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AN EXPOSITION OF THE APOCALYPSE
Section 5: SYMBOLIC VISION OF THE SPIRIT-NAME
10. "His Feet Like Unto Fine Brass"
"His feet," says John, "like incandescent brass, as if they had been glowing in a furnace." We have here to consider the import of the feet; why they are symbolized by brass; in what sense they glow and in what furnace the glowing is evolved.
First, then, what is suggested by the feet of John's Spirit-Man of Multitude? The idea primarily suggested by feet are a treading upon, and an advancing towards, or after, any thing. The flaming attribute of the similitude as illustrated by the prophetic testimony which it symbolizes, has shown us that it has a mission against the nations. Hence, in relation to them the feet of the Son of Man suggest a treading down and a pursuing to the destruction of their power. This suggestion is in harmony with the testimony of Apoc. 14, where "the clusters of the vine of the earth are gathered, and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of Deity;" and "the winepress is trodden without the city." The Feet that tread this winepress are the symbolic feet of the Son of man. The following testimonies will enlarge our view of their operation.
In Psal. 18:32, the Spirit inquires, "Who is Eloah besides YAHWEH? And who a Rock except our Elohim, the AIL girding me with might? Even he will make my way complete. He causes my feet to be like hinds, and he will make me to stand upon my high places. He is training my hands for war; so that the bow of brass has been broken by my arms. Thou wilt cause my going to extend under me; and my ankle-joints have not wavered. I will pursue my enemies, and shall overtake them, and I will not return until they be destroyed; I will wound them so that they shall not be able to rise; they shall fall under my feet. Thou wilt gird me with might for the war (that styled, "the war of that great day of Almighty Power" (Apoc. 16:14). Thou wilt subdue under me those that rise up against me. And thou hast given to me the neck of my enemies; and those who hate me, I will cut them off. They will cry for help, but there is none to save them -- unto YAHWEH, but he answered them not. Then will I grind them as fine as dust before the Faces of the Spirit; as mire of the streets will I pour them out. Thou wilt deliver me from the conflicts of the nations; thou hast appointed me for Prince of the nations. A nation which I knew not shall serve me. At the hearing of the ear they shall obey me; the sons of the foreigner shall submit to me; the sons of the foreigner shall fall, and tremble from their strongholds.
47. "YAHWEH lives, and blessed be my Rock; and he shall raise the Elohim of my salvation. The AIL who giveth avengements to me, even he will subdue the nations under me.
49. "Thou wilt exalt me. From the Man of Violence (Paul's "Man of Sin," the "Lawless One") thou wilt deliver me. Therefore, 0 YAHWEH, I will give thee thanks among the Gentiles; and sing psalms unto thy name, magnifying the deliverance of HIS KING, and performing the promise to HIS MESSIAH, to David, and to his seed, during the Olahm," or thousand years.
In this passage the Eternal Spirit through the prophet speaks of Messiah in the crisis of his controversy for Zion, in which as the head or chief of John's Son of Man, he puts his feet upon the necks of the kings of the earth, scatters their armies like dust before the wind, and becomes Prince or head of the nations in their stead. But this is true also of all the other individual members of this "New Man." If the New Adam himself thus make war upon and trample in the mire the kings and armies of the Old Adam-nature, he has promised that all approved believers "in him" -- all who are Abraham's Seed by being Christ's -- that is, all the Saints shall do the same; and share with him in the fruits of his and their victory. In proof of this the reader is referred to the following testimonies:-
"The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily, there is a reward for the righteous; verily, there are ELOHIM ruling in the earth" (Psal. 58:10,11).
"All the horns of the wicked I will cut of; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted" (Psal. 75:10). " He shall cut off the spirit of princes; he is terrible to the kings of the earth" (76:12). "Arise, O ELOHIM, judge the earth; for thou shalt acquire possession in all the nations" (Psal. 82:8). "He will exalt the horn of his nation; the glory of all his saints; of the sons of Israel, a people near to him" (Psal. 148:14).
Now the phrase "all the saints" is comprehensive of Jesus and his Brethren, who collectively form Daniel's "Man of the One Spirit;" Paul's "New Man;" and John's "Son of Man." The same things are therefore affirmed of all, both Jesus and the faithful in him. Hence, as a body, their feet will be like hind's feet, swift in the pursuit of their enemies, whom they will overtake and destroy. These will fall before their power; and as Malachi says, they will trample them as ashes under the soles of their feet: and when they have got the victory, they will rule with Jesus as "princes in all the earth" (Psal. 45:16) -- the resurrected "ELOHIM ruling in the earth;" "the Elohim of Messiah's salvation."
The feet, in the next place, are symbolized in brass to connect them with the temple-pattern of heavenly things. While gold was peculiar to the interior apartments, or holy and most holy places; brass was characteristic of the Court of the Priests where the sacrificing and washing were performed. The Altar of Burnt-offering and the Laver with his Foot, and the Two Pillars of the porch, and many other things of the Court of the Priests, were all of shining brass, or overlaid therewith. The brass pertaining to the temple was all holy.
