulum 11. Joseph 11. Asher 12. Benjamin 12. Gad 12. Benjamin In the apocalyptic specification Levi and Joseph are inserted, and Ephraim and Dan omitted. Ephraim and Dan are both inserted in Moses' distribution of the tribes into Four Camps. This diversity shows that two different organizations called Israel are signified; nevertheless, though diverse, yet related according to the principles I have before explained. In the apocalyptic Israel, the tribe of Levi is not Yahweh's especial inheritance, lot, or clergy, as in the natural Israel; although, after the destruction of Jerusalem, the "Jews of the Satan's synagogue," who set up for apostles, and by the saints in Ephesus were found to be "liars," claimed to be the Lord's clergy, as at this day, in place of the natural tribe of Levi. "Yahweh's inheritance is his people;" not a particular tribe of them. Joseph is inserted instead of Ephraim in the apocalyptic polity by which the division of the natural Israel into two nations and kingdoms under Judah and Ephraim is repudiated. The future union of the natural Israel under Jesus and his Brethren is foreshadowed in the union of the symbolic Israel. In the regeneration, when the apostles sit on the twelve thrones of the House of David ruling the twelve tribes, there will be but one nation and kingdom in the land upon the mountains of Israel, with Yahweh's servant as their Prince for ever (Ezek. 37:15-28). In Ezekiel 48, the two tribes omitted by John are inserted, because Ezekiel is treating of the allotment of the land of Israel among the natural tribes restored from their long dispersion. Levi has no allotment of territory as under the Mosaic law. The 144,000 sealed ones being separated by the truth believed and obeyed from the apocalyptic tribes of apostate sons of Israel, become themselves exclusively the Foursquare Community, or "Israel of the Deity." They are not his kingdom, but "the Heirs" of it, through the gospel thereof they believe. They constitute the only temple, or habitation, he has upon earth. He dwells in them, and walks in them, by the truth believed, which is his moral power, or spirit. The Spirit in Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Hence, in the individual, or community, in which the truth dwells, the Deity dwells. It is a body anointed with the truth, and therefore the Body of the Anointed, or Christ. Being founded upon the Square Root -- upon the Root and Offspring of Israel -- it is regarded as consisting of twelve tribes, though no fleshly, territorial, or political divisions among the faithful exist; for "they are all one in Christ Jesus." 8. Historical Testimony The materials for a complete history of the community sealed during the interval from a.d. 325 to a.d. 396, are very scanty. All that can be done is to glean a few scattered hints, principally to be found in the writings of their catholic adversaries, who maligned them as heretics and schismatics. We find that in this period the Novatianist societies, which, as we have seen, originated in the middle of the third century, were numerous; and maintaining their original distinctiveness from what had now become the Religion of Rome by law established. The following incident shows this. The historian Socrates informs us that Constantine, anxious for peace and desirous to procure the concord and harmony of the churches of his empire, invited Acesius, one of the Novatianist bishops, to attend the Council of Nice, a.d. 325, which he did. When the Nicene creed had been composed and subscribed by the synod, Constantine appealed to Acesius, and asked him whether he assented with them to the creed? He replied: "The Synod has determined nothing new, my prince; for thus heretofore, even from the commencement and times of the apostles, I traditionally received the definition of the faith, and the time of celebrating Easter." When therefore the emperor further asked him, "For what reason then do you separate yourself from communion with the rest of the church?" he related what had taken place during the persecution under Decius; and referred to the rigidness of that canon which declares, that it is right to account unworthy of participation in the divine mysteries persons who, after immersion, have committed a sin, which the sacred scriptures denominate "a sin unto death" (1 John 5:16): that they should indeed be exhorted to repentance, but were not to expect remission from priests, but from the Deity, who is alone able and has authority to forgive sins. When Acesius had thus spoken, Constantine said to him, "Place a ladder, Acesius, and climb into heaven alone." The Novatianists had now been before the public about seventy five years. They were very numerous, but seem to have abounded most in Rome, Constantinople and Asia Minor. Morally, they were a considerable improvement upon the adherents of the State Church, being careful to retain none among them whose characters were not reputable in the estimation of good men. Doctrinally, however, they do not appear to have differed materially from the so-called "orthodox." Indeed their close agreement with state-churchmen in opinion concerning the Deity, and the time of observing the Passover, exempted them from persecution in common with other sects. Persecution, however, sometimes afflicted them; but it does not appear to have befallen them because of their testimony for Jesus Christ against iniquity in high places, but, because of their sympathy with the Homoousians, or Consubstantialists, who were sure to come to grief when the Arians became the guardians of the imperial conscience. The reply of Acesius to Constantine shows a unity of faith between the Novatianist Dissenter and the national Religionist, quite incompatible with the required intelligence of an angel-sealer of the servants of Deity in their foreheads. Had Acesius, as a type of his brethren, been "sealed in his forehead," he certainly could not have assented to the Nicene Creed as a scriptural definition of "the faith" taught by the apostles, nor would he have troubled himself about the celebration of Easter. The apostolic faith was as little comprehended by church and dissent at this crisis, as by their representatives in our day. Hence, the statement of it by the Nicene Fathers was poor and meagre in the extreme; and, as the symbol of their spiritual intelligence, justifies in a great degree the judgment of Sabinus, a bishop of the Macedonian sect contemporary with the council, who styles all that were convened there "idiots and simpletons," and "such as had no intelligence in the matter." The historian Socrates, however, is quite restive under this opinion, and cites the declaration of Eusebius Pamphilus who was present, that "some were eminent for the word of wisdom, others for the strictness of their life; and that the Emperor Constantine himself being