Revelation

Revelation 12

Under the seventh trumpet the elders anticipated the effects of the throne being actually established over the earth. But now the temple is again seen, so that we go back here, for we have God’s purposes in connection with the Lord Jesus from the very beginning — the man child who was to rule all the nation with a rod of iron being clearly, as I think, Christ Himself. It is God reverting to His purpose in Christ, born as the heir of the world — not in relation to the calling of the chu...

Preface and Introduction

(The Translation by W. Kelly of the Revelation of John is included as the file revtrans.doc. Search for ‘revelation /2/ john’.) Preface. The Lectures here presented to the reader were taken in shorthand, and printed in 1858-9 in a periodical form, with additions or retrenchments throughout. In 1861 a new and corrected edition appeared, preceded in 1860 by a critical edition of the Greek text with a close English translation and a full statement of the authorities (MSS., versions, a...

Revelation 1

Every Christian of spiritual intelligence must have felt more or less fully the peculiar character of the book on the study of which we now enter. It is a “revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave him.” It is evident that the Lord Jesus is viewed here, not in His place of intimacy as the only begotten Son in the bosom of the Father, but in one of comparative distance. It is His revelation, but, moreover, the revelation which God gave Him. Somewhat similar is the remarkable expression wh...

Revelation 3

Sardis. It may be assumed that any discerning reader will perceive that we are entering upon an entirely new order of things in this chapter, or, at least, a sort of fresh start. What was described in the vision of Christ walking in the midst of the candlesticks is not here as in Rev. 2, unless it be the “seven stars,” no longer, however, held in His right hand. It is quite true that what we have been looking at in the former chapter may still exist and be verified at the same time wi...

Revelation 4

We are now come to the strictly prophetic part of the book of Revelation. The seven churches formed together what the Holy Ghost calls “the things which are.” And the Son of man was seen judging the house of God on earth, represented by the Asiatic churches. They existed in the time of St. John; and in a mystic sort at least, they have an existence continuous, and to a certain extent successive, as long as there is any testimony rendered by the professing body on the earth. If the litera...

Revelation 5

We have had in the preceding chapter a sight of the greatest significance and interest; God unfolding the interior, so to speak, of heaven — its thoughts and its employment, before the fall of a single blow of judgment upon the earth comes before us. But the picture would have been incomplete, if the Holy Ghost had not added the scene which we have revealed to us in this chapter. For if there was a divine manifestation, and the elders entered with spiritual intelligence into the worship of...

Revelation 6

From the two preceding chapters the lessons are apparent, and I do not doubt should be learned: firstly, God sits on the throne, whence proceed lightnings, voices, and thunders; secondly, all things are given into the hands of the Lamb, who unfolds all; thirdly, the perfect security and the blessed employment of the heavenly saints, then removed from the scene of trial; and this long before the day of the Lord, when their blessing will be manifested fully to the world. The moment the soul an...

Revelation 7

The careful reader of the Revelation will have noticed that this chapter does not perform any part, properly speaking, of the course of events. That is to say, it is neither one of the seals, nor of the trumpets, nor of the vials. We have not finished the seals yet. In the sixth chapter we have had six seals, and there is a seventh that comes before us in Revelation 8. What then is the meaning of Revelation 7? It is an interval — a sort of parenthesis in these events — that occurs betwee...

The Elders in Heaven - Rev. 4, 5:1-10

There is a plain and simple fact which ought to strike any attentive reader of the Revelation: — the churches are no longer in view after Revelation 3 as subsisting and the province of the dealings of the Lord here below. I do not say that they have ceased absolutely to exist; but they are not before the Lord as the objects of His care or even chastening. They are nowhere taken account of after the seer’s prophetic visions begin. They are alluded to in the concluding observations of the book, Revelation 22, when the whole course of the prophecy is closed, and the Spirit of God is merely giving, as a final exhortation, the use to be made of the book. But the fact that claims our consideration is, that from the beginning of the fourth chapter we have no longer the churches brought before us as subsisting on earth, and under the disciplinary action of the Lord.

For this reason, as well as for many others of a detailed kind which have acted on the minds of children and servants of God from early days, I have no doubt whatever that the seven churches have a mystic as well as a literal aspect. I believe that the Lord Jesus, in short, chose those seven particular assemblies in the province of Asia, because there were circumstances in them which at that time called for His particular notice. But this is not all. Along with this it was so ordered that His letters to the angels of the churches on their state should be the occasion of giving a prolonged special instruction as long as the church of God was to be the object of His dealing here below. That is, the epistles to the churches had a past historical application in St. John’s days; and from that epoch they were intended also to give a kind of prophetic outline of the chief salient points in the course of the church as long as it should be left in this world.

Revelation 11

From the moment that God begins to deal with the earth in an open manner, Israel naturally comes forward and also the Gentiles as connected with them. (Dent. 32:8, 9.) We have had the twelve tribes scattered abroad and a measured number sealed; but the land of Judea and Jerusalem is the great foreground of the picture that we see here. “Rise,” it is said to the prophet, “and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.” The altar, I think, clearly refers t...
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