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Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers.”
Christ then assures them, that all the blood which had been shed in the ages from Abel, should be required of them who by their persecuting spirit had approved of such persecution, and thus made the guilt their
This illustrates the last verse in our text, that in her is found all the blood shed upon the earth!
Ver. 1. 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:
1. 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 hand.
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; Alleluia.
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 reigneth.
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 ready.
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 fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus : worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
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 himself.
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 thein with a rod of iron : and he treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
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.
This chapter gives the two most signal temporal events found in prophecy;--the battle of the great day of God, and the introduction of the Millennium. The latter, it gives first; as is the case in the seventh trumpet, and the seventh vial. In these three passages (which all allude to the same two great events), when the time of the great battle arrives, the hearts of the saints are fortified by first presenting them with the blessed commencement of the Millennium. The passages then revert back to the battle, and give a concise view of it. After these things (says verse 1st of the text), a great voice of much people in heaven is heard; the sentiment of the church, perhaps militant and triumphant,--and of angels, giving praise and glory to God for his judgments thus executed on papal Antichrist, and the horrid system of atheism lately raised from the bottomless pit. These unitedly (the beast, and the false prophet) will now have sunk in perdition; for which the elders, the living creatures, and a voice from the throne, give united glory to God, and sing Alleluia; and the smoke of the torment of the fallen legions ascends up for ever.
The voice of this united praise is like the roaring of many waters, and of mighty thunders! and the sentiment is, "For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” God now, and henceforth, reigns on earth in the hearts of its holy and obedient inhabitants. God from the beginning has reigned, in his whole empire of creation, doing all his will; the grand result of the whole of which will then be found to be, that all antichristian enemies are swept from the earth, and the morning of the long-sought Millennium has blessed the world. This is noted as the arrival of the marriage of the Lamb, for which the church as dressed in her fine linen of sanctification and justification, white and clean,—'has made herself ready.” The sovereign grace of God has done it; but in the way of her own activity, holy love, and faithfulness. All who come to this joyful occasion are pronounced "blessed.” The same we find in Dan. xii. 12; “Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five-and-thirty days! or, the rising of the millennial sun. They have obeyed the call of Christ in a sense never done before: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.'
But how is this the marriage supper of the Lamb? Is
not that event after the judgment day? We read of it (chap. xxi.), “I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife!"-"a bride adorned for her husband." "I will no more drink of the fruit of the vine (said our Saviour), till I drink it new with you in my kingdom. These allude to the glorified church. The morning of the Millenium is so noted in our text by a prolipsis; and by giving to the type the name of the thing typified: a thing not uncommon. The Millennium will be a bright resemblance of heaven. Hence one of the glories of heaven is here ascribed to it, "the marriage of the Lamb.” The following cases illustrate this point. In 2 Pet. iii. 13, we have after the final conflagration, new heavens and a new earth; and these are said to be according to divine promise. In Rev. xxi. 1, we have the same in a description there of heaven. These passages rest on Isa. Ixv. 17, 18, and lxvi. 22, which furnish the “promise” noted by Peter. But this promise in Isaiah alludes primarily to the Millennium, as it is connected with the prediction that "it shall come to pass, that from one Sabbath to another, all flesh (on earth) shall come and worship before God.” This passage in Isaiah then, had a primary allusion to the Millennium; but an ultimate one, to the state of future glory. And Peter and the revelator note the passage only as it relates to the latter. Such a mode of procedure is common in prophecy; to begin with the type, and end with the antitype; sliding in the same passage from the type to the antitype. See Ps. lxxii. This Psalm commences with a prayer for Solomon, whose reign was typical of the Millennium; and it slides directly into the kingdom of Christ in the latter. In the last eight chapters of Ezekiel, is a description of a city and temple, and a system of religion. This, at least primarily, alludes to the Millennium. But it is believed to have an ultimate allusion to heaven; and that the description of the New Jerusalem (Rev. xxi. and xxii.), is but an abridgement and illustration of it. These remarks may explain the case of the marriage of the Lamb, in our text. And the following may also illustrate it. The coming of Christ in the battle of the great day, is in some prophecies combined with his coming to judge the world. See the following, given in language borrowed from that of the judgment day. In Dan. vii. is the great secular Roman beast, whose destruction introduces the Millennium, as there clearly appears. But his destruction (the very event clearly with the battle of the great day) is here thus in
troduced, ver. 9-11, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the judgment was set, and the books were opened." The fall of this beast and popery (the very event and period in our text) follows; which shows that it is a scene antecedent to the Millennium; “I beheld then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn (popery) spake, I beheld till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.' But while this description of the coming of Christ has a primary fulfilment in the fall of this beast of infidelity, and the fall of popery; it is to have an ultimate one in the great judgment day. We accordingly read, in Rev. xx., at the close of the Millennium (in allusion no doubt to this very text in Dan. vii. 9, 10), « and the books were opened.” That passage in Daniel then, will receive its final accomplishment in the final judgment, when Christ takes the great white throne,—when a fire devoureth before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him; and the judgment will set, and the books be opened! Such instances may illustrate the coming of the marriage of the Lamb at the opening of the Millennium; while yet its more glorious accomplishment will be at the opening of the future glory of the church. One is type, the other antitype: and the name of the latter is given to the former, as being a bright resemblance of its fulfilment.
John, apprehending the angel to have been Christ, fell down to worship him; but his mistake was corrected, and this argument added;—" for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” All the prophesyings of Christ are a demonstration of his divinity, that he is one in the infinite God; and to him alone is worship due. The great final battle is next given; the same event with the seventh trumpet, chap. xi. 15-19;—the seventh vial, chap. xvi. 17-21; -and the harvest and vintage, chap. xiv. 14–20. No addition from human comment can be given to its glory. Look then, with adoration on the picture drawn by the Holy Ghost, verse xi. to end. It is a finishing stroke to much that we find in the prophets; such as Ps. xlv. 3, “Gird thy sword upon thy thigh,” &c. Joel ii. 11, “The Lord shall utter his voice before his army; for his camp is