Bible Highlights — Internal Evidence in the Book of Revelation

The Dire Consequences of Disregarding Internal Evidence

by Mark Mountjoy

Introductory Remarks

The ordeal of interpretive ambivalance, aspect blindness and systemic abdication of the imperative to understand the Book of Revelation as the culmination of a narrative, a larger story and a Semitic epitome passing from a narrow national stage to a universal, transcendent and ultimate framework is the direct result of massive academic failures along the way—denying explicit indicators from the Old Testament prophets, (Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) subverting the prophecies of Jesus himself, ('this generation', the fall of Jerusalem, the coming of the Son of man, the coming of the kingdom of God) and playing fast and loose with the emphatic words of the Apostles and their amanuensis (e.g., "the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly"1; "in yet a very little while and he that shall come will come and will not delay"2 ; "the judge is standing at the door"3 ; "the end of all things is at hand"4; "the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass"5)—by not paying attention, or by deliberately ignoring the Words of God the subject of apocalyptic seems like a hopeless mess and every man's interpretation is right in his own eyes and the Bible's own claims, notwithstanding, are despised as desperate and wishful thinking or else out-and-out fiction.

Interpretive Ambivalence

What is interpretive ambivalence?  This is the inability or unwillingness to define a book, a chapter or a verse as meaning anything definitive or sure.  Hostile leaders of the people in Jesus' day, in some cases, were unwilling to say or admit to a logical conclusion based on the ramifications or implications that they could see were involved.  It could be that the logic of a situation is viewed as completely undesirable or, perhaps a particilar interpretation could deprive them of the basis of power or the cloak of authority.  Many reasons can be offered as to motivations, but it is clear today that of all the books of the New Testament, the Book of Revelation is, by far, the one in which the majority of scholars and laymen alike, are vague and uneasy about making definitive pronouncements of what it certainly means and what it certainly says. 

But this ambivalence does not cover all topics in the book (as one might expect).  Instead, the bulk of the material in John's revelation is chalked up to insinuations about the Romans, their army, their capital, their religion, but, ultimately, authorities are completely certain that at the end of time Jesus is coming back in glory and their is but one universal resurrection. 

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The Second Coming Hope as a Fact of History, Not a Truth of the Creeds (Revised)

Positive Strategies for Sharing Your Apocalyptic

Convictions With Other Christians

by Mark Mountjoy

Introductory Remarks

Jesus spoke of the fulfillment of events inside of his generation, "this generation"—a framework that is noticeably absent from the mother of all creeds, confessions and statements of faith.  The Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed, the Calcedonian Creed and the Athenasian Creed and the Augsburg Confession, Standard Manuel for Baptist Churches, to name a few.   

Could the absence of a framework lead to a variety of charicatures of what Jesus taught and the early Christians expected?  If they do not agree or resemble what Jesus framed with his words, brothers and sisters, do we lose something important or nothing at all? 

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Christian Faith: Commitment, Community & Legacy


Partner With Us and Let's Work as One in Christ

Faith Without Works Is Dead

Scripture text: 'What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is [c]dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (James 2:14-26 KJV).

Introductory Remarks

The point of faith, the commitments of faith, the community of faith and the legacy of faith are not literary or polemical only, my Christian friends. Think of Donatists, who on the question of the integrity of priests, denounced traitors who had turned Scriptures over to Diocletian and had Bibles by the thousands burned, or Nestorians, who because they disagreed with the language of the Chalcedonian Creed went it alone--but they disappeared because of lax morals and rampant sin in their ranks, or North African Roman Catholic and Byzantine Christianity, who, in spite of these Christians being indigenous for five centuries or more, succumbed to the military onslaught of Islam and was all but wiped out.

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The Beast of Revelation

by Adam Maarschalk

I used to believe that the beast of Revelation was Rome/Nero. During the last half of 2016, however, I came to believe that Zealot-led Israel was “the beast” in the book of Revelation that partnered with the false prophets of first century Israel. The following is an outline for a series I’m creating on this subject, which covers various passages in Daniel 2, 7; Revelation 11, 13-17, 19-20.

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Geography of the New Heaven and Earth?

An Interpretation of Revelation 21:1c for Peer Review

by

Mark Mountjoy

Introductory Remarks

Recent efforts by Christians to pin down the definite meaning the Apostle John had in mind when he, by inspiration of God, wrote the Book of Revelation, has intensified most among believers who recognize that Realized Eschatology may well hold the keys to unlock untold riddles and mysteries and enigmas in the last book of the New Testament.  It has been, for a long time, supposed by many that the new heavens and earth might possibly be a "brown planet"—an idea that is, to say the very least, not too attractive.  While it is recognized that the Book of Revelation has not a single direct quote from the Old Testament, at the very same time it is understood that there are over four hundred allusions to it, making this peculiar book, with its rough Septuagint Greek style, quite unique in the canon of the Christian Scriptures. 

In this essay I would like to propose, in hopes of getting feedback and input, criticisms or suggestions from my peers, anywhere across the world, that the sea which John saw to be absent was, in fact, the sea that appears so prominent in Daniel chapter 7:1-27: A realm from which arose the ferocious four beasts of Bible prophecy.  I want to advert that John does not have the geography of any literal earth in mind, but the absence of any realm where another revolt or onslaught of sea beasts might arise.  That he has in mind an end of the nightmare of Jewish nationalist revolts after the demise of the revolutionary insurrections, strewn across a timeline marked by blood and flames and turmoil—in Egypt, Cyrenaica, Mesopotamia and Cypress—and, finally in Judæa itself with the temporary reestablishment of a militant Israelite State in the twilight of late A.D.132 to early 136 antiquity.

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