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Prophetic Expositions, vol. 1

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    THE VIALS AND THEIR EFFECTS

    Revelation 16:2: “The first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.” Some of those will be alive who had the mark of the beast in his day; and those will be alive who “worshipped his image.” The beast will have passed and the image be alive.PREX1 177.2

    Noisome and grievous sore.” This will be best illustrated by referring to Exodus 9:8-11: “And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh, and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man and upon beast. And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boil; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.” Why will not the antitype be as teal and literal?PREX1 177.3

    Verses 3-7: “And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters: and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which, art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.”PREX1 178.1

    In illustration of these two vials, read Exodus 7:17-21: “Thus saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord: behold, I will smite with the rod which is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river. And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded: and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river: and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.” This judgment will be a retribution for “the blood of the saints.”PREX1 178.2

    Verses 8-11: “And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven, because of their pains and sores, and repented not of their deeds.” The scorching of fire in the midst of their trouble, will be terrible in the extreme.PREX1 179.1

    Exodus 10:21-23, will illustrate the fifth vial: “And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thy hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: they saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” What a terrible scene! with all their grievous sores, blood to drink,-stagnant blood,-and putrid fish filling the waters, scorched with burning heat; and then, to crown the whole, the whole kingdom of Anti-Christ is to be full of darkness. O, what a picture of wo! Reader, make haste to escape it. “Watch ye, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things, and to stand before the Son of man.”PREX1 179.2

    Verses 12-16: “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” The sixth vial is to prepare the way for the battle of that great day of God Almighty. The three unclean spirits like frogs, go forth from the beast, popery; the dragon, Mahomedism, (for the Mahomedans now possess the imperial power of the east;) and the false prophet, infidelity. These all are the spirits of devils, working miracles, or prodigies, like the magicians of Egypt, by which Pharaoh was deceived and fought against God and his hosts, even to the last. So the world of the ungodly will be deceived, and gathered against him that sitteth on the horse and his army, with the vain hope of triumph. They will go to gather the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to the battle of that great day of GOD ALMIGHTY. The great river Euphrates will be as literally dried up, to make a highway for the nations to come to that battle, as the Red Sea was for the Israelites to pass over dry-shod.PREX1 180.1

    That the kings of the earth and of the whole world will be gathered together to battle against Christ when he shall appear in his glory, appears to many to be exceedingly incredible; because they must know, it is said, that they cannot prevail. So might Pharaoh have known that he could not conquer Israel, after all the manifestations of God’s power which he had witnessed; but yet he rushed madly on, with his eyes open, time after time, into ruin. Why did he do it? I answer, “the spirits of devils,” in his magicians, deceived him. “The magicians did so with their enchantments.” So “the spirits of devils,” with their miracles and prodigies, will deceive the kings of the earth and of the whole world, not to pursue the saints into the Red Sea, but to go up to battle with the great KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS, HIMSELF.PREX1 181.1

    The Lord has declared this gathering of the nations by the mouth of his prophets. Joel 3:1, 2: “For behold, in those days, and in that time, when I. shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people, and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” Also, verses 9-16, of the same chapter: “Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles: Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near: let them come up: beat your ploughshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears, let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about; thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” The same great event is likewise predicted by Zephaniah 3:8: “Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.”PREX1 181.2

    From these, and many other passages which might be quoted, it is clear that God will gather all the nations of the earth together to the battle of the great day. The kings of the earth and their armies, will be “gathered together, to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.” Revelation 19:19.PREX1 182.1

    The great river Euphrates” will be as literally dried up to make way for the kings of the eastern world to come up to Jerusalem and Palestine to that battle, as the same river was dried up before Cyrus, when he entered and took the city of Babylon; or as the Red Sea and river Jordan were dried up to make a highway for Israel through their bed. The effects of the sixth vial will be, first, to dry up the waters of the river, to make a highway; and, secondly, to send forth the spirits of devils to deceive, by miracles, the kings of the whole earth, and their armies, and gather them.PREX1 183.1

    Being gathered by the sixth vial, under the seventh vial the battle will be fought.PREX1 183.2

    Verses 17-21: “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.”PREX1 183.3

    Let us now carefully mark the instrumentalities by which the battle will be fought, on the part of the Lord and his saints.PREX1 184.1

    Into the air.” Denoting an all-pervading and universal judgment.PREX1 184.2

    Saying, It is done.” It is the last vial, and under it all the judgments of God are to be consummated,-the wicked be swept from the earth, and the conflagration of the world take place.PREX1 184.3

