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Official Statement On The Holy Scriptures;

The ‘Lens’ Through Which All Knowledge Is Understood;

THE WORD of GOD, AXIOM-1:

"IF" there exists any such thing as 'The Word of God'; [and much evidence proves such does exist:]

"THEN" by inherent definition - it must be: Holy, Inspired, Inerrant, Intrepid, Infallible, Infinitive, Invincible, Indestructible, Inexhaustible, Inalienable, Immutable, Implacable, Impossible-to-Improve: Eternal and Indubitable NEVER FAILING and ALL CONQUERING!

DEDUCTING from the simple fact - that God equates His Word with Himself:
    "In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, . . ." John 1:1 (and other Scriptures),

'GOD'S WORD' can have no lesser standard than stated above;

"GOD'S WORD MUST" THEREFORE BE: As true in history, archeology, geography, Earth science, medical science, nutrition, gerontology, agriculture, botany, astronomy, physics, chemistry, climatology, government, law, psychology, sociology - and every subject it touches - as in Theology, Divinity and Doctrine:

And "IF IT BE NOT"- true in all subjects mentioned above; and And "IF IT BE NOT" Holy, Inspired, Inerrant, Intrepid, Infallible, Infinitive, Invincible, Indestructible, Inexhaustible, Inalienable, Immutable, Implacable, Impossible-to-Improve: Eternal and Indubitable in EVERY FIELD OF KNOWLEDGE: Whatever else it may be, it cannot be ‘The Incomparable Word’ of the Great Creator God!

 KING of GLORY DIVIDER


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Presents:

END-TIME PROPHECY!

Modern Myths About END TIMES!

What are the FALSE MYTHS Many Christians Believe!

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END-TIME PROPHECY!

INTRO to the APOCALYPSE:

The REVELATION: When Was It Written?

Most modern Scholars assume AD 95-96; but ALL evidence requires it to have been written some years BEFORE the Destruction of Jerusalem: PRE AD-70

INTRODUCTION TO REVELATION:

When was it Written: AD 95, or AD 60?


DATE OF WRITING:

The very earliest Christians of the first century, never mentioned any date for the writing of the Revelation. The book was simply there - among the others - and it didn't matter when it was written.

Just like we believers today: it doesn't really matter when Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were written - which was first - what language written in, and who among them may have used another written earlier.

ALL are inspired of God, and therefore Inerrant and Infallible. Knowing who wrote, in what language, and when - may help a little in understanding, but is not a major issue.

Likewise with all the writings of Paul and the general Epistles.

The Revelation, however, is VERY DIFFERENT! It matters greatly when it was written because of the date GREATLY effects how it is interpreted.


The Revelation: Schools of Understanding

There are Four [4] Main Schools of Interpretation for the Revelation:

> Revelation Interpretation #1: Revelation was all about Israel, the Temple, Judaism, and removing the oversight of the Kingdom of God from them and giving it to another nation:

The ancient church assigned the date of writing the book ofRevelation, near the end of the reign of Domitian, the Emperor ofRome. In our study of evidence of the authorship of the apocalypse as presented by Irenaeus, we found he said that John:

    >> “beheld the apocalyptic vision.

    >> For that was seen not very long since,

    >> but almost in our day, toward the end of Domitian’s reign.”

This was in A, D. 96.

With this plain statement agree all the church fathers who speakof the subject, for the first three centuries [BECASUE they were all quoting the same singular source: Irenaeus, who ALSO TAUGHT that Jesus was 50 years old when crucified!

Beginning with the positive and definite statement of Irenaeus there is an unbroken agreement for nearly four centuries that the date of the writing of the book of Revelation belongs to the persecution of the reign of Domitian, some writers placing the exile in the fourteenth year of his reign, which extended from A. D. 81 to A. D. 96.

Clement of Rome

There is no book from an uninspired pen so highly prized by theearly church as the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. Onlythree manuscripts of this Epistle are now extant. One of these, long believed to be the only one, is attached to the AlexandrianManuscript of the New Testament, as if it were a part of thesacred volume.

One was discovered in Constantinople in 1875.

The third in Syriac Manuscript of the New Testament immediatelyfollowing the catholic epistles viz. James, first and second Peter, first, second and third John and Jude.

“In 1875 critics and students were startled by the appearance ofa careful and complete edition published in Constantinople from amanuscript discovered in the “library of the Holy Sepulchre”, inthat city. Its editor is Philotheos Bryennios, Metropolitan of Serrae.

Scarcely was this discovery realized when a Syrian Manuscript ofthe “TWO Epistles was also found in 1876 in Paris.”-Charteris,Canonicity Int. VIII, IX.

The epistle does not bear the name of Clement, but is written inthe name of “the church of God which sojourns at Rome, to theChurch of God sojourning at Corinth.”

While Clement’s name is not attached to the Epistle, Eusebiusaccredited it to him. “Of this Clement there is one epistle extant, acknowledged as genuine, of considerable length and of great merit, which he wrote in the name of the Church at Rome to that at Corinth, at the time when there was a discension in the latter.

This we know to have been publically read for the common benefitin most of the churches, both in former times and in our own;and that at the time mentioned an edition did take place at Corinth, is abundantly attested by Hegesippus.”

- Eusebius Eccles. Hist. 11 1,

Significance of Clement:

The epistle was written, according to the opening statement ofthis epistle by Clement, after some “sudden and calamitous events” had just happened at Corinth.

Clement was old enough in the year 93 to be appointed bishop ofa large church like Rome and thus it would seem he lived throughall the period of the apostolic writings.

The earliest of the New Testament books was I Thessalonians, which was written A. D. 52, just 41 years before Clements appointment to office.

He had knowledge, then, of what writings had come from the pens of the apostles up to the date of his own epistle, seeing that his epistle was written before the death of John.

While he quotes from Matthew, Mark, Luke, Romans, Ephesians, Titus, Hebrews I and I1 Peter, he quotes nothing fromJohn, for none of Johns’ writings had gone into circulation, andperhaps none of them had been written at the date of Clement’sepistle.

Circumstantially, this puts the date of the composition of Revelation close to the close of the first century. However, note there are MANY books Clement did not quote - from James to Timothy; from Acts to Galatians, etc.

INTERNAL EVIDENCEThe evidence necessary to confirm a document may be eitherexternal or internal.

    >> External evidence is that derived from other sources than the book itself, which has been the nature of the evidence we have already presented.

    >> Internal evidence is that found in the contents of the book itself.

The proper method of procedure in this discussion is to first assum e that the Book of Revelation is genuine, and then search its pages for evidence and reach our decision after this internal evidence is considered in connection with the external, We will consider only a few brief items.

First: An ecclesiastical organization reveals itself in the sevenchurches of the apocalypse which did not reveal itself until thevery end of the first and the beginning of the second century.

    NewtonStein Note: INCORRECT: The Church organization numbered its roll, held meetings, voted, ordained a replacement for Judas, elected deacons, fed widows on the church dole and sought to stop bias between Greek and Jewish Christians . . . all in the beginning of acts! (Acts 1-6)

    ***[IS YOUR church this organized yet? . . . How many widows are you supporting, and how many employees do you have overseeing this ministry. . . CASE CLOSED!]


Each church had an angel or man of the church through which the church is addressed. There is no evidence of an individual enjoying such a distinction before the last part of the first century,

    NewtonStein Note: INCORRECT: Ridiculous! As if YOUR Church today has its OWN ANGEL to whom the Church is addressed??? Ours doesn't . . .!]

Second: The expression ‘(The Lord’s Day’’ does not occur in theearlier apostolic writings. Rather, they always use the expression, “The first day of the week.” (I Cor. 16:2) (Acts 20:7) But the writers of the second century, even from its beginning use the phrase, “The Lord’s Day.” This term then points to a period near the beginning of thesecond century.

    NewtonStein Note: INCORRECT: Jews in Israel used the Hebrew notation of Seventh and first days of the week, the Mission fields NEVER used anything except the Lord's Day!

Third: The expressions in Rev. 2:9 and 3:9 indicate a completeseparation between the church and the synagogue. Such a separation did not finally take place until the time of the destruction of Jerusalem’s down fall and the close of the first century.

    NewtonStein Note: PURE NONSENSE! The above serves show the interconnectedness between Christians and synagogue, and this remained until the fifth century as Augustine spoke of their intertwining.

Fourth: On the other hand, there is no internal evidence withinthe apocalypse against, either the genuineness of the book or thetime of its writing at the end of the second century.

    NewtonStein Note: INCORRECT:

    [1] Rev 1:7 declares that Christ will come in JUDGEMENT and "every eye shall see him, they also which pierced him."

      >> If those who pierce him were age 30-40 at the youngest - as capital punishment is NOT given to "children" and even Jesus and John the Baptist could not start public ministry until age 30

      >> that would make them 70-80 in AD-70 when Christ's prophesied judgement was fulfilled;

      >> There is no other even it could be.

      >> IF the book hadn't been written until AD-95, these people would have been 125 years of age . . . and there was NO GREAT JUDGEMENT EVENT like AD-70!

    [2] The Temple is still standing in, as it is measured in Chapter 11. Since it was destroyed in AD-70, the Revelation had to have been given BEFORE AD-70.

    [3] The first 12 Chapters are ALL about Israel, and Israel is No longer a nation after AD-70:

      >> Jews are troubling the Churches in Chapters 2-3;

      >> (Chapters 4-5 are in Heaven picturing God and Christ being worshipped, and Chapter 6 opens the seals, showing horsemen coming forth with War, Famine, Disease, and Death)

      >> Chapter 7 is about the 144,000 Jews Sealed by the Spirit of God;

      >> Chapter 11 is about the Temple of God is Measured for judgement;

    [4] The "outer court" belonging to the Gentiles, which is NOT to be judged: just the Jewish exclusive area of the Temple. Chapter 11:2. This was NOT possible after AD-70;

    [5] The "great city, wherein our Lord was crucified" is filled with dead bodies - from the famine, besieging, and war, etc. Rev 11:8.

    [6] Chapter 12 seems to be about the end of Israel after Christ's ascension, as Israel fades into oblivion into the wilderness of history.

    [7] Israel fleeing to the wilderness seems to be their flight to Masada (websearch it) Post AD-71, after which they were a nation no more.

    [8] John was told that after the first half of his vision applied to Israel, that he was given another Scroll to read, and that he - personally - must prophesy AGAIN, before many peoples, nations, tongues and kings.

      >> John was said to be about the age of the calendar years, age 50 in AD 50, age 90 in AD-90, etc. John was said to be very elderly and feeble at Ephesus in AD-85-95;

    >> If John were not given this Revelation and mandate until AD-95-96, John would have not be able to prophesy to ANY more nations, languages, kings, etc.

[9] Laodicea, the 7th church, was warned to stop the lukewarmness - which Christ said he would vomit-them up otherwise. Laodicea was destroyed by an Earthquake of judgement in AD 63-64, so the Revelation had to be written BEFORE that, else there was no Church in Laodicea to warn!!!

[10] Had The Revelation been written AD-95, as Irenaeus thought (who also said Jesus as age 50 at crucifixion), NONE of the previous events could have possibly occurred!

====

Who Wrote The Revelation?

There is no book of the New Testament to whose authorshipthe testimony of history is more definite, Within the space of a few, years after the death of John, the Apostle, it was being quoted and ascribed to John by writers who either knew him in person or who obtained their information from those who sat at his feet.

Papias

Our first witness is Papias. He was overseer of the church atHierapolis, a city near Laodicea and Colosse. It was the last home and burial place of the Apostle Philip and two of his three daughters.

Eusebius quotes Polycrates, elder in the church at Ephesus,saying, "Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who sleeps in Hierapolis, and his two virgin daughters.”

Another of his daughters, who lived in the Holy Spirit, rests at Ephesus,” Eccles. Hist. 111 C. 31, V. 24.

He was the author of a work of five books entitled, “An Exposition of Oracles of the Lord.” The whole work has perished,except a few quotations from it by early writers, chiefly Eusebius.

Eusebius - the first 'official' Church HIstorian - says that Papias tallred with the daughters of Philip.

    “But we must now show how Papias, coming to them received a wonderful account from the daughters of Philip.”

    [SOURCE: Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 11: 1, 39].


    Irenaeus [Bishop of Lyons, France] says that Papias was a companion of Polycarp and Polycarp a hearer of John.

    “These things are borne witness to in writing by Papias, thehearer of John, and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book, for their are five books compiled by him.”

    [SOURCE: Irenaeus, "Against Heresies" Vol 4, 33].


    Papias conversed with various persons who had been followers ofthe apostle and inquired of them what the apostle taught, He says:

      “But if I meet with one who has been a follower of the elders anywhere, I made it a point to inquire what were the declarations of the elders.

      What was said by Andrew, Peter, or Philip.

      What by Thomas, James, John or Matthew, or any other of the disciples of the Lord;

      for I do not think I derive so much benefit from books as from the living voice of those that are still surviving.”

      [SOURCE: Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 111: 39].


    NOTE Papias had a great preference of the 'Living Voice' to their 'Written Word'.

    Papias, with some uncertainty, was born about A. D. 70 and Eusebius says Papias bore testimony to a number of the New Testament books.


    INTRODUCTION

    Andrew of Caesarea, a Greek writer of the fifth century declares Papias bore testimony to the inspiration of the book of Revelation.

    The words of Andrew are as follows: “With regard to theinspiration of the Book (Revelation) we deem it superfