“The Day of the Lord” http://godsplan.org.uk/greattribulation2.htm
E W Bullinger http://www.godsplan.org.uk/companionbible.htm
Edited by JE Bradburn http://www.godsplan.org.uk/revelation_%20revealed.htm
Many readers of the Bible treat it as though it were a “puzzle picture,” where we have to “find a face,” or “a man,” or some other object. No matter what part of the Bible may be read, the one object seems to be to “find the church.” For, the “Word of TRUTH” not being rightly divided, or indeed divided at all, the whole Bible is supposed to be about everyone, humans in every part, and in every age; and the Church is supposed to be its one pervading subject to become spread throughout all parts of this fallen world.
This arises from our own natural selfishness. “We” belong to the church, and therefore all “we” read “we” take to ourselves, not hesitating to rob others of what belongs to them. Here is a case in point. Open your Bibles at Isaiah chapters 24 and 30, and at the headings of the pages, at the same opening we read:
“Judgement upon Jerusalem,” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/bibleprophecytheend.htm and “God’s mercies to His Church”! (Followers)
This is a “dividing” of the Word (by man) indeed! but whether it is “rightly dividing” is another matter. The book is declared to be “The vision of Isaiah… which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.” And yet in spite of this, the blessings spoken of Judah and Jerusalem are taken away and given to the Church, while the curses and judgements are kindly left for “Judah and Jerusalem!”
On this system of interpretation the Bible is useless for the purposes of Divine revelation. It is made a derision (mockery) to its enemies, a ground for the attack of infidels, while it becomes a stumbling block to its friends. And yet it is on this same principle that the Apocalypse is usually treated. Everywhere the Church is thrust in:
John 4:1(KJV) When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,
REPRESENTATION OF THE CHURCH;
· The living creatures, or Cherubim (ch iv) are the Church;
· The four and twenty elders (ch iv., v) are the Church;
· The 144,000 (ch vii) are the Church; (Not withstanding they are expressly stated to be “of all the tribes of the children of Israel” http://godsplan.org.uk/fulltentribes.htm plus Judah and Ben making 12; [Had it been for judgement that they were sealed, we would never have heard of these being the Church].
· The clothed with the sun (ch xii is the Church);
· The man-child (ch xii is the Church).
· The Bride (ch xix is the Church).
· The (“New Jerusalem” is the Church).
· The “seven churches” (are the Church).
So they go on, until the humble reader of the book is bewildered and disheartened. No wonder the book is neglected. The wonder would be if it were not.
Now, it is with the object of lifting those who desire to understand this prophecy out of the quagmire of tradition (including the Jews or Hebrews, and the Christians), that we propose to write these papers. We believe we shall best accomplish our object by departing from the usual custom of expositors (a person who expounds or gives an exposition, (show), and leaving the interpretation of words and sentences and verses until after we have learned the scope of the book, and ascertained the great principle on which all interpretation must be based.
Let us say at once that we believe, and must believe:
1. That God mean what He says.
2. That He has a meaning for every word that He says.
All His works and all His words are perfect, in their choice, order, and placement: so perfect, that, if one word or expression is used, there is a reason why no other word would have done.
On these lines we shall proceed to put forth and explain our theses or propositions: begging our readers not to start at the bare statement of them, but prayerfully to test the reasons which we shall give; and to remember that, while some are sufficient of themselves to establish our position yet, we depend on the cumulative evidence of the whole of them taken together. Our great fundamental proposition—which we may as well state at once—is that;
The Church is not the subject of the Apocalypse.
However startling this may sound and may seem to some of our readers, we implore you not to dismiss it, but to test the reasons we shall give by the Word of God itself, and to weigh them in “the balances of the sanctuary.” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/dispensationalplan.htm Try to forget all that you have “received by tradition,” and ask from whom you learned this or that. Be prepared and ready to unlearn anything that you may have received from men, and learn afresh from the Word of God itself. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/companionbible.htm Another explanatory must have by E W Bullinger.
The first chapter furnishes us with fifteen proofs of our fundamental proposition. OUR FIRST POINT, IN PROOF OF OUR PROPOSITION, IS: THE FIVE-FOLD DIVISION OF THE BIBLE.
The whole Bible is divided into five great divisions, each determined by its subject matter.
