Thanks to our Brother In The Lord Regie Rhodes in Memphis Tennessee, for scanning this rare work. To God be the Glory.

 

TO THE

READER


Reader,


 

 

Re 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

This chapter consists of three general parts; first, an inspiration. {Re 1:1,2,3} Secondly, a direction of the prophecies of this book. {Re 1:4,9} Thirdly, the first vision of these revelations. {Re 1:9,20}

In the first verse we have the title of this book,

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ"

As the whole scripture being given by inspiration of God, is the revelation of his holy will, {Eph 3:4,5} so this last part of the Holy Scripture is the Revelation of Jesus Christ: Also the author of this revelation,

"which God gave unto him"

that is, God the Father gave unto his Son Jesus Christ

"To show unto his servants"

First, his sanctified servants, called saints: {Ro 6:12 1Co 1:2} Second, his suffering servants, called martyrs. {Re 19:2} Thirdly, all his ministering servants, called angels (or elders) of his churches, {Re 1:20 1Co 4:1,2}

"Things that must shortly come to pass"

that is, the dispensations of God both touching his Church, and his and their enemies.

"And he sent and signified it by his Angel unto his Servant John"

The holy angels are God's ministering spirits. {Heb 1:7-14} John was the ministering servant of Jesus Christ to his churches; the ancient learned and godly writers called him "John the Divine," because he wrote so profoundly of the divinity of Jesus Christ both in his gospel and in his epistles.

Re 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

"Who bare Record of the Word of God"

{Joh 1:1,2,3 1Jo 1:2,3 5:7} The Word made Flesh. {Joh 1:14 1Ti 3:16} God manifested in the flesh; God over all blessed for ever. {Ro 9:5} His name is called the Word of God. {Re 19:13}

"And of the Testimony of Jesus Christ"

that is, the witness, which the prophets, apostles, ministers, and martyrs of Jesus Christ have testified of Christ, his life, sufferings, and glory, that should follow. {1Pe 1:9,10,11}

"And of all things that he saw"

that is, all those things which Jesus Christ showed his servant John in the visions and prophecies of this his revelation.

Re 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

"Blessed is he that readeth"

That is, so readeth, as that he understandeth what he readeth {Ac 8:30} ginwskein a anaginwskein; understandeth thou what thou readeth? and so expoundeth what he readeth that the people may understand the reading, as they did, {Ne 8:8} and as the Apostle Paul did. {Ac 28:23}

"And they that hear the Words of this Prophecy"

that is, They that are diligent hearers, who hear what the Spirit speaketh thereby to the churches, {Isa 55:3 Re 2:7,11,17} not being forgetful hearers, but believing hearers, {Heb 4:2} and doers, {Jas 1:22,25} "and keep those things which are written therein".

 

 

Re 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

Those seven churches in the lesser Asia, were the true visible constituted particular churches of Jesus Christ. And such were the churches in Judea, in Achaia, in Galatia, and all the churches of Christ that were in the apostles days, that we read of in the Holy Scripture of the New Testament; whom John thus saluted

"Grace be to you, and peace," etc.

All having grace, and all spiritual peace floweth from God, and was, and is, and is to come; through the mediation and intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ, by the operation of the Holy Eternal Spirit into the hearts of saints and churches of saints. By the grace of God, we are to understand not only the love and favor of God, but also all grace, {1Pe 5:10} more and greater measure of every grace; {Jas 4:6} truth of grace; {Col 1:6} growth in grace; {2Pe 3:18} and perfection of grace at last. {Eph 4:13} And by peace, spiritual peace, which is peace with God; {Ro 5:1} peace in ourselves {Ro 15:13 1Th 5:13} among ourselves. By the seven spirits, which are before his throne, we are to understand the Holy Eternal Spirit with his diversity of gifts, operations, and administrations, {1Co 12:4,5,6,11} there called seven, which is a prophetical number in this prophecy, signifying both variety and perfection.

 

 

Re 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

"And from Jesus Christ"

who is here described by his prophetical office,

"who is the faithful witness"

{Re 3:14} God gave Christ for a witness unto the people. {Isa 55:4} Christ was that great Prophet, {Ac 3:21 7:37} who did faithful testify the whole will of God. {Joh 15:15 17:6,8,26}

"And the first-begotten of the dead"

the description of the priestly office. There are two parts of his priestly office. Satisfaction {1Ti 2:5,6} and intercession; {Heb 7:24,25} Christ is called God's first-born from the dead.

"And the Prince of the kings of the Earth"

These words are a description of Christ's kingly office. There are two sorts of persons called kings of the earth; first, the great potentates and powers of this world, {Re 9:19} who give their power, strength and kingdom to the beast. {Re 17:12,13,17} Christ is the Prince of these kings, therefore called the only potentate, the King of kings, the Lord of lords. {1Ti 6:15} Secondly, Christ's redeemed ones out of all nations, are made unto God, kings and priests, who shall reign on earth; {Re 5:9,10} Christ is King of saints; {Re 15:3} King of Sion; {Ps 149:1,2} and King of nations. {Jer 10:7,10 Zec 14:9 Re 11:15}

"Who hath loved us"

The love of Christ to his redeemed ones, is the same wherewith the Father loved him; {Joh 17:10,23,26} everlasting love. {Jer 31:3 Joh 13:1}

"And washed us from our Sins in his own blood"

This blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin; {1Jo 1:7,9} purgeth our conscience from dead works; {Heb 9:14} sanctifieth us; {Heb 13:12} justifieth us. {Ro 5:9} Thereby we are redeemed. {Eph 1:7 Heb 9:15}

 

 

 

Re 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

This verse contains a doxology, wherein is ascribed glory and dominion unto the Lord Jesus Christ for all the blessings and benefits of his Mediatorialship, kings and priests basileion ierateuma. Read. 1Pe 2:5,9 Da 2:44 7:12,13,18,22,27 The first to Judah. Mic 4:6,7,8 Isa 61:6 Re 11:15 The kingdom of his father David. Lu 1:31,32,33 Zec 14:9

Re 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. Even so, Amen.

John doth not say, Christ is come, the primitive saints did know that, 1Jo 5:20 nor doth he say Christ will come, Heb 10:37 though that is certain. Heb 9:28 But he saith

"Behold, he cometh"

Christ is preparing to come a second time, he is making way for his kingdom and coming.

"And every eye shall see him"

Job testified his faith in this matter. Job 19:25,26,27 Also the Prophet Zechariah. Zec 12:10 Christ's second coming, and of the faith and hope of the saints therein, Re 22:20 Even so come Lord Jesus.

 

 

Re 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

"Alpha and Omega"

that is, the first and the last. Re 22:13

"The beginning and the end"

Isa 46:9,10 both eternal and unchangeable.

"Which is, and was, and is to come"

Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

"The Almighty"

Re 4:8,11 whose name is JEHOVAH. Jer 23:6 God over all blessed for ever. Ro 9:5

 

 

 

Re 1:9 "I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."

"I John"

a servant of Jesus Christ, and apostle of Christ Mt 10:2 and an elder. 1Pe 5:1,2 Joh 1:1

"Who also am your Brother"

in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, called the Brotherhood. 1Pe 2:17 Why should not John, as well as Jesus, Christ's ministers as well as their Lord, call the saints brethren? Heb 2:11,12 He was not ashamed to call them brethren,

"And Companion in Tribulation"

fellow citizens with the saints are fellow sufferers with the saints Eph 2:19, with Php 1:29, also 2Th 1:3,4,5,6,7; and Heb 10:33.

"And in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ"

They that are fellow heirs with the saints in the kingdom of glory, must be fellow sufferers in the kingdom of patience trough tribulation. Ac 14:22

"Was in the Isle that is called Patmos, for the Word of God, and for the Testimony of Jesus"

Patmos is an island in the Aegean Sea, near the coast of the lesser Asia, into which island John was banished in the reign of Domitian a Roman, pagan emperor; not for treason, nor rebellion, nor any other crime against civil government; but for the word of God, which he preached, and the testimony of Jesus Christ that John bare. Joh 21:24 This is the disciple who testified of those things, and we know that his testimony is true.

 

 

Re 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

"Spirit"

To be in the "Spirit" here, is not only to be in a spiritual frame, as the true worshippers are, who worship God in spirit and truth, Joh 4:23, praying in the spirit, and signing in the spirit, {as 1Co 14:15} but also to be in a spiritual rapture, or ecstasies, as Peter was, when he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened; {Ac 10:10,11} or, as Paul was, when he was caught up into the third heaven into the visions and revelations of Christ. {2Co 12:1,2,4,7}

"on the Lord's day"

The time when John was in the "Spirit" is here called, "the LORD'S DAY." Had the text been here, "in the day of the LORD" or, "in that day of the LORD;" it might have been understood and expounded of any notable day of the LORD recorded in the Holy Scripture; (as 1Co 5:5 2Co 1:14 1Th 5:2; and 2Pe 3:10). But the text here being "on the LORD'S day," it must be understood and expounded of that day only and most properly so called; which was well known to all the churches of saints to belong peculiarly unto Christ, then being the day of His resurrection, on which day the disciples met together to break bread, Ac 10:7 being the first day of the week. The like propriety of speech we have so expressed by the apostle; {1Co 11:20,25} "the LORD'S Supper;" which was indeed Instituted by the LORD himself. And the Lord's Day, properly so called here, was the first day of the week, {as Mt 28:1} In the end of the Sabbath; that was, the seventh day Sabbath, which then was done away, as it began to dawn "towards the first of Sabbaths;" {so Mr 16:12} Valde mane une Sabbatrum; the Sabbath being finished,( to which, the seventh day Sabbath being now ended) very early in the morning, that is, early of the first of Sabbaths. And the reader may observe, that where in our English translation the LORD'S day is called the first day of the week, it is in the Greek text called the first of Sabbaths. This is the gospel Sabbath that remaineth unto the people of God, from the day of Christ's resurrection unto His Second Coming. As the Lord's Supper ought to be celebrated in remembrance of Christ's death; {1Co 11:24,25} so the Lord's Day ought to be observed in remembrance of his resurrection from the dead.

"And heard behind me a great Voice, as of a Trumpet"

This vision (and all the visions of God) consists of two parts, viz., something heard and something seen. That which the apostle heard was a voice behind him, (according to God's promise, Isa 30:20,21) an articulate voice, words that he understood, and whereby he was directed what he ought to do in the day of his exile; when he could not preach unto the churches in Asia; which direction is given in the next verse. It is called a great voice, to wit, the voice of the great God our Saviour Jesus Christ; as of a trumpet, {as Isa 58:1} that is, a loud voice, and thereby a certain and distinct sound and voice of words in a tongue or language, which John did well understand, as appears by the verse following.

 

 

Re 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

In this verse, we have the former description of Jesus Christ, his deity and eternity repeated, {see Re 1:8} that John might know, first, whose voice it was that spake unto him, and that he heard behind them. Secondly, from whom he had commission (as formerly to Preach, so now) to write. Thirdly, that the churches might know that this Book of the Revelation is also that part of the Holy Scripture of truth, unto which nothing is to be added, nor any thing taken away. {Re 22:18,19,10,21}

"What thou seest, Write in a Book"

It is the liberty of the ministers of Christ, when they cannot edify the churches of God by preaching unto them, to endeavor their edification by writing unto them.

"and send it unto the Seven Churches which are in Asia" etc.

Those seven churches were planted by the apostles in the seven principle cities in the lesser Asia, here named, and hence each particular church denominated, as appears in the second and third chapters of this Book, {Re 2} {Re 3} in the exposition whereof, more will be spoken of this matter: All that I shall say in general touching these, (and other churches of God mentioned in the Holy Scripture) in this place is,

First, that each church contained and comprehended, the whole number of them that believed in Jesus Christ, confessed the faith of the gospel, and walked in the order and ordinances of the Lord in one city and suburbs thereof; and had the denomination of that city, and was called the church of God in that city. Search these Scriptures, Ac 1:1,5 1Th 1:1 Re 2:1,8,12,18 3:1,7,14.

Secondly, although the church in any city, at the beginning and first planting of it, was but one congregation, and assembled themselves together in one place, {Ac 2:1 4:31 1Co 14:23} yet when the number of the disciples was multiplied, {Ac 4:32 6:1,2} and multitudes both men and women were added to the Lord, and by the Lord to the church, {Ac 2:41,47 4:4 5:14} then the church was necessitated, for the edification of the multitude, and great number of the members thereof, to assemble themselves together in particular congregations, and became distinct companies, of whom we read, {Ac 4:19,23} Peter and John had their own company or congregation, and so had Paul and Barnabas, and each company or congregation had their elders and deacons, {Php 1:1} and the denomination of the church, {1Co 16:1} and are called churches. {1Co 16:16} The apostles writing to the saints in the Church of Corinth, said, Let your Women keep silence in the Churches. {1Co 14:34 2Co 8:24} Shew ye to them, and before the Churches, the proof of your Love.

Thirdly, church is an homogenial word, as water in the sea, in a river, in a well, and in a spoon, is called water; so the assembly or congregation of sanctified believers in the general assembly, is called the church, {Heb 12:23} and the particular assemblies or congregations in any city is called the church, {1Co 1:1,2} so in any village or town, {Ro 16:1} yea, in and house. {Col 4:15}

 

 

Re 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

"to see the voice"

To "see the Voice" of God, is figuratively and prophetically put for hearing, understanding, and receiving that truth or word of God, which by the "Voice" was spoken to him, as Isa 2:1,2. The Word that Isaiah the Son of Amos saw; that is, the prophecy that Isaiah heard, understood and received by the word of the Lord.

"That spake with me"

God did polumerwv kai polutropwv; at sundry times and in divers manners speak unto the fathers by the prophets; and hath in the last days spoken unto us by his Son, {Heb 1:1,2} whose voice this was that spake to John.

"And being turned, I saw Seven Golden Candlesticks"

Here begins the second part of this first vision, to wit, that which the apostle saw: Those "Seven Candlesticks" are interpreted by Christ himself, {Re 1:20} to be the seven churches unto whom John was commanded to send this Book. {Re 1:11} The seven churches are called "Candlesticks" for their visibility {Mt 5:14,15,16} and "Golden Candlesticks;" First, from the purity of the worship of God administered in the churches of saints {Joh 4:23,24} according to Christ's institutions. {1Co 11:1,2} Secondly, from the holiness of the ministers and members in the churches of God, upon whom was written holiness to the Lord, and therefore called the churches of saints. {1Co 14:33} Thirdly, from the purging power, and purifying efficacy of church censures, to wit, admonition of offending unruly persons, suspension of those that walked disorderly, and excommunication of wicked, ungodly, and obstinate sinners. {1Th 5:14 2Th 3:6,15 1Co 5:7,13}

 

 

Re 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

The LORD Jesus Christ (who is the Mediator) is here personally described after his ascension, as he was before his resurrection. {Da 7:13} Such a discovery of Christ Stephen had. Ac 7:55-56 He was real, this mystical, as appears by metaphorical description of Christ here following.

"Clothed with a Garment down to the Foot," etc.

Long garments were worn among the Jews by two sorts of persons, and both for distinction from others, and for dignity above others; namely, kings and priests. {Le 8:6-9 Isa 22:20-23}

"And girt about the Paps with a Golden Girdle"

The girdle that John saw Jesus girt about the breasts with, signifies his divine power, strength, and kingly authority. {Isa 22:20-23} I will strengthen him with thy girdle, I will commit the government into his hands {Isa 11:5 9:6,7} Jesus Christ is present in and with his churches of saints at all times. {Mt 18:20} Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them: That is, they have his spiritual presence and power. {1Co 5:4 Re 2:7-11 Mt 28:20} And lo, I am with you always, pasav tav hmerav, daily, all days, and every day, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

 

Re 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

"His Head and his Hairs were white like Wool, as white as Snow"

The whiteness of his Head and Hairs signify, that Christ is co-eternal with the Father, who is called the Ancient of Days. {Da 7:9-13} Because HE was from everlasting before the earth was. {Pr 8:22,23}

"And his Eyes were as a flame of Fire"

The prophet Daniel had such a representation of Christ in his vision. {Da 10:6} And his Eyes as lamps of Fire. So Re 19:12,13 hereby is described Christ's omnisciency. {Heb 4:12,13} His Eyes are like a flame of Fire, which hath a piercing, purging, and purifying nature. {Mal 3:2,3,4 Re 2:18-23}

 

 

Re 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

"And his feet like unto fine brass, as having been refined in a furnace," etc.

By the "Feet" of Christ here, we may understand the paths or ways of his feet, called his footsteps, which the saints ought to follow, {1Pe 2:21} both in suffering and in doing the Father's will. Christ's active and passive obedience hath been tried, as "refined brass," and all Christ's proceedings in the world, against his, and his churches and peoples enemies and adversaries, are righteous, firm, and stable. {De 32:4 1Co 15:24,25}

"And his Voice as the sound of many Waters"

Christ's "Voice" is either the voice of his word, or the voice of his rod. First, the WORD is his voice. {Jer 26:1,2} either commanding, {Ps 33:9,10} effecting {Joh 5:25} or forbidding, {Ex 20:13-17} and hindering. {Ge 20:6} Secondly, the rod is his voice, {Mic 6:9} The Lord's voice crieth unto the city-Hear ye the rod; and who hath appointed it; viz. The rod of correction wherewith he chasteneth his own children in love and measure, {Re 3:19 Ps 89:30-32-37} or his iron rod, the rod of his wrath, wherewith HE breaketh in pieces all his enemies. {Ps 2:9,10 Lu 19:14-27 Re 2:27} Christ's "Voice" is compared to "the sound of many Waters," with respect unto the majesty and power thereof. {Ps 29:3-5} The Voice of the LORD is powerful, the Voice of the Lord is full of Majesty. {Re 1:10} The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever. Christ is King of saints, {Re 15:3} King of Zion, {Ps 149:2} and King of nations, {Jer 10:7-10 Re 11:15} and Everlasting King. {1Ti 6:15} Now where the word of a king is, there is power. {Ec 8:4}

 

Re 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

"And he had in his right hand seven stars," etc.

These "seven stars" are interpreted, {Re 1:20} to be the seven angels of the seven churches See KNOLLYS "Rev 1:20" and Re 2:1,8,12,18, etc. See KNOLLYS "Rev 2:1"

See KNOLLYS "Rev 2:8"

See KNOLLYS "Rev 2:12"

See KNOLLYS "Rev 2:18" who are called "Stars" metaphorically, as the church of God is called heaven {Mt 16:18,19} and Christ is called the Sun, {Mal 4:2} so his ministers are called stars {Da 12:3} for their shining both in doctrine and conversation. {Mt 5:14,15,16} And they are said to be in Christ right Hand to teach us, first, that Christ only hath authority and power to call, appoint, and send ministers to preach the gospel. {Mt 28:18,19,20 Ro 10:15} Secondly, that Christ is with his ministers in their work. {1Co 3:9 Ac 11:19-22} The Hand of the Lord was with them. {Re 3:7,8} Thirdly, that Christ preserves his faithful ministers, and keeps them safe from the rage of devils and wicked men. Their rage shall turn to his praise, and the remainder he will restrain. {Ac 26:17-22}

"And out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword," etc.

Christ's kingly and priestly offices were signified by his robe and girdle, {Re 1:13} and his prophetical office is represented here by his "sword," {Re 19:15-21} the Sword that proceedeth "out of his Mouth, which is the Word of God." {Eph 6:15 Heb 4:12} It will discover to sinners and to saints the thoughts and intents of their hearts, cutting them to the heart, {Ac 7:51-54} and pricking them in the heart. {Ac 2:36,37} So shall the word of the LORD be that goeth out of his mouth, it shall accomplish that which he pleaseth, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto he sends it {Isa 55:11}

"And his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength"

When the sun shineth in its strength it produceth various effects upon the earth; the trees, the corn and the grass, etc. grow and spring, so doth the countenance of the LORD Jesus Christ: I shall instance in three various effects, first, the clear shinning of the sun after rain, causeth the tender grass to spring out of the earth, {2Sa 23:4} so doth the clear manifestations of the love and grace of God in Christ (called the Light of his Countenance; Ps 11:7 42:5), clear the hearts of sanctified believers, and doth make them exceeding glad, {Ps 21:6 Ac 2:28} yea those lights and shinings of Christ makes a spring of grace, joy, and peace of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. Secondly, the clear shining heat of the sun, when the rain and dews are withheld, scorcheth and withereth the grass, and burns it up, {Mt 13:6} so doth the rebukes of God, and his angry countenance. {Ps 80:15,16} The frowns of the Almighty are dreadful, so was his fiery countenance unto Pharaoh's host {Ex 14:24,25,28} Read Ps 2:9,10,11,12, Kiss the Son, least HE be angry, and ye perish, etc. Thirdly, the clear and bright-shining of the sun in its full strength dazzleth our natural eyes (especially if they before are weak sighted). So did the shining glory of Christ cause the prophet to cry out, Woe is me, for I an undone. {Isa 6:1,3,5 Joh 12:41} This shining glory of the sun of righteousness amazed Christ's three disciples, Peter, James and John, so that they fell on their faces and were afraid to look up. {Mt 17:1,2,6} And the like effect had this vision of Christ's glorious countenance upon the apostle, as is testified by him in the next verse.

 

 

Re 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

"And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead," etc.

The apostle was not "dead" not in a swoon, but rather in a trance, as Peter was, {Ac 10:10} and astonished, as Daniel was, {Da 8:27} whose comeliness was turned in him to corruption. {Da 10:5,6,8} Did not God hold back the face of his throne, as Job speaketh {Job 26:9} or put us into the cliff of the rock, as he did Moses, while his glory passeth by, {Ex 33:22,23} we should not be able to behold the glimpses of his glory; nor can sanctified believers behold the shining light of the glory of God, but in the face of Christ, {2Co 4:6} and that glory of the LORD, they must behold in the glass of the gospel. {2Co 3:18} Such raptures and ravishments of soul in the revelations, and manifestations of Jesus Christ put Paul into so great an ecstasy, that he knew not, whether he was in the body of out of the body. {2Co 12:1,2,3,4}

"And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not, I AM the First, and the Last"

John the servant of Jesus Christ now lying at his "feet," not only as one deeply humbled, but as one "dead," not at all alive, but a mere passive creature; his gracious LORD showed him mercy, and laid his right hand upon him to strengthen him with strength in his soul, (as he did his poor worm Jacob; Isa 41:8-10), saying unto him,

"Fear not, I AM the First and the Last"

Christ's deity "I AM," and his eternity "the First and the Last" revealed and believed, and by himself applied unto sanctified believers, will abate their fears, and remove them. {Ps 56:3,4 Isa 8:12,13-14 Mt 14:27 Mr 5:36 1Pe 3:14}

 

 

Re 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

"I am he that liveth, and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, AMEN," etc.

In these words Christ asserteth, first, his being crucified, "I am He that was dead;" Secondly, his resurrection from the dead "I am He that liveth;" both which great gospel truths the apostle Paul received from Christ also be revelation, {1Co 15:3,4,8} Thirdly, his exhortation to consider, that "HE lives for evermore," and sets his "AMEN" unto it. One end of Christ's "living for evermore" is, that the saints may live eternally, {Joh 14:19} another end thereof is to make intercession for the saints, and save them to the uttermost in coming to God by him. {Heb 7:24,25,26}

"And have the keys of hell and of death"

That this, the LORD Jesus Christ hath authority, power, and dominion over "hell and death," that is, over the first and second death. {Ac 17:31 Re 20:13,14 Lu 12:5} HE hath "the keys of death" and of the grave, to let in, and shut up whom and when he will; and to call out of the grave, and raise from the dead, whom and when he will; as he did Lazarus: And HE hath the "keys of hell" and the second death, into which all the wicked shall be turned, {Ps 9:17} and at Christ's command hell must give up the souls that are in it, to be returned to their own bodies and appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, and receive that final sentence of the eternal judgement. {Mt 25:41-46} The whole power of these "keys" are expressed. {Re 20:11,12,13,14,15}

 

 

Re 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

The commission which Jesus Christ gave his servant John, {Re 1:11} is here repeated and enlarged; wherein also we have a summary division of this whole Book of the Revelation into three parts. First, the then present state and condition of the church of God, and particularly of the seven churches in Asia;

"the things which are,"

as then they were represented unto John in the first three chapters of this book. {Re 1} {Re 2} {Re 3} Secondly,

"the things which thou hast seen"

which were not yet come to pass, touching the Roman pagan state, and, the condition of the church of God under those heathen powers, and their persecutions and revolutions, as they were represented unto John in the 4, 5, 6, Chapters of this Book. {Re 4} {Re 5} {Re 6} Thirdly,

"and the things which shall be hereafter"

That is, to say, the Roman, Asian, and papal state, and the condition of the church of God under those anti-Christian powers, and their persecutions, together with all the great revolutions which shall be in states, kingdoms and churches, from the apostles days unto the end of this present evil world, in order unto the setting up the everlasting kingdom of the LORD Jesus Christ, and the coming down of the New Jerusalem from God out of heaven, which shall be hereafter in that world which is to come; together with Christ's coming to Judgment, (called the eternal judgment; Heb 6:1,2), which things John had revealed unto him by Jesus Christ, in the other chapters of this book; especially {Re 13} {Re 16} {Re 18} {Re 19} {Re 20} {Re 21} {Re 22} of this prophecy of the Revelation.

 

 

Re 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

"The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks"

A mystery implies, first, some secret or hidden thing, not obvious unto every eye, {Col 1:26,27 Ro 16:25,26} until it be revealed and made known. Secondly, some real and excellent thing, {1Ti 3:16} worth our knowledge and understanding, being profitable to us. {1Ti 4:8} Thirdly, some practical thing, and applicable for our use and behalf, {1Ti 4:7,8 Col 1:26,27} when we know it.

"The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches"

Why the ministers of the gospel are called "stars" see Re 1:16. The ministry of the law was cloudy and dark, in comparison of the ministry of the gospel {2Co 3:6,11} This excelled it in glory, therefore the ministers of the gospel are called "stars," and they are also called angels, because they are the special messengers of God, whom He sendeth to preach the glad tidings of salvation by Jesus Christ unto the people. {Mr 16:15 Lu 9:52} And the Churches received the Ministers of Christ as Angels. {Ga 4:14}

Christ puts this name of dignity upon his ministers, that the churches and people to whom they preach, should count them worthy of double honor, {1Ti 5:17} therefore called and diligent labor: The churches and saints should have such ministers in reputation, and esteem them highly in love for their works sake. {Php 2:19 1Th 5:13} These names of dignity should put the ministers of Christ in mind of their duty, to wit, to let their light shine before men, for they are called stars {Mt 5:16} and to wait on their ministry, {Ro 6,7,8,11} not slothful in business, but fervent in Spirit, serving the Lord, for they are called angels (who are God's ministers and his ministering spirits; Heb 1:7,14), such ought Christ's ministers to be, his and his churches ministering servants.

"And the seven candlesticks which thou sawest, are the seven churches"

The candlestick in God's tabernacle, {Ex 25:31,37,40} was pure gold, with seven lamps lighted, according to the pattern which God shewed Moses in the mount. The church of God under the first and old covenant, and Mosaical dispensation of the law, being national and but one church, tabernacle and temple was represented by a golden candlestick. {Zec 4:2} The church of God under the second and new covenant and apostolical dispensation of the gospel, being congregational, were represented unto John by two candlesticks {Re 11:4} and hereby seven. {Re 1:12,20}

The churches of saints under the gospel and new covenant of grace, are fitly resembled unto candlesticks, because the shinning and glorious light, first, of the knowledge of salvation to sinners; Secondly, of the pure spiritual worship of god by his saints; Thirdly, of the manifold wisdom of God and his glory, is to be made known by the churches throughout all ages, {Eph 3,9,10,11,21} and therefore the church of God, under the dispensation of the gospel, is called the Pillar of Truth, {1Ti 3:15} for the truth, as it is in Jesus, is born forth and declared thereby. As the edicts, and laws, and proclamations of the potentates, kings and princes of this world, are fixed upon pillars to be know and read of all men; so God's truth, Christ's laws, and all his holy ordinances, are given unto the churches, and are to be declared and administered in his churches visibly and publicly, to the glory and praise of God.

 

 

Re 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

"Unto the Angel of the Church of Ephesus, write," etc..

This first epistle written to the Ephesian Church (and all the other six epistles to the other six churches), doth contain three general parts; viz. First, a preface. Secondly, The narrative of the matter either commended or reproved. Thirdly, the conclusion of the epistle.

"Ephesus"

Ephesus was the chief city in Asia the less, situated toward the Ionian Sea, where the Apostle Paul preached the gospel with great success (though not without some opposition; Ac 19:9,10,18,19,20). So mighty grew the word of God and prevailed, that there this church was planted by Paul, and watered by Apollo, Timotheus and Arastus, ministers of Jesus Christ, {Ac 18:24,25 19:1,22} unto which church the Apostle Paul afterwards wrote that epistle, entitled, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians. What is said in general touching this and all other gospel churches, you may read in the exposition of Re 1:11.

This Ephesian Church, at the first planting thereof, was a particular congregation consisting of a few baptized believers, who were separated from the profane idolatrous gentiles and their idol temples; also from the formal superstitious Jews and their synagogues, by the ministers of Christ, and congregated together to worship God in spirit and in truth visibly, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of God blamelessly, according to the order of the gospel. {read Ac 19:1,2,3,5,6,7,9 Eph 1:1,2,13,14 2:19-22 4:1,2,3,15,16}

The angel of this church, and the angels of the other six Asian Churches, were not of the holy elect celestial angels of God, those ministering spirits, {Heb 1:14} nor was this angel any one of the apostles of Christ, though there were some in this church at that time, who said they were apostles, but were not, as appears from Re 2:2. Nor was this angel any one individual man or minister, that had the superintendence over, or precedence above all the other ministers in this church, as being the Apostle John's delegate or substitute in his absence; for we read not of any such in this prophecy of the Revelation.

"Angel,"

But by Angel in this and all the other epistles written to the seven churches in Asia, we are to understand the episcopacy, presbytery, and ministry in each particular church, unto whom the charge, oversight, care and government thereof was committed by the Holy Spirit, whom the Apostle Paul called touv presbuterouv, Ac 20:17 and episkopouv, Ac 20:28; elders and bishops, among whom none were lords over God's heritage, {1Pe 5:1,2,3} mhd wv katakurieuontev twn klhrwn, not as them that over-rule the clergy; Arias Mont. Neg; ut dominantes cleris. So the word "Angel" in all these seven epistles, is a noun collective, comprehending all the bishops and presbyters, called elders, {Ac 20:17} in this Church of Ephesus, so in all other churches of Christ in Asia, and elsewhere.

"These things saith be, that holdeth the Seven Stars in his right hand," etc.

By holding ministers "in his right hand" is signifying Christ's powerful and gracious protection over them for their safety and preservation: {see Re 1:16} Did not Christ by his Almighty power, hold up and keep safe his faithful ministers, the powers of this world would soon cast down those stars from the ecclesiastical heaven, silence the ministers of the gospel, and exile them, and persecute them even unto death; as the Roman, pagan emperors did, and as the Roman powers and prelates did, when God suffered then so to do, but Christ hath these "Stars in his right hand" and none can pull them out of his hand: And when Christ sets before his faithful ministers an open door, none can shut it. {Re 3:7,8}

"Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden Candlesticks".

Christ's walking "in the midst of the Candlesticks" implies, first, his special and spiritual presence in the Christian saints, according to his gracious promise. {Mt 18:20} Secondly, his inspection into the church's condition, administrations, gifts, operations, and ordinances; seeing and observing their order and the steadfastness of their faith; also beholding their decent and reverent behavior and gesture in the public worship of God; and especially looking into and taking notice of the holy, spiritual, and heavenly frame of the hearts of his ministers and members. {Re 2:23} Thirdly, his protection and preservation of his churches in their liberties, privileges and administrations. {Re 3:8,9,10} Fourthly, his observation of what disorders, corrupt opinions, false doctrines, male-administrations, and what formality, contentions, divisions, schisms, or sinful separations are among his churches; as appears by what he commanded his servant John to write unto these seven churches, in the second and third chapters. {Read Re 2:5,14,20,23 3:2,15,16,17}

There is a special and spiritual presence of Christ with his churches of saints, and his peculiar providence and protection is towards them for their preservation in all his ways. {Mt 18:20 Re 3:8,9,10,11}

 

 

Re 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

"I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience," etc.

In the narrative of this epistle, from Re 2:2-6, we have, first, Christ's approbation and commendation of all the good things in the angel and church of Ephesus. {Re 2:2,3} Secondly, Christ's gentle reproof of what HE found amiss in them. {Re 2:4} Thirdly, his wholesome and spiritual counsel, and exhortation to repent and reform, urged and amplified by a commination threatening to unchurch them, if they did not repent and amend. {Re 2:5} And, fourthly, the reason why Christ gave this church this fair admonition and exercised his forebearance and patience towards them. {Re 2:6}

First, Christ's approbation, I know thy works so as to reward them, {Re 22:12} Christ is omniscient. {Re 2:23} All things are naked and open in his eyes, {Heb 4:13} and thy labour, both of the ministers in the word and doctrine {1Ti 5:17} kopiwntev and the labour of love among the members in this church {1Th 1:3} kai tou kopou thv agaphv; love is a very serviceable grace, {Ga 5:13} towards both saints and sinners, {1Co 13:4} love is long-suffering; kind {Re 2:5} doth not behave itself unseemly, {Re 2:6} rejoiceth in the truth, {Re 2:7} beareth, believeth, hopeth and endureth all things. The love of Christ constrains his saints to love and labour in love. "And thy patience." The patience of Christ's ministers and saints was tried and exercised under all their trail of affliction and persecution, which they endured for his sake. {2Th 1:4, etc.}

It is the duty of the ministers and members of Christ in the churches of saints, to exercise patience in all their trials of affliction and persecution. {Re 13:10,12,14 Jas 1:3,4 Lu 21:18,19 Col 1:11 Heb 10:32,33,34,36}

"And how thou canst not bear with them that are evil," etc.

Christ commended this church, her ministers or members, who would not bear with, nor forbear those ministers or members among them "that were evil," that is to say, who were corrupted by evil manners, or wicked opinions, whereby others might be leavened and corrupted by their false doctrines or sinful practices; but did exercise the authority and power which the church had received from Christ; first, in admonishing them. Secondly, in withdrawing from them; and thirdly, in excommunicating them, according to the laws of Christ recorded. {2Th 3:6,15 Tit 3:10,11 1Co 5:4,5,12,13}

"And thou hast tried them, that say they are apostles, and are not; and hast found them liars".

Some of the teachers in this church pretended to be apostles of Christ "which say they are apostles," as did also some of the teachers in other churches, who were false apostles and deceitful workers, {2Co 11:13} Transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ, who upon trial were found to be liars, i.e. false apostles. "Thou hast tried them," viz. First, what call and commission they had from Christ "and found them liars," for they had not Christ's commission, nor were they called by Christ to be apostles by office. Secondly, what apostolical gifts they had given and received from Christ, and in what respect "also found them liars." Thirdly, what doctrine they preached in the name of Christ "and found them liars," in that respect likewise, for they preached not the doctrine of the apostles, but the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. {Re 2:15, etc.} Fourthly, what manner of life they lead and what conservation they lived in, and in that respect "found them liars," for they lived not like the apostles, nor had their conservation as became the gospel in simplicity and godly sincerity, {2Co 1:12} but they practiced the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which Christ and this church hated. {Re 2:6}

The churches of saints have power and authority from Christ to try the calling, gifts, doctrine, and conservation of their teachers. {1Jo 4:1 2Co 13:3 Ac 11:2,3,4,12,18}

 

 

Re 2:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

"And hast borne"

This church and her ministers did bear and endure reproaches, persecutions, and sufferings for the gospel and name of Christ, as other churches of Christ did. {1Th 2:14,16 2Th 1:4 2Co 4:8-11}

"And hast patience"

to bear, suffer, endure more for Christ's sake.

"And for my name's sake," etc.

By the name of Christ is meant himself, his gospel, his ordinances, and whatsoever bears his name. {Mt 28:19,20}

"Hast laboured"

viz. In the word and doctrine, and in the work and labour of love, which they shewed towards his name. {Heb 6:10}

"And hast not fainted"

in the work of the ministry, {2Co 4:1,8,9,10} because they received mercy {2Co 4:1} and God received glory, {2Co 4:15} for which cause we faint not, {2Co 4:16,17,18} nor in the way of Christianity.

Christ's faithful ministers, and sanctified members, are preserved from fainting under all their tribulations and burdens, which they suffer patiently in the course of their ministry, and in the way of Christianity. {2Co 1:8-10,15,16}

That which keeps them from fainting, is, first, the serious consideration of the contradictions of sinners, which Christ himself suffered. {Heb 12:3} Secondly, an open vision and spiritual fight of unseen glory. {2Co 4:18} Thirdly, That Divine Power, which God in Christ by the Holy Spirit doth suitably and seasonably communicate unto them. {Col 1:11 Isa 40:28,29,30,31}

 

 

Re 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

"Nevertheless"

or not withstanding all these good things in which Christ found and approved in this Church, yet all was not well, something was blame-worthy, for which Christ did gently reprove her, and call her to repent and to reform.

"thou has left thy first love"

She had not left the object of her love, the LORD Jesus, whom she loved, {Re 2:2,3} but she had cooled in her spiritual affections to Christ and to his saints, which she had manifested in the day of her first espousals; which Christ well remembered and here minds of, as God did his Israel of old {Jer 2:2,3} They were not so kind to Christ and his saints formerly. Christ takes it unkindly, when his churches, ministers, or saints cool their spiritual affections towards himself, or any of his.

 

 

Re 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

This verse contains, first, Christ's counsel unto this church and her angel. Secondly, his commination if they repent not and reform. To "remember" in this place, implies, first, a calling to mind their former lively acts, fruits, and exercise of love to Christ and his saints, etc. and secondly, to compare them with the heartless, lifeless acts and fruits of their love to Christ and his saints, now, and of late days; and thirdly, to consider from whence they were fallen.

"And repent"

To repent is to sorrow after a godly manner, as they did, {2Co 7:9,10,11} which worketh repentance to salvation: And to

"do the first works,"

implies a performing with zeal and confidence those duties of love to Christ and his saints etc. which this church, her ministers and members did at their first conversion, and in the day of their first espousals.

"Or else, I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent"

In this commination, we have, first, the punishment which Christ threatened, ``and will remove thy candlestick out of his place.'' Secondly, his patient waiting for their repentance; or else, except thou repent.

"remove thy candlestick out of his place"

Christ may be said to "remove the candlestick out of its place," first, when he suffers and adversaries or enemies either by hostility or persecution, so to disperse and scatter them, that they cannot meet together as a church with one accord in any one place, or part of that city visibly to worship God in the administrations and ordinances of the gospel. Secondly, when Christ suffers and false teachers or brethren among them, to cause divisions, schisms, and sinful separations through errors, contentions and heresies, whereby the church is divided and broken in pieces; so that the ministers and members do utterly refuse to assemble themselves together to worship God: Or, thirdly, when Christ forsakes the church, and will not walk with them any longer, but denies them his spiritual presence, and refuseth to hold communion with them, because they refute his counsel, will not repent nor reform what is amiss, but hold fast their sin obstinately; whereby they provoke the Lord to reject them. {Re 3:16}

A true, visible, constituted, particular church of Christ may sin away their church estate by their iniquity and impenitency. {Ho 2 1,2,3,4,5 Re 3:16} And a church of Christ may become a synagogue of Satan, God hath removed those and other golden candlesticks out of their places, for their impenitency added unto their Transgressions.

 

 

Re 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

"Nicolaitanes"

The Nicolaitans were so called, either from that Nicolas, {Ac 6:5} a proselyte of Antioch, from whose faith and manners they had degenerated; or rather from some other man of that name (different from Nicolas the Deacon, both in faith and holy life) from whose corrupt doctrine and wicked deeds, those here, and in Re 2:15 are called Nicolaitans. Though neither the doctrine, nor the deeds of those Nicolaitans be here named, yet we may conclude they were unsound and damnable doctrines, and ungodly wicked deeds, for Christ again and again testified that he hated them. {Re 2:6,15} And so did this church which Christ took notice of, saying "Which I also hate;" and therefore he exercised this great patience towards this church-"this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans."

 

 

Re 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches"

This verse contains the conclusion of this epistle, which consists of two general parts; first, an exhortation. Secondly, a promise. In the exhortation, Christ, first, requires ever one to hear. {Isa 55:3} Incline your ear, come unto me, hear and your soul shall live. Secondly, he exhorts them to hear what the Spirit speaketh in the word written and read in the churches, unto which a promise of blessing is annexed. {Pr 8:34,35} Blessed is the Man that heareth me, waiting at the Posts of my doors. {Re 1:3} Those epistles were not preached, but written to the seven churches, and the promise of blessing is annexed to the reading and hearing of them read. {Re 1:3} Likewise, the epistles of Paul and other of the apostles were not preached, but written unto and read in the churches of saints. {Col 4:16} And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read in the Church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.

The Holy Spirit is not limited unto the preaching of the word; but he also speaketh and teacheth in the reading of the Holy Scriptures. So then, the Holy Scriptures ought to be read in the churches of saints. See KNOLLYS on "Re 1:3" "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God"

In these words we have, first, the qualification of the person unto whom the promise is made,

"to him that overcometh"

a metaphor taken from the athletes, who strive for victory by running or fighting, {1Co 9:26,27} that is to say, to every one that getteth the victory over all his soul enemies, his spiritual antagonists, to with, the world, {1Jo 5:4,5} the beast, {Re 15:2} Satan {1Jo 2:13,14} and sin. {Ro 12:21} That tree of life is Jesus Christ, {Re 22:2,14} who was typed out by that material tree of life in the Garden of Eden. {Ge 3:22,24} This spiritual tree of eternal life, yields all manner of fruit that is good for our soul's food. {Joh 6:57}

"Which is in the midst of the paradise of God"

Eden had in it, an earthly paradise, to wit, the garden that God planted there. {Ge 2:8} In Heaven there is a celestial paradise, {2Co 12:2,4 Lu 23:43} where Christ is. Paradise, is originally a Persian word, which the Hebrews and the Greeks have by use made theirs, {see Ec 2:5 Re 2:7} and so have the Latins, and we also in English: It signifies a place of pleasure called the paradise of God by way of excellency, as, the city of God, the temple of God, the people of God, etc.

 

 

Re 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

"And unto the Angel of the Church in Smyrna, write," etc.

Smyrna was a city of Iconia in Asia the less near the sea-side, where the gospel was preached, and where this church was planted, unto whom this epistle was written by Christ's command. {Re 1:11} See the exposition thereof, See KNOLLYS "Re 1:11" and upon Re 2:1, See KNOLLYS "Re 2:1" concerning the word "angel," and "church".

"These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive"

See the exposition of Re 1:8,11,17,18, See KNOLLYS "Re 1:8"

See KNOLLYS "Re 1:11"

See KNOLLYS "Re 1:17"

See KNOLLYS "Re 1:18" which Christ repeated again, as a divine encouragement to the ministers and members of this church to endure their tribulations; and not to fear any of those things which they must suffer (testified in Re 2:10). See the exposition thereof. As if Christ had said ( totidem verbis ) they persecuted me to death, I was dead, nevertheless, I live, and live for evermore {Re 1:18} being raised from the dead by the power of God the Father: And, if any of you shall be persecuted and suffer death for my sake and the gospels, I will quicken you and raise you from the dead, {Re 20:4,5,6} and because I live you shall live also. {Joh 14:19}

 

Re 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

"I know thy works,"

Thus Christ testified unto all the seven churches; "I know thy works," see Re 2:2. The knowledge of Christ (as He is God, and the only wise God our Saviour, Jude 25), is, first, the knowledge of perfection, whose understanding is infinite, {Ps 147:5} whereby he doth perfectly know himself, {Re 19:12 Pr 30:4} and all things else, being the wisdom of the Father. {Pr 8:12 1Co 1:24} Secondly, the knowledge of approbation, or reprobation (Ro 9:11,12,13 compared with Ac 13:48 and Jude 4), whereby he doth know distinctly both persons and things good and bad; so Christ knew the works of this church with approbation, and the works of the church of the Laodiceans with rejection, {Re 3:14,15,16} I will spue thee out of my mouth.

