Revelation Chapters 2 & 3: The 2 Dates Part 2

The following are proofs to show that the book of Revelation was written prior to AD 70

  1. The Syriac

One of the most ancient versions of the New Testament, known as the Syriac, claims that Revelation was written before 70 AD.

  1. The 7 kings

Some claim we have proof of an early date by using Revelation 17:10,

“They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while.”

Preterists claim that this passage speaks of the line of rulers in Rome and accurately identifies Nero and fives us an outline of the Roman Empire of the first century:

Five have fallen:

Julius Caesar (49-44 BC)
Augustus (27 BC-14 AD)
Tiberius (14-37 AD)
Caligula (37-41 AD)
Claudius (41-54 AD)

One is:

Nero (54-68 AD)

The other has not yet come; but when he does, he must remain for only a little while:

Galba (June 68 – January 69 AD)

  1. A Hebrew Idiom used in Revelation 1:7

The Hebrew idiom “Coming with the clouds,” speaks of God coming to bring judgment on a city or nation. Those who cling to an earlier date for Revelation see this as telling us what Jesus came to do in 70AD

Revelation 1:7

7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

Here the phrase “even those who pierced Him,” must refer to the people of the first century and a later date in history would see these people deceased. According to this passage, those who pierced Him were expected to be alive at the time of this verse’s fulfillment.
Another proof that lends to this idea comes from Matthew 26:59-64:

59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, 60 but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ”
62 And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”
64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Jesus was not speaking of His second coming but of the coming judgment of Jerusalem by the words that He used. This also directs us to the book of Daniel

Daniel 7

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel [a]had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling [b]the main facts.
2 Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
5 “And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’
6 “After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.
7 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking [c]pompous words.
Vision of the Ancient of Days
9 “I watched till thrones were [d]put in place,
And the Ancient of Days was seated;
His garment was white as snow,
And the hair of His head was like pure wool.
His throne was a fiery flame,
Its wheels a burning fire;
10 A fiery stream issued
And came forth from before Him.
A thousand thousands ministered to Him;
Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
The [e]court was seated,
And the books were opened.
11 “I watched then because of the sound of the [f]pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
13 “I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.
This is tied to at least the first 6 chapters of Revelation where we see John called to witness a court scene and the Lamb open the seals.

  1. The Jews and Judaizers
    Both are mentioned in the letters to the churches. The first century believers had both groups actively working against them. The Jewish leaders had vast influence in the Roman Empire and had a hand in the persecution outside of the church at that time. The Judaizers were active inside the church trying to turn Christians back to the Old Covenant Jewish Law.
    Before the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem it was advantageous to be a Jew. They had a favored relationship with Rome as they were allowed to have their own justice and Temple system so long as they continued in subservience to the Roman Empire.
    This all changed after 70 AD. The Roman army destroyed Jerusalem and killed more than a million Jews. Since then the influence, status, and favor for the Jewish people was gone along with their religious system. Thus it would not have been so advantageous to claim to be Jewish or to hold to the Jewish system.
    This is another proof for those who claim an early date for Revelation
  2. The fall of the Temple in Jerusalem
    Why doesn’t John mention the fall of the Temple in 70 AD?
    This question and the lack of it’s mention has fueled both the Preterists and Futurists to speculate and draw conclusions to strengthen their arguments.
    Futurist claim that John was writing toward a future perspective and wouldn’t focus on something that happened in the past. He was also writing to mostly Gentile believers far removed from Jerusalem. The Temple mentioned in Revelation 11 was a future Temple that John was seeing, as both Daniel and Ezekiel saw a future Temple.
    Preterists claim that the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple are not mentioned because they haven’t been destroyed yet.
    Preterists also point to the same Temple as one that existed at the time of John’s writing. They also draw heavily from the Olivet Discourse. One such text is when Jesus says,
    “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”
    Matthew 24:34
    A generation usually refers to forty years and the fall of Jerusalem would fit this time Jesus predicted. Preterists also draw heavily from Josephus’ account of the fall of Jerusalem
    Others use this fact as a way to discredit this book by saying that John wrote this book later, after the Temple was destroyed, as a false prophetic writing after the fact.
  3. Time significant passages

In both the beginning and ending of Revelation we see passages that reference literal time indicators that seem to infer a short amount of time related to the prophecies of John.
Revelation 1:1, 1:3, 22:10, and 22:20 all declare that the time is near for the things to happen that John writes about concerning judgment.

