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Historicist Only Christ’s Mediation Affirms the True Structuring of the Revelation

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by Jerryhuerta, Mar 20, 2022.

  1. Jerryhuerta

    Jerryhuerta Historicist Supporter

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    Christ’s mediation can hardly be disputed as pertaining to the inter-advent era, our age. The previous work on the true structuring of the Revelation conveyed a correspondence between the struggles illustrated in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares and Christ’s mediation of the seven churches in the Revelation.[1] The seven churches represent Christ’s mediation under the New Covenant (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrew 12:22-24). It was also furthered that a number of the Old Testament prophets forecast that Christ would punish the shepherds of Judah and sow the remnant of the house of Israel in the earth, which is the source of the parable mentioned above (Psalm 118:22-23; Isaiah 49:5-7; Jeremiah 31:1-2, 27-28; Ezekiel 34:2, 9-10, 23-26; Zechariah 10:3-9; Hosea 2:21-23). It was developed that this sowing was an insurgence or occupation into Satan’s dominion, also depicted by the Parable of the Ten Minas.

    And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. (Luke 19:9-13)​

    The parable in Luke conveys the trials and struggles that the saints must endure between the advents to be found worthy to reign with Christ at his return, which is amplified in the Revelation.

    And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. (Revelation 2:26-27)

    To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Revelation 3:21)​

    The OT prophecies that both houses were to be sown throughout the world must coincide with Christ’s mediation, as it requires the tares as the vehicles to challenge and chastise the saints to prepare them to reign with Christ at his return (Hebrews 12:1-11). The seven churches epitomize mediation, especially when interpreted as prophetic, historical, and symbolic.

    The initial arguments against the interpretation that the Revelation represents Christ’s mediation stem from preterist and untenable futurist rules of interpretations. While futurists accept the prophetic view of the seven churches, which is inconsistent with futurism, both futurists and preterists deny the Revelation pertains to Christ’s mediation of the New Covenant. Futurist Stephen R. Lewis maintains the traditional dispensationalist’s view that the New Covenant will be enacted only upon Christ’s return, which precludes any interpretation that the Revelation pertains to Christ’s mediation for the Church,

    The Holy Spirit’s choice of words proves that the Church (predominantly Gentile in composition) is not the entity with whom the Lord Jesus Christ enters into the New Covenant… Romans 11:26 states that God will establish the New Covenant with Israel at Christ’s second coming.[2]

    In truth, dispensationalism has vacillated tremendously on the New Covenant and its relationship to the Church over the years. Little doubt, this vacillation stems from its untenable view that the Church is a distinct entity apart from Israel. Even so, the Old Covenant prophets foretold that Christ would come and punish the shepherds of Judah and sow the remnant of the house of Israel in the earth. These prophecies are the source of the Parable of the Wheat and Tares as well as the Parable of the Tenants in Matthew 21:33-40. The Old Covenant people did not simply disappear from the face of the earth at Christ’s first advent. As Romans 11 states, “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew… at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace” (Romans 11:2, 5). It was this remnant that was foretold to be sown in the earth and fed in the wilderness until Christ returns.

    Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks… Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them… And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it. And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. (Ezekiel 34:2, 9-10, 23-26)​

    The Church is the vehicle to restore the house of Israel, sending light to the Gentiles and unto the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:6). Christ’s pronouncement furthers this that Jerusalem would suddenly no longer be the place of worship in John 4:21-24. In a world in which Israel is sown throughout the earth, worship can no longer be maintained as centripetal or tending to move toward Jerusalem, but centrifugal, tending to move away from Jerusalem.

    Futurist Michael J. Vlach maintains the typical view that the Revelation Illustrates what will happen to Israel after the Church is raptured,

    Pretribulationism takes a futuristic interpretation of Daniel 9:24-27 and the book of Revelation. Daniel 9:24-27 gives the seven-year chronological framework of the Tribulation while Revelation 6-18 details the judgments that make up this period. Futurism sees prophecy as being fulfilled in the future, namely with the Tribulation period, the Second Coming of Christ to earth, and the Millennial Kingdom… In Revelation 4 and 5 Jesus is the One found worthy to open the seals which He begins to open in 6:1. The opening of the seals by Christ indicates that the seal judgments are divine wrath… According to Daniel 9:24-27, the “seventy weeks” prophecy including the final “one week” (seven years) is for Israel (“your people”). “While the church will experience tribulation in general during the present age (John 16:33), she is never mentioned as participating in Israel's time of trouble, which includes the great tribulation, the day of the Lord, and the wrath of God.” (Ice and Demy, The Truth About The Rapture, p. 36)[3]

    Vlach echoes previous dispensationalists such as Charles Caldwell Ryrie in their interpretation of Daniel 9:24-27,

