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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 10

Section 9

The Angel Rests from his LaborsTitle



Synchronical with this "end of the matter" is the blessedness of the dead in "rest from their labors." The end of the Exodus from Egypt, and the destruction of the fourth beast in all its relations, domestic and foreign, being now attained by their almighty prowess, the end of Micah’s 40 years is duly arrived at. It is, therefore, written by command of a voice from the heaven, newly planted and firmly established (Isa. li. 16): "Blessed at this time are the dead who die in the Lord. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors: and their works HE goes with them" (Apoc. xiv. 13). This is the time for the righteous dead, who have been caused to spring out of the earth, and afterwards been quickened by Christ who is their life, to be blessed in the Millennial Sabbatism. The millennial rest cannot be enjoyed by the called, and chosen, and faithful saints so long as the fourth beast ecclesiasticism is undestroyed. The Lion-Mouth of this system of ignorance and imposition, "speaks great things and blasphemies," by which the Deity is blasphemed in "blaspheming his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in the heaven" (Apoc. xiii. 5,6). The saints, though resurrected and immortalized, can have no rest while this, their old enemy, who, in the days of their flesh, made war upon them and overcame them (ver. 7; xi. 7; Dan. vii. 21), remains unconquered and undestroyed. When this is compassed their rest is attained. At this time, aparti, or, from now; the now beginning at this consummation of their works. They had "died in the Lord," which they only do when they die who believed the glad tidings of the kingdom of the Deity and name of Jesus Christ, and are subsequently immersed; they had been caused to spring forth from the earth; they had been judged; and, by quickening, had been organized into the cloud-invested angel of the covenant, or bow; and following the Lamb whithersoever he went, in all his wars, had conquered three of Daniel’s beasts, and destroyed the fourth; and, in so doing, had delivered and regenerated the twelve tribes of Israel, restored all things, and abolished the superstition of the world. These are their works, the works of Jesus and his Brethren, and the consummation of them, which brings to them rest for "a season and a time."

But, in the text before us, we are given to understand that Jesus and his Brethren did not do all these wonderful and mighty works by their own independent and inherent power. In the days of his flesh, Jesus said to the Jews, "I can of my own self do nothing;" and again, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself ... but what things soever the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise" (John v. 19,30); and "the Father who dwelleth in me he doeth the works" (John xiv. 10). This doctrine is incorporated in the apocalyptic symbolography. It is true in regard to all the works of that remarkable prophecy. It is the Father, the Eternal Power, by the Spirit, who doeth the works: as he said to Zechariah, "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith YAHWEH Tz’vaoth" (iv. 6). Of their own selves Jesus and his Brethren can do nothing. Their almightiness is of the Father-Spirit, "Whithersoever the Spirit was to go they went" (Ezek. i. 12,20); and where they went, there the Spirit of their Father worked. Hence the peculiarity of the sentence, ta de erga auton akolouthei met’auton -- "and their works He goes with them." He attends upon them as akolouthos, a camp-follower. He is present in all their encampments; and all the defeats they give their enemies are by his power. How could it be otherwise? For, having been begotten and born of the Spirit, they are as much Spirit as that which has been begotten and born of the flesh is flesh (John iii. 6). Therefore, what they do must of necessity be done by the Spirit -- "he goes with them;" and "their works," the works of the Angel of the Covenant, signified in his roaring, in the little scroll, and in the seven thunders, He does with almighty and invincible power.




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