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He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology.
Taken from Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.'s:

 

REVELATION

 

Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. (Revelation 22:6)

Introduction

Revelation stands apart from all other New Testament books as the one pre-eminently concerned with prophetic questions. A substantially wrong view of this capstone of biblical prophecy is therefore inimical to any hope for a truly biblical eschatology. Indeed, non-postmillennial scholars often point to the woes of Revelation as contra-indicative to postmillennialism.1 Although we cannot delve deeply into Revelation, it is important that we at least grasp its fundamental drift and major features2 The vantage point from which I approach Revelation is that of preterism,3 which I introduced briefly in Chapter 8. Despite popular opinion, Revelation is a prophetic work that has largely been fulfilled in the past. After introducing several interpretively significant aspects of Revelation, I will survey its prophetic flow.

Original Audience

When interpreting any book of the Bible, it is important to understand the audience to which it was originally directed. The concern of the evangelical interpreter is to understand the grammar of a passage in light of its historic context, not despite that context. There are at least three factors in Revelation that emphasize the original audience and their circumstances. These are strongly supportive of a preterist position. When these are combined with the matter of the expectation of Revelation, the preterist approach becomes justified on the basis of sound hermeneutical principle.

First, in Revelation John was writing to particular, historic, individual churches that existed in his day. Revelation 1:4 provides a common epistolary opening: "John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come." In verse 11, he specifically names the seven churches to whom he writes: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. We know these cities as historical cities containing actual churches.

In Revelation 2 and 3, these seven churches are addressed with individual exhortations and warnings. Interestingly, a number of the historical, geographical, and political allusions contained in the letters show that John did, in fact, have in view the specific churches addressed.4

Second, we learn that John wrote to those churches in order to be understood. The first sentence of John's work has become the title of the work. And from that title we know John fully intended that his work be a "revelation." The Greek word for "revelation" is apokalupsis., which means an "opening up, uncovering." John intended his book to be an opening up of divine truth for his original audience.

Furthermore, in Revelation 1:3 we read: "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near." The members of the churches to whom Revelation was addressed are expected to read, understand, and keep the directives in Revelation. Revelation calls upon each church to give careful, spiritual attention to its words.5

Third, in Revelation John notes that he and the seven churches have already entered "the tribulation," which is a major prophetic expectation of the book (cf. Rev. 7:14): "I John, who also am your brother, and companion in the tribulation" (Rev. 1:9a). In Revelation 2 and 3, there are allusions to greater problems brewing on the world scene.6

John is clearly writing to particular historical churches about their current grave circumstances. The original audience factor cannot be overlooked; the message of Revelation must be relevant to them.

Contemporary Expectation

As mentioned in Chapter 8, one of the most obvious, yet most overlooked features of Revelation is John's expectancy. The expectation of the occurrence of the events of Revelation is urgent and impending. The "time is at hand"; the events "must shortly come to pass." This temporal expectation is strategically placed: it appears three times in the opening, introductory chapter (Rev. 1:1, 3, 19) and four times in the final, concluding chapter (Rev. 22:6, 7, 12, 20). Its appearance in both of these chapters is significant because these bracket the highly wrought symbolism of the prophetic body of the book which is contained in the section from Revelation 4:1 through 22:6. These portions of Revelation in which the time indicators are embedded are generally of a more historical than prophetic character.

With the particularity of the audience emphasized in conjunction with his message of the imminent expectation of occurrence of the events, I do not see how a preterism of some sort can be escaped. Nevertheless, there are those who do attempt to escape such logic.

Some commentators, such as John Walvoord, understand these terms as indicating that whenever the events do start coming to pass, they will occur with great speed, following one upon the other with great rapidity. Others, such as Robert Mounce, view them as indicating that such events as John prophesied are always imminent. That is, the events are always ready to occur, though they may not actually occur until thousands of years later. Still others, such as Leon Morris, see John's references as a measure of God's time, not man's. That is, John is saying that these events will come to pass "shortly" from God's perspective. But, then, we must remember that "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years" (2 Pet. 3:8).7

But are these attempts capable of overthrowing our evidence? We must remember that John was writing to historical churches existing in his own day. He and they had already entered the earliest stages of "the tribulation" (Rev. 1:9a). It would be a cruel mockery of their circumstances for John to tell them that when help comes, it will come with swiftness - even though it may not come until two or three thousand years later. Or tell them that the events are always imminent - even though the readers of his letter may never experience them. Or that God will send help soon - according to the way the Eternal God measures time: just a few days, or perhaps millennia.

In addition, each of these approaches is destroyed by the very fact that John repeats and varies his terms as if to dispel any confusion. Think of it: If these words in these verses do not indicate that John expected the events to occur soon, what words could John have used to express such? How could he have said it more plainly?

Date of Waling

The date of the writing of the Book of Revelation is certainly pre-A.D. 70, and probably as early as early as A.D. 65-66. I will not rehearse here the argument for this "early date" (as opposed to A.D. 95-96), because I have dealt with this in depth in another place.8 But we do need to keep this in mind, because a large portion of the prophecies in Revelation find fulfillment in the era leading up to the destruction of the Temple, as I will show.

Revelational Theme

The theme of Revelation is set forth in Revelation 1:7: "Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him." This theme is easily applicable to Christ's judgment-coming on first-century Israel.9 This cloud-coming of Christ in judgment is reminiscent of Old Testament cloud-comings of God in judgment upon ancient historical people and nations. God "comes" upon Israel's enemies in general (Psa:18:7-15;104:3), upon Egypt (Isa. 19:1), upon disobedient Israel in the Old Testament (Joel 2:1, 2), and so forth. It is not necessary that it refer to His final, Second Advental coming to end history. This is so for the following reasons.

(1) The coming will be witnessed by "those who pierced him." The clear testimony of the New Testament record is that of the guilt of the Jews of the first century,10 (2) The reference to those who pierced him is reinforced by the designation of the mourners. They are called all the tribes of the earth." Here the "earth" (ge) should most probably be translated "land," i.e. the Promised Land (see discussion below). The idea of the "tribes" in Revelation is of Israel's Twelve Tribes (Rev. 7:1 ff). Whenever "tribes" is applied beyond Israel, the application adds the notion of "every tongue and kindred." Furthermore, the focus of this "tribulation" (Rev. 1:9; 7:14) is said by Christ to be Judea (Matt. 24:16, 21). (3) This coming is expected by an inspired writer as occurring soon. The Second Advent has not occurred yet, while over 1,900 years have transpired since the time in which this coming was expected "quickly" (Rev. 22:7, 12, 20).

In regard to the Jews, the Jewish War with Rome from A.D. 67 to 70 brought about the deaths of tens of thousands of the Jews in Judea, and the enslavement of thousands upon thousands more. The Jewish historian Josephus, who was an eye-witness, records that 1,100,000 Jews perished in the siege of Jerusalem, though this figure is disputed. J.L. von Mosheim, the great ecclesiastical historian, wrote that 'throughout the whole history of the human race, we meet with but few, if any, instances of slaughter and devastation at all to be compared with this."11

But as awful as the Jewish loss of life was, the utter devastation of Jerusalem, the final destruction of the Temple, and the conclusive cessation of the sacrificial system were lamented even more, The covenantal significance of the loss of the Temple stands as the most dramatic outcome of the War. Hence, any Jewish calamity after A.D. 70 would pale in comparison to the redemptive-historical significance of the loss of the Temple.

So then, the expectation of a judgment-coming of Christ in the first century is easily explicable in terms of the biblical and historical record. Thus, the point remains: John clearly expected the imminent occurrence of the events of Revelation.

Primary Focus

One of the most common terms of significance in Revelation is the Greek word ge. It occurs eighty-two times in the twenty-two chapters of Revelation. This word may be translated in two ways: (1) "earth" (indicating the entire globe) or (2) "land" (referring to a particular portion of the earth, such as the Promised Land). It would seem that the overwhelming majority of occurrences of this term in the context of Revelation would suggest its reference as being to "the Land," i.e., the famous and beloved Promised Land.12 The reasons justifying such a translation are as follows:

The very Jewish nature of Revelation suggests the plausibility of such a translation. The lexical and syntactical peculiarities of Revelation are extremely Hebraic.13 Furthermore, the first occurrence of the term appears in the theme verse in Revelation 1:7 and must mean the Promised Land (see previous argument). In addition, it is used later in ways strongly suggestive of a Palestinian reference. It is sometimes set against the "world" (Rev. 3:10) or "every nation" (Rev. 11:9,10; 13:7,8; 14:6). In Revelation 7, the devastation on the "land" awaits the sealing of 144,000 Jews representing all twelve tribes (cf. Rev. 14:3). After this, the Christians from the rest of the world are considered (Rev. 7:9).

Having now considered these interpretive factors, we will survey Revelation itself.

Preparation for Judgment

In the first part of Revelation (Rev. 1-5), John and his audience are prepared for the terrifying judgment scenes to follow. Despite the turmoil, Christ is seen among the seven churches as their Defender (Rev. 1: l2ff). He knows their tribulation and will cut it short for the faithful (Rev. 2-3; especially: 2:10; 3:10).

Then John and his readers are steeled against the storm of God's Judgment by a vision of the heavenly role in the upheaval and devastation. Almighty God is seen in glorious, serene, sovereign control seated upon a throne of judgment (Rev. 4). The Lord Jesus Christ is seen as the Judge of Israel (Rev. 5; cf. Matt. 26:64). The identification of the scroll that Christ is given is important to the message of Revelation in that it represents God's divorce decree against Israel. Divorce in the Bible is always by execution, either literal or covenantal.

The Divorce of Israel

The Seven-Sealed Scroll: Divorce

In Revelation 6-19, the judgment of Israel is portrayed in cyclical fashion. The Seven-Sealed Scroll seems quite certainly to represent God's "bill of divorcement" handed down by the Judge on the throne against Israel. It is known that divorce decrees were written out among the Jews in the biblical era.14 It is equally certain that marriage was based on a covenant contract.15 That the scroll in Revelation 6 would be a bill of divorcement is suggested on the following considerations.

First, in Revelation we have prominent emphases on two particular women, two women who obviously correspond as opposites to one another. The two women are the wicked harlot of the beast (Rev. 17-18) and the pure bride of Christ (Rev. 21). They correspond with the earthly Jerusalem, which was the scene of Christ's crucifixion (Rev. 11:8), and the heavenly Jerusalem, which is holy (Rev. 21:10), as I show below. The flow and drift of the book is the revelation and execution of the legal (Rev. 15:3; 16:5-7) judgment on the fornicating harlot and the coming of a virginal bride, obviously to take the hatlot's place after a marriage supper (Rev. 19).

Second, the apparent Old Testament background for this imagery is found in Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 2:9-10, Israel's judgment is portrayed as written on a scroll on the front and back and given to Ezekiel. This corresponds perfectly with Revelation 5:1. In Ezekiel, chapters 2 and following, the devastation of Israel is outlined, which corresponds with Revelation 6ff. In Ezekiel 16, Israel is viewed as God's covenant wife who became a harlot (see also Jer. 3:1 -8; Isa. 50:1) that trusted in her beauty and' committed fornication, just as Jerusalem-Babylon of Revelation (Rev. 18). She is cast out and judged for this evil conduct.

Third, following the "divorce" and judgments associated with them, John turns to see the coming of a new "bride" out of heaven (Rev. 21-22). It would seem that the new bride could not be taken until the harlatrous wife should first be dealt with, legally, John imports the imagery of the harlot, bride, and marriage feast; this is not being read into the text from outside. Thus, the imagery of divorce fits the dramatic flow of the work.

The judgment of the fornicating harlot is begun when Christ begins opening the seven seals on the scroll: God the Father turns over the judgment to Christ, who will open the scroll, thus having judgment authority committed to Him (John 5:22; cf. Rev. 5:4-7). Jesus tells Caiaphas and those later "associated with him in the crucifixion, that they shall see the ‘Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven’ (Matt. 26:64)." This fits well with the Pauline imagery of the casting out of the one wife (Hagar, who is representative of the Jerusalem below) and the taking of the other wife (Sara who is representative of the Jerusalem above) in Galatians 4:24ff,

As the seals are opened, the judgments begin. At the opening of the first seal (the white horse) we have a picture of the Roman army victoriously entering Israel toward Jerusalem (Rev. 6:1-2). This cannot be Christ, because: (1) The white horse is the only similarity with Revelation 19:11. (2) Christ is opening the seals in heaven. (3) The Living Creatures would not command Christ to "come!"' This one is God's "avenger" upon Israel. The white horse indicates victory, not holiness. God often uses the unjust to bring His judgments in history.16

The second seal (the red horse) speaks of the eruption of Jewish civil war (Rev. 6:3-4). In Greek, "the peace" is emphasized. It refers to the famous Pax Romana covering the Roman Empire.17 Hence, the significance of "rumors of wars" (Matt. 24:6) in such a peaceful era. Josephus notes that the civil war in the Land was worse than the carnage wrought by the Romans themselves.18 The third seal (black horse) portrays famine plaguing Israel (Rev. 6:5-6). Black symbolizes famine (Lam 4:8; 5:10). One of the most horrible aspects of Jerusalem's woes was the famine caused by civil strife.19 The fourth seal (pale horse) witnesses the death of one-fourth of Israel (Rev. 6:7-8), The pale horse is death personified. The animals devouring the dead indicate covenantal curse (Deut. 28:15, 26).

With the opening of the fifth seal we get another look into heaven. We see the altar in heaven and hear vindication promised Christian martyrs (Rev. 6:9-11). This vindication is to occur in "a little while" (Rev. 6:10). It comes through the final collapse of Israel.

The sixth seal (stellar phenomena) symbolizes the fall of Israel's government (Rev. 6:12-17). Such symbolic phenomena are often associated with the collapse of governments: Babylon (Isa. 13:1, 10, 19); Egypt (Ezek: 32:2,7-8, 16, 18); Idumea (Isa. 34:3-5); Judah (Jer. 4:14, 23-24). Josephus mentions that the Jews actually sought refuge underground during the A.D. 67- 70 war, as per the symbolic imagery.20 Christ warned that this would happen to that generation (Luke 23:27-30).

At Revelation 7:1 there is a gracious interlude between seals (Rev. 7:1-8). The "four angels" temporarily hold back the "winds of destruction"21 and counter the four destroying horsemen. This providential halt in the judgments allows the minority population of Jewish Christians in Jerusalem to flee as the Roman General Vespasian is distracted (with the fall of Nero and the Roman Civil Wars) before he reaches Jerusalem,22 There is a prophecy (Luke 21:20-22) and a historical record23 that Christians would be preserved through Jerusalem's tribulation.

Here we are introduced to the 144,000 sealed saints of God. It should be noted initially that the figure "144,000" is a perfect number composed of exactly twelve squared times 1,000. The numerical figure itself is obviously stylized symbolism. But of what?

The 144,000 saints seem to be representative of Jewish converts to Christianity who dwelt in Israel, for the following reasons: (1) The particular reference to the Twelve Tribes and the fact that they are the "first fruits" (Rev. 14:4), Christianity's first converts were from Jerusalem (Acts 2). (2) Their distinction from the great multitude from every nation (Rev. 7:9). (3) The Old Testament background in Ezekiel 9:4 clearly specifies their habitation at Jerusalem. (4) They are protected by God in "the Land" (ge), which is being judged (Rev. 7:1-3). This fits well with the forgoing action as being in Israel. (5) Such a designation is compatible with Christ's warning His followers to flee Jerusalem before its final overthrow (Matt. 24:15-16; Luke 21:20-24). He promised that His followers who heeded His prophecy would be protected (Luke 21:18-19). (6) The events of Revelation are spoken in anticipation of their soon occurring. This fits perfectly the historical outcome of the flight of the Christians from Jerusalem prior to her fall.

The Seven Trumpets

With the opening of the seventh seal, we hear the sounding of the seven trumpets (Rev. 8:1-6). The first four trumpets show judgments upon things, the last three upon men. They review and intensify the chaos of the seals: destruction increases from one-fourth (Rev. 6:8) to one-third (Rev. 8:7-12). Regarding earthquakes and eruptions, James Moffatt writes: "Portents of this abnormal nature are recorded for the seventh decade of the first century by Roman historians . . . . Volcanic phenomena . . . in the Egean archipelago . . . are in the background of this 'description, and of others throughout the book; features such as the disturbance of islands and the mainland, showers of stones, earthquakes, the sun obscured by a black mist of ashes, and the moon reddened by volcanic dust, were the natural consequences of eruption in some marine volcano, and there - adjoining Patmos - was in a state of more or less severe eruption during the first century."24 W. Boyd Carpenter writes: "Perhaps no period in the world's history has ever been so marked by these convulsions as that which intervenes between the Crucifixion and the destruction of Jerusalem. Josephus records one in Judea (Wars 4:4:5); Tacitus tells of them in Crete, Rome, Apamea, Phrygia, Campania(Ann. 12:58;14:27; 15:22); Seneca (Ep. 91), in A.D. 58, speaks of them as extending their devastations over Asia (the proconsular providence, not the continent), Achaia, Syria, and Macedonia."25

These judgments reflect the plagues upon Egypt at the Exodus.26 Jerusalem has become the equivalent of Egypt (see Rev. 11:8). She and other cities in Israel are worse than Nineveh (Matt. 12:41), Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom (Matt! 11:21-23). She has become a "synagogue of Satan" (Rev. 2:9;3:9).

With the fifth trumpet, we witness an outbreak of demonic torment (Rev. 9:1-21). The fallen star here is Satan, "the angel" of the pit (v. 11). The demons confined to the pit (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6; Luke 8:31) are loosed to torment Israel (vv. 2, 3; cf. Rev. 18:2), just as Christ warned (Matt: 12:43 f). The period of torment is "five months," which indicates the final siege of Jerusalem by Titus, when the Jews were driven mad as they were hopelessly trapped.27 This siege lasted five months: "Titus began the siege of Jerusalem in April, 70. The defenders held out desperately for five months, but by the end of August the Temple area was occupied and the holy house burned down, and by the end of September all resistance in the city had come to an end.28

At the sixth trumpet, Roman reinforcements are sent (Rev. 9:12-2 1). The four angels are destroying "angels" loosed upon Israel in fury. They represent the four Roman legions kept at the Euphrates.29

The Mighty Angel

In Revelation 10:1-11, we see a mighty angel standing astride land and sea. The angel is clearly Christ, as a comparison of Revelation 10:1 with 1:13-16 demonstrates. He declares that Israel's time is up: "[T]here should be no more delay." This is in answer to the plea from the souls at the altar (Rev. 6:10).

As He does so, He proclaims that "the mystery of God is finished." By this is meant that the Gentiles are fully accepted by God30 as the Temple (with its "separating wall," Eph 2:14) is about to be removed (Rev. 11). The end of the Temple economy and national Israel is near (1 Cot 10:11; Heb. 1:2; 9:26; 1 John 2:18).

The Temple and the Two Prophets

In Revelation 11, John is commanded to measure the inner Temple in the "holy city" (Jerusalem),31 where the Lord was crucified (Rev. 11:8)32 This signifies the preservation (cf. Zech. 2:1-5; Rev. 21: 15) of the inner court of the Temple. But the outer Temple court is left unmeasured; thus, it is destined for destruction (Rev. 11:1,2). continues in Christianity. Christians are called "temples" by use of this very Greek term, naos.33 As in the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Temple/tabernacle here receives a heavenly replacement (Rev. 11: 19). The outer court speaks of the physical Temple, which is to be destroyed (Matt. 24:1-2). History records that Jerusalem's wall "was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to."34

The "forty-two months" (v. 2) or "1260 days" (v. 3) indicates the period of the Jewish War with Rome from its formal engagement until the Temple was destroyed. "When Vespasian arrived the following Spring [A.D. 67] to take charge of operations, he steadily reduced Galilee, Peraea . . . . Titus [Vespasian's son] began the siege of Jerusalem in April, 70 . . . . By the end of August the Temple area was occupied and the holy house burned down . . ."35

The "two prophets" probably represent a shoal/body of Christians who remained in Jerusalem to testify, against it. They are portrayed as two, in that they are legal witnesses to the covenant curses.36

The Jerusalem Church Protected

In Revelation 12, John backs up chronologically in order to show that the "mother" church in Jerusalem, which was being protected from Satan, inspired resistance. This would cover the time frame from Christ's ministry through the Book of Acts up until the destruction of Jerusalem.

The Persecution by the Beast

In Revelation 13, the "first beast" must be considered both generically and specifically. This is not unusual in Scripture: Christ's body is generic (the Church) and specific (Jesus); Adam is generic (man) and specific (Adam). Generically the "Beast" is Rome; specifically it is Nero Caesar, the head of the Roman Empire of the day.37

The rationale for the generic identity is as follows. The time frame of the book is supportive of the identification (see earlier argumentation). The Beast rises from the sea, which suggests the Italian peninsula where Rome is located, when considered from the vantage of either Patmos or Israel (across the Mediterranean Sea). It has "seven heads" (Rev. 13:1; 17:3) that are "seven mountains" (Rev. 17:8,9): Rome is famous for its "Seven Hills." Specifically, Beast = Nero. The Beast's number is an exercise in Hebrew gematria: converting letters into numbers. An ancient Hebrew spelling of Nero Caesar perfectly fits the value: "Nrwn Qsr" (Rev. 13:18): n [50] r [200] w [6] n [50] q [100] s [60] r [200]. Its evil and blasphemous character suggests Nero specifically, and the emperors generically: Since Julius Caesar, the emperors were often considered divine. Roman historian Dio Cassius records of Nero's return to Rome from Greece: "The people cried out: "Thou august, august! To Nero, the Hercules! To Nero, the Apollo! The Eternal One! Thou august! Sacred voice! Happy those who hear thee!"38 In addition, Nero was the first emperor to persecute Christianity (13:7), and he did so for a period of forty-two months (Nov. A.D. 64 to June A.D. 68, Rev. 13:5).

The deadly wound which is healed suggests the revival of Rome after the Roman Civil Wars of A.D. 68-69, which were caused by Nero's suicide by his own sword. Roman historian Tacitus reported of the Roman Civil Wars: "This was the condition of the Roman state when Servius Galba... entered upon the year that was to be for Galba his last and for the state almost the end."39 Roman historian Suetonius wrote of the outcome of the Civil Wars two years later: "[T]he empire, which for a long time had been unsettled and, as it were, drifting through the usurpation and violent death of three emperors, was at last taken in and given stability by the Flavian family."40 Josephus, the Jewish court historian to the Flavians, agrees: "So upon this confirmation of Vespasian's entire government, which was now settled, and upon the unexpected deliverance of the public affairs of the Romans from ruin...."41

The "second beast" is a minion of the first beast (Rev. 13:11- 12). He arises from "the land" (tes ges); i.e., from within Palestine. This is probably Gessius Florus; the Roman Procurator over Israel, who caused the Jewish War.42

The Angelic Proclamation

In Revelation 14:6-8, we read the angelic proclamation of "Babylon's" destruction: "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth; to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people; saying with a loud voice, 'Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.' And another angel followed, saying, 'Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.'" As noted, ‘in the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ is noted in the preceding chapter. "Babylon" stands for Jerusalem.

In Revelation 14: 14ff, Israel is "harvested" in judgment. In the days of Christ and the apostles, Israel became ripe for judgment (Matt. 23:31-36; 1 Thess 2:16). The gruesome action taking place here is spoken of as "outside the city," i.e., outside Jerusalem. This corresponds to Christ's crucifixion "outside" the gate on the city (Heb. 13:12-13; John 19:17). It also clearly relates the scene to the area surrounding Jerusalem, i.e., the land of Israel. The land of Israel as a Roman province stretched from the Leontes River to Wadi el Arish, a distance of 1,600 furlongs, or about 200 miles (Rev. 14:20).

The blood flow to the horses' bridles seems to be a poetic description of the blood that covered the lakes and rivers during several dramatic battles between the Romans and the Jews. "But as many of these were repulsed when they were getting ashore as were killed by the darts upon the lake; one might then see the lake all bloody, and full of dead bodies, for not one of them escaped. And a terrible stink... as for the shores, they were full of shipwrecks, and of dead bodies all swelled."43

The Seven Vials of Wrath

In Revelation 15, we have a vision of the saints in heaven just preceding the pouring out of the vials of wrath. Again, the saints' prayers of Revelation 6 are being answered.

These vials bring increasing woe (Rev. 16). The Roman armies come with ease from the Euphrates (Rev. 16: 12). Josephus notes that "there followed [Titus] also three thousand, drawn from those that guarded the river Euphrates" (Wars 5:1:6). The Roman soldiers were supplemented with troops provided by auxiliary kings from the east (Rev. 16:12: Wars 3:4:2;5:1:6): With the convergence of so many trained soldiers, Jerusalem divides into three bickering factions (Rev. 16:19).44 The Roman legions pummel the city with talent-weight stones (Rev. 16:21): "The catapults, that all the 'legions had ready prepared for them, were admirably contrived; but still more extraordinary ones belonged to the tenth legion: those that threw darts and those that threw stones, were more forcible and larger than the rest . . . . Now, the stones that were cast, were of the weight of a talent, and were carried two furlongs and further . . . . As for the Jews, they at first watched the coming of the stone, for it was of a white colour: . . ."45

The Final Collapse of Babylon/Jerusalem

Revelation 17-19 contains a highly wrought description of the collapse of Jerusalem. She is satisfied that she is beautiful and has all that she needs and is not bereft of a "husband" (Rev. 18:7). "Ten measures of beauty," say the Rabbis, "bath God bestowed upon the world, and nine of these fall to the lot of Jerusalem" - and again, ‘A city, the fame of which has gone out from one end of the world to the other.' 'Thine, O lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, and eternity.' This - explains the Talmud - 'is Jerusalem.’"46

The beast's seven heads are seven mountains (Rev. 17:9) representing the seven hills of Rome. These seven heads also represent seven kings, or the first seven emperors of Rome (Rev. 17:9-1). The sixth king47 (Nero) is in power at the writing of Revelation. The seventh will soon be ruling, but only for ten major Roman provinces: Italy, Achaia, Asia, Syria, Egypt, Africa, Spain, Gaul, Britain, and Germany,48 The beast fails to destroy Christianity, but destroys Jerusalem (Rev. 17: 14-18:24). The destruction of Jerusalem (and of Nero, the beast) is attributed to the providence of Christ (Rev. 19:11ff).

The Glory of Christ's Bride

In Revelation 20-22, we have presented to us the bride of Christ, in contrast to the adulterous harlot. The heavenly rule of Christ with His saints (both those in heaven and those on the earth) is portrayed in Revelation 20:1-6. This passage with its 1,000 years, though beginning in John's era, necessarily extends out into the future beyond the short time frame restrictions common to Revelation. The whole of Revelation 20 is a unique section that projects the reader beyond the limited time frame.

I have already dealt with the-length of the "millennium" in Chapter 14. The "thousand years" is symbolic of a great extensive period of time, and is not to be understood literally. I have also explained the binding of Satan in Chapter 12. I will not rehearse the argument for the figurative use of "one thousand" here. I will, however, briefly reflect on the binding of Satan to fill out the picture of the kingdom. At this juncture, I will provide a brief exposition of Christ's "millennial" reign as presented here, while mentioning the various elements included by John.

The Binding of Satan

Revelation 20 opens with a reference to "an angel coming down from heaven." This angel, who possesses "the key to the bottomless pit," binds Satan for a "thousand years." This angelic figure seems clearly to be Christ Himself, for the following reasons: (1) Christ appears as "the angel of the Lord" in the Old Testament.49 Thus, there is no a priori difficulty with His appearing as an angel here. (2) Christ appears under angelic guise elsewhere in Revelation (cf. Rev. 10:1 with 1:13-15). (3) As here, Christ is seen holding judgmental "keys" in Revelation 1:18. (4) The struggle of the ages is ultimately between Satan and Christ (Gen. 3:15; Matt. 4:1-11). Appropriately, the sovereign work of Christ debilitates Satan in this passage (cf. Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8). In fact, in Matthew 12:28-29, the "binding" [deo] of Satan is attributed to Christ.

As I indicated in Chapter 12, the "chain" here must be a spiritual chain that spiritually "binds" this spiritual being, Satan. The same is true of its corollaries: the "seal' (cf. Rev. 7:2-8) and the "bottomless pit/abyss." The binding of Satan began in the first century. It was initiated during the ministry of Christ (Matt. 12:24-29), secured in legal fact at Christ's death and resurrection (Luke 10:17; John 12:31-32; Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14- 15), and dramatically evidenced in the collapse of Christianity's first foe, Judaism (Rev. 12; 17-18).50 The collapse of Jerusalem is significant because the Satanic resistance to Christ's kingdom came to expression in the Jewish persecution of Christ and Christianity.51

The binding of Satan continues throughout the Christian era (i.e., the "one thousand years"), except for a brief period just prior to the Second Advent (Rev. 20:2-3, 7-9). This binding does not result in the total inactivity of Satan; rather it enforces a complete control of his power by Christ. The same restriction does not result in the total inactivity of Satan; rather it enforces a complete control of his power by Christ. The same restriction is true of the demons who are bound (Jude 6; 2 Pet. 2:4; cf. Luke 8:31). The purpose of this binding is specifically qualified: it is "in order that" (hina) Satan not "deceive the nations."

The implications of this binding are enormous. Before the coming of Christ, all nations beyond the borders of Israel were under the dominion of Satan.52, Israel alone of all the peoples of the earth was an oasis where the true God and His salvation were known.53 But with the coming of Christ and the spread of "the gospel of the kingdom," Satan's dominion over the Gentiles is severely restricted. In the years between Christ's ministry upon earth until the destruction of the Temple, there was massive demonic activity as Satan resisted the binding of God and the establishing of the kingdom of Christ. Consequently, where Christianity spread, idolatry withered in its presence.54

The Millennial Reign and Resurrection

Concurrent with the binding of Satan is the spreading rule of the righteous (Rev. 20:4-6). Although the vast majority of Revelation focuses on events that will occur "soon" (Rev. 1:1, 3), this section on the thousand years begins, but is not completed, in the first century. It projects itself into the distant future, allowing a glimpse of the end result of the events begun in the apostolic era.

While Satan is bound, there are those who participate in the rule of Christ (Rev. 20:4). These participants include both the martyred saints in heaven ("the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness") and the persevering saints on earth ("and those who [oitines] had not worshiped the beast"55). Given the time frame concern of John (cf. Rev. 1:3, 9), his focus is particularly on those martyrs56 and other saints57 of the first-century era. But it also involves all those who are martyred for Christ and those who live for Him apart from being martyred, for the blessings spread throughout the millennial era.

In Revelation 20:1-3, John explicates the first phase of Christ's triumph over Satan: he is spiritually bound, being restricted from successfully accomplishing his evil design in history. In Revelation 20:7-10, we witness the second and conclusive phase of Christ's triumph over him: Satan is physically punished, being tormented in the eternal flames of the Lake of Fire. This two-fold pattern of spiritual/physical, initial/conclusive is employed in the resurrection reference in Revelation 20, as well. The defender of a strict literalist hermeneutic faces the problem of the actual usage of the New Testament. Resurrection refers to more than the body's resurrection at the final judgment.

The "first resurrection" secures the participation of the saints (both martyred and living) in the rule of Christ (Rev. 20:4-6), As in the case of the two-fold triumph over Satan, this is the initial, spiritual victory-resurrection.58 That is, it refers to the spiritual resurrection of those who are born again of the grace of God. Salvation is spoken of as a spiritual resurrection: "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death" (1 John 3:1459).

John, the author of Revelation, in his Gospel also parallels the spiritual resurrection of salvation with the physical resurrection of eschatology, just as he does in Revelation 20:

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:24-29)

Having been spiritually resurrected, the saints (whether in heaven or on earth) are enthroned. He "has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever" (Rev. 1:6). Christians are "overcomes" (cf. 1 John 2:13-14; 4:4; 5:4-5) and are seated with Christ in rule: "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne" (Rev. 3:21). As Paul puts it, Christ raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6).

The "rest of the [spiritually] dead" do not participate in this spiritual resurrection. In fact, they "do not live again until the ‘thousand years’ is finished (Rev. 20:5)." At that time they are physically resurrected (implied) in order to be overwhelmed by "the second death" (eternal torment), which is brought about by Judgment Day (Rev. 20:11- 15).

Judgment Day

At the end of the kingdom era and just preceding Judgment Day, Satan is loosed very briefly (a "little while," Rev. 20:3) from his bondage. During this short period of time, he is allowed to gather a sizeable force of rebels, who will attempt to supplant the prevailing Christian majoritarian influence in the world (Rev. 20:7-9).60 Under His providential rule, Christ's spiritual kingdom will have spread over the face of the earth and have dominated human life and culture for ages. But all men are never converted during any period of history. Consequently upon Satan's brief loosing, he quickly incites to war the repressed children of wickedness.

No sooner does he prepare his forces than fire comes down from God out of heaven and devours them (Rev. 20:9). This figuratively portrays the Coming of Christ for what it represents to the wicked. Christ returns "in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. 1:8). Before he can actually harm the Christian order (he merely surrounds "the camp of the saints and the beloved city," Rev. 20:9), Christ's Second Advent ends history and sweeps all evil into eternal judgment. At this event, men enter their final, eternal abode: either the New Heavens and New Earth or the Lake of Fire (see Chapter 13, above). Here I show that not only will the Lord vindicate His people by historical sanctions on earth, but there will be a final and conclusive judgment of the wicked and a blessed confirmation of the righteous.

The Spiritual Beauty of the Bride

The New Creation/Jerusalem of Revelation 21-22 began in the first century, although it stretches out into eternity in its ultimate consummation. The reasons for this assertion are as follows.

(1) The time frame, following closely upon the New Creation/Jerusalem description, strongly suggests it (Rev. 21:1, 2; 22:5-7). (2) The flow of Revelation intimates it. The destroyed old Jerusalem (Rev. 19) is immediately replaced by the New Jerusalem (Rev. 20-22), rather than waiting several thousand years. (3) The new creation (salvation) is realized in history before the final consummation.61 Isaiah 65:17-25 shows that the New Creation on earth still experiences sin, aging, and death in the physical realm; thus, it cannot refer to heaven and eternity. It is from above, however.62 (4) The New Testament anticipates the immediate change of the old era into the new.63 (5) The New Testament speaks of the Church as Christ's bride (Eph. 5:25ff; 2 Cot. 11 :2ff; John 3:29): The bride totally supplants Israel in A.D. 70.

The glory of salvation is here expressed in poetic terms. The absence of the sea (Rev. 21:1) speaks of harmony and peace within. In Scripture, the sea is often symbolic of discord and sin.64 Christianity offers the opposite (Rem. 5:1; Eph 2: 12ff; Phil. 4:7,9). The bride-church is the tabernacle-temple of God (Rev. 21:3) because God dwells within and no literal Temple is needed.65 Salvation. removes grief,66 introduces one into the family of God,67 and brings eternal life (Rev. 21:6,8).

The glory of the bride-church (Rev. 21:9-22:5) is also expressed poetically. She shines brilliantly like light,68 Consequently, she is precious to God as costly gold and jewels.69 This beautiful bride-church has a sure foundation and impregnable walls.70 Thus, she is destined to have a massive influence in the world.71 She is cared for by God's provision of the water of life.72 Thus, she brings healing to the nations by her presence.73

Closing Exhortations by John

In Revelation 22:6ff, we find closing assurances of the veracity of the prophecies contained in Revelation. An angel declares them certain (v. 6), testifies that they come from God (v. 6), and notes that they are continuous with the Old Testament prophetic line (v. 7). Furthermore, Christ reaffirms their truth (vv. 7, 12-13, 16, 20) and John speaks by revelation (v. 8a).

The closing emphasis on the expectation of Revelation reiterates the temporal nearness of the events prophesied. The restatement of the nearness of the events harmonizes with Revelation 1:1-3 and serves as a closing bracket to the time frame. We discover this through express declaration (Rev. 22:6), a promise of imminent divine intervention74 the command forbidding the sealing of the prophecies,75 and the compelling urgency and contemporary relevance of the message to its original audience.76

John closes the book by giving covenantal warnings against tampering with its contents. Revelation is a covenant document from God Himself.

Conclusion

Interestingly, the Book of Revelation really does not speak to postmillennialism until its last three chapters. There, it holds forth the postmillennial hope of an expanding and dominating kingdom of Christ. The previous chapters, which clearly speak of chaos and devastation, and which influence today's pessimistic eschatologies, were prophetic visions of imminent events in John's day, and are therefore distant past events from our perspective today. To approach Revelation with the view that its judgment scenes still loom before us is to misunderstand Revelation in particular and biblical eschatology in general. He who has an ear to hear, let him hear. (As Gary North has noted, he who does not hear would better spend his time by passing out gospel tracts on street corners than by reading this month's best-selling prophecy book [paperback], with its familiar dispensational message of hope - "Captain Jesus and His mighty angels will deliver us soon" - or by reading this decade's slow-selling amillennial eschatology book [hardback], with its equally familiar grim warning: "The devil's disciples may soon crush us," amillennialism's cultural version of "Form a circle with the wagons!")

 

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Footnotes:

 

1. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1942), p. 33; Bruce Milne., What The For example, Floyd E. Hamilton, The Basis of the Millennial Faith Bible Teaches About the End of the World (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1979), pp. 80-81

2. For more information see my The Divorce of Israel: A Coment on Ration (forthcoming) and David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Ft. Worth, TX: Dominion Press, 1987).

3. The preterit tense is the definitively past tense completely over, finished, done with, as in the Greek aorist tense. It is worth noting that Hal Lindsey's scurrilous attack on Christian Reconstruction, The Road to Holocaust (NY: Bantam, 1989), is copyrighted by The Aorist Corporation. This seems fitting.

4. See: William Ramsey, The Letters to the Seven Churches (Grand Rapids: Baker, [1904] 1963); Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation (New International Commentary) (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977), chaps. 3 and 4.

5. Rev. 2:7,11, 17, 29; 3:6,13, 22.

6. Rev. 2:10,22-23,25;3:9-11.

7. John F. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ (Chicago Moody Press, 1966), p. 35. Mounce, Revelation, pp. 64-65. Leon Morris, The Revelation of St. John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmarss, 1969), p. 45.

8. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989).

9. For the different ways in which Christ is said to "come" in Scripture, see pp. 271-277, above.

10. See: Acts 2:22,23, 36; 3:14,15; 4:8-10; 5:30; Matthew 21:33-35; 23:29-34:2; Luke 23:27-31; John 19:5-15; 1 Thess. 2:14-16.

11. John Laurence von Mosheim, History of Christianity in the First Three Centuries, 3 vols. New York Converse, 1854) 1:125.

12. "Palestine was to the Rabbis simply 'the land', all other countries being summed up under the designation of 'outside the land.'" Alfred Edersheim, Sketches of Jewish Social Life (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, [1876] n.d.) p. 14.

13. See R. H. Charles, The Revelation of St. John, 2 vols. (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1920), 1 :cxvii-clix.

14. Deut. 24:1, 3; Isa. 50:1; Jer. 3:8; Matt. 5:31; 19:7; Mark 10:4.

15. Prov. 2:17; Ezek. 16:8; Mal. 2:14.

16. Deut. 28:15,49; lsa. 10:5-6, 44:18-45:4.

17. "Building on the foundations laid by his uncle, Julius Caesar, [Augustus] brought peace .... The internal peace and order which Augustus achieved endured, with occasional interruptions, for about two centuries. Never before had all the shores of the Mediterranean been under one rule and never had they enjoyed such prosperity. The pax Romana made for the spread of ideas and religions over the area where it prevailed." Kenneth Scott Latourette, A History of Christianity, 2 vols. (2nd cd.; San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1975), 1:21.

18. Josephus, Wars 4:3:2; 5:1:1,5.

19. lbid., 5:10:2-5.

20. Ibid., 6:7:3 (cf. 7:2: 1).

21. Jer. 49:36, 37; 51:1, 2; Dan. 7:2: Matt. 7:24ff.

22. Josephus, Wars 4:9:2;: 411:5.

23. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 3:5

24. James Moffatt, Revelation, in W. R. Nicoll, Tke Expositor's Greek Testament, 5 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans [n.d.]1980), 5:404. See: Seneca, Lucilius 91; Tacitus, Histories 1:2-3 and Annuls 12:58:14:27:15:22.

25. W. Boyd Carpenter, "The Gospel According to Matthew," Ellicott's Commentary on the Whole Bible. John C. Ellicott. cd., 8 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, n.d.). 6:146.

26. Cf. Rev. 8:5 with Exo. 19: 16f, Rev. 8:7 with Exo. 9:18ff; 8:8-9 with Exo 7:20f; 8:11 with Exo. 10:21. Cf. Deut 28:15, 60ff

27. Josephus, Wars 5:1:1,5.

28. F.F. Bruce, New Testament History (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1969), p. 382.

29. W. J. Coneybeare and J. S. Howson, The Life and Epistles of St. Paul (New York Scribners, 1894), p. 76.

30. Eph 2:12,19; 3:3-6; Rom..16:25; Col 1:25ff.

31. Isa. 48:2; 52:1; Neh. 11:1.18; Matt. 4:5; 27:53.

32. Luke 9:22; 13:32; 17:11; 19:28.

33. 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:19ff; 1 Pet. 2:5:

34. Josephus, Wars 7:1:1.

35. Bruce, New Testament History, pp. 381-382

36. Deut. 17:6; 19:5; Matt. 18:16; 2 Cor. 13:1; 1 Tim. 5:19; Heb. 10:28.

37. For more detailed information, see: Gentry The Beast of Revelation (Tyler, TX Institute for Christian Economics, 1989) and Gary DeMar's three-part series in Biblical Worldview (June-Aug. 1991), published by American Vision, Atlanta.

38. Die, Roman History 62:20:5.

39. Histories 1:2, 11.

40. Vespesian 1:1.

41. Josephus, Wars 4:11:5.

42. J. Stuart Russell, The Parousia: A Study of the New Testament Doctrine of Our Lord's Second Coming (Grand Rapids, Baker, [1887] 1983), pp. 465ff.

43. Josephus, Wars 3:10:9; 4:7:5-6; 6:8:5.

44. Ibid. 5:1:1: "It so happened that the sedition at Jerusalem was revived, and parted into three factions, and that one faction fought against the other," Elsewhere Josephus designates the leaders of the faction by the names John, Eleazar and Simon.

45. Ibid. 5:6:3.

46. Edersheim, Sketches of Jewish Social Life, p. 82.

47. Notice the enumeration of the emperors in Josephus, Ant. 18-19; 4 Ezra 11 and 12; Sibylline Oracles 5; 8; Barnabas 4, Suetonius, Lives of the Twelve Caesars, and Dio Cassius, Roman History 5.

48. F. W. Farrar, The Early Days of Christianity (London: Cassell, 1884), 464, n 1.

49. Gen. 16:7-14; 22:11-18; 31:11, 13; Exe. 3:2-5; Num. 22:22-35; Jdgs. 6:11-23; 13:2-25; 1 Chron. 21:15-17; 1 Kgs. 19:5-7.

50. The demise of the Great Harlot is the demise of Jerusalem. See: pp. 378-383.

51. The Scriptures speak of Satan's involvement in the Jewish apostasy (Matt. 12:43-45; John 8.44; Rev. 2:9; 3:9). Because of this, the Jews prompted Christ's crucifixion (Matt. 20:18-19; 27:11-25; Mark 10-33; 15:1; Luke 18:32; 23:1-2; John 18:28-31; 19:12, 15; Acts 2:22-23; 3:13; 4:26-27; 5:28, 30; 7:52, 1 Thess. 2:14-15), and Israel became the first persecutor of the Church (Matt. 23:37ff.; Acts 8:1; 12:1-3; 17:5-7; 1 Thess. 2:14-17).

52. 2 Kgs. 17:29; Psa. 96:3-5 [cf. 1 Cor. 10:20]; Luke 4:6; Acts 14:16;17:30; 26:17-18.

53. Deut. 7:6ff, Psa. 147:19-20; Amos 3:2; Rein. 3:1-2.

54. All heathen at any rate from every region, abjuring their hereditary tradition and the impiety of idols, are now placing their hope in Christ, and enrolling themselves under Him." Athanasius, Incarnation 37:5. See also Sections 30:4, 6-7; 31:2-3.

55. We must note that "kai oitines introduces a second class of persons, 'confessors. . . .' "Henry Barclay Swete, Commentary on Revelation (Grand Rapids: Kregal, [1906[ 1977), p. 262.

56. Rev, 6.9-11; 7:9; 13-15; 11:7-12; 12:5; 13:7, 15; 14:13; 16:6; 17:6; 18:20,24.

57. Rev. 5:9-10 (NASV); 7:1-4; 12:6, 13-17; 14:1-6; 16:15; 17:14; 18:4.

58. Milton Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics: A Study of the Most Notable Revelations of God and of Christ (Grand Rapids: Baker, [1898] 1988), p. 449.

59. See also Rom. 6:8-11; Eph. 2:6; Col. 2:13-14.

60. See: Gary North, Dominion and Common Grace: The Biblical Basis of Progress (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1987).

61. 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:10; 4:24; Gal. 6:15. See Chapter 15.

62. Rev. 21:2; Gal. 4:22ff; Heb. 12:22; Col. $:1,2.

63. John 420-24; Heb. 2:5; 12:18-29; Mark 9:1.

64. Rev. 13:1,2: Isa. 8:7ff; 23:10; 57:20; Jer. 6:23; 46:7; Ezek. 9:10.

65. Rev. 21:22; cf. Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; 1 Pet. 2:5,9

66. Rev. 21:4; 1 Thess. 4:13; 1 Cor. 15:55-58; Jms. 1:2-4.

67. Rev. 21:7; cf. John 1:12-13; 1 John 3:lff.

68. Rev. 21:10,11; Matt. 5:14-16; Acts 13:47; Rom. 13:12; 2 Cot. 6:14; Eph 5:8ff.

69. Rev. 21:11, 18ff; 1 Pet. 1:7; 2:4-7; 1 Cot. 3:12.

70 .Rev. 21:12-21; Matt. 16:18; Acts 4:11; Eph. 2:19f, 1 Cor. 3:l; Isa. 26:1; 60:18.

71. Rev. 21:16; Isa. 2:2ff; Ezek. 17:22ff; 47:1-11; Dan. 2:31-35; Mic. 4:1; Matt. 13:31-32; 28:18-20; John 3:17; 1 Cor. 15:20ff; 2 Cor. 5:19.

72. Rev. 21:22; 22: 1-5; John 4:14; 7:37-38; 6:32-35.

73. Rev. 22:2,3; lsa. 53:5; Ezek. 47:1-12; Matt. 13:33; Luke 4:18; John 4:14; Heb. 5:12-4; Gal. 3:10-13; 1 Pet. 2:2,24.

74. Rev. 22:7, 12, 20; cf. Mark 9:1; Matt. 24-30, 34:26-64.

75. Rev. 22:10 contra Dan. 8:26;12:4,9.

76. Rev. 22:14-17; cf. Rev. 1:3,4.

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