1. The Old Testament has for its subject the King and His coming Kingdom, in promise and prophecy. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/secondadvent.htm
2. The Four Gospels the Kingdom offered and rejected. The King crucified by Israel in the Land. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/gospelofjohn.htm
3. The Acts and earlier Pauline Epistles; the King and Kingdom re-offered (iii: 19-21); and rejected, by the Dispersion in Rome (Acts xxviii:25-26)
Acts 28:25-26 (KJV)
25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, “Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,”
26 Saying, “Go unto this people, and say, ‘Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:’”
4. The later Pauline Epistles. The Kingdom in abeyance. The King made Head over all things to the Church. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/stpaul.htm
5. The Apocalypse. The Kingdom set up with Divine judgement, in Power and Glory. The King enthroned.
Then, during the fourth of these, we have the Epistles relating to the Mystery—the Church of God—during this present interval, while the King is in heaven and His Kingdom is in abeyance; and,, while the preaching of “ the Gospel of the Kingdom” is suspended, and “the Gospel of the grace of God.” is proclaimed. Of course if there is is no difference between these two pieces of “good news, “ and the Kingdom is the same thing as the Church or Body of Christ, then there is an end to the whole matter; not merely of our task, but the Bible itself. For, if words do not mean what they say when used of a plain, literal, matter of fact like this, then words are useless for the purposes of revelation altogether. We have concealment and confusion in its place; and an Apocrypha instead of an Apocalypse.
However; believing in the perfection of God’s words, and not merely of His Word, we submit that we have here a first great reason for proposition, the Church (the body of Christ) is not the subject of the Apocalypse.
It will be easier to receive this when we come to accumulate the evidence. We submit this first reason, by simply asking our readers to believe what God says.
(II) THE HEBREW CHARACTER OF THE BOOK.
Though this may be considered by some as a minor point, it is so important that it must not be passed over.
Most critical commentators have to deal with it: because from the earliest times the enemies of the Book (KJV Bible) have made use of this undeniable fact in order to argue it has no right to a place in a Canon of the other Greek Books of the New Testament!
The Hebrew character of the book is shown in its use of idioms (figures of speech), expressions, words and phrases, which cannot be called Greek; and is indeed called by many “bad Greek.”
Professor Godet in his Studies on the New Testament says: “The only serious objection that can be urged against the authenticity of the Apocalypse; lies in the difference which is observable between its style, and that of the fourth Gospel (John). The latter is free from Aramaic expressions, the former is saturated with them.” And again, “the Apocalypse bears, from one end of it to the other, the character of a Hebrew prophecy.” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/hebrew.htm
The argument based on this fact by the opponents of the Apocalypse is dealt with by scholars in various ways. But the subject is not one which would not be of general interest to our readers, as it is confined entirely to questions of grammar. Those who wish to see the subject exhaustively treated are referred to the Commentary on the Apocalypse, by Moses Stuart, who devotes over twenty pages to it.
There is however; another side to the question: which is that, while the enemies use the fact against the Book itself, we use it against the popular interpretations of it. Although the language is Greek, the thoughts and idioms are Hebrew; and this links it on, not to the Pauline epistles, but the Old Testament, and indicates that its great subject is God’s final dealings with the Jew and the Gentile; and not the Church of God.
Connected with this fact there is another, which emphasizes it in a remarkable manner. It is not only Hebrew in character as to its linguistic peculiarities, but especially in its use of the Old Testament.
· Only those who have the most intimate acquaintance with the Old Testament can properly understand the Apocalypse. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/jewishworld.htm
· But all who know anything of Old Testament history cannot fail to detect the almost constant reference to it. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/firstperaeandiscourses.htm
All the imagery—the Temple, the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, the altar, the Incense, the heads of the twenty four courses of Priests (the pattern of which David’s was a copy, 1 Chron 28:19, see chapter 25, and compare Hebrews 9:23, &c.
1 Chronicles 28:19 (KJV) “All this”, said David, ‘the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.’”
Hebrews 9:23 (KJV) It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/jehovah%27sword.htm
All this belongs peculiarly to Israel.
The same may be said of the judgements, which follow on the lines of the plagues of Egypt, and therefore are to be just as real: indeed they are to exceed in dread reality those which were executed in the Exodus from Egypt. For it is written:
Exodus 34:10 (KJV) And He said, “Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the Lord: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee.” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Lineage5.htm
It is the fulfillment of this covenant with Israel which is the great subject of the Apocalypse. However; it is when we come to look at the literary connection between the Old Testament and the Apocalypse that we find evidences of the most striking kind.
If we count up the number of Old Testament passages quoted or alluded to in the New Testament (lists taken from Bagster’s Bible)., we find that the:
· Gospel of Matthew has a very large number, amounting in all to 92.
· The Epistle to the Hebrews comes higher still with 102.
Now both of these books are connected in a special manner with Israel. Matthew, it is universally admitted, is identified with; and stands out among the four Gospels as being especially Jewish in its character. The Epistle to the Hebrews was especially written to Hebrews and they are addressed as such.
