Sermon 2473. An Awful Contrast
A SERMON INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S-DAY, JULY 12, 1896.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, JULY 11, 1886.
"Then they spat in His face." Matthew 26:67.
"And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the Hea ven fled away." Revelation 20:11.
GUIDED by our text in Matthew's Gospel, let us first go in thought to the palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest, and there letus, in deepest sorrow, realize the meaning of these terrible words-"Then they spat in His face." There is more of deep andawful thunder in them than in the bolt that bursts overhead. There is more of vivid terror in them than in the sharpest lightningflash-"Then they spat in His face."
Observe that these men, the priests, scribes, elders and their servitors did this shameful deed after they had heard our Lordsay, "Hereafter shall you see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven." It wasin contempt of this claim, in derision of this honor which He foretold for Himself that, "then they spat in His face," asif they could bear it no longer, that He, who stood to be judged of them, should claim to be their Judge-that He whom theyhad brought at dead of night from the Garden of Gethsemane as their captive, should talk of coming in the clouds of Heaven-"Thenthey spat in His face."
Nor may I fail to add that they thus assaulted our Lord after the High Priest had torn his clothes. My Brothers and Sisters,do not forget that the High Priest was supposed to be the representative of everything that was good and venerable among theJews! The High Priest was the earthly head of their religion. He it was who, alone of mortal men, might enter within the mysteriousveil-yet it was he who condemned the Lord of Glory as he tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy; what furtherneed have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard His blasphemy." It makes me tremble as I think of how eminent we maybe in the service of God and yet how awfully we may be enemies of the Christ of God! Let none of us think that though we clamberup to the highest places in the Church we are, therefore, saved. We may be High Priests and wear the Urim and the Thummim.We may put on the breastplate with all its wondrous mystic stones and bind around us the curious girdle of the ephod, andyet, for all that, we may be ringleaders in expressing contempt of God and of His Christ!
It was when Caiaphas, the High Priest, had pronounced the word of condemnation against Christ that, "then they spat in Hisface." God grant that we may never take upon ourselves any office in the Church of God and then, girt about with the authorityand influence which such an office might lend to us, be the first to pour derision and contempt upon the Christ of God! YetI do not hesitate to say that when men look to the earthly priesthood instead of looking to Christ, the Great High Priest.When men are taught to trust in the "mass" instead of trusting in Christ's one Sacrifice for sin upon the Cross, it is thenthat the very priests lead the way in spitting in His face! Antichrist never more surely dwells anywhere than in the placewhere Christ is thus dishonored-and none do Him such dire disgrace as those who ought to bow at His feet and lift Him highamong the sons of men-yet who reject Him and refuse His rightful claims.
"Then they spat in His face," after He had proclaimed His Godhead as King and Judge of all, and after the man who ought tohave been His principal earthly servant had turned arch-traitor and led the way in contempt of Him by accusing Him of blaspheming!"Then they spat in His face."
There are two or three thoughts that come to my mind when I think that these wicked men actually spat in Christ's face-inthat face which is the light of Heaven, the joy of angels, the bliss of saints and the very brightness of the Father's Glory!This spitting shows us, first, how far sin will go. If we need proof of the depravity of the heart of man, I will not pointyou to the stews of Sodom and Gomorrah, nor will I take you to the places where blood is shed in streams by wretches likeHerod and men of that sort. No, the clearest proof that man is utterly fallen and that the natural heart is enmity againstGod is seen in the fact that they spat in Christ's face, did falsely accuse Him, condemn Him, lead Him out as a malefactorand hang Him up as a felon that He might die upon the Cross! Why, what evil had He done? What was there in His whole lifethat should give them occasion to spit in His face? Even at that moment, did His face flash with indignation against them?Did He look with contempt upon them? Not He, for He was all gentleness and tenderness even towards these, His enemies, andtheir hearts must have been hard and brutal, indeed, that, "then they spat in His face."
He had healed their sick. He had fed their hungry. He had been among them a very fountain of blessing up and down Judea andSamaria, and yet, "then they spat in His face." I say again, relate not to me the crimes of ancient nations, nor the horribleevils committed by uncivilized men, nor the more elaborate iniquities of our great cities! Tell me not of the abominationsof Greece or Rome-this, this, in the sight of the angels of God and in the eyes of the God of the angels, is the masterpieceof all iniquity-"Then they spat in His face." To enter into the King's own palace and draw near to His only-begotten Son-andto spit in His face-this is the crime of crimes which reveals the infamous wickedness of men! Humanity stands condemned ofthe blackest iniquity now that it has gone as far as to spit in Christ's face!
