Tag Archives: prophecy

Parallelism in Revelation

Revelation 11-15; I am deviating from the normal five chapters from our weekly reading because the content and context of these chapters are different from chapters 16 and 17. The thought of Seals and Trumpets from last weeks blog revealed that much of the events or judgments released via the seals and trumpets reflect an ongoing tribulation which if it dare be said are “normal” for life on earth. The hope of God for the seals and trumpets is that mankind will repent of their evil and rebellion and turn back to Him as Yahweh! In the chapters I identified for this blog we find a sort of sitcom episode occurring. What I mean by this is the events and description of the characters in these chapters are ongoing the same time as the seals and trumpets are being released. I know that this will not bode well with many who read this blog; that is because we have been overwhelmed with bible prophecy and “scholars” understand that has been tainted by the compulsion of the pre-trib rapture and dispensation. I find that it is interesting that only is American Christianity do you find this overwhelming desire to project future cataclysmic events from the perspective of “escapism” of the tribulation. I would think anyone who has been living on planet earth for the last few years has discovered we are now living in a “tribulation period.” However, this is normal when forces of evil and the Holy Spirit are resident on earth. The martyrs for the faith are often overlooked by western Christians. Part of the problem with understanding the end times events is where one places the snatching out or 1st resurrection. Most dispensationalist try to put the “rapture” event early on, even after the discourse of the Seven Churches. However, if we realize the significance of the seven seals and trumpets as God’s way of “inviting” repentant souls to embrace Jesus as Savior, then the Rapture cannot occur until after the last Trumpet – which makes sense for Paul says this as does Jesus.  [Rev 11:15-19; 1 Cor 15:52; Matthew 24:31] In Rev 16 we read of the Wrath of God being poured out on all ungodliness. The Wrath and Judgment are two different things. Wrath of the Bowls is poured out, but not with a purpose of getting mankind to repent, for they refuse to do so [ 16:9, 11]

With Parallelism in a book we find that many events are going on at the same time; yet we also find that there are varied perspectives of the same thing. The struggle with modern-day “Prophets” is that they try to make every scene fit into a chronological sequence. Much of the modern prophecy is given from the vantage point of the news as heard on CNN or Fox News. Very interesting since the media serves itself, not God.

In chapters 12-14 we have a continuing picture of what is going on in the world during the seals and trumpets. The battle between the forces of evil and the saints. If we could fold these chapters into the seals and trumpets dialogue we could see that the scenes are synonymous with each other. God and the angels at war with Satan who has been cast down to earth. In chapter 12, we have to see that this is a reflecting backwards at what has happened in times past – Satan being cast down to earth has made war with mankind. The main objective of these episodes is to reveal the war of Satan and the messengers of God to men. I see the 144,000 as an innumerable host of mankind who are martyrs for the Gospel.

When we capture the event described with the reapers in chapter 14; we discover the “harvest reaped” the saints of God. Jesus spoke of how the wheat and tares would remain until the harvest – this harvest [14-16; a different harvest is seen in 17-20; the first is the saints, the second is the lost. When we get to the scene in chapter 15; we find a great rejoicing; after the rapture event in chapter 14; there is great celebration; again God’s deliverance of His people from WRATH – this hold true to Old and New Testaments of God releasing His wrath; but only after His saints are delivered. [1 Thess 5:9]

The major problem that most interpretation of end times is that too often the tribulation times are not identified with the saints – this is a false theology, for we find that many preachers say the same from the pulpits – the Christian life is one of suffering and tribulation, to try to deny that such is the life of a believer, is heresy. If the believer is intimately identified with his Savior, then that which the Savior endured will be the life of the Follower.

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The Final Chapter

This week we begin the final chapter of God’s revelation to believers and the world in the reading of the book of Revelation. The first two chapter will be our focus. In the first chapter we find the glory, power, authority and sovereignty of Jesus the Son of God revealed. Passages such as Colossians 1:15-18; John 1:1-4; Hebrews 1:2-4 and 1 John 1:1-4 reflect the final revelation to mankind through the Son Jesus Christ. In these first two chapters we begin to get a clear insight into the final culminating plan of God. However, we must not limit our thoughts to only the book of Revelation. The reader, to get a valid understanding of End Times and Eschatology must look at the Old Testament as well; Specifically, the books of Daniel, Ezekiel, Joel and other Minor Prophets. Of course the New Testament books of Matthew, Luke, 1/2 Thessalonians are necessary too.

There is a specific audience John/Jesus is writing to, but specifically the message is to the “church” – and the seven churches of Asia Minor, a mail route in what is known as modern day Turkey. The Seven Churches has gained great commentary of recent years. But it found great application with one John Darby, who along with C.I. Scofield can be considered the fathers of “Dispensationalism.” Darby created an elaborate system of end times thought by ascribing each church mentioned in Rev. 2/3 as a period of time or era of the “Church” history. Darby uses the specifics of the messages to describe a condition of the church as it made its way through time since the Apostles until his day. The Last church described is the church of Laodicea, which is commonly known as the “lukewarm” church. If we are to adhere to Darby’s thought , then the “church” has been living in the last 200 plus years in a lukewarm state.  many have bought into the Dispensational thought, to include many denominational schools. [Dallas Theological Seminary is an example] I hold to a different position. Since Jesus was specifically identifying problems within the churches and He is the Head of the Church; I believe that He was writing to the reader from a perspective of “conditions” churches could find themselves. In other words, rather than a church history; we have been given descriptions of “phases” a church may encounter in the life of the church. This message would find a universal; eternal application for all churches. In the case of the seven churches, not a single one of them endured; they all died. The message is one of warning and example to all future churches, not just the current churches being spoken to.

One of the problems with Revelation is the multiple genres used to write the book. We know that is it historical, narrative, prophetic and symbolic. Even so, when does the reader apply which literary principles to the passage being read? In other words, Revelation cannot be read as all literal, or symbolic or prophetic. This has caused great misinterpretation of the book, because someone applied the wrong literary principles of interpretation to a passage.

Back to our main chapter significance. The identification and description of Jesus is amazing. It was also used and applied to some degree to each of the churches. Some aspect of Christ’s description was used in the opening salutation to the church. Each one had a specific element of Christ that they needed to affirm.

It is interesting, that Jesus is very business like in His Revelation to John. Seemingly absent is the benevolent Jesus of the Gospels. This is to be understood. No longer is Christ bringing a message of love and peace; but one of warning and judgment.

In my writings during this book I will deliberately stay with what Revelation says, rather than try to incorporate a blog on the End times themes.  Next week we will look at the Churches themselves, however briefly.

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