(b) The Chronology Of The Scroll Of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is chronological. Rev.1 introduces Christ the risen Saviour walking in the midst of the seven candlesticks. The candlesticks are the seven local assemblies of believers in Asia Minor which is in modern day Turkey.They are representative of all local assemblies at every place at all times throughout the Church Age. Rev.2,3 contain the letters to the seven churches. Pretribulationists contend that the rapture occurs in Rev.4:1 because after Rev.3:22, the word Church is no longer used. How can anyone conjure up the rapture in Rev.4:1 when our brother Apostle John the revelator was invited into the Throne Room Of The Temple Of God In Heaven to be shown certain things to come? Some Pretribs teach that the sea of glass in Rev.4:6 represents the raptured saints. Some are of the view that Rev.5:6-10 indicate the raptured saints in heaven. This is what Pretribs are noted for. They impose their opinions on some Scripture passages without textual evidence. Biblical scholars call this eisegesis; importing meaning into some verses or passages of scriptures without textual evidence.
Admittedly, Rev.4,5 reveal activities in the Throne Room In the Temple Of God in Heaven. In Rev.4 God is seated on His Throne. Before Him are four living creatures(KJV: Beasts), and twenty and four elders. These four living creature are angels. Assuming the twenty-four elders are human, how do they represent the raptured saints? Whatever happened to the OT saints that rose with Jesus(Matt.27:52,53)? What Rev.5:6-10 described is a scenerio where John wept because there was no one worthy both in Heaven and on Earth to break the seven seals of the seven-sealed Scroll and to open the Scroll. He was consoled by one of the elders: that Jesus, the lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed to break the seven seals of the seven-sealed Scroll and to open it. This scroll is the Title Deed Of The Earth. Or is it a Certificate Of Debenture as proposed by J. Webb Miller? Jesus as the heir apparent to the throne of the earthly domain of God’s Universal Kingdom is the only one who has the authority to break the seals because God the Father has committed all judgment to Him. Where are the raptured saints mentioned in these verses of the Holy Writ? None. So, this view of Rev.5 is an imposition on this passage of Scripture which contradicts textual evidence. Pretribs do this very often to generate unnecessary controversy and wrangling.
Chronologically, Rev.1-5 form the background to the Scroll. It is assumed here that the theme of the Scroll Of Revelation is Events in the 70th week of Daniel. (Those scholars who view the wrath of God as the Theme Of The Scroll Of Revelation May extend the background of the Scroll Of Revelation to chapter 7, because the wrath of begins in chapter 8 at the breaking of the seventh seal). In Rev.6, the 70th week begins. Christ breaks a seal in heaven and certain events unfold here on Earth. Seal one is emergence of false christs(1-2), and the ultimate false christ, the antiChrist. Seal 2 represents wars, commotions, threats sand rumors of wars(3-4). Seal 3 is famine, pestilence and earthquakes(5-6). This brings the first three and one-half years, the first half of the 70th week to a close. There is as yet no targeted persecution of believers though some believers will die from wars, famines, pestilences, and natural disasters like earthquakes, and the usual hatred and persecution of believers by nonchristians especially in Muslim and Hindu nations and atheistic North Korea and communist China.
At the midpoint of the 70th week, seal 4 is broken, and the Great Tribulation begins(7-8). Seal 5 depicts martyrs under the altar in the Holy place in heaven(9-11). They were killed on Earth during the Great Tribulation which is seal 4. Seal 6 is cosmic and celestial disturbances which terminate the Great Tribulation(12-14). When this happens, the unrighteousness wicked know that God is about to punish them for their evils. Seal 6 is prelude to the end of the ages. It is the sign of the end of the ages. They run to hide under the rocks and mountains(Rev.6:15-17). The wrath of God is about to begin. But before it begins, the 144,000 must be sealed for protection and the saints raptured to take them away from the scene of God’s wrath.
In Rev.7:1-8, the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed for protection. This is like the handing over of a baton in a relay race. God will not leave Himself without a witness. The Church is raptured, and the 144,000 become God’s witnesses on Earth. They are not evangelists as Pretribs urge us to believe. They are not even born again believers in Jesus the Messiah. They believe in the Messiah, but they do not that the Messiah is Jesus of the Christians. They are sealed to protect them during the Day Of the Lord’s wrath. One may ask, what about the two witnesses? Their ministry will soon expire at the end of the 70th week. Rev.7:9-17, the Church is raptured. The innumerable multitude are the raptured saints in heaven. In Rev.8:1, seal 7 is broken and the wrath of God in the Day Of Lord commences. Seal 7 when broken opens into the seven trumpets which contain the first series of the wrath of God. Rev.8 & 9 depict the blowing of the first six trumpets which bring the 70th week to a close.
