10/22/22 FROM THE INTRODUCTIONS OF 20TH CENTURY BOOKS ON REVELATION, PART 4

Today we’ll start with another quote from J. Vernon McGee. This is from the transcriptions of his radio program, from Chapter 1 of REVELATION, PART 1, published in 1975:

“In the first division of this book we see the person of Christ. We see Christ in His glory and position as the Great High Priest who is in charge of His church. We see Him in absolute control. In the Gospels we find Him meek, lowly, humble, and dying upon a cross. He made Himself subject to His enemies on earth. He is not like that in the Book of Revelation. He is in control. He is still the Lamb of God, but we see the wrath of the Lamb that terrifies the earth.”     

I have seen this point before and I really appreciate it. Jesus is unchanging in His God-nature, but we saw very little of His wrath during His time on earth. I think He only turned it loose once, against the money-changers, and many seem to think it was out of character.   But even then He was perfectly in control. Revelation reaffirms for us that His character is God’s character, and wrath (in control) is part of that character.

The next, and last author for today is David Chilton (1951-1997), an American pastor who spent his time from age 1 to age 8 in the Philippines with his missionary parents. At 8 his family moved to Southern California where he stayed into adulthood. He wrote quite a bit, and pastored a few different churches. He died at 45 of a massive heart attack.

I’m quoting extensively from the Author’s Preface of his most well-known book THE DAYS OF VENGEANCE, published in 1987:

“From the very beginning, cranks and crackpots have attempted to use Revelation to advocate some new twist on the Chicken Little Doctrine: The Sky Is Falling!  But, as I hope to show in this exposition, St. John’s Apocalypse teaches instead that Christians will overcome all opposition through the work of Jesus Christ. My study has convinced me that a true understanding of this prophecy must be based on the proper application of five crucial interpretive keys: 

Revelation is the most “Biblical” book in the Bible. St. John quotes hundreds of passages from the Old Testament, often with subtle allusions to little-known religious rituals of the Hebrew people. In order to understand Revelation, we need to know our Bibles backward and forward. 

Revelation has a system of symbolism. Almost everyone recognizes that St. John wrote his message in symbols. But the meaning of those symbols is not up for grabs. There is a systematic structure in Biblical symbolism. In order to understand Revelation properly, we must become familiar with the ‘language’ in which it is written. Among other goals, this commentary seeks to bring the Church at least a few steps closer to a truly Biblical Theology of Revelation. 

Revelation is a prophecy about imminent events – events that were about to break loose on the world of the first century. Revelation is not about nuclear warfare, space travel, or the end of the world. Again and again it specifically warns that ‘the time is near!’ St. John wrote his book as a prophecy of the approaching destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, showing that Jesus Christ had brought the New Covenant and the New Creation. Revelation cannot be understood unless this fundamental fact is taken seriously. 

Revelation is a worship service. St. John did not write a textbook on prophecy. Instead, he recorded a heavenly worship service in progress. One of his major concerns, in fact, is that the worship of God is central to everything in life. It is the most important thing we do. 

Revelation is a book about dominion.  Revelation is not a book about how terrible the Antichrist is, or how powerful the devil is. It is, as the very first verse says, The Revelation of Jesus Christ. It tells us about His lordship over all; it tells us about our salvation and victory in the New Covenant, God’s ‘wonderful plan for our life’; it tells us that the kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our God, and of His Christ; and it tells us that He and His people shall reign forever and ever.”

We can see from this introduction that Mr. Chilton is a preterist, but he adds the additional interpretation of Revelation as “a worship service.” We’ll have to see how valid that is. Also, while I agree that Revelation is about Jesus Christ and His Dominion, the kingdom of the world is not yet the kingdom of our God; but more on that as we get into the verse by verse.

More from Mr. Chilton:

“…Although the author’s identity has been much debated, there is really no reason to doubt that he was the same John who wrote the Fourth Gospel, as the virtually unanimous testimony of the early Church affirms.”

