The First Hallelu Yah (also v1.)
1 And after these things [Destruction of Papal Rome 18: 20] I heard a great voice of much people [apocalyptically styled 144 000 in white raiment] in <the> heaven, saying, <HALLELU YAH!>; <The> salvation, and <the> glory, and <the> honour, and <the> power, unto <YAHWEH our ELOHIM!>
After these things... after the Great Harlot's capital and government had been destroyed by YAH, the Seven-Horned Lamb, and those who were with him, the called, and chosen, and faithful.
The scene with which this chapter opens transfers our attention from Rome to Jerusalem, the place of Yahweh's throne. The of Rome's catastrophe having arrived there, the much people in the new heaven gave utterance to a great voice, saying,
"HALLELU YAH! The salvation, and the glory, and the honour, and the power"
be ascribed, not to the called, and chosen, and faithful Elohim, but "unto YAHWEH" their strength, and to the Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes, their Elohim.
These are the destroying and avenging power by which the saints obtain the victory over all their foes. To YAH, therefore, all the praise is due. The salvation of the nations from the continued corrupting influence of the great harlot, is solely due to Him; the glory of the deliverance, the honour of it, and the power to do it, are His alone; therefore, the great voice of the much people in the heaven, by whom the salvation, glory, honour, and power will be duly appreciated, will shout Hallelu Yah with an intensity of earnestness as never before gave utterance to the words.
This is the first place in the Apocalypse where these words are introduced. They are used four times in so much of the chapter as is now before the reader. They appear as one word in the Greek, Allelouia, which gives the unaspirated pronunciation of the Hebrew words, hal-'elu Yah, PRAISE YE YAH! They occur nowhere else in the Apocalypse than in ch. 19:1,3,4,6.
Let the reader turn to Psalms 95, 96, 97' 98, 99, and 100, and he will there read predictions which find their accomplishment after the destruction of "the Throne of Iniquity", and in the time of this great Hallelu Yah celebration of the Apocalypse.
2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great < harlot, who corrupted> the earth with her fornication, and <he> hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
3 And <a second time> [after the Harlot's survivors and sympathizers have their dominion taken away] they said, <HALLELU YAH!> And her smoke <ascendeth unto the aeons of the aeons>.
A second time - Hallelu-Yah
The word deuteron, a second lime, implies a first time, with an interval between the first and second. There is doubtless something intended in the information that they, the much people in the heaven a second time, said Hallelu YAH.
Why did they say it in the first instance? They tell us that it was because YAH had judged the Great Harlot, and had avenged the blood of His servants in destroying her; in other words, because of the successful issue of the Second Angel's mission announced in Apoc. 14:8. The Hallel was Praise to YAH, because he had caused the fall of the Great City Babylon, which had made all nations drink of the wine of the intenseness of her spiritual fornication.
But the judgment given to the saints, as the Elohistic agents of the all-powerful YAH, was not finished with the fall of the capital and government of the Roman Babylon. "The Remnant" still remained to be "slain with the sword of the King of kings" (ch. 19:21,16): "the kings of the earth", the merchants ruined by the wreck of their State-ship, and all its passengers and crew, who bewailed and lamented the harlot's destruction; and who could not, therefore, join in the celebration of her Destroyer's praise; but cordially hated and blasphemed Him in their anguish (ch 16:21) all these were yet unconquered.
As hard of heart as the old Egyptian government, the greatest manifestation of power fails to subdue their pride and haughtiness, so long as they can arm their peoples, and marshal their hosts in the field of battle.
"Their wickedness is great", too great to be forgiven. The Deity, therefore, hardens their hearts as vessels fitted for destruction; and thereby insures the execution of his purpose upon them. He puts it into their hearts to fulfill his will, until His predictions shall be fulfilled (ch. 17:7).
This work of judgment has to be executed by the Seven-Horned Lamb and his companions, after they have said Hallelu YAH the first time, and before they say it the "second time". The mission of the Third Angel has to be discharged between the first and second Hallelu YAH.
The third angel executes his vengeance upon the Harlot's survivors and sympathizers (ch. 14:9-11; 16:20,21; 17:14 - the smoke of whose torment ascendeth unto the aions of the aeons (ch. 14:11; 19:3) - until the worshippers and sympathizers of the Beast, and the Governments of Europe are completely and thoroughly subdued; and their kingdoms have become the kingdoms of YAH and of his Anointed Bride (ch. 11:15).
But before they can Apocalyptically say Hallelu YAH, a second time, all those things must be accomplished which are represented in this nineteenth chapter from the eleventh verse to the end. The four-and-twenty elders and the four living ones, the representatives of the saints before the throne, will then be able to say the Hallelu YAH, a second time; and to append to it the final "Amen!" for, it is written,
"they fell down, and did homage to the Deity that sits on the throne, saying, AMEN; Hallelu YAH! "
This fourth verse of our present chapter is synchronical with ch. 5:14, which points to the time when "every creature" shall say, in deed and in truth,
"Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be to him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb for the aeons of the aeons".
To which the four living ones respond "Amen!".
When this "Amen" is pronounced by them, "the war of the great day of the all-powerful Deity" will be ended. The judgment given to the saints will have been fully executed. The "it is done" of the seventh vial will have been attained. There will no longer be any Eighth Head and Ten Horns; the False Prophet will have disappeared in the fiery lake; the Dragon will have been chained in the abyss; and no dominions will be left to dispute the sovereignty of the King of kings, from the Euphrates to the ends of the earth -
"all nations shall serve him; and call him blessed" (Psa. 72:11,17).
All this is Apocalyptically implied in the "Amen" of the four-and-twenty elders, and the four living ones. They will co-join with it the Hallelu YAH in its second time utterance, because all these vast and glorious results are referable only to Him
"who made the heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters" (ch. 14:7; Zech. 4:6).
4 And the <twenty and four> elders and the four <living ones> fell down and <did homage to the Deity sitting upon> the throne, saying, Amen; <HALLELU YAH.>
There are no thunders connected with the "AMEN; Hallelu YAH;" for all that succeeds this celebration is "Glory to the Deity in the highest heaven, over the earth peace and good will to men".
5 And a voice <proceeded from> the throne, saying, Praise <the Deity>, <you> his servants, and ye that fear him, both <the> small and <the> great.
The First Hallelu Yah (also v1.)
6 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 [of war], saying, <HALLELU YAH! For Yahweh Elohim the all-powerful, hath prevailed!>
...the Hallelu YAH of our sixth verse, the voice of the great multitude, and the voice of the many waters, and the voice of the mighty thunderings do not prefix "Amen". Theirs is the utterance of the Hallelu YAH of the first time.
7 <We can rejoice and exult, and have given the glory to him; > for the marriage of the Lamb <hath> come [in Teman], and his <betrothed> hath made herself ready.
...preparatory to the Ecclesia becoming bone of the Second Adam's bone, and flesh of his flesh, it is necessary that they should become of one spirit, that they should be as He, when clothed with our filthy nature, Sin's Flesh,
"holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners,"
"walking circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Eph. 5:15:
for, if we do not establish a character before God for this, it would be a lie against our former selves to exalt us to spotless and unblemished Holy Spirit Nature; for this materiality is the embodiment of the truth, or spirit-developed character of a previous state. An intellectual and moral or spiritual preparation is, therefore necessary as a preparation for a union with that nature which Jesus now enjoys, since he became "the Lord, the Spirit."
"This" says Paul, "is a Great Mystery," let us therefore think with precision that we may understand it. We state, then
1. That when a man believes the Manifold Wisdom of God, he is enlightened and has acquired wisdom; he has then oil in his vessel.
2. That when such an one passes through the Laver of the water he is sanctified and cleansed in the process; and thereby betrothed in spirit, or mind and state to Christ.
3. That a man so sanctified, is in soul, spirit, and state, one with Christ; but not in nature: for He is no longer flesh and blood:
4. That from the time of passing through the Laver of Baptism until death, is the period for testing the believer's fidelity to the Bridegroom:
5. That if his faith and subsequent practice have been such as to cause him to be accounted worthy of a resurrection to eternal glory, he will, on being approved, after rising from among the dead, become the subject of a change; "his vile body will be made like to his glorious body," in which change, the subject thereof becomes "a member of Christ's body, of his flesh, and of his bones."
6. That when this membership is consummated, the marriage with the Bridegroom is perfected, and Christ and the Bride become the exponents of what is meant by "The Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," into and for which they were baptized.
In Rev. 19:7, this glorious consummation, the formation of the Rib taken from Man into a Woman for the Second Adam, is made the subject of great rejoicing. It is there written,
"We may rejoice, and joy exceedingly, and give the glory to God; because the Marriage of the Lamb is come, and his Woman hath made herself ready. And it was given to her, that she might clothe herself with fine linen, pure and white: for the fine linen is (or signifies) the righteous actions of the Saints."
This is that Woman, who, in Rev. 12:14, is represented as
"flying into the wilderness, into her place, where she is sheltered for a time, times, and half a time from the face of the Serpent"
—a period of 1260 years, terminating at the marriage of the Lamb. She is still in this wilderness state, which, however, we rejoice to know from the signs of the times, is not much longer to continue. We see from the above testimony, that, at the crisis of the marriage she is said to have made herself ready; and that in doing so she clothes herself with righteous deeds. This implies that previous to the marriage, she had been engaged in dressing her lamps; and in filling her vessels with store of oil.
This dressing her lamps, and filling her vessels, then, becomes a sign that the celebration of the nuptials is at hand. "It has been given to her," to know this; and knowing it from the signs of the times she has been enabled to discern, she is making herself ready for the event. This preparation of the Woman, then, is the seventh sign of the times which may be easily discerned by an enlightened faith.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Dec 1860
8 And to her <it hath been given> that she <may have been clothed with fine linen pure and resplendent> for the <pure> linen is the righteous <actions> of <the> saints.
All this had been done in Teman, and before the Bride had been established upon Mount Zion.
...The betrothed had made herself ready by deeds of righteousness; on account of which she had been married or united to the Lamb, in being invested with the clothing of incorruption. This enabled her constituents,
"the heaven, and the holy apostles and prophets"
to rejoice and exult; and they needed not to be exhorted to "give honour" to YAH; for, as they say, "we have given the glory to him". Their investment with the fine linen of incorruption, as the reward according to their pure and resplendent works, was preliminary to judgment being given them for execution upon the Great Harlot and the ten-horned Scarlet Beast that carried her.
They had been clothed, and had thereby been made invincible; but it was not until the occasion of the first Hallelu YAH celebration, commemorating the destruction of the Great Harlot, that the prowess of the Omnipotent YAH, in concert with His previously prepared Bride, was celebrated by the
"much people in the heaven".
9 And he saith unto me, Write! Blessed are they <who have been> called to the <feast of the > marriage of the Lamb. And he saith to me, These are the true <words of the Deity.>.
10 And I [John not immortal] fell <before> his feet to <do homage to> him. And he said to me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren <who> have the testimony of Jesus: <do homage to the Deity>: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
These words are parallel with ch. 22:7-10, and refer to the time of the fulfillment of the promise, "Behold I come suddenly," or "as a thief'. John and the Angel in the scene personate the Brethren of Christ. They were the fellow-servants, brethren, and prophets, who keep the sayings of the Apocalyptic prophecy - who keep in memory the sayings, and who keep them in the sense of executing the judgments of the seventh vial.
The angel's refusal of John's adoration was a direct rebuke of those professors who, in the days of the apostles, were beguiling themselves and others of their reward, in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels (Col. 2:18)-a rebuke which would make the Apocalypse itself quite distasteful to them.
The angel's declaration in the scene, indicated that the class he represented was restored to life; for he says he was of them. John and he meet in "the time of the dead", and see and hear the things of the prophecy in their fulfillment, which they were before acquainted with only in vision when the Apocalypse was communicated in Patmos.
John had not yet attained to the angelic nature; if he had he would not have dramatically prostrated himself before the angel to do him reverence.
11 And I saw <the> heaven <which had been> opened, and behold a White Horse; and <one sitting> upon him, called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judgeth and makes war.
The scene is the amplification of ch. 17:14, which says,
"the Ten Horns receive power as kings one hour with the (Eighth Head of the) Beast".
These have one policy, and shall deliver their power and strength to the Beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, but the Lamb shall over-come them: for he is Lord of lords and King of kings: and they who are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. These are the parties in the war the King of kings and his followers of the one part; and the Beast and kings of the earth, of the other.
The war waged in righteousness by YAHWEH Tz'vaoth, (He who shall be hosts), the Faithful and True One, is
"the war of the great day of the all-powerful Deity:" when "the lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down; and YAHWEH alone shall be exalted" (Isa. 2:11).
The result of the conflict will be the transfer of the "many diadems" from the Ten Horns (ch. 13:1) to the head of the King of kings; who will then be, not only King of Israel, but King of all the nations of the earth; whom he henceforth possesses as his inheritance, with none to dispute his claim (Psa. 2:8; Zech. 14:9).
I saw <the> heaven <which had been> opened
..the kingdom of Israel and throne of David. These are at present nonentities; for no such kingdom and throne are seen among the kingdoms of the world. It is necessary that "a door be opened in the heaven," and that a Power enter through the breach, and set up its government therein.
To set up the throne of David in the heaven, Jerusalem, the place of the throne and capital of the Great King, must be wrested from the enemy - from Gog.
This, as we have seen, is accomplished after the return of the Ancient of Days, and after his corporeal union with the Bride in Teman; and consequently upon the signal overthrow of the king of the north in the terminal epoch of the sixth vial.
This having been transacted, John was able to look back upon the situation, and to say in ch. 4:1,2,
"Behold a door had been opened, eneogmene, in the heaven; and a throne was set in the heaven".
The throne of David had been re-established, and was occupied by David's Son and Lord; who was now prepared to make war in righteousness upon all the other thrones in the heaven, until he had cast them down, and transferred all their diadems to his own head.
The heaven thus opened is the same referred to in ch. 19:11. In this place he informs us, that the heaven in which he saw the white horse cavalry had been opened. If it had not previously been opened he would not have seen that body of horse therein. Hence, the time of the scene is subsequent to the opening of the heaven, and the appearance of the Lamb with the 144,000 upon Mount Zion, in the terminal epoch of the sixth vial.
The White Horses
THE Commander-in-Chief, the real Commander of the Faithful, the Captain, who leads many sons to glory, was seen by John, sitting upon a white horse in the opened heaven; and all his "called, and chosen, and faithful", hosts, sitting upon white horses likewise. They are themselves the heaven that rejoices over the fall of the Great Harlot; the horses they ride upon are therefore Apocalyptically regarded as in the heaven also.
The white horse upon which the Commander of the Hosts of the heaven rides, is not representative of that symbolized by the white horse of ch. 6:2. This is the Roman Horse of the first seal period. The white horse of the scene before us, is the Hebrew Horse; and all the other horses upon which the faithful hosts who follow him sit, are horses of the same race. A clue to the signification of the horse in this place is found in Zech. 10:3, where the Spirit saith,
"Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds (kings of the earth), and I punished the goats;"
and the exposition given, showing how and when they were punished, is added in the words,
"for YAHWEH Tz'vaoth hath visited his flock the House of Judah, and hath made them his GOODLY HORSE in the battle. And they shall be as mighty ones who tread down as in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because Yahweh is with them," (ch 10:3) "and shall be seen over them" (ch. 9:14).
The House of Judah will then be not only the horse to be ridden, but it will be made a goodly horse, before YAHWEH Tz'vaoth will condescend to ride them in his wars. Zechariah tells us, that
"He will save the tents of Judah first" (ch. 12:7):
He will save them from Gog; and He will save them from their sins, which is an essential part of his mission. When He hath delivered Jerusalem, The governors of Judah will say heartily, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in YAHWEH Tz'vaoth their Elohim the 144,000 (ch. 12:5).
They will have looked upon him whom their ancestors pierced, and repented (v.10); and so find access to the fountain opened to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness (ch. 13:1). Thus they will become nationally white, or "goodly," being
"washed in the blood of the Lamb" (Apoc. 7:14).
They are by this process grafted into their own olive, and become fit for the master's use, as soldiers of the rank and file in the holy and righteous war.
When Habakkuk saw "Eloahh come from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran," he had a glimpse of the military armament of Apoc. 19. He inquires in ch. 3:8 saying,
"Was YAHWEH displeased against the rivers? Was thine anger against the rivers? Was thy wrath against the sea that thou didst ride upon thy horses, thy vehicles of salvation? Thou didst march through the sea with thine horses, through the mire of great waters" (verse 15).
The time of this movement against the nations he terms "the Day of Trouble", and prays that he may rest in it; and adds concerning it,
"when he cometh up against the people, he will cut them in pieces with his troops".
Moses also, in Deut. 33:26, alludes to the same military display of power, saying,
"there is none like the AlL of Yeshurun riding the heavens in thy help, and in his majesty the clouds. A refuge is the Elohim of old, and underneath the powers of Olahm; and He shall thrust out the enemy; and shall say, Destroy!"
Here then we have a complete army exhibited for the conquest of the nations, and the salvation of the Twelve Tribes of Israel the Lord Jesus Christ the Commander; "the called, chosen, and faithful" his brethren and companions, filling all the offices of the army; and the men of the Hebrew race the goodly soldiery of the kingdom.
The heavenly hosts, or immortal saints, are "the heavens" ridden by the Ail of Yeshurun; while these heavens ride upon their goodly Hebrew horses to the destruction of all the governments of the world. An armament like this, in which every soldier of the ranks shall be able to
"chase a thousand, and to put ten thousand to flight" (Deut. 32:30; Lev. 26:8)
- an army of Samsons cannot but be invincible. It will be just the force the necessities of the situation demand. These soldiers of the king of Israel will not only be the goodly horses ridden by the Saints, but they will be the long, or far reaching, sword of their Commander, and his bow and arrow, battle axe, and new sharp threshing instrument with teeth. "I declare," saith the Spirit,
"that I will render double to thee; when I have bent Judah for me, and filled the (Judah) bow with (the) Ephraim (arrow), and raised up thy sons, 0 Zion, against thy sons, 0 Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. And YAHWEH shall be seen over and his arrow (Ephriam) shall go forth as lightning and Adonai YAHWEH shall blow the trumpet, and his arrow (Ephraim) shall go forth as the lightning: and whirlwinds of Teman" (Zech. 9:13).
And in Isa. 41:14,
"Fear not thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel, I will help thee, saith YAHWEH, and thy redeemer the Holy One of Israel. Behold I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in YAHWEH, and shall glory in the Holy One of Israel".
Such is the means employed for the fulfillment of Apoc. 16:20,21, by which we are informed, that "every island fled away, and the mountains were not found;" and that
"there fell upon men a great hail out of the heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent"
a plague of meteoric stones from the Hebrew hosts of the New Heaven that will be
12 <But> His eyes < are as it were> a flame of fire, and on his head many crowns; <having a name which had been> written, <which no one knows >, but he himself.
"Having a Name which had been written, which no one knew but he himself."
Before John saw the Faithful and True One in the heaven, a name had been written upon his garment and upon his thigh, indicative of the wearer of the garment in his glory and majesty No one knew the name but he himself;" yet the name is given in verses 16 and 13 as
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS"
and the Word of the Deity This is the Blessed and only Potentate who Paul saith dwells in light which no man can approach unto whom no man hath seen nor can see (1 Tim 6:15,16).
This name of the Invisible Deity had been written upon a garment dyed with blood and upon a thigh. The thigh and garment had been filthy; but their filthiness had been purged or caused to pass away so thoroughly, that the garment was as raiment changed (Zech 3: 5).
The filthy garment was the Human Nature, which the Word of the Deity was clothed with in His flesh-manifestation.
"Jesus Anointed" is expressive of this idea. The garment of humanity became changed raiment by the transforming power of Spirit in the moment of its ascent to consubstantiality with the Father. In this instantaneous quickening on the third day, the name of King of kings and Lord of lords, the name of the Invisible Father, was written, or engraved, into the blood-stained substance, or veil, that was rent upon the cross.
In this process of inscription, the humanity was transmuted into the Divine Nature, which in the scene before us, appears metonymically as a garment and thigh inscribed with the glorious, majestic, and all-powerful, name of the Invisible Blessed and Only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords; of which Spirit-manifestation, the appellation "THE LORD JESUS ANOINTED" is the concise and Scriptural expression.
But though the name can be read, and expounded, "no one knows the name but he himself'. The Father's name is written upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and upon all the "redeemed from among men" (ch. 14:1) but they are not therefore the Father.
The only Personage in the universe that can answer to the name of the Invisible King of kings and Lord of lords is the Invisible Father Himself. He therefore only knows the name; it is truly representative of no one else.
The personages in the scene are Spirit-manifestations of the Father, the Sons of the Deity upon whom His name has been written, (ch. 3:12) with One in their midst, in whom, it has pleased the Father, all fullness shall dwell; and that he shall have the pre-eminence among them in all things (Col. 1:18,19).
The pre-eminence is indicated by the name upon his thigh; and by the long-sword going forth from his mouth. The name written upon the thigh is elucidated by Psa. 45:3,4, addressed to the King: "Gird thy sword upon the thigh, 0 Mighty One, with thy glory and thy majesty: and in thy majesty ride prosperously in the matter of the truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things".
Thus, he rides forth upon the white horse in the scene before us, followed by the hosts of the heaven, of whom he is the Commander-in-chief, as indicated by the sword in apposition with his mouth - "He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword" (Isa. 49:2): and "the Word of the Deity is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart; neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight" (Heb. 4:12).
Such is the power to which the garment and the thigh belong, and upon which the name of the Blessed and the Only Potentate is inscribed. The rider of the white horse is the Image of the Invisible One, from whose mouth issues the command for the smiting of the nations; a command which is executed by the people who are his sword. He gives the word; they obey with alacrity and invincible effect.
This is symbolized in the scene before us by a sharp sword as it were going out of the mouth of the principal figure of the group, who is also styled, "the Word of the Deity" - the Word made FLESH; and afterwards, in its ascent to the Father, "justified by spirit," and therefore SPIRIT. This all-powerful Image of the Invisible King of kings, having smitten the nations by his all-conquering hosts, assumes the government of them by right of conquest.
