Revelations

Discussion in 'The Last Days' started by ProDeo, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    [youtube]kmuNL8LDYrQ[/youtube]

    If 666 represents Nero than Revelations is written before AD 70.

    The harlot is not Rome but Jerusalem.

    Like Rome Jerusalem is built on 7 mountains.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    No thoughts? ;.;.

    I mean, if Revelations was written before AD 70 then isn't most of it about the Great Tribulation as prophecied by Jesus? The siege of Jerusalem started in 66 and about 3½ (!!) later [ Dan 12:11 ] it was destructed and (according to Josephus) 1.2 million were slaughtered.
     
  3. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    I am fairly certain that the Revelation was written in about 66 or 67
     
  4. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    If 666 means Nero then indeed before or during 68 as he committed suicide in 68.
     
  5. DaniH

    DaniH You're probably fine.

    I wouldn't have any trouble with it. In Revelation 11 it clearly mentions Jerusalem as "the city where our Lord was crucified".

    Jerusalem had sold itself out to the might of Rome. The Jewish leaders persecuted the early believers greatly, long before Rome ever joined in (we see this in Acts, from the writings of Paul, etc.).

    Jesus spoke a great, great deal about the coming judgment of Jerusalem (his sternest most severe warnings were reserved for the Pharisees and Jerusalem) and the final, horrific destruction of its corrupt system. He was crucified as the result of a collaboration between Jerusalem and Rome. Should it be surprising that John continues in the same vein to prophesy the most extreme judgment to both?

    666 referring to Nero is easily enough proven, and many scholars subscribe to this theory (including myself ... not that I'm a scholar of any repute, but from personal studies Nero makes perfect sense to me).

    Jerusalem was horribly besieged and destroyed by Rome, which in turn was besieged and destroyed by the Barbarians/Vandals.

    Reminds me of an earlier horrific siege and then eventual utter destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon, which then in turn was besieged and destroyed by the Persians ...

    It's really quite clear to see the parallels of both events, and the efforts God took each time to send prophets with their warnings and calls to repentance (the Messiah, even!), over and over, until finally ... boom! Hammertime.

    I would also think that if Revelation was written much later, the silence about Jerusalem's destruction, and a sole focus on Rome wouldn't make all that much sense, especially since John was a Jewish believer. I don't think we should underestimate the massiveness of something like the fall of Jerusalem on the Jewish psyche.

    We've already discussed elsewhere the implications in the Olivet Discourse about the coming horrible judgment, and the promise of Jesus that "this generation shall certainly not pass away until all these things have happened".

    The timeframe of the destruction of Jerusalem place it easily within "this" generation that Jesus was speaking to/about in Mt 24ff.

    With the historical corroboration of Josephus, to me the whole thing becomes very obvious. When an obvious explanation/interpretation for prophecy exists that can be easily corroborated by historical events, why look further and try so hard to find a different interpretation?
     
  6. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    I can make an equal case for Domitian.
     
  7. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    Can Domitian linked to 666?
     
  8. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    The thing with Preterism is the absence of the physical return of Jesus, the absence of the New Earth, mount Olivet not split in 2. Other than that Preterism makes a lot of sense.
     
  9. DaniH

    DaniH You're probably fine.

    I hear you. However, Domitian was emperor a decade after the fall of Jerusalem.

    John was a Jewish believer. I think he would have mentioned the destruction of Jerusalem? I can't imagine a scenario where such a thing wouldn't have left a permanent scar on his psyche, and where God wouldn't have brought comfort, in retrospect, to not only him but other Jewish believers also? However, Revelation isn't retrospective. It's (mostly immediately) futuristic (per my understanding).

    I was just thinking (rabbit trail) that perhaps the dispensationalist interpretations gained a lot of traction because of the simple fact that people want to be/feel included. So much of Scripture isn't really written directly to us 21st-century folk, especially not us Gentile folk, and it really doesn't have anything to do with us. It's therefore quite easy to feel "left out," and I think we want to see things in there that make us feel included instead (you know, the Bible supposedly being "God's personal love letter to you, special snowflake" approach). Hence we so often force some kind of interpretation and meaning that makes it feel more inclusive. Instead of focusing on the passages that 100% do apply to us, and living them out. Which I've personally found to keep me plenty busy.