    Certain important events were to happen after the 62 weeks (plus the 7 weeks, or a total of 69 weeks): the crucifixion of Messiah, and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by the Romans who are the people of the prince that shall come. Since these events were to occur after the 69 weeks had run their course and before the seventieth week began, there must be a space of time between the conclusion of the sixty-ninth week and the beginning of the seventieth.[4]

    Ryrie is inconsistent in using the Hebraic word translated “and after” in verse 26. Concerning the crucifixion of the Messiah, he perceives “after” as straightaway but not as it pertains to the seventieth week, which he maintains is undetermined. The dispensationalists argue for an undetermined length of the Seventy Weeks. Such a rendition mocks the Hebraic word translated as “determined” in verse 24, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city.” The Hebrew word in context denotes a division of time from the whole of Providence, which is meaningless if it cannot be determined as the dispensationalists render. Furthermore, the prophets foretold that Christ would sow the remnant of the house of Israel in the earth and mediate for them in contradiction to the dispensationalist’s rendition of Daniel 9. They maintain the untenable view that Daniel upholds a postponement of Christ’s mediatorial work for Israel until Christ returns, which contradicts the prophets.

    But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24)​
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2022
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  2. Jerryhuerta

    Jerryhuerta Historicist Supporter

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    Vlach also misrepresents the placement of the wrath of God in the Revelation in the citation above. He goes on to cite another futurist,

    “The judgments of these four seals include the sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts, frequently used in Scripture as the expressions of divine wrath. Indeed, they are all included and named when God calls His ‘four severe judgments upon Jerusalem: sword, famine, wild beasts and plague’ (Ezek. 14:21).” (Gerald B. Stanton, "A Review of the Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church, Bibliotecha Sacra, vol. 148 #589, January 1991) Plus, plagues such as pestilence and wild beasts can hardly be caused by man.[5]

    Vlach’s view does not account for the evidence that the judgments of God rendered upon Israel were to separate those who are indeed God’s from those who were not. Consequently, the judgments portrayed in the Revelation are also initially intended to separate those who are indeed Christ’s from those who are not, which affirms the initial judgments illustrated by the seals do not represent the wrath of God, as even Vlach must concede that those who are indeed Christ’s are exempt from the wrath,

    God has promised the Church deliverance from divine wrath (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; Rev. 3:10) God made a special promise to the church that it will be delivered from the future, tribulational wrath of God. It is best to take this deliverance as a physical removal (Rapture)from this time of divine wrath.[6]

    This principle is upheld in the evidence that the wrath of God is confined to the final woe and the last trumpet.

    The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. (Revelation 11:14-18)​

    The timing of the wrath is also supported by the evidence that the seven angels having the wrath of God stand ready to pour them out only after God’s people have “gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God” (Revelation 15:2). Revelation 15 affirms that the seven seals and initial trumpets do not represent the wrath of God and that the people Christ mediates over must endure the first two woes before the last trumpet sounds. Revelation 11:18 states that the wrath of God comes upon the seventh and last trumpet and at the same time, the dead are judged and rewarded, which corresponds with 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. The dispensationalist interpretation of the Revelation is untenable.

    The rendition of the Revelation by the preterist does not fare any better. On a website, Kenneth L. Gentry expresses the preterist’s view of the Revelation,

    Revelation presents God’s divorce of his old covenant wife Israel in AD 70 (Rev 5 presents the divorce decree). In Rev 6-19 (with interludes and asides) we witness his adulterous wife’s capital punishment. Now in the two closing chapters, we are witnesses to his marriage to his new bride, the new covenant church of Jesus Christ. The new creation is an image of the new covenant. This new Jerusalem-bride is the “Jerusalem above” (Gal 4:26), the “heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb 12:22) to which all believers in Christ belong.[7]


    The preterists believe that the Old Covenant had lawful standing until A.D. 70 and that the Revelation depicts the historical events ending this standing. Preterist Don K. Preston maintains this perception when he writes,

    Jesus said that the events of the end of the Old Covenant age would be the greatest that had ever occurred or that ever would occur! I concur with Gentry, DeMar,1 and others that when Jesus described the events leading up to and including the fall of Jerusalem as the greatest events in history, Jesus was not focused strictly on the number of people who died, but rather on the covenantal significance of the event. Jesus was emphasizing the point that the events of the first century, namely, the Great Tribulation and His parousia, were to be the greatest events that had ever occurred or that would ever occur! Do you catch the power of that? Remember that types always move from the lesser to the greater. Since the New Covenant of Grace is greater than the end of the Old Covenant of Torah, would not it’s end be more catastrophic? The end of the gospel, purchased by the Son of God’s blood, would be greater than anything else that had or could occur. Would not the end of time be far greater than the fall of Jerusalem and the end of the Old Covenant theocracy?[8]

    Preterist Michael J. Sullivan attempts to sustain the argument that the Old Covenant had lawful standing until the time Jerusalem fell,

    In (Hebrews 9:8) I would agree with the EVS translation and those commentators that would identify the “first” compartment being the Holy Place (not the entire tabernacle) – symbolizing the then “present” Old Covenant age still having a “legal standing,” “have status” “lasts,” “has continuance,” or “functioning” (cf. Matt. 5:17-19; Heb. 9:10 “imposed”) and the Most Holy Place being representative of the New Covenant age in-breaking upon and overlapping the old. The Bible teaches that full and complete face to face access is given behind the veil within the Most Holy Place at the blowing of the last trumpet when the Second Coming of Christ takes place at the end of the OC age in AD 70 (Rev. 11:15-19; 21:16–22:3-4, 6-7, 10-12, 20; 1 Cor. 13:12/2 Cor. 3:7–5:10/6:16; Heb. 9:26-28).[9]

    Sullivan is mistaken. According to Hebrews, the lawful standing of the Old Covenant ended by the crucifixion of Christ. The term stasis in Hebrews 9:8 does refer to lawful “standing,” but there is no scriptural warrant to interpret that standing ended with the destruction of the temple cult in A.D. 70.

    But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing. (Hebrews 9:7–8)​

    Hebrews 9:8 avows that as long as the first tabernacle continued to have lawful standing, the way into the holiest was yet to be manifest. The exposé that the way into the holiest occurred at Christ’s ascension and by his blood in Hebrews 10:19 affirms that the term “standing” or stasis in Hebrews 9:8 cannot be rendered literally, as about the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem. Such examination maintains stasis, rendered standing, should be viewed abstractly as the authority from God to enforce the Aaronic priesthood and minister his covenants. Hebrews 10:19 verifies that the authority of the SC was taken away by the offering of Christ’s blood, also indicated by the veil being rent (Matthew 27:51). This abstract rendering of stasis corresponds with the need to change the law at the change of the priesthood (Hebrews 7:12), which disannuls the commandment that only the descendants of Aaron could mediate as high priests (Hebrews 7:18). The abstraction holds the “first” and “second” in Hebrews 10:9 as respectively the old and new covenants, which dispensationalist Rodney J. Decker affirms,

    If this is a valid assessment of the text (and I think it is), then in light of the larger argument of chapters 7–10, it appears quite certain that we are talking about the first and second covenant, whether we explain it more generally or more specifically… The negative term ἀναιρέω means “to take away, abolish, set aside”… The positive ἵστημι, is “to put into force, establish,” often with legal or covenantal overtones. The first covenant comes to an end; the second takes its place.[10]
     
  3. Jerryhuerta

    Jerryhuerta Historicist Supporter

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    In truth, the New Covenant came into force at the first advent and by the blood sacrifice of Christ, when Christ presented himself before his Father at his ascension. The preterist interpretation that the Revelation represent the end of the Old Covenant is without merit. Hebrews affirms that the active judgments portrayed in the Revelation, starting with the seven churches, are confined to the mediation of Christ under the New Covenant, affirmed by the symbolism in the book. In Revelation 1:13, Christ is “clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle,” representing Christ’s mediation, typified by the Aaronic mediation in Leviticus 8:7. This attire affirms Christ’s mediation in the Revelation. The seven candlesticks also typified Christ’s mediation. The OT prophecies that both houses were to be sown throughout the world must coincide with Christ’s mediation, as it requires the tares as the vehicles to challenge and chastise the saints to prepare them to reign with Christ at his return.

    Again, the OT prophecies that both houses were to be sown throughout the world must coincide with Christ’s mediation, as it requires the tares as the instruments to challenge and chastise the saints to prepare them to reign with Christ at his return. And as stated in a previous paper, theologian Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg’s influence on the historicist’s interpretation of the Revelation maintains that God uses the locust army as the highest and last judgment against his covenant people for their apostasy renders the traditional view of the seven seals and trumpets untenable. The interpretations that the seals represent long past phenomena do not agree with the portrayal of the locusts as the highest and the last judgment upon God’s covenant people. Joel declares the locusts have “the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run” (Joel 2:4), which is precisely how the apocalyptic horsemen in the Revelation are depicted,

    And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. (Revelation 6:2)​

    There are several scriptural reasons why the apocalyptic horsemen represent God’s highest and last judgment upon the covenant people and not past phenomena, as traditionalists have thought. The nineteenth-century historicist Edward B. Elliott, for instance, held the first rider to represent the prosperity and triumph of the Roman Empire following the first advent of Christ. Moreover, Elliott’s contemporary, H. Grattan Guinness, held the first seal representing the depiction of the first century Church missionary exploits. However, a critical analysis of the symbolism and narration does not support the traditional interpretations. Firstly, horses as symbols are predominantly associated with apostasy for reliance upon their illicit power (Deuteronomy 17:16; Isaiah 2:6–7, 30:15–17; Amos 2:15), which is indicative of the end day covenant apostasy prophesied of in the New Testament (Matthew 5:13, 24:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12; 1 Timothy 4:1–3; Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10). In Jeremiah, “horsemen and bowmen” represent God’s agent Babylon in judging Jerusalem because “as a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore, they are become great, and waxen rich” (Jeremiah 4:29, 5:27). We see this same condition met as an admonition to come out of mystery Babylon, as the highest and final event, and from a historicist’s perception.

