Robert Roberts, 1921

13 Lectures On The Apocalypse

Thirteen Lectures on The Things Revealed in The Last Book of the New Testament Commonly Known as Revelation, but more appropriately distinguished as The Apocalypse showing their bearing on the events of those mightier events of the near future to which they have all been leading.


FIRST LECTURE.-- Revelation Chapter 1

THE general neglect of the Apocalypse--a good reason why it is not understood--the recent exposition by Dr. Thomas--origin of the Apocalypse--to whom sent--its symbolic style--the use of sign and symbol in previous divine communications the advantage of symbolism--the futurist theory of the Apocalypse--its baselessness--John in the Isle of Patmos--“in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day”--not Sunday or Saturday--the first object seen--the Son of Man in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks--the order to send the Apocalypse to the seven Asiatic ecclesias -the message to each--the structural beauty of each brief and hurried analysis--the angels of the ecclesias.

SECOND LECTURE.-- Revelation Chapters 2 and 3

THE messages to the seven ecclesias--the suggestive position they occupy as the preface to the Apocalypse --the obscure and not the great honoured by Christ's communication in the first century the poor called and not the rich--the rule of action still the same--effect of the vision upon John--his fear and the comfort--the messages considered in detail to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, to Laodicea--value of the messages--the view that they were prophetic as well as preceptive--the Laodicean state of contemporary Christendom.

THIRD LECTURE.-- Revelation Chapters 4, 5 and 6 to verse 6

A NEW division: ‘Things which must be hereafter’--John ‘in Spirit’ -gorgeous scene- the throne in heaven the four living creatures and four and twenty elders-the kingdom in symbol--origin of the symbols in the heraldry of the Israelitish nation--the details--the rainbow--the sea of glass--the crowned or stephaned elders--the beasts full of eyes--Israel enlightened and glorified--an apparent difficulty--the Kingdom and the seals contemporary -impossible explanations--the right explanation--the kingdom past and future, and germinally contemporary with the times of the Gentiles --the seals --their number--what the opening of them means--worthiness on the part of the Lamb-opener--the seven horns and seven eyes--die anthem of praise when the lamb took the Seven-sealed Scroll--the FIRST SEAL--the white horse and its arrowless rider with the bow--the SECOND SEAL--the red horse and his dagger-armed rider--the THIRD SEAL--the black horse with the balance-holder--a fiscal proclamation.

FOURTH LECTURE.-- Revelation Chapter 6 from verse 7; and Chapter 8 to verse 6

THE confusion and bloodshed of history--the beauty of the Apocalypse in constructing a distinct programme out of chaotic materials--a literal element in the symbolism--a help to its elucidation--the horse of the seals--its colour under each--the FOURTH SEAL--the pale horse--its rider Death--fulfilment in the awful experiences of the Roman world, and particularly Italy under Maximin and his successors--half the human species destroyed with the sword, famine, and pestilence--The FIFTH SEAL--the persecutions under Diocletian and Galerius, who attempted to extinguish Christianity--peculiarities of the symbolism as appearing to favour popular views of the death state--the SIXTH SEAL.

FIFTH LECTURE.-- Revelation Chapter 8 from verse 7 to end of chapter

THE SEVENTH SEAL, containing the seven trumpets--ribald mirth at Apocalyptic technicalities--the jest of ignorance--the Apocalypse a great deep--an enigma of exquisite construction--the breaking of the seals--change of figure under the seventh seal--introduction of trumpets--the significance of trumpet-blowing as a figure--the reason of introducing the trumpets--a change in the situation--a higher national responsibility of Rome--more direct judgments for her sins--the preparation for the sounding of the trumpets--development of the power of the barbarians in preparation for the trumpet judgments--sounding of the FIRST TRUMPET--the area of its operation --the third of the earth--the ravages of the Goths--defeat of the Roman armies by Alaric--subsequent devastation of the empire and the sack of Rome itself--the SECOND TRUMPET--a burning mountain in the sea--the Vandals under Genseric--their ravages on the ocean and the maritime coasts of the empire--the THIRD TRUMPET--the star ‘wormwood’--the locality of its fall and the embittering of the waters--the verification in the career of Attila, the king of the Huns--disruption of the Roman Empire--providential purpose served by this--the FOURTH TRUMPET--eclipse of the Roman sun, moon, and stars in a third of the system--extinction of the Roman Empire in the west--the woe trumpets.