What some teachers and commentators fail to understand is that the Scroll of Revelation even though chronological, contains parentheses, flashbacks and recapitulation, and periscopes. After Rev.9, John pauses the narrative to introduce the major dramatis personae. Rev. 10-14 do not necessarily advance the chronology. In Rev.10, Christ the chief protagonist is depicted as a strong or mighty angel with the Small scroll. The Small Scroll is the Big Scroll in Rev.5 with the seven seals broken, and some of the internal contents dispensed with in the blowing of the first six trumpets. Christ is the only one qualified to handle the Big Scroll. So He also is the only one qualified to handle the Small Scroll. In Rev.11, Christ’s chief servants, the two witnesses are introduced. This is a flashback and periscope to the midpoint of the 70th week. Their ministry begins at the Gentile takeover of the Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem at the midpoint of the 70th week, and is concurrent with the time allotted to the antiChrist to reign which is the second half of the 70th week, three and one-half years, 42 months or 1,260 days according to Jewish calendar which is lunar. Their ministry parallels seals 4-6 and the first six trumpets of seal seven. They are killed by the antiChrist on the last day of the 70th week and raised by Christ on day 4 of the 30-day Reclamation period of the Kingdom(Dan.12:12,13).
Rev.12 begins with a historical flashback to 4-6 BC when Christ was born. Verse 7 through to verse 9 speak of the cosmic war in the heavenlies which occurs at the midpoint of the 70th week when Satan is cast down to the Earth. Until Satan is cast down to the Earth, he does not posssess the antiChrist. Until Satan possesses the antiChrist, he(the aC) does not declare himself God. When Satan possesses the antiChrist, he declares Himself God, demands worship of mortals, and the Great Tribulation begins. Rev.13 is also parenthetic. It is a recapitulation of the carrier of the antiChrist and the false prophet that began at the midpoint of the 70th week. It is a recap of the events in seals 4-6. In Rev.14 Christ rescues the 144,000 Jews from the Edomite wilderness and brings them to the top of physical and earthly Mount Zion. There, the remnant of Israel who survived the 70th week are reconciled to God on day 3 of the 30-day reclamation period of the kingdom.
Rev.15 is prelude to the Final Seven Bowl judgments which cover Rev.16-20, culminating in bowl 7 which is Armageddon( Rev.19) and the incarceration of Satan in the Bottomless pit(Rev.20).
Rev.21,22 describe the New Heavens And New Earth which is the Millennial reign of Christ, the Rulership Of The Kingdom introduced in Rev.20:1-7. So, Rev.21 & 22 are a periscope on Rev.20:1-7 which is the Millennium.
So, we see that the scroll of Revelation though chronological has historical flashbacks and recapitulations, parentheses, and periscopes. Chronologically, it ends with the White Throne Judgment(Rev.20:11-15).
That Judaism will be the only voice against one world religion is false. It was based on Traditional Dispensationalism which teaches that the Church must be absent in the 70th week. Most pretribs are Traditional Dispensationalists because Pretribulationism props up Traditional Dispensationalism.
(c) Response To Dr. Amoran Who Denies Any Parenthesis In The Scroll Of Revelation, And Accuses Me Of Eisegesis
It is unfortunate that you do not see the pause in the narrative in the Scroll of Revelation after chapter 9. Chapters 10-14 deal with characters involved in the end time drama none of whom apart from our Lord Jesus the Christ who was introduced chapter 1, the believers in Rev.2&3, and the 144,000 in chapter 7, have been mentioned so far. These characters are Jesus the Mighty angel in chapter 10, the two witnesses in chapter 11, Satan and archangel Michael, the children of Israel and the believers in chapter 12, the antiChrist and the false prophet, the first and second beast in chapter 13, and the 144,000 in chapter 14. Bear in mind that the End Time narrative begins in Rev.6 at the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel. When an author pauses the narrative to discusses characters involved in a literary work, is that an advancement in the chronology(time)? I leave you to answer that question for yourself.
As per eisegesis, my analyses are based on textual evidence. It is proper however to bring in parallel passages as corroborative evidence. Scripture interprets Scripture is one of the five cardinal principles of biblical hermeneutics. When we look at Rev.12:1-2, we cannot but reference Joseph’s dream in Gen.37 where the Sun and Moon, and the 11 Stars did obeisance to him. When we neglect this passage, we get into the pitfall of those who say the mystical woman in Rev.12:1 is the Church. Did the Church give birth to Christ? When we look at Rev.12:3, we cannot but reference Isaiah 14 where Satan rebelled against God in eternity past. That is the origin of fallen angels. When we interpret Rev.12:4,5, we cannot but reference Matt.2 where Satan attempted through his proxy, Herod the great to destroy the infant Jesus. When we interpret Rev.12:6, we cannot but reference Rev.6:7,8, the breaking of the 4th seal when Satan through his minion the antiChrist attempted to destroy the woman and her seed who keep the commandment of God(observant Jews), and those who have the testimony of Jesus(believers). When we interpret the Great Red Dragon with seven heads and ten horns, we cannot but reference Daniel 2 & 7, the seven Beast Empires of history through which Satan persecuted Israel. But, by your view, and eisegetical interpretions, you have expurgated those who have the testimony of Jesus from the End Time scenario, leaving only the Jews as God’s only witnesses in the 70th week of Daniel, a view that is a defense of Pretribulational dispensationalism. Do take a verse or passage of the Scriptures I have exegeted, show me where I imported an extraneous fact(s) into it.