I definitely agree with him on this. Onward: 

“…There are several Biblical indications that St. John was a priest, and even came from the high priest’s family…As Alfred Edersheim observed…’Indeed, the Apocalypse, as a whole, may be likened to the Temple services in its mingling of prophetic services with worship and praise. But it is specially remarkable, that the Temple references with which the Book of Revelation abounds are generally to minutiae, which a writer who had not been as familiar with such details, as only personal contact and engagement with them could have rendered him, would scarcely have even noticed, certainly not employed as part of his imagery. They come in naturally, spontaneously, and so unexpectedly, that the reader is occasionally in danger of overlooking them altogether; and in language such as a professional man would employ, which would come to him from the previous exercise of his calling. Indeed, some of the most striking of these references could not have been understood at all without the professional treatises of the Rabbis on the Temple and its services. Only the studied minuteness of Rabbinical descriptions, derived from the tradition of eye-witnesses, does not leave the same impression as the unstudied illustrations of St. John.’ 

“‘It seems highly improbable that a book so full of liturgical allusions as the Book of Revelation — and these, many of them, not too great or important points, but to minutiae — could have been written by any other than a priest, and one who had at one time been in actual service in the Temple itself, and thus become so intimately conversant with its details, that they came to him naturally, as part of the imagery he employed.’”

I’m having a lot of trouble with the logic presented here. First of all, priests, and the sons of priests, particularly those who took turns in the Temple, would not be fishermen handling dead fish. Priests did not agree to handle anything that was dead. While purity could be regained, it took time, and if you were called to the Temple you would not have that time, so you would lose your chance to serve.  

Secondly, tradition has it that John was the youngest of the Apostles; some think he may have been as young as 13. There is a really interesting discussion of the age of the Apostles at quora.com/About-how-old-was-the-Apostle-John-during-Jesus-earthly-ministry by Jack Wallace.  This source points out that taxes were owed by men over 20, and that Jesus and Peter are the only ones recorded as owing taxes. He thinks that Peter was probably the oldest of the Apostles, particularly because he was married; he also thinks that Matthew may have been a bit older than the others because he was already working as a tax collector (and was not behind in his taxes!). But the rest he thinks were probably unmarried, older teenagers, most of whom had probably already been turned down by other Rabbis for teaching after their basic Torah training (application would be made to Rabbis for discipleship around age 13-16, and once turned down there was rarely a second chance). Andrew and Philip had been accepted as disciples of John the Baptist, so they already had some more advanced teaching. He points out that Judas most likely turned 20 during the 3-year ministry because he was held responsible for his sin. 

One of Mr. Wallace’s thoughts on John being the youngest is that he was partnered with Peter, the probable oldest, when being sent out 2-by-2 into the world. He feels that, as the youngest, John would have needed the guidance of the older Apostle.  Another clue is that John lived until about 98 A.D. during a time when men just didn’t live to be 98 years old. It’s far more likely that he would have been thought very old at 70, so living until he was somewhere between 73 and 80 would have looked ancient to his followers.

My point here is that, unless tradition and logic have failed us, John would not have been old enough to be serving in the Temple as a priest, and so would not have a detailed knowledge of the minutiae of the services performed there. And again, if he were working in the Temple, he would not be a fisherman.

My last point is that the book was taken down by John, but it was from God through Christ, who was a high priest in every sense. As we’ve seen, there are some in the Church who don’t believe in miracles or supernatural events, and perhaps Mr. Chilton and Mr. Edersheim are two of these, deciding that it’s easier to twist the words and traditions than to believe in a supernatural origin for Revelation.

We continue on with the quote:

“In this connection Edersheim brings up a point that is more important for our interpretation than the issue of Revelation’s human authorship (for ultimately, see 1:1, it is Jesus Christ’s Revelation). St. John’s intimate acquaintance with the minute details of Temple worship suggests that ‘the Book of Revelation and the Fourth Gospel must have been written before the Temple services had actually ceased.’ Although some scholars have uncritically accepted the statement of Irenaeus (A.D. 120-202) that the prophecy appeared ‘toward the end of Domitian’s reign’ (i.e., around A.D. 96), there is considerable room for doubt about his precise meaning (he may have meant that the Apostle John himself ‘was seen’ by others). The language of St. Irenaeus is somewhat ambiguous; and, regardless of what he was talking about, he could have been mistaken (St. Irenaeus, incidentally, is the only source for this late dating of Revelation; all other ‘sources’ are simply quoting from him). “

