The end of the Gospel Age
The Kingdom of God on the earth is before us, near at hand. Our Lord, Jesus, told to pray: Your kingdom come. Since his words, however, it had passed almost two thousands years already, therefore, generally speaking, world has forgot about this splendid promise. The people of God, however, who did know the Divine plan of the Ages, and faithfully waited, they did not forget. They knew well that there had first to be chosen the spiritual "seed of Abraham," who is to bless all nations of the earth. (Acts 3:25)
The Scripture stated that the church of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, is this promised seed of Abraham. (Hebr. 12:23; Gal. 3:16,29.) Their choice happened in the complete secret before the world, in extremely difficult conditions of the prevailing of the sin, when a rule of Jesus to love even our enemies had seemed very impractical idea, without any advantages. This explains, why the choice of Christ's "little flock", of 144 000 members, it lasted so long. The High Calling to this class was opened in the Pentecost (33) and since then lasted throughout Gospel Age.
Only called and chosen and faithful class from among the church of the firstborn was to get recognition as the little flock. (Rev. 17:14.) Many of the Christ's followers, called and chosen, were not enough faithful to the very end. They were to be shifted to a sisterly class of the "little flock," inferior to her. This second class of the firstborn's church, also spiritual, is named in the Revelation "a great multitude." (Rev. 7:9)
The our Lord's parable of the ten virgins clearly illustrates difference in the behaviour of both classes of the firstborn's church. (Matt. 25:1-12.) The beginning of this parable should be placed in the dawn of the second presence of Christ (1874). Then all the virgins went forth to meet the Bridegroom. When all alleged dates of the wedding, first that of 1914 and at last that of 1954, had failed, the all disappointed "virgins," both wise and foolish, all slumbered and slept. Since then on, for several dozen years, there were no chronological waiting. Nevertheless in the time of such chronological dream all the "virgins" could to develop their character and to accumulate the oil of the holy spirit to their vessels and their lamps.
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In the late sixtieths of the last century, the prophetic chronological movement in Poland woke up all the "virgins" with the understanding of the date of the Lamb's marriage. It was time of Passover of 1981 (18 April). Our Lord himself revealed this deadline term and confirmed it with the solemn oath. (Rev. 10:5-7.) Only wise virgins comprehended correctly this matter and with a burning lamps they went on to meet the Bridegroom. Foolish virgins were completely disorientated. They lost the light because of the lack of a reserve of oil for their lamps. They found themselves in darkness. Having lost the way to the "wedding door" they were forced to go and to buy some oil, that is the holy spirit. They came with oil eventually, their lamps lighted up. Thanks to this light they found "wedding door," but alas! it was too late. The door had been shut in 1981 (1980,25) behind class of wise and ready virgins.
The people of God has been in the systems of nominal Christianity, Babylon, till the dawn of the second presence of Christ (1874). All the time there was there no distinction in the firstborn's church between wise and foolish virgins.
This difference has appeared when God called his people to coming out of Babylon. Wise virgins class escaped hurriedly and with the joy, whereas foolish virgins delayed and failed to go out on time. Latter class, therefore, will share the fate of Babylon, because destruction of that system in the great tribulation already had began (since 1981).
The book of Revelation in 7th chapter also shows these two classes. An equivalent of the wise virgins is spiritual Israel, that is the 144 000 sealed up members of the little flock (verse 4), whereas an equivalent of the foolish virgins is a great multitude (verse 9). Thus as a result of the one High Calling will emerge ultimately two spiritual groups: the class of kings and priests, the Bride of Christ (Rev. 3:21; 20:4-6), and a serving class, not sitting down on the throne but standing before it (Rev. 7:15).
The great multitude has been staying in the outer darkness (Matt. 25:30) until Babylon is destroyed. The Revelation, chapter 19th, informs us that a burning down of the great harlot of Rome will open spiritual eyes of the great multitude for their real situation, that they failed to become the Bride class and therefore they had been dropped out to inferior class.