The Brazen Altar was "most holy," so that whatever touched it was holy; no Israelite, however, was permitted to touch it, unless he belonged to the seed of Aaron; and even they were not permitted to approach the altar till they had first washed their hands and feet in the Brazen Sea.
The Altar of Burnt offering prefigured the One Body in sacrificial manifestation. The idea of an altar of sacrifice representing a personal, and divine plurality, is frequent in scripture. Thus, Jacob erected an altar at Shalem in the land of Canaan, and called it AIL-ELOHAI YISRAAIL; that is, the Strength of the Mighty Ones of Israel (Gen. 33:20): and Moses before the law was given, and in memory of the victory of Joshua over Amalek, "built an altar, and called the name of it, YAHWEH-nissi"; that is, He shall be my Ensign -- He who was symbolized by the altar (Exod. 17:15; Isai. 11:10,12; 18:3; 31:9; Zech. 9:16).
This Yahweh-nissi altar was superseded by an altar overlaid with plates of brass. These plates represented "the flesh of sin" purified by fiery trial. "Gold, silver, brass, iron, tin, and lead, every thing," said Moses, "that may abide the fire, ye shall make go through the fire, and it shall be clean; nevertheless, it shall be purified with the water of separation; and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water" (Num. 31:22). The connexion of the plates with sin's flesh is established by their history. They were "the censers of those sinners against their own souls," Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and their company, two hundred and fifty of them, who rebelled against the Strength of Israel. He commanded Eleazar, Aaron's son, to melt them, and roll them into "broad plates for a covering of the altar;" and for "a sign to the children of Israel" (Num. 16:38). The Brazen Altar, which was foursquare, had four horns of brass, one at each corner; and in sacrifice, the blood was applied to the horns by the priest's finger; and the rest was all poured beside the bottom of the altar (Exod. 29:12). These Horns represent the same thing as the Four Cherubim, the Four Carpenters, and the Four Living Ones, of Ezekiel, Zechariah, and John; only in the Brazen State, which precedes the Golden Olahm, Aion or Millennium. As Horns of Brass they "execute the judgment written," as a consuming fire; for brass and offering by fire, is the association of things in the type.
The Brazen Altar and its Horns of Brass, then, are symbolical of AIL, the Eternal Power, in Elohistic, or sacrificial and judicial manifestation in flesh. "Eloah will come from Teman," saith the prophet, "The Holy One from Mount Paran. Consider! His glory covers the heavens, and his praise fills the earth: and the splendor shall be as the light: He has HORNS out of his hand; and there is the covering of his
Strong Ones. Before his Faces shall go pestilence, and from his feet lightnings shall proceed. He stood and measured the earth; he beheld, and caused the nations to tremble: and the mountains of antiquity were dispersed; and the hills of the Olahm did bow; the goings of Olahm are his (Hab. 3:3-6).
The Horns of the Brazen and Golden Altars are the Eternal Spirit's Strong Ones who disperse the empires of antiquity, and subjugate the kingdoms of the latter days to Him and his Anointed; so that the current of the world's affairs will be directed by his Elohim in the ensuing thousand years, or Daniel's "season and a time."
The saints, then, are the Feet of incandescent Brass, who have all passed through the fire, and the water of separation, and been consecrated by the blood of the covenant; and "are partakers with the Altar," even with Jesus (1 Cor. 9:13; 10:18; Heb. 13:10,12); and those of them who have been slain, have been poured out "beside the bottom," or "under the altar," from whence the cry apocalyptically ascends to the Father, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell upon the earth?" (Apoc. 6:10; 11:1). Hence, those who dwell upon the earth, being like Israel of old, "grievous revolters, brass and iron, corrupters all" (Jer. 6:28) are to be cast into a furnace glowing with the heat of YAHWEH'S indignation. Israel has been passing through the process for ages. They have been trampled under foot of the Gentiles in a great furnace of affliction; for punishment was to begin first at the Jew; and afterwards to be visited upon the brass and iron of the Gentiles. Ezekiel's description of Israel's punishment by Gentile agency will illustrate that of the Gentiles by the agency of Israel under the direction of the Man, "whose Feet are like incandescent brass glowing in a furnace;" and will furnish an obvious interpretation of the text. "The word of YAHWEH," says the prophet, "came unto me, saying, Son of Man, the house of Israel is to me become dross; they are all brass and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are the dross of silver. Therefore, thus saith YAHWEH Elohim, because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it to melt it; so will I gather you in my anger, and in my fury, and I will leave you, and melt you. Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof. As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I, YAHWEH, have poured out my fury upon you" (Ezek. 22:17-22). In this testimony, Israel in the
flesh are compared to brass and other metals full of dross. This drossy nature of the brass is the characteristic by which they are distinguished from the "fine," or "incandescent brass" of the Son of Man, or Israel in the Spirit, in glowing, or burning, operation upon the subjects Of YAHWEH's fiery indignation.
Israel, as dross, is exemplified in the denunciations of the prophets. Their drossiness is seen in the abominations they practised in burning incense to reptiles, and filthy beasts, and idols of every sort; in their women weeping for Tammuz, the Adonis of the Greeks; and in their worshipping the sun between the porch of the temple and the altar, with their backs towards the sanctuary of YAHWEH (Ezek. 8:7-18). They are still in the drossy state, with the curse of Moses, and the blood-guiltiness they invoked upon themselves and posterity at the crucifixion of Jesus, lying heavily upon them. Israel lives in perpetual violation of the law; and yet professes to expect justification by that law, which only thunders the curses of Mount Ebal in their ears. Hence, they are to this day "the dross of silver in the midst of the furnace" of affliction; "left" of YAHWEH, and "elted."
But, if Israel be the dross of silver, the Gentiles are the dross of brass, iron, lead, and tin. The Gentile dross is of no more value than Israel's; for "God has concluded all under sin." Israel boasts in Moses, and pays no regard to what he prescribes; and the Gentile bepraises Jesus, while their ears are closed, and their hearts steeled against his teaching and commands: so that Jews and Gentiles are both guilty before God; they only excepted who believe the gospel of the kingdom and obey it. They have all, therefore, to be gathered into a furnace glowing with intense combustion, before their races can attain to the blessedness that is to come upon all nations through Abraham and his Seed. Jews and Gentiles must be "melted in the fire of YAHWEH'S wrath," which fire will glow at the Feet of the Son of Man -- "the Saints executing the judgment written;" and "treading the wicked as ashes under the soles of their feet."
As to the furnace in which this intense and glowing wrath of Deity is to glow, we may state it in the words of Ezekiel as "the Wilderness of the Peoples." This is the "furnace" both for Israel and their enemies. In relation to Israel in this furnace, it is written, "As I live, saith ADONAI YAHWEH, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there will I plead with you face to face.
Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith ADONAI YAHWEH. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the Covenant. And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am YAHWEH" (Ezek. 20:33-38).
When thus purified from dross in this glowing furnace, the Jewish nation will be brass and silver well refined (Mal. 3:2). The rebellious dross will have been cleaned out, and Anti-Mosaic Judaism, by which they are now caused to wander out of the way, will have been destroyed from the earth. This refining in the furnace is in "the time of Jacob's trouble," out of which he is to be delivered (Jer. 30:7); and though they are now "prostrate among the cattle pens," they will be "the wings of the Dove covered with silver, and her feathers with the brightness of fine gold" (Ps. 68:13; John. 1:32).
But the nations are to become molten brass, as well as Israel. Their brass, therefore, is also to be gathered into the furnace, that it may be melted and refined under the intense fire of divine wrath. Israel, commanded by the Son of Man, is a torch of fire in the wilderness, which not only purges them, but serves to consume its peoples. The wilderness thus converted into a smelting furnace, is that which John saw when he was carried away in spirit into the wilderness, where he saw "the Great Harlot sitting upon many waters;" which are interpreted to signify "peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues" (Apoc. 17:1,15). The countries of Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Greece, Egypt, and, in short, all the Mediterranean and Euphratean countries, being the territories of the Four Beasts of Daniel, constitute the furnace in which the Nebuchadnezzar gold, and silver, and brass, and iron, and clay, are made to glow with fervent heat of sevenfold intensity; and in which the four men of God -- the Cherubim -- walk to and fro without hurt, "the fire having no power upon their bodies," as symbolized by Nebuchadnezzar's furnace, and by John's mystical Son of Man, who torments the worshippers of the Beast and the False Prophet "in the Lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Apoc. 19:20: 14:10). The melting and refining the Gentile brass in this Babylonian furnace, incandescent with the wrath of Deity, is Daniel's "time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation to that same time" (Dan. 12:1). It is "the day burning like a furnace," which shall consume the proud, and all that do wickedly with their Anti-Christian Gentilism, by which the peoples are deceived; but which shall have no power for evil against the people represented by Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abednego, and the one with them like the Son of God; they shall come forth unharmed, unsinged, unchanged, and inodorous of the fire. For these are the Bride, the Daughter of Zion, to whom the Spirit saith, "Arise, and thresh, for I will make thine Horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many peoples; and I will consecrate their spoil to YAHWEH, and their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth" (Mic. 4:13). These brazen hoofs of Zion's daughter, which answer to the feet of John's similitude, are the feet of Ezekiel's cherubim, which, he says, "are straight feet and the sole of their feet like the sole of a calf's foot; and they sparkled like the color of burnished brass" (Ezek. 1:7).
Thus, while Israel is passing through the furnace, under the conduct of the Saints, and are themselves being purged from dross, they are also made use of by their commanders, as a torch of fire among the sheaves, or a lion among flocks of goats (Mic. 5:8; Zech. 12:6) to destroy the power and kingdoms of the world, after the allegorical example of their transit out of Egypt into the land of the inheritance; for though passing under the rod themselves, they become also "a rod of iron" in the hand of YAHWEH, for the destruction of the nations when their iniquity is full (Apoc. 2:26,27).
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