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Revelation - Is It Primarily About Natural Israel?


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#1 Hyperion

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 11:37 AM

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#2 Fortigurn

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 06:44 PM

I deny the proposition that the Revelation is primarily about natural Israel.

My case advances the following lines of evidence:
  • [1] The audience of the book: The book is addressed to the servants of Christ (Revelation 1:1), who are those who have put on Christ (both Jew and Gentile), not merely natural Israel. From the letters to the seven ecclesias (Revelation 2-3), we see clearly that the intended audience is the servants of Christ (not natural Israel).

    That the book is not merely addressed to this group, but actually describes the events which would befall this group, is seen from the fact that this group (described in Revelation 3:12 as having the name of God inscribed in them), is warned of the events which would come immediately upon them (Revelation 2-3), and is referred to later in the book repeatedly when the prophetic events are described (Revelation 7:3; 9:4; 14:1; 22:4).

    The letters to the seven ecclesias are directed specifically at informing them of the Divine perspective concerning the events and circumstances which they both were experiencing, and would experience in the future. To argue that the book is addressed to this group, that this group is referred to in chapters 1-3, but that the rest of the book does not in fact warn this group of the events which would befall them, requires positive and negative evidence that there has been a change of scope between chapters 3 and 4. This is not congruent with the revealed Divine method (Deuteronomy 29:29, Amos 3:7).

  • [2] The symbolism of the book - general principles: The book uses symbols in precisely the same way as the rest of Scripture. Symbols represent qualities not entities (fire represents anything sharing the qualities of fire, water represents anything sharing the qualities of water, etc).

    Symbols are therefore to be interpreted according to context, since the same symbol or set of symbols can be used in different contexts of completely different referents, though the qualities of the event or entity are always the same (thus the darkening of the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars, is used of different nations of empires, but always used of the fall of a nation or empire, Isaiah 13:9-10; 34:4, Ezekiel 32:7).

  • [3] The symbolism of the book - specific usage: Revelation takes symbols which in the Old Testament were used of the enemies of Israel, and applies them to the enemies of the servants of Christ. Revelation takes symbols which in the Old Testament were used of Israel and the Jews, and applies them to the body of Christ and to the Christians. The key to understanding this is found in the letters to the ecclesias in chapters 1 to 3, where these symbols are used with explicit referents.

    Thus in Revelation 2 and 3, a false prophet (Balaam), is an apostate Christian who leads other Christians astray (Revelation 2:14), a harlot (Jezebel), is an apostate Christian who leads other Christians astray (Revelation 2:20-22), and satan (also 'the devil'), is the enemy of Christians who is currently persecuting them (Revelation 2:9-10, 13; 3:9). This supports the first premise. Usage of these symbols elsewhere in Revelation is congruent with this premise.

    Thus also, in Revelation 1-3, a lampstand is an ecclesia, not a physical piece of furniture in the earthly temple (Revelation 1:20, 2:5), manna is the reward of faithful Christians, not natural Israel (Revelation 2:17), the temple of God is the body of Christians, not the earthly temple in Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12), and the holy city is the spiritual dwellingplace of God, not the earthly city of Jerusalem (Revelation 3:120. This supports the second premise. Usage of these symbols elsewhere in Revelation is congruent with this premise.

  • [4] The scope of the prophetic events: Many passages and phrases indicate to us that the scope of the events is restricted neither to the group of people who constitute natural Israel, nor to the geographical area of the land of Israel and its immediate inhabitants.

    Examples of these phrases include:
    • The four corners of the earth
    • The four winds of the earth
    • The Lord of the earth (the passage from Zechariah in the LXX from which this is quoted specifies the Lord of the whole earth)
    • The kings of the earth
    • The tribes of the earth
    • Those who live on the earth (who are also described as 'every nation, tribe, language, and people')
    The first passage contributing to this argument is found in Revelation 1:7, which describes 'all the tribes of the earth' (a generic reference to the people on the planet, not to the tribes of Israel), seeing Christ at his return. The next such passage is 3:12, in which the Philadelphian ecclesia is warned of a time of trial which would come upon the entire OIKOUMENH (a word used later in Revelation to describe the scope of the prophetic events).

    The contextual indicators of chapters 1-3, together with the co-texts belonging to certain key passages in Revelation (key passages such as Revelation 11:7, 12:3-4, 7-9, 13-18, 13:1-18, 16:10,13, 17:3, 7-18, together with co-texts such as Daniel 2:40-44, 7:6-8, 19-27), lead to the conclusion that Revelation intends to give a warning and description of events which would come upon and endanger the Christian body during the whole time between the giving of the Revelation and the return of Christ.

  • [5] The prophetic background in Daniel: The Revelation shares significant material with the prophecy of Daniel, specifically with chapters 2, 7 and 12. In Daniel 2 and 7 we find a prophecy regarding the 'fourth kingdom on earth'. The prophecy of Daniel describes this kingdom in chapters 2 and 7. In both places it indicates that this kingdom will be a violent and destrucive kingdom, which would break all others into pieces. In chatper 7, this kingdom is stated specifically to persecute God's people - the saints (Daniel 7:25).

    In both Daniel 2 and 7 the kingdom is identifiable clearly as the Roman empire. Furthermore, in both Daniel 2 and 7, the violent activities of this empire (including, in Daniel 7, its persecution of God's people), are described not only up to the time of Christ, but demonstrably past the date of the fall of the Roman empire in 476 AD.

    The prophecy is clearly indicating to us that the persecution of the people of God by this beast does not terminate in the 1st century, but continues well after the 5th. This empire continues to exist in some form up to the return of Christ (Daniel 7:11-14), at which point the kingdom of God is given over to the saints (whom the New Testament defines as those the faithful in Christ).

    The same beast is found in Revelation, where the same description of it and its activities is given (Revelation 11, 13, 17, and 19). The evidence from these passages is that God has revealed to us the full extent and scope of this beast's persecution and activities, right up to the time of Christ's return, and including its persecution of those in Christ, not merely natural Israel.

Miserere mei Deus,
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Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
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Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#3 Asyncritus

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 10:44 PM

IS REVELATION PRIMARILY ABOUT NATURAL ISRAEL?

Unusual terminology explained: QUASAR = shorthand for Quotations AllusionS, And ReferenceS.


1. The Revelation can only be about Israel or the church. It deals with political events impacting on one or the other, or both. It is not, and does not set out to be a history of the world.

2. Therefore we need to make a choice of the two subjects.

The Church

3. We have now eliminated the term ‘spiritual Israel’ entirely from this discussion. It does not exist as such, and need not be considered seriously.

4. That leaves the term ‘God’s People.’

5. A simple concordance study reveals the fact that ‘My (God’s) People’ is a frequently used term, and in the OT invariably refers to the Jews.

6. In the NT, the same practice continues, as in Mt 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

7. The group ‘My People’ consists of 3 identifiable groups of individuals.

1 Natural Israel

2 Jewish converts to Christianity: the ‘Jews indeed’ of Romans 9

3 Gentile converts to Christianity

8. Of these, Group 3 is described as ‘now my people’ in Romans 9. The background to this is in Hosea, where the harlotry-generated children, maybe even of Gentile parentage, are embraced by Hosea as his children, and members of his family. This situation is used as a type by Paul, who describes us as ‘now my people,’ and clarifies it as meaning that we are ‘grafted in’ to the house of Israel, into the domestic olive.

9. None of this even remotely suggests that the church has replaced ‘natural’ Israel as ‘God’s people,’ in reality or in the prophecy. We are ‘inclusions,’ not ‘replacements.’ Therefore, if we speak of ‘God’s People’ we are speaking of the combination of these 3 groups. We may not separate them.

10. The Book of Revelation, the greatest prophecy of them all, is unlikely to miss out any of the 3 components of ‘My people’, and it doesn’t. It groups 2+3 together, in the Letters to the Churches, and in the Visions of the Redeemed.

11. What does it say about Group 1? Natural Israel. Anything or nothing?

12. There are about 500 -700 quasars in the Revelation, the bulk of them being from the history of, and prophecies about, Israel. There are a minority from prophecies about Nineveh, Babylon, Edom and Tyre.

13. This huge collection of Israel-based quasars immediately provokes the question ‘Why are they there?’

14. There can be only two possible reasons.

1 They are intended to tell us that the Revelation is about Israel

Or

2 They are being used to tell us that the Revelation is about some other entity, perhaps the church, the world or some combination of the two.

Whichever alternative we choose, we must justify it.

15. If 1, then we have no problems about the interpretation of most of the Book. It becomes relatively straightforward: simple, but not easy. We have all the guidance we could reasonably need from the quasars.

16. If 2, we are reduced to guessing, and my guess is as good as yours. Is it about Rome, the RCC, European History, American History or something else? Who is to say? Given some ingenuity and determination, it is entirely possible that we could apply it to the history of China or India just as easily as to the history of Europe. There is nothing to guide us in our selection of subject.

Israel

17. However, there is a mass of evidence to support #1: Israel as the subject of the prophecy. As follows:

18. The Revelation is an integral part of the nation-prophecies of the Bible. It is the NT extension of the Book of Daniel. The pattern of OT prophecies, is that 95% or more of them are about Israel, and the balance about the nations which impinged upon Israel in some way or other. In every case, Israel is involved in the prophecies: as the direct subject, or the indirectly affected subject.

19. It is reasonable, therefore, to assume that the Revelation follows the same pattern. The same God who wrote the OT prophecies, wrote the Revelation too. Therefore, based on past performance, 95% of the prophecies of the Book, are likely to be about Israel and 5% about nations who affected Israel somehow.

The Lord's Practice

20. It is the evidence of the Lord Jesus’ practice which must settle the question for good and all. If we can find out how He uses the OT prophecies, then we are well on the way to knowing with complete exactness how we should use the quasars in the Revelation.

21. And it’s easy to find out. What is more, the evidence is completely one-sided. I have gone through the gospels of Matthew, Luke and John to find out how Jesus Himself uses the Israel-based prophecies of the OT. Invariably, He uses them to refer to Israel.

22. Mt 4

13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

16 And charged them that they should not make him known:
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

14 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
15 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
16 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
17 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon a donkey, and a colt the foal of a donkey.
6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,
7 And brought the donkey, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.
8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.

23. 12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

24. Mk 7. 5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?
6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

Lk 23.27 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me,
but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
28 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.
29 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
30 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?

25. These are the ones I have found, but there may be others. It is impossible to miss the uniformity of His practice. In EVERY SINGLE CASE, a prophecy about Israel is used BY HIM about Israel. Nobody else, as far as I can tell.

26. There is an interesting example of a prophecy about a Gentile nation (Edom) being used about ISRAEL. He uses Isa 34 in the Olivet prophecy.

34. 4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

Mt 24.29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

27. The value of this quasar is that it shows excerpts from A GENTILE PROPHECY are BEING USED ABOUT ISRAEL. Suggested reason: unfaithful Israel is being punished for its evil to the prophets and the disciples of the Lord, as faithful Jacob was, with his wicked brother Esau /Edom.

28. Therefore, all uses of the OT that we have on record, show that Jesus uses Israel-based OT prophecies ABOUT ISRAEL, and nobody else.

29. This is another major finding. It means we cannot entertain the concept that His extremely extensive use of OT and OP quasars in the Revelation is about ‘God’s People’ or 'the Church.' His practice directs us to view them as being used about ISRAEL.

30. Those OT prophecies ABOUT ISRAEL, are being used by Him ABOUT ISRAEL in the Revelation. Wicked Israel at that, not wicked church.

Not one that I can think of (apart from the visions of the redeemed) is from something good, about good Israel in the OT. So just as the quotations about wicked Israel in the OT are about wicked Israel in the gospels, just so here: those from passages about wicked Israel in the OT are being used here in the Revelation about wicked Israel too.

31. A Gentile quasar when used, may perfectly well be employed about ISRAEL but NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND! I have in mind here the description of the harlot: where Tyre, Nineveh, Babylon and Israel are seamlessly welded together in the description of this horror. Who is the harlot? Israel of course.

32. Given all of the above, the use of the word EARTH/GE in the Revelation falls easily, necessarily, and naturally into place. GE/ERETZ is used about 1000x in the OT about the Land of Israel.

33. If all the Israel-based prophecies are used about Israel in the Revelation, then what else can we expect about the use of a word so long and so well-established in the OT and the New?

34. The ‘tribes of the earth shall mourn’ in 1.7 which is the pivotal verse of the Book, are obviously Israel on several counts:

a. It is a passage taken almost verbatim from Zech 12.10 where the context is highly Jewish. As we have now conclusively shown, the Lord uses Israel-based OT quotations and applies them to ISRAEL. He is doing exactly the same here: using an Israel-based prophecy as the basis of an Israel-based application.

b. He does not mean ‘all nations’ because he uses the phrase ‘panta ta ethne’ elsewhere in the Revelation to mean ‘all nations’. Therefore, He means all the tribes of Israel.

c. The Zechariah passage shows that the mourners are Jewish.

35. The flood of light that these concepts shed on understanding the Book is enormous. We may experience difficulties in handling the details of the more complex passages, but with Ariadne’s clue of thread in our hands, the labyrinth becomes negotiable.

36. Let’s conclude this first Essay with an exposition of the Sixth Seal using the concepts discovered above:

1 Any discernible use of an Israel prophecy by the Lord, means that Israel is the subject here.

2 Any discernible use of a Gentile-based prophecy must also be referred to Israel here. We have no precedents for doing anything else.

The OP text is in bold brackets.

12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair [shall the sun be darkened], and the moon became as blood [and the moon shall not give her light];

13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth [and the stars shall fall from heaven], even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs [When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves], when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together [the powers of the heavens shall be shaken;] and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks

[ Israel-based: Lk 21.30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.

Isa 2.19 Israel-based : And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
20 …. to the moles and to the bats;To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth


22 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: [ Israel-based: for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.]

23 The connections with the OP, the Israel-based nature of the bold text, the sheer number of them all, and most powerfully of all, the Lord's own example, force us to the scriptural conclusion that this is about the Fall of Jerusalem in AD70, or in our time.

So to summarise:

1 Spiritual Israel as a term does not exist.

2 ‘God’s People’ refers to Israel, with believers added in.

3 The uniform and unvarying practice of the Lord is to use Israel-based prophecies about Israel.

4 He also uses an anti-Gentile prophecy about Israel.

5 Therefore, when we discover Israel-based or Gentile-based quasars in the Revelation, they are to be applied to Israel, not the church, or the Roman Empire, or anybody else. ISRAEL is the subject of the prophecy, nobody else. She may be suffering at the hands of somebody else, but she is the subject.

6 The Sixth Seal is a prophecy about the Fall of Jerusalem in AD70 and/or in our time.

7 Therefore, natural Israel DOES figure centrally in the Revelation.

Edited by Asyncritus, 11 November 2005 - 08:13 AM.

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#4 Fortigurn

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 11:34 PM

1 Spiritual Israel as a term does not exist.


The existence or non-existence of this term is irrelevant to my case.

2 'God's People' refers to Israel, with believers added in.


I agree. I do not argue that natural Israel has been replaced by anyone.

The Revelation, however, is addressed to a particular subgroup of 'God's people'. This sugroup is the servants of Christ, which includes all Jews and Gentiles who have entered into covenant relationship with him, and seek to serve him.

This subgroup is also described in the New Testament as 'the saints'. This is a term used consistently in the New Testament to describe those who are in Christ (Acts 9:13, 32, 41; 26:10, Romans 1:7; 8:27; 12:13; 15:25-6, 31; 16:2, 15, 1 Corinthians 1:2; 6:1-2; 14:33; 16:1, 15, 2 Corinthians 1:1; 8:4; 9:1, 12; 13:13, Ephesians 1:1, 15, 18; 2:19; 3:8, 18; 4:12; 5:3; 6:18, Philippians 1:1; 4:22, Colossians 1:2, 4, 12, 26, 1 Thessalonians 3:13, 2 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Timothy 5:10, Philemon 1:5, 7, Hebrews 6:10; 13:24, Jude 1:3, 14).

It is this subgroup who are addressed in Revelation, and who are revealed as those upon whom the events it describes come to pass (not natural Israel).

This subgroup does not include the corporate body 'natural Israel', who are still in unbelief of their Messiah.

My question in this post is:
  • Is there any evidence you can provide that the term 'saints' in the New Testament refers to natural Israel rather than to those Jews and Gentiles who are in Christ?

Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#5 Fortigurn

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 11:55 PM

3 The uniform and unvarying practice of the Lord is to use Israel-based prophecies about Israel.

4 He also uses an anti-Gentile prophecy about Israel.

5 Therefore, when we discover Israel-based or Gentile-based quasars in the Revelation, they are to be applied to Israel, not the church, or the Roman Empire, or anybody else. ISRAEL is the subject of the prophecy, nobody else. She may be suffering at the hands of somebody else, but she is the subject.


Firstly, it is a truism to say that Christ applies ' Israel-based prophecies' to Israel. Since these prophecies are about Israe he interprets them as such.

But the apostles take prophecies which were written to Israel, and apply them to those in Christ:
  • Acts 2:16-21: Peter applies Joel 2 to the ecclesia, those in Christ

  • Acts 4:23-28: Peter applies a prophecy about Christ ruling in the restored kingdom of Israel (in the Kingdom age), to the ecclesia, those in Christ

  • Acts 15:12-21: James takes a prophecy which speaks of the building of the 'tabernacle of David' in the Kingdom age. This prophecy is taken by the apostle and typologically applied to the time of Christ and the preaching of the gospel. James actually uses it to prove that Gentiles are to be included in the preaching of the gospel. This is clearly applying it typologically to Christianity, because this prophecy was not fulfilled literally in the time of the apostles.

  • Romans 11:25-27: In its original context, this passage speaks of Jews who would be redeemed by God. But Paul's entire point in this passage is that 'all Israel' also includes Gentiles, and so he applies this passage to both Jews and Gentiles being saved by putting on Christ.
More examples could be provided.

Secondly, in the cases in which you claim Christ is applying a prophecy about a Gentile nation to Israel, he is in fact doing no such thing. He simply takes certain symbols and figues which are commonly used in Scripture with certain established meanings, and uses them in his prophecies against Israel. The very fact that he takes symbols from a range of prophesies and combines them in a singly prophecy shows that he is not applying each actual prophecy to the event he is describing.

Christ does not apply 'Israel based prophecies' in Revelation to either Israel or Christians. He uses certain symbols which are found in Scripture (including those used in prophecies against Israel or the Gentiles), and uses these symbols in his own prophecy.

Thirdly, we have three chapters of Revelation which demonstrate to us how Christ is using these symbols (see my point [3]). The onus is on you to prove that Christ abandons this usage after chapter 3 without warning, and uses these symbols in a completely different way throughout the rest of the book.

My question in this post is:
  • On what basis are we to assume that Christ's explicit use of symbols in chapters 1-3 is not to guide our understanding of the symbols in the rest of the book?

Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#6 Fortigurn

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 12:02 AM

34. The ‘tribes of the earth shall mourn’ in 1.7 which is the pivotal verse of the Book,  are obviously Israel on several counts:

a. It is a passage taken almost verbatim from Zech 12.10 where the context is highly Jewish. As we have now conclusively shown, the Lord uses Israel-based OT quotations and applies them to ISRAEL. He is doing exactly the same here: using an Israel-based prophecy as the basis of an Israel-based application.


Firstly, there is no shared phrase in both Zechariah 12:10 and Revelation 1:7 (which uses a phrase found nowhere in Zechariah 12:10). You recognise this when you say it is 'taken almost verbatim from Zech 12.10' (emphasis mine).

Secondly, Revelation 1:7 uses a phrase which Old Testament (LXX), usage demonstrates very clearly does not mean 'tribes of Israel':

Genesis 12:
kai euloghsw touv eulogountav se kai touv katarwmenouv se katarasomai kai eneuloghyhsontai en soi pasai ai fulai thV ghV

Genesis 12:
3  And I will bless those that bless thee, and curse those that curse thee, and in thee shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 28:
14  kai estai to sperma sou wv h ammov thv ghv kai platunyhsetai epi yalassan kai epi liba kai epi borran kai ep anatolav kai eneuloghyhsontai en soi pasai ai fulai thV ghV kai en tw spermati sou

Genesis 28:
14  And thy seed shall be as the sand of the earth; and it shall spread abroad to the sea, and the south, and the north, and to the east; and in thee and in thy seed shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed.

Psalm 72:17  (71:17) estw to onoma autou euloghmenon eiv touv aiwnav pro tou hliou diamenei to onoma autou kai euloghyhsontai en autw pasai ai fulai thV ghV panta ta eynh makariousin auton

Psalm 72:17  (71:17) Let his name be blessed for ever: his name shall endure longer than the sun: and all the tribes of the earth shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.

Ezekiel 20:
32  kai ouk estai on tropon umeiv legete esomeya wv ta eynh kai wv ai fulai thV ghV tou latreuein xuloiv kai liyoiv

Ezekiel 20:
32  And it shall not be as ye say, We will be as the nations, and as the tribes of the earth, to worship stocks and stones.


In each and every case, we can see that this phrase is used of non-Jewish peoples, outside the land of Israel. Indeed, it is a phrase which encompasses any of the Gentiles of the earth.

b. He does not mean ‘all nations’ because he uses the phrase ‘panta ta ethne’ elsewhere in the Revelation to mean ‘all nations’. Therefore, He means all the tribes of Israel.


Firstly, I do not argue that Christ means 'all nations'. He says 'all families' instead. But these families are families of Gentile peoples, they are not Jewish tribes.

Secondly, and very importantly, when Christ wishes to refer in Revelation to the tribes of Israel, he refers to them specifically by name, using the phrase 'the tribes of the children of Israel'. This proves that he is not using PHULH THV GHV to refer to the tribes of Israel.

c. The Zechariah passage shows that the mourners are Jewish.


The passage in Revelation does not confine the mourning to Jews.

My question in this post is:
  • What evidence can you provide from anywhere outside Revelation that the phrase PHULH THV GHV refers to the tribes of Israel, exclusive of the Gentile peoples?

Edited by Fortigurn, 09 November 2005 - 12:03 AM.

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dele iniquitatem meam.

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‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#7 Asyncritus

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 03:36 AM

I deny the proposition that the Revelation is primarily about natural Israel.

My case advances the following lines of evidence:

[1] The audience of the book: The book is addressed to the servants of Christ (Revelation 1:1), who are those who have put on Christ (both Jew and Gentile), not merely natural Israel. From the letters to the seven ecclesias (Revelation 2-3), we see clearly that the intended audience is the servants of Christ (not natural Israel).


The use of the word ‘audience’ is a rather good choice, because it clearly illustrates the point I have been making: an audience looks at something that is happening to somebody ELSE, NOT TO THEMSELVES. In this case, the audience that is seated has found on their chairs a message to themselves (the Letters) re socks up-pulling, and the rest of the evening is going to be spent looking at the dramas that are going to unfold: dramas about the future of ‘God’s People’ and the future of the world.

That the book is not merely addressed to this group, but actually describes the events which would befall this group, is seen from the fact that this group (described in Revelation 3:12 as having the name of God inscribed in them), is warned of the events which would come immediately upon them (Revelation 2-3), and is referred to later in the book repeatedly when the prophetic events are described (Revelation 7:3; 9:4; 14:1; 22:4).


The immediacy of the threats contained in the Letters, precludes the rest of the Book, covering a rather long period, from being about them.

Ephesus: 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Pergamos: 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Thyatira: 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Sardis: 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Laodicea: 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

These are threats of what was going to happen TO THEM. They are threats typical of what was going to happen to churches like them. Everywhere, not just in Asia Minor. Else what are we doing giving talks about the ‘Letters to the Seven Churches’? And when? QUICKLY. Not over the next 2000 years.

You quote:

3. 12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

This is surely a prophecy of the Kingdom established, not of the intervening 2000 years.

7. 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

This is a vision of the redeemed. The judgments to come on Israel described in the previous chapter, were to be held off until the sealing of all who would come into Christ was complete. Then the disaster happened. It is peculiarly apposite that this quasar occurs in 7.1, the immediate context:

1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

Coming from

Ezk 7. 2 Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land (i.e. Israel).

Combined with:

Da 7:2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

These four beasts (later described in Dan 7) are the Destroyers and Rulers of Israel

9. 4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

This is a repetition of the 7.3 prophecy. See above.

14. 1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

This is a prophecy of the Kingdom established.

22. 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

Here too.



The letters to the seven ecclesias are directed specifically at informing them of the Divine perspective concerning the events and circumstances which they both were experiencing, and would experience in the future. To argue that the book is addressed to this group, that this group is referred to in chapters 1-3, but that the rest of the book does not in fact warn this group of the events which would befall them, requires positive and negative evidence that there has been a change of scope between chapters 3 and 4.


I would disagree slightly with the wording ‘Divine perspective.’ This is not a Revelation of perspective, i.e. point of view, the way God looks at things. This is a revelation of events that were surely going to come about. The Letters describe very forcefully what would happen TO THE ECCLESIAS if they were unfaithful, and then the rest of the Book turns to the greater disasters that would come upon God’s ancient people because of THEIR UNFAITHFULNESS. In this way ALL of God’s People are informed, clearly and vigorously, of what the future held: for the good, and for the evil.

“…that there has been a change of scope between chapters 3 and 4”

There is no change of scope or intention. The whole book works towards, and returns many times, to the declared objective in 1.7, which is, as I have indicated many times, the pivotal passage of the book, the end towards which it is all going:

1:7 (Look! He is returning with the clouds,
and every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him,

and all the tribes on the earth will mourn because of him.
This will certainly come to pass! Amen.) NET

The Book describes the punishment of that Nation who pierced Him, the sufferings they would endure because of the hardness of their hearts, and the final end when they would acknowledge Him, having first recognized and lamented over Him. It is a gigantic exhortation and worked example for the church who are being commanded to pay attention, and take avoiding action.

This is not congruent with the revealed Divine method (Deuteronomy 29:29, Amos 3:7).


These two passages you quote are strikingly relevant in their contexts to this discussion:
Deut 29. 27 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book:
28 And the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.
29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Amos 3.1 Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,

2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities…
6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Both, you see, are with direct relevance to the Divine punishments on Israel.

[2] The symbolism of the book - general principles: The book uses symbols in precisely the same way as the rest of Scripture. Symbols represent qualities not entities (fire represents anything sharing the qualities of fire, water represents anything sharing the qualities of water, etc).


I’m not sure what this means, but it sounds vaguely unsatisfactory. A candlestick is a symbol, but what quality does it represent?

Symbols are therefore to be interpreted according to context, since the same symbol or set of symbols can be used in different contexts of completely different referents, though the qualities of the event or entity are always the same (thus the darkening of the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars, is used of different nations of empires, but always used of the fall of a nation or empire, Isaiah 13:9-10; 34:4, Ezekiel 32:7).


This is correct, but in this case, where we are presented with a puzzle whose solution we don’t know, how can we interpret, say the Seals, according ‘to context’? We don’t know for certain what the context is all about, therefore logically speaking, we can’t interpret according to context without begging all sorts of questions. The fact is, we need external data input to construct any interpretation.

The biggest input comes, as I have shown, from the Lord’s own example and precedents. In every case we have turned up, he uses Israel-based prophecies ABOUT ISRAEL. And in the Sixth Seal, he provides us with a double whammy: 1 He quotes (almost) Isa 2, and Hosea 10 which are both Israel-based prophecies and 2 He refers to His own Olivet Prophecy which is also about Israel, and Lk23 which He kindly identified for us as being the fall of Jerusalem in AD70.
On that basis, therefore, the interpretation of the Seal as the Fall of Jerusalem, stands.

[3] The symbolism of the book - specific usage: Revelation takes symbols which in the Old Testament were used of the enemies of Israel, and applies them to the enemies of the servants of Christ.


In a curious way, this is an extremely correct statement. The enemies of the church in the 1stC, were the Jews. We find traces of this through some of the Letters:

2:… 9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

2.14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. (Taken in conjunction with:

20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. (Jezebel, as you know, was queen of Israel, who sought to make all worship her gods. The parallel here is exact.)

3. 9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

These words are so reminiscent of many things said in the epistles that we cannot but see that this is what the Revelation is talking about here:

2Co 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

Ga 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

The bondage was returning to the Law of Moses. Hebrews shows that they had suffered many things at the Judaisers’ hands and would continue to do so – for a while at least

12.4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?


Split this into 2.

Hyperion, I'm trying not to overlook any points that need answering. Hence the length. Much of the length is due to my including quotations from Fort's post, though. But I can't readily avoid doing that.

Fort, can you slow down a bit, as I'm going to be away most of tomorrow.

Edited by Asyncritus, 09 November 2005 - 03:31 PM.

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#8 Asyncritus

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 10:40 AM

The Revelation, however, is addressed to a particular subgroup of 'God's people'.  This sugroup is the servants of Christ, which includes all Jews and Gentiles who have entered into covenant relationship with him, and seek to serve him.


We are agreed on this: it is TO a subgroup.

This fact alone does not necessarily mean that Israel is NOT the subject of the ensuing prophecies. Your word 'audience' shows this quite clearly: Israel is on stage, and the churches are the 'audience'.

You have not presented any evidence or requirement which logically excludes Israel as the subject of the prophecy, merely an assertion.

We have worked examples of the addressees being believers, and the subject being Israel: in the Romans, Hebrews, and the OP. They are addressed to believers, but prophesy about Israel:

1.7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

11. 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Hebrews is TO believers in Jerusalem, and prophesies ABOUT the fate of Israel:

26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

The Olivet Prophecy does exactly the same:

It is TO His disciples:

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them

ABOUT the Destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 and our time, as I don't need to establish.

It includes warnings TO the disciples, "take heed...", 'Watch..." "Get out..." and is highly reminiscent of the warnings given to the churches.

This last example is peculiarly apposite in this discussion, because of the highly visible connections He makes with the OP in Rev 6.

This fact (TO...ABOUT) totally undermines your application of the prophecies to the church alone.

This subgroup is also described in the New Testament as 'the saints'.  This is a term used consistently in the New Testament to describe those who are in Christ (Acts 9:13, 32, 41; 26:10, Romans 1:7; 8:27; 12:13; 15:25-6, 31; 16:2, 15, 1 Corinthians 1:2; 6:1-2; 14:33; 16:1, 15, 2 Corinthians 1:1; 8:4; 9:1, 12; 13:13, Ephesians 1:1, 15, 18; 2:19; 3:8, 18; 4:12; 5:3; 6:18, Philippians 1:1; 4:22, Colossians 1:2, 4, 12, 26, 1 Thessalonians 3:13, 2 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Timothy 5:10, Philemon 1:5, 7, Hebrews 6:10; 13:24, Jude 1:3, 14).

It is this subgroup who are addressed in Revelation, and who are revealed as those upon whom the events it describes come to pass (not natural Israel).

This subgroup does not include the corporate body 'natural Israel', who are still in unbelief of their Messiah.


This subgroup does not include 'natural Israel': that is correct, that's why it is a SUBgroup - but that fact does not exclude natural Israel from being the subject of the Revelation. The audience is not the stage troupe.

The 'saints' in the OT are the Jews. Invariably. Do you want the list again, or will you take my word for it?

My question in this post is:

  •   Is there any evidence you can provide that the term 'saints' in the New Testament refers to natural Israel rather than to those Jews and Gentiles who are in Christ?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I don't think I can, but what does this have to do with the subject in hand since 'saints' are not mentioned in the 7 Letters? Are you seeking to divert attention away from the fact that 'God's people' in both Old and New Testaments is a term that invariably includes Israel? And that the 'saints' in the OT are also invariably Israel? Are you proposing that the uniform practice of the Old Testament is to be so completely and easily glossed over? If so, why?

My question in this post is:

Since the Lord's established and invariable practice is to quote Israel-based prophecies AND APPLY THEM TO ISRAEL, do you think that He stops doing so in the Revelation? 'That is a truism' is not an acceptable 'explanation,' it is a 'description' which does not address the problem I have placed before you.

I am impressed with the number of 'invariables' that we are uncovering, and here's a summary of them so far, as they bear heavily on the subject of this debate:

1 Invariably, Jesus quotes Israel-Based Prophecies AND APPLIES THEM TO Israel.

Therefore those Israel Based Prophecies used in the Revelation by Him are used to refer to Israel in the Revelation.

And since there are several hundred of these in the Revelation, it follows that there are several hundred quotations, references and allusions to Israel in the Revelation. That alone makes it the primary subject of the Book.

2 Invariably'God's people' refers to Israel in the Old Testament, and in the New. As you agreed some while ago, the book is about 'God's people.' It is logically unsound to simply assume that it cannot refer to Israel given the fact that 'God's People' INVARIABLY REFERS TO ISRAEL.

3 Invariably,'saints' in the OT refers to Israel.

Edited by Asyncritus, 09 November 2005 - 09:41 PM.

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#9 Asyncritus

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 03:26 PM

Reply 7 (continued)

F."Revelation takes symbols which in the Old Testament were used of Israel and the Jews, and applies them to the body of Christ and to the Christians."


This is correct, but hardly surprising. We dwell in the heavenly places which contain the real things, of which Moses made copies. These are the REAL ones. The application made in Revelation is in specific circumstances, in specific churches. And it is made perfectly clear precisely what it is referring to. In those places where the symbols are re-used, they are usually in the established-Kingdom passages, such as the white robes. They don’t recur in the prophetic parts of the Book.

Jezebel was the queen of Israel. A harlot? I wouldn’t know, but I doubt it somehow. Her religion encouraged those practices, that’s for certain, but ‘she’ is a teacher: Re 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

You may have noted the connection with those who say they are Jews and are not.
She certainly isn’t the harlot in ch 17.

Balaam was paid to curse Israel, and for the love of money did so. The force of this analogy is that the HPr paid emissaries to go out and curse Christians and lead them astray. In fact, Balaam may well be the HPr:

14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Balaam here is not a persecutor, he is a TEACHER of the enemies of Christ who led into fornication and idolatry.

The key to understanding this is found in the letters to the ecclesias in chapters 1 to 3, where these symbols are used with explicit referents.

Thus in Revelation 2 and 3, a false prophet (Balaam), is an apostate Christian who leads other Christians astray (Revelation 2:14), a harlot (Jezebel), is an apostate Christian who leads other Christians astray (Revelation 2:20-22), and satan (also 'the devil'), is the enemy of Christians who is currently persecuting them (Revelation 2:9-10, 13; 3:9). This supports the first premise. Usage of these symbols elsewhere in Revelation is congruent with this premise.


These symbols (Balaam and Jezebel) do not occur elsewhere in the Revelation and therefore are irrelevant to this discussion, and offer no help to your case. The symbol ‘satan’ is simply an ‘adversary’ and is not specific, except for the identifying tag in 2.9 where we have identified for us the synagogue of satan. A synagogue is an assembly of, or a place where JEWS met. This is therefore a powerful indication that the persecution was coming from the Jews.

4864 sunagwgh sunagoge soon-ag-o-gay’

from (the reduplicated form of) 4863; TDNT-7:798,1108; n f
AV-synagogue 55, congregation 1, assembly 1; 57

1) a bringing together, gathering (as of fruits), a contracting
2) in the NT, an assembling together of men, an assembly of men
3) a synagogue
3a) an assembly of Jews formally gathered together to offer prayers and listen to the reading and expositions of the scriptures; assemblies of that sort were held every sabbath and feast day, afterwards also on the second and fifth days of every week; name transferred to an assembly of Christians formally gathered together for religious purposes

3b) the buildings where those solemn Jewish assemblies are held. Synagogues seem to date their origin from the Babylonian exile. In the times of Jesus and the apostles every town, not only in Palestine, but also among the Gentiles if it contained a considerable number of Jewish inhabitants, had at least one synagogue, the larger towns several or even many. These were also used for trials and inflicting punishment.


I fail to see the relevance of the following:

Thus also, in Revelation 1-3, a lampstand is an ecclesia, not a physical piece of furniture in the earthly temple (Revelation 1:20, 2:5), manna is the reward of faithful Christians, not natural Israel (Revelation 2:17), the temple of God is the body of Christians, not the earthly temple in Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12), and the holy city is the spiritual dwellingplace of God, not the earthly city of Jerusalem (Revelation 3:120. This supports the second premise. Usage of these symbols elsewhere in Revelation is congruent with this premise.

[4] The scope of the prophetic events: Many passages and phrases indicate to us that the scope of the events is restricted neither to the group of people who constitute natural Israel, nor to the geographical area of the land of Israel and its immediate inhabitants.


Examples of these phrases include:

o The four corners of the earth
o See Above
o The four winds of the earth
o See above
o The Lord of the earth (the passage from Zechariah in the LXX from which this is quoted specifies the Lord of the whole earth)

This is an error, because the Zechariah passage refers to the Land of Israel into which the horsemen go; and the phrase (in the Hebrew text, only occurs in 2 other verses, both tightly tied to the Land of Israel/Canaan, which He, the Lord of that ERETZ was giving to the Jews:
10 And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.
11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.
12 Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man.
13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.

o The kings of the earth

Are identified for us by Peter and Jesus Himself as proximate rulers of the Land of Israel, though I recognize that the possibility exists that there may be other rulers involved:

Mt 17:25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
Ac 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

o The tribes of the earth

As we have shown, this ‘phrase’ does not mean ‘all nations of the planet’ which is panta ta ethne. Since Jesus is using a Jewish prophecy here in 1.7, then in accordance with His normal practice of using Jewish-based prophecies and referring them to Israel, He is doing exactly that here in 1.7.

o Those who live on the earth (who are also described as 'every nation, tribe, language, and people')


The ‘everlasting gospel’ is to be preached over the whole planet as per Jesus’ commission. This does not remove Israel from the center of the Book, because they are the first to receive it :
14. 6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

The first passage contributing to this argument is found in Revelation 1:7, which describes 'all the tribes of the earth' (a generic reference to the people on the planet, not to the tribes of Israel), seeing Christ at his return.


This is a mistaken assertion which is incorrect as shown above. Jesus uses, invariably, Jewish prophecies about Jewish people. Zech 12.10, the source prophecy, is Jewish in content and subject.

1.7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

12. 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.
12 And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;
13 The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;

Therefore in accordance with His normal practice, He applies it to the Jews who will mourn at His coming with clouds.

The next such passage is 3:12, in which the Philadelphian ecclesia is warned of a time of trial which would come upon the entire OIKOUMENH (a word used later in Revelation to describe the scope of the prophetic events).


This description is somewhat optimistic. The ecclesia would be protected from the troubles that would come on the Roman Empire for a short time. This brief mention of OIKUMENE, and the remaining 2 occurrences in 12.9 and 16.14 cannot reasonably be said to ‘describe the scope of the prophetic events’ in the rest of the Book. It is a passing mention of the word, not a central descriptive theme of the whole book.

The contextual indicators of chapters 1-3, together with the co-texts belonging to certain key passages in Revelation (key passages such as Revelation 11:7, 12:3-4, 7-9, 13-18, 13:1-18, 16:10,13, 17:3, 7-18, together with co-texts such as Daniel 2:40-44, 7:6-8, 19-27),


I don’t understand this, and cannot reasonably be expected to go chasing all the references up. If you would be good enough to indicate the most apposite ones, I will deal with your point. For the moment, suffice it to say that this is totally unclear.

lead to the conclusion that Revelation intends to give a warning and description of  events which would come upon and endanger the Christian body during the whole time between the giving of the Revelation and the return of Christ.