The mythic "sovereignty of the people" is effectually and finally abolished from the earth, partial or universal suffrage is extinguished; and the rule of a Righteous Despot, who shall govern the nations by his own absolute will and authority, will be substituted in their stead; for, it is written, "he shall rule them with an iron rod".
Every approved and accepted believer of the Truth, who shall have been made "like him," will participate with him in the administration of this iron and righteous despotism - iron because of its invincibility and strength: for
"he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with an iron rod" (ch. 2:26,27); "even as," saith he, "I have received of my Father".
13 And he <had been> clothed with a <garment that had been dyed with> blood: and his name is called The Word of < the Deity.>
14 And the armies <hosts in the > heaven followed him upon white horses, < having been> clothed <with> fine linen white and <pure.>
These hosts being invested with the same clothing as the betrothed, indicates that they are the same persons. The fine linen investing the betrothed is declared to be representative of the righteous deeds, ta dikaiomata, of the saints. This is equivalent to saying, that the betrothed of the Lamb is constituted of the Saints. Hence the wearers of the fine linen, which is granted specially and exclusively to approved saints, whether on foot or "upon horses," are known to be saints by their uniform.
The white and pure fine linen deeds shine forth resplendently in a pure and bright nature like that of the angels; for the saints are made "equal to the angels," when "the mortal is swallowed up of life".
In the scene before us, they illustrate the name YAHWEH Tz'vaoth, which signifies in plain English, He who shall be hosts. The Eternal Spirit, who named himself YAHWEH at the bush, manifests himself in Jesus and his Brethren, who are the Commander and his Hosts of this remarkable scene.
Each one of them is a distinct spiritual entity - an incorruptible and immortal flesh-and-bones organization, which is Spirit-body, or a man like to the Lord Jesus after he had been "revived" or quickened (Luke 24:39; Rom. 14:9).
The first man Adam is multiplied into thousands and tens of thousands of millions, by a natural law, so "the second Adam the Lord from heaven," who is "the Lord the Spirit",multiplies himself into hosts of immortals after his own image (1 Cor. 15:49) by the creative operation of his almighty power.
These tz'vaoth, or hosts, in the heaven, cannot be computed; for they are "a multitude which no man can number," taken out from among "all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues," by the belief and obedience of the truth; and who "stand before the throne and before the Lamb," whom "they follow whithersoever he goeth," "upon white horses," "clothed with white robes;" and when "the war of the great day" is over, holding "palms in their hands," the emblem of victory (Apoc. 7:9; 14:4).
But, though no man can compute the number of these heavenly hosts, they are symbolically represented by the number of their nationality, and measured by its cubical contents; or by 144,000, and 144 cubits, respectively (ch. 14:1; 21:17). They are the kings and lords, the official companions of the Great King, who accompany him in all his enterprises against the nations. They are the third angel, and the angels of the harvest and vintage scenes of ch. 14; Joel3:13: they tread
"the vat of the wine of the indignation, and wrath of the all-powerful Deity,"
without the city, by the space of a thousand, six-hundred furlongs; or during the forty years of the seventh vial judgments upon "the Air".
15 And out of his mouth goeth < forth> a sharp <long-> sword, that with it he <may have smitten> the nations: and he shall <govern> them with <an iron rod>: and he treadeth the <vat of the wine of the wrath and of the indignation of the all powerful Deity>
16 And he hath <upon the garment> and upon his thigh <the name which had been>written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
17 And I saw <one> angel <who had stood> in the sun [briefly before fleeing into the wilderness - Rev 12]; and he <shouted> with a loud voice [peace on condition of submission], , saying to all the fowls <flying in mid-heaven>, Come <hither> and <assemble together for the banquet of the powerful Deity,>
"I saw One Angel who had stood in the sun".
In the original text it is not simply angelos, an angel, but emphatically hena angelon one angel. This angel is particularized as one that had stood, hestota, in the sun. The English Version renders this perfect participle by the sign of the present, standing. I have preferred to adhere to the literal, however true that this one angel comes at length to
"shine as the sun in the kingdom of the Father".
It is doubtless not accidental that the Revelator said to John, that the angel had stood in the sun. This reference to a past position of the angel would afford a clue to his identity, and enable the reader to distinguish him from the many other angels of the Apocalypse.