present, leading all into unanimity, established unity of judgment, and conformity of opinion among them." But, with all deference to Socrates, the testimony of Pamphilus rather confirms the judgment of Sabinus; for, if the Nicenists had been truly wise in the word, it would not have required the superior wisdom of an unbaptized semi-heathen emperor to lead them into unanimity, and to establish unity and conformity among them. Imperial sunshine had more to do with the creed than "the wisdom from above, which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy" (James 3:17): which Constantine to his sorrow found was by no means characteristic of the three hundred and eighteen fathers of this Council of Nice. It was the year next ensuing the termination of the Sixth Seal that Constantine convoked this first Ecumenical Synod. He hoped by it to quiet and discord in his church then in full blast between Alexander and Arius; and to allay the incessant strife and tumult among his catholic people. The emperor had great expectations from the council, which Pamphilus in his life of Constantine, styles, "a sacred edifice, dilated as it were by the Deity" -- "a convocation in imitation of the Apostolic Assembly" on Pentecost; which, he says, was inferior in this respect, that all present were not ministers of the Deity: whereas at Nice the number of bishops exceeded three hundred; while the number of the presbyters, deacons, and acolyths, (or young priests) who attended them was almost incalculable." Many of the laity were also present, who were practised in the art of reasoning," or of darkening counsel by words without knowledge; "and each prepared to advocate the cause of his own party. For a short time previous to the general assembling of the bishops, the disputants engaged in preparatory logical contests with various opponents: and when many were attracted by the interest of their discourse, one of the laity who was a man of unsophisticated understanding, and had stood the test of persecution in his confession of faith, reproved these reasoners; telling them that Christ and his apostles did not teach us the dialectic art, nor vain subtleties, but simple-mindedness which is preserved by faith and good works." This man spoke like one of the Angel-sealers, the words of truth and soberness. "All present," continued Socrates, "admired the speaker, and assented to the justness of his remarks; and the disputants themselves, after hearing his ingenuous statement of the truth, exercised a far greater degree of moderation; and thus the disturbance caused by these logical debates was suppressed. In the second chapter of the Acts, the reader may find the Pentecostian declaration of faith proclaimed by the Spirit through the Twelve Apostles. He can compare this with the creed concocted and published by the episcopal fathers of the Nicene Pentecost, and then say, if it would not have been more demonstrative of the alleged wisdom of these Constantinian Catholics to have reaffirmed "the Spirit's" simple declaration; than to have given utterance to the Nicene speculations of their "great and holy synod." A comparison of the two is sufficient to convince any sealed servant of the Deity, that the opinion of Sabinus is correct; and that, clearly, "they had no intelligence in the matter." As many of our readers may have no acquaintance with this celebrated symbol of the Apostasy, by the unintelligible jargon of which, the minds of beclouded bishops, presbyters, and peoples, were distracted, and the peace and safety of society fatally impaired, I have concluded to insert it in this place, as the declaration of 9. The Faith of "the Woman Clothed with the Sun." "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible: -- and in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten of the Father, that is, of the substance of the Father; God of God, and Light of Light; true God of true God; begotten, not made, consubstantial (homoousion) with the Father: by whom all things were made, both which are in heaven and on earth: who for the sake of us men, and on account of our salvation, descended, became incarnate, and was made man; suffered, arose again, the third day, and ascended into the heavens, and will come again to judge the living and the dead. We also believe in the Holy Spirit. "But the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes those who say, that there was a time when the Son of God was not, and that he was not before he was begotten; and that he was made from that which did not exist; or who assert that he is of other substance or essence than the Father; or that he was created, or is susceptible of change." Such was the rattling skeleton enthroned in the temple of the Imperial Mother of the Man of Sin. All who desired court favor were required to glorify it as the orthodox definition of what they styled "the Unity of the Holy Trinity." By the philosophy and vain deceit with which they were spoiled and deluded, they had lost the knowledge of the great mystery of godliness exhibited by Christ and the Apostles, "Deity manifested in flesh;" and, under the inspiration of what the Greeks called wisdom and logic, substituted this shallow conception which resulted in a furious and sanguinary strife about the words ousia, substance; homoousion, consubstantial, or of the same essence; homoiousion, of the like substance; and so forth. The apostates in favor of the creed were styled Trinitarians, and the apostates opposed to it, Arians, all "men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith," as their writings and practices abundantly show. Having thus presented the reader with "the Faith" of the Catholic Mother, on account of which her fractious and ill-mannered offspring afflicted one another with pains and penalties more sanguinary and brutal than they had formerly experienced from the pagans, it will, I conceive, be perfectly in point, by way of contrast, and as an illustration of "the Seal of the Deity," brought into renewed and active operation by his providence at this crisis of affairs, to present also "the faith once for all delivered to the saints" in luminous simplicity by the Holy Spirit, in whom the Homoousians said they believed, but whose teaching had no more weight with them than with the hierarchists of modern times. 10. The Faith Apostolically Declared Acts 2:22-39 "Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of the Deity among you, by powers and wonders, and signs which the Deity exhibited through him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know; Him, being delivered by the predeterminate counsel and foreknowledge of the Deity, ye have taken, and through lawless hands have crucified and slain: whom the Deity hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden by it. "For David (by Spirit) speaketh concerning him (Christ), 'I foresaw Yahweh always before me. Because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad: moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope; because thou wilt not allow my soul to remain in the grave, nor wilt thou permit thy holy one to see corruption. Thou wilt make me to know the path of lives; thou wilt make me full of joy with thy countenance.' "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you concerning the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us until this day. Being a prophet, therefore, and knowing that the Deity with an oath had sworn to him that out of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up the Christ to sit upon his (David's) throne: foreseeing this, he spake concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that his soul should not be left in the grave, nor his flesh see corruption. "This even Jesus the Deity hath raised up, of which all we are witnesses. "Being therefore exalted to the right hand of the Deity, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He hath shed forth this, which now ye see and hear. "For David has not ascended into the heavens: but he himself saith, 'Yahweh said unto my Lord, Sit at my right hand until I make thine enemies a footstool of thy feet.' "Therefore, let all the House of Israel know assuredly, that the Deity hath made that same Jesus whom ye crucified both Lord and Christ." "Let your mind (therefore) be changed, and be immersed every one of you upon the name of Jesus Christ into remission of sins: and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and your children, and to all afar off, as many as the Lord our Deity may invite." Here, then, are two faiths: the one, the faith of the Catholic Apostasy; the other, the faith dictated and confirmed by Deity himself. By this, the servants of the Deity were being sealed; while Arians and Trinitarians were splitting hairs about homoousion and homoiousion, and making themselves ridiculous and hateful on every side. "One saw," says Socrates, "confusion everywhere prevailing; for not only the prelates of the churches engaged in contention, but the people also divided, some siding with one party and some with the other. To so digraceful an extent was this affair carried, that Christianity became a subject of popular ridicule, even in the very theatres." I have searched through Socrates, Sozomen and Theodoret, the Greek ecclesiastical historians of the period of the sealing, but have been unable to find any footsteps of Angel-sealers contending for the faith delivered on Pentecost, and standing aloof from, and in opposition to, both Trinitarians and Arians. All in the East seem to have been occupied on one side or the other of Homoousianism, evincing thereby the absence of any divine sealing operation in their foreheads. The countries whose vernacular was the Greek tongue seem to have been abandoned of Deity to the darkness of superstition, which was rapidly intensified by the controversialists of Nice. I turn therefore from these to those parts of the Empire where the Latin was the prevailing language of the people -- the Roman West, in which John saw the sealing Angel in operation. In the Roman Africa, then, in one of the wings of the Great Eagle, there appeared, in the early part of the fourth century, an intensely anti-catholic people, a people who, as the faithful agents of the Lamb, "spued them out of their mouth." They denied the Christianity of Catholics, and would have no fellowship with them, regarding all religious contact with them as defiling. They rejected their immersion as null and void, and repudiated their bread-breaking as a profane thing, and "spued out" their consecrations, unctions, and ordinations, as nauseating abominations. These were just the sort of people John's symbolization requires, as any one who knows what Catholicism was at that time, and how the Scripture reprobates all they called sacred, will readily perceive. These anti-catholics were enlightened people, or they would have gone with the multitude, and have glorified Constantine and his ambitious and worldlyminded clergy. But they were opposed to all their dogmas, and schemes of aggrandizement. They contended for "the simplicity which is in Christ," as exhibited in the word. They were uncompromisingly hostile to all things not according to the testimony of Jesus Christ and the commandment of the Deity. They would be styled, by the milk-and-water respectables and liberals of our day, ironical, sarcastic, uncharitable, and bitter! There might be some among themselves who would wince at the tone of their testimony, on the specious plea that it would "do harm," or "do no good," or that the public would not bear it! But these Roman-African believers were not generally of this punctilious and faint-hearted description. This sort of anti-catholics were few in the fourth century. The exigencies of the crisis, then as now, required earnest men, who feared neither Constantine, his clergy, nor their public, and who had sense and boldness enough to "cry aloud and spare not" any thing that exalted its corrupt self against the knowledge with which the servants of the Deity were being sealed in their foreheads. The crisis required men who were not afraid to stigmatize a blasphemy by the word blasphemy, and to nail a counterfeit to the board, and to proclaim it such, wherever they encountered it. They used the sword of the Spirit trenchantly, so that wherever they fleshed it, it made the victim writhe, and left behind its mark. They declared to their contemporary professors that they were not Christians, and could not be saved so long as they continued members of Constantine's church. They knew what the truth was, and what the Deity commanded; and, being logical and sensible men, they knew that whatsoever was not of the truth was a lie, and that obedience to the commands of the Deity alone could impart life. The piety and grace of their dominant opponents were intense. They were of the very cream of orthodoxy, and their silver-tongued eloquence unquestionable. But these blandishments of the devout were lighter than vanity with the angel-sealers of that day. Weighed in the balances of truth, they were found utterly wanting; and food only for the indignant sarcasm, and pungent irony, which was practically developed in burning and scraping catholic altars, and breaking their communion cups! Ecclesiastical historians take little notice of this terrible people, on whose account the four angels at the four corners of the habitable or Roman earth were commanded to restrain those awful tempests, which, in due time, swept the Latin world with hurricanes of wrath. What has come down to us concerning them is derived principally from Optatus and Augustine, who wrote against them, and denounced them as schismatics and puritans. The