A. The King and the Kingdom, (See Ap. 95. II and Ap. 198) in promise
and prophecy (the Old Testament) :
B. The King presented, proclaimed, and rejected (the four Gospels) :
C. Transitional. The
kingdom again offered and rejected (Acts and
the earlier Epistles. See Ap. 180 and 181) :
B. The King exalted and made Head over all things
to "the church which is
His body". The "mystery" (the later Pauline Epistles. See Ap. 193).
The kingdom in abeyance (Heb. 2:8).
A. The King and the kingdom unveiled. The King enthroned.
set up. Promise and prophecy fulfilled (The Revelation).
This is set forth in the foregoing Structure, from which we see that Genesis and Revelation, "the first" and "the last" books of the Bible, are inseparably linked together. Genesis is "the beginning" and Revelation the ending of the written Word, even as the Lord, the Incarnate Word, spake of Himself (cp. 21:6; 22:13). Revelation is the complement of Genesis. Either without the other would be unintelligible. Genesis 1-2 finds its correspondence in Rev. 21-22 (see Ap. 198).
Without the first chapters of Genesis, Revelation would be an insoluble riddle, as indeed it is to those who treat the record of the "Creation" and the "Fall" as "myths" (See 2Tim. 4:4). Without the last chapters of the Revelation "the Book" would be a hopeless and heart-breaking record of the failure and doom of the Adamic race.
The Bible may be likened to a beautiful and complex girdle or belt,
with a corresponding connecting clasp at each end, one the complement of
the other. Do away with either, the girdle is useless as a girdle.
So here, Genesis and Revelation are the two clasps of the
Divine Word, which link together and enclose between them in "perfection
of beauty" and harmony the whole of the Scriptures in which God has been
pleased to reveal His "Eternal Purpose" (Ap. 198).
"The day of the Lord" being yet future, it follows that the whole book must concern the things belonging to "that day", and consequently is wholly prophecy. Though partial adumbrations of judgment may be traced in connection with affairs of past history, yet the significant, solemn warning here (1:10) that the "judgments" in Revelation relate to the day of the Lord, "the day of vengeance" (cp. Isa. 61:2; 63:4, &c.), makes it clear that the book concerns the future, and the day of the unveiling (the Apocalypse) of the great "King of kings and Lord of lords" (see Ap. 198).
Its scope is further shown by its place in the Canon. The order of the separate books of the N.T. varies, but they are always formed in four groups that never vary chronologically. (See Ap. 95. II.)
The Gospels contain the prophecies of the great tribulation :
Revelation describes it. Between, come the Scriptures of the
intermediate period, Acts and the Epistles. Chronologically
and canonically, Revelation follows after the Epistles, though logically
in God's purpose (Eph. 3:11) it follows the Gospels. Therefore we
see the scope embraces the wind-up of all the affairs of time; it records
the end of prophecy, the end of "the secret of God" (10:7), the end of
all "enmity towards God", and the dawn of the "ages of the ages".
Again, in Matthew (the Hebrew Gospel) are some 92 quotations from and references to the O.T. In Hebrews there are 102. In Revelation are found no fewer than 285. This emphatically stamps its close connection with the O.T. and Israel; and it equally stamps the latest utterances of "modern scholarship", viz. that "whatever view may be taken of the indebtedness to Jewish sources, there can be no doubt that he (the writer) has produced a book which taken as a whole is profoundly Christian", as being the dicta of men who, wittingly or unwittingly, are blind to this fundamental fact of Revelation.
THE TITLES OF CHRIST further attest its Hebrew character :
(i) "The Son of Man" (1:13;
14:14). Never found in the Pauline Epistles
to the "churches". See Ap. 98. xvi and Ap. 99.
(ii) "The Almighty" (1:8; &c.). See Ap. 98. iv.
(iii) "The Lord God" (3:8
and see 2:.6). Cp. this title with Gen. 2:4-3:24
in connexion with "paradise".
(iv) "The First and the Last"
(1:11, 17; 2:8; 22:13). Never associated
with "the church which is His body".
(v) "The Prince of the kings
of the earth" (1:5). Never used in
connexion with "the church".
(vi) "Who is to come" (=
The Coming One), 1:4, &c. Occ sixteen times
in the Gospels, Acts, Hebrews (10:37); three times in Revelation, and
(vii) "The Living One" (1:18).
