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The Revelation

of [ST.] JOHN [THE DIVINE]*





EXPLANATORY NOTE

This posthumous work of Pastor Russell (arranged for use as a textbook) is much condensed, including the extracts from the Pastor's pen, all of which are referred back to his works. The abbreviations used are:

A, B, C, D,E, FThe six preceding volumes of "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES".
(Citations to E in italic figures refer to old editions, figures in ordinary type to later editions.)
B. S. M..........."THE BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY."
H....................."What Say the Scriptures ABOUT HELL?"
P-D................. "PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION" Scenario.
T....................."TABERNACLE SHADOWS."
S....................."SPIRITISM" Pamphlet.
Z......................"ZION'S WATCH TOWER," followed by year and page.

The citations to REVELATION and EZEKIEL refer to the comments herein, as well as to the Bible text.
Other abbreviations used are:

Barnes..........Barnes' "Revelation".
Brit................."Encyclopedia Britannica."
Buck..............Buck's "Theological Dictionary".
Coffin............Coffin's "Story of Liberty".
Cook.............Cook's "Revelation" ; a compendium of the presentations of seventy-two leading commentators on Revelation, in all languages and all ages of the Church.
Edgar............Edgar's "Pyramid Passages". Vol. II.
McC...............McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia.
Mosheim......Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History.
S. B. D...........Smith's Bible Dictionary.
Smith.............Smith's "Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation".
Weym............Weymouth's New Testament in Modern Speech.



REVELATION 15

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THE SONG OF THE SAINTS

15:1. And I saw another sign. — Seemion, the same word used by our Lord when He said, "Then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man." The proofs of the Lord's Second Advent are here referred to.
In heaven. — Among God's professed people.
Great and marvelous. — Very different in tone and contents from other Bible "helps."
Seven angels. — The seven volumes of Studies in the Scriptures.
Having the seven last plagues. — The seven volumes of Studies in the Scriptures together constitute the third and last woe poured out upon papacy. — Rev. 16:1-21: 22:18.
For in them is filled up the wrath of God. — Their united testimony is that the Times of the Gentiles have expired, the Reign of Christ has begun, all earthly potentates — Civil, Social, Ecclesiastical and Financial — must give way to the New Order of things, and will not give way peaceably, but must be ejected.
15:2. And I saw as it were a sea of glass. — The Time of Trouble made transparent. We can see why the Lord permits it, and see the Golden Age of glory, peace and Divine blessing that lies Just beyond.
Mingled with fire. — The coming anarchy, "They are the waves of the Red Sea, which appears on fire as the Sun of righteousness arises upon them, on the margin of which the true Israelites sing the song of Moses and the saving Lamb. Standing on its shore are seen those who are delivered from the beasts' sway as the Israelites were in their exodus from the land of Pharaoh. The song of Moses is sung by delivered Israel after the Egyptian plagues: here the hymn of praise is sung by the redeemed before the plagues are renewed and the Church gains its last victory over the antichristian world." — Cook.
And them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and [over] his image. — Who understand and live in harmony with the knowledge that both Papacy and Protestantism, and the governments under their influence, are of Satanic spirit — Rev. 13:11, 13, 14, 15; 14:11; 16:2, 13; 19:20; 20:10; Matt 24:24.
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[And over his mark,] And over the number of his name.  — Who refuse to let any stand for them in the place of Christ — Rev. 13:14-18.
Stand on the sea of glass. — Not in among the restless and discontented, but on a higher plane. — Heb. 13:5.
Having the harps of THE LORD God. — See Rev. 5:8; 14:2

"God's Word is that harp, which has long been unstrung,
And men heard but discordant its notes;
Now as tuned are its chords from Moses to John,
How grandly sweet melody floats."