    Preterism makes a lot of sense (to me) only if we had actual proof of a global, all-inclusive resurrection event, and a physical presence of Christ on earth following that event, with immortality ruling the day and all of creation having been fully redeemed. I see none of that. Do you?

    My hat is hung in the (sort of) partial/orthodox preterist camp, for those reasons.
     
  10. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    The absence of AD 70 in the whole NT is deafening. No single reference to "as the Lord predicted" something one might expect. Perhaps the whole NT was written before AD 70 which would a comforting thought.


    Agree.


    Yes, partial preterism seems to be the most sensible interpretations of all, the (final?) judgement on Israel. Since Pentecost God no longer lives in a temple but in the hearts of those who believe in Jesus. The Jews didn't get (accepted) it, did nothing, wanted to continue as if nothing had happened and so God had to destroy the Temple by another nation.

    Nevertheless partial preterism has its own sets of problems. For instance, there are no signs of recorded history about the events described in Rev 9:18, 8:8-9.
     
  11. DaniH

    DaniH You're probably fine.

    That all depends on whether or not you take a very literal approach, or you understand it to be prophetic symbolism and hyperbole, where "a third of mankind dying" simply means "a super devastating event that killed a whole lot of people" as it's aiming to impress upon the reader the magnitude of such an event.

    For example, this: “Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the Lord, which destroyest all the earth; and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain” (Jeremiah 51:25).

    God wasn't talking to, or about a literal mountain. He was using the descriptive picture of a mountain when talking to/about the might of the Babylonian empire with its king at the top.

    Revelation 8:9: And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea; and the third part of the sea became blood; and the third part of the creatures that were in the sea died, those which have lives; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

    The words "as it were" are a very strong suggestion that it's not describing a literal mountain, but is painting a picture of something else entirely, using these catastrophic events as an allegory for that something else.

    Revelation 17:15: The waters which thou sawest are people, and nations, and tongues

    So a mountain (system of great power) is cast into the sea (brought low with the commoners and to their level, affecting people of several nationalities and languages) is actually fairly easy to interpret using pre-existing prophetic language, as well as language and explanations elsewhere within Revelation itself.

    Ships often speak of traderoutes, commercial wealth, military strength, etc. Also very consistent with the picture this is painting of some mightly empire, city, political and commercial system, etc. being brought down and utterly destroyed in some catastrophic event (war?) that leads to the bloody death of a lot of people.
     
  12. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    But numbers are numbers and there is nothing symbolic on numbers.

    Are the 7 spirits of God symbolic in 3:1 ?

    Are the 144.000 really 144.00 ?

    9:15 - So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind.

    Not a third of Israel, but of mankind.

    16 - The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number.

    An army of 200 million?

    Didn't happen in history, that's for sure. Besides John specifically says: I heard the number. Can't imagine the Holy Spirit told John a fabrication or exaggeration. Or it must be a future event which isn't partial preterism any longer then.

    Also, is the LOF also symbolic or hyperbole? Eternal also symbolic or hyperbole? Second death too?
     
  13. DaniH

    DaniH You're probably fine.

    Numbers are highly symbolic, especially in the ancient world, actually.

    No, just a way to denote an event that makes sense to anyone with a background of understanding OT revelatory language.

    Of course not. 144,000 = 12 x 12. The number 12 is super important biblically. It's everywhere in Revelation.

    The New Jerusalem coming down from heaven has 12 gates, its walls has 12 foundations representing the 12 apostles, the wall is 144 cubits (12 x 12 again here), and etc. The number 12 is very obviously symbolic as its used again and again within Revelation for all sorts of things, none of them literal.

    So evidently, the 144,000 are not a literal number of people. It's a symbolic number.

    666 is a symbolic number (based upon numerology) -- we already know this, and everyone is accepting of it

    in Rev 7:1, do you really think there are literally 4 angels standing in 4 literal corners of the world (as if the Holy Spirit didn't know the earth was round back then)?

    Why then would the "one third" be a literal number? That would be inconsistent with the rest of Revelation and its use of numbers within the entirety of the prophetic vision.

