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THE FATE OF JERUSALEM AND ITS TEMPLE
CRITICAL AND EXEGETICAL NOTES
THE paragraph, Revelation 11:1-13, gives the contents of the “little book,” which are in part joyful and in part bitter. The marking off of a portion of the temple answers to the sealing of the hundred and forty-four thousand in chap. 7. Here there is a symbolical reserve of a portion of the temple from impending evils, as there a reserve of an elect portion of God’s people. “Just as those were sealed to mark them for ever as the heritage of God, so is the temple measured as destined to remain His domain for ever. The temple, together with the court, is here the emblem of the Jewish nation, one part of which will remain faithful to its God—that represented by the temple measured by the angel, with the altar and its worshippers; and the other part, carnal Israel, will give itself up to the spirit of apostasy which will carry captive the Gentiles.”
Revelation 11:1. Reed.—Canon: the word may mean staff, pen, or light measuring rod (Ezekiel 40:3; Revelation 21:15). Angel stood.—Omit; but assume the speaker to be he who gave the rod. Temple, etc.—Treat as symbols of the people of God within the Jewish people. Temple with all its courts symbolises the whole Jewish people. The measuring was for the reserving of this portion.
Revelation 11:2. Without.—Outside, or beyond. Here the ordinary worshippers assembled. Leave out.—Despise, neglect, take no trouble with. Gentiles.—Probably alluding to Romans. Tread under foot.—Luke 21:24. Forty and two months.—See Revelation 11:3, Revelation 12:14; and compare Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7; Daniel 12:11. Not an exact, or literal period; to be treated typically, of a prolonged, but strictly limited, time. “It is the pilgrimage period of the Church, the period of the world’s power, during which it seems to triumph.”
Revelation 11:3. Bishop Boyd Carpenter thus explains the aim of the present vision: “It explains that in the great progress towards victory the Church itself will suffer, through corruptions and worldliness, but the true temple—the kernel, so to speak, of the Church—will be unharmed and kept safe in her Master’s hands. But the position of this hidden and enshrined Church will not be one of idle security. In that temple will be reared those who will witness, undaunted and undefiled, for their Lord; throughout the whole of that chequered period of profanation and pain there will never be wanting true witnesses for righteousness and faith.” Two witnesses—Not to be regarded as actual persons; compare Zechariah 4:6-7. The idea is that there should always be some, even in a decaying, imperilled Church, who, in the special power of Divine grace, should witness against prevailing evils. In every age God has His specially appointed and sustained witnesses. “As God raised up prophets in the ancient Church, to witness against the idolatrous corruptions of religion, so there should be some in every age to testify against the iniquity and idolatry of their times.
Revelation 11:4. Candlesticks.—Lamp-stands, to hold up the light of God’s claims and truth.
Revelation 11:5. Will.—I.e,. wishes to. Fire.—Compare Jeremiah 5:14; 2 Kings 1:10. Evidently Old-Testament individuals and narratives suggest these figures.
Revelation 11:6. Shut heaven.—As Elijah. Power over waters, etc.—As Moses.
Revelation 11:7. Beast.—A familiar symbol for any noxious, powerful, and dangerous enemy. “A beast-spirit, which is in utter hostility to the Christ-spirit” (see Daniel 7:0). Kill them—This typities the temporary triumph of worldliness over the witnesses to high spiritual life. “Men can silence, can conquer, can slay the witness for a higher, purer, nobler life. They have done so.” But men may always reckon upon the resurrection of God’s witnesses. He never leaves Himself without a witness.
Revelation 11:8. Great city.—Jerusalem. See Isaiah 1:10; Jeremiah 46:16; Ezekiel 23:8.
Revelation 11:11. Stood upon their feet.—Compare Ezekiel’s vision of the “valley of dry bones.”
Revelation 11:15. Seventh angel sounded.—The angel who will sound the trumpet of Christ’s final triumph, or the trump of doom. This trumpet, or third woe, has reference to the appearing of the Antichrist. Revelation 11:14 takes up the thread of the general vision. Godet says: “We shall see that it is the reign of Antichrist which brings upon men the last calamities, represented by the seven vials; hence it follows that these latter are included in the seventh trumpet, just as the seven trumpets formed the contents of the seventh seal. There is great art in this way of picturing history as a series of periods, each of which arises out of the last term of the period which precedes it. In this simple image is expressed one of the profoundest laws of the progress of the world.”
