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Secondly, By whom is the Evangelist directed to write unto the angel of the church of Philadelphia? To this question the volume of inspiration furnishes unequivocal responses. First, He is holy, one of the attributes of God manifest in the flesh. Isaiah i. 4, "They have provoked the Holy One of Israel." Psalm xvi. 10, "Thou wilt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." Luke iv. 34, “I know thee, who thou art, the Holy One of God." Whenever the people bear the character holy, they are considered as one with Emmanuel, who is made of God unto them sanctification.
Thirdly, He that is true. 1 John v. 20, " And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Christ Jesus."
Fourthly, He hath the key of David. A key is an instrument which opens what was locked up, and concealed. Isaiah xxii. 22, “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder, so he shall open and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open." The Jewish teachers are condemned for taking away the key of knowledge. Luke xi. 52, “Woe unto you, lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge; ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered."
Fifthly, He that openeth, and no man shutteth, and shutteth, and no man openeth. Isaiah xliv. 18, "They have not known nor understood, for he hath shut their eyes that they cannot see, and their hearts, that they cannot understand." Romans xi. 32, "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all." Galatians iii. 23, "But before faith came we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith, which should be afterwards revealed." But God the LORD openeth. Isaiah xlii. 7, "To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners, and them that set in darkness, out of the prison house." For this purpose was the Redeemer given, for a covenant to the people, for a light of the Gentiles, and blessed be God, where he openeth no man can shut, the understanding which God illumines, no man can darken.
REVELATIONS xi. 3-8.
First, AND I will give power unto my two witnesses. What are these two witnesses? The law and the gospel.
Secondly, Why are these two witnesses said to be olive trees, and candlesticks, standing before the God of the earth? Olive trees are emblematick of peace, and candlesticks of light.
Thirdly, What is intended by hurting them? Wresting their testimony.
Fourthly, What is the penalty to which those are subjected who hurt these witnesses? They must be killed by the fire, which proceedeth out of their mouth. Isaiah xi. 4, "And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked." Luke xix. 27, "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither and slay them before me." Revelations xix. 21," And the remnant were slain by 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."
Fifthly, These witnesses have power to shut heaven, and inflict plagues; alluding to Moses and Elias.
Sixthly, When was their testimony finished? Upon the cross. When the Redeemer of whom they testified, said, it is finished. Revelations xxi. 5, 6, " And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new, and he said unto me write for those words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, it is done, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end."
Seventhly, And the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. The thirteenth chapter of this book, gives us an account of this beast. It is the spirit of anti-christ, which is opposed to the true Chrst, which warreth against the true Christ, and the multitudes which unite in opposition, overcome the wit
nesses, and the non-reception of the testimony of these witnesses is destroying or killing them as witnesses.
Eighthly, And their dead bodies shall lie in the streets of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom, and Egypt, where also our LORD was crucified. It is observable, the dead bodies of these witnesses were not buried; and this proves they are not lost, their dead bodies are still in the street where Christ was crucified, which is spiritually, not naturally called Sodom and Egypt, the one bondage, the other sensual gratifications, both together including sin, and its consequences, which were both together crucified with Christ. The witnesses still remain, although their testimony is refused, and they are considered as a dead letter, they are however in the streets of the great city, and they shall still be preserved until they shall once more stand before God.
REVELATIONS xi. 9-13.
First, THEY of the people, and kindreds, and tongues, and nations, shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. They will not renounce these two witnesses, the law and the gospel, in other words, the two testaments, they still keep them in their streets, they are still called by their names, although they are dead bodies, to them a dead letter, yet they do not shroud them in graves, they still exhibit them to the public eye.
Secondly, And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another, because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. They that dwell on the earth hail their emancipation from these two witnesses, the regulations established by the law and the gospel, were to them a source of suffering, and they are now merry at the expense of the ceremonial law, and those institutions, which they characterize as absurd, and they ridicule
the idea of that gospel, which describes Emmanuel, God with us or the Deity clothed in humanity.
Thirdly, But after the expiration of three days and a half, the spirit of life from God entered into these witnesses or prophets, and, thus divinely reanimated, they stood upon their feet. We are informed in the sacred volume, that a thousand years are in the sight of God as a single day.
Fourthly, When the power of God was thus displayed in these witnesses, great fear fell upon those who witnessed this new life, that is, upon those which dwelt upon the earth.
Fifthly, And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto the witnesses, Come up hither; and they ascended up to heaven, to him of whom they testified, in a cloud, in the presence and view of their enemies.
Sixthly, And in the same hour there was a great earthquake; the earth, the human earth, the family of man, trembling and quaking, and the tenth part of the city fell; and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand, the same number that had not bowed the knee to Baal, and the remnant were affrighted and gave glory to the God of heaven.
REVELATIONS xi. 14-19.
First, Our subject commences with the sounding of the seventh angel, which is called the third woe.
Secondly, Immediately after the sounding of this seventh angel, we hear voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our LORD, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever. This is an accomplishment of the prophet Daniel's prediction, chapter vii. 22, 27.
Thirdly, Consequent upon the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdoms of our LORD, and his Christ, the four and twenty elders which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces and worshipped God. Why twenty-four elders? Because twenty-four is the combined number of the Patriarchs and Apostles. What was their attitude? They sat, in what VOL. III.
place? Before God. What was their conduct at the sonorous utterance of the celestial voices? They fell upon their faces and worshipped God. In what manner? We give thee thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
Fourthly, And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged. Revelations xx. 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."
Fifthly, At this period, God's servants, the prophets, the saints, and them that fear the name of the LORD, both Small and great, shall receive their reward. What is this reward? The answer of their prayers. Agreeably to the will of God, they have made supplication for all men, and they shall then see the salvation of all men.
Sixthly, God will destroy them that destroy the earth. What earth? Human earth, Adam and his posterity. Who is the destroyer? Our adversary, the devil, and all those hosts of infernals, who combine for the destruction of the human family.
Seventhly, At this period, and not until this period, the temple of God is opened in heaven? What are we to understand by the temple of God, which, upon this occasion, is to be opened in heaven? The twenty-second verse of the twenty-first chapter of this book, furnishes an answer to this question :-"And I saw no temple therein for the LORD God Almighty, and the Lamb are the temple of it."
REVELATIONS xxi. 5.
First, WHO is it that sat upon the throne? The Redeemer of men. Psalm xlv. 6, "Thy throne, O God, is forever ande ver.” Hebrews i. 8, "But unto the Son, he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever."