Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Revelation Explained by F. Smith

Part 6 out of 7

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

15. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her,
shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and

16. And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in
fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and
precious stones, and pearls!

17. For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every
shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as
many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

18. And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying,
What city is like unto this great city!

19. And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and
wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made
rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness!
for in one hour is she made desolate.

In this description we have a continuation of the judgments of Babylon
already introduced. It must be borne in mind, however, that this is the
spiritual judgments following her moral fall, and not her final and
everlasting literal destruction. The latter is described under another
symbol a little further on in this series of prophecy.

The symbol here is that of a great city, the grand metropolis of the
world, the mart of earth's commerce; a superb city, their [_sic_] being
no end to its luxuries and magnificence. In it everything that can
minister to the appetite, gratify the taste, and feed the pride of the
human soul is to be found in profusion, being described at length. This
great city is suddenly afire, and her merchants and the great men of the
world who sustain her are overwhelmed with sorrow at the sight of all
their wealth disappearing. Thus is great sect Babylon represented. She
is a mighty city extending not only over the Apocalyptic earth, but, as
symbolized by the ship-masters, sailors, and foreign traders, over the
whole world. Suddenly she is set on fire by heaven's truth and her
spiritual magnificence destroyed. The apostle Paul describes the great
apostasy as a system that the "Lord shall _consume_ with the spirit of
his mouth, and shall _destroy_ with the brightness of his coming." 2
Thes. 2:8. That spiritual consumption is now taking place in accordance
with the symbols of this chapter, but the entire literal destruction of
old Babylon will take place coincident "with the brightness of his
coming," as described in the following chapter.

That sectarians are greatly alarmed over the sad condition of their
fallen churches is clearly shown by the many quotations already given
from Protestant writers. They may not be aware that it is a judgment
from heaven upon man-made organizations; but such we know it to be in
the light of eternal truth. Not only are they bewailing the loss of
spiritual life and the desolating famine in sectdom, as was Bishop
Foster and others, but they are beginning to tremble for their own
safety and to wonder what the final outcome of it all will be. Wherever
the gospel truth has been preached in all its purity, the sectarian
denominations have been left destitute of spiritual life; for the
children of God have heard his call, "Come out of her, my people," and
have made their escape to Zion. Hence the ministers of Babylon cry out
continually, "Stop! you are tearing our churches down," "You are taking
our best members away from us," etc. But we can not withhold the truth;
for the time has come when God is gathering his people together out of
all the "places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark
day" (Ezek. 34:12) into the one church that Jesus built. "Babylon is
fallen, is fallen."

20. Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and
prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

This verse is so clear that it requires no special explanation. God's
people are delivered from sect Babylon; and while the judgments of
eternal truth are being poured out upon her, all heaven and earth is
called upon to rejoice and to give glory to God.

"We stand in the glory that Jesus has given,
The moon as the day-spring doth shine;
The light of the sun is now equal to seven,
So bright is the glory divine.

"Now filled with the Spirit and clad in the armor
Of light and omnipotent truth,
We'll testify ever and Jesus we'll honor,
And stand from sin Babel aloof.

"The prophet's keen vision transpiercing the ages,
Beheld us to Zion return;
We'll sing of our freedom, though Babylon rages,
We'll shout as her city doth burn."

21. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone,
and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that
great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at

22. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and
trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no
craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in
thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all
in thee;

23. And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in
thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be
heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great
men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations

24. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints,
and of all that were slain upon the earth.

Following the moral fall of Babylon and the call of God's people out of
her, a mighty angel predicts her eternal doom. "With violence shall that
great city Babylon be thrown down, and _shall be found no more at all_."
This doubtless has reference to the entire city of Babylon in all her
divisions brought to view in this series of prophecy and shows her final
destruction at the coming of Christ, when she shall suddenly be thrown
with terrific force, like a great millstone descending into the sea, and
"shall be found no more at all." According to the symbols here given she
will be like a city completely destroyed, not one inhabitant or living
creature remaining. Thus her eternal doom is pictured and remains to be
yet fulfilled.

"And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all
that were slain upon the earth." We have already shown that
Protestantism, as well as her mother Romanism, has been guilty of
shedding innocent blood; and as the term Babylon includes both these
divisions, when the great city is thrown down with violence, Romanism
and Protestantism will sink together, and then this awful treasure--the
blood of prophets and of saints--shall be brought to light in that last
great day of God Almighty.


And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in
heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and
power, unto the Lord our God:

2. For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged
the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her
fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her

3. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever
and ever.

4. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down
and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen;

5. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God,
all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

6. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as
the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty
thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent

7. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the
marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself

8. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine
linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness
of saints.

9. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are
called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto
me, These are the true sayings of God.

10. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me,
See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren
that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony
of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

The scene of this vision is laid in heaven. John heard a great voice of
much people saying, "Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and
power, unto the Lord our God." This great song of praise doubtless came
from the lips of the angelic throng; for immediately the four living
creatures and the four and twenty elders reechoed the same shout of
praise, saying, "Amen; Alleluia." Then came a voice from the throne
calling upon the servants of God, both small and great, to unite on this
occasion in one grand and sacred song of praise; and this sublime chorus
fell upon the ear of the enraptured apostle "as it were the voice of a
great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of
mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent
reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him for the
marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife [or bride] hath made herself
ready." Was not here a hearty response to that call, "Rejoice over her
thou heaven"? While this scene shows the interest all heaven takes in
these wondrous scenes of earth, it is doubtless intended especially to
represent the joy and thanksgiving of God's people who have "gotten the
victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over
the number of his name."

The marriage of the Lamb which was about to take place was a special
theme of joy on this occasion. In the Scripture the term _marriage_ is
frequently used to represent a special union between Christ and his
people. Thus, the early church was represented as being free because of
the death of the law, that they "should be _married_ to another, even to
him who is raised from the dead." Rom. 7:4. So, also, the eternal union
of Christ with his people is here described under the figure of
marriage. In one sense they have been married to Christ all through this
dispensation; in another sense they have not. The church has had the
promise of this eternal union, hence she has been betrothed to Christ;
but left in the world, she has been driven into the wilderness, while a
corrupt and drunken prostitute and her harlot daughters have been in the
public view. Now, however, the judgments of God have descended upon
Babylon, and the bride of Christ appears in all her beauty again,
"arrayed in fine linen, clean and white"; and the next great event is
her public marriage to Christ when he comes to claim her as his own.

The marriage scene is one of the most joyful that we witness on earth,
and among Eastern nations especially was celebrated with great pomp and
magnificence, the joy and splendor of the occasion being enhanced
according to the rank and wealth of the parties. But earth has never
witnessed such an event as this special _marriage of the Lamb_. Well may
the inhabitants of heaven and earth, in view of this sublime spectacle,
swell the song of praise--"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to
him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made
herself ready." The special preparations that the bride is making
represents the glorious holiness reformation that is now sweeping over
the world, gathering God's people together for the splendid event.
"Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the

"These are the true sayings of God." They are almost too glorious to be
believed; still, they are no idle dreams of fancy: they are true, yea
"the true sayings of God." In the contemplation of such a wonderful
event, the beloved apostle was carried away, as it were, with holy
enthusiasm, and he fell at the feet of the angel to worship. We do not
know just what the motives or impressions were that caused him to do
this. But his soul was full, full to overflowing, and he could not but
adore and worship. The angel, however, refused the homage thus offered,
by the declaration that he himself, also, was the servant of Christ and
one of the brethren that had the testimony of Jesus; "for the testimony
of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." The idea is: "I am a fellowservant
with you, and we both have his testimony. You bear witness to him now in
this present generation; I bear witness to those who are to come. You
witness now of his death and resurrection; I tell of his future glory
and triumphs. We are both, therefore, engaged in the same good work. The
testimony of Jesus and the spirit of prophecy are the same. To God,
therefore, we must both bow." See remarks on chap. 1:1.

11. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he
that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in
righteousness he doth judge and make war.

12. His eyes were as a flame _of_ fire, and on his head were
many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he

13. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his
name is called The Word of God.

14. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white
horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

15. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he
should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of
iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath
of Almighty God.

16. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written,

That the person described in this vision is Christ is questioned by no
one. He is the same one who appeared to John in the beginning. Then he
stood in the midst of the seven golden candle-sticks, the sure defense
of the churches, holding the seven stars in his right hand. Now,
however, he appears from the opened heavens on a white horse, his
mission "to judge and make war." The description of his person, his
names, and his attributes, unmistakably proclaim him the Son of God. He
is the "faithful and true," the name by which he made himself known to
the churches of Philadelphia and Laodicea. "His eyes as a flame of fire"
denotes omniscience; and as a searcher of all hearts he made himself
known to the church of Thyatira. "Many crowns" are a symbol of supreme
sovereignty and doubtless signify his many victories. "And he had a name
written which no man knew but he himself." He had names by which he
might be known to mortals; but he had one name that no created
intelligence could understand: it was known only to him. What that name
was, of course, is not given; it could not be. If the human mind could
not conceive it, human language could not convey it. We can know him as
the Faithful and true Witness, as the Word of God, and as King of kings
and Lord of lords; but there is one name that we can not know. His
"vesture dipped in blood" refers, not to the blood of atonement, but to
the blood of his enemies sprinkled upon his raiment in treading the
winepress of God's wrath, and denotes that he was going forth to the
dread work of vengeance. To this I shall refer more fully hereafter. His
name is also called "the Word of God," which, when used as a personal
appellation in the Scriptures, always signifies Jesus Christ.

Before considering his mission further and the armies that accompanied
him, I wish to call special attention to the nature and the chronology
of this event. If the present series of prophetic symbols (which begin
with chap. 17) is a narrative of continuous events reaching to the end,
then the vision before us is a description of the second coming of
Christ, the event which was just previously announced and for which the
bride had made herself ready. The usual interpretation given it is, that
it is a sublime description of the servants of Christ going forth under
his direction to spread the truth everywhere among the nations--in
short, that it is the triumph of gospel truth over error under the
_providential_ government of Christ. That such a meaning can be derived
from the vision by taking it in a _figurative_ sense there can be no
doubt, and this is what commentators generally do. They make the whole a
figurative description of the triumph of the gospel, Christ being
present only by his superintending providence. It is made simply a
highly poetic description of the victory of truth and righteousness. In
this case, however, the principles of symbolic language are clearly
abandoned and a mere ordinary figurative meaning given. If we follow
strictly the laws of symbolic language, as we manifestly ought, we shall
be compelled to take another view of it.

