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whole work upon Jerusalem, and Mount Zion). “Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.”
This plague, it should be remembered, was executed throughout Israel's land by an angel whom the Lord empowered and sent to do this work. Even so, when the Father comes to execute the curses of the law which he gave at Mount Sinai will he give power to his chief executive, Jesus Christ the Lord, and he will empower and send his brethren the saints (who are called angels) to execute the judgments written, consisting of the sword, famine, and pestilence, and all other judgments upon the rebellious and idolatrous house of Israel in the latter days.
THE APPEARANCE OF THE MAJESTY IN THE HEAVENS
When John saw in vision this wonderful scene, he says, “And behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne, and he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone” (Rev. 4: 2-3). Thus the appearance of the person of the Father, as John saw him, was like two precious stones, the jasper, and the sardine stone.
The Jasper Stone From what is said of the jasper in the Scriptures, we may easily discern what manner of stone it is. The wall that is und about the New Jerusalem, as it is written, is jasper; John describes it saying, “And the building of the wall of it was jasper, and the city was pure gold like unto clear glass "; and again, “The foundation of the city was jasper." And when the angel carried John in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed him that great city, the Holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God, she is described as having "the glory of God, and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” In these words the jasper is described as the most precious of stones, and as clear as crystal. Therefore it is evident that the stone which in these Scriptures is called the jasper, is none other than what is known as the diamond, a precious stone, excelling in brilliancy and beautiful display of prismatic colours, and reflecting all the colours of the rainbow. Therefore the glory and brightness of God the Father upon his throne is represented by the glory and brightness of the diamond of purest ray.
The Sardine Stone The' sardine stone, or sardius, is one of the precious stones. The first stone in the first row of precious stones in Aaron's breastplate was a sardius. The sixth foundation of the wall of the Holy City is a sardius. The pre vailing color of this stone is a flesh red, or a blood red color, and this red color is a symbol of wrath, war, and bloodshed. In the vision of Zechariah of the four chariots which came out from between two mountains of brass, in the first chariot were red horses. Again, when the second seal was opened, there went out another horse that was red, signifying war and the shedding of blood by the force of the sword, to purge away iniquity, transgression, and
sin, as saith the prophet Isaiah (27:9), “By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged, and this is all the fruit to take away his sin."
Thus the color of the sardius stone is indicative of the wrath of God, it will be manifested in the judgments to be executed upon the rebellious house of Israel first, and afterwards upon the nations, as the Lord speaks first of his own people, saying, “Who among you will give ear to this? Who will hearken and hear, for the time to come (that is, the latter day) ? Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? Did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were obedient unto his laws; therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle, and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew it not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart (Isa. 42: 23-25).
And why? because the Lord hath hardened their hearts that he might destroy them as he did the Egyptians. Therefore this prophet saith again, “For behold, the Lord will come with fire and with his chariots (his angels) like a whirlwind, to render with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by sword will the Lord plead with all flesh, and the slain of the Lord shall be many.” This the Lord spake of his own people (Isa. 66:15-16).
Concerning the Gentiles it is written, " The nations were angry, and thy wrath is come (Rev. 11:18). And when these angry nations came unto Israel's land to utterly destroy the whole house of Israel, including the remnant, the Lord speaks of them as follows, saying, “And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face, for in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken. Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel.” Then follows a description of the manner in which God's fury which comes up in his face, is to be executed in the destruction of Gog and all his multitudes upon the mountains of Israel. These things show the reason why John speaks, saying, “ And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone."
Ezekiel's Description The foundation upon which the throne of the Father rests at the time of judgment, consists of a firmament spread out above the heads of the living creature, as described by Ezekiel (1:22-28) saying, “And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the color of the terrible crystal,” that is, of the diamond, for there is no precious stone, or crystal, so powerful and terrible in appearance as a diamond of the first water, for the purest and largest diamonds are resplendent with light and glory. The prophet continues, " And above the firmament that was over their heads, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne, was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even downward; I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain,
so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And I fell upon my face.”
In this description of the glory of the Lord, the throne itself is described as having the appearance of a sapphire stone, and the appearance of the person upon it was the color of amber, from his loins upward, and downward, also as the color of fire. Amber is a stone of a clear light yellow color, as the amber of the sky. The sapphire is a stone of a bright blue color. Moses, describing the pavement on which the God of Israel stood, the angel in whom the Lord's name was placed, says (Exod. 24:9-10), “ Then went up Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel, and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in its clearness." These things concern the central figure that John saw in heaven, the Father himself sitting upon the throne in the time of judgment.
SECOND. THE RAINBOW (REV. 4:3) The second thing which John saw in heaven and described was a rainbow, saying, “And there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” Now what is this rainbow? who compose it? what does it signify? and whence comes the light that displays its glories and reflects in it all the beautiful colors of the precious stones - stones of fire ? First this symbol is employed to represent the myriads of angels who participate with the saints, but subject to the Lord Jesus Christ, in the work of judgment. They are the ministers of God who stand in his presence awaiting his commands to do his pleasure, and to ascribe to him who sits upon his throne the honor and glory due to him, as it is written of them in the one hundred and third Psalm, saying, “The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom ruleth over all. Bless the Lord, ye his angels that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the Lord, all his hosts, ye ministers of his that do his pleasure."