The only place in the previous chapters where a body of people having a mission are found "in the sun," is in the twelfth chapter. This angel-body is there styled "a woman", who is said to "have been clothed with the sun". A community clothed with the sun is "standing in the sun" so long as it continues so invested. But this angel-woman did not continue to stand in the sun; for "she fled into the wilderness" where she remained 1260 years.
It could therefore be said of her that she had stood in the sun; but has never stood there since. It was a great military success that placed her temporarily "in the sun" the conquest of the pagan Dragon-government by her deliverer Constantine, who, in this particular, was a type of her greater and eternal deliverer, the King of kings and Lord of lords, whose conquest of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet, will place her in the sun, to enlighten the earth with glory.
"And the one angel shouted with a loud voice"
THIS loud voice of the one angel is one of the voices of the Seventh Vial (ch. 16:18): preparatory to Ephraim being shot forth like lightning from the Judah-bow, in the hand of YAHWEH Elohim.
It is the loud voice of the rainbowed angel as of a lion roaring. This had been preceded by a loud voice, announcing in all the midheaven, or "Air", into which the Seventh Vial will be poured, that the Hour of Judgment, so long threatened, had actually arrived (ch. 14:6).
This is a voice of peace, and friendship, and good will, to all who shall obey it; but terrible in its consequences to those who shall neglect or reject it. The angel who proclaims this loud voice, or message, to the nations, "flies in midheaven"- in the Apocalyptic "midheaven," which is peopled by Birds of Prey, then ready to take wing when the loud voice of the one angel shall reach them.
It is the same angel who makes proclamation in midheaven, that invites the fowls of the midheaven to assemble to the Deity's banquet of slaughtered kings, military offices, chaplains, soldiers of all ranks, and so forth.
The angel-proclaimer in both cases is of the Woman, then no longer a down-trodden and afflicted fugitive, but "the Holy City, New Jerusalem, prepared as a Bride, who had been adorned for her husband" (ch. 21:2).
The state, the church, and the army of the kingdom are then all in the hands of the saints; who will tolerate no other states, churches, and armies, than their own. The man or people, who will not accept their absolute sovereignty in secular and spiritual affairs must be tormented, and suffered to enjoy no rest day nor night (ch. 14:10,11). They offer peace on condition of unqualified submission; otherwise there is no escape from being devoured by the Birds of Prey.
The proclamation of good in midheaven by the Saints (and there is none else to do it) is not only to warn the nations of what is about to break forth upon them, but so to operate upon the scattered Israelites, as to make them willing to acknowledge Jesus as David's Son and Lord, and to place themselves at his disposal; so that whatever he, as the Prophet like unto Moses, may command to be done, they will readily and zealously obey under the direction, orders, and superintendence of those of his Brethren he may appoint.
The Birds of Prey
The saints will have, not only to make proclamation, but to consummate such a military organization as will make Israelites and the "mixed multitude" who accept their proclamation, bodies of efficient soldiers in all the countries where such may be found. The means developing this result will be "a noise," and "a shaking," whereby the very dried bones of Israel shall come together, bone to bone, and flesh and sinew shall come upon them, and they shall live politically, and stand upon their feet an exceeding great army (Ezek. 37).
This standing up of Israel upon their feet is the political resurrection predicted by Balaam, and recorded by Moses in Numbers 23:24,saying,
"Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion; he shall not lie down until he eat the prey, and drink the blood of the slain. His King shall be higher than Agag (or Gog), and his kingdom shall be exalted. AlL brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath, as it were, the strength of an unicorn; He shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows" (ch. 24:7,8).
When all the necessary preparations shall have been completed, the time will have arrived for the Star of Jacob to set these forces into motion, for the purpose of
"destroying him that remaineth of the city";
and in the work of destruction, of hewing their way out from the wilderness of the peoples into the land of Israel.
In the development of this work, "it shall come to pass" that they will be an united people:
"the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon (as birds of prey) the shoulders of the Philistines westward; they shall wholly spoil the children of the east" (Isa. 11:13,14).
Thus, it will be seen by these expressions, "eating the prey and drinking the blood of the slain," "eating up the nations his enemies," and "flying upon their shoulders," applied to Israel in the time of their political resurrection, and under the leadership of the Four Living Ones full of eyes, one of whom hath the face of an Eagle, and another of a Lion, that they are aptly represented Apocalyptically as
"the fowls flying in midheaven".
Israel will do valiantly under the Saints, and are the instruments in their hands by whom the kings and their armies will be devoured. As then Cyrus was styled
"a ravenous bird from the east"
in coming against Babylon to destroy it; and the powers hostile to Israel were termed birds (Isa. 46:11; Jer. 12:9); so Israelites are symbolized by flesh-devouring fowls, when they shall be summoned into activity against the "unclean and hateful birds" of Babylon the Great.