My meditation also turns towards the Well-Beloved into whose face they spat. And my thought concerning Him is this-how deepwas the humiliation He had to endure! When He was made sin for us, though He, Himself, knew no sin, when our Lord Jesus Christtook upon Himself the iniquities of His people and was burdened with the tremendous weight of their guilt-it became incumbentupon the justice of God to treat Him as if He were actually a sinner. He was no sinner and He could not be one-He was perfectMan and perfect God-yet He stood in the place of sinners and the Lord caused to meet upon Him the iniquity of all His people!Therefore, in the time of humiliation He must not be treated as the Son of God, neither must He be held in honor as a righteousMan! He must first be given up to shame and to contempt-and then to suffering and to death and, consequently, He was not sparedthis last and most brutal of in-sults-"Then they spat in His face." O my Lord, to what terrible degradation are You brought!Into what depths are You dragged through my sin and the sin of all the multitudes whose iniquities were made to meet uponYou! O my Brothers, let us hate sin! O my Sisters, let us loathe sin, not only because it pierced those blessed hands andfeet of our dear Redeemer, but because it dared even to spit in His face! No one can ever know all the shame the Lord of Glorysuffered when they spat in His face.
These words glide over my tongue all too smoothly-perhaps I do not feel them as they ought to be felt-though I would do soif I could. But could I feel as I ought to feel in sympathy with the terrible shame of Christ and then could I interpret thosefeelings by any language known to mortal man, surely you would bow your heads and blush! And you would feel rising withinyour spirits a burning indignation against the sin that dared to put the Christ of God to such shame as this! I want to kissHis feet when I think that they spat in His face.
Then, once more, my thoughts run to Him, again, in this way-I think of the tender Omnipotence of His love. How could He bearthis spitting when, with one glance of His eyes, had He been but angry, the flame might have slain them and withered themall up? Yet He stood still even when they spit in His face! And they were not the only ones who thus insulted Him, for, afterwards,when He was taken by the soldiers into Pilate's hall, they also spat upon Him in cruel contempt and scorn-
"See how the patient Jesus stands,
Insulted in His lowest case!
Sinners ha ve bound the Almighty hands,
And spit in their Creator's face." How could He bear it? Friends, He could not have borne it if He had not been Omnipotent.That very Omnipotence which would have enabled Him to destroy them was Omnipotence of love, as well as Omnipotence of force.It was this that made Him-if I may so say-"restrain Himself," for there is no Omnipotence like that which restrains Omnipotence.Yet so it was that He could endure this spitting from men! Can you think of this marvelous condescension without feeling yourhearts all on fire with love for Him, so that you long to do some special act of homage to Him by which you may show thatyou would gladly pay Him for this shame if you could? I will not say more about that point, for the shameful fact stands indeliblyrecorded in the Scripture-"Then they spat in His face"-but I want to bring the Truth of God home, Brothers and Sisters, andshow you how we may have done to Christ what these wicked men did. "Oh," says one, "I was not there! I did not spit in Hisface." Listen! Perhaps you have spat in His face. Perhaps even you have spat in His face. You remember that touching hymnthat we sometimes sing-
"My Jesus! Say what wretch has dared Your sacred hands to bind? And who has dared to buffet so Your face so meek and kind?My Jesus! Whose the hands that wove That cruel thorny crown? Who made that hard and hea vy Cross That weighs Your shouldersdown? My Jesus! Who with spittle vile Profaned Your sacred brow? Or whose unpitying scourge has made Your precious blood toflow? 'Tis I have thus ungrateful been, Yet, Jesus, pity take! Oh, spare and pardon me, my Lord, For Your sweet mercy's sake!"There are still some who spit in Christ's face by denying His Godhead. They say, "He is a mere man-a good man, it is true,but only a man." How they dare say that, I cannot make out, for he would be no good man who claimed to be God if he were notGod! Jesus of Nazareth was the basest of impostors who ever lived if He permitted His disciples to worship Him and if He leftbehind Him a life which compels us to worship Him! If He were not really and truly God, then of all those who declare thatHe is not God-and there is a very great company of them even among the nominally religious people of the present day, we mustsorrowfully, but truthfully say, "Then they spat in His face."
They also do the same who rail at His Gospel. There are many, in these days, who seem as if they cannot be happy unless theyare tearing the Gospel to pieces. Especially is that Divine mystery of the Substitutionary Sacrifice of Christ the mark forthe arrows of these wise men, I mean those who are wise according to the wisdom of this world. We delight to know that ourLord Jesus Christ suffered in the place of His people-
"He bore that we might never bear His Father's righteous ire."
Yet I have read some horrible things which have been written against that blessed doctrine and, as I read them, I could onlysay to myself, "Then they spat in His face." If there is anything that is beyond all else, the Glory of Christ, it is Hisatoning Sacrifice! And if ever you thrust your finger into the very apple of His eye and touch His honor in the most tenderpossible point, it is when you have anything to say against His offering of Himself a Sacrifice to God, without blemish andwithout spot, that He might put away the iniquities of His people! Therefore judge yourselves in this matter and if you haveever denied Christ's Deity, or if you have ever assailed His atoning Sacrifice, it might truly have been said of you-"Thenthey spat in His face."
Further, this evil is also done when men prefer their own righteousness to the righteousness of Christ. There are some whosay, "We do not need pardon, we do not need to be justified by faith in Christ-we are already good enough." Or, "We are workingout our own salvation-we mean to save ourselves." O Sirs, if you can save yourselves, why did Jesus bleed upon the Cross?It was a superfluity, indeed, that the Son of God should die in human form if there is a possibility of salvation by yourown merits! And if you prefer your merits to His, it must be said of you, also, "Then they spat in His face." Your righteousnessesare only filthy rags! And if you prefer these to the fair white linen which is the righteousness of saints. If you think towash yourselves in your tears and so despise that precious blood apart from which there is no purging of our sin-to you doesour text apply-"then they spat in His face," when they preferred their own righteousness to Christ's.
I have often spoken to you about the parable of the prodigal son, but, possibly, your case is more like that of the elderbrother in the parable. You have your portion of goods and it is all your own, and you are keeping it. You are rich, and increasedin goods and have need of nothing. You are self-righteous. You think that you can do very well without God and without Christ-andyou half suspect that God can hardly do without you. You are doing so very well in the observance of rites and ceremonies,and the performance of charity and devotions, that if you go into the far country, you will cut a very respectable figure!You will be one of those excellent citizens of that country who will, in due time, send some poor prodigal into your fieldsto feed your swine. I am inclined to believe that your case is even more sad and hopeless than that of the prodigal, himself!You, too, have gone far away from God. You are living without Him. He is not in all your thoughts. You could almost wish thatthere were no God, for then there would be no dark cloud hovering in the distance to spoil your summer's day, no fear of stormsto come to mar the joy of the hour. Just as truly as of the avowed infidel who openly rejects Christ, it must be said of you,"Then they spat in His face."
The same thing is oh so sadly true when anyone forsakes the profession of being a follower of Christ's. There are some, alas,who, for a time, have appeared to stand well in the Church of God-I will not judge them-but there have been some who, aftermaking a profession of religion, have deliberately gone back to the world. After seeming for a while to be very zealous, theyhave become worldly and, perhaps, even lascivious and vile. They break the Sabbath, they neglect the Word of God, they forsakethe Mercy Seat-and their last end is worse than their first. When a man forsakes Christ for a harlot, when he gives up Heavenfor gold, when he resigns the joys he professed to have had in Christ in order that he may find mirth in the company of theungodly, it is another instance of the truth of these words, "Then they spat in His face." To prefer any of these things toChrist is infamous-and the mere act of spitting from the mouth seems little compared with this sin of spitting with the veryheart and soul-and pouring contempt upon Christ by choosing some sin in preference to Him. Yet, alas, how many are thus stillspitting in Christ's face! Perhaps some now present are doing it.
If, dear Friends, our conscience in any measure accuses us of this sin, let us at once confess it. Let us humble ourselvesbefore the Lord and with the very mouth that spat upon Him, let us kiss the Son lest He be angry and we perish from the way,when His wrath is kindled but a little!
