Page images
PDF
EPUB

vey the third part of the rebellious house in groups and in companies over the seas of nations to the countries where they must sojourn.

Therefore it is contained in the Psalms saying, “O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all. . . . So is this great and wide sea (of nations) wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts (that is, such as Daniel saw rise up out of the sea, and such as John also saw rise up out of the sea of nations). There go the ships (with their cargoes of Israelitish captives); there is that leviathan (that dragon king of Israel) whom thou hast made to play therein ” (Ps. 104: 24-32).

Again, concerning these captives who go down to the sea in ships, it is testified (Ps. 107: 23-31) saying, "They that go down to the sea in ships (in these ships), that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth and raiseth the stormy wind which lifteth up the waves thereof; they mount up to the heaven; they go down again to the depths; their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad, because they be quiet: so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.”

Israel will indeed have a stormy and tempestuous journey when they go down to the seas of nations in Gentile ships, for Moses says, And

among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest; but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind; and thy life shall hang in doubt before thee, and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life” (Deut. 28: 65-67). These things when couched in figurative language may well be spoken of as sailing upon tempestuous seas, when the Lord commandeth and raiseth the stormy wind which lifteth up the waves thereof, which mount up to the heaven and go down again to the depths, when they reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end. Then they cry unto the Lord, and he makes the storm a calm, and mitigates their suffering even as it is testified in plain language by the prophet saying, “ Thus saith the Lord God, Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary, in the countries where they shall come (Ezek. 11:16).

Moreover the Lord will bring them back again to their desired haven in ships, to their own country,— those that he carried away of the house of Judah after forty years, and those that be carried away of the house of Israel after 390 years, as the Prophet Ezekiel testifies in the fourth chapter of his book. The Lord said also by Zechariah, “The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.” Now in the last verse of the one hundred and seventh Psalm it is plainly intimated that there is a hidden meaning in these figurative expressions that requires the exercise of the senses to understand, for it says, “Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord.” The same also is testified of the mysteries of the prophecies of Hosea in the last passage of his book, saying, “Who is wise and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them, but the transgressors shall fall therein."

THE GREAT HAIL (REV. 16:21) This word is used in the Scripture in two ways, first to denote hail storms such as were visited upon Pharaoh and his land as a judgment when he would not let Israel go. Then Moses at the command of the Lord stretched forth his rod toward heaven, as it is testified saying, "And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven; and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation ” (Exod. 9:23-25); and again, in the days of Joshua, when he said in the sight of Israel, “Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon, and the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. And it came to pass as the five kings of the Amorites and their armies Aled from before Israel and were in the going down to Beth-horon, that the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them, unto Azekah, and they died. They were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword” (Joshua 10:11-15).

Second, hail is used to denote soldiers from the north. The plagues of Egypt are, according to Moses, to be visited upon faithless and idolatrous Israel in the latter days when they are themselves called Sodom and Egypt, when they will suffer from the hail in both ways: First, literally, as we have stated above, and second, as testified by Isaiah saying (28:2-3), “Behold the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which, as a tempest of hail and a 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." Hail, a destroying storm, and flood of mighty waters, are here used as similitudes.

But when it is said under the seventh vial, “And there fell upon men (the wicked men of Israel) a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent,"— this plague is no doubt real, as are the famine, the pestilence, and the sword, which are not figurative expressions but plain statements of plagues, as they will prove to be. The weight of a man is much more than a talent, but these real hailstones weigh about a hundred pounds, more or less, and many of the latter day Amorites will die from this hail, as it was said of the Amorites of old, that more died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. In causing Jerusalem to know her abominations the Lord said to her, " Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite" (Ezek. 16:1-3).

When the hail falls out of heaven upon these last named Amorites spiritually so called, what is the result? It is said, “And men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for the plague thereof was exceeding great."

Now although this is the last vial of the seven which fills up the wrath of God, yet no repentance is manifest among the transgressors upon whom these plagues are poured out. The reason of this is that this is the stumbling block of Israel's iniquity, and the time has come when God will pass by them no more, but will pass through them. Therefore their hearts are hardened even as the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh and the Egyptians that they might go on and perish.

Even when a third part of the children of wickedness are killed by the fire and by the smoke and by the brimstone which issued out of the mouths of the commanders of the horses, as set forth under the sixth trumpet, it is added, “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues, yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold and silver and brass and stone and of wood, which neither can see, nor hear nor walk; neither repented they of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts” (Rev. 9: 20-21).

