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A Brief Commentary On The Apocalypse by Sylvester Bliss

Epistles to the Seven Churches.

Epistle to the Church in Ephesus.

|To the messenger of the congregation of Ephesus write: These things saith He who holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden lamp-stands: I know thy works, and thy toil, and thy patience, and that thou canst not endure the evil; and thou hast tried those, who say they are apostles, and are not; and hast found them liars; and hast patience, and hast endured on account of my name, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless, I have this against thee, that thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore whence thou hast fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I will come to thee quickly, and will remove thy lamp-stand out of its place, except thou repentest. But thou hast this, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. He, who hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the congregations: To him, who overcometh, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.| -- Rev.2:1-7.

The seven churches are not, themselves, seen in vision; they were symbolized by seven golden candlesticks. Consequently, these are seven literal churches that are addressed, and not allegorical, as some teach. The symbolic portions of the Apocalypse, are the descriptions of what John saw, and the attendant utterances. What was addressed to the ear by way of explanation and instruction, does not come under the laws of symbolization.

As churches, in all ages, are often in the several conditions ascribed to the seven churches, the warnings, admonitions, and consolations addressed to them, may serve for instruction to all Christians, as implied in the declaration: |He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches,| 2:29.

|By {GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER GAMMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER GAMMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER LAMDA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER FINAL SIGMA}, angel [or messenger], we are to understand the messenger, or person sent by God to preside over the church; and to him the epistle is directed, not as pointing out his state, but the state of the church under his care. The Angel of the Church, here answers exactly to that officer of the synagogue among the Jews, called the messenger of the church, whose business it was to read, pray, and teach in the synagogue.| -- DR. CLARKE. Timothy is supposed to have had the care of the Ephesian church till A. D.97, when he was martyred.

Ephesus was a large, idolatrous city, |a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which,| as they claimed, |fell down from Jupiter,| Acts 19:35. The gospel was first preached there by Paul, and with such success, that |Many of them also which used curious arts, brought their books together, and burned them before all men; and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver: So mightily grew the word of God, and prevailed,| Ib. 19, 20. They continued a fine and prosperous church, but had fallen away from their first love. Therefore He who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, and holdeth in his hand the messengers of the churches, admonished them that, unless they repented he would remove their candlestick, i.e., their church, of which the candlestick was a symbol, out of its place. They did not repent; and, says Gibbon, |In the year 1312, began the captivity, or ruin of the seven churches by the Ottoman power. In the loss of Ephesus, the Christians deplored the loss of the first Angel, the extinction of the first candlestick of the Revelations. The desolation is complete, and the temple of Diana, or the church of Mary, will equally elude the search of the curious traveller.|

The Nicolaitanes, whose deeds God hated, were a sect of heretics, who assumed the name from Nicholas of Antioch, one of the first seven deacons of the church in Jerusalem. It is believed that he was rather the innocent occasion, than the author of the infamous practices of those who assumed his name, -- who allowed a community of wives, and ate meats offered in sacrifice to idols. It was a short-lived sect.

For hating their deeds, the church of Ephesus was commended, and also for not giving countenance to false teachers, who claimed to be apostles, and were proved to be liars. Thus are Christians to |believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world,| 1 John 4:1. |Such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ,| 2 Cor.11:13. |There were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,| 2 Pet.2:1.

The promise to him that overcometh, that he shall |eat of the tree of life,| points to the resurrection and to the new creation. As in Eden was made to grow |the tree of life| (Gen.2:9), so in Eden restored, |they that do his commandments ... may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city,| Rev.22:2.

Epistle to the Church in Smyrna.

|And to the messenger of the congregation in Smyrna, write: These things saith the First and the Last, who became dead and is alive: I know thy works, and affliction, and poverty (but thou art rich); and I know the reviling of those, who say they are Jews, and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Fear none of the things, which thou wilt suffer. Behold, the devil will cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried, and ye will have affliction ten days. Be thou faithful to death, and I will give thee the crown of life. He, who hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the Congregations: he who overcometh, will not be hurt by the second death.| -- Rev.2:8-11.

The angel of the church in Smyrna is supposed to have been Polycarp, who, rather than to apostatize, was burnt alive in that city about A. D.166. That church had passed through the trial of poverty, and was found |rich toward God,| Luke 12:21. It had suffered from the blasphemy of unbelieving Jews, who had a synagogue there and were particularly active at the martyrdom of Polycarp. But |He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God,| Rom.2:28, 29. And the crucified and risen Saviour has said, that they are |of the synagogue of Satan which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie,| Rev.3:9.