A title only found in Daniel (4:34; 12:7)
and six times in this book. Thus linking Daniel and Revelation
in a very special manner.
The Israel of 19:7 is not spoken of as bride (numphe), because she has become wife (gune). Cp. the "married to you" = am become your husband (consummation), of Jer. 3:14, and see the Note there relating to the "restoration" time. Here (21:9) the term "bride" indicates clearly that the betrothal has taken place and that the marriage will be consummated when the bride shall have come down out of heaven. John sees her coming down (pres. part.), 21:10.
The loose way in which we speak of a "bride" as not only a contracting party at the time of the marriage ceremony, but also of her after she has become wife (gune), is responsible for much confusion as to the "wife" of 19:7 and the bride-wife of 21:9. Strictly speaking , "bride" is to be applied only to a betrothed virgin (Gr. parthenos = Heb. hethulah), when the marriage (legal) ceremony takes place. Directly after, she ceases to be "bride", and has become (legally) "wife", although from the forensic point of view consummation of the marriage may be delayed (cp. Matt. 1:25, and see the Note there).
According to the Mosaic Law, a betrothed maid (Heb. bethulah) was legally a wife ('ishshah), (cp. Matt. 1:18, 20 with Deut. 22:23, 24); hence Joseph's trouble and temptation (see Matt. 1:20). A careful study of the terms in Matt. 1:18-25 will afford a clue to a clearer understanding of the terms "bride" and the two "wives" of Rev. 19:7; 21:9 than volumes of commentary.
If the earthly millennial metropolis is real, so is this also, for both are spoken of in the same terms. And if the laying of "thy stones with fair colors" and "thy foundations with sapphires" (Isa. 54:11) is spoken of the day when God is to be called "the God of the whole earth" (see v. 5), it must refer to the time of Isa. 65:17; 66:22 and Rev. 21:1. Moreover, laying foundations implies a solid substratum on which to lay them, i.e. earth. Foundations are of no use to a city "suspended" in the air!
The same argument applies also to the "tree of life" and the "water
of life". If the "river" and "trees for meat" of Ezek 47:1-12 are
real and literal, so also are the "tree" and the "water" of life here.
Again, both are spoken of in identical terms. There is no more room
for "imagery" in the one case than the other. The "tree of life"
lost in the paradise of Genesis is here seen restored to the whole
earth in the day when "the God of the whole earth" will "tabernacle" with
men, - (and be) "their God" (Rev. 21:3). There is no place for "symbolism"
in either case.
Seven is thus seen to be the predominant number, occurring fifty-four times (3 x 3 x 3 x 2 = 54. Ap. 10). Twelve comes next - twenty-two occ. Seven, ten, and twelve, with their multiples, run throughout the book. In the Notes attention is called to other numbers of great significance. The student will thus be enabled to work out for himself many problems connected with the question of number in Scripture. Some examples are here given of word occurrences.
6 times; Babulon, basanismos (torment), theion (brimstone) :
7 times; abussos (bottomless
pit), axios (worthy), basileuo (reign), etoimazo
(make ready), makarios (blessed), propheteia (prophecy), semeion
(sign, &c.), hupomene (patience), charagma (mark), Christos:
8 times; Amen,
(alter), planao (deceive), Satanas,
(seal), stephanos (crown), nux (night):
9 times; deka
(new), krino (judge), marturia (testimony),
pantokrator (Almighty), polemos (battle, &c.):
10 times; alethinos
(true), eikon (image), thumos (wrath), keras (horn),
prosopon (face), hora (hour), salpizo (to sound):
12 times; dunamis (strength), phiale (vial) :
14 times; aster (star), Iesous, doulos (servant); &c.
The word arnion (lamb) occ. 29 times ("the Lamb" 28 = 4 sevens : the other occ. 13:11). Elsewhere only in John 21:15. hagios (holy) occ. 26 times according to the texts, which omit 15:3 and 22:6, and add 22:21; otherwise 27 times (3 x 9 or 3 x 3 x 3) : doxa (glory) occ. 17 times (10 + 7) : eulogia (blessing and ascription) 3 times; ethnos (nations) 23 times; nikao (overcome) 17 times : drakon (dragon) 13 times : plege (plague, &c.) occ. 16 times (4 x 4).
Phrases occ. frequently, e.g. (i) he that hath an ear 7 times;
if any man hath an ear occ. once : (ii) third part , 16 times :
(iii) the kings of the earth, 9 times.