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5. That ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God for which ye also suffer. I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and the word of God and they lived and reigned with Christ. xx. 4. 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. xxii. 14.
6. Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you.— A manifest token of the righteous judgment of God. In her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain on the earth.- True and righteous are his judgments.He hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. xviii. 24 ; xix. 2.
7, 8. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel. Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward--to the saints-and shouldest destroy them that destroy the earth, &c.
The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven. Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, &c.,
With his mighty angels. And the armies which were in heaven followed him. xix. 14, &c.
In flaming fire. His eyes as a flame of fire. xix. 12, &c.
Taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him : the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. John xii. 48. Those mine enemies who would not that I should reign over them, bring hither and slay them before me. Luke xix. 27.
9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.—Thou hast taken to thee thy great power and hast reigned. Rev. xi. 17. Without are dogs, &c.
10. With everlasting destruction—when He shall come to be glorified in his saints.—Her smoke rose up for ever and ever-Amen. Alleluia.-Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him : for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. xix. 4-7.
And to be admired in all them that believe in that day. Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power—unto the Lamb for ever and ever. v. 13. King of kings, and Lord of lords. xiv 16. The throne-of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: and they shall see his face. xxii. 3, 4.
Because our testimony among you was believed.—Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein. i. 3. Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. xix. 9. I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. Then said he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them that keep the sayings of this book. xxii. 8, 9.
11. Wherefore also we pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power : The time—that thou shouldest give reward to the saints. xi. 18. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. xx. 4. 12. That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may
be glorified in you.—They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony: and they loved not their lives unto the death. xii. 11.
And ye in him.—They stood before the throne, and be fore the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. I will show thee the bride the Lamb's wife, &c.
According to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. And cried with a loud voice, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
The judgment described in this epistle, and also repeatedly in the Apocalypse, involves the perdition of the wicked, and the salvation of the righteous. In the former it is written, that they who know not God and obey not the gospel, shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, when He shall come to be glorified in his saints; in the latter, when the redeemed are with the Lord in glory, the wicked are without. From the beginning the followers of Jesus had in the very persecutions and tribulations which in their patience and faith they endured, a manifest token of the righteous judgments of God—and at the end of them all and the beginning of an eternity of glory they rest, and rejoice over these righteous judgments, when the Lord hath avenged the blood of his saints. When the prophetic history, as well as fate of her in whom was found the blood of the prophets, and saints, and of all that were slain on the earth, is compared in all its combined parts, other coincidences will be seen to be as close, and the testimonies of apostles and prophets to be allied, in showing how the Lord shall close the controversy which He has with all his enemies.
But from this single short epistle, the connection between these things, as to the time of the accomplishment of them all, is as plain as words can make it, as this epistle harmonizes with the sounding of the seventh trumpet-when the quick and the dead shall hear the voice of the Lord, and at last see the judgments, of which, from the first, believers had a manifest token, when they shall be made manifest to the sense of sight, as then they were and are to the eye
of faith. The Apostle Paul testifies of the kingdom, for which true Christians suffered as on the sounding of the seventh trumpet great voices in heaven proclaim that it is come. He conjoins in a single sentence, and in the same passage reiterates the connection between the same things, the everlasting destruction of the persecutors and of the wicked, and the coming of the Lord to give rest to his saints and to be glorified in them ;-even as, on the sounding of the same trumpet, the heavenly testimony bears that the wrath of the Lord is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that the Lord should give reward to the saints, and destroy the destroyers of the earth. Thus joined together in both these testimonies, as in many others, in which the time of their joint occurrence is specified—these things were not seen in separate visions in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and recorded in it to be shown to his servants, that they might be subjected to any private interpretation which would refute the testimony so explicitly given by Paul and other apostles, by John himself in this very book, by prophets, and even by the Lord Jesus Christ, as all their concurring testimonies are read in Scripture; but in order assuredly that each thing might be more fully shown to those who give heed to the sayings of this book, as to all scriptures beside. With these visions accordingly there are in this single testimony of the apostle many coincidences, and with the record of the things which John saw, as that trumpet also proclaimed that the same time was common to them all.
Such, in this second epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians, is the testimony, as it is written, of Paul the apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Writing as he does in this epistle so expressly of the coming of the Lord, he testifies of the faith and patience of the saints, their persecutions and tribulations, which were a manifest token of the righteous judgments of God ; – the Lord's recompensing tribulation to those who trouble them ;-the time when they that are troubled thus would rest, even when the Lord shall be revealed from heaven ;-the vengeance which He then will take on them that obey not the gospel ;—the punishment of the wicked with everlasting destruction when He shall come to be glorified with his saints and be admired in all them that believe in that day—the day, as it speaks for itself, of the first resurrection ; —the apostolic testimony that was believed among the faithful, suffering saints ; his prayer always that God would count them worthy of this calling, as by their ever growing faith and love, their patience and faith in all their tribulations, they would be counted worthy of the kingdom of God for which they suffered—and that he would fulfill in them all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power, that the name of the Lord might be glorified in them and they in him, according to the grace of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, continuously, as written in this epistle, the apostle besought the Thessalonian converts to let no man deceive them, by any means, as that the day of Christ was then at hand. The apostasy had first to arise. A then existing potentate had to be taken out of the way; and not till then would the man of sin be revealed—that wicked, the son of perdition, whom the Lord shall destroy by the brightness of his coming. And believers in Jesus, sanctified by the Spirit and belief of the truth, shall obtain the glory of their Lord Jesus Christ.
In all these things, as scripture is compared with scripture, this epistle with the Apocalypse, without adding oi diminishing one jot or tittle, things that shall come to pass
at the coming of the Lord, are seen, as to each, to be one and the same.-—The destruction of the persecutors of the saints, the consuming of the son of perdition, the everlasting destruction of the wicked, the rest of the people of the Lord, the obtaining of the glory and of the kingdom for whose sake, as for His, believers suffered, are all indissolubly associated with the coming of the Lord.
That coming, though not then at hand, was ever in the view of Christians from the beginning. In his first epistle to the same church the apostle writes, “ Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his son from heaven, &c. “ Ye know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you (as a father doth his children), that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”“What is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing ? are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming :"> The Lord make you to increase and abound in love-to the end He may stablish your hearts unblamable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.' believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God BRING WITH HIM.
:-For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout-and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air : and so shall we be ever with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. —And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” They lived and reigned with Christ.—This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection : on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
The longest and most minute description given in Scripture of the resurrection of the just, is that which is contained in the fifteenth chapter of the first epistle to the church at. Corinth. When Paul publicly at Athens reasoned against
11 Thess. i. 9, 10. 4 iv. 14-18.
3 iii. 12, 13.
2 ji. 11, 12, 19.