learned Du Pin has noticed them, and, though an adversary, seems to have spoken of them without prejudice. "Hitherto," says he, "we have only represented the Donatists as a faction that separated from the (catholic) church, without taking notice of any particular doctrine whereby they were distinguished. Indeed, they did not teach any thing that was contrary to the (apostle's) creed; but they were so rash as to affirm that all the churches everywhere which had embraced the communion of Coecilianus (bishop of Carthage) and his party, ceased to be the true churches of Jesus Christ; that thus the catholic church was only found among themselves, having ceased to exist in other parts of the world. Besides which, being very fond of the ancient doctrine of the African Ecclesias, that immersion and the other sacraments conferred out of the ecclesia were null and void, they reimmersed such as had been immersed by the Catholics, trampled upon their eucharist as a profane thing, and maintained that the consecrations, unctions, and ordinations performed by the catholics were of no avail. They burned or scraped the altars which the latter made use of, as being polluted by impure sacrifices, and broke their (communion) cups. They looked upon the vows made in their communion as of no value; in a word, they would not communicate with them. They maintained that the ecclesia ought to be made up of just and holy men, or, at least, of those who were such in appearance; and that, although wicked men might lurk in the ecclesia, yet it should not harbor those who were known to be such." Thus testifies Du Pin concerning the Angel-sealers of the century preceding the sounding of the First Trumpet. He bears testimony to the soundness of their faith; but, while it was doubtless so, his testimony thereto is of no more value than would be that of Bishop Colenso, Professor Renan, or the Archbishop of Canterbury, for the simple reason that he, no more than these "divines," is able to define the truth. Their faith was not catholic, but apostolic, and a living protest ing to the apocalypse, no other judgment can be given than that, at this crisis, a people of such rigid and sweeping exclusiveness was to exist. For, when the woman should repudiate an adulterous alliance with the against every thing called christian which did not stand out before the world in fellowship with themselves. This was the only ground they could take consistently with their Apocalyptic position of assessors with the Lamb in spuing the Laodiceans out of his mouth. They proclaimed that the true church had ceased to exist in all parts of the world where they themselves were not. This would be styled arrogant assumption by the Nicene Fathers and the catholic sects; but, according to the apocalypse, no other judgment can be given than that, at this crisis, a people of such rigid and sweeping exclusiveness was to exist. For, when the woman should repudiate an adulterous alliance with the State, and fly for refuge and nourishment into the two wings of the Great Eagle, what would that so-called "christianity" be in all "other parts of the world" but the apostasy "spued out of the Spirit's mouth." They shook their heads, and heaved with nausea and disgust at the wretched, pitiable, poverty-stricken, blind, and naked abortion basking in the sunshine of imperial grace, and glorifying itself with fulsome flattery and courtly phrase. The sealed servants of the Deity are always exclusive; for, being enlightened by the word and ruled by its principles, their liberality, toleration, and charity, transcend not the line which they describe -- "to the law and the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Tried by this rule, they found the whole world condemned except themselves, and boldly and bravely proclaimed the truth. Behold, too, how energetic their testimony against the barren formality or sacramentalism which reigned on every side. They repudiated it as abhorrent to spiritual purity. Did a courtly bishop consecrate an altar for the exposition thereon of the bread and wine? If that piece of ecclesiastical furniture came into their possession, they regarded the thing as polluted by impure sacrifices, and either burned it as church trumpery, or, if deemed convenient as a table, they scraped it clear of all imaginary sacramental unction ere they recognized it as fit for the use of those "who worship Deity in spirit and in truth." Du Pin's is a noble testimony to the purity of their discipline. They maintained that an ecclesia of Christ should be constituted of just and holy men, or, at least, of those who appeared to be such; and that, although wicked men might lurk in the ecclesia, yet, when professors manifested themselves to be wicked, the brethren should put them away. This was the principle of the so-called Donatists -- a principle fully supported and sanctified, or enjoined rather, by the New Testament. But it was scouted by the catholic church, which tolerated the notoriously wicked of all shades of abomination, and gloried in the presidency of an emperor who, from jealousy, murdered his own son, and was not immersed, though professing christianity for twenty years, till three days before his death. Need there be, then, any special wonder that the catholic church should have become "the habitation of demons, the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird?" (Apoc. 18:3). The Donatists were a very numerous body in the Roman Africa, and, indeed, seem to have been almost as multitudinous there as the catholics themselves, which, considering the strictness of their discipline and their firm adhesion to the laws of Christ's house, is gratifying to contemplate. There was scarcely a city or town in the Roman Africa in which there was not an ecclesia of these believers. A public conference was held at Carthage, a.d. 411, at which 286 bishops belonging to the catholics were present, and of the Donatists 279; and when we take into account, not only their rigid discipline, but also that they were a proscribed sect, and frequently the subjects of severe and sanguinary persecution from the catholic rulers, there is good reason to conclude that we have before us in the Donatists the very people foreshadowed in the servants to be sealed. They must have been energized by an enlightened faith, which gave them an intellectual and moral superiority over the imbecile and drowsy sacramentalists of the time. Their increasing numbers attracted the attention of the authorities, who were anxious, if possible, to conciliate them, and form a union between them and the catholics. The emperor Constans, a.d. 348, ten or a dozen years after the death of his father, Constantine, deputed two persons of rank to try to bring about a reconciliation between the two parties. When it was urged upon them that it was their duty to