IT IS DONE (REV. 16:17) When the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air, it is said, “ And there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven (that is out of the body of Christ,- those which constitute the true Temple not made with hands) from the throne.” The throne of the Lord was in the Tabernacle, and after in the Temple. Answering to this as a type, the throne of the Father himself will be in the Temple made without hands that is in the body of Christ made perfect, in which the Father himself dwells as in a tent, and it is from the throne in this Temple where the Father sits that the great voice comes forth saying, It is done."

When the seven angels pour out the seven vials which contain the seven last plagues in which is filled up the wrath of God, and when the judgments which these plagues set forth are finished, the rebellious house will be no more; their lands will be again and for the last time desolate, their cities will be broken down and left without an inhabitant; Jerusalem will be a desolation, and the Temple burned up with fire, and it is there and then where these ominous words apply, “ It is done.

CHAPTER IX

JOHN SHOWN THE JUDGMENT OF THE GREAT

HARLOT

(Rev. 17-18) Who the harlot is The wilderness " Sitting upon many waters . Her daughters The beast that was, and was not His career Seven heads Seven kings The eighth king Ten horns Their work That great city

Fall of Babylon - Her wickedness Come out of her, my people- Retribution visited upon her Lamentations for her Is this destruction final? -"Much people in heavenrejoice.

“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters; with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness; and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication."

We learn from the Holy Scriptures that this harlot is neither a Gentile city nor a Gentile people at all, but on the contrary is Jerusalem and the people of Israel when they have again corrupted themselves in the future and done worse than their fathers in the past, even as they are addressed by the Prophet Ezekiel in the words of the Lord saying, "Wherefore, O harlot, hear the words of the Lord.” This name the Lord, in this verse, gives to Jerusalem and her children after describing how he found her, and what he did for her, and decked her with ornaments, and put bracelets upon her hands, and a chain upon her neck, and a jewel upon her forehead, and earrings in her ears, and a beautiful crown upon her head, and the Lord continues saying, “Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver, and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk and broidered work.” And as to her food, he says, “ Thou didst eat fine flour, and honey and oil, and thou wast exceeding beautiful and didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy renown went forth among the nations for thy beauty for it was perfect through my comeliness which I had put upon thee."

From this high and exalted position which Jerusalem will attain to in the latter days, she will degenerate into a harlot and her evil works in de parting from the Lord and going after her lovers and seeking to other gods are most graphically and forcibly described in this same sixteenth chapter of the Book of Ezekiel, after which the Lord adds in the same place, verse 30, saying, "How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious, whorish woman."

Now one of the seven angels which had the seven vials carried John away in the spirit into the wilderness to see the condition and position of this same imperious whorish woman and the judgment that should immediately overtake her, just as it is described from verse thirty-five to forty-one of this same chapter in Ezekiel's prophecy that we have been considering. John saw her in the wilderness of the people, a moral wilderness of men who knew not God, in Jerusalem; and he saw her there as he says, first,“ sitting upon many waters ” (verse 1); second, sitting upon a scarlet coloured beast, ... having seven heads and ten horns ” (verse 3) ; third, John adds, “The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth” (verse 9).

Now insomuch as the woman does not sit upon three different things but upon one thing, therefore if we can find a true interpretation of one of the things upon which she sitteth, that would furnish us with an interpretation of the whole, even as John was informed by the angel, as it is written in verse 15, saying, “The waters which thou sawest, where the whore (the imperious whorish woman) sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” This is Gog and all his multitude, or as the angel said to John, a scarlet coloured beast with seven heads and ten horns," and her sitting and riding upon this beast is spoken of by the Prophet Isaiah as staying upon the Assyrian." The meaning of this saying is apparent by what follows it, namely, “ And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more stay upon him (the Assyrian) that smote them, but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth” (Isa. 10:20). Now to

stay upon the Lord,” is to put their trust in him and rely upon the Lord for help in time of trouble. Even so, to stay upon the Assyrian is to put their trust in him for help and protection. Staying upon the Assyrian is symbolized in the Revelation by the woman sitting upon many waters, and upon a scarlet coloured beast with seven heads and ten horns, and sitting upon seven mountains. She stays upon them for their aid and assistance.

[blocks in formation]

“And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.” It might be well to remark here before we go further that Protestant writers and teachers from Luther down to the present time maintain that the harlot of Revelation is the Pope of Rome and his people, the Roman Catholic Church, sometimes called the “mother church.” But these Protestant teachers are very short-sighted people, for by so doing they stultify and condemn themselves, even like the scribes and Pharisees who said, “If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.” “Wherefore,” Jesus said unto them, "ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets."

Even so with the writers and teachers of the Protestant churches. They say that the Roman Catholic Church is the harlot spoken of in the Book of the Revelation, but they do not appear to see where this lands them, for this harlot is a mother, and has daughters, and her daughters are harlots

« PreviousContinue »