THE MORNING WATCH
Quarterly Publication of the Catholic Apostolic Church (Irvingites)
September 1830 Issue

COMMENTARY ON THE EPISTLES TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES
IN THE APOCALYPSE

PART II. - Interpretation
Author: "Fidus" Page 510,513,514

"Having established, on the grounds which rest neither on the success of any particular interpretation nor on the existence of any interpretation at all, that the seven epistles of the Apocalypse (excepting the promise concerning the age to come, variously introduced into each, and sent to each angel, yet addressed to the churches) do cover the whole Gentile dispensation, and no more we assuredly believe that their fulfillment must somewhere be found within the history, past, present, and to come, of this dispensation. Let us now reverently, yet confidently, prepare to find it; for God will undoubtedly reveal it to them who truly expect and faithfully seek its revelation.

"The most useful, although not perhaps the most accurate, course will be to state at the outset those conclusions which our subsequent investigations will be seen to warrant, regarding the allocation of the seven epistles. They are as follow:
1. The Ephesian church carries us down to the commencement of the great persecution by Nero, in A.D. 64.
2. That of Smyrna represents the church purified by trial at the hands of Rome, till the accession of Constantine, in 324.
3. The church at Pergamos sets forth the interval between the elevation of Constantine and the rise of the little horn, at the commencement of the 1260 years.
4. The church at Thyatira expresses the testimony of the church against the Papacy during the 1260 years.
5. That of Sardis indicates the state of the church from the end of the 1260 years, until the preparation for the coming of the Lord.
6. The Philadelphian church expresses the period of that preparation, until the Lord come to the air, and be met by his saints changed and risen.
7. The Laodicean church (the only one yet entirely future) is our sad monitor concerning the history of the church on earth during that period of great tribulation which shall intervene between the coming of the Lord to the air and the establishment of his throne and rest in Zion.
..." [p. 510]

"Philadelphia expresses brotherly love, whether between those who had or between those who had not been previously brethren. Accordingly, it represents that era, so often spoken of throughout the epistles, when they that look for the Lord shall, in the midst of the strife and selfishness of the last days, be knit together, by their common faith and hope, in the bonds of his mystical body, in the unity of the Holy Ghost; ... And what is very remarkable, [Philadelphia] now bears the name Allah Shehr, The City of God. Now its antitype is the church in that period which succeeds the great earthquake of the French Revolution (Rev. xi. 13); which is characterized by the earnest yet patient expectation of the Lord; which receives the answer of its faith in being caught up to meet him; which is thus kept from the hour of temptation; and which so becomes, not Laodecea chastised in love, but the victorious ministerer of great tribulation (Rev. ii.24,26; iii.10; Luke xxi.36; Heb. xi.5). [p. 513,514].

Original issues of The Morning Watch can be found in British libraries, and Colgate-Rochester Divinity School, Fuller Theological Seminary, Oral Roberts University, Princeton Theological Seminary, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

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