Saturday, July 26, 2014

Revelation and the rest of The Bible, how do they interact?

Chuck Missler likes to say "Everything in the Book of Revelation is in Code, and the Code is always explained somewhere else in The Bible". And he also likes to say that an in depth study of Revelation will lead you to every other book of The Bible.

That is all very true, you won't fully understand Revelation without understanding the other Bible Passages it alludes to.  But the reverse is equally if not more true.

Daniel was told in chapter 12 verse 4: "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and the knowledge shall be increased."

In Revelation chapter 22 verse 10 John is told: "Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand."

Apokalupsis (ap-ok-al'-oop-sis); means Revelation, or Unveiling. The Book begins with "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants".

Ultimately, I don't believe the rest of The Bible explains Revelation quite as much as I believe Revelation explains the rest of The Bible.

That doesn't mean nothing was understood before. Certainly the message of Salvation can be understood without Revelation. However the more mystical and cryptic aspects of The Bible, especially of End Times Prophecy, are finally fully explained in Revelation, the last book of The Bible to be written.

I believe Revelation is essentially a sort of encryption key, that clarifies what was unclear before.

One interesting example is Satan. Without Revelation Chapter 12, we wouldn't know for certain that Satan, The Devil, the Serpent of Genesis 3. And the Angelic being destined to fall from Heaven in Isaiah 14:12 and Ezekiel 28:11-19 are the same personage. But verse 9 makes it clear "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world". And indeed Jewish traditions do fail to connect those figures.

This is key to how much of my understanding of Revelation and End Times Prophecy is different, even from others who hold the same basic view of things like The Rapture that I do. To many other people, regardless of their basic Rapture position or doctrinal bias, use the other passages to interpret Revelation, when it should be the reverse.

People have preconceived notions that certain Prophecies are about the Millennium, so they write off how John clearly draws on those prophecies for The Eternal Kingdom. Similarly with Gog and Magog. I used to be with most fellow Futurists on this being a Pre or During the Tribulation event. But Chris White's discussion of the subject has convinced me of the Post Millennial view.

Revelation is generally less detailed then other Prophecies about the same things. And this lack of details often helps people justify separating the events. But to me the key facts in Revelation are enough to show how a certain event fits in the grander scheme, then the other prophecies we go to to learn the fuller details.

And then there is the Olivite Discourse of Matthew 24. Most Post-Tirbbers and Pre-Wrath supporters feel it's Jesus who's chronology of events should be taken at face value. And even Pre-Tirbbers sort of.

But I see the fact that Jesus is summarizing all of this material in 1 or 2 Chapters (Chapter 25 is all parables, even less Chronologically definitive). Revelation is what clarifies how things happen.

Jesus's description of his Parousia, has parallels to events of both the Sixth Seal and Seventh Trumpet (but I find the Sixth Seal parallels over stated). Post-Tribbers garble the clear chronology of Revelation to make those the same event. While Pre-Wrath supporters simply ignore or write off the Seventh Trumpet's parallels and insist the first time you see any events resembling the Parousia description is where it happens.

My view is different. The Sixth Seal only has very overstated parallels to the cosmic/natural disaster type signs. So I believe it marks the beginning of the signs of his coming, but those signs continue through the Seventh Seal and the Trumpets.

But the Seventh Trumpet and Revelation 14 are where the far stronger more definitive parallels are. And Paul's key descriptions of the Rapture in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 include none of the Sixth Seal parallels. Only things that Parallel the Seventh Trumpet from Revelation 11, and also Revelation 14.

And the chronology of Revelation I feel clearly places those events at basically the Mid-Way point of the 70th Week. Because in Chapter 11 the Seventh Trumpet is proceeded by Three and a Half Years references that correlate to the first half of the 70th Week. And then in Chapters 12 and 13 is followed by Three and a Half Years references that correlate to the second half.

And Revelation only defines the Seven Bowls as being God's Wrath. The use of the word Wrath in the Sixth seal account is only by fallible human characters.

The chronology of Revelation in terms of the 70th week of Daniel is this.

Chapters 6-11 are the First Half.
Chapters 12 and 13 are a symbolic summery of all History, but with a focus on the Mid-Point drama.
Chapters 14-19 are the Second Half.

I know Revelation isn't 100% purely chronological, certain single statements span an entire half of the 70th week. But there is a basic chronology to it that clearly places the mid way point between the Trumpets and Bowls. This is a problem for some people however, who have tried to argue that we're at the halfway point at the Sixth Seal, or that we're already at the end of the 70th week when the 7th Trumpet sounds, but those argument always seem forced.

In Revelation 8 there is no gap between the Seals and the Trumpets, the Trumpets and the Censer both come from the Seventh Seal. But between The Seventh Trumpet and The Bowls is the entire narrative of Revelation 12, 13 and 14.

I think it's telling that in Revelation 11 the Seventh Trumpet is preceded by two reference to three and a half years, that clearly correlate to the first half of the 70th week. I know some see those as the second half already, but they describe conditions that can only apply before the Abomination of Desolation. Then in 12 and 13 is followed by three references to a three and a half year period that are clearly the second half.

So my point is, if the chronological face value of Revelation and the other Bible passages it draws on seem to conflict. Remember it was Revelation that was written to explain the rest, not the other way around.

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