And when we have confessed the sin, let us believe that He is able and willing to forgive us. I know that it requires a greatact of faith, when sin is consciously felt, to believe in the splendor of Divine Mercy. But, dear Friends, believe it! Dothe Lord Jesus the great honor of saying to Him, "Gracious Lord, wash me in Your precious blood. Though I did spit in Yourface, wash me in that cleansing Fountain and I shall be whiter than snow." And according to your faith, so shall it be doneto you. You shall have the forgiveness, even, of this great sin if you confess it and believe that Christ is both able andwilling to forgive it!
And when you have done that, then let your whole life be spent in trying to magnify and glorify Him whom you and others havedefamed and dishonored! Oh, I think that if I had ever denied Christ's Deity, I would want to stand in this pulpit night andday to revoke what I had said-and to declare Him to be the Son of God with power! I think that if I had ever set up anythingin opposition to Him, I should want, day and night, to be setting Him up above everything else, as, indeed, I long to do!Come, Christian Brothers and Sisters, let us do something unusual in Christ's honor! Let us find out something or invent somethingfresh, either in the company of others or all by ourselves, by which we may further glorify His blessed name!
Yet once more, if ever anybody should despise us for Christ's sake, let us not count it hard, but let us be willing to bearscorn and contempt for Him. Let us say to ourselves, "'Then they spat in His face.' What, then, if they also spit in mine?If they do, I will 'hail reproach and welcome shame,' since it comes upon me for His dear sake!" Look, that wretch is aboutto spit in Christ's face! Put your cheek forward, that you may catch that spittle upon your face, that it fall not upon Him,again, for as He was put to such terrible shame, everyone who has been redeemed with His precious blood ought to count itan honor to be a partaker of the shame, if by any means we may screen Him from being further despised and rejected of men!
There, dear Friends, I have not preached, I have just talked very, very feebly and not at all as I wished and hoped I mightbe able to about this wonderful text-"Then they spat in His face."
Now try to follow me, just for a few minutes, while I let you see that same face in a very different light. Our second textis in the 20th Chapter of the Revelation, at the 11th verse-"And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, fromwhose face the earth and Heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them."
This passage needs no words of mine to explain it. Notice how the Apostle begins-"I saw." Oh, I wish I had the power to makeyou see this great sight! Sometimes, to vividly realize a Truth even once is far better than to have merely heard it statedten thousand times. I remember the story of a soldier who was employed in connection with one of the surveys of Palestine.He was with some others of the company in the valley of Jehoshaphat and, without thinking seriously of his words, he saidto his comrades, "Some people say that when Christ shall come a second time to judge the world, the judgment will take placein the valley of Jehoshaphat, in this very place where we now are." Then he added, "When the Great White Throne shall be set,I wonder whereabouts I shall be." It is said that he carelessly exclaimed, "I shall sit here upon this big stone." And hesat down, but in an instant he was struck with horror and fainted because, in the act of sitting down, he had begun to realizesomewhat of the grandeur and the terror of that tremendous scene!
I wish I knew how to do or say anything by which I could make you realize this scene that John saw in his vision. The LordJesus Christ went up to Heaven from the top of Olivet in His own proper body-and He shall so come in like manner as He wastaken up into Heaven-but He shall come, not the lowly Man of Sorrows, but as Judge of All, seated upon a great white throne!And John says, "I saw it." As we sang, a few minutes ago-
"The Lord shall come! But not the same As once in lowliness He came- A silent lamb before His foes, A weary Man, and fullof woes. The Lord shall come! A dreadful form, With rainbow wreath and robes of storm. On cherub wings, and wings of wind,Appointed Judge of all mankind."
I wish, dear Friends, that even in your dreams you might see this sight, for, though I have no trust in dreams by themselves,yet any realization of this great Truth of God will be better than the mere hearing of it.
"I saw," said John, "a great white throne." He saw a throne, for Christ now reigns! He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords-andwhen He comes again, He will come in the power of universal sovereignty as the appointed Judge of all mankind! He will comeupon a throne!
That throne is said to be white. What other throne can be so described? The thrones of mere mortals are often stained withinjustice, or bespattered with the blood of cruel wars. But Christ's Throne is white, for He does justice and righteousnessand His name is Truth.
It will also be a great white throne-a throne so great that all the thrones of former kings and princes shall be as nothingin comparison with it. The thrones of Assyria, and Babylon, and Persia, and Greece, and Rome shall all seem only like tinydrops of dew to be exhaled in a moment! But this Great White Throne shall be the recognized seat of the King of Kings, theSovereign over all sovereignties-"I saw a great white throne."
John not only saw the Great White Throne, but also, "HIM that sat upon it." What a wondrous sight that was! John saw Him,whose eyes are "as a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace." John saw Him whose DivineMajesty shall shine resplendent even through the nail-prints which He shall still wear when seated on the Great White Throne.What a sight it was to John, who had leaned His head upon Christ's breast, to behold that same Master, whom He had seen dieupon the Cross, now sitting upon the throne of universal judgement! "I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat upon it."
Now notice what happened-"from whose face the earth and the Heaven fled away." As soon as ever this Great White Throne appeared,Heaven and earth began to roll away like a wave receding from the shore! What must HE be, before whose face Heaven and earthshall retreat as in dismay?
Observe, first, Christ's power. He does not drive away the Heaven and the earth. He does not even speak to them. The sightof His face is all that is needed-and the old Heaven, and the old sin-stained earth shall begin to flee away-"the elementsshall melt with fervent heat, the earth, also, and the works that are therein shall be burned up." And all that by the mereshowing of Christ's face! He does not have to lift His arm, He has not to seize a javelin and to hurl it at the condemnedearth-at the sight of His face, Heaven and earth shall flee away!
Behold the terror of Christ's majesty. And what will you do in that day-you who spit in His face, you who despised Him? Whatwill you do in that day? Suppose the Great Judgment Day had already come! Suppose that the Great White Throne was just overyonder and that when this service was over, you must appear with all the risen dead before your Judge. One would have to say,"I have refused Him! How shall I dare look in His face?" Another would cry, "He drew me, once. I felt the tugging of His love,the drawings of His Spirit, but I resisted and would not yield. How can I meet Him now? How can I look Him in the face?" Anotherwill have to say, "I had to strive hard to escape from the grasp of His hand of mercy. I stifled conscience and I went backinto the world." You will all have to look into that face, and that face will look at all of you! One will have to say, "Igave up Christ for the world." "I gave Him up for the theater," another must say. "I gave Him up for the dancing saloon,"another will say. "I gave Him up for the love of women," another will say. "I gave Him up that I might carry on my businessas I could not carry it on if I was a true Christian-I gave up Christ for what I could get." You will have to say all this-andthat very soon. As surely as you see me upon this platform, you will see the King upon the Great White Throne-that King whowas once despised and rejected of men!
O Sirs, I would that you would think of all this! It is not one hundredth part so much my concern as it is yours! I am notafraid to see Christ's face, for He has looked on me in love and blotted out all my sin-and I love Him and long to be withHim forever and ever. But if you have never had that look of love. If you have never been reconciled to Him, I ask you, bythe love you bear yourselves, to begin to think about this matter! Begin to prepare to meet this King of Men, this Lord ofLove, who, as surely as He is the Lord of Love, will be the King of Wrath, for there is no anger like the anger of love! Thereis no indignation like "the wrath of the Lamb," of which we read a few minutes ago. Divine Love, when it has become righteousindignation, burns like coals of juniper and is quenchless as Hell! Therefore-
"You sinners, seek His Grace, Whose wrath you cannot bear! Fly to the shelter of His Cross And find salvation there"
and before Heaven and earth begin to flee away from the face of Him who sits upon the Throne, and before you, yourselves,begin to cry to the rocks to cover you and the mountains to hide you from that face-seek His face with humble penitence andfaith that you may be prepared to meet Him with joy in that last tremendous day!
If what I have been saying is all a dream, dismiss it and go your ways to your sins. But if these things are the very Truthof God-and verily they are-act as sane men should and think them over, and prepare to meet your Judge! God help you to doso, for Christ's sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: MATTHEW26:57-68;. REVELATION 6:12-17; 19:11-16; 20:11-15; 21:1.
We shall read two or three short portions of God's Word in order to bring before you the wonderful contrast to which I amabout to direct your thoughts.
Matthew 26:57. And they that had laid hold on Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the High Priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.It was night, but these wicked men could sit up for this gruel deed, to judge the Lord of Glory, and to put the Innocent Oneto shame! They "led Him away to Caiaphas the High Priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled."