This is a totally incorrect conclusion from these flimsy premises. We have 7 Letters to 7 churches, warning them of the fact that their gross dereliction of duty would lead to their vanishing from the face of the planet. To say that this is a warning of ‘events which would come upon and endanger the Christian body for 2000+ years’ is an unreasonable, unjustified and gigantic extrapolation, with no evidence whatsoever at the back of it.

Where, for example is justification for ‘events which would come upon…’? They are threatened with extinction in some cases, at the hand of the Lord Himself, thus:

2. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

2. 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

2. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
3. 5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life

3.18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

There is no indication that this would take a huge amount of time. The threats are immediate, swift-looking and drastic. This, and the previous evidence, shows that there is nothing to justify your extrapolation, which should be immediately abandoned.

[5] The prophetic background in Daniel: The Revelation shares significant material with the prophecy of Daniel, specifically with chapters 2, 7 and 12. In Daniel 2 and 7 we find a prophecy regarding the 'fourth kingdom on earth'. The prophecy of Daniel describes this kingdom in chapters 2 and 7. In both places it indicates that this kingdom will be a violent and destructive kingdom, which would break all others into pieces. In chapter 7, this kingdom is stated specifically to persecute God's people - the saints (Daniel 7:25).


The Lord invariably applies Jewish-based prophecies to Israel. The book of Daniel is about Five kingdoms which did and will trample/ rule over/ take captive, THE NATION OF ISRAEL.

Ch 7 simply confirms this statement. Who are the saints? They are ‘the people of the saints of the Most High’: God’s people in other words: Da 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

As we have shown very clearly, 'God’s people' are the Jews, in the whole Bible. As a concordance study will speedily show, the saints are the Jews, in the OT, of which the book of Daniel is a major part. Both of these lines of evidence, then, converge on Israel as the subject of the Book of Daniel. Since the Lord uses this prophecy of Daniel with very special importance (in such places as chs 10, 12), then in accordance with His invariable practice, those chapters are in fact speaking of Israel, and its persecutors.

The same beast is found in Revelation, where the same description of it and its activities is given (Revelation 11, 13, 17, and 19). The evidence from these passages is that God has revealed to us the full extent and scope of this beast's persecution and activities, right up to the time of Christ's return, and including its persecution of those in Christ, not merely natural Israel.


If the activities of the beast are derived from Daniel's prophecy, and Daniel is a basically Jewish prophecy, and the Lord invariably uses Jewish prophecies about Israel as subject, then is it not a reasonable conclusion that He is indicating that this/these beasts are trampling Israel? There can be no doubt that from time to time Christians have been persecuted by many different powers, but that is not what these prophecies are predicting.

Jewish prophecies are used by the Lord about Jews, without exception.
You clearly feel the force of this argument in your final admission: “…not merely natural Israel.” That 'merely' indicates clearly that Israel DOES figure prominently in the Book of Revelation. As I have been pointing out, it is a major role, not an ancillary one.

Edited by Asyncritus, 09 November 2005 - 03:48 PM.

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The Sinner

#10 Asyncritus

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 09:43 PM

REPLY TO FORT’S #5.
5.1

Firstly, it is a truism to say that Christ applies ' Israel-based prophecies' to Israel. Since these prophecies are about Israel he interprets them as such.


He APPLIES them as such. Not ‘interprets’. Since He is the Giver of the Revelation, it is fair to assume that He knows what He has been doing in the gospels, and is carrying on doing so in the Revelation. There is nothing to deflect the force of that fact.

That I think is reasonable.

Your reply ignores the fact that he actually uses a prophecy about Edom in the construction of the Israel prophecy in Mt 24. He has thereby set a precedent which we would be wise to observe: that a Gentile prophecy may be used as the basis of an Israel one, but never the other way round.

This poses a gigantic problem for your use and interpretation of the scriptures in the Revelation. As we have pointed out on many occasions, there are approximately 500+ such quotations, allusions and references in the Revelation, the vast preponderance of them from prophecies and history of Israel. Therefore, the Giver has instructed us by His own example, how we should use them, i.e. as applying to Israel. Failure to do so can only lead to confusion, arbitrariness, and expository disaster.
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#11 Asyncritus

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 09:47 PM

REPLY TO FORT 5.2

But the apostles take prophecies which were written to Israel, and apply them to those in Christ:
• Acts 2:16-21: Peter applies Joel 2 to the ecclesia, those in Christ


A.This is quite inaccurate: He is speaking to ‘Ye men of Israel’. No ecclesia formed as yet. The prophecy is to ‘you and to your children, and as many as the Lord our God shall call.” You, of course, being the Jews.

Acts 4:23-28: Peter applies a prophecy about Christ ruling in the restored kingdom of Israel (in the Kingdom age), to the ecclesia, those in Christ


I have no idea where this conception comes from. Here is the quotation:

25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

They are applying a specific part of Ps 2 to the events surrounding the crucifixion of the Lord. The quotation stops short of the ‘yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion’ because it was not yet. Your claim is invalid.

Acts 15:12-21: James takes a prophecy which speaks of the building of the 'tabernacle of David' in the Kingdom age. This prophecy is taken by the apostle and typologically applied to the time of Christ and the preaching of the gospel. James actually uses it to prove that Gentiles are to be included in the preaching of the gospel. This is clearly applying it typologically to Christianity, because this prophecy was not fulfilled literally in the time of the apostles.


There is no typology involved in the application James makes of Amos:
4 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

This refers to the coming of Christ the First Time. That which was fallen has now been re-elevated. As Zacharias said:

68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

And now James turns to the entering in of the Gentiles: a literal fulfillment, of a literal prophecy:

17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

Romans 11:25-27: In its original context, this passage speaks of Jews who would be redeemed by God. But Paul's entire point in this passage is that 'all Israel' also includes Gentiles, and so he applies this passage to both Jews and Gentiles being saved by putting on Christ.


Your Romans 11 reference is of no help either. It is unequivocally a prophecy of the call of the Gentiles into Israel now, and its ultimate fulfillment in the end of days. It does not show that an Israel-based prophecy should be bodily transplanted into a Gentile application.

As you said, both Jews and Gentiles are being saved now, and ALL Israel will be saved in the end.

21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.
24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Edited by Asyncritus, 10 November 2005 - 05:05 PM.

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The Sinner

#12 Asyncritus

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 09:50 PM

REPLY TO FORT 5.3

Secondly, in the cases in which you claim Christ is applying a prophecy about a Gentile nation to Israel, he is in fact doing no such thing. He simply takes certain symbols and figures which are commonly used in Scripture with certain established meanings, and uses them in his prophecies against Israel. The very fact that he takes symbols from a range of prophesies and combines them in a singly prophecy shows that he is not applying each actual prophecy to the event he is describing.


As I recall, the fact that Edom was the subject of Isa 34 which is utilized in both Matthew 24 and Rev 6, was a great source of support for your view as opposed to mine.

The fact that it now transpires that the Lord is in fact using symbols FROM A GENTILE PROPHECY and applying them to ISRAEL, is a trifle inconvenient for your viewpoint.

The other fact, that He never does the opposite i.e. take symbols from an Israel-based prophecy, and apply them to Gentiles, is more than inconvenient. If your POV is correct, then huge chunks of the Revelation refer to the Gentiles, in particular the Roman Empire, and the Israel-based prophecies which are referred to in huge numbers must be applied to Rome etc. Jesus does no such thing, and we are mistaken if we choose to do so.

Edited by Asyncritus, 12 November 2005 - 08:27 AM.

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The Sinner

#13 Asyncritus

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 09:53 PM

REPLY TO FORT 5.4

Christ does not apply 'Israel based prophecies' in Revelation to either Israel or Christians. He uses certain symbols which are found in Scripture (including those used in prophecies against Israel or the Gentiles), and uses these symbols in his own prophecy.


I’m afraid he does, and what’s more, He does so in quantity. Here are a couple of examples from the Seals:

6. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

This is an almost verbatim quotation from Ezk 14.21 where there is NO SYMBOLOGY, just a bald statement of facts: 21 For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?

He is, as said before, using an Israel-based Prophecy and His normal practice indicates that these are judgments upon Israel. To look at that seal, and say that it has some Roman Empire application, is to completely ignore Jesus own clear practice.

The Sixth Seal is the classic illustration of this, because we have a convergence of 2 of these principles we have observed:

First, He quotes, alludes, refers to at least 3 passages, 1 from the NT and 2 from the OT.

In the NT, (Lk 23) He actually specifies that the prophecy is about the Fall of Jerusalem. That alone should be good enough.

Second, Isa 2 and Hosea 10 are also Israel-based prophecies.

In accordance with His established practice, he quotes these Israel-based prophecies, AND APPLIES THEM TO ISRAEL.

Therefore, with His example before us, confirming and actually giving us a clearly worked example, we have absolutely no reason left to suppose that the sixth seal is not a prophecy about the Fall of Jerusalem.
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#14 Asyncritus

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 09:57 PM

REPLY TO FORT 5.5

Thirdly, we have three chapters of Revelation which demonstrate to us how Christ is using these symbols (see my point [3]). The onus is on you to prove that Christ abandons this usage after chapter 3 without warning, and uses these symbols in a completely different way throughout the rest of the book.

My question in this post is:
On what basis are we to assume that Christ's explicit use of symbols in chapters 1-3 is not to guide our understanding of the symbols in the rest of the book?


The purpose of the Letters is to chastise, exhort and approve the works of the 7 ecclesias. Their entire purpose is summarized in that statement. A prophecy is entirely different in subject matter and purpose, and must, therefore, speak in a very different way to a circular Letter/s.

It would be most surprising, therefore if we found that the vocabulary and symbology of the Letters is entirely identical to that of the prophecies, and sure enough, there are immense differences.

The places where there are similarities are in the Kingdom passages: The Tree of Life, the crown of life, ruling the nations with a rod of iron, the white raiment, the New Jerusalem, the new name, shame of nakedness, sitting in the throne with Him.

But we note that these similarities DO NOT appear in the prophetic sections (apart from the kingdom visions. The reason why they are there in the Letters, is that they represent the carrot – the things to work and suffer for.) Those are entirely different, in vocabulary, content, and in character to the Letters, and a careful review will confirm this statement.

The use of the symbols, therefore, is not the same as in the rest of the Book, because of the difference in purpose. It is as simple as that. I must also point out that the symbols in the letters are ONLY VERY RARELY used in the rest of the Book as a whole, and do not offer much help in the interpretation of the prophecies.
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#15 Asyncritus

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Posted 11 November 2005 - 11:14 AM

THE PROBLEM WITH THE OBVIOUS

The problem with the obvious is that we often don’t see it until someone points it out.

We have a point, a fact, an easily made, accurate observation which has emerged in this discussion which is so blindingly obvious it is amazing that no-one, including myself, has ever mentioned it in the year or so that this discussion has continued.

It is this:

JESUS ONLY APPLIES ISRAEL-BASED PROPHECIES TO ISRAEL.

This is a ‘truism’ says Fortigurn. A truism is ‘a self-evident truth’ says the dictionary. This fact is very obvious i.e. ‘self-evident’; and truth i.e. ‘true, not false or incorrect.’

Therefore the above statement is obviously true and correct. It is also highly relevant to the argument before us.

We have, and this is easily provable, about 500 and more quotations, references and allusions to the Old Testament in the Revelation. All of these are made by Jesus.

The majority, at a guess 400 or so, are taken from the history, and prophecies, which are provably ABOUT NATURAL ISRAEL. Examples have already been given in this thread.

Since Jesus in the Revelation is the same Jesus today, yesterday and forever, then He has not changed since His first advent, and is doing exactly as He did in the gospels.

He is therefore using Israel-based prophecies and applying them TO NATURAL ISRAEL in the Revelation.

Therefore, Natural Israel features about 400 times in the Revelation.

This is a far greater number of times than any other single subject in the Revelation. Therefore, natural Israel is the main feature of the Revelation.

Edited by Asyncritus, 11 November 2005 - 01:20 PM.

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The Sinner

#16 Fortigurn

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 03:07 AM

[1] The 'application' of prophecies in the New Testament:


[1.1] The application of a previous prophecy to an event (whether that prophecy has been fulfilled or not), is discerned by direct reference to such an application, which always explicitly refer to a previous prophecy being applied. Examples include 'This all happened so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled' (Matthew 1:22), 'for it is written this way by the prophet' (Matthew 2:5), 'In this way what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet was fulfilled' (Matthew 2:15), and 'Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled' (Matthew 2:17). Numerous examples of this pattern occur in the New Testament - it is invariable.

[1.2] This applies whether the prophecy is being interpreted as a formal predictive prophecy which is being literally fulfilled (Matthew 1:22), whether the prophecy is being applied typologically (Matthew 2:15, 17), or whether the prophecy is a formal predictive prophecy requiring two literal fulfilments (Acts 2:21).

[1.3] Christ himself uses this same pattern. Note that wherever he applies a prophecy to a subject which it did not originally concern, when he applies it to a different context to the original, he identifies clearly the fact that he is applying a specific prophecy in one context, to a new context:[1.3.1] Matthew 13:14 And concerning them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:


[1.3.2] Matthew 15:7 Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said,


[1.3.3] Matthew 24:15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation—spoken about by Daniel the prophet—standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),


[1.3.3] Mark 7:6 He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written:


[1.3.4] Mark:14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.


[1.3.5] John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to me.


[1.3.6] John 13:18 “What I am saying does not refer to all of you. I know the ones I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture, ‘The one who eats my bread has turned against me.’