Argh. After admitting that Jesus Christ is the ultimate author of Revelation, he continues to build on the assumption that John was a Priest. So he uses this assumption to leap to a second assumption, that the Gospel and Revelation must have been written before 70 A.D. (notice we are also now assuming that the fourth Gospel has to do with Temple worship). And once he’s assumed these things, then he can assume that Irenaeus was just “ambiguous”, or worse, “mistaken”; also that all other Early Church Fathers only cribbed their information from Irenaeus (notice the quotation marks around the word sources, as if the other Early Church Fathers were not worthy of being called sources. And, was he there to actually know that they just copied Irenaeus?)  I suspect that his careful use of the title “St.” is to gloss over the fact that he is showing massive disrespect for the Early Church Fathers.

Let’s keep going:

“It is thus rather disingenuous for commentators to claim, as Swete does, that “Early Christian tradition is almost unanimous in assigning the Apocalypse to the last years of Domitian. Certainly, there are other early writers whose statements indicate that St. John wrote the Revelation much earlier, under Nero’s persecution.“

This also bothers me. He says that “Certainly, there are other early writers whose statements indicate that St. John wrote the Revelation much earlier”, but he doesn’t tell us who they are or quote them. I have not run into any writers earlier than Irenaeus who say that….not earlier than, maybe, the third century.

Let’s go on:

“A good deal of the modern presumption in favor of a Domitianic date is based on the belief that a great, sustained period of persecution and slaughter of Christians was carried on under his rule. This belief, as cherished as it is, does not seem to be based on any hard evidence at all. While there is no doubt that Domitian was a cruel and wicked tyrant (I come to bury a myth about Caesar, not to praise him), until the fifth century there is no mention in any historian of a supposedly widespread persecution of Christians by his government. It is true that he did temporarily banish some Christians; but these were eventually recalled. Robinson remarks: ‘When this limited and selective purge, in which no Christian was for certain put to death, is compared with the massacre of Christians under Nero in what two early and entirely independent witnesses speak of as ‘immense multitudes,’ it is astonishing that commentators should have been led by Irenaeus, who himself does not even mention a persecution, to prefer a Domitianic context for the book of Revelation.’”

My first point is that Mr. Chilton does agree that Domitian was known for banishing people, including Christians. It really isn’t relevant if he was killing Christians or not. John was not killed by Domitian, he was actually banished. Mr. Chilton says that eventually the banished were recalled…but the only way that changes things is if he recalled them all at once and left no one in banishment at his death. I seriously doubt that. I don’t know how long John was on Patmos, but it couldn’t have been years and years, because as an elderly man he would not have survived it that long. And the evidence is clear that he did, indeed, survive it. So, to say that it couldn’t have been Domitian because he wasn’t recalled is ludicrous. (More than that, I’ve seen it written that it was actually Nerva, the emperor after Domitian, that recalled the people Domitian had banished…which how it reportedly happened for John.) It is also ludicrous to suggest that because Nero was known to have killed Christians in Rome that he must have banished a Christian from Asia Minor. There is no evidence that Nero did anything to the provincial Christians, only the Christians in Rome.

Now, if it’s imperative that we fight the battle of whether Domitian was or was not a persecutor of Christian, I will pass that off to a very able paper entitled DID DOMITIAN PERSECUTE CHRISTIANS? AN INVESTIGATION, authored alternately by Arthur M. Ogden (against) and Ferrell Jenkins (for). And, I will just add, Mr. Ogden like Mr. Chilton, had to deny the testimony of the Early Church Fathers in order to make his points. See the Online Sources page for a link to this paper.

Let’s continue to see how far this goes:

“Our safest course, therefore, must be to study the Revelation itself to see what internal evidence it presents regarding its date. As we will see throughout the commentary, the Book of Revelation is primarily a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. This fact alone places St. John’s authorship somewhere before September of A.D. 70. Further, as we shall see, St. John speaks of Nero Caesar as still on the throne — and Nero died in June 68.”

Here is another assumption based on an assumption. He wants us to believe that Revelation is primarily about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., yet he has not proved that yet. He is postulating this point of view. Do Dispensationalists talk about their interpretation of Revelation as if it’s fact rather than a postulation? Yes, they do. But they don’t base further assumptions on their postulation.

