able to unroll the scroll, nor to see it. 4. And I shed many tears, because no one was found worthy to unroll and read the scroll, nor to see it. 5. But one of the elders saith to me, Weep not; behold the LION who is of the Tribe of Judah, THE ROOT OF DAVID, hath prevailed to unroll the scroll, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 6. And I saw, and behold in the midst of the throne, and of the four living ones, and in the midst of the elders, a LAMB standing as if it had been slain, having Seven Horns and Seven Eyes, which are the SEVEN SPIRITS of the Deity sent forth into all the earth. 7. And he went and received the scroll from the right of him sitting upon the throne. 8. And when he received the scroll, the four Living Ones and the twentyfour Elders cast themselves down before the Lamb, having each one harps, and golden censers full of perfumes, which are the prayers of THE SAINTS 9. And they sing a NEW SONG, saying, "Thou'rt worthy to receive the scroll, and to undo the seals thereof; For thou wast slain, and with thy blood, The price, hast purchased us for God From ev'ry people, tribe, race, tongue, And mad'st us kings and priests to our God. And we shall reign the earth upon." 11. And I beheld, and heard a voice of many angels circled about the throne, and of the living ones, and of the elders: and the number of them was ten thousands of ten thousands and thousands of thousands, 12. Saying with a loud voice, "The Lamb that hath been put to death, The power, riches, wisdom, strength And honor, glory, blessing too Is worthy to receive." 13. And every created thing that is in the heaven, and things which are in the earth, and underneath the earth, and upon the sea, even all the things in them, I heard saying, "To him that sitteth on the throne And to the Lamb the blessing be, The honor, glory and the pow'r, The Aions of the Aions for!" 14. And the four living ones said, "So let it be:" and the twenty four elders cast themselves down, and did homage to him that liveth for the Aions of the Aions.
THE SOURCE FROM WHICH THE APOCALYPSE EMANATED; ITS PURPOSE; THE SYMBOLIZATION OF THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS; THE MANNER OF THE COMING OF THE SPIRIT-MAN PROCLAIMED, SYMBOLIC VISION OF THE MAN, AND THE MYSTERY OF THE SEVEN STARS AND LIGHT-STANDS REVEALED.
1. The Title
"A revelation of Jesus Anointed which the Deity committed to him to exhibit to his servants things which must be speedily accomplished." -- Apoc. 1:1
APOKALUYIS, apokalupsis, is the first word of the last book of the New Testament in Greek. The book is, therefore, in that language styled, Apokalupsis. But this name is not restricted to the original. It is very often employed in speaking and writing as the title, or name, of the book in the English; although it is not so designated in the common Version. It is styled in this "The Revelation;" which, indeed, expresses the truth; for the book is a revelation, and one specially imparted: but still, the name is objectionable, inasmuch as it is only a very small part of revelation; nevertheless small as it is, a most important, and highly interesting, portion thereof. To distinguish it, therefore, from revelation in general, many are accustomed to anglicize the Greek name, and to style it The Apocalypse. For this reason, which appears sufficient, I have concluded to adopt it also; so that the reader of this volume will understand, that when "the Apocalypse" is named, that book of scripture is meant, which in the English Version is called "The Revelation of St. John the Divine."
Though published by "special command of the Most High and Mighty Prince, James, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland; and Defender of the Faith;" and "appointed to be read in Churches" -- the reader must not suppose that the words "The Revelation of Saint John the Divine," are the divinely authorized inscription. The Holy Spirit does not speak in this style, even of an apostle. It is only The Apostasy, so conspicuously exhibited in The Apocalypse,
that confers titles upon the Fishermen of Galilee, and their brethren, to give them sanctity and respectability in the estimation of the kings and princes of the world. The Apostasy uses the words "saint" and "divine" as applicable only to "Christians," who have attained sanctimonious preeminence among their fellows; and who are skilled in "divinity," and have received ordination, and a license to preach. But these words are not so used in scripture. Saint is there applied to all that are separated, or made holy, by the blood of the covenant; as it is written, "Gather my saints together unto me: those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice" -- Psal. 50:5: "having their hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience (by the blood of sprinkling, Heb. 12:24) and their bodies washed with pure water" -- Heb. 10:22. The sprinkling of heart, and the washing of body, are common to all in Christ, whether apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, or private persons. In apostolic times, these were all saints, or "the faithful in Christ Jesus" -- 1 Cor. 1:2; Col. 1:2. There was then no canonization of obedient believing men and women into saints: all who believed and obeyed "the truth as it is in Jesus," in that obedience became saints and children of the Most High.
The apostle John had no titles. He was neither "Saint John" nor "John the Divine." He was one of the saints in Christ Jesus; but not "Saint," as an ecclesiastical title of honor and distinction. He might as well have been styled King John or Priest John; for he was not only a saint, but a king and a priest for God. Ecclesiatical titles are of the pride of life, and not of God. They are assumptions of lordship over the saints; and strictly forbidden by their Prince. "Ye are all brethren; and the greater of you shall be servant" -- Matt. 23:8, 11. This is the spirit of Christ, who, although the Teacher, and Lord, was as one who served. The reverse of this is the spirit of Antichrist. Wherever, therefore, men professing to be Christians, exalt themselves, or allow themselves to be exalted, to high ecclesiastical estate, there is "the mark of the beast," and there "the number of his name." All this sort of thing was repudiated with contempt by the apostles, after they were converted and became as little children -- Matt. 18:3. "Be of the same mind towards one another; not minding high things, but being conducted with the despised" -- Rom. 12:16. This was the doctrine they inculcated, and practised; and in so doing, though dead, still speak repreheding the unhallowed ambition of those who pretend to have succeeded them in all but their penury and woe -- 1 Cor. 15:19; 2; 2 Ep. 11:21-28.
