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A Brief Commentary On The Apocalypse by Sylvester Bliss

Rejoicing Over Babylon's Destruction.

|And after this, I heard a loud voice of a mighty crowd in heaven, saying, Praise ye Jehovah! The salvation, and the glory, and the power of our God! For true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great harlot, who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand! And again they said, Praise ye Jehovah! And her smoke ascendeth for ever and ever. And the twenty-four elders and the four living beings fell down and worshipped God, who sat on the throne, saying, So be it! Praise ye Jehovah!| Rev.19:1-4.

Daniel, in vision, saw the same persecuting power symbolized by a |Little Horn,| having |eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things;| and he beheld, |and the same Horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom,| Dan.7:8, 21, 22. And Paul testified of |that Wicked| who was to be revealed, that he was the |Man of Sin,| |whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming,| 2 Thess.2:3-8. The destruction of that which was thus symbolized and predicted, must, consequently, be at the epoch of Christ's second coming and of the establishment of the kingdom of God.

It is also at the epoch anticipated by |the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held,| who, from under the altar, on the opening of the |fifth seal,| |cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?| 6:9, 10. The epoch which they anticipated not having then arrived, |white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also, and their brethren that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled| (6:11), -- i.e., till their number should be filled up. As the destruction of that hierarchy, in which |was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all that were slain upon the earth| (18:24), had just been symbolized (in the 18th chap.), and as these rejoicings are because God |hath judged the great whore which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand| (19:2), it follows that the epoch here symbolized is that to which the saints were to wait, and that they are now to be crowned with their reward.

As the destruction of Babylon is a little anterior to that of the beast and false prophet (19:20), and is to be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming (2 Thess.2:8), at a time when the kingdom is to be given to the saints of the Most High (Dan.7:22), it explains how it is that the kingdom is set up in the days of the kings symbolized by the divided toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image: symbolic of the same as the horns of the beast in Dan.7:7, 24, and Rev.17:3, 12, 16; for |in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever,| Dan.2:44.

The kingdom is therefore commenced previous to the descent of the Lord to the earth, by the saints being caught up to meet him in the air. |For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord,| 1 Thess.4:16, 17.

This epoch, then, is that of the sounding of the seventh trumpet; for |in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets,| 10:7. This mystery Paul thus explains: |Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed,| 1 Cor.15:50-54. This |saying| was thus written by Isaiah, -- |He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth; for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation,| Isa.25:8, 9. It follows, then, that the voices heard in heaven, shouting |Alleluia,| and ascribing |salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God| (v.1), synchronize with those heard when |the seventh angel sounded: and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. -- And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces and worshipped God, saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned: And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth,| Rev.11:15-18.

The time of the dead being come that they should be judged, and the saints rewarded, is another evidence that this epoch is that of the second advent and kingdom of Christ, |who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and kingdom,| 2 Tim.4:1. Consequently it must synchronize with that of:

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