These are only a few of the many arguments from both sides regarding the date of the writing of Revelation.
Does the date matter?
It seems it does for the Preterist. If we take the book of Revelation as prophecy as it claims, then it would need to have been written before 70 AD for their position to be true.
The Futurist can believe either date and still hold their position.
It does matter if we are trying to figure out just who John wrote this book too and when he wrote it so that we can understand his original intention.

The one major thing that we can hold onto regardless of the date that every word, every sentence, every reference is about Jesus Christ

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Revelation Chapters 2 & 3: The 2 Dates Part 1

One important aspect in the interpretation of Revelation, and one that is still debated, is the date of the writing of this book. Preterism argues for a pre-70 AD date while Futurism hold to a late date of 95 AD, however, there have been some writers that argue for both concerning different chapters.

Both dates have their pros and cons.

Later Date – 95 AD

1. Banishment of John to Patmos

We learn in Revelation chapter 1 that John had been banished to the island of Patmos because of his testimony (witness) to Jesus Christ. While there is evidence that both Nero and Domitian banished people, there are a few proofs that favor John being banished during the reign of Domitian.

Church history records Peter and Paul being executed in Rome near the end of Nero’s reign. The only known punishment for Christians by Nero had mainly been death, while it was Domitian who had been known for banishing those who did not agree with Rome. It would have been odd for Nero to execute Peter and Paul just to banish John.

Nero’s persecution of Christians, While strong, does not appear to have been extended beyond Rome. Domitian’s’ persecution of Christians, weaker than Nero’s, extended to the entire Roman Empire

2. Irenaeus, and other church Fathers

Irenaeus, in his work Against Heresies, claims that John wrote Revelation at the end of the reign of Domitian, which ended in 96 AD. Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp, who had been a disciple of John, so it is believed that he had gained information from a first hand witness.

Other secular historians and early church writers who mention this later date are Tacitus, Tertullian, Eusebius, Suetonius, and Dio Cassius, and quite a few other writers

3. The conditions of the 7 churches

The conditions of the 7 churches in chapters 2 and 3 seems to be describing a second generation setting rather than that of a first generation.

Ephesus is charged with abandoning their first love and warned about the Nicolatian heresy. Critics claim that if this had been written in 65AD, it would have overlapped with Paul’s letter to the same group and his letter to Timothy. Paul seems to be warning this group in Acts of the very thing that this letter in Revelation calls them out for taking this warning to the extreme.

The group at Smyrna did not exist during Paul’s ministry.

Laodicea is rebuked for being lukewarm and worldly, but in Paul’s letter to the Colossians, He commends them three times (Col 2:2, 4:13, 16).

It would have taken a while for them to decline to the point they were called out for. Another fact that points to a later date is the fact that an earthquake in 61 AD left the city in ruins for many years, which also would hinder the claim of being physically rich at the time.

The fact that there are only 7 churches listed is also used by those believing in an earlier date for this book, stating that the church’s expansion happened after the destruction of Jerusalem. Since only these 7 are mentioned, they claim this had to be before 70 AD

4. Oil and wine

The description of an oil and wine deficiency in Revelation 6:6 matches an edict from Domitian in 92 AD to destroy vineyards in Asia

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Revelation Chapters 2-3: The 7 Churches Part 2

Is this book a prophecy of future events yet to take place, or have these prophecies already been fulfilled?

Throughout history, there have been four different views regarding the interpretation of Revelation:

Idealist

Preterist

Historicist

Futurist

The Idealist View

The Idealist, or spiritual view teaches that Revelation describes, in symbolic language, the battle throughout the ages between God and Satan and good against evil allegorically with no ties to specific historical events.

The allegorical approach was introduced by Origen (AD 185-254) and made prominent by Augustine (AD 354-420).

It’s major strength is that you don’t need to apply the events towards any historical events and so it can be applicable to any time period.

It’s weakness lies in the fact that all of this book was written by John to specific physical places and events that happened or will happen but using this approach has no answer for these specific things. Interpretations are open to the whim of the interpreter and far away from the original intent.

The Preterist View

The Preterist view teaches that Revelation records events that were largely fulfilled in AD 70 with the fall of the Jerusalem Temple.

