Praise Him!

Rev. 4.1-3 “Where God is rightly seen, He will be seen exceeding stately and Glorious: O so wonderful! whom nothing can resemble, whom no tongue can express, nor eye behold, nor heart conceive! what were it to imagine thousands of mountains of the most previous stones imaginable, and thousands of Suns shining in their brightness? these are inconceivably short of God, and the Glory that is in Him; what an excellent happiness to be capacitate (to speak so) to know Him, as we are known of Him? Wonder and admire at Him, who is glorious in Holiness, fearful in Praises, doing wonders, terrible in Majesty, and in all perfections past finding out: To Him be praise for ever. Amen” – James Durahm, Commentary Upon The Book of the Revelation

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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.

Hanserd Knollys – Revelation 6

Selected notes from Knollys exposition of Revelation. Emphasis added.

 

hanserd-knollys

Rev. 6.1:

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) πρωῒ τῆς μιᾶς σαββάτων, 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.

Rev. 6.2:

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.

Rev. 6.4:

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.

Rev. 6.5:

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)

Rev. 6.8:

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.

Rev. 6.10:

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.

Rev. 6.11:

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)

Rev. 6.12:

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.

Rev. 6.16 & 17:

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) 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.

Hanserd Knollys – Revelation 5

Hanserd_Knollys_webSelected comments from Knollys work on Revelation chapter 5.

Rev. 5.1:

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.

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,

Rev. 5.4 & 5:

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.

The apostle is forbid to weep.

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.

Rev. 5.6:

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)

Rev. 5.8:

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)

Rev. 5.9:

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.

Rev. 5.10:

This verse contains a third reason of this new song of praise and thanksgiving. They were not only redeemed from all misery, sin, curse, and eternal death; but honoured with many glorious dignities, and spiritual privileges. 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. 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)

Hanserd Knollys – Revelation 4

CORRECTION: I have found TWO dates given for the publication of this work by Knollys. The first was 1698 and is incorrect, it has to be, Knollys believed the second coming would be in 1689! He published this work believing Christ would return the following year.

Quotations from Hanserd Knollys Exposition of the Book of The Revelation, 1688.

The Visions and Prophecies of CHRIST
Are opened and Expounded,:
SHEWING
The great Counterfeits of our LORD Jesus Christ
for his Church over all His and Her Adversaries, PAGAN,
ARIAN and PAPAL and the glorious State of the
Church of God in the New Heavens and New Earth, in
these Latter Days.

revelation4

Rev. 4.1:

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. 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.

Rev. 4.3:

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)

Rev. 4.5:

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)

Rev. 4.6:

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.

Rev. 4.7:

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.

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 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

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)

More to come…

Suretyship and Substitution

“…our Redeemer liberates His elect from all liability to the vengeance of justice, having met it Himself. Oh, that blessed doctrine of suretyship and substitution, how it cheers my heart. He could not be a Redeemer without it. To be a Redeemer He must meet the awakened sword of justice, and allow it to be sheathed in His heart, He must offer Himself a sacrifice for sin, and bear sin, and the curse, and the vengeance due to it, in His own body on the tree.

What mean those years of sorrow and contradiction of sinners against Himself which He spent in Judea?

What mean those cruelties inflicted upon Him in Gethsamane, in Pilate’s hall, and on Calvary’s top?

Whence those strong cries and tears? Whence that weakness, induced in the flesh by His sufferings?

Just simply to appease stern justice, just to satisfy, and exhaust, and drink up the vengeance due to the transgressions of His Church.

Oh, precious, precious Christ, help us to love thee more while thus musing upon what thou hast done as our Redeemer.”

Joseph Irons

Understanding Daniel (the Protestant interpretation)

This video contains some explain of the book of Daniel from the point of view of what has historically been called ‘the Protestant interpretation.’

