« ElőzőTovább »
Fire from the altar is taken and cast into the earth. What better fire comes from heaven than the fire of the Holy Ghost ?
The seven angels then prepare to sound the seven trumpets; and as they sound them one by one, terrible judgments are declared as coming upon the enemies of God and of His children. But when the seventh trumpet is sounded by the seventh angel, “then the mystery of God should be finished, as He has declared to His servants the prophets" (Rev. x. 7). Now what is this mystery of God as explained in chapter ìl and 15th verse,
“The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and
This winds up the sounding of the seventh trumpet. It is a chorus in which the angels of God unite with the blood-bought throng. Does not the very thought warm our hearts and make us wish to be there? Cheer up, not a saint shall be left behind! The Lord of Hosts shall reign over all His ransomed family. But to turn to the 12th chapter of this book. We shall there read of the woman—the Church
- persecuted by the dragon, that old serpent, the devil. Christ and His brethren are assailed and accused by the dragon, still the brethren overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Christ and His brethren are exalted and victorious, but Satan and his angels are cast down. Here, again, we have the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints.
The 13th chapter opens with giving us an account of Therion-wild beast. This term for beast is not to be confounded with the four living creatures spoken of in the 4th chapter. This word Therion occurs thirty-eight times in this Book of Revelation, but invariably in a bad
This wild beast is described as being like a leopard, with feet like a bear, and with a mouth like a lion. This wild beast speaks blasphemy against God, and all whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life from the foundation of the world, worship him. You will find the following—the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet combined to work evil against the Church of the living God. Now, John is again favoured with a view of the safety of Zion's children in the 14th chapter. This must have encouraged him, to see the saints of God on Mount Zion worshipping Him who had redeemed them with His blood. Then follow, in the 15th chapter, seven angels having the seven last plagues, which are the vials of wrath to be poured out upon the earth, the
sea, the rivers and fountains of water, upon the sun, upon the beast, and upon all his followers. We have already spoken of the dragon and how he is described. But who is the beast--this wild beast ? A great many have been disappointed in their interpretations. I presume not to be dogmatical ; however, I may venture to say, that every unregenerate man is a wild beast. He may call himself an angel, but if he be not a regenerate man, he is a wild beast in the scriptural sense of the word. I am aware that many wish to limit the meaning of the word beast to some particular person or persons that may arise in succession to afflict the Church of God. The dragon is the devil, and why not regard the wild beast as the irreligious world, and the false prophet as the professedly religious world! All are opposed to God, to
Christ, and to the saints. In the 17th and 18th chapters, we have the mystery of iniquity pictured, together with its awful downfall. The 19th chapter opens with an ascription of praise—“ Alleluia, salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto our Lord God; for true and righteous are his judgments.” The marriage supper of the Lamb is come. The Lord Jesus rides triumphantly upon His white horse and all His saints after Him. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The beast and the false prophet and their followers are cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. Satan is bound for a thousand years in the bottomless pit. The saints of God rise from the dead and reign with Christ. And when the judgment comes, and the books of the law, of the gospel, and of conscience are opened, all unbelievers stand guilty and condemned, and all whose names are not written in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire. But it is not so with those whose names are in the book of life. As they hear their names called they answer and pass on into the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. I cannot allow this point to pass without making a further remark upon opening the books and judging some out of them. If persons have to be judged according to their workswhat works ? Good works or bad works ? What are the works of your thoughts, your consciences, your hands, and your feet? Will they bear the scrutiny of Him who sits upon the throne ? As one book is opened after another, I rather think the heads of many will begin to hang down, and they will scarcely wish to stay to hear—“ Depart froin me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”
The glorious future state of the children of God is then represented to John as a new heaven and a new earth.” The Heavenly Jerusalem is described full of beauty and glory. The Lord Himself is the glory of it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. There will be no need of the Sun by day nor the Moon by night. The Lord will be our everlasting light, and the days of our mourning will be ended. Do we wonder that when John had these glorious things shewn him, he should cry out “Come Lord Jesus ?" Now, we cannot in our present state fully realize the glorious future for the people of God. But we may learn something from our text_“Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” What a glorious time it will be for the saints, when the dragon, the wild beast, the false prophet, and everything that offends shall have been cast out. There shall be nothing that defileth in the kingdom of glory. The church of the living God shall then appear in her beauty and ascribe “ Blessing, and honour and glory, and power unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." Amen and Amen.
