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AN EXPOSITION OF THE APOCALYPSE
Section1 Subsection 5e
The Two Mountains of Brass
Zechariah saw the four cherubic chariots going forth from between Two Mountains of Brass. This metal connects these mountains, or dominions, with the brazen part of Nebuchadnezzar's Image, The Body and Thighs; and with the "Claws of Brass" pertaining to the Fourth Beast; and the "Band of Iron and Brass" around the Stump of the Babylonian Tree. The two mountains of brass and the two thighs of brass are identical; and represent the Greek element of the "Great Mountain" that is to become a Plain before Zerubbabel, before the Two Anointed Ones, before the Four Chariots, and their horses, -- before Israel and the Saints.
In the days of the Maccabees the two mountains were the Greek Kingdom of Egypt, and the Greek Kingdom of Syria, including Assyria and other adjacent countries; the former styled in Dan. 11 the King of the South, and the latter, the King of the North. Now, though these countries are and will be in other hands than those of people purely and simply Greeks, they are nevertheless regarded in prophecy as the countries of the Brass Dominion; and so designated, as in the place before us. At the epoch of the Four Chariots, that is, just before they are seen going forth, we learn from Daniel and Ezekiel, that there will be two antagonist dominions, the one occupying Egypt and the other Syria and the adjacent countries. The latter is the King of the North, existing on the political map in the Time of the End; and called Gog by Ezekiel: the other, the Kingdom of Egypt. These two mountains of brass will be in a state of war before the going forth of the cherubic chariots; and as Daniel tells us, the Egyptian province of the South Mountain of Brass will "not escape" subjection to the brass dominion of the north -- "the land of Egypt shall not escape" (11:42). This will be the relative position of the two mountains, with the Holy Land between them, the battleground and bone of contention between the two powers, at the going forth of the chariots. But, we may remark here, that though the rulers of the two mountains, or the dominant race, will not be racially Greek, still the North Mountain of Brass will be Greek in its superstition, or State Ecclesiasticism; and the South Mountain also Greek, in the possession of the Greek islands of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas: being, therefore Hellenistic, ecclesiastically or geographically, or both, they are dominions of brass, occupying, in relation to the Holy Land, the same political status as the two kingdoms of the Ptolemies and Seleucidae in the days of the Maccabees, or Era of the Asmoneans, 358 years after Zechariah saw the vision of the chariots; and 167 years before the birth of Jesus Christ.
Zechariah saw the Four Chariots of Cherubim "going forth from between" these two mountains of political geography. He must, therefore, have seen them going forth from the Holy Land, which occupies that position. They first stand by the Ruler of all the earth as the Two Anointed Ones of the Four Faces. In this position they are the "Four and Twenty Elders," and the "Four Living Creatures full of Eyes before and behind," filled with the Spirit as a lamp is filled with oil; and which in them burns before the throne, as "the Seven Spirits of God," which, when in motion, "are sent forth into all the earth." But, before they leave their standing position "to run to and fro," they sing to the Captain of their salvation, "Thou art worthy to take the Book, and to open the Seals thereof, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood,
out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us for our God Kings and Priests: and we SHALL reign on the earth." When they sing this song they are in the land of Judah (Isa. 26:1). They are there as "the kings which are from a Sun's risings;" to prepare whose "way" the political Euphrates is "dried up" - Apoc. 16:12; and the two mountains of brass are found temporarily occupying the place of its waters.
But Zechariah saw them "going forth." The wings of the cherubim are their armies; and the Horses of the chariots are the same. "When they stand," says Ezekiel, "they let down their wings," which in motion are "as the noise of great waters," or a multitude of people. They go forth to conquer for themselves their dominion; or, as Daniel expresses it, "to take the kingdom," to "slay the Fourth Beast, and to destroy his Body;" to "take away his dominion, to consume, and to destroy unto the end." They "shall reign upon the earth;" but they must first conquer the nations; for the nations will not accept them for kings and priests without compulsion.
The Saints in their career of conquest are the Stream of Fire flowing and issuing from before "the Ancient of Days;" they are "the angels of Christ's power in a fire of flame;"the tormentors of the worshippers of the Beast, and his Image, and the receivers of the mark of his Name, with fire and brimstone in the presence of the Lamb; and the 144,000 redeemed from the earth; the First fruits; who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. They are the chariot wheels of the Spirit, full of eyes, and a burning fire -- (Dan. 7:9,l0; Apoc. 14:10,11,3,4; 2 Thess. 1:7,8; Ezek. 1:18).
