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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 19

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THE OVERTHROW OF SATAN'S EMPIRE

19:1. [And] after these things. — After the saints are glorified and present ecclesiastical systems are destroyed.
I heard AS IT WERE a great voice of much people. — The Great Company. — Rev. 7:10.
In heaven. — The only heavenly-minded ones remaining on earth.
Saying, Alleluia; Salvation. — Deliverance from the Papacy and other sects has come at last.
[And glory, and honor,] and power [unto the Lord] OF our God. — It has been accomplished not by human power, but by the Wisdom and Power of God. — Rev. 7:12.
19:2. For true and righteous are Thy judgments. — "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." — 1 John 1:5; Rev. 15:3; 16:7.
For He hath judged the great whore. — Has executed the judgments long foretold.
Which did corrupt the earth with her fornication. — Her illicit union with worldly governments.
And hath avenged the blood of [His] HER servants at her hand. — The millions who have perished in the Great War have been the servants of Babylon. The direct cause of their slaughter is the doctrine of the Divine right of the clergy. These have maintained the kings of Europe on their thrones, falsely telling them they are ruling as part of Christ's Kingdom. This position has led to the death of all these millions, and their blood will be required at Babylon's hand.
19:3. And again they said, Alleluia. — The more they think it over, the happier they will become.
And her smoke. — The evidences of her destruction; the remembrance. — Isa. 34:10; Rev. 14:11; 18:9, 18.
Rose up for ever and ever. — Will be recorded in secular history, even as it is recorded in "the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." — 1 Pet. 1:23.
19:4. And the [four and] twenty FOUR elders. — The prophecies. — Rev. 4:4, 10.
And the four beasts. — Infinite Power, Justice, Wisdom and Love. — Rev. 4:7.
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Fell down and worshipped God that sat on the Throne, saying Amen; Alleluia. — The God, the mighty One, here referred to is the Lord Jesus. — Rev. 5:8.
19:5. And [a voice] VOICES. — The Little Flock, beyond the veil.
Came out of the Throne. — They will be in the Throne at that time. — Rev. 3:21.
Saying, Praise our God, all ye His servants. — Of the Great Company class. — Rev. 7:15; Psa. 134:1-3.
[And] ye that fear Him, [both] small and great. — Your deliverance was wholly due to the Lord. We did what we could to help you, but it was as nothing. To the Lord belongs all the glory for your deliverance and ours. — Rev. 11:18.
19:6. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude. — "In the Age to come, when God shall 'pour out His Spirit upon all flesh,' as during the present Age He pours it upon His 'servants and handmaids,' then indeed all will understand and appreciate the promises now being grasped by the 'little flock'; and they will rejoice in the obedience and exaltation of the Church, saying, 'Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to God, for the Marriage of the Lamb is come, and His Wife hath made herself ready.' They will rejoice in the glorification of the Church, through which blessings will then be flowing to them; and while they will realize that the 'exceeding great and precious promises' inherited by the Anointed (Head and Body) are not for them, but have been fulfilled upon us, they will be blessed by the lesson illustrated in the Church; and while they run for the blessings then held out to them, they will profit by the example of the Church and glorify God on her behalf. But this knowledge will not bring covetousness; for under the new order of things their calling to perfect human nature will fully satisfy them, and will seem more desirable to them than a change of nature." — A86.
And as the voice of many waters. — All mankind. — Rev. 17:15.
And as the voice of mighty thunderings. — An overwhelming and complete reaction in favor of the Truth. The "seven thunders" will then be thundering as never before.  — Rev. 10:4; 8:5.
Saying, Alleluia: for [the Lord] God OUR LORD THE Omnipotent reigneth. — "Shows Himself to be king by subduing His enemies." (Cook.) Thoroughly convinced of the greatness of the Lord's power, as all men will be by the end of the Time of Trouble, they will be glad to entrust all their interests to His care.
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19:7. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him. — "Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power." — Psa. 110:3.