May God bless you as you watch.

jm

Mark up your books!

jgill

 

(notice the coffee stain on the cover)

It should be clear by now I really, really like the theological works of John Gill. I read his works online, at the kitchen table, in the van while waiting for my wifey etc. I read Gill all the time…but I do not idolize him. To study theology is to think of God and His word and as I attempt this task I lean on Gill for help. His comments are almost always useful, experiential and accurate. Back in July of 2011 I was given a beat up copy of Gill’s doctrinal and practical works, I had it rebound and I cherish it. Shortly after I found the first volume of Gill’s work in paperback and thought it was worth the $2 or $3 bucks Gospel Mission was asking for it so I bought it. I use this copy to mark up and make notes in. I take it all over town with me and this practice of writing in the margins and underlying has been very helpful in gaining a good understanding for the Bible with the help of a tried and true Pastor, John Gill.

I guess I’m saying, MARK UP YOUR BOOKS!

johngill

 

Receiving and Walking

by JAMES BOURNE

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” (Colossians 2:6)

To walk in Christ as we received him is to retain the sense of our need of him, as when we felt the Day Spring from on high first visited us, and the terrors of the Lord made us afraid. O how plainly and feelingly did we then feel the need of a Saviour. Then we hastened, we fled from the wrath to come. Hell seemed close to us, and law and justice seemed ready to push us in. How sweet was the news of pardon then! How sweet a promise, when we could believe the Holy Spirit applied it to us personally. There was no halving it then, we felt we needed a whole Saviour, a Prophet to teach, a Priest to atone, and a King to reign. Christ Jesus was gladly received as such with all the heart.

How is it we walk not so with Christ now? Surely because we have lost our first love, and the powerful impression of our wants we once had; hence comes that indifference towards Christ and his appointed means. A spiritual appetite is wanting where the heavenly manna is loathed as light bread.

To walk with Christ is to be sensible of his worth with that same fervor of Spirit as when we first received him. O the love of our espousals, how precious was the dear Lord Jesus to us then! When we first viewed him bearing our sins, conquering our rebellion, opening the eyes of our understanding, healing our consciences. We felt our access to the Father was through him, and all our peace and joy was in him. At that time (if asked) we used to declare he was altogether lovely. “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord.” (Ps. 84:2) Watch this point, if you grow cool and indifferent in your attendance on the ministry, you may rest assured this springs from a back-sliding heart. If you walk with Christ, it must be manifest by keeping up communion with him, with the same feeling and desire as when you first received him, and often sought him with many tears. And [there was] seldom any attendance on the appointed means but his comforting presence was found. Creature comforts withered and none but Jesus, a loving God could refresh and satisfy your soul.

How is it now that we cannot find our way to a throne of grace, unless driven by affliction? We then could not live without his presence. And when we felt that, we could trust to him to supply all our temporal wants. Watch and be sober, and notice the very first beginning of declension. Let it at once be brought with much confession and prayer and [do] not suffer that which is lame to be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed. labour to feed upon the truths you hear, to be established in the experimental knowledge of them. Religion lies not in talking of Christ, but in the walking in him, therefore be very watchful of inward decays, dread the universal, general profession of the day. Seek to keep your conscience blameless, by continually coming to the Fountain open for sin, and not resting without the sealing of the Spirit to you adoption. Seek to keep up much tenderness of the honour of God.

If these things are kept alive, the soul must be often refreshed with the water of life. Hold fast the pure Word, be very jealous of error of all sorts. Seek to maintain the character of a true church according to the Word of God, where it is called “the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Tim. 3:15) Christ has left his truths as a trust to his people, and it is our mercy to keep them with faithfulness and prayer. A lukewarm spirit will make them too general, and this is the beginning of the ruin of all churches. First goes the zeal, simplicity and purity, and then goes their being.

Hold fast the truths of God, they are the treasure and glory of his people. Keep close to the Scriptures, and search them diligently with prayer, and seriously consider what is written in Revelation 2:2, “Thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.” Let us seek for clear work; Peter says we believe and are sure thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. (John 6:69)

Mind that our fellowship brings about what Paul writes about to the Colossians. He speaks of being knit together in love, unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ. (Col. 2:19) These sweet and heavenly truths will lead us to order our steps by his Word, and we shall find, while we walk in the tender enjoyment of these things, the discipline and good outward walk will also be observed as the real true fruits of such soul establishing truths. These will feed the household [of faith] and let your life recommend Christ as a Sanctuary for the afflicted; a Treasure that will enrich the poor in spirit; an Advocate to plead their cause however disheartened they may feel in coming to him; an inexhaustible Fountain of mercy and pardon, comfort and glory. “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35)

Suffer none to deny the sovereignty of God, in his eternal election of his people, and their final perseverance. In the experimental knowledge of these truths lies much of our stability. It is worthy [of] our attention, that which is worth having is worth owning, therefore let us always keep in mind the means which God has appointed for the nourishment and building up his people in saving knowledge. Remember carefully to maintain that doctrine that lays us low at the feet of the Saviour, and exalts his free grace. Strive for the faith once delivered to the saints that our souls may be fed, and not merely the head furnished with dry notions. Be sure your example be stronger than your words.

If we be of God’s family, we are often distressed with temptations of all sorts, and have need of exhortation, instruction, caution and consolation; let us be an example to one another; let us by much prayer guard against the fear of man and applause. If you feel your need of the presence of the Beloved, let that be seen by earnest cries, for where he is not, there is no sense of pardon. It will not do to say with the church in the Song [of Solomon]: “By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.” (chap. 3:1) Such sort of seeking is not likely to find. It is as if she would wait till he came; but she found that would not do, therefore she says, “I will arise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth.” (chap. 3:2) This is making use of the means, and she found him and held him. She would not let him go.

Thus we see the necessity of diligence in the use of means as appointed of God, to convey the blessings God designs to give. “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” (Ps. 62:5) Those who watch for the morning, do not only desire it, but expect it and know assuredly that it will come. None can set forth their walking with Christ more than they who stand upon the watchtower to see what the Lord will say unto them and what they shall answer when they are reproved. (Hab. 2:1) There may be much weakness felt, but the Lord has promised to strengthen the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees, and to say unto them that are of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not, behold your God will come. (Isa. 35:3,4) Do not forget that your walking with Christ will be attended with much sensible weakness, but the Lord will counteract this with seasons of hope and expectation. “Your heart shall live that seek God.” (Ps. 69:32) Only let us always remember all our times are in God’s hands, our times of trouble; times of peace; of darkness; and of light, so that we must learn patiently to wait and quietly hope for his salvation.

This waiting often proves very painful in our walking with Christ. We meet with so much opposition, so many difficulties, perplexities, and much darkness by which we sometimes feel the heart become sick, and the spirit sinks and we are ready to faint. David says, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord,” (Ps. 27:13) therefore he adds, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Ps. 27:14) And the Apostle adds, “For in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Gal. 6:9) The Apostle tells us to consider this, lest we be wearied and faint in our minds. They who walk with Christ, will never finally faint. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.” (Isa. 40:31)

Some will say they know many who have fainted. True! It was because they neither walked with Christ, nor waited for him. These are sure to lie down in disappointment. No soul ever miscarried who walked with Christ, and waited for him. Rest assured, they who walk with Christ here, shall have eternal happiness hereafter. Heart and flesh may fail, but David says, “God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (Ps. 73:26) It is the continued and renewed tokens of this, which keeps the soul alive in all adversity, and in the worst of times it is said to be good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. (Lam. 3:26)

Even when sorely cast down and depressed, Jeremiah says, I will call to mind that there is forgiveness with God for distressed souls and therefore will I quietly wait and hope. But, alas, such is the degeneracy of professors of the gospel in this our day, they scarcely know the fundamental doctrines, the main pillars of our Reformation. The doctrine of God’s eternal election; the efficacy of free grace in the regeneration and conversion of sinners; (Titus 3:5) justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ; (Gal. 2:16) and the final perseverance of the saints. Our forefathers put no doubt upon these establishing truths.

Let us consider what our Lord says, he that is not walking with me, is contrary to me in all things. Let the whole of our profession and lives contend for the true faith, and remember in this contention, we not only contend for our own salvation, but also for the honour of God. God’s Holy Spirit does neither teach nor lead to uncertainties in matters of faith. The more he is pleased to enlighten us, the more we understand the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ. There was a time when the children of God could redeem an hour in the week for either godly conversation or public worship, but now we scarcely can give the Lord the full time we profess to give him on the Lord’s Day. What can be said of families professing godliness to be prayerless? This denotes a sad weariness and cannot be called walking with Christ.

May the Lord cause us all to lay these dreadful backslidings to heart. And if we have ever known anything aright, call to mind the godly simplicity with which we first received Christ.

To him be all the glory. Amen.

an Army with Banners

“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.” (Rev 4:5)

Durham comments, “We have the second thing whereby this stateliness is expressed, and out of the throne proceeded thunderings, and lightenings, and voices: It is like there is an illusion to God’s manner of giving Law, Exod. 19, whereby He appeared so terrible, that even Moses did exceedingly fear and quake; And, Deut. 33.2. it is said, that from His right hand went a fiery Law: the scope is, to show, that though God appear without great outward splendor and terror in His Ordinances, in the days of the Gospel; yet is there in His Church Power and Glory whereby the mightiest may be terrified and confounded: in which respect, the Church is terrible as an Army with Banners, Song 6.4, and 10. and the witnesses, Chap. 11. vers. 3 and 5. though prophesying in sackcloth, are said to have fire proceeding out of their mouths, and to bring on many other dreadful plagues. By this He would teach men to approach to Him with fear; for, He is a great God, and to be had in reverence of all that are about him, Psal. 89.7.”

And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God: by these we understand the holy Ghost in His manifold and various operations, as we heard, Chap. 1. vers. 4, and by comparing Chap. 5. vers. 6. it is clear: for, these seven Spirits are the horns and eyes of the Lamb, that showeth both the Omnipotence and Omniscience of the same, and they are sent forth into all the earth, which could not be, if the Spirit were not infinite and Immense, and so cannot be understood but of the holy Ghost. Where, by the way, we may perceive the absurdity of the application of Doctor Hamond on this place formerly mentioned, who doth apply these seven spirits, as representing the seven Deacons of the Church of Jerusalem. These operations of the spirit, are compared to Lamps of fire burning, that it, to point out that the saving operations of the Spirit have heat, and a purifying efficacy with their light, to warm the heart with love to God, and to consume and eat up the dross of corruption that is in the same: therefore it is said of Christ, Matth. 3.11. that He should Baptize with the holy Ghost, and with fire: which last word expresseth the nature and efficacy of the former. They are called the seven lamps, or spirits, because though there be but one and the self-same spirit, yet there are diversities of gifts, and differences of administrations and operations, as it is, 1 Cor. 12.4, 5, etc. of which we spoke, Chap. 1.

Lastly, These lamps are said to be before the throne, to show, that as Kings have their Thrones and Courts lighted with lamps and torches, so the Lord hath His Church lighted by His Spirit, and hath the operations thereof, as it were, so placed, as thereby light may be given to His Church and Elders that are round about Him; this is a special part of the Lord’s stateliness, and of the Churches Glory, that His spirit is there; and by Him it is Covenanted to His church for their good unto the end of the world, according as the word is, Isai. 59.21. As for me, this is my Covenant with them, saith the Lord, My spirit that is upon thee, and my word which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth, and for ever.” Commentary Upon The Book of the Revelation