In Revelation 11:15-18 the end of the great struggle is anticipated, and the mingled rejoicing in heaven, and woe on earth, is indicated. With this assurance of final victory we are prepared for all the terrible scenes that make up the sublime conflict of the ages. It must be constantly kept in view that the one aim of St. John is the comfort and assurance of God’s people in their persecution, peril, and fear; therefore it is that these recurring visions of the triumph of some, and the final triumph of all, are given.
Revelation 11:15. His Christ.—Compare “Lord’s anointed” (Luke 2:26).
Revelation 11:16. Sat before God.—Better, “which are before God, sitting upon their thrones.”
Revelation 11:17. Omit here “art to come.”
Revelation 11:19. Ark of His Testament.—It is almost always better to read “covenant.” The third woe brought on the inhabitants of the earth is the ruin and downfall of the Antichristian kingdom; but this is only a woe from the earthly point of view. It is a cause of rejoicing in the heavenly spheres.
MAIN HOMILETICS OF THE PARAGRAPH.—Revelation 11:1-19
The Prophecy of the Two Witnesses.—Here comes in another interposition—viz., that in respect to saving a part of the temple, like to that in chap. 7, with respect to saving Christians from impending evils. Christians, indeed, have already been made secure in the case before us. But the close of the Jewish or Mosaic institutions is near at hand. Shall all which pertained to these now go to ruin? Or is there not something that constitutes the essential unity of religion under both dispensations which is worthy of preservation, and which, therefore, must be preserved? If the ground taken by the author of the epistle to the Hebrews is correct (which we may well believe) then the basis of Judaism and Christianity is the same. The introduction of the two witnesses has been the occasion of much controversy, chiefly because effort has been made to identify the persons referred to, and because the symbolical use of the number two has not been recognised. Stuart explains this chapter, and the meaning of these witnesses, in the following way: “In Revelation 6:11, the martyrs, supplicating for retribution upon the enemies and persecutors of the Church, are told that they must wait for awhile, until the number of martyrs becomes augmented, and the iniquity of their persecutors comes to its full completion. Against the judgments of heaven which are to overtake the latter, Christians in general are secured by the seal of God impressed upon their foreheads (chap. 7). Here, in chap. 11, which brings us to the close of the first catastrophe, we have a picture of the renewed and bitter efforts of the enemies of the Church to destroy it, even at the period when destruction was impending over themselves. In this way the reader is prepared to acquiesce in the doom which awaits them on the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet. Nor is this all. The long-suffering of God is thus displayed towards His once beloved people. They are exhorted to repentance while destruction is impending, in order that they may escape. Prophets, furnished with miraculous powers, like those of Moses and Elijah, so as to give full proof of their Divine mission, are sent to them. But they will not hear. When the time fixed by heaven for their probation is past, those prophets are given up to the persecuting fury of their enemies, and they fall a sacrifice. Yet the cause which they advocated is not rendered hopeless by this. It is not even weakened; for the martyrs are raised from the dead, and ascend in triumph to heaven. In other words, ‘The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church,’ for the Church becomes victorious by the deadly assaults made upon it. The enemies of religion may, indeed, bring upon themselves swift destruction by their malignity; they do so. But the Church will rise and triumph, and enjoy continued Divine protection and favour amid all the trials to which it can be subjected. That literally two, and only two witnesses were to appear in these times of peculiar wickedness; that they were to be literally raised from the dead, and ascend to heaven, etc.;—we need not strive to disprove in commenting on such a book as the Apocalypse. But why are there two witnesses mentioned. Partly, because two are a competent number to establish any matter (see Deuteronomy 17:6; Deuteronomy 19:15; Numbers 35:30; John 5:30-33; Matthew 18:16). The apostles and disciples were sent out in pairs. Compare also the combinations, Moses and Aaron, Elijah and Elisha, Zerubbabel and Joshua, Peter and John. The meaning is that a competent number of Divinely commissioned and faithful Christian witnesses, endowed with miraculous powers, should bear testimony against the corrupt Jews, during the last days of their commonwealth, respecting their sins. All beyond this is mere costume and symbol.” Godet’s explanation runs along the same lines, but brings out some fresh and suggestive homiletic points. “The last signal—that of the seventh trumpet—is preceded, as the opening of the seventh seal had been, by a scene of an encouraging tendency—that of the two witnesses. This episode refers, as did the former of the two which prepared for the seventh seal, to the destinies of the Jewish people. This subject is so important that it is treated here in a little book, which forms, as it were, a parenthesis in the great book. It is the announcement (already anticipated in the prophetic vision itself) of the conversion of Israel. The faithful Jews, together with the hundred and forty-four thousand (chap. 7) are seen prostrated in the holy place before the golden altar (the symbol of Judaism) in an ideal temple; for the material temple is no longer in existence. They are awaiting the new revelation, which is to carry them on a step farther, into the most holy place. The mass of the people are given up to the Gentiles, who tread them under foot. The author here reproduces the exact words of Jesus: ‘Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.’ John does not, any more than Jesus, use the expression, ‘to tread under foot,’ in a literal sense. The subject in his mind is that of the moral domination of the Gentiles over Israel, and of the apostasy, becoming ever more and more general, of that ancient elect people, in abjuring the Divine principle of their national existence, and basely seeking to identify themselves with the heathen nations amongst whom they were scattered. Thus, whilst the elect part of the nation, by their unshaken fidelity, prepare themselves for a sacred mission, the mass of the people—that constitute the outer court given up to the Gentiles—degrade and materialise themselves more and more to the level of the heathen. In the midst of this defection appear—as did in ancient times Enoch in the midst of the degenerate children of Seth, Moses before Israel corrupted by Egyptian idolatry, Elijah amongst the ten tribes who had become almost completely Paganised—the two witnesses, whose preaching, as well as their dress and acts of power, preach repentance to Israel. But—and this is surprising—the beast now appears upon the scene, though his coming has not yet been described. The reason is that the contents of the little book constitute a special prophecy within the great one. We shall see later on why the Antichrist thinks it expedient to leave Rome, his capital, and to take up his abode at Jerusalem. The two witnesses are killed by him, but they come to life again miraculously. The city is smitten with an earthquake, and one part of the inhabitants are swallowed up by it. The remainder of the people, and particularly those who have been specially reserved for these supreme moments, give glory to God, and are converted to Him. Accordingly, we shall find, in chap. 14, the hundred and forty-four thousand surrounding the Lamb between the time of the Advent and that of the destruction of the Antichrist. This picture is well adapted to encourage the Church in presence of the terrible conflict she is about to be called on to sustain. She knows now beforehand that she will have within humanity itself a powerful ally—that is, the people of peoples, of which the elect part will occupy a central place in the Christian army, and form a kind of bodyguard of the Lamb.”
SUGGESTIVE NOTES AND SERMON SKETCHES
Revelation 11:15. Christ’s Final Triumph.—The book of Revelation is difficult to interpret. No principle of interpretation has yet gained universal acceptance. Some see in it mere history—blended human and Church history. Some would have us find chiefly the history of the Church, and only indirect references to nations or individuals. Some regard it as a story that is past. Others regard it as even now in its unfolding. And some treat it as the history of spiritual truth in its contact and conflict with error. Our difficulties arise from the fact that we have no wide and comprehensive view of God’s administration of the world, and purpose concerning it. We do not enter into God’s thought in guiding His world on its course through so many ages, sustaining it through so many changes, and peopling it with such an ever-teeming multitude of living beings. There must be some sublime end towards which God, by processes which we call slow, is ever moving. As surely as geological science unfolds the story of a series of material changes, running on through uncounted ages, preparing the earth for the abode of man, so surely is the history of our earth the story of great moral and spiritual changes and progressions, preparing man for some higher and sublimer destiny. And as we stand wondering over that record of geological eras, amazed that God should take so long to prepare the earth for man, so do we stand wondering over these moral and spiritual ages, these succeeding “dispensations”; this apparent ebb and flow, these triumphs and failures, these boundings, and walkings, and creepings, out of all which God is preparing man for the glory which is to be. The great end can never be lost out of God’s thought. So far as we can discern it, reading it under the symbol and imagery that veil, while they disclose, its mystery, it is this: the full restoration of the whole moral world to harmony with Himself. He is working to secure that all the wills of all moral beings should freely choose to be in accordance with, and submission to, His Divine Will. All humanity is to repeat after the Christ-man, “Thy will be done.” All the changes of the world’s history have been working towards this sublime end. Patriarchal simplicity, Jewish ceremonial, Pagan idolatry, civilised learning, unities of commerce, warrings of nations, blendings of races, emigration of surplus populations, and the special forces of Christianity and the Christian civilisation—all these things may be thought of as winds from various quarters, blowing at various times, and in various degrees, pressing on the sails of the great vessel of humanity, and bearing it forward towards the love and service of the One Living God. If we are to get full possession of this great thought of God concerning humanity, we must first see that all—every one—of God’s human creaturos must be a subject of interest to Him. You may say, “But surely no one ever doubts that God ‘maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust?’ ” We readily admit it as a general interest to create, preserve, feed, and clothe; but what many of us have yet to see is, that God has a saving interest in every human creature He has made—an interest of grace. He “willeth not the death of a sinner, but that he turn from his wickedness and live.” We gain new views of God’s dealing with the world when, emancipated from old prejudices, we can say, with St. Peter, “Now I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but, in every nation, he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of Him”; or with Paul, who could stand before a company of Pagan Greeks, and argue with them on the ground of the universal Fatherhood. “God, that made the world, and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.… He hath made of one blood all nations of the earth, … hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us; for in Him we live, and move, and have our being—as certain, also, of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ ” Which of us is so fully in fellowship with God’s great purpose that he could stand before the superstitious Hindoo, the degraded savage from the islands of the seas, the wretched African from whom well-nigh the semblance of humanity itself has passed, and, without a faltering in his voice, assure them all that they were gathered up into the kindly thought of God, objects of the saving will of the great God that made them. Brethren in the one Divine creation, God wills them to be brethren too in the one Divine redemption. Till we can do that, without a question or a doubt, we prove that we are as yet out of sympathy with God’s thought for humanity. This world becomes a new world, this life a new life, moral influences new powers, when we can stand beside God and, as He does, take humanity itself into the great grasp of our love. “Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die, saith the Lord of Hosts, and not that he should return from his ways and live?” But if it is God’s will, God’s purpose, to bring the world into fellowship with Himself, the means employed must be such—wholly such, and only such—as He Himself is pleased to choose. Those means may be, to a large extent, beyond our full comprehension. Some we may have to use; some we may a little understand; the whole will be beyond us. We are sometimes found foolish enough even to test God’s ways by our ideas concerning the best ways. We say, “These cannot be God’s ways, because they are not such as we should have taken.” We even venture to test God’s plans by their seeming results, and say, “These cannot be God’s ways, because they do not seem successful.” Some say, “At the present rate of conversions, how long will it take to convert the world?” Men will try and prove to us that the increase of conversions is not equal to the increase of population, and therefore the present means, the preaching of the gospel, cannot be God’s means for converting the world. The answer to such strange calculations is very simple. We are only servants; we are not let into the secrets that belong to the Master. Servants have nothing to do with results and issues of work, only with faithfulness to duty. Moreover, we cannot measure results as God can. We could not make any true or trustworthy sum upon such a subject. And the uttermost apparent failure would not blot out one word of that command which ever animates God’s servants to consecrated toil, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature: he that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be condemned.” God might, conceivably, have healed up the wounds of humanity by one touch of His mighty hand; He might have restored to harmony all the notes of creation, set ajar by sin, as in a moment; He might have pieced up again, set in order, all the broken fragments of the moral creation by one sublime exertion of His power. Did an evil force enter our social system, and disturb the relations of the planets, God’s flats could, in a moment of time, destroy that force, and restore the perfections of movement and of place. But God has no occasion for doing even that. He works in nature in accordance with the laws He has Himself impressed upon the creatures He has made. Instead of making a home for man in a week of seven days, He guided the working of the laws he had fixed in the original elements, and wrought a final witness as the issue of the conflicts and the unfoldings of ages. It may be conceivable that God could have forced our moral nature into a complete subjection to His will (I cannot conceive it, but perhaps some persons can); God could have driven sin away from His world with a breath. He has not, however, done so. He has been pleased persistently to act in the line of those laws according to which He created