Not a word of reproof is addressed to this faithful flock; but they were to be still further tried, and a terrible persecution was foretold, which should continue ten prophetic days. Ten years was the duration of the last and bloodiest persecution under Diocletian, from A. D.302 to 312, during which all the Asiatic churches were grievously afflicted.

This church passed triumphantly through all those trials; and Smyrna is now the most flourishing city of the Asiatic churches. It contains a population of 100,000, and is the seat of an archbishop. From 15,000 to 20,000 of its inhabitants are still professedly Christian.

The |crown of life,| promised to those who are faithful unto death, is to be given at Christ's second coming, |who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and kingdom,| 2 Tim.4:1: |Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing,| Ib. 8. |Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him,| Jam.1:12.

Those who shall not be hurt of the |second death,| are those who shall attain unto the resurrection of the just, at the commencement of the millennium. |Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years,| Rev.20:6. |But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death,| 21:8.

Epistle to the Church in Pergamos.

And to the messenger of the congregation in Pergamos write: These things saith He who hath the sharp two-edged sword: I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's throne is; and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days in which Antipas was my faithful witness: who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there those, who hold fast the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast an enticement to sin before the children of Israel: to eat idol-sacrifices, and to commit fornication. So thou hast also those, who hold fast the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, in like manner. Repent; or else I will come to thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He, who hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the congregations: To him, who overcometh, I will grant to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knoweth, but he, who receiveth it. -- Rev.2:12-17.

|He which hath the sharp sword with two edges,| is the one who walked in the midst of the seven golden lamp-stands -- out of whose |mouth went a sharp two-edged sword,| 1:16. This identifies him as the one who was followed by the armies of heaven, when |the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse: which sword proceeded out of his mouth,| 19:21. |The sword of the Spirit ... is the word of God,| Eph.6:17. |He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked,| Isa.11:4. The One who indites this epistle is thus designated, probably, because, unless they repented of the things alleged against them, he would fight against them with the sword of his mouth.

The church of Pergamos had refrained from apostasy, although situated in a wicked and corrupt city, -- even where Satan reigned almost supreme and received the obedience of its inhabitants. They had been faithful in those days when Antipas, a faithful Christian, and probably the former pastor of the church, was slain (Dr. Hales thinks) in Domitian's persecution, in A. D.94. Yet, the Lord had some things against them.

The doctrine of Balaam is what that prophet counselled Balak to cast as a stumbling-block before Israel: For |the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods; and the people did eat and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor,| Num.25:1-3. And Moses said of the women of Midian, |Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor,| Ib. 31:16. This was also, probably, the same as the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, p.34.

The |hidden manna| seems to be a reference to that hidden in the ark, where it was laid up before the Lord (Ex.16:33), in memory of what was sent for the sustenance of Israel in the wilderness, where |man did eat angel's food,| Ps.78:25. The law having a shadow of good things to come (Heb.10:1), the manna hidden in the ark may be typical of the angelic sustenance to be revealed in the future world. The Saviour said, |Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die,| John 6:47, 48, 50.

The |white stone| has received divers interpretations. In ancient trials, the votes of the judges were given by white and black pebbles. The former signified acquittal, and the latter condemnation. Conquerors in public games sometimes received a white stone with their name inscribed on it, which entitled them, during the remainder of their life, to be maintained at the public expense. Persons were sometimes invited to feasts or banquets, by the presentation of a white stone, with their name on it in connection with that of their hosts. The possession of the white stone evidently entitles the possessor to all the privileges of the heavenly inheritance.

The |new name| is unknown to all but its possessor; who, on its possession, becomes a child of God, and will receive, saith God, |in my house and within my walls, a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off,| Isa.56:5. The Saviour has promised that |him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name,| Rev.3:12. And his new |name| |no man knew but he himself,| Ib. 19:12.

Pergamos still contains a few thousand inhabitants.

Epistle to the Church in Thyatira.

|And to the messenger of the congregation in Thyatira write: These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet like fine brass: I know thy works, and love, and faith, and service, and thy patience, and thy works; and thy last works to be greater than the first. Notwithstanding, I have something against thee, because thou allowest thy woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat idol sacrifices. And I gave her time to repent, and she would not repent of her fornication. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and those, who commit adultery with her, into great affliction, unless they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence; and all the congregations will know that I am he, who searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give to each of you according to your works. But to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, As many as have not this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as (they say;) I will not put on you another burden: but what ye have, hold fast till I come. And he, who overcometh, and keepeth my works to the end, to him, I will give power over the nations: (and he will rule them with a rod of iron; like the vessels of a potter they will be dashed in pieces:) even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning-star. He, who hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the congregations| -- Rev.2:18-29.