In the same time, when the second class of the firstborn's church, the great multitude is being taken from the earth and changed by death to spiritual conditions of heaven, on the earth is growing more and more the great tribulation, anarchy. It is result of "killing of corrupted systems" by a sharp sword proceeding out of our Lord's mouth. It is the symbol of wide spreading truth more and more in every matter. Every fraud and lie is quickly detected, exposed and branded. A such process is undermining foundation of the kingdom of the prince of that world, Satan. The kingdom is tottering and it will be overthrown soon. Next chapter of the Revelation, 20th, is saying in symbols about establishing the Kingdom of God on the earth.
(1) After these things I heard as it were a great voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, Hallelujah; Salvation, and glory, and power, belong to our God: (2) for true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great harlot, her that corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. (3) And a second time they say, Hallelujah. And her smoke goeth up for ever and ever.
In 1981 communism has been “crushed under the combined power of Church, State and Capital” (as it was predicted in 1897) and then the third Woe, that is the great tribulation, anarchy started chronologically. Christ's Church has been taken to the glory already. The marriage of the Lamb has came – the Bride and the Bridegroom joined themselves. The second class of the firstborn church meanwhile, the Great Multitude, stays on the earth unchanged as yet. They were till now in “outer darkness” (Matt. 25:30), because they neglected themselves and lived far below their privilege. Now however, when Babylon is overthrown they are about to regain light and liberty and to obtain therefore a higher spiritual standpoint – "to be in heaven." Heavenly condition represents position of spiritually begotten new creatures. (Eph. 2:6)
World anarchy spreads and the mankind plunges more and more in commotion, confusion and despair. The Great Multitude however solely understands that in accord with Bible the great tribulation brought about the fall of Babylon, that is of the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant sects. The fall of Babylon has liberated them from her chains and influences. Now they fully realized that tares and earthly organizations never were God's church. The Great Multitude never got the victory over the Beast and its Image, and apparently they did not recognize their true character up till these systems are overthrown by the judgments of the Day of Wrath.
They realized in the end that any fellowship with the world on the part of those who have betrothed themselves to be God's consecrated people is illicit. The Scripture calls such union a harlotry.
The Great Multitude saw the smoke of fire. Smoke continues to ascend after a literal fire, testifying that the fire has done its work. Symbolic burning happened, that is the Roman harlot was destroyed utterly. The smoke goes up from her for ever and ever, what means that the lesson of retribution for her hypocrisy, falsehoods and crimes will never be forgotten.
(4) And the four and twenty elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God that sitteth on the throne, saying, Amen; Hallelujah.
The elders are the personification of prophecies speaking about God's Kingdom, whereas living creatures represent attributes of God's character. These prophecies foretold long ago that all false systems had to fall before this kingdom will come. Destruction them in accord with the Scripture is giving the glory to Him by testifying of conformity of events to the prophecies. It proves that God knows the end on the beginning, that He is the Almighty and the Omniscient.
(5) And a voice came forth from the throne, saying, Give praise to our God, all ye his servants, ye that fear him, the small and the great.
The fall of Babylon, which happened closely according to the Biblical manner and time, it will be reason for to give praise and to obey God. This symbolic appeal from the heavenly centre of power, of Divine throne, will be directed to all the people, nevertheless the Great Multitude will give praise to God first of all. They will realize that they were confused, if they supposed until now that they are Bride of Christ.
(6) And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunders, saying, Hallelujah: for the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigneth. (7) Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad, and let us give the glory unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (8) And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright [and] pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Members of the Great Multitude, no doubt greatly dismayed to realize that the Bride is completed, they will overcome their grief. They will begin to be pleased. Why should the Great Multitude rejoice? They were awakened from their slumber and separated from Babylon. Their eyes were really opened and they found out the true situation, that God had delivered them, and that the institutions of Babylon were a hindrance to God's plan in many respects. Now they see Babylon as they never saw her before, therefore they rejoice in the fall of her.
They also see God's plan as they never saw it before. They see the beauty of God's great loving plan which embraces the sin destroyed race. Owing to all these things, which they saw and realized, they will become the witnesses to testify to the truths, that Babylon fell, that the Bride united with the Bridegroom, that the Gospel Age was ended and that the Kingdom of God on the earth came (the Almighty reigns). .