“Preter,” means “past” and comes from the Latin. There are two main views among this group,

Full Preterism and Partial Preterism. Both groups believe that the prophecies of the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 and Revelation were fulfilled in the in the first century with the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.

Chapters 1-3 describe the condition of the seven churches in Asia Minor prior to the Jewish War, while the remaining chapters, along with the Olivet Discourse, describes the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans.

The difference between the two is in the belief that, for the full Preterist, all the prophecies of Revelation were fulfilled in AD 70 and we are now living in the eternal state, or what represents the new heaven and new earth.

Partial Preterists believe that most of the prophecies of Revelation were fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem but that chapters 20-22 point to future events.

The roots of Preterism has been traced back to a Jesuit priest named Luis De Alcazar (1554-1613). His interpretation has been considered as a response to the Protestant Historicist interpretation of Revelation, that mainly identified the Pope as the Anti-Christ, yet there are many who claim the Preterist teachings can be found taught in the early church.

There are just as many criticisms for Preterism as there are for the other views. Most instances seem to be the criticism that Preterists have to stretch the metaphors and symbols to make them match up with the AD 70 doctrine.

The Historicist View

The Historicist view teaches that this book is a symbolic presentation of church history beginning in the first century AD through the end of the age. The prophecies of Revelation are fulfilled in various historic events relating to the Western church, with the events of the later chapters of Revelation placed in the time of the specific interpreter.

The general view of Historicism is as follows:

Chapters 1-3 – Seven periods in church history

Chapters 4-7 – Symbology of the fall of the Roman Empire

Chapters 8-10 – Represents the invasions of the Roman Empire by several groups

Chapters 11-13 – Representation of the true church’s struggle against Roman Catholicism with the papacy viewed as the Anti-Christ

Chapters 14-16 – Represents God’s judgment on the Catholic Church

Chapters 17-19 – Represents the future overthrow of Catholicism

Chapters 20-22 – The new heavens and new earth

One major criticism of this view is that it allows for a wide range of interpretations, mainly known as the “Current Events hermaneutics” where many interpretations come from what is happening at that point in history and must be changed in order to match up with current events.

Another criticism is that this view mainly focuses on the events of the Western Church and very little on the Easter Church. This view would have absolutely no relevance toward John’s original audience and not have been interpreted as this view suggests.

This view gained traction during the Reformation possibly solely because of it’s view of the Pope or papacy as the Anti-Christ but as of the 20th Century, it’s influence has mainly diminished.

The Futurist View

This view teaches that the events of the Olivet Discourse and Revelation chapters 4-22 will occur in the future. This view applies a literal approach to interpreting this book and it’s proponents claim that this comes from the church fathers throughout history up until Origen introduced allegorical interpretation, but has rose again to prominence in our modern era.

Futurist interpretation has been very popular among Evangelical Christians, the most popular being dispensation theology. Most famous television teachers and preachers hold this view

Revelation is divided into three sections:

Chapter 1 describes the past – What you have seen

Chapters 2-3 describe the present – What is now

Chapters 4-22 describe the future events – What will take place later

The critics of this view claim that it renders the book of Revelation completely irrelevant to the original audience, only focusing on the modern Western Church. Many popular teachers of the day still apply this view to connect current events to the symbols given in chapters 4-22, for example, a very famous commentator claimed the Locusts coming out of the abyss were obviously helicopters and John just didn’t know how to describe them.

Another criticism is that a literal approach to the symbols given is wrong because Revelation is apocalyptic literature and must be allegorical or symbolically

The Eclectic View

This view is the most recent one to be suggested. It stands out because it takes what works in each of the previous views and one can leave out what doesn’t work for each view. As with the others it still comes down to what you interpret the text to mean and we can still be tripped up by bias or by pet theology and doctrine.

The most important thing when reading and learning the book of Revelation is that we clear our minds of denominational doctrine and theology and as this simple question first:

“What was the intention of the author to the original audience?”

and

“What is God trying to teach me from it and how does it glorify Jesus?”

If we are able to get that right before anything else, we will get on the right path

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Revelation Chapters 2-3: The 7 Churches Part 1

Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation Involve 7 believing congregations in Asia Minor, who each receive epistles written by John but coming straight from Jesus. What we are about to see is divine judgment of Christ’s disciples and institutions. A better way to describe what we are about to witness as Jesus is pronouncing a Covenant Lawsuit against these congregations.

