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



Chapter  13

Section 1 Subsection 3

The Sand of the Sea



But John in his symbolic standing "stood upon the Sand of the Sea". There must be some meaning in this standing upon the sand. In the tenth chapter the "mighty angel" stands upon the earth and sea; and in the fifteenth, John's brethren, and John himself, therefore, are seen standing upon the transparent sea, no longer mingled with fire; evincing that they had gotten the victory over the Ten Horned Beast, and the Image of the Sixth Head of the Beast, which had ascended out of the stormy sea while John stood upon the sand thereof. But here John stands not upon the earth to view the ascent of the Beast of the Earth; nor upon the sea to behold the ascent of the Beast of the Sea; but upon the sand of the sea to see the ascent of them both.

Jeremiah says, that the Deity placed the sand for a bound oft he sea- ch. 5:22. This is true in a natural sense; when, therefore, the sand of the sea is introduced into symbolical prophetic writing, it must be taken to represent the bound, shore, or limit, of the symbolical sea. But the sand of the sea is also the similitude for a multitude of people. Thus Hosea predicts the multitude into which Israel shall be developed in the day of their glory under this figure, saying in Ch. 1:10, "the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand oft he sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered": and sand also in the sense of multitude we find used apocalyptically in chapter 20:8, where the hosts of the post-millennial Gog and Magog, or Dragon released from confinement in the abyss, are compared to the Sand of the Sea.

Now John was "a man wondered at," a man of sign, or as we say in our vernacular, a representative man; and his actions and postures, like Daniel's and Ezekiel's, were dramatic. Hence John upon the sand represented that portion of "the great multitude which no man can number" (Apoc. 7:9) existing contemporaneously with the ascending of the beasts out of the sea; and who refused to worship the Image of the Beast, and would not receive his mark, nor the number of his name (ch. 13:15; 15:2). The position they occupied in the four hundred years of the ascending of the monsters of the sea and the earth, was that of neutral observers of events; whose antipathies were against their old enemy the Catholic Dragon, who was compelled by the four wind-trumpet powers to "yield his power, throne and an extensive dominion" to the Ten Horns. The judgments of the four wind-trumpets were not sent against the servants of the Deity, sealed in their foreheads with the Father's name (chap. 7:3; 14:1) whom John represented; but upon the catholic worshippers of daimonia and idols (ch. 9:20). Hence John's multitude in the Wings, or extremities, of the Great Eagle, had the sympathy of "the barbarians" who rushed in upon the Dragon's domain to establish king-doms for themselves. The saints and witnesses being at war with the Dragon (ch. 12:17), his enemies, "the barbarians," would naturally be their friends; so that, while the Dragon and the barbarians were in tempestuous and stormy conflict, their multitude in the Roman Africa atid the Alpine regions would hear the roar of the tempest-tossed sea, standing as it were upon the shore.




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