It will be therefore a meaningful voice (the symbolic voice of many waters), when an the Great Multitude will announce in religious symbolic heaven many explained truths relating to the Plan of the Ages. The Little Flock first announced (Rev. 14:2) these truths that the High Calling ended (1977), took place the marriage of Christ and Church (1981) and the time of the great tribulation began (also 1981).
It is class of the Great Multitude, who will win the symbolic palms of the victory in the great tribulation. (Rev. 7:14.) An emerging of this class amid pains was pictured by circumstances of Benjamin birth (his name means "son of my pain"). The end of the High Calling was showed by the death of Sarah, who died shortly before her son Isaac marriage (the picture of marriage Christ and Church). The Great Multitude emerges from the same High Calling, therefore the travail and death of Rahel during birth of Benjamin shows additional view of this calling, in the most wide scope.
The feast at Pharaoh palace, during which Joseph disclosed his identity to Benjamin and others brothers, it pictures the special circumstances of recognizing of exalted Christ by the Great Multitude and Jewish nation. The Benjamin class (the Great Multitude) and the Joseph class (the Little Flock), will be made known to each other in the great time of trouble. It is after the Little Flock is changed and the Great Multitude is still in a measure of tribulation that that time of mutual joy take place.
The marriage of the Lamb is come … The unifying and full glorification of the entire Body of Christ with the Head. The second Adam and the second Eve become one, and then the glorious work of restitution begins. When Christ came and received the Church to himself, she became his wife, just as in the type. There was no ceremony. Church and state union is contrary to the spirit of the Bible. The true Church was not to reign with the prince of the earth, but to wait for her marriage until the second coming of Christ, and be united with Him in the first resurrection.
His wife hath made herself ready … No longer the espoused virgin, but the Bride of Christ. A second Eve, the "wife" of the second Adam. As the wife of the "first man" is the natural mother of our race, so the wife of the "second Adam" (1 Cor. 15:45) is to be the spiritual mother of the whole being restored mankind.
Made herself ready … Be complete. It has required of entire period of the Gospel Age to make ready the chaste virgin, the faithful Church, for the coming Bridegroom. The work of the prospective Bride was not specially the blessing of the world. Restitution work will be accomplished by the Church being elevated to the glory and united with her Head, Jesus Christ.
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It was given ... array herself in fine linen … The company of the Little Flock, the victorious Church, had to first resurrect, for the "fine linen" represents the righteous acts of the saints. During earthly pilgrimage, during the Gospel Age, the saints had no righteousness of their own. They had only the filthy rags of sin and imperfection. (Isa. 64:6.) They had only their desire to be in harmony with God. Then the Bridegroom provided for them the garment, which figuratively represents justification, the covering of their blemishes. God could not accept them as a sacrifice unless first were justified. Justification must come first, for God cannot accept an imperfect sacrifice (Rome. 12:1).
The robe of Christ's righteousness, being imputed throughout the Gospel Age to the Church as a covering for her blemishes, in the resurrection was transformed into a robe of her own righteousness. As our Lord Jesus is represented as robed in white linen, so the Bride is pictured as arrayed in fine linen, "the righteousness of the saints." The new body which God gave the Church in the resurrection is perfect in itself and need no imputation of the merit of Jesus. The members of that class have an ideal bodies and the ideal character "embroidered perfectly upon the new robes, the beautiful adornments of the Christian graces." (Psa. 45:14,15)
Marriage of Isaac and Rebecca is the beautiful biblical picture of uniting the Christ and Church in the First Resurrection. Chronological parallels from Abraham life and the Biblical Numerology pointed at the time of the First Resurrection (1980 + 1980 = 3960).
The First Resurrection (Rev. 20:5), according to these biblical evidences, took place on the day of Passover of 1981 (18 April 1981).
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(9) And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are true words of God.