Now, when we turn to the Apocalypse, what do we find? The result which to our mind is overwhelming. No less than 285 references to the Old Testament. More than three times as many as Matthew, and nearly three times as many as the Epistle to the Hebrews. We ask whether this does not give the book of Revelation a very special connection with the Old Testament, and with Israel? It is undoubtedly written about the people of the Old Testament who are the subjects of its history. These people will understand it as Gentile Christians can never hope to do.*
* It is most remarkable that at the present time, 1900-2018, a movement has been commenced in Palestine to overcome the difficulty arising from the fact of Jews assembling in Palestine speaking different languages. The Hebrew language is to be made, and to become the common vernacular! It is not only to be taught in all the Jewish schools, but all other subjects are to be learned in Hebrew. With this fact must be stated another, and that is the recent widespread publication of the Salkinson Ginsburg Hebrew New Testament by the Trinitarian Bible Society and the Mildmay Mission to the Jews, amounting to some three quarters of a million copies.
We are merely stating certain important facts which must be taken into account by any who are seeking to find out what the book of Revelation is all about. The facts exist, and what do they say to us? It is not until we discover this, and thus learn the scope of the book, can we hope to understand it.
(III) THE CHURCH IS NOT THE SUBJECT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECY.
Closely connected with this foregoing point, that the Book is Hebrew in character, and intended especially for Hebrews, is another undoubted fact, that the Church of God is not the subject of the Old Testament, either in history, type, or prophecy.
Passage, &c, may be found there and used to illustrate what is subsequently revealed. But this can be done only by way of application (study), and not by way of teaching or of interpretation.
Because, of the “Mystery” or the secret concerning the Church of God, we are told that it “was kept secret since the world began”
Romans 16:25 (KJV) “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,”
That “in other ages it was not made known to other men”
Ephesians 3:5 (KJV) “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;”
That it had been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to the saints.
Colossians 1:26 (KJV) “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints:”
These statements are “the true sayings of God,” and not our own. We have no choice but to believe what He says. If any hold that, in spite of all this, the Church was not “hid in God,” but was the subject of Old Testament prophecy, then we have nothing more to say to them; for, if they will not believe God, it is not likely they will believe us.
But, believing God, we ask whether the Church is likely to be the subject of prophecy in the Apocalypse, especially when its future is clearly foretold in the Epistles which contain the revelation of the Mystery. There we learn what is to be the future and end of the Body of Christ. The members of that Body are merely waiting to be “received up in glory”
1 Timothy 3:16 (KJV) “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
They are waiting for their calling on high.
Philippians 3:14 (KJV) “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/christianrace.htm
They are looking for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change their vile bodies that they may be fashioned like unto His own glorious body. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/internalspirit.htm
Philippians 3:20-21 (KJV)
20 “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” http://godsplan.org.uk/christtheredeemer.htm
21 “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/nativityofjesus.htm
But all this we submit, takes place before the Apocalypse opens. There we have, not the coming of the Lord to take away His Church, but, thr revelation of the events which shall take place after the Church has been “received up in glory.” These events will take place during “the day of the Lord,” when He shall come, not in grace, but in judgement; not in mercy, but in wrath. But this brings us to the fourth point. What is the meaning of “the Lord’s Day,” in chap 1:9? (the number should give you the clue).
Revelation 1:9 (KJV) “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
(IV) THE DAY OF THE LORD
In Rev 1:9 (KJV) we are told that John saw and received this revelation on “the Lord’s Day.” Leaving the former part of this verse for the present, let us notice “the Lord’s Day.”
The majority of people, being accustomed from their infancy to hear the first day of the week called the Lord’s Day, conclude in their own minds that that day is thus called in Revelation 1:9 (KJV) because that was the name of it. But the contrary is the fact: the day is so called by us because of this verse.
In the New Testament this day is always called “the first day of the week.” (See Matthew 28:1. Mark 16:2, 9. Luke 24:1. John 21:19. Acts 20:7. 1 Cor 16:2 all KJV of course).
Mark 16:2 (KJV) “And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.”
Is it not strange that in this one place a different expression is thought to refer to the same day? And yet so sure are the commentators that it means Sunday, that some go as far as to say it was “Easter Sunday, “ and it is for this reason that Revelation I:10-19 is chosen in the New Lectionary of the Church of England as the end Lesson for Easter Sunday morning.
There is no evidence of any kind that “the first day of the week” was ever called “the Lord’s Day” before the Apocalypse was written. That it should be so called afterwards is easily understood, and there can be little doubt that the practice arose from the misinterpretation of these words in Rev 1:9. It is incredible that the earliest use of a term can have a meaning which only subsequent usage makes intelligible.