SIXTH LECTURE.-- Revelation Chapters 9 and 10

THE woe trumpets--the vastness of the changes involved--the FIFTH TRUMPET, or first woe--the opening of the abyss--the issue of the locust cloud--its relation to the appearance of Mahomet--his prophetic pretensions and military measures--overrunning of European countries by his Saracenic hordes--their special animosity towards the Catholic idolaters--the scorpions they used in war--their mission to torment but not to kill for five months twice told--the chronology of their mission--Dr. Thomas's historical paraphrase of the fifth trumpet--the SIXTH TRUMPET, or second woe--the four angels--their Euphratean boundary--the Turkish inroads in four great movements--the length of time appointed--an hour, a day, a month, and a year, or 391 years--the secondary application of that period--the enormous time occupied by the fifth and sixth as compared with the preceding trumpets--the description of the horsemen--their enormous number--the fire, smoke, and brimstone surrounding them--the introduction of gunpowder by the Turks--the desolations of the East under Turkish rule--the termination of these by the advent of the mighty rainbowed angel of chapter 10:1--The SEVENTH TRUMPET, or third woe, not so protracted as the other two--the seven thunders--why John was not allowed to record them--the open book and the eating thereof--the interesting work to be done by the saints at the coming of Christ.

SEVENTH LECTURE.-- Revelation Chapter 11

WESTWARD history of the times of the fifth and sixth trumpets--CHAPTER 11 transfers the reader to the west--the measuring of the temple and the altar--the significance of the measurement--the outer court that was not to be measured--meaning of the temple--Christendom in its relation to the apostolic work--the treading of the Holy City for forty-two months--the two witnesses and their prophesying--the two class-antagonists of the Papacy in the course of European history--their dead bodies--the exposure of the corpses for three-and-a-half days--the historic fulfilment--vents in France and throughout the Roman Catholic jurisdiction generally--why France so prominent in the matter--the street of the city--extent of the city ‘where our Lord was crucified’--the joy among the nations at the death of the witnesses--their resurrection and ascent to power in A.D. 1790 the French Revolution--the Reign of Terror--earthquake and fall of the tenth of the city--the third woe cometh quickly--its nature--the coming of Christ--resurrection and overthrow of universal human society--the setting-up of the kingdom of God.

EIGHTH LECTURE.-- Revelation Chapters 12 and 13

CHAPTER 2, compelling another backward journey in point of time--the explanation of this zig-zag construction of the Apocalypse--a second view of the events of the sixth seal to show their bearing on the friends of Christ--the woman clothed with the sun; her relation to the Bride, the Lamb's wife--‘the moon under her feet’--her crown of twelve stars--her child-bearing--the dragon waiting to devour her son--Constantine and the Paganism of the Roman Empire--the crowns on the heads of the dragon and not on the horns--the ascension of the woman's son to God--the inapplicability of the prophecy to Christ--the flight of the woman into the wilderness--the war in heaven--the conflict between the forces of Christianity and Paganism--the overthrow and expulsion of the Pagan Dragon--the rejoicings in the Christian camp--the woman in her hiding place--the serpent persecuting her--the beast of the sea--the dragon the source of its authority--the slain sixth head and its survival from the sword wound--the blasphemous mouth of the beast--the forty-two months of its continuance--the two-horned beast of the earth--the Holy Romano-Germanic Empire--the image of the beast made to live--the mark of the beast and the number of his name--a solemn lesson.

NINTH LECTURE.-- Revelation Chapter 14

DAYBREAK after night--the Lamb on Mount Zion--the 144,000 who are with him--who they are--their virginity--the meaning--their song that no man could know--the women, with whom the 144,000 are not defiled--following the Lamb--the everlasting gospel preached in the hour of judgment--the summons to the world--the result--catastrophe to Rome--warning proclamation to the nations--the threatened torment to the worshippers of the image--the smoke of their torment--not the orthodox hell--a terrible epoch in the history of Europe--the blessedness at that time of the dead dying in the Lord--the white cloud, and the sickle-armed Son of Man sitting thereon--a hieroglyph of coming retribution--the angel coming out of the temple, and the angel coming out of the altar--stages in the work of judgment--the 1,600 furlongs of blood to the horse's bridles--a horrid picture--the glorious sequel.

TENTH LECTURE.-- Revelation Chapters 15 and 16

BACK again for a hundred years--telescopic construction of the Apocalypse--the last slide the smallest and intensest--the pouring out of the vials--the saints in glory apparently before the vials begin--a difficulty explained--the song of Moses and of the Lamb--the opening picture taken to pieces--the white linen and the golden girdles of the vial-angels--why the vials were given to them by one of the beasts--the FIRST VIAL--the Papal populations afflicted--terrible events in France--the judgment on the Papacy gradual, as on Israel, yet terminating in catastrophe, as with Jerusalem--the end arrived--all Europe affected--the SECOND VIAL--unprecedented maritime calamities--British exploits at sea--the THIRD VIAL--the Napoleonic wars in Italy--the FOURTH VIAL--Scorching action of the Austrian sun: desolating wars--the FIFTH VIAL--darkening of the Papal kingdom: the Napoleonic suppression thereof for a season--the Pope a prisoner and Rome incorporate with France--the SIXTH VIAL--the drying of the Euphrates --exhaustion of the Turkish empire--the three frogs--French diplomacy effective in causing the three wars (dragon, beast, and false prophet), and in rousing the world to military preparation for Armageddon--the SEVENTH VIAL--the overthrow of human power--judgment on the world, and the setting-up of the kingdom of God.

ELEVENTH LECTURE.-- Revelation Chapters 17 and 18

MUCH of Rome in the Apocalypse--no marvel in view of history--the objection of some people that Babylon is not Rome--the proof that Babylon of the Apocalypse is Rome--the scarlet coloured beast and its lady rider--the symbol of Roman Europe in its latter-day constitution--an enigma: the beast that was, and is not, and yet is the other enigma: ‘he is the eighth and is of the seven’--the standing in God's eyes of all who admire the Roman system--the ten horns of the time of the end--their war against the Lamb--the nature and objects of the struggle from a divine point of view--the companions of Christ in the conflict--the called, chosen, and faithful -the end of the conflict--the hating of the harlot by the horns preliminary to the end--the anti-Papal policy of the powers--the perdition awaiting Rome at the Lord's coming--the summons to the Lord's people to come out of her--Rome's complacency to the last--her destined submergence in volcanic fires--the first, and stunning blow, in the conflict between Christ and the nations after the destruction of Gog on the mountains of Israel--the evidence that Rome topographical, and not Rome as a system, is meant in Rev. 18--the terrible category of her crimes--the song of triumph at her overthrow.

TWELFTH LECTURE.-- Revelation Chapters 19 and 20 to verse 6

THE Hallelujah chorus--its real occasion and meaning--the marriage of the Lamb--the destruction of Rome--the reasons for joy involved in these events --the avengement of the slaughtered saints, of which they are the resurrected and rejoicing spectators--the national celebrations in the Holy Land under the leadership of Christ--the next stage--preparing to subjugate the whole world--summons to surrender--its rejection--the ‘war of the great day of God Almighty’--the programme of events in eleven items--coming sacrifice--destruction of the great men of the earth--Nihilism eclipsed--overthrow of the confederated power of Europe--capture of the leaders--the beast and the false prophet--the lake of fire--the host of resurrection (rejected) fugitives in their territories--the binding of the dragon--shutting him up in the abyss--the reign of the saints for a thousand years--who they are that reign--not ‘martyrs’ only--the millennium not 360,000 years--the first resurrection--the rest of the dead--living and reigning with Christ --orthodox imagination--the gloriousness of the kingdom.

THIRTEENTH LECTURE.-- Revelation 20, verse 7 to End of the Book.

PROPHETIC character of Apocalypse--its fulfilment in European history--the closing scenes--the kingdom of the thousand years--the revolt of nations at the close--the cause that leads to it symbolically expressed as the loosing of Satan--deceiving the nations--the catastrophe that ends the revolt--the devil and the. lake of fire--the resurrection at the end of the millennium--death during the thousand years--the post-millennial judgment--abolition of death--an immortal population for the earth--new heavens and new earth --the giving up of the kingdom to God--history of God's work on earth--the consummation--the world peopled by one race, all immortal-- ‘all things new’ --New Jerusalem--gorgeous picture--a contrast to the hideous symbols of the present dispensation--not a literal city--a symbol of the saints in their corporate constitution--the twelve gates and twelve angels--the wall of the city with twelve foundations--the cube form and furlong measurement of the city--the measurement of the wall, and of the man, and of the angel--the garnishing of the twelve foundations with all manner of precious stones--no temple in the city, and no need of the sun--why called New Jerusalem--the city at the beginning and end of the thousand years--Queen of the endless ages--the river of life and trees on the bank--the healing of the nations--no more curse.