For the Marriage of the Lamb is come. — The marriage of men and women is declared in the Scriptures to be a type of the marriage of Christ and His Church. (Eph. 5:22-23.) It is a recognized principle that the antitype is greater than the sum of all the types. The death of Christ was greater than all the sacrifices throughout the Jewish Age. Now call to mind that the wedding day is the happiest of every human being. Think of all the happiness caused by all the weddings that have ever occurred, and know that the sum total is as nothing compared to the joy that will pervade the Universe when the festal day of eternity takes place, and Christ and His Bride are made one.
And His Wife. — "The Bride represents 'all who have believed up to the commencement of the Millennium. These alone are the mystical Body of Christ But after they are completed, at the Second Advent the earth will be peopled by the "nations of the saved" in flesh and blood, — a totally different party from the then glorified Bride.'" — Cook.
Hath made herself ready. — The witnessing to the world during the present Age is quite secondary and incidental to the Church's more important work of making herself ready. — F608; T115; Matt. 22:1-14; 25:1; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:27; Rev. 21:2, 9; John 3:29; Cant, all; Psa. 45:10-14; Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:19; Lu. 12:36.
19:8. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, BRIGHT AND clean and white. — "'She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needle work' (Psa. 45:14) — in the simple white robe of her Lord's own furnishing, the robe of His righteousness, upon which she will have wrought, with much carefulness, the beautiful adornments of the Christian graces. And great will be the rejoicing in Heaven and in earth at her abundant entrance into the King's palace. — 2 Pet. 1:5-8, 11." — C193.
For the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. — Here and there throughout the Scriptures are keys which unlock its mysteries. (Rev. 3:18; Psa. 132:9.) This is the key to several otherwise obscure passages.
19:9. And he. — The faithful and wise Servant to whom the custody of all the things in His Storehouse was especially promised by the Lord of the Harvest. — Luke 12: 42-44; Rev. 3:14; 1:1.
Saith unto me, write. — To representatives of the John class, commissioned to write something of encouragement to the Church after he himself had ceased to write.
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Blessed are they which are called unto the [marriage] supper of the Lamb. — The Marriage Supper (Lu. 14:15) will be like all the other feasts the Church has had, not of physical food, but of truths Divine. That will be the time when the Lord, the Head of the family, will explain to us every part of every verse in all His Holy Word. We shall have perfect memories then, in which to treasure every word He utters, and perfect bodies, too, in which to perform to the full all God's holy will. We have the will to do it now. We have tried to understand His Word, and tried to help others to understand it; but the best we could do was far from perfect The Lord, in His love and mercy, has accepted our best endeavors here as evidence of our worthiness for the perfect opportunities that await us. "Ultimately the full number purposed by the great Householder will have been called, accepted, and found worthy through Christ to have a place at that table — to share in that great Feast (Matt. 22:1-10.) At that feast we are assured, will be a secondary company, not worthy to be of the Bride class. These may be figuratively styled the bridesmaids, the Great Company class; for after the account of the gathering of the Bride we have the Lord's message to these subsequently delivered from Babylon, saying, 'Blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' You can imagine the honors and joys of that great banquet!" — Z.'14-74.
And he saith unto me, These MY TRUE SAYINGS, are the [true] sayings of God. —

"Ascend, beloved, to His joy;
Thy festal day has come;
To-night the Lamb doth feast His own,
To-night He with His Bride sits down,
To-night puts on the spousal crown,
In the great Upper Room."

19:10. And I fell at his feet to worship him. — "If there come to any of us a thought of doing homage to the Lord's messengers or servants it would be our duty to fully recognize that God alone, however much He may use human instrumentalities in conveying His blessings, is to be honored and reverenced and appreciated as the Author and Giver of every good and perfect gift. — James 1:17." — Z.'07-105; Rev. 22:8.
And he said unto me, See thou do it not. — But Satan said to the Lord, "All these things will I give thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me." (Matt. 4:9.) When Papacy did this, Satan was true to his promise. By resorting to worldly forms, customs and entertainments all the daughters have followed the example of the mother.
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I am thy fellowservant. — "St John in his humility forgets his own share in imparting the revelation; and the Angel in his humility brings this to light (Acts 10:25, 26)."  — Cook; Acts 14:14, 16; Rev. 22:9; Rom. 1:1; Phil 1:1; Tit. 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:1.