On the contrary, it ceased to be called by its Scripture name (“the First Day of the Week”), not because of any advance of Biblical truth or reverence , but because of declension from it. (In linguistics, declension is the changing of the form of a word to express it with a non-standard meaning, by way of some inflection, that is by marking the word with some change in pronunciation or by other information). The Greek “Fathers” of the Church were converts from Paganism: and it is not yet sufficiently recognised how much of Pagan rites, ceremonies, and expressions they introduced into the Church; and how far Christian ritual was elaborated from and based upon Pagan ritual by the Church of Rome. Especially is this seen in the case of baptism.
It was these Fathers who, on their conversion, brought the title “Sunday” into the Church from the Pagan terminology which they had been accustomed to use in connection to their Sun-worship.
Justin Martyr (114-165A.D.) in his second Apology (i.e., his second defence of Christianity), says in chap Ixvii. on “The weekly worship of the Christians,”—“On the day called SUN--DAY all who live in the country gather together to one place—SUN-DAY is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of SATURN [i.e. Saturn’s day]; and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the SUN, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.”
It is passing strange that if John called the first day of the week “the Lord’s Day,” we find no trace of the use of such a title until a hundred years later. And that even though we do find a change, it is to “Sunday,” and not to “the Lord’s Day”—a name which has become practically universal. The French, Spanish, and Italian nations (all three Roman Catholic) have retained the Roman Pagan names. The English is tainted with Scandinavian mythology. The 1st day they call Dies Dominica, the Lord’s Day (i.e. the day of the lord, the sun) All the Oriental nations called the sun “lord.” The Persians called their god Mithra (the sun), i.e. the lord Mithra. The Syrians called it Adonis, which is from the Hebrew Adonai, lord. The Hebrews called it Baal (which means lord) and Moloch. Porphyry, in a prayer to the sun, calls him “Dominus Sol” The Romans kept the Pagan name, Dies Dominica (the day of the lord sun), for the first day of the week; but called the others by the names of the moon and planets to which they were dedicated.
Some Christians still perpetuate the name of the Lord’s Day for Sunday: but it is really the survival of a Pagan name, with a new meaning, derived from a miss-understanding of Revelation 1:9 (above).
Objection has been taken to the interpretation of “the Lord’s Day” here, because we have (in Rev1:9) the adjective “Lord’s” (Adjectives describe or modify—that is, they limit or restrict the meaning of—nouns and pronouns), instead of the noun(in regimen), “of the Lord,” as in the Hebrew. But what else could it be called in Hebrew? Such objectors do not seem to be aware of the fact that there is no adjective for “Lord’s” in Hebrew; and therefore the only way of expressing “the Lord’s Day” is by using the two nouns,
(A noun is a word that names something: a person, place, or thing) “the day of the Lord”—which means equally “the Lord’s Day” (Jehovah’s day). It is useless, therefore, to make any objection on this ground: for if a Hebrew wanted to say “the Lord’s Day,” he must say “the day of the Lord.”
By way of illustration and proof , we may call attention to the fact that we have the corresponding expressions concerning another “day.” In Luke 17:22 KJV we have “the days of the Son of Man” where th emphasis must be on “THE SON OF MAN” (as shown by the context). While in 1 Cor4:3 we have “man’s DAY,” with the emphasis on “day,” marking that “day” as actually being present, as it now is.
Luke 17:22 (KJV) And He said unto the disciples, “The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.”
1 Corinthians 4:3 (KJV) “But with Me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.”
This is so clear from the context that it is actually translated “judgement,” which is exactly what it means. The apostle says, “It is a very small thing, that I should be judged of you, or of man’s DAY.” The emphasis is on day, because the time in which we now live is the time, or “day,” when man is judging. Another day is coming, and that is the day when the Lord will be present, and He will be the judge. http://godsplan.org.uk/greattribulation2.htm So far from the use of the adjective being an argument against our conclusion, it is an argument in favour of it. For what is the “DAY of the Lord” or “the LORD’S day”? The first occurrence of the expression (which is the key to its meaning) which is in Isaiah 2:11 KJV:
Isaiah 2:11 (KJV) “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.”
That is the one great object of all the future events, seen by John in vision, and recorded for us in the Apocalypse. One other fact has to be stated, and that is the reason why the first day of the week came to be called “Sunday.” It was called by the Pagans
http://www.godsplan.org.uk/paganism.htm “Dominus Sol,” the Lord Sun. Hence the Latin name “Dies Dominica” used by the early Christian fathers for the Sunday, and the speedy transition of its name from “the Lord Sun” to the “Lord’s Day,” and then “Sunday.”
Bingham (Ant xx, sec. 5) also mentions the fact that the early Christians were charged with being worshippers of the sun. Tertullian also admits that Christians were only looked upon by some as a sect of sun worshippers (much as today):while some account for this on other grounds (e.g. the sects of the Gnostics and Basilidians having retained or introduced solar forms of worship) Yet these facts are better and more fully accounted for by the adoption of the name “the Lord’s Day” for the Sunday; while it serves to throw light on the transition from the original name of “the first day of the week” (Sunday).