    And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. (Revelation 18:2-3)​

    Furthermore, 2 Timothy 4:8 maintains we must await Christ’s next advent to receive a crown, using the exact word for crown we see in Revelation 6:2, which does not support the interpretation of the first seal as a first advent phenomenon.

    There is every indication that the symbolism and narration of the seven seals are associated with covenant apostasy in the final days. The association with apostasy is predicated in the warnings of final churches eras. The fifth church era, Sardis, conveys a major falling away brought on by the denunciation: “thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Revelation 3:1). The precedent for this judgment is in Amos: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes” (Amos 2:6). Sardis represents the fourth transgression of the seven churches, as Smyrna cannot be counted, and the punishment is that Christ comes as a thief,

    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. (Revelation 3:3)​

    The symbolism that this judgment will come unexpectedly, likened unto to a thief, is also part of the imagery of God’s locust army.

    They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. (Joel 2:9)​

    The warning of an impending, unanticipated and final judgment is also supported in the admonitions to the church in Philadelphia,

    And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name… Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:7-8, 10)​

    The key of David is a reference to Isaiah 22:22 by which additional discovery can be garnered. Commentators convey the chapter in Isaiah pertains to a typical example of impending judgment at the hands of an invading army and the intervention of a Messiah type individual that determines who is fit or not to enter the city, signified by the open and shut door. Again, we see this imagery as the narration shifts from the seven churches to the seven seals.

    After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. (Revelation 4:1)​

    The progressive guideline “after this” and Christ’s trumpet-like voice gesturing to show us “things which must be hereafter” convey a contiguous, linear narration and that the phenomena that follow overlap the last era of the churches. John hears the same voice heard in Revelation 1:10 that announces the “Day of the LORD,” the voice that sounds like a trumpet. The sanctuary visions in Revelation 4–5 commences with the sound of the trumpet that represents the call to justice and the release of the apocalyptic four horsemen that parallels the first part of Joel. Here we have the “hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Revelation 3:7-8, 10). As the time of the apocalyptic four horsemen draws near its end in Joel, it invokes a cry for mercy, a solemn assembly that parallels the fifth seal of Revelation (Joel 3:15-17). God answers the cries and turns back his locust army, while the Revelation conveys the next event as the sealing of his covenant people in chapter 7. This sealing precludes any further harm from the locust conveyed in the fifth trumpet of Revelation. The forensic evidence that the apocalyptic horsemen represent God’s highest and last judgment upon the covenant people far outweighs the traditionalist view that the seals and trumpet are, for the most part, past eschatological events.

    _____________
    [1] Jerry Huerta, The Old Testament Prophets Affirm the True Structuring of the Revelation, The Old Testament Prophets Affirm the True Structuring of the Revelation

    [2] Stephen R. Lewis, “The New Covenant: Enacted or Ratified?” Chafer Theological Seminary Journal, (vol. 8, October–December 2002), 60.

    [3] Michael J. Vlach, Biblical Evidences for a Pretribulational Rapture, Biblical Evidences for a Pretribulational Rapture -- Mike Vlach

    [4] The Ryrie Study Bible, s.v. Daniel 9:26, 1238.

    [5] Vlach, Biblical Evidences for a Pretribulational Rapture.

    [6] Ibid.

    [7] Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., The New Creation in Revelation, (Postmillennial World View 2019) THE NEW CREATION IN REVELATION

    [8] Don K. Preston, Was AD 70 a Type of the “Real” End of the World?, DonKPreston.com, Was AD 70 A Shadow of the “Real” End of the World?

    [9] Michael J. Sullivan, The “First” “Present” Holy Place (Old Covenant) Removed and The Most Holy Place (New Covenant) Established in AD 70 at Christ’s Second Appearing (Hebrews 9:6-10, 26-28), Full Preterism.com, The "First" "Present" Holy Place (Old Covenant) Removed and The Most Holy Place (New Covenant) Established in AD 70 at Christ's Second Appearing (Hebrews 9:6-10, 26-28) – Full Preterism / Gospel Eschatology

    [10] Rodney J. Decker Th.D., “The Law, the New Covenant, and the Christian; Studies in Hebrews 7–10,” NT Resources.com, (September 2009), 23.
    New Covenant in Hebrews7-10 (ntresources.com)
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2022
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