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18. The Angel with the key of the Bottomless Pit. The last stage of the Christian dispensation when all evil shall be abolished, and Christ having trodden Satan under our feet, appear without sin unto salvation.
ANTICHRIST, is so called from the prophecy of Daniel viii. 25, because he is said there to “stand up against the Prince of princes” being partly the same as the Beast with ten horns, for these shall make war with the Lamb and the Lamb shall overcome them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings," Rev. xvii. 14, being partly also the same as the two-horned Beast, the false Prophet i. e. teacher, because “he spoke great words against the Most High,” Dan. vii. 25, Antichrist literally meaning one against Christ. Antichrist is known by his Father and Son denying Heresy i.e. by his denying the Father and Son in the relation, which they are represented, as bearing to each other, in the Holy Scriptures. The Roman Emperor Constantine first established this heresy in the Council of Nice, A.D. 325, and the sovereigns, confederate with the Emperor in subjecting the Kingdom of Christ to their rule, have retained it in their state-churches ever since. This heresy consists in teaching, that Christ is the Son of the Father by an eternal generation, which Babylon, knowing to be a moral impossibility, unhesitatingly terms it a Mystery, and thus she becomes MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT. But St. John assures us that “no lie is of the Truth” 1 John ii, 21, i. e, nothing self-evidently false, as such a contradiction as an unoriginated origination must be. He tells us that he wrote his gospel, that we might know, that Jesus, whom he represents as the Word begotten flesh, was the Christ, the Son of God, John xx. 31. For the Docetes and Cerinthians, heretics who lived
in bis time, maintained that the pure Word was the Christ, the Son of God, abstracted from and independent of all humanity. He does not write against the Ebionite Socinians; for these, besides acknowledging that Jesus was the Christ, did not exist till after the time of St. John. (Mosh. Eccl. Hist. Cent. 1. Pt. ii. Chap. v. Sect. xvii. Beausobre Introd. N. T. Ebionites.) The Docetes maintained, that the Logos or Word assumed the outward shape and visible appearance of a mortal but they denied that he was clothed with a real body, or that he suffered really, believing that he was altogether an airy immaterial phantom, who instead of issuing from the womb of the Virgin descended on the banks of the Jordan in the form of perfect manhood and seemed to expire on the cross, and after three days to rise from the dead. The Cerinthians maintained, that Christ the Son of God, descended upon Jesus at the latter's baptism, and at his death flew up again into heaven, so that Jesus alone died and rose again. (Mosh. Eccl. Hist. Cent. l. Pt. i. Chap. v. Sect. vi. xvi.; Gibb. iii. xxi. n. n. 26 ; Beausobre. Introd. N. T. Cerinthians.)
N. T. Cerinthians. ) Now St. John affirms at the close of bis gospel that it was written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. There was yet no doubt in the church, that the Christ, the Son of God, was of a divine nature, but the question was,whether he was pure deity, or of a compound nature, whether Jesus, a man, could be the Christ, the Son of God, which is constantly affirmed he was, in the New Testament. St. John therefore maintains against the Docetes, that the Christ the Son of God, was not pure Deity, whom they pretended their visible phantom to be; because no man bath seen God or pure Deity at any time, por can see him, John i. 18; vi. 46; 1 John iv.12, neither heard his voice nor seen his shape, John v. 37; but that
the Christ, the Son of God, was composed of matter as well as Deity, and was audible, visible, and tangible, 1 John, i. 1-3, as even the blood and water, which issued from his side testified, John xix. 34, 35. And if this testimony, which he calls the testimony of men, in his 1 Ep. v. 9. be not satisfactory, he affirms that the testimony of God is greater, who declares by his Spirit which dwells in his children, 1 John ii. 20, 27 ; iii. 24; iv. 4, 12, 13, that the Christ, the Son of God, did come by water and by blood—that Jesus come in the flesh is Christ -which if any one under such circumstances can deny, he will make God himself out a liar, though every body who believes on the Son of God, has this testimony of the Spirit for it in himself.
