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members of the body of Christ in the resurrection when they appear with Christ in glory.
The Face of a Lion The lion is the king of beasts and is a symbol of majesty, dignity, and power. The righteous will be raised in power, and with Christ as the Lion of the tribe of Judah at their head they will have power over the nations, including the two rebellious nations of Israel, the two mountains of brass, and will rule them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
The Face of an Ox
The ox is a beast of sacrifice and is led to the slaughter. Christ was similarly led forth, and slain for us. His brethren also from Abel down, in multitudes of instances, have bowed down to the slaughter and been made a sacrifice for the truth's sake; and as they have been partakers of Christ's sufferings, they will also be partakers of the glory which shall be revealed.
The Face of an Eagle The eagle is a strong bird of prey, and powerful of Aight. The Lord said to Job out of the whirlwind, Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place, from thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes beholdeth afar off. Her young ones suck up blood and where the slain are there she is.” Moses said to the children of Israel concerning the day of their calamity, "The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flyeth” (Deut. 28:49); and Hosea says (8:1), “Set the trumpet to thy mouth; he shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.” And when Christ and his brethren come to execute judgment upon the wicked, they are likened to the eagle that hasteth to the prey, even as Jesus himself said, “ For as the lightning cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be, for wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”
THE WINGS OF THE FOUR BEASTS
"And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him." When Isaiah saw Christ's glory and spake of him, he said, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims (or cherubims); each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did Ay.” The wings of a bird are a symbol of the Spirit, for as a bird flies through the open firmament of heaven from place to place by means of its wings, even so the sons of God, when made perfect, will Ay, not with literal wings but by means of the power of the Spirit of God, as Daniel speaks of Gabriel, saying, "Yea, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.”
The prophet says that with two wings the cherubims covered their faces, thus showing that the faces of immortal men are by the spirit concealed from human sight: with two they covered their feet, showing thereby that the way that they go is hidden from the eyes of the children of men so that they cannot follow them: with two they did Ay, that is, by the power of the spirit they are able to mount up like eagles, and pass from place to place with the speed of lightning. They are able to move from one part of the universe to another by means of the same spirit by which the Father himself upholds and controls all things.
These things are in accordance with what Jesus taught, saying, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” This figure perfectly illustrates the power of immortal men; their voice may be heard speaking, yet no one among the children of men in the flesh can any more tell whence they came or whither they go than they can tell from whence the wind comes or whither it goes. So is every one that is born by resurrection, or translation.
SEVENTH. THE BOOK, THE LAMB, AND THE SEALS (REV. 5) “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne, a book written within and on the back side, sealed with seven seals (Rev. 5:1). As to what was written in this book, the Prophet Ezekiel has given us a very clear intimation. He saw visions of the glory of God, and of the cherubims and their work, and after he saw these things he says (2:9-10), “ And when I looked, behold, a hand was sent unto me, and lo, a roll of a book was therein. And he spread it before me, and it was written within and without, and there was written therein lamentations and mourning and woe" (3:1-9). “Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat what thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.
“And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give. Then did I eat it, and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. And he said unto me, Son of man, Go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them (and please note what the Lord now says). For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech, and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel; not to many people of a strange speech and of a hard language whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee, for they will not hearken unto me, for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads, as an adamant, harder than Aint have I made thy forehead; fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house."
Now these remarkable words of the Lord by the hand of Ezekiel are a key to the deep things of the Revelation, for they proceed from the author
of the Book of the Revelation. And now observe that the prophet was required to eat the roll of the book that was passed to him by a hand, and then go and speak the Lord's words to them. Therefore the things contained in this book are the things that the prophet was sent to speak to the house of Israel. The prophet did as he was commanded, and the things that he spake to them therefore are the things written in the Book of Ezekiel, which we now have in our hands and can read at our pleasure. So the things that were written in that little book, that contained so much that it was written within and without like the little book that John saw in the Father's right hand, are the things in the Book of Ezekiel, especially those parts which treat of the abominations and idolatries of the house of Israel and the house of Judah, and the sweeping desolations and judgments that will overtake them like a whirlwind in the day of their calamity, when they will be destroyed by the sword, by the famine, and the pestilence.
These things relate to the two houses, as the Lord said to Ezekiel when the destroying angels went through the city with their slaughter weapons in their hand, as it is written (9:8). The prophet speaks, saying, “And it came to pass while they were slaying them, I fell upon my face, and cried and said, Ah Lord God, wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel, in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness, for they say, The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not. As for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head."
ISRAEL, THE THEME
Now the important lesson to be learned here is this, that the things contained in the scroll, or little book, that was handed to Ezekiel and that he was required to eat and digest, and then go and proclaim the things contained therein to the rebellious house of Israel, are the same things that are contained in the little book that John saw in the right hand of him which sat upon the throne. . Therefore as the things contained in the little book that Ezekiel was required to eat, related exclusively to the rebellious house of Israel and Judah, even so the little book that John saw refers exclusively to the same things and to the same people, the house of Israel and the house of Judah, and as both books were full, within and on the back side, and as in the one were written lamentations and mourning and woe, so in the other would be written the same, hence the three war trumpets, as it is written in the Revelation (8:13), saying, “And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels which are yet to sound.”
Moreover as the little book handed to Ezekiel contained the righteous judgments of God written therein, which were to be executed upon the rebellious house of Israel, consisting of the three principal elements of destruction which God employs to destroy the wicked; namely, the sword, the famine, and the pestilence; even so the little book that John saw in the Father's right hand is found to contain the same. For when the Lamb opens the first four
seals, the color of the horses on which the riders go forth, and the things that are read out of the little book as each seal is opened indicate to a certainty that the principal judgments to be executed under these four seals are by the sword, the famine, and the pestilence; but the name of the rebellious house of Israel upon which these judgments are to be inflicted, is purposely withheld in the Revelation, and can only be found out by the aid of the prophets, where these things are more plainly and openly spoken of than they are in this remarkable book of symbols and metaphors.
The angel spake to John of the Book of the Revelation, which is called "the testimony of Jesus," saying, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” For this reason, a person must familiarize himself with the spirit of prophecy as it is contained in the writings of the prophets, or he never can decipher the mysteries of this book. Moreover, if a man thinks that the views herein presented are entirely too limited and circumscribed in attempting to apply the things set forth in these wonderful visions and revelations contained in the last book of the Bible chiefly to things which are to rise and be manifested in the latter days in the little kingdom of Israel, instead of seeking to find their fulfillment among the great events that have transpired, and that are now transpiring among the mighty nations of the earth, we say, Let such an one consider this, that the Lord did not choose as his people the great kingdoms and empires of antiquity, such as the Assyrian, the Babylonian, the MedoPersian, the Grecian, or the Roman, to be his people, nor did he choose the people of Israel because they were the greatest and mightiest nation upon earth. For Moses spake to Israel in the land of Moab, when he gave them the second law, saying, "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God. The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people, for ye were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he hath sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the land of Pharaoh king of Egypt."
Now concerning this fewest of all people in comparison with the mighty nations of the earth, the Lord spake to them by the hand of the prophet Amos, saying, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth, therefore will I punish you for all your iniquities.” According to this word of the Lord, just in the ratio that he has honored Israel above all other nations, just in the same ratio will their punishment be over and above the punishments that will be inflicted upon the nations. Therefore the fiercest wrath of God will be reserved for them, in the day of judgment, for the Lord says of Jerusalem and her people (Ezek. 5:6), "She hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her, for they have refused my judgments, and my statutes; they have not walked in them."
Therefore the Book of the Revelation contains the judgments written against the rebellious house of Israel. The plagues proclaimed on the opening of the seals are judgments upon the rebellious house; the seven trumpets are trumpets of alarm against the rebellious house of Israel, and are not trumpets of alarm against Gentile nations. The seven last plagues are plagues upon mystical Sodom and Egypt; the sinful nation of Israel, and the great wine-press of the wrath of God is an Israelitish wine-press in which is cast the vine of Sodom, as Moses speaks of them in the song of witness (Deut. 32: 32-33), “Their vine is the vine of Sodom, and the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter; their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps." And the Lord inquires, “ Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up (with seven seals) among my treasures?'
THE STRONG ANGEL'S PROCLAMATION (REV. 5:2-5) " And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders said unto me, Weep not, Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” When a person understands that this little book is the book of judgment, and when opened and read sets forth the rewards for the righteous and the rewards of the wicked, both of the living and the dead, then the significance of the question asked by the angel is manifest, when he cried with a loud voice, saying, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?” “There is one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ.” Again, Jesus said, “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son, that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father which hath sent him." Peter said to Cornelius, that they were commanded to preach unto the people and to testify that it is he (Jesus) which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead; and Paul said (Rom. 14:9), “Christ both died and rose and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living."
Again, Paul says to the Philippians (2:8-11) of Jesus, "Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name (Jehovah) which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth (the dead) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (that is Jehovah) to the glory of God the Father."
Again, the Scriptures testify of him in the days of his flesh, saying (Ps. 45:7), “Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness, therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." This person, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book of judgment, and to loose the seven seals thereof, and to execute the righteous judgments written therein.
Therefore, the person that these Scriptures treat of, John saw in vision on the day of the Lord when he was prepared to enter upon the work of judgment to judge his people, the rebellious house, to bring their strength to the earth, to judge the bloody city Jerusalem and her people, and to wash