From all this evidence we feel justified in believing that the Apocalypse consists of a series of visions, which set forth the events connected with “the Revelation of Jesus Christ,” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/lifeofjesus.htm
(V) THE TITLES OF CHRIST.
The titles used of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Revelation afford further evidence as to the Church of God not being the subject of that Book. We propose to consider seven of these, all used in the Introduction to Revelation (chap 1).
The most important of these is that given in connection with His vision in chapter 1:13—16.
Revelation 1:13-16 (KJV)
13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14 His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire;
15 And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters.
16 And He had in his right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
In verse 13 He is called: (1) “THE SON OF MAN”
1. This is a title connected with the Lord Jesus in relation to the earth. Its first occurrence in Psalm 8 fixes it peculiar signification. That Psalm begins and ends with a reference to the “earth,” and, after speaking of “the Son of Man,” it adds: “Thou madest him to have dominion over the work of Thy hands.” It will be found, therefore, that wherever this title occurs, it always refers to the Lord Jesus in connection with His dominion in the earth. And when used of His second coming, it refers to the judgement which He is then and there to exercise. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/secondadvent.htm It is most remarkable, and so remarkable as to make it practically conclusive, that this title, while it occurs eighty four times in the New Testament, is never once used in the Pauline epistles addressed to Churches; thus proving that this title has nothing whatsoever to do with the Church. But while it has no connection with the Church, in the Epistles, it occurs no less than eighty in the four Gospels and Acts, because there we have Christ on the earth, http://www.godsplan.org.uk/nativityofjesus.htm http://www.godsplan.org.uk/teachingofjesus.htm and the presentation of the King and the Kingdom http://www.godsplan.org.uk/kingdom.htm
But, when again He reveals Himself by this title, it is in the book of Revelation 1:13 KJV “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.”
Revelation 14:14 (KJV) “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.”
Thus we are pointed to the fact, and told (if we have ears to hear), http://www.godsplan.org.uk/earstohear.htm that the Apocalypse relates to the coming of “the Son of Man” to exercise judgement in and assume dominion over the earth. It is remarkable that the first use of the title is in the New Testament. Matt 8:20 (KJV) And Jesus saith unto him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” (Here is a very sad indictment of man.) And the last is in Rev 14:14 (KJV) “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.” (Not a crown of thorns!). Both of which are connected with His “head,” and with the earth; while in the latter there is associated both judgement and dominion http://godsplan.org.uk/greattribulation2.htm. The significance of this title is further proved by its contrast with the title “Son of God” in John:
John 5:25-27 (KJV)
25 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”
26 “For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself;”
27 “And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is “the Son of man”.
It is thus clear that the use of this title twice in Revelation (1:13 and 14:14), and not once in the Church Epistles, is a further proof that the Church is not the subject of the Apocalypse. The Church has no more to do with the Christ under the title of “The Son of man” than the Syro—Phoenician woman had anything to do with Him as “the Son of David.” We ought to add that this fact is a key to all the passages where this title is used: and indicates that Matt 24 & 25 have nothing whatsoever to do with the Church of God, because of the use of this title in 24:30 & 25:31. Both refer to his coming in clouds to the earth in judgement, after the Church has been taken up, and after the Great Tribulation.
(2) “THE ALMIGHTY” (1:8 &c).
2. This title is used nine times in the Apocalypse (Nine is of judgement) http://www.godsplan.org.uk/thenumbernine.htm, and only once elsewhere in the rest of the New Testament. 2 Cor 6:18 (KJV) “And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters”, saith the Lord Almighty. It is in Greek (Pantokratōr) and means having dominion over all, and is used in the Old Testament as the Septuagint translation of “Lord of Hosts” (Hebrew, Jehovah, Sabaioth; (see 2 Samson 5:10 & 725, 27). In Revelation the title is used in 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7; 14:49; 6:15,22. “The Lord of Hosts” means Jehovah of the hosts in heaven above, and on the earth beneath; and especially of the hosts of Israel. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Bereshith.htm Its first occurrence is (as usual) most significant.
1 Samuel 1:3, 11. (KJV)
03 “And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there.”
11 “And she vowed a vow, and said, ‘O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.’”
1 Samuel 4:4 (KJV) “So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.”
when Israel was reduced to a low estate—oppressed by the Philistines. All had failed. The Judges had failed. The priests (witness Eli) had failed: there was no king in Israel:” and God’s sanctuary was defiled.
But the revelation of this title at this juncture, and here used for the first time, told of the blessed fact that there was going to be a king; and a judge too; as well as a priest upon His throne; that the sanctuary was going to be cleansed (Rev 11), and the oppressors of Israel destroyed. Israel is, conversely, called “The Lord’s Host”.