Paul says of them, that they are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be the heirs of salvation; and Peter shows how profoundly they are interested in man's redemption, for speaking of what the prophets testified of the suffering of Christ, and the glory that should follow, he adds, “Which things the angels desire to look into." Again the Psalmist gives us this precious information concerning them, saying, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them." And therefore we are commanded, saying, “Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin, neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error. Wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?" (Eccles. 5:6).
When the prophet Ezekiel saw visions of the glory of God, visions of things in heaven and visions of things in the earth in that day, as they will be manifest among the stiff-hearted Israelites, visions of the same things that John saw, though described by him in somewhat different language, Ezekiel saw the angels of God associated with the resurrected saints, as wheels, which stood beside the living creatures (the saints), saying (Ezek. 1:16), “The
appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the color of a beryl, and they four had one likeness, and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.” That is, the angels coöperate with and among the saints in the work of judgment, so that their work is as a wheel in the middle of a wheel, insomuch that it is said (verse 17),
And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them, and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.” The two classes of immortal men, the saints and angels, move and work together, for they are alike, as it is said (verse 20), “The spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.” The saints and angels have the same spirit of life and immortality, as Jesus taught, saying that in the resurrection the saints are as the angels of God in heaven, neither can they die any
The same rainbow that John saw round about the throne, Ezekiel also saw round about the throne (verses 27-28) saying, “I saw as it were the appearance of fire (the color of fire is seen in the rainbow), and it had brightness round about, as the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain.” The appearance of the wheels and their work (as it is said in verse 16) was like unto the color of a beryl. The beryl is a precious stone of a bluish-green color, an emerald also is a precious stone of a rich green color. The beryl and the emerald therefore display in themselves that beautiful green color which is so delightful and refreshing to look upon in the rainbow, in the day of rain, when the earth is refreshed by showers to bring forth the green and precious fruits of the earth.
WHAT DOES THE RAINBOW TEACH? When the old world was destroyed by a flood, when all flesh had corrupted the Lord's way upon the earth and the earth was filled with violence, insomuch that the Lord repented himself that he had made man upon the earth, and when he had destroyed all flesh from off the face of the earth save Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and those that were with him in the ark, when he came forth from the ark after the earth was dried, then “ Noah builded an altar unto the Lord, and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings upon the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savor, and the Lord said in his heart, I will not curse the ground any more for man's sake, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth, neither will I again smite any more every living thing, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
Therefore God established his covenant with Noah and with all Aesh, that while the earth remaineth, for perpetual generations he would not again destroy the earth by the waters of a flood, notwithstanding the fact that the imaginations of man's heart is evil from his youth. And he has placed his bow in the cloud as a token of his covenant with all flesh, that during the remainder of the days of the earth, he will not again destroy the earth with a food, that we may look upon it and remember his covenant. And the Lord said, “I will look upon it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.” Therefore God's bow in the cloud in the day of rain is the rainbow of promise.
THE RAINBOW AS A SYMBOL The rainbow of promise in the cloud is a symbol of the rainbow of promise that John saw round the throne of judgment in sight like unto an emerald. The rainbow about the throne is a token of God's covenant with the remnant of Israel that the floods of mighty waters that overflow their land in the latter days, when God breaks up the fountains of the great deep, the deep seas of nations which are brought up over Israel's land to destroy the sinful nation from off the face of the earth will overflow it no more again; and as the Lord spared Noah and his family, so will he spare a few, the remnant, when the floods of men, in the capacity of mighty armies, overflow the land of Israel and sweep away the ungodly. And therefore is written (Isa. 28:2-3), “Behold the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which, as a tempest of hail and destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim shall be trodden under foot."
Now when this flood of mighty waters overflows their hiding place and sweeps away their refuge of lies, and leaves but a remnant in the land, then the Lord speaks to this little remnant who have come through tribulation such as never was since there was a nation to that same time; no, nor ever shall be, saying (Isa. 54: 7-9), “For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy upon thee, saith the Lord, thy redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me, for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee nor rebuke thee.” And we may add that the rainbow that John saw around the throne is a token that this oath of God to the covenant will be fulfilled, just as surely as the bow in the cloud is a token that God's oath to Noah will be fulfilled,
Therefore God's oath to David among other things (I Chron. 17: 9-10) also says, "I will ordain a place for my people, and I will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place and shall be moved no more, neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more as at the beginning, and since the time that I commanded my people Israel.” Again the Lord says to the remnant of his people (Isa. 30: 18-21), “And therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted that he may have mercy upon you, for the Lord is a God of judgment, blessed are all they that wait for him; for the people that dwell in Zion at Jerusalem thou shalt weep no more, he will be very gracious unto thee; at the voice of thy cry, when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers, and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it; when ye turn to the right hand and when ye turn to the left.” Again this prophet says, “Thy sun shall no more go down, neither