Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 322
Publication Date: 1919
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This is the Rev. Clarence Larkin's guide to the Book of Revelation. Larkin, who published several books about biblical studies in the 1910s and 20s, was a 'Dispensationalist,' one of the threads of modern Evangelical Christianity. Unlike more recent authors, Larkin does not make any claims to know when or exactly how the prophecies will unfold. Rather he takes us on a grand tour of the Apocalypse of St. John, and guides us through its images, symbols and poetry. Larkin sorts out what could be a reference to an actual event or person, and what is pure symbolism.
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"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. I was in the SPIRIT on the LORD'S DAY, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a Trumpet, saying, I am ALPHA and OMEGA, the FIRST and the LAST: and, What thou SEEST, write in a book, and send it unto the Seven Churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw
SEVEN GOLDEN CANDLESTICKS;
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 (breast) with a golden girdle. His Head and his Hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His Eyes were as a flame of fire; and His Feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His Voice as the sound of many waters. 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. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His Right Hand upon me, saying unto me, "Fear not; I am the FIRST and the LAST: I am He that LIVETH, and WAS DEAD; and behold, I am ALIVE FOR EVERMORE, AMEN; and have the KEYS of HELL (Hades, the Underworld), and of DEATH (the Grave). Write the things which thou hast SEEN, and the things which ARE, and the things which shall be HEREAFTER (after these); the Mystery of the 'Seven Stars' which thou sawest in my right hand, and the 'Seven Golden Candlesticks.' The 'Seven Stars' are the ANGELS (Messengers) of the 'Seven Churches': and the 'Seven Candlesticks' which thou sawest are the SEVEN CHURCHES."
The Apostle John addresses the Churches as their brother and companion in TRIBULATION. This does not mean "The Great Tribulation," for that is not for the Church but for Israel, and is still future. When John wrote the Book of Revelation in A. D. 95-96 the Christians were undergoing a persecution under the Roman Emperor Domitian, and as a result of this persecution John had been banished to the Isle of Patmos, a small, rocky island in the Aegean Sea 30 miles off the west coast of Asia Minor, and opposite the city of Ephesus. John was pastor of the Church at Ephesus at the time of his banishment, and it was to that Church that the first Message to the Seven Churches was addressed. John was banished for "the Word of God, and his testimony to Jesus Christ."
He tells us that he was "in the Spirit on the LORD'S DAY." There has been much confusion as to what is meant here by the "Lord's Day." Some hold that the "First Day of the Week" or the Christian Sabbath is meant, others that John meant the "Day of the Lord."
Both the Old and the New Testament speak of the "Day of the Lord." Isa. 2:12, Joel 1:15, 2:1, 3:14, Ezek. 13:5, Malachi 4:5, Acts 2:20, 2. Cor. 1:14, 1. Thess. 5:2, 2. Pet. 3:10. The term applies to the "Day of the Lord's Return" and includes both the Tribulation and the Millennium. See the Chart on the Prophetic Days of Scripture. The Christian Sabbath was never called the "LORD'S DAY" until after the Book of Revelation was written and got its name from that source. It is always called in the Gospels and Epistles the "First Day of the Week."
It is hardly likely that John could have been caught up as Paul was into the Third Heaven and seen and heard all that he describes in the Book of Revelation on one Sabbath Day, and as the Book from chapter 5 is a description of the things that are to come to pass in the "DAY OF THE LORD," what better understanding of the "LORD'S DAY" can we have than that John was projected by the Holy Spirit across the centuries into the "DAY OF THE LORD" and had visualized to him the things that shall come to pass in that day. This is the rational solution of the question. See the Chart, John's Patmos Vision.
When John thus found himself in the "Day of the Lord" he heard behind him a great voice, as of a trumpet, which said--"I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last," and the repetition of the statement in verses 17 and 18, with the added words--"I am He that Liveth, and WAS DEAD; and behold, I am ALIVE FOR EVERMORE, AMEN; and have the keys of Hell (Hades, the Underworld), and of Death (the Grave)," identifies the speaker as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. John had his back turned to the speaker, and when he turned around he saw one like unto the
SON OF MAN
standing in the midst of "Seven Candlesticks." "LAMPSTANDS" is a better translation and is so given in the margin of our Bibles. A candlestick requires a light such as a candle, which is self-consuming, while a "Lampstand" is for the support of a lamp whose wick instead of burning away is fed from the oil within. In the Scriptures oil is emblematic of the Holy Spirit, and as Jesus Himself interprets the "Lampstands" as meaning the Seven Churches to whom He was about to send messages, we see that Jesus looks upon the churches as not the LIGHT, but simply the "LIGHT HOLDER." From the fact that Jesus speaks of "Stars" and "Lampstands" it is clear that we are living in the NIGHT of this Dispensation, for "stars" and "lampstands" belong to the night.