And of [thy] THE brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God. — "Whose servants we both are; of Whose prophetic Spirit we alike partake in this our common ministry; and therefore one of us may not worship the other." — Cook.
For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. — "All Christians, in every age, who can receive and understand prophecy, have this spirit." (Cook; 1 Cor. 12:13.) However, "The design of prophecy is to bear testimony to Jesus. This is its great and ultimate end. The word prophecy here seems to be used in the large sense in which it is often employed in the New Testament — meaning to make known the divine will, and the primary reference here would seem to be to the preachers and teachers of the New Testament. The sense is, that their grand business is to bear testimony to the Saviour. They are all appointed for this, and therefore should regard themselves as 'fellow-servants.' Thus understood, this passage has no direct reference to the prophecies of the Old Testament, and teaches nothing in regard to their design, though it is in fact undoubtedly true that their grand and leading object was to bear testimony to the future Messiah." — Barnes; Rev. 12:17.
19:11. And I saw heaven opened. — The hidden things of God as recorded in the Seventh Volume of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. — Rev. 11:19.
And behold a white horse. — Teachings which, however unpalatable to Churchianity, are nevertheless the truth.
And He that sat upon him was called Faithful. — "The faithful and true Witness." — Rev. 3:14.
And True. — "He that is holy, He that is true." — Rev 3:7.
And in righteousness He doth judge and make war. — "While the Lord forbids His people to fight with carnal weapons, and while He declares Himself to be a God of peace, a God of order and of love, He also declares Himself to be a God of justice, and shows that sin shall not forever triumph in the world, but that it shall be punished. 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.' (Rom. 12:19; Deut. 32:35.) And when He rises up to judgment against the nations, taking vengeance upon all the wicked. He declares Himself 'a man of war' and 'mighty in battle,' and having a 'great army' at His command. — Exod. 15:3; Psa, 24:8; 45:3; Isa. 11:4; Joel 2:11." — D549.
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19:12. His eyes were [as] a flame of fire. — The Lord's wisdom sees that the time has come for the destruction of present iniquitous systems. — Rev. 1:14.
And on His head were many crowns. — The right to rule all the kingdoms of the earth. — Ezek. 21:27.
And He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. — This new name is to be also the name of the Church, His Bride. Possibly it has not yet been revealed.  — Rev. 2:17; 3:12.
19:13. And He was clothed with a vesture [dipped in] SPRINKLED WITH blood. — A reference to His faithfulness even unto death, and a hint to His Body what to expect shortly.
And His name [is] HATH BEEN called the Word of God.  — In this picture He is represented as coming, not as the Messenger of the Covenant, but in apokalupsis, revealment as earth's rightful King. — John 1:1; Rev. 1:2.
19:14. And the armies which were in heaven. — All the armies of Rev. 7:5-8, the Little Flock, whether on this side of the veil or on the other. — Rev. 17:14.
Followed Him. — "The sheep follow Him: for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow." — John 10:4, 5.
Upon white horses. — Teachings clean and pure.
Clothed in fine linen, white and clean. — "The righteousness of saints." — Rev. 19:8.
19:15. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword. — "Our examination, in a preceding volume, of the great difference in character between the Kingdom of God and the beastly kingdoms of earth, prepares us to see also a difference in modes of warfare. The methods of conquest and breaking will be widely different from any which have ever before overthrown nations. He who now takes His great power to reign is shown in symbol as the One whose sword went forth out of His mouth, 'that with it He should smite the nations; and He shall rule them with a rod of iron.' That sword is the Truth (Eph. 6:17)." — B100; Isa. 11:4; 49:2; 2 Thes. 2:8; Rev. 1:16; 2:12, 16; 19:21; Hos. 6:5; Heb. 4:12.
That with it He should smite the nations. — "'He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips [the force and spirit of His Truth] shall He slay the wicked.' (Isa. 11:4; Psa. 98:1.) To no human generalship can the honors of the coming victory for truth and righteousness be ascribed. Wild will be the conflict of the angry nations, and world-wide will be the battlefield and the distress of nations; and no human Alexander, Caesar or Napoleon will be found to bring order out of the
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dreadful confusion. But in the end it will be known that the grand victory of Justice and truth, and the punishment of iniquity with its just deserts, was brought about by the power of the King of kings and Lord of lords." — D19.
