Maundy Thursday

“Today is Maundy Thursday…” no it’s not, stop it!

“I love it when you call me big Papa..” – Pope Francis

papa

“…the acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.”

( Jeremiah 10:7; Mark 12:33; Deuteronomy 12:32; Exodus 20:4-6 )

In Their Very Bones

Posted in 2015

The church still needs Reforming when it comes to the issue of Christmas.

ChristsMass

“I know how difficult it is to persuade the world that God disapproves of all modes of worship not expressly sanctioned by His Word. The opposite persuasion which cleaves to them, being seated, as it were, in their very bones and marrow, is, that whatever they do has in itself a sufficient sanction, provided it exhibits some kind of zeal for the honor of God. But since God not only regards as frivolous, but also plainly abominates, whatever we undertake from zeal to His worship, if at variance with His command, what do we gain by a contrary course? The words of God are clear and distinct, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” “In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men,” 1 Sam. 15:22; Matt. 15:9. Every addition of His word, especially in this matter, is a lie. Mere “will worship” (ethelothreeskia) is vanity [Col. 2:23]. This is the decision, and when once the judge has decided, it is no longer time to debate.” The Necessity of Reforming the Church

And again, “I come now to ceremonies, which, while they ought to be grave attestations of divine worship, are rather a mere mockery of God. A new Judaism, as a substitute for that which God has distinctly abrogated, has again been reared up by means of numerous puerile extravagances, collected from different quarters; and with these have been mixed up certain impious rites, partly borrowed from the heathen, and more adapted to some theatrical show than to the dignity of our religion. The first evil here is, that an immense number of ceremonies, which God had by his authority abrogated, once for all, have been again revived. The next evil is, that while ceremonies ought to be living exercises of piety, men are vainly occupied with numbers of them that are both frivolous and useless. But by far the most deadly evil of all is, that after men have thus mocked God with ceremonies of one kind or other, they think they have fulfilled their duty as admirably as if these ceremonies included in the whole essence of piety and divine worship.”

John Knox of Scotland wrote against the Romanists who would enslave us with false worship, “That God’s word damns your ceremonies, it is evident; for the plain and straight commandment of God is, “Not that thing which appears good in thy eyes, shalt thou do to the Lord thy God, but what the Lord thy God has commanded thee, that do thou: add nothing to it; diminish nothing from it.” Now unless that ye are able to prove that God has commanded your ceremonies, this his former commandment will damn both you and them.”

The Larger Catechism is crystal clear.

Q. 109. What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?

A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are…any religious worship not instituted by God himself; tolerating a false religion…corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretence whatsoever…

I bet Uzzah thought he was doing a good deed when I touched the ark and died.

So, at this point I have to say, if I keep Christmas as a Christian holy day…upon what authority? If I add it to my worship calendar and keep it, I do so upon my own authority or the authority of tradition.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Matthew 15:9

Throwback post.

In vain do they worship me. This worship is all idle, empty, and without profit, because they teach as doctrines the commandments of men. This rebuke to the Pharisees, who had added to the law of Moses many traditional human precepts, applies equally to all modern religionists who have modified or added to the Christianity of Christ and the apostles. Whatever one cannot find in the New Testament is of such a character; observance of saints’ days, of Christmas, of Lent, the removal of the cup in the Lord’s Supper from the laity, infant sprinkling, party creeds and party shibboleths, are all of men and not of God. The devout worshiper should go right to the New Testament for his religion, and reject every ordinance or precept that is not to be found there. People’s New Testament Commentary

X-Mas

Posted in 2012

I read posts on the net and see cute little pics on facebook, made by well meaning Christians, who want to keep “Christ in Christmas.”

Why is it so important?

I’m not sure what to think about “Christmas” but Christmas seems to be about consumerism and is embraced by believers, unbelievers and false religious teachers. Should Christians fight to keep “Christ in Christmas?” I enjoy Christmas for cultural reasons (food, family, friends) but I find the season as reason for gluttony and if anything, contrary to Christian principles.

Is there biblical support for this holiday?

Am I just being a Scrooge?

I know the Puritans banned Christmas but I wouldn’t, I don’t really care enough either way, keep it or don’t.

XMAS (Christmas)
by A.W. Pink

“Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen…for the CUSTOMS of the people are vain” (Jer. 10:1-3).

