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



Chapter 16

Section 3 Subsection 2

"Blessed He Who Watcheth"


"Blessed he who watcheth and keepeth his garments, that he walk not naked, and they see his shame".

The Apocalyptic benedictions are not mere ornamental figures of speech, thrown in, as it were, for the ventilation of pious feeling. They are substantial and joyous realities, promising present and future benefits.
"Blessed he that readeth and they that understand the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is near" (Ch. 1:3). He that reads, understands, and keeps "the sayings of the prophecy of this book," thereby places himself in the blessed companionship of the apostle John, and of his brethren the prophets, one of whom (whether Enoch, Moses, or Elijah, we know not)(*) was the bearer of the Apocalypse to him (Ch. 1:1; 22:7-10). The knowledge herein revealed, understood and kept, is an infallible preservative against all the wiles of the adversary, and all the delusions by which the worshippers of the Beast's Image are deceived, and made meet only for capture and destruction.

Again, blessedness is pronounced upon them who die in the Lord, in Ch. 14:13. These are the same as they who keep the sayings of the prophecy. This text informs us when they are blessed — at the time, namely, when, as constituents of the Perfect Man, they rest from their arduous judicial labors.

But they are greeted with benediction as candidates for the high honor and glory of which he is the subject. This candidature is predicated upon "watching and keeping the garments"; not upon watching, or looking, only, but upon keeping the garments, as well. In this sense it is that the Christ personal shall appear with out sin to them who are looking for him for salvation (Heb. 9:28). They must first put on the garments, and then keep them from being soiled by the corruptions of the flesh and world. None can watch Scripturally, who do not "keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book;" for, without an understanding of them, it is impossible to know the signs of the advent, and whether it isnear or afar off. All the world sees the facts in regard to the Ottoman, Papal, Austrian, and French, powers; but it knows not what is indicated thereby, or whether anything is signified at all. This is the case also with many who profess that they are not of the world, but whose practice belies their profession. They talk glibly about the advent, but they are neither in the faith, nor do they know what it is. Such are "naked," and have no garments to keep; and all their professed looking for Jesus is not the "watching" of the text before us.

But they who are truly "watching and keeping their garments" are blessed in that they see "the Sign of the Son of Man in the heaven," by which they are warned to trim their lamps with "the knowledge of the Deity's will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding," that, when his arrival is announced, they may go forth to meet him with all confidence and joy. They are "blessed" in being able thus to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, in the wilderness of Teman; but more blessed still will they be when the account they are able truthfully to render of themselves
is accepted and approved; and they are pronounced by the Judge to be the blessed of his Father (Matt. 25:34); and are exalted to be sharers with him in his joy (Matt. 25:21). In this exaltation they will have attained to that perfected blessedness to which they were called in the gospel of invitation to "the marriage supper of the Lamb" (Ch. 19:9). Being adopted, by the transforming power of the Spirit, as constituents of the Perfect Man, they are "blessed and holy:" not blessed only, but holy likewise. "Be ye holy in all manner of conduct: because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy". This was their character in the days of their flesh; but, being now participants of the Perfect Man, they are the holy, in the sense of the incorruptible and immortal "Firstfruits" of the resurrection. On them, the Second Death will have no power; but they shall be priests of the Deity and the Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years (Ch. 20:6).

Such is the blessedness which results from doing the commandments of "the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last". By obedience to his institutions, they obtain "the right," which, not being forfeited by misconduct, is realized in "the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body of us," "who are kept by the power of the Deity through faith for salvation, ready to be apocalypsed in the last time". As the blessed constituents of the Perfect Man, they are the Tree of Life, and the Great City, the holy Jerusalem, into which they have entered, and whose name is written upon each (Ch. 3:12). The door is yet open to all who aspire to so great and exalted a destiny; as it is written in ch. 22:14, "Blessed they who do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city".

The penalty incurred by neglecting to watch and keep the garments, is expressed in the words, "that he walk not naked, and they see his shame". When a body comes out of the dust of the ground, and there is impressed or written upon its organization a character previously developed in a former state, if that character be bad, such a person is said to "walk naked", even though he might be abundantly supplied with clothes. He is morally naked, and certain to be put to shame. Being morally naked, he will continue to walk naked, in the sense of not being "clothed upon with the house which is from heaven;" that is, his earthy body will not be transformed into an identity with the spirit-body of the Lord Jesus. He will be dealt with judicially after the example of the first man, who, after receiving sentence of death, was "driven" with shame from the Divine Presence, to live awhile in sorrow and pain, and then to die and rot in the dust from whence he came (Gen. 3:24). Such is the unhappy future of those "who profess to know God, but in works deny him;" and who, being "in Christ Jesus, walk after the flesh". After this order, "they come forth into a resurrection of condemnation," in which
they reap of the flesh the corruption due to what they have thereunto sown.

But, the first man of the earth was put to shame before a plurality of Divine Personages. This is evident from the narrative, which records the saying of the Judge, who remarked, "Behold the man is as one of us, knowing good and evil". The "us" is indicative of the associates of the speaker, styled by MOSES YAHWEH ELOHIM. These it was who, in the language of our text, "Saw his shame". This Court of Assize in Eden, which condemned the man of the earth to remain earthy unto death because of one offence, is the type, or example, of the future Court of Assize in Teman, where his earthy representatives, who come forth from the dust as he, will be tried, or scrutinized, and justified or condemned, "according to their works". As in the case of the first human pair, this justification and condemnation will be pronounced and carried into effect before a plurality of dignitaries. In relation to the condemned, this is indicated in the word bleposi "THEY see" his shame. If it be inquired, who are the "they," it must be admitted, that the words of ch. 16:15, do not inform us. The exposition, however, I have given, will supply this lack. The man of the earth condemned to walk naked in his
shame, will stand in the presence of the Lord Jesus, of the angels of his power, and of the justified constituents of the Perfect Man, all of whom will be embodiments of the power or spirit of the Eternal Father. This "I" who comes "as a thief upon the sons of night, is the "they" who see the shame of the earthborns, who are sentenced to condemnation with the world. And this interpretation is in harmony with the words of Jesus, who saith in Luke 12:8, "whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of Man also confess before the angels of the Deity, and before my Father who is in heaven;" and "whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and of my words y of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed when
he shall come in his own glory, and the Father's, and of the Holy Angels" (Luke 9:26): "I will deny him before my Father" (Matt. 10:33). So that what we confess, or deny, and do in the present state, will define our moral standing at the bar of the Divine Court of Teman; where "they who have been accounted worthy to obtain of that aion (the Resurrection-Aion) and of the resurrection from among the dead (which gives entrance into it) are equal to the angels:" all else are repudiated, or denied, and put to shame before all "his servants, both small and great," whether angels, or constituents of the Perfect Man.


(*) The Author believed that these three faithful men are still living, and that one of them described as John's "fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book" (Rev. 22:9), was "the servant" used by the Lord to convey The Apocalypse to the early Ecclesias (Rev. 1:1). He did so on the grounds that of Enoch it is clearly stated that he "was translated that he should not see death" (Heb. 11:5); of Elijah, that he was taken from Elisha who permitted a search to be made for him, in addition to which he is styled "the servant of Yahweh", and that "a writing" came from him in the days of Jehoram many years after the prophet had been taken from his companion (2 Chron. 21:12); and of Moses, because he was raised from the dead at the Transfiguration. Some may differ from the Author in this, but they then need to explain how the terms used in Rev. 22:9 can relate to an angel. — Publishers.




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