And He shall rule them with a rod of iron. — "In this 'Day of Jehovah,' the 'Day of Trouble,' our Lord takes His great power (hitherto dormant) and reigns, and this it is that will cause the trouble, though the world will not so recognize it for some time. That the saints shall share in this work of breaking to pieces present kingdoms, there can be no doubt. It is written, 'This honor have all His saints — to execute the judgments written, to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron' — of strength. (Psa. 149:8, 9.) 'He that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they [the empires] be broken to shivers.'" — Rev. 2:26, 27; Psa. 2:8, 9; B100.
And He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of THE ANGER OF Almighty God. — The Lord assumes an interest in and responsibility for the complete series of STUD1E8 IN THE SCRIPTURES, the last one of which especially represents the winepress feature (Rev. 14:18-20), but it would be unreasonable to expect that the Lord would miraculously use imperfect tools to do an absolutely perfect work and each must use his judgment as to the value of the interpretations in this book. Additionally, it should be remarked that the language here is more intense than in Rev. 14, indicating the extension of the winepress feature to other than ecclesiastical matters.
19:16. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written. — "The thigh is introduced as the place where the sword (which is not mentioned here, see ver. 15) is usually found, in accordance with Psa. 45:3: 'Gird Thee with Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O Most Mighty.'" — Cook.
King of kings and Lord of lords. — Before the controversy aroused by this book is finished, every person in the world will be convinced that it marks a distinct step by the Lord in His seizure of Satan's Empire. — 1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14; Dan. 8:25.
19:17. And I saw [an] ANOTHER angel. — The Elijah class after the publication of Volume Seven, Studies in the Scriptures. See Rev. 8:3-5; 14:18.
Standing in the sun. — Resplendent in the light of the Gospel. — Rev. 12:1; Matt 13:43.
And he cried with a loud voice. — Fearlessly and plainly declaring the Truth.
Saying to all the fowls. — Birds, Greek. — Matt. 24:28.
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That fly in the midst of heaven. — First to the "eagles," the far-sighted ones, the Little Flock, and then, by extension, to all who live, mentally, on any plane above the grossly material.
Come [and gather yourselves] BE GATHERED together unto the GREAT supper of [the great] God. — We should look for applications appropriate to the symbolical book we are studying, even though it develop later, as it will, that these passages will have a literal and terrible fulfilment in a deluge of actual bloodshed, of which the European War is but a preliminary.
19:18. That ye may eat the flesh of kings. — Five of these kings or rulers are enumerated in Rev. 6:4. Doubtless the reader has eaten them, in the symbolical sense. They are there to be eaten.
And the flesh of captains. — Lesser commanders, enumerated in Rev. 8:7-12. No doubt the reader has eaten these also.
And the flesh of mighty men. — Warriors. These warriors are referred to in Rev. 9:7,9, although there mentioned under the name of locusts. If the reader has not eaten (appropriated, absorbed, digested) the account, the task should be undertaken at once, or something will be missed.
That the Lord made no mistake in selecting the Locust as a symbol of the Methodist system of blindly following leaders is clear from the following extract from the works of a traveller: "While sojourning in Syria I was told that the whole country round Mt. Lebanon was dismayed one year by the news that a vast army of marching locusts was coming from the eastern desert. The governor of the district ordered a regiment of soldiers to aid the people to construct a great rampart of heath bushes to be set on fire as the locusts came up to it, hoping thus to save the gardens of Beyrout. These locusts always hopped straight ahead, deviating neither to the right nor left, and on coming to a house went up its stone walls, over it and down it, as if it were a level place, and in such inconceivable numbers that an American resident described the noise of the great host passing over the roof as like to that of a tremendous hailstorm. At every green leaf on the way each took a bite, and then went on for the next one to take his bite, until in an incredibly short time not a green thing could be seen. When they reached the prepared heaps of heath, and these were set on fire, the locusts marched on without pausing, until in a brief time they put the bonfires completely out. As the sea was not far off everybody hoped that they would take to
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surf bathing. And so they did. Just as certain injurious political crowds among us can always be always depended upon to march up to the polls and vote the straight ticket, when the vanguard reached the waves, like all good true locusts, in they hopped, followed by all the rest, till the billows seemed to roll only grasshoppers; nor did the scene end until the last of the rear guard had skipped over the heaps of his dead comrades to make his last Jump into the blue waters of the Mediterranean." — Jer. 51:64.