study the peace of the church and to avoid schism, they urged the unscriptural nature of the alliance which had recently taken place between church and state. "Quid est imperatori cum ecclesia?" said they -- in plain English, "What hath the emperor to do with the church?" A more important and pertinent question could not have been propounded. Had civil rulers known their proper sphere, they would have accorded protection to citizens in all their rights, and have left them to their own convictions in matters of faith and practice. The civil power would then have restrained all ecclesiastics within the sphere of their own pales; and we should have had no "Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and Abominations of the earth." The atrocities of the Roman Church would not have soaked the soil with the blood of the saints and witnesses of Jesus for hundreds of years, until she became drunk with their gore. Little was Constantine aware of the consequences that would follow his conferring wealth, and honor, and power upon the bishops, presbyters, and so forth, of the Laodicean Apostasy, which, in the ignorance of all concerned, was mistaken for the Spouse of Christ. Could he have foreseen the racks, the fires, the massacres, the butcheries, that were to follow his misplaced liberality, he would, doubtless, have thrilled with horror and disgust at the iniquity he had unwittingly evoked. Another maxim illustrative of the principles of these angel-sealing brethren, of "Donatus the Great" is exhibited in the question they used to put, according to Optatus, -- "Quid christianis cum regibus, aut quid episcopis cum palatio?" "What have christians to do with kings, or what have bishops to do at court?" They had learned from the scriptures that the principles of the doctrine of Christ were pure, peaceable, impartial, without hypocrisy, and full of good fruits; and that the rulers and courts of the nations were the concentrics of spiritual wickedness and political abomination; and that the overseers, or shepherds, of Christ's flock had no divine call within those circles but to reprove them. They held with James, that "the friendship of the world is enmity against the Deity; -- and that whosoever therefore is a friend of the world is the enemy of the Deity;" and every true believer, in all ages and generations since knows well, that those ministers of religion only obtain access and favor with the authorities and their recognized public, who prophesy smooth things and pervert the truth. They rebuke sin at a distance, rage against the transgressions of the lower orders, speculate upon remote abstractions, amuse and satisfy the well to do, and are recompensed with a fading crown of rejoicing in the abounding gifts and honors of a world lying under the wicked. Donatus and his brethren knowing this, as we know it, and all generations of the righteous since the days of Christ, sent out their Agonistici, or combatants, into the fairs, and markets, and other public places, to inquire of their contemporaries, "what christians have to do with kings, or what have bishops to do at court?" They contended against their presence there, and sought to subdue the people to the conviction, that an imperial and courtly christianity, endorsed by Nicene Fathers and Arian philosophers, was no part of "the faith once for all delivered to the saints." In this truly orthodox, but dangerous, enterprise, they were sufficiently successful to be brought into collision with the so-called "First Christian Emperor," who in council assembled at Milan, a.d. 316, condemned them to lose their conventicles, sent their shepherds into banishment, and punished some of them with death! Constantine's son and successor Constans, also exiled Donatus and many of his brethren, whom he severely afflicted. This was the kind of treatment they experienced at the hands of "christian emperors," who smiled with the benignant and genial sunshine, irradiable only by worldrulers in the darkness of high places, upon the metaphysical and courtly episcopal sycophants, who constituted "the tail" -- the lying prophets (Isa. 9:15) who caused the people to err; the tail of "the Serpent, who cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the Woman, that he might cause her to be carried away thereby" (Apoc. 12:15). Donatus and his brethren, however, were not so easily to be swept away; for the more friendly "earth helped the woman, and opening its mouth, swallowed up the flood." The enemies of the truth are not omnipotent, and rarely wise. Sooner or later retribution comes upon them; for "precious in the eyes of Yahweh is the death of his saints." The cruelties and injustice of the Constantine Family upon the Angel-Sealers of the Deity's servants; and the blasphemies of their catholic parasites, returned upon their own heads in the massacre of the imperial princes, and their eclipse by Julian; who, disgusted with their wickedness and hypocrisy, apostatized from the Apostasy to the more decent philosophy of the Antonines. This same "apostate," who rightly expelled all bishops from court, and sent them to look after their flocks at home, recalled the real servants of the Deity from exile in a.d. 362, and bid them enjoy the rights and privileges which their hypocritical persecutors had wrested from them. But, when the apostasy had recovered its position in the state, and was again clothed with imperial sunshine, persecution revived against them. The emperor Gratian published several edicts against their peace, and a.d. 377, deprived them of their conventicles, and prohibited all their assemblies. This severity is in itself a testimony in their behalf. Had they been sycophants and hypocrites, ignorant and fanatical fools, bringing forth the fruit of their iniquity in "walking after the flesh," the catholic government, always inspired by bishops and their satellites at court, would not have inflicted on them disabilities and pains. But their testimony which they sealed upon the people whom they detached from the apostasy; their uncompromising denunciation of the Eusebiuses, Athanasiuses, Ariuses, and Augustines of Roman Ecclesiasticism; their zealous advocacy of the Pentecostian Faith to the utter subversion of all other conceivable creeds -- brought down upon their devoted heads imperial and clerical wrath, which, in its tenderest manifestations, is always cruel. Notwithstanding, however, the severities they endured, the number of their ecclesias was very considerable towards the close of the sealing period limited by the sounding of the first trumpet. But, at this time history testifies that their efficiency began to decline. Their mission, or angelism, antecedent to the loosing of the winds against the Catholic Apostasy of the Roman West, was nearly accomplished; and the 144,000 almost sealed. Historical romances