Christmas is coming! Quite so: but what is “Christmas?” Does not the very term itself denote it’s source – “Christ-mass.” Thus it is of Roman origin, brought over from paganism. But, says someone, Christmas is the time when we commemorate the Savior’s birth. It is? And WHO authorized such commemoration? Certainly God did not. The Redeemer bade His disciples “remember” Him in His death, but there is not a word in scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, which tells us to celebrate His birth. Moreover, who knows when, in what month, He was born? The Bible is silent thereon. It is without reason that the only “birthday” commemorations mentioned in God’s Word are Pharaoh’s (Gen. 40:20) and Herod’s (Matt. 14:6)? Is this recorded “for our learning?” If so, have we prayerfully taken it to heart?

And WHO is it that celebrates “Christmas?” The whole “civilized world.” Millions who make no profession of faith in the blood of the Lamb, who “despise and reject Him,” and millions more who while claiming to be His followers yet in works deny Him, join in merrymaking under the pretense of honoring the birth of the Lord Jesus. Putting it on it’s lowest ground, we would ask, is it fitting that His friends should unite with His enemies in a worldly round of fleshly gratification? Does any true born again soul really think that He whom the world cast out is either pleased or glorified by such participation in the world’s joys? Verily, the customs of the people are VAIN; and it is written, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” (Ex. 23:2).

Some will argue for the “keeping of Christmas” on the ground of “giving the kiddies a good time.” But why do this under the cloak of honoring the Savior’s birth? Why is it necessary to drag in His holy name in connection with what takes place at that season of carnal jollification? Is this taking the little one with you OUT of Egypt (Ex. 10:9-10) a type of the world, or is it not plainly a mingling with the present day Egyptians in their “pleasures of sin for a season?” (Heb. 11:25) Scripture says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). Scripture does command God’s people to bring up their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4), but where does it stipulate that it is our duty to give the little one a “good time?” Do we ever give the children “a good time” when we engage in anything upon which we cannot fittingly ask THE LORD’S blessing?

There are those who DO abstain from some of the grosser carnalities of the “festive season,” yet are they nevertheless in cruel bondage to the prevailing custom of “Christmas” namely that of exchanging “gifts.” We say “exchanging” for that is what it really amounts to in many cases. A list is kept, either on paper or in memory, of those from whom gifts were received last year, and that for the purpose of returning the compliment this year. Nor is this all: great care has been taken that the “gift” made to the friend is worth as much in dollars and cents as the one they expect to receive from him or her. Thus, with many who can ill afford it, a considerable sum has to be set aside each year with which to purchase things simply to send them out in RETURN for others which are likely to be received. Thus a burden has been bound on them which not a few find hard to bear.

But what are we to do? If we fail to send out “gifts” our friends will think hard of us, probably deem us stingy and miserly. The honest course is to go to the trouble of notifying them – by letter if at a distance – that from now on you do not propose to send out any more “Christmas gifts” as such. Give your reasons. State plainly that you have been brought to see that “Christmas merrymaking” is entirely a thing OF THE WORLD, devoid of any Scriptural warrant; that it is a Romish institution, and now that you see this, you dare no longer have any fellowship with it (Eph. 5:11); that you are the Lord’s “free man” (1 Cor. 7:22), and therefore you refuse to be in bondage to a costly custom imposed by the world.

What about sending out “Christmas cards” with a text of Scripture on them? That also is an abomination in the sight of God. Why? Because His Word expressly forbids all unholy mixtures; Deut. 22:10-11 typified this. What do we mean by an “unholy mixture?” This: the linking together of the pure Word of God with the Romish “Christ-MASS.” By all means send cards (preferably at some other time of the year) to your ungodly friends, and Christians too, with a verse of Scripture, but NOT with “Christmas” on it. What would you think of a printed program of a vaudeville having Isa. 53:5 at the foot of it? Why, that it was altogether OUT OF PLACE, highly incongruous. But in the sight of God the circus and the theater are far less obnoxious than the “Christmas celebration” of Romish and Protestant “churches.” Why? Because the latter are done under the cover of the holy name of Christ; the former are not.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto perfect day” (Prov. 4:18). Where there is a heart that really desires to please the Lord, He graciously grants increasing knowledge of His will. If He is pleased to use these lines in opening the eyes of some of His dear people to recognize what is a growing evil, and to show them that they have been dishonoring Christ by linking the name of the Man of Sorrows (and such He WAS, when on earth) with a “MERRY Christmas,” then join with the writer in a repentant confessing of this sin to God, seeking His grace for complete deliverance from it, and praise Him for the light which He has granted you concerning it.

