« VorigeDoorgaan »
deceived. Thus we see that the scene of this judgment is on the earth, where day and night diversify time and number the rolling years. What is said, in the 9th verse, of fire from heaven which devoured them, and in the 10th and 11th verses, of Him that sat on
throne, from whose face the earth and the heaven filed away, &c., is already explained in the remarks on 2 Peter 3: 7. In verse 11 he says, "And I saw a great white throne." When did he see it? At the same time when the preceding events took place. Verse 1, he says, " And I saw an angel," &c. In verse 4," I saw thrones." All these scenes transpired in the vision at the same time, and evidently allude to the close of the Jewish polity, the burning up, and passing away of their religious and political heavens and earth. Thus, the Jewish heaven and earth passed away to make room for the new, which are now established under the Gospel.
In the 12th verse we find the same copulative which connects and identifies what follows with the preceding events. "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." The time when these dead stood before God, and were judged according to their works, is already identified. But it may be further illustrated by Matt. 16: 27, 28, "For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." These texts show that the time was when Christ should set upon the throne of his glory with his angels, when every man should be rewarded according to his works, and during the literal existence of some then living. This is the time when the kingdom of God should come with power. It is the time when the dead, small and great, stood before God, in the same sense that all nations stood before him, in the parable of the sheep and goats, Matt. 25: 32 (see in this work). It appears to have been a common expression in those days, when things of importance were attended to, to use the phrase "before the Lord," or "before God.” It was said of Zacharias and Elizabeth, that they were righteous before God. Luke 1: 6. And Paul charged Timothy, before God
and the Lord Jesus Christ, to preach the word. 2 Tim. 4:1
and everlasting contempt."
The above passages so nearly resemble Rev. 20, and so fully
illustrate our subject, that little more need be said. What is said, in the 13th verse, of the sea, and death and hell, delivering up the dead which were in them, is only a refiguring of the same things. Thus were they all before God, who sat upon his throne in spirit and in power over Jerusalem, which was called his throne. See Jer. 3: 17, "At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem." The books which were opened, and out of which they were judged, could have been nothing more than the law and the prophets, which contained those awful denunciations against them. Christ says to the Jews, "There is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust." John 5: 45. He also says, John 12: 48,"He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." The other book, called the book of life, was undoubtedly the principles of the gospel, which all those who were adjudged to life had embraced. They were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. This is true to the letter of all judgments on earth, but could not be of a judgment after the resurrection, because there is then but one infinite result, which cannot be the reward or effect of earthly and limited performances. Those who believed, and had their names enrolled with the Christian believers in the book of life, escaped the furious tornado of death and destruction into which the disobedient and unbelieving were thrust, as into a lake of fire, which is the second death. This second death is the tragical end and ruin of that people as a race and nation.
It be objected that the book of Revelation was not written may until after the destruction of Jerusalem. We know there are different opinions; but the best authorities, we think, show to the contrary. The inscription to this book in the Syrian Version, published by De Dieu, 1627, and afterwards in the London Polyglot, is the following: "The revelation which God made to John the Evangelist, in the Isle of Patmos, to which he was banished by Nero Casar." This places it previous to the year 68, at which time the reign of Galba commenced. That this was the true time of John's banishment, and, consequently, that the visions recorded in this book are to be ascribed to this period, is contended by many learned and eminent writers, among whoni are Hentenius, Harduin,
Grotius, Lightfoot, Hammond, Sir Isaac Newton, Bishop Newton, and others. But we think the book itself shows that it was written before the overthrow of Jerusalem. In chap. 1: 1, it is said, that "God taught John by his angel things that must shortly come to pass." Verse 3, it is said, "The time is at hand." Chap. 22: 6, 7, it is said, that "The Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly blessed is he that keepeth the say. ings of the prophecy of this book." Verse 10, "And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand." Verse 12, "And behold, I come quickly: and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Verse 20, "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly; Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
That the above passages show the then future, yet sudden coming of our Lord, we think is self-evident. The following, we think, show that Jerusalem was then standing. Chap. 1: 7, “Behold, he cometh with clouds and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him." This corresponds with Matt. 24: 30, " And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory." That this relates to the destruction of Jerusalem none will dispute. It was to take place in that generation. See verse 34, "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass till all these things be ful filled." Rev. 11: 1, 2, “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given to the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months." Compare this with Luke 21: 24, "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." See Rev. 11: 8, " And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified." This time was then future. He says, their dead bodies shall lie in the streets of the city, &c., where
our Lord was crucified." Where was our Lord crucified, save in Jerusalem ?
The 18th chapter evidently alludes to Jerusalem. In verse 8 it is said, "Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her." Dr. Clarke says this passage means, "They shall mourn because of the slaughter and the famine, the fruits of their fields being utterly destroyed or burned by their enemies." See Deut. 32: 22-25, “A fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell (sheol) and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundation of the mountains. They shall be burned with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction. The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also, with the man of gray hairs."
The above can be said of no other city. Rome pagan has never been thus treated; only some parts of her were burnt with fire. alt Rome papal has not been thus treated; but it is true of Jerusalem. mail be
In chap. 18: 24, it is said, "And in her was found the blood of
The foregoing statements, we think, must be satisfactory to every candid mind. And should an objector say that Jerusalem was destroyed previous to the writing of the book, we reply, that John recorded things which had been, then were, and should be thereafter. See Rev. 1: 19, "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.”
l then then sh Son of Sharp; " &
e the t Bat asure if t
h Lake shall be redderd's filled" $ Street of
He &c., mla