And the flesh of horses. — Did you not see the horses in Rev. 9:17, 18, and did you not eat them, fire, jacinth, brimstone and all?
And of them that sit on them. — Did we not find two hundred millions of these horsemen, and did you not eat them? — See Rev. 9:16.
And the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. — And did we not find all the rest of the men included in Rev. 9:20, 21, and did we not eat them in the same manner? We did, indeed. We ate or appropriated the truth concerning them. It is our eating of these truths that lead to the events next narrated.
19:19. And I saw the beast. — The Papacy restored to power. Weymouth's New Testament in Modern Speech translates this verse as follows, and adds a footnote that the "once for all," though not expressed in the Greek, is implied in the aorist tense of the verb: "And I saw the Wild Beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, all assembled to make war, once for all, against the Rider upon the horse and against His army."
And the kings of the earth. — Called to the war by demons. (Rev. 16:13-16.) "The kings of the earth set themselves [in opposition], and the rulers [not knowing that they are fighting against the establishment of the Lord's Kingdom], take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, [but] He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision."  — Psa. 2:2, 4; D52.
And their armies. — Their following, Civil, Social, Ecclesiastical and Financial.
Gathered together to make war. — "The war," Greek.
Against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. — Although composed of the twelve symbolical tribes (Rev. 19:14; 7:4-8) they are, after all, but one army, all "One in Christ Jesus." "Let it be Been that the best and the worst of earth's nations are but 'kingdoms of this world,' whose lease of power from God is now expired, that they may give place to their ordained successor, the Kingdom of Messiah, the Fifth Universal Empire of earth (Dan.
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2:44; 7:14, 17, 27) — and it will do much to establish truth and to overthrow error. But as it is, the actions of Papacy in this regard, sanctioned by the Protestant Reformers, go unquestioned among Christian people. And since they should uphold the Kingdom of Christ, they feel themselves called to the aid of the present falling kingdoms of so-called Christendom — to the side of the kingdoms of this world, and the prince of this world, rather than to the side of the coming true Kingdom of Christ." — A270; Rev. 16:16; 17:13,14.
19:20. And the beast was taken. — The Papacy was caught. (Jer. 50:43-46.) No doubt the publication of this book has come at a time unfavorable to the schemes of Papacy and will interfere greatly with its efforts at re-establishment. — Rev. 17:14.
And with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him. — The Image of the Beast — Rev. 13:11, 13, 14, 15; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2, 13; 19:20; 20:10; Matt. 24:24.
With which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast. — Catholics.
And them that worshipped his image. — Protestants.
These both. — Both of these systems, not the people.
Were cast alive. — While they are still organized and operative. — H59.
Into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. — Into the complete and everlasting destruction, of the anarchy (symbolized by fire) of the Time of Trouble. This utter destruction of these systems is the beginning of the annihilation of everything out of harmony with God's righteous arrangements. It was typified by the valley of Gehenna, just outside of Jerusalem. By the aid of brimstone the bodies of specially detestable criminals were there burned with the other refuse of Jerusalem. Standing upon the edge of this valley at night it bad the appearance of a lake burning with fire and brimstone. Burning brimstone is the most deadly agent known, and symbolizes utter destructiveness. — Dan. 7:11.
19:21. And the remnant. — The people who are left after their systems are destroyed.
Were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse. — Will, in due time, come into loving and cheerful submission to the truth. — Rev. 19:15; 2 Cor. 10:4.
Which sword proceeded out of His mouth. — All should be able to see that it is not a literal sword that is here referred to.
And all the fowls were filled with their flesh. — See Rev.. 19:18.

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