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to destroy the devil or enmity 'out of him, and his being tormented forever and ever, means (as I understand it) until the devil is destroyed out of the sinner, and then the torment will end with that sinner. But the words, forever and ever, I suppose, properly mean, to the ages of ages; and I wish you to take notice, that through all the dis. pensations of the testimony of Christ, in his Spiritual reign; this torment of those who reject the truth has been continually going on, and will continue in every generation of men, with those who rebel, until the last sinner is reformed. Take notice, also, that the term is, when speaking of the smoke of their torment, that it Ascendeth up, &c. which you know is in the present time, which is all the time, or ages of the gospel day; and, of course, as the testimony of truth or of Christ has always been, is now, and will continue to burn and destroy sin or satan, and the beast of false religion, and the false prophet, and torment those who worship the beast and his image and those who are led captive by the devil, until sin, false religion, and all the works of iniquity are destroy. ed, in which torment or destruction, - the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever! or to the ages of ages.
Verse 11, “ And I saw a great white throne,” signified the ruling power of holiness extended over all nations, on which Jesus Christ sits to reign ; " and him that sat upon it, (Jesus) from whose face the heavens and the earth fled away; and there was found no place for them." Which means that as it is said before that the heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, vi, 14. And that the earth quaked, is mentioned a number of times, but they were not wholly put out of existence. But now it is said, there was found no place for them) that all other religion but Christ's as the heavens; and that the minds of men, which is the earth, will wholly be forever given up and lost inşa
Christ, in the process of the judgment now be. fore us.
Verse 12, " And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God,n which means, that all who are dead in trespasses and sins, stand now continually from one generation to another before God, to be judged by Jesus Christ, who now reigns over all nations ; " and the books were opened, and the dead were judged out of those things written in the books, according to their works." Now let us see what ancient holy men said that we should be judged out of:
1stly, One book is the creation of the world, Rom. 1, 20, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
2ndly. Another book, out of which the dead in sins are judged, is the law, Rom. II, 12, " As many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law."
3dly. Another book is the conscience and thoughts in the conscience together with the words of man's own mouth, Rom. Ii, 15, 16, “ Their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing, or else excusing one another, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. Luke Xix, 22, "Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, wicked ser, vant." "And another book was opened, which is of life." QUESTION, What is the book of life? AN SWER, The word, book, is a figure, evidently meaning a book in which are kept the record of names, and the book of life," means the record of God, Question, What is the record of God? Answer, I. John V, 11, "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life: and this life is in his
Question, How does a person get his name into the book of life, and what is it to have his
name in it? Answer, By believing the truth, that God hath given him eternal life in Christ, t. John T, 10," He that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God, hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son." So you may see that by believing the truth, the soul enters into that truth, or record of God, and is in the record, or book of eternal life which God hath given to all men, in his Son Jesus Christ.
Verse 13, “ And the sea gave up the dead that were in it." As the vain thoughts of the people are the sea, only consider how the vain thoughts of people hold one another back from submitting to the truth, when any one begins to think about receiving the truth that he may be saved, he immediately casts in his mind, saying, What will the people think, and say of me? This sea of vain thoughts holds myriads of people back from believing in Christ, because they love the praise of
But in the process of the judginent of Christ, this sea must give up the dead that are in it, or held by it; "and death and hell delivered up the dead that were in them." Death,"
” here means spiritual death, being dead to truth and righteousness, this death gives up the dead that are in it, because they are quickened by the same power that judgeth them. * Hell," means the state of the dead. It is well known by learned men, and a number of them have written it, so that I have learned it from their writings, that the Hebrew word Sheol, is the only word that is translated hell in our Old Testament Scriptures; and by the word, Sheol, the Hebrews meant the state of the dead, just or unjust. And, therefore, the same worul, Sheol, is, in many instances, rendered grave, ant pit; nevertheless, in some passages it is used figuratively to represent a very gloomy state of mind, as in 2. Sam. XXI, 6: Psalm Ix, 17: Psalm Lxxxvi, 13 : Psalm Cxvi, 3: Jonah II, 2: and per
haps other passages. And the Greek word which answers precisely to the Hebrew word, Sheol, is Hades, and is often translated hell in our New Testament Scriptures, but is sometimes rendered grave, as for instance: 1. Cor. Xv, 55, O grave, hell, hades, where is thy victory? Therefore hebt ' means the state of the dead, whether they were buried in graves, or in the ocean, or rotten upon the face of the ground, the word sheol, hades, hell was used to represent their unknown state ; and as Hades, (I think,) is the Greek word in the passage now before us, in Rev. Xx, 13, therefore, it means that the state of those who are spiritually dead, gives them up into a quickened state, in the process of the judgment by Jesus Christ, who quickeneth the dead.
Verse 14, " And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire."
Verse 15, “ And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." As these particulars have all been explained already, I shall only observe here, that it is evidently declared that those who do not believe in Christ, must be committed to the burning testimony, which is kept burning by the breath of the Lord, in which they receive according to their unbelief and rebellion, until death and hell which is committed to the same burning with them is wholly destroyed; and when death and hell are wholly destroyed, in that all men will believe in Christ, and enter into the book of life, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, 1. Cor. xv, 54, and Rev. Xxi, 4, Death is swallowed up in victory.- And there shall be no more death. Verse 14, 66 This the second death."
For an explanation of the second death, read the Apology, showing that it is a death to sin, wrought by the burning testimony of God.
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. As all men first place their dependance on something that is not of God for their happiness, or heaven; and even when they come to get religion, they generally invent things of their own, or receive those which others have invented for religion, or a heaven; even: those who profess Christianity stay in the outer court, or in ordinances, in their own doctrines and forms of worship, and depend on them for satisfaction or heaven. Now, in the process of the judgment of Christ, all this first heaven passes away, and in an entire submission to, and learning of Christ, the soul rises out of any dependance on himself, on his own abilities, &c. which is the first earthy and entering through faith wholly into Christ, he receives Christ as all' in all to him; and this is the new heaven, or hapa piness^ and the new earth or new state of mind, which is here evidently prophesied to become universal, in that it is said, "and there was no more sea," showing that there will be no more vain thoughts, out of which to rise any more beast or false religion, or false dependance:
I have been more particular on several things in chapters XIX, and xx, and this first verse of chapter xxi, because I thought they were but little understood^ I shall now be brief.
Verse 9. St. John says that one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, &c. came and talked with him saying: “ Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife." Signifying that it was one part of the extensive dispensation which gave those seven degrees of the testimony of truth, which shewed him the vision of the bride, the Lamb's wife.
Verse 10. " And he carried me away in the spirik