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



Chapter 1


Subsection 3

"In the Lord's Day"


Page 158 (con't)

Having ascertained what the apostle meant by "being in spirit," the next consideration is, Where was he conveyed to? and then, What did he behold there?

In regard to the first inquiry, he tells us, that being in spirit, he was in a certain day -- !greek!. He was in the Lord's !greek! day. And what day, it may be asked, was that? Any one acquainted with the apostle's faith and hope, will be able to answer the question readily. He was in that day, which "Abraham rejoiced to see" (John. 8:56); the day that Paul said should not come until an apostasy had been thoroughly matured, and had become ripe for destruction (2 Thess. 2:3-8); "the day in which," Paul proclaimed at Athens, "the Deity will judge the inhabited earth in righteousness in a man (!greek!) whom he hath appointed, having offered assurance to all, having raised him from among the dead" (Acts. 17:31). This was the great day, styled in Joel, "the great and terrible day of Yahweh" (Joel. 2:31), and in Malachi, "the day that shall come, burning like a furnace," in which "all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh, shall burn them up, saith Yahweh of armies, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. And ye that fear my name shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of

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your feet in the day that I shall work, saith Yahweh of armies" (Mal. 4:1-3).

This was the day that Peter referred to on the day of Pentecost, when he quoted the words of Joel, and told his hearers, that "it shall be, every one who shall surname by the name of Yahweh, shall be delivered." John stood up with him in the same proclamation; and all the saints, enlightened by their teaching, regarded it with great interest and expectation; and it was into this day that John, being in spirit, was conveyed in vision.

What then, should such a day be called? -- "this day Yahweh hath made" (Psal. 118:24)? John calls it the lord's !greek!; but why? Because it is the day when "the Only Potentate" in the Saints shall lord it over mankind -- when those, represented by the symbolical Son of man in the midst of the Seven Lightstands, shall be the Sovereign Power of the earth to its utmost bounds. This power will be the Lord of all; and the word for lord in the Greek is kurios !greek!, from which comes kuriake, pertaining to a lord. This word is only used in one other place in the New Testament, as in 1 Cor. 11:20, "this is not to eat uriakon supper"; which is properly rendered "the Lord's supper." We may, therefore, with the same propriety, style the day, "the Lord's day," only being careful not to confound it with Sunday, which is never so styled in the scriptures; but rather "the first day of the week," and "the eighth day".

Upwards of seventeen hundred and fifty years have elapsed since John was in spirit -- since he was in the Lord's day in spirit, and that day has not come yet. Hence John was only conveyed into it in vision: bodily, he was in Patmos; but mentally, he was beyond the resurrection of the dead, by which the great and terrible day of Yahweh is introduced. He was taught this dramatically; for he first hears behind him "a loud voice as of a trumpet" speaking to him, and saying what is written in the eleventh verse. This was one state of things; and related to "those things which were behind" (Phil. 3:13); or, as expressed in verse 19 "the things which are." He then turned, as he says in verse 12; an action which brought him round, and placed him opposite to "those things which are before"; or, "which shall be after these," the things which are -- behind. Being now face to face with the Son of man, he was in another state of things -- "the Last." In this last state, he is told not to fear; and this exhortation to confidence and courage, falls upon his ears, while he is recovering from the death state. "When I saw like a Son of man in the midst of the Seven Lightstands, I fell at his feet as dead" (verses 13, 17). It was necessary to introduce this action to represent that this vision related to things to be

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manifested after the resurrection of John and his brethren from the dead; who are also to be raised by the Spirit, in which he then was; and which is dramatically intimated by "the right hand" of the symbol being laid upon him, which is symbolical of the power of the Spirit.

The trumpet said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last." This was the loud voice of the Spirit, who said, "write for a scroll and send to the Seven Ecclesias in the (proconsular) Asia"; for when the letters are written, they are introduced as from him seen by John among the Lightstands; and conclude by saying, "he that hath an ear to hear let him hearken to what the Spirit saith to the ecclesias."

What John beheld, then, and what he has described as the subject of his first vision, is a representation of the Eternal Spirit manifested first, in the things behind, as the Alpha and the First; and afterwards, in the things before, as the Omega and the Last; and that between these two sets of things, or manifestations, is the opening of the invisible, and the deliverance of the saints from death. In this turning point, or epoch, between the Alpha things, and the Omega things, of the Spirit-Manifestation, the Key-Power unlocks the Gates of the Invisible, and sets the prisoners free from the bonds of death: so that, when the Alphas of the Spirit shall become the Omegas, they will be able to say, as the constituents of the "One Yahweh and One Name," " I am the First and the Last, and the Living One: and I was dead, and behold, I am living in, (!greek! in, for, during) the Aions of the Aions"; or THE THOUSAND YEARS: "Amen." Not that he shall live no longer; but, seeing that the Apocalypse treats almost solely of the Millennial Day and its antecedents, the duration of "the Living One" is only relatively, not absolutely, expressed. As Jesus taught, "they, who have been accounted worthy of that Aion, and to attain to the resurrection, which is from among the dead, ... cannot die any more: for they are equal to angels, and are Sons of the Deity, being sons of the resurrection" (Luke. 20:35,36). They live for the Olahm we-ad, the Millennium, and beyond; but it is only necessary to say that they live for the thousand years; for the resurrected who live all this time, will live also beyond, "and die no more."

This first vision John beheld is the same that Daniel saw; and the proximate condition of both seers in beholding it, was the same. Daniel, as well as John, became the subject of symbolical death and resurrection. He speaks of himself while entering, being in, and coming out of the death state, in these words, in chapter 8:17,18 saying, "When the Appearance of a Man came near where I stood, I was afraid and fell upon my face ... and was in a deep sleep on my face

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toward the ground ... but he touched me, and caused me to stand up upon my feet."

He is still more explicit in defining his condition analogous to death, in chapter x. 8, saying, "I was left alone," as the dead are when buried; "and I saw this great vision; and there remained no strength in me; for my brightness was changed within me into corruption, and I retained no strength, ... neither was there breath left in me." When a man is in a deep sleep prostrate upon the ground, destitute of strength and breath, his internal light extinguished, and corruption in the place thereof, he is dead. When, therefore, these things are affirmed of living men, as of Daniel and John, they are symbolically dead. Zechariah was in the same death state, and "was wakened out of his sleep" that he might behold the Seven-Branched Golden Lightstands, which, when burning with the Golden Oil, illuminate the earth with glory, after the resurrection of the dead (4:1). These conditions, then, happened to these prophets that they might be testified; and that they might constitute boundary marks, by which the reader might know whether the visions recorded related to the times before or after the resurrection of the dead. The Spirit-Man John saw said to him, after he had laid the power of his right hand upon him, by which he was brought out of the death-state, "I am living in the Aions," or thousand years, by which we are taught that the Spirit did not refer to any period of that duration before the resurrection, but to a course of a thousand years after that event, dramatized in John's person.





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