attribute their obscuration very principally to the zealous opposition of a catholic saint, named Augustine, who is the type of the Rev. E. B. Elliott's "true apostolic line and ministry" -- Saint Augustine, bishop of Hippo, the apostle of that fashionable "divine sovereign grace," which elects, prevents, quickens, illuminates, adopts, saves, and leaves men as ignorant of Moses and the prophets, and the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, as if the Word were indeed "a dead letter," which, though without life itself, effectually "kills!" The decline of these angel-sealers effected by the logic of a catholic saint, who taught that the twelve apostles are now sitting on twelve thrones of judgment in heaven; and who taught, also, the justification of infants from birth -- sin derived from Adam, its guilt, and condemnation, in their baptism!! This is too ridiculous for serious refutation. A writer who can affirm such nonsense in the very statement proves that he, and all who endorse him, are grossly ignorant of the first principles of the oracles of the Deity. The Emperor Honorius, stirred up against them by two clerical councils, the one a.d. 404, and the other a.d. 411, adopted violent measures against them. Many he fined, banished their pastors, and some he put to death. This was the policy of the party, of which this Elliott-type of the 144,000, was a bright and dazzling light, or miasmal meteor seductive of the unsealed into the way of death. The sanguinary tyranny of the Augustinians, and not the logic of their adversaries, caused their decline. But, the Deity was not unmindful of them in trouble. He had prepared the winds to blast their profligate oppressors. He "hurled a great mountain burning with fire into the sea" (Apoc. 8:8), which stained it with the blood of their enemies, and subverted their rule over the Roman Africa. Under the protection of the Vandals, who invaded that country a.d. 427, they revived and multiplied, and flourished for a hundred and four years. In 534, the power of their protectors was overturned, and left them again exposed to catholic malignity. Nevertheless, they remained a separate body until the close of the sixth century, when Gregory, the Roman Pontiff, used various methods for suppressing them. After this, but few traces of them under the name of Donatists, are to be found in history. The testimony against the catholic apostasy remained, but the Remnant of the Woman's Seed that held it, became pricks in its eyes and thorns in its side by other names. In concluding this account of the missions, or apocalyptic angelism, of these sealers of the 144,000, it may be remarked, that the relation of Donatus and his brethren to the reigning apostasy is precisely that of the author of this work, and of all Christadelphians, who understand themselves and the truth they have confessed. Christadelphians are neither Arians, Socinians, nor Trinitarians; but believers in the "great mystery of godliness, Deity manifested in Flesh," as set forth in "the Revelation of the Mystery," preached by the apostles. Our faith embraces "the things of the kingdom of the Deity, and of the Name of Jesus Christ," as outlined in Acts 2 and 3; and we recognize none as christians who have not first believed the Gospel of the Kingdom and Name,; and after so believing been immersed "into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Having made this good beginning, we regard such as being "sealed in their foreheads;" as "the servants of the Deity;" as being in Christ, by whom they are covered over as with a white robe, circumcised with his circumcision, and pardoned for all sins committed to the time of their immersion. We recognize no immersion as the "One Baptism," the subject of which has not been previously enlightened in the "One Faith" and the "One Hope of the Calling." We regard all enlightened believers of the gospel of the kingdom, who have been immersed, as "citizens of the Commonwealth of Israel," whose symbols are the square of twelve, as previously explained. During the absence of Christ, we hold these in all ages and generations, by whatsoever name they may be called, to be "the Israel of the Deity," "the Temple of the Deity," and "the Holy City;" and none else. Furthermore, we hold, that all such immersed believers are "the workmanship of the Deity," and the "taught of him;" not by Augustinian "sovereign grace," which is the mere epidemic infection of the apostasy; but by the formative power of "the truth as it is in Jesus," studied and understood. We hold, that the knowledge of this is renewing after the Christ-image of the Deity; and sufficient to make them partakers in his moral nature, without which no one can see him in peace and safety. But, while we believe That we are justified by faith from all past sins in the act of putting on the Christ-robe by immersion, we hold that those only of the immersed will be saved in the kingdom of the Deity, who "by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, and honor, and incorruptibility and life." In other words all the baptized "who walk after the flesh shall die" the Second Death. We reject as pure heathenism, the dogmas taught by the clergy, and popularly assented to, on the topics of heaven, hell, souls, and the devil. We hold, that the Roman Catholic Church is "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and Abominations of the earth;" and that all the Names and Denominations of the Fourth Beast dominion, vulgarly styled "Christendom," which practise infant sprinkling, or sanction the immersion of sinners ignorant, and therefore, faithless, of the truth, are "the Harlots and Abominations" -- the "Names of Blasphemy of which the scarlet-colored beast is full" (Apoc. 17:3). In the days of Donatus and his brethren, the apostasy had not expanded itself into that ample development with which we are but too familiar. Like the malarious upas, it infects and deadens every thing beneath its shade. We repudiate it in all its details of theory and practice, as irremediably corrupt, and fit only for capture and destruction by the hand of Deity -- by Christ and the Saints. Hence we reject all its institutions -- its baptisms, "sacraments," ordinations, consecrations, unctions, and so forth, as null and void, profane, polluting, and of no avail. We detest the system even to nausea, and "spue it out of our mouths." But, while words sufficiently significant fail to express our utter detestation of the hideous spectacle of spiritual rottenness, which seethes and festers in dying putrefaction on every side, we have nothing but kindness in our hearts towards the persons of our contemporaries. We thunder in their ears, and flash before their eyes, the sharp, bright, and rattling words of plain unvarnished truth, to awake them, if it be possible, from that deep sleep, which