In the first place, if this does not describe the actual coming of
Christ, then his second coming is nowhere described in the Revelation.
That so great an event should merely be alluded to in a few places and
nowhere symbolically described seems incredible. At the judgment scene
brought to view in the following chapter the presence of Christ is
_assumed_, but it is not stated. Again, there are no victories of love
and mercy described at all in the vision before us; but, on the
contrary, it is a scene of fearful judgment--a terrible treading of "the
winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God," the complete
overthrow of every opposing power; while the beast and the false prophet
are represented as taken and cast alive into a lake of fire burning with
brimstone. Surely, this is not the work of the church of God. But let it
be remembered especially that this last event takes place under the
_seventh_ plague, which is the "filling up" of the wrath of God, and
that Christ previously announced under the sixth vial, "Behold, _I come_
as a thief." Christ comes in reality when this seventh plague occurs. To
represent the glorious triumphs of Christianity by the mission of the
church, the gospel and the Holy Spirit, under the symbol of Christ,
going forth to judge, to make war, and to tread the winepress of God's
wrath, is at war with every principle of symbolic language.

But can this vision of Christ upon a white horse denote a mere
providential superintendence, such as Christ constantly exercises over
the church and its spiritual affairs on earth? Certainly not by any
principle of symbolic language. Throughout the whole prophecy thus far
we have seen that whenever any symbolic agent is brought upon the
panorama, whether horseman, or beasts, or locusts, or harlot, or
whatever else, it always denotes some corresponding agents appearing on
earth and beginning their appropriate work. The symbolic agent is real.
But here is a symbolic appearance of Christ. By what law could such a
symbolic appearance represent merely a providential superintendence? And
if his appearance was necessary in this case, why was it not necessary
in every event, to show that it was done under his direction? Again, if
this symbolic appearance of Christ is not his real appearance, how can
we tell that there is any reality in the appearance of the horsemen of
the first four seals, the ten-horned beast, or the harlot woman? What
right have we to remove one agent from the panorama as an actual agent
there any more than another? And if this is not his real appearance,
upon what principle of interpretation can we ever establish the fact of
his second coming? It is evident to all that, if we can turn this agent
into a mere providential one, we can do the same with another, and thus
set aside his second coming altogether. Then, what shall we say in the
next chapter when some one steals our weapons and declares that the
great white throne before which all the dead, small and great, stand is
nothing but that providential government of God under which all sinners
pass condemnation upon themselves and their sins find them out? If we
can deal thus with symbols, we can do anything with them and can make
out any meaning we please.

The laws of symbolic language require us to take the appearance of
Christ in this vision just as we do the appearance of any other agent,
as a real event. We can not consistently give it any other meaning. His
_symbolic_ appearance must represent his _real_ appearance; otherwise,
it can never be represented by anything. Jesus appears in his own name
and person because there is no other that can represent his infinite
dignity and majesty. And the symbols connected with him denote the
object of his mission and the work which he performs. His white horse
shows him now a glorious conqueror; his crowns denote his supreme
dominion; the sword of his mouth and his vesture dipped in blood denote
the dread work of vengeance upon his enemies; while the army following
him doubtless denotes the "ten thousands of his saints" that accompany
him when he comes. Jude 14. The bride has already prepared herself for
his coming, and now the eternal union takes place. "Blessed are they
which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb."

17. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a
loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of
heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of
the great God;

18. That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of
captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses;
and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both
free and bond, both small and great.

19. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their
armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on
the horse, and against his army.

20. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that
wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that
had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his
image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning
with brimstone.

21. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat
upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all
the fowls were filled with their flesh.

The foregoing explanation so nearly covers this ground that little
remains to be said. The symbol is that of vast slaughter on a
battle-field, which gathers all the birds of heaven and the beasts of
the forest to the prey. The enemies gathered for this battle were "the
beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies," together with the
false prophet. This is the grand confederacy of wickedness formed under
the mission of the three unclean spirits that went forth, not only unto
the kings of the earth, but also into the whole world. This is not a
literal collecting of armies, hence not a literal slaughter upon a
battlefield, nor a literal assembling of carrion birds; but it is a
symbolic representation of the final and eternal destruction of the
allied powers of sin. As will be further described in the following
chapter, they were gathered together for the purpose of overthrowing the
church of God and anticipated a complete victory in the battle of
Armageddon; but the sudden appearance of Jesus Christ to rescue his
bride results in their complete overthrow. The special theme of this
series of prophecy has been the history of apostate Christendom; hence
the beast and the false prophet are represented as being taken and
thrown into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. "The remnant" that
were slain refers to the other powers of wickedness not embraced in
Catholicism and Protestantism This series being now traced to its close,
the narrative returns to take up another important theme of prophetic


And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the
bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is
the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.

3. And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and
set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more,
till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he
must be loosed a little season.

It is commonly supposed that the events here described are to occur at
the second advent; but by considering carefully the different things
enumerated in this chapter--the binding of the dragon; then a thousand
years; after that the Armageddon battle; and last of all the judgment
scene, in which all the dead, both small and great, are rewarded, and
all the powers of wickedness cast into the lake of fire--it will be seen
at once that this is not a continuation of the series of prophecy
immediately preceding, but an entirely new theme, running partly
parallel with that series, and both ending at the same point--the second
coming of Christ and the general judgment, in which the lake of fire is
the final doom of the combined powers of wickedness. In that series the
beast and the false prophet--Romanism and Protestantism--were the chief
powers of evil under consideration; in this series the dragon feature
predominates. If this be not true, then there will be two judgment
scenes and the wicked cast into the lake of fire twice. Positive proof
of the position here taken will be given as we proceed.

The power here referred to as "the Devil and Satan" is also denominated
"the dragon." This use of the definite article shows clearly that a
particular character is designated--_the_ dragon--and implies that the
object has already been introduced. In his first appearance upon the
symbolic panorama (chap. 12:3) he is simply styled _a_ dragon, but in
every subsequent instance he is called _the_ dragon, which proves that
the same character is meant. In addition to the former remarks on
chapter 12:9 relative to the terms applied to this antichristian power,
the following quotation from the People's Cyclopaedia will throw some
light on the subject: "In the mythical history and legendary poetry of
almost every nation, the dragon appears as the emblem of the destructive
and anarchistic principle.... Like the serpent, the dragon is always a
minister of evil ... the object of which is to fight order, harmony, and
progress. In Christian art, the dragon is the emblem of sin.... It is
often represented as crushed under the feet of saints and martyrs....
Sometimes its prostrate attitude signifies the triumph of Christianity
over Paganism." Art. Dragon. Considering this usage of these terms for
ages, it is not strange that they were applied also to that great
antichristian, persecuting system of Paganism, which stood before
Christianity as its greatest barrier to "order, harmony, and progress."

The angel that overthrew this public system of Pagan infidelity
symbolizes the primitive host of Christians, the ministers in
particular. Some have supposed that he represented Christ; but, as
already shown conclusively, Christ can not be symbolized by an inferior
intelligence, hence always appears upon the scene in his own character,
proclaiming his own eternal name. The fact that this angel possessed the
key of the bottomless pit is no proof that he is Christ, even though in
chapter 1:18 Jesus is said to have certain keys; for in chapter 9:1 we
find that a _fallen star_--the symbol of Mohammed--is said to have "the
key of the bottomless pit" also. At the most, this expression is only a
symbol of power and authority, be it good or bad. In the gospel the same
figure is applied to God's ministers, where they are given authority to
bind the powers of wickedness on earth. Mat. 16:19; 18:18. The chain is
a symbol of the power to bind.

When Christianity first commenced its warfare with this huge system of
error, almost the entire then-known world was under its deceptive
influence; but by a long conflict, in which thousands of the noble
followers of the Lamb were slaughtered, this antichristian public system
of Pagan infidelity was at last completely overthrown, and the final
result was, that the civilized world became as completely Christian
(nominally at least) as it ever had been Pagan. This great
transformation could never have been effected without the undying
heroism and whole-hearted consecration of the first disciples of Christ.
From this time the dragon _as such_--as a public deceiver of the nations
throughout the Apocalyptic earth--was overthrown. This marks the
beginning of the thousand years mentioned.

Since many of the principles of heathenism were copied by the church of
Rome, it may be difficult for some to understand at first why it is said
that the dragon no longer deceived the nations after being cast down by
primitive Christianity; but this becomes clear when we consider what the
dragon really was and what the church of Rome was understood to be. A
time came when the entire civilized world knew that heathenism as such
was wrong and rejected the very idea of a plurality of gods; but they
were led to believe that they could adapt many of their former rites and
ceremonies to the worship of the one true God in whom they believed and
thereby render acceptable service to him, and were sure that the Romish
church was the one true apostolic church. It was not the dragon, or
heathenism, that then deceived them; it was Christianity--_a false
Christianity_. The manner in which the people were deceived during the
time following the casting down of heathenism in the beginning has
already been considered in chapters XII, XIII, XVII, XVIII, etc.,
covering the same period of time included in the one thousand years in
the vision before us.

We can not apply this period specified as literally one thousand years
without varying from every principle of time prophecy in the Revelation,
for they are all symbolic; neither can we apply it according to the
usual year-day method, which, signifying three hundred and sixty
thousand years, would throw this series of events out of harmony with
the time-periods allotted to the other themes of truth running over the
same ground and terminating at the same point--the general judgment.
Therefore, to be consistent, we shall have to apply it as (so far as
human knowledge of the exact dates is concerned) an indefinite length of
time, on the same principle that "the hour of temptation" in chapter
3:10, the three and one-half days in chapter 11:9, and the "hour" in
which the ten kingdoms receive power with the beast (chap. 17:12), etc.,
are applied.

4. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was
given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded
for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had
not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had
received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and
they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

5. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand
years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

6. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first
resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they
shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him
a thousand years.