And then there is the statement: “as we shall see, St. John speaks of Nero Caesar as still on the throne”.  There is no where in the Bible where the name of Nero is used! So, he is either speaking of another postulation that he wants us to take as fact, or perhaps an extra-biblical source that would be of sketchy origin/authorship. Either way, this is a very deceptive statement!

And he continues:

“More important than any of this, however, we have a priori teaching from Scripture itself that all special revelation ended by A.D. 70. The angel Gabriel told Daniel that the ‘seventy weeks’ were to end with the destruction of Jerusalem (Dan. 9:24-27); and that period would also serve to ‘seal up the vision and prophecy’ (Dan. 9:24). In other words, special revelation would stop — be ‘sealed up’– by the time Jerusalem was destroyed. The Canon of Holy Scripture was entirely completed before Jerusalem fell.”

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish [Strong’s #2856] the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up [#2856]the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (Daniel 9:24; KJV)

“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place. (Daniel 9:24; NIV)

“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the wrongdoing, to make an end of sin, and to make atonement for guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy Place. (Daniel 9:24; NASB)

“seventy weeks are decreed as to your people and as to your holy city, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins, and to atone for iniquity, and to bring in righteousness everlasting, and to seal up (the) vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy. (Daniel 9:24; Green’s Interlinear Bible)

Let’s look at the word “vision” (#2377). It means “a sight (mentally), i.e. a dream, revelation or oracle…The primary essence of this word is not so much the vision or dream itself as the message conveyed.  It signifies the direct, specific communication between God and people through the prophetic office…Also, the word is used of the messages of false prophetic office…a guiding communication from the Lord, often restricted when a people are under judgment…and the revelation of future events on a grand scale…” (From Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, emphasis added).

Notice that the KJV translates it as “the vision”, and that the Interlinear Bible assumes “the”(and I got this from their translation that puts it into understandable English rather than just word by word). The newer Bibles say “vision” only. The difference is: if it’s “the vision”, then it is probably, grammatically, talking about Daniels vision; if it’s “vision”, then it does read as if it could mean all vision and prophecy.

But also look at the statement: “The primary essence of this word is not so much the vision or dream itself as the message conveyed” from the definition. To me at least, this implies that the “vision” alluded to in the Daniel quote was specific and not general.

Looking at other translations of the line, we find the New Living Translation that has it as: to confirm the prophetic vision, and to anoint the Most Holy Place, which is very interesting. The Aramaic Bible in Plain English translate it this way: to finish the vision and the Prophets, and to the Messiah, The Holy of Holies, also interesting. Then there’s the Contemporary English Version: the visions and words of the prophets will come true, another interesting take. An oldie but goodie, the Douay-Rheims Bible reads: and vision and prophecy may be fulfilled, and the saint of saints may be anointed. The Good News Translation says: so that the vision and the prophecy will come true and the holy Temple will be rededicated. The New American Bible has it: vision and prophecy ratified, and a holy of holies will be anointed. You get the picture. The word, Strong’s #2856, translated “to seal up” is the same word translated as “to finish” in the same sentence (and it has both meanings), and it can also have the connotation of fulfillment or completion. Thus we see the different ways of translating that sentence that are exemplified in the above translations.

So, is Mr. Chilton correct is his interpretation? If he’s only reading it in English, and not looking deeper into the Hebrew, then he definitely could read it that way. But why would he do that, unless he was only looking to prove his point, rather than looking to understand what was actually being said?  

As for the rest of the Daniel quote (9:25-27), I’m thinking about doing a separate post to delve into that. It’s complex to read, but I’ve found a great Jews for Jesus website that lays it all out pretty clearly. It is important to understand these passages when looking at Revelation, so it would be worth a separate post.

More from Mr. Chilton:

“The death, resurrection and ascension of Christ marked the end of the Old Covenant and the beginning of the New; the apostles were commissioned to deliver Christ’s message in the form of the New Testament; and when they were finished, God sent the Edomites and the Roman armies to destroy utterly the last remaining symbols of the Old Covenant: the Temple and the Holy City. This fact alone is sufficient to establish the writing of the Revelation as taking place before A.D. 70.[Notice that this is the exact same sentence as he used earlier. Repetition makes it true!] The book itself gives abundant testimony regarding its date; but, even more, the nature of the New Testament as God’s Final Word tells us this. Christ’s death at the hands of the apostate children of Israel sealed their fate: The Kingdom would be taken from them (Matt. 21:33-43). While wrath built up ‘to the utmost’ (l Thess. 2:16), God stayed His hand of judgment until the writing of the New Covenant document was accomplished. With that done, He dramatically terminated the kingdom of Israel, wiping out the persecuting generation (Matt. 23:34-36; 24:34; Luke 11:49-50). Jerusalem’s destruction was the last blast of the trumpet, signaling that the ‘mystery of God’ was finished (Rev. 10:7). There would be no further canonical writings once Israel was gone.”

Jesus saith unto them, “Did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Matthew 21:42-44; KJV)

Jesus did say in Matthew that the Kingdom would be taken from ‘you’, but context is everything. He was speaking to the Pharisees and Sadducees, not to the Jews in general. The word used as “nation” can be taken several different ways, but I’ve seen it said, and I agree, that He was referring to the Gentiles when He said this, and the Pharisees and Sadducees knew He was. This was before He entered Jerusalem and before He died. He was in the process of goading the Pharisees and Sadducees into wanting to kill Him. He says progressively more nasty and obvious things in the following chapters. If Jesus was going willingly to His death, to the point of inciting those who had the power to kill Him, why would God abandon the Jews in general?  I can agree that the destruction of the Temple and the city were judgment, as well as the dispersement, and that it was God’s wrath for the killing of Jesus, as well as all the past prophets: but that had never meant total abandonment of His people when they had received His wrath in the past. 

I also look to the last statement: “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” To me, this says that the unbelieving Jews are falling on this stone, and will be broken. But that the stone will fall upon the Pharisees and Sadducees, and they will be ground to powder. This makes sense to me as the Jews were definitely broken by being scattered for about 1900 years, as well as being hounded and persecuted. But also, with the Temple gone, and the city gone, the Pharisees and Sadducees no longer had their base of power, and would no longer be able to pervert the people. To whom much is given, much will be expected.

One more point: As to the Matthew reference for “wiping out the persecuting generation”, this cannot be exactly correct. Jesus tells the Pharisees and Sadducees that they would have been killing the earlier prophets had they been alive in that time, so they would be punished for all the deaths of the previous prophets. They were not the “only persecuting generation” as Jesus acknowledges, but many of them died at the hands of the Romans as Jesus predicted.

Mr. Chilton has one last major theme:

“…Unless we see the Book of Revelation as a Covenant document— i.e., if we insist on reading it primarily as either a prediction of twentieth-century nuclear weapons or a polemic against first-century Rome — its continuity with the rest of the Bible will be lost. It becomes an eschatological appendix, a view of ‘last things’ that ultimately has little to do with the message, purpose, and concerns of the Bible. Once we understand Revelation’s character as a Covenant Lawsuit, however, it ceases to be a ‘strange,’ ‘weird’ book; it is no longer incomprehensible, or decipherable only with the complete New York Times Index. In its major themes at least, it becomes as accessible to us as Isaiah and Amos. The Book of Revelation must be seen from the outset in its character as Biblical revelation. The grasp of this single point can mean a ‘quantum leap’ for interpretation; for, as Geerhardus Vos made clear in his pathbreaking studies of Biblical Theology, ‘revelation is connected throughout with the fate of Israel.’”

Basically my way or the highway….my interpretation or it means nothing… 

I will be interested to see how he deals with the verse-by-verse, because here he said: “it is no longer incomprehensible…In its major themes at least…”, suggesting that the major themes may be all we can get, but also implying that it doesn’t really matter. In the view of this author, things are getting better and better, and we will be, basically, rewarded with the return of Christ, rather than saved by Him.