"And tribulation, and poverty"

By "tribulation" here, we may understand either their outward afflictions and persecutions, which they had or should endure, which Christ took notice of, {2Th 1:6} or their inward griefs and sorrows, their troubles of soul, {Ps 88:4 143:11} which Christ also looks upon, {Ps 102:2,17,19,20,21} and by "poverty" here we may understand the low and poor condition this church was in at this time in respect of temporal things, the wants and straits that some of her ministers or members were in, the church not having wherewith to supply them, which was the condition of the church at Jerusalem and the churches in Judea in the apostles days; Read 1Co 16:1,2,3 and 2Co 8:3,4,6,13,14,15.

"But thou art rich"

Though Christ knew her outward poverty, yet he acknowledged her spiritual riches; which God knows is the state and condition of very many of his precious saints in this world, {Jas 2:5} rich in spirituals, rich in grace, rich in faith, rich in good works, etc. but poor in temporals.

"And I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not," etc.

(blasfhmia, in approved Greek authors, blasphemy), doth signify any evil works or speeches uttered against men with calumniation of their persons, or contumely of their gods; sacred writers, and the penmen of the Holy Scriptures do use this Greek word for any injurious, opprobrious, envious or slanderous words uttered by ungodly men, to the reproach of God, {Re 13:6} his Son Jesus Christ, {Ac 26:11} his name, {Ro 2:24} his written word, {Tit 2:5} his doctrine, {1Ti 6:1} his ministers, {1Co 4:13} his churches, {Re 13:6} or his saints. {Jas 2:7 1Pe 4:4}

These blasphemers said they were Jews, but were not. A Jew is one of Abraham's seed, either after the flesh, and so were they, {Joh 8:31,33} who vainly boasted in a fleshly confidence, and so did these who say they are Jews, or after the spirit, such are the children of promise, {Ro 9:8} even all them that are Christ's, {Ga 3:29} so were not these, though they said so, they did lie, {Re 3:9} though they were Jews outwardly, whose circumcision is outward in the flesh, yet they were not Jews inwardly, whose circumcision is inward, that of the heart in the spirit. {Ro 2:28,29}

"But are the synagogue of Satan"

It is likely the Jews had a synagogue in this city of Smyrna, where they worshipped God according to the Mosaical administrations, mixed with the traditions of their fathers, which Christ testified against as vain and false worship, {Mt 15:8,9} and therefore he calls them the synagogue of Satan. {Re 3:9} Some of those Jewish worshippers blasphemed the Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine and worship which the Christians in this church professed, by speaking some evil, opprobrious, and slanderous words against them, which Christ took notice of, and called "blasphemy:" See the exposition of Re 3:9. See KNOLLYS "Re 3:9"

 

Re 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer

Those sufferings were part of this churches tribulation, which Christ foreknew, and he testified in this verse. First, the kind of their sufferings, to wit, imprisonment. Secondly, the time thereof ten days. Thirdly, the end why God permitted them to suffer, to try them. Fourthly, the instruments of their sufferings, "the devil," the adversary, etc. Fifthly, their duty to be "faithful unto Death:" And sixthly, their reward, to wit, "a crown of life." Suffer thou must, if thou be a true visible church of God. {1Th 2:14} If thou be a faithful minister of Christ. {2Ti 2:10,11} If thou be a sanctified believer, who lives godly, {2Ti 2:12} fear thou should not, {Isa 8:11,12,13} nor be terrified by the adversaries. {Php 1:28,29}

Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, etc.

The ``devil'' by a metonymy of the efficient cause, is here put for his instruments, who were provided and instigated by him to persecute and imprison some of the ministers and members of this church. diabolov, signifies an adversary, whose enmity is here noted with an idou, behold, that is, consider and know, who will prove your adversary, and will act the devil's design against you, which was the them Roman, pagan emperors, and other grand persecutors, metaphorically called the red dragon, the serpent, called also the devil and his angels. {Re 12:3,4,7,14,15,16,17}

That ye may be tried, etc.

that your faith may be tried, {1Pe 1:7} and your patience, {Re 13:10} and all other graces, {Ro 5:3,4,5} which was commended by the apostle in the primitive suffers. {2Th 1:4,5} The saints may expect fiery trials, {1Pe 4:12} which they ought not to thing strange, but to rejoice in. {Jas 1:2,3,4}

"And ye shall have tribulation ten days."

Times of persecution are times of "tribulation," so it was with the apostles and saints. {2Co 4:8,9,10} We are troubled on every side, etc. "Ten days, " that is, a certain time put mystically for the ten bloody persecutions under the heathen emperors, as Dioclesian, or for some other times of persecution, which are here numbered by Christ; so that the times of the saint's churches, and ministers sufferings are in the hand of the Lord, {Ps 31:15} not in the adversaries power. The time when the churches, ministers, or saints shall suffer persecution and imprisonment, or any other kind of ``tribulation'' is appointed of God, and ordered and measured out by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

The faithfulness of the church ministers, and saints of Christ consists, first, in a bold confession of the faith of Christ, when they are thereunto called. {Ac 24:13,16} Secondly, in enduring sufferings for Christ's sake, not loving their lives unto death. Thirdly, {Re 12:11} in not accepting deliverance upon any sinful terms. {Heb 11:35,38} ``The Crown of life'' which Christ promiseth is an eternal weight of glory. {1Co 4:16,17,18} ``For which cause we faint not, but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory: While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen, are temporal; but the things which are not seen, are eternal.''

 

 

Re 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

See the exposition of the seventh verse of this chapter. See KNOLLYS "Re 2:7" The first death is usually a painful separation of the body from the soul for a time. {Ac 2:24} The second death is a penal separation of the soul from God for evermore. {2Th 1:9 Mt 25:32,41} Those that overcome the world, the beast, Satan, and sin, shall not be hurt of the second death: That death, which the second death, shall have no power over them. {Re 20:6}

 

 

Re 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

And to the Angel of the Church in Pergamos.

See KNOLLYS on "Re 1:20", and See KNOLLYS on "Rev 2:1" touching the word "Church," and the word "Angel." Pergamos was a city of Ætolia, in Asia the less, where the Attalian kings kept their court and residence in ancient times, and the Roman governors over that providence had their residence there in John's time. Some writers say, that there was in this city a temple, wherein the devil, by the name of Gsruiapius, used to give answers unto the priests who worshipped in that temple. Certain it is, there was a true visible constituted church of God planted in this city in the apostles days. {Re 1:11}

``These things saith he, which hath the sharp sword with two edges''

The two-edged sword is the written word of God, {Heb 4:12} which is quick and powerful, mighty in operation and sharper that a two-edged sword; call the sword of the Spirit, {Eph 6:17} which sword Christ is here said to have, because this sharp two-edged sword is elsewhere said to come out of Christ's mouth, {Re 19:15,21} and is called the sword of his mouth in Re 2:16 1:16. See the exposition thereof.

See KNOLLYS "Re 2:16"

See KNOLLYS "Re 1:16"

The ministry of the written word of God, when managed by the hand of the Lord is sharp, powerful, and mighty in the operation thereof; by the Holy Spirit upon the consciences and in the hearts of sinners and saints. {Ac 2:37 1Th 1:5 Heb 4:12}

 

 

Re 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

"I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is," etc.

The matter of this epistle contains, first, Christ's commendation of this church and her angel. Secondly, his reproof of their faults. {Re 2:14,15} Thirdly, an exhortation to repentance. {Re 2:16} Christ takes notice of their works; so as to approve them, that were good works, done according to his revealed will in his written word, {Re 2:13} and so as to reprove them that were evil. {Re 2:14,15} And Christ also took notice where they dwelt, to wit, the nation, country and city, viz. Asia, Ætolia and Pergamos, where Satan's throne then was; that is to say, where iniquity and idolatry was practiced and established by law, which Christ here call Satan's throne, because the devil gave the Roman, pagan emperors (as he did afterwards the anti-Christian beast; Re 13:2) his power, and throne, and great authority, as appears in Re 12 and Re 13.

"And thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith," etc.

By Christ's name here we may understand his word, his ordinances, his doctrine, his gospel, and whatsoever bears his name: and to hold fast his name is to cleave to the Lord, his truth, is ordinances of divine worship; and not to deny the faith of Christ and his gospel, once delivered to the saints, {Jude 3} but contending earnestly for the faith, striving together for the faith of the gospel. {Php 1:27}

"Even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth"

Who this Antipas was is not recorded in holy writ; some historians say, he was one of the ministers of this church: Christ testifieth he was a martyr and faithful unto death.

Jesus Christ takes notice, and keeps a record in heaven of all the sufferings, and death of his faithful servants. {Ps 116:15 1Jo 5:7 Re 6:9,10,11 20:4}

 

 

Re 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

"But I have a few things against thee," etc.

Those few things were not sins of infirmity, for God useth to pass by the transgressions of his churches, ministers and saints of that kind, {Mic 7:18} but sins of enormity, gross pollutions, and defiling abominations, which Christ saw amongst them in this church that were held by some of her teachers and members, which his soul loathed, as appears by those iniquities Christ charges them with, in Re 2:14-15.

"Because thou hast there them that hold the Doctrine of Balaam," etc.

You may read the doctrine of Balaam, Nu 31:16 to wit, the wicked counsel he gave to the Midianitish women, which occasioned the people of Israel to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab, and to commit idolatry also etc., {Nu 25:1,2,3} for which wicked counsel Balaam was killed. {Nu 31:8} And Moses was wroth with the commanders and captains of the host of Israel, because they saved those Midianitish women alive who followed Balaam's counsel, and caused them to be put to death. {Nu 31:14,15,16,17}

"cast a stumbling block"

Some teachers in this church, by their false doctrines and opinions, did (like Balaam) "cast a stumbling block" before the members of this church, which became a sin and a snare unto them, as Balaam's doctrine and counsel did unto the people of Israel.

 

 

Re 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

The doctrine of the Nicolaitans

Touching "the doctrine of the Nicolaitans," and their deeds, See KNOLLYS on "Re 2:6". It's probable their doctrine allowed of spiritual and corporal whoredom, both which Christ hateth; and that which Christ chargeth upon this church and her angel, as their sin, which he was offended with them for, was because they were suffered in the, and not cast out, and put away as wicked and ungodly persons.

It is a sinful fault in any church to suffer those ministers or members to continue in their society, and to have communion with them who teach such doctrines, or practice such deeds as Christ hateth. {1Co 5:2,5,7,13} See KNOLLYS on "Re 2:20"

 

 

 

 

Re 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Repent,

that is to say, let the angel repent, and the church repent, and these ministers and members especially, who are guilty of those doctrines which I hate, repent and sorrow after a godly manner.

Or else I will come unto thee quickly,

to wit, in a way of visitation and correction.

And will fight against them

that hold the doctrine of Balaam, and the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, that is to say, erroneous, false, and damnable doctrines, such teachers and such doctrines, as the apostles prophetically foretold and testified against. {1Ti 4:1,2,3 2Pe 2:1,2}

With the sword of my mouth

See KNOLLYS on "Re 2:12" and See KNOLLYS on "Re 2:16": Christ fights against a church and people "with the sword of his mouth," first, when he sends some Boanerges with awakening, thundering word of God, who shall so preach and declare his righteous judgments unto them, that shall sew and cut as a sharp sword. {Ho 6:4,5} Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets, I have slain them by the words of my mouth. Secondly, when he, by the hand of his divine judgments upon them for their sins and impenitency; {Jer 21:5} And I my self will fight against you with an outstretched hand, and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.

Re 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

This verse contains the conclusion of this epistle. See the exposition of Re 2:7.

See KNOLLYS "Re 2:7"

Manna

"Manna" is the corn and bread of heaven, {Ps 105:40} called angel's food. {Ps 78:24,25} This was the bread which God gave the children of Israel in the wilderness, some whereof was put in a pot, and laid before the testimony. {Ex 16:33,34} And by this hidden manna we are to understand Jesus Christ who is called the Bread of Life that came down from heaven, {Joh 6:48,49,50,58} which life is hid with Christ in God, {Col 3:3} therefore called hidden manna, that is, those inward secret communications of Christ's love, grace, etc., which they that sup with Christ are nourished and refreshed with, {Re 3:20} whereby he feeds and strengtheneth their souls.

And will give him a white stone

There was among the Romans a two-fold use of "a white stone." First, he that was victor, and overcame in their Olympic games and wrestlings, had "a white stone" given him, which he did bear as a badge of honor and victory. Secondly, he that being accused of any crime in their civil courts and judicatories was found innocent, and so was acquitted of that crime, had "a white stone" given to him as a sign of absolution: Both these uses of the "white stone" will fitly quadrate with Christ's act of grace here, where Christ doth promise "him that overcometh" by wrestling against sin and Satan, {Eph 6:11,12} that he will give him a crown of glory, {2Ti 4:7,8} and also a full and open absolution before men and angels at the day of judgment. {Re 20:11,12}

And in the stone a new Name written, etc.

Whereby is meant some spiritual dignity, or something very eminently honorable, which Christ will confer upon them that overcome. {Zep 3:20} For I will make you a name, and a praise among all people of the earth.

A new name

is that name of dignity and honor which Christ himself will name upon them {Isa 62:2} and it shall be an everlasting name, {Isa 56:5} that is to say, they shall be partakers of the divine nature, {2Pe 1:4} and shall have the communications of his saving sanctifying grace, {Eph 4:7} and also the indwelling presence of his Holy Spirit. {Ga 4:6} The witness and seal thereof, by the promises of the new covenant in their hearts is this new name in the with stone, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. {1Co 2:9} The spiritual senses of the new man only is capable to know and understand the divine nature of Christ's ``new name'', {1Co 2:9,13,14} written in this white stone {Re 2:17} of absolution and pardon of sin, and gracious promises of eternal life. And this is Christ's own hand-writing, {Re 3:12} in which respect believers are said to be the epistle of Christ written by the Spirit of the living God in the fleshly tables of the heart. {2Co 3:3}

Re 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

"Thyatira"

Thyatira was a city which lay on the borders of the regions of Lydia and Mysia, opposite unto Macedonia, and southwards of Pergamos, in Asia the less, where Lydia was born, whom Paul converted at Philippi {Ac 16:13,14} in which city this church was planted. See KNOLLYS on "Re 2:2" and See KNOLLYS on "Re 2:12" Touching the title that Christ here again takes unto himself, suitable unto this angel and churches condition. See exposition on Re 1:14-15

See KNOLLYS "Re 1:14"

See KNOLLYS "Re 1:15"

Re 2:19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

This verse contains Christ's commendation of what was good in this church, her ministers and members. First, in general, "thy works." Secondly, in particular, their charity towards the poor saints, and services of love to God, Christ, his churches and people; also their faith and patience in all the perfections and tribulations which they endured for his names sake; yea, and their "works," to wit, their renewed acts, or works of obedience, of faith to God and charity to the saints, etc.

And the last to be more than the first

It was with this church as it was with the church of the Thessalonians; (compare 1Th 1:3 with 2Th 1:3,4) for whose work of faith, labor of love and patience, of hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the fight of God the Father, the apostle acknowledged and praised God that their faith did grow exceedingly, and the charity of every one of them all towards each other abounded.

Re 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

"Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee," etc.

Christ in this verse, and in the three following verses, doth reprove this church and her ministers for suffering corrupt and false doctrine to be preached amongst them, whereby his servants were seduced, that is, drawn away from the truth, and led into errors both of judgment and in conversation. See Exposition on Re 2:14 2:15.

See KNOLLYS "Re 2:14"

See KNOLLYS "Re 2:15"

"Because thou sufferest that Woman Jezebel, which calleth her self a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants"

Not that there was such a woman in the church called Jezebel, or any other woman that pretended to be a prophetess, who taught or spake publicly in the church, for that was against the law of Christ and command of the apostle, {1Co 14:34 2Ti 2:22} and it's probable would not have been suffered by the angel or ministers of this church: But rather as Christ used the name of Balaam {Re 2:14} to make the doctrine of the Nicolaitans odious to the saints in Pergamos; so he useth the name of this painted woman, Jezebel, who was infamous for idolatry, and other wickedness, {1Ki 16:31, etc.} to make that doctrine whereby his servants were seduced to be the more odious and hateful unto the saints in Thyatira, or else by the ``woman Jezebel who called her self prophetess'', we are to understand those false teachers who called themselves prophets and ministers of God, who taught corrupt and false doctrine in this Church, to wit

"to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols,"

which was the doctrine of Balaam and of the Nicolaitans, and their deeds also which Christ hated and here reproved sharply; which opinion I rather cleave unto, because that false teachers and false prophets in the church of Rome are called a woman, and the great whore. {Re 17:1,3,5,7 19:20}

Re 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Here followeth the manifestation of Christ's patience; "I gave her space to repent of her fornication," that is, Christ did forbear to punish her for a time, expecting that she should repent both of her corrupt doctrine, and also of her wicked life. "And she repented not," notwithstanding all his patience and long suffering, she remained impenitent. {Re 9:21 16:9}

Re 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

Behold,

that is, consider what I say, and how I threaten this false prophetess, or wicked woman, and lay it to heart; she is past recovery, having lived impenitently in her whoredoms, both corporal and spiritual fornications; but yet those that have been seduced and enticed by her doctrine to commit fornication, shall have some longer time of repentance. This "bed" is a bed of great tribulation, some corporal and some spiritual judgments are hereby threatened. {as Eze 32:25} They have set her bed in the midst of the slain, with all her multitude.

Re 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

And I will kill her children with death, etc.

"Her children" were the children of whoredoms, begotten by corrupt doctrine, and in the sense, born of fornications; not that there was such a woman in the church, not that these "her children" were begotten by corporal fornication: But as the mother is a mystical woman, so "her children" are those that she seduced by her doctrine to commit fornication. And by children here, we are to understand some members of this church, who being seduced by Jezebel's doctrine, did commit fornication, that is, both spiritual and corporal whoredom, which is called by Christ "their deeds." As the Nicolaitans had their doctrine and their deeds, so Jezebel had her doctrine and her deeds. By "killing her children with death" is meant, that they shall be destroyed by God's just and righteous judgments. {Jer 18:21} Therefore deliver up her children to the famine, and pour out their blood by the force of the sword.

And all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts, etc.

This is another testimony of Christ's omnisciency. Before he told the churches that he knew their works; and now he gives them to understand, that he knows their hearts also: And the Churches shall know, that is, shall understand, confess and acknowledge that Christ hath been trying, searching, and examining the reins and hearts, that is to say, the inward bent and frame of the spirits of men. {Jer 17:10} I the Lord search the hearts, and try the reins.

And I will give unto every one of you (ministers and members) according to your works.

Those works faith, love, patience, charity and service, which Christ commends, shall be rewarded; Christ will own them and crown them with acceptance, and with reward of grace and glory, saying, Well done good and faithful Servant, enter into the joy of thy Master. And those works or deeds of fornication and other evil doings, which Christ reproved and gave them space and time to repent of, and they repented not, Christ will also reward by executing his righteous judgments upon them, even unto death and eternal condemnation {Ro 1:18 2Co 5:10 Ro 2:5,6,11} except they repent.

Re 2:24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

"But unto you,"

that is, ministers

"and unto the rest,"

to wit, the members of the church

"in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine"

to wit, of the Nicolaitans, that is to say, as many of you members as have not received that doctrine, and which have not known, that is, have not owned, nor approved

"the depths of Satan, as they speak."

"They," that is the false teachers, or they that taught this false and corrupt doctrine of the Nicolaitans; and they, to wit, those that were seduced by that doctrine, and received it and approved it. "They speak," as if there were a depth of wisdom and mystery in that doctrine; but saith Christ it is

"the depths of Satan." Such false doctrines the apostle calls the doctrine of devils, {1Ti 4:1} and the mystery of iniquity. {2Th 2:7,11}

"I will put upon you none other Burden,"

saith Christ, that is, no other duty or yoke.

Re 2:25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

That doctrine of faith, that command of holy life, which ye have already received from Christ and his apostles, was the yoke and burden of Christ which he would lay upon them; And the yoke of Christ is easy, and his burden light {Mt 11:28,29,30} and Christ will put no other burden upon them, only chargeth them to hold fast that doctrine and commandment which they had received, till he come.

Re 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

 

Unto the end

The conclusion of this epistle followeth in the four last verses of this chapter, wherein you have an addition annexed unto the ordinary qualification of those persons, to whom Christ in these epistles maketh great and precious promises (as in Re 2:7,11,17), which addition annexed, is perseverance in the works of Christ, viz., the work of faith, the labor of love, the service of charity, and all the works of piety which god commandeth in the Holy Scripture of truth to be done or performed by his ministers and saints. {Mt 28:20} "Unto the end," that is, to the end of their lives, or until he comes again.

To him will I give power over the Nations.

There is no power that we read of in the Holy Scripture, which the saints have been given by Christ over the nations (or gentiles or heathens), but that power and dominion of rule and government, which he hath purchased, and God hath promised to give them in the last days; the power which Christ purchased for his redeemed ones, over the nations and kingdoms of the world, is a kingly power and authority. {Re 5:9,10} Thou hast redeemed us with thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation and hath made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on earth. Likewise, the power which God hath promised to his saints over the nations, is a kingly power and dominion. {Da 7:27} And the kingdom and dominion, and greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most high. But for any other power, either spiritual or ecclesiastical, which the saints should have over the nations, we know not how it can be proved by scripture; but many scriptures do bear a clear testimony, that the saints shall have a kingly power over the nations when Christ comes the second time. See the exposition of Re 1:6 5:9 5:10 20:4. See KNOLLYS "Re 1:6"

See KNOLLYS "Re 5:9"

See KNOLLYS "Re 5:10"

See KNOLLYS "Re 20:4"

Re 2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

"And he shall rule them with a rod of iron," etc.

He, that is Christ, {Ps 2:9} and, he that overcometh by Christ, {Re 2:26} to whom God will give power or kingly dominion over the nations, to wit, Christ and the righteousness, who shall have the dominion in the morning. {Ps 49:14} He shall rule them and govern them with an iron rod, that is to say, according to the laws of God, with the kingly power of Christ, which is signified by his "rod of iron," {Ps 2:9 Re 19:15} and that kingly power is given unto the saints. {Re 12:5} And she brought forth a Man-Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; which is Christ and his saints, as one mystical Body.

"As the Vessels of a Potter shall they be broken to shivers"

They, who shall not have Christ and his saints to reign over them, {Lu 19:27} and who will not serve Christ and his saints. {Isa 60:12}

"Even as I received of my Father"

The same rule, authority, dominion and power which Christ received of God his Father, he will give to his saints over the nations at his second coming, which is undeniably his kingly power. The saints are joint heirs with Christ. {Ro 8:17} In all the blessings and dignities of the New Covenant, whereof that of the kingdom is one. The saints are joined in commission with Jesus Christ in his kingdom, {Re 11:15} and they shall judge the world. {1Co 2:3}

Re 2:28 And I will give him the morning star.

"morning star"

That is, Himself. {Re 22:16} I am the bright Morning Star, The Day Star, {2Pe 1:19} which doth arise, and shine gloriously in the hearts of the saints. {Isa 60:1,2}

Re 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

That is, attend and labor to understand what the Spirit saith unto the Churches, expounded before. {Re 2:7,11}

Re 3:1 "And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead."

And unto the Angel of the Church in Sardis, write, etc.

Sardis was a city in Lydia, where King Cræsus sometime had his court and residence, in which city the gospel also was preached, and had good success, for there was this church planted, among whom the holy ordinances were administered; neither were any such errors in doctrine, nor evil deeds in conversation, charged by Christ upon the ministers of this church, or members thereof, as was found in Ephesus, Pergamos, and Thyatira. This church had some renown, and name of praise among the churches of God, yet all was not well, some among them were dead, and others ready to die. The titles which Christ take here unto himself in the inscription of this epistle, are two. First,

"He that hath the seven Spirits of God"

See exposition of Re 1:4.

See KNOLLYS "Re 1:4"

Secondly, and

"the seven Stars"

See Re 1:16-20.

"I know thy works, that thou hast a name, that thou livest and art dead"

By a "name" to live, is meant, the great and honorable esteem which other churches of saints and ministers of Christ had of this church, her ministers and members. For, first, the appearance of the graces and gifts of the Spirit of God, which did shine forth and were perspicuous in some of the ministers of this church, made her renowned among other churches. {as Eze 16:14} Secondly, the soundness of doctrine, purity of gospel-administrations in the worship of God, and the strictness of discipline in this church, did give her a name and a praise among other churches. {as Zep 3:20} "And are dead." Whatsoever were the apprehensions which other churches had of this, or whatever her own ministers and members did esteem of her state and condition, yet our Lord Jesus (who best new the present state of this church) testified, that there was not that reality and sincerity found in some of her ministers or members that ought to be in the church of God; for some of her ministers or members were dead in trespasses and sins, {as Eph 2:1,5 Col 2:13} others were ready to die; withering, decaying, backsliding, and much deadness, was seen by Christ among them.

Re 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Here followeth the directions that Christ gives this church, in order to their recovery out of that dead state and decaying condition that they were in, which directions are two sorts; the first respecteth their present duty, and their future behavior or carriage for the time to come.

"Be watchful"

which doth more especially concern the Ministers of the church who are her watchman, {Eze 3:17 33:2,6,7} and watch for their souls, {Heb 13:17} which doth imply, that they were not so diligent in this duty as they ought to be; for there were some poor and precious souls under their charge in this church, who were neglected, and not so looked after, not watched over, as they ought to be. The Second direction respecteth what was past, and teacheth them what to do in regard to that.

"And strengthen the things which remain"

is meant, First, some remainders of the work of God's Holy Spirit and word in the hearts of some members of this church, which the ministers did not endeavor to nourish, cherish, and establish, as they should have done; and so partly through the security of those weak members, and partly through the negligence and carelessness of their ministers not visiting them, and not inquiring into their backsliding condition, they were ready to die: Or, Secondly, some work, or beginning of grace in some poor souls, which was the fruits of the ministry; and these poor souls, not being fed with the sincere milk of the word, and nourished up with good and sound doctrine, began to decay and cool, and were ready to die; that is, to cast away their confidence, to give over their hopes, and comforts and promises; and so began to decay in their gifts, to cool in their affections, and to neglect holy duties, in which respect they are said to be ready to die.

"The things which remain,"

to wit, the Spiritual gifts that remained, the saving grace that remained, the saving grace that remained, the heavenly comforts that remained, the holy duties that remained, the lively affections that remained, and the gracious desires, heart-pantings, soul-longings, and sincere hungerings, thirstings, sighnings, groanings, mournings, and feelings after Christ, which remained, (though ready to die and to be extinguished) ought to be strengthened, First, by spiritual counsel. {Isa 35:3,4} Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees, say to them that are of a sorrowful heart, be strong. Secondly, by spiritual food; administering a word in season to the weary soul. {as Zec 10:12} And I will strengthen them in the Lord, and they shall walk up and down in his name,

"For I have not found thy works perfect before God".

Here followeth the reasons of Christ's former counsel and direction. Christ had examined and tried the works of this angel and church, and found some imperfection in them, whereupon he bears this testimony against them. There are three things necessary to make any perfect in the sight of God. First, It must be a work of faith, to wit, such a work as God hath commanded in his word; and the work of God must be the ground of our faith. {Heb 11:6} For whatsoever is not of faith is sin. {Ro 14:23} Secondly, It must be a labor of love, that is, the love of Christ must constrain believers to be fruitful and laborious in every good work, else it will not be acceptable to God, duties done from a principle of love to Christ, and service done from the same spiritual love to the saints, are well-pleasing to God. {Heb 6:10} Thirdly, It must be done in singleness and sincerity of heart. {2Co 1:12}

And especially the angel's work (or the work of the ministry) must be done, First, in sincerity. {2Co 2:17 1Co 2:3,5} Secondly, with zeal to God's glory: And, thirdly, with affection to the souls of the people, {Col 4:12,13} by improving all their ministerial gifts, graces, and abilities to the utmost; making full proof of their ministry for the conversion of sinners unto Christ, the edification of the saints in faith, love, and good works; and the feeding, ruling the church according to the word of God. {2Ti 4:5 1Ti 4:13,14,15 Col 1:28,29 Col 4:17} Say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.

Re 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

"Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard", etc.

This verse contains another word of counsel, which consists of theses particular directions. First, to call to mind what they had heard and received. Secondly@, to retain and hold fast what remains: And, thirdly@, to repent wherein they had been defective. That which they had received, was, first the gospel. {1Co 15:1} Secondly@, Jesus Christ. {Col 2:6} Thirdly@, the Holy Spirit. Fourthly, saving and sanctifying grace. Fifthly, spiritual gifts: And, sixthly, commandments how to walk and please God. {1Th 4:1,2 Php 4:8,9} Those things which ye have both learned, received and heard, etc.

"Hold fast".

First, The form of sound words. {2Ti 1:13} Secondly, the profession of faith, {Heb 10:23} also, your Christian confidence and hope. {Heb 3:6} And, thirdly, all spiritual good things received. {1Th 5:21}

"And Repent".

First, that which the angel and this church were to repent of, was their formality; for there appeared much more of the form of godliness amongst them than of the power. {2Ti 3:5} Secondly, the hypocrisy of some that seemed to be what indeed they were not; they seemed to be religious, they had a name to live amongst men, but their works were not perfect in the sight of God.

"If therefore thou shalt not watch".

Here followeth a sharp threatening, whereby Christ presseth his former exhortation and direction to be watchful. {Re 3:2, See exposition of that verse} See KNOLLYS "Re 3:2" This communication is amplified by a secret and sudden visitation;

"I will come on thee as a thief", etc.

This visitation threatened here, is general, and may include any one, yea, every one of the former corrections wherewith Christ visited the other churches. {Re 2:5,16,22} To come as a thief, is to come with sudden destruction. {1Th 2:5 3:6} Therefore let us not sleep as do others, but watch, be sober. {Re 16:15}

"And thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee".

This notes the secrecy of Christ's visitation; At an hour when they think not of it, or in an hour that they know not of, will Christ come upon them, and visit them with his corrections and judgments.

Re 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

This verse contains a word of consolation, and encouragement unto this angel and church from Christ; which consists of three parts. First, a description of the persons in this church whom Christ would comfort. Secondly, the promise that he makes concerning them: And, Thirdly, the reason Christ gives why he makes this gracious promise.

The persons were some eminent and noted men among the ministers and members of that church; therefore "names" are here put for persons, or men of name, to wit, some in this church, which were more excellent for grace and holiness than the rest in Sardis. Lot and Job, in their generation, or such as Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, who were the chief men among the brethren, {Ac 15:22} and so the word names is put for persons or men of name Among the disciples of Christ, there were above five hundred brethren met together at once, that is, at one time, and in one place, unto whom Jesus Christ did appear after his resurrection, {1Co 15:6,7} where, of them a hundred and twenty, {Ac 1:15} were the number of names or number of the men of name. So those persons here in this church of Sardis, though very eminent above others, yet they were but few. A few Names, the special notice of them, for the encouragement of this angel and church, as well as for their particular commendation.

"Thou hast a few Names even in Sardis".

And for a minister to have but a few members in the church, who are eminent for grace and holiness is more commendable, and more comfortable, than to have many that have a name to live, and are yet dead, and a few that are indeed alive, but their works, duties and gifts, withering, decaying, and ready to die.

"Which have not defiled their garments".

By "garments" we may not understand their outward profession, and form of godliness only, (no, nor chiefly), for in that respect, there were some formal professors in this church, who seemed as religious, and were eminent for gifts and parts; for they had a name to live, although some of them might be hypocrites, {Isa 33:14} and denied the power of Godliness, and so defiled the garments of their profession, etc. But by "garments" here is meant their white robes, even that inward purity of heart, and that spiritual power of Godliness in their life, which is called the brides array of fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of saints, {Re 19:8} to wit, of Christ's righteousness, of justification, sanctification and holiness; the saint's garments of salvation, {Isa 16:10} which these "few" kept undefiled, unspotted, uncorrupted, unpolluted, that is, pure and clean by faith, {Ac 15:9} not only in the sight of men, but also in the sight of God. Not that these few eminent saints in Sardis lived without sin in the sight of god, or that they kept their garments of fine linen so white and clean, that they were never defiled in any respect; but they were not polluted, corrupted, nor defiled with such enormities as others were, which were not the spots of God's children. {De 32:5} And, if at any time they contracted any filth of sin upon their fine Linen, then they washed their Robes, and made them white in the blood of Christ. {Re 7:13,14}

"And they shall walk with me in white".

Here Christ promised those saints in Sardis two things. First, communion and fellowship with himself, signified by walking with Christ. {So 2:4,5,6} He brought me into the Banqueting-house, and his Banner over me was love; (compare Col 2:6 with 1Jo 1:3). In which walking and communion with Christ the saints enjoy his spiritual presence in his word preached, and in his holy ordinances administered unto them, which fills them with joy and peace through believing. {Ps 16:11} In thy presence is fullness of joy. Secondly, conformity unto Christ; Christ was cloathed in white raiment {Mt 17:2 Re 19:8,14} and his saints shall be cloathed also in white, {Re 19:8,14} that is, they shall be like Christ. What marvelous love is this- that we shall be like him? {1Jo 3:1}

"For they are worthy"

Not in themselves, with respect to any merit of their own; for when we have done all, we are unprofitable servants, because we have left something of our duty undone; and also, because we have done our Master's will no better. The saints can merit nothing of God, {Job 9:15,21,23 35:7} but yet they may be accounted worthy, First, through God's gracious acceptance of their persons and services in his Son Jesus Christ; in which respect, as the saints are said to be righteous in Christ, so they may be said to be worthy in Christ, that is, so accounted of God. Secondly, through that meetness which is found in the saints to partake of Christ's favor and free-grace, to walk with him in white, Christ having granted them to be clothed in fine linen, clean and white, {Re 19:8} and they being watchful to keep their garments undefiled (as these few did), he is well-pleased to account them worthy, that is meet to walk with him in white. And the Greek word here used, is translated meet, {Mt 3:8} meet or suitable unto repentance. And indeed, there was in some proportion a meetness in those few saints in Sardis, even in Christ's own gracious and righteous judgment, to walk with him in white who had kept their garments undefiled.

Re 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

"He that overcometh," etc.

This is one of the promises which Christ made to him that overcometh, whether he was any one of the ministers or members of this church, or of any other church of saints, or any particular Christian whosoever, that did or shall repent of his cooling, decaying, and backsliding condition, and be watchful, and so recover and overcome the world, Satan, and sin; and also overcome the beast, and get victory over his image, his name, his mark, and the number of his name,

"the same shall be clothed in white raiment",

that is as before, he shall have communion with Christ; and be arrayed like the bride in fine linen, clean and white. {Re 19:8} Though they had defiled their garments with their defection and decaying, being ready to die, yet they should recover and wash their robes, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb, and so shall walk with him in white, or shall be clothed in white raiment;

"and I will not blot out his name out of the book of Life"

By "the book of life," is meant, First, the decree of Gods election. {Php 4:3} Whole names are in the book of life, that is, in the record or decree of election. Secondly, Christ's record or memorial of those that the Father hath given to him before the foundation of the world, which is called the Lamb's Book of Life. {Re 21:17} Thirdly, the gospel and new covenant of grace, according to which, every one that liveth under that dispensation, shall be judged at the last day (Compare Ro 2:16 with Re 20:12). Now Christ promising him that overcomes, that he "will not blot out his name out of the book of life," doth mean, that he will not put his name out of his memorial, but bear his name upon his breast-plate among the names of all the Israel of God, as a perpetual memorial before the Father, as one of the election of grace, whom the Father gave unto him before the foundation of the world; and he shall be judged at the last day according to the gospel, and new covenant of the grace of God, whose name is written in the book of life.

"But I will confess his name before my Father, and before his Angels".

To wit, in the day of judgment Jesus Christ will own him that overcometh, and acknowledge him before God his Father, and before all his holy angels: That he is one of the election of grace, whom God the Father gave unto his Son Jesus Christ, for whom Christ laid down his life; and hath promised him eternal life. {Tit 1:2} In hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began. {1Jo 2:25} And this is the promise which he hath promised us, even eternal life; {also 1Jo 5:11,12} And this is the Record, that is to say, The Holy Scripture is the book of record that God hath given us, (namely, who believe) eternal Life; and this life is in his Son, and that he that hath the Son hath this life.

Re 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

See the exposition upon Re 1:3 2:7

See KNOLLYS "Re 1:3"

See KNOLLYS "Re 2:7"

Re 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

"And to the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia, write," etc.

Philadelphia (that is brotherly love, so named by one Attalus Philadelphias) a was a City in Mysia, poor and mean, in comparison of some other Cities in Asia; and yet famous for one of the most pure and uncorrupted Churches in Asia. Smyrna and Philadelphia were the poorest and weakest among all the Churches in Gifts and other Externals, but they were the most rich and excellent in spirituals

The Titles which Christ here taketh to himself, are, First, Some Attributes of his Divine Nature, "he that is holy, he that is true;" and Secondly, Some Characters of his Kingly Power, and the Dignity of his Mediatorial Kingdom:

"He that is holy"

Christ is the holy one, that is, the holy God, {Isa 43:14,15} I am the Lord your holy ONE, the Creator of Israel, your King: And Christ is the holy one, that is, the holy Child or Son of God. {Ac 4:27,30 Mr 1:24} The holy ONE of God. {Ac 3:14} The holy ONE and the just ONE, for Christ was holy, and without Sin.

"He that is true"

Christ is the true God, {Joh 1:1} very God, {1Jo 5:20} who is God blessed for ever, {Ro 9:5} the only wise God our Savior, {Jude 25} and the faithful and true witness (Re 1:5 3:14 19:11; and Re 6:10), O Lord, holy and true; and Joh 14:6, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. Christ is the true living way unto the Father.

"He that hath the key of David",

and the execution thereof; "He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth"

"He that hath the key of David",

is meant the Dominion and kingdom of his Father David. {Isa 22:21,22,23} And the key of the House of David will I lay upon his shoulder: -And he shall be for a glorious Throne to his Father's house. And, Isa 9:6,7, And the Government shall be upon his shoulder: -Upon the Throne of David, and upon his Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with Judgment and with Justice. Lu 1:31,32,33, And the Lord shall give unto him the Throne of his Father David, -And of his Kingdom they shall be no end.

Christ, as Mediator, shall have absolute Power and Dominion over all the Nations and Kingdoms of the World. {Da 7:13,14,27 Zec 14:9 Re 11:15} And that Nation, and that Kingdom that will not serve him, shall be destroyed {Isa 60:12 Lu 11:14,27}

"He that openeth, and no man shutteth, and shutteth, and no man openeth"

Christ openeth the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf, saying, Hear ye deaf, and look ye blind, etc. {Isa 42:7,18 Ps 119:18} He opens the understanding, {Lu 24:45 Eph 1:18} yea, he openeth the Heart, {Ac 16:14} and no man shutteth, or can shut those Ears, Eyes, Understandings and Hearts, which he openeth; and if he open not, no man can open. {Re 5:1,2,3,4,5} None could open the Sealed Book but the root of David, to wit, Jesus Christ, who "hath the key of David." And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is Sealed, which they deliver unto one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I cannot, for it is Sealed, etc. {Isa 29:11,12} If Christ shut, none can open. Job 12:14, He that shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening; and Job 11:10 and Ps 88:8, I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.

Re 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

I know thy works, etc.

This is not only a testimony of Christ's omniscience, common to all the Churches, but also of Christ's approbation, peculiar to the Church of Smyrna, and this of Philadelphia. Thy works, both the Work of the Ministry in all their Administrations, and the Work of Grace, Faith, Love, Patience, and every good Work that was dine by any Minister or Member of this Church, according to the Will of God. Christ took notice thereof, owns it, acknowledgeth it, and approves of it; yea, and will Crown it with acceptance, and reward of Grace and Glory. See the Exposition upon Re 2:2,9,19.

See KNOLLYS "Re 2:2"

See KNOLLYS "Re 2:9"

See KNOLLYS "Re 2:19"

``Behold, I have set before thee an open door''

By an open door is meant an effectual and successful opportunity and season for the Preaching of the Gospel, and Administration of the Ordinances of God, both for the Edification of the whole Body there implanted, The Ministers of this Church had a door of utterance opened unto them to speak the mystery of Christ, {Col 4:3} and the Members and other Hearers had a door of entrance opened to them to receive the Gospel, not as the Word of Men, but as it is indeed the Word of God, {1Th 2:13} so that the Word of God had a free course, and was glorified {2Th 3:1} in which respect; it is said, that a great door and effectual was opened unto the Apostle. {1Co 16:9}

``And no man can shut it''

None could hinder the Progress of the Gospel, nor the Liberty and Privileges of the Church, either to silence her Ministers, (for the Stars are in Christ's hand) nor Persecute her Members so as to disperse and scatter them; for Christ walked in the midst of the Golden Candlesticks. And therefore, none could remove this Candlestick out of its place, nor shut this door, which Christ had opened; which was an eminent proof of the power of the key of David, which Christ had, and here exercised in this Church of Philadelphia.

``For thou hast a little strength'',

to wit, of Faith and Grace, which was manifested in two particulars; First, In keeping Christ's Word. Secondly, In not denying Christ's Name. See the Exposition upon Re 2:13. See KNOLLYS "Re 2:13"

Re 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

This verse contains one encouragement unto this Angel and Church, her ministers and members, against the reproaches and persecutions which they suffered by the Synagogue of the Jews in this City,

Idou didwmi ek thv sunagwghv tou satana &c. Behold, I will give (some) of the Synagogue of Satan which is expounded ina pipsw aupuv, &c. Behold, I will cause them or make them, to wit of the Synagogue of Satan; the sense is the same, and the meaning of both expressions is, that Christ would give them his Grace, and having called them effectually by his grace, and given them His Holy Spirit as a fruit of this angels ministry, Christ would also cause them, and make them join unto this Church in Philadelphia, as members thereof, and worship God with them most humbly, or before the angels and Churches feet. Compare De 33:29 and Isa 60:14,15 with 1Co 14:25 and this should be as a signal testimony of Christ's love to this church and Angel in Philadelphia, which those converted Jews shall. acknowledge.

Behold I will make them to come and worship before thy feet and to know I have loved thee. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 2:9"

Re 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Here followeth another word of encouragement to this Angel and Church, amplified, First, By a promise of preservation. Secondly, by a ground or reason of Christ's great favour to them. By the word of Christ's patience is meant the Gospel of Christ; so called, First, Because persecutions do attend both the preachers and professors of the gospel, which ought to be endured with patience, Col 1:11 as the Churches of saints did, 2Th 1:1,4 and 2Th 2:13,14. Secondly, because Christ Himself did patiently suffer after He had preached the gospel, and therefore it is so called the word of His patience

Kept the Word,

signifies, First, to receive the gospel or Word of God, 1Th 1:6 and 1Th 2:13,14, though accompanied with much affliction and persecution. Secondly, To lay it up for ourselves by faith, and so to keep it as in a treasure, Ps 119:11 and Lu 1:66. Thirdly, To obey the gospel, and keep the ordinances of Christ in our practice, Ro 6 17. and 1Co 11:1-2 And, Fourthly, To hold fast the faithful Word, whatsoever tribulations and persecutions we endure for the name and gospel of Christ, 2Ti 1:13 and Re 2:13-25.

I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation.

That is, from the evil of that hour, and of those temptations. By temptation here we may understand any kind of trial; viz. of affliction, of persecution, of tribulation, and of temptation, which the Churches, the ministers and saints should suffer in those days, (especially that hour, Mt 24:21-29,30) that were to come shortly after John's writing of this book, Jas 1:2. And by the hour of temptation is meant an indefinite time; and also a certain time, though secret and unknown to men, yet limited and appointed by the Lord, when it shall come, and how long it shall last, called an hour, to signify, that it should be but a short time, our times are in thy hand, O Lord, Ps 31:15. The time when the Churches, their ministers and members tribulation shall begin; the time how long their trials and troubles shall last; an the time when their sorrows and sufferings shall end, is all in God's hand; that is, at the Lords appointment.

Which shall come upon all the world.

By the world, we are to understand here Caesar's world, Lu 2:1 throughout all the kingdoms, nations, and countries under the Roman Pagan emperors in every city and village, where any of the Churches of Christ were planted; God would suffer a general persecution to fall upon the Churches of saints in all parts of the world, wheresoever they were, but especially in Asia; and that whilst this Church in Philadelphia was in being: Which hour of temptation came upon the Churches and saints in the following bloody persecutions raised against them by the pagan emperors, from the evil of which temptations, this Church, ministers and members were preserved and kept.

To try them that dwell upon the earth.

By earth is meant, the saints and churches of saints that then were militant upon earth: Earth is not put here in opposition unto heaven, nor can it be so understood in this place; for the men of the world and inhabiters of the earth, were not the object of this hour or temptation, but were instruments in the persecutions of the Churches and saints that inhabited in the earth: So then, earth being contradistinguished to the Church triumphant in heaven, doth signify the Church militant here on earth, who was the object of this hour of temptation, Da 12:10. Many shall be purified and made white and tried, 1Pe 4:12-14,17 and 1Th 2:13-15.

Re 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

The last thing in the matter of this Epistle, is Christ's gracious advertisement unto this angel and Church; amplified, First, By an assertion,

I come quickly,

See KNOLLYS on "Rev 2:16" and See KNOLLYS on "Rev 3:3" but more especially See KNOLLYS on "Rev 1:7". Secondly, By a precept or charge,

hold that fast which thou hast;

which implies, First, That this Church, and her ministers and members, had received saving grace, spiritual gifts, and gospel liberties from Christ. Secondly, That they ought to hold fast the faith which they had received, and to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ had made them free, 1Co 16:13 and Ga 5:1. And Thirdly, By a word of caution,

that no man take thy crown,

which contains both a promised and a possessed reward of grace and glory; a crown of grace given and enjoyed; and a crown of glory promised, and hereafter to be received, Isa 28:5 1Pe 5:4 and Jas 1:12. That crown of grace received, was, that which they are here charged to keep; and not to lose that royal dignity and crown of Glory, which they had obtained who had kept the Word of Christ, and not denied His name.

Re 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Him that overcometh, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.

There were two pillars in the temple at Jerusalem, 1Ki 7:15. One, Solomon called Jachin, that is, he shall establish; the other he called Boaz, that is, with strength, 1Ki 7:21. The pillars in God's gospel temple, are Christ's able ministers of the New Testament, Ga 2:9. Peter, and James and John, who seemed to be pillars: I will; make him a pillar; that is Christ will establish him. and strengthen him, so that he shall be able to strengthen others who are weak, and help to support and strengthen them. Another use of pillars; is to bear forth the edicts and laws of kings, and their renowned acts engraven upon them; such was Absalom's pillar, 2Sa 18:18 so the Church of the living God, is called the pillar and ground of truth, 1Ti 3:15.

And he shall go no more out,

that is, he shall have a name in the house of God, and dwell there, and abide there.

And I will write upon him the name of my God.

By the name of God, here we may understand his communicable attributes of truth, faithfulness, mercy, and holiness, which Christ writes upon those pillars in God's house; not with ink, but by the Spirit of the living God, 2Co 3:3 in the fleshly tables of their hearts.

And the name of the city of my God.

This city is the new Jerusalem, mentioned Re 21:1,2. and is the Church of the first-born, written in heaven, Heb 12:22-24.

And I will write upon him my new name,

that is, the Son of God, Re 21:7 and he shall be my Son. So then, He that overcometh shall be made a fellow-citizen with the saints, and of the household of God, Eph 2:19.

Re 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

See KNOLLYS on "Rev 2:7"

Re 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

And unto the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans, write.

Laodicea was a great and rich City in Phrygia, by the River Licus, near to Coloss; where the gospel was preached, and this Church was planted in the faith and order of the gospel;

These things saith the Amen.

That is, unchangeable, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and to day, and the same for ever, Heb 13:8. Christ is also the Amen of all the promises of God, 2Co 1:20.

The faithful and true witness,

See KNOLLYS on "Re 1:5"

The beginning of the creation of God,

Pr 8:22,23-30. Christ is the first-born of every creature, Col 1:15, also the first-born amongst many brethren, Ro 8:29 and therefore Christ in all things hath the preeminence, Col 1:18.

Re 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot.

Christ had tried all the works of this Church, of here elders and members; all their administrations, all their worship and ordinances, all their duties to God, and all their services of love one to another; and Christ found the elders and members of this Church to be luke-warm, neither cold nor hot.

I would thou wert cold;

that is, one that makes no profession of God and Godliness, of Christ, and of the gospel; or rather,

I would thou wert hot;

that is, had zeal, life, grace, faith, etc. and the zealous, lively, fervent acts and exercise thereof.

Re 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

So then, because thou art luke-warm, &c

To be luke-warm, is a metaphor taken from boiling water that was very hot, but being taken off from the fire, cools and becomes luke-warm, or else when cold water which hath been set on the fire, and beginning to heat, is luke-warm, neither cold nor hot: Such were the ministers and members of this Church, who seemed to be religious, had the form of Godliness, but not the power of it, 2Ti 3:5

I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Which expression implies, First, That the formality and luke-warmness of this Church, her elders and members, was very burdensome unto Jesus Christ, Isa 1:11,15. Secondly, That Christ was heart-sick of those formalists, and their formality in the worship of God, and he was willing to ease himself of them. Ah, I will ease me of my adversaries, and make them as loathsome as that which is vomited up, Hab 2:16. The cup of the Lord's right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory. Thirdly, That Christ would utterly reject this Church, her ministers and members, for their luke-warmness, formality, hypocrisy, &c. Zec 11:7,14

Re 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Because thou sayest I am rich, and increased with goods.

Rich in grace, rich in faith, and rich in good works; so the Church elders and members ought to be, and they boasted that they were so; and they said they increased in goods, in spiritual gifts, grace, and good works, &c. They boasted of their growth, and increase in spirituals; though it was otherwise with them, as Christ testified in this verse.

And have need of nothing:

They thus gloried in appearance, as 2Co 5:12 and 1Co 4:8 as if they needed no spiritual gifts, or grace; no admonitions nor reproofs from Christ, no power from on high, no reformation or amendment, no counsel or advice.

And knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

Wretched that is, in a wretched condition; First, As being without God, and without Christ, and without grace, Eph 2:11,12. Secondly, As being miserably captivated by their corruptions, Ro 3:11,12-16,18 and Ro 7:23,24.

And poor, and blind, and naked.

That is, some of them had not a grain of grace, others dark in their understanding, and others naked; that is, in a shameful, filthy, and polluted condition, Re 3:18, that the shame of thy nakedness doth not appear.

Re 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire.

As there was a depth of hypocrisy and formality in this Church, so here is a greater depth of mercy and mystery in her cure, which Jesus Christ propounded by his gracious council unto them; and the excellent commodities which Christ here offers them, and counsels them to buy of him. Christ is the most wise and best counsellor, Isa 9:6 and we may buy all his spiritual commodities without money, and without price, Isa 55:1-3.

Buy of me,

that is, accept what I offer you, and take it freely, Re 22:17.

The spiritual commodities, which Christ offered this Church, her ministers and members, are three, tried gold, white raiment, and eye-salve. These are metaphorical and mystical expressions: By

Gold tried in the fire,

we are to understand precious faith, 2Pe 1:1 and all the graces, gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, Joh 1:14 which God the Father gives freely and abundantly to all that are poor in spirit, Eph 4:7.

And white raiment,

that is, the robe of Christ's righteousness, and the garments of his salvation, Isa 61:10 and Re 19:7,8.

And anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see.

Christ's eye-salve is the unction of the Holy ONE, 1Jo 2:20-27, that is, of the holy Spirit of God; whereby, the eyes of their understanding are enlightened to see, &c as Eph 1:17,18,19,20.

Re 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Christ rebukes and chasteneth them whom he loveth, Pr 3:11,12 and Heb 12:5-8,13 that is, He doth reprove them by His Word, and correct them with His rod; but it is in love to their souls.

Be zealous therefore and repent.

First, Repent, that is, sorrow after a godly manner for your sins, 2Co 7:9,10 of formality, hypocrisy, luke-warmness, &c. Secondly, Be zealous, that is, be fervent in Spirit, Ro 12:11 having a fervent zeal for the glory of God, the honor of Christ and the credit of the gospel, and the example of others.

Re 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Behold I stand at the door, and knock.

Christ called this Church, her elders and members, to consider how unwilling He was to leave them, to forsake them, and cast them off, if they would take His counsel and amend. Behold, that is, observe well what I have yet further to say to you, ere I depart from you.

I stand at the door, and knock.

Christ knocks at the door of our hearts by the powerful operations of his Holy Spirit, as 1Th 1:4,5. and Heb 4:12. Christ continued his presence still with this Church, notwithstanding their luke-warmness, (as he did of old, Ho 6:4-9. and Ho 11:1-4,7-12. How shall I give thee up Ephraim?--How shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together;) because, First, Christ knew some of those luke-warm ones were elect ones, whom the Father had given unto him, Joh 6:37-40 and 2Ti 2:19. and Joh 10:16 or else Christ doth this to leave them without excuse, Ro 1:20 and Heb 2:1-3.

If any man hear my voice, and open the door

That is in the ministry of the Word, and open the door of his heart, by a willing content to accept his offers of grace upon gospel-terms.

I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

This is a great encouragement unto them to answer his earnest desire, and gracious invitation to open their hearts, and to admit him entrance, by promising them, First, Union with him;

I will come in to him.

Secondly, Communion with him;

And sup with him, and he with me.

By supping together, we may understand the mutual fellowship between Christ and their souls, in the sacred ordinances of God, 1Jo 1:3.

Re 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.

To be with Christ in His throne, doth signify, First, That they are made kings, and shall reign on earth, Re 5:9,10. There are two sorts of thrones, where Christ and all His saints shall sit, and reign together. One throne is on earth; for Christ shall be king of all the earth, Zec 14:9. The kingdom and dominion under the whole heaven shall be given to the saints of the most high, Da 7:27. Both these prophecies, and that also Re 11:15 will shortly be fulfilled; even in the days of those kings. Da 2:44,45. Suddenly after the resurrection (or restoring) of Christ's two slain witnesses, that is, His Churches and His ministers, Re 11:11-15 which will be in three prophetical days and in half, Nu 4:34 and Eze 4:5,6 whereof more fully in the Exposition of the Eleventh chapter of this Revelation. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:1" ff The other throne is in Heaven; where Christ and His saints shall reign to eternity, Mt 25:24 and shall judge the world of the wicked; and the fallen angels, 1Co 6:2,3 called the eternal judgment, Heb 6:1-5.

Re 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Besides the Exposition of the eleventh verse of the second Chapter; See KNOLLYS on "Rev 2:11" consider, that the Holy Spirit spake some things in every epistle to every Church, that concerned all the Churches to hear, and every particular person that could hear, to hearken diligently unto those things that

the Spirit spake unto the Churches in those seven epistles that St. John wrote unto them.

Before I proceed unto the Exposition of the fourth chapter, I think it meet for me, and not unprofitable for the conscientious and diligent reader, to say a few words touching the Churches of God in these latter days.

First, the fit matter of a true visible Church of God under the gospel, is a company of sanctified, baptized believers; such was the Church at Jerusalem, the Churches in Judea, the Church at Rome, in Corinth, and all the Churches of Christ at their first constitution, in the days of the apostles, Ac 4:23-32 Ac 8:12 Ac 18:8 1Co 1:2 1Co 14:23-33, Churches of saints.

Secondly, The essential form of a true visible Church of God, is the right joining and orderly compacting of those sanctified believers together into one mystical body, by the ministers of Christ, according to the constitution of the gospel, Eph 2:19-22 Eph 4:15,16 1Co 3:5-9.

Thirdly, The end why the Church is so planted, builded, and formed, is that they may meet together in ONE to worship God publicly in Spirit and in truth in all His sacred gospel ordinances, to the glory of God, and for the mutual edification of that mystical body of Christ, whose head He is, 1Co 14:23 Heb 10:25 Joh 4:22-24 1Co 11:1-11 2Th 1:12 1Pe 4:10,11 1Co 14:12-26, let all things be done to edifying.

Fourthly, It is not lawful for any member of a true Church to separate himself from it, nor forsake the assembling of himself with it, Heb 10:25 1Jo 2:19. Our blessed Lord Jesus did not blame, nor reprove any of the ministers or members of any of those Churches in Asia, (although Christ reproved the Churches and their elders for suffering errors in doctrine, in worship, and in manners, among them;) but commended them that held their communion with the Church, and kept themselves free from those errors, Re 2:24 Re 3:4. Separation from a true Church is schism, and schism is a sin, 1Co 12:25 which causeth division, 1Co 1:10:11:18 although the apostles did command the saints in Corinth to separate themselves from idolatrous Gentiles, 2Co 6:14-17 and he himself did separate the disciples from the unbelieving Jews, Ac 19:9 yet, neither Paul, nor any of the apostles, nor our Savior, commanded any of the saints to separate themselves from any true Church of Christ.

Fifthly, The ministers and members of a Church may keep themselves from being partakers of other men's sins, and from being defiled with them, by bearing their testimony and witness orderly in the Church, against them that hold any unsound doctrine, or any corrupt manners, or any false worship, 2Ti 4:2,3 Eph 5:11 Mt 18:15-17. We ought to be followers of Christ, who bare His witness against the unsound doctrine, and corrupt manners, and neglect of discipline in some of the seven Churches in Asia, and waited patiently for their repentance; yet He did not forsake them, nor reject them, but owned them to be His Churches, Re 1:11 2:12-15,16,18,20,22,23 3:14,19,22, until they added final impenitency unto their iniquity and transgressions.

Sixthly, The Churches of Christ, and the ministers and members thereof shall be broken, dispersed, scattered, and mystically slain and killed, Re 11:7 Re 13:15-17.

Seventhly, God will gather His Churches or saints again; and will glorify the house of His glory and give them pastors after His own heart, pure worship and ordinances, and they shall serve him with one consent, Zep 3:9-13,17-20 Ps 50:5 Isa 49:18 Isa 60:4 Joh 11:52 Eph 1:11.

Eighthly, When the Churches of saints are scattered by persecution, as Ac 8:1-3 Ac 9:12, then the ministers and members may assemble themselves together in several companies, as Ac 4:1-3 Ac 18-23 Joh 20:19-23,26 Ac 1:2-4,13-15 1Co 15:6 and they may also break bread from house to house, Ac 2:42-46 not only on the first day of the week, for Christ did break bread on the fifth day, Mt 26:26-31 1Co 11:23-25. The apostle also did break bread on the second day morning early, Ac 20:7,8-11, after midnight, before break of day. And the brethren that have received a spiritual gift may minister the same one to another, 1Pe 4:10-11 building up themselves in their most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, Jude 20,21. Read 1Co 14:3-12,31, let all things be done to edifying, 1Co 14:26

Re 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

``After this I looked''

that is, after the apostle John had seen the vision of the seven golden candlesticks, he looked, that is, he waited and expected to have more visions and revelations from the Lord Jesus Christ. One glimpse of the glory of God in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, {2Co 4:6} doth cause his saints and servants to look for more, {Ps 63:1-2} To see thy power and thy glory, as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

``And behold, a door was opened in heaven''

Stephen had heaven opened, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus Christ standing on the right hand of God. {Ac 7:55-56} Peter also saw heaven opened, {Ac 10:11-16} and St. John beheld a door opened in heaven; that is, he had an open vision of unseen glory, as Stephen had, and a revelation of things that should come to pass.

"And the first voice which I heard,"

see Re 1:10,11

"was as it were of a trumpet talking with me;"

that is, a loud voice, full of majesty, yet familiar and friendly, talking with me. John's spiritual acquaintance with Jesus Christ in glory, begot a holy and humble familiarity with his majesty without fear.

``Which said, come up hither; ''

that is, to Christ, to me, that is, in heaven, where Christ is;

``and I will show thee''

make known unto thee

``things which must be hereafter''

viz. Those things that are to come, and shall shortly come to pass. See Re 1:1,19.

Re 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

As soon as Christ has said unto John, come up hither, he was immediately in the spirit; that is, without any delay, instantly,

``I was in the spirit''

or in a spiritual rapture and ecstasy. (See the exposition, Re 1:10).

See KNOLLYS "Re 1:10"

``And behold, a throne was set in heaven.''

This metaphorical word is borrowed from the great monarchs and kings of the earth, who have their thrones set for judgement, {Ps 122:5} The throne of his father David, which God promised to give Jesus Christ, {Lu 1:31-33} or else mystically it is the Church of God, which is called glorious throne, {Jer 17:12} A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary; and {Jer 3:17} Jerusalem, the throne of JEHOVAH.

``And one sat on the throne''

namely, King Jesus, {Isa 41:14-15} I AM JEHOVAH, your holy ONE, the creator of Israel your King, The King of Saints, {Re 15:3} The King of Sion, {Ps 149:1-2} The King of Nations, {Jer 10:7} The only Potentate, {1Ti 6:15} the King of Kings. {Re 19:12-16}

Re 4:3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

``And he that sat''

to sit upon a throne, doth signify, first, to make laws and constitutions for all his subjects, his churches, ministers and saints, how they should walk and worship God, {Jas 4:12} There is one law-giver. {Isa 33:22} The Lord is our law-giver -The Lord is our King, and HE will save us.

``Was to look upon like a jasper''

our Lord Jesus Christ, the king, priest, and prophet of his church, is here resembled by three precious stones in Aaron's breast plate; the jasper, the sardine, and the emerald, {Ex 28:20-39} which were also three of the foundation stones of the holy city, the new Jerusalem. {Re 21:11-20} This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of JEHOVAH, Jesus, in Ezekiel's vision. {Eze 1:26-28} The other jasper is a precious stone, which shineth so bright, that no color can darken it; hereby it figured forth the shining glory of Jesus Christ, who is the brightest of his father's glory. {Heb 1:3 2Co 4:6} The sardine, or sardius, is a precious stone of a clear carnation color; hereby is represented the spiritual beauty, and loveliness of Jesus Christ, So 5:10-16 who is white and ruddy, and altogether lovely; made so precious to sanctified believers by his sufferings. {1Pe 2:4-7} A crucified Jesus is a precious Jesus, {Isa 63:1-3} glorious in his red apparel; his bloody garments of redemption and salvation. {Eph 1:7 Isa 61:10} The emerald is a lively lovely green stone, mixed with shining rays, and sparklings of other excellent and pleasant colors, which make that precious stone very desirable for its worth, beauty, and lustre. So is our precious Lord Jesus Christ ten thousand thousand times more worth, more glorious, and more desirable for the variety of his spiritual gifts and graces.

``And there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald''

And Christ is said to have a rainbow upon his head, {Re 10:1} The rainbow was a token of Gods covenant with Noah, {Ge 9:11-16} and was applied by the prophet for the everlasting comfort of the church of God, {Isa 54:5-10} and signifies that God and Christ is ever mindful of the new covenant, and will perform his word to a thousand generations. {De 7:9 Ps 111:5} God will not break his covenant, {Ps 89:30-35} and Christ is the mediator of the new convenant between God and his people. {1Ti 2:5-6 Heb 8:6}

Re 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

``four and twenty seats''

The four and twenty seats upon which John saw four and twenty elders sitting round about the throne, do signify the ministry of Christ in his church, who had the care and charge of the flock, to feed them, {Ac 20:28} and who have the rule over the members of the church, {Heb 13:7-17} to govern them by the laws of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, they did sit upon seats (or thrones) being governors in the church of God, according to Christ's institution. {Eph 4:11-13 1Co 12:28 1Co 4:1-6}

Clothed in white raiment, and they had on their heads crowns of gold

Hereby is signified, first, their holiness or sanctification, called the righteousness of the saints, {Re 19:7-8} their garments of salvation, and robe of righteousness, {Isa 61:10} their raiment is made white in the blood of Christ, wherein they washed their robes, as they did {Re 7:14-15} therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his Temple; that is, his church. Secondly, their honour or dignity of eldership; the elders that rule well are worthy of double honour, ;{ 1Ti 5:17 Re 4:10,11} whereof Christ hath the pre-eminence, as in all other things. {Col 1:18}

Re 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

"lightnings, and thunderings, and voices"

By the lightnings, and thunderings, and voices which proceeded out of the throne, the Church of God, that is, from Christ and the elders; we may understand the dispensations of the gospel, that cometh not in word only (signified by voices) but in power, {1Th 1:5} (expressed by lightnings and thunders) such are the right and just censures of Christ and his church, {1Co 5:4-5} against those in the church that are hereticks, schismaticks, or scandalous sinners; and the seven lamps of fire are the Seven Spirits of God. {See Re 1:14}

Re 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

This sea of glass beareth some resemblance unto the sea of brass in Solomon's Temple, {1Ki 7:2-3} like crystal, that is, clear and perspicuous; such is the gospel of the grace of God, {2Co 3:18} wherein we have an open vision of Jesus Christ, who is the image of the unseen glory of God. {2Co 4:6} By this sea of glass we may understand the pure worship of God under the gospel, {Re 15:3-5} mixed with fire; that is, with fiery trials, persecutions and sufferings for Christ, on which the victors stood with Christ, singing, praising and worshipping him.

``And in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts''

Tessara zwa (quatnor Animalia) four living creatures, (zyon) signifies (Animale Rationale) a rational living creature, not a beast, for these were some of Christ's redeemed ones, {Re 5:8-9} they were men who worshipped God. {Re 4:9-10 5:14} The four and twenty elders were the ministers of God in general: these four living creatures were the four sorts of officers of Christ in special, fixed and set by him in every particular congregation and church of saints, who waited and attended on the work of the ministry in the church. {Ro 12:7-8 1Co 12:28 Eph 4:11-13}

"Full of eyes, before and behind"

whereby is signified the watchfulness of the elders, whom the holy spirit hath made overseers of the flock of God, the church of saints. {Ac 20:28} They had eyes within; that is, the pastors and teachers are to look to themselves, and to their doctrine. {1Ti 4:16} They had eyes before; that is, they ought to look that no false brethren creep in unawares. {Ga 2:4-5} And they had eyes behind; that is, they ought to look after the members of the church, and see that they walk orderly, {Col 2:5-7} and have their conversation as becometh the gospel. {Php 1:27}

Re 4:7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

"first living creature was like a lion"

ONE, that is, the first living creature was like a lion the lion is a kingly beast for courage and boldness, {Pr 21:1-2 2Sa 17:10} and turneth not away for any. {Pr 30:30} When he roareth the beasts of the forest do tremble. {Am 3:8} So the elders that rule well in the churches of saints have boldness for Christ, (as Peter and John had,){ Ac 4:13} and the church prayed God to give his ministers boldness {Ac 4:19,29} which holy boldness the ministers of Christ are to exercise, both in preaching the word, and in ruling and governing the church and flock of Christ, {1Ti 5:20 2Ti 4:2 Tit 1:13 3:10} according to Christ's institutions.

"And the second living creature like a calf or ox"

The ox is a strong beast, {Pr 14:4} and laborious under the yoke. {Ps 144:14 De 25:4} By the ox, here is signified the pastors that labour in the word and doctrine, {1Co 3:9 9:4-11 1Ti 5:17} etc. The apostle exhorted the saints in the church of the Thessalonians to own them and esteem them highly for their work's sake, who did labour among them, and were over them in the Lord. {1Th 5:12-13}

``And the third living creature had a face as a man''

Whereby the deacons of the churches of saints are fitly resembled, whose office, ministry, and work, is to attend the outward affairs of the church of God, and to serve tables in the daily ministration: They are to make provision for the Lords table, the ministers table, the poors table, and the strangers table; and to this end the apostle appointed that there should be collections for the saints in the churches every first day, {1Co 16:1-2} and they counselled the church at Jerusalem to choose seven men fitly, qualified for this work, and they ordained them unto this office. {Ac 6:1-7} They that have used the office of a deacon well, purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. {1Ti 3:13}

``And the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle''

The eagle flieth aloft towards heaven, {Pr 25:3} She mounteth up on high, {Job 39:27} whereunto the teachers in churches of saints are fitly resembled, who give attendance to reading, expounding, interpreting and teaching, {Ac 12:6-7 1Ti 4:13-15} studying to show themselves workmen approved of God, who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth; especially the prophecies and mysteries of the gospel, and of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ; as. {Ac 28:31}

Re 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

"And the four living creatures had each of them six wings above him"

So had the cherubims in Ezekiel's vision of the thrones of the Lord's glory; four wings, {Eze 1:1-10 10:1-8} also the seraphims in Isaiah's vision. {Isa 6:2-7} Each one had six wings; whereby we may understand the alacrity and readiness of all the officers in the churches of saints to attend upon their duty, as. {Ro 12:6-8}

And they rest not day and night, saying, holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come

They rest not day and night

that is, they are instant in season, and out of season, preaching the word of God, {2Ti 4:1-2} and praying, {1Th 3:10} and serving God night and day in his Temple, as they did, {Re 7:15} saying, holy, holy, holy that is, most holy Lord God; the father, word and holy spirit, for these three are ONE. {1Jo 5:7} Almighty, that is, able to do what he pleaseth to do, in heaven, in earth, and in all places, who worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will. {Eph 1:11} See Re 1:8 which was, and is, and is to come viz. The eternal God.

Re 4:9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

And when those living creatures give glory

that is, when the ministers begin to worship God in the church by celebrating his praise; attributing all glory and honour unto God the father, son, and holy spirit, and give him thanks for all spiritual blessings, and temporal mercies received from him that sitteth upon the throne, who liveth forever and ever.

Re 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

The four and twenty elders fall down, etc. and worship

they joined with the four living creatures, and all the rest of the members of the church in worshipping God;

And they cast their crowns before the throne

See Re 4:4. They do acknowledge that they received all their ecclesiastical authority, power, and dignity from Christ.

Re 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

In this verse we have, first, the elders confession,

Thou are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power.

Secondly, the reason they give.

For thou hast created all things

visible and invisible. {Joh 1:1-3 Col 1:16-18} For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth-And by him all things consist-That in all things he might have the pre-eminence.

Re 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne, a book written within, and on the backside sealed with seven seals.

Every vision of God in his word consists of two general parts: first, something seen; and secondly, something heard:

And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne, a book written, etc.

The prophets and apostles being in a trance had their eyes open. {Nu 24:4 Ac 10:10-11} So had this apostle here, not the eyes of the body, but of the mind.

In the right hand of him that sat on the throne

that is, of the Lord Jesus Christ, see Re 4:2,3.

A book written within, and on the backside sealed with seven seals

this was the Book of Revelations, a mystical and prophetical book, containing the Revelation of those things which were shortly to be fulfilled, and come to pass, see Re 1:1,19 4:1. This book was full, no place left void to add anything unto it, {Re 22:18} Whosoever shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book,

sealed with seven seals

The sealing this book signifies: first, that the things prophesied in this book are sure, and shall certainly come to pass, for God hath sealed them; which is a full confirmation. {2Ti 2:19 Eph 1:13} Secondly, that the prophecies in this book are secrets, for they are sealed. {Isa 29:11 Da 12:9} This book contained seven rolls of parchment, which were every one sealed up one within another; so that when the first roll and seal was opened, only what was written within, and on the backside of that roll might be read. {Re 6:1,3,7,9} But the next remained sealed, and could not be read until it was unsealed; and consequently the seven seals must all be loosed, and all the seven rolls must be opened, before any man could read them. {1Co 2:7-9}

Re 5:2 And I saw a strong angel, proclaiming with a loud voice, who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

This strong angel was one of the holy angels of God, who are his ministering spirits. {Heb 1:14} Haply that ministering angel, by whom Jesus Christ sent and signified these things unto his servant John, see Re 1:1. Called a strong angel, to signify the mighty power which God hath given to his holy angels to do his will, {2Ki 19:34-35}

proclaiming with a loud voice

The voice of an angel of God is so loud, as can make all the dead that are in the grave hear, {1Co 15:52 1Th 4:16-17}

Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

Re 5:3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

Here followeth the answer to this inquiry, which is negative,

No man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth.

every one faith, It is not in me, {Isa 29:11-12} I cannot read it, etc.

Re 5:4. And I wept much because no man was found worthy to open, and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

It appears that St. John was very much troubled, for he wept much: The servant of the Lord was very sensible, what a loss it would be to him, and to the church of God, if this sealed book should not be unsealed, and the mysterial prophecies therein should not be opened; therefore he wept and mourned.

Re 5:5 And one of the elders saith 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.

The apostle is forbid to weep.

One of the elders said unto me, weep not

John's affectionate sorrow might hinder him from attending unto the glad tidings brought unto him: Therefore the elder first prohibited him from weeping: Tears and sorrows may hinder choice Christians, and indispose them to receive spiritual comforts. The elder having shut the floodgate of the Apostle's sorrow, he bids him attend diligently to what he had to say unto him. Behold, that is, diligently attend, and seriously consider what message I bring, and what glad tidings I have to declare,

The lion of the tribe of Judah

that is, the Lord Jesus Christ, for he came of that tribe, {Heb 7:14} and thence the kingly race did spring and succeed until Christ came in the flesh, who was born the King of the Jews. {Ge 49:10} The Lion couched, was the escutcheon or arms of that tribe, {Ge 49:8-9} and Christ was of the House of David, the King of Judah, {2Sa 2:4}

Hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof

The Lord Jesus Christ prevailed by his sufferings, whereby he overcame all his and his churches enemies. {Re 3:22}

Re 5:6 And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb, as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

The apostle did not slight, nor neglect the elders counsel, who said unto him, Behold.

And beheld, and lo

that is, I looked and saw

In the midst of the throne, and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb.

The Lord our Passover, who was sacrificed for us. {1Co 5:7} Christ standing in the midst of the throne, signifieth, first, that he is equal with God the Father, {Joh 10:30 Php 2:6} and partaker of the same glory, dominion and authority with the Father. {Mt 28:18-19} Secondly, that Christ is exalted on the right hand of God, {Heb 8:1 12:2} and so St. Stephen saw Jesus Christ standing on the right hand of God. {Ac 7:56} Christ's standing in the midst of the four living creatures, and twenty four elders, doth signify his gracious presence in the church, (called the throne of God,){ Jer 17:12} with his ministers, (called pastors, teachers, and elders,){ Eph 4:11-13 Ac 20:17} to present their persons, prayers, and all their spiritual services and sacrifices at the throne of grace, with his incense unto the father with acceptance. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God, out of the angels hand. {Re 8:4 Eph 2:18 Heb 13:15 1Pe 2:4-5}

"a Lamb as it had been slain"

to wit, the crucified living Lamb of God, the Son of God. See Re 1:18.

"Having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth"

Seven horns

that is, Christ's irresistible power, whereby he is able to push down all his enemies, and to break in pieces the horns of the ungodly. Search those scriptures. {Lu 1:6-9, Ps 132:13-18, Ps 75:10 Hab 3:3-13} God came from Teman, which was a famous city for wise men that belonged to the Edomites of Esau's race, whom God destroyed. Compare Jer 49:7-20 with Eze 25:12-14 And the holy one from mount Paran which was the place from whence JEHOVAH shined forth and manifested his glory unto Israel, {De 33:2-3} He had horns coming out of his hand, and there was the hiding of his power. Then God went out for the salvation of his people. {Hab 3:4,12,13} Read the whole chapter. {Hab 3} Christ is the Almighty, {Re 1:5-7} all power in heaven and earth is given unto him. {Mt 28:18}

As his omnipotency is signified by seven horns so his omnisciency is signified by

seven eyes

See the exposition of Re 1:14 2:18 his eyes are like a flame of fire. All things are naked and open unto his eyes, {Heb 4:13} so is his omnipresence by the

seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth

These seven are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth. {Zec 4:10 Mt 28:20} The mystical number seven, signifies, first, the variety of Christ's spiritual gifts. {1Co 12:4-8} Secondly, the fullness of his grace. {Joh 1:14-16 Col 2:3-9} Thirdly, the perfection of his mediatorial offices, {Eph 3:8} for the perfecting of the saints. {Eph 4:11-13} For God gave not the spirit by measure unto Christ, {Joh 3:34} but in all fullness. {Col 1:19} See Re 1:4 3:1.

Re 5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat on the throne.

He came

that is, Jesus Christ the Mediator, {1Ti 2:5}

and took the book

that is, this book of the Revelation

out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne

that is, God his Father: for our Lord Jesus Christ received this book of God the Father: {See Re 1:1} Which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants.

Re 5:8. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts, and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

This verse contains a preparation unto a new and spiritual song of praise and thanksgiving unto Christ our Redeemer, {Re 5:9-14} (who had taken this book to unloose the seals, and to open the mystical and prophetical visions and revelations therein contained). And this spiritual song of praise consists of three parts, whereof the church, her ministers and members bear the first part. {Re 5:8,9,10} The holy angels, and spirits of just men made perfect, bear the second part, {Re 5:11,12} and all God's good creatures bear the third part. {Re 5:13,14}

Fell down before the Lamb

that is, theof God, the Son of God, who is God blessed forever. {Ro 9:5} God manifested in the flesh, {1Ti 3:16}

Having every one of them harps

that is, hearts filled with the Holy Spirit, {Eph 5:18,19 1Co 14:14,15} prepared to pray and praise the Lord.

And golden vials

that is, the wise virgins vessels, which had oil, odoriferous anointing of the Holy Spirit, {1Jo 2:20-27}

Full of odours

The prayers of the saints made acceptable by Jesus Christ.

Re 5:9. And they sung a new song, saying, thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

This verse contains the manner of their thanksgiving.

And they sung a new song

and his praise in the congregation of saints. Singing and praying are two distinct ordinances under the gospel, {1Co 14:14-15} and two distinct parts of the worship of God, both which are to be performed by the anointing of the spirit, {Col 3:16 Eph 5:18-19} in the churches of saints. This is called a new song, because, first, it contains new matter of praise and thanksgiving unto God, as Ps 98:1 etc. and secondly, the hearts (the harps) of these singers were put into a new spiritual frame by the fresh anointing of the holy spirit; John had been weeping much, and now God gave him the garments of praise for the spirit of mourning, to comfort him, {Isa 61:1-4} and so he as prepared to bear his part in this new song of praise and thanksgiving.

Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof

first, because

thou wast slain

that is crucified for the sins of they people. {Php 2:6-9 Heb 12:2} Secondly, because thou

hast redeemed us to God by thy blood

that is, Christ by his precious blood obtained eternal redemption for us, (not for all) {Heb 9:12} for Gods elect; that is, Christ hath brought them

out from every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation

First, from their former vain sinful conversation. {1Pe 1:18-20} Secondly, from wrath to come. {1Th 1:10} Thirdly, from the curse of the law. {Ga 3:13} And fourthly, from the bondage of corruption, {Ro 8:23} by death, through the resurrection from the dead. {1Co 15:50-57}

Re 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth.

This verse contains a third reason of this new song of praise and thanksgiving.

And hast made us unto our God kings and priests

They were not only redeemed from all misery, sin, curse, and eternal death; but honoured with many glorious dignities, and spiritual privileges.

Thou hast made us kings

The saints are kings, and Jesus Christ is King of saints. {Re 15:3} the Lord's redeemed ones have a heavenly kingdom prepared for them. {Lu 12:32 Mt 25:34} And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom, under the whole heaven, shall be given to Christ and his saints. {Da 7:13-27 Mic 4:8 Zec 14:9} In that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one. There shall be one fold, and one shepherd. {Joh 10:16} And priests unto God, a royal priesthood, {1Pe 2:4-9} to offer up spiritual sacrifices; that you should show forth the praises of God, {1Pe 2:9} who hath called you, etc.

And we shall reign on the earth

they believed upon the scripture ground, before mentioned, and therefore did they speak, {2Co 4:13} that is, the primitive saints believed that they shall reign with Christ on earth, and the latter day saints also have scripture ground to believe, that they shall reign with Christ on earth. {Re 20:1-4} And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years; ta cilia eth that is, those thousand years between the resurrection of Christ's two prophetical witnesses, etc. and the rest of the dead, who lived not until those thousand years were finished. {Re 20:5,6}

Re 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

The holy angels, who are all ministering spirits unto the heirs of salvation, {Heb 1:14} and therefore are said here to be round about the throne of God, the church of God, and round about the living creatures, and round about the elders, both ministers and members of the church. {Jer 3:17 17:12} These holy angels were the mighty host of Almighty God, as appears by their numbers,

ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands

that is, an innumerable company of angels. {Ps 34:7}

Re 5:12. Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

The holy angels expressed their praises of God with a loud voice, that not only the church of God, the ministers and members might hear; but the living creatures might also hear,

Saying, worthy is the Lamb that was slain

namely, Christ crucified to receive riches, that is, all the hidden treasure of riches and wisdom. {Col 2:2-3} The unsearchable riches of Christ. {Eph 3:8} The exceeding riches of the grace of God in Christ, {Eph 2:7} and the riches of the glory of God. {Eph 3:16} By power and strength, we may understand his kingdom, power, and glory, for ever, Amen. {Mt 6:13}

Re 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I, saying, blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.

Here followeth the third part of praise and thanksgiving, which is performed by the whole creation, that expecteth to be delivered out of the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the Sons of God. {Ro 8:21-22} This deliverance will be, at the time when our Lord Jesus Christ shall come from heaven, and restore all things. {Ac 3:19-21}

Re 5:14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever.

In this verse we have the conclusion of this new song by the Lord's redeemed ones, the elders, ministers and members of Christ and his church.

And the four living creatures, said, Amen

which Amen, signifies their full assent unto all the praises given to Jesus Christ in this new song.

And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth forever and ever.

That is, Jesus Christ who is God, blessed forever, Amen. {Ro 9:5 Jude 1:25} To the only wise God our Saviour be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. {Re 1:18} I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for ever more, Amen.

Re 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as It were the noise of thunder, one of the four beast, saying, come, and see.

The Lord Jesus Christ having prevailed to open this sealed book of the Revelation, which God gave him, and he took it out of his right hand. Now John saw him open one of the seals; that is, the first in order of the seven seals of this book; It is a Hebraism, the Jews used so to express; and call the first of times, things or persons, as Ge 1:5 one day, that is, the first day. It is also a Helenism; the Greeks used to express and call the first of Sabbaths, {Mr 16:2} prwi thv miav sabbatwn, early upon one of the Sabbaths, that is, upon the first Sabbath {Mr 16:9} For that first day of the week was the first Christian Sabbath, called the Lord's Day. See the exposition upon Re 1:10. SEE KNOLLYS "Re 1:10" So here, by one of the seals is meant the first of the seven seals. Likewise, by one of the four living creatures, is meant the first of them, and so the second, third, and fourth. {Re 6:2,8}

And I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four living Creatures, saying, Come, and see

This invitation was given by the first of the four living creatures unto John, whose voice is like the noise of thunder, as when a lion roareth. The voice of God revealing his secret judgements by his prophets and ministers, is compared unto a roaring of a lion. {Am 3:7,8} The lion hath roared, who will not fear? The Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesize?

Come and See,

that is, Come hither near to the Lamb, and look into this first vision, now opened by the Lamb, our Lord Jesus Christ, as Mediator: Now those that are unlearned, even babes in Christ, God's little children may see, and read, and understand, so much as Christ will reveal the mysteries thereof unto them. {Mt 11:25 Isa 29:11}

Re 6:2. And I saw, and behold, a white horse; and He that sat on him had a bow, and a Crown was given unto him, And he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

It is usual in the prophets to signify great and wonderful transactions and dispensations of God, by warlike horses. {Zec 6:2,3,6,7} So in this chapter. {Re 6:4,5,8} By this white horse we may understand the ministry of the gospel of peace and grace, especially the powerful operation of the Holy Spirit in the word preached. {Heb 4:12 1Th 1:5} Notwithstanding all the opposition and persecution of the Roman pagan emperors, and the Roman papal potentates.

And He that sat upon on the white horse;

that is the Lord Jesus Christ. {Re 19:11,15}

had a bow and a crown;

That is, he first converted, and then crowned his converts, and made them a royal priesthood. {1Pe 2:5,9 Ps 45:1,7} Thine arrows are sharp in the hearts of the kings enemies; (ride prosperously). Therefore the people fall under thee. {Ps 45:5} So our Lord and King Jesus, did in the ministry of the gospel. Read; {Ro 15:19 Ga 1:17 1Pe 1:1 5:13 Ac 15-22 Ro 1:15,16} Thus Christ came

forth conquering, and to conquer;

that is, as he did in the apostles days, so he will do in all generations, especially in the latter days: Who hath heard of such a thing; Shall a Nation be born in a day. {Isa 66:8 60:1,2,3,4,7 Joe 2:27,23,29} So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. {Ac 19:20} And so it will to the end. {Eph 4:11,12,13} Until we all come in the unity of faith unto a perfect man, &c.

Re 6:3 And when he had opened the Second Seal, I heard the second Beast say, Come, and See.

Christ having now

opened the second seal

he hath a second sort of ministers by whom he invited John to

Come, and See.

This second living creature was resembled by an ox or a calf; {see Re 4:7} Which was a laborious and suffering creature; whereby is signified those ministers of Christ that labor in the word and doctrine, and are faithful unto death. {Re 2:10}

Re 6:4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

red

By this red horse we may understand the bloody sufferings of the churches, ministers, and members of Christ, by the persecutions of the Roman pagan emperors, who were called the 'red dragon' {Re 12:3} who killed many of the saints and servants of God; but yet they overcame and conquered at last, by the blood of the blessed Jesus, and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives unto death. {Re 12:7,11}

And power was given to him that sat thereon, to take peace from the earth.

This power was two-fold, first, that dominion, rule, and authority, which the fourth beast in Daniel's vision had given unto him of God; that is, the Roman pagan monarchy (compare Da 2:40 with Da 7:23), in all political, civil, and lawful administrations. Secondly, that tyranny and cruelty, which the Roman pagan emperors exercised over the Christians by their soldiers and magistrates, by God's permission in matters ecclesiastical, or idol-worship (as in Heb 11:35,36,37, &c.), mystically signified by ten days. {Re 2:10} By the earth we may understand the churches of God on earth, and literally the inhabitants of the earth: the Roman pagan emperors took peace from the churches of God on earth, by their bloody persecutions of the primitive Christians: And they took peace from the inhabitants of the earth, by their wars in several countries, cities, and towns.

And there was given unto him a great sword.

The sword is an instrument of war and persecution. {Mt 10:34,35,36} Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Where the earth is put for the disciples of Christ, his churches and ministers that were on earth; and by the sword, Christ meant the persecutions and tribulations that should be in this world. {Joh 16:33}

Re 6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

Here followeth another dispensation of God in the way of his divine providence; and therefore in the opening of this third seal Christ hath a third sort of his ministers; that is, the third living creature, who had his face like a man. {Re 4:7} The deacons who served tables. {Ac 6:2,3} They invited John to come and see.

And behold, and lo, a black horse, &c,

by this black horse, we may understand scarcity of food, some kind of famine. {As Zec 6:2 Job 3 La 4:8,9 5:9,10} And with this interpretation agrees the emblem of the pair of balances in the hand of the rider. {as Eze 4:16} And they shall eat bread by weight, &c. {Le 26:25,26} And they shall deliver you your bread by weight. But yet they might buy both wheat and barley with money, as appears in the next verse.

Re 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

In this part of the vision, John

heard a Voice say;

that is, some edict or proclamation of magistrates or justices, crying,

A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny,

though bread corn was dear, yet not so scarce; but that the Roman penny, which was the laboring man's day wages, for his days work would buy him so much as would serve and satisfy him for his day's food.

And see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

So that there was plenty of oil and wine, though some scarcity of wheat and barley. In the midst of judgement God remembered mercy; the oil and wine was spared and preserved. When God gives scarcity of some kind of food for the poor laboring men and women, who have only what they can earn, and are supplied from hand to month yet he usually gives plenty of the other needful things for daily supply.

Re 6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

The fourth living creature, {Re 4:7} was the eagle-eyed teachers in the church of God, who did foresee another dispensation of God, and said,

Come, and See

Re 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

And I looked, and behold,

that is, John looked and called upon the others to behold, to consider, and take special notice of this fourth dispensation of God, both in his church, and in the world.

A pale horse; and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him, &c..

This pale horse (by a metonymy of the effect) doth signify the several kinds of death, which effected by the sword, the famine, the pestilence, and the wild beasts. For by what judgements of God forever men are killed, it is named or called death. And Death's companion is hell, that is adhv, the place of the dead; that is, the grave, which followed the death of them that were killed by there judgments, in the fourth part of the habitable earth; that is Europe. The geometers divide the inhabited earth (where men and women dwell) into four parts, Africa, Asia, America, and Europe; and all historians tell us, that these judgments of God were executed upon the European empire, and kingdoms thereof, in the days of the Roman pagan emperors. See Sympson's Ecclesiastical History, and Fox's Tables of the Tortures of Christians.

Re 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

under the altar

It was not for treason against the emperors, but for the testimony of Jesus; and they loved not their lives unto death. {Re 12:11} The place where John saw them, was under the altar: the altar here may not be understood literally; for there was then no material temple, that in Jerusalem being destroyed, and the Jewish worship abolished; but this altar, metaphorically taken, doth signify the happy state, and blessed condition of the martyrs of Jesus. The altar stood in the most holy place of the temple, as being a type of Christ, who is our altar. {Heb 13:10} And his faithful martyrs are next under Christ, around the throne. {Read Heb 9:8,12 10:12,13 10:19,20} This altar was typed out by the golden altar of incense, place before the Ark of the Testimony in the tabernacle. {Ex 40:5,6,10}

The Souls of them that were slain;

that is, the martyrs of Jesus, whose bodies were killed, murdered and slain,

for the word of God, and for the Testimony which they held.

The testimony which those martyrs held, was two fold; first, negative; they would not worship idols. {as Da 3:16,17,18} Positive; they did worship the only living God in Spirit and in truth. {Joh 4:22,23,24 Da 6:13-16} Both Eusebius and Mr. Fox, in their Histories of the Church, testify, that thousands in a day were killed for professing themselves Christians; and in that some places of Roman Empire whole churches full of Christians were burned together, and whole cities where burned for refusing to worship idols, and whole legions of soldiers were destroyed for being Christians, and worshipping God. The primitive Christians, in those times of the ten bloody persecutions of the Roman pagan tyrants, would not give their soldiers, who were sent to kill them, any xczola; that is, any old cast cloth or rag to save their lives; and when any soldier pulled or plucked any cloth of rag from them by force; they would follow the solders, crying out, and saying, they were Christians; I am a Christian, etc,

Re 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

The blessed martyrs did not cry, as being sensible of any suffering, in their bodies; for their bodies being killed, did rest from their labors, {as Re 14:13} and cry no more for their suffering in the body; that earthly tabernacle being dissolved, their souls were translated into eternal glory. {2Co 4:12,18} Where there is no sin, no sorrow, no tears, no fights, no groans, no crying for grief or pain. {Re 21:14} Nor was this cry

with a loud voice

raised by any desire of revenge, and vengeance against those particular persons, soldiers, or others, who killed their bodies: For a revengeful frame of mind doth not become saints on earth, {Ro 12:19,20,21} much less saints in glory. But as the voice of the blood of Abel cried unto God from the ground, {Ge 4:10} so those blessed martyrs of Jesus

cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, Holy, and True, does thou not judge and avenge our blood,

as David did. {Ps 35:23} Stir up thy self, and awake to judgement, even unto my cause, my God, and my Lord. And {Ps 94:1,7} upon them that dwell on the earth; that is upon the inhabitants of the earth. {Re 8:13} The men of the earth, {Ps 10:18} even the wicked of the earth, {Ps 75:8} particularly upon the Roman pagan powers, empires, and tyrannical Caesars as follows. {Re 6:14,15,16,17}

Re 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

By white robes,

we may understand, first, those garments of salvation, and robe of Christ's righteousness. {Isa 61:10} Secondly, the bride's attire, white clean (without spot, So 4:7), which is the righteousness of the saints. {Re 19:8} Thirdly the martyrs integrity and innocency in all their sufferings: having washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. {Re 7:14}

And it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season;

that is, their bodies shall rest from all their labors, troubles, sorrows, and sufferings (as before said). {Re 14:13} There remains a rest unto the people of God, {Heb 4:11} and a spiritual rest in heaven to eternity.

For a little season;

the martyrs of Jesus cry, How long Lord? the answer is,

For a little season,

but a short time;

until their follow-servant's also, and their brethren,

that is, other ministers and members of Christ, His mystical body, their companions; {Re 1:9} SEE KNOLLYS "Re 1:9" and {Heb 10:33}

That should be killed, as they were, should be fulfilled;

to be killed, as they were; that is martyred and murdered; should be fulfilled; that is accomplished and finished. This set time was appointed of God, first, because of the work of persecution was not yet over. Secondly, because the sin of the persecutors was not yet full. Thirdly, because the time proposed and decreed of God was not yet come.

Re 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

In this Vision of the

sixth Seal

St. John had the revelation of the great revolution of the Roman pagan empire, which should put an end unto the bloody persecutions of the heathen emperors, and all their tyrannical torturing of the Christians by cruel deaths; which revolution is there set forth in a prophetical style and manner of speaking. For when the Prophets did foretell the destruction of Kingdoms, or some great changes and revolutions therein they used such figurative and metaphorical terms, words and expressions, as are in the following verses; viz.

a great earthquake, the Sun black, the Moon blood, &c..

{Read Isa 26:6 Mt 24:7 Joe 3:16 Hag 2:6,7,21,22 Isa 2:19-22 13:10 Jer 15:9 Joe 2:10,11 Eze 32:7 Am 8:9 Isa 24:13}

Re 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

By

heaven

here, we are to understand the Roman pagan empire in its glorious state, with their temples, altars, idols, and worship. {Isa 34:4,5}

And by the stars of that heaven,

is meant, the kings, princes, dukes and earls (who wear a golden Star), also the arch-clams, clams, and all the orders of the pagan priests (Re 6:14,15; Read Eze 32:7,8 Joe 2:10 Jer 13:9,10,11 Mt 24:29). The fall and ruin of the Roman kings and priests, are here fitly resembled by

a fig-tree that casteth her untimely figs when it is shaken with a mightily wind;

that is the dispensation of the wrath of almighty God. {Da 2:34,35,44,45}

Re 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

The departing of the

heaven

signifies the total revolution, and final destruction of the pagan sate of the Roman Empire; by Constantine the Great.

And every mountain,

that is their high places on which they worshipped their idols. {Read Eze 18:6 Isa 57:7 Eze 6:13} Then shall ye know that I am JEHOVAH, when their slain men shall be among their idols, round about their altars, upon every high hill in all the tops of the mountains-The place where they did offer sweet savours unto all their idols. And by every island, we may understand every separated place (as islands are from the land) so all their consecrated temples, altars, &c. were dedicated unto their idol gods, and separated from there common places, and were removed; that is taken away and abolished. Their panyeon and all the rest of their idol temples, were taken away by the Christian emperors; and the worship of Christ set up gradually throughout the whole Roman Empire, by the edicts, decrees, and government of Constantine; {as Zep 2:10,11} JEHOVAH will famish all the gods of the earth, and destroy the idols and the heathen.

Re 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

By

the kings of the earth,

we are to understand the chief rulers of the whole Roman pagan empire, called the whole world. {Lu 2:1}

And the great men;

that is, their nobles and honorable persons, and their princes. {Na 3:10} And her great men (honorable men) were bound in chains. This honor have all the saints. {Ps 149:7,8,9}

And the rich men;

that is, their rich merchants. {Isa 23:8,11 Re 18:3,15}

And the chief Captains;

that is, the chief generals, and all the great commanders in the imperial armies. {Ac 25:23}

And every bondman, and every freeman

(that had been persecutors of the Christians)

hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains;

as, {Job 29:8} They were terrified, and frightened, yes, amazed at this dispensation of God, and wrath of the Lamb our Lord Jesus Christ. But there is no darkness nor shadow of death, where the workers of Iniquity may hide themselves. {Job 34:22}

Re 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

These idolatrous potentate kings, priests, and captains, in the day of God vengeance (his temple vengeance) seek for hiding places, but find none. They had rather the rocks and mountains should have fallen on them and destroyed them, than to be brought before the judgment of seat of God and Jesus Christ, whose name they have blasphemed, whole churches, ministers, and members, they had persecuted, imprisoned, martyred and murdered, by their edicts, decrees, laws, and soldiers, and by the judges, juries, and the false witnesses. {Am 9:1,2,3}

Re 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

This great day of God, and the Lamb's wrath, was at last acknowledged and confessed by those persecutors. This dreadful dispensation of God's wrath happened in the days of the 10th and last bloody persecution of the Christians, when Diocelsian was Emperior; as all historians testify.

Re 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

This chapter consists of two general parts; first, Christ's special care of his churches and saints in those evil times, which were to come shortly. {Re 1:1} Secondly, the peaceable and flourishing condition of the church of God, after those evil times, which of the Roman pagan persecutions are past; Re 7:9-17.

And after these things;

that is, after the former visions and matters revealed therein;

I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, etc.

By these four angels we may understand literally, evil angels; for the devil is called the prince of the power of the air, {Eph 2:2} whom God suffered to raise a great wind that blew down the house wherein all Job's children were feasting, {Job 1:18,19} and killed them. And metaphorically, evil ministers, such as the apostle Peter called false teachers. {2Pe 2:1-3} And such as the apostle Paul called ministers of Satan, {2Co 11:13-15} deceitful workers and false apostles.

By

the four corners of the earth,

we may understand the four great cities of the empire, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Rome: And by

the four winds,

we may understand the fundamental doctrines of the gospel, in contradistinction to divers and strange doctrines. {Heb 13:9 Eph 4:14} False teachers cannot withhold or hinder the breathings of the Holy Spirit. {Joh 3:6,7 1Th 1:4,5} But they may hinder and withhold the wind of sound doctrine from blowing upon the church militant on earth; or

on the sea;

that is the worship of God, {See Re 4:6} or

any tree

that is, fruitless professors; as Lu 13:7.

Re 7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

This other angel is Christ, called the Angel of God. {Ex 14:19,24} And the Angel of the Covenant. {Mal 3:1} He is said to ascend from the east, because he is the day-spring from on high, who will give light to them that sit in darkness. {Lu 1:78,79} And he is also called the Sun of Righteousness, {Mal 4:2} who will rise unto and shine on the latter-day saints. {Isa 60:1-3}

Having the seal of the living God;

that is, the certain knowledge who are his, {2Ti 2:19} for all God's elect are chosen in him, {Eph 1:4} and given Him of the Father, {Joh 17:6,10} and Christ must loose none of them. {Joh 6:37-39} HE hath redeemed them with his precious blood, {Re 5:9,10} and hath sealed them with his Holy Spirit. {Eph 1:13,14 4:30}

And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it is given to hurt the earth and the sea.

Given, that is, permissive God did suffer them to do, but the time of their power was retained by Christ, who is the head of all principalities and powers. {Eph 1:21,22} HE is their sovereign Lord, and they are his creatures. {Col 1:16}

Re 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

Till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads;

that is all God's faithful servants, both ministers and people, who were to be secured and preserved from these hurtful angels, as {Re 7:5,6} following. Whereby they were distinguished from all others, whom the four angels were permitted to hurt. {Re 9:4} And was it commanded them, that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads; {as Eze 9:4-6}

Re 7:4 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.

These

hundred and forty and four thousand

sealed ones were the seed of Abraham, Israelites indeed, the children of Abraham by faith, {Ga 3:7,26,28,29 Re 14:1-5, etc} that is, a certain number known unto God and Christ, put for an indefinite number, not known unto any but God the Father, Word and Holy Spirit. {Re 7:9}

Re 7:5-8 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

This the mystical number of

twelve

seemeth to be taken from the twelve apostles of the Lamb, whose names were written in the foundations of the holy city of God, called the New Jerusalem, {Re 21:2,10,14} upon which the foundations (that is, the doctrine of the twelve apostles) the gospel church of God is built, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone, {Eph 2:19,20-22} called the heavenly Jerusalem; that is, the church of the first-born, which are written in heaven. {Heb 12:22-24} So then, by those many twelve thousands, we may understand the many thousands of God's Spiritual Israel, both Jews and Gentiles converted to Christ under the administration of the gospel of the grace of God. {Re 7:9} A great multitude, which no man could number, of all the nations, and kindred's, and people, and tongues. Even all Christ's redeemed ones. {Re 5:9,10} The Lord having given his gospel churches the name of Zion, and Jerusalem and his gospel converts the name of Israel, which is for the honor and dignity of his churches of saints in the latter days. The twelve tribes of Israel, are not so reckoned any where in the Holy Scripture, as they are here:. {Read De 33:6,26 1Ch 2:1,2} For neither Dan nor Ephraim are named here; that the tribe of Dan fell into idolatry, {1Ki 12:29,30} and Ephraim was joined to idols. {Ho 4:17} Those two tribes being left out by Christ, are testimony of the displeasure of God against idolatry, and all false worship. God will not have any of them sealed with his seal in their foreheads, that receive the mark of the beast in their foreheads. But to be left under the dominion of Antichrist to worship the beast and his image, {Re 13:8} whose names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Not only Dan and Ephraim are omitted, but Reuben, the first-born of blessed Jacob, is passed by; for he went up to his father's bed. {Ge 35:22,23} And Judah hath the preeminence; for our blessed Savior (who in all things hath preeminence); {Col 1:18} came of the tribe of Judah. {Heb 7:14} Levi is here numbered, though, that tribe was not so reckoned among the tribes, when Moses divided the land of Canaan, the land of Israel's inheritance: For God chose that tribe of the priesthood and for his inheritance. {De 10:8,9} And lastly, in this numbering and sealing the servants of God, the children of Leah are more than the children of Rachel; also the children of hand-maids are numbered before the children of married women. Whereby, we may perceive of a truth, God is no respecter of persons; he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy. {Ro 9:15 Eph 4:5,6}

Re 7:9 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;

After John had seen the former part of the vision, he

beheld, and saw a great multitude, which no man could number.

Abraham's seed was like the stars, innumerable, {Ge 15:5 Ro 4:18 9:8} his spiritual seed. {Ga 3:28,29} sanctified believers, Christ redeemed ones, {Re 5:9,10} stand before the throne and before the Lamb; {see Re 4:2 7:15}

Clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.

White robes signify their innocency, sincerity, and purity, {Re 19:8,14} and by palms, we may understand first their victory over sin, Satan, the world; also their victory over the beast his image, his mark, and the number of his name. {Re 15:2,3,4} Secondly, their joy and rejoicing. {Le 23:40} And ye shall take branches of Palm-trees, and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. {Joh 12:13} The people took branches of palm-trees, and cried, Hosanna, Blessed is the King of Israel, that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Re 7:10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

This verse contains the thanksgiving for their preservation and victory (called salvation) unto God the Father, the WORD and the Holy Spirit; for these three are ONE God. {1Jo 5:7}

and unto the Lamb,

who is the Savior of sinners, {Mt 1:18} neither is there any other Savior. {Ac 4:12} This Jesus was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world; {see Re 5:9} in God's purpose and decree of the salvation of his elect, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. {Eph 1:4-6} Salvation, first, from wrath to come, {1Th 1:10} that is, from, hell, called the second death. {Re 20:6} Secondly, from the law, not from evangelical obedience unto the moral part of the law (for we are not without law to God, but under the law to Christ; 1Co 9:21), but from the ceremonial part of the law, {Ro 7:6} and from the curse of the law. {Ga 3:13}

Thirdly, from Satan, being delivered out of his kingdom and dominion, and translated into the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ {Col 1:13} Fourthly, from the servitude of sin, {Ro 6:16,20,22,23} that is, from the dominion and reigning power of sin, {Ro 6:11-14} and from law and captivating power of sin. {Ro 7:22-25 8:2} The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin, etc. and also everlasting and eternal salvation in heavenly glory, called everlasting life, {Joh 3:16} and eternal life, {Ro 6:23 1Jo 5:11,12} through Jesus Christ.

Re 7:11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God

The holy

angels stand round about the throne;

that is, the church of God; {see Re 5:11 Jer 17:12} The twenty four elders sate round about the throne; {see Re 4:4,10} but here

all the angels stand round about the throne;

which signifies, first their readiness to serve God, fulfilling his will. And secondly, their privilege to be present in the church, where God is worshipped, {1Co 11:10 1Pe 1:12} which things the Angels desire to look into. Thirdly, their ministration unto the church and saints of God, {Heb 1:14} especially for their preservation. And fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God. As the Seraphims are said to cover their faces, {Isa 6:1,2,3,10} because of the holiness and the glory of the Lord on his throne, in his holy temple: and as being ashamed to lift up their faces to heaven (as Ezra was; Ezr 9:5,6). The holy angels are spirits, and have not flesh and bones as the man Christ Jesus had, {Lu 24:39} or have the angel hands, or faces, or feet, as men have; but this, and other like things, are mystically and metaphorically spoken of the holy angels of God, to signify their sensible apprehension of the holiness and glorious majesty of JEHOVAH.

And they worshipped God;

that is, the holy angels joined with the holy saints in the worship of God in their kind.

Re 7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Saying, Amen.

That is, first, the holy angels gave their approbation unto the thanksgiving, which the church and saints of God gave to Him. {Re 7:10} Secondly, the angels all ascribed those attributes to God; that is,

Blessings, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might be unto our God;

See the exposition of Re 4:9,10,11 and Re 5:11,12,13.

See KNOLLYS "Re 4:9"

See KNOLLYS "Re 4:10"

See KNOLLYS "Re 4:11"

See KNOLLYS "Re 5:11"

See KNOLLYS "Re 5:12"

See KNOLLYS "Re 5:13"

For ever and ever;

that is, always, to all eternity; for revealing and making known unto them by the church the manifold wisdom of God. {Eph 3:10} That unto him might be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end, Amen. {Eph 3:21}

Re 7:13-14 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

These two verses contain in inquiry and an answer unto it, made by one of the twenty four elders. He inquired, first, who they where, and secondly, whence they came; unto whom John replied,

Sir, thou knowest:

As if he had said, Sir, I know not but thou dost certainly know. The elder's reply, for John's information consists of two particulars. First, he told him whence they came,

These are they that came out of great tribulation;

that is, persecution, and all kind of sufferings for Christ and the gospel, under the Roman pagan anti-Christian emperors, that the Christians endured. Secondly, he testified their present state;

And have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Which they did, first, by faith, applying the precious blood of Jesus, in the promises of the new-covenant of grace: And secondly, by sufferings, wherein they overcame all their persecutors; viz. Satan and all his instruments, by the blood of Christ, and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives unto death. {Re 12:11}

Re 7:15 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.

The throne of God;

that is, God's sanctuary {Jer 17:12} his holy temple, {Eph 2:21,22} the church of the living God, {1Ti 3:15,16} wherein these served God day and night; that is, continually. And being slain; that is, martyred and murdered in their bodies, their souls lived, and served God continually in his temple, the New Jerusalem which is above, {Ga 4:2,6} in heaven. {Re 21:2,3}

And he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

And the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them. {Re 7:16} That is, they shall ever have the presence of God and of Jesus Christ: and their souls shall be fed with hidden manna, promised to them that overcome; see Re 2:17. Read 2Co 6:16-18. The beast, and will not worship his Image, etc. {Re 15:3,4 20:4}

Re 7:16-17 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 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.

By hunger, thirst, and heat, we may understand all hurtful things.

They shall hunger no more: for the Lamb

that is, Christ shall feed them, Joh 6:35,57

neither thirst any more

for Christ

shall lead them unto living fountains of waters

Joh 7:37-39

Neither shall the Sun light on them, nor any heat

That is, no sort of persecution or affliction. So 1:6,7 Isa 4:4,5,6

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes

And there shall be no more death, neither mourning, nor crying nor any pain, {Re 21:1-5} but joy and pleasures for evermore. Ps 16:11

Re 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

Now the sealed book was fully opened by our blessed Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, and the Lion of the tribe of Judah; who is God blessed forever, {Ro 9:5} so that the first principal vision in this prophecy of the Revelation, is fully ended. And here begins the second principal vision thereof, that is, the seven trumpets, from Re 8:8-13:18. The first thing that followed the opening of the seventh seal

was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour

By heaven, here we are to understand the church of God, (compared by Christ unto heaven, Mt 25:1 16:18,19 in contradistinction unto the world, called earth. Re 8:13 Re 12:12) And by silence in heaven, we may understand the cessation from churches sufferings, sorrows, weeping, and crying, during the short time of peace, quiet, and rest, which was but half an hour; that is, half the time of the reign of Constantine the Great, who reigned about thirty years, whereof the former fifteen years the church of God had rest from persecution, and peace to serve and worship God, under his government: And then began the grand heresy of the Arians, whereby the churches rest, and peace was disturbed, interrupted, and troubled by Constantia, Constantine's sister, whom he greatly favored; and Constantius his son and successor became so eager in maintaning the Arian heresy, and the Arian bishops, that St. Hierom (in Chronicis), said, Omnes poene toto Orbe Ecclesiae Aria-norum consortio polluuntur; Almost all the churches in the whole world are polluted by the agreement of the Arians. Historians relate, that Paul the Patriarch of Constantinople, and Athanasius the Patriach of Alexandria, who were most eminent opposers of the Arian heresy, were both banished by the Emperor; and some historians testify, that the persecutions of orthodox bishops, ministers, and Christians, by the Arians, were as bloody and barbarous, as the Ten Pagan Persecutions.

Re 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

These

seven Angels

were the messengers of God, who are ready to declare or do his revealed will; and therefore are said

to stand before God;

by whom we may understand literally the holy angels, and mystically the faithful ministers of God, called angels. {Re 1:20} Seven is a complete or perfect number, as of churches, ministers, seals, angels; so here of trumpets, (and after of vials, Re 15:1,6,7). With these seven trumpets those messengers of God were to sound seven alarms to the church, and also to the world; and they having received orders from Christ, prepared themselves to sound one after another. {read Re 8:6}

Re 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

By this other angel, we are to understand Jesus Christ, called the Angel of the Covenant, {Mal 3:1} and the High Priest of our profession. {Heb 3:1} The Antitype of Aaron, and all the true High Priest under the law, {Heb 7:25,26} as appears also by his standing at the altar. {Ex 40:5} The golden altar of incense, which typed out the deity of Christ, in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily, (Col 2:9,10; see Re 6:9). And by

incense,

here we may understand mystically the merits of Christ intercession for the saints, as the mediator of the new covenant of grace between God and the saints. Incense, literally, that mentioned, {Ex 30:34,38} but here typically, the virtue and efficacy of Christ's intercession for the saints. See more in the exposition of the next verse. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 8:4"

Re 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.

Christ our mediator standing at the golden altar with his golden censer in his hand, received much incense to offer up (with the prayers of the saints) upon the golden altar.

The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascend up before God, out of the angels hand.

That is, the prayers, intercessions, thanksgiving, and supplications of the saints, had access to God, through Jesus Christ, {Eph 2:18} with acceptance, {1Pe 2:5} for Christ's sake, in whom God is well pleased; and the prayers of the saints also heard, their persons and services are accepted in Jesus Christ his beloved son.

Re 8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

After Christ had offered his incense, with the prayers of the saints, he filled his

censer with fire of the altar

that is, the wrath and indignation of God, who is a consuming, fire. {Heb 12:28,29}

And cast it unto the earth

that is poured down upon the inhabitants of the earth. {Re 8:13 12:12}

And there were voices, and thunderings, and lighting, and an earthquake.

Now the silence in heaven is interrupted: And there were voices; that is, different opinions among the Christians; and then followed thunderings and lighting, which signify the judgements of God against the Inhabitants of the Earth. {Isa 29:6} These dispensations of God's fiery indignation, caused an earthquake; that is, great divisions, and renderings, and troubles between the eastern and western churches; and also in the whole empire, as all historians do testify.

Re 8:6-7 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. 7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

The seven angels having attended and waited on the Lord for his orders, and having received their commission from Christ, do now prepare themselves to sound their trumpets, orderly one after another.

And the first angel sounded.

By angel, here we may understand Athanasius, Paulus, Hilarius, Ofius, Paulinus, and other faithful ministers of the gospel, who lifted up their voice like a trumpet, and did bear their testimony publicly against arianism and other errors; and we may also by this angel, understand the kings of the Goths and vandals, whose religion was Arianism; they sounded a terrible alarm to the Roman Empire by their invasions. Upon which

followed hail, and fire mingled with blood;

that is, great storms of persecution, (Pleffaeus his Mystery of Iniquity, and Heirom de Chronicis), and bloody wars. (See Alaricus in Chronicis Regnorum Veterum and Helvicus in Theat Hist). Alstedius, Genserick, Atyla, and others, with their armies, destroyed Valence, that bloody Arian emperor, who caused eighty supplicants (that were sent to him from some Orthodox bishops, and other banished Christians) to be murdered.

And the third part of trees was burned up.

By trees here, we may understand, such professors of Christianity, as either bare no fruit, {Jude 1:12} or else, brought forth fruit to themselves, as {Ho 10:1} but brought forth no fruit to perfection, as. {Lu 8:13,14} They were not trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord. {Isa 61:4}

Burnt up

that is, rooted up, {Joh 15:6} and plucked up by the roots. {Jude 12,13 Joh 15:6}

And all green grass was burned up;

that is, the ordinances of God, which are as green pastures, where Christ feeds his sheep and his lambs. {Ps 23:1,2 Re 12:6,14} But now both the doctrine and the ordinances of the gospel, were so corrupted that they were like grass, scorched with the heat of the sun, and so burnt up and withered, that the flocks of Christ's pastures sheep could not feed. {Am 8:11-13 Isa 40:28-31 Zec 11:8,9} The eastern bishops and churches being so corrupted with errors and heiresses, and western bishops and churches being more orthodox and less corrupted; the bishops of Rome began to contend for supremacy, and at last obtained it. Plessaus's Mystery of Iniquity, (pp. 4, 44).

Re 8:8-9 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; 9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

By this

second angel,

we may likewise understand both ministerial and political angels, who gave the second alarm to the church of God, and to the Roman papal empire; especially the faithful ministers of the fourth century in the western church.

And as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea

This great mountain was the patriarch of Rome, burning with pride and ambition, loving to have the preeminence and the supremacy over God's clergy.

Was cast into the sea.

By sea, we may understand their ecclesiastical jurisdiction, over all peoples, tongues, nations and languages, which are the sea of many waters. upon whom the Roman whore sitteth. {Re 17:1,10,18} And especially their corrupted worship. {read Re 13} (Alsted in Chronicis Ordinum inter Monachos; and Socrates, Lib. 5. Of his Ecclesiastical History, Anno 395, 396.)

And the third part of the sea became blood;

(like one of the plagues of Egypt). {Ex 7:10,11} That is, a great part of the worship and ordinances of God were so corrupted and polluted by the inventions of men of corrupt minds, and by the superstitious and idolatrous traditions of the Roman papal clergy, that many who drank of those mystical waters died, etc. One part were sealed and secured; another part were preserved by the incense of Christ's mediation and intercession; and a third part, whose names were not in the Lamb's Book of Life, were false worshippers, and they died, etc. {Re 13:8,15-17 14:9-11 8:9}

and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died.

By those creatures, we may understand the Roman clergy, who had life;

that is, who formerly seemed to be lively and zealous defenders of the faith, died; that is, some recanted, others where corrupted, and others were destroyed, etc.

and the third part of the ships were destroyed,

By ships, here we are to understand the churches of mystical Babylon, and the ship-makers and sailors, and as many as trade by sea. {Re 18:17} and all the company in ships, etc.

Re 8:10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;

By this

third angel,

we may understand the ministers of the next century, namely, Augustinus, Hieronymus, Prosperus, Optatus, etc. The great star that fell from heaven was Nestorius, the then Bishop of Consiantinople, and several ministers with him, who corrupted the doctrine of the gospel, touching original sin, justification, election, satisfaction for sin and free-will, and polluted the pure worship of God, by bringing in penance's, holy days, fasts, and feasts of their own inventions; Also superstitions, the worshipping of angels, praying to saints deceased, etc. These heterodox prelates and priest, are said to fall from heaven; that is from the true church, sound doctrine, pure worship, and heavenly life. And of shining stars to become burning lamps; that is, they lost all that spiritual light which they had by the gifts of the Spirit, {as 1Co 12:4,8} but being learned men, they kept the lamp-light of their acquired arts. Which they had from the school-men; and thereby they flamed and shined like a burning lamp; (as the lamps of the five foolish virgins did, until they went out). {Mt 25:1-2,8-11}

And it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters.

Whereby we may understand the rivers of the sanctuary. {Eze 47:1,5,12} The sound doctrine of the gospel, and the pure worship of God. There is a river, the streams whereof make glad the city (the church) of God, {Ps 46:4} called the Wells of Salvation, {Isa 12:3} and the Fountains of Living Waters. {Re 7:17} The third part; that is, not all, but a great part of doctrine and worship was corrupted and polluted.

Re 8:11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Wormwood

put into pure water, or good wine, doth make it bitter; so the doctrines and commandments of men being mixed with the doctrines of Christ: Also the inventions and traditions of men being mixed with the Holy Ordinances of God, maketh them bitter and unwholesome. Any man, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth from the Lord, and committeth idolatry, is compared to a root that beareth gall and Wormwood. {De 29:18}

And the third part of the waters;

that is, of the doctrine and worship,

became wormwood;

that is, bitter and deadly poisonous.

And many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Their souls were infected, poisoned, and perished.

Historians tell us, that in this century came in Extream Unction, in imitation of the sacred ordinance of anointing the sick (or infirm) with oil. {Jas 5:14-16} Falex, Patriarch of Rome, appointed the Chancel or Choire to be separated from the Stoney Church, for the second service, and sacrament to be said and administered in the Chorie or Chancel, as the most holy place in the temples of stone, called the church, the parish church, etc. And the patriarch Gregory, caused the image of the virgin Mary to be carried in procession; and candles were then brought into the temples or churches for Candlemas-day (Cent. Magd. Cent. 5). At that time also, Benedict the Father of Monks, and little Denis the maker of cycles for Easter, are said to live. Thus popery crept gradually into the church by the fall of the stars, angels, ministers, etc.

Re 8:12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

By this

fourth angel

we may understand Gergorius a man of greatlearning who opposed John Bishop of Constantiople; that took the name of universal bishop, (Gegor. Lib. 4, Epist. 32,34,36,38, ad Johnnem Constant Lib. 7, Epist. 30, also Cent. Magd. Cent. 6 cap. 1:7). And other faithful ministers, who opposed innovations in worship, and unsound doctrines at that time. By the sun, moon, and stars, in the heaven of the visible church on earth, we are to understand all sorts of spiritual light, which God hath ordained and set in the church; that is, the Holy Scripture of truth. {Ps 119:105,130} The able ministers of the New Testament. {Mt 5:14} A third part of these were smitten, so that a third part them was darkened.

And the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

That is, the gospel light of the Holy Scripture of truth, was darkened by corrupt doctrines and glosses. This mystical eclipse of sun, moon, and stars, did so darken the day, that it,

shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

Re 8:13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

By this

angel,

we may understand Christ or some of his holy angels, or some of his prophetical angels; that is, some of his ministers, or messengers: And for the better understanding of this verse, I shall premise a few things; First, that heaven and earth, in this prophecy, of the Revelation, are often used metaphorically. {read Re 6:12,13,14 7:1-3 9:1} Secondly, that the inhabitants of the earth are put in opposition to them that dwell in heaven. {Re 12:12} Thirdly, as by

heaven

is meant Sion so by earth we may understand Babylon. {Re 17:15,18 Re 18:2,10} Now I proceed; by the

inhabitors of the earth,

here we are to understand those people who are members of, and continue in the anti-Christian state of the Roman papal church, (called mystery Babylon, Re 17:5 the great whore and mother of harlots) both ministers and people, who have been made drunk with wine of her fornications, {Re 17:1,2} and do worship the beast, or his image, {Re 13:1,7,8} or received the mark in their forehead, or in their hand. Those are the persons and people against whom these three woes are denounced by Christ and angels. {Re 18:13 14:9-11} If any man worship the Beast and his Image, and receive his Mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture, etc.

Re 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

The matter of the first word is contained in the twelve former verses of this chapter, declared by the

fifth Angel;

that is, some other ministers and messengers of Christ. The objects of this first word, were only those persons that had not the seal of God in their foreheads. {Re 9:4} The executioners of this word were principally the angel of the bottomless pit, {Re 9:11} a destroyer, and instrumentally his locusts. {Re 9:3-4} The effect of this word, was not death, but torment, {Re 9:5-6} worse than death. This word was a just judgement of God upon the apostates of that time, foretold by St. Paul. {2Th 1:9 1Ti 4:1-5} The head of the apostasy is the Man of Sin, here called the Son of Perdition, who came out of the

bottomless pit,

and goeth into Perdition. The angel of the bottomless pit. {Re 9:11}

And I saw a star fall from Heaven unto the Earth etc.

This star was some very eminent Church-man, some Angel of the Church; {see Re 1:20}

Heaven,

that is, the state of the true visible Church, where our Lord Jesus Christ did set some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the work of the ministry. {Eph 4:11-13 1Co 12:12-28} By Earth we may understand here the earthly state of the false anti-Christian National Church, (or Catholic Church) nationally so called. To fall from Heaven unto the earth, signifies a visible apostasy from the true Church of God, and from the pure worship of God, unto a false Church, and false worship, according to the commandments of men, their superstitious and idolatrous inventions and traditions.

And to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

By the keys of the kingdom, we are to understand that stewardly-ecclesiastical power in the Church, which our Lord Jesus Christ gave unto his Apostles and elders to rule well, and to govern in his Churches of saints according to his own institutions, laws, and ordinances. {Mt 16:18 1Ti 5:17 Heb 13:7-17} And by this key of the bottomless pit, we may understand the power, throne, and great authority, which the dragon (that old serpent called the devil, and Satan,){ Re 12:9} gave unto this fallen star or angel. {Re 13:2} And other false apostles, deceitful workers, and false teachers, {2Pe 2:1-3} who fell with him, or after him, and exercise coercive power over the consciences of men, under their church government. Thereby shewing himself to be God. {2Th 2:3-4}

Re 9:2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

Here begins the exercise of the anti-Christian papal power, by this fallen angel of the Roman Clergy or Prelatical Priesthood. As soon as he had gotten the key of

bottomless pit,

he opened it; Constantine the Great, and other Christian emperors, shut the bottomless pit of idolatry, but their public edicts; but now, by this apostate star, the bottomless pit, (that is, a hell of heresies, false doctrines, and idolatrous worship is opened, practised, and exercised by the Roman Papal Prelates and Priests). {1Ti 4:1-2 2Pe 2:1-2}

And there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace.

By this smoke we may understand all corrupt doctrines, traditions of men, and all the rudiments of the world. {Col 2:8-18} Idolaters are compared to the smoke of a chimney, {Ho 13:2-3} year,

the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

By the sun and the air, we are to understand all the lights that God hath ordained in the Heaven of his Church, the holy Scripture. {Ps 43:3} Thy Word is a light to my feet. {Ps 119:105-130} And Christ's able ministers of the New Testament. {Mt 5:14} These ecclesiastical lights in the firmament of the Church were darkened by the great smoke of popish superstitions that arose out of the bottomless pit of Hell.

Re 9:3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

There are two sorts of

Locusts,

one is a kind of fruit good to eat, {Mt 3:4} the other is hurtful creature. {Ex 10:14-15} Those vermin usually swarm together, and were executioners of God's wrath upon Egypt. {Read De 28:38-42 2Ch 7:13 Ps 78:46 Joe 1:4} They leap hither and thither, are now here and then there; and they are hurtful everywhere. {Pr 30:27 Ps 109:23 Isa 33:4} By these locusts, we may understand the Popish Clergy, with the swarms of Monks, Friars, Priests, Jesuits, and other men of the Pope's holy Orders, etc. Franciscus Claudius a Friar, expounded this place of heretical teachers; also the Remists upon this text, say as much in their marginal notes. {Read 1Ti 4:1-3 2Ti 4:3 2Pe 2:1-3} The Apostles did prophesy of such in the latter days.

And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

The scorpion is a subtle and venomous creature, which hath a flattering countenance, and a deadly sting in the tail. Such are the Roman Priests, who by feigned words, and fair speeches, deceive the hearts of the simple. {Ro 16:18}

Re 9:4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

In this verse we have the locusts' prohibition, showing whom they might not hurt, and their permission declaring whom they might hurt;

only those men which have not the Seal of God in their foreheads.

See KNOLLYS on "Re 7:2"

See KNOLLYS on "Re 7:3"

And it was commanded them,

that is, by Christ,

that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any green tree;

that is, not any growing Christians, {Ho 14:4-8} not any green flourishing saints, {Ps 52:8} nor any trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, {Isa 61:3-4} no fruitful Believers. {Ps 92:12-15} Those locusts were permitted to hurt only those men who had not the seal of God in their foreheads; and especially those men who willingly received the mark of the Beast in their foreheads. {Re 13:16-17}

Re 9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

This verse contains the restraint laid upon the locusts, who had permission from Christ to hurt those men which had not the seal of God in their foreheads.

That they should not kill them, but torment them five Months.

By killing them, we may understand destroying their natural life, persecuting and tormenting them to death. And the time of their tormenting them is also limited, five months; that is prophetical months, thirty days to a month; are one hundred and fifty prophetical days or years. The Beast had power given him by the Dragon to continue forty two months, {Re 13:2-5} which is one thousand two hundred and sixty prophetical days, each day for a year, {Nu 14:34 Eze 4:6} so long the holy city was trodden under foot by the Gentiles; that is, the gentilizing papists. {Re 11:2} Now the locusts had permission to torment those men five months of the forty two months, a certain limited time, for to hurt them and torment them, but

not kill them.

And their torment was as the torment of a Scorpion, when he striketh a man.

Whose sting being venomous, doth infect and venom the whole body with poison and pain. So do those Popish locusts torment the consciences of men and women with their damnable doctrines, poisoning their souls, filling them with troubles, and tormenting them with horror and fear of purgatory, and hell, without any ease or remedy. The damnable Doctrines of Priests and Jesuits, can sting and wound men's consciences, but they cannot cure and heal a wounded conscience. When the pains of hell took hold of David, he got not peace, comfort and quietness, by worshipping of images, and praying to saints deceased; but by calling upon the name of JEHOVAH. {Ps 116:3-5}

Re 9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

By

those days,

we are to understand the time of their torment and trouble of conscience; by the terrors of the Almighty for their sins, as Ps 38:1-3. A wounded spirit who can bear? {Pr 18:14}

Men shall seek death;

that is, wish and desire to die, but all in vain, and to no purpose;

for death shall flee from them;

there will be no deliverance (one way or other) out of their trouble of conscience, and torment of their hearts; no cessation of misery, no mitigation of horror and torment during their appointed time.

Re 9:7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

In this verse we have a further description of the locusts; that is, the Roman Popish Clergy, and anti-Christian prelacy, in three particulars. First,

like unto horses prepared unto battle.

For their boldness, expertness, and readiness to oppose any that gain-say them, their doctrines or worship, and prepare war against their opposers.

And on their heads were as it were crowns of gold

whereby we may understand the grandeur, pomp, and kingliness of the Roman prelacy and clergy; such are the Pope's Triple Crown, the Cardinal's Cap, and Prelate's Myter.

And their faces were as the faces of Men.

whereby is signified their assembleness, courtesies, visibility, and confidence. They are bare-faced, openly testifying all their damnable doctrines, altar-sacrifices, worshipping of images, etc. And they are men of arts and parts, learned men, able to say as much for themselves as sophistry, vain philosophy, and school-men, can say in the defence of their doctrines and worships. faces like men, that is, transforming themselves into the ministers of Christ, but are indeed the ministers of Antichrist. {2Co 11:13-15}

Re 9:8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.

Here followeth another description of the locusts which arose and came out of the bottomless pit.

They had hair as the hair of women.

Women's hair is given them for an ornament. {1Co 11:15} The hair of those locusts signify the external ornaments of the Roman Priests, that is their vestments, scarlet robes, and all their copes, myters, hoods, tippets, altar-coverings, pulpit embroidered clothes, of purple, scarlet, and gold, as. {Re 17:4-6}

Their teeth were as the teeth of Lions:

biting and devouring like lions. Hereby is signified the cruel and bloody actions of those locusts. {Re 13:1-17}

Re 9:9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

By their

breast-plates, as it were of iron,

we may understand their external defence for self-preservations, both of their persons and privileges; that is, the popish canons, their holy orders, and ecclesiastical laws, whereby those locusts were protected, as from the violence of the common people, so from the power of kings and their laws,

and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots, of many horses running to battle.

Wings signify their readiness to the work of their ministry. {as Re 4:8} See the Exposition of Wings there- See KNOLLYS "Re 4:8" By the resemblance of chariots and horses, we may understand what a terror they were to all sorts of people that would oppose them; as the true Church of God is said to be terrible as an army with banners, {So 6:4-10} so those locusts are terrible,

as chariots and many horses running to battle..

Re 13:4 Who is like unto the Beast, who is able to make war with him?

Re 9:10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

By the

tails

of the locusts, we are to understand the false prophet, {Re 19:19-20} that is, false teachers. {2Pe 2:1-3} The prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. {Isa 9:15} Read 2Th 2:8-11. The

stings in their tails,

signify the venomous deadly poison, that is, in their false doctrines, called the doctrines of devils {1Ti 4:1-3} by which, the souls and consciences of men and women that worship the Beast or his image, are stung, pained, and poisoned to death.

And their power was to hurt men five months;

that is, only those men which had not the seal of God in their foreheads. {Re 9:4}

Re 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

By the king of the locusts,

which is the Angel of the bottomless pit,

we may understand the Pope, the Roman Pontifex, who is supreme, exercising absolute sovereignty over all the locusts, who are of various orders, dignities, and degrees, but yet are all subordinate unto that supreme head, and their king, the Pope of Rome.

Whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon;

a destroyer of the believing Jews;

but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon;

that is, a destroyer of the believing gentiles.

Re 9:12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter

Here is the period or end of the first woe, and the dispensation of the fifth trumpet.

And behold, there come two woes more hereafter;

as Re 8:13 The time of this first woe was but five mystical prophetical months; that is, one hundred and fifty years. See KNOLLYS on "Re 9:5"

See KNOLLYS on "Re 9:10"

Re 9:13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

The angel that sounded the second ``woe'' trumpet, was those faithful orthodox ministers who in that age lifted up their voice like a trumpet against popish idolatry, image worship, and other superstitions of the Roman clergy.

And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God.

This voice was the voice of Christ, who stands at the altar before God. See KNOLLYS "Re 8:3"

See KNOLLYS "Re 8:4"

See KNOLLYS "Re 8:5" that gave order and command, and direction to this sixth angel what he should do; as appears in the next verse.

Re 9:14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

By these

four Angels,

we may understand the chief commanders of the armies of the Turkish emperor, for they consisted of four several sorts of people, that is, Arabians, Saracens, Tartars and Turks, whose four Souldans in Asia, Aleppo, Damascus, and Antioch, (as historians tell us) had their chief residence near the

river Euphrates,

and were bounded by that great river, from coming over into Europe. And now God gave them permission to pass over that great river with their armies, who destroyed the third party of the then Roman Empire, as the Turkish history, and the holy war relate unto us.

Re 9:15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

The work those four commanders were appointed by God to do, was to kill the third part of men in the Roman empire, who worshipped images, especially those idolaters, who had apostatised from the true worship of God.

Which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year,

which it taken prophetically, is three hundred and ninety years, and some odd time. Or else. thereby is signified some certain time appointed of God.

Re 9:16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

The Turkish armies consist most of horsemen; therefore they are numbered

two hundred thousand thousand,

a certain number for an uncertain; their footmen are not numbered, because they were not so considerable, nor so terrible, or else exceeding many more than the horsemen, as if they were innumerable.

Re 9:17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.

Here we have a metaphorical and mystical description of the horsemen, and the horses.

The horsemen had breast-plates of fire, and jacinth, and brimstone.

By their breast-plates of fire, we may understand their bright shining armour; and by jacinth, is figured and set forth the jewels and riches of the Turkish camp and the commanders, who had costly jewels and pearls about them; and their embroidered rich garments were of fiery, sulphurous colour, like brimstone, whitely yellow.

The heads of the horses were as the heads of lions;

that is, very formidable and terrible, very bold and fierce.

And out of their mouths issued fire, and smoke, and brimstone;

which signifies the Turkish fiery armies, canons, muskets, pistols, etc.

Re 9:18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

This may be understood literally.

By these three;

that is,

by the fire

of the Turkish canons, killing men, and burning towns in the Roman Empire; and

by the smoke;

that is, the Turkish Alchoran and Mahometan religion;

and by the brimstone which issued out of their mouths;

that is, the powder and bullets which the Turkish horsemen shot out of the mouths of their muskets, carbines, pistols, etc.

The third part of men were killed;

that is, in the Roman empire, were slain and destroyed in the European wars by the Turkish armies.

Re 9:19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.

In this verse is declared how the Turks did further mischief unto the Romans.

Their power is in their mouth, and in their tails.

The Turkish power was in their mouth; that is, their Mahometan doctrine and worship, whereby they did hurt to the souls of those Romans that turned to the Turks religion.

For their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.

Thereby, the Turks did not only kill the bodies of many apostate Romans, but did also poison many of their souls.

Re 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

By

the rest of the men, which were not killed by these plagues;

we may understand those Roman papists, who apostatised from the sound doctrines and pure worship of God, to popish doctrine of devils. {1Ti 4:1-3} Forbidding the priests to marry, and commanding the people to abstain from meats, etc.

yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, etc.

that is, they added impenitency to their heathen and hellish idolatry; of imaginary worship, called the works of their hands; because the images, crosses, crucifixes which they adore, are the work of their hands: The Roman Papist make the image of the Virgin Mary, and worship it; and the image of Christ upon a cross, and worship it: Thus the apostate papal Romans heathenize. {Read Le 17:7 2Ch 11:15 Ps 115:4-8} that they should not worship devils, drink of the cup of devils, {1Co 10:19-22} partake of the table of devils, and so sacrifice to devils, as the heathen did. {Ps 115:4-8 135:15}

Re 9:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

In this verse there are four sorts of heinous sins mentioned, which these apostates lived in without repentance; to wit, murder, sorcery, fornication, and thefts.

Neither repented they of their murders.

The murders of those apostate Romans are of two sorts; First, the Jesuits, priests, friars, and the rest of the Roman clergy, murdered the souls of them that believed their false doctrines, and practised their image-worship. Secondly, they murdered the bodies of many, because they would not worship images, crucifixes, come to mass, fall down before their host, and worship their heathen God, the consecrated wafer.

Nor of their sorceries;

whereby we are to understand those false doctrines by which the Roman priests did bewitch the poor ignorant people. {as Ga 3:1} And their false miracles, such as are called lying wonders. {2Th 2:9-10}

Nor of their fornications;

that is, of their corporal and spiritual whoredoms. The fornication of the great Whore, and the Mother of Harlots, {Re 17:5} mystical Babylon.

Nor of their Thefts:

In taking and getting to the Roman Church the papal clergy, and religious houses, monasteries, nunneries, priories, etc. by indirect ways and means, such great revenues, under pretext and pretence of giving pardons, indulgences, dispensations, etc. Platina, Martinus, Unaphrius, and Bellarmine himself, have written enough, to testify, that the Roman papal clergy are guilty of these heinous sins.

Re 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

This

mighty Angel

is the Lord Jesus Christ

clothed with a cloud;

Christ is often so described in the Prophets, and in the Psalms. {Read Ex 14:20 16:10 19:9 Ps 78:14 104:3 Isa 19:1 Eze 1:4 10:3-4}

And a rainbow was upon his head:

whereby is signified the dignity and faithfulness of Christ mediatorship. (See Re 4:3. Read Eze 1:28) The rainbow was (and is for ever) a sign of God's covenant, {Ge 9:4} and it is an everlasting testimony of his faithfulness, mercy, and truth. {Isa 54:7-9}

And his face was as it were the sun.

Christ is called the Son of Righteousness. {Mal 4:2} God gives his saints the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ. {2Co 4:6}

And his feet as pillars of fire.

See KNOLLYS "Re 1:15" whereby it appears to be Christ.

Re 10:2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,

John saw Jesus take the sealed book out of his Father's hand, and he opened the seals thereof: And now John saw

a little book

in the hand of Jesus Christ

open:

It is called a little book because it contains but a part of the revealed will of God. It is said to be in the hand of Christ, to show us, first, that he will preserve and safe keep the Holy Scripture, and every book thereof, in his own hand by his Almighty Power. As the saints are in Christ's hand, and none can pull them out of his hand, {Joh 10:28} so the Scriptures of Truth are in Christ's hand, and none can pull them out of His hand. Secondly, that Christ will keep an open door for the Gospel, when the temple worship and public ordinances will be shut up, {Re 10:9-11 Ac 8:1-4} by persecuting the Church of God.

And he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth

Whereby is signified Christ's sovereignty over all both at land and at sea. Christ hath the Supremacy and the Preeminency over and above all. {Col 1:18} He is the only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. {1Ti 6:15} All power in heaven and earth is given unto our Lord Jesus Christ, {Mt 28:18} and Christ (in his time) will take unto him his great power and reign. {Re 11:17}

Re 10:3-4 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. 4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

The voice of Christ, (the Lion of the tribe of Judah) when he is angry, is like the roaring of a lion. {Isa 31:4} So shall the Lord of Hosts come down to fight for Mount Sion, and for the hill thereof.

Seven thunders uttered their voices:

That is, their prophecies of Gods righteous judgments, which are often called thunders. {Isa 29:6 Re 11:19 19:6}

And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write

John heard and understood the voices of the seven thunders, and was about to write their prophecies unto the seven churches in Asia, as Christ had commanded him. {Re 1:11-19} But he

heard a voice from Heaven;

that is the voice of Christ,

saying unto him, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not

Sealing up, signifies, to keep them secretly and safely until the time that God will have them revealed and performed.

Re 10:5-7 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, 6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: 7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

These three verses contain the oath of Christ, for the confirmation of the truth and certainty of what He Himself spake and witnessed unto his servant John. Heb 6:13-17 God willing to show the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath. Whence we may observe, first, that an oath is a sacred and solemn adoration and invocation of the only true living God. Secondly, that it is lawful in some cases or matters to swear by Almighty God. Thirdly, that the most usual gesture of them that sware was by lifting up their hands towards heaven, Ge 14:22 Da 12:7 and our Lord Jesus Christ (as Man and Mediator between God and men) 1Ti 2:5 here lifted up his hand to Heaven.

And sware by him that liveth forever and ever

that is, the eternal JEHOVAH. {Isa 65:16 Jer 4:1-2}

The matter of Christ's oath here was, that there should be time no longer; that is, for the beast, the great whore, and the false prophet; and those kings of the earth, (that give their kingdom, power and strength unto the beast) to reign, rule and exercise dominion after the seventh trumpet begin to sound, (Re 11:15 compared with 1Co 15:24-25). And this 7th verse. {Re 10:7}

But in the days of the voice of the Seventh Angel when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished.

By the mystery of God here, we may understand the conversion of the Jews unto Jesus Christ. {Ro 11:25-27} Also the building and restoring of the church of God unto its primitive purity of worship and ordinances, according to the institutions of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Church, {Eph 5:25-32}

As he hath declared to his servants the prophets,

{So 6:10 Re 12:1-2 21:1-6}

Re 10:8-10 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. 9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. 10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

The eating up of this

little book

doth signify Christ's instruction unto his servant John what he should prophesy. As the Lord instructed his prophet Ezekiel what he should prophesy, by bidding him eat up the roll which was written within and without. {Eze 2:9-10 3:1-14} Christ told John the double effect of his eating up this little book. First, it would be sweet as honey in his mouth; that is, in preaching of it. Secondly, it would be bitter in his belly

as soon as he had eaten it;

that is, it would occasion bitterness, sorrow, and persecution, after his testimony was witnessed by preaching and publishing thereof. And so it proved, {Re 10:9-10}

And I went unto the Angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the Angels hand, and eat it up, etc.

The preaching of the word is sweet, though persecution be bitter.

Re 10:11. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

The end of the Apostles eating up the little book, was to revive the work of the ministry and administrations of the Gospel; after great persecution, silencing, imprisoning and mystically killing the ministers and witnesses of Christ; and scattering and dispersing the churches of saints. Whereby we may understand, first, that the time will come shortly, when the Apostles' Doctrine, the pure worship of God, and the most useful gifts of the Holy Spirit for the church's edification, will be restored by our Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, that Christ's prophetical witnesses will shortly be revived by the Spirit of Life, that shall enter into them. Re 11:11 And they shall bear their testimony against the beast, the great Roman whore, and the false prophet before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings, to convert them to Christ, and to make them obedient unto the gospel, as Ro 16:25-26.

Re 11:1 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.

In this verse is contained, first, John's preparation unto his work appointed him by Christ.

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod

Secondly, John's Commission for the work which he was commanded to do:

and the angel stood, saying, rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

The reed like unto a rod, wherewith the servants of Christ, His ministers ought to

measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein;

is the written Word of God, the holy Scriptures of truth: So God commanded his servant Moses and the children of Israel (Ex 25:8-9. And let them make me a Sanctuary, -after the pattern of the tabernacle -even so shall ye make it. And Heb 8:5 See (faith God) that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed unto thee in the Mount). And this revelation of measuring the temple of God under the administration of the Gospel in the latter days, which Jesus Christ shewed by his angel in a vision unto his servant John, beareth some allusion to that vision which the prophet Ezekiel had of measuring the city and temple of God (Eze 40:2-6 -In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, ...and there was a man...with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed...of six cubits long, by the cubit, and an hand breadth: so he measured the breadth of the building one reed; and the height one reed; 4 And the Man said unto me, Son of Man, behold thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; -declare all that thou seeth to the house of Israel; {Eze 41:1-5} Afterward he brought me to the temple, ...So he measured the length thereof twenty cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits before the temple. And he said unto me, This is the most holy place). {Eze 41:4} Now as God had shewed and instructed Moses, {Ex 25:8-9 2Ch 3:1-17 Eze 43:10-16} and the prophets, how the tabernacle, and the first and the second temple should be builded, and all things to be done about His worship and ordinances, by his holy word which he spake unto them. {Eze 43:10-16} So Jesus Christ revealed to his servant John all things that must shortly come to pass, and be done about the temple of God, the altar, and them that worship, which are to be measured by the reed of the written Word of God.

Rise, and measure the temple of God.

By the temple of God, here we are to understand the house of God, {1Ti 3:14-15} which is the Church of the living God, called the temple of God, under the administration of the Gospel, {Eph 2:21-22} which was to be builded after the Apostles' days, as was prophesied, {Am 9:11} of the gentile Churches under the Gospel. {Ac 15:14-17} God at first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of the Gentiles a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; --After this will I return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down, --And I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith JEHOVAH, who doth all these things

And the altar

By the altar here is meant the whole worship of God, and all his holy Ordinances instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles, which ought to be measured also by the same reed of the written Word of God. {Php 3:16 Ga 6:15-16 1Co 11:1,2-23 I praise you Brethren, -that ye keep the Ordinances of God, as I delivered them to you} The golden altar was a type of Christ. And he put the golden altar in the tent of the congregation before the vail; and he burnt incense thereon as the Lord commanded Moses. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer, and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which was before the throne (Ex 40:26-27 compared with Re 8:3). This altar sanctifieth the gift. {Mt 23:19} The altar of burnt-offerings, and daily sacrifices, which stood in the open court of the tabernacle of the temple, called the brazen altar, typed forth the worship and ordinances of God under the Gospel. {2Ch 1:6 Heb 13:10} Then will I go to the altar of God; that is, I will worship God, and offer to him the sacrifice of praise; I will praise Thee, O God, my God. {Ps 26:6 43:4}

And them that worship therein

The worshippers of God in his Churches of saints, ought to be measured by the reed of Gods written Word, as well as the temple and the altar of God; that thereby it may appear, they are the true Worshippers of God in his house, and worship him in Spirit and in truth For the Father seeketh such to worship him truth. {Joh 4:23,24}

The ministers of Jesus Christ, who are builders of Gods gospel temple, {1Co 3:9-16} ought to measure the pattern, {Eze 43:10-11} of the churches, worship, and worshippers of God in the days of Christ and his Apostles, and to see that the churches, worship, and worshippers of God, now in these latter days, be in all things, as they were then, and to reform those things that are amiss; The rest will I set in order when I come. Let all things be done decently and in Order. Joying and beholding your Order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. {Tit 1:5 1Co 11:34 14:40 Col 2:5} All things in the Church and worship of God ought to be done according to the rule of the written Word of God; Let us walk by the same rule. {Php 3:16} There is but one rule for all the churches, worship, and worshippers of God to be framed, measured, and ordered by: And the ministers of Christ, now ought to measure, frame, and order all things in the Churches and worship of God by the same rule. {Isa 8:20 Heb 8:5 Eph 2:19-22}

First, the ministers of Christ ought to take care, and inspection of the Church of God, and see for they are called seers, and overseers {Ac 20:28} that the Church be builded upon the foundation doctrines, and faith of the apostles and prophets, {Heb 6:1-3} Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone in whom all the building, fitly framed together (and compacted) groweth to an holy temple in the Lord, {Eph 2:19-22} etc.

Secondly, they are to take care, that the pillars, {Ga 2:9 Jer 3:14-15 Eph 4:11-13} in God's house, His gospel temple which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth, {1Ti 3:14-15} be not only Trees of Righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified {Isa 61:4} but that they also be able ministers of the New Testament, both of the letter, and also of the Spirit. {2Co 3:6} The Bishops, kat ekklhsian -in every Church called Stars and Angels of the Churches, {Re 1:20} and the pastors and teachers in every Church (called Presbyters, that is, Elders) that rule well {1Ti 5:17} ought to be learned and holy men, taught of God by his Holy Spirit, qualified with spiritual and ministerial gifts and graces; to wit, knowledge, wisdom, meekness, and a blameless conversation. {2Ti 3:1-8 Tit 1:5-7}

Thirdly, they ought to take care, or heed, that the whole worship of God, and all the sacred ordinances of the Lord be administered according to the gospel; institutions, commandments, and examples of Christ and his holy Apostles; and not after the rudiments of the world, nor after the commandments of men {Mt 15:9 18:19-20 Col 2:8-23 Joh 4:23-24} and their Doctrines.

Fourthly, they ought to inspect them that worship, and to take care before persons be admitted unto the visible Churches of Saints, to partake of all the sacred ordinances of God, that they be found in the faith, and holy in their life. {Ac 19:18 9:26-28} And after they be added to the Church, the ministers ought to oversee them, that they do not walk disorderly, to the dishonour of God, and scandal of the Church; that the ministry be not blamed, nor the weak brethren stumbled or offended, and the way of God reproached. {2Th 3:6-15 Tit 3:10-11 2Co 6:3 1Co 10:32 Ro 14:13,21} And therefore, I do humbly beseech the wise master-builders, and all Christ's gospel ministers, to take this reed of God's holy Word, and measure the churches, the worship of God, and the worshippers of God in his gospel-temple; and to use their spiritual wisdom, and ministerial power, and utmost endeavours to reform and amend what they shall see amiss, and set in order, {1Co 11:34,14:40 Col 2:5,4:17 Tit 1:5} things that are wanting, that God may be glorified, his churches of saints edified, and sinners converted.

Re 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

In this verse is contained, first, John's prohibition, he might not measure the outward court of the temple. Secondly, the reason, why he was prohibited,

for it is given unto the Gentiles.

Thirdly, a prophecy adjoined to the reason of John's prohibition;

And the holy city shall they (viz. the Gentiles) tread under foot forty and two months.

First, John's prohibition;

But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not.

Solomon's Temple (unto which Christ here alludes) had three courts, the first whereof was called the outward court {Eze 42:14-17,44:19,46:20 2Ch 23:5-6 Eze 40:17,42:14} where all the people worshipped {Lu 1:10} the second was called the inward court, {Eze 8:16 Lu 1:9-10} And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord's house, etc. where the priests burnt incense upon the altar before the Lord {2Ch 3:8-10} when they went into the temple of the Lord. The third was the inmost Court, called the Holy of Holies, the most holy place or house of God {Heb 9:3-12} where the High Priest went in alone once every year, not without blood, etc. He being a type of Jesus Christ. And there was a wall of separation between the sanctuary and the profane place, where the publicans, heathens, even all sorts of profane people, were permitted to come to see, and hear. This court without the tabernacle, sanctuary, and temple, was measured also. {Eze 42:15-20} Five hundred cubits long, and five hundred cubits broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place or court without.

By

the Court which is without the Temple,

in this verse, we may understand any material Court, or external place of separation; for this is but an allusion unto that court without Solomon's Temple. And the temple here, which was to be measured, being mystical, and figured forth by that of Solomon's, this court which was without the temple, must be understood mystically; to wit, the Papal Gentiles, of whom it is here prophesied, that

the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

By these Gentiles we are to understand false Christians, namely, atheists, papists, and all profane and ungodly persons; the unbelieving Jews also, and the unconverted Gentiles likewise; especially the Roman Gentiles, by whom the holy city, Jerusalem, that now is, the churches of saints, that now are, are trodden under foot, as our blessed Saviour foretold his disciples. {Lu 21:24-27} And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Therefore, the angel said unto John, leave it out, and measure it not. Thirdly, the prophecy adjoined to the reason of John's prohibition. And the holy city shall they -the Roman Gentiles- tread under foot forty and two months. By

the holy city

here is meant mystical Jerusalem. As the great city of the Roman Church, is called Mystery, Babylon the great, the Mother of Harlots. {Re 17:1-5} So the holy city of God, his true Church, is mystically called Zion, and Jerusalem, that now is, and is in bondage with her children, {Ga 4:24-25} whilst the holy city is trodden under foot of the Gentiles; that is to say, persecuted, imprisoned, confiscated, banished, and killed by the popes, potentates, emperors, kings and princes of the Gentiles, who have given their kingdom, power, and strength to the Beast, {Zec 11:9 Re 17:13-17} and do exercise dominion over the churches, and the people of God, who are the woman in the wilderness and her seed, who have the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus. {Re 12:6-17} The time here numbered, that the holy city (the church and saints of God) shall be trodden under foot by the Horns of the Gentiles; that is, persecuted and killed by the kings of the earth, {Re 13:17} who have given their kingdom, power, and strength to the Beast of the seventh and eighth head, the Pope of Rome, etc. I say the time is forty two prophetical months, which computing thirty prophetical days to a month, are one thousand two hundred and sixty years (a day for a year, and each day for a year, as Nu 14:34 Eze 4:6); so long the two witnesses of Christ prophesy in sackcloth, {Re 11:3} so long the woman shall be fed and preserved in the wilderness, {Re 12:6-17} and so long the Beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, who shall kill the witnesses, and that did rise out of the sea, and out of the earth, shall continue. {Re 13:1-5} And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. All these four prophecies are contemporary, for they all begin and end at one and the same time: Whereof we shall say more in the exposition of the third verse of this chapter. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:3"

Re 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

In this verse we are to consider, first, who these two witnesses are. Secondly, what power Christ gives His witnesses. Thirdly, what their gift of prophecy is. Fourthly, what time we are to understand by a thousand two hundred and threescore days; and fifthly, what is meant by their being cloathed in sackcloth.

First, these

two witnesses

are described metaphorically: {Re 13:4} These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks, etc. by which description it appears, that these two witnesses are not two individual persons, as Moses and Elias; neither by these are intended any two testimonies, as the Old and New Testament; nor two distinct offices, as magistrates and ministers. For none of these interpretations will agree with the metaphorical description of these two witnesses. {Re 13:4} These two witnesses are the faithful ministers of Christ, called two olive-branches. {Zec 4:3-14} These are the two anointed ones, which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves; that is to say, they are the ministers and prophets of the Lord, who, under the gospel, have received an unction from the Holy One, Christ Jesus. {1Jo 2:20-27} As the priests and prophets did, under the law, who were anointed with material oil, {Ex 28:41 1Ki 19:16} and they are also the visible, true constituted gospel churches of Christ, called here two candlesticks, which are so interpreted and expounded by Christ Himself. {Re 1:20} And the seven candlesticks are the seven churches.

The Church of God under the law being but one, and that a national church, was metaphorically described by one golden candlestick. {Zec 4:2} But the churches of God under the gospel, being many congregational churches, as the churches in Judea, {Ac 9:31} the churches of Galatia, {1Co 16:1} and the churches in Asia, {Re 1:11} when they were first planted, are resembled by two golden candlesticks, and by seven golden candlesticks. Nor is my distinguishing between the Lord's ministers, his prophets, and his churches unwarrantable, for the Holy Spirit of God did distinguish them. {Ac 13:1} Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers. {Ac 15:4} They were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders. {Ac 15:22} Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, that is, all the brethren. {Ac 15:23} The apostles, and elders, and brethren, send greeting unto the brethren, etc. The ministers of Christ in the churches of saints, are Christ's prophetical witnesses; who ought to bear their testimony for Christ, and against Antichrist. {Re 12:11}

Secondly, the power which Christ hath given unto his two witnesses, is not a magisterial power; for Christ hath given that kind of power to the kings of the earth, and governors under them, {Ro 13:1-7 1Pe 2:13-15 Tit 3:1} nor a monarchical Prelatical power, such as the Pope of Rome, his cardinals, and priests, have usurped, who lord it over God's heritage, His churches and clergy, contrary to the mind of our Lord Jesus Christ, {1Pe 5:3} mhd wv katakurieuontev twn klhrwn, Not as lording it over the clergy, but it is a ministerial, prophetical, stewardly power; that is, the power of the word, not of the sword. Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth; see, I have this day set thee over the nations, and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build and to plant. {Jer 1:9,10} That is to say prophetically, by denouncing God's judgements against them, which the Lord will execute, if they repent not. {Jer 18:6-10} And I will bring upon the Land all my Words, which I have pronounced against it, {Jer 25:13} -which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations, though the ministers of the gospel may declare the righteous judgements of God against ungodly men, according to his written word, yet they ought not to sit in judgement, and pass sentence of corporal punishment upon any man. {Lu 12:14} But yet all the plagues and judgements here mentioned, and intended are principally (though not only) spiritual plagues and judgements, such as the Lord's prophets had power to do by the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, {Eph 6:17} which proceedeth out of Christ's mouth, {Re 19:15-21} so that this power which the Lord Jesus Christ gave his two witnesses is a ministerial, prophetical, ecclesiastical power of faith, by the Word of God and prayer, {Ac 6:4} which they ought to give themselves continually unto, not using the power of the sword at any time, in any case, He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear, -He that killeth with the sword shall be killed with the sword {Re 13:9-10} etc.

Ecclesiastical power ordained by Christ and given to his ministers, is not magisterial, but ministerial; not the power of the sword but of the Word, For the Word of God is living and powerful, {Heb 4:12} etc.

Thirdly, by the gift of prophecy here, which Jesus Christ gave unto his two witnesses, called the two prophets, {Re 11:10} we are to understand such ministerial and prophetical gifts of the Holy Spirit, whereby they were fitted and qualified to prophesy before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings, {Re 10:10-11} there are diversities of spiritual gifts, and among the rest the gift of prophecy. {1Co 12:4-10 Ro 12:6} Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the analogy of faith. This gift of prophecy Christ gives unto his faithful ministers in the churches of saints, that they may be his witnesses, {Ac 1:8 5:32} in bearing their testimony for Christ-against Anti-Christ-in all the offices of his mediatorship; and it is therefore called the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy, {Re 19:10 Lu 21:12-19} that is a mouth and wisdom given by Jesus Christ, which no adversaries shall be able to gain-say, or resist: And it shall turn to you for a testimony. {Lu 21:13}

Fourthly, the time of their prophesying is here said to be

a thousand two hundred and threescore days

which days are not to be understood literally for so many natural days; for that is but three years and an half; and is intended by the three days and an half, expressed in Re 11:9 to be the time that the dead bodies of the slain witnesses shall lie unburied, called a time, and times, and half a time (Re 12:14 and Da 7:21-25). But these thousand two hundred and threescore days must be understood of prophetical days; that is, a day for a year, and each day for a year, according to the scripture account, {Nu 14:34 Eze 4:6} which is one thousand two hundred and threescore years (the editor of this manuscript does not here agree with H. Knowles). And so is the prophetical number of days and time of the woman, that is, the Church of God in the wilderness, viz. one thousand two hundred and threescore days. {Re 12:6} It is not my work at present to determine the beginning and ending of this time, and these days, but to give the right interpretation thereof, that the reader may understand the meaning by my exposition. God hath timed the persecutions, tribulations, and sufferings of His churches, ministers, and saints, in their generations. {Ge 15:13 Ex 12:41 Jer 25:10-12,29:10-13 Re 2:10 11:2} They must last no longer, nor end sooner, than God's set time.

But yet I may say, that the best ecclesiastical historians, and the later expositors of this Book of the Revelation, affirm, that these thousand two hundred and threescore days began about the Year of our Lord 407, 409, 410 or before 428. (Sympson's History of the Church, Lib. 4. Socrat. History Eccl. cap. 3, Helvicus in Concil, Taurinat cap. 7, Magdeb, Cent. 5 cap. 10 etc). And if these thousand two hundred and threescore days did begin about 428, then they will end about 1688, which a short time will manifest more certainly. Though these are uncertain conjectures; yet if we shall see the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, make war against the two prophetical witnesses, and overcome them, and kill them, as is prophesied {Re 11:7} then we shall certainly know the ending time of these thousand two hundred and threescore days. {Da 12:4-13}

Fifthly, to be

clothed in sackcloth

signifieth the sorrowful, mournful condition of these two prophets, the witnesses of Christ, by reason of their sufferings, persecutions, and tribulations, which they endured in the days and time of their prophesying. The prophets of old use to wear garments of black, especially in times of calamity and affliction, which were made of hair, and called sackcloth of hair, as an emblem and symbol of great calamity and mourning. {Isa 22:12,32:11,50:3 Jer 49:3 2Ki 1:8 Mt 3:4 Re 6:12} The faithful ministers of Christ, who are serving of their generation have born their testimony for Christ against Anti-Christ in all his mediatorial offices, as he is prophet, priest and king in his church, have suffered persecutions, imprisonment, banishment, and death many of them. As the apostles and disciples of Christ did suffer under the Roman pagan dragon; so the ministers and saints of God have suffered under the Roman-Papal-Beast, about one thousand two hundred fifty nine years.

God's faithful witnesses must suffer persecutions for their testimony against Anti-Christ, {2Ti 3:12} yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution till the 1260 days be ended.

Re 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

The olive tree is excellent for its beautiful greenness, for its plentiful fruitfulness, and its abundant fatness. But the olive-tree said unto them, should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, {Jud 9:9} etc. Unto which God compareth His church, The Lord called thy name a green olive-tree; fair and of goodly fruit; his fruitful Saints. {Jer 11:16} And his beauty shall be as the olive-tree; but especially his faithful ministers. {Ho 14:4-6} These two olive-trees upon the right side of the candlestick, and upon the left side thereof. {Zec 4:11} These two olive branches, which through the two golden pipes, empty gold out of themselves. {Zec 4:12} These are the two sons of oil, that is, anointed one, etc. {Zec 4:14} The bishops and pastors, the prophets and teachers in the churches of saints, whom the Lord Jesus Christ hath raised up, spirited and appointed to be his witnesses, and to bear their testimony for the doctrine, worship, and kingdom of Christ, against the false doctrines, worships, and kingdom of Antichrist; the Pope of Rome, that beast, the great whore, and all the cities of the nations. {Re 16:19}

A candlestick all of gold in Zechariah's vision, {Zec 4:2} was a figure of the church of God, which was then but one visible constituted church; viz. the national church of the Jews. The two golden candlesticks in St. John's Revelation, {Re 11:4} were a representation of the true visible constituted churches of God in the latter days of the gospel; viz. congregational churches of the gentiles; such were the seven churches in Asia (at their first planting). {Re 1:12-20} So that we may upon those scripture grounds conclude, that by the two witnesses Jesus Christ meant and intended his churches of saints, and his faithful ministers in their generations. The churches of saints ought to be like golden candlesticks for purity, for visibility, and for holding forth the light of truth by their ministers. {Mt 5:14-16}

Standing before the God of the earth.

Standing before great persons; viz. kings, princes, and nobles {1Ki 10:8 Pr 22:29} imports, waiting and serving them in obedience unto their commands, being in their presence, and also in their favour. So here, to stand before the God of the earth, is to minister unto God, to worship him, to obey his commands, and to keep his ordinances; as the tribe of Levi did of old, To stand before the Lord, to minister unto him; {De 10:8} and But the Priests, the Levites, the Sons of Zadock, that kept the charge of my Sanctuary, when the Children on Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me, to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord God, {Eze 44:15,16} etc. So shall the faithful ministers of Christ stand before God to be his witnesses, and to bear their testimony for Christ against Antichrist: They shall be holden up, for God is able to make them stand. {Ro 14:4} He is called the God of the earth, for the earth is the Lords, and the fullness of it. God made the heavens and the earth; he rules and governs all things in Heaven and Earth, and he gives power to the faint {Isa 40:28-31 Re 7:14-17} and to them that have no might he increaseth strength, that so they may stand before the God of earth and serve him day and night in his temple.

Re 11:5-6 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

In these two verses is declared more particularly; I The power which Christ hath given unto his two prophetical witnesses, which power is three fold; first, they have power to shut heaven. Secondly, they have power over fire and waters. Thirdly, they have power to smite the earth with all plagues. {Re 11:6} II The objects upon whom their power is to be executed; to wit, their enemies that will hurt them. {Re 11:5} And, III The manner how they shall exercise their power;

fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

And if any man will hurt them

Re 11:5 kai ei tiv autouv qelh adikhsai pur ekporeuetai if any do them injury or injustice. There is no respect of persons with God; therefore saith Christ, who is the true and faithful Witness, If any one, viz. Power or Potentate, King or Emperor, Princes or Nobles, Pope, Priests or People will hurt them; that is, will persecute them, injure them, oppress them, and wrong them that are the Churches of God, and the faithful Ministers of Christ, who are his Witnesses, and do bear their Testimony for Christ against Antichrist.

Fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies.

By their mouth, here we are to understand their testimony, called the testimony of Jesus. {Re 1:2 6:9 12:11-17 19:10} The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy, which Spirit of Prophecy, is called here the

fire which proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies; and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

Christ's ministers and his churches of saints, when they are injured, wronged, and hurt by persecution, oppression, imprisonment, banishment, etc. ought not to betake themselves to their material arms, but to their spiritual prayers; their fire which devoureth and kills their enemies, must not proceed out of their guns, their brass or iron Canons, etc. but out of their mouth; viz. their prophecy and testimony of Jesus., {Read Ac 12:5-25} Herod the King stretched forth his hands (that is, his magisterial power) to vex certain of the church, and killed James the brother of John with the sword; -and he proceed further, and took Peter also, -and put him in prison, -but prayer was made (without ceasing) of the church unto God for him; and the angel of the Lord came, and delivered Peter out of prison. {Ac 12:7,11,12} And the Angel of the Lord smote Herod, and he gave up the Ghost. God made his word in the mouth of his prophets as fire {Jer 5:14} etc. The faithful ministers of Christ, and churches of saints, have spiritual weapons; and especially the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. {Eph 6:11-17 2Co 10:4-6} For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God.

These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy.

The ministerial and prophetical power of Christ's two witnesses, is here declared to be over waters (as well as fire) both the waters that are above the firmament of heaven, to shut heaven that it rain not; and this is the power of prayer also that Elijah had. {1Ki 17:1 Jas 5:17} Elias was a man subject to like (infirmities or) passions as we are; and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. Thus he shut heaven in the days of his prophecy; and thus Christ's two prophetical witnesses have power to shut heaven in the days of their prophecy. And they have power over the waters (under the firmament) to turn them into blood, as Moses did, {Ex 7:19-21} and to smite the earth with all plagues, especially spiritual judgements {Isa 6:9,10 Mt 13:13-15} and temporal also {Jer 25:13} which God executeth according to the word of the Lord, which cometh forth out of their mouths.

Re 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

In this verse and the following verses to the end of the 14th verse of {Re 11:8-14} this chapter, Christ revealed to his servant, John, 1. That his two prophetical witnesses shall be killed. 2. That their dead bodies shall lie unburied in the open street of the great city, three days and an half. 3. That their adversaries shall rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts one to another. 4. That after three days and an half, the two slain witnesses shall live again; and shall ascend up to heaven. 5. That at the same time of the witnesses ascension, the tenth part of the great city shall fall, and seven thousand names of men shall be slain. 6. That the remnant will be affrighted, and give glory to God. 7. That then the second woe will be past; and the third woe will come quickly. {Re 11:14} But of these seven particulars in order.

First, touching the killing of Christ's two prophetical witnesses {Re 11:7} we are to observe these particulars, viz. 1. The time when the witnesses shall be killed;

when they shall have finished their testimony.

2. Who shall kill them;

the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit.

and 3. The means by which he shall kill the witnesses;

he shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

In the exposition of this verse, and of those things, we are to observe, 1. What is the finishing testimony of the witnesses of Jesus Christ? 2. Who is the Beast that shall kill them? and 3. What this war is whereby the witnesses shall be overcome and killed?

The finishing testimony of Christ's two prophetical witnesses is the gospel of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ; which must be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations {Mt 24:14} and then shall the end be. Therefore, that is their finishing testimony. Let it be considered, That the prophetical witnesses of Jesus Christ (namely his faithful ministers) during the thousand two hundred and threescore years of their testimony, have had a three fold testimony to bear for Christ against Antichrist, viz. First for the prophetical office of Christ against the Beast and the false Prophet; which testimony of the faithful ministers of Christ have in the days of their prophesying in sackcloth, born by their sound doctrine of free grace against the false doctrine of free-will, merit, and condignity; also by their sound doctrine of justification by faith in Christ, against the false doctrine of justification by our own works, or by our own righteousness: and by their sound doctrine of evangelical repentance, against the false doctrine of Popish penance and purgatory. etc. Then for the priestly office of Christ against Antichrist, mystical Babylon, the Beast, the great Whore, and the false Prophet, which testimony the faithful ministers of Christ have born likewise in the days of their prophesying in sackcloth, touching the true and pure worship of God in the administration of his holy ordinances: against the superstitious and false worship of the Beast, the Church of Rome, her priests and Jesuits in their idolatrous worship of God by images, crucifixes, Ave Maria's, masses, etc. especially of their breaden-God, by their superstitions and blasphemous inventions of transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the very true and real body and blood of Christ, by virtue of the priest's consecration. Lastly, for the kingly office of Christ as King of Saints {Re 15:3} King of Zion {Ps 149:1-2} and King of Nations {Jer 10:7-10} King of kings, and Lord of lords {1Ti 6:14-15} whose kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom {Da 7:27} and he shall reign for ever and ever. {Re 11:15} Now the faithful ministers of Christ have born their testimony for Christ, that he is King of Saints, and King of Zion in these thousand two hundred and threescore prophetical days, of their sackcloth-condition, their finishing testimony, viz. that the Lord Jesus Christ is King of Nations, King of kings, and all the kingdoms of this world shall be the Kingdom of Christ. {Da 2:44,7:13-14 Re 11:15} And he shall be the only potentate. {1Ti 6:15} This finishing testimony of the kingdom of Christ, is properly called the testimony of Jesus {Re 19:6-10} which is the Spirit of Prophecy. Many of Christ's witnesses have been slain for the word of God, which they preached, and for the testimony which they held. {Re 6:9-11,12:17} But those witnesses of Christ, who bear their testimony for the Davidical kingdom of Christ (to wit, that all the kingdoms of this world, shall become the kingdom of Christ) were to be slain; of which kingdom we shall treat more fully in the exposition of the 15th verse of this chapter. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:15"

The Beast that shall kill the witnesses of Christ, is here said to ascend

out of the bottomless pit,

XXX etc. (Re 9:1,2,11 20:1,3. and so Re 17:8). That is out of the sea {Re 13:1} called the Deep (Lu 8:31 Ro 10:7 mentioned, Re 9:1-11 20:1-3; and Re 13:1). I saw the Beast rise out of the sea, with ten crowned Horns, etc. The mystery of this beast Christ showed to St. John {Re 17:3-11} where he is described, first, by his three-fold state. {Re 17:8} Behold the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is. Secondly, by his two-fold number. {Re 17:8} Even he is the eighth, and is of the seven heads. Thirdly, by his rise {Re 13:1} his continuance {Re 13:5} and his ruin {Re 11:8 17:15} and shall go into Perdition: And goeth into Perdition {Re 18:21} and shall be found no more at all. To which description of the beast, we shall (according to that measure of wisdom and understanding which God shall give) speak more largely in our exposition of the 17th chapter. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 17:1" ff In the mean time, those that will read my Apocalyptical Mysteries, published Anno Dom. 1669, and my Treatise of Mystical Babylon unveiled, Anno Dom. 1679, may understand more fully my opinion, who this beast is; and that I may not leave the reader altogether unsatisfied in this matter, I shall at present assert, that this beast (with respect of his whole complex body) is mystical Babylon; viz. the Beast of the Eighth Head {Re 17:8-11} with two horns like a Lamb {Re 13:11} that angel of the bottomless pit, whose name is Abaddon and Apollyon {Re 9:11} to wit, the Pope of Rome, that star which fell from heaven unto the earth. {Re 9:1,2,3} The great Scarlet Whore, and Mother of Harlots, etc. {Re 17:1-5} to wit, the Church of Rome, and all false churches, and the false Prophet {Re 16:13 19:20} to wit, the Roman Priests, those deceivers, and all false ministers, called the Ministers of Satan. {2Co 11:13-15}

The war which the beast shall make against Christ's prophetical witnesses, whereby he shall overcome them and kill them, is an open, visible, and public opposition, which the enemies of Christ, His churches, ministers, and saints do make against them, either by open hostility, as the Popes, and Emperors Forces did against the Protestants in Germany; or else by public edicts and laws, as the Papists did against the Protestants in England in Queen Mary's days, by a violent and bloody persecution, which hath ever been the practice of the Popes and Papists; Pope Alexander the III about the year, 1159, and the Popish powers persecuted the Waldenses, with a great and bloody persecution. Afterwards, about 1464, the Waldenses, the Wicklevists, the Hussites, and their followers, were violently persecuted, even to death, under the name of Lollards.

And shall overcome them, and kill them.

Some ministers and some members of churches will be overcome by fear, others by flatteries; the mouths of some will be stopped by preferment; others will be silenced by threatening, by excommunication, and by persecution; and so far overcome, as they will cease for a time to bear their testimony against the beast, so publicly and vigorously, as they did before. But that will not appease the rage and great wrath of the beast; for he will proceed further, and will kill them that still go on boldly and constantly to bear their testimony publicly against him, his worship, and his kingdom. {Re 13:15-17} The killing of the two witnesses, doth not signify a corporal death only, nor principally; for such a death doth not fully agree to their lying unburied in the streets of the city, nor to their resurrection {Re 11:10,11} but it is rather a metaphorical expression, by which Jesus Christ meant and intended, both a civil and ecclesiastical death, or deprivation of livelihood, and deprivation of life: Some of them shall be deprived of all their civil rights, privileges, and liberties; their estates will be confiscated, proscribed, or decimated, etc., their persons confined, imprisoned or banished, etc., and in fine, all their livings and livelihood taken from them by the beast, and his instruments of cruelty. And others of them shall be deprived of all their ecclesiastical rights, privileges, and liberties: Yea, their love to Christ will decay, their zeal for the glory of God will cool, and their spiritual vigour against Antichrist, and his false doctrines, superstitious worship, and tyrannical government, will faint, and be ready to die. The darkness and blackness of the day of the death of the two witnesses will be very great, for they will be deprived of that spirit of life, which they formerly had, and manifested for Christ against the Man of Sin, and Son of Perdition that fits in the temple of God. Some of the witnesses (not all of them) will fall from their first love, lose their former zeal and become luke-warm; some of them will fall in with the grand apostasy of these latter days; and thereby be deprived of that vigour and spirit of life which they had. And this spiritual kind of death, is called here the killing of the witnesses; for as their resurrection shall be by the spirit of life from God entering into them {Re 11:11} so their death will be by being deprived of the spirit of life, by resisting, quenching, and grieving the Holy Spirit.

Re 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.

In this verse, Jesus Christ showed his servant John where these two prophetical witnesses shall be killed; viz.

in the street of the great City, which great city is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

This great city is Mystery, Babylon the great. {Re 17:5} That City which then reigned over the kings of the earth. {Re 17:18} The Roman papal dominion, to wit, the whole anti-Christian kingdom of the beast, the great Whore, and the false Prophet, called the Man of Sin, and the Antichrist, etc. The street of the great city, is the place where the dead bodies of the two slain witnesses lie unburied for a time; which place being spoken of by way of eminency, must be understood either in relation unto the two witnesses, or in relation unto the beast that shall kill them, or in relation unto both. Now take either of these, or both, and it doth not, and it cannot signify the whole kingdom of mystical Babylon, because that is the city, as before proved, not the street which is after (v. 13) called the tenth part of the great city; nor are all the witnesses of Christ

in the street of the great city

killed, but, very many of them; for there were some of them alive, who called to these dead witnesses, when the spirit of life from God, was again entered into them, saying, Come up hither, etc. {Re 11:12}

Therefore, by

the street of the great city

we are to understand some part of it, and not the whole city; that is, some very eminent and famous kingdom, where these two witnesses have most eminently born their testimony for Christ against the beast, the great Whore, the Church of Rome, and the false Prophet; the Pope, the Papal Prelacy, and the Popish Clergy; which is (in my opinion) this Kingdom of England. For the highest, and most eminent testimony for Christ, His Kingdom, His Worship, and His Government, and against the kingdom, worship, and government of Antichrist hath been, yet is, and will be born by Christ's faithful ministers, and his churches of saints (that are his two witnesses) here in England, especially in London. And the description of this street and city of England and London, if it could be delineated, and drawn to the life, or lively portrayed (as the prophet was commanded by the Lord, {Eze 4:1} to portray Jerusalem upon a tile), London would seem to be so like that city where our Lord was crucified; and England so like the land of Egypt; yea, and both this nation, and this city, would so resemble Sodom, that every one, who shall view and consider the type and antitype, will doubtless be of my opinion, and say, certainly London is spiritually Jerusalem,

where our Lord was crucified,

and where his two prophets must be killed. And is not England as like Egypt for oppression, exaction, and other cruelties against the Israel of God? And (which I cannot without abhorrence write), how like Sodom and Gomorrha these two near adjoining cities are for pride, and fullness of bread; yea, for whoredom, adultery, blood-shedding, sodomy, and other abominations; for which hainous wickednesses, God did burn Sodom and Gomorrha, and set them forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire {Jude 7} And God did overthrow some of the cities of Israel, as he had overthrown Sodom and Gomorrha {Am 4:11} Yea, and God will destroy these cities also for their Sins, if the rulers and inhabitants thereof will not repent and return to the Lord {Isa 1:10-20} Hear the Word of the Lord, ye Rulers of Sodom: Give ear unto the Law of our God, ye people of Gomorrha; - But if ye refuse, and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the Sword; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. And the Laodicean Churches shall know, that God commandeth his destroying messengers to begin at His sanctuary {Eze 9:5-7} and that judgment must begin at the house of God. {1Pe 4:17-19}

Re 11:9-10 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 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.

The two witnesses being killed, some pity them, others

rejoice over them,

and most of the people will

not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

The beast having killed the witnesses, would have them buried, that their names and their testimony might not be remembered: But they of the peoples, etc., would not suffer their names to perish, nor their testimony to be forgotten; they would not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. Which some expositors understand to be an act of pity and good will, and favour towards the two witnesses, and their testimony. Other expositors interpret their not suffering of the dead bodies of Christ's witnesses to be put in graves, to be an act of enmity and cruelty in those of the peoples, etc., that rejoiced over them after they were killed, who would not let them have a Christian burial.

And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, etc.

As the killing of these two witnesses, is the last act of the papal power of the beast; so the rejoicing over their dead bodies is the last act of the Whore's joy; and both these acts are the last sufferings of the ministers of Christ, and churches of saints. For we never read of the beasts power, the whores joy, nor the saints sufferings, after these their 1260 days, or forty two months be fulfilled. And these three days and an half, are the ending time, and full period of the witnesses 1260 days, and of the beasts forty-two months. And Christ hath sworn {Re 10:6-7} that there should be time no longer; but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, etc., which is the very next dispensation after this sixth trumpet. {Re 11:14-15} And the seventh angel sounded, etc., the reason why the inhabitants of the earth, that is earthly minded professors (who mind earthly things) {Php 3:19} do rejoice at the killing of Christ's two witnesses, and are so merry, when they see their dead bodies lying in the street of the great City, is, because these two Prophets tormented them that dwell on the earth {Re 11:10} which happened, first, by the power of their testimony upon some of their consciences, which cut them to the heart, as St. Stephen's testimony did theirs. {Ac 7:51-54} Secondly, by the guilt of the blood of the martyrs and witnesses of Jesus, which wounded their spirits, whereby they were filled with indignation against them, as the scribes and pharisees were, saying {Ac 15:17-33} Ye intend to bring this mans blood upon us, etc. And thirdly, by bearing their witness against their murders, as Elias did, when he said to Ahab {1Ki 21:19,20} Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? and against their whoredoms and adulteries, as John the Baptist witnessed against Herod and Herodias {Mr 6:17-24} and against all other their wicked Abominations.

Re 11:11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

Mystical Babylon, the Mother of Harlots, and her daughters are now rejoicing and making merry, in hope that the slain witnesses shall never rise again; but their joyful days will not long continue, for after three days and an half (which is but a very short time) the witnesses are revived and raised again; and that dispensation will suddenly change their joys into fears.

This mystical resurrection of Christ's two prophetical witnesses, is in this verse described by three particulars; that is, first, by the time of their reviving and living again;

after three days and an half.

Secondly, by the means and manner thereof;

the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet.

Thirdly, by the present effect thereof;

and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

First, touching the time of their reviving. {Read Ho 6:1-3} By the

three days and an half,

we are to understand the last three days and an half of the late 1260. Prophetical days, before expressed and expounded, even the ending time thereof. The knowledge of this ending time is, that which many godly and learned men have studiously searched, and laboured to understand, whose labours being published, have been profitable to the Lord's people, and unto me, that have read their judgments, and have received much light and comfort in many things; but not being fully satisfied in their interpretations and expositions touching these two witnesses and the time of their being killed, and raised again, I am willing to give my opinion also, and the grounds thereof.

The 1260 days {Re 11:3} being according to the nature of this prophecy of the revelation, and the prophetical number of such days {Nu 14:34 Eze 4:5,6} (as hath been proved) each day for a year; that is 1260 years: And these three days and an half being the ending time of the two witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, and the last of the 1260. Prophetical days; it doth hereupon necessarily follow, and hence I conclude, first, that the ending time of the 1260 days (viz. these three days and an half) are not yet come; and the two witnesses are not yet slain; for their testimony for Christ against Antichrist, is not yet finished {Mt 24:14} nor is the tyrannical power of the beast (which was to continue forty two months {Re 13:5 11:2} yet ended and expired). For the Holy City is yet trodden under foot by the papal gentiles Re 11:2 and the woman (that is, -the Church of God), is yet in the wilderness. {Re 12:6-14} The tyrannical power of the papal beast, according to the account of the best ecclesiastic historians, began about the year of our Lord 428 in the reign of the Emperor Theodosius the Second, when Pope Sixtus the III, a Roman, who at the instance of the Empress Eudoxias, made a holy day for St. Peter's Church. And if the historians say true, we may conjecture, that the ending time of the beast's forty two months, and of the witnesses' 1260 days, will be about 1688 for 1260 and 428 make 1688 or soon after. Secondly, though the 1260 days be almost expired, the testimony of the two witnesses almost finished, and the beasts tyrannical power almost come to its end, yet the full period thereof will not be certainly known to the churches and saints of God, until these two witnesses be killed by the beast. Read Da 12:4-9 and Hab 2:3. At the end it shall speak, and not lie. And none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. {Da 12:10} Thirdly, when these three days and an half are come (which are the last three years and an half of the 1260 years), the churches and saints of God shall certainly know them to be the last days, by those most remarkable proceedings and concomitant signs thereof, which are noted in the holy Scripture of Truth, viz.

First, then will be such as hath not been heretofore to the Jews Da 12:1-10 to the gentiles, Mt 24:21-30 Lu 21:25-27 and to the Church of God. 2Ti 3:1 1Pe 4:17

Secondly, then will the Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ be preached, for a witness unto all nations, which is the finishing testimony of the two witnesses, for which they shall be slain. Search those scriptures, Jer 10:7-10 Da 7:13-28 Zec 14:7-9 Mt 24:14; and Re 11:15.

Thirdly, then will happen a very great formality, luke-warmness, and worldliness, etc., among church members {2Ti 3 1-5} holding up the form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof; kai toutouv apotrepou -Et hos devita, vel au his aversare etc., from such turn away. And the last and greatest apostasy among gospel professors. {2Th 2:3} Except that apostasy come first, which will also happen in those last days. {2Pe 3:3-4} In so much that our Saviour said, when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the Earth? (Lu 18:8 and 1Ti 4:1). For which formality, and apostasy, God will shortly and suddenly bring forth such a dispensation of his divine providence, whereby those Laodicean Churches shall be broken in pieces, scattered and dispersed; and then will the two witnesses be killed, by whose mystical resurrection will happen a very glorious reformation {Isa 60:1-22} even the times of the restitution of all things {Ac 3:19-21} viz. churches, ministry, worship, and ordinances, etc. Secondly, touching the means and manner of their reviving. The means of the mystical resurrection, and spiritual reviving of the two witnesses of Christ, is here expressed to be the spirit of life from God, which entered into them. {Re 11:11} The manner is also here declared.

and they stood upon their feet.

That is, they were raised, revived, and strengthened, emboldened, and encouraged by the spirit of life from God, which was poured upon them, and entered into them, to bear the same testimony of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, against the kingdom of Antichrist, as formerly; and they were by the divine power and assistance of that spirit of life, enabled to stand boldly and publicly to that testimony of Christ's Kingdom and Dominion; and this bears some analogy unto that dispensation prophesied of {Eze 37:5-14} O my people I will put my spirit in you, and you shall live. The Lord knows that His servants, His ministers, His churches, and His witnesses, are not able to say, do, or suffer much for Christ, without his Holy Spirit help and empower them, influence and assist them. And therefore, when God hath any eminent work to do, or any excellent witness to bear for Christ, His Truth, Worship, or Kingdom; He doth not only raise up His instruments to do that work, and call up his witnesses to bear their testimony, but He doth spirit them thereunto, as he did in former days. The spirit of God came upon Othniel {Jud 3:9-10} upon Gideon {Jud 6:34} upon Jephthah {Jud 11:29} upon Sampson {Jud 14:19 15:14} upon David {1Sa 16:13} so it shall do upon the servants and witnesses of Christ in that day, when he shall call and raise them up to this work and testimony; and he that is feeble among them, at that day, shall be as David, etc. {Zec 12:8} Thirdly, touching the present effect;

and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

They that saw these two witnesses of Christ arise from their death, were them that dwell upon earth {Re 11:10} who rejoiced over the dead bodies of the slain witnesses. And now they are sorely amazed, and greatly afraid to see them stand upon their feet. and great fear fell upon them. This fear is not that holy and filial fear of God, which the Lord puts into the hearts of his new covenant people {Jer 32:40} but it is that terror and dread, wherewith God smites the spirit and conscience of the adversaries of his people, whereby they are cut to the heart, as they were. {Ac 7:54}

Re 11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

The two prophetical witnesses being now raised and spirited for the work of the Lord, are called up into an high place and condition; which calling is, 1. By

a great voice from Heaven,

which they heard. 2. By that which the voice said unto them,

Come up hither

3. By their ready and willing obedience unto that heavenly call;

And they ascended up in a cloud

4. By their spectators;

and their Enemies beheld them.

This

voice from Heaven

is the voice of the Lord, who spake from Heaven, to his servants the prophets, in divers manners {Heb 1:1} and he spake to his apostles in visions {Ac 18:9} The Lord spake to his people of old by the voice of his prophets {Ac 3:21} and here the Lord speaks to his raised witnesses, by the voice of the remnant of the woman's seed {Re 12:17} which kept the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, all the time that these two witnesses were slain, and lay dead, and dispirited: who being gathered and congregated together, and having among them at this time an eminent spirit of prophecy (which is the testimony of Jesus) {Re 19:10} do call those raised witnesses, into whom the spirit of life from God was entered; saying unto them,

Come up hither.

Come and join with us in the Church of God; come and worship God with us; come and help us to carry on the work of the Lord in his churches of saints, according to his Holy Word.

When the witnesses of Christ are killed and dispirited, and lie slain under deadness of spirit, there will be even then a remnant of the woman's seed, which will keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus.

And they ascended up into Heaven in a cloud.

By Heaven in this verse, we may understand the holy, spiritual, and glorious state of the Church of God here on earth in the latter days, prophesied of {Isa 28:5 60:1-21 62:3-4 65:1-12} which shall be in the time of Christ's Kingdom on earth, when the Church of God shall be again like a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars {Re 12:1} even when the new Jerusalem shall come down from God, out of Heaven, prepared as a bride, adorned for her husband. {Re 21:1-3}

This cloud is a cloud of testimony; and therefore were those former believers (and martyrs of Jesus) {Heb 11} called a cloud of witnesses. {Heb 12:1} This cloud may also bear some allusion to Christ's transfiguration {Mt 17:2-3} or rather to his ascension. {Ac 1:9-11} For the spirit of life from God entering into them, did not only transform them more and more into the image of Christ, but did also raise them into an higher and more heavenly frame of spirit, than they had attained unto before they were killed; in which respect they are said to stand upon their feet, as is prophesied the people of the Jews shall, at the time of their mystical resurrection Eze 37:3-14 compared with Ro 11:15 Isa 60:2-11.

And their enemies beheld them.

The witnesses enemies are the Roman anti-Christian monarchy; the beast that killed them, mystical-Babylon; the great Whore and her daughters, those harlots, which are false churches; and the false prophet, those priests, Jesuits, false teachers, seducers, and all those adversaries, that rejoiced at the death of the witnesses, and made merry, and sent gifts one to another. {Re 11:10} Those enemies shall behold with amazement, fear, and horror, these two prophetical witnesses, when they shall ascend up to Heaven; that is, when they shall be honoured, exalted, and dignified in the glorious state of the Church of God on earth.

Re 11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

This verse contains the concomitant effects of the witnesses' ascension.

And the same hour (that is, at the same time) there was a great earthquake,

viz. great commotions, overturnings, and terrible shakings of nations, in the kingdom of the beast. {Mt 24:6-7 Re 11:19,16:18}

And the tenth part of the city fell

This city is that city {Re 11:8 16:19} mystical Babylon; that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth. {Re 17:18} And the tenth part of that great city is one of the ten kingdoms, whose kings have formerly given their power, and strength, and kingdom unto the beast, {Re 17:13-17} till the words of God shall be fulfilled: which (most probably) is the Kingdom of England; which will then certainly fall; that is, either fall off totally and finally from mystical Babylon, the Pope and Church of Rome; or else fall, that is to say, it will be utterly ruined and destroyed for adhering to, partaking with and subjecting under the anti-Christian yoke, power, and dominion of the beast and whore of Rome. For when the Lord shall glorify the house of his glory {Isa 60:7} then that nation and kingdom that will not serve him shall perish, and be utterly wasted. {Isa 60:12} But my opinion is, that England, Scotland, and Ireland will then fall off totally and finally from the Pope, and Church of Rome; And that the King will join with those other kings of the earth, that then shall hate the whore (mystical Babylon) and make her desolate, and naked; and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire {Re 17:16} as God hath revealed and declared they shall do.

This verse contains the concomitant effects of the witnesses' ascension.

And the same hour (that is, at the same time) there was a great earthquake,

viz. great commotions, overturnings, and terrible shakings of nations, in the kingdom of the beast. {Mt 24:6-7 Re 11:19,16:18}

And the tenth part of the city fell

This city is that city {Re 11:8 16:19} mystical Babylon; that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth. {Re 17:18} And the tenth part of that great city is one of the ten kingdoms, whose kings have formerly given their power, and strength, and kingdom unto the beast, {Re 17:13-17} till the words of God shall be fulfilled: which (most probably) is the Kingdom of England; which will then certainly fall; that is, either fall off totally and finally from mystical Babylon, the Pope and Church of Rome; or else fall, that is to say, it will be utterly ruined and destroyed for adhering to, partaking with and subjecting under the anti-Christian yoke, power, and dominion of the beast and whore of Rome. For when the Lord shall glorify the house of his glory {Isa 60:7} then that nation and kingdom that will not serve him shall perish, and be utterly wasted. {Isa 60:12} But my opinion is, that England, Scotland, and Ireland will then fall off totally and finally from the Pope, and Church of Rome; And that the King will join with those other kings of the earth, that then shall hate the whore (mystical Babylon) and make her desolate, and naked; and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire {Re 17:16} as God hath revealed and declared they shall do.

And in the earthquake were slain seven thousand names of men:

onomata anyrwpwn that is, a great number of Roman grandees, renowned papists, cardinals, prelates and romish clergy men, popish bishops, priests, etc.

And the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

The remnant, that is, the rest of the men of name, which were not killed in this earthquake, were affrighted; that is, amazed, and converted from popery, to the glory of God.

Re 11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

When this

second woe (which was to happen to the inhabiters of the earth) {Re 8:13} is past

then we are to come to the period of the second principal vision, to with, of the seven trumpets, whereof six have been sounded by their respective angels; and the seventh angel is ready to sound: whereupon quickly followeth the third woe.

Behold the third woe cometh, tacu, quickly. That is, without any delay {Mt 5:25} without any intermission of time {Mt 28:7} even as soon as the second woe is past, behold the third woe cometh speedily, suddenly and quickly. This third woe trumpet must be sounded by the seventh angel. The fifth angel sounded, and one woe passed. {Re 9:1-12} The sixth angel sounded, and the second woe passed. {Re 9:13,11:14} And when the seventh angel begins to sound there shall be time no longer (as Christ hath sworn) {Re 10:5-7} unto the Roman anti-Christian beast, for then the forty two months of his reigning power {Re 13:1-5} will be expired; then the thousand two hundred and three score prophetical days of Christ sackcloth witnesses {Re 11:3} will be fully ended, and then the kingdoms of this world will successfully, one after another, become the Kingdom of Christ, as here followeth in Re 11:15; and then this third woe follows immediately, which containeth the third principal vision, to wit, the seven vials of the wrath of God, which are the seven last plagues, that are to be poured forth upon the Roman anti-Christian kingdom, mystical Babylon, the beast, the whore, and the false prophet. {Re 14:8-11 15:1-7 16:1-10 18:2,8,21}

Now, although I have a very honourable esteem for those godly and learned expositors of this Book of the Revelation, who have declared their judgments, and some reasons thereof; viz. that several of those seven vials have been poured out upon mystical Babylon, and upon the kingdom of the beast; yet, notwithstanding all that they have said, I do humbly confess, that I am not of their minds, but do rather think, that none of those seven vials are yet poured out. And the scripture grounds, which I humbly submit to the judgment of the judicious reader, for my opinion in this matter, are, first, because the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in Heaven, is not yet opened; out of which temple the seven angels must come, who are to pour out those seven vials of the wrath of God. {Re 15:5-7} The opening of the temple, is the restoring the Church of God on earth unto its apostolical constitutions, and primitive purity of worship, and spiritual gifts, and unto Christ's ecclesiastical government, which is not yet done.

Secondly, because the second woe is not yet past; and therefore the third woe (which is the seven vials of the wrath of God, as hath been fully proved) is not yet come. {Re 11:14} That the second woe is not yet past, is evident; for Christ's prophetical witnesses are not ascended, nor the seven thousand men of name are not yet slain by the earthquake.

Thirdly, because the seventh angel hath not yet begun to sound. {Re 11:15} For then, and not till then, those vials of Gods wrath and last plagues are to be poured forth one after another, as is revealed in the whole 16th chapter of this prophecy. As the seventh seal ushered in the seven trumpets {Re 8:1-6} so the seventh angel sounding, ushers in the seven vials, and brings in the dispensation of the Kingdom of Christ (which is not yet come) and the opening of the Temple of God in Heaven (which is not yet done). {Re 11:15-19} And out of the temple shall come the seven angels, having those seven last plagues. {Re 15:5-7} And after all these things (then, and not till then) the seven angels are commanded by a great voice from heaven, saying to them, go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. {Re 16:1,2}

Fourth, because these last plagues come upon mystical Babylon in one day, death, and mourning and famine; and she shall be utterly burnt with fire: For strong is the Lord that judgeth her. (Compare Re 17:1-16 with Re 18:2,5,8,21). And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all; kai ou mh eureyh eti and shall not be found thenceforth, after that, at all. A great millstone cast into the sea, doth not, cannot sometimes sink and sometimes swim; but always sinks even to the bottom, and never swims, no, never riseth again at all: So, whensoever mystical Babylon is once cast down and fallen, by the pouring out those vials of Gods last plagues upon her, she shall never, no never rise more, but be made utterly desolate for evermore. {Re 18:8,10,21}

Re 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

In this verse, and the verses following, to the end of this chapter, are contained, first, a publication of glad tidings, by a great voice from heaven upon the seventh angel's beginning to sound,

Saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.

Secondly, a doxology and thanksgiving unto Christ by the twenty four elders, for taking unto him his great power, and setting up his kingly government. {Re 11:16,17} Thirdly, the effects of God's setting up Christ's Kingdom on earth. {Re 11:18} And the nations were angry. The heathen rage; the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his Christ {Ps 2:1-3} etc. XXXX LXX XXXX Amplified, first, by the wrath of Christ, against his and his people enemies, unto their destruction {Re 11:18} and thy wrath is come. Secondly, the time of the dead, that they should be judged, all the saints rewarded, and the wicked destroyed. {Re 11:18} Thirdly, and the temple of God opened. {Re 11:19} And the ark of his covenant seen in his temple: whence proceedeth a dreadful and terrible tempest of lightnings, thunders and voices. {Re 11:19}

And the seventh angel sounded.

This seventh angel is the angel that is to sound the third woe trumpet {Re 8:13} which third woe will come quickly after the second woe is past; to wit, the seven vials full of the seven last plagues. {Re 21:9} For in them is filled up the wrath of God {Re 15:1} to be poured out without mixture (of any mercy) into the cup of his indignation; which wine of the wrath of God, mystical Babylon, and every one that (then) shall worship the beast, and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, shall drink, and shall be tormented forever and ever. {Re 14:8,9,10,11 Re 16:10-19 Re 18:2,8,21}

As it was dangerous to worship the beast or his image when HE was rising; so it will be damnable to worship him or his image, when HE is falling. {Re 18:2-8,9,10-17,18,19 Re 19:19-21 Re 14:8-11}

And there were great voices in heaven, saying

This public declaration of the glad tidings, our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to his servant John, by way of anticipation for the comfort of his churches, ministers, and saints. {Re 17:1 21:9} By voices from heaven is meant his ministering spirits sent forth by Christ to minister for them, who shall be heirs of salvation {Heb 1:14} so that the doctrine of Christ's Kingdom hath heaven's authority for it, touching which, here are two principal things asserted by these voices from heaven; viz. two heavenly truths. First, that the kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdom of Christ. Secondly, that HE shall reign forever and ever.

The kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ.

Are, that is, shall be, when the seventh angel soundeth; as {Re 14:8 18:2} Babylon is fallen, that is, shall fall when God judgeth her. {Re 18:8} By the kingdom of this world we may understand, first, the Kingdom of David {Lu 1:30-33} to wit, Judah, and Israel. {Mic 4:8} And thou O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the Daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, EVEN THE FIRST DOMINION. The Kingdom shall come to the daughters of Jerusalem {Mic 4:7} and the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion, from henceforth even forever. Read Zec 12:7. Secondly, the kingdoms of the Roman Caesars, which the fourth monarchy {Da 2:40-44} And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed, etc., that is, the fifth monarchy; viz. the Kingdom of Christ. Lastly, all the kingdoms on the earth {Da 7:13-14} And there was given unto him dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages, should serve him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his Kingdom, that which shall not be destroyed {Zec 14:9} And the Lord shall be King over all the earth: In that day (viz. one day known to JEHOVAH) {Zec 14:7} shall there be one Lord, and his name one {Ps 2:6-8} and. {Da 7:27} These prophecies have not yet been fulfilled, but they shall be fulfilled to a tittle. {Mt 5:17,18}

The kingdoms of this world shall become the Kingdom of Christ.

First, by preaching the gospel of the kingdom in all the world, for a witness to all nations. {Mt 24:14-30 Re 14:6,7-14} Secondly, by pouring out the spirit upon all flesh. {Joe 2:28,29} By which dispensation of grace, the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. {Hab 2:14} And in his temple (when that is opened) {Re 15:5} shall every one speak of his Glory {Ps 29:9,10} The Lord sitteth King forever. And then will the saints bless him. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power, to make known to the sons of men -the glorious majesty of his Kingdom. {Ps 145:1-13} Thirdly, by breaking the kingdoms of this world to pieces {Da 2:34,35-44} Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands. It shall break in pieces, and consume all these kingdoms, etc. And that after this manner; viz. first, God will make Jerusalem (that is, his church and people) a burdensome stone for all people; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces. {Zec 12:3} Secondly, the beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies, will fall upon the chief cornerstone (which God hath laid in Zion) {1Pe 2:6} namely, Jesus Christ {Eph 2:20-21} And afterwards that stone will fall upon them, by whom they shall be broken in pieces, and grinded to powder. Read and compare those scriptures for proof hereof. {Mt 21:42,43,44 Re 17:13,14-17 Re 19:19-21 Mt 21:42-44} Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. Thirdly, the Lord Jesus Christ will then put down all rule, and all authority, and power (that are enemies to his kingdom and kingly power) for he must reign till he have put all enemies under his feet (1Co 15:24,25 and Lu 19:27 and Isa 60:12). Therefore King David prophesying of those kings of the earth, and rulers, that take counsel together against the Lord, and his Christ {Ps 2:2,3} doth thus exhort them {Ps 2:10-12} Be wise now therefore, O ye Kings, be instructed, ye Judges of the earth: -Kiss the SON, least HE be angry, and ye perish, etc.

Re 11:16-17 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, 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.

These two verses contain a doxology and thanksgiving to God (for the glad tidings of the Kingdom of Christ declared from heaven) by

the four and twenty elders which sat before God on their seats;

They worshipped God with thanksgiving, etc. {Re 11:16} By these four and twenty elders which alludeth to the four and twenty orders of the sons of Aaron, who were Governors of the House of God {1Ch 24:1-18,19} we are to understand the faithful ministers of Christ, who are also called elders {Ac 20:17-28 1Ti 5:17} and have the rule and government over the members of the church. {Heb 13:7-17} In their thanksgiving, we have, first, the object of praises,

O Lord, the God, the Almighty, kurie o yeov o pantokratwr which art, and wast, and art to come.

Secondly, the matter of their thanksgiving; that for which they give thanks to God:

because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

By the

Lord, the God, the Almighty,

here we are to understand the Lord JESUS CHRIST, for he is called JEHOVAH, our Righteousness. {Jer 23:6} The true God {1Jo 5:20} which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. {Re 1:5-8} This great power, is all power in heaven, and on earth. {Mt 28:18} By Christ his taking this great power to himself, we are to understand the execution of Christ's Kingly power on earth; therefore it followeth,

And hast reigned.

Though the Lord Jesus Christ had this great power given him of his Father before {Mt 28:18} yet he hath suffered other Lords to have dominion over his people. As God suffered the kings of the nations to have dominion over his people Israel of old. {Ne 9:36,37} So the Lord Jesus Christ hath suffered the princes of the gentiles to exercise dominion over his saints. {Mt 20:25} The saints at Rome {Ro 13:1-7} also the saints scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, and other gentile countries, were exhorted to submit themselves to their kingly government. {1Pe 2:13-17} For so is the will of God. {1Pe 2:15} But the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of the Kings of the earth, {Re 1:5} will in his time shew himself to be the only Potentate. {1Ti 6:13-15} by taking unto himself his great power, and reigning on earth and Christ will then put down all rule, and all authority, and power, that are his enemies {1Co 15:4,25} for HE must reign till he hath put all his enemies under his feet.

Re 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

The effect of Christ's execution of his kingly power and government, as King of Nations, whom they should fear {Jer 10:7-10} is as here followeth,

The nations were angry.

Or as David prophetically expounds it. {Ps 2:1-3} The heathen rage, the kings of the earth (who from the rise to the ruin of the beast, give their kingdom, their power and strength unto him) {Re 17:13-17} set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. This opposition of the kings, rulers and counsellors, will provoke the Lord to be angry against them, as here followeth.

And thy wrath is come.

So David prophesied {Ps 2:5} Then shall HE speak to them in his wrath, and vex them in his hot displeasure. Such a dispensation was very terrible to the kings, and princes, and captains, and people of the Roman pagan empire {Re 6:15-17} And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains. And said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand? And so will this day of Christ's great indignation be when his wrath shall come upon the kings, the rulers, the counsellors, the captains, and the people of the Roman papal empire, and anti-Christian kingdoms of this world {Re 17:15} And he saith unto me, the waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And. {Re 16:11-21} The effect of Christ's wrath will be their utter destruction, as here followeth;

And to destroy them that destroy the earth, kai diafyeirai touv diafyeirontav thn ghn and the time of the dead that they should be judged.

This is another effect that will follow upon Christ's coming to set up his kingdom on earth, when He shall take unto himself his kingly power, and hath reigned, till God hath put all his enemies under his feet, then the time will come, when the dead shall be judged, and all the saints shall be rewarded by the Lord Jesus Christ.

The dead that are to be judged in contradistinction to the saints, that are to be rewarded, are all persons without Christ (when He comes to judgement;) whether they be then living in their sins (and yet dead in trespasses and sins) {Eph 2:1,5,11,12} or dead for their sins, dying without Christ. For Christ shall judge the quick and the dead, at his appearing, and his kingdom. {2Ti 4:1}

And that thou shouldest give the reward, etc.

Re 22:12 And behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me; to give every man according to his work shall be. Read those scriptures, Ro 2:6,7-10 1Co 3:8 Mt 16:27.

Unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great.

Re 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

And the temple of God was opened in heaven.

This temple is not New Jerusalem, which is still above, the mother of us all {Ga 4:26} And shall come down from God out of heaven. {Re 21:2} For in that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. {Re 21:9-11} St. John saw no temple therein; for the Lord, the God, the Almighty is the temple of it, even the Lamb. {Re 21:22} o yeov; pantokratwr, naov authv authv; kai to arnion But this temple is that which St. John was commanded to measure, verse 1 of this chapter, {Re 11:1} viz. the true, visible, constituted, organized churches of saints in the apostles days (whereof see more in our exposition on the first verse of this chapter) See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:1" which are called the Temple of God {Eph 2:20-22 2Co 6:14-18 Re 7:5-15 Re 15:5} And after that I looked, and behold the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened;

And there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament

This ark bears some allusion unto that ark in the temple of God's tabernacle called the sanctuary. {Ex 25:1-22} And in the temple of the house of the Lord, which Solomon built. {2Ch 5:1-10} There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. Compare 2Ch 5:13-14 with Re 15:5-8 wherein you have the full allusion.

By the ark of his testament we are to understand Christ, in whom is safely laid up the new covenant of grace; or the testament of the gospel; for all the promises of God in him are Yea, and in him, Amen. {2Co 1:20}

And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail

By these metaphorical expressions, are signified the ruins and destructions of all those nations, kingdoms, potentates, powers, kings, princes and people, that oppose the Church of God, and the Kingdom of Christ on earth in that day {Da 2:44} And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces, and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever {Isa 60:7-12} For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee, shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. {Ps 18:13-14} The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the highest gave his voice, hailstones and coals of fire: Yea, he sent out his arrows and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomforted them; especially the righteous judgments and plagues of God upon mystical Babylon in that day of her desolation. Compare Re 16:18-21 with Re 18:2-21. Lastly, by the voices here we are to understand those alleluia's expressed {Re 19:1-9} and after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, alleluia; salvation, and glory, and honour, and power unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, alleluia. And her smoke rose up forever and ever. -And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. All which things will be more fully manifested in our exposition of the sixteenth chapter of this Book of the Revelation. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 16:1" ff

Re 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

This woman is the true visible constituted Church of God under the gospel, in the apostles days called a woman, in opposition unto the apostate Church of Rome, called the great Whore, and the mother of harlots; that is, of all false churches. {Re 17:1-18} The Church of God (his Jerusalem) is resembled by a fair and delicate woman. {Jer 6:2}

A woman clothed with the sun.

That is, covered with the robe of Christ's righteousness; and clothed with the garments of his salvation, {Isa 61:10} called the perfection of beauty, {Ps 50:2} she is all glorious within. {Ps 45:13} The spiritual beauty of the primitive church under the gospel in the apostles days, and also in the latter days consisteth, First, in her head, the Lord of Glory, the Sun of Righteousness, {Mal 4:2} her crown and diadem of beauty. {Isa 28:5 Isa 62:2-4 Isa 60:1-2} Secondly, in her spiritual gifts, {1Co 12:4-8} and fruits of the spirit. {Ga 5:22-23} Thirdly, in all her spiritual administrations, and sacred gospel ordinances of Jesus Christ.

And the moon under her feet.

By the moon we may understand all sublunary things, as earthly honours, dignities, riches, and all the enticements and allurements of this world, and all the threatnings and tortures thereof; all these were under her feet. The church was faithful to Christ, as well as fair, {2Co 11:2} a chaste woman, who would not be enticed to commit fornication with the kings of the earth (as mystical Babylon did.) {Re 17:1,2}

And upon her head a crown of twelve stars;

which are the faithful ministers of Christ in his Churches of Saints. See Re 1:20. Who are the churches crown in subordination unto Christ, her principal crown and King of Glory; for the Church of God under the gospel, is builded upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone. {Eph 2:20-22 Re 21:9-14}

Re 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

Here followeth a metaphorical description of the churches fruitfulness.

And she being with child,

the church her fruitfulness was testified by the prophets. {Ps 87:5-7 Isa 54:1-5 Isa 66:6-10} The first fruits of the church, her travailing in the new birth, were those many converts begotten to God by the preaching of the gospel, {Ac 2:41-47 1Co 4:15 Ga 4:19} "My little children of whom I travail in birth again, until Christ be formed in you". So when Zion travailed, she brought forth. {Isa 66:8} This comely and beautiful woman, the church of the first born being in travail, was in such pain to be delivered, that she cried out; such, and so great was her persecution under the Dragon, that attempted to destroy her new born children; the true and faithful believers. {1Th 2:13-16 2Th 1:3-4 Heb 11:36-37}

Re 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

By the

great red dragon

here, we may understand that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, (Re 16:13-14 and Re 20:2) and metaphorically, the Roman pagan emperors, who bare the dragon in their standards or colors: The fourth beast, or fourth kingdom, {Da 7:19-23} that is, the fourth kingdom or monarchy. A great dragon for the greatness of the Roman Caesars dominion; and a red dragon for the bloody persecutions of the Christians, who are the woman's seed, the church her children.

This Roman pagan dragon is further described by his seven heads, that is several kinds of government under the Roman Caesars. {Re 17:9-10} See the exposition. See KNOLLYS on "Re 17:9"

And his ten horns;

that is, ten kings. See the exposition of Chapter 17, verse 12,14 See KNOLLYS on "Rev 17:12"

See KNOLLYS on "Rev 17:14" They were ten provincial rulers or governors, until the Roman papal beast arose out of the sea of troubles, and then they got a kingly power one hour with the beast, and became ten kingdoms. {Re 13:1 Re 17:12}

And seven crowns upon his heads,

(not upon his ten horns.) The Roman pagan senate were the crown; that is, exercised rule and dominion, they were the dragons heads during the Roman pagan Caesars; Socrat. Hist. Lib. 1. Cap. 2. and Eusebius Eccles. Hist. Lib. 8 Cap. 2 See Prideaux Introduct. period 4th. page 207 and our exposition, chapter 17 verse 9-14. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 17:9".

Re 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

By the dragon's tail, we may understand his political and his ecclesiastical power. See Re 9:10-19. Read the exposition Job 40:15-17 and Isa 7:4-6.

By

the stars of heaven

we are to understand some false teachers, and apostate ministers, in those times, which were prophesied of, {2Pe 2:1-3} and the apostle Paul did not marvel at it. {2Co 11:13-15}

And did cast them to the earth;

that is, the dragon drew them from their heavenly state in the true church, and threw them down into the earthly state of a false church; viz. from the pure worship of the only true God, to worship idols of wood and stone.

And the dragon stood before the woman, -to devour her child as soon as it was born.

By the child we may understand the spiritual seed of the woman; that is, Christ, and all the Christians; so did Herod, {Mt 2:16} with Mt 27:26-37 and Pilate: And so did the Roman pagan Caesars, and their governors endeavour to kill all the Christians, Euseb. Lib. 6 Cap. 4 by their bloody persecutions for the space of three hundred years and more, from Tiberius to Dioclesian.

Re 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

The man child brought forth was Christ, and his saints, the spiritual seed of this mystical woman, the church of the firstborn written in heaven, {Heb 12:22-23} the Jerusalem, that is above, which is the mother of us all. {Ga 4:26} This child was prophesied of. {Ps 2:6-10} And also her spiritual seed, the saints. {Re 12:16-17} Christ and his saints shall have the dominion over the nations, Da 7:27-28 and {Re 11:15} Eusebius de vita Constantini, Lib. 1 pag. 22. 43-46-51. Socrates Lib. 1 Cap. 1 and other historians tell us, that Constantius Clorus, a Christian emperor, died at York, and left the government of the Roman Empire unto his son Constantine the Great, whom he had by his first wife Helena, a British lady, who also embraced the Christian religion, and settled it in the whole Empire, Euseb. Lib. Cap. 11. 15-19 And some expositors upon this chapter say, Constantine the Great was the man child, who ruled the nations, and brake the heathen rulers and their idols in pieces, as it were a potters vessel with an iron rod.

And her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

So was Christ. {Ac 1:9-10} So are his saints. {Joh 14:1-3} And doubtless so was Constantine at his death, having reigned about thirty years, etc.

Re 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

The time of Christ's two witnesses, prophesying if sackcloth, and the time of the woman's being in the wilderness, is the same,

a thousand two hundred and threescore prophetical days;

each day for a year. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:3" So by the wilderness here, we may understand the persecuted condition of the church of God, and his ministers, under the Roman Papal powers, the beast, the whore, and the false prophet, unto the day of the resurrection of the two witnesses, {Re 11:11-15} see the exposition thereof. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:11"

Where she hath a place prepared of God.

God takes care of his church: He prepared; that is, provided a place where his ministers

should feed her a thousand two hundred and threescore days,

each day for a year, as before. Read Nu 14:34 and Eze 4:6 (See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:3") The knowledge of the end of these

thousand two hundred and threescore

years of the witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, and of the woman being in the wilderness, is much desired by the people of God, especially at this time. And therefore I am willing to show my opinion thereof upon scripture grounds.

Now to find out the end of these

a thousand two hundred and threescore days,

let us consider, first, that the Lord gave his holy prophets to number years by days, {Eze 4:4-6} each day for a year. And times by years. {Da 4:16,25,32} Seven times for seven years. So {Re 11:11} three days and an half are three years and an half; and {Re 12:14} the time, and times, and half a time, are three years and an half. And upon these scripture grounds, we may certainly conclude, that as the three days and an half are the ending time of the witnesses

thousand two hundred and threescore days,

so the time, times, and an half, are the last three years and an half of her thousand two hundred and threescore days.

Consider, secondly, that the three days and an half (which are the ending time of the witnesses a thousand two hundred and threescore days,) are expressly said to be between their being killed and their rising again. {Re 11:7-11} See the exposition thereof. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:7" And therefore, when we see the witnesses of Christ, his churches, and his ministers killed by the beast, we may certainly conclude, that the ending time of their thousand two hundred and threescore days, are come and begun.

Consider, thirdly, Christ told his servant John, that after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into the witnesses, and they prophesied again, {Re 11:11} before Kings, and bare their testimony again for Jesus Christ, as King of Saints, {Re 15:3} King of Zion, {Ps 149:1-2} and King of Nations, {Jer 10:7} King of Kings, the only potentate, {1Ti 6:15} King of all the earth, {Zec 14:9} And therefore, when we see the mystical resurrection of the witnesses, and hear them prophesy again, and bear their testimony publicly for Christ, his magistracy, ministry, churches, ordinances, worship, discipline and government, against antichrist, his magistracy, ministry, churches, ordinances, worship, discipline and government; we may certainly conclude, that the end of the thousand two hundred and threescore days is fully come. {Re 11:12-15}

Re 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

By heaven here, we may understand the Roman Empire, the dragon's kingdom, where John saw the great red dragon. {Re 12:3} By war here, is meant those mystical battles mentioned, Verse 7, 13th, and 17th of this chapter. {Re 12:7,13,17} Whereof, this first combat was between

Michael and his angels, and the dragon and his angels.

The Roman pagan empire was the seat of this war; Michael and his angels, that is, Christ the captain general of our salvation. {Heb 2:10} The Christian emperors (especially Constantine the Great) were his Lieutenant-generals; the Christian kings and governors were his angels; that is, his commissioned officers; the laws and decrees of the Christian emperors, against idols, and idolatrous worship was their commission.

The dragon and his angels;

that is, the devil. The heathen emperors by their laws and decrees against the Christians, gave commission to their commanders and officers, the anti-Christian kings, governors, and armies, to kill and destroy the Christians. {Da 7:21-28}

Re 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

Here followeth the issue of this set battle.

And prevailed not;

that is, the heathen emperors were overcome, and their thrones cast down;

Neither was their place found any more in heaven;

that is, the Roman pagan empire, called heaven, the dragon's heaven. Read the exposition of chapter 6 verses 12-17. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 6:12" ff

Re 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

The great dragon

is here called the devil; that is, the grand accuser,

that old serpent

who beguiled Eve by his subtilties, {2Co 11:2-3}

and Satan;

that is, the Christians grand adversary, which deceiveth the whole pagan and papal world, even all those that have not their names written in the Lambs book of life, {Re 13:8}

And his angels were cast out with him;

namely, the Roman pagan emperors, kings, priests, were put out of their places of dignity and authority.

Re 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

The voice that the apostle John, the servant of Jesus Christ, heard in heaven, was the joyful praises and thanksgiving of the faithful ministers and people in the churches of saints. The matter of their praise was, first,

salvation

which God wrought for them. Secondly, the strength and power which God raised up for their defence against the tyranny of the Roman pagan emperors, by Constantine the Great: And thirdly,

The kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ;

that is, the establishment of both political and ecclesiastical government, according to the laws of God, and the constitutions of our Lord Jesus Christ. Fourthly,

The accuser of our brethren is cast down,

that is, the old serpent called the devil and Satan, the grand accuser of the saints.

Re 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Here is recorded the saints victory over the devil and the dragon, and all their enemies; first,

by the blood of the lamb;

that is, by the power and efficacy of the sufferings and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the virtual application of his precious blood. Secondly,

by the word of their testimony,

which did convince many adversaries, convert some sinners, and did strengthen the faith and courage of very many weak Christians, as the best historians do testify.

And they loved not their lives unto the death.

They esteemed nothing too much, too great, or too good to lose for Christ; they took the spoiling of their goods joyfully; they being tortured, would not accept deliverance, hoping for a better resurrection, as those primitive believers did. {Heb 11:35-37} They were willing to lose all, forsake all, and deny all estates, liberties, relations, and lives, for Christ and the gospel, the Christian and protestant religion, and for the true worship of God, and ordinances of Jesus Christ.

Re 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

By

heavens,

we are to understand the churches of God.

And ye that dwell in them;

that is, the ministers and members of Christ, who are here called to rejoice, that Jesus Christ and his angels had conquered the great red dragon and his angels.

Woe to the inhabiters of the earth, and of the sea;

as before, Re 8:13.

For the devil is come down to you.

By the inhabiters of the earth, we may understand the Roman political governors and people. And by the inhabiters of the sea we may understand the Roman ecclesiastical governors and people. And by both joined together, we may understand those two beasts, {Re 13:1-11} that is, if rightly interpreted, the Roman poli-ecclesiastic state; namely, mystery Babylon, the whole complex body of the Roman papal kingdom, called the beast, the whore, and the false prophet; with the kings of the earth, who give their power, that is, their civil authority; and their strength, that is, their armies of militia, and their kingdom to the beast, till the words of God be fulfilled, {Re 17:13-17} see the exposition thereof. See KNOLLYS on ``Rev 17:13'' ff

Having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time;

that is, a limited time; viz. One thousand two hundred and threescore days, or forty two months, {Re 13:5} see the exposition. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:5"

Re 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

By the woman, here we are to understand the church, so described Re 12:1,2 see the exposition. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 12:1" Called the woman; that fled into the wilderness. {Re 12:6} This was the Arian persecution, against the orthodox bishops, ministers, and churches, after the death of Constantine the Great; as Socrates, Eusebius, and other ecclesiastical historians do testify.

Re 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

By the

two wings of a great eagle

we may understand the means of the churchs preservation by Arcadius and Honorius, the two sons of Theodosisus, between who the Roman Empire was divided. It may bear some allusion unto God's preservation of his church in the days of her wilderness condition, (De 32:11-12 and Ex 19:4). Ye have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles wings, etc.

Where she was nourished for a time and times, and half a time;

that is, three prophetical days and an half. {Da 7:25} Read Ho 6:1-3 Re 11:11. And there she was fed by the ministers of Christ, and was preserved and hid

from the face of the serpent,

by God's divine Providence.

Re 12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

This flood of waters was those heresies, superstitions, and idolatrous worship which were taught and practised by by Heterodox, bishops and false teachers, who brought in damnable heresies, {2Pe 2:1-3} will worship, and the doctrine of devils. {1Ti 4:1-3}

That he might cause her to be carried away of the flood,

and so corrupted and destroyed. The mouth of the serpent, are the false apostles and ministers of the devil. {2Co 11:13-16}

Re 12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

By earth here we are to understand those apostate churches, ministers, and professors that submitted to the Arian and Pelagian heresies, and damnable doctrines of devils, before mentioned, and thereby swallowed up the serpents flood, which he cast out of his mouth, by his false prophets and teachers. And so the rage and wrath of the old serpent was allayed for a season; but brake forth again into an open and violent persecution: As appears by the next verse.

Re 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Here we have the last part of the dragon's mystical war described, first, by the continued wrath of the serpent;

and the dragon was wroth with the woman.

Secondly, by the effect of his wrath; He designed another mystical war,

with the remnant of her seed. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:7". The woman's seed is called a remnant: For, first, they remained sound in the faith, when others apostatized and departed from the faith. {1Ti 4:1-3} Secondly, they were but a few; that is, the sealed ones, Chapter 7 {Re 7} in comparison of them that worshipped the beast, and had not the seal of God in their foreheads. {Re 13:7-9} This remnant kept the commandments of God, when others taught for doctrines the commandments of men. {Mt 15:7-8}

And have the testimony of Jesus Christ,

which is the spirit of prophecy. {Re 19:10} Christ's two prophets, called his witnesses. {Re 11:3-7} See the exposition. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:3" ff

Re 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

By sea here, we may understand some very great confluence of people, and nations. {Re 17:15} Learned Meade in his comment upon {Re 8} faith, that Alaricus, with an huge host of Goths, and other barbarians, Alans, Huns, etc., invaded the Roman empire, both east and west, pages 71-74. And Hierom Epist. 11 testified that innumerable and most cruel Barbarians invaded France, Spain, and Germany, Mentz and Rome itself. See Clavis Apoc. a German author, page 127. Mr. Archer in his personal reign of Christ.

By the beast here, we may understand the beast of the eighth head, Re 17:11 -See KNOLLYS on "Rev 17:11" the popedom of Rome papal, with his ten crowned horns; horns, which Mr. Meade faith, are, first, the Britans; Secondly, the Saxons; Thirdly, the Franks; Fourthly, the Burgundians; Fifthly, the Wisigothes; Sixthly, the Swedes; Seventhly, the Vandals; Eighthly, the Alemans; Ninthly, the Ostrogoths; Tenthly, the Grecians. These were ten Roman provinces, who received power as kings one hour with the beast. {Re 17:12} See the expositon thereof. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 17:12" The seven heads had the crowns, {Re 12:3}

And upon his heads the name of blasphemy

that is, they were all seven idolaters, see {Re 7:10} who worshipped idols of stone, wood, etc., historians differ about the exact year of the beasts rising, but most probable it was between 410 and 428 which will appear before 1688 be fully ended.

Re 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Here we have the description of the beast which rose out of the sea.

First,

like unto a leopard

the leopard is a swift creature, {Hab 1:8} and a beast of prey, {Jer 5:6} and so is this beast of the seventh and eighth head, {Re 17:10-11} see the exposition thereof. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 17:10"

Secondly,

his feet were as the feet of a bear

rending and tearing in pieces all that he takes for his prey. {Da 7:19-23} Thirdly,

and his mouth as the mouth of a lion

which is the strongest and most devouring beast of prey. So are the Popes in the exercise of their anti-Christian power and dominion over all in their kingdom.

And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

By the dragon, we are to understand that old serpent, called the devil and Satan, Re 12:9 and Re 20:2. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 20:2" The throne of the beast, is the kingdom of the world, especially the ten crowned kingdoms before mentioned, whereof Great Britain is first, and shall be the last. The power of the beast, is his poli-ecclesiastical jurisdiction in all causes, and over all persons, civil, military, maritime, and ecclesiastical; and therefore, here called

great authority,

Re 13:4 Who is like unto the beast, who is able to make war with him? The Roman pagan

power, and great authority,

was ordained of God, {Ro 13:1-3} etc., but the Roman papal

power, and seat, and great authority

is of the devil, the dragon.

Re 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

This was the Roman papal head, the Pope, who is the eighth head, and is of the seven, as {Re 17:10-11} The beast that John saw rise out of the sea, had seven heads and ten horns as well as the dragon, only the principal distinction between them is this, the dragons heads were crowned, and the beasts horns were crowned, (as hath been shewed in the exposition of chapter 12, verse 3 See KNOLLYS on "Rev 12:3" and this 13th chapter, verse 1.) See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:1"

By

one of the beasts heads,

we are to understand the last head of the Roman pagan dragon; viz. his seventh head, and the first head of the Roman papal beast, was wounded (as it were) unto death, that is, had a deadly wound given him by the great Barbarian armies, (before mentioned) by whom Rome was sacked, and the Pope of Rome made to fly from thence to Vienna, (as historians testify)

And his deadly wound was healed;

that is, by the beast that came up out of the earth. {Re 13:11,12} See the exposition thereof. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:11" and See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:12"

And all the world wondered after the beast

by the world here, we are to understand all the then inhabiters of the earth, whose names are not written in the lamb's book of life. {Re 13:8} By

wondering after the beast,

we may understand their admiring of him, as {Re 13:4} And they worshipped the beast, saying, who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And their adoring of him above all that is called God, or that is worshipped. {2Th 2:4}

Re 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

This worship of the dragon, and of the beast, was an idolatrous and superstitious worship, which is accounted a worshipping of the devil. {1Co 10:20-22} As the gentiles worshipping idols, and images, is called worshipping the devil. {Re 9:20 see the exposition.} See KNOLLYS on "Rev 9:20" So the papists worshipping images, crosses, crucifixes, saints deceased, the image of the Virgin Mary, altars, etc., is worshipping the devil. Also the great adoration that the Papists give unto the Pope himself, and to his decrees, etc., is (not a dive, but) a devilish worship. The two following queries have very much idolatrous adoration in them. {Read Ps 35:10 71:19 89:8 113:3-5}

who is able to make war with the beast?

All kings and emperors submitted themselves, their power, strength, and kingdoms, unto the beast, {Re 17:13-17} see the exposition thereof. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 17:13" ff And they that would not, the Popes exercised their ecclesiastical power in excommunicating them, and their political power to depose them; Pope Innocentius excommunicated all the eastern churches, and deposed Arcadius.

Re 13:5-6 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

This

mouth speaking great things

was like that mouth of the little horn. {Da 7:24-25} The great things which the beasts mouth spake, are his blasphemies against God, as {2Th 2:4}

and his tabernacle

that is, the churches of God.

And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months

that is, a thousand two hundred and sixty prophetical days. See the exposition, {Re 11:2-7} See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:2" ff and Re 12:6. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 12:6"

Re 13:7-8 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

God permitted the devil, who gave the beast his seat, that is, his throne and power, to stir him up

to make war with the saints

that is, the woman and her seed, Re 12:14-17 especially the two prophetical witnesses of Jesus Christ, Re 11:7 And to overcome them, and kill them. See the exposition thereof. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:7"

And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

The beast's kingdom was greater, and his dominion of farther extent than any of the other seven heads. For all the inhabiters of the earth shall worship this beast;

whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb

(that is, all the non-elect)

slain from the foundation of the world;

that is, ordained and decreed from eternity to be slain. Namely, our Lord Jesus Christ, called the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. {Joh 1:29-36} They are safe, being sealed, {2Ti 2:19} but the non-elect are in danger to be deceived and deluded by false prophets, apostles, and teachers, who are Satan's ministers, {2Co 11:13-15} of whom our Saviour testified, {Mt 24:24-25} and also his apostles. {2Th 2:10-12 2Pe 2:1-4}

Re 13:9-10 If any man have an ear, let him hear. 10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

This exhortation of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, implies two things; first, that the matter we are to hear is of great moment, and ought diligently to be hearkened unto; as Isa 55:3 Ps 8:5-9. Secondly, some men's affected deafness, and indisposition to hear what the Lord speaks by his prophets and messengers unto them. {Zec 7:11-13} That which Christ would have them to hear, is expressed {Re 13:10}

He that leadeth into captivity, shall go into captivity; he that killeth with the sword, must be killed with the sword.

These words contain a commination of the righteous judgments of God relating to mystery Babylon, as was threatened prophetically. {Ps 137:7-9 Isa 33:1-5 Re 18:6-8}

Here is the patience and the faith of the saints;

that is, the exercise and trial of the patience and faith of the saints, (who are sanctified believers) under the persecutions and tribulations, which the beast, the great whore, and the false prophet, will inflict upon them; during the time of forty and two months, that the gentiles, that is, the idolatrous papists shall tread the holy city, that is, the Church of God, under foot; during which time of forty and two months, the beast will exercise his coercive power, in persecuting the saints. {Re 11:2 13:5}

Re 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

The same Roman papal kingdom, is here said to be

another beast

because he is otherwise described: that beast rose out of the sea, and this beast came

up out of the earth.

But as in {Da 7:16-17} Daniel in his vision, saw four beasts come up from the sea, {Da 7:3,17} the same shall arise out of the earth. So here {Re 13:11} is the same beast.

And he had two horns like a Lamb.

This seemeth to be another difference, not real, but in shew; another shape, form, and representation, but yet he was the same beast, though of another head, the beast of the eighth head, with two horns; yet of the seventh head with ten horns.

And he spake as a dragon

his speech betrayeth him to be a devouring beast, and not a Lamb. For though he pretends to be for Christ, the Lamb of God, (as his vicar general,) both in respect of his political and ecclesiastical power, which is his

two horns;

yet he exerciseth both for the dragon, that old serpent called the devil and Satan. {Re 20:2}

Re 13:12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

The beast had his power given him by the dragon, {Re 13:2} here he exerciseth his power; and he spake as a dragon.

And he exercised all the power of the first beast

both political and ecclesiastical; for he made war against the emperors, deposed kings; and his holiness also exercised ecclesiastical power to excommunicate churches, synods, counsels, bishops, kings, and emperors.

And causeth the earth, and them that dwell therein, to worship the first beast.

By the dwellers of the earth, we are to understand those inhabiters of the earth, whose names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life. See Re 13:8

whose deadly wound was healed.

The beast had seven heads; that is, imperial sovereign power and dominion over the earth. And his seventh head had a wound by a sword, {Re 13:14} that is, by the sword of the Barbarians, who waged war against the Roman Empire, did sack and burn Rome, and forced the Pope of Rome to fly to Vienna, as historians testify. This deadly wound was healed, when the Barbarian armies were driven out of Italy, and the Pope returned to Rome again; and was by the Emperor Phocas made universal bishop, and head of the Catholic Church (so called) about the year 426 of Christ, and 666 from the first beginning of the fourth metal kingdom.

Re 13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

Here we have a discovery of Antichrist's grand design, how he made the inhabitants of the earth worship the beast, and make an image of the beast, viz. By working great wonders

in the sight of men;

as Christ and his apostles did miracles and wonders to confirm their doctrine, that the people might believe. {Joh 4:48 Heb 2:4} So Antichrist and his false teachers, the Pope and his false prophets, do wonders to deceive the people, {Mt 24:24 2Pe 2:1-3 2Th 2:9-10} whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.

Re 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

The man of sin, the Antichrist, is a deceiver. {2Jo 7 2Th 2:9-10} And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. That is, those inhabiters of the earth, {Re 8:13} whose names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life, who are worshippers of the beast. {Re 13:8}

Saying to them that dwell on the earth,

that is, requiring and commanding them to

make an image to the beast,

or of the beast, as Re 13:15. What the image to, or of the beast is, the reader may understand in the exposition of the 15th verse See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:15"

which had the wound by a sword and did live.

See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:3" One of his heads was wounded.

Re 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

And he had power;

that is, the beast that had his first rise out of the sea of the troubles of the Roman Empire, and his second rise out of the earth; that is, the inhabiters of the earth, who worshipped the beast, and wondered after him.

To give life unto the image of the beast;

that is, reviving spirit and life,

that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause, etc.

He spake by his edicts, and caused by his coercive power, and tyranny, whereby it was prohibited to those that would not acknowledge the Popes supremacy, to keep house, or kindle a fire, etc. Durham page 561 etc. Decretum Martini in fine Consilii Constantiensis, p. 565.

That as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed;

See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:7" that is, either physically martyred and murdered by shedding their blood, and destroying their lives; or else mystically, as the two witnesses were killed. {Re 11:7-11} See the exposition thereof. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:7" ff

Re 13:16-18 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

In these words we are to observe four particulars. First, the maker of this edict or law.

He causeth;

that is, the beast that hath ten horns, crowned; and two horns like a Lamb; He is the beast of the eighth head, and is of the seven. {Re 17:8-11} See the exposition; See KNOLLYS on "Rev 17:8" ff that is to say, the Roman papal dominion, and especially, the universal head of the Catholic Church, the Bishop of Rome, so declared by the Emperor Phocas, and so acknowledged, to be, by the professed subjection of all the Papists. Secondly, the matter of the edict or law, that the beast doth impose, and compel obedience unto.

He causeth all men to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads;

And also, that they have

the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Thirdly, the persons on whom he imposeth this his edict or law.

He causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.

Fourthly, the penalty to be inflicted upon him that will not submit to that law of the beast

And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

And in the last verse of this chapter, {Re 13:18} we are exhorted to count the number of the beast. And first, we are told, that it is the number of a man, namely, of the man of sin, {2Th 2:3} The son of perdition, who goeth into Perdition. {Re 17:11} The eighth king or kind of government; that is, the Roman papal dominion. Secondly, we are there told, that his number is

six hundred threescore and six.

Thirdly, that he, that would count this number of the beast, must be endued with wisdom and understanding.

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast.

The true exposition of these three verses doth consist in the right interpretation of those three things expressed in the seventeenth verse, which are the mark, the name of the beast, and the number of his name. For these three things have a mutual relation to the beast, and to his image, and to their worshippers; and also one to another. Compare Re 13:15-17 with Re 14:9-11 and seriously consider the exposition of both those scriptures, and the Lord give understanding.

By

the name of the beast,

we are to understand, that by which he is commonly known; that is, his sovereign power and supremacy in all matters, and over all persons, both political and ecclesiastical, as Lord and head of the Catholic Church on earth; and the only potentate, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. For he opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, {2Th 2:4} Shewing himself that he is God. And herein the Pope of Rome is Antichrist, and his poli-ecclesiastic dominion is anti-Christian. For God hath set our Lord Jesus Christ far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named. {Eph 1:20-22 Php 2:9-11}

By the mark received in the right hand and in the forehead, we are to understand the profession of the faith of a Roman Catholic, by and through which he doth acknowledge his subjection, and allegiance to the universal headship of the Pope of Rome. This definition of the mark received in the right hand and in the forehead agreeth, first, omni, to every subject in the beast's kingdom; for he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond to receive a mark. {Re 13:16,17} Though all are not Cardinals, all are not archbishops, all are not Lord Bishops, yet all are Catholics, all agree in this, to profess the universal headship of the Bishop of Rome. This is not a maxime communis. Secondly, the mark agreeth Soli, only to such as are subjects of the beast's kingdom, and to none else. Here is not a maxime propria. Thirdly, the mark agreeth semper, at all times, {Re 16:2 20:4} of the beast's dominion from the beginning to the end of his kingdom. The name of universal headship is that which giveth foundation to the mark or profession, a priori. And the mark or profession is that which declareth the name, or universal headship a posteriori; and therefore it is called caragma tou onomatov autou, the mark of his name. {Re 14:11} And receive the mark of his name. The punishments there threatened shew how great a sin it is against Christ openly to profess subjection to the universal headship of the Pope. It was always dangerous to worship the beast or his image, or receive his mark; but now it will be damnable. {Re 14:9-11} It is the peculiar and incommunicable pre-eminence of our Lord Jesus Christ, to be the only head of the Church of God. {Col 1:18} Therefore what man so ever doth ascribe the universal headship of the church to any but our Lord Jesus Christ, doth (as much as in him lies) dethrone Christ, and put him from his kingly and sovereign dignity, authority and kingdom.

By

the number of the beast

we are to understand the year six hundred threescore and six. {Re 13:18} Some expositors have thought this number to be the finishing or ending time of the beast's kingdom; but they were mistaken; for it was foretold John to be the beginning of time of the beast's universal headship. Now the wisdom given to understand this time and number of the beast, is to make a just account of the time from the beginning of the Roman Kingdom unto the six hundred sixty sixth year thereof; when the Emperor Phocas, by his edict, declared the Bishop of Rome to be the universal head of the church; which was Boniface the third.

The sum of all is this, first, if you consider the papacy as a state or government, persecuting and afflicting the people of God under their dominion, both Jews and gentiles, so it is called the beast. Secondly, if you consider the universal headship (where in the form and essence of that kingdom and dominion doth consist) that is, the name of the beast. Thirdly, if you consider, that universal headship as a representative of that sovereign majesty that was lost in Rome Imperial, and now repaired in Rome Papal, that is the image of the beast. Fourthly, if you consider the public profession of subjection unto the universal headship of the Bishop of Rome, that is the mark of the beast. Fifthly, if you consider the time when this universal headship began visibly and notoriously to appear, to be declared, owned and worshipped, that is the number of the beast. All these are distinct apocalyptical considerations, touching the beast.

Re 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.

After the Apostle John had seen the anti-Christian beast, persecuting the church of God, the woman, and the remnant of her see; he looked what would become of that remnant of God's sealed ones;

And lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is called a Lamb, first, as He was a sacrifice, for the sins of his people. {1Co 5:7 Joh 1:29} See the exposition of chapter 5:6-9. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 5:6" ff By his standing on Mount Sion, is meant Christ's presence with his church, and his kingly power for her protection and preservation, in all generations, {Eph 3:21} that God may have glory by Jesus Christ in his church, typed out here by Mount Sion, for strength, {Ps 125:1-2} and for beauty, {Ps 48:2}

And with him an hundred forty and four thousand.

These were the sealed ones, {chapter Re 7:3,4} so that our Lord Jesus Christ had lost none of all them that the Father had given him. {Joh 6:49}

Having his Fathers name written in their foreheads.

This doth distinguish the followers of the Lamb from the worshippers and followers of the beast. The worshippers of the beast had the mark of the beast in their foreheads; which is an open and visible profession of their subjection and obedience unto the universal headship, government, dominion, laws, and ordinances of the Pope and Church of Rome. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:16" and See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:17" The true worshippers of God, that worship him in spirit and truth, and the followers of the Lamb, our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, have his father's name written in their foreheads; that is an open and visible profession of their subjection and obedience unto the universal headship, rule, authority, government, dominion, laws, and ordinances of God the Father, and of our Lord Jesus Christ. The sealed ones were of the election of God, as 2Ti 2:19. And these written ones were also a remnant of the same election of grace, as Ro 11:5 yet we may observe some things wherein they differ, and are distinguished. First, in time; they were sealed at the beginning of the beast's forty and two months. See Re 7:3-4, etc. These were congregated at the ending time of the witnesses' thousand two hundred and threescore days, when the spirit of life entered into the witnesses. See Re 11:11-15, etc. They were sealed a little before the first trumpet sounded; these were congregated upon the sounding of the seventh trumpet, when it began to sound, see the exposition of chapter 7 verse 3, 4, etc. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 7:3" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 7:4" and chapter 8 verse 7, etc., See KNOLLYS on "Rev 8:7" and chapter 10 verse 7, 11. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 10:7" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 10:11" Secondly, in condition; the sealed ones were in a wilderness condition of sufferings, {Re 12:6} and in a mourning sackcloth state. {Re 11:3-7} The congregated ones were in an overcoming, conquering, and rejoicing condition over the beast, and his image, and over mystery Babylon the great. {Re 18:20 20:4}

Re 14:2-3 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

The saints being now congregated in a general assembly on Mount Sion, and the Lord Jesus Christ with them, as Heb 12:22-24. Their

voice

(that is, their declaration, or testimony) was like the noise of many waters, and a great thunder, loud and terrible; somewhat like the march of Jehosaphat, against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir. Compare 2Ch 20:10-21,22-30 with Ps 83:5-18.

And I heard the voice of harpers, harping with their harps.

This was the voice of praises and thanksgivings to God; these harpers were God's David's, who were prepared to sing in the spirit, {1Co 14:15,16} who being filled with the Holy Spirit, and their harps, that is, their hearts, being in a spiritual frame, they were prepared to sing Hosannas and Hallelujah's, {Eph 5:19-20} as David prophesied the congregated churches of saints in the later days shall do, {Ps 149:1-9}

And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures, and the elders.

It is here called

a new song

because the matter of it was renewed praises of God, as Ps 40:3. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God.

And no man could learn that song, but the hundred and forty and four thousand.

None but God's chosen and called ones, his sealed ones, his sanctified ones,

who were redeemed from the earth;

that is, from the world. {Joh 17:6-16}

Re 14:4-5 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

By women here, we are to understand mystery Babylon, the great whore, and mother of harlots; that is, the Church of Rome, and some national churches, though some of them may be (as Nineveh was), {Na 3:4-19} well favoured harlots; yet false churches, and not the churches of Christ. See Re 17:5 to be

defiled with women,

is to be corrupted and polluted with their idolatrous, superstitious, and false worship, {Mt 15:8 Col 2:20-22}

For they are virgins.

With virgins, {Mt 25:1-3} etc., betrothed to Jesus Christ, {Ho 2:19 2Co 11:2} espoused to the Lord.

These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.

First, to the cross, {Mt 10:38} and secondly, afterwards to the crown, {Mt 19:28-29}

These were (bought or) redeemed from among men,

by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, {1Co 6:19-20 1Pe 1:19}

From among men;

that is, out of every kindred, and tongue, and nation, and people. {Re 5:9-10}

The first fruits unto God, and to the Lamb;

that is, such as gave or offered up themselves to God by Christ, to oppose the beast, the whore, and the false prophet, and so became the first fruits of Christ's Davidical Kingdom, {Re 5:9-10 20:4} on earth.

And in their mouth was found no guile.

They will declare plainly that they are for the universal headship of Christ; and he alone may be acknowledged King of Saints, King of Zion, and King of Nations; as the holy scripture of truth doth testify of him. {Re 15:3 Ps 149:1-2 Jer 10:7-10}

And in their mouth was found no guile.

These bare their witness openly, and their testimony plainly, against the universal headship of the Bishop of Rome, and his dominion over kings and emperors: And overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony. And they loved not their lives unto death.

For they are without fault before the throne of God.

By fault here, we may understand dissimulation, pretending one thing, and intending another. They were single hearted saints, who had their conversation in this world, in simplicity and godly sincerity, and not in fleshly wisdom. {2Co 1:12}

Re 14:6-7 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

By another angel, we may understand another kind of gospel ministry, and ministers; see Re 1:20 2:1, not another with respect of Christ's former institution, for they are to continue until we all come in the unity of faith unto a perfect man. {Eph 4:11-13} But another in respect of renewed life, spirit, and spiritual gifts and graces, like the raised witnesses into whom the spirit of life entered, {Re 11:11} and they prophesied again Kings, etc. {as Re 10:11} having the everlasting gospel to preach, as commissioned by Christ. {Mr 16:15-16}

Saying with a loud voice, fear God, and give glory to him;

as Isa 58:1. Lift up thy voice like a trumpet, etc., and with all ministerial boldness, as Ac 4:19. To

Fear God

here, is to worship God, {Isa 29:13 Mt 15:8} as followeth in Re 14:7

And worship him that made heaven and earth, etc.

For the hour, that is, the time, the appointed time of his judgement. {Ac 17:31} There was a time when God entered in judgement with the pagan emperors, and destroyed them, their idols, and idol temples, by Constantine the Great. See exposition of Re 6:12-17. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 6:12" ff And by this hour of God's judgment, we are to understand the day and time of the utter ruin of Papal Rome, the beast of the eighth head, the Pope, the false prophets, the great whore, mystery Babylon, and all her daughters, the national synodal, and parochial false churches; as will appear plainly in the exposition of the 16, 17, 18, 19th chapters of this Prophecy of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Re 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Now that the light of the everlasting gospel is broken forth in all the earth, and the ministers of Christ begin to prophesy again before kings, people, and nations, as Re 10:10,11. See the exposition. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 10:10" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 10:11" This next sort of angels, that is, ministers, {Re 1:20} proclaim the fall and ruin of mystical Babylon, that great city, the whole Roman papal state.

Babylon is fallen, is fallen.

It is doubled to note the certainty of it, as Re 18:2. And the reason of her destruction followeth;

because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Therefore will God give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. {Re 16:19 18:3}

Re 14:9-11 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

This

third angel

was also other ministers of Christ who denounced his righteous judgments against them, that

worship the beast, and his image, and receive his mark in their foreheads or in their hands

See the exposition hereof Re 13:15-17. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:15" and See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:16" and See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:17"

The same (that is the worshippers of the beast; the idolatrous and superstitious papists;) shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God,

as Re 16:19

which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation

The seven vials of the seven last plagues, {Re 15:1} For in them is filled up the wrath of God. By

fire and brimstone

Re 14:10 we are to understand the eternal torments of impenitent persons, as {Re 19:20} with the devil that deceived them, {Re 20:10-14} which is the second death. And as it followeth, {Re 14:10,11} before Christ, and his holy angels.

And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever, etc.

which noteth the extremity, and the eternity of their torments in Hell fire. It hath been at all times, a dangerous condition, that the souls of the papists have been in, by

worshipping the beast, and his image,

Re 13:8 But now those papists that

worship the beast and his image and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name

are in a damnable state, and shall be tormented for ever and ever, except they repent.

Re 14:12-13 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

By the saints here, we are to understand the seed of the woman, {Re 12:17} all the suffering saints during the whole forty and two months of the beast, until the rising of the two witnesses, who patiently endured their sufferings, whose blessed state and condition is expressed in Re 12:13.

And I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, write, blessed are the dead which die (for the Lord, and) in the Lord.

See Re 13:10 and the exposition thereof. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:10" It is not dying for the Lord (only) that makes a blessed martyr, {1Co 13:1-3} but dying

in the Lord

and for the Lord.

Yea, saith the spirit, from henceforth,

that is, from the time of their suffering death for the cause, gospel, kingdom, and testimony of Christ against Antichrist: They are blessed, that is eternally happy.

That they may rest from their labours;

Then no more labour, trouble, sorrow, or suffering, tribulation, persecution, etc.

And their works do follow them;

that is, the reward of grace and glory promised. {Ro 8:17 2Ti 2:12 Heb 11:26}

Re 14:14-16 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. {ripe: or, dried} 16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

By the

white cloud (upon which one sat like the Son of man)

we may understand a glorious appearance of Jesus Christ. {Isa 19:1 Mt 17:5} It was

he that sat on the cloud

as King of Saints, {Re 15:3} King of Sion, {Ps 149:1-2} and King of Nations. {Jer 10:7-10}

Having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

By this

sharp sickle

we may understand the means and instruments that our Lord Jesus Christ will use to cut down mystery Babylon, the beast, the false prophet, the great whore, and the whole Roman papal kingdom. {Joe 3:13 Jer 51:33}

For the time is come for thee to reap;

that is, Gods appointed time;

for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

And the earth was reaped;

that is, mystery Babylon was destroyed, as. {Re 18:8-19}

Re 14:17-20 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

By

the temple in heaven,

we may understand the glorious state and condition of the church of God, prophesied Isa 60:1-22

And another angel came out from the altar,

Re 14:18. Thus, Christ being upon his march he proceeds with speed to destroy Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth; one angel messenger comes speedily after another, prepared with a sharp sickle, his two-edged sword. {Re 19:19-21} The sword of the spirit, {Eph 6:17} in the hand of his saints. {Ps 149:1-8 Isa 63:2-4} Behold, the third woe cometh quickly, speedily. {Re 11:14} By

the altar,

we may understand the inward court of the Temple, where the blood of the martyrs of Jesus Christ lay crying for vengeance against their persecutors. {Re 6:9-11}

Which had power over fire;

as Elias, and the two prophetical witnesses of Christ. See the exposition of Re 11:5, See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:5" read Heb 1:7

Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.

By

the vine of the earth

we are to understand the Church of Rome degenerated. {Isa 5:1-7} The church in Rome was a true church in the days of the Apostles, unto whom St. Paul writ an epistle. {Ro 1:1-7} But the Church of Rome is degenerated, and is become the great whore, mystical Babylon, etc. By

her grapes,

we may understand those abominations, {Re 17:5} of the Roman church; like the grapes of Sodom and Gomorrah, {De 32:32-35} such are the vine and grapes of the Church of Rome.

And the angel thrust in his sickle,

see Re 19:15. That wine press was (as this is) the great

wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine press.

They that trod the wine press was our Lord Jesus Christ, and his saints. {Re 18:3-8} The wine press is that place which is called Armageddon. See the exposition of Re 16:15-16 -See KNOLLYS on "Rev 16:15" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 16:16" and Re 19:17,21. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 19:17" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 19:21"

Even unto the horses bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furloughs;

that is, two hundred miles, (eight furloughs to a mile) which sheweth that this judgment of God is very great; therefore called the battle of the great day of God almighty. {Re 16:14-16} And also called the supper of the great God. {Re 19:17-19} And therefore shall her plagues come in one day -for strong is the Lord God that judgeth her. {Re 18:7-10}

 

 

Re 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

Here followeth the third principal prophecy of this Book; that is, the vision of the seven vials of the last plagues of God almighty, which contain the third woe denounced, {Re 8:13} and mentioned. {Re 11:14}

And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous.

It's called another sign, because it differeth from the former both in time and signification;

great and marvellous,

because it foretold great and wonderful events of the wrath of God against the kingdom of the beast. By angels here, we may understand those that shall be instruments in the ruin of the beasts kingdom, the Roman papacy, which are the kings of the earth, who shall hate the great whore, mystical Babylon, and burn her with fire. {Re 17:16} And make her desolate. Also the ministers of Christ, called angels, {Re 1:20} by declaring and denouncing the righteous judgments of God against the Beast, the false prophet, and the great whore, the Church of Rome, the mother of harlots, likewise the holy angels of God, and our Lord Jesus Christ the angel of the covenant, {Mal 3:1} who shall execute his vengeance upon the beast, {Re 19:19-20} etc. They are called

the seven last plagues,

because by them God will put a final end to the kingdom of the beast.

Re 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

By the

sea of glass

we are to understand the holy ordinances of the gospel, and pure worship of God: See Re 4:6 being an allusion unto the molten sea of brass, see Re 7:14. {1Ki 7:23} The ordinances of the gospel give a more clear vision of Christ, than those under the law. It is here said to be mingled with fire, with respect of those tribulations, and persecutions, which the churches, ministers, and members of Christ, should suffer for worshipping God in his holy ordinances.

And them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name. See the exposition of all these in {Re 13} See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:1" ff and. {Re 12:11} See KNOLLYS on "Rev 12:11" And they stood

on the sea of glass;

that is, these victors continued in the true and pure worship of God, according to the institutions of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Having the harps of God.

Their hearts were kept in an heavenly frame, being so tuned and prepared by the holy spirit of God. See Re 5:8.

Re 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

Moses's song for God's deliverance of his Israel out of the Egyptian bondage is recorded. {Ex 15:1-19}

The song of the Lamb;

that is, to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, and the Son of God, is here expressed,

Saying, great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty.

Thy works, that is, that righteous judgement upon mystical Babylon, the beast, the false prophet and whore.

Just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints;

that is, all the ways of God's divine providence in preserving his churches of saints, his faithful ministers, and his suffering people; and also in delivering them out of the tyranny of the Roman papal kingdom of the anti-Christian beast, were and are just and true; that is, righteous, and according to the holy scripture of truth.

Re 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

Who, that is, what man is there, high or low, rich or poor, bond or free, Prince or Potentate, but

shall fear thee, O Lord,

that is, with a filial fear and reverence. {Ne 1:10-11} Worship, and obedience.

And glorify thy name;

that is, exalt the great and glorious name of the Lord God Almighty, acknowledging, that he is worthy to receive glory and honour, praise and dominion, {Re 4:10-11 Re 5:13-14}

For thou only art holy.

Most holy, glorious in holiness, {Ex 15:11}

For all nations shall come and worship before thee, {Isa 60:12} for thy judgments are made manifest,

that is, in judging the great whore, {Re 18:8} And executing his seven last plagues upon the Roman papal kingdom of the beast, the false Prophet, and whole mystical Babylon. {Re 18:9-21} God is known by the judgments that he executeth. {Ps 9:16} Gods judgments executed upon Babylon, will be a means of conversion both of Jews and Gentiles. See Re 11:13.

Re 15:5-6 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: 6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

By

the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony,

we may understand (by an allusion to the Mosaical tabernacle and temple, and testimony,) especially, after Solomon's time, when the Temple was shut during the time of Ahab's apostasy and idolatry, but the Temple was opened again in the days of Hezekiah reformation. Compare 1Ki 16:29-33 with 2Ki 18:1-7. So here we are to understand the church of God. {Eph 2:19-22} The administrations and ordinances of the gospel, restored to their primitive purity, according to the institutions of Christ. {Re 11:19}

And the seven angels came out of the Temple;

that is, the Church of God. {Eph 2:21} For Christ, his holy angels, and his faithful ministers, are all present in the Churches of Saints. {1Co 11:10}

Having the seven plagues, as Re 15:1 clothed in pure and white linen.

As the ministers of the sanctuary were. {Le 6:10 16:14 Ex 39:27-29} They had also golden girdles; that is, girt about with truth. {Eph 6:14}

Re 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

And one (the first) of the four living creatures, {Re 4:6-7} gave unto the seven angels, seven golden vials, {see Re 15:1} full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

That is, from everlasting to everlasting he is God, eternal JEHOVAH, Re 4:9 5:1.

Re 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

The glory of God, and his power in his holy temple, was so great, and his presence in the midst of a dark cloud of smoke, so terrible, that Moses was not able to enter into the tent (or tabernacle) of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle, {Ex 40:34-38} and so his cloudy presence filled the holy Temple, {1Ki 8:10-12} nor could the priests enter into worship, for the glory of Gods presence, though he veiled himself with a dark cloud.

And no man was able to enter into the Temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled;

that is, until the Roman Papal Church, and all her harlots, national or parochial, and all false worship and worshippers be destroyed, by the righteous judgments and last plagues of God Almighty.

Re 16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

The great voice that John heard out of the Temple, was the voice of the Lord. {Isa 66:6} A voice from the Temple, the voice of the Lord that rendreth recompense to his enemies. By earth here, we are to understand the whole Roman papal state, both political, and ecclesiastical; called mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth. {Re 17:5}

Re 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

The earth in this verse, doth metonymically signify the inhabiters of the Popish earth, the earthly state of the Roman papal kingdom; that is, those inhabiters of the earth against whom the third woe is pronounced, {Re 8:13} especially those that rejoiced at the killing of Christ's two prophetical witnesses. {Re 11:10} By the

noisome and grievous sore that fell upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image,

we may understand (by some allusion which this plague fore beareth to that upon the Egyptians, Ex 9:10-11) such a plague as causeth very great pain, and is so noisome and pestilentious, that it maketh those men that are lovers and friends to Babylon, to stand a far off for fear of the torment, Re 18:10-17 which are the proper effects of such noisome and grievous sores. Ps 38:11 77:2

Re 16:3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

By sea here, we may understand the see of Rome, the see of Canterbury, the see of York, and all other ecclesiastical, metropolitan, and diocesan sees; especially, the Popes See, etc. In which see of the church of Rome, those kings of the earth, who give their power, strength, and kingdom to the beast, and all Babylon merchants, and ship masters, and as many as trade by sea, and traffic for estates, for slaves, and for souls of men. {Re 18:9-19}

And it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

So that the effects of this vial is death, unto them that worship the beast or his image, or receive his mark, name, or the number of his name, {Re 18:8} not only temporal but eternal death. {Re 14:9-11} See the exposition thereof. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 14:9" ff

Re 16:4-7 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. 6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. 7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

By these mystical

rivers and fountains of waters,

we may understand the emperors, kings, princes and nobles of the Roman papal kingdom, which give their power and strength to the see of Rome; as the rivers and fountains of waters run into the sea. {Ec 1:7} The great monarchs and kings of the earth are called the heads of their rivers, {Eze 29:3-4 32:2-6} that is, of their mystical waters.

And they became blood.

Which plague may bear some allusion unto that plague of Egypt, {Ex 7:20-21} so God will give mystical Babylon blood to drink, for she hath shed the blood of the saints, and of the martyrs of Jesus. {Re 16:6,17:6,18:24 19:2}

And the angel of the waters

and another angel acknowledged and testified God is just and righteous in judging thus.

And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, even so Lord God almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

Re 16:8-9 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

By the sun here, we are to understand the emperor of Germany, the French King, and the Pope of Rome, who are the great lights in the Roman papal kingdom, who rule the day of the anti-Christian state, as the sun in the firmament doth, {Ge 1:15} rule and govern the natural day. The effect of this vial or plague is the scorching of the men of the beasts kingdom with great heat. {Re 16:9} They that worship the beast or his image, or receive his mark, etc. are tormented with fire, {Re 14:8-11} see the exposition. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 14:8" ff And they repented not to give glory to God. Impenitent papists will be tormented for ever and ever.

Re 16:10-11 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, 11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

By

the seat, or throne of the beast,

we are to understand the place where the beast hath his chief residence, and where his highest court is kept, and where his holiness's chair is set, in which the Pope sitteth as the infallible judge; that is, the city of Rome; for there his throne is placed, and his great power, and authority is principally exercised. The effects of this vial or plague are four, first,

His kingdom was full of darkness:

That is, the beast's kingdom and dominion, both political and ecclesiastical was greatly eclipsed and clouded. The ruin of Rome will exceedingly darken the grandeur, glory and pomp of the beast. Secondly,

And they gnawed their tongues for pain:

That is, they that worshipped the beast, or his image, or received his mark; namely, his kings, his cardinals, etc., were tormented and pained with grief, and sorrow, and sores, when they saw that great city burned and utterly destroyed by the righteous judgments of God. {Re 18:7-19}

And repented not of their deeds.

That is of their idolatries, murders, massacres, persecutions, and worshipping the beast, etc.

Re 16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

The object of God's wrath and plague poured out of this sixth vial is the great river Euphrates. There was a river which ran through Mesopotamia unto old Babylon, that by way of eminency is called the great river, the river Euphrates, {Ge 15:18 De 1:7 Jos 1:4} unto which this river may bear some allusion. The principal benefits of a great river are three, first, revenue, {Isa 23:3} Secondly, strength, {Isa 8:7} Thirdly, riches, {Eze 27:12-33} so of mystical Babylon. {Re 18:10-17}

And the water thereof was dried up.

By waters we may understand peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. {Re 17:15} By the drying up of the waters, we may understand the wasting and destroying of the Turk's dominion, kingdom and power, as the Turk's dominion was enlarged under the sixth trumpet, {Re 9:14} so it shall be wasted and destroyed by the pouring forth of the plagues of this sixth vial.

That the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

By the kings of the east, we are to understand the Jews, whom God hath promised to bring from the east. {Isa 43:5} They are called kings (as all the Lord's redeemed ones are,){ Re 5:9-10} for they shall have the first dominion. {Mic 4:8 Isa 62:1-3} And kings of the east, because God hath promised to save them from the east country. {Zec 8:7-13 Da 11:44-45}

Re 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

That which John saw and heard in this vision, {related Re 16:13-16} was preparatory unto the Supper of the great God {Re 19:16-20} and interval between the sixth and seventh vial; in which vision John

saw three unclean spirits like frogs (croaking frogs) come out of the mouth of the dragon;

that old serpent called the devil;

and out of the mouth of the beast, (the Pope) and out of the mouth of the false prophet;

the papal priests, cardinals, lord bishops, etc.

Re 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

The unclean spirits are here said to be

the spirits of devils, working miracles

as Re 13:13,14 Like that lying spirit in the mouth of Ahab's false prophets. {1Ki 22:21-22} And our blessed Lord Jesus testified, that in the latter days before his second coming, there will come false Christs and false prophets. {Lu 21:8 Mt 24:24-25} Behold I have told you before.

Which go forth to the kings of the earth

By the kings of the earth we are to understand those kings that give their power, strength, and kingdom to the beast. {Re 13:17} And therefore when John had the full vision of this

battle of that great day of God Almighty

he saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together (by these frogs) to make war against Him that sat upon the white horse, and against his army, {Re 19} whose name is called the WORD of God, {Re 16:11-21 Re 17:13-14} which is here called

the battle of that great day of God Almighty

Re 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Before the success of this hellish negotiation, we have in this verse a warning word to watch and keep our garments.

Behold, I come as a thief.

The second coming of our blessed and beloved Lord Jesus Christ will be as a thief; that is, unexpectedly, {1Th 5:2-4 2Pe 3:10 Re 3:3} as a thief in a dark time, in a midnight dispensation of great darkness. {Isa 60:1-3 Mt 25:6-44} By

keeping our garments

we may understand, first, keeping our gospel profession unspotted of the world. {Jas 1:27} Secondly, keeping the faith. {1Ti 3:9 5:22} Keep thy self-pure; white, and clean; which is the righteousness of saints, {Re 19:8}

Lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

The scandalous sins and disorderly walking of gospel professors discover their nakedness to the men of the world, who see their shameful behaviour, and sinful conversation, to the dishonour of God, and shame of their profession.

Re 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

He, that is, the dragon, called the devil, and his three unclean wicked spirits, called the spirits of devils. {Re 16:13,14} See the exposition thereof: See KNOLLYS on "Rev 16:13" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 16:14"

Gathering them together;

that is, the kings of the earth and their armies against Christ and his army, {Re 19:19} (as before)

into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon;

that is, the place of the utter destruction of the Turk's great army; which the Jews shall so name after they have gotten the victory (which God Almighty will give them) over their enemies, both Turk and Pope; as the people of Israel had over Sisera the chief captain of Jabin and all his mighty host at the waters of Megiddo, {Jud 5:19-31} not a man left. {Jud 4:16}

Re 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

The air fills all empty places in the whole universe; and by this mystical air, we may understand all Satan's kingdom, who is the prince of power of the air, {Eph 2:2} so that the wrath of God poured out of this seventh vial, will diffuse and spread over all the kingdoms of antichrist, Pope and Turk, and all the enemies of God and his people.

And there came a great voice out of the Temple of heaven from the throne.

This great voice was the voice of Christ, whose throne is in the Temple of heaven. {Ps 103:19} The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens, his kingdom ruleth over all.

The Temple of heaven

is the Church of God. {Jer 17:12} A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. {Eph 2:19-21}

Saying, it is done;

that is, there shall be time no longer to the beast, to the Turk, to mystery Babylon, nor to their dominions; for the mystery of God is finished. {Re 10:6-7 11:15-16 21:5-6} And all the kingdoms of the world shall then become the kingdom of Christ, and of his saints. {Da 7:27 Re 11:15}

Re 16:18-19 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. 19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

Like unto this was the effect of the mystical resurrection of the witnesses of Christ. See the exposition of Re 11:13. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:13" In that earthquake the tenth part of the city fell; so by this great earthquake,

the great city was divided into three parts. And the cities of the nations fell.

By this great city, we are to understand the great whore, that woman whose name is mystery Babylon the great, {Re 17:1-18} which in John's time reigned over the kings of the earth. By

the cities of the nations,

we may understand all national churches: As the great whore is called

the great city,

the mother of harlots, so all national churches, her daughters are here called

the cities of the nations

who shall fall with her; that is, all the three parts of mystical Babylon, namely, the national churches of the papists, of the Lord Bishops, and of the Presbyterians; these three sorts only are for national churches.

And great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

This wine of the fierceness of the wrath of God, is poured out without mixture of any mercy upon the worshippers of the beast, {Re 14:10} and upon the kings of the earth, and their kingdoms. {Jer 25:19-33 Re 18:2-21}

Re 16:20-21 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

By island, we may understand such things as are separated from a common unto some sacred (or rather superstitious) use; such are all popish consecrated and dedicated things, as parish churches, cathedrals, abbies, priories, nunneries, bishops, lands, glebe lands, dean and chapter lands, etc. All these

sled away

that is, they shall be removed and restored to their common use as before their consecration or dedication. By

mountains

here, we may understand the great powers, dominions, and kingdoms of the Roman papal monarchy, and all other monarchs and monarchies of the world, (Isa 40:4 Jer 51:25 Zec 4:7 especially, Da 2:21-45).

And there fell upon men a great hail

Re 16:21 as Jos 10:11 or thereby is signified Gods just and righteous judgments, as upon Gog in the land of Magog. {Eze 38:2-19,22,23}

And men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail

By those men, we are to understand (as before) those whose names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life, who worship the beast or his image, and receive his mark or name in their forehead or right hand. See Re 13:9,11. They repented not, to give glory to God, but blasphemed God, because he plagued them for their idolatry, false worship, after the commandments and doctrines of men, and not according to the institutions of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Re 17:1-2 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

This was the fifth angel who poured the fifth vial upon the throne of the beast, {Re 16:10} who invited John to him, saying,

Come hither;

that is, to the place where he had the vision

of the great whore,

and her judgment from Almighty God revealed unto him, as he testified in this and Re 18 and Re 19. This great whore is called by name, mystery Babylon the great. {Re 17:5}

That sitteth upon many waters.

Which waters are expounded by the angel to the peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. {Re 17:15} And the woman is expounded also. {Re 17:18}

Re 17:2. With whom the kings of the earth

viz. The ten crowned kings in the Roman Empire, {Re 17:12}

have committed fornication,

by prostrating their power, strength, and kingdom to the beast. {Re 17:13,17}

And the inhabiters of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication;

namely, they that worshipped the beast. {Re 13:4-8}

Re 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

The angel carried him away not in the body, but in the spirit; that is, John was in a trance, as Peter was, {Ac 10:9-11} and Paul. {2Co 12:2-3}

Into a wilderness;

that is, a place of retiredness, fit for contemplation, meditation, and revelation, etc.

And I saw a woman,

the great whore. {Re 17:5} The whore of Rome. {Re 17:15,18}

Sit upon a scarlet coloured beast

By this beast, we are to understand the Roman papal emperor with

seven heads and ten horns

Re 13:1-2. The kings in that empire who give their power, strength, and kingdom, to the beast of the eighth head with two horns like a Lamb. {Re 13:11-12}

A scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy

So described, because mystery Babylon the great hath, doth, and will shed the blood of the prophets, saints, martyrs, and witnesses of our Lord Jesus Christ. {Re 16:6 18:24} By the

names of blasphemy

we may understand those blasphemous words, reproachful speaking and sinful mockings, which the scoffers in these latter days utter and speak against religious persons, religion, the true worship, and worshippers of God, against God himself, Jesus Christ, and his church. {Ro 2:24 Ac 26:11 Tit 2:5 Jas 2:7}

Re 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

By these purple, and scarlet garments, decked with gold, pearls, and precious stones, wherewith this woman, the great whore was arrayed, we may understand the riches, pomp, and pride of the Roman papal church. {Jud 8:26 Eze 27:7-10} And also, the

golden cup in her hand

signifies the whores allurements, and enticements of all sorts of persons, kings, people, and nations, unto her superstitious and idolatrous false worship, worshipping images, crucifixes, etc. For this golden cup is full of the abominations and filthinesses of the whores fornication and spiritual whoredoms; wherewith she makes them drunk, as with wine.

Re 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

That every one, who observeth, may know the great whore, whom John saw in his vision; she hath her name written upon her forehead,

Mystery Babylon the great, etc.

By mystery, we are to understand the mystery of iniquity, {2Th 2:3-7} in opposition unto the mystery of Godliness, in the doctrine, worship, and power thereof.

Babylon the great

that is, the great whore, the Roman Papal Church, and

the mother of harlots

all national churches, parish churches, cathedral churches, provincial churches, etc., who own, acknowledge, and subject themselves to the ecclesiastical headship of the Roman hierarchy, pope, and papal prelacy, episcopacy, or presbytery.

And abominations of the earth

that is, all the abominations in the world are nourished and cherished, by the indulgences, pardons, and dispensations of the Pope and Church of Rome.

Re 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

This woman (called the great whore) is that great city, Rome, and the Roman monarchy, who in St. John's time reigned over the kings of the earth, whom John saw

drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.

Which words imply first, that she shed their blood, as. {Re 16:6}

Secondly, that she thirsted unsatiably after their blood, for she was

drunken with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus,

as Re 11:7 Re 18:24.

Thirdly, that she thereby merited all that blood that God will give her to drink, {Re 16:5-7} for she is worthy, for in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that was shed upon the earth. {Re 18:24}

And when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Re 17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

By wondering here, we may understand John's admiring, that which he did not understand the mystery of; and also his adoring the wisdom of God therein: And thereupon the angel said unto him,

I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and then horn,

{as Re 17:3}

Re 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

In this verse the angel showed John the mystery of the beast, which he described to John, first, in his three-fold state and time,

he was, is not, and yet is.