After the marriage of Bride and Bridegroom is accomplished, class of Great Multitude will be enjoy the feast with the Royal Family. There will be there really of no sitting down to eat or drink, but it is merely a picture of the joyous occasion that will follow. There is a difference between being at the marriage ceremony itself and eating of the marriage supper. When the wise virgins entered the king's palace, the door was shut (1981). The great marriage supper (feast) is to take place shortly after the glorification of the Church. When the Church had been taken to the glory, the great tribulation has began. The common feast of rejoicings is postponed until the Great Multitude shall have "washed their robes and made them white." It means that they can go to that marriage supper only through great tribulation, which will test to the last their full devotion to the Lord. (Rev. 7:13,14)
The Great Multitude are represented as getting a special message from God. A clear promise written specially for this class. They are to participate in the glorious blessings and favors of God, which will make their hearts rejoice, and compensate them for all their trials and difficulties in the present time. Invitation to come in and to partake in the festivities is showed by meeting of Rebecca and Isaac, when she and her maids who accompanied her have ended their long journey, as well as is mentioned in Psalm 45:14-16. Ultimately the Bride's companions (the Great Multitude) will reach the position next to the Bride.
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(10) And I fell down before his feet to worship him. And he saith unto me, See thou do it not: I am a fellow-servant with thee and with thy brethren that hold the testimony of Jesus: worship God; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
The Apostle John on the Patmos island represented the faithful of the Lord's people in the end of this Gospel Age. As the more wonderful things of the Divine plan were being revealed, some might be in danger of worshipping the angel through whom the enlightenment was sent. If there come to anyone a thought of doing homage to the Lord's messengers through whom his blessings have been bestowed upon us, it is proper for him to heed this admonition. There was always a tendency in this direction, and a danger to worship the creature, or instrumentality, rather than the Creator who uses the instrumentality. When Cornelius offered such service to Peter – the leading Apostle – "he took him up, saying, Stand up: I myself also am a man." (Acts 10:26)
Many think that it is a mark of humility to discard reason and blindly follow others. It is against such "voluntary humility" and worshipping of messengers that Paul warns. (Col. 2:18.) Anything in the nature of personal idolatry is rebuked. True messengers of God always sought to give the honor unto God, and decline it for themselves.
The spirit of prophecy is the spirit of truth promised, which is able, through the exercise of our free unbiased judgment in the study of God's word, to lead followers of Christ, in due season, into all truth, to make them known the Divine will. The breaking by the Lamb the seventh seal (1967) paved the way to the understanding of the whole book of the Revelation. (Rev. 8:1) This special testimony of Jesus, that is the explained prophecies, helped the last members of the Little Flock to achieve the final victory.
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(11) And I saw the heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon called Faithful and True; and in righteous he doth judge and make war. (12) And his eyes [are] a flame of fire, and upon his head [are] many diadems; and he hath a name written which no one knoweth but he himself. (13) And he [is] arrayed in a garment sprinkled with blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
I saw the heaven opened … The opening of heaven symbolizes particular time of disclosing by our Lord of last secrets of God's Plan. The people of God, showed by John apostle, received understanding of the time of battle of Armageddon (1981) and they read in the light of biblical prophecies the final world events leading to this battle and the circumstances of destruction of all structures of the present evil world and establishment of the Kingdom of God.
A white horse … It is biblical symbol of the pure doctrine, that is teachings of the Lord and the Apostles. The time of the final triumph of the truth came, the time of slaying false doctrines with the sword of Word of God and the time of executing of a final stage of the Divine Plan of the Ages.
He does judge … The whole Millennium (seventh thousand years) of our Lord presence is the time of judgment. During the preliminary phase of this presence there was time of judging of worldly systems, an activity paving the way for the trial of individual persons in the times of restoration of all things. (Acts. 3: 21.) The judgment consists in proving of guilt, pronouncing a sentence and executing of this sentence. Since the time of dawn of our Lord's presence (1874) was continued process of exposing and proving faults and crimes of the Roman Catholic church and others false systems supporting devilish reign over the world. When has come manifestation of this presence (biblical time of epiphaneia – the year 1981; 2 Thess. 2:8), the executing of Divine sentence, or utter destruction of these unjust systems, has began. Our Lord declares himself to be a God of justice, and shows that sin will no longer prevailing in the world, that it will be punished. "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." (Rom. 12:19; Deut. 32:35.) When He rises up to judgment against the nations, taking vengeance upon all the wicked, He declares himself "a man of war" and "mighty in battle," and having a "great army" at his Command. (Exod. 15:3; Psa. 24:8; 45:3; Rev. 19:11; Isa. 11:4; Joel 2:11).
And makes war … "In the battle already beginning, we are clearly told that there will be a general division of the world into two contending parties. The kings, chief men, and mighty or influential men, the wealthy and the worldly great, are all on one side the battle, and with them the symbolic beast (Papacy) and Protestantism (False Prophet). All these unite their efforts, realizing that they must stand or fall together.
'Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the great to cease, and their honored places [their sacred places, their religious institutions, etc.] shall be defiled.' (Ezek. 7:13-24.) This may be understood to signify that the uprising of the masses of Christendom in anarchy will, during the prevalence of lawlessness, be so extremely savage as to outrival the barbarities of all heathen invasions (…) Or it may signify an uprising of the peoples of India, China and Africa against Christendom -- a suggestion already made by the public press as for the revival of Turkey and the uprising of the millions of Mahometans. Our opinion, however, is that 'the worst of the heathen' are those in Christendom who are 'without God' and without Christian sentiments or hopes; who hitherto have been restrained and held in check by ignorance, superstition and fear, but who in the dawn of the twentieth century are rapidly losing these restraining influences.
The Lord, by his overruling providence, will take a general charge of this great army of discontents – patriots, reformers, socialists, moralists, anarchists, ignorants and hopeless – and use their hopes, fears, follies and selfishness, according to his divine wisdom, to work out his own grand purposes in the overthrow of present institutions, and for the preparation of man for the Kingdom of Righteousness. For this reason only it is termed 'The Lord's great army.'" (D550 – written in 1897)
After above hundred years these prophetic comments turn out to be in many respects true.
On the one hand, in Christian countries came into being and developed the revolutionary communist movement. Lack of faith, false teachings, abuses and corruption of the clergy alienated from Christianity the huge human masses and directed them towards disbelief and atheism. The angry fury grows among them continually. They constitute the great army that is more and more ready to throw its mighty force against the bulwarks of the present social order.
On the other hand, in the countries of Asia and Africa began to spring up like mushrooms the radical parties of Islam, which set themselves a main target – utter destruction of Christianity. Noticeably they also are forming the part of the Lord's great army.
Eyes flamed like fire … All-penetrating and all-knowing wisdom.
Many crowns … The right of our Lord to rule all the kingdoms of the earth. (Ezek. 21:27)
No man knew … a name … In the Scripture a name is the symbol of character, position, some kind of activity etc. In the series of blowing the trumpet, the time for the seventh angel to sound his trumpet came in 1981 (Rev. 10:7). From then on began era of a revealing of mysteries of Divine Plan of the Ages to all the people, not abruptly however but gradually. Until this time only the Little Flock were orientated in our Lord's activity (Rev. 14:1), nobody more. The events of the great tribulation, which chronologically began in 1981, first of all will wake up the Great Multitude from deep lethargy, and afterwards those events will to convince more and more the whole world of mankind that the "King of kings and Lord of lords" (verse 16) began to reign.
Dipped in blood … "Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winepress?" "I have trampled on them in my fury; and their blood was sprinkled on my garments, and all my raiment have I stained." (Isa. 63:1-3.) The blood flowing in veins of organism is symbol of life. Shedding blood is symbol of death. A splashing blood around is the picture of irreversible putting to death all false systems of Christianity.
The Word of God … When the Scripture tells us about God's word, this signifies the instruction which will be certainly put in practice. "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isa. 55:11) Thus the Lord Jesus himself is called the Father's "Word" – the Message, the Logos (John 1:1; Rev. 19:13). All the instructions of God and the deeds caused by them are emanating from the Father through the Son. He is called the Word in his pre-existent state (John 1:1); while He was in the flesh (John 1:14; 14:6), and now, in his present manifestation as Conqueror. The term Logos, not only applied to the plan existing only in the mind, but also to the expression of that plan – the creation of Him who was "the beginning of the creation of God." (Rev. 3:14)
(14) And the armies which are in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white [and] pure.
The armies … Who are with the King of kings in this conflict? Those close to him, are his "regular army," the Little Flock of 144 000 members of victorious Church, elevated to the glory, honour and immortality. They are now being used as the Lord's soldiers in overthrowing errors and evils. They are the winners of the Gospel Age, who were given authority over the nations to rule them with a rod of iron and to break to shivers as the vessels of the potter their gentile powers. (Rev. 2:26,27). They are "the kings that [come] from the sunrising," who are storming the walls of Mystic Babylon. (Rev. 16:12)
(15) And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty.
Out of his mouth … The Lord is showed in glorious majesty. The rod of Messiah's mouth (Isa. 11:4) signifies the judgments which He has already expressed. They have very largely gone unheeded by Christendom, therefore, the present Lord, who now have taken his great power, begins the work of blessing the world by smiting down the oppressors – oppressive errors, and those influenced by the spirit of those errors, who attempt to monopolize the favors of God both temporal and spiritual, and to oppress the people in their own advancement.
A sharp sword … The Word of God – the truth. The sword of the spirit is the Word of God. (Eph. 6:17.) They are the sharp truths and righteous judgment of the Lord.
Smite the nations … The Lord smites to heal, and when his Word cuts to the heart the effect is to destroy the enemy. Unless brought into subjection, nothing will remain but final extinction. In the same sense that the words of the apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost cut his hearers to the heart. (Acts 2:37.) Our Lord begins the work of blessing the world by smiting down the oppressors – oppressive errors, and those influenced by the spirit of those errors.
The civilized world stands today in a false position, professing to be Christ's Kingdom ruled by his law of love, whereas really it is the kingdom of the prince of this world, Satan, under his law of selfishness. The inauguration of the true Kingdom of Christ, therefore, must be followed by the breaking of the present social systems to pieces in a great time of trouble and anarchy, as preparation to the establishment of the Kingdom of righteousness. To those who until now revelled in luxury and pleasure, who enjoyed the favor of the world because they partook of its selfish spirit, a time of reckoning has came. The righteous Judge began to "render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire" (Isa. 66:15,16) with the aim of bringing mankind quickly to a realization of the new Millennial conditions.
He shall rule them … When he is reigning in the glory with his saints, his Church.
Rod of iron … It is biblical symbol of unyielding justice. The rod of such kind will be used for temporary service, for man's true development, that the human race may be brought back to full blessing as kings of earth. The iron rod of Christ's rule must bring down every haughty spirit, and subdue all things unto Him.
He treadeth the winepress … The Lord announced himself as the true Vine and his Father as the true Gardener who planted the true vine, and his followers as the true branches of that vine. The expression "true vine" suggests a false vine, and this thought is elaborated in the symbols of Revelation. There our Lord says of the gathering of the fruitage of the "vine of the earth," and the casting of the same into the wine-press of the wrath of God at the end of this age, when its iniquitous clusters are fully ripe. (Rev. 14:18-20.)
The vine of the earth is the nominal Christian system organized along the lines of earthly wisdom. Its branches are the various sects and parties of Christendom. Its fruitage is cathedrals, temples, tabernacles, chapels, orphanages, hospitals, etc., political power, honor of men, wealth and social standing.
(16) And he hath on his garment and on his thigh a name written, kings of kings, and lord of lords.
King of kings … The times of restitution will be the thousand years of Messiah's spiritual reign as King of kings and Lord of lords, when every knee will bow at the name of Jesus. (Fili. 2:10)
(17) And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in mid heaven, Come [and] be gathered together unto the great supper of God; (18) that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit thereon, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, and small and great.
Angel standing in the sun ... The second presence of Christ has been presented in the Scripture as the rising of the sun of righteousness. (Mal. 4:2; Matt. 24:27.) The rays of this symbolic sunshine fill up the world with the light of every truth and thereby they are however producing the great heat of criticism destructive for every error and iniquity. An angel standing in the sun represents the mission of the truth just before culminant phase of Christ's presence, named in Greek epiphaneia. (2 Thess. 2:8.) This last mission of the Church began in the end of the High Calling (1977) and has lasted three years an a half.
In that time was announced the beginning of the great tribulation (from 1981), which will turn whole Christian civilization into great battlefield and utter anarchistic defeat of all parties, with flocks of symbolic vultures circling over it.