The 2nd Chapter of the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, and the latter part
of the 37th verse ; or, the last words of the Chapter.
“ FOR THE LORD HATH REJECTED THY CONFIDENCES, AND THOU SHALT
NOT PROSPER IN THEM.”
In this Chapter the Lord is expostulating with Israel and with Judah. In the latter part of it more especially with Judah. Two things they had done which God disapproved. You read in the 13th verse :—“For My people have committed two evils ; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Here, then, you have the two evils stated, which are enlarged upon in this chapter. Judah is dealt with in the 28th verse, and to the end of the chapter
“ Where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble.” Let them speak.
Where are those “cisterns," those“ broken cisterns, that can hold water !” “Let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, 0 Judah.” “You have forsaken me,” saith the Lord ; you have hewn out cisterns for yourselves, and what can they do for you in the time of trouble? “Wherefore will ye plead with me? ye all have transgressed against me, saith the Lord. In vain have I smitten you and your children, and you have not been corrected by My smiting: your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion.
God had sent ministers to them-holy prophets—but they had devoured—that is, slain them. “O generation, see ye the word of the Lord. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel ?” Have I been a barren, waste, howling wilderness unto you? If so, testify against me! “Have I been to Israel a land of darkness; a land where there was no light ? Can you bring these charges against me, saith the Lord ? Wherefore say my people, "We are lords ; we will come no more unto Thee ??” Thus they despised the Holy One of Israel, and said they would be their own gods and their own lords. “ Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire ?" Yes, it is possible, but it is not likely ; but yet My people have forgotten “Me days without number.” My people have dealt worse with Me than a maid, or a bride would with her trinkets. "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek lovers ? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways." Why art thou so very anxious to appear well in the eyes of those heathen nations which can afford thee no real help? What can these lords do for thee? Thou
hast taught these wicked ones thy evil ways. “Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents : I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these.” The “
poor innocents” the prophets who had come speaking in the name of the Lord. They had slain them, and they had done it publicly and openly, and th blood of their innocent infants they had shed in passing them through the fire to Moloch. This has not been done in secret; there is no need to search for the blood of your guilt and condemnation. The blood witnesses against you, it is seen on the skirts of your clothing. thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely His anger shall turn from me." This is the opinion which they had of themselves. They thought surely the Lord's anger would be turned from them. But this was not as the Lord saw them. “Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, 'I have not sinned.'” And yet they had sinned. They added sin to sin—they were double sinners. “Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria.” “ It is useless to plead about Assyria and Egypt, these nations can do thee no good.” 6. Thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria. Yea, thou shalt go forth from him,—from Egypt,--without having obtained any help from him ; with thine hands upon thine head—in despair, in weeping, and in shame—for the Lord hath rejected thy confidences—Egypt and Assyria—thy kings, and thy gods, and all those in whom thou trustedst: For the Lord hath rejected them, and thou shalt not prosper in them.”
Now, brethren, you will perceive, from what I have stated, the connection of my text with what goes before in this chapter. I shall now proceed to speak to you upon two particular points. The first is this : Confidences rejected. And, secondly, confidences accepted. These are two easy divisions of my subject.
Now, to the First of these. “ The Lord hath rejected thy confidences." You see who the Rejecter is—the Lord. The Lord had done great things for His people of old. He was not only their Creator, but their Providential Preserver. Look what He had done for them, when He brought them out of Egypt, and through the Red Sea. He took care of them in the wilderness, and brought them into the land of Canaan, and
gave them greatness and distinction above all the nations upon the face of the earth. And yet, notwithstanding all this, it is written of them, in the 78th Psalm, “that they soon forgat His works, and the wonders that He had shewed them.” What a description of humanity we have here, and even of that humanity which God had done so much for. Is this the humanity which is praised by so many and so much, as being so good and so excellent ? The Lord estimates it at its true value, and states the truth respecting it. Forgetfulness ! Forgetfulness? They have forsaken Me, and forgotten what I have done for them. They soon forgat Him and His works, and the wonders that He had shewed them.
Let us look a little further into this subject. The Lord hath rejected thy confidences. What were these confidences which they had ? When we look into the sacred history of these things we find what these