Here is the mind that hath wisdom, {Re 17:9} to unfold the mystery of these three particular characters of the beast,

was, is not, and yet is.

First,

the beast which thou sawest was;

that is to say, the Roman state and kingdom was formerly (and even in St. John's time) that fourth monarchy and kingdom which was ordained of God, {Da 7:23-25 Ro 13:1,7} unto which Roman power, our blessed Saviour and his apostles and disciples were subject in all their civil sanction and authority for conscience sake, as being God's ordinance. Read Mr 12:17 Ac 25:10-11 Ro 13:3-7 1Pe 2:13-15 Tit 3:1.

And is not

God's ordinance of magistracy, for after the Roman pagan kingdom was broken, not only into two parts, the east and west empires, but divided into ten kingdoms or crowned horns; then the dragon, that old serpent, gave the beast his throne, power, and great authority, See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:1" and See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:2" so that the beast had his power, throne, and authority, from the devil, and not from God; and those ten kings gave their power, strength and kingdom to the beast, {Re 17:12,13,17} and in this respect the beast is not God's ordinance of Magistry: Again, the beast is not; that is to say, he was not in being as the seventh head in John's time, {Re 17:10} for the Roman pagan Caesars (the sixth head) governed the empire when John writ this book. So that he is not, with respect of his kingship, as one of the seven heads or kings in John's time, for he was not yet come, but was to rise

out of the bottomless pit, { as Re 9:10,11 11:7 13:5} and is to go into perdition;

and {Re 17:11} Therefore he is called the Son of Perdition, and the Antichrist, {2Th 2:3-10}

And yet he is

of the seven heads or kings; that is to say, he is the seventh head or king; and he is also the eighth, {Re 17:11} as he is described Re 13:11 with two horns, that is, two fold kingly and supreme power, political and ecclesiastical. The Popes of Rome, with respect of their imperial and magisterial power over the emperors and kings of the Roman kingdom, are the seventh head or king: And the eighth head or king, with respect of their hierarchical and pontifical power. See my Treatise called Mystical Babylon unveiled, Printed 1679. Pg. 5-10.

And they that dwell on the earth, etc.

See KNOLLYS on "Rev 8:13" and See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:8"

Re 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

By wisdom here, we may understand the spirit of wisdom given of God, Eph 1:17 1Jo 5:20 Col 1:9 filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. By mountains here, we are to understand the seven hills on which old Rome was built. Durham on this verse, pg. 640 and Mystical Babylon unveiled, page 2 printed 1679.

Re 17:10-11 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Seven kings,

that is, seven kingly governments (by succession one after another) of the Roman Empire or fourth kingdom. Namely, first, kings, secondly, consuls, thirdly, decemvers, (decemvirs -a member of any of several permanent boards or special commissions of ten members in ancient Rome) fourthly, tribunes, fifthly, dictators; these five sorts were fallen, that is, past before John's time;

and one is,

viz. Caesars, the sixth king.

The other is not yet come;

that is, the seventh head and king was not come in John's time; viz. the Pope of Rome.

And when he cometh, he must continue a short space

forty and two months, Re 13:5 that is, twelve hundred and sixty prophetical days. See the exposition of Re 11:2,3 and See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:2" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:3" and Re 12:6-12.

And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth (king of the Roman Empire,) and is of the seven,

as Re 17:8 see the exposition. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 17:8"

And goeth into perdition.

He came out of the bottomless pit, {Re 13:1} and therefore called the angel of the bottomless pit, {Re 9:11} and called the king of the locusts. He is the Man of Sin and Son of Perdition. {2Th 2:3,8}

Re 17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

The sixth head, the Roman Caesars had

ten horns;

that is, provinces, and provincial legates, governors under them: But the seventh head, and eighth king of the Roman kingdom hath ten crowned horns; that is, ten kings and kingdoms under his dominion.

Which have received no kingdom as yet;

that is, in John's time, before the beast of the seventh head, the Pope of Rome, the eighth king did rise, and came to be king of kings, then

they receive power as kings one hour (at the same time) with the beast

of the seventh head, the eighth king. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 17:8"

Re 17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

These,

all these ten kings agree,

they have one mind, and shall give their power,

that is, they shall subject their monarchical and magisterial power to the hierarchical and pontifical power of the beast, in the exercise and execution thereof for him.

And strength,

that is, their military power, the power of the sword to execute his decrees, edicts, laws, and commandments. {Re 13:15,16,17} Therefore they are called his horns; for the Pope's kingdom is upheld by the regal power, and military strength of those ten kings who agree, and give their Kingdom to the beasts. {as Re 17:17}

Re 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

By war (here) we may understand all kind of opposition, that the Popes of Rome, and the ten kings of the Roman Papal Empire can make against the Lamb; that is, the Lord Jesus Christ.

For he is Lord of lords, and King of kings,

1Ti 6:15 Re 19:16-19.

And they that are with him;

that is, his churches, ministers, and all the saints, who are called, and chosen, and faithful. {Re 19:11-14}

And the Lamb shall overcome them

Christ and his army shall overcome the beast, and the kings of the earth and their armies, Re 19:19 Ps 149:6-9.

Re 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

Now the angel proceeds to tell John the mystery of the woman which he saw, {Re 17:3-6} whom the angel called the great whore that sitteth upon many waters, {Re 17:1} as he promised him, {Re 17:7} which waters

are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

Re 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

These

ten horns

are expounded by the angel. {Re 17:12} (see the exposition of that verse See KNOLLYS on "Rev 17:12") to be ten kings.

These shall hate the whore,

that is, the Church of Rome; that is, the Popedom, the priesthood, and her false idolatrous worship.

And shall make her desolate and naked;

that is, they shall waste the Church of Rome, take away all her revenues, which the Pope, cardinals, abbots, friars, nuns, priests, and Jesuits, have in possession. They

shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire;

that is, they shall utterly ruin the City of Rome, the Church of Rome, and all national papal churches, by taking away all popish lands forever. See the exposition of Re 16:19,20. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 16:19" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 16:20"

Re 17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

In this verse are three things to be observed and expounded. First, an act of God.

For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will.

Secondly, an act of the ten kings,

To agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast.

Thirdly, the limited time,

until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

By

the words of God

here, we are to understand, those words of prophecy written in this Book (touching the destruction of the great whore) shall be fulfilled, Re 16 Re 18 Re 19.

Re 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

This

great city,

literally taken, is the city of Rome, as will appear in the exposition of the eighteenth chapter; See KNOLLYS on "Rev 18:1" ff and taken mystically, we may understand Babylon the great; that is, the whole Roman papal kingdom. {Re 18:16-21}

Re 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

This is the angel that poured forth the fifth vial upon the seat or throne of the beast. {Re 16:10} The school men tell us, there are three degrees of the holy angels. The first hierarchy are seraphims, cherubims, and thrones; the second hath dominions, virtues, and powers; the third hath principalities, arch angels and angels. But certainly there are orders and degrees among the holy angels, for the Holy Scripture mentioneth arch angels and angels. {1Th 4:16 Jude 9 Eze 10:1-8} Also cherubims and seraphims. {Isa 6:2-6} Likewise principalities, thrones, and dominions, {Col 1:16 Eph 1:21 Eph 3:10} so that there are degrees of angels. This angel, as he is great in power, so he excels in glory.

The earth was lightned with his glory,

who is here said to preach the everlasting gospel. {Re 14:6,7}

Re 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

By crying

mightily with a loud voice,

we may understand a most clear and open declaration of the utter ruin, and final destruction of Mystical Babylon, Rome papal;

saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.

This declaration of Rome's destruction, is borrowed from Isa 13:19-22 34:13-15, (Jer 51:37 and Re 18:21). Rome material and mystical, shall be utterly ruined, papists and popery shall be destroyed root and branch.

And is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

As it was with old Babylon, {Isa 13:19-22} And Babylon the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldee's excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there, neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts, of the desert shall lie there, and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures, and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall try in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged. So it shall be with mystery Babylon, Rome papal, burnt and destroyed. Their monasteries, abbies, priories, nunneries, and all their religious places, shall be made utterly desolate, and haunted with devils. {as Mr 5:2-5 Mt 8:28}

Re 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

All nations of the Roman papal dominion,

and all the kings of the earth,

who have given their power, strength, and kingdom, to the beast of the seventh head, the eighth king, the Pope of Rome, the Roman Church and clergy, her merchants that trade in the papal see of Rome, her prelates, and priests, who sell pardons, indulgences, dispensations; also slaves and souls of men. {as Re 18:11,12,13} Omnia sunt Rome venalia.

Re 18:4-5 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

This other

voice from heaven

is the voice of God, (as Jer 50:8 and Jer 51:6-9).

Come out of her my people.

They are God's people either by election or vocation, whom God commands to come out of mystical Babylon, as 2Co 6:17-18.

That ye be not partakers of her sins;

viz. of her whoredoms, thefts, sorceries and murders. {Re 9:21}

And that ye receive not of her plagues,

viz. the vials of the last plagues. {Re 15:1 14:9-11}

For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities;

that is, her sins of spiritual fornications, blasphemies, and bloody massacrees and persecutions. See Re 16:5-17 and See KNOLLYS on "Rev 16:17"

Re 18:6-7 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. 7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

This reward is Gods righteous retaliation, {2Th 1:5-6} and the answer of Sion's Prayers. {Jer 51:35-49}

How much she hath glorified her self, she saith, I sit a Queen.

She is Queen Regent, see Re 17:15-18. The Queen Mother, see Re 17:5 that great old scarlet whore, the Church of Rome; as old Babylon said, {Isa 47:1-9} etc. The remainder of this chapter is literal, and needs no exposition; it is so plain, that any intelligible person may run and read it. {Eze 27:29-32} And all that handle the Oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land- And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea. {Isa 34:8-10} For it is the day of the Lords vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversies of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day, the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste, none shall pass through it for ever and ever. {Ps 58:11} So that a man shall say, verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth. {Jer 51:47-64} Therefore behold, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon, and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her. Then the heaven, and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing for Babylon: for the spoilers shall come unto her from the north, saith the Lord. As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall: so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth. -And it shall be when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates: And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah. {Re 18:24} And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. God reveals and revengeth her blood guiltiness, and calls all his saints in heaven and earth to rejoice. {Re 18:20}

Re 19:1-3 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

After these things

that is, after the ruin of the church of Rome, the city of Rome, the judgement of the great whore, mystical Babylon, Pope, and papists,

I heard a great voice of much people in Heaven

viz. of the prophets, apostles, martyrs, and all the saints in glory;

Saying, Alleluia

praise ye the Lord. Ps 68:4

They ascribed

salvation, and glory, and honour, and power unto the Lord our God.

For true and righteous are his judgements, Re 19:2

to wit, upon mystical Babylon, the city and church of Rome. {Re 18:8}

For he hath judged the great Whore;

that Mother of Harlots,

which did corrupt the earth,

that is, the inhabitants of the earth, who worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark, name, and number. Re 13:15-17 Re 14:9-11 (see the exposition thereof) See KNOLLYS on "Rev 14:9" ff

With her fornication;

that is, spiritual whoredom, her idolatry and false worship.

And hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand,

Re 16:5-7 and See KNOLLYS on "Rev 18:20".

And again {Re 19:3} they said Alleluia.

Praise ye the Lord, {Ps 68:4}

And her smoke rose up forever and ever,

{Re 14:9-11 Re 18:8-10}

Re 19:4-5 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. 5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

By

the four and twenty elders, and the four living creatures,

we are to understand the ministers, and members of Christ in his churches of saints on earth who worship God that sits upon his throne in heaven. {Ps 103:19} The Lord hath prepareth his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom ruleth over all,

Saying, Amen; Alleluia

Praise ye the Lord.

And a voice came out of the Throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

Re 19:6-7 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

This

great multitude,

are the concourse of the Jews and gentiles joining together to sing alleluia's to God and Christ; as was prophesied {Isa 52:7-12} How beautiful upon the mountains, are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good things of good, that publisheth salvation, that faith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice, with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the Nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bare the vessels of the Lord. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward. The voice of singing together. The matter of their song was the kingdom of Christ;

For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

Re 11:15-17. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:15" ff Re 19:7 contains another cause of the high praises of God,

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Read 2Co 11:2 Ho 2:19-23 Re 21:1-2. And this joy and gladness was prophesied of the Lord Jesus Christ also, {So 3:11} -Go forth, O ye, Daughters of Zion, and behold King Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and the day of the gladness of his heart.

Re 19:8-9 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

In Re 19:8, is explained, how the bride, the Lamb's Wife, was made ready. That is, she was arrayed in fine linen, clean, without any spot. {So 4:7-10} Thou art all fair my love, their is no spot in thee.

And white

that is, washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, Re 7:13-15

For the fine linen is the righteousness of saints

That is, their righteousness of justification, {2Co 5:18} with which the saints are covered, {Isa 61:10} and their righteousness of sanctification, where with they are beautified. {Eph 4:24 5:9 Php 1:11} And Jesus Christ is made of God unto the Saints, both righteousness and sanctification. {1Co 1:30}

Re 19:9. And he saith unto me, write, blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.

He, that is, the Angel of God: Me, that is, John, write: For

these are the true sayings of God

By the marriage supper of the Lamb, we are to understand Christ's and the wife virgin's wedding. {Mt 25:1-13} And they that were ready went in with him to the marriage. See my exposition of the parable of the Ten Virgins, 1674.

Re 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

The Apostle John doubtless did not know that this angel was one of God's ministering spirits, sent forth from Christ to minister unto him; for had he known, he would not have fallen down to worship him. And this appears by what the angel said unto him;

See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, (not thy Lord) and of thy brethren, that have the testimony of Jesus;

a servant to them also, who are the heirs of salvation, {Heb 1:7-14} especially of the overcoming saints, {Re 12:11}

Worship God

Men ought not to worship angels; but both men and angels must worship God, {Mt 4:10} For it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God; and him only shalt thou serve. Not angels, not saints deceased, not the Virgin Mary, etc.

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

By the testimony of Jesus, we are to understand the Revelation of Jesus Christ; which God gave unto him to show unto his servants, and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John, {Re 1:1-2} who bare record of the Word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Re 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

The great battle of Armageddon, {Re 16:16} is more fully described in the other part of this chapter, from this verse to the end thereof; amplified, first, by the preparation to it: And, secondly, by the event of it:

I saw Heaven opened

So he had done before, {Re 4:1} so did St. Stephen, {Ac 7:56}

And behold a white horse.

Such a vision of Christ John had. {Re 6:1-2} See the exposition. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 6:1" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 6:2" There Christ came to conquer and convert sinners; here he comes to conquer and destroy his enemies, that would not have him to reign.

In righteousness he doth judge and make war.

That is, Christ doth enter into judgement against his enemies, and doth war against them, and destroy them.

Re 19:12-13 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

So is Christ described (Re 1:14 and Re 2:18 see the exposition). See KNOLLYS on "Rev 2:18" Read Isa 11:1-4 Heb 4:13.

And on his head were many crowns;

not material, but metaphorical; whereby is signified the pre-eminence, supremacy, and sovereignty of our Lord Jesus Christ, above all principalities, and powers, thrones and dominions, as being the only potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords. {1Ti 6:15 Re 19:16} And he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself; {Isa 9:6-7} a secret name, as Jud 13:19

Re 19:13. The word of God,

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood.

So the Prophet Isaiah described Christ, {Isa 63:1-4} Who is this that cometh from Edom, with died garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength. I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore are thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine-fat? I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury, and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiments. For the day of venegance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. Which noteth the sufferings of Christ for the sins of Gods chosen people, and his conquest over all his bloody enemies, {Re 19:14}

And his name is called, The Word of God,

{Joh 1:1-3 1Jo 5:7} which name no man knows, but he himself.

Re 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

By

the armies which were in Heaven

that followed Christ, we may understand, first, the holy angels whom Elisha's servant saw when his eyes were opened. {2Ki 6:13-17} Secondly, those holy saints, {Ps 149 the whole Psalm} who follow the Lamb wheresoever he goes, {Re 14:1-5} who are chosen and called, and faithful, {Re 17:14} the

white horses

are an emblem of victory, as {Re 6:1-2} conquering and to conquer.

Clothed in fine linen, white and clean,

as the Bride was. {Re 19:7,8 see the exposition} See KNOLLYS on "Rev 19:7" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 19:8" Which signifies the holiness and righteousness of Christ's armies, no spotted, no unclean soldiers in Christ's armies, who is the Captain of our salvation.

Re 19:15-16 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

In the 15th verse are revealed {Re 19:15} the two principal weapons which the Lord Jesus Christ will make use of in this battle against his enemies; viz. the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, {as Re 19:19} and they are the sword of his mouth, which is the Word of God, {Eph 6:17 Re 2:12}

And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword.

The word of threatened vengeance is sharper than a two-edged sword. {Heb 4:12} And his iron rod, the rod of his strength, {Ps 110:1-2} whereby is signified his kingly power. {Ps 2:9-12}

And he hath on his vesture, and on his thigh a name written KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

The Lord Jesus Christ is King of Saints, {Re 15:3} King of Sion, {Ps 149:1-2} and King of Nations, {Jer 10:7-10} the only potentate. {1Ti 6:15} And he shall be King in all the earth, {Zec 14:9} And the Kingdoms of this world shall become the Kingdom of Christ and his saints. {Re 11:15 Da 7:27-28}

Re 19:17-18 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

This angel is Christ's herald, sent forth to summon the fowls of the air to come to

the supper of the great God, to eat the flesh of kings, captains, and mighty men, and all men, both small and great.

Whereby is signified, first, the certainty of Christ's victory over all his enemies. Secondly, the great slaughter which Christ will make in this great Armageddon battle amongst his enemies. {Eze 39:1-21} Therefore thou Son of man, prophesise against Gog, the chief Prince of Meshech and Tubal. And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles, and they shall know that I am the Lord-Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is, the day whereof I have spoken-And thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God, speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, assemble yourselves and come together yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. And ye shall eat fat till be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, and my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses, and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord of God. And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgement that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.

Re 19:19-21 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with 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.

In these three verses are declared, first, who are the enemies of Christ and his armies, namely,

the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies

Re 19:19. See the exposition of Re 11:7, See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:7"

Re 13:1-11, See KNOLLYS on "Rev 13:1" ff

Re 16:13-14. See KNOLLYS on "Re 16:13" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 16:14"

and Re 17:8-12 See KNOLLYS on "Rev 17:8" ff

and Re 12:13-14. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 12:13" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 12:14"

Secondly, the effect of this great battle. {Re 19:20} The beast and the false prophet (the Roman papal hierarchy, clergy and priesthood) were taken as prisoners of war.

Both these were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone;

that is, into hell fire, {Re 19:21}

And the remnant,

that is, the kings, captains, and great men, and their armies, soldiers, both small and great, were slain with the sword, that is, the Word of God, and commands of Christ, written in the holy scripture.

And all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

Jer 51:19-24. The portion of Jacob is not like them, for he is the former of all things, and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the Lord of hosts is his name. Thou are my battle ax and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms: And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider, and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider: With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman, and with thee will I break in pieces old and young, and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid: I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock, and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandmand and his yoke of oxen, and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers. And I will render unto Babylon, and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea, all their evil that they have done in Zion, in your sight, saith the Lord. {Ps 149:1-9} Praise ye the Lord, sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their king. Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing along upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishment upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgement written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord. As God stirred up the spirit of the Medes, {Jer 51:11-28} so God will raise up the spirit of kings to hate the whore, and to eat her flesh, and to burn her with fire, {Re 17:6} and so make mystical Babylon an utter desolation. {Re 18:21-24}

Re 20:1-3 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

John had seen

the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan,

and his angels, cast out of the Roman papal kingdom and dominion. Re 12:7-10 And here John had revealed unto him how the dragon (as a conquered enemy, and wretched captive) is bound, and made a close prisoner for a thousand years, after the destruction of the Roman papal kingdom and dominion. This angel is Christ, as appears, first, by the place whence he came;

And I saw an angel come down from Heaven

1Th 3:13 2Th 1:6-7. Secondly, by the emblem of his power and great authority

Having the key of the bottomless pit,

Re 1:18 3:7. Thirdly, by the means of executing his great power.

And a great chain in his hand.

Re 20:2

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent which is the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years;

that is, a certain definite time, Re 20:4 these thousand years. {so Re 20:3-7} They are not any mystical or prophetical number, but literal, and so Pareus, and other expositors number them literally. Re 20:3

And cast him unto the bottomless pit

that he might go into perdition with the beast, and the false prophet. Re 20:10

And shut him up, and set a seal upon him;

that is, secured him in his prison, from tempting and deceiving the nations by himself, or by his instruments; pagan, papal, or Mahometan false teachers, {as 2Pe 2:1-3}

Till the thousand years shall be fulfilled, (and ended or finished) and after that he must be loosed a little season

{as Re 20:7,8}

Re 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

By

thrones

here we are to understand the kingdom and dominion of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of his suffering, conquering and overcoming saints. Re 11:15 Da 7:27 Mt 19:28 Re 3:21 12:11

And judgement was given unto them.

That is, to the righteous, {Eze 23:45} to the saints, {1Co 6:2-3}

And I saw the souls (animas, not the bodies) of them that were beheaded,

that is, suffered death

for the witness of Jesus,

Re 6:9-11 11:7 and for the Word of God, the holy scripture;

And which had not worshipped the beast:

that is, had not taken the oath of supremacy to the beast;

neither to his image:

popish kings, as head of the church, are refused to swear away the headship of our Lord Jesus Christ, {Col 1:18}

Neither had received his mark in their foreheads or in their hands.

See Re 13:16,17

And they lived and reigned with Christ these thousand years.

Ro 8:17-18 2Ti 2:11-12

Re 20:5-6 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

By

the rest of the dead,

here we may understand (per antithesin, and in contradistinction to them that had been killed, martyred, and slain; into whom the spirit of life from God had again entered) all those dead souls, who had worshipped the beast and his image, and had received his mark, whose names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life,

until these thousand years were finished, (or ended.) This is the first resurrection.

That is, the raising of the slain witnesses. {Re 11:7-11} See KNOLLYS "Rev 11:7" ff {Re 20:6} Five things are here said of this first resurrection, viz. first, they are holy, that is, sanctified persons, who lived godly in Christ Jesus, in times of persecution. {2Ti 3:12} Secondly, they are blessed, {Mt 5:8} with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things, in Christ Jesus. {Eph 1:3} Thirdly,

The second death hath no power over them.

They have all escaped the damnation of Hell, Ro 8:1-2 Re 20:14,15.

Re 20:7-10 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

These thousand years being expired, Satan shall be loosed

and his instruments permitted, by his deceiving the nations, Re 20:8 (called Gog and Magog) to gather together, from east, west, north and south,

And to compass the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city:

i.e., the new Jerusalem, and the general assembly and church of God, Heb 12:22-23 Re 21:2-3

And fire came down from God, out of Heaven, and devoured them

2Th 1:5-6 as it did. {Eze 39:6} Re 20:10 declares the final doom of the devil.

And the devil that deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the false beast and the prophets are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Re 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Here John had a vision and revelation, of the Day of Judgement, {Jude 5:6 Heb 6:2}

I saw a great white throne;

which signifies the glory and majesty of our Lord Jesus Christ at his second coming, {Heb 9:28} which will be with power and great glory, {Mt 24:30} then we shall all stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ, {Ro 14:10-12 2Co 5:10} whom John saw sit upon the white Throne;

From whose face the earth and the heavens fled away.

That is, they were dissolved, {2Pe 3:4-13}

And there was found no place for them:

for they must give place unto the new heaven, and the new earth. {Re 21:1}

Re 20:12 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.

The throne being placed, and the judge being set on the throne, John

saw the dead, small and great stand before God

That is, Jesus Christ, God-Man, {Ac 17:31}

And the books were opened

by these books we are to understand the bible, the holy scripture of truth, God's statute book; that is, the books of the Old and New Testament, {Ro 2:12-16}

And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.

that is, of election unto salvation, {Php 4:3}

And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

{2Co 5:10} whereby is revealed the just and righteous proceedings of Jesus Christ in judgement; for the wicked shall receive their reward, according to their evil deeds; and the righteous shall receive their reward of grace, as God hath promised them, according to their good deeds, {Mt 25:34-40} but not for them.

Re 20:13-14 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

By sea, death, and hell, here we are to understand the places where the bodies and souls of the dead were held and kept until this day of judgement:

And they were judged every man according to their works.

that is, according to their sinful thoughts, words, and deeds. {Jude 1:6-15}

Re 20:14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire: this is the second death.

this lake of fire is that Gehenna, into which the dragon, the beast and the false prophet, were cast. See Re 20:10 Mt 25:31-46.

Re 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

By

the Book of Life,

we are to understand God's election unto everlasting salvation, or eternal life and glory; there is a remnant according to the election of grace, Ro 11:5 Ro 8:30 Eph 1:3-6. Those that were

not found written in the Book of Life,

are all the non-elect, viz. wicked and ungodly persons; the workers of iniquity, who have lived in the world without God and Christ, and died in their sins; viz. all impenitent unbelievers, that obey not the gospel. {2Th 1:6-10}

Re 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

The glory and happiness of the church of God on earth prophesied by Isa 60:1-22 I the LORD will hasten it in his time; (in Christ's time) is here revealed to John in this vision of the new heaven and the new earth, which he saw, whereby is signified the world to come, {Heb 2:5} in contradistinction to this world. {Mt 12:32 Eph 1:21} God promised the primitive saints, that he would create new heavens, and a new earth, {Isa 65:17-18 66:22} and therefore the latter day saints do, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, {2Pe 3:13}

For the first heavens and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

So the apostle St. Peter testified, {2Pe 3:13} Nevertheless we according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. By the sea, we are to understand the gathering together of the multitude of many waters, as Ge 1:10. And by the waters, upon which the whore satteth, we may understand, people, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues, {Re 17:15} called the See of Rome; so the See of Canterbury, and the See of York: Whereby is figured the rage, troubles and persecutions, stirred up by the wind of unsound and popish doctrine of the church of Rome, as Isa 57:20.

Re 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

By

the holy city, new Jerusalem,

we are to understand Jerusalem that is above, {Ga 4:26} which shall come

down from God out of heaven

upon Mount Zion, {Heb 12:22-24}

Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

She is the bride, the Lamb's wife. See Re 19:7-8 Re 21:9; that is, the church in her latter day glory, {Re 21:22-27} And I saw no Temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, are the Temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved, shall walk in the light of it and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsover worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lambs Book of Life. And Isa 60:1-22 Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my Glory. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee, shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee, shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The City of the LORD, the Zion of the holy one of Israel. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw it self: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of the mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hand, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time.

Re 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God

Behold

that is, observe, ponder and consider what God speaketh by his voice from heaven.

The tabernacle of God is with men;

that is, God is come down with his church from heaven, unto the new earth, which he hath created: And in this respect Christ is said to rejoice in the habitable parts of his earth; and his delights are with the sons of men, {Pr 8:31}

And he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

These words are the substance and tenor of the new and everlasting Covenant of grace, both with converted Jews and gentiles. {Isa 55:1-3 Jer 31:32-40 Heb 8:6-10 Ro 11:24-26} Isa 19:23-25 In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt, and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.

Re 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

The time of the glorious state of the church, and kingdom of Christ on earth, before the general resurrection and the eternal judgment, will be a sorrowless time and condition to the church and people of God. For, first, they shall have no sufferings; {Isa 60:14-18} Secondly, they shall have no sins, {Isa 60:21} Thy people also shall be all righteous, and {Zep 3:13-15} The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity; and {Re 14:4-5} For they are without fault before the throne of God. Thirdly, they shall have no enemies to hurt them, to persecute them, nor to destroy them. {Isa 11:9-16} They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.- And I will punish the world, for their evil, and the wicked for their inquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. -Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. -Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes, their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. Read Isa 14:1-5 25:8 Jer 23:3-4 Eze 28:24 Zep 3:13-15

For the former things are passed away;

that is, all those things that occasioned sorrows and sufferings, tears and temptations, lamentations and weeping to the church and people of God are come to an end; that is, the old serpent is bound, the beast and false prophets taken and cast into the lake of fire. {See Re 19:20,21 Re 20:2-11} Now the church of God hath rest, peace and glory. Now the Lords redeemed ones are made unto God kings and priests, and shall reign on earth. {Re 5:9-10 Re 11:15 Da 2:44 7:27,28}

Re 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful

He that sat upon the throne

is our Lord Jesus Christ, who made the world and all things therein, {Joh 1:1-3 Heb 1:2} Whose name is called the Word of God, {Re 19:13}

I make all things new;

that is, I will now restore all things to their original purity and perfection. {Ac 3:19-21}

Re 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

It is done;

that is, the seventh trumpet is sounded. {Re 11:15} The seventh vial of the last plagues is poured out upon Babylon, {Re 16:17} all is performed and fulfilled. Now the mystery of God is finished. {Re 10:7} Christ, who was the Alpha or beginning of the creation of God, by whom all things were made, {Col 1:15-18} is now the Omega or end; that is, the finisher of all things, of the new heaven and the new earth, even he that maketh all things new.

I will give unto him that is a thirst, of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness. Mt 5:6 Isa 55:1-3 Re 22:17 They shall be filled, satisfied with the water of life and salvation. {Isa 12:3}

Re 21:7-8 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

There are four soul-enemies, that saints militant here on earth (like good soldiers of Jesus Christ) are to fight against, noted in the scripture of truth; viz. the devil, the world, sinful lusts, and the beast. Now by

he that overcometh

we are to understand him or her, that by faith in Christ getteth the victory over the devil, as 1Jo 2:13 over the world, as 1Jo 5:4-5 over their sinful lusts of the flesh, as Ro 6:12 1Pe 2:11 and over the beast, Re 15:2 20:4. These victors are more than conquerors. {Ro 8:35-39} And they

shall inherit all things

that is, these conquerors shall be co-heirs with Christ the great conqueror, {Re 3:21-22}

And I will be his God, and he shall be my son

that is, his God and Father in Jesus Christ, {Joh 20:17} And they shall be his sons and daughters by faith in Christ Jesus, {Ga 3:26 2Co 6:18}

But the fearful {Re 21:8} and unbelieving, etc., -shall have their part in the lake, -which is the second death

that is, hell, or Gehenna; everlasting burnings, into which the beast and false prophet were cast alive, {Re 19:20} also the devil himself. {Re 20:10,14,15}

Re 21:9-10 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

This, probably, is the same angel that showed John the vision of the great whore, {Re 17:1} who now shows him

the bride, the Lamb's Wife

{see Re 19:7,8} that is, the true visible church of God, as Re 21:1,2 See the exposition of those two verses; See KNOLLYS on "Rev 21:1" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 21:2" and here also, Re 21:10

That great city the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God

Read Heb 12:22-24.

Re 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

This glory of the Church of God on earth in the latter days, was foretold by the holy prophets, (Isa 28:5,60:1-13 and 62:2-3) etc.

And her light was like unto a stone most precious

Isa 30:19-26. For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee, at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. -Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be seven fold, as the light of the seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound, { Isa 60:19-20} And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. {Re 21:23} And there shall be no night there, and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever. -And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this Prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. {Re 22:5-19}

Re 21:12-13 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

A wall is principally for defence, and also for ornament; so the wall of the new Jerusalem was great and high, garnished with all manner of precious stones. {Re 14:11-18}

And had twelve gates

every several gate of one pearl. The wall was one hundred forty and four cubits {Re 21:17} in breadth, and twelve thousand furlongs in length, {Re 21:16} which signifies the greatness of the new Jerusalem.

And at the gates twelve angels

they are the holy watchers, who safe keep the city.

And names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the Children of Israel.

Read Isa 60:18-20 Thou shalt call thy walls salvation, and thy gates praise.

Re 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

By the

twelve foundations

here, we are to understand the fundamental doctrines of Christ's apostles, upon which the true Church of God is built, Christ being the chief corner stone, {Eph 2:19-22 Heb 6:1-4} And other foundation can no man lay, { 1Co 3:11} These

twelve foundations

therefore have in them

the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb

that is, of Christ crucified, among whom Matthias was numbered. {Ac 1:25-26}

Re 21:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

By this

golden reed

we are to understand the written Word of God, the holy scripture of truth, the rule of every believers faith, worship, and life. {Ga 6:15} See KNOLLYS on "Rev 11:1". And hereby we may understand, that in the latter days, the Church of God, his worship, ordinances, and worshippers, will all be according unto the golden rule of the written Word of God.

Re 21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

This holy city, the new Jerusalem, is square,

the length, and the breadth, and the height of it are equal

Resembled by Solomon's Temple, {1Ki 6:20} God's most holy house, {2Ch 3:8} the holy Temple in Jerusalem, {Eze 41:1-4} which were figures of the true Jerusalem, and holy City of God. {Heb 9:24}

Re 21:17-18 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. 18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

The wall of a city is for safety and defence, {Isa 4:5-6 5:1-2} See KNOLLYS on "Rev 21:12" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 21:15" & See KNOLLYS on "Rev 21:16"; by exact measure.

Re 21:19-21 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

In these three verses, the glorious spiritual state of the holy city, the heavenly Jerusalem, the Church of God on earth in the latter days, is mystically figured forth. And the city was pure gold, like the seven churches in Asia in their first constitution {see Re 1:12-20} but in far greater purity, holiness, and glory. The precious stones are, first, a jasper; which is called by jewellers the mother pearl, most precious, clear as crystal; Christ himself is resembled by it, {Re 4:3} like a jasper. Secondly, a sapphire; a precious stone shining with golden sparks, highly prized by the citizens of Tyre, and worn for ornament. {Eze 28:13} God promised to lay the foundation of the church with sapphires. {Isa 54:11} Read Job 28:14-16 Eze 1:26 10:1. Thirdly, a chalcedony; fourthly, an emerald, etc. Read Ex 28:17-21. By these

precious stones

we are to understand those living stones, which shall be built up a spiritual house, upon that living stone Christ Jesus. {1Pe 2:4-9}

Re 21:22-24 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

There shall be no material Temple in the new Jerusalem,

for the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, are the Temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof

Isa 60:19

Re 21:24 by

the nations of them which are saved

we may understand all those that were redeemed by the precious blood of Christ out of all nations, {Re 5:9-10} that is, the gentile nations. {Isa 60:3}

Re 21:25-27 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

The gates standing open continually, doth show the entrance in of the abundance of the converted gentiles into the church of the converted Jews in the latter days, Isa 6:10-13 even the fullness of the gentiles. {Ro 11:25-27} And the glory of the gentile nations shall be brought to the new Jerusalem; and God will glorify the house of his glory. {Isa 60:7-20 Re 21:27} All persons, whose names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life, shall be kept out of the new Jerusalem: None but God's elect shall have an entrance admitted to them into that holy city. {2Pe 1:10-11 Re 22:14-15}

Re 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

This

pure rive of water of life

alludeth to these mystical waters of the sanctuary, {Eze 47:1-8, Joe 3:18} called living waters, {Zec 14:8-9}

clear as crystal

pure, without any mixture; whereby we may understand all spiritual blessings flowing from Jesus Christ, the fountain of the water of life freely and abundantly. See Re 21:6,17.

Re 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

By

the tree of life

we are to understand the Lord Jesus Christ, from whom all our spiritual fruit is found, {Ho 14:5-8}

which bare twelve manner of fruits

that is, all the fruits of the spirit, {Ga 5:22-23}

and yieldeth her fruit every month

continually.

And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations

{as Mal 4:2-3 Eze 47:12 Ho 14:4-5}

Re 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

And there shall be no more curse

that is, no kind of misery, sorrow, sickness, affliction, or calamity in the holy city, the new Jerusalem.

But the throne of God, and of the Lamb shall be in it

that is, in the holy city.

And his servants

that is, his saints,

shall serve him

that is, shall worship him in spirit and truth. {Joh 4:22-24}

Re 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

And they shall see his face

By seeing his face, we are to understand such manifestations and open visions of God in Christ, as the saints have in Heaven. Read 1Co 13:12 1Jo 3:1-3.

And his name shall be in their foreheads

See Re 14:1

Re 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

And there shall be no night there

there will be no darkness in the new Jerusalem, nor will the inhabitants of that holy city need the

light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light.

See Re 21:23 Isa 60:19-20

And they shall reign forever and ever

Re 5:9-10 Da 7:27 Re 11:15.

Re 22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

These sayings are faithful and true

And so are all the words of God in the holy scripture, 2Ti 3:16 Re 21:5

And the Lord God of the holy prophets,

Isa 44:26 who confirmeth the word of his servants, and performeth the counsel of his messengers.

Re 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

This coming of Jesus Christ, {Re 22:7,12} is his second coming, called his appearing the second time, which will be personal, {Heb 9:27-28} visible, {Ac 1:11} and all his saints with him (Mt 24:30 and Re 1:7), To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God even our father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. {1Th 3:13}

Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this Book.

Re 1:3. See KNOLLYS on "Rev 1:3"

Re 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

I John saw these things and heard them

This is the disciple which testifieth these things: and we know, that his testimony is true, { Joh 21:24}

I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel, etc.

It is neither lawful to worship any creature instead of God, nor to fall down before any creature to worship God. {Re 19:10}

Re 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

See thou do it not

Ex 20:4-5 Le 26:1 De 5:8-9

Worship God,

For it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God; and him only shalt thou serve. {Mt 4:10}

Re 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

God would not have the words of the prophecy of this book to be kept secret, and therefore Christ commanded his servant John to write them in a book, {Re 1:11-19} and forbids him to seal them,

for the time (of fulfilling these sayings) is at hand

that is, near, and shall shortly come to pass.

Re 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

Here are two sorts of persons, of whom Christ testifies will be found in the same state and condition of soul at the second coming of Christ, as they were under the dispensation of the gospel of the grace of God; one sort of persons are unjust and filthy; the other sort are righteous and holy. Of both sorts Christ doth positively determine, that they shall so remain, abide, and be, until he come to judgment, and unto eternity. He that is unjust or filthy, let him be so still; and he that is righteous and holy, let him be so still; and so forever and ever.

Re 22:12-13 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

This is the second appearance and coming of Jesus Christ. See Re 22:7.

And my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be

Read Isa 40:10 62:11 Re 11:15-18 compared with Mt 16:27-28 Lu 22:29-30 Mt 19:20. The Lord Jesus Christ will give a reward to the wicked and ungodly, according to the merit and desert of their works; and he will also give to the righteous and godly a reward of grace according to their good works. {Ro 2:6-12} Who will render to every man according to his deeds. To them who by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality; eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness; indignation and wrath; tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the gentile. But glory, honour, and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the gentile. For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the Law, shall be judged by the law. See KNOLLYS on "Re 1:11" and See KNOLLYS on "Rev 3:14".

Re 22:14-15 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

By the commandments of God, we are to understand the moral law which Christ came not to destroy, but to fulfill. Therefore the apostle told the primitive saints, that they were not without the law to God, but under the law to Christ. {1Co 9:21} This doing of the commandments of God is not in the oldness of the letter, but in the newness of the spirit. {Ro 7:6} This blessedness is two fold; first,

They have right to the tree of life

not by merit, but of mercy and free grace. Secondly, an entrance through the gates into the holy city, the new Jerusalem, and the everlasting kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, {2Pe 1:10-11,15}

For without are dogs, etc.

That is, all sorts of ungodly and wicked men and women.

Re 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

I Jesus

See Re 1:1

the root

that is, David's Lord,

and the offspring

that is, David's son. {Isa 11:1-10 Mt 22:45 Ps 110:1} God blessed forever, {Ro 9:5} the day star. {2Pe 1:19 Lu 1:78}

Re 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

By the

bride

here, we are to understand the new Jerusalem, who shall come down from heaven as a bride adorned for her husband, Re 19:7-8 21:2-10 the church of God, and the holy spirit of God, and all converted persons do invite all sorts of sinners, especially, thirsty sinners, without exception against any persons, that are willing, and without any price, to take Christ freely. {Isa 55:1-3}

Re 22:18-19 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

These two verses contain a full confirmation of this Book of the Revelation, and the prophecies thereof, and of all things therein revealed, unto which no man may add, nor may any man

take away from the words of the book of this prophecy

under the penalty of suffering

the plagues that are written in this book

and also, under the loss of

his part in the book of life, etc.

Re 22:20-21 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Our blessed Lord Jesus Christ hath given his testimony unto the truth of the things written in this Book; and a third time asserts his second coming,

Surely I come quickly.

Unto which, the church, and all the saints of the earth, that look and wait for his coming from heaven, echo, saying,

Even so, come Lord Jesus

Re 22:21. This was the usual salutation of the apostles in their Epistles unto the churches of saints, 2Co 1:2 13:14. All saving grace and spiritual peace, do flow from God through Jesus Christ, unto the churches and saints of God. Amen.

I conclude with an invitation to all the people of God to come out of BABYLON.

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins; and that ye receive not of her plagues. {Re 18:4} This call is the call of God our Saviour unto all his people in mystical Babylon (Papal Rome) to come out of HER. Come out of her my people: which call of Christ was given by an audible voice, And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, etc. And this call from heaven is urged and enforced upon the people of God by two cogent arguments or reasons, 1. That ye be not partakers of HER sins. 2. That ye receive not of her plagues.

Two things in this call need explanation, 1. What this voice was? 2. What it is to come out of HER? To both these I shall speak briefly, and then proceed to speak more largely of this call.

First, this voice hath heaven's authority, It was from heaven, to wit, the voice of Christ in the ministry of the gospel ordinarily, and by the powerful efficacy of the Holy Spirit also, For our gospel came not unto you in the word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance. {1Th 1:5} So had the voice of the angels of God by whom Christ then spake unto his servant John, {Re 14:6-13} with a loud voice, {Re 14:7} which St. John heard from heaven. {Re 14:13} And so have the voice of the faithful ministers of God, by whom Christ also now speaks unto his people, He that heareth you, heareth me, etc. to wit, heavens authority. {Lu 10:16}

Secondly, to come out of HER, is to separate themselves from the church of Rome, which is now become a false church, called the great whore, and mother of harlots. {2Co 6:14-18} 2Co 6:17, Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ would have his people to be separated under the gospel from the unbelieving Jews, and their false worship (which Christ called vain worship.) {Mt 15:8-9} And St. Paul did separate the disciples from the Jewish synagogue of unbelievers. {Ac 19:8-9} And also from idolatrous gentiles, that worship images, (as the church of Rome doth) and from their idol temples, churches, and chapels; for the gentile papists, and church of Rome, their pope, cardinals, Jesuits, and all the roman priests do tread under foot the holy city. {Re 11:2} Jerusalem viz. the church and people of God, What agreement hath the Temple of God with idols? For ye are the Temple of the living God, as God hath said, {Le 20:24-26 26:12} I will dwell among them, and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be my people: wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separated saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing. {2Co 6:16-17, etc} The papists images, crosses, crucifixes; their consecrated wafers, holy waters, and saints pictures, the image of the Virgin Mary, and of our Saviour upon the cross, unto which images the popish priests and people fall down and worship; yea their Ave Maria, and prayers to saints deceased, all their holy bells, beads, prayer books, and candles, etc. are all as an unclean thing, and ought to be separated from, and not touched by the people of God, whom Christ calls upon with a loud voice to come out from among them.

These two particulars explained the argument which Christ urgeth to enforce this his call unto his people followeth, That ye be not partakers of HER sins, and that ye receive not of HER plagues. As if Christ had said, I do by the voice of my faithful ministers call and command you my people to come out of mystical Babylon (Papal Rome) and to separate yourselves from the church of Rome, which is fallen, is fallen from her apostolical purity in doctrine, worship, and discipline or ecclesiastical government, and is become as harlot, a false church, the great Whore, the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth, the synagogue of Satan, the habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. But if you my people (as if Christ had said) will not obey my voice, nor hear my call; if you will not come out from the church of Rome, and separate yourselves from the papists, and leave going to and worshipping in their popish temples, churches, chapels, and private cloisters, nunneries, priories, religious houses, meeting places, and holy roods of auricular confession, etc. then in the first place you will be partakers of their sins, that is, you will become guilty of their will worship, and spiritual fornication, {Re 17:2} of their impenitency added upon their iniquities. And in the next place you shall receive of her plagues, death and mourning and famine, etc. {Re 18:8} And these shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation. {Re 14:9-12}