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ONE volume of the Commentary for which the people have clamored the last dozen years is now finished. You see I have launched my bark on the gospel river at the mouth, and propose to steam upstream in my voyage of exploration. I have begun in the deepest water, environed by the richest soil, most magnificent foliage, beautiful, variegated flowers, and luxuriant fruits. If the Lord comes before I explore the river to its Edenic source, I will get the best of it. I doubt whether I can do my other work and write more than one volume a year. I propose to write the whole New Testament in five volumes. As this only includes Revelation, it is entirely devoted to the prophecies abounding in prophetical quotations from Jesus, Paul, and Peter, and taking in all the visions of Daniel, and much of Zechariah.
Volume 2 will include Hebrews, James, Peter, John, and Jude.
Volume 3 will include Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, and Titus.
Volume 4 will include Acts, Romans, and Corinthians.
Volume 5 will include Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This volume, in some important respects, will differ widely from all commentaries on the Gospels. Instead of the constant toil of referring from one to another, it will expound all simultaneously, harmonically arranged conspicuously before the eye. As I have used nothing but the critical Greek New Testament the last twenty-five years, I am writing all these commentaries from the same fundamental source of revealed truth. During all these years, I have read the Gospels in the Greek Harmony, in which everything is given in parallel columns just as it transpired. Some things only one wrote, others two, others three; and some things Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all wrote. The commentary will expound them all simultaneously, lucidly explaining the words and deeds of our Lord, along with concurrent events.
In the preceding expositions, you must remember the scenes frequently collap, interlap, and overlap each other. When contemporaneous events are given in continuous narrative, the reader naturally falls into the mistake of viewing them in the order of succession. After the seven Churches, which symbolize the visible Church from the Apostolic Age to the second advent, and the prophetical prologue, our attention is attracted to the book sealed with seven seals. This book simply contains Johnís wonderful visions, sweeping down from the Apostolic Age to the end of time, and on into the celestial ages of coming eternity. Of course the book is an old parchment-roll, secured by seven wrappers folded around it, each carefully and hermetically sealed. When the weeping prophet saw all the angels fail to open the seven seals, be was much comforted when the Lion of the tribe of Judah came to the rescue. As each seal was opened and the wrapper removed, it was found to contain a most valuable epitome of the prophecies in the book. The first seal reveals the sanctified gospel of Jesus Christ; the second reveals the horrors of bloody Mohammedanism; the third, black, oppressive Romanism; the fourth, the mighty ravages of the grim monster; the fifth, the two hundred millions of martyrs who have sealed their faith with their blood; and the sixth, the awful tribulation intervening between our Lordís coming to take away His bride and His coming in glory to reign. Here follows a vivid description of the glorified bride.
The removal of the seventh seal reveals the contents of the book itself, which is so momentous as to justify the evocation of the seven trumpet bearing angels to proclaim its contents. The first angel began to sound his trumpet in Johnís time. His is followed by the second; and so they succeed each other, from the first to the seventh. These seven trumpets have been sounding down all the succeeding ages since John saw the visions on the Isle of Patmos, and will sound till the Lord comes to reign.
We are living directly at the end of the sixth trumpet, or at the beginning of the seventh. As these are spiritual trumpets, they are only heard by spiritual ears; yet their proclamations contain the thrilling events of the worldís history, both temporal and spiritual, from the Apostolic Age till the Lord comes to reign.
As the seventh trumpet embraces the tribulation period, the seven angels having the seven vials containing the seven last plagues are called out to fulfill the proclamation of the seventh trumpet. I am satisfied the last trumpet is now about to sound or has already begun. In that case, the tribulation will set in, of which we have now many portentous omens.
Perhaps it will begin in a small way, and progress with a geometrical ratio to the end we know not but the first angel has already poured out his vial, and perhaps the second, third, fourth, and fifth. I am satisfied the sixth angel has not yet poured out his vial, and of course the seventh is still in reserve.
The seventh plague will completely inaugurate the great tribulation. The contents of the seven vials will continue to flow on, with increasing power and momentum, through the tribulation, till the Lord descends on His millennial throne to reign forever and ever.
Really the seven plagues will constitute the tribulation, which will shake down every earthly potentate, whether political or ecclesiastical, and sweep from the earth the unsavable and incorrigible millions, thus preparing the way for the coming King. The glorious millennium and postmillennial ages will restore back the Edenic state of the world, during which heaven will receive her great population. The cremation of the earth and the final judgment will be the grand and momentous contemporaneous events which will climax the ages and finish the curriculum of timeís sad and weary march. Creative Omnipotence comes down amid the purgatorial flames, resumes the work of creation, consummates the Paradisian state of the earth and restores it back to heaven, where it was before the devil broke it loose with the avowed purpose of adding it to hell. The restitutionary work of Christ is now complete; the devil and sin radically, intrinsically, and eternally defeated. Perfect order is restored to the entire celestial universe. God permits this newly recreated, celestial world to approximate and abide within the glorious illumination of the heavenly city forever.
Reader, you have gone with me through the labyrinthine peregrinations of these wonderful apocalyptic mysteries. Are you now under the blood, sanctified wholly, robed, and ready to meet your descending Lord? Such are the culminating fulfillments of all the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments that we are perfectly assured our Lord is liable to come at any moment and steal away His bride. Oh, that you and may be stolen! I hope you are saved above all creeds and humanisms, soundly converted, gloriously sanctified, and kept by the power in constant anticipation of your coming King. I commend you to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.