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



Chapter 3


9. The Promise to the Victor




To the remnant who should "overcome the Great Red Dragon -- that old Serpent, surnamed the Devil and the Satan -- by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, not loving their lives unto the death," (ch. xii. 11,9), it is promised in this epistle that they shall become the joint occupants of the throne of Jesus Anointed: "I will give to the victor to sit with me in my throne." In the letter to the Thyatirans, the same class had been promised dominion over the broken and conquered nations; and in this they are told they shall reign with Christ; for to share in his throne is to reign with him.

Christ attains to dominion by conquest; so must all who share with him in his reign. This is expressed in the words, "as I also vanquish and sit with my Father in his throne." In the English Version, this reads, "even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne." The Greek of this is, ws kago enikesa kai ekathisa meta tou patros mou en toi thronoi autou. In this sentence the verbs enikesa and ekathisa are both of the aorist tense; that is, they express actions without fixing the time of the actions; for the word aorist signifies without boundaries, indeterminate, indefinite. In the translation I have rendered them by the indefinite present, which is always flowing. "I vanquish" is a simple fact, which, in the present tense, does not affirm that the action is complete. The action continues, it may be for a long or short time, until it merges into the perfect, when it may be said "I have overcome," or "I overcame." If the Spirit had meant that the overcoming process was completed, he would have used the word nenikeka, "I have overcome;" but as he did not, we are to understand that enikesa is prophecy and not history; that is, an action to be accomplished in the future.

It cannot be affirmed that Jesus Anointed has overcome the enemies to this throne and kingdom, and that affirmation be in harmony with the word. Jesus claimed the throne of David, or sovereignty over Israel, and the world; and argued his rights before the people and other rulers. But he did not overcome; on the contrary, they overcame him in putting him to death. True, he was raised by the power of the Deity; but when raised, he did not obtain what he claimed. He was even then like a man in the midst of a crowd of enemies too strong for him. Some friends perceiving it, rush in, and rescue him from their grasp; so the Father interposed and extricated him from their snares, and carried him off to heaven, where he is secure against their attack, until the time arrives to renew the conflict; and for the Lamb to overcome in the war of that great day of the Almighty, spoken of in Apoc. xvi. 14: xvii. 14: xix. 11-21 -- an overcoming, by which the book is opened and the seals loosed, and its contents read and looked upon (v. 1-5).

But Paul settles the question whether Jesus has overcome or not, very distinctly. He tells us plainly and positively that he has not. In laying this conclusion before the reader, he quotes the eighth psalm, to show that the Son of Man was to be made a little lower than the angels: that he was to suffer death; that he was to be crowned with glory and honor; and that all things were to be put in subjection under him. He then argues that the phrase "all things" is so comprehensive as to leave no exception. Having declared this, he directs attention to the facts in the case; from which, it is evident, that the subjection of the all things does not obtain. He wrote about thirty years after Jesus said, "all authority is given to me in heaven and upon earth" (Matt. xxviii. 18); and yet he said, "but now we see not yet all things put under him." What do we see then? "We see Jesus," says Paul, "who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor." That is all we see accomplished. Although "all things are di hon, on account of him," yet all the things are to be di ou, through him -- through his instrumentality. All the thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers of the existing order of things are developed on account of him. This is the reason of their existence. He is to possess them all; as it is written, "the kingdoms of this world become our Lord's and his Anointed's and he shall reign for the Aions of the Aions" (Apoc. xi. 15). But, it is very obvious that they are not in his possession now, any more than they were in Paul's day. Even after a lapse of eighteen hundred years we can say with him, "but now we do not yet see all things put under him;" nor shall we see them so subject until they are subjected "through him," as represented in Apoc. xix. 11-21. When this conquest is perfected he will be able to say, I have conquered; but till then, it can only be said prophetically, I conquer, at some future time.

But it is affirmed by some, that Jesus is now sitting upon that throne of his Father of which he is the heir; and that therefore, he hath overcome. To this I object, that the throne of the Father of which Jesus is the heir does not yet exist; and therefore, of course, he cannot be sitting upon it; and has, consequently, not conquered, or overcome his enemies.