15:3. And [they sing] SINGING the song of Moses. — "Hebrew scholars have remarked on the evidence of the antiquity of the song of Moses, recorded in Exodus 15:1-20, some even noting the fact that a few of the words showed an intermingling of the Egyptian language. It is further authenticated by the reference made to it in the book of Psalms, where the entire matter of the deliverance of the people and the overthrow of their enemies in the sea is graphically described by the sweet singer of Israel. (Psa. 106:7-12.) If it was appropriate, as we all admit that it was, that the Israelites should give glory to God for their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, much more is it appropriate that spiritual Israel should recognize the still greater deliverance from the power of Satan and the thraldom of sin, accomplished for us through the blood of the Lamb of God who died for our sins." — Z.'07-158; Rev. 14:3.
The Servant of God. — See Ex. 14:31.
And the song of the Lamb. — "They sing in the sense of declaring in harmonious and beautiful cadences the relationship of the types and figures of the Law and the Prophets of the Mosiac Dispensation with the antitypes of these of the Gospel Dispensation; showing that all things written in the Law and in the Prophets are finding glorious fulfilments in the Lamb of God and in the great Plan which the Father is working out through Him." — Z.'00-310.
Saying, Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty. — "First amongst the great and marvelous works of the Almighty was the sentence of death upon father Adam and his posterity. As we look at this marvelous work, we must concede that it was just (in that it was merited), that it is true (in the sense of not being an unreasonable penalty), true in the sense that it was exactly what God forewarned father Adam the penalty of disobedience would be. 'Just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints.' But Jehovah's first great and marvelous work of condemnation was, after four thousand years, followed by another great and marvelous work; viz, the
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work of redemption. How stupendous this work of the ransoming of all Adam's race of hundreds of millions by the sacrifice of one Man! How great and wonderful indeed this act, and how just and true, and how fully in Harmony with every feature of Divine Justice and Love!  — 1 Tim. 2:5, 6; Rom. 5:12,18, 19." — Z.'00-310.
Just and true are Thy ways. — "As we have viewed the failure of Christendom to adopt the spirit of Christ's teaching, and seen how the knowledge and liberty gained from His teachings were blended with the spirit of evil, selfishness, and as from present foreshadowings we mark the sure approach of anarchy and every evil work, yet realizing its necessity and justice, and having learned also the ends of mercy to be attained eventually by this very means, our hearts exclaim, 'Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are Thy ways.'" (D526; Deut 32:4; Psa. 145:17.) "As Aaron and the two remaining sons were forbidden to make lamentation for their brethren who were cut off, this signifies that all the faithful of the priests will recognize the justice of the Divine decisions, and will bow to them in humble submission, saying, 'Just and true are Thy ways,'" — Lev. 10:1-7; Psa. 89:14; Job 36:17; 37:23; Isa. 56:1; T40.
Thou King of [saints] THE WORLDS. — The margin renders this "King of nations or ages." He will be King of all nations by and by. He is King of all ages (worlds) in the sense that the ages are working out His sovereign will.
15:4. Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name. — "Here is still another feature to this song, and it is glorious also. It looks forward to the glorious Millennial Age, to the time when, under Divine providence, the knowledge of the Lord, essential to faith, and to any acceptance of His favor and mercy through Christ, shall be extended to every creature. 'Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess.' (Rom. 14:11.) And while this bowing and confessing may at first be compulsory, yet the Scriptures assure us that ultimately all who will not coma into heart harmony with the Lord and with all His gracious arrangements and provisions, shall be cut off from amongst the people, — in the Second Death. (Acts 3:23.) So that ultimately, instead of the Universe being filled with hundreds of millions who to all eternity will wall and gnash their teeth and blaspheme God's holy name in agony  — instead of this the time shall come when every tongue in Heaven and in earth shall be heard praising God, and giving honor to Him that sitteth on the Throne and to the Lamb, forever, for by that time all evildoers shall be cut off. (Rev. 5:13.)" — Z.'00-311; Jer. 10:7.
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For Thou only art holy. — "This song continues, and has yet another strain. It declares, 'Thou only art holy'. All holiness, all perfection, wherever it is found, must proceed from God, the great Fountain of holiness. How strange, then, that any of God's dear people (and we ourselves were once amongst this number) should so misunderstand the Divine Character and Plan as to misrepresent the same as being the very essence of unholiness, injustice, unkindness, inequity, lovelessness, toward the great mass of God's creatures!" — Z.'00-311.
For all nations shall come and worship before Thee. — "There is still another strain in this song; and it is a grand one also, like all the others, — reaching down into the Millennial Age. It declares, 'All nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest.' 'All nations' will include, not only all the nations then living, but all the nations of the dead, just as does the promise which God made to Abraham, saying, 'In thy Seed [The Christ, Head and Body] shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.' (Gen. 22:18.)" — Z.'00-311.
