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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 1

Section 4 Subsection 3

The Aerial



Thirdly, eis aera (greek) , rendered "in the air," is devoid of "the" in the Greek. It may be rendered in various ways, according to the preposition used, and with or without an indefinite article. I prefer that which may be found in harmony with Paul's use of the word elsewhere, when speaking of the administration of the existing order, commonly styled "world." Thus in Eph. 2:2, where be reminds the saints of what they were as pagans before they obeyed the truth, he says, "in which sins formerly ye walked about according to the course of this order (kata ton aiwna tou kosmou toutou), according to the ruling of the authority OF THE AIR; of the Spirit which now works in the sons of disobedience: among whom also we all were conversant in times past in the lusts of our flesh." Here "the course of the order" is parallel with "the ruling of the authority of the Air"; which is based upon and nurtured by that flesh-and-blood "spirit" which rules in all sinners, and is essentially rebellious against God. In these phrases "the Air" and "he Spirit" are parallel. The ruling of the authority of the existing course of things is the Air or Spirit working. It is the Spirit of disobedience incarnate in the authorities exercising dominion and power over the nations, with whom Paul and his co-laborers "wrestled." Thus he says in 6:12, "the contest for us is not against blood and flesh,** but with the sovereignties, with the authorities, with the world-rulers of the darkness of this Course (!greek!)) with the spirituals of the wickedness, in the upper regions." These uppers (!greek!) are "the Air," which by metonomy is put for all politically contained.

[** John Thomas follows the literal order of blood and flesh in the Greek text.]

The Air, in apostolic times, which penetrated everywhere, was the power of the Fourth Beast. This Aerial Power, or Spirit, encountered Paul wherever he went proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and assailed him through the constituted authorities, Jewish and Gentile. He contended against them, endeavoring to open men's eyes, and to turn them from the darkness of the existing course, in which the spirituals of the system, the Chief Priests and Rabbis of Israel, and the Imperial Pontifex Maximus, and all the priests of his idolatrous worship, flourished to their heart's content. The Chief Priests, Pharisees, and kings of Judah, Caesar, and all the civil and ecclesiastical or spiritual, authorities of the Roman empire, were the sovereignties, authorities, and world rulers of the darkness -- all of them the spirituals of the wickedness, constituting, in the aggregate, the Uppers; or, as it is expressed among us, "the Uppertendom" of the order of things at that

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time extant. This was the Devil and Satan in the apocalyptic heaven before he was cast out into the earth (Apoc. 12:9). In turning men from the dark superstition of his times, Paul turned them from "the power of Satan unto God" (Acts 16:18); and if any of them happened to be spirituals of the wickedness in the uppers, or Air, that is, officials in Church or State, they were cast out into the earth, and had to eke out an existence among the undistinguished multitude, the best way they could.

The Great Teacher, the Spirit in Jesus, uses "the Air" in this sense, in one of the parables illustrating the kingdom of the heavens. In Matt. 13:32, he likens this monarchy to a tree, the greatest among herbs, in whose branches the birds of the air come and lodge. The birds of the political aerial, that come and lodge in this tree, are clouds of saints, who are "for an air," and in the air, millennial.

The Air is twice mentioned in the Apocalypse, where it has no reference to the natural atmosphere; first, in Apoc. 9:2; and afterwards, in Apoc. 16:17.* In both these places, it stands for the same thing as in the epistle to the Ephesians, only at widely remote epochs of the times of the Gentiles; the former being the political air, contemporary with the invasion of the Roman empire by the Saracens; the latter, the same Air, only contemporary with the coming of Jesus Anointed with the clouds.

[* This was written about 1860. In the Great War of 1914-1918, for the first time in human history, the "natural atmosphere" became the medium of aerial warfare in the out-pouring of the "vial of the wrath of God" (Footnote from a later edition)].

Now the revealed purpose of the Deity is to change "the Air" -- to hurl the mighty from their thrones; exalt them of low degree, and to send the rich empty away (Luke 1:52-55). When this is accomplished, the kingdoms of this world will have become those of YAHWEH, and His Anointed, according to Apoc. 11:15. The political air, in which the sun, moon, and stars of the nations now shine, will then be abolished, and a new order be substituted in their stead. This new order is styled in the prophets, "a New Heavens, and a New Earth, in which dwelleth righteousness." The course of this order, the ruling of the authority of this air, will be the Spirit that works in the sons of obedience. Instead of the apostles, or others like them, contending against, or wrestling with, the sovereignties, authorities, and world-rulers, of those upper regions of society, they will themselves be those rulers -- the spirituals of righteousness in high places. The spirituals of wickedness, such as the Pope, and locust-clouds of ecclesiastics, of which he is the acknowledged chief, with all other clergies of every "Name and Denomination" of the dominion of Antichrist, together with all the secular officials in place and power, will all be cast out, and punished by the Saints for their iniquity. This honor is assigned to them; as it is written, "The Saints shall be joyful in glory; they shall shout with joy

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upon their couches. The high things of AIL shall be in their mouth, and a devouring sword in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the Gentiles, and punishments upon the peoples: to bind their kings with chains, and their honourables with fetters of iron: to execute upon them the judgment written; this honor is for all his Saints: Praise ye YAH" (Psal. 149:5). To "an air," such as this, the Saints are conducted in clouds, for a meeting of the Lord, that henceforth they may be with him thus for evermore.

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