Beloved fellow-Christian, “The coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (Jas. 5:8). Do we really believe this? Believe it not because the Papacy is regaining its lost temporal power, but because GOD says so – “for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). If so, what effects does such believing have on our walk? This may be your last Christmas on earth. During it the Lord may descend from heaven with a shout to gather His own to Himself. Would you like to be summoned from a “Christmas party” to meet Him in the air? The call for the moment is “Go ye OUT to meet Him” (Matt. 25:6) out from a Godless Christendom, out from the horrible burlesque of “religion” which now masquerades under His name.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). How solemn and searching! The Lord Jesus declared that “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36). If every “idle word” is going to be taken note of, then most assuredly will be every wasted energy, every wasted dollar, every wasted hour! Should we still be on earth when the closing days of this year arrive, let writer and reader earnestly seek grace to live and act with the judgment seat of Christ before us. HIS “well done” will be ample compensation for the sneers and taunts which we may now receive from Christless souls.

Does any Christian reader imagine for a moment that when he or she shall stand before their holy Lord, that they will regret having lived “too strictly” on earth? Is there the slightest danger of His reproving any of His own because they were “too extreme” in “abstaining from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11)? We may gain the good will and good works of worldly religionists today by our compromising on “little (?) points,” but shall we receive His smile and approval on that day? Oh to be more concerned about what HE thinks, and less concerned about what perishing mortals think.

“Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” (Ex. 23:2). Ah, it is an easy thing to float with the tide of popular opinion; but it takes much grace, diligently sought from God, to swim against it. Yet that is what the heir of heaven is called on to do: to “Be not conformed to this world” (Rom. 12:2), to deny self, take up the cross, and follow a rejected Christ. How sorely does both writer and reader need to heed that word of the savior, “Behold, I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Rev. 3:11). Oh that each of us may be able to truthfully say, “I have refrained my feet from EVERY evil way, that I might keep THY WORD” (Psa. 119:101).

Our final word is to the pastors. To you the Word of the Lord is, “Be THOU AN EXAMPLE of believers in word, in deportment, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12). Is it not true that the most corrupt “churches” you know of, where almost every fundamental of the faith is denied, will have their “Christmas celebrations?” Will you imitate them? Are you consistent to protest against unscriptural methods of “raising money,” and then to sanction unscriptural “Christmas services?” Seek grace to firmly but lovingly set God’s truth on this subject before your people, and announce that you can have no part in following Pagan, Romish, and worldly customs.

Jewish Fables

Pharisees“Jewish fables (literally, myths) are no new thing. Paul has plainly warned the household of faith not to give heed thereto. He has not given us a list of those grievous heresies; but it is well known that the one that was most fondly cherished, and that constituted the gravest menace to the truth of the gospel, was the notion that the leading purpose of the mission of the coming Messiah would be the reconstitution of the Jewish nation and its elevation to the highest pinnacle of earthly dominion and glory; for that fatuous doctrine was the cornerstone of orthodox Judaism in Paul’s day; and because of his sturdy opposition to it he was persecuted, his enemies plotted to take his life, and he was sent a prisoner to Rome. No wonder that, during the term of his imprisonment there, he wrote to Titus his plain-spoken warning against “Jewish fables.”Pharisees1

Such being the case, we question if there be anything in all the long history of Christianity that is more difficult to account for than the fact that that particular fable, concerning the purpose of Christ’s mission to the Jewish people, has become the central feature of a system of doctrine which, in this 20th century of our era, has found numerous and zealous advocates amongst orthodox Christians. In view of this extraordinary phenomenon, it surely behooves those who take the Holy Scriptures for their guide and instructor in all matters of faith and doctrine, to search them with the utmost care “whether these things be so.” This present volume is the result of a painstaking investigation of that important question.” – Philip Mauro

Is “Calvinism” Biblical? (pt 10)

THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT FAITH AND REPENTANCE ARE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:

 Him hath God exalted with  his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to  Israel, and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5)

“granted repentance unto life”

When they heard these  things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God  also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. (Acts 11)

Lydia, dead in sin and unable to respond to the spiritual offer of the Gospel was granted repentance. The revealed word of God demonstrates in Acts 5 that Israel was also “given” repentance. By post #10 it should be apparent that I seek to give a consistent witness to the Doctrines of Grace/Calvinism using both the Old and New Testaments. A consistent doctrine cannot be maintained by the Arminian free will tradition.

And  a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of  Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened,  that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. (Acts 16)

 Due to sin we are called by Christ and “believed through grace:”

And  when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting  the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: (Acts 18)

Look at any Greek grammar and you’ll find that “grace” and “faith” are summed up by “and that not of yourselves.” Both grace and faith are given by God.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2)

We are given grace and faith on behalf of Christ and Christ alone.

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; (Phil 1:29)

Repentance is given by God.

In  meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Tim 2)

THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT CALLS A SINNER IT IS EFFECTUAL:

Saints are called” by God.

Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To  all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you  and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ro 1)

Predestined” and “called” by God.

Moreover whom he did  predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also  justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Ro 8)

And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (Ro 9)

A biblical pattern can be established, just as Paul was “called with a purpose,” so are we.

Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother. Unto  the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in  Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call  upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:

Christ’s sheep hear His voice…

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor 1)

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But  God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise;  and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things  which are mighty; And  base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God  chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that  are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. (Gal 1)

The Saints are “called by his grace.” Those who are not called are not Christ’s sheep.

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: (1 Cor 1)

Called by God…

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (Eph 4:4)

Our calling is not based on something within us but “according to his own purpose.”

Who hath saved us, and  called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but  according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ  Jesus before the world began, (2 Tim 1:9)

And for this cause he is  the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the  redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament,  they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. (Heb 9:15)

Jude was “called.” Those who are called will believe.

Jude, the servant of Jesus  Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the  Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: (Jude 1)

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (1 Peter 1)

But ye are a chosen  generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that  ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of  darkness into his marvellous light; (1 Pet 2:9)

But  the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by  Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect,  stablish, strengthen, settle you. (1 Pet 5)

The calling is not according to our will power as the free will proponent would have us believe but according to “divine power.”

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and  godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and  virtue: (2 Pet 1:3)

Those that are “called, and chosen, and faithful” will overcome in Christ Jesus. Amen.

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. (Rev 17)

One  of the errors Arminians cling to is known as “prevenient  grace.”  This form of grace is thought to prepare the sinner by assisting them to believe binding total libertarian free will with the scriptural idea of salvation by Christ alone through faith, but it creates other problems. The Arminian notion was predated in Romanism and stated at the Council of Trent (session 6, canon 5) as “stimulating” and “assisting” grace. This idea runs contrary to scripture, for example, we read that Lydia’s “heart was opened”  (Acts 16) before she could attend unto the things  Paul spoke of. The Papist and Arminian believes this is a prime example of God attempting, trying His hardest to offer the Gospel to someone by giving them a measure of  “assisting” grace. The person receiving this so-called grace is given the chance to accept or reject the Gospel. Unfortunately not everyone has the chance to even hear the Gospel, let alone reject it, so any idea of God sending preparing grace is not worth debating. It’s a weak attempt to avoid a biblical conclusion. If grace is not given to all equally the free will works religion falls apart, for a mass of humanity has never had a chance to even have the Gospel preached to them. The point is inconsistent with scripture as I have shown above and throughout these posts. I only mention the idea because, I believe,  predestination is still contained within the concept for God only  gives “prevenient  grace” to  those who hear the Gospel and the Gospel is not preached to everyone everywhere. The free will notion of prevenient grace is still limited. Clearly, the experience Lydia had was  foretold in Eze. 36 and was in reference to the new birth, “A new heart  also will I  give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will  take away  the stony heart out of your flesh, and  I will give you an heart of  flesh.” (see also Hebrews 8) This is regeneration by the Holy Spirit and not “assisting” grace. 

Yours in the Lord,

jm

 

Hanserd Knollys – Revelation 7 & 8

Why go to all this trouble selecting choice quotes and blogging them? To slowly introduce you to Hanserd knollyKnollys’ work a little at a time. Any emphasis was added, thanks.

Rev. 7.1:

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.

Rev. 7.3:

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). These 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)

Rev. 7.10:

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.

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)

Rev. 8.1:

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 Patriarch 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.

Rev. 8.2 & 3:

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} 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”

Rev. 8.6 & 7:

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 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).

(Not sure what Plessaus’s means. If any reader of this post knows please comment.)

Rev. 8.8 & 9:

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} 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.

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}

Rev. 8.11:

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.

Rev. 8.12:

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.

Rev. 8.13:

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.