[1.3.7] John 15:25 Now this happened to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without reason.’
We find no such references in the Revelation. We find Christ using symbols from other prophecies. He does not apply a prophecy to a subject which it did not originally concern, to a different context to the original, without actually referring to the source of the prophecy. The symbols themselves cannot be used to identify the context or specific subject of the prophecy. The context itself must be used to determine the specific subject of the prophecy.

This deals with all your arguments that Christ is applying specific prophecies in the Old Testament (and the New Testament), to specific events in Revelation. Nowhere does he do this in Revelation.

[1.4] Your objections summarised and answered:[1.4.1] [In response to my argument 'Symbols are therefore to be interpreted according to context'] 'This is correct, but in this case, where we are presented with a puzzle whose solution we don’t know, how can we interpret, say the Seals, according ‘to context’? We don’t know for certain what the context is all about, therefore logically speaking, we can’t interpret according to context without begging all sorts of questions.':

We have plenty of context for the interpretation of Revelation, in chapters 1-4 (especially the symbols, see my argument [2]). It is wrong to say that we don't have any context. In a number of other chapters in Revelation, we also have the context provided by such identies as the dragon (the Roman empire), and terms such as OIKOUMENH, 'the kings of the earth', 'every nation, tribe, language, and people', and statements such as ''You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations,languages, and kings' (Revelation 10:11). See my arguments [2], [3], and [4] for more examples of statements which provide context.


[1.4.2] 'The biggest input comes, as I have shown, from the Lord’s own example and precedents. In every case we have turned up, he uses Israel-based prophecies ABOUT ISRAEL.'

See my arguments in [1.1] to [1.3].


[1.4.3] 'Your reply ignores the fact that he actually uses a prophecy about Edom in the construction of the Israel prophecy in Mt 24. He has thereby set a precedent which we would be wise to observe: that a Gentile prophecy may be used as the basis of an Israel one, but never the other way round.' [your 5.1]:

Christ does not in fact 'use a prophecy about Edom in the construction of the Israel prophecy in Mt 24'. He takes a symbol which has a specific meaning, and uses it with that meaning in Matthew 24. He is not 'applying', 'using', or 'interpreting' a prophecy about Edom in Matthew 24 (see my arguments [1.1] to [1.3]).

Your argument fails for another reason, and that is that in Luke 21:25, Christ uses the imagery of the sun, moon and stars which is found in Old Testament prophecies concerning Israel and prophecies concerning Gentile nations, and applies it in the Olivet prophecy to Gentile nations. If, as you argue, using symbols which are used in a previous prophecy constitutes 'applying' that prophecy to a new subject, then what we have here is both Gentile prophecies and an 'Israel based prophecy' being applied to Gentile nations. Your statements then that 'a Gentile prophecy may be used as the basis of an Israel one, but never the other way round', and 'He never does the opposite i.e. take symbols from an Israel-based prophecy, and apply them to Gentiles' (your 5.1 and 5.3), are demonstrably untrue.


[1.4.4] 'REPLY TO FORT 5.2':

I argued that in Acts 2:16-21: Peter applies Joel 2 to the ecclesia, those in Christ, and your response was that no ecclesia had been formed as yet. But clearly it had, for the brethren and sisters were gathered together in one place (Acts 2:1), and Peter applies the fulfilment of the prophecy to those speaking in tongues (not to the Jews who are listening).

I argued that in Acts 4:23-28: Peter applies a prophecy about Christ ruling in the restored kingdom of Israel (in the Kingdom age), to the ecclesia, those in Christ, and your response was 'They are applying a specific part of Ps 2 to the events surrounding the crucifixion of the Lord'. But if you read the surrounding context, you will find that they are applying it to the rulers who are persecuting the ecclesia at that time.

I argued that in Acts 15:12-21: James takes a prophecy which speaks of the building of the 'tabernacle of David' in the Kingdom age, and applies it typologically to the time of Christ and the preaching of the gospel. You argue that the prophecy in Amos 'refers to the coming of Christ the First Time', rather than to the Kingdom age. But this passage in Amos is clearly a prophecy regarding the Kingdom ('the ploughman will Catch up to the reaper', verse 13, 'I will bring back my people, Israel', vese 14, 'they will rebuild the cities lying in rubble', verse 14, 'I will plant them on their land, and they will never be uprooted from the land I have given them', verse 15). None of those things took place at Christ's first coming.

I argued that in Romans 11:25-27 (which in its original context speaks of Jews who would be redeemed by God), is interpreted by Paul so that 'all Israel' also includes Gentiles, and so he applies this passage to both Jews and Gentiles being saved by putting on Christ. You argue that 'It is unequivocally a prophecy of the call of the Gentiles into Israel now', but the original context of the passage says otherwise. The passage says 'A deliverer will come to Zion' (Isaiah 59:20), which is not a Gentile city, and the passage says 'to those in Jacob who repent of their rebellious deeds' (Isaiah 59:20), and you cannot possibly read 'those in Jacob' as 'Gentiles'. This is not a formal predictive prophecy of 'the call of the Gentiles into Israel now', it is a prophecy to the Jews regarding their future salvation, which Paul applies typologically to include the Gentiles.

[1.4.5] [In response to my argument 'Christ does not apply 'Israel based prophecies' in Revelation to either Israel or Christians. He uses certain symbols which are found in Scripture (including those used in prophecies against Israel or the Gentiles), and uses these symbols in his own prophecy'.] 'I’m afraid he does, and what’s more, He does so in quantity. Here are a couple of examples from the Seals:':


Your argument here ([5.4]), is dealt with by my arguments here in [1].


[1.4.6] 'THE PROBLEM WITH THE OBVIOUS'

This is dealt with by my arguments here in [1].
[2] Symbols in Revelation:


[2.1] The symbolism of the book - general principles: The book uses symbols in precisely the same way as the rest of Scripture. Symbols represent qualities not entities (fire represents anything sharing the qualities of fire, water represents anything sharing the qualities of water, etc).

Symbols are therefore to be interpreted according to context, since the same symbol or set of symbols can be used in different contexts of completely different referents, though the qualities of the event or entity are always the same (thus the darkening of the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars, is used of different nations of empires, but always used of the fall of a nation or empire, Isaiah 13:9-10; 34:4, Ezekiel 32:7).

[2.2] The symbolism of the book - specific usage: Revelation takes symbols which in the Old Testament were used of the enemies of Israel, and applies them to the enemies of the servants of Christ. Revelation takes symbols which in the Old Testament were used of Israel and the Jews, and applies them to the body of Christ and to the Christians. The key to understanding this is found in the letters to the ecclesias in chapters 1 to 3, where these symbols are used with explicit referents.

Thus in Revelation 2 and 3, a false prophet (Balaam), is an apostate Christian who leads other Christians astray (Revelation 2:14), a harlot (Jezebel), is an apostate Christian who leads other Christians astray (Revelation 2:20-22), and satan (also 'the devil'), is the enemy of Christians who is currently persecuting them (Revelation 2:9-10, 13; 3:9). This supports the first premise. Usage of these symbols elsewhere in Revelation is congruent with this premise.

Thus also, in Revelation 1-3, a lampstand is an ecclesia, not a physical piece of furniture in the earthly temple (Revelation 1:20, 2:5), manna is the reward of faithful Christians, not natural Israel (Revelation 2:17), the temple of God is the body of Christians, not the earthly temple in Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12), and the holy city is the spiritual dwellingplace of God, not the earthly city of Jerusalem (Revelation 3:120. This supports the second premise. Usage of these symbols elsewhere in Revelation is congruent with this premise.


[2.3] Your objections summarised and answered: [2.3.1] 'It would be most surprising, therefore if we found that the vocabulary and symbology of the Letters is entirely identical to that of the prophecies. [...] The places where there are similarities are in the Kingdom passages... But we note that these similarities DO NOT appear in the prophetic sections (apart from the kingdom visions.':

We do in fact find the vocabulary and symbolism of the letters in the rest of the prophecy, and not merely in the 'Kingdom passages' (I have highlighted non-Kingdom passages in bold):[2.3.1.1] In the letters, a lampstand is an ecclesia, not a physical piece of furniture in the earthly temple (Revelation 1:20, 2:5), so we have no warrant for supposing it is something else in the later prophetic chapters (Revelation 11:4)


[2.3.1.2] In the letters, a false prophet from the Old Testament is used to represent a false Christian teacher in a Christian congregation, who leads Christians astray (Revelation 2:14), so we have no warrant for supposing that a false prophet is anything other than a false Christian teacher who leads Christians to apostasize when the same figure used later in the prophetic chapters (Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10)


[2.3.1.2] In the letters, a prostituting and spiritually corrupting woman from the Old Testament is used to represent a prostitituting and spiritually corrupting woman in a Christian congregation, who leads Christians astray (Revelation 2:20-22), so we have no warrant for supposing that this figure is something else in the later prophetic chapters (Revelation 17:1-6; 19:2)


[2.3.1.3] In the letters, the book of life represents the reward of those who have been found faithful (Revelation 3:5), so we have no warrant for supposing that it is something else in the later prophetic chapters (Revelation 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27)


[2.3.1.4] In the letters, the rule of an iron rod represents a powerful rulership which breaks in pieces (Revelation 2:27), so we have no warrant for supposing that it is something else in the later prophetic chapters (Revelation 12:5)


[2.3.1.5] In the letters, the temple of God is the body of Christians, not the earthly temple in Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12), so we have no warrant for supposing it is something else in the later prophetic chapters (Revelation 11:1; 14:15-17; 15:5-6, 8; 16:1, 17; 21:22)


[2.3.1.6] In the letters, the holy city is the spiritual dwellingplace of God, not the earthly city of Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12), so we have no warrant for supposing it is something else in the later prophetic chapters (Revelation 11:2; 21:2, 9-10; 22:19)
[2.3.2] [In response to my argument [2.2]] 'The enemies of the church in the 1stC, were the Jews. We find traces of this through some of the Letters:':

You then refer to the references to Balaam and Jezebel, together with 'those who say they are Jews', and the 'synagogue of satan'. But you do not in fact prove that any of these figures are Jews, and you fail to address the key point in my argument [2.2]. You assume that all of these are 'false brethren', who are 'Judaizers', but this in fact actually proves my case - whether biologically Jews or not, these are false brethren, they are Judaizers, they are Christians who are apostaszing and leading others into apostasy. They are not Jews persecuting the Christians in an attempt to suppress the Christian faith.


[2.3.3] 'Jezebel was the queen of Israel. A harlot? I wouldn’t know, but I doubt it somehow. Her religion encouraged those practices, that’s for certain, but ‘she’ is a teacher:':

The Jezebel of Revelation 2:20-23 is in fact a harlot (the passage speaks of 'her sexual immorality', and refers to 'those who commit adultery with her'). Yes, she is most certainly a teacher, and that is precisely my argument. She is a Christian woman, in a Christian ecclesia, who is apostaszing and leading others to apostasize. The figure therefore of an apostate prostitute who leads others to apostasize and indulges in halotry with them is used to represent apostate Christianity, not persecuting Jews who follow apostate 1st century Judaism and reject Christ.


[2.3.4] 'Balaam was paid to curse Israel, and for the love of money did so. The force of this analogy is that the HPr paid emissaries to go out and curse Christians and lead them astray. In fact, Balaam may well be the HPr'

In Revelation 2:14 the aspects of Balaam's behaviour which are highlighted are not the fact that he received money to corrupt Israel, but the fact that he taught Israel to apostasize. He is represented as a false prophet, a false teacher, not a persecuting power. He is a false Christian teacher, who is leading Christians into apostasy. If you can find any evidence that the High Priest paid Jews to teach Christians to return to the Law, go astray, or to commit fornication and eat meat offered to idols (something very at odds with Judaism), and if you can find any evidence that the Balaam referred to here is the High Priest, I would like to see it. I am glad that you recognise Balaam is not a persecutor here but a false teacher, because that is precisely what I am arguing he is.


[2.3.5] 'These symbols (Balaam and Jezebel) do not occur elsewhere in the Revelation and therefore are irrelevant to this discussion, and offer no help to your case.':

The names do not occur later in Revelation, but the figures themselves do, as I have shown. The figure of a false prophet occurs later, in Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10, and the figure of a harlot also occurs later, in Revelation 17:1-6; 19:2 (non-Kingdom passages in bold). We have no warrrant for supposing that these figures suddenly mean something completely different to what they meant in the beginning of the book.


[2.3.6] 'The symbol ‘satan’ is simply an ‘adversary’ and is not specific, except for the identifying tag in 2.9 where we have identified for us the synagogue of satan.':

The satan is certainly not 'an adversary', the satan is the adversary, right throughout the Revelation, and is made very specific in later chapters such as Revelation 12 (where it is the pagan Roman empire, we both agree).


[2.3.7] 'A synagogue is an assembly of, or a place where JEWS met. This is therefore a powerful indication that the persecution was coming from the Jews.':

The word synagogue was also used later for the congregation of Christians, so this offers no support for your case. Throughout the Revelation all the evidence demonstrates that the enemy of the saints (who are not natural Israel, see my argument [4]), are not the Jews but are Gentile persecuting powers (see my arguments [4.4.2] to [4.4.4], together with my argument [3.4]).