Against the Cerinthians also the same testimony is directed, who made the Christ, the Son of God, merely a divine nature imparted to Jesus, which entered him at his baptism and departed at his death. But St. John affirms that the Son of God came not with water and blood, but by water and blood; that these were necessary elements of his constitution, and so essential, that it is the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son, which cleanseth us from all sin, 1 John, i, 7, as if it had been God's own proper blood, Acts xx. 28. Now as the man Jesus, and no other was the Son, which the Docetes and Cerinthians denied, the Docetes and Cerinthians denied the Son; and as God was the Father, in respect to the Son, in no other way than in begetting the man Jesus, they denied the Father. To deny Jesus was the Christ, i, e. to deny that Christ came by flesh, (as it may be translated according to the Hebrew idiom,) is the same as to deny that Jesus was the Son of God. For strictly speaking, the Christ or Anointed and the Son of God denote the same office, according to the marginal reading of the prediction, Ps. ii. 6, 7, and St. John,
who makes them convertible terms, 1 John iv, 15; v. 1, 5, 6: though in order to have a term common to both states of the Word, either the Word or the Son is popularly called Christ and even Jesus Christ. The Docetes and Cerinthians therefore denied the Son and by consequence the Father, by denying that Christ the Son of God had come by flesh; and this was the Spirit of Antichrist, or the sort of doctrine, Antichrist was to teach, whenever he should appear in the world. And do not the Emperors, and Popes, and kings, teach with the Docetes and Cerinthians, in their human Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, that the Christ, the Son of God, is pure Deity,“ eternal, uncreate, of the Father alone, not made;" is “begotten of the Father before all worlds”-is a divine nature imparted to Jesus--when the Scripture teaches that “ Jesus is the Son of God,” that the Son of God was “made of a woman,” Gal. iv. 4, as well as of the Most High-was the most exalted creature Coloss. i. 15,-that because the Holy Ghost came upon the Virgin, therefore he was the Son of God, Luke i. 35—that he was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, but was the Son of God according to the Holy Ghost, proved by the resurrection of his body, Rom. i. 3, 4—that Son of God is his new name, Rev. iii. 12; Heb. i. 4, 5; Philip. ii. 9, 11; Gal. iv.1,7,“ a new name which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it," Rev. ii. 17. 1 John, iii. l-with which, as new, he will at last start forth, Rev. xix. 12, 20; 2 Thess. ii.ll, to encounter and overthrow the Mystery, the “strong delusion and lie” of Antichrist ? Babylon does not indeed deny a Father and Son of the Divine Nature. No more did the Docetes and Cerinthians. She does not deny also a miraculous conception, which the Docetes and Cerinthians must have, from the very nature of their theory. But she, mother of confusion, as her name implies, denies
the Father and Son in the same manner as the Docetes and Cerinthians did, and acknowledges a miraculous conception to no purpose, when she ascribes the relation of Father and Son to another even an eternal (!) generation.-See APPENDIX to ANTICHRIST.
ARK OF THE TESTAMENT.—The risen body of Jesus Christ, the surety for the fulfilment of the New Testament by the resurrection of our bodies. Rev. xi. 19; 1 Cor. xv. 13; Heb. ix. 15.
ARMAGEDDON.-Is a compound Hebrew word signifying Mount of Mustering, probably for the armies in heaven, i.e. of saints in the church, mentioned Rev. xix. 14. This place seems to be England, where there are no doubt many followers of the Word of God in its simplicity, who will soon vindicate Christ's solesupremacy over his church, and shew him to be King of the kings and Lord of the lords, who now hold it in thraldom. They will no doubt also recognize his New (not eternal) name, Son of God, Rev. xix. 20; ii. 17, with which it seems, he will go forth at last, in defiance of“ MYSTERY.” See ANTICHRIST.
ARMS.—Not meaning weapons of war but arms of the body. Armies, forces, power, strength. Gen. xlix. 24. The arms of his hands. The military power of a kingdom. Dan. xi. 15, 22. And armies from him (the Romans who become the Northern Power) shall stand up. Dan. xi, 31; Luke, xxi. 20.
BABYLON.-The Roman Empire, viewed in its character of an established church, Rev. xiv. 8 ; xvii.5, or combination of ten established churches, xi. 13, according to the number of kingdoms into which it was once divided.