THE REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE.

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Rev. viii. "And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour." And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. "And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne." And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. "And the angel took the censer, and rilled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake."

The opening of this seal reverts to the beginning, before man was created: it reverts to that link in the eternal chain which witnessed the inauguration of the sublimest purpose ever purposed. Owing to the grandeur, magnitude, and gravity of this purpose, the situation was one of awe-inspiring wonder, so that even in heaven silence reigned among its hosts, which was unbroken until the seven angels prepared themselves to sound. The vision of the angel with the censer is emblematic, and indicates that the way to the throne of God is ever open to the prayer of the saints. This vision embraces the time from the beginning or first creation of man unto the judgmental era, when the destruction of the wicked shall be fulfilled.

The text states, "And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound." The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up." This relates to the destruction of the first race of men, or to the end of the first of the three ages hidden by the vail. This race was destroyed by fire.

The text continues, "And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;" And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed." This seems emblematic of the destruction of the second race of men, or of the end of the second age hidden by the vail. This race was destroyed by famine, during which the drought was so great that the sea wasted away, and the rivers dried up, and all things sown by brooks withered away.

The great mountains of fire being cast into the sea is indicative of the drying up of the waters, and not destruction by fire.

The text continues, "And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters :And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter."

This is emblematic of the destruction of the third race of men, or of the end of the third age, which also is hidden under the veil. This race was destroyed by the flood. In the great deluge of Noah the fountains of the deep were broken up, as well as the windows of heaven having been opened, in consequence of which the bitter waters of the sea overflowed the land, and covered even the tops of the mountains; therefore, whilst water flowed on every side of them, the remnants of the doomed of that dreadful day found not one drop wherewith to quench their raging thirst. Some died from the overwhelming of the waters, some perished from hunger, and many perished because the waters were made bitter.

In the destruction of the previous age the waters were symbolized as having been dried up by a great mountain burning with fire, which was cast in the sea but in this case the star which fell upon the rivers and upon the fountain of waters was, as it were, a lamp, thus signifying, in contrast with the burning mountain, that the waters should flow and increase. These three ages being under the veil, the destruction of each, therefore, is likened unto a third part. Their destruction as thirds was expressed in the figures of the prophet Ezekiel.

The text continues, "And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise." This seems to relate to the destruction of the fourth race, or the approach to the end of the present age, which, after the lapse of the third following the smiting of the Shepherd, may take place at any time. If the division of the time from Adam unto the approach of the end, or the beginning of the judgmental era, be considered, then a period equal in value to one of these thirds will be left for the fulfilment of the wonders called for in the latter part of this age. The thirds of the fourth age are typical of the thirds of the whole age of man: that is, as three ages of man are hidden by the vail, so are the thirds of Zechariah hidden under the vail; and as there are in reality four ages of man, so in reality are there four epochs in the fourth age, each equal in value to the third of Zechariah. By the sounding of the four trumpets time has been indicated from the first creation of man unto the judgmental era, which also was indicated by the opening of the six seals, and by the vision of the angel with the golden censer.

The text continues, "And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabited of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!" History having been brought down to the judgmental era, it is well to ask who are meant by the inhabiters of the earth against whom the woes of the three trumpets yet to sound were pronounced. According to the light given by the opening of the sixth seal, the servants of God were sealed in their foreheads to the number of one hundred and forty-four thousand, which were of the tribes of Israel. It must be remembered that these twelve tribes appertain to the four creations of men whose names are raised up at this time; consequently the inhabiters of the earth to whom the woes apply must be those which have not been sealed in their foreheads by the angel of God, and, therefore, are the great multitude of fallen of other hosts than man.
 

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Rev. xx. "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. "And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, "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. "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." This is the great "thousand years" era, when all the redeemed shall reign with Christ on the earth. This epoch succeeds the judgmental era, and is a portion of time. During this time the ties which were sundered by the powers of evil will be reunited, and harmony and rejoicing shall prevail. This exhibition of peace and power will in all probability be witnessed by the remaining hosts of the fallen, and those which shall still cling to the standard of the Adversary shall surely be destroyed. After enumerating those who shall reign with Christ during the thousand years, the text continues, " But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

"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. "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out ofhis prison, "And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: thenumber of whom is as the sand of the sea. "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. "And the devil that deceived them was cast into a lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." From this it will be seen that after the lapse of the thousand years Satan is loosed from his prison, and immediately sets about the recovery of his army, which has been forgotten for so long a time. This is the epoch spoken of by the prophet Isaiah (xxiii. 15, 16): "And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot. " Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten: make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered." Those who now return are those whose lives were prolonged for a season and time. All through the thousand years, pain, suffering, and evil had not the slightest foothold; it was utterly abolished among the participants of that wondrous reign. Now, if those witnessing all this should fall away again, there is no possibility left whereby they can be saved from destruction. Satan has been bound during this time that they should not be deceived by him, and now that he is loosed again they must decide for themselves which is God, even as Elijah spake on Mount Carmel, "If the Lord be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." Satan, however, succeeded in deceiving the great host, and they sought to his standard, but were overwhelmed in the baptism of fire which came down from God out of heaven. This is the baptism wherewith all shall be baptized; but those who have lived and reigned with Christ the thousand years, on them the fire has no effect: it is only the chaff which is burned with the unquenchable fire. All things must pass through this fire that all things which are impure may be destroyed forever. This is the baptism of which John spoke when he said, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and ivith fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into his garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." This baptism takes place in the era of Destruction.

The text continues, "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. "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. "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. "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

These events are not consecutive in their fulfilment as given above, but are records of the circumstances or conditions, and they must be placed where they belong. That which pertains to the judgmental era must be classed with the events of the judgmental era; those which pertain to the era of Destruction must be classed with the events of this era. To the latter belongs the destruction of Death and Hell, which were cast into the lake of fire, from whence nothing hurtful can ever come again or return.

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