These 7 letters are not to the world, Not to Pagans, Not to the world, just yet; these rebukes, mixed with a good report for some for doing well, are aimed at believers.

This judgment is aimed at 7 congregations, consisting of both Jewish and Gentile Christians, not in Israel, but in what was called Asia Minor, or what is called Turkey today.

Why these particular 7?

We know that these were 7 real congregations that existed in history in this area. Yet, of all the groups mentioned in the Bible, we are just now learning about some of them. These letters are meant to address the specific conditions of each group and there is no indication that John is using them as symbols or allegory even though many commentators try to dig it out of the text.

Some see these 7 congregations as reflecting 7 periods of the church age, essentially filling in the gaps from Pentecost up to the last age before Christ comes.

We can use this for application and personal interpretation but not as an absolute and only after teaching what these letters meant to the original audience.

There was both practical and spiritual reasons these particular 7 were chosen because there is so much for us to learn and apply to our walk with the Lord even today.

Looking at a map of the area may give us one idea of why these congregations were selected. They each existed along major routes that connected the major cities of Asia and they are named in the order that messengers would carry letters. Northwest to Northeast and then to the South.

The spiritual conditions of each also allowed John the opportunity to present them in a standard literary technique called a chiasm.

Chiasm is a type of grammatical pattern used, but not unique to Hebrew, extensively in the Old Testament. For example what we see in this pattern is A, B, and C each representing certain characteristics. What we see next is the same characteristics applied a little differently and then given back in reverse order of C, B, and A, with each coinciding letter being similar in characteristics.

Each congregation falls into their appropriate categories following this literary form and the hearer or reader, if Jewish, would have instantly known how to make this association even when it could have been slightly hidden due to it being in Greek.

Another aspect of the letters written to each group is the fact that in them we can see a Covenant Lawsuit against each congregation. Also, employed in the Old Testament in possibly all of the Prophetic books. Just as the Lord pronounced judgment over Israel in the past, we see Jesus pronouncing judgment over these specific groups of spiritual Israel in the First Century.

Just as there was always judgment there was also always something else available, a warning usually accompanied with a path to deliverance. But only if the warning was heeded.

Just as the Israel of old, they and we, seem to be in the same condition, waiting on our Messiah and just trying to navigate our walk with the Lord. Just as they had Israel as an example of how to and not to respond, we have both, if just in the fact that, we get to see through history just how they finished as an example for application as single and cooperate believers.

It should lead us to the fact that we have more in common with Israel and these congregations than we thought.

The main reason being that we all are actually waiting on the same thing and yet these two groups had only part of the picture while we have the whole and yet have we done any better?

Israel was still trapped in exile mentally from the traditions they had created that they missed Jesus, many of the New Testament congregation thought they had missed Jesus, mainly because of the different doctrines and false teachers. Today we have as many doctrines and traditions as there are denominations in the world and we are still asking the same questions.

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Revelation 1:19-20 The First Vision of John Part 6: 7 Angels and 7 Churches

19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

John is told to write down what he sees. This vision seems to be for both now and for the future. Many also claim that this can be used as an outline for the rest of this book.

The only issue we have here is what can be seen as the things which are and which shall be?

What is for now and what is for the future?

It would seem for now that the things “Which are” are at least going to consist of the next two chapters

20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Jesus now gives us at least two answers to some of the mysteries we have run into and this verse directly relates to the next two chapters

The 7 stars – These stars are the 7 angels of the Ekklesia

There is a lot of speculation as to just who these 7 angels are:

Some say these are the Pastors, Bishops, or leaders of each individual group. Since “Angel” essentially means “Messenger,” then these are the physical messengers for each.

Some see these as what is says, 7 angels who are watching over each group.

I’m sure that either view could be used, but in every other time it is used in this book, the word angel means exactly that, a spiritual being that is not human.

Paul gives us the idea that angels watch over our us as well as our gatherings

1 Corinthians 11

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.

9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

And we learn through this book that angels have a large part in the workings of what God administers in our universe.

In ancient cultures, stars were often understood to be spiritual beings, or gods, because they above in the heavens. they seemed to move in the sky, which appeared to give evidence of life. These gods gave man messages by their movement.

In the Bible they were known as “the heavenly host,” and we see verses where angels are called “morning stars.”

Here we see these stars in the right hand of Jesus.