In commending the general piety of this church, they are censured for permitting a woman to teach false doctrines among them. The church is not only made responsible for what it teaches, but also for what it suffers others to teach. In this particular the church in Thyatira appears in contrast with the church in Ephesus. The doctrines which this wicked woman taught appear to be similar to those of the Nicolaitanes, p.34. She is probably called Jezebel, from her being a woman of power and influence, like the wife of Ahab, who |did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord: whom Jezebel his wife stirred up,| 1 Kings 21:25.

They who had not fallen into those depths of Satan, and should continue faithful to the end, were to have |power over the nations.| |The saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him,| Dan.7:18, 27. |Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel,| Ps.2:8, 9. |To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all the saints. Praise ye the Lord,| Ib. 149:7, 9.

To receive the morning star, is to receive Christ, who testifieth of himself. |I am ... the bright and morning star,| Rev.22:16. We are commanded to take heed to the |sure word of prophecy ... as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts,| 2 Pet.1:19. As |the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy| (19:10), those who refuse to consider the revelation he has given of things which shortly after began to come to pass, and which must now be verging towards their consummation, may fail of becoming illuminated by the day-star in their hearts.

Says Gibbon: |The God of Mahomet, without a rival or a Son, is invoked in the mosques of Thyatira and Pergamos.|

Epistle to the Church in Sardis.

|And to the messenger of the congregation in Sardis write: These things saith He, who hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things, which remain, which are about to die: for I have not found thy works complete before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee like a thief, and thou wilt not know what hour I will come on thee. But thou hast a few names in Sardis, that have not defiled their garments; and they will walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He, who overcometh, the same one will be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name from the book of life, but I will acknowledge his name before my Father, and before his angels. He, who hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the congregations.| -- Rev.3:1-6.

The church in Sardis was Christian in name, but was destitute of spiritual life, with the exception of a few names who had not defiled their garments. Having become dead to the revivifying influences of the Holy Spirit, they are reminded that he who addresses them is the one who holds their messenger in his hand, and who hath the seven Spirits of God; i.e., that it was from the One who said of |the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost| (John 14:26), |when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me,| Ib. 15:26.

They had doubtless become greatly conformed to the corrupt worldly influences by which they were surrounded, without having actually denied the faith, or embraced the hated doctrines of the Nicolaitanes. Therefore they were exhorted to hold fast all that they still retained, and, by repentance, to recover what they had lost; and they were admonished that if they neglected those precautions, they would be suddenly visited; without its being designated what would be the precise nature, time, or manner, of their visitation: which made the threatening the more terrible.

The |few names| which had not defiled their garments, were used by a metonymy to signify persons. When an apostle was to be chosen in the place of Judas, |the number of the names together were about one hundred and twenty,| Acts 1:15. Purity of raiment is significant of purity of character: |Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments,| 16:15. White is an emblem of purity. To the |bride,| it |was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints,| 19:8. Those who came out of great tribulation, had |washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,| (7:13); and therefore they were symbolized as standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms of victory in their hands, 7:9. To be clothed in white raiment, is therefore to be accepted of the Saviour.

To blot one's name out of the book of life, is to erase his title to heaven. The figure seems to be an allusion to the ancient custom of enrolling in a book the names of all free citizens. If their names were confessedly written there, they were entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizenship; but if blotted out, they had forfeited these. |They that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is,| 17:8. Moses said, if God would not forgive Israel, |blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written,| Ex.32:32. Of his enemies, David said, |Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous,| Ps.67:28. Those only enter the New Jerusalem, |which are written in the Lamb's book of life,| 21:27.

The church in Sardis, has long been utterly extinct; and what remains of the city is a miserable Turkish village.

Epistle to the Church in Philadelphia.

|And to the messenger of the congregation in Philadelphia write: These things saith the Holy, the True One, he who hath the key of David, he who openeth, and no one shutteth; and shutteth, and no one openeth: I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no one can shut it; for thou hast a little strength, and hast held fast my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews, and are not, but who lie; behold, I will make them come and bow down before thy feet, and know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of trial, which will come on all the world, to try those, who dwell on the earth. I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no one take thy crown. I will make him, who overcometh, a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will go out no more: and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, (which cometh down out of heaven from my God:) and my new name. He, who hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the congregations.| -- Rev.3:7-13.

