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That is, he is God now and there never was a time in the past when he was not God, and there will never be a time in the future when he will not be God, because he is from everlasting to everlasting, even as the angel of the waters says of him, “Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be” (Rev. 16:5).
The four and twenty elders give thanks to him “which art, and wast, and art to come.” “Because," they say, “ thou hast taken to thee thy great power and hast reigned." There is no power but of God, and therefore whatever he does by the agencies that he employs, he himself does, and his agents as set forth in this book are Christ and his brethren, and the angels of his power. When these agents have, by the Father's command, executed his righteous judgments upon the rebellious house and the assembled nations, then the reign of righteousness will begin in the earth when the Father will give his children the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world, as contained in the second Psalm saying, “ Ask of me and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." This inheritance Christ shares with his brethren.
THE ANGRY NATIONS
“The nations," say the four and twenty elders, “were angry" (verse 18); that is, the great Assyrian whom the Lord wields as his glittering sword, whom he hath made strong for himself; and when the Lord has cut off and subjugated many nations by his hand, yet he knows not that the Lord hath girded him with power, as the Lord says of him, “Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so, but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few” (Isa. 10:7).
Moreover, when this same Assyrian under the name of the king of the north (called also the beast, in the Revelation) goes down into the bottomless pit, that is to say, down to Egypt, after conquering every nation in his path including the people of Israel, and when tidings out of the north and east inform him of rebellion in his rear, then he comes forth out of the bottomless pit to go into perdition. "Therefore," as the angel said to Daniel, "he shall go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly make away many." And in his fury at this time he works a great destruction among the people, before the Lord in his anger smites him down upon the mountains of Israel (Dan. 11: 44-45).
AND THY WRATH IS COME
The Lord testifies by the hand of the prophet Ezekiel (38:7) concerning Gog and the great assemblage of nations that comes with him of whom the Lord says to Gog, “Be thou a guard unto them,” saying (verses 18-19), “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, saith the Lord God, there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel." This is the wrath that is referred to by the elders when they say, " And thy wrath is come.”
THE TIME OF THE DEAD
The righteous dead who have died in the Lord during the progress of the judgment for the truth's sake, including prophets and saints, small and great, rise to their reward under the sounding of this trumpet when the mystery of God will be finished.
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE WICKED
“And shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” The seventh angel therefore will sound until the harvest of the righteous and the harvest of the wicked is gathered. The seven vials in which are filled up the wrath of God are poured out under the sounding of this trumpet; but it continues farther, until the downfall and destruction of mystical Babylon, and after that the destruction of Gog with all his legions, leaving but a sixth part of his vast forces to carry tidings back to the nations whence they came.
THE ARK OF HIS TESTAMENT (REV. 11:19) Before this angel ceases to sound, the Temple of God in heaven will be opened, that Temple which is symbolized by the Temple made with hands after the patterns furnished to David by the Spirit. This Temple of God in heaven is the body of Christ made perfect, and when it is opened there will be seen in his Temple the ark of his testament, which is none other than Christ Jesus the Lord himself, whose appearing unto the remnant of Israel will transpire under the sounding of the seventh trumpet when he will appear to their joy, and the wicked will be ashamed before him at his coming; and when he comes it will be suddenly, for he says, “ Behold I come as a thief (Rev. 16:15).
In the ark were placed the law, the tables of the covenant, the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, which signified that Christ is the true ark in whom is placed the law of God, as it is written of him saying, “I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him” (Deut. 18:18). Again the golden pot which had manna signifies that he is the true bread from heaven, who contains in himself the hidden manna, even eternal life. Again, Aaron's rod which budded was put in the ark. When Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and their company murmured against Moses and Aaron, and sought the priesthood, the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and a fire came out from the Lord and devoured the rebels. After that the Lord required that each of the tribes should furnish a rod, and Moses laid them up before the Lord, and when Moses brought them forth, Aaron's rod for the tribe of Levi bloomed blossoms and bore almonds, but the rest of the rods brought forth nothing. By this the Lord showed that he had chosen the house of Levi to minister unto him in the priests' office, and he said to Moses, "Bring Aaron's rod again before the ark of the testimony to be kept for a token against the rebels, and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me that they die not” (Num. 17:8-10). Now as the Lord chose the tribe of Levi to minister unto him in the priests' office, so hath he chosen Christ Jesus as a priest unto him of the order of Melchisedec on behalf of the children of men
who turn from the power of Satan unto God, and who believe and obey the Gospel. Therefore saith the apostle, There is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved."
When the Temple of God in heaven is opened and the ark of the testimony is seen (that is, when Christ appears), then it is said, “There were lightnings and voices and thunderings and an earthquake and great hail.” It is when the seventh vial (Rev. 16:17-18) is poured out into the air that these lightnings and thunderings and voices transpire, and when that great earthquake takes place of which it is said that it is such as was not since man was upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. Then the great hailstones shall fall upon the wicked, which we shall speak of more particularly when we treat of the pouring out of the vials.
TWO GREAT SIGNS IN HEAVEN, THE WOMAN AND THE
Identity of woman Man child His iron rule – Identity of "dragon ” — War in heaven Michael's position — “ The wilderness”
Result of war New kingdom are " dwellers in heaven"- Continued opposition against " dwellers on earth and in sea"— A little help — War upon saints — That old serpent called Devil and Satan Instances where spirit of evil in mankind was so called —“Satan” transformed in Eden Law of sin called Devil — Devil who tempted Christ - Same spirit of evil in future.
In chapter 12 of the book of this prophecy John says, “And there appeared a great wonder (or sign) in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars, and she being with child cried, travailing in birth and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder (or sign) in heaven. And behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth, and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman Aed into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days."
This prophecy, like the other notable prophecies contained in this book, has taxed the ingenuity and talents of the learned in the religious and sectarian world since the days that grievous wolves entered into the churches established by the apostles, not sparing the flock but turning things upside down, as Paul testifies to the elders of the church at Ephesus that they would do, as it is recorded by Luke in the twentieth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. Therefore from the early days of the churches down to the present time, men destitute of the truth, yet men of vivid imaginations and irrepressible, have corrupted the apostles' doctrines and turned the truth of God into a lie. And when it comes to the interpretation of the Revelation, the book of this prophecy, they have made havoc of the visions of John and have wrested and misapplied his words more, if possible, than they have corrupted the Scriptures that had gone before, until in these days of printing and publishing of books without end, the world is flooded with commentaries and religious books which put light for darkness and darkness for light, and in which they wrest the sayings of this wonderful book as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. The great body of these writers understand neither to what nation or peo