The Four Chariots in motion are the called, and faithful, and chosen," in company with the Kings of kings, in actual conflict with the nations of the earth - Apoc. 17:14; and are seen in chap. 19:14, as "the armies in the heaven" following the Word of God upon white horses, who smites the nations with the sword of his mouth, and rules them with a rod of iron. They are the war-chariots of the Spirit in the conflict of "the great day of God the universal Ruler." They invade the north and the south, and then make their expeditions into all other parts of the earth.
The horses of the chariots represent the forces commanded by the Saints, and the colors of the horses, their operations upon their enemies. The chariot horses are not literal horses; for it is written in Hos. 1:7, "I will have mercy upon the House of Judah, and will save them by Jehovah [Yahweh] their Elohim, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen;" but "he will make Judah as his goodly horse in the battle" (Zech.10:3); and "they shall be as mighty
ones who tread down in the mire of the streets in the battle; and they shall fight, because Jehovah [Yahweh] is with them, and the riders of horses shall be confounded. And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them; and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am Yahweh their Elohim, and will hear them."
This testimony of the Spirit presents us with the grand result accomplished by the issuing forth of the chariots and their horses; namely, the conquest of the enemies of Israel, and the re-engraftment of Abraham's descendants into their own national olive tree. This great result must be kept in view in a scriptural exposition of the Apocalypse; for it is the consummation of the mission of the Chariot-Hosts; and the Apocalypse proposes no other development than that so palpably and luminously predicted in all the prophets.
The four chariots, then, in motion, are the Four Living Ones of tlie Apocalypse, issuing forth at the head of Judah and Joseph against the Gentile dominions of the north and south, that they may "give up" and "keep" no longer "back" (Isa. 43:6). The chariot-horses are differently colored; the first are red; the second, black; the third, white; and the fourth, grizzled and powerful. They are the same horses that are seen with the ANGEL OF JEHOVAH in Zech. 1:8-11. This Angel in the Apocalypse is entitled "King of kings and Lord of lords," and is prepared for battle with the Ten Horns, or kings of the earth, and their armies (Apoc. 17:14; 19:15). Hence, Zechariah sees him "riding upon a red horse," and "followed by red horses, grizzled, and white" - their colors indicating the sanguinary and tormenting character of their mission, ultimating in victory and peace.
The import of these colors is plainly set forth in the symbolography of the first four Seals. The first of these horses is white, indicating the victorious career of the power represented; for it is said, "he went forth conquering, and to conquer." This, then, is the signification of white. It symbolizes a conquering power.
The horse of the second seal is red. This indicates a state of sanguinary warfare on the earth contemporary with the operations of the red symbol-power. This is evident from what is said of the red horse's rider; as, "it was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another; and there was given unto him a great sword." This indicates a period of much blood shedding, which is fitly represented by red.
The horse of the third seal is black. This color is indicative of famine, or the injuring of the wheat and barley to such an extent as to cause great scarcity, and consequent starvation, with all its hideous
accompaniments. When the word of Jehovah [Yahweh] spoke to Jeremiah of the grievous famine, he describes the gates of Judah as "black unto the ground." It represents destitution of water in the wells, the absence of rain, and total want of grass - Jer. 14:1-6. The connection of black with this calamity is also established by the words of Judah's lamentation, saying, "We got our bread with the peril of our lives, because of the sword of the wilderness. Our skin was black like an oven, because of the terrible famine" (Lam. 5:9,10).
The horse of the fourth seal is chloros, rendered Pale. It answers to Zechariah's "grizzled," the black of which is paled by a mixture of white. The seal-horse was of a corpse-like hue; and symbolical of destruction by pestilence, famine, and sword combined.
This being the import of the colors, we may understand that the four chariot-hosts will conquer the world, and establish the sovereignty of the Saints by the judgments of the Deity poured out upon the nations in war, famine, pestilence, and all their terrible concomitants. The grizzled horses are termed also "powerful." All the chariots are manifestations of power; but the fourth, and last, is preeminently so, the judgments being intensified, and the catastrophe complete.
These things being understood, we are prepared for the answer to Zechariah's question, "What are these, my Lord? - What do these four chariots, thus distinguished by the colors of their horses, represent?" The answer given is that they are "the Four Spirits of the heavens going forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth." That is, the Saints and their forces in their four encampments, to whom the kingdom under the whole heaven is assigned, in movement against their enemies. Before the movement begins, they are standing with the Lord of the whole earth; as John saw them in Apoc. 14:1. "I looked," saith he, "and, lo! a Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father's Name written on their foreheads." While in the attitude of standing they are awaiting orders from the throne to march against the enemy. While standing, the political expanse is like the physical firmament before the outburst of the earthquake and storm - "still as dry heat impending lightning, as a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest." During this sultriness, unfanned by breeze or zephyr, the Lord is in his dwelling-place, as an ensign on the mountains, awaiting the result of his manifesto to the world, according as it is written in Isa. 18:3: "All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the land, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains, tremble; and when he bloweth a trumpet they shall hear. For thus Jehovah [Yahweh] saith unto me, I will be still (yet in my dwelling-place I will be without fear) as dry heat
impending lightning, as a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest." While this electrical quiescence is pervading, the good of the Millennial Aion is being heralded among the the nations, and announcing that "the Hour of the Judgment," which Daniel had predicted was to "sit" upon the four beasts, had come (Apoc. 14:6,7). The Four Spirits of the heavens are restrained, that scope may be afforded to the world to show whether it will "fear the Deity and give glory to him," in joyfully receiving the good ; or whether the chariots of Jehovah [Yahweh] must be sent out against the nations; and by the red, black, white, and grizzled judgments of their mission, compel mankind to lay down the arms of their rebellion, and to,"wait for his law." But the latter alternative will assuredly obtain; for "he shall rebuke strong nations afar off" from Jerusalem. He shall rebuke them with his chariots and horses, the four spirits of the heavens; and as the result of it, "they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Mic. 4:3).
Zechariah saw the Saints, as the four spirits of the heavens, "going forth." John also, in Apoc. 19:14, saw them in their going, as indicated in these words: "and the hosts in the heaven followed the Word of the Deity, upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." John saw the Faithful and True Word engaged in war against the nations. He saw him riding "a white horse," the emblem of conquest; while he himself was clothed with a blood-red garment (in Zechariah he sits upon a red horse among the myrtle trees), indicative of his mission to smite the nations, and to tread them in the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of the Almighty Deity. This is to be the result of his going forth with his hosts of the heaven. He is to conquer the Ten Horns, and utterly to destroy the Beast and False Prophet. Zechariah saw the same consummation; for he tells us that the horses, on their return from their expeditions through all the earth, delivered in their report, saying, "Behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest" (1:11).
But it would seem, and doubtless is the case, that there is an established order after which the conquest of the nations is to be effected. Zechariah seems to intimate that "the north country" will be first invaded; and then "the south country" - that is north and south in relation to Jerusalem. The brass-mountain of the north is levelled before Zerubbabel by the operations of the black and white horses - by famine and sword; while the brass-mountain of the south becomes a plain, by the judgments of sword, pestilence, and famine, symbolized by the "grizzled." The north and south being subdued, the time
comes "to fly upon the shoulders of the peoples toward the West, and to spoil the children of the east together" - Isa. 11:14. This is indicated by the "powerful horses "- the bay, as they are styled in the C. V. - seeking permission to march to and fro through the earth. The answer to the request is, "Go, march ye about in the earth!". "So they marched to and fro through the earth."
The work of Jehovah's [Yahweh's] hosts being consummated in the north and south countries, brings about the accomplishment of the prediction in Isa. 19:I7:" In that day the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt; every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of Jehovah [Yahweh] of hosts, which he hath determined against it." The prophet then declares the result of the execution of this terrible counsel, namely, the subjugation of Egypt, the establishment of the true religion there, and the deliverance of that portion of Israel living under the oppression of modern Egypt. Referring to these, the Spirit says, "They shall cry unto Jehovah [Yahweh] because of the oppressors, and He shall send them a Saviour, even a mighty one, and he shall deliver them." And, as the consequence of this operation of the grizzled horses, "Jehovah [Yahweh] shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know Jehovah [Yahweh] in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto Jehovah [Yahweh], and perform it. And Jehovah [Yahweh] shall smite Egypt" with the sword that goes out of the mouth of the Faithful and True One (Apoc 19:15). "He shall smite and heal it; and they shall return to Jehovah [Yahweh], and he shall be entreated of them, and shall heal them."
So much for the south country. In respect of the north country under the operation of the black and white horses, the Spirit saith in Micah 5:4, that the Bethlehem-born Ruler of Israel "shall stand and feed in the strength of Jehovah [Yahweh], in the Majesty of the Name of Jehovah [Yahweh] his Elohim; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great to the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace when the Assyrian shall come into our land, and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise up against him seven shepherds and eight princes of the man. And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof; thus shall he deliver from the Assyrian when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth in our borders."
Thus are beaten in pieces the north and the south by the daughter of Zion, whose horn hath become iron, and her hoofs brass. Her four chariots and horses have finally overthrown her enemies, and "consecrated their commerce to Jehovah [Yahweh], and their wealth to the Ruler of all the earth." Thus, Jehovah's [Yahweh's] spirit is quieted, and they are at rest.
Assyria, Egypt, and Israel will no more vex and annoy one another. No longer under the dominion of ambitious rivals, seeking to increase the glory of their dynasties by international wars and spoilations, their populations will live in peace and good will; and will circulate freely and safely from land to land. Mohammedanism will have been abandoned, and its former devotees will be blessed in Abraham and his seed, the Elohim of Israel. The prophecy of Isaiah will then be complete; for "in that day there will be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and Assyria - a blessing in the midst of the land; whom Jehovah [Yahweh] of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt, my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance" (Isa. 19:23-25).
The Four Carpenters, the Four Chariots, the Four Spirits of the heavens, the Four Cherubim of Ezekiel, and the Four Living Ones of the Apocalypse, are all symbolical of the same class of agents - the Eternal Spirit post-resurrectionally corporealized in Jesus and his Brethren, and constituting in the aggregate YAHWEH ELOHIM, "the glorious and fearful name" of Deity (Deut. 28:58). The manifestation of Deity in the chariots and horses is the last of the symbolical visions granted to Zechariah illustrative of "the time of the end." They leave him in contemplation of "the man whose name is the Branch, sitting and ruling upon his throne as a priest, and bearing the glory;" in other words, he sees the kingdom of David in glorious manifestation, with his descendant occupying the throne; and constituting what the Apocalypse styles "the Kingdom of the Lord and of his Anointed." This kingdom is the point of convergence whether we take up our position with Zechariah in Jerusalem or with John in Patmos. The latter does, indeed, tell us a few particulars of what shall transpire at "the end, when the son shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father," but with these excepted, the grand development of the Apocalypse, in common with all the prophets, is the kingdom of God.
The Apocalypse in Malachi.
The Apocalypse is contained in Malachi as well as in all the rest of the prophets: that is, the same development of the divine purpose is exhibited in Malachi's predictions as in the Patmian revelation. Malachi informs us that "from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same Jehovah's [Yahweh's] name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered to his name, and a pure offering, for his name shall be great among the nations, saith Jehovah [Yahweh] of hosts."
John testifies the same thing in saying, "Every creature which is in the heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for the Aions of the Aions" (Apoc. 5:13). This is a universal ascription, which ascends from every place as incense and a pure offering to his name, which is "dreadful among the nations" at that time.
This name is not dreadful now, but a by-word in the lips of the profane. This, however, will not always be. Malachi directs our attention to "the day of the coming of the Messenger of the Covenant" as to a day that few will be able to abide. "Who," saith he, "may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap." In this day men will be taught to venerate this name, and not to take it lightly into their lips, The Apocalypse treats of this same great and terrible day of the Lord's coming, and of its effect upon the wicked: "Behold he comes with clouds; and everv eye shall see him, and they who pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen" (Apoc. 1:7). And, "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame" (ch. 16:15). And again, "Behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (ch. 22:12). And when this coming is manifested, "the Ark of God's Testament" is seen; and there are "lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail" (Apoc. 11:19). These judgments make the day a dreadful one; and, as Malachi testifies, a day burning as an oven, in which the proud and wicked doers of the epoch shall be destroyed as stubble, and neither root nor branch of them be left behind. This total and utter extirpation of the world-rulers is attributed both by Malachi and John to the saints in their post-resurrectional operations. Malachi predicts their resurrection in these words, saying, "Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his beams; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall." Being thus raised, the work they have to do is expressed in the words, "and ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do, saith Jehovah [Yahweh] of hosts." The Apocalypse teaches the same doctrine. It sets forth the preregnial resurrection of the saints, and their post-resurrectional judgment of the world-rulers and their hosts. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection . . . they shall be priests of the Deity and of the Anointed;
and shall reign with him a thousand years." Having part in the first resurrection, "they sit upon thrones, and judgment is given to them." The execution of the judgment appointed puts them in possession of the thrones; and in executing the judgment written, they bind the Dragon, cast the Beast and the False Prophet into a lake of fire, overthrow Babylon, and torment with famine, pestilence, and sword, the worshippers of the beast and his image, and the receivers of his mark in their forehead, or in their hand. Thus apocalyptically "they tread the wicked as ashes under the soles of their feet," as foretold by Malachi; and by conquest establish their right to rule all nations as kings of God, seeing that they will have subdued them by His spirit energizing them with the might of omnipotence.
Thus then, from this summary of the prophets, it must be evident to the reader, I think, that the doctrine of Messiah's reign on earth for a long season did not originate with the Apocalypse; but is a doctrine of far greater antiquity, being the teaching of the Spirit from the beginning, and consequently, the faith of God's elect in all ages of the world. When the spirit the prophets revealed the contents of their writings, he signified in what he inspired them to write, more, or deeper things, than they were able to fathom. They did not see into all that was testified about the sufferings of the Christ, and the glory that should follow those sufferings; nor did they comprehend "what manner of time" it was they noted down in the periods they recorded concerning them. This was unquestionably the truth of the matter from what Peter says in 1 Ep. 1:8, and Paul in Rom. 16:25. These deep things of the Spirit, though written in the prophetic Scriptures, constituted "the wisdom of the Deity in a mystery hidden" from the prophets, and the angels likewise. This mystery pertaining to the sufferings of the Christ, and the glory that should follow, was unfolded by the Spirit in the preaching and writings of the apostles; and constitutes, in its exposition, "the Revelation of the Mystery." But while the apostles had full comprehension of this mystery, they did not understand "what manner of time" was to divide "the sufferings of Christ" from "the glory that should follow." They thought the glory and kingdom were immediately to follow the resurrection of Jesus; hence the question they put to him: "Wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" But they were told that "it was not for them to know the periods, or fixed times, which the Father had put
in his own power." With the exception of John, they never did know them. It was reserved to him in Patmos to be made acquainted with them apocalyptically. The "manner of time" hidden from both prophets and apostles is exhibited in the Apocalypse, which embodies both the mystery of the sufferings, the mystery of the glory, and the mystery of the time. These are all exhibited, or indicated, by sign or symbol. The sufferings of the personal and corporate Christ are represented by "a Lamb as it had been slain," and slain souls under the altar. The glory is symbolized by the four living ones in the midst of the throne, and by the New Jerusalem; and the time during which the sufferings are to continue, antecedent to the manifestation of the glory, are typified by 1260 days, 42 months, "a time, times, and a half" "three days and a half," "five months," "an hour, a day, a month, and a year," "half an hour," "a third part of a day," "a third part of a night," "an hour." These are times in miniature, in which the less is representative of the greater, which is the real or true time.
Hence, then, I should define the Apocalypse to be a symbolical revelation of the hidden mystery of the Deity originally declared to the prophets. It was declared to them as an enigma which they could not unravel. The Apocalypse is preeminently the solution of that enigma, especially in regard to the "times and seasons," which, since its communication to John, are no longer reserved by the Father in his own power. By his revelation to John he has put them in the power of his servants, for whose benefit they were specially revealed. These servants have believed the glad tidings, and obeyed the law of the faith, which exhibits to their minds the kingdom and glory of the Deity. How long to the appearing of that kingdom? This is a question in which they are greatly interested, for their redemption from this evil world is dependent upon its judicial manifestation. To this inquiry a testimony from the Apocalypse responds that "in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall sound, even the MYSTERY of the Deity shall be finished, as he hath declared the glad tidings to his servants the prophets" (Apoc. 10:7). This seventh and last trumpet will not cease to sound until the things I have summarized from the prophets shall all be accomplished. They are the glad tidings, or, as Paul expresses it, "the gospel of God, which he promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures." Study the prophets, then, for the Apocalypse reveals the mystery they contain, and is therefore enrooted deeply in all the ramifications of their testimony.