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him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels." “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne." 15
John saw the mercy, the tenderness, and the love of God blending with His holiness, justice, and power. He saw sinners finding a Father in Him of whom their sins had made them afraid. And looking beyond the culmination of the great conflict, he beheld upon Zion “them that had gotten the victory
.. stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God," and singing the song of Moses and the Lamb."
The Saviour is presented before John under the symbols of the “Lion of the tribe of Judah," and of a "Lamb as it had been slain."" These symbols represent the union of omnipotent power and selfsacrificing love. The Lion of Judah, so terrible to the rejecters of His grace, will be the Lamb of God to the obedient and faithful. The pillar of fire that speaks terror and wrath to the transgressor of God's law, is a token of light and mercy and deliverance to those who have kept his commandments. The arm strong to smite the rebellious will be strong to deliver the loyal. Every one who is faithful will be saved. “Ile shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together Rev. 2:7; 3:5, 21.
16 Rev. 15:2, 3.
17 Rev. 5:5, 6.
His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." 18
In comparison with the millions of the world, God's people will be, as they have ever been, a little flock; but if they stand for the truth as revealed in His word, God will be their refuge. They stand under the broad shield of Omnipotence. God is always a majority. When the sound of the last trump shall penetrate the prison-house of the dead, and the righteous shall come forth with triumph, exclaiming, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" "- standing then with God, with Christ, with the angels, and with the loyal and true of all ages, the children of God will be far in the majority.
Christ's true disciples follow Him through sore conflicts, enduring self-denial and experiencing bitter disappointment; but this teaches them the guilt and woe of sin, and they are led to look upon it with abhorrence. Partakers of Christ's sufferings, they are destined to be partakers of His glory. In holy vision the prophet saw the ultimate triumph of God's remnant church. He writes:
“I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.” »
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion, and with Him a hundred forty and
18 Matt. 24:31. 19 1 Cor. 15:55. 20 Rev. 15: 2, 3.
four thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads." 21 In this world their minds were consecrated to God; they served Him with the intellect and with the heart; and now He can place His name in their foreheads.” “And they shall reign forever and ever.” They do not go in and out as those who beg a place. They are of that number to whom Christ says, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” He welcomes them as His children, saying, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
“These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb.”* The vision of the prophet pictures them as standing on Mount Zion, girt for holy service, clothed in white linen, which is the righteousness of the saints. But all who follow the Lamb in heaven must first have followed Him on earth, not fretfully or capriciously, but in trustful, loving, willing obedience, as the flock follows the shepherd.
“I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, ... and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. . . In their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
“And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” “Her light was Rev. 14:1. 22 Rev. 22:5.
23 Matt. 25:34, 21. 24 Rev. 14:2-5.
38 — Acts
like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; and had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.' “The twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” *
“And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: and they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.
“He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."'* “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying,
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men,
And He will dwell with them,
And be their God.' 25 Rev. 21:2, 11, 12, 21, 22. 20 Rev. 22:3-5. * Rev. 22:1, 2, 14.
MORE than nineteen centuries have passed since the apostles rested from their labors; but the history of their toils and sacrifices for Christ's sake is still among the most precious treasures of the church. This history, written under the direction of the Holy Spirit, was recorded in order that by it the followers of Christ in every age might be impelled to greater zeal and earnestness in the cause of the Saviour.
The commission that Christ gave to the disciples, they fulfilled. As these messengers of the cross went forth to proclaim the gospel, there was such a revelation of the glory of God as had never before been witnessed by mortal man. By the co-operation of the divine Spirit, the apostles did a work that shook the world. To every nation was the gospel carried in a single generation.
Glorious were the results that attended the ministry of the chosen apostles of Christ. At the beginning of their ministry some of them were unlearned men, but their consecration to the cause of