Exodus 12:41 (KJV) And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.
And further, we may note that, in Joshua 5:14—15 (KJV) we have the real connection between the “Lord of Hosts” and “The Hosts of the Lord.” Jehovah—Jesus announces His coming as “the Captain of the Lord’s Host,” to lead them on, to fight their battles, to judge the nations, and give them rest, and settle them in their own land.
Now we ask,
Is it not most significant that this is the title used here in the Apocalypse, nine times?
Does not the fact speak to us and say that, when that book opens Israel is in low estate?
That Priests and people alike have failed, and there is “no king”?
Does it not say that “the Captain of the Lord’s Hosts” is coming down as their judge and vindicator to deliver them from their oppressors, to fight for them, and give them rest, and to bring them into their own land?
Surely the association of this title, Pantokratōr, with the Lord of Hosts in the Old Testament, and with Israel; its frequent use in Revelation, and its practical absence in the Church Epistles, shuts us up to the fact that we have in this book, not the Church, but that which concerns the Jew and the Gentile.
It is in this book we have that which the first occurrence of this title in the Book of Psalms relates to: “Who is this King of glory (I e, this glorious King)?
The Lord of Hosts—He is the King of glory”
And it is the object of the Apocalypse to indicate how this comes about , and How He becomes the King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 19:16). And how all the “the kingdoms of the world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ” (Rev 11:15). Then, too, will Israel fulfill the forty sixth Psalm, and say:
“The Lord of Hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.”
(3) “LORD GOD” (1:8).
1. In Rev 1:8 the title “God” must be added to the word “Lord,” according to all the Critical Greek Texts and the R.V. In chap Rev 22:6 we have the same title.
Revelation 22:6 (KJV) And he said unto me, “These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to shew unto His servants the things which must shortly be done.”
Thus at the end of the book and at the beginning we have this peculiar title, which seems to enclose all that the book contains, and stamp it all with that which the title signifies. What it signifies is clear from the place where we find it, viz, in the second of the twelve divisions of Genesis:
Genesis 2:4 (KJV) “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,”
Genesis 4:26 (KJV) “And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord God.”
This division is called “the Generations of the heavens and of the earth.” In the Apocalypse we have the final results of all that pertains to the heavens and the earth. The title “Lord God” is the title used in this division, which treats of the settlements of man in Paradise, or garden of the Lord. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/book1.htm In the New Testament it first appears in the Apocalypse; where it has reference to the undoing of the effects of the curse (described in that section of Genesis),and to the making of the earth again into the paradise of God—the garden of the Lord. This title implies all this: viz, that God is about to do all that Jehovah has revealed. For Elohim is the God of creation and the commencement of life, while Jehovah is the God of Revelation and the development and sustainer of life with regard to His covenant People. Elohim (God) expresses the power which accomplishes; Jehovah (Lord) the grace which provides. (Jehovah speaks and Elohim creates).
Hence in Gen 2:4—5:26, and in Rev 1:8 and 22:5 we meet with this title; which links the two books together in a most remarkable manner, and give the pledge that Paradise Lost will become Paradise regained; and that the curse which drove man out shall no longer keep him out, but shall be “no more” forever. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/deathswallowedup.htm http://www.godsplan.org.uk/kingdom.htm
his use of the title “Lord God” thus assures us that He who made the promise of Gen 3:15:
Genesis 3:15 KJV) “And I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman (Eve), and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head (crush), and thou shalt bruise His heel (crucifixion).”
That the Serpent’s (Satan’s) head should one day be crushed, will, in His own day (the Lord’s Day), finally crush the serpent’s head. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/jehovah%27sword.htm The fact that title is never used in connection with the Church of God, affords us one more great and important proof of our proposition that the Church is not the subject of the Apocalypse, but that it has to do with the Jew and the Gentile.
(4) “THE FIRST AND THE LAST” (1:11)
1. This title is used in Rev 1:11. It is used again in 1:17, 2: 8, and 22:13, but is never found in connection with “the Church of God.” On the other hand, it is a title closely associated with “the Jew and Gentile,” as the following Scriptures will testify to you.
Isaiah 41: 4--5 (KJV)
4 “Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I, Jehovah, THE FIRST AND LAST; I am He.”
5 “The isles saw it, and feared the ends of the earth were afraid.”
Isaiah 44:6 (KJV) “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and His redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside Me there is no God.”
Isaiah 48:12 (KJV) “Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am He; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand hath laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand hath spinned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.”
Is it not clear, almost to certainty, that when the Lord Jesus especially reveals Himself by this title, never using it again until He claims it in the book of Revelation four times, He means to teach us that He is come to act on behalf of Israel and in connection with that People with which this title is peculiarly associated? The connection of Isaiah with Revelation in the use of this title is eloquent to all who have “ears to hear.” http://www.godsplan.org.uk/earstohear.htm
(5) “THE PRINCE OF THE KINGS OF THE EARTH.”
1. This is a title used only in this book (1:5).Many kings are mentioned and referred to in the book: but the Lord Jesus comes as their “Prince;” King of kings and Lord of lords.” The word is (archōn), and occurs in the New Testament 37 times. It is used of early rulers, and spirit rulers of this age; also of Christ (only of Christ) in relation to the earth; but never in relation to or in connection with the Church. He it is of whom His God and Father has declared, “I will make Him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth”
Psalm 89:27 (KJV) “Also I will make Him My firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.”
It is in connection with the earth that He comes, in Revelation, and hence this title is used. Another testimony to the truth of our proposition. (Four being the number that relates especially to the earth). http://www.godsplan.org.uk/significanceofnumbers.htm
(6) WHO IS TO COME (1:8) http://www.godsplan.org.uk/secondadvent.htm
1. This is also a definite title of Christ (ho erchomenos) THE COMING ONE. It is not, who is “about to come,” as though it were announcing a fact or an act, as being near at hand: but, it describes a person who has this for His special title, by which He came to be known. He has borne that title ever since the great prophecy and promise of (Genesis 3:15 KJV). From that time the coming “seed of the woman” has always been the hope of God’s People, hence He is “The Coming One.” http://godsplan.org.uk/christtheredeemer.htm True He was rejected; therefore that coming is now in abeyance. The book of Revelation is a prophecy giving further details concerning the same coming. The Church of God waits for the saviour, not as the coming one to the earth. It is as going ones we wait for Him, looking to be caught up to meet Him in the air.
“The Coming One” is His special title, which connects Him with the Old Testament prophecies.
The title is never used once in any of the Church Epistles. We have it variously rendered (translated):-
“That cometh,” Luke 19:38 John 12:13 (both KJV).
“He that cometh,” Matt 3:11, 21:9, 23: 39; John 1:15; 3:31 (twice KJV).
“Who coming,” John 1:27 (KJV).
“He that shall come,” Hebrews 10:37 (KJV).
“Which (or that) should come,” John 6:14; 11:27(KJV).
“He that (or which) should come,” Matt 11:3. Luke 7:19—20. Acts 19:4.
“Which is (or art; omit) to come. Rev 1:4, 8; 4:8.
Sixteen times we have the title in the Gospels and Acts and Hebrews 10:37 (KJV) and then again not until Revelation; when it is used three times of Him who was about to fulfill the hope of His People. This again stamps this prophecy as having to do with Christ as God, who “is” (essential being), and “was” (in eternity past), and is “the coming one”, (time future).
(7) “THE LIVING ONE” (1:18).
1. “I AM He that liveth, and was dead,” 1:18 (ho sin), THE LIVING ONE. Like the previous title, it is used as a special designation of the One whose unveiling is about to be shown to John. Its use in particular Daniel and Revelation. The two books thus linked together by it are linked as to their character and subject matter in a very special manner. It is used twice in Daniel:-Dan 4:34 (KJV) 31 [in the Hebrew Bible] and 12:7 (KJV); and six times in Revelation—Rev1:18; 4:9, 10. 5:14; 10:6 & 15:7 all (KJV).
Daniel 4:34 (KJV) “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured Him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation; and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth.”
That exactly expresses what He who reveals Himself by the title, “He that liveth,” in Rev 1:18, has there come to do. He is coming with the armies of heaven (Rev19:14 KJV) to take the kingdom and the dominion, and to do His will among the inhabitants of the earth (not the Church or the Churches).Dan12:7 & Rev 10:6 are so similar that we put them side by side. Both refer to and contrast Christ’s relation to eternity and time.
“He (the angel) held up his right hand “And the angel…lifted up his hand
and his left to heaven, and sware by to heaven, and sware by Him that
Him that liveth forever that it shall be liveth for ever and ever…that there
for a time, times and a half, and…..all should be time (R. V. margin, delay)
these things shall be finished.” no longer.” (Rev 10:5—6 (KJV)
(Dan 12: 7)
Who can doubt that Daniel and Revelation are identical as to their scope; and that they relate, not to this present church period at all, but to the time when “He that liveth,” or the Living One (8), shall come to exercise dominion in the earth (6), and this in connection, not with the grace of God, but with “the wrath of God” (Rev 15:7)? The double testimony of two witnesses, in Daniel and Revelation, bespeak the fact that this title relates entirely to the earth, and to man.
For six is the number which marks it as relating to man, while the total number, eight (twice four) connects it with the earth. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/significanceofnumbers.htm
The Church is heavenly in its calling, its standing, its hope, and its destiny. But here everything relates to the execution of judgement on the earth, and upon man.