[2.3.8] 'A candlestick is a symbol, but what quality does it represent?':

It represents the quality of light giving (see Matthew 5:14-16 for a similar analogy).
[/list][3] The arena of events in Revelation is more than the land of Israel:

[3.1] Many passages and phrases indicate to us that the scope of the events is restricted neither to the group of people who constitute natural Israel, nor to the geographical area of the land of Israel and its immediate inhabitants.

Examples of these phrases include:[3.1.1] The four corners of the earth
[3.1.2] The four winds
[3.1.3] The Lord of the earth (the passage from Zechariah in the LXX from which this is quoted specifies the Lord of the whole earth)
[3.1.4] The kings of the earth
[3.1.5] The tribes of the earth
[3.1.6] Those who live on the earth (who are also described as 'every nation, tribe, language, and people')
[3.2] These phrases are consistently used in the Old Testament (LXX), of Gentile nations outside Israel. This is verifiable. The usage is the same in the New Testament. Any interpretation of these phrases which contradicts their verifiable usage is wrong.


[3.3] The area in which the prophetic events of the book take place is defined as an area far wider than simply the land of Israel and its immediate surroundings:[3.3.1] The Philadelphian ecclesia is told that they will be kept safe from future 'hour of testing that is about to come on the whole OIKOUMENH [Roman empire] to test those who live on the earth' (Revelation 3:10)


[3.3.2] The group described as 'those who live on the earth' (defined as 'every nation, tribe, language, and people', by Revelation 11:9, 14:6), are frequently described as the subject of the prophetic passages - they are judged for their persecution of the saints (Revelation 6:10), they are described as making merry over the death of God's witnesses, who tormented them (Revelation 11:10), they are informed of the gospel and warned of impending judgment (Revelation 14:6-7), and they wonder at the beast (Revelation 17:8)


[3.3.3] The 'kings of the earth' are described as the subjects of the judgment of the sixth seal (Revelation 6:15)


[3.3.4] John sees 'four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so no wind could blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree' (Revelation 7:1)


[3.3.5] That the prophecy John is given encompasses an area far wider than simply the land of Israel and its immediate surroundings is made explicit by the statement of the angel who instructs him 'You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations,languages, and kings' (Revelation 10:11)


[3.3.6] Central to the prophecy concerning the 1,260 days of God's witnesses are 'those from every people, tribe, nation, and language', who oppose the witnesses (Revelation 11:9)


[3.3.7] The beast which makes war against Christ has an army which consists of 'the kings of the earth and their armies' (Revelation 19:19)


[3.3.8] Prior to the final battle, John sees 'satan' going out 'to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth' (Revelation 20:8)


[3.3.9] The dominion of Christ's kingdom is said to include 'nations', who will 'walk by its light', and 'the kings of the earth', who will 'bring their grandeur into it' (Revelation 20:24)
[3.4] The area dominated by the central figures in the prophetic passages of Revelation is defined as an area far wider than simply the land of Israel and its immediate surroundings:[3.4.1] The dragon with 7 heads and 10 horns 'deceives the whole OIKOUMENH [Roman empire]' (Revelation 12:9)


[3.4.2] The beast of the sea receives the same 'power, throne, and authority' as the dragon of Revelation 12 (Revelation 13:2)


[3.4.3] Further proof of this is the fact that the beast of the sea rules over 'every tribe, people, language, and nation' (Revelation 13:7)


[3.4.4] The 'spirits of demons' go out to deceive 'the kings of the earth and of the whole OIKOUMENH [Roman empire]' (Revelation 16:14)


[3.4.5] The harlot which kills the servants of Christ commits fornication with 'the kings of the earth', has a kingdom which consists of 'peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues', and rules over 'the kings of the earth' (Revelation 17:2, 15, 18; 18:3, 9)
[3.5] Your objections summarised and answered:[3.5.1] 'This is an error, because the Zechariah passage refers to the Land of Israel into which the horsemen go':

The phrase under question is the phrase 'the whole earth'. The Zechariah passage under discussion here is Zechariah 4:14, where the phrase occurs. You are discussing Zechariah 1:10-11, which is irrelevant because the phrase under question does not occur there.


[3.5.2] 'the phrase (in the Hebrew text, only occurs in 2 other verses, both tightly tied to the Land of Israel/Canaan, which He, the Lord of that ERETZ was giving to the Jews':

You quote Joshua 13:11, 13, where the phrase 'the Lord of all the earth' appears in the Hebrew text. You give no reason for interpreting this phrase in these passages as a reference simply to the land of Israel. The Hebrew phrase here in Joshua is the same as that in Zechariah 4:14, and occurs also in Psalm 97:5 and Micah 4:13 (not merely in Joshua, as you claim), where a global perspective is always intended, as is evident from the context. I invite the readers to consider whether God consistently declares Himself to be merely 'the Lord of all the land of Israel', or in fact 'the Lord of all the earth'.


[3.5.3] 'The kings of the earth. Are identified for us by Peter and Jesus Himself as proximate rulers of the Land of Israel, though I recognize that the possibility exists that there may be other rulers involved':

You quote Matthew 17:25 and Acts 4:26, but do not explain how you prove that these passage identify the 'kings of the earth' as 'proximate rulers of the Land of Israel'. You fail completely to address the consistent usage of this phrase in the LXX. Until you have actually dealt with all the evidence, you can make no argument.


[3.5.4] 'The tribes of the earth. As we have shown, this ‘phrase’ does not mean ‘all nations of the planet’ which is panta ta ethne.':

Since I am not arguing that this phrase means 'all the nations of the planet', your statement here is irrelevant. The phrase means 'all the families of the earth', and refers to Gentile families in all places outside Israel. It does not refer to the tribes of Israel, as you have claimed.


[3.5.5] 'Since Jesus is using a Jewish prophecy here in 1.7, then in accordance with His normal practice of using Jewish-based prophecies and referring them to Israel, He is doing exactly that here in 1.7.':

This is assertion without evidence. You are ignoring the consistent use of this phrase in the LXX. Until you have actually dealt with all the evidence, you can make no argument.


[3.5.6] [Concerning 'Those who live on the earth (who are also described as 'every nation, tribe, language, and people')] 'The ‘everlasting gospel’ is to be preached over the whole planet as per Jesus’ commission. This does not remove Israel from the center of the Book, because they are the first to receive it':

You quote here Revelation 14:6, apparently claiming that 'those who live on the earth' is a reference to natural Israel. But this does not in fact deal with the definition given by Revelation of the phrase 'those who live on the earth' (defined as 'every nation, tribe, language, and people', by Revelation 11:9, 14:6). Please see my point [3.3.1].


[3.5.7] 'Zech 12.10, the source prophecy, is Jewish in content and subject.':

You claim that Zechariah 12:10 is 'the source prophecy' for Christ's words in Revelation 1:7, and thus argue that the phrase PHULH THV GHN in Revelation 1:7 refers to the tribes of Israel. However, although Christ's words in Revelation 1:7 quote one phrase from Zechariah 12:10, they do not quote the phrase PHULH THV GHV from Zechariah 12:10, because that phrase appears nowhere in Zechariah 12:10. For this reason, Zechariah 12:10 is irrelevant to our understanding of the meaning of this phrase.

In order to determine the meaning of this phrase, we must examine its use in passages in which it actually occurs. Looking at passages in which it does not occur will not inform our understanding of the meaning of this phrase.


[3.5.8] [Concerning the use of OIKOUMENH in Revelation 3:10] 'The ecclesia would be protected from the troubles that would come on the Roman Empire for a short time. This brief mention of OIKUMENE, and the remaining 2 occurrences in 12.9 and 16.14 cannot reasonably be said to ‘describe the scope of the prophetic events’ in the rest of the Book.':

I made the claim that the OIKOUMENH is described in Revelation as the scope of the prophetic events. One such prophetic event is the event predicted in Revelation 3:10, another such prophetic event is described in Revelation 12:9, and a third such prophetic event is described in Revelation 16:4. This demonstrates that the OIKOUMENH is described in Revelation as the scope of the prophetic events.


[3.5.9] 'We have 7 Letters to 7 churches, warning them of the fact that their gross dereliction of duty would lead to their vanishing from the face of the planet. To say that this is a warning of ‘events which would come upon and endanger the Christian body for 2000+ years’ is an unreasonable, unjustified and gigantic extrapolation, with no evidence whatsoever at the back of it.':

I am not claiming that the letters to the seven ecclesias are a warning of 'which would come upon and endanger the Christian body for 2000+ years’, so this is irrelevant.
[4] The saints are the focus of Revelation:


[4.1] The saints are not 'natural Israel' in the Old Testament. They always represent those in faithful covenant relationship with God, whether they are natural Jews or not. Therefore we find that they are sometimes angels (Deuteronomy 33:2, Job 5:1; 15:15, Daniel 8:13), sometimes natural Jews specifically (Psalm 148:14; 149:1), sometimes more generally those mortals in covenant with God regardless of nationality (Psalm 50:5; 97:10; 116:15; 149:9; Proverbs 2:8), and in at least four places it could refer either to those in Christ, to the angels, or to both, but certainly excludes 'natural Israel' (Daniel 7:18, 22, 27, Zechariah 14:5).

[4.2] The term 'saints' a term used consistently in the New Testament to describe those who are in Christ (Acts 9:13, 32, 41; 26:10, Romans 1:7; 8:27; 12:13; 15:25-6, 31; 16:2, 15, 1 Corinthians 1:2; 6:1-2; 14:33; 16:1, 15, 2 Corinthians 1:1; 8:4; 9:1, 12; 13:13, Ephesians 1:1, 15, 18; 2:19; 3:8, 18; 4:12; 5:3; 6:18, Philippians 1:1; 4:22, Colossians 1:2, 4, 12, 26, 1 Thessalonians 3:13, 2 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Timothy 5:10, Philemon 1:5, 7, Hebrews 6:10; 13:24, Jude 1:3, 14).

[4.3] The saints (whether referred to as 'saints', those sealed with the name of God, the 'servants of God', the 'seed of the woman', 'those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus', 'those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus', or the 'witnesses of Jesus'), are specifically identified in Revelation as the subject of the events prophesied, both persecution and redemption (Revelation 6:9-11; 7:3, 13-14; 8:3-4; 11:18; 13:7, 10, 12; 14:1, 12; 16:6, 17:6; 18:24).

[4.4] It is unavoidable that the key prophetic events are said to come upon the saints (defined as the faithful in Christ), and that the war of the central enemies in Revelation is directed against this group:[4.4.1] This is the group identified as having come out of the great tribulation described in Revelation ('the servants of our God, 'who have come out of the great tribulation', 'have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb!', 'I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God', Revelation 7:3, 13-14, 20:4)


[4.4.2] The dragon (the pagan Roman empire, as we both agree), makes war specifically on this group ('the accuser of our brothers', 'to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep God's commandments and hold to the testimony about Jesus', Revelation 12:10, 17)


[4.4.3] The beast of the sea (which arises proximate to the dragon, the pagan Roman empire), makes war specifically on this group ('The beast was permitted to go to war against the saints and conquer them', 'This requires steadfast endurance and faith from the saints', Revelation 13:7,10)


[4.4.4] The harlot makes war specifically on this group ('drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of those who testified to Jesus', 'The blood of the saints and prophets was found in her, along with the blood of all those who had been killed on the earth', Revelation 17:6; 18:24)
Throughout the entire series of prophetic chapters, we find this group identified as the subject of the events prophesied. Nowhere do we find these events described as coming upon natural Israel.[/list]

[4.5] Your objections summarised and answered:[4.5.1] 'We have worked examples of the addressees being believers, and the subject being Israel: in the Romans, Hebrews, and the OP. They are addressed to believers, but prophesy about Israel':

In Romans, the Roman ecclesia is specifically addressed, and Paul does not suddenly cease talking to the Roman ecclesia, or about the Roman ecclesia without warning. In the passage you provide (Romans 11:25-26), he identifies clearly the fact that he is telling the Roman ecclesia something about the future of Israel, by formally identifying Israel by name. This example is not analogous to the switch in perspective which you allege occurs in Revelation, after chapter 3.

In Hebrews, Paul speaks to the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, about events which would befall Jerusalem, These events were therefore directly relevant to the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, since they would be directly affected by them. There is no change in perspective here from the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, to the Jewish Christians somewhere else. This example is not analogous to the switch in perspective which you allege occurs in Revelation, after chapter 3.

In the Olivet prophecy, Christ speaks to the disciples who lived in Israel and Jerusalem, about events which would befall Israel and Jerusalem. These events were therefore directly relevant to the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, since they would be directly affected by them. There is no change in perspective here from the Jewish Christians in Israel and Jerusalem, to the Jewish Christians somewhere else. This example is not analogous to the switch in perspective which you allege occurs in Revelation, after chapter 3.


[4.5.2] 'The purpose of the Letters is to chastise, exhort and approve the works of the 7 ecclesias. Their entire purpose is summarized in that statement. A prophecy is entirely different in subject matter and purpose, and must, therefore, speak in a very different way to a circular Letter/s.':

The purpose of the entire prophecy is to chastise, exhort, and approve. You have neglected the fact that the letters to the ecclesias are in fact part of the prophecy. The very purpose of prophecy is to chastise, exhort, and approve.
[4.5.2] 'Are you proposing that the uniform practice of the Old Testament is to be so completely and easily glossed over?':

If you read [4.1] you will see that I am not 'glossing over' the Old Testament usage, and I have demonstrated that it is different to what you claim


[4.5.3] 'The 'saints' in the OT are the Jews. Invariably.':

Even if this were true (which it is not, as [4.1] demonstrates), if you read [4.2] you will see that the uniform usage pattern in the New Testament is completely different in any case


[4.5.4] 'what does this have to do with the subject in hand since 'saints' are not mentioned in the 7 Letters?':

It has everything to do with the subject in hand, not only because the saints are mentioned in the seven letters (Revelation 3:12, with Revelation 7:3, 13-14), but also because they are specifically identified in Revelation as the subject of the events prophesied, both persecution and redemption (Revelation 6:9-11; 7:3, 13-14; 8:3-4; 11:18; 13:7, 10, 12; 14:1, 12; 16:6, 17:6; 18:24).[/list]
[5] The prophetic background in Daniel:


[5.1] You have not yet actually dealt with my original argument in [5] of my original post, so I repost it here. I deal in [6.6] with the arguments you did raise.

[5.2] The Revelation shares significant material with the prophecy of Daniel, specifically with chapters 2, 7 and 12. In Daniel 2 and 7 we find a prophecy regarding the 'fourth kingdom on earth'. The prophecy of Daniel describes this kingdom in chapters 2 and 7. In both places it indicates that this kingdom will be a violent and destrucive kingdom, which would break all others into pieces. In chatper 7, this kingdom is stated specifically to persecute God's people - the saints (Daniel 7:25).

[5.3] In both Daniel 2 and 7 the kingdom is identifiable clearly as the Roman empire. Furthermore, in both Daniel 2 and 7, the violent activities of this empire (including, in Daniel 7, its persecution of God's people), are described not only up to the time of Christ, but demonstrably past the date of the fall of the Roman empire in 476 AD.

[5.4] The prophecy is clearly indicating to us that the persecution of the people of God by this beast does not terminate in the 1st century, but continues well after the 5th. This empire continues to exist in some form up to the return of Christ (Daniel 7:11-14), at which point the kingdom of God is given over to the saints (whom the New Testament defines as those the faithful in Christ).

[5.5] The same beast is found in Revelation, where the same description of it and its activities is given (Revelation 11, 13, 17, and 19). The evidence from these passages is that God has revealed to us the full extent and scope of this beast's persecution and activities, right up to the time of Christ's return, and including its persecution of those in Christ, not merely natural Israel.

[5.6] Your objections summarised and answered:[5.6.1] 'The Lord invariably applies Jewish-based prophecies to Israel. The book of Daniel is about Five kingdoms which did and will trample/ rule over/ take captive, THE NATION OF ISRAEL':

This is addressed by my arguments [1], [3.4], and [4.4].


[5.6.2] 'Who are the saints? They are ‘the people of the saints of the Most High’... the saints are the Jews, in the OT, of which the book of Daniel is a major part.':

This is addressed by my arguments in [4].

Edited by Fortigurn, 27 December 2006 - 09:06 AM.

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Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

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‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#17 Asyncritus

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 10:11 AM

This part of the discussion is really about how the Lord uses OT prophecy.

1.1 We have established that He uses Israel-based prophecies ONLY about Israel. The early examples you give, are not His own use, but they are examples of Matthew’s own comments on Israel-based prophecies, being applied to happenings in Israel. He does the same as Jesus: applies Israel-based prophecies to Israel. There are some Messianic ones being applied to Christ Himself.

1.2 Whichever, he does not apply Israel/Messiah-based prophecies to anybody but Israel or Messiah.
1.3 The sample prophecies you quote (and all the others I found) merely underline the simple fact that here are Israel-based prophecies being applied to Israel. By Jesus Himself.

I don’t get the force of your objection that the original context cannot be the same as the application’s context. How could it be? There are hundreds of years in between, aren’t there?

1.3.8 I concede that in the Revelation there are no such ‘citations’ e.g. ‘thus saith Isaiah’ but it would be a rash man who would deny the existence of the vast number of quotes, solid allusions, direct and oblique references (‘quasars’ in a word) to OT prophecy in the Revelation. In short, the Lord USES/ APPLIES the OT prophecies extensively.

There is a difference between the form and the substance of something. If I say ‘Ah! To be or not to be, that is the question!’ I have quoted Shakespeare, but not given chapter and verse. So, a direct quotation can be made without necessarily attributing it to somebody: the example of the Fourth Seal quoting Ezk 14.21 has already been brought up. We can insist that it isn’t a quote, because the author is not named. So, form says, no quote. But substance says: ‘it is’.

1.3.7 Jesus does use ‘symbols from other prophecies,’ but He DOES quote, and not reference it, as we would say.

The serious problem that faces you is that His invariable practice, as far as we have been able to ascertain, is to use Israel-based prophecies and, of course, apply them to Israel. How could it be otherwise?

What we need to do now is to identify, in the Revelation, a direct quotation from an Israel- based prophecy, apply it in the same way as He does, and then seek to gainsay it.

Example:

6.8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Quoted from:

Ezk 14. 21 For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?

Now here, in Ezekiel, is a clearly identified subject: Jerusalem

Here are 4 clearly identified judgments: sword, famine, beasts, pestilence.

He is therefore using an Israel-based prophecy.

In accordance with His established practice, who is He applying it to? Israel, I suggest. What do you think?
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#18 Asyncritus

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 06:08 PM

My second Paper.

THE OUTWORKING OF THE OBVIOUS

JESUS ONLY APPLIES ISRAEL-BASED PROPHECIES TO ISRAEL.

This obvious fact that I mentioned in my previous post has many happy outworkings.

It makes our lives as expositors of the Revelation so much easier it’s a pity most haven’t tried it before. In this article, I want to show just how straightforward a matter interpreting Rev 11 – one of the tricky chapters - becomes if we use the fact that Jesus quotes, alludes and refers copiously to the OT prophecies (and the NT one), and history of Israel.

If He is doing so in the same manner as He did in the gospels, then we are compelled to believe that He is applying the same technique as He did there: He is constructing a prophecy ABOUT ISRAEL, using OT history and prophecy as its basis.

Once we realise and accept this basic fact, the interpretation is very nearly easy. Thus:

1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.


Who can miss the reference to the Lord’s own words? Lu 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

Who can miss the description ‘the holy city’ as referring to Jerusalem? This is not imaginary, because of the close parallel between ‘the holy city being trodden under foot’ and ‘Jerusalem shall be trodden down’.

With that in mind, we immediately see that here is a prophecy about Jerusalem.

3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

Who are my two witnesses?

Isaiah tells us:

Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Isa 43:12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.
Isa 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

Isaiah wrote before the Babylonian captivity, to Israel and Judah. Hence TWO witnesses.

Who are these then in the Revelation? Israel.

4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the Lord of the earth.

Another Israel-based statement.

Look now at the further identifying points:

5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: an unmistakable reference to Elijah 2 Kg.1.10

and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. This reminds me of ‘whoso curseth thee, I will curse’.

6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy:
another reference to Elijah. 1 Kg 17.1ff

and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. The reference is to MOSES here.

So we have references to the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah). Can there be any doubt that the two together symbolically refer to Israel?

7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

The identity of the beast becomes obvious in a few moments. SCRIPTURALLY obvious, I mean.

The key passage in our interpretation of this prophecy is Psalm 79, where we find a very significant number of allusions to Rev.11 thus:

1 O God, the heathen (the Gentiles) are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple (clearly mentioned in 11.1 “the temple of God”) have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.

11.8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city,

Ps. 79. 2 The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. Here is reference to beasts of the earth – as Rev 11 says, the BEAST that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them. Coincidence?

3 Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.

which spiritually (by the Holy Spirit?) is called Sodom and Egypt (as in Isaiah 1.10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom) where also our Lord was crucified.( How can this possibly be anywhere else but Jerusalem?)


11.8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city,

11.9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

(This is an indirect allusion to Ezek.37: the bones are left out, unburied, in the valley of dry bones)

10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

Ps 79: 4 We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.

11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them

( The Great Repentance of Israel takes place:

Ps 79. 8 O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.
Implicit in the ‘purge away our sins’ is an acceptance of the Lord Jesus as their Messiah. How else can their sins be purged away?)

and they stood upon their feet; (from Ezk 37: “and they stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army” another prophecy about the resurrection of Israel.)

and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

because:

Ps 79. 10 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed.
11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;
12 And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord

Rev.11.12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. Restoration of Israel to Covenant relationship with God.

13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The destruction of the captors of Israel, and the beginning of the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

The Identity of the Beast

From what has been said before, and regarding the allusions Jesus makes to Psalm 79 as being meaningful and significant, then it is obvious that the beast, which destroys Israel represents the ‘neighbours’ of Israel: “a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.”

Who can these be, but the 10 Arab nations, confederate as in Psalm 83, which we have discussed before? They are ‘A kingdom’ as Daniel 2 describes, partly strong, and partly brittle. They have ‘trodden down’ the Holy City, Jerusalem. There is a peculiar appositeness about the use of FEET of the image here.

So to Summarise:

1 Jesus only uses Israel-based prophecies ABOUT ISRAEL.

2 He has used several in the construction of ch 11

3 Therefore ch 11 is a prophecy about ISRAEL.

4 This is confirmed by the many clear identifiers given by the Lord in the chapter.

5 Therefore Israel figures centrally here in ch 11

6 And does so centrally in many other chapters of the Book.

Edited by Asyncritus, 14 November 2005 - 06:25 PM.

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#19 Fortigurn

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 12:17 AM

Asyncritus, in these last two posts you have spent about one paragraph actually addressing what I wrote. I am requesting that you actually address what I wrote, rather than simply repeating what you have already written.
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‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#20 Asyncritus

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 01:06 AM

I was under the impression that I had to generate my second statement by today. Which is what I have done.

I will now set about answering the main points you made in your long post.
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#21 Fortigurn

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 01:17 AM

I was under the impression that I had to generate my second statement by today. Which is what I have done.


One of your posts is not a new statement. It is simply a repeat of what you've already said. It adds nothing to the discussion.
Miserere mei Deus,
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target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
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‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#22 Fortigurn

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 01:23 AM

My second Paper.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


This is all addressed by my arguments [1], [2], and [4].
Miserere mei Deus,
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______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
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‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#23 Fortigurn

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 01:40 AM

This part of the discussion is really about how the Lord uses OT prophecy.

1.1 We have established that He uses Israel-based prophecies ONLY about Israel.


Please read my argument [1], especially [1.3] and [1.4.3].

The early examples you give, are not His own use, but they are examples of Matthew’s own comments on Israel-based prophecies, being applied to happenings in Israel. He does the same as Jesus: applies Israel-based prophecies to Israel. There are some Messianic ones being applied to Christ Himself.


I said that myself. I also said that Christ follows the same pattern as Matthew. Please read my argument [1.3].

1.2 Whichever, he does not apply Israel/Messiah-based prophecies to anybody but Israel or Messiah.


I agree. Yes, and that when he does so, he identifies the source prophecy, so as to demonstrate that an intepretation or reapplication of the prophecy is intended. This occurs invariably in the gospels. It never occurs in the Revelation.

1.3 The sample prophecies you quote (and all the others I found) merely underline the simple fact that here are Israel-based prophecies being applied to Israel. By Jesus Himself.


Yes, and that when he does so, he identifies the source prophecy, so as to demonstrate that an intepretation or reapplication of the prophecy is intended. He does this invariably in the gospels. He never does this in the Revelation. Thus, he never reapplies or interprets Old Testament prophecies in Revelation to contexts which were not the original context of the prophecy.

I don’t get the force of your objection that the original context cannot be the same as the application’s context. How could it be? There are hundreds of years in between, aren’t there?


It's called 'prophecy'. The original context can certainly be the same as the application's context, if the prophecy was a formal predictive prophecy. Abraham was told that his people would come out of Egypt. His people didn't even enter Egypt until a couple of hundred years later, and didn't leave Egypt for 400 years after that. Nevertheless, the original context of the prophecy made to Abraham was identical to the context of the application of the prophecy - his people, leaving Egypt.

1.3.8 I concede that in the Revelation there are no such ‘citations’ e.g. ‘thus saith Isaiah’ but it would be a rash man who would deny the existence of the vast number of quotes, solid allusions, direct and oblique references (‘quasars’ in a word) to OT prophecy in the Revelation. In short, the Lord USES/ APPLIES the OT prophecies extensively.


I am pointing out to you that allusions and 'oblique references' constitute use of the same symbolism. They do not constitute application of the actual source prophecy. I have demonstrated (and you have in part acknowledged), that where a prophecy is being interpreted as literally fulfilled (in the formal predictive sense), or being applied to a new context, the source prophecy is identified. This pattern is used consistently in the New Testament, and Christ does not deviate from it.

We find no such references in the Revelation. We find the same symbols used, we do not find prophecies themselves reapplied to new contexts.

There is a difference between the form and the substance of something. If I say ‘Ah! To be or not to be, that is the question!’ I have quoted Shakespeare, but not given chapter and verse. So, a direct quotation can be made without necessarily attributing it to somebody: the example of the Fourth Seal quoting Ezk 14.21 has already been brought up. We can insist that it isn’t a quote, because the author is not named. So, form says, no quote. But substance says: ‘it is’.


My point is that this does not constitute an reapplication of the prophecy to a new context, with the same subject as the original context. It's simply the use of the same symbols. Please read my argument [1], especially [1.3] and [1.4.3].