The church of Philadelphia had maintained her integrity, and is therefore addressed in the language of commendation, without the rebukes which were directed to her sister churches. Having remained true to Him who |was called Faithful and True| (19:11), the epistle to this church makes mention of the Saviour by those titles, which are significant of his own faithfulness and inherent holiness.

|The key of David,| brings to view the prediction of that which was to be laid |upon his shoulder;| so that |he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open,| Isa.22:22. A key symbolizes that which will open or unlock, or will close fast: therefore said the Saviour, |I ... have the keys of hell and of death.| By virtue of this power, an open door was set before the church of Philadelphia, which no man should be able to close.

The Jews in Philadelphia, who had claimed to be the only true church of God, but who were in reality of the synagogue of Satan, were to cease their opposition to the Christians, and to seek instruction and protection from them -- recognizing the love of God to Gentiles as well as to Jews. History is silent respecting the fulfilment of this; but there is no reason to suppose that it was not literally fulfilled.

The |hour of temptation,| which was to |come upon all the world, to try them that dwell on the earth,| was to be one of peculiar trial. Some suppose it had reference to the persecution under Trajan, which was more severe and extensive than those under Nero, or Domitian: and others that it was the Mohammedan delusion. In such times there are peculiar temptations to apostatize, and the less faithful are in more danger of apostasy than others. But because the Philadelphian church had been faithful thus far, they were to be kept from that trying hour. When the scourge of Mohammedanism swept over all the other churches of Asia, this church maintained its integrity. Says Gibbon: |Among the Greek colonies and churches of Asia, Philadelphia is still erect, a column in a scene of ruins. At a distance from the sea, forgotten by the emperors, encompassed on all sides by the Turks, her valiant citizens defended their religion and their freedom above fourscore years, and at length capitulated with the proudest of the Ottomans.| Philadelphia is still the seat of an archbishop, and contains from six hundred to seven hundred Greek houses, and several places of Christian worship. |The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations,| 2 Pet.2:9.

They are encouraged to constancy by the prospect of the coming coronation day, when |the Lord; the righteous Judge shall give| a |crown of righteousness,| |unto all them that love his appearing,| 2 Tim.4:8. He has said |Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life| (2:10); and therefore |when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away,| 1 Pet.5:4.

A pillar in the temple of God, is expressive of a position which shall give support to the church, which is erected |upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone; In whom the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit,| Eph.2:20-22.

To receive the name of God, is to be recognized as belonging to God. As masters designated their servants by branding their name on them, or by some peculiar mark, so the children of God are referred to by the same figure. In a subsequent vision John saw with the Lamb on Mount Zion, |an hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads,| 14:1. Their connection with new Jerusalem is similarly designated.

Epistle to the Church in Laodicea.

|And to the messenger of the congregation in Laodicea write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Ruler of the creation of God: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wast cold or hot. So, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will cast thee out of my mouth: because thou sayest, I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried by fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear; and to anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chastise: be fervent therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any one heareth my voice, and openeth the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he shall sup with me. To him, who overcometh I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and have sat down with my Father in his throne. He, who hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the congregations.| -- Rev.3:14-22.

By his titles of truth and verity, the Saviour prepares the Laodiceans for the humiliating threatenings, which are uttered against them. By that of |the beginning of the creation of God,| is indicated Christ's kingship as head and governor of all; and hence the authority on which his declarations are founded.

The Laodiceans seemed to have been very well satisfied with their own condition, without possessing any very marked characteristics. They were neither good, nor very wicked; but supposed that they abounded in all spiritual wealth, when they were destitute of all the Christian graces. They could not appreciate their own condition; and not realizing their need, were unlikely to heed the counsel given them, and therefore they have long since ceased to have a name and a place on the earth. Says Gibbon: |The circus and three stately temples of Laodicea, are now peopled with wolves and foxes.|

The great majority of them seemed to have become unworthy even of the chastisement which God bestows on those he loves. |Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth; therefore despise not the chastening of the Almighty,| Job 5:17. |My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord: neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth, even as a father the son in whom he delighteth,| Prov.3:11, 12. |Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him,| Jas.1:12.

The Saviour shows his readiness to receive those who will open unto him. He is saying, |Open to me ... for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night,| Cant.5:2. |Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching: verily I say unto you, That he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them,| Luke 12:37. Said Jesus, |If any man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him,| John 14:23.

To him that overcometh, as in another place he is promised a crown, so now there is the promise of a seat with the Saviour in his throne. Said the Saviour, |Ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel,| Matt.19:28. |And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me,| Luke 22:29. |If we suffer| i.e. with Christ, |we shall also reign with him,| 2 Tim.2:12.

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