When Jesus ascended to heaven, "he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in high places" (Heb. i. 3), which, in Heb. x. 12, is styled "the right hand of the Deity;" and in Heb. viii. 1, the phrase is extended to, "he sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." Treating of this subject in Eph. i. 20, Paul says, that the Deity raised up the Christ from among the dead, and "set him at his right hand in the heavenlies." Thus he hath highly exalted him indeed, having placed him there above all terrestrial governments, or, in the words of the apostle, "far above every principality, and authority, and power, and lordship, and every name that is named, not only in this AION, (or Course of things,) but in the future. And puts all things under his feet." And again, in Col. iii. 1, "Seek the things above, where the Anointed is, sitting at the right hand of the Deity" -- the life, the honor, the power, the glory, the salvation, the grace, to be brought you at the apocalypse of Jesus Anointed (1 Pet. i. 13); all of which is in harmony with Ps. cx. 1, "Sit thou at my right hand," said Yahweh to David's Lord, "until I shall make thy foes a stool for thy feet," or until I conquer them for thee; and then thou shalt sit upon my throne. For it is so written in the next verse, in these words, "The sceptre of thy strength shall Yahweh send out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies;" and in the second psalm, "I have anointed my King upon Zion, the mountain of my holiness."

We have said that the throne of the Father that Jesus is heir to does not yet exist. He is King elect, but without throne or kingdom. This may be thought strange, but it is not more strange than true. Jesus is not heir of the throne at the right hand of which he is now sitting. That is not the apocalyptic throne, but the throne of the boundless universe "in the light which no man can approach unto." The Father intends to have a throne on earth, as well as that now in the light. He has had a throne on earth formerly, which continued for several ages: but He caused it to be overturned superlatively more than twenty-four hundred years ago, and it has ceased to be ever since. While it was standing, David and Solomon, and their posterity, sat upon it, governing the twelve tribes of Israel for Jehovah. "Of all my sons," says David, "Jehovah hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of THE KINGDOM OF JEHOVAH over Israel" (1 Chron. xxviii. 5). So when David was about to die, Solomon was anointed, and "sat on THE THRONE OF JEHOVAH as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him" (xxix. 23).

But in the days of Zedekiah, the last of David's posterity that ever occupied the throne of Yahweh or Jehovah, it was overturned by Nebuchadnezzar. This catastrophy was predicted before it came to pass, in Ezek. xxi. 25-27. In this passage, the prophet addressing Zedekiah, then reigning in Jerusalem, says, "Thou profane, wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come for the punishment of iniquity at the end; thus saith Adonai Yahweh, Remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be that; exalt the low, and abase the high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; and this shall not be until he come whose right it is, and I will give it him." Thus the reigning king was to be uncrowned and deposed, and the throne and dynasty of David set aside, until the Messiah, having been manifested, should at some subsequent period be apocalypsed for the purpose of receiving what of right belongs to him -- the throne and kingdom of Jehovah, formerly occupied by his ancestors, David and Solomon.

Hence there must of necessity be a restoration of the throne and kingdom of Yahweh. Nothing can be more evident than this. Jeremiah, who was contemporary with the subversion of the kingdom and destruction of the city and temple by the Chaldeans, looked forward to a time when Israel would think nothing of the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh, and would not visit it. That time has not yet come, for, though they cannot visit it, because it does not exist, still "it comes to mind," and "they remember it." Now, speaking of this future when they shall not regard it, he says, "At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Yahweh; and all nations shall be gathered to it, (as the seat of government,) to the Name of Yahweh to Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north, to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers" (Jer. iii. 16-18).

This, then, is the Father's throne, of which Jesus and the Saints are the joint-heirs. In the promise to those who shall buy gold and white raiment of him, and become victors over the blandishments and seductions of the Laodicean Apostasy, he assures them, as he did the faithful in Thyatira, that what he received of the Father they should partake in -- "even as I have received (the promise thereof) from my Father." But before this promise can be verified in deed, Jesus and his brethren must vanquish their enemies. Jerusalem and the Holy Land must be wrested out of the power of the Gentiles, and Israel must be restored. When this is accomplished, or rather, in the accomplishment thereof, "a door is opened in the heaven, and a throne is set up therein" (Apoc. iv. 1,2); and Jesus will then sit down with his Father on his throne, and not till then.




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