The apostle John is the only one upon whom The Apostasy has conferred the title of "the Divine." Paul, James, Peter, and Jude are
termed simply apostles, or messengers; while the messenger John is, as an especial honor, erected into ho theologos, the Theologian, or "Divine!" Was it imagined that he was Professor of Divinity in a Theological Seminary at Jerusalem; or, was it because he has narrated the discourses of Jesus on the relations of the Father and the Son, which are not found in the other testimonies? Whatever may have been the reason, it must of necessity be infinitely puerile. None of the apostles had any thing to do with what King James's flatterers and courtiers call "divinity," or "theology," but to condemn it as a corruption of "the faith once delivered to the saints." They denounced it as "profane, and old wives' fables;" and its professors as "seducing spirits" and "demons," "unruly and vain talkers, and deceivers." Paul the Divine, Peter the Divine, or John the Divine, are epithets that desecrate the renown of the noble men whose names are thus entitled. John had no divine pretensions over Peter and Paul. James, Peter, and John were "pillars," and Paul was not a whit behind them; for He that wrought effectually in Peter, was also mighty in him. They made no ostentatious display of their names; and in themselves claimed to be no more than weak earthen vessels, in whose feebleness and frailty the glory and power of God became more strikingly manifest. The Holy Spirit was the holy oil of their earthen lamps. By it they were guided into all the truth; and the light which shone around them was of that anointing, not of them.
"The Revelation of Saint John the Divine" is a spurious title. The real inscription is contained in the first words of the book -- apokalupsis iesouristou, Revelation of Jesus Anointed. The contents of the book did not come to John direct from God. They emanated from Him "who dwells in light," who had hitherto reserved them in his own power -- Acts 1:7. Till this emanation they were sealed up, and "known to no man, no not the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father" -- Mark 13:32. Jesus affirmed this want of knowledge with reference to his apocalypse. "Watch ye therefore," he continued; "for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping."
This universal ignorance of "the Times and Seasons" is the subject of one of the scenes of this book. In chap. 5:1 The Apocalypse is represented as a book in the right hand of God completely sealed up. When John saw the book, he heard a loud voice inquiring, "Who is worthy to unroll the scroll, and to loose its seals?" But no man or angel came forward. "And no man," says John, "in the heaven, nor upon the earth, nor under the earth, was able to unroll the scroll, nor to
see it." John was exceedingly distressed at this. The words and the book that Daniel had been commanded to shut up and seal (ch. 12:4, 9) no man in the heaven, earth, or grave, was found worthy or able to open. Therefore John wept exceedingly. "I wept much," says he, "because no man was found worthy to unroll and read the scroll, nor to see it."
The book remained thus concealed with God until the time of John's residence in the Isle of Patmos. He was there, he tells us, "on account of the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ." He was in tribulation, and doubtless "wept much," both on account of his sufferings, and his inability to say "how long to the end of the times" -- Dan. 12:6, 8; when the Lord Jesus should appear in his kingdom -- 1:9. But, at this crisis, a Messenger reached his place of exile, whom he styles "one of the elders," a constituent of the symbolic twenty-four, ch. 4:4; 5:8, 9 -- and said to him, "Weep not: Behold, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to unroll the scroll, and to loose its seals" -- 5:5.
Thus "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews," is brought before the reader as the only personage from among the dead, or among the living, who could open the words and unseal the mystery of God, as he hath declared the glad tidings to his servants the prophets -- 10:7. That mystery required the cutting asunder a covenant for the covering of iniquity; and for causing to come in a righteousness of Aions -- Dan. 9:24. In other words, "Messiah the Prince" had to be cut off; and so to be made a covenant of, according to the saying, "I will give thee for a covenant of the people" -- Isai. 42:6; 49:8. Until this were accomplished no practical solution could be given of the end. Had the Second Adam failed to establish his worthiness, like the first, John's weeping would never have been assuaged. But Jesus did "prevail:" for, though in all points tempted as we are, according to the likeness of his nature to ours, yet he did not sin. Though a Son, he learned obedience by the things which he suffered. He was made perfect through sufferings, having been obedient unto death. He kept his body under, triumphing over its lusts; and, though sorely tried, he yielded not, but evolved a character that was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners -- Heb. 2:10, 14, 16; 4:15; 5:2, 7-9; 7:26. When he died, he was delivered from death, and now lives for evermore. Death hath no more dominion over him. For he had power to lay down his life, and to take it up again; a commandment which he had received of the Father. This he did; and in so doing, abolished the power of death, having led captivity captive, and brought to light the life and incorruptibility of the gospel of the kingdom -- Psal. 68:18, Eph. 4:8; 2 Tim. 1:10.
Having established his worthiness in this moral conflict with the world and the flesh, God accepted him as the most excellent of all the intelligences of his universe; and in consequence gave to him what no one else possessed, namely, power to unroll the scroll and to loose its seals. The Apocalypse is therefore styled, "A Revelation of Jesus Anointed which the Deity committed to him." Now, Jesus Anointed is Power, or Spirit, manifested in flesh, and justified in Spirit -- 1Tim. 3:16: or, "Made of the seed of David according to flesh; and constituted Son of God in power, according to spirit of holiness, out of a resurrection of dead ones" -- Rom. 1:3, 4: and therefore styled "the Lord the Spirit," or "a life-imparting Spirit" -- 1 Cor. 15:45; 2 Cor. 3:17, 18. Here are Spirit and Flesh. The Spirit is Theos, or Deity; the Flesh was the Son of Mary, and named Jesus; and when anointed with Spirit again at his resurrection, became Jesus Christ, or the Anointed Jesus. This anointing was his begettal of spirit by which he became Spirit; as he said