1.3.7 Jesus does use ‘symbols from other prophecies,’ but He DOES quote, and not reference it, as we would say.


The use of a symbol which is used in another prophecy does not constitute the quoting of that prophecy. The symbols are independent of the prophecies, which is precisely why they are used in so many different contexts.

The serious problem that faces you is that His invariable practice, as far as we have been able to ascertain, is to use Israel-based prophecies and, of course, apply them to Israel. How could it be otherwise?


I am agreeing with this. When he does so, he identifies the source prophecy, so as to demonstrate that an intepretation or reapplication of the prophecy is intended. He does this invariably in the gospels. He never does this in the Revelation. Thus, he never reapplies or interprets Old Testament prophecies in Revelation to contexts which were not the original context of the prophecy.

What we need to do now is to identify, in the Revelation, a direct quotation from an Israel- based prophecy, apply it in the same way as He does, and then seek to gainsay it.


What we have seen is that when Christ wishes us to understand a symbol or phrase as being a direct quote from a previous prophecy, he tells us so. Please read my argument [1.3].
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
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#24 Asyncritus

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:15 AM

I was under the impression that I had to generate my second statement by today. Which is what I have done.


One of your posts is not a new statement. It is simply a repeat of what you've already said. It adds nothing to the discussion.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


An new exposition of ch11 is nothing new?

It is a further application of the principle I established, or rather, the Lord established.
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#25 Asyncritus

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:01 AM

We have plenty of context for the interpretation of Revelation, in chapters 1-4 (especially the symbols, see my argument [2]). It is wrong to say that we don't have any context.


There is an important distinction to be drawn here, between CONTEXT and CONTENT, which I think you are confusing.

Ch 1 is the introduction to the book, giving the credentials of the Lord, and making a clear statement of the intention of the Book in 1.7. 2 and 3 are the first Section of the Book, to the ecclesias. All described in strongly Jewish language, and using numbers of Jewish symbols.

Ch 4 is remarkable. It is a vision of heaven itself, of the Almighty enthroned, all described in strongly Jewish terms, taken from Isaiah’s vision. How does this show that all that follows is about the churches?

Ch 5 is equally remarkable, giving the credentials of the Lamb. All again in intensely Jewish terms.

I don’t quite know how all this supports your view that Israel is not the central subject of the Revelation. The descriptions are all Jewish. God of Israel, Passover Lamb slain, Lion of the tribe of Judah, Root of David, the cherubim described in Ezk: these are the proper contextual indicators, and better yet, the OT underpinning of the whole book.

Question: Why are these indicators so intensely Jewish? Because the Book is about them.

In a number of other chapters in Revelation, we also have the context provided by such identies as the dragon (the Roman empire), and terms such as OIKOUMENH,


These are not ‘contextual’ indicators. They are terms and symbols used in the CONTENT of the Book.

If we use the gospels as an example, we have Capernaum, Tyre, Sidon, and several other places mentioned IN the book, but which certainly are not part of the CONTEXT of the book, which you have successfully confused with the CONTENT. Important distinction there.

Luke’s gospel is particularly apposite as an illustration. He writes to Theophilus. Is the book therefore ABOUT Theophilus? Certainly not. It is about events that took place in ISRAEL. Same here. The Revelation is TO the churches. Is it therefore ABOUT the churches? Certainly not. It is about events which were to take place in ISRAEL.

'the kings of the earth', 'every nation, tribe, language, and people', and statements such as ''You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations,languages, and kings' (Revelation 10:11). See my arguments [2], [3], and [4] for more examples of statements which provide context.


These provide CONTENT, not context.

Edited by Asyncritus, 15 November 2005 - 11:25 AM.

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#26 Asyncritus

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 12:14 PM

[your 5.1]:

Christ does not in fact 'use a prophecy about Edom in the construction of the Israel prophecy in Mt 24'. He takes a symbol which has a specific meaning, and uses it with that meaning in Matthew 24. He is not 'applying', 'using', or 'interpreting' a prophecy about Edom in Matthew 24 (see my arguments [1.1] to [1.3]).


He is constructing a prophecy ABOUT ISRAEL, using elements which you have capably pointed out, occur in anti-Gentile prophecies, specifically about Edom and Assyria.

You can’t have it both ways. In previous correspondence, you rejected the Israel application of Rev 6 BECAUSE of the Isa 34 Gentile connection. Here, you are denying the fact that Jesus did use anti-Gentile material in an anti-Israel prophecy. Now which do you stand by?

Your argument fails for another reason, and that is that in Luke 21:25, Christ uses the imagery of the sun, moon and stars which is found in Old Testament prophecies concerning Israel and prophecies concerning Gentile nations, and applies it in the Olivet prophecy to Gentile nations. If, as you argue, using symbols which are used in a previous prophecy constitutes 'applying' that prophecy to a new subject, then what we have here is both Gentile prophecies and an 'Israel based prophecy' being applied to Gentile nations.


The readers may judge for themselves whether this is or isn't an anti-Gentile prophecy which was given to His Jewish disciples, about the fall of Jerusalem in AD70 and in our time. Specifically:

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert [which desert? It is clearly one that the disciples knew, so He doesn’t have to give names. In or around ISRAEL, therefore]; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers [what secret chambers, unless they knew all about it?]; believe it not.

27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28 For wheresoever the carcase is [what carcase? Israel’s. The ones in Rev 11, Ezk 37?], there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: [Many references in Acts 2; Heb 1, Haggai show that this is the fall of Israel]

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth [ this phrase does NOT mean all nations of the planet. That is panta ta ethne as in many passages in the Revelation itself. It refers to the Jews, who pierced Him as we have shown many times ] mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. [Who is ‘they’? Jesus tells us: the High priest and crowd: the sign they asked for will be shown them, and they won’t like it, in fact, they will MOURN, AS He says.]

THE JUXTAPOSITION OF THESE 2 PASSAGES is very telling:

Mt 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mt 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Daniel 7 elucidates: 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.
Where do you think He will be given this dominion etc? ‘Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.' Therefore, who do you think will see Him if He’s coming TO ZION?

31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. [Gather to where? Jerusalem, of course where He sits on the throne of His glory as Mt 25 says.]

Surely this is enough to show that this is an anti-Israel prophecy?

My point stands. He is using elements from an anti-Gentile prophecy ABOUT ISRAEL. And He NEVER does the opposite: take Israel-based prophecies and apply them to Gentiles.
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#27 Hyperion

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 12:27 PM

I was under the impression that I had to generate my second statement by today. Which is what I have done.

I will now set about answering the main points you made in your long post.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This was originally how I expected the debate to go, but given the delays we have had in the past week, it is probably best to hold off on the second statements until after discussion and questions arising from the first statement wind down.

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#28 Fortigurn

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 04:32 PM

I was under the impression that I had to generate my second statement by today. Which is what I have done.


One of your posts is not a new statement. It is simply a repeat of what you've already said. It adds nothing to the discussion.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


An new exposition of ch11 is nothing new? It is a further application of the principle I established, or rather, the Lord established.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


No it is nothing new. It is an exposition which is predicated on an argument which is actually under debate. You have made that argument previously, and I have replied to that argument.

Instead of actually addressing my critique of your argument, you have simply posted an exposition in which you interpret a passage using your argument, with the assumption that your argument is true.

This debate is not the place for expounding the Revelation specifically, according to our respective methodologies. This debate is the place for arguing the case for our respective methodologies.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#29 Fortigurn

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 04:38 PM

[your 5.1]:

Christ does not in fact 'use a prophecy about Edom in the construction of the Israel prophecy in Mt 24'. He takes a symbol which has a specific meaning, and uses it with that meaning in Matthew 24. He is not 'applying', 'using', or 'interpreting' a prophecy about Edom in Matthew 24 (see my arguments [1.1] to [1.3]).


He is constructing a prophecy ABOUT ISRAEL, using elements which you have capably pointed out, occur in anti-Gentile prophecies, specifically about Edom and Assyria.

You can’t have it both ways. In previous correspondence, you rejected the Israel application of Rev 6 BECAUSE of the Isa 34 Gentile connection. Here, you are denying the fact that Jesus did use anti-Gentile material in an anti-Israel prophecy. Now which do you stand by?


You are confusing two separate issues. I am arguing, and have argued for the last two days, that there is a difference between applying a prophecy, and using symbols which appear in that prophecy in another prophecy.

Please read my previous post here.

Your argument fails for another reason, and that is that in Luke 21:25, Christ uses the imagery of the sun, moon and stars which is found in Old Testament prophecies concerning Israel and prophecies concerning Gentile nations, and applies it in the Olivet prophecy to Gentile nations. If, as you argue, using symbols which are used in a previous prophecy constitutes 'applying' that prophecy to a new subject, then what we have here is both Gentile prophecies and an 'Israel based prophecy' being applied to Gentile nations.


The readers may judge for themselves whether this is or isn't an anti-Gentile prophecy which was given to His Jewish disciples, about the fall of Jerusalem in AD70 and in our time. Specifically:

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert [which desert? It is clearly one that the disciples knew, so He doesn’t have to give names. In or around ISRAEL, therefore]; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers [what secret chambers, unless they knew all about it?]; believe it not.

27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28 For wheresoever the carcase is [what carcase? Israel’s. The ones in Rev 11, Ezk 37?], there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: [Many references in Acts 2; Heb 1, Haggai show that this is the fall of Israel]

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth [ this phrase does NOT mean all nations of the planet. That is panta ta ethne as in many passages in the Revelation itself. It refers to the Jews, who pierced Him as we have shown many times ] mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. [Who is ‘they’? Jesus tells us: the High priest and crowd: the sign they asked for will be shown them, and they won’t like it, in fact, they will MOURN, AS He says.]

THE JUXTAPOSITION OF THESE 2 PASSAGES is very telling:

Mt 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mt 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Daniel 7 elucidates: 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.
Where do you think He will be given this dominion etc? ‘Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.' Therefore, who do you think will see Him if He’s coming TO ZION?

31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. [Gather to where? Jerusalem, of course where He sits on the throne of His glory as Mt 25 says.]

Surely this is enough to show that this is an anti-Israel prophecy?

My point stands. He is using elements from an anti-Gentile prophecy ABOUT ISRAEL. And He NEVER does the opposite: take Israel-based prophecies and apply them to Gentiles.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I didn't say that the Olivet prophecy is not an 'anti-Israel prophecy' (by which I think you mean 'a prophecy containing judgment against Israel'). You are not reading my posts. None of what you have posted here deals with my actual objection, which was this:

Your argument fails for another reason, and that is that in Luke 21:25, Christ uses the imagery of the sun, moon and stars which is found in Old Testament prophecies concerning Israel and prophecies concerning Gentile nations, and applies it in the Olivet prophecy to Gentile nations.

If, as you argue, using symbols which are used in a previous prophecy constitutes 'applying' that prophecy to a new subject, then what we have here is both Gentile prophecies and an 'Israel based prophecy' being applied to Gentile nations.


Here's the verse to which I referred:

Luke 21:
25 “And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth nations will be in distress, anxious over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves.


The 'sun, moon and stars' imagery is applied to the Gentile nations, not to Israel. You cannot interpret 'nations' here as 'the land of Israel'.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

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target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
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‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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target="_blank">Apologetics

#30 Asyncritus

Asyncritus

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:08 PM

Instead of actually addressing my critique of your argument, you have simply posted an exposition in which you interpret a passage using your argument, with the assumption that your argument is true.

This debate is not the place for expounding the Revelation specifically, according to our respective methodologies.  This debate is the place for arguing the case for our respective methodologies.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The test of a method is the results it produces just as the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We can argue airily, unsatisfactorily, and unspecifically forever, and I refuse to do so. If an expository method cannot produce specific, observable and concrete results, then it is totally useless and might just as well not exist.

This I have presented in 2 specific cases. If my method is incorrect, then you ought easily and convincingly to be able to rebut them. I await your rebuttal, because that rebuttal will provide convincing evidence of my method's faultiness.

In the meantime, let me say that my phrase 'Jesus applies' an OT prophecy is perhaps not quite the idea I was trying to convey. I understood what I meant, but maybe I have not got the idea across. So let me try again.

We observe Him quoting OT prophecies about Israel. He 'applies' them unhesitatingly to Israel: 'Well hath Isaiah prophesied...' is forcibly applied to the Jewish rulers. There are many others, some of which you have picked up for yourself. In these cases, he is effectively saying: 'the prophecy is fulfilled in you...'

If that is what you understand by 'applies' then I go with that.

But that is not what I am trying to convey, solely.

He has picked up n OT prophecies about Israel and said: this is how this prophecy is fulfilled IN & ON ISRAEL.

In the Revelation, He picks up N OT prophecies ABOUT ISRAEL (yes, and symbols too), and welds them smoothly into a new prophecy, as the Six Seals, for instance.

Since the building blocks of the Seals are OT prophecies which are anti-Israel in the main, then what reason could He have for using those ANTI-ISRAEL building blocks?

Answer: Because, in accordance with His own well-established practice, He is using anti-Israel materials in constructing an new ANTI-ISRAEL prophecy.

Of course, He could be constructing an anti-Roman Empire or anti evil-Christian prophecy, but the evidence we have before us FROM HIS OWN PRACTICE, mind you, is adverse to that proposition.

Edited by Asyncritus, 15 November 2005 - 09:09 PM.

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The Sinner




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