    All of these numbers are symbolic, down to the very last one of them.
     
  14. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    What?

    Next you're going to tell me that Jesus does have a big sword sticking out his pie hole...

    Now I have to change the poster on my wall...
     
  15. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    Okay, you made a clear point, I concur, I think :)

    But then it means it's hardly possible to separate real from symbolic. I addressed the LOF and second death already, symbolic or real?

    “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night

    Symbolic or real?
     
  16. DaniH

    DaniH You're probably fine.

    Symbolic. Of course. But real nonetheless. ;)

    It's like the parables of Jesus. They were all symbolic, but still, they all described reality. What reality are the symbols describing? What reality do the parables describe? That's the challenge for us, isn't it?

    For example, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. There was no literal rich man. There was no actual Lazarus. The scene in Abraham's bosom didn't actually happen, and Abraham's bosom doesn't actually exist. Because it's a parable.

    Who, then, does the rich man represent? Who does Lazarus represent? What does Abraham's bosom represent?

    You derive the context from the setting Jesus told the parable in. We know the historical background, and we know the audience and the players involved already.

    We can then reasonably conclude that the rich man = the religious leaders who lived a life of luxury and who loved riches and power. Lazarus = the poor and downtrodden beggars and commoners that the leaders viewed as being beneath them. Abraham's bosom = the right of the beggars to partake in the blessings of Abraham, and the fact that God acknowledged them to be heirs of the kingdom, and that they would have a place at His table, while the leaders were to face judgment and be cast down. The historical context of the parable, and its audience, easily give us clues as to the interpretation, if we pay attention. Not hard. :)

    So then, let's evaluate the beast and the prophet and the lake of fire, and the cup of God's anger, and the fire and the sulfur and the Lamb. What are all these things symbolic of, if they're not literal?

    We can already presume that God holds no actual cup in His hand that's not actually filled with anger or some sort of wine liquid. We already know that Jesus is no actual lamb. None of this is literal. It's all figurative and symbolic, but nonetheless describes reality.

    What was the historical context?
    Jesus had risen from death and had been carried off to glory in plain view of the disciples.
    Israel was still occupied by the Romans. The Pharisees were still in charge, as was the Roman Empire.
    The disciples were being persecuted, by Jewish and Roman leaders alike. They suffered economic hardships and physical hardships, to the death even.
    The coming judgment had been announced by Christ before His death and resurrection, through His interaction with the religious leaders, via His lament over Jerusalem, with His predictions of the destruction of the temple and His warnings to those who would be alive during that time.

    History had already set the scene for us to interpret the vision. We can reasonably conclude that 1+1=2 and accept the interpretation that's in plain sight before us.

    The "beast" represents the political and economic powers of the time (Rome/the Roman Emperor), with the "false prophet" representing its religious leaders who were enforcing, aiding, and abetting those powers (the Roman gods and the emperor worship). The Jewish leadership was riding high off the might of Rome and was also aiding and abetting. We see a lot of those dynamics described in the Gospels as well as in Acts.

    The lake of fire, then, is God's judgment upon that system and the people who perpetuated it and who were causing untold suffering for those who withstood it and were persecuted by it to the death.

    It was to be a most severe judgment, leading to great suffering and death for many people. It was to be a very thorough judgment that would do its work until nothing was left as it had been.

    Do you see Pharisees anywhere? Where is the temple in Jerusalem? It's 2000 years later. There's not a trace left of any of it. After the destruction, it would take almost 1900 years to rebuild Jerusalem (if we're to assume 70 AD to 1948 AD give or take) -- that's how thorough the judgment was. And even so, the former system still never was rebuilt. It's totally different now. God made sure of that.

    When Jerusalem was besieged by the Romans, there was no rest for anyone who was there. They suffered. Horribly. They were tormented. They were slaughtered. They were starved. It was horrible, horrible, horrible. I imagine for those going through it, the carnage and suffering certainly seemed like it would never end. That doesn't mean it was a literal never-ending event. However, they did have no rest, day or night, because God didn't permit them to have any. Once the ball got rolling, it didn't stop. Until millions were dead, Jerusalem was destroyed, and nothing was left of the temple or the old system or leadership. Those Jews who did listen to Jesus, and who did pack up and leave, were dispersed for centuries to come, but nonetheless permitted to rebuild their lives. They were the 144,000 who were "marked" and to be spared, because they were faithful and heeded the warnings and got the heck on outta there. We know this because the Jewish history continues until this day.

