The Glorious Appearing; Rev. 1:7,8
Revelation 1:7, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all tribes of the earth shall mourn because of him. Even so, Amen."
The word "tribes" is the Greek word PHULOS [fuloj], but we need to look at how this phrase was used in the Old Testament. It is normally translated "families of the earth," and we don't look at the word "tribes" as just the word "families." Sometimes a word can have several different nuances but you have to look at how it is used and phrased. The term "tribes of the earth" using the word PHULOS is a phrase that is taken right out of the Greek Septuagint. It is a translation of the Hebrew word mishpachah which is often translated "families" in the Old Testament. This phrase, as it is used in the Old Testament talks about Gentiles, not Jews. So "tribes of the earth" always refers to Gentiles. Therefore, this coming in Revelation 1:7 isn't a localized coming. That is important because the preterists claim that Jesus returned in a local coming in 70 AD, a coming in judgment on Israel, and that that is what this passage refers to as well as the passage in Matthew 24.
Revelation 1:7 is a summary description of what takes place at the second coming of Jesus Christ. It foreshadows where the book of Revelation is headed. It closes with the brief statement, "Even so, Amen." This is the Greek word NAI [nai], which means "yes." It has the idea if "indeed" or "truly," the idea of certainty. The last word is Amen, which is a transliteration of a Hebrew word which means to believe. It was a statement of certainty, that you validated something. "Certainly, yes, I believe, it is so." It came to be used as an idiom for agreeing with statement or validating a statement. People in churches would use that. Today we have a lot of Christians just over using the term, and once you start over using any word it loses its semantic value and it just becomes a statement. There is nothing wrong with using it but it must be used sparingly where it has meaning and significance.
What happens here is that there is a break. This is a stylistic break from what has been going on in these first seven verses. Verses eight is going to shift the focus to the glory of God and His control of history.
But we must go back and finish what we began in the contrast between the Rapture and the second coming.
9) Christ comes for His own at the Rapture. He comes for the church in the clouds. At the second coming He comes with His own. He comes for His bride at the Rapture; He comes with His bride at the second coming. Another reason the church can't be raptured at the Tribulation is because the marriage feast of the Lamb has to take place. If He just picks us up on the way down there is no time for the judgment seat of Christ or the marriage supper of the Lamb.
10) When the Rapture takes place Christ comes in the clouds; at the second coming Christ comes with the clouds to the earth.
11) At the Rapture Christ claims His bride. He comes with His bride at the second coming.
12) At the Rapture only His own (believers) will see Him; at the second coming every eye shall see Him.
13) After the Rapture the Tribulation begins—not immediately, there is some lapse. The Messianic kingdom begins after the second coming.
Revelation 1:8, KJV"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." This verse is a statement. The better MSS demonstrate that "says the Lord" should be "says the Lord God." The phrase "the beginning and the end" wasn't in the original. This is important for understanding who is speaking here. We have to know what the text says before we can know what the text means. If the phrase "the beginning and the end" is included we would say it looks like the Lord Jesus Christ, but if we take that out and we have the phrase "Lord God," KURIOS HO THEOS [kurioj o( qeoj] that is a different identification. So we have to look at who is doing the speaking. Is this God the Father or is it God the Son? We conclude that this is God the Father. Remember verse 1: "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God [the Father] gave him, to show his servants." This introduction covers the first eight verses.
1) The phrase that is translated "Lord God." Who is speaking here? The phrase KURIOS HO THEOS is used ten times in the New Testament, but only one of these is used outside of the book of Revelation. The one time outside of the book of Revelation is in Luke 1:32 which is the announcement of the birth of the Messiah, "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David." So who is the Lord God? It has to be God the Father.
2) In other passages in Revelation it always refers to God the Father. For example, Revelation 4:8 (look at the context), "And the four living creatures had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." This is God the Father. The problem that is going to come up is that as John appears before the throne of God and sees the four living creatures praising Him what happens is that they bring forth a scroll and no one is found worthy to open the scrolls, until the Lamb shows up. The Lamb is clearly different from the one who is sitting on the throne. So when we read through chapters four and five we realize that there are two personages here: the person who is on the throne being praised as the Lord God Almighty who was and who is and who is to come, and a second personage, the Lamb. Then, Revelation 11:17, "Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, who is, and was, and is to come; because you have taken your great power, and reigned." Verse 15 reveals two personages here: "the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ." Verse 16, "And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God." Who is God? They are worshipping the Father here. This is a praise to God the Father. Revelation 15:3, "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are your ways, King of saints." They are addressing God the Father. Revelation 16:7, "And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments." Again, the context shows that they are talking about God the Father, not the Lord Jesus Christ. Revelation 21:22, "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it." Two personages again. All of this is to show that the Lord God Almighty is distinguished from the Lamb in the context.
Revelation 1:8, "I am the Alpha and the Omega." Isn't that the Lord Jesus Christ? That phrase is used three times in Revelation. The second time it is used it is clearly referring to God the Father, and the last time it is used it refers to Jesus Christ. Revelation 21:6, where it refers to God the Father, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." This is said by 'Him who sat on the throne,' i.e. God the Father. In Revelation 22:13 it refers to the Son, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." Alpha and Omega is an idiom for eternity. That applies to both the Father and the Son. Alpha and Omega could be either the Father or the Son; Lord God Almighty clearly refers to the Father. "Who is, and who was, and who is to come" clearly refers to the Father and concludes with the statement "the Almighty." Again, "the Almighty" only applies to the Father in the book of Revelation.
Conclusion: Revelation 1:1-8 gives us the introduction. This is a revelation from God the Father. It is given to Jesus Christ who then reveals it by means of angels to His servant John. Both the Lord Jesus Christ and the angels are involved in the giving of this revelation.