Mr. Chilton’s main point is that Revelation is a “Covenant Lawsuit” as laid out by Meredith Kline. I will try to put some quotes together to give a basic outline of this concept:

“God’s relationship with Israel was always defined in terms of the Covenant…This Covenant was a legal arrangement, a binding ‘contract’ imposed on Israel by her King, stipulating mutual obligations and promises…the structure of the Biblical Covenant bears striking similarities to the established form for peace treaties in the ancient Near East. This is how it worked: After a war, the victorious king would make a covenant with his defeated foe, making certain promises and guaranteeing protection on condition that the vassal-king and all under his authority would obey their new lord. Both lord and vassal would swear an oath, and they would thenceforth be united in covenant…the standard treaty-form in the ancient world was structured in five parts, all of which appear in the Biblical covenants: 

1. Preamble (identifying the lordship of the Great King, stressing both his transcendence {greatness and power} and his immanence {nearness and presence}); 

2. Historical Prologue (surveying the lord’s previous relationship to the vassal, especially emphasizing the blessings bestowed); 

3. Ethical Stipulations (expounding the vassal’s obligations, his ‘guide to citizenship’ in the covenant); 

4. Sanctions (outlining the blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience); 

5. Succession Arrangements (dealing with the continuity of the covenant relationship over future generations).

“…If a vassal kingdom violated the terms of the covenant, the lord would send messengers to the vassal, warning the offenders of coming judgment, in which the curse-sanctions of the covenant would be enforced. This turns out to be the function of the Biblical prophets…They were prosecuting attorneys, bringing God’s message of Covenant Lawsuit to the offending nations of Israel and Judah. And the structure of the lawsuit was always patterned after the original structure of the covenant. Inother words, just as the Biblical covenants themselves follow the standard five-part treaty structure, the Biblical prophecies follow the treaty form as well…

“Like many other Biblical prophecies, the Book of Revelation is a prophecy of Covenant wrath against apostate Israel, which irrevocably turned away from the Covenant in her rejection of Christ. And, like many other Biblical prophecies, the Book of Revelation is written in the form of the Covenant Lawsuit, with five parts, conforming to the treaty structure of the Covenant… 

“In order to grasp the five-part structure of Revelation, we must first consider how St. John’s prophecy is related to the message of Leviticus 26. Like Deuteronomy 28, Leviticus 26 sets forth the sanctions of the Covenant: If Israel obeys God, she will be blessed in every area of life (Lev. 26:1-13; Deut. 28:1-14); if she disobeys, however, she will be visited with the Curse, spelled out in horrifying detail (Lev. 26:14-39; Deut. 28:15-68). (These curses were most fully poured out in the progressive desolation of Israel during the Last Days, culminating in the Great Tribulation of A.D. 67-70, as punishment for her apostasy and rejection of her True Husband, the Lord Jesus Christ.) One of the striking features of the Leviticus passage is that the curses are arranged in a special pattern: Four times in this chapter God says, “I will punish you seven times for your sins” (Lev. 26:18, 21, 24, 28). The number seven, as we will see abundantly throughout Revelation, is a Biblical number for completeness or fullness (taken from the seven-day pattern laid down at the creation in Genesis 1). The number four is used in Scripture in connection with the earth, especially the Land of Israel…So by speaking of four seven-fold judgments in Leviticus 26, God is saying that a full, complete judgment will come upon the Land of Israel for its sins…

“The imagery of a sevenfold judgment coming four times is most fully developed in the Book of Revelation, which is explicitly divided into four sets of seven: the Letters to the Seven Churches, the opening of the Seven Seals, the sounding of the Seven Trumpets, and the outpouring of the Seven Chalices. In thus following the formal structure of the covenantal curse in Leviticus, St. John underscores the nature of his prophecy as a declaration of covenant wrath against Jerusalem…The Seven Letters survey the history of the covenant; the Seven Seals have to do with the specific stipulations set forth in the corresponding section of the covenantal treaty; the Seven Trumpets invoke the covenant sanctions; and the angels of the Seven Chalices are involved in both the disinheritance of Israel and the Church’s succession in the New Covenant.”

 I think that he and Meredith Kline have had to really twist Revelation to get it to fit this idea, starting with the Seven Letters to the Churches in Asia Minor as a “survey” of “the history of the covenant”: in other words, the seven letters were actually about Israel. I’m really not sure how he is going to do any kind of verse-by-verse that will work for this, but if he does then I will include it and we will see if and how he can make it fit.

I had planned to do at least one more author today, but trying to give David Chilton’s ideas a fair look took up too much space. So, next time I think we’ll look at Daniel 9, and then after that we’ll start with John F. Walvoord and Charles C. Ryrie, two Dispensationalists, and hopefully have time for Kenneth L. Gentry, another preterist. If I can finish up with Mr. Gentry, then we will have completed the 20th century.  Be safe until then.

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