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and state, their divisions and their worldliness, little can be
Verse 4: "And I heard the number of them which were sealed and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand, of all the tribes of the children of Israel." Here is a number given, but whether the exact number who are to come under the gospel dispensation, time alone can discover. Here follows a list of the tribes which are to be sealed. In the fourteenth chapter, the hundred and forty and four thousand are twice mentioned; but that refers to the state of the primitive church, which will be treated of in its place. However, two certainties we have: that they are to be called in and accepted; and that the time is near, as we are above two hundred and fifty years under the sound of the seventh trumpet, and third woe.
Verse 9: "After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." We may see by this that the coming in of the Jews should be the means of Christianity assuming its primitive beauty and strength.
Verse 11: "And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and about the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God."
Verse 12: 66 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever. Amen."
In these two verses, we may see what true religion is, and wherein it consists. Here are no dead forms no ceremonies invented by man no established churches by human direction no oppressive taxes to support them - no persecuting project to annoy no evil principle to render man unhappy. But all shall be pure millennial love; all shall be
seraphic holiness and joy; and all shall know him from the least to the greatest, and render him that tribute of praise and adoration so justly due to the eternal Jehovah.
Verse 13: "And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes ? and whence come they?"
Verse 14: And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which have come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
In all ages since the Christian era, the saints have experienced great tribulation. But their high consolation is, they can say with St. Paul, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but unto them also that love his appearing.-2 Tim. 4: 7, 8.
Verse 15: "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them." Here is a glorious deliverance, a gracious acceptance, a heavenly employment, and God to assist them, even in this life.
Verse 16: 66 "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat."
Verse 17: "For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Thus, by a faithful adherence to the gospel covenant, we are led by the Redeemer into the glorious mansions of the eternal God, there to live and reign forever
Before I conclude this chapter, it is neccessary to point out more clearly its application, particularly to the Jews; as
in the wise order of God's providence, it seems calculated to apply to them, as do also chapters 14 and 21, of this amazing book.
O, ye house of Israel, to whom was given the law, and also the promise of the Messiah's appearance and presence among you; ye who were so favored by the great Jehovah, who led you in a miraculous manner from Egyptian bondage, and bestowed on you the promised land, which was emblematic of additional blessings intended for you, know ye not that your high-priesthood, and the ordinances thereof, were also typical of that great atonement which conveyed spiritual comfort and eternal life to a sinful world? Your laws were as a schoolmaster, to conduct us to the Messiah, to whom ye are to hearken. Moses, the blessed servant of God, has, by heavenly inspiration, informed you that the Lord thy God would raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto himself, and unto him ye should hearken.-Deut. 18. Jacob, in whom the Spirit of God dwelt, has propbetically told you that the sceptre should not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and to him shall the gathering of the people be.-Gen. 49: 10. Ye have been a scattered and dispersed people, these many ages. For more than seventeen hundred years, the sceptre has departed from you. You have no abiding place; you are scornfully used among the nations of the earth. Sin is the cause of your dispersion, it is also the cause of the calamities attending on those who call themselves Christians. You may justly view with horror the crimes and impieties of Christendom, these fifteen hundred years. To you, therefore, it belongs, in a peculiar manner, to examine the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, and to set up the standard of truth once more in Judah, which truth is yet little known, and far less practiced, in the world. Among the professors of Christianity, there is a great diversity of opinions. Many
there are who say there are three persons in the Godhead, and each equal in power and glory with the Father; and that God sends a gift, or portion of his Spirit on those who are found worthy of it. Some contend that God has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass, and some deny it. There are many who support the authority of Scripture, as being the work of inspiration; some say otherwise, and call it a book of contradictions.
They of the Romish church believe that God has a mother, and pray to her, as such, to use her influence with God, in their favor. They also believe that their priests can change bread and wine into the real body and blood of Jesus Christ, and they render the worship to these earthly elements that is due to Christ. Are these just notions and conceptions concerning the adorable Creator of the universe? They of the Reformation emerged out of total darkness, ignorance, superstition, and idolatry. Could it be expected that they would come pure out of so corrupt a fountain. They divided into seven sects, which the prophet compares to the diversity of colors in the rainbow. Each sect thundered out its doctrines; but John was commanded to seal up and not write what these thunders uttered. See Rev. 10.
But when the tribes of Israel are sealed, or that new reformation effected, there shall be a multitude which no man can number, of all nations, kindreds, people, and tongues, standing before the throne, with white robes and palms in their hands. Here are the true marks of purity and truth, and of a victory over error, which is not to be ascribed to the Protestant reform; and they show the happy effects that the Jewish reformation will produce among the nations of the earth.
In the 14th chapter of this wonderful book of knowledge, the prophet describes the hundred and forty and four thousand, as being without guilt or fault before the throne of God; as being virgins, or undefiled; as being redeemed
from among men; as being the first fruits to God and the Lamb. "And they sung a new song which none other could learn." This shows the heavenly state of these Jews who became followers of Christ in the infancy of Christianity. Yet evil men and scorners waxed worse and worse. But more of this in its proper place. St. John also discovers the Jews as foremost in adorning that heavenly building, the new Jerusalem, under the figurative representation of the twelve tribes, as twelve gates or entrances into that holy city; and its foundation is laid by the twelve apostles of the Lamb.-Rev. 21.
Daniel, that holy and zealous servant of the living God, prophesied concerning the rise of the four great monarchies that should appear, and time has verified his predictions: as the Babylonian, Persian and Median, Macedonian, and the Roman. He foretold their power and their fall, particularly that of the Roman, which should be the fourth kingdom on earth, which should be diverse from all other kingdoms, and should tread them down, and should devour the whole earth, and break it in pieces. He showed the ten horns or principalities that should arise out of this kingdom, and also the little horn, or spiritual empire, that arose among them, which should be different from the rest. He then begins to speak particularly of the papal hierarchy, and says: He shall speak great words against the Most High, and think to change times, and laws; and they shall be given into his hands until a time and times, and dividing of times. This corresponds with John's forty-two months, or twelve hundred and sixty years of the papal reign. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it, unto the end. Then shall the Messiah's kingdom illustriously appear. For the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,