Closely connected with this foregoing point, that the book is Hebrew in character, and intended specially for Hebrews, is another undoubted fact, that the Church of God is not the subject of the Old Testament, either in history, type, or prophecy.
Passages, &c., may be found there and used to illustrate what is subsequently revealed. But this can be done only by way of application, and not by way of teaching or of interpretation.
Because, of the |Mystery| or the secret concerning the Church of God, we are told that it |was kept secret since the world began| (Rom. xvi.25). That |in other ages it was not made known unto the sons of men| (Eph. iii.5). That is, |from the beginning of the world, hath been hid in God| (Eph. iii.9). That it |hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to the saints| (Col. i.26).
These statements are |the true sayings of God,| and not our own. We have no choice but to believe what He says. If any hold that, in spite of all this, the Church was not |hid in God,| but was the subject of Old Testament prophecy, then we have nothing more to say to them; for, if they will not believe God, it is not likely they will believe us.
But, believing God, we ask whether the Church is likely to be the subject of prophecy in the Apocalypse, especially when its future is clearly foretold in the Epistles which contain the revelation of the Mystery. There we learn what is to be the future and end of the Body of Christ. The members of that Body are merely waiting to be |received up in glory| (1 Tim. iii.16). They are waiting for their |calling on high| (Phil. iii.14). They are looking for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change their vile bodies that they may be fashioned like unto His own glorious body (Phil. iii.20, 21).
But all this, we submit, takes place before the Apocalypse opens. There we have, not the coming of the Lord to take away His Church, but, the revelation of the events which shall take place after the Church has been |received up in glory.| These events will take place during |the day of the Lord,| when He shall come not in grace, but in judgement; not in mercy, but in wrath. But this brings us to our fourth point. What is the meaning of |the Lord's Day,| in chap. i.9?