We have in this description another division of the subject
introduced--a history of God's people, or one phase of the church,
during the same thousand years following the casting down of the dragon.
"They lived and reigned with Christ." It was those who had "part in the
first resurrection" that were exalted to this honored position with
Christ. Millenarians always _assume_ that this refers to a literal
resurrection at the second coming of Christ, but no such thing is hinted
at. Not one word is said about literally resurrected saints reigning.
John says, "I saw the _souls_ of them which were beheaded for the
witness of Jesus ... and _they_ lived and reigned with Christ a thousand
years." Nothing whatever is said about any reign on earth at all; but
the description shows plainly that it was disembodied spirits that were
reigning with Christ in Paradise during the period that followed the
casting down of the dragon, which was in reality one of long apostasy
and darkness on earth. Before and during this conflict with Paganism the
church of God was publicly triumphant on earth. Afterward, during the
apostasy, a false church was, in the public view, triumphant, while the
church of God was crowded out of sight into the wilderness. However, the
reign of God's saints did not cease; for when they were slaughtered by
their relentless persecutors and deprived of their reign on earth, they
were, as symbolized by the man-child, caught up to God and to his throne
and there "lived and reigned with Christ" during the thousand years
under consideration.

This same thought concerning the reign of the martyrs in Paradise while
the powers of evil triumphed on earth, was brought to view on the
opening of the fifth seal in chapter 6:9-11. "And when he had opened the
fifth seal, I saw under the altar the _souls of them that were slain_
for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: and they
cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost
thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And
white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto
them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their
fellowservants also and their brethren, _that should be killed as they
were_ should be fulfilled." This quotation will make clear one point
concerning the refusal of the martyrs to worship the beast and his
image. We are not to understand that every soul of the martyrs John saw
in these visions reigned during the entire period under consideration;
but he beheld the reign of the saints above during the one thousand
years, and he saw there the souls of all the martyrs--such as had been
slain in the early days of Christianity (chap. 12:11); such as refused
to worship the beast and were martyred therefor (chap. 13:7); and also,
such as "should be killed as they were" (chap. 6:11) and were put to
death shortly after the formation of the image of the beast. Chap.
13:15; 16:6.

This company of souls that the apostle saw reigning with Christ above
were those who had had part "in the first resurrection," which had made
them "blessed and holy." They were not on earth; they were disembodied
spirits above, hence had not been literally resurrected. The Scriptures
clearly teach that mankind in their ordinary condition are "_dead_ in
trespasses and in sins," and that through salvation, which makes them
"blessed and holy," they are "quickened" to a new life in Christ. Eph.
2:1. That this is Scripturally "the first resurrection" is proved most
positively by the words of Christ--"Verily, verily, I say unto you, the
hour is coming, _and now is_, when the _dead_ shall hear the voice of
the Son of God: and they that hear _shall live_. He that heareth my
word, and believeth on him that sent me, _hath_ everlasting life, and
shall not come into condemnation, but is _passed from death unto life_."
John 5:25, 24. Although many other proofs could easily be given, this of
itself is sufficient to establish the point that the host of early
Christians who had "passed from death unto life" in Christ and who gave
their lives gladly for the sake of Christ, constituted the ones referred
to as having had "part in the first resurrection." According to verse 6
it was only on those who had part in the first resurrection that the
second death had no power. The church at Smyrna received the sure
promise from Christ himself that they should "not be hurt of the second
death" (chap. 2:11); and this shows beyond all question that even at
that early date they had had part in this first resurrection that makes
men blessed and holy.

It is the trick of Beelzebub to deceive souls by causing them to
overlook the fact that this first resurrection that made men blessed and
holy is of a spiritual nature and to fix their hopes in two literal
resurrections at the end. There will be but one literal resurrection
then, as is clearly shown by the account given of the judgment in this
chapter, verses 11-15. The writer of the Revelation declared positively,
"Behold, he cometh with clouds: and _every eye_ shall see him, and they
also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because
of him." Chap. 1:7. If this does not prove that there is but one literal
resurrection when Christ comes, then I would not know how to state such
a fact if I desired. Furthermore, Jesus himself, in the same chapter in
which he described "the first resurrection," says most positively that
all the literal dead shall be resurrected at the same time. "Marvel not
at this," he says: "the _hour_ is coming, in the which all that are in
the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have
done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil,
unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28, 29. This _hour_
certainly can not signify more than a short period of time. In their
efforts to prove two literal resurrections, millenarians always quote
with emphasis, "The dead in Christ shall rise first." 1 Thes. 4:16. In
doing so they, either ignorantly or wilfully, wrest the Scriptures to
their own destruction; for any one can see at a glance that no such
thing as two resurrections is even hinted at. Verses 15-17 simply teach
this, that the righteous who are living on the earth at the time Christ
appears will not ascend to heaven _before_ the righteous dead are
resurrected, but the dead will rise first, then they will all be caught
up together at one and the same time. The wicked are not mentioned in
this connection; for, as stated, Paul was writing this only for the
comfort and the edification of the church. In the following chapter,
however, their "sudden destruction" at the second coming of Christ is
mentioned as a warning to the church.

It is evident that the first resurrection as applied in this connection
specified particularly that phase of the church which, as symbolized by
the man-child, was caught up to God through martyrdom and there "lived
and reigned with Christ." The other phase of the church, symbolized by
the woman, is not said to reign with Christ a thousand years, but, on
the other hand, is represented as driven into the wilderness, her public
reign on earth being ended by the holy city being trodden under foot of
a profane multitude of apostate beast-worshipers; and the two witnesses,
clothed in sackcloth, were prophesying only in a few isolated,
individual hearts.

A careful study of this scripture, taken in connection with others in
the Revelation applying to the same object, will show that all God's
people, both those here brought to view during the thousand years and
those following that period, are spoken of as dead people resurrected
and reigning. They are considered under two phases--those who, as
symbolized by the man-child, were caught up to God through martyrdom and
there lived and reigned with Christ; and those who, as symbolized by the
woman, were deprived of their public reign on earth and were driven into
the wilderness during the same period. The first phase were "priests of
God and of Christ" and reigned with him in Paradise (chap. 6:9-11); but
"the rest," the phase symbolized by the woman, did not live and enjoy
their public reign again, as in the early days of Christianity, until
the expiration of the thousand-year period. It is true that individuals
on earth received life from God and were thus spiritually resurrected
during the thousand-year period; but the dominant beast-power martyred
them by thousands, the two witnesses were then in their sack-cloth
state, and thus the public triumphal reign of the saints on earth
ceased. The statement of verse five that "the rest of the dead lived not
again until the thousand years were finished" should be applied not in
an individual, but in a general sense, the same as the reign above
during the same period is considered. There is also some doubt as to the
authenticity of this sentence. It is not found in the Vatican
Manuscript, which is one of the oldest in existence; and the Syriac
Version, which has come down to us from early days through an entirely
separate channel, does not contain it. However, it is evident that the
phase of the church symbolized by the woman actually reigns triumphantly
on earth after the thousand years is finished; for verses 7-9 of this
chapter show that the dragon, combined with Gog and Magog, goes forth on
the breadth of the earth to compass the camp of the saints just before
the end of time.

The fact that the reign of God's people on earth is divided into two
distinct periods is shown also by other prophecies. In the seventh
chapter of Daniel is recorded a vision of four great beasts, symbolizing
the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, and Roman empires. Verse 18,
connected with Dan. 2:31-44, shows that the saints were to possess the
kingdom of God before the overthrow of all these four kingdoms, which
was actually fulfilled by Jesus Christ appearing during the reign of the
Roman empire and planting the kingdom of God in the earth. See Mark
1:15; Luke 12:32; 16:16; Col. 1:13. Then follows a description of the
rise of the Papacy, which was to "_wear out the saints of the most
High_" for a time, times, and the dividing of times--three and one-half
times, or forty-two months, or, prophetically, twelve hundred and sixty
years. This, as before explained, reaches to the year A.D. 1530. During
this period the public reign of the saints on earth ceased. Then
immediately following it is said, "The judgment shall sit, and they
shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it _unto the
end_." This does not refer to the final judgment; it is a spiritual
judgment that commences before that time and continues "_unto the end_."
For example of a similar _judgment_ see Acts 7:7.

God had a people during the Protestant era who walked in all the light
they possessed and who were filled with judgment against the beast-power
that had worn out the saints for ages. And though in places some were
put to death for refusing to worship the image of the beast that
lifeless professors had set up, yet there were from time to time
reformations that resurrected many people to life in Christ. A little
later, however, the real spiritual reign of the saints is perfectly
restored in the pure gospel light of the evening time, and now the next
verse is fulfilled, which says, "And the kingdom and dominion, and the
greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the
people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting
kingdom." It is only reasonable to suppose that the public reign on
earth would commence gradually and would finally reach its perfect
fulfilment, just the same as it ceased gradually in the beginning.
Therefore we can not point to a definite date exactly marking the end of
the thousand years, any more than we can locate exactly the time of its
commencement; but we must be satisfied just to consider this symbolic
expression as covering a long period of time during which these
important phases of deep truth are considered merely from a general

This special reign of a thousand years above is doubtless brought to our
view for the express purpose of making the history of the triumph of
Christianity continuous. When interrupted on earth, the scene is
suddenly transferred to Paradise; then when the woman comes out of the
wilderness and the public reign on earth begins again, while the woman
is being prepared as a bride for the coming of the Lamb, the scene, as
the following description in verse 9 also will show, is again
transferred to earth. The reign above does not in reality cease with the
expiration of the thousand years, but we are permitted to obtain a view
of it only for that length of time during the down-trodden state of the
church on earth. This reign of the martyrs' above is placed in direct
contrast with the public reign on earth during the same time, which
consisted of multitudes of people worshiping the beast, recieving his
image and his mark. What the "thrones" on which they sat and the
"judgment" given them signifies, I do not know for certain, but it is
doubtless the same exalted privilege and authority which Christ promised
to all his over-comers--to sit with him on his throne. Chap. 3:21.

7. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be
loosed out of his prison,

8. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four
quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to
battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

9. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed
the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire
came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

10. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of
fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are,
and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

The loosing of Satan, or the dragon, is the first important point to be
considered. Before this matter can be rightly understood, however, we
must take into account carefully certain facts regarding his binding. It
was not the dragon as a political power that Christianity attacked (it
did not labor to that end), but it was its huge public system of false
belief that was overthrown. This great system, as opposed to
Christianity, can all be summed up under the one word _infidelity_.
_Infidel_ signifies "a heathen; one who disbelieves in Christ, or the
divine origin and authority of Christianity."--Webster. This system was
positively an antichristian power that sought by every possible means to
destroy the religion of Jesus and to blot out his very name. It failed
in the attempt. It was bound. During the long reign of Popery, when the
doctrine was be-a-Catholic-or-die, infidelity could not publicly lift
its head in the sense in which it was cast down by the early Christians.
It had no power over the nations of the Apocalyptic earth to then
deceive them; but they were greatly deceived by a false Christianity
until almost all the world wondered after the beast. The release of the
dragon, then, in order to be entirely satisfactory and consistent, must
embrace the following points: First, it must at least include the
development of a great public antichristian power whose avowed object is
to destroy the whole fabric of Christianity. Second, being bound by
divine power, his release must be the result of divine permission for a
special purpose. Third, the scene of his imprisonment must necessarily
be the place of his release; namely, the earth--the Apocalyptic
earth--the territory of the Roman empire.

We find all these requirements meeting a most perfect fulfilment in the
events described under the pouring out of the first vial, which was done
by the direction of Him that sat upon the throne. A sufficient history
of that fearful system of infidelity which, through the labors of
Voltaire and his coadjutors, spread throughout all Europe has already
been given. The very object of the leaders of this movement was the
extermination of the Christian religion, and their secret watchword was
"Crush the wretch," meaning Jesus Christ. The dragon was loose in all
his terrible features. The Pagans upheld a false belief; these modern
worshipers of the dragon did likewise and publicly exalted the "Goddess
of Reason" as an object of devotion, setting aside every tenth day for
their hellish orgies in her honor. The former endeavored to overthrow
the Christian religion; the latter had for its special aim the utter
destruction of everything Christian either in name or in character. This
devilish system spread over all Europe and almost undermined the whole
fabric of society, and threatened to convert the world from Christianity
to the worship of the Goddess of Reason. Its foothold gained was so
extensive and its effects so far-reaching that prominent historians,
D'Aubigne among the number, have denominated the period of its greatest
triumph "the day of Reason." It is one of the three and one-half days
covered by the prophecy in Rev. 11:9.

I do not wish to be understood, however, as limiting the release of the
dragon and his work to the system of infidelity that had its origin in
France. I merely refer to that unfortunate system as the beginning of
the dragon's release and work--the re-introduction to the world of those
principles of public hostility to Christianity which had lain buried
since the days of Pagan Rome. The dragon in the beginning was a
deceptive system, one that "deceived the whole world"; but its
deceptions were uncovered by the light of Christianity, and then it
became the bitter public opposer of the religion of Christ. In the
release of the dragon the order is reversed. He first appears as the
public enemy of Christianity in the form already mentioned, but
afterwards changes his tactics to milder methods in order the better to
"deceive" the people, as we shall see hereafter.

But there is another chapter in the history of the dragon's career that
we must not overlook--his partnership with Gog and Magog. The original
signification of the terms _Gog and Magog_ is difficult to ascertain, as
all known accounts are conflicting. The terms occur in Ezek. 38 and 39
also. In the Revelation, however, it is clear that these terms are
applied to Romanism and Protestantism, and under the special leadership
of this spirit of antichrist they are gathered together to battle
against the saints of the most High. I will again quote the description
of this union as given under the sixth vial, which refers to the present
time: "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth
of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth
of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working
miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole
world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God
Almighty.... And he gathered them into a place called in the Hebrew
tongue Armageddon." Chap. 16:13-16. It will be noticed that the field of
operations under this grand confederation of the three unclean spirits
is enlarged so that it includes not merely the Apocalyptic earth, but
"the whole world."

In order to form a confederation of powers each of which holds its own
distinctive principles, it is necessary that each make certain
concessions, in outward appearance at least, so that they can work
together in harmony against a common foe. In this case it will be
necessary that three points be conceded before the dragon, the beast,
and the false prophet can agree. First, the dragon must not appear in
his true character as antichristian; he must be clothed in some
different attire in order to "deceive." Second, Catholicism must stop
her work of slaying those who disagree with her and cover up her true
principles. Third, Protestantism must cease protesting against the
abominations of Catholicism. We are living in the time when this
confederation of the powers of wickedness is being effected; therefore
we must not expect to see the dragon as a terrible creature with heads
and horns standing as the open adversary of God, but we must look for
him dressed up in a garb "to deceive." If necessary he can place himself
under a Christian garb without violating his conscience--of which he has

It will perhaps be beneficial to give the reader a short account of some
of the forms under which the dragon is manifesting himself at the
present time in order to "deceive" the people. It will be remembered
that, in the description of the first vial, which represented the awful
system of infidelity that was spread over Europe, Dr. Adam Weishaupt of
the University of Ingolstadt, formed a secret society under the name of
the Illuminati in order the better to spread these wicked principles. A
quotation was also made showing that "_Freemasonry_ being in high repute
all over Europe when Weishaupt first formed the plan of his society, he
availed himself of its secrecy to introduce his new order, which rapidly
spread, by the efforts of its founders and disciples, through all those
countries." Now, if Freemasonry was such an excellent channel for the
dragon to begin his work through, is it not reasonable to suppose that
he would still retain his position in that order, and especially since
_the very name of Christ_ is barred from its rites, rules, and
ceremonies? And this thought is especially convincing when we consider
the fact that Freemasonry is in its very nature and constitution only a
form of Paganism. This vast body is founded on what they call the
"ancient mysteries." The following is taken from Masonic Salvation by
Fred Husted:

"Warburton says: 'Each of the Pagan gods had (beside the public and
open) a secret worship paid unto him, to which none were admitted but
those who had been selected by preparatory ceremonies called initiation.
This secret worship was called "the mysteries."'

"Mackey, another member of this order, says: 'These mysteries existed in
every country of heathendom, in each under a different name, and to some
extent under a different form, but always and everywhere with the same
design of inculcating (teaching) by allegorical and symbolical teachings
the great Masonic doctrines of the unity of God and the immortality of
the soul. This one important proposition and the fact which it
enumerates (states) must never be lost sight of, in any inquiry into the
origin of Freemasonry; for the Pagan mysteries were to the spurious
Freemasonry of antiquity precisely what the Masters' lodges are to the
Freemasonry of the present day.'

"This is certainly a frank statement, coming as it does from a man who
is an acknowledged and highly esteemed authority in matters pertaining
to the craft. Daniel Sickles says, 'In Egypt, Greece, and many other
ancient nations Freemasonry, that is, the Mysteries, was one of the
earliest agencies employed to effect the improvement and enlightenment
of man.' Pierson says, 'The identity of the Masonic institutions with
the ancient Mysteries is obvious,' which means clearly to be seen,
manifest to any and all.

"Masons say that the order is founded on the Bible--that is, unlearned
Masons say so. Geo. Wingate Chase, in the Digest of Masonic Law, says:
'The Jews, the Turks, each reject either the New Testament or the Old or
both, and yet we see no good reasons why they should not be made Masons.
In fact, Blue Lodge [first three degrees] Masonry has nothing whatever
to do with the Bible. It is not founded on the Bible. If it were, it
would not be Masonry; it would be something else.'

"Sickles says in speaking of the third, or Master Mason's degree, 'There
are characters impressed upon it which can not be mistaken. _It is
thoroughly Egyptian_.' He further says that the tradition is older by a
thousand years than Solomon. 'That our [Masonic] rites embrace all the
possible circumstances of man, moral, social, and spiritual, and have a
meaning high as the heavens, broad as the universe, and profound as
eternity.' Sickles in Gen. Chiman Rezon.

"The writer was informed when the charges were given him 'that our
ancient brethren worshiped in high hills and in low vales, and that
guards were placed to keep off cowans or eves-droppers.' By referring to
Scripture we at once find the character of those who worshiped in high
hills and low vales, and why they needed a guard to keep off
eves-droppers. 'Thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high
hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.'
Jer. 2:20; 3:6. 'Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the
nations which ye shall possess served other gods, upon the high
mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree.' Deut. 12:2.
'Enflaming themselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the
children in the vales under the clifts of the rocks.... Even thither
wentest thou up to offer sacrifice.' Isa. 57:5-7. They were not afraid
of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Kings 7:10; 1 Kings 14:23), and they grew and
multiplied in their reigns, and in the reigns of all those of whom it is
recorded that 'they did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.'
Some of the kings of Israel and of Judah destroyed their high places for
them and were highly favored of God for so doing.

"Again, 'The precepts of Jesus could not have been made obligatory upon
a Jew. A Christian would have denied the sanction of the Koran. A
Mohammedan must have rejected the law of Moses, and a disciple of
Zoroaster would have turned from all, to the teaching of his
Zend-Avesta. The universal law of nature, which the authors of the old
charges have properly called the moral, is therefore the _only law_
suited in every respect to be adopted as the Masonic code.' Mackeys'
Textbook, Masonic Jurisprudence. If the statements just quoted do not
place the secret society of Masonry on a footing decidedly Pagan, it is
difficult to say just where it does stand....

"Tammuz, or Osiris of Egypt, who is declared to be the original of Hiram
Abiff the temple-builder, is still mourned for. Ezek. 8:14. See Young's
Analytical Concordance or any standard Greek Mythology. Now see
Piersons' Traditions of Freemasonry. 'The Masonic legend stands by
itself, unsupported by history, or other than its own traditions. Yet we
readily recognize in Hiram Abiff the Osiris of the Egyptians, the
Mithras of the Persians, the Bacchus of the Greeks [god of drunkenness,
or feasts and the like], the Dionysis of the fraternity of artificers,
and the Atys of the Phrygians, whose passions, deaths, and resurrections
were celebrated by these people respectively.' Thus it is clearly shown
that each of these ancient nations had its counterfeit Savior and
Redeemer, and it is here proved by the words of Masonic Grand Masters,
authors, and authorities, that Masonry is of Pagan origin."

When we think of the millions of devotees of this form of Paganism,
multitudes of church-members and preachers, surely it is not difficult
to see that the dragon is loose in deceiving power again. That he is
meeting with great success in forming his confederation of all false
religions, is obvious. The world's Parliament of Religions, held in
Chicago in the year 1893, is an illustration of this statement. The
dragon, the beast, and the false prophet met in "mutual confidence and
respect," a "brotherhood" of religions. Theism, Judaism, Mohammedanism,
Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, Zoroastrianism,
Catholicism, the Greek Church, and Protestantism in many forms--all
these were represented. And the devotees of these religions met, as they
said, "To unite all religion against all irreligion; to make the golden
rule the basis of this union; and to present to the world _substantial
unity of many religions_." The following are a few extracts from
addresses made before the Parliament.