The Apocalyptic banquet for the fowls of the midheaven, is the last period of judgment upon the worshippers of the Beast and his Image. The loud voice of the one angel calls them to the work of slaughter. Babylon having fallen, the work of the third angel has now to be executed upon her sympathizing survivors, the kings of the earth and their armies. John saw them already gathered in battle array; and he saw the fowls gathered who were to devour them - the ravenous birds of him who rides the goodly horse, and his hosts of the heaven.
The Lake of Fire
A lake is a tract of standing water. The lake into which the Beast and the False Prophet are to be cast, is not, however, of water, but of fire.
A lake of fire is a tract of land in a state of fiery ignition.
A tract of land may be in a state of conflagration, or it may not. When a country is in its normal state, it is Apocalyptically neither a lake of water nor of fire, but simply "the earth," out of which the Beast came; but, if that country be thrown into a state of destructive conflagration, it becomes Apocalyptically a lake of fire.
Hence, the lake into which the Beast and False Prophet are cast, is all that tract of country upon which they exist as the secular and ecclesiastical constitution of the inhabitants. To cast such into the lake of fire in which they are destroyed, is to kindle an intense conflagration in the territory of their dominion, which is not extinguished, or quenched, until they are consumed; and the remnant of their subjects, who survive the fiery ordeal, transfer their allegiance to the tormenting and conquering power.
...Such is the fire the anger and indignation of the Deity, descending with consuming effect upon the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, in the form of pestilence, famine, and war. The furnace from which this stream of devouring fire is poured forth, is the capital of the Great King, "whose fire" saith the prophet, "is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem". From thence, when he hath established himself there, "he will send a fire into Magog, and among them that dwell confidently in the isles; and they shall know that I am YAHWEH" (Ezek. 39:6).
He that rides the white horse, and the hosts of the heaven riding the same troops, are "the Angel having power over fire" (ch. 14:18), whose face is as it were the sun, and his feet, planted upon the sea and upon the earth, are as pillars of fire (ch. 10:1,2) which he mingles with the sea (ch. 15:2). Thus,
"the beast is slain, his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame" (Dan. 7:11).
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of <chieftains>, and the flesh of mighty <ones>, and the flesh of horses, and of <those sitting upon> them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, <and> small and great.
19 And I saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, < which had been> gathered together to make war against him <sitting upon > the horse, and <with his host>..
20 And the Beast <had been> taken, and with him the False Prophet [The Harlot Priesthood] < who had worked the wonders> before him, with which he deceived them <who> received the <sign > of the Beast, and <who> worshipped his image. <The two had been> cast alive into <the> lake of <the> fire burning with brimstone.
The False Prophet and the Lord's Appearing
The loss of political power does not change the Papal horn into a false prophet, because the false prophet element existed in it while it was yet in the horn-state: but stripping him of the horn element, it reduces the Pontiff to the simple character of a false prophet.
The Roman Apostacy exists in its ecclesiastical form till the Lord destroys it at his coming, as shown by the presence of the False Prophet in the ranks of the Lord's enemies (Rev. 19:20), and by the statement of Paul that the Man-of-Sin-power is to be
"consumed with the spirit of his mouth and destroyed with the brightness of his coming."—(2 Thess. 2:8.)
It is its political power and possessions only that are taken away in the time of the end before the Lord appears. This is effected by the hostility of the ten horns or European powers (Rev. 17:10), a fact which, duly recognised, would have prevented the mistake of looking for the Lord immediately the period of the little-horn's power over the saints was expired.
The early disciples "thought the kingdom of God would immediately appear."—(Luke 19:11.) It seems as if the latter-day disciples had to make a somewhat similar mistake in connection with the expiry of the "time, times and a half"—probably for the trial of our patience, and that the mere sensationalists might be driven off.
Events are rectifying our perceptions.
The Christadelphian, May 1873
21 And the <rest had been killed with the long> sword of him <sitting> upon the horse, which sword proceeded <from> his mouth: and all the fowls <had been satiated> with their flesh.
The secular and ecclesiastical Organizations styled the Beast and the False Prophet, the European Constitution of the nations in church and state, is abrogated, and finally destroyed, in the burning fire, issuing as a fiery stream from before the Ancient of Days (Dan. 7:9,10): while the armies in the field are cut up and dispersed by the Israelitish Sword of the Mighty One, who continues the kingdoms of the world, but appropriates their diadems as the spoil of the victor (ch. 11:15).