man, and especially in the line of that law, of personal liberty—free will, we call it—which He made man’s supreme dignity. So far as we can read the purpose of God in dealing with our world, He intends to bring men back to His love and favour entirely by the use of moral motives, moral influences. He means to move the heart of man by such exhibitions of Himself, and of His gracious relations, that the very heart of the world shall be won to Him. That is the meaning of the fact that all the moral influences affecting man for God seem to be gathered up into the one manifestation of God in Christ to the world. Moral force reaches its climax, its supreme development, in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. By that cross God touches the very inmost of the human heart. He speaks therein to man by the mightiest power that can reach him, the power of a self-sacrificing love. Jesus declared the sublime moral power that streams forth from Calvary when He said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” Now, if that is God’s highest power to move human hearts, and to draw men unto Himself; if God has, as it were, gone beyond Himself in the sacrifice of His Son; if that is His sublime Evangel, His gospel for the world, His way for winning souls;—surely we cannot be wrong in preaching Christ the wide world over; we cannot be wrong in telling every human brother of the Lamb God has provided for a sin-offering. We cannot be wrong in sending out heralds to the most distant and most degraded places of the earth, to lift up, in sight of men everywhere, the cross of Jesus. Result or no result, success or no success, God surely knows the wisdom and grace of His own plan; it is enough for us, if, swayed ourselves by the moral power of the cross of Calvary, we give, we labour, we pray, that the whole world may one day be uplifted in the eternal light and love of that cross. The day is coming—certainly coming—towards it all holy living and all holy toiling are most positively tending—when the magnificent song of our text shall be sung by a ransomed and redeemed universe—“The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.” This glorious hope has always been held before the Church, and it has exercised a most important influence on all its life and labour. That gospel which is the highest form of moral influence, gathers into itself, and uses up, all kinds of moral influence. It sways by the force of gratitude, deepening ever the service to which it calls by the thought of redemption, and ransom, and purchase by precious blood. It moves by personal affection; constraining by the force of our love to One whom we increasingly esteem as “the chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely.” It excites the holiest ambitions; holds forth as inspiration the possibility of the noblest achievements; offers work of the highest character, and bids us aim at the spiritual conquest of the whole world. It touches our faculty of hope, paints for us a final victory in comparison with which the victories of all earth’s battle-fields are but as children’s soldier table-play—a victory so sublime in its character, and so far-reaching in its issues, as shall make reasonable to our view all the years of waiting, all the faintings of hope deferred. The Church of Christ has found the blessing of this great hope for herself, for the nourishment of her own spirit, and the strengthening of her own faith. So far as the Church has been a living Church, it has found the value of this great hope. The more the Church rejoices in its privileges, the more does it long that its King should receive His full royal rights. When the Church has been flagging and failing, its renewal has come in visions of the glory of the day that is coming. Dimmed by the foul breath of the evil rife in an age covered over with crowding life-cares, the Church has known the dimness pass, and the covering be lifted off, when it caught sight again of the glory of that day when “the kingdoms of this world shall have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever.” The Church has found the blessing of this hope in its times of decay and persecution. That is, whenever it has been a suffering Church. The story of Christ’s Church has been no even tale, no simple on-moving, and ever-growing towards its end. Sometimes the river has overflowed its banks, and hurried along with the swift current of revival and holy zeal; sometimes the waters have lain very low in the bed, and seemed scarcely to care to move onwards. Those were days of sluggishness and decline. Sometimes the full stream has moved slowly, noiselessly along, exhaling on either side its fertilising moistures. At times the kings of the earth have favoured Christianity, and it has had its days of prosperity and world-triumph. And, yet again, it has been a despised thing; it has known the holier days of trial and sorrow, of martyr fires, and wearying prison, and torturing rack. What has kept alive the faith, the fervour, the steadfastness of holy men and women in those suffering days? Surely it was their vision of the Lamb, who goeth forth conquering and to conquer. And not in her times of persecution only; in those other times of suffering, when the tides of evil rose high, and were driven on with fierce winds, when the Church seemed helpless to resist the desolating encroachments, and could only, with an infinite sadness, watch the sight—humanity drifting away into error, and superstition, and pride, and woe. Those are the most trying times for Christ’s Church. Then its faith is most severely tested. What holds the Church to its allegiance, save its persistent hoping for the day when the “kingdoms of this world shall have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ”? Who that knows those wonderful letters written with such overflowing emotion by Samuel Rutherford but will remember how, in the shadows of his prison-house, his very soul thrilled within him in longing for the full royal rights of that King whom he so quaintly, but so tenderly, calls “his sweet Lord Jesus”? The Church has found the blessing of this hope in its days of toil and sacrifice. That is, whenever it has been a labouring Church. It has, indeed, always been a labouring and an aggressive Church. They would have us believe, in these days, that our forefathers were wrong in expecting the world would be converted through their sanctified labours. If they were wrong, it was a strange sort of wrong, for it exercised a most ennobling influence upon them. They are a good company. We may well join them. There is Paul, not counting his life dear if only he can get opportunities for lifting up Christ. Peter declaring he cannot but speak out the things he has seen and heard. Austin visiting the then benighted isle of Britain, so that he might lift up Christ to our forefathers. Luther, braving the opposition of those in authority, in rendering his testimony for Christ. But time would fail if I tried to speak of Huss, and Wickliffe, and Savonarola, and Bernard, and Whitefield, and Wesley, and Haldane, and Hill, and Moody, and all the host of devoted missionaries, who have gone forth, consecrating all life, all powers, to the service of their redeeming Christ. Witnesses for Christ when the witness was denied. Preachers of Christ when the Word fell on stopped ears. What was it sustained them in thus labouring, and ceasing their labour only with their life? It was the hope of that coming day—always coming—when the “kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.” Do you think that we, in these latter days, can afford to lose out of our lives the force, the impulse, the thrill, of this Divinely assured hope? Are we so strong that we can live our Christian lives, and render our Christian witness, well without it? In this cold, calculating, business age of ours, can our Christian life be vigorous and bright, and pure, without the passion of love and anticipation kindled by such a hope? In these days, when really devout and spiritual living is half scorned, can we be “steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,” without the cheering of this hope? Longing to take our places among the Lord’s labourers; to be co-workers together with God in His redemptive scheme, light-holders for God; Safed cities crowning hill-tops, and guiding ever pilgrim spirits home to God. Longing to be among those who would have all men know the royal claims of Him whom we call “Lord of lambs, the lowly; King of saints, the holy”; among those who would lift up the cross in sight of a dying world; how shall we renew our zeal, refuse to be weary in our well-doing, lay ever more talent, more money, more time, more prayer, upon the altar of service, save by keeping ever in view the glory of that time when the “kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.” We cannot do without these rapturous visions of the latter-day glory. The intensity, the holy passion, the consecrated zeal of a Christian life, fade out if we lose sight of that future. God has given us wonderful pictures of the scenes that are to be. Pearly gates, golden streets, waving palms, white-robed hosts; and then, reaching up beyond sensible figures into higher moral suggestions, God gives us the song of the days that are to be, when the “kingdoms of this world shall have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.” Perhaps these are the last days. The world’s coronation of Jesus may be nearer than we think. And what a day that will be! What a day for toilers, and for givers, and for men of prayer! What a day for the martyrs who have died for Christ! What a day for the missionaries, who have given their lives to witnessing for Christ! What a day for those who have been looking for its appearing in the only true way of looking, by earnest and faithful discharge of present duty for Christ’s sake! Sung by the chorus in the great oratorio, the words of our text have thrilled our hearts. But what shall be the chorus of the ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands? What will be the blended harmony of prophets and kings, and magi, and millions of the unlettered from east and west and north and south! Will you have a place in that great coronation of Jesus? Will you have a believer’s place? Will you have a worker’s place? Will you have a song of your own? Will you have a band round you of those whom you led to Christ? The day is coming. The glints of the dawning are already in the east. Soon the cry will go up, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.”
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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Revelation 11". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29