President Charles Carroll Bonney, in the opening address, said:
"Worshipers of God and lovers of man: Let us rejoice that we have lived
to see this glorious day.... That we are permitted to take part in this
solemn and majestic event of a World's Congress of Religions. The
importance of this event can not be overestimated. Its influence on the
future relations of the various races of men, can not be too highly
esteemed. If this Congress shall faithfully execute its duties with
which it has been charged, it shall become the joy of the whole earth,
and stand in human history like a _new Mount Zion_, crowned with glory,
and marking the actual beginning of a _new epoch of brotherhood_ and
peace. _For when the religious faiths of the world recognize each other
as brothers, children of one Father_, whom all profess to love and
serve, then, and not until then, will the nations of the earth yield to
the spirit of concord and learn war no more.... We meet on the mountain
height of absolute respect for the religious convictions of each
other.... This day the sun of a new era of religious peace and progress
arises over the world, dispelling the dark clouds of sectarian strife.
_It is the brotherhood of religions._"

Chairman John Henry Barrows, in his address, said: "We are here not as
Baptists and Buddhists, Catholics and Confucians, Parsees and
Presbyterians, Methodists and Moslems; we are here as members of a
Parliament of Religions, over which flies no sectarian flag, ... but
where for the first time in large council is lifted up the banner of
love, fellowship, brotherhood.... Welcome, one and all, thrice welcome
to the world's first Parliament of Religions! Welcome to the men and
women of Israel, the standing miracle of nations and religions! Welcome
to the disciples of Prince Siddartha, the many millions who worship
their lord Buddha as the light of Asia! Welcome to the high-priests of
the national religion of Japan! This city has every reason to be
grateful to the enlightened ruler of 'the sunrise kingdom.' Welcome to
the men of India, and all faiths! Welcome to all the disciples of
Christ! ... It seems to me that the spirits of just and good men hover
over this assembly. I believe the spirit of Paul is here. I believe the
spirit of the wise and humane Buddha is here, and of Socrates the
searcher after truth.... When a few days ago I met for the first time
the delegates who have come to us from Japan, and shortly after the
delegates who have come to us from India, I felt that the arms of human
brotherhood had reached almost around the globe." World's Parliament of
Religions, Chap. III. Similar congresses have since been held. While I
never expect to see all these principles of evil under one organized
form, yet it is evident that the spirits of devils that have gone forth
into "all the world" are uniting them all under one _spirit_--that of

Another form in which the old dragon is manifesting himself and uniting
thousands of people against the truth, and one in which the "miracles"
ascribed to this latest confederation of Satan are performed, is that of
"Christian Science." Attracted by its healing doctrine, multitudes are
lured into this deceptive communion of Mrs. Eddy's. At the very best her
system is, as every historian knows, only a slight revision of the
Oriental Philosophy; and notwithstanding its forged name _Christian_, it
is truly subversive of the doctrine of Christ. Her grand central
doctrine of the "allness" of mind and the unreality of matter is a true
copy of the "fantastic idealism" of the Gnostics. Gnosticism was based
on "speculative knowledge." So is Mrs. Eddy's theory. Gnosticism denied
the "_true humanity_ of the Redeemer, and made his person a mere
phantom, and his work a mere illusion." So does Christian Science.
Although Mrs. Eddy clamours loudly that her work is _Christian_ and her
multitude of followers believe her claim, still a careful study of her
work Science and Health will convince any unprejudiced person that she
utterly repudiates the atonement-work of Jesus Christ by denying his
person and the reality of sin and matter. Though the system may contain
some good moral principles, yet it has no power to save men from sin,
since it denies the existence of actual sin. Her denial of the one
personal God--"all is infinite mind, and its infinite manifestations,"--
is but a swing of the pendulum from the godless and graceless system of
the materialistic philosophy propounded by Darwin and Haeckel and is as
absurd and unscriptural (although opposite) as the rankest Pantheism.

The salvation of the soul through faith in Jesus Christ has absolutely
no place in the Christian Science creed. It is nothing but a species of
universalism. Individuals of every evil class and character--
self-lovers, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to
parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers,
false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God,
profane, murderers of fathers and mothers, man-slayers, whoremongers,
liars, drunkards, sorcerers, perjured persons, backbiters, haters of
God, despiteful, inventors of evil things, implacable, unmerciful,
abominable, and those unto every good work reprobate--any and all of
these characters can and do come to the healers of Christian Science,
and _not one word is said to them about getting salvation_ through
repentance and living faith in the Savior; but, on the other hand, they
are received as follows: "As _children of God_ you have a right to the
healing of your bodies"! The dragon is in it! I warn people to beware.
"They are the spirits of devils, working miracles," and form an
important proof that we are near the end of time.

Another form in which the dragon is manifesting his power on the
deceptive and miracle-working line is modern Spiritualism. Multitudes of
people of all classes are believers in this soul-destroying doctrine.
The system is generally acknowledged to be but a modern form of what was
anciently styled witchcraft, necromancy, magic, etc., while the mediums
of to-day are of the same class as those formerly known as "witches,"
"sorcerers," "magicians." This they themselves often admit. The system
is so well known both in doctrine and in its pernicious effects that I
will not devote further space to the matter.[15] In many other forms the
dragon is working his deceptions upon the people.

[Footnote 15: For further consideration of this subject read the book
"Modern Spiritualism Exposed," by the publishers of this work.]

Millions of church-members and thousands of preachers are numbered among
these antichristian organizations of Freemasonry, Christian Science,
Spiritualism, etc., etc., gathered together under the influence of the
spirits of devils working miracles, mighty signs, and wonders. On the
other hand, the churches are filled with persons who in spirit are
nothing but skeptics and infidels. Said T. De Witt Talmage on one
occasion, "There is a mighty host in the Christian church, positively
professing Christianity, who _do not believe the Bible_, out and out, in
and in, from the first word of the first verse of the first chapter of
the Book of Genesis, down to the last word of the last verse of the last
chapter of the Book of Revelation." Is it any wonder that such is the
case when a large number of the preachers themselves are in reality
skeptics? A newspaper clipping before me contains the following, uttered
on March 28, 1905, by the Rev. B.A. Green, pastor of the First Baptist
Church, of Evanstown, Ill., before about a hundred of his fellow
ministers: "All the truth in the world is not contained in one book, nor
in books of theology, God was too big for one temple and he is also too
big for one book. God is everywhere. His truth is found in all good
books. The pastor of to-day should read the modern psychology and modern
literature, _especially the works of fiction_ which deal with religious
or social phases of modern life." A large portion of the sectarian
ministry reject entirely the Mosaic account of the creation, and accept
instead the modern theory of evolution.

The following quotation is from the Rev. Minton J. Savage, pastor of the
Church of the Messiah, New York, N.Y., who is an acknowledged leader in
the "higher criticism." This was in answer to an attack made on the
higher critics by a convention of the American Bible League. "The men
who are leading in the higher criticism of the Bible and who are now
being assailed so bitterly by the American Bible League, are
representative scholars of the world, scientific thinkers, leaders,
teachers, who have given us a new universe, a new conception of God, a
new idea concerning the origin and nature of man. They are not seeking
to support or to undermine anything. They are seeking for the truth as
the only sacred thing on earth.

"I would like to consider what this book is about over which all this
controversy is raging. It is really not one book, but sixty-six small
volumes. They were written during a period of nearly a thousand years,
in different countries, by different people. The first book was written
about eight hundred years before Christ. The first five books of the
Bible were written between five and six hundred years before Christ. The
historical books tell us about the day of Judges, then of Kings, the
wars of Israel, until the time of captivity. Then the book of Job,
purely anonymous, and no one knows who wrote it. Then the book of the
Psalms, the hymn-book of the people of Israel, and the books of the
prophets. It would be more proper to call them preachers, for they make
no effort to foretell anything, but merely told the people that if they
followed certain lines of conduct certain things would happen.

"No book was placed in the Bible by anything that claimed to be divine
authority. No law concerning the Biblical canon was ever issued by the
church earlier than the sixteenth century and that changed nothing; it
simply recognized what had come to be a fact. These books drifted
together and came to be bound as one, by force of gravity, by common
consent, and there are one or two books in the New Testament which
scholars could miss without feeling any the poorer.

"Nobody, then, is assaulting the Bible, for the simple reason that the
Bible as such has never made any claim. The Bible does not claim to be
inspired; it does not claim to be infallible. No writer of one book is
authorized to speak for the author of any other book. One verse is
sometimes referred to as meaning something. The writer of the last book
in the Bible utters a curse against anybody who should presume to add to
or take from the words of that book. He does not say that the book is
infallible; he simple curses anybody that interferes with it, as
Shakespeare uttered a curse against anybody who interfered with his
bones. I suppose that God might have given us an infallible book, if he
had chosen, and if he had given us such a book he would have made us
sure that it was infallible."

"If I were compelled to believe that God holds me responsible for Adam's
sin and that the immense majority of the world is doomed to everlasting
torment, and that only a selected few here and there are to enter
eternal felicity, I might bow my head and accept it, but I could not
rejoice in it. It is barbarous. Men who try to make us accept such
dogmas are the real infidels of the world, and it is infidelity which
they are creating--infidelity a hundred times worse than that which they
call by the name. If you would blot out every Bible in the world to-day
you would not even endanger its life, nor would you destroy religion."
From _The Toledo News-Bee_, May 14, 1904.

All these allied powers of wickedness in conflict with the few of God's
saints who serve him acceptably, constitute the battle of
Armageddon--that battle of the last great day. It is not a literal
collecting of armies nor a literal conflict, but a fierce battle between
truth and error. The outward indications are that the enemies of God
will triumph; but let us remember that it is destined to "end in the
victory of Him unto whom triumph belongs." Fire will come down from God
out of heaven and devour them. This symbol is doubtless taken from the
circumstance of Elijah where he commanded fire to come down and destroy
his enemies; and it will be as with such an overthrow that the powers of
wickedness shall meet their doom in that last great day of God Almighty.

11. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from
whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was
found no place for them.

12. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and
the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the
book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which
were written in the books, according to their works.

13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and
hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were
judged every man according to their works.

14. And death and hell were cast, into the lake of fire. This is
the second death.

15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was
cast into the lake of fire.

This series of events, as far as it pertains to the doom of evil men,
ends properly with verse 10, where the combined powers of wickedness are
represented as being cast into the lake of fire. This last event,
however, is in the present scene more fully described. It is fitting
that the judgment scene should be more fully described; for with this
chapter we have the last special history of the powers of evil given.
Many times we have been led up to the time of the final overthrow of all
the powers of wickedness, but the manner in which that great event
occurs has not been perfectly detailed.

Here we have another illustration of that principle of symbolic language
laid down in the beginning--that objects and events whose nature forbids
their symbolization appear under their own names or titles and their
description must of necessity be literal. The appearance of the great
God must be considered an actual event; for, as clearly shown, he can
not be symbolized, neither can he appear as the symbol of some other
object, from the fact that there is no other object of analagous nature
of which he could stand as the representative. The resurrection of
itself is an event of such a peculiar nature as to forbid its
symbolization. What is there analagous to it which could here be
employed? There are, perhaps, analagous changes in the vegetable and
animal kingdoms; but symbols drawn from that quarter would indicate some
political change instead. Paul may, indeed, speak of the decay and the
growth of seeds to _illustrate_ the resurrection; but the decay of a
seed does not _symbolize_ the death of a saint, neither does its
germination _symbolize_ his resurrection. Nor is there any change that
can do it. There is the same necessity of speaking of the resurrection
in its literal meaning as there was of representing the spirits of the
martyrs under their own appropriate titles.

The earth and the heaven fleeing away from before God's presence so that
no place is found for them, must be understood as describing the literal
dissolution of this world when Christ comes; for it is clear from the
Scriptures that such an event will occur at that time. Peter says that
"the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which
_the heavens shall pass away_ with a great noise, and the elements shall
melt with fervent heat, _the earth also_ and the works that are therein
_shall be burned up_." 2 Pet. 3:10. Nothing can be found to symbolize
perfectly such a mighty event; hence it appears as a literal description
of the final catastrophe of this old world.

It is evident that there are symbols connected with this appearance of
God, as truly as there were symbols connected with Christ in his
appearance in chap. 19. The _throne_ is a symbol of judgment and of
supreme sovereignty, its dazzling whiteness indicating the impartiality
and justice of the proceedings. The _books_, likewise, are symbols. We
are not to suppose that there are literal books in heaven, in which
Christ or some angelic secretary notes down all the affairs of earth.
The language and the symbols of Scripture are accommodated to the human
understanding, hence books are used as a symbol to denote that the
character and the actions of men are all as perfectly known and
remembered as if they had been recorded in the archives of heaven. The
_book of life_, in which the names of the faithful are often said to be
inscribed, denotes that God knows all his chosen people. In the
following chapter it is called the Lamb's book of life.

This scene, then, as a whole, is a sublime description of the
resurrection and the final judgment of all men and the dissolution of
the earth on which we now live. That the righteous will be judged at
this time is shown by the fact that the book of life, in which the names
of the righteous only are recorded (Chap. 21:27; Exod. 32:33), will also
be opened; and verse fifteen implies that the names of some during this
judgment scene were found recorded in that book. The wicked receive
their eternal portion by being cast into the lake of fire; while the
reward of the righteous is described in the remaining part of this
series, contained in the two following chapters.


And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and
the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

2. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from
God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the
tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and
they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them,
and be their God.

4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there
shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither
shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed

The events of this chapter are a continuation of the series of prophecy
considered in the preceding one, only describing an entirely different
phase--the final reward and eternal home of God's people. We have traced
many series of prophecies through the long weary pathway of centuries,
only to find the termination of the powers of wickedness in the lake of
fire at the end of time or their overthrow otherwise set forth under
appropriate symbols; but in no instance has the final reward of God's
people after the judgment been fully described. That glorious event of
the future was referred to in chap. 7 as the final in-gathering of the
redeemed "of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues." The
description however, was incomplete. Since the eternal abode of the
wicked is referred to often, the subject would seem incomplete without a
description of the final glories and triumphs of the redeemed in their
future and eternal home. Though their earthly pilgrimage is fraught with
sorrow, death, pain, wretchedness, and misery, by the hands of their
violent oppressors, yet they shall witness the complete overthrow of all
their enemies in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, and they
themselves shall be rewarded eternally; for "God shall wipe away all
tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow,
neither crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former
things are passed away." It is fitting that such a sublime theme should
be reserved as the grand climax of the book of Revelation.

With the dissolution of the earth on which we live, which event has just
been described, it is evident that the many lines of prophecy leading up
to that great event are no longer under special consideration, but that
a new theme subsequent to the judgment scene is introduced with the
words of the Revelator immediately following--"I saw _a new heaven and a
new earth:_ for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away;
and there was no more sea." The heaven, earth, and sea that passed away
certainly refers to the earth that now is and to the aerial heaven
surrounding it; therefore the new heaven and the new earth brought to
view must signify the future and eternal home that Jesus went to
prepare. We could not consistently make the one literal and the other
symbolical. This accords perfectly with the teaching of the apostle
Peter where he says: "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the
night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and
the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works
that are therein shall be burned up.... Nevertheless we, according to
his promise, look for _new heavens and a new earth_, wherein dwelleth
righteousness." 2 Pet. 3:10-13.

The holy city of God, the New Jerusalem, is next introduced. Since this
meets its fulfilment in the new order of things subsequent to the
judgment scene, it must have special reference to the future abode of
the saints in the new earth. Many of the symbols here describing the New
Jerusalem, and even New Jerusalem itself, are often used to set forth
the church of God in the New Testament dispensation. The church on earth
and the church of God in heaven are in one important sense the same
thing, as they constitute but one family (Eph. 3:15); yet in another
sense there is a difference, and the proper distinction must be observed
even when the same symbols or titles are used to describe or designate
both phases. A similar two-foldness is seen in many lines of truth. In
Heb. 12:22, 23, we are represented as dwelling in the city of God in
this dispensation; yet verse 27 of this chapter and the fourteenth of
the following chapter plainly show our entrance into the city at the
end. The Scriptures represent God as dwelling on earth in his church,
which, of course, is considered in a spiritual sense; but his actual
throne and place of abode is in heaven. A new creation brought about by
Christ in his first advent is set forth by various texts; still, it
remains a fact that a new creation will actually be brought to view
after the present world is no more and that the same will be our eternal
home. We obtain spiritual life through Christ now, hence have right to
the tree of life; yet in another sense our access to the tree of life is
at the end and we then enter in through the gates into the city. Chap.
22:14. Hence it is proper to speak of the city of God as both present
and future, by observing the proper distinction, just as the Scriptures
speak of the church in a twofold sense as being both on earth and in
heaven, or of the spiritual kingdom in the present and the eternal
kingdom in the end. It is Scriptural to speak of God's throne as being
on earth in the midst of his saints in a spiritual sense and also of its
being located in heaven. The tree of life is a present realization
spiritually and also a future reality. We dwell in the city of God
now--in the suburbs, as it were--but we shall "have a right" to it in
the future state when we are ushered into the very heart of the great
metropolis and stand before the actual throne of the Deity, in the
presence of his August Majesty.

In the New Testament dispensation the heavenly elements of the New
Jerusalem have descended to earth in the form of the new covenant, and
God's people obtain a foretaste of heaven's glory and are made pure even
as Christ is pure, and are therefore represented as having "come unto
Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem"
(Heb. 12:22, 23); and God dwells with them in a very important sense. 2
Cor. 6:16. They are one with the redeemed above, and together they
constitute one "family in heaven and earth," all loving the same Father,
adoring the same King, drinking from the same fountain of life eternal,
and all basking in the same divine light that beams from the throne of
God. In another sense, however, there is a difference between them; for
they are separated by the line of mortality, one phase being located on
earth and the other in heaven. But when at the last day the redeemed of
earth have access to the tree of life in its perfect sense, there will
be henceforth only one phase to the New Jerusalem, or church of God,
which will be in its relation to the new earth, as specially described
in the prophecy under consideration, when "_all things_" are made new
and "the former things are passed away."

5. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all
things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true
and faithful.

6. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the
beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of
the fountain of the water of life freely.

7. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be
his God, and he shall be my son.

8. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and
murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and
all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with
fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

The declarations contained in these verses proceed from God himself and
announce the fact that he hath now fulfilled all that he designed. His
promises to his faithful children are brought to pass, as well as his
threatening to his foes. All things are made new and the former things
are passed away. Not only has the strife, the commotion, and the sin in
the old order of things passed away, but the new creation, wherein
dwelleth righteousness, has been introduced, the grand long-looked-for
era of eternal blessedness to the saints. Oh, halleluiah! "And he said
unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful."

"And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning
and the end." When the seventh angel of chap. 16:17 poured out his vial,
the voice of God from the throne said, "It is done," signifying that the
last judgments were complete. Here again the same voice is heard as
before, referring to the same thing--the accomplishment of God's great
purposes. The enemies of the church have been overthrown, her long
period of warfare has ended, and the eternal day of Zion's glory has
come. Then follow his blessed promises held out to the faithful, and
also the reward to the wicked. These are to be understood as referring
to these classes, not at the day of judgment, but when the Revelation
was given to John and therefore to us. "I will give unto him that is
athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh
shall inherit all things [in the margin, _these things_]: and I will be
his God, and he shall be my son." "This is the reward in reserve for
those who endure through this period of trial and overcome at last. They
shall drink of living waters, which will be sweet and refreshing indeed
to those who have toiled through this fight; and they shall inherit
these things--these new heavens and earth. God shall be their God, and
they his sons. Oh, what an honor! what a destiny in reserve for the
faithful! with what glorious anticipations may the believer look forward
to the revelations of that day, and with Paul say, 'If by any means I
may attain unto the resurrection of the dead.'

