The Mission of the Seventh Angel
(9) And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, who were laden with the seven last plagues;
The seven angels … The angels of this vision can not represent of spiritual beings or inanimate factors of God's anger like the gales, quakes of earth and other natural disasters, bearing in mind the fact that one of those angels explains to John the judgment on the great harlot mounted on a scarlet beast (Rev. 17), whereas the second angel, shown in here, maybe the same, is showing to him a glory of the Lamb's wife.
The seven angels with the seven bowls represent the entire message of Present Truth being unfolded in two stages during the second presence of Christ. Seven signifies completeness. Those angels' mission was articulated in seven volumes of Studies in the Scriptures. During first stage of the prophetic movement, in the USA, with Taze Charles Russell in the lead (1874-1914), completeness of seven was not reached. The first six volumes was issued then. The key to understanding of the Revelation was not given by the Lord yet. The opening by the Lamb of seventh seal (1967) initiated the second stage of the prophetic movement of the Lord's parousia. This movement came to being in Poland with Tadeusz Wiśniewski in the lead (1967-1981). Just then (in 1974) the seventh volume was written, titled "The Biblical Chronology."
The seven bowls with the seven last plague … The second presence of our Lord was a time of gradual filling up of the symbolic bowls with explanations of The Divine Plan of the Ages. The choice of the Church and restitution of the mankind were the main content filling up these symbolic bowls. These truths were building characters of the last members of the Church. They taught them and filled up them with joy.
The overthrow of kingdom of prince of this world and systems which support his power was other important subject. Those systems are being overthrown because of the light of the Lord's presence. Falling those systems is however very painful surprise for the people, because they are not conscious of outcome. Nevertheless it is the duty of the Church to announce to the world impending great tribulation. That is why the same truths from the full vials, which the Church teach and fill up with joy, they are seizing the people with terror, when they see growing an avalanche of various disasters. That is why also the content of bowls is showed as plagues.
The Lord ordered to his prophets, the Church, to announce these plagues to the world, otherwise the people would suppose that all these disastrous events were purely coincidental rather, than they were the symptoms of God's wrath and his disfavor. The Church poured out the content of these symbolic vials (that is announced Divine judgments) at the end of the High Calling (1977), for three years and a half (Rev. 11:3). Since 1981, in the great tribulation, the entire structure of the devilish world began to crumble and to fall. This falling was showed, in accord to a content of individual bowls, as devastation by the plagues of the symbolic earth, sea, rivers etc. of "natural environment" of devilish world.
One of the seven angels … The teachings of the seventh volume of the Study in the Scripture – “the little scroll” given to John class in 1974 (Rev. 10:8-11).
(9) and he spake with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb.
Come hither … It was time of invitation for the class of John to take God's standpoint of observation, to think as He thinks, and to act as He acts.
I will show you … Apostle John, representing the last living members of the Bride company, was shown the Holy City coming down to earth. But before he could see it, he had to go, in spirit. Similarly, near the epiphaneia time (1980), John class was acquainted by the Lord: (1) with the time and circumstances of the end of the earthly pilgrimage of the Church, (2) with the time and prophetic events of the end of the present evil world and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on the earth.
The bride … This Bride was to be made up of a class, the elect overcomers of the Gospel age, 144 000. When completed and taken to a glory, the Bride is now the helpmate of Christ, and shares his honor and glory. One of many titles for the Church, including: "joint-heirs," "living stones," "the Royal Priesthood" and "members of the Body of Christ." Signifying the closest possible intimacy and union of these elect ones with the great King of glory. His associates in judging the world.
The Lamb's wife … No longer the espoused virgin. The Church, after her change, after the marriage has taken place. Eternally united to him. The Kingdom could not come until the royal family is ready to take the throne. Then for a thousand years the restitution privileges will be open to the whole world of mankind. A wife shares her husband's honors and name; just as the Church bears the name of Christ as members of the Body of Christ. The Scripture further teaches that the glorified Jesus, who is the heavenly Bridegroom, and the glorified Church, who is the heavenly Bride, will figuratively beget children. Jesus will be the Everlasting Father, and the Church will be the mother or caretaker of mankind to uplift, instruct and develop them in the ways of righteousness.
(10) And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
Carried me away in the spirit … John viewed the wonders of this city in a spiritual sense, mentally, and not in a literal sense. To see the papal beast of the final times, the John class had to be carried away into wilderness, far away from the hubbub and corruption of the world. (Rev. 17:3). The same class to see the time and the circumstances of the glorifying of the Church, had to be elevated very high in spiritual comprehension of this matter.
A great and high mountain … "But all cannot see this kingdom as already on its way to earth – 'coming down.' To thus recognize it, we must get away from the world and its standpoint of view; we must go in spirit (by and by in person) to the great and high mountain (kingdom of God), i.e., we must come into full sympathy and loyalty to that heavenly kingdom before sharing the King’s confidence, so as to be shown its glory and power, and our future position of the Bride of the King." (R333:6)
Showed me the holy city Jerusalem … The Church in glory. This is given to mark the change of the symbol from a bride to a city; just as elsewhere the figure was shown to change from "wheat" to "the sun." There has been no occasion for the use of such a symbol during the Gospel age, because the Church has not been in ruling power. Now, when glorified with the Lord, the figure of a virgin-bride waiting for full union with the Bridegroom is not longer appropriate.
The Sarah covenant is represented in "the exalted Jerusalem" whose offspring and heirs through Christ are members of his body. This is the government of which Jerusalem the literal was but an imperfect type. The center of God's blessing and instruction to all the families of the earth during the Millennium.
"The entire Gospel age has been the time for the preparation of this New Jerusalem. In one figure we are the city, in another we are the people of the city. The walls are the living stones, such as the Apostle Peter describes; the foundation stones are the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The city as a whole comprises all the saints, from our Lord, the Head, down to, and including the last member of the church, which is his body. Not until all these have been chosen and found faithful and fitted and prepared for their places, will this city descend to earth in power and come into the possession or control of the earth. The coming of that city to the earth is the symbolical representation of the establishment of God’s kingdom in the earth, for a city is a symbol representing government, control." (R3570:6)
(11) having the glory of God: her light was like unto a stone most precious, as it were a jasper stone, clear as crystal:
The glory of God … Majesty and power, the divine nature, of which she was promised to be made partaker with her Lord. Truly she is a glorious Bride – "without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." (Eph. 5:27)
Her light like a jasper stone, clear as cristal … The glorified Church – the New heavenly Jerusalem, will have for her own light, the “glory of God” – the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4) and, therefore, she will shine forth with a resplendent glory, like that reflected in a jasper stone; without a flaw – one that is pure as crystal.
A jasper stone … Supposedly the diamond. Being the most brilliant of all gems, it fittingly symbolizes the glory of God; the light (or source of light) of the New Jerusalem.
(12) having a wall great and high; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written thereon, which are [the names] of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: (13) on the east were three gates; and on the north three gates; and on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
A wall … Walls, at least by the ancients, were built for the protection of those who dwelt within them. This wall is also the glorified Church, which then, as “living stones” will serve also to protect their charges – the world of mankind, then seeking to enter, and to walk acceptably before Jehovah God!
Having twelve gates … "Open the gates to let a righteous nation in, a nation that keeps faith." (Isa. 26:2.) In the "wall" of New Jerusalem there will be twelve "gates" with as many "angels." The "gates" themselves will be the Ancient Worthies from the various tribes of Israel, selected during the Jewish age, will be the visible representatives of the heavenly kingdom in the earth, through whose instrumentality the nations may enter into the blessings of the kingdom. The fact that there were three gates to the east, north, south and west, bespeaks the fact that no quarter of the earth will be excluded from entrance into the “city” of those who would be worthy citizens.
(14) And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Twelve foundations … The wall of this great city is a sturdy one, for it has twelve foundation stones. They represent the twelve only Apostles of Jesus Christ.
"You are Peter [a stone], and upon this rock [this great truth which you have enunciated] I will build my church." (Matt. 16:18.) Peter, petros, rock, signifies a larger stone than lithos, "living stones." All the apostles, as "foundation stones" would have a larger importance than their brethren. Peter and the other apostles represented to us as foundation stones built upon this great truth, that Christ is the Redeemer, the Savior, the Messiah. The words of the apostles would be supervised by divine power. They still speak to us. We need no others. All the faithful in Christ were being built upon the foundation of the divine plan, and upon the testimony of these twelve apostles.
The foundation which sustains the Church is destined ultimately to sustain the whole world. These foundation stones were not laid on the sand, but upon the sure and steadfast rock, Christ Jesus. (Matt. 7:25-27; 16:16-18; 1 Pet. 2:4-8.) Although there were multitudes of those, who were hearing of our Lord's voice, all of whom belonged to the typically consecrated nation, yet our Lord addressed himself specially to the twelve chosen disciples.
The apostles occupied a special place in connection with his Kingdom, his Church. Their decision would bind on earth the things bound in heaven, and loose on earth things loosed in God's sight. The declaration, "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins the sins of any, they are retained," (John 20:23; Matt. 18:18) is not applicable to all of the Church, but chiefly to the apostles. The death of James doubtless served to increase the appreciation of the people for the apostles, causing them to give more earnest heed to their teachings, and to realize how greatly the cause of the Lord had been made dependent upon them. As foundations, they represent the whole Church. The salvation walls rest securely on the finished redemption – the completed foundations as expressed by Jesus, the apostles, and prophets.
Twelve apostles … No more, no less. Any others were, as the Apostle Paul suggests, "false apostles." (2 Cor. 11:3.) "And you have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not, and found them to be false." (Rev. 2:2.) The Lord chose but twelve apostles, and said nothing about any successors to them. He not only has never recognized others, but clearly indicates that he never will recognize others in that office. They are promised [when the Kingdom takes possession of earth] twelve thrones. None but the twelve are to rule over the twelve tribes of Israel.
About the year 325 A.D., the Bishops of the Church, misled by Satan, proclaimed themselves to be successors to the apostles in power and divine authority. It is through some very serious blunder that the churches, Roman Catholic, of England and Greek Catholic have bishops claiming to be apostolic bishops. The error of supposing apostolic succession in the Church's bishops was a costly one. It led to many grievous errors. No man or congregation is competent to appoint or elect an Apostle. The Antioch Church did not ordain the Apostle Paul to be an Apostle, but ordained him to be their missionary. He accepted their ordination and rendered reports to them. (Acts 14:26-28)
There is no room for anyone today to become apostle. The number of the apostles corresponded to the number of the sons of Jacob, the founders of the tribes of Israel. In one sense they stood for the entire Gospel Church, in another for the whole world. The twelve apostles have no successors and need none. They are the "twelve stars," the crown of the Church. (Rev. 12:1.) How then could bishops either possess or give apostolic blessings? There is a difference between apostleship and discipleship. There are but "twelve apostles of the Lamb," but the number of disciples is considerably larger. No man or congregation is competent to appoint an apostle. That is a function of divine appointment only. The Lord Jesus appointed only twelve apostles, Paul taking the place of Judas. Whose place, the eleven had unauthorizedly conferred upon Matthias, before they were anointed with the holy Spirit at Pentecost. We are assured that the courses of Paul and the other eleven apostles were successful ones. As "unlearned men" (Paul being the noted exception) – they demonstrated to all that the truth, as presented, was not of their concoction and elaboration.
The description of the foundation stones, and of their being “garnished with all manner of precious stones,” bespeaks the special glory of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.
(15) And he that spake with me had for a measure a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. (16) And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal. (17) And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, [according to] the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.
Foursquare … A cube, a perfect figure. This is another way of showing its perfection; it is perfect toward God, as well as toward earth.
Twelve thousand furlongs … If reduced to miles, it measured 1,500 miles in length, and breadth, and height! Surely no such literal city will ever be established on this little globe of ours. Q790:T
(18) And the building of the wall thereof was jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto pure glass. (19) The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; (20) the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.
The wall of jasper … "The ancient jasper thus appears to have been frequently translucent, but the modern is opaque." (McC.) The jasper, therefore, is supposed to refer to the modern rare and beautiful green-tinted diamond. The diamond is the hardest substance known, excelling in brilliancy and beautiful play of prismatic colors.
City was pure gold like pure glass … The glorified Church are partakers of the divine nature, of resplendent glory (as pure glass).
We do know, that most gems and precious stones are the result of a process involving heat, pressure and a special cooling period, to which the chemical elements or compounds have been subjected. Translating this into the realm of the figurative, it means that the Apostles of the Lamb – the foundations of the New Jerusalem, were developed as such into glorious characters, by way of the trials of life, the pressure of circumstances, and the special cooling to which the overruling providences of God committed them. Thus were they “crystallized” into the precious foundation stones of the New Jerusalem, having a beauty, color, luster and texture peculiarly their own!
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(21) And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the several gates was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
Twelve gates … To show a position of the Ancient Worthies and all Israel as channels, gateways, by which the world may approach to the heavenly government, and through which may come the blessings to mankind.
One pearl … Most of the shells of the oyster are pearly in the interior; and as the true pearls are merely morbid growths, they may all produce pearls of various qualities. The formation of pearls is caused by the introduction of irritating substances, such as grains of sand, between the mantle and the shell. The irritation causes the animal to cover the obnoxious object with layers of pearl.
"When we look at a pearl, we look at an annoyance which has been ennobled. The oyster by itself is of merely nominal value. But the result of the oyster’s own treatment of its irritation – the pearl – is something 'of great price.' Apart from its pecuniary worth this gem has a moral significance. It suggests that troubles may be made beautiful, and reminds us that amongst mankind some martyrs are more remembered for the glory with which they invested their sorrows than for any other portion of their lives. Biography has its moral pearls, which are treasures long after the creators of them have perished, just as material pearls are valued long years after the oysters have been discarded.” (R1756:2)
"We find the Ancient Worthies as a class have been prepared of God in advance to serve this very purpose; that they, rewarded with human perfection, might serve as the intermediaries between the spiritual kingdom and the world of mankind. As it is written, 'The law shall go forth from Mount Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.' The instruction will go from the spiritual kingdom to the earthly princes, its representatives, and be communicated from these princes to all the families of the earth with full power and authority in the name of the kingdom to enforce every regulation, to reward the well-doers and to punish all who fail of obedience." (R3462:5)
The street was pure gold … Divine untarnishing glory – the glory of God. All of its highways are of divine appointment.
(22) And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God the Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple thereof.
The Lord God and the Lamb are the temple … A temple is a place of worship, however only then, if the God of worship be present in that place. Without the presence of Him, the place is in no sense a temple! Since Jehovah, and his blessed Son Christ Jesus are both identified with the holy city, the New Jerusalem, it needs no other temple. The place itself, by virtue of their presence is holy, a temple. The Lord Almighty and the Lamb will always be an inner Temple in the great Temple, which God has provided for the world’s blessing during restitution times.
(23) And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine upon it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp thereof [is] the Lamb.
No need of the sun … As in Rev. 12:1, the sun signifies the light of this Gospel age. The glorified Church will have no need of the light which in the present time she so much enjoys through the Word and spirit.
Neither of the moon … The moon signifies the typically reflected light of the Gospel in the Law and the prophets of the previous dispensation. Nothing in this statement indicates that the world will not have and need both sunlight and moonlight during the Millennial age and subsequently – "as long as the sun and moon endure." (Psa. 72:5)
The glory of God … The Church will be so filled with the glory of God that from her, as from the Sun of Righteousness, shall proceed the light of the glory of God. (Matt. 13:43; Mal. 4:2)
Did lighten it … Now we know in part, and see as through a smoked glass dimly; then, we shall know even as we are known, being made perfect as divine beings, having the glory of God.
Lamb is the light … The city was lighted by the Temple; for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it, and their glory did lighten the city. Not only will the knowledge of the Lord flow out from the open books but the city (government) will be such as to shed light upon them. The Lord Almighty and the Lamb will always be an inner Temple in this great Temple.
(24) And the nations shall walk amidst the light thereof: and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it.
And the nations … Not that the world during the Millennial age will be divided into nationalities and kingdoms. The word "nations" here signifies peoples. It is intended to show that all peoples, and not merely the people of Israel will be favored with the Kingdom. After the nations are saved, brought into harmony with God, they will no longer be "nations" (Gentiles), but parts of the one holy nation, the Kingdom of God.
Shall walk … On the highway of holiness, up to perfection and full harmony with God. (Isa. 35:8)
The light of it … The teaching. The light of truth will be shed abroad from it. Then this true light shining in its strength, from the exalted divine Christ – Head and Body, will enlighten every man that comes into the world. (John 1:9)
"Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." (Matt. 13:43.) The greater than Solomon will be the light of it. As the light of truth increases, darkness (ignorance) must flee away. The nations will still need the symbolic (also the natural) sun and moon. When "the books shall be opened," the pure and full light of the Gospel and Law will shine out and bless mankind.
"The period in which sin is permitted has been a dark night to humanity, never to be forgotten; but the glorious day of righteousness and divine favor, to be ushered in by Messiah, who, as the Sun of Righteousness, shall arise and shine fully and clearly into and upon all, bringing healing and blessing, will more than counterbalance the dreadful night of weeping, sighing, pain, sickness and death, in which the groaning creation has been so long. 'Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.' (Psa. 30:5)” (A9)
Kings of the earth … The princes, or chief ones of earth, who will be the chief representatives of the heavenly invisible Kingdom of Christ – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the faithful prophets. All others, in proportion as they understand and come into accord with the Kingdom conditions, may quickly reach perfection. Perfected, they will be kings in the sense that Adam was a king, and become more or less associated with the "princes" in the dominion of the earth.
"When mankind reaches perfection at the close of the Millennial age (…) they will be admitted into membership in the Kingdom of God and given the entire control of earth as at first designed - each man a sovereign, a king. This is clearly shown in the symbolic prophecy of John (Rev. 21:24-26), for in vision he not only saw the people walk in the light of it, but he saw the kings enter it in glory; yet none could enter who would defile it. None can become identified with that city (kingdom) who has not first been thoroughly tested; none who would work, or love to work, deceit and unrighteousness; only those whom the Lamb will write as worthy of life everlasting, and to whom he will say, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you'." (A296)
"That kingdom, in which all will be kings, will be one grand, universal republic, whose stability and blessed influence will be assured by the perfection of its every citizen, a result now much desired, but an impossibility because of sin. The Kingdom of Christ during the Millennium will be, on the contrary, a theocracy, which will rule the world (during the period of its imperfection and restoration) without regard to its consent or approval." (What Say The Scriptures About Hell, p. 50)
Bring their glory … Their acknowledgement of the heavenly Kingdom, their rendering of tribute of praise, thanks, worship, and obedience to it as God's agency. All the willing and obedient shall then present their homage and riches and spices and odors (prayers and good deeds). As the Queen of Sheba brought rich treasures to Solomon.
And honour … Not found in the old manuscripts.
(25) And the gates thereof shall in no wise be shut by day (for there shall be no night there):
The gates not shut by day … "Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in." (Isa. 26:2.) The thought in these words is that access to the Kingdom and its blessings on the part of earth’s people will continue throughout the entire period of the Millennial Age of restitution. For those, who during the Millennial age are desirous of coming into fullest accord with the laws of the Kingdom (the will of God), the "gates" will "not be shut at all by day."
No night there … The Lamp of Truth, the Word of God, will not be necessary to the world in the new dispensation because "the Sun of Righteousness" shall arise. (Mal. 4:2)
"Your sun shall no more go down, neither shall your moon withdraw itself; for Jehovah will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. Your people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified." (Isa. 60:20,21)
(26) and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it:
They shall bring the glory … Each earthly one, as soon as he learns of the goodness and love of God, will seek and be assisted, to approach the New Jerusalem. The bringing of their glory into the city, the kingdom, signifies their acknowledgement of the heavenly kingdom, their rendering of tribute of praise, thanks, worship and obedience to it as God’s agency. And this rendering of glory to the kingdom will continue throughout the entire Millennial age, as the princes throughout the earth will make known to the people that not in their own names or authority do they rule and execute judgment and establish righteousness, but in the name and as the ministers and representatives of the glorified Christ. The result will be that all the people will ascribe honor and praise and majesty and glory to the Lord’s Anointed, through whom their redemption and restitution was and is being accomplished.
And honour … These words are omitted by the most authentic ancient manuscripts. (A296)
Into it … Those improving their opportunities will come into it, or become associated, in the Kingdom of God. True civil service reform. None but perfect beings will be allowed to hold office, or be identified with the government. Thus this government will at first contain the glory of the spiritual Kings of earth, and afterward, as the Millennial age progresses, the Kingdom will include all of earth's pure and good.
(27) and there shall in no wise enter into it anything unclean, or he that maketh an abomination and a lie: but only they that are written in the Lamb's book of life."
"In consideration of the fact that this book of symbols, while relating to the future, is addressed to God's consecrated elect Church in the present time, and in view of the fact that this message would be communicated to and more or less understood by those who would seek to make their calling and election sure to a part in the glorious city, the 27th verse is added, declaring that 'In nowise shall there enter into it anything common, or he that does abomination and falsehood – but only they who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.' The Lamb's Book of Life we must understand to include those, and only those, who attain to position of joint-heirship with Christ, whose names are written in heaven during this age, and who are faithful to their covenant." (R2834)
Added by: Andrzej