numbs them with the potency of death. We urge upon our fellow men, that unless they be sealed with the Pentecostian Faith, they cannot be saved. The preaching of the clergy and ministers of the day, is a mere darkening of counsel by words without knowledge. They preach "another Jesus, another Spirit, and another Gospel," than Paul preached; and upon such, though the preachers might come direct from heaven, he imprecates a curse; and proscribes them from the fold of Christ as deceitful workers, transforming themselves into his apostles; but really like their master Satan, who long since transformed himself into an angel of light, mere ministers of righteousness in outward show (Gal. 1:8; 2 Cor. 11:4, 13). We therefore invite all who have ears, to lend their ears to what the Spirit hath said of old to the children of men. We are all by nature and practice dead in trespasses and sins, and therefore the children of wrath. Made subject to vanity, but not willingly, the Deity commiserates our helplessness, and invites us into his favor. Why should we not, as the Anglican Harlot in her "Common Prayer" expresses it, "renounce the Devil and all his works;" and in so doing, renounce her and all her sister-prostitutes; whose touch uncleansed, defiles to hopeless exclusion from the Virgin-Community of the Holy Square (Apoc. 14:4). "Come out of them, my people, that ye partake not of their sins, and receive not of their plagues;" for, if ye partake of the one, there is no escape from the infliction of the other. Be sealed, then, in your foreheads with the truth; and "henceforth walk no more as others walk, in the vanity of their minds, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of the Deity through the ignorance that is in them because of the hardness of their hearts." 11. "After these Things." The eighth verse of ch. 7 concludes the section which treats of the sealing; and the ninth verse begins a new section of the prophecy, yet not unconnected with the former, with the words meta tauta, which in the Common Version are inaccurately rendered "after this." The correct translation is "after these things." It is the same phrase with which the chapter opens; and there it is properly rendered; but why it is not similarly given in v. 9, it is not easy to divine. The reader is referred to ch. 7:9, at the beginning of our chapter. There he will see in ver; 9 that John says, he saw "a great multitude" all of them assembled in a general convention before the Lamb; or, as Paul expresses it in 2 Thess. 2:1, "our gathering together unto our Lord Jesus Christ," as "the Glorious and Fearful Name, Yahweh Elohim" (Deut. 28:58). The multitude, John says, no one is competent to compute. It is the multitude of "the redeemed from among men, the first-fruits unto the Deity and to the Lamb" (ch. 14:4) the incorruptible and deathless seed promised to Abraham, who should be countless as The stars (Gen. 15:5). This human incompetency for the calculation shows that the number 144,000 is not the real, but only the representative, number of the redeemed. Every saved individual of the unknown number redeemed will be one of the 144,000 sealed ones; he will be an element of the 144 cubits; which embrace within their limits the 144,000 furlongs; for these are the square of the root within which the innumerable multitude is enclosed. "After these things;" but how long after the sealing in the days of "Donatus the Great," till a.d. 395, before what John saw in vision, shall be seen in fact? The answer to this question is not here expressed in time how long. The time when is indicated by certain characteristics of the great multitude beheld. These are signified by the words, "having been clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." The word clothed is in the perfect participle passive, showing that when they shall be seen in fact, in the palm-bearing attitude, they will have been raised to the divine nature, as Christ now is. This is the pure, incorruptible, and spotless, white robe which they receive who, in a doctrinal and moral sense, have, in the present state, "washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." The scene is postadventual and postresurrectional; and furthermore, it belongs to the epoch when the resurrected shall celebrate their first Feast of Tabernacles. This is indicated by their having "palms in their hands; for palm-bearing belongs to the celebration of that festival in type and antitype. Let us look, then, for a little at the 12. Feast of Tabernacles Israel were commanded to keep their annual feasts: first, the Feast of Unleavened Bread; second, the Feast of Harvest: and third, the Feast of Ingathering, at the end of the year. The first began the day after the Passover; the second, fifty days from the morrow after the first sabbath following the passover; and the third, the fifteenth day of the seventh month. This last was the Feast of Tabernacles. It continued seven days, and was so called, because Yahweh "made the children of Israel to dwell in tents when he brought them out of the land of Egypt." It celebrated the ingathering of the fruit of Israel's land; and when the seven days of celebration had expired, the next day, the Eighth, was a sabbath, or Day of Rest. In the celebration, they took the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm-trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and rejoiced before Yahweh their Elohim. Now, we learn from the prophets that the Feast of Tabernacles had a more recondite signification than a mere memorial of the past. In other words, that it was emblematic of things to come in relation to Israel and the nations of the earth. The Spirit said by Hosea to Ephraim, "I, Yahweh thine Elohim from the land of Egypt, will yet make thee to dwell in Tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast." This shows that it is connected with the ingathering of Ephraim, or the Ten Tribes, into their land, where alone the feast can be lawfully celebrated. The Christ-Spirit also in Zechariah, declares that the nations generally shall come up yearly to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and to do homage to the Royal Name enthroned there (ch. 14:16). This indicates the ingathering of a joyous multitude before the King; for the feast is a rejoicing before the Lord. The sanguinary execution of judgment will have been perfected; and the nations under a new organization and administration, will be "blessed in Abraham and his Seed" -- "the Glorious and Fearful Name, Yahweh Elohim." This great national celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, then, argues the previous cessation of judgment; and consequently, the resting of the Saints from their labors in the execution of it. There will be festive rejoicings while the events symbolized in ch. 14., are in no