"What warning also to the wicked! The same voice that utters the
promise, pronounces also the threatening. 'The fearful, and unbelieving,
and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and
idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which
burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.' God says,
'These words are true and faithful.' They came from him who sat upon the
throne, the Alpha and Omega. He has put his everlasting seal to them,
and pledged his veracity to their truth." Dear reader, will you accept
the word of Him who can not lie and choose to suffer affliction with the
people of God until our Lord shall come to call his ransomed home? Or
will you decide to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, only to be
resurrected at the last great day to "shame and everlasting contempt"?
There is no intimation of future salvation for the transgressor. The
lake of fire still stands as the symbol of eternal destruction, and into
it the fearful and unbelieving and wicked of every name are cast.

9. And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the
seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me,
saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's

10. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high
mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem,
descending out of heaven from God,

11. Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone
most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12. And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at
the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are
the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13. On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the
south three gates; and on the west three gates.

14. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them
the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the
city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

16. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as
the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve
thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of
it are equal.

17. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and
four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the

18. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the
city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

19. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished
with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was
jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the
fourth, an emerald;

20. The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh,
chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a
chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

21. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate
was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as
it were transparent glass.

22. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and
the Lamb are the temple of it.

23. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to
shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb
is the light thereof.

24. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the
light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and
honor into it.

25. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for
there shall be no night there.

26. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into

27. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that
defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a
lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

We have here a magnificent description of the New Jerusalem,
representing the home of the redeemed. The various symbols employed in
its description must of course he understood as symbolical. We have no
means of knowing just what our future home will be like; but that it
will be a place of wondrous beauty and transcendent glory is shown by
the fact that everything which is considered grand and glorious in this
world is here chosen to represent the home of the redeemed. The symbols
selected to describe it are objects of such priceless worth, even
exceeding royal splendor, that we pause in astonishment and exclaim,
"What must the reality be?" The conditions upon which entrance to this
city may be obtained (ver. 27; chap. 22:14) show clearly that our future
and eternal home is the chief burden of this vision and not merely our
spiritual inheritance in this world.

"In approaching Jerusalem, the traveller is not aware of its proximity,
until, ascending an eminence, the glorious city bursts upon his
astonished vision, when he is ready to exclaim with the
Psalmist--'Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount
Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great king.'" Psa.
48:2. John was carried to "a great and high mountain," from which
commanding point of view he was enabled to survey in all its boundless
extent the surpassing glories of the New Jerusalem. Never did
imagination conceive anything approaching the sublimity and grandeur of
the scene here described by the pen of inspiration. It was "a great
city"--how great we shall soon discover--the _holy_ Jerusalem,
descending out of heaven from God.

The ancient city of Jerusalem was regarded as sacred because in it God
had recorded his name, and it contained his holy temple, his place of
residence on earth. Thither the tribes of Israel went up to worship;
"Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." So, also, this New
Jerusalem was "_the holy city_," an antitype of the former. It 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." "The
glory of God" was that visible manifestation, called the Shekinah, which
Jehovah made of himself in the tabernacle of his ancient people. The
following facts concerning it will give us an understanding of its
signification as connected with the New Jerusalem:

"Jehovah was the accepted King and Lawgiver of his people Israel, and he
had his tabernacle among them, where he abode by his presence, where he
might be approached and consulted, and make communications of his will.
That visible presence was 'the glory of God' or the Shekinah; and the
Jews regarded it with the highest possible veneration, as the embodiment
of the Deity. The sacred writers often speak of it in the same terms as
of Jehovah himself. They refer to this when they speak of _seeing God_.
'Then went up Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the
elders of Israel, _and they saw the God of Israel_.' Ex. 24:9, 10. 'I
saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his
train filled the temple.' Isa. 6:1. And again in verse 5: 'For mine eyes
_have seen_ the King, the Lord of hosts.' The spiritual essence of God
can not, of course, be revealed to mortal vision, yet there was a
manifestation of the Deity which was made visible to the eyes of men,
and which Moses and Isaiah speak of as _seeing God_. It is spoken of as
the _presence_ and _face_ of Jehovah. 'And he said, _My presence_ shall
go with thee, and I will give thee rest.' Ex. 33:14. 'And the Lord spake
unto Moses _face to face_, as a man speaketh unto his friend.' Ex.

The New Jerusalem that John saw descending from God--which denotes its
heavenly origin--had "the glory of God: and her light was like unto a
stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal." It
dazzled as the purest diamond. In verse 23 we are informed that it
illuminated the whole city so that there was "no need of the sun,
neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the _glory of God did lighten
it, and the Lamb is the light thereof_." In ancient times "the glory of
God" filled the _tabernacle_, the place of his abode; but here it filled
_the whole city_. In that tabernacle the Shekinah was the manifestation
of the divine glory of Jehovah. In the New Jerusalem Jesus Christ, who
is "the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,"
illuminates the entire city of God. Oh, halleluiah!

In olden times the cities were surrounded with walls, designed as a
defense against all enemies. The more important the city, the higher and
stronger were the walls built. Having walls, it was necessary also to
have gates to furnish ingress and egress to the inhabitants. These gates
were in charge of faithful guardians, who had authority to open and to
close them according to the regulations of the city. In accordance with
this idea the city of God is represented as having "a wall great and
high." This wall represents the security of Zion, whose inhabitants
within can rest in peace and safety. The three gates on each side
represent the free and easy access into the city from every quarter.
Anciently, it was customary to give names to the gates of a city, just
as we now do to our streets. The gates of this holy city were named
after the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, which embraced all
God's ancient covenant people, and which denotes the perfection and
completeness of our heavenly home as including all the spiritual Israel.

"And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names
of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." The twelve foundations, or rather
the twelve courses of stone in the foundation, are more fully described
hereafter. The names of the twelve tribes were on the gates to denote
that the city was composed of God's true and complete Israel, and the
names of the twelve apostles are on the foundation to denote that this
contains the church which was "built upon the foundation of the apostles
and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone." Eph.
2:20. The system of truth that they preached to the world forms the
doctrinal basis of the church of God, they having received it from
heaven "by inspiration of God," and their names all appear; and together
they constitute one harmonious, solid foundation upon which the church
shall stand forever.

The dimensions of the city as measured by the angel are next given as
twelve thousand furlongs, or one thousand five hundred miles. By the
statement that the length, the breadth and the height are equal, some
have supposed that the city was one thousand five hundred miles high. To
quote the words of a certain commentator: "The language, however, will
bear another meaning, which is far more natural. It is not that the
length and breadth and height were severally equal to _each other_, but
_equal with themselves_; that is the length was everywhere the same, the
breadth everywhere the same, and the height the same. It was perfect and
symmetrical in all its proportions. This is confirmed by the fact
distinctly stated, that the wall was one hundred and forty and four
cubits high, or two hundred and sixteen feet, a proper height for a
wall; while it is said only that 'the length is as large as the
breadth.'" This writer reckoned but eighteen inches for a cubit, whereas
some figure twenty-two. A city one thousand and five hundred miles high
with a wall only two hundred and sixteen or two hundred and sixty four
feet high, would be altogether out of proportion.

The wondrous dimensions of this city set forth the fact that our future
home far exceeds in grandeur and extent everything that is looked upon
as glorious upon earth. Who ever heard of a city one thousand and five
hundred miles square? We have had empires so large, but no such cities.
In this representation the city does not encompass the entire earth as
she in one sense really does, because it would be impossible thus to
represent her and at the same time she be represented as a city within
the earth, into which the nations bring their "glory and honor." The
ancient city of Babylon with its beautiful hanging-gardens, the very
triumph of human skill, and the city itself lying in a foursquare, being
fifteen miles on each side, was unsurpassed in human loveliness. But the
city of God is represented as _fifteen hundred_ miles square, which
dimensions are out of all proportion with anything existing on earth;
hence its beauty and magnificence must be ascribed to God only.

"And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure
gold like unto clear glass." The jasper is the same crystal gem before
mentioned. What a wondrous wall it must have been! It was not made of
such common material as granite, freestone, or marble, which can make
the most imposing structures that human pride can rear, and which are
fit for the residence of lofty kings; but it was of jasper, clear as
crystal. Think of the wall of this holy city being nearly three hundred
feet high and stretching around the city six thousand miles, all built
of the purest diamond! No stretch of the human imagination can properly
compass such a vision. In rearing earthly structures men seek such
material as combine durability, cheapness, beauty, and ease of being
wrought. Look at this wall! For _durability_, it has the most
indestructible material that can be found on earth. For _beauty_, the
language of man can not even convey a meagre description of its amazing
loveliness. For _cheapness_--God's riches were inexhaustible, hence it
was not necessary to take this into consideration. For _ease of being
wrought_--think of the vast amount of labor it requires to cut and shape
even one large diamond, it being said to require in some cases years of
incessant toil; yet God could afford to build the wall of this city of
such material. Oh, wonders of God's handiwork! How inexpressibly
glorious! This, my dear reader, symbolizes the priceless worth of our
eternal home, secured through the atonement. Study the plan of
redemption. There is nothing equal to it in the universe. "What is a man
profited, if he gain the whole world, and _lose his own soul_?"

Men become greatly agitated over the announcement of the discovery of
gold in the Klondyke, in the Australian continent, in California, and
with feverish excitement they abandon their homes and rush headlong to
the reputed El Dorado, fearing neither famine, storms, deserts, nor the
icy northern blasts. But all the gold ever mined from the bowels of the
earth is insignificant and forms no comparison with the representation
of this city. Its streets and mansions were built, not of common cement,
lumber, nor even granite and marble, but _of pure gold_.

The twelve courses of stone in the foundation of the wall have already
been mentioned. It is here particularly described. One might suppose
that, according to human custom, rougher material would be selected for
the foundation. Not so, however. The most brilliant and costly gems were
chosen to lay these courses. Nothing cheap nor common had anything to do
in the construction of this marvelous city. It was altogether beyond the
reach of men to imitate: it was God's own handiwork; and we can not but
admire its wondrous beauty. It is unnecessary to give a minute
description of the gems of which these foundation-courses were composed.
They were the most beautiful and costly of which men possess any
knowledge. In appearance they represent various colors of the most
delicate shades. Royal persons wear even the smallest of these gems upon
their persons and imagine themselves richly adorned; but in this city of
God they appear in such abundance that they are even selected to form
the basis, or foundation, of the wall. "And the twelve gates were twelve
pearls; every several gate was of one pearl." We have rich necklaces of
pearl; but where is the individual that was ever blessed with such a
profusion of wealth that he could ornament the gates of a city with
pearls? The gates of the New Jerusalem, however, were not merely
ornamented or studded with pearls--that were a very small thing for
her--but each gate was of one solid pearl. To conceive the immensity of
this representation we must consider the size of the gates required to
accommodate the multitudes constantly entering and departing from a
city. To be in proportion to the wall they would have to be of immense
size, and also of prodigious strength in order to resist the assaults of
enemies, as they would be the first places attacked. The gate of the
temple called Beautiful, mentioned in the Book of Acts, which was in the
wall surrounding the temple, is said to have been seventy-five feet high
and sixty in width, built of Corinthian brass. Yet immense as they were,
those in the New Jerusalem were each of one solid pearl. Oh, beautiful
city of God, the home of the saints!

The most prominent object within the walls of the ancient Jerusalem was
the magnificent temple on Mount Zion. It was the chief ornament and
glory of the city. In the New Jerusalem, however, no temple is seen.
Alas! is not this a great defect? What is Jerusalem without a temple
where the tribes may go up and worship before the Lord? Oh, they need no
temple in this glorious city of God; for there is one there greater than
the temple: "the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it."
This doubtless sets forth the fact that the worship of God is pure and
spiritual and of free access to all. Under the old dispensation the high
priest alone, and he but once a year, was permitted to enter the sacred
precincts of the Deity as limited to the inner sanctuary of the temple.
Now God's people need no mediating priest to offer up a special
sacrifice that the will of God might be known; but all are kings and
priests who offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus
Christ (1 Pet. 2:5); yea, as saith the prophet, "they _shall all know
me_ from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord."
Jer. 31:34. No temple is needed that the Shekinah of the divine presence
may take up its abode between the cherubim in the most holy place, but
"the glory of the Lord" fills the entire city. It can not be confined to
a given locality. "The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of
it," and they constitute the glory of the New Jerusalem as did the
temple on Mount Zion that of the old.

"The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it." Can
any one conceive the grandeur and the sublimity of the scene when a
light that eclipses the sun and the moon is reflected from streets and
mansions of gold, or comes streaming through a wall composed of the most
brilliant gems of different hues, with gates of solid pearl? No wonder,
then, that the poet has denominated it "the beautiful light of God"! The
gates are open continuously, for they are not closed by day, and "there
shall be no night there." But "there shall in no wise enter into it
anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or
maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of Life."
This, my dear reader, is the reward of the New Testament church, "the
church of God."


And he showed me a pure river of water of life, dear as crystal,
proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the
river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of
fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the
tree were for the healing of the nations.

3. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and
of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

4. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their

5. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle,
neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light:
and they shall reign for ever and ever.

The description of the New Jerusalem continues in the first five verses
of this chapter. By the "river of the water of life" is doubtless meant
full salvation, which as a mighty flowing stream issues "out of the
throne of God and of the Lamb." To this fountain of living waters an
invitation is now given to all to come and partake to their
satisfaction. "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that
heareth say, Come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life
freely." Verse 17. As a defense to God's people in this world salvation
is represented as a great wall surrounding them (Isa. 26:12); but as a
source of joy, holiness and happiness, it is a living stream whereof all
may partake. While this symbol meets an appropriate fulfilment in the
present dispensation, yet salvation will also be the eternal possession
of the saints in the world to come, when "they shall hunger no more,
neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any
heat. For the Lamb, which is in the midst thereof, shall feed them, and
shall _lead them unto living fountains of waters_; and God shall wipe
away all tears from their eyes." Chap. 7:16, 17.

In a most appropriate place, upon the banks of the river, grew "the tree
of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every
month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
The tree of life in the garden of Eden was a symbol of man's immortality
or incorruption, or rather the _means_ of it; for after his fall it was
securely guarded and he driven from the garden, "lest he put forth his
hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"
(Gen. 3:22) and thus frustrate the decree of God just uttered--that he
should return unto dust and corruption. In the New Jerusalem, however,
that tree of life blooms again and bears fruit abundantly, yea
continuously, as symbolized by "every month," and no cherubim with
flaming sword are placed to guard all approach to it. The privilege is
open; for it is added immediately, "There _shall be no more curse_."
This, then, symbolizes the removal of spiritual death and the
impartation of everlasting life in this world and immortality in the
next. The tree of life grew on both sides of the river. On this side of
the line of mortality we have access to it in one important sense, while
those in the future world are preserved also by its healing benefits.

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit abide in this city. God reveals
himself, not to a few chosen priests only through the Shekinah of his
presence, but to all his servants--"they all see his face." As in the
ancient tabernacle he manifested himself by "the glory of the Lord," or
the Shekinah, which was represented as "seeing his face"; so, also, the
"glory of the Lord" abides in the New Jerusalem, filling the entire city
with the holy manifestation of the divine presence. His people are
"sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise," by which they possess the
name of their Father--not the name of the beast nor of his image, but
_the name of the Father_.

"And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither
light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall
reign forever and ever." This city has no need of natural or artificial
light, "for the Lamb is the light thereof." Chap. 21:23. The light of
the sun stands connected with the light of a candle and both are
represented as unnecessary, which denotes that "there shall be no night
there," but one clear eternal day.

6. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and
the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto
his servants the things which must shortly be done.

7. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the
sayings of the prophecy of this book.

The language of symbols is discontinued. With the description of the New
Jerusalem closes the grand panoramic scene of this book. Wondrous indeed
have been the events of earth prophetically outlined, but we have the
assurance that "these things are faithful and true." A continuous
political and ecclesiastical history of that portion of the earth made
the subject of Apocalyptic vision, from the dawn of Christianity until
the last day, was here written down in advance. After the permanent
division of the empire, which occurred under Valens and Valentinian[16]
in A.D. 364, it was necessary that the political and the ecclesiastical
history of the empire should be divided in the prophecy. This
inspiration has done. The downfall of the Western empire is clearly
predicted in the symbols under the first four trumpets; but the eclipse
is afterwards lifted, and the same Western empire again appears in
Imperial form under the control of the Papacy. After giving their power
and strength unto the beast during the Dark Ages, the horns afterward
turn against the Papacy and rob her of all her temporal authority and
power, thus pointing us clearly to the history of modern Europe, in
which the prophecy has been actually fulfilled. They themselves end at
the judgment of the last day. Thus, the political history of the Western
empire is carried through to the end. The Eastern division of the empire
is also made a subject of prophecy, and its overthrow is described under
the sixth trumpet. This was effected by the second woe, or the rise of
the Ottoman power, and that woe is represented as continuing until after
the death and the resurrection of the two witnesses and terminating
shortly before the end of time. Therefore the political history of the
Eastern empire, which has been under the power of the Turks for
centuries, is outlined until the end. The ecclesiastical history of the
Eastern empire is also given, its most prominent feature being the rise
and the development of that pest of Mohammedanism, which rests like a
dark cloud over that fair country until this day. In the Western
division the rise of the Papacy, its continuation, the rise of
Protestantism and its duration, are all clearly outlined, reaching down
to these last days. Then the scene is suddenly enlarged and is carried
beyond the limits of the earth--the Apocalyptic earth--into "the whole
world," when the powers of wickedness are combined in spirit to
antagonize the reformation of holiness and truth which God is using to
gather his faithful ones together in preparation for the coming of the
Son of God to judgment. In view of these wonderful events of the last
days, how comforting the words of the text before us--"Behold, _I come
quickly:_ blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this

[Footnote 16: Some historians give A.D. 395 as the date of the permanent
division of the empire. The government of the Eastern and Western
divisions was separate from the accession of Valens and Valentinian, in
364, until during the reign of Theodosius the Great, when the West,
through the jealous rivalries of different competitors for the throne,
had fallen into great disorder. Theodosius twice interposed to right
matters and finally took the government into his own hands for the space
of four months, in 395, when he died, after arranging for the division
of the empire between his two sons Arcadius and Honorius.]

8. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had
heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the
angel which showed me these things.

9. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy
fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them
which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

The mind of the apostle was so enraptured with the visions he beheld
that he could not but adore and worship; but the angel that had been the
chosen instrument to reveal these prophecies refused his act of homage
and instructed him to "worship God." Created intelligences are not
worthy of such respect; to God alone all honor and praise belongs. Jesus
Christ our Redeemer is God--God over all, blessed forever. As such he is
worthy of the homage supreme of all our hearts, the praises of all our

10. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy
of this book: for the time is at hand.

11. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is
filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let
him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy

12. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to
give every man according as his work shall be.

13. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first
and the last.

14. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may
have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the
gates into the city.

15. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and
murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

The popular opinion is that this book of the Revelation is sealed; but
John received the direct command, "_Seal not_ the sayings of the
prophecy of this book." The majority of the teachers of Babylon to-day
are fulfilling Isaiah 29:9-11, and that is the reason why it has become
to them a sealed book. God makes known the blessed truths of the
prophecies of this book to his own beloved children, who walk before him
in sincerity and truth. A blessing is pronounced upon us if we keep
them. His coming is near at hand, and his reward is with him to render
unto every man according as his work shall be. No offers of salvation
will be extended when Christ appears to give us access to the tree of
immortal life and an abundant entrance into the eternal city beyond; but
it will then be said, "He that is unjust, _let him be_ unjust still: and
he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous,
let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still."
"Dogs" are left without. This term as applied to a person is one of
great reproach. It is so among us, and much more so among the Jews, by
whom that animal was regarded as unclean. It signifies evil workers.
Evil characters of every class will have no part in the heavenly realm,
but will be cast into the lake of fire. It will be the perfection of
misery to be banished forever from the presence of God and the
companionship of all that is good and holy. "Blessed are they that do
his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of Life, and may
enter in through the gates into the city."

16. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these
things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of
David, and the bright and morning star.

17. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that
heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And
whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

The statements of these verses have been considered heretofore, hence
there is no necessity of further comment on them in this connection.

18. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the
prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things,
God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this

19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of
this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of
life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are
written in this book.

Here is the most solemn warning against any one who should presume to
corrupt the prophecies of the Revelation by adding to or taking away
from them. Nor was such a warning needless. This book contains the long
history of God's church, and also the history of all her persecutors,
painted in colors of deepest infamy, and the final doom that awaits
them. These enemies were to ride in triumph over the earth during a long

Book of the day: