Follow The Lamb, Part 2: The Revelation

http://renewedheartministries.com/presentation/Follow-the-Lamb I’m paraphrasing (and analyzing in part) this series of lectures on Revelation by Herb Montgomery because it relates to the kingdom of God. I am going do this for parts 1-11 and 17 as I have already covered the others. Herb argues that there is a change in teaching in the new testament to pacifism–from the Tanahk (or Old Testament)–and argues that Revelation supports this. This also interests me because our paper “Unless He Gives up All His Possessions” argues for a change in teaching in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) with regards to possessions but only due to a different situation arising after Christ. The TNIV translation is used unless otherwise noted. Below are links to the paraphrased material:
Lecture:  https://renewedheartministries.com/sermons/followthelamb/02therevelation.mp3
handout: https://renewedheartministries.com/sermons/followthelamb/outlines/02revelation.pdf

When you come to the book of Revelation, there are three categories to how most people interpret it:

1. Preterism is the school of thought where everything was talking about the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70

2. Historicism makes Revelation about events throughout history.

3. Futurism makes everything about Christ’s second coming. Herb is convinced that the most damage is done here with misinterpretations of the book of Revelation.

Everyone here probably fits into one of these three schools of thought. However, Herb says that the book of Revelation doesn’t fully fit into any of those schools of thought. Instead, we must start with the ethical teachings of Jesus and the first audience and see how they would have interpreted the book of Revelation and that it was about whatever comes down the pike follow the Lamb.

Here’s a simple outline starting with Revelation 1:1-8

Revelation 1.1-8—The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by
sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—
that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the
one who READS ALOUD the words of this prophecy, and blessed are
those who HEAR IT and take to heart what is written in it, because the
time is near . . .

The “time is near” produces problems for us but for those people at the time it inspires hope. The way it would have been communicated is through oral reading of one person to an audience. Revelation was not written as something people would read and study but rather as something to be listened to–this brings out different meanings in the text with auditory cues.

Revelation 22.6-21—The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy
and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to
show his servants the things that must soon take place.” “Look, I am com-
ing soon! Blessed are those who keep the words of the prophecy in this
scroll.” I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things . . .

Two things repeated in the epilogue that is also in the prologue “his angle” and “things which must shortly come to pass.” Let’s use these two anchor points Rev 1:1-8 and Revelation 22:6-21 as reason to interpret these things

Revelation 1.9-11—I, John, your brother and companion in the SUF-
FERING and KINGDOM and PATIENT ENDURANCE that are ours
in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and
the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord’s Day I was IN THE SPIRIT, and
I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: “Write on a
scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna,
Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

Suffering, being part of the kingdom, and patient endurance are all included in the present and are all associated with following Jesus. There are three audio transitions of “in the spirit” the first one in Rev 1:9-11. Try picking one of those churches and pretending you are listening to it from their perspective. The second here

Revelation 4.2—At once I was IN THE SPIRIT, and there before me was
a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.

There are two branches in the book of Revelation:

1. The defeat of a Harlot:

Revelation 17.3—Then the angel carried me away IN THE SPIRIT into a
wilderness . . .

2. The victory of a bride:

Revelation 21.10—And he carried me away IN THE SPIRIT to a moun-
tain great and high . . .

There’s a repetition or parallel between Rev 17 and Rev 21

Revelation 17.1-3—One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls
came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great
prostitute, who sits by many waters. With her the kings of the earth com-
mitted adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with
the wine of her adulteries.” Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit
into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was
covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.

Between these parallels you have the whole book of Revelation. You have 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 plagues. You have the “in the spirit” in chapter 4, the next time is in Rev 17 and again in Rev 21. Not only are Rev 17 and 21 similar but look at Rev 19:9-10:

Revelation 19.9-10—Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those
who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added,
“These are the true words of God.” At this I fell at his feet to worship
him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you
and with your brothers and sisters who hold to Jesus’ testimony. Worship
God! For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.”

You’ll see Rev 22 is different than Rev 19 because this also serves as a repetition of the prologue with “that must soon take place”

Revelation 22.6-9—The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy
and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to
show his servants the things that must soon take place.” “Look, I am com-
ing soon! Blessed are those who keep the words of the prophecy in this
scroll.” I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I
had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel
who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I
am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all
who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”

The end of the bride section is the end harlot section but John also throws in a parallel to the prologue “that must soon take place.” Don’t take Revelation chronologically, the vision actually starts in chapter 4. Right before the harlot section in Revelation 16 John hears “it is done” which is parallel with 21:

Revelation 16.17—The seventh angel
poured out his bowl into the air,
and out of the temple came a loud
voice from the throne, saying, “IT IS
DONE!”

Revelation 21.6—He said to me:
“IT IS DONE. I am the Alpha and
the Omega, the Beginning and the
End. To the thirsty I will give water
without cost from the spring of the
water of life.

It ends the same way where John tries to worship the angel. These were parallels that his audience would have heard.

Three Series of Sevens

Revelation 4.5—From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings
and peals of thunder.

Seven Seals 6:1-8:5

Revelation 8.5—Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the
altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rum-blings, flashes of lightning and an EARTHQUAKE.

Seven Trumpets: 8.6-11.19

Earthquake is taken for granted and a “a great hailstorm” is added:

Revelation 11.19—Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within
his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of
lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and A GREAT
HAILSTORM.

Seven Bowls: 15:1-16:21

When we end the seven bowls there is nothing added but they are elaborated:

Revelation 16.18-21—Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings,
peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever
occurred since the human race has been on earth, so tremendous was the
quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations
collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup
filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and
the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones, each
weighing about a hundred pounds, ell on people. And they cursed God
on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.

Revelation 8.1-6—When he opened the SEVENTH SEAL, there was
silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who
stand before God, and SEVEN TRUMPETS were given to them. Another
angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given
much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden
altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the
prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then
the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled
it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of
lightning and an earthquake. Then the seven angels who had the seven
trumpets prepared to sound them

The three series of 7 end in parallel fashion. He takes the seven trumpets and interlocks them in the 7th seal. 7th seal introduces the 7 trumpets and at the 7 trumpets you would expect him to introduce the 7 plagues–but he doesn’t.

Revelation 11.19—Then God’s TEMPLE in heaven was OPENED, and
within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came
flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a
great hailstorm.

However, when he picks back up the plagues. He repeats here what he said under the seventh trumpet and adds the seven angels. 12,13,14 are an intermission and 15 snaps back in with the 7 plagues with the 7th trumpet.

Revelation 15.5-6—After this I looked, and I saw in heaven the TEMPLE—
that is, the tabernacle of the covenant law—and it was OPENED. Out of
the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues

He actually does lock in the 7 plagues with the 7th trumpet. This has been an exercise of seeing parallels. The first half of the next presentation is the most important presentation (part 3) the first part of (part 4) is the second most important presentation. We will go into the ethical teachings of Jesus and how they relate to Revelation which will be key to unlocking the book.

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