There is a related title which is also very significant, “the Living God.” This is used in both testaments, and indiscriminately, because it has no special reference either to Israel or to the church; but because of a latent reference (present but not visible) it always has to, idols, and to judgement on idolaters. This is often expressed in the context; but where it is not actually expressed in words, the thought of idols and idolatry and idolaters has to be supplied mentally.
The title (“the living God”) occurs 13 times in the Old Testament (Hebrew) [13 Denotes rebellion, apostasy, defection, disintegration, revolution], and twice in the Chaldee, Daniel 6 20—26 KJV: (15 times in all).
Daniel 6:20-26 (KJV)
20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?”
21 Then said Daniel unto the king, “O king, live for ever.”
22 “My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before Him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.”
23 Then was the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.
24 And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.
25 Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
26 I make a decree, “That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for He is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end.”
It begins in connection with apostasy (13) http://www.godsplan.org.uk/apostasytogodskingdom.htm, but ends in grace and blessing (15 = 3 x 5). In the New Testament it occurs 16 times (4 x 4) the square of four, four being the number especially associated with the earth. The whole matter is so important and full of interest that we venture to give all the references. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Idolatry.php4
The first, (Deut 5:26 (KJV) gives the key as usual to the whole. It is in connection with the giving of the Ten Commandments http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Decalogueinscripture.htm (with special reference to the second commandment).
Deuteronomy 5:26 (KJV) “For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?”
When they “heard the voice of the living God (Elohim) speaking out of the midst of the fire.” We say that the title here used is in connection with idolatry; and especially in its most ancient and universal form, sun worship.
Deuteronomy 4:19 (KJV) “And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.”
The whole heathen world worshipped the sun and the host of heaven; because they “associated with them certain human characters who had really performed the actions which were then ascribed to the celestial bodies.” The sun had various attributes; and one was “the living one” The sun has a conspicuous place freemasonry; and sun worship has its ramifications throughout the whole world. We cannot impede (setback) our argument by giving further details here. We have put them together in an Appendix, where our readers may view the evidence for themselves. Our point is this; that the first use of the title “the living God” has to do with the voice out of the midst of the fire; and the last use of it (Rev 7:2 ) is where God’s servants are sealed with “the seal of the living God,” so as to be kept from the then coming most awful phase of idolatry the world has ever seen, even the worship of the Beast; and to be preserved from and through the consequent judgements which shall come on those worshippers.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, “I live for ever.”
41 “If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.”
We have (not the title, but) words which connect the thought contained in it with that time of judgement. Deuteronomy 32 contains that “Song of Moses,” of which (Rev 15:3) speaks, and the time referred to is Apocalyptic time.
Revelation 15:3 (KJV) “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.”
Psalm 18: 46-48 (KJV)
46 “The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.”
47 “It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.”
48 “He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.”
The title also has to do with Israel’s restoration and deliverance. See Jer 16:14—15 & 23: 7—8. (KJV) The judgement on those who use this title of idols is described in Amos 8:14 (KJV).If our readers will compare all the occurrences which we now give of this title, “the living God,” they will see how (as a whole) they refer to Israel, to Gentiles, to the earth, to idolaters, and to idols.
Deut 5:26. Joshua 3:10. 1 Sam 17: 26—36. where David uses it against the defiance of Goliath. 2 Kings 19:4, 16. Isaiah 37:4, 17. where it is used against the reproach of Sennarcherib. Psalms 84:2. where it is used with a latent reference to the false gods which others worship and seek. So, Jeremiah 10:10; 23:36, and Hos 1:10 all (KJV).
In the New Testament the usage is the same. Matt 16:16; 26:63. John 6:69. Acts 14:15. Rom 9:26. 2 Cor 3:3; 6:16. 1 Thess 1:9 (idols). 1 Tim 3:15; 4:10; 6:17. Heb 3:12; 9:14; 10:3; 12:22; and Rev 7:2 all (KJV). Sixteen in all (4 in the Gospels and Acts, 4 in the Church Epistles, 3 in the Pastoral Epistles; 4in Hebrews, and once in Revelation all (KJV).
Enough has been said on this particular title, and upon the seven as a whole, to indicate they all link on the book of Revelation to the Old Testament and the Gospels, and not to the Church; and that their cumulative testimony is that Christ is revealed in this book, not in the character in which He is presented to the Church of God, but in that character in which He is revealed in the Old Testament in relation to Israel and the Earth, which is again taken up in the Apocalypse.
There are other titles of Christ in this book which all add their own testimony; but these we can leave for the present, until we come to them in their own place. Enough has been said to show that these titles assumed by the Lord Jesus in the first chapter of this book shut it entirely off, by way of interpretation, from the Church, which is His body.