This tells us that the stars, be it angels or gods, are subject to Jesus.

Those who claim these stars are humans ask the question, “Why would John be writing to angels?”

They believe that they are the human bishops, or messengers to each church or group.

I would imagine that either view could be correct.

The 7 menorahs – These are the 7 Ekklesia

The use of the word “Churches” can give us the wrong idea about these gatherings. We get the idea of what we know of in our times but this wasn’t the case in the First-Century.

We hear the word “Church” and we think of a building with a sanctuary, deacons, elders, and a pastor, but back them, these groups would have been meeting in houses and it would have been a lot less organized.

There would have been mostly Jewish Christians with some Gentiles involved. We know that however these groups existed, one things was true, Jesus approved, and walked in their midst, as He should be today.

When we gather, He should be there, which tells us that our worship and praise should be more than entertainment.

We should be gathering together more for the Lord than going to a weekly social club.

I’m stepping on my own toes.

I like reading Church signs. I once worked down the road from a small Church and from my office window I could see their sign. There was a group of trees with benches next to their property and every time I passed it I had the urge to pull over and go sit there and enjoy the birds singing. but I never stopped.

One day they had this message on their billboard.

“This weeks special guest…..Jesus Christ”

I hope it meant something different than what I thought.

He should be the Head of the Church. He should be in the midst every week, not just a special guest every now and them. He should be there at the fellowship meetings, the business meetings, and every worship service, because without Him involved; all you have is a social group getting together for nothing more than to meet.

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Revelation 1:17-18 The First Vision of John Part 5: Don’t Be Afraid

17 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:

18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

When John sees this divine being he fell on his face as if dead (as we saw with Daniel). We know that John was afraid by the beings response. He placed his right hand (the biblical and historical hand of authority and power) on John and tells him “Don’t be afraid.” (Again as we saw with Daniel)

Isaiah was speechless

Isaiah 6

6 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.

Ezekiel had some similar encounters

Ezekiel 1

28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

John had seen something like this vision before

Matthew 17

17 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Paul fell to the earth

Acts 9

9 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Moses trembled when God came down to Mount Sinai

Hebrews 12

18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

Now John knew Jesus. He was one of the Disciples, he walked with Jesus in His ministry for 3 years. He would have know Jesus had he seen Him and called His Name.

John had known Jesus on earth. He had walked with Him, spent time with Him, seen Him transfigured, and seen Jesus day in and day out. Yet now John is seeing the glorified Jesus Christ

Fear not, (Don’t be afraid)

Jesus is greater than your circumstance.

Jesus is greater than your needs.

Jesus is the Great “I AM”

17 I am the first and the last:

18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Most Scholars and commentators agree that this divine being must be Christ yet he gives us the attributes of the Father

I am the first and the last:

with the Son’s

I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore

With what could be an attribute for both

and have the keys of hell and of death.

Nowhere does Jesus ever call Himself “The First and the Last” in the Gospels and to apply this term to Him only comes from this verse. Also God never claims that He was dead at any point in the Bible.

Could we be seeing some kind of unison of the GodHead that existed before time began in John 1:1?

Could this be the nature of One or both manifested as the Angel of the Lord or something of that nature that we see in Revelation Chapter 1 verse 1?

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

Could this be the Angel of the Lord?

We see this Angel many times in the Old Testament, most notebly in Exodus 23

20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.

21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.

22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.

Most say that this is a Christophany, an Old Testament appearance of Jesus Christ. I’m not so sure, I believe that this is an Angel that is most importantly God’s Angel and this may be who we see John interacting with. This could be the case since this is a message being given but I tend to agree with almost everyone that this is none other then Jesus

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Revelation 1:14-16 The First Vision of John Part 4: A Description of Deity

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

It has always been assumed that the description of this divine being given here is a description of Jesus. One reason to speculate is the fact that this book does say that Jesus sent His angel to deliver this message to John. This angel would obviously have been the Angel of the Lord, an angel with some aspects of deity. Some say this angel, when encountered in the Old Testament, was a Christophany, a pre-incarnate encounter with Jesus. This may be the case, but it is something I have a problem with. Equating Jesus in any way with an angel, to me takes away from His majesty and His deity. I firmly believe that, in this instance, John is seeing the exalted and glorified Christ

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

This verse bring us to the book of Daniel chapter 7

9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

This description John gives us is similar to another vision Daniel has in Chapter 10, which seems to be describing an angel, and it almost mimics what John is about to experience

5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:

6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.

7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.

9 Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.

10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.

11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.

12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.

16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.

17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.

18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,

19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.

20 Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.

21 But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.

So here it seems that John is conflating Old Testament attributes of the Ancient of Days, God the Father, to this divine being as well as implications toward God the Son.

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow;

This does not denote age, It shows us maturity, Deity, wisdom and knowledge

and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

These eyes are all penetrating. He sees all, nothing is hidden from His gaze

15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

This shows us stability, He doesn’t falter, nothing makes Him stumble.

His voice – I would imagine that this would be like being at the base of Niagara Falls.

We were watching one of those zoo documentary shows and in this zoo, the employees had to take care of a group of lions. The male lion, who was pretty old told stories of this lion lying on the concrete and when he would growl, they could feel it through the floor. I would imagine this as an example of the sound of His voice

16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

This divine being held 7 stars in his right hand. He gives us the answer to this dilema later on in this chapter. One interesting thing about the stars in His hand: This was a picture of the Pleiades, a group of 7 stars (Mentioned in Job 31) that was displayed on one of the Roman coins, most noteably Domitians coin. The right hand shows complete authority, power, and protection. The stars might have been thought of as controlling human fate, but here we see that nothing, stars or Rome, was mightier than Jesus.

Out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword.

The two-edged sword

This sword is described in Revelation chapter 19 and gives us an attribute of Jesus. Yet John hasn’t seen this vision yet and, at this moment, doesn’t understand it’s meaning.

It is obviously symbolic, it is doubtful, we should ever see a sword coming out of someones mouth, but one thing we do know about this sword comes from the book of Hebrews

Hebrews 4:12

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

So the two-edged sword is the Word of God.

This sword having 2 cutting edges has meaning for us in that they can symbolize both the Law and the Gospel. 2 early church Fathers, Victorinus of Petovium, and Jerome, agree with this

Victorinus of Petovium (also called Pettau and Poetovio), lived in the 200’s A.D. wrote this in his

Commentary on the Apocalypse:

The two-edged sword is the Law and the Gospel. The phrase “a sharp two-

edged sword issued from his mouth” shows that it is he himself who earlier

gave to the whole world knowledge of the Law through Moses, but now gives

the blessings of the Gospel. And since by the same Word every human race

will be judged, whether of the Old or the New Testament, he is called a

“sword”. …….That he might show the Apostles that he was announcing

judgment, he said, “I have not come to send peace, but a sword”.

Jerome, who wrote about 100 years after Victorinus, said this:

The Saints have the two-edge sword of the Letter and the Spirit. We read in the

Apocalypse of John….which, by the way, is read in the churches and is

accepted, for it is not held among the Apocrypha but is included in the

canonical writings…..as I was saying, it is written there of the Lord Savior: ‘Out

of His mouth came a two-edged sword”. The Lord, therefore, gives the sword

from his mouth to his disciples. It is a two-edged sword, namely, the word of

his teachings. It is a two-edged sword, historically and allegorically, the Letter

and the Spirit.

His countenance was as the shining sun.

In the New Heaven and earth, we won’t require a sun as we do now to survive, because we will have the True Light

Revelation 22

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

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Revelation 1:12-13 The First Vision of John Part 3: Son of Man and Son of God

12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

13 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 with a golden girdle.

12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

John turns to get a glimpse of just Who was talking to him and he saw someone standing in the midst of 7 golden lamp stands or more accurately, 7 golden menorahs. Don’t forget the fact that we are dealing with a Jewish writer and when he writes about a candlestick or a lamp stand in a vision he would be speaking of the only type he knows, the menorah.

Or as some see it, the menorah, split into 7 different candlesticks yet still connected.

13 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 with a golden girdle.

It is all still a very Jewish theme, especially when expressing the one standing in their midst as “One who looked like the Son of Man.” This is a very Jewish term used for the Messiah and would be a term used for the One true Messiah, Jesus Christ. This term was never used for God.

This is not designed to tell us what Christ looks like, but to show us His divine majesty.

Son of man and Son of God

Son of God – One of the most prevalent Christian doctrines today states that the title “Son of God” refers to Jesus’s divine nature, while the title “Son of Man” refers to His humanity, but that is not the case.

Scripture tells us that in the Old Testament, it was believed that God essentially adopted each Israelite King as His own spiritually

1Chronicles 28

2 Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:

3 But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.

4 Howbeit the Lord God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel:

5 And of all my sons, (for the Lord hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel.

6 And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.

This idea of the completely human King of Israel and the divine Almighty was established here by the words of David directly from God mainly aimed at those from David’s earthly lineage.

The term “Son of God’ married with the term “Messiah” had a long established and well understood meaning to the Jewish people of ancient times as well as today. They aren’t just looking for any Hebrew to be King, they are looking for a human being who comes from the line of David to be the King Messiah. not a divine being.

This is why this term speaks of the humanity of Jesus and not His divinity.

Son of Man

We see this title first mentioned in Daniel 7

13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.

In verse 13, in the original Aramaic, this word is “bar-enash,” which correlates to the Hebrew word “bene-adam” meaning human being.

Daniel is witnessing what seems like a human being, yet something that must be divine coming into the presence of the Almighty God. To Daniel, and any Jewish person reading this passage, this would not have made sense.

This must be the future Messiah because He is receiving dominion, glory, and a kingdom over all the earth. Yet the Messiah would and could never be deity, he must be a human being so this really bothered Daniel.

This title seemed to be a favorite designation for Jesus to use of Himself, mainly because He was the very “Son of Man” whom Daniel was seeing but Israel missed this fact and refused to believe it as a group.

clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

His garb represents the idea that He is not just the Messiah-King, He is our High Priest, Who is always making intersession for us.

Hebrews 4

14Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

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Revelation as a Covenant Lawsuit Part 2

Revelation 1:1-11

Introduction and Benediction

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Greeting the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Vision of the Son of Man

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island 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 I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

The Bible as a whole is not just another sacred book, it is God’s written revelation of Himself and mankind’s relationship to Him through the covenant bond He establishes with the men and women He calls into a unique relationship and it has always been defined through the sacred Covenant.

Starting with the Covenant of Adam and creation through Noah, the second Adam as well as a second creation motif, man was to subdue the earth for the glory of God, which mankind failed to do.

Notice in Genesis we see the use of water in creation, dividing the land and the sea and the Holy Spirit moving over the chaos and evil of the darkness. Man is created, placed in the garden, blessed and told to subdue the earth, yet mankind failed to do so

In Noah’s account, the world is recreated through the flood, the Holy Spirit is seen in the dove released by Noah, who flew over the waters. Noah and his family are blessed and told to renew and subdue the earth, yet mankind failed to do so again.

Starting with Abraham and through the renewing of the Covenant with corporate Adam, or Israel, man was still to subdue the earth for the glory of God. It wasn’t just about the Jewish people and the land, it was about something more. All the nations were to be blessed.

We see Abraham as a type of the Father in his ordeal with Isaac, as well as giving birth to Israel. We see the new creation in the Exodus through Moses and the parting of the Red Sea. We see a new Covenant with Israel where they are blessed and told to subdue the earth. So the original boundaries of Israel were to grow bigger as they filled the earth with the glory of God. Israel failed as well. God created a renewing of the Covenant with the generation that enters the Promised Land and they cross the waters of the Jordan, yet they also fail. It seems like there is no hope.

Obedience to God’s covenant allows blessings but disobedience brought about curses. We can see this in Gods dealings with Israel, in that His relationship with Israel was always defined in terms of the Covenant, the marriage bond by which He joined her to Himself as a chosen people. It is the same structure for what would become standard peace treaties of the city-states and Empires of the Ancient Near Eastern societies.

The standard covenant has 5 parts, wether between a King and his vassal, a covenant with equals, both swear an oath that binds the two parties.

1. Preamble – Identifies the two parties involved, if a King and vassal is involved, it would stress his greatness and dominance over the vassal

2. Historical Prologue – Recounting the previous relationship to the two parties and emphasises the benefits or blessings of that relationship

3. Ethical Stipulations – Introduction of the obligations involved to maintain the relationship

4. Sanctions – A list of the blessings for obedience and the curses for disobedience if one party breaks the covenant

5. Succession Arangements – Arangements and provisions for continuing the covenant relationship over future generations

Covenants between equals would create a brotherly covenant while a covenant between a King and a vassal, would create a father/son relationship. Marriage covenants followed a similar format.