    There were voices.” The voice of the Lord is to be heard in that day, declaring his wrath upon his enemies. Joel 3:16: “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Jeremiah 25:30, 31: “Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation: he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come, even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations; he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord.”PREX1 184.4

    And thunders, and lightnings.” Exodus 9:23: “And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground.” As truly as the thunders and lightnings of Jehovah came on Egypt, and destroyed the Egyptians and the produce of the field, so truly it will come on the ungodly world, when God fills up the cup of his fury.PREX1 184.5

    A great earthquake such as never was since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” The terrors of an earthquake are more easily experienced than described. The account given of the earthquake at Aleppo, as found on page 153 of this work, will afford some faint idea of its terrors. What can exceed the terrors of such a scene? But O, when it shall not desolate a single city only, but desolate the globe!!! For “the great city,” Rome, “was divided into three parts, and the CITIES OF THE NATIONS FELL.” They were laid in a heap of ruins. Think of ten thousand human beings buried in the ruins of the earthquake of St. Domingo last spring! But what is that to the time when all the cities of the earth are destroyed at a stroke, by the power of Omnipotence; when “every island shall flee away and the mountains are not found!” What a picture is presented of this scene of destruction in Ezekiel 38:19, 20: “For in my jealousy, and in the fire of my wrath, have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; so that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence; and the mountains shall he thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.” It is at that time God will fulfil his promise, to “shake not the earth only, but also heaven;” that what can be shaken may be removed; and that the things which cannot be shaken may remain, even the kingdom of the saints, which cannot be removed, but must endure forever and ever.PREX1 185.1

    And there fell on men a great hail out heaven.” This is the most dreadful of all God’s judgments. Alter the cities fall, the islands flee away, the mountains, walls, fences and steep places, are all thrown down, and no place of refuge is found; then the overflowing hail-storm follows on the naked heads of a guilty race. Think, reader, for a moment, of this terrible scene. Think of Egypt again. Exodus 9:22-25: “And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained, hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt, all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.” And is God less faithful to fulfil his threatened judgments now than in the days of old? Or is he less able to do it? No, in no wise. For the treasures of die hail are still his. And to the wicked God has given the assurance (Isaiah 28:17) that he “will lay judgment to the line and righteousness to the plummet, and the hail shall sweep away your refuge of lies.” It will satisfy you that God is in earnest in his denunciations of wrath. How awful too, the view given of the same scene, Ezekiel 38:22: “And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hail-stones, fire and brimstone.”PREX1 186.1

    Every stone about the weight of a talent.” Richard Watson, in his Bible Dictionary, says a talent is a hundred and twenty-five pounds. Others say ninety-six pounds, and some sixty pounds. Whichever it may be, nothing could stand before such a shower. A hailstone falling from heaven, would produce all the effect of a lead or iron ball of the same weight What could endure a shower of cannon balls falling from heaven, each one weighing one hundred and twenty-five, or even sixty pounds? Yet God’s mouth hath spoken this word. The following account from Fisk’s Travels in Europe, will give the reader some faint idea of the power of such. a storm; and how perfectly easy it will be for the Almighty to prepare such, an engine of destruction:—PREX1 187.1

    “The University of Padua once had 18,000 scholars, but like all the other universities of Italy, it is greatly fallen. It has able professors, however, and lectures in the various departments, with a library of 100,000 volumes. The most prominent department is that of medicine.PREX1 187.2

    “There is a beautiful public square in this city, surrounded with statuary, all of which is now, from an extraordinary cause, in a very mutilated. state. In 1835, there was a violent hail Storm of stones as large as cannon balls, which fell, in twenty-seven minutes, to the depth of one foot and a half. It broke in the tiles of the roofs of a great many edifices, and made great havoc of the trees, and broke off the fingers, arms, noses, etc., of this extensive company of statues.”PREX1 187.3

    Such a storm of hail as this must be dreadful, the stones the size of cannon-balls. But what are such hail-stones when compared with those spoken of under the seventh vial? Reader, have you found a refuge from such a storm? The only place of refuge is the name of the Lord of hosts.PREX1 188.1

    The battle of that great day of GOD ALMIGHTY. “It is not man’s battle; but God’s. Let us look again at its terrors, as described by Jeremiah 25:15-17, 26, 30-33: “For thus saith the Lord God of Israel unto me, Take the wine-cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. Then took I the cup at the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the Lord had sent me. And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them. Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations; he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.” Such a war of extermination God has declared; and he will accomplish it. There will be no refuge then left. It is the day described in Proverbs 1:24-33, when the wicked shall call, but God will not answer, but will laugh at their calamity, and mock when their fear cometh; when their fear cometh as a desolation, and their destruction as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon them. The Lord have mercy on the impenitent now, and save them before the terrible day overtake them!PREX1 188.2

    The same great battle is described in the 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel. Gog and Magog are all the devil’s armies, whether before or after the second or final resurrection. After the Lord has taken his people out from the earth, all who are left constitute Gog and Magog.PREX1 189.1

    The 37th chapter describes the first resurrection, the gathering of the whole house of Israel from their graves, bringing flesh and sinews upon them, covering them with skin, putting his spirit within them, as the vital principle, and bringing them into the land of Israel. Then David, or Christ, the heir of David’s throne, is to be king over them forever. They shall never more be dispersed, or plucked up out of the land of the saints.PREX1 189.2

    Then follows, after thus harvesting the wheat by Christ in the resurrection of the just, the vintage, when the wicked are to be destroyed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we be changed. See 1 Corinthians 15. All these will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. See 1 Thessalonians 4. They are to stand on the sea of glass mingled with fire; having the harps of God, and sing the song of victory and deliverance, as did the Israel of God, when they stood on the eastern bank of the Red Sea, and their enemies were forever left behind, overwhelmed in ruin. It was not until they had passed the sea that the tribes were marshalled according to their tribes, and their government organized under Moses. So now our prophet, like Moses, will bring his people from their enemies’ land, to a place of safety; then organize his kingdom on the sea of glass. This kingdom, thus organized, will smite the image of Daniel 2, on his feet, and grind the whole to powder. First it is said the stone will do it; then that the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall do it The stone and kingdom then are identical. The kingdom of Christ, thus organized, will come down according to the prediction of Enoch, the seventh from Adam. Jude’s Epistle: “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds, and hard speeches,” etc.PREX1 190.1

    Then, too, the second Psalm will be fulfilled, where it is promised Christ that he “shall break” the kings of the earth, the rulers, the Gentiles, or heathen, together with the unbelieving people of the Jews who rejected him, “with a rod of iron, and shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”PREX1 191.1

    He will then, also, as he has promised in Revelation 2, give to them that overcome, power over the nations to rule and break them with a rod of iron, as he has received of his Father. The saints are to be joined in judging the world, with Christ. “This honor have all his saints.” They will not sit to try and pass sentence on the world; this is not their prerogative, but the Lord’s; but to execute the judgment written, is the prerogative of the saints. Psalm 149:5-9: “Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud upon then beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.”PREX1 191.2

    The Lord, and all his saints with him, is to come down on the Mount of Olives to fight the battle and drive out all the wicked from Jerusalem, and take possession of the place and fight the battle spoken of by Ezekiel 38 and 39. The scenes of the last day will not be filled up instantaneously, as we have been accustomed to think The old Israelites were seven years, after entering the land, in subduing their enemies, beforePREX1 191.3

    they enjoyed their sabbath, or year of rest. SoEzekiel tells us, that the whole house of Israelwill be seven years (literal years) in burning upthe weapons of their enemies; and seven monthsafter the battle in burying the dead bodies of thewicked, on which both beasts and fowls havefeasted at the supper of the great God; and thenmen of continual employment will be appointed tocleanse the land of dead bodies and bones.PREX1 192.1

    But, says an objector, you do not suppose theglorified saints will be set at work to bury thewicked? That is too absurd and humiliating athought! Indeed! why so? If God has thoughtthat “it shall be to them a RENOWN,” as he hasdeclared it shall be, (Ezekiel 39:13,) why shallwe be displeased? We can know nothing of thefuture, except what is revealed; and if God hasrevealed that Israel, when brought back fromtheir graves to eternal life, shall bury the deadbodies of the wicked, it will be so. That it is revealed, cannot be denied, until we deny the word of God.PREX1 192.2

    If the saints are to remain on the earth untilthe judgments are all executed, it is more reasonable that they should bury the dead, than thatthey should be left upon the earth to pollute it along time.PREX1 192.3

    The same great battle is described in Revelation 19:11-21. The two scenes, as described by Ezekiel and John, are so nearly alike, that we cannotfail to perceive that they refer to one and thesame event.PREX1 192.4

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