    When Rome was sacked by the Vandals and the Empire unraveled at the seams, with its eventual destruction and implosion, once the ball got rolling on that, it didn't stop either. Do you see a Roman Empire anyplace? Where's the Roman emperor? Where are the temples of their old gods? Nowhere.

    From the looks of it, the lake of fire (whatever it was) has done its work, God's cup of wrath has been poured out, and no trace of anything that was, is left. Although the Jewish remnant was spared and even permitted to return to their homeland, eventually. The Church certainly is still around also and has flourished and grown. Because its Leader is alive forevermore.

    That's God's judgment for you. Thorough, unstoppable, relentless, and complete. Destructive and preserving, all at once. Because our God is a consuming fire who judges evil yet preserves righteousness.

    Bottom line: When it comes to prophetic writings and parables, I'd highly encourage you to not get too hung up on details, but rather appreciate the general picture being painted and the general meaning being implied. Because if you try to match every little detail and you get too specific about it, pretty soon any parable or vision will crumble and lose all meaning.
     
  17. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    Yes, so far PP (partial preterism) makes a lot of sense.


    But that was in the 5th century while Revelation suggests it's right after the fall of Babylon. In chapter 19 (it's where IMO PP starts to fall into pieces) the fall of Babylon is celebrated in heaven followed by The Marriage Supper of the Lamb. If you are PP it strongly suggests Christ marrying the Church already happened A marriage with a large Jewish tint. Not for us, it already happened.

    Right thereafter v11-21 we read the scene how King Jesus prepares His 1000 year reign by His bodily return [ and He will rule them with a rod of iron ]

    Point being, it didn't happen.

    But the strong suggestion is there. 22:7, 22:12 and 22:20
     
  18. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    There is another way of looking at Revelations, the heretic way :.:

    The Ascension
    6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

    27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

    Also from other passages we know the disciples expected the the bodily return of Jesus soon and Revelations is no exception.

    In all of Revelation you can't really find one negative comment about Israel nor Jerusalem or you must read it in the symbolism. In fact in (20:9) Jerusalem is called the beloved city.

    One could read Revelation with the OT thought in mind that Israel would be victoriously due to the intervening of King Jesus who would restore the kingdom of Israel just as the disciples asked Jesus before His Ascension.

    ---------

    There has been a battle in the early Church over this book for 2 centuries and as I have understood correctly it was bishop Athanasius who more or less insisted that Revelation is Scripture, Letter 39 as starting point.

    Perhaps KG, RK can shed some light on the Athanasius issue, especially the argumentation why Athanasius considered Revelation Scripture. I have read Elaine Pagels' view on that (she seem to be an authority) but frankly I doubt her objectivity.
     
  19. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Life is not a problem to be solved Staff Member

    I'd ask Athanasius himself, but he's banned over at BF and I don't know where he's gone off to.

    As far as I go, this isn't something I've studied in any detail. Letter 39 contains a passing reference to Revelation being Scripture, but certainly nothing what Pagels appears to be arguing (from what I've seen). There's nothing in Letter 39 to suggest that Athanasius decreed the destruction of heretical books (let along specific mention of Egyptian monks), some of which survived and were discovered around Nag Hammadi. Ignoring Pagels the obvious reply seems to be to say that the kingdom of God did arrive, but Kingdom of God =/= second coming.
     
  20. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    Here is some read.

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/2012/02/24/february-24-2012-elaine-pagels-on-the-book-of-revelation/10372/

    One snippet:

    FAW: And it was Bishop Athanasius who decreed that the revelation written by John of Patmos would be in the Bible even though most bishops would have left it out, says Pagels.

    PAGELS: Most of the list we have of what’s supposed to be the New Testament completely leave this book out. It’s just gone. The one person who puts it in is Bishop Athanasius, and he realized that he could take this imagery of the war of good against evil and turn it against his religious enemies.
     

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