The same anarchistic feast of symbolic birds described Ezekiel prophecy:
"And thou, son of man, thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Speak unto the birds of every sort, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. And ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord Jehovah." (Ezek. 39:17-20)
These two prophetic descriptions, of the Old and New Testament, contain the same lesson: In our days the papacy, Protestantism and secular powers (three unclean spirits) were making use of propaganda of "room and safety," in a result of which the kings of the earth have been gathered together to the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:13,14,16). This signifies that conservative, deceitful, unjust and egoistic politics of nations brought the world to a condition of anarchistic turmoil. This false propaganda pointed out at Israel as the most inflammable point of the world requiring to be pacified. That is why the Scripture declares: "And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." (Zech. 12:9). According to the prophet, the final conflict of the battle of the great day, Armageddon, will be in the land promised to Abraham and his descendants. All the present-day efforts of the world aimed at solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are foredoomed to failure. It is "a burdensome stone for all the peoples; all that burden themselves with it shall be sore wounded." (Zach. 12:3)
Papacy (beast) and the Federation of Churches (false prophet) play the active role in the propaganda of the establishment of the peace in the Middle East at the cost of Israel. In this way they are assembling "all the nations of the earth against it [Jerusalem]" and become the main perpetrators of the last "Jacob's trouble." (Jer. 30:7)
According to the Biblical chronology, the anarchy began in 1981, when communism was defeated, however anarchic climax is being looked for in 2015. The events anticipated in that time will ultimately upset the balance of the world and abruptly will break out farther activity of the ecclesiastic and secular systems.
All the birds that fly in mid heaven … Rightful King of the world has an immense army of "irregulars" in every kind of a uniform (except the white of the "regulars"), Communists, Infidels, Socialists, Anarchists, Nihilists etc.; all these fight in the battle of the great day, though ignorant of Him whose kingdom they help to establish. These are the vultures, who battle for plunder and get their fill in the overturning of earth's kingdoms; because the time is come for the Messiah to take the dominion of earth and to overthrow the oppressors and corrupters of the earth, preparatory to the establishment of everlasting peace upon the only firm foundation of righteousness and truth.
Eat the flesh … In such symbolic way the Bible presents anarchistic activity of near future, destruction of all oppressive governments and organizations existing hitherto, casting off from authority, confiscation of the immense wealth and property, tearing and pillaging everything and everywhere, etc.
(19) And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat upon the horse, and against his army.
The beast … papacy
Kings of the earth … The rulers, financiers, rich men and all the worldly great men. All the classes of these mighty and rich men multiply their efforts in heaping together still greater treasures than they now possess and are increasing more and more a chasm between them and the hopelessly poor people. They are operating their present fraudulent financial system, even though they hears, unmoved by either justice or pity, louder and yet louder the cries of the oppressed victims of their greed in every nation. Surely, the Divine judgment against this class is but a just retribution.
Their armies … In a result of the great deception, by which the "Mother of harlots" has made all nations drunk (Rev. 17:2), the people are thinking generally that the kingdoms of the world were transferred from Satan to Christ and became "Christian nations." Thus, hence they think they should uphold the Kingdom of Christ, they feel themselves bound to champion the present falling kingdoms of so-called Christendom. Thus their sympathies are often forced to the side of oppression, rather than to the side of right and freedom – to the side of the kingdoms of this world, and the prince of this world, rather than to the side of the coming true Kingdom of Christ.
“But one general class could possibly be opposed to this rule of righteousness. This class embraces all who love not the golden rule of love, and who, instead of loving others as themselves, are willing to see others crushed, oppressed and denied their rights and the reasonable rewards and comforts of toil in order that they may luxuriate extravagantly, 'wantonly' (James 5:1-9), in more than heart could wish or reason ask. These hold to the present arrangement of society with a death clutch, and seem instinctively to dread the promised kingdom of Messiah. And, with these, the wish is father to the thought, that it will never come. As David said, 'Their inward thought is, that their houses [families] are to be forever, their dwelling-places from generation to generation; they call them by their own names in [various] countries....This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings.' (Psa. 49:11,13)" (C20)
Gathered together … In opposition to the Kingdom of God. Clearly showing that in this struggle the papal beast will be found on the side of, and banded with, the "kings of the earth" and their armies. While the people will be struggling for freedom and their God given rights, the nominal churches will unite with the governments which they appointed, to help keep the people in thraldom.
Who are with the Lord in this great work of smiting down error and oppression? The kings of earth? No. Financiers and capitalists? No; their interests are on the other side the question also. And where will the professed ministers of Christ stand who were sent to declare the good tidings of the deliverance which the King of kings is now bringing about? Where will the dignitaries and the influence of the Nominal Church be found? With the Lord? No; they have become so identified with the world that their interests will be bound up together, and their influence will be given on the side of error and oppression, on the side of kings and capitalists from whom they receive their support and upon whom they have become dependent.
To make war … There is a general division of the world into two contending parties, a surging up more and more conflict between priests and people, rulers and ruled, capital and labor.
Against the Lord and his army … Whatever the nature of this "war," it is certainly opposition by the kings of the earth towards Christ.
The Little Flock, 144 000 members of the Church, are in a special sense the heavenly own army of our Lord.
There is also an earthly army of Christ, knowing not God, which however unconsciously will execute his purposes. Empire of Rome, in the past, similarly carried out the will of God, when it overthrew Jerusalem. God is raising up his great army, the masses of the world, to overturn all forms of evil and oppression. It is the army of the poor and oppressed of every nation, being inspired by justice and right, to be used to some extent as agents to their own liberation from the thraldom of evil and oppression.
(20) And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought the signs in his sight, wherewith he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast and them that worshipped his image: they two were cast alive into the lake of fire that burneth with brimstone:
The beast … the false prophet … The symbols of two great false systems which during the Gospel age have deceived and led astray have long oppressed and misled nominal Christendom. The beast represents papacy, whereas the false prophet represents the various sects of Protestantism. These systems are now casting into a great consuming trouble ending this Gospel Age. The torment of those systems will be lasting (gr. aionoin). It means that the fire of trouble which shall torment and ultimately destroy them will continue as long as they last, until they are utterly consumed. So at the end of the Millennial age the system of error which will then manifest and lead to destruction the "goats" will also be consumed. (Rev. 20:10,15; Matt. 25:41.) That deceiving system, (not specified as to kind, but merely called Satan, after its instigator), will be cast into the same sort of trouble and destruction in the end of the Millennial age, as the Beast and False Prophet systems are being cast into now.
They were cast alive … Only the Beast and false prophet are cast into the lake of fire, showing that the whole passage is highly figurative. This judgment against these systems of error follows speedily upon the introduction of this Millennial judgment reign.
Into lake of fire … with brimstone … This symbol is clearly defined as meaning the second death (Rev. 20:14). The element brimstone is included to intensify the symbol of utter destruction. Burning brimstone is one of the most lethal deadly elements, being destructive to all form of life. It is a figure of a great consuming trouble in the close of this Gospel Age. Thus the second destruction (or death) begins quite early in the new Judgment – with the systems of error. But it does not reach men as individuals until they have first had full trial with fullest opportunity to choose life and live forever. Chapters 20:12,13 and 21:3-7 indicate the blessed favorable trial in which all both dead and living (except the Church who are with Christ Jesus, kings, priests, joint-heirs, and judges) will be brought to a full knowledge of the truth, relieved from sorrow and pain, and freed from every blinding error and prejudice, and tried "according to their works."
(21) and the rest were killed with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, [even the sword] which came forth out of his mouth: and all the birds were filled with their flesh.
Killed with the sword …The Word of God – the truth.
Birds were filled with their flesh ... Such symbolic language of Revelation give some idea of the fury of the coming storm, when the wrath of all the angry nations will burst the bands of law and order and cause a reign of universal anarchy. For long time intoxicated with Babylon's wine of false doctrines in church and state, and long bound by priestcraft and superstitions, they will get their feelings off their chests in uncontrolled outbursts of maddened rage. In that dread course nothing will be more manifest than the signs of the just retribution which will reveal to all men the fact that the just Judge of all the earth is laying "judgment to the line and righteousness to the plummet." (Isa. 28:17)
Added by: Andrzej