God formed His covenant with Israel as both a King to a vassal as well as a husband to wife covenant. When Israel strays from God to embrace foreign gods she is both seen as an unfaithful wife breaking the marriage covenant, and an ungrateful son who breaks his covenant with his Father.

The Old Covenant blessings and curses

Read Leviticus 26, in it you will find the record of the establishing of the Sinai Covenant between God and Israel. God wanted Israel to be a royal priesthood and a light to the nations.

Exodus 19

5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Isaiah 42

6 I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

In the book of Deuteronomy Chapter 28, we see the reestablishment of the original Sinai Covenant with the new generation of Israel who had grown up during the 40 years wandering in the wilderness and now about to take possession of the Promised Land.

Sadly Israel does not keep the Covenant with God just as their fathers had not and we eventually see them taken out of the land and ultimately we see the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Israel had come out of exile, yet in their hearts, they were still in exile.

They were guilty of idolatry.

They put the Law, circumcision, the land, their national identity, and the Temple before God. They wanted nothing to do with the Gentiles. They were not being the light to the nations.

Yet God has something greater in mind, for Israel and the nations.

Jesus Christ

He is perfect Israel and the last Adam

Like Israel, God calls Him His Son, He fulfilled Hosea

Matthew 2

13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

We see a pseudo creation account in that we see the last Adam passing through the water and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 3

16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And we see Him tested in the wilderness

Matthew 4

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Yet, unlike the first Adam, unlike Corporate Adam, the Last Adam passed the test showing His worthiness to be called the Son of God in His deity and what He accomplished through His humanity.

Mark tells us that while He was tested, He was among the wild beasts

Mark 1

13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

This gives us the idea of the beginning of His work of reconciliation because the curse of the fall affected everything

We see Jesus, the perfect Israel, the Last Adam, Who came for reconciliation of the universe and redemption for all

This only comes through Jesus Christ.

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Revelation as a Covenant Lawsuit Part 1

Revelation as a Covenant Lawsuit

Revelation 1:1-11

Introduction and Benediction

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Greeting the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Vision of the Son of Man

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island 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 I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

This message came from God to Jesus through the Angel of the Lord in symbolic means to John. John tells us here that he was at Patmos for two reasons:

He was a witness to the word of God or he preached from the Bible and believed it

and

the testimony of Jesus Christ. We could say the New Testament but it didn’t really exist at this time. He preached Christ and Him crucified as Paul would say.

John was a witness to both and it helps us to understand this book even more. The idea that John is a witness and calls this book a prophecy gives us one of the best ways of seeing Revelation. It being prophecy is like some Old Testament prophecies and seen as a covenant lawsuit.

In the Bible, more books come under the heading of prophecy than any other heading. There are four major prophetic books and twelve minor prophetic books. In our day, we tend to sometimes, either see them as speaking to the future. We do this with Revelation as well in only seeing what the text means to our day and mostly in terms to what it means to the Western Christianity.

The prophets did announce the future, but it mostly had to do with the future of Israel and the nations that surrounded them. They spoke to their contemporaries. The problem that we face is the distance of historical setting. As we move further and further away from what it was like in their lives historically, we have a hard time understanding what their references were and what it meant to their original audience.

The Prophets were Covenant Mediators and the oracles given for them to speak and/or act out were not their own words or ideas. They answered the call and were tasked with giving the message as God wanted it to be given.

One of the three most common oracles in prophecy is the Covenant Lawsuit. This consists of a summons, a charge, evidence, and a verdict.

When a vassal or kingdom violated the terms of a covenant agreement, the King would send emissaries to warn the offenders of the coming judgment and enforcement of sanctions. If the relationship could not be reestablished and the violations continued then the King’s emissaries would call a covenant lawsuit against the offending violators. It was the mission of the Prophets to bring about restoration of the covenant obligations or, when failing to restore these obligations, to act as God’s prosecuting attorneys by bringing about the message of the covenant lawsuit against the offending nation.

Jeremiah and Ezekiel brought a covenant lawsuit against Judea while Isaiah and Hosea bring a covenant lawsuit against Israel.

John is also about to be a witness in the Heavenly courtroom

Some see Revelation as a Covenant Lawsuit with three main groups:

Against the church – Chapters 1-3

Against Israel – Chapters 4-19

Against Rome – Chapters 13-19

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