58. But Peter followed Him afar off to the High Priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. Ihave heard Peter represented as if he did wrong to follow Christ "afar off." I think he was the bravest of all the Apostles,for scarcely one of them followed Christ at all, at that time. Afterwards, John came to his senses and went into the JudgmentHall. Peter kept at a distance from his Lord, but he did follow Him and he did go into the High Priest's palace. He "wentin, and sat with the servants, to see the end." Peter was right enough in following Christ-it was afterward, when the temptationcame, that he fell so grievously.
59, 60. Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council sought false witness against Jesus, to put Him to death; butfound none. Because they did not agree, they would not hold together. This is the weakness of falsehood-that it contradictsitself. These men felt that they must have some show of truth-likeness, even in condemning Christ, and this they could notget, at first, even from their false witnesses!
60, 61. Yes, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses and said, This Fellowsaid, I am able to destroy the Temple of God, and to build it in three days. Brothers and Sisters, observe that this was alittle twisting of Christ's words, but that slight wresting made them as different as possible from what Christ had reallysaid. I suppose that if you want to know how this twisting or wresting is done, any one of our general elections will giveyou the most wonderful examples of how everything that any man may say can be twisted to mean the very reverse of what hesaid! If there is one thing in which English people are expert beyond all others, it is in the art of misquoting, misstatingand misrepresenting. As our Lord was wronged in this fashion, nobody need be surprised if the same should happen to him. "ThisFellow said, I am able to destroy the Temple of God, and to build it in three days."
62. And the High Priest arose, and said to Him, Answer You nothing? What is it which these witness against You? What was thegood of answering? What is ever the good of answering when the only evidence brought against one is palpable and willful misrepresentation?So the Savior was silent. And thus He not only proved His wisdom, but He also fulfilled that marvelous prophecy of Isaiah,"He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as asheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth."
63. But Jesus held His peace. And the High Priest answered and said to Him, I adjure You by the living God, that You tellus whether You are the Christ, the Son of God. Now came the answer! The good confession that our Lord witnessed before Hiscruel adversaries.
64. Jesus said to Him, You have said: nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter shall you see the Son of Man sitting on the righthand of power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven. How that sentence must have come with the vividness of a lightning flashbefore their faces! What a declaration of power from One who stood there, bound before His enemies, apparently helpless andabout to die!
65-68. Then the High Priest tore his clothes, saying, He has spoken blasphemy! What further need have we of witnesses? Behold,now you have heard His blasphemy. What do you think? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. Then they spat in Hisface, and buffeted Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy to us, You Christ, Who is hethat struck You? Our Lord had told these mockers that they should one day see Him coming in the clouds of Heaven. Let us readin the Book of the Revelation concerning that great event.
Revelation 6:12-16. And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal and, lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackclothof hair, and the moon became as blood, and the stars of Heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts its late figs,when it is shaken by a mighty wind. And the Heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain andisland were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men and the rich men, and the chief captains,and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains and saidto the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the Throne, and from the wrath of theLamb! Think of the contrast between this awful cry and the sentence we read just now-"Then they spat in His face." "Mountainsand rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the Throne." Think, too, of the contrast of which wewere reminded in our opening hymn-
"While sinners in despair shall call,
'Rocks hide us; mountains, on us fall!'
The saints, ascending from the tomb,
Shall joyfully sing, 'The Lord is come!'" 17. For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Letus read further on in the same Book. Revelation 19:11, 12. And I saw Heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and He that sat upon Him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousnessHe does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame offire, and on His head were many crowns-
"Bright with all His crowns of glory See the royal Victor's brow." Again, note the contrast-"Then they spat in His face.""And on His head were many crowns"- 12-16. And He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothedwith a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in Heaven followed Him uponwhite horses,
clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations:and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And Hehas on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. And this is He in whose face His enemiesdid spit!
Now turn to the next chapter.
Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the Heaven fled away; and there wasfound no place for them. Driven, like chaff before the wind, from the face of Him who sat upon the Throne!
12-15. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, whichis the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and Hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they werejudged, every man according to their works. And death and Hell were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death.And whoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire.
Revelation 21:1. And I saw a new Heaven and a new earth: for the first Heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no moresea.