For [Thy] Judgments are made manifest BEFORE THEE.  — There was a time when we could not sing this song (Psa. 137). We looked forward with dread to the time when the Lord's judgments would be made manifest. We did not see that the Judgment Day is a day of "assurance to all men." (Acts 17:31.) We did not see that the first judgment day was against our race (Rom. 6:18), and that no culprit can be on trial twice for the same offence. We did not see that another Judgment Day, favorable to our race, came at the time of our Lord's great victory over death (John 12:311: nor did we see that our own, the Judgment Day of the saints, is here and now. (1 Tim. 6:24; 1 Cor. 11:31; 1 Pet. 4:17.) We did perhaps note, our duty of judging wolves by their greed, dogs by their quarrelsomeness, swine by their interest in earthly things, thorns by their disposition to wound and tear, and thistles by their disposition to scatter seeds that cause trouble (Matt. 7:6, 16, 15); and some of us went beyond and began Judging one another (Rom. 14:13; Matt. 7:1). "We never wanted the Lord to do it, even though we do know that He will bring every secret thing into Judgment. (Prov. 15:3; Ecc. 12:14.) Now we see that the world's Judgment Day is a thousand years long (Psa. 90:4; 2 Pet. 3:7, 8); we have learned that a day is not always merely a 24-hour period. (Gen. 2:4; Heb. 3:8; 2 Cor. 6:2.) We see now that our Lord Jesus at the first Advent judged nobody (John 12:47; Luke 12:14), but that God has exalted Him to be the world's Judge (Acts 6:31) a Deliverer (Judges 3:9; Isa,
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1:26); that He will have associate judges (1 Cor. 6:2; Rev. 20: 6): that His judgments will end war, promote righteousness and aid the poor and needy (Isa. 2:4; 11:4; 26:9), destroy unrighteousness and bring in everlasting peace and joy. — 2 Thes. 1:7; Isa. 65:18; 1 Cor. 15:25; 1 Chron. 16:31; Psa. 96:13; Psa. 98:1-9; Psa. 72:1-14.
15:5. And after that I looked, and, [behold]. — Another vision of the same thing.
The Temple of the Tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. — Pastor Russell was given a clear, beautiful, complete comprehension of the Plan of God as revealed in the Tabernacle arrangements and sacrifices. (Acts 7:44). This is the foundation of all his works.
15:6 And the seven angels came out of the Temple. — The seven volumes of Scripture Studies, emerged, all in harmony with the teachings of the Tabernacle, from which they proceeded.
Having the seven last plagues. — Though counted as plagues by ecclesiasticism they are in reality blessings, destined to rid the earth of every obnoxious thing, not the least of which are the great whore and harlots, large and email, that have defiled the earth with their unclean doctrines. (Rev. 17:5.) "Suppose that the salaries and 'livings' of all ministers, bishops, priests, etc., were cut off, all churches, chapels and cathedrals destroyed, all theological seminaries broken up, and their professors turned to other pursuits, all religious guilds and societies disbanded, including all sectarian organizations — what would be the effect? Who can doubt that it would be a real blessing under the disguise of a great and terrible catastrophe? The effect would be to bring true Christians together as the family of God, and not as sectarian bands; to study God's Word, and not human traditions and creeds formulated in the Dark Ages. The Scriptures seem to indicate that very much of this sort of destruction of present systems must take place before all the 'wheat,' the true Church will be separated from the 'tares,' the mere professors." (Z.'08-119.) "The Church, or company of believers, probationers for coming glory, in its 'voluntary association,' was indeed to recognize 'teachers,' "helps,' 'Apostles,' etc.. but not to make them. If they recognize a man 'mighty in the Scriptures,' 'apt to teach,' they should be careful always, even while rejoicing in and thanking God for such a servant, to require a 'thus saith the Lord' for every point of doctrine, and to search the Scriptures daily to see whether these things be so." — Z.'08-120.
Clothed in pure [and white] BRIGHT linen. — "The 'Linen Girdle' indicated a righteous servant: linen — righteous-
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ness, girdle — servitude." (T30.) "A different word than in Rev. 19:8. The word here used is suitable as describing priestly attire and refers to ministrations on this side of the veil." — Cook.
And having their breasts girded with golden girdles. — The under-priests were robed in linen garments and wore girdles. Their robes represented the righteousness of Jesus, imputed to us, and their girdles represent us as servants of righteousness." (T36.) The Scripture Studies are servants of the Church — righteous servants, clad in the Lord's robe. — Rev. 1:13.
15:7. And one of the four beasts. — Heavenly Wisdom. — Rev. 4:7; Matt. 24:45; Jas. 1:5; 3:17; Ezek. 10:2, 7.
Gave unto the seven angels [seven] golden vials. — The message of Present Truth. "The vial was the shallow bowl in which they drew from the larger goblet" — Cook; Psa. 79:6; Jer. 10:25; Zeph. 3:8.
Full of the wrath of God. — Against all untruth. injustice and selfishness in organizations, Civil, Social, Ecclesiastical and Financial.
Who liveth for ever and ever, Amen. — Whereas all of those are to pass away. — Rev. 4:9, 10; 10:6.
15:8. And the temple was filled with smoke. — The nominal Church is filled with confusion as the deformities of her errors are made manifest. — Isa. 6:4.
From the glory of God, and from His power. — As revealed in His Word in this Harvest time. — 2 Chron. 5:14.
And no man was able to enter into the temple. — No person of mature thought. The large proportion of new members now received in the various denominations is from the Sunday School. — Rev. 9:20.
Till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.  — Until the seven volumes of Scripture Studies were written, published and circulated. Shortly afterward the true Temple will be in readiness, wherein men, women and children of all races and ages will find their hearts' hunger satisfied.
"Yet once it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this House with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver [the Great Company class that will be used in connection with its ministrations] is Mine, and the gold [the Little Flock, of which it will be composed] is Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts. The glory of this latter House shall be greater than the former, [the nominal church], saith the Lord of Hosts; and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of Hosts." — Hag. 2:6-9.
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