manifestation; neither will there be any national rejoicing which is not celebrative of their glory. When Jesus and his Brethren, the incorporation of the Eternal Father's Spirit, the Yahweh-Elohim Name, "rest from their labors," they do so because they have "gotten the victory over the Beast, and over the Image, and over his Mark, and over the number of his name" (ch. 15:2). Israel, whom they will have gathered into their own land, and the nations, will all rejoice with them in this great victory of the day -- a victory, pregnant with political, social, and moral results, which only Omnipotence could gain. Never before will such a Feast of Tabernacles have been observed. World's Fairs, and Fourths of Julys, and the Birthdays of Queens and Washingtons, will fall into eternal insignificance and oblivion before it. "The First in War, the First in Peace, and the First in the hearts" of the peoples, will not be these idols of the heathen, but the Lamb in the midst of this great palm-bearing multitude, which will make the welkin ring with their "Hallelu-Yahs," ascribing, "the salvation to him who sits upon the throne of our Deity, and to the Lamb!" The Elohim of this celebration will be the stars of divers magnitudes, represented by "the Elders and the Four Living Ones," who themselves fall prostrate before the throne and worship the Deity, saying, "Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might unto our Deity for the aions of the aions," or during the Millennium and beyond, "Amen!" These palm-bearing Elohim are the goodly trees, the palm trees, the fig trees, and the willows of the brook; the Trees of Righteousness, whose leaves are unfading; "the planting of Yahweh on either side of the pure river of water of life clear as crystal;" the great forest of evergreens filling the earth with their perfume, to the glory of his Name (Isa. 61:3; Psa. 1:3; Apoc. 22:1, 2). But, before they could figure, as stately palm trees in the concourse of nations, they had to "drink of the brook by the way." In this relation of things they were "willows of the brook;" and this is the reason why afterwards, they exalt their heads above the peoples in this great Feast of Tabernacles, as lofty palms. The Captain of their salvation who leads them to glory, was himself once "a willow of the brook" -- a weeping willow -- "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." As the Christ-Spirit in David predicted in Psa. 110:7, concerning David's Son and Lord, so it was verified in Jesus -- "he drank of the brook by the way, therefore he shall exalt the head:" "He was obedient unto death, therefore he was crowned with glory and honor." But, in the scene before us, though like their chief, they had been "willows of the brook," John did not see them bearing willow boughs. He saw them only with "palms in their hands." Had he seen willows in their hands instead of palms it would have indicated that they were still a suffering community. That they had been a community of sufferers in a former state, is certain by the question put to John, and answered by the Elder He asked John, who the palm-bearers were, and whence they came? To which John replied, "Sire, thou hast known" -- kurie, su oidas. He knew experimentally, for he was one of them; inasmuch as the elders and living ones are representative of the whole company of the redeemed. "These are they," said he, "who came out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes, and made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb." Out of the great tribulation which precedes their resurrection from the dead. And, because they held fast the Name and the Faith, and defiled not their garments, and were faithful unto death; "therefore they are before the throne of the Deity, and serve him day and night in His temple." Yahweh Elohim the almighty, is the temple, even the Lamb (ch. 21:22): being, therefore, constituents of Yahweh Elohim, they are living stones of the temple, and serving the Father continually, "who hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their Deity, and they shall be my people" (2 Cor. 6:16): and because it is so written, the Elder added, "and he that is sitting on he throne shall pitch his tent over them. They shall hunger no more, neither shall they thirst any more, neither shall the sun," with which the Woman was clothed, "smite them, nor any heat," or oppression. "Because the Lamb in the very midst of the throne shall tend them, and lead them to living fountains of waters, and the Deity shall wipe away every tear from their eyes." From these considerations the reader may, perhaps, be able to "see," that this seventh chapter of the apocalypse presents before him two great epochs, with a long intervening period of tribulation extending from the one to the other. The first is the epoch of the sealing, ending a.d. 395; the last, the epoch of the festive celebration of the ingathering of the world's fruit unto Yahweh Elohim, marked, probably, by the joyful observance of the first Feast of Tabernacles (for the feast will be celebrated annually) a.d. 1908 "He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit" (Isa. 27:6). This, with the gathering together of the saints unto Christ, is the fruit, the ingathering of which is then celebrated. 13. The Intervening Period The interval, therefore, is long, 1513 years elapsing between the end of the sealing scene, and the manifestation of the "great multitude" as palm-bearers. The reader, however, is not to suppose, that there was no sealing of servants for the Deity in their foreheads after a.d. 395. The sealing continued in all subsequent generations, and will continue until the Ancient of Days comes; when "the door will be shut," and entrance into his presence as a glorified constituent of the Royal Name, will be denied to every applicant (Matt. 25:1-13). In the chapter before us, the initial and terminal epochs only were exhibited to John, the first described in the first eight verses; the last in the concluding nine; the interval being about to be unfolded in symbolic detail in other scenic representations. The sealing and the palm-bearing are two piers, from which springs an aionial arch, which bridges over the times of the trumpets, vials, and seven thunders; and consequently spans the aion of the Woman in the wilderness; the partly contemporary aions of the two witnesses, the Beast of the Sea, the Beast of the Earth, the Imperial Image; and the aion of the judgment of the Scarlet-colored Beast and its drunken ecclesiastical rider. When all these aions, or cycles, have described their appointed circuits, we shall have traversed the grand aionial arch; and have reached the festive celebration which introduces the nations to the Eighth Day of Holy Convocation -- the Millennial Sabbatism, or Rest, that remains for the people of the Deity (Heb. 4:9).