The Coming Hour of Temptation - Rev. 3:10

That there is a time of trouble, a special season of tribulation for the world, revealed in several important and plain passages of the word of God, no thoughtful Christian can for a moment question. All may not be clear as to those whose lot will be cast in those days, but that such a season is to befall the world is not to be doubted. That it is also to be a day through which some of God’s own people are to pass is equally certain. We shall now enquire what it is that God’s word affirms as to both those who shall be there and those who shall be in the grace of God exempted from it.

At the same time a wider question arises than the hour of tribulation. We must not confound scriptures that differ, even if the difference be comparatively slight in appearance. “The hour of temptation” does not appear to me to be exactly the same as that of the great tribulation. Temptation may take the form of severe affliction, but it is not limited to such a type of things. Temptation may assume the character of seduction, as well as of trial in the shape of tribulation. I shall show tonight that there is a well-defined period as to which scripture leaves no just ground of hesitation; that there are preliminary judgments on one side, and on the other snares of all kinds, as well as a storm of trouble that will fall on those who have slighted the grace of God, and cast away His truth.

The Bride, the Lamb's Wife - Rev. 19 - 22

In the O.T. the literal Babylon on the plain of Shinar appears in contrast with Jerusalem. In the N.T. we hear of a still more portentous Babylon on seven mountains, the great Harlot on whose forehead was written “mystery,” which is in no way said or true of the Chaldeans’ pride. No principle is more unintelligent and unfounded than to assume that the Revelation, in borrowing names of persons, places, or other objects from the ancient oracles, is bound to the letter and takes no larger views. To confound the new things with the old in that twofold treasure is to prove oneself a scribe un-instructed to the kingdom of the heavens. For in the new things, whatever the allusion to the old, the sphere is indefinitely widened, and the character deepened, as much as heavenly associations rise above earthly. To identify them, as do the pseudo-literalists, is to lose the special light of the N.T., the gravest, the highest, the most precious communications from God, whatever the subject-matter. It is to surrender the mind of Christ; and, what is more, out of the vain conceit of an unreal originality, in rejection of a testimony which men have not the spirituality to appreciate. Is it not sad when saints decline to opposing the word and the Spirit of God?

Babylon and the Beast - Rev. 17

There are two forms of evil and rebellion against God which the Holy Spirit brings before us in this chapter, two figures more prominent than the rest, instruments of iniquity in the world since redemption, which the enemy has used and will yet use against God and His Christ. The first, as we clearly see, is the harlot or “great whore that sitteth upon many waters;” the second is what is called “the beast.” Now there need not be any uncertainty as to either in the mind of a true-hearted believer. God has been pleased to give us distinct marks by which we may discern and be sure of His mind.

It is not to be admitted that the intimations of prophecy are equivocal until they are accomplished. On the other hand there are prophecies unquestionably fulfilled which are still far from being plain. The difficulty therefore depends on other conditions than the question of whether they be already fulfilled or not. Take, for instance, the seventy weeks of Daniel. It will not be disputed by any intelligent mind that at any rate sixty-nine of those weeks have been accomplished. No doubt there has been, and there is, a good deal of debate as to the seventieth week; but there are difficulties about the previous sixty-nine weeks no less than about the last. In fact, it would be easy enough to prove that the obscurity which overhangs the last week is considerably less than that which still rests for many Christians on the previous parts of that short but most striking prophecy, as for instance on the starting point of them all.

Revelation 21-22

Revelation 21 In the first eight verses of chap. 21 we have the new heaven and the new earth, but besides, awful to say, the lake of fire. Indeed it must be so, because, as we read in the end of the last chapter, there the lost were cast. But still it is an unspeakably solemn fact to read, which we are bound to preach. Even in the perfect state of eternity, while there is the brightness of the heaven and of the earth into which no evil can enter, we equally see the evil that ever has been...

Revelation 17-20

Revelation 17 It is necessary to bear in mind, if we have not observed it before, that Revelation 17 does not pursue the chronological course of the prophecy. It is an episode of special objects already treated, not being of the visions that carry us onward in historic sequence. It is a retrogressive description of Babylon in relation with the Beast and the kings, who were brought before us last under the Bowls of God’s wrath. This chapter explains how it was that Babylon became so o...

Revelation 13-16

Revelation 13 The next chapter unfolds the plans that Satan adopts to accomplish his long-cherished design of supplanting (not only gospel and church as now, but) all testimony on earth to the coming kingdom of God. It is the apostasy: Old and New Testaments are alike denied. Of two especial methods he will avail himself, suited to catch a twofold class of men never wanting in this world. Many natural men like power, others like religion. It is clear that man’s heart runs either after i...

Revelation 9-12

Revelation 9 In chapter 9 the two next or fifth and sixth Trumpets are described with minute care, as indeed these are two of the Woe-trumpets. There remains the third Woe-trumpet, the last of the seven, which is set forth at the end of Rev. 11, and brings us the closing scene in a general way to the end. The first of the Woe-trumpets consists of the symbolic locusts led by the ominous Apollyon, to whom was given, as its angel, the key of the abyss. For that they are not to be understo...

Revelation 5-8

Revelation 5 Here is shown for the first time the Lamb presented distinctly and definitely in the scene. It was not so even in Rev. 4, where we have seen the display of the judicial glory of God in His various earthly or dispensational characters, save His full millennial one, but not His special revelation now as our Father. In itself we know that Jehovah God embraces and is said of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Yet here the Holy Ghost is seen not in His unity of person and wo...

Revelation 14

This chapter is the concluding one of the episode that separates the trumpets from the vials. We heard the events under the last trumpet announced; but the details and the means of their actual accomplishment were not revealed to us. There were songs in heaven celebrating its results; but the immediate effect of the last trumpet on earth was only spoken of in a general way; and this going down to the end of all, including even the final judgment of the dead.89 Then the Holy Ghost, as we h...

Revelation 13

We have seen that Revelation 12 goes back as well as forward, and connects the purpose of God which is to be brought out in the latter day with the Messiah and even with His birth. Thus, while the Lord Jesus Christ is to my mind clearly referred to as the man child, yet it is not His birth merely or historically, but His birth as it is linked with this future plan of God, which the book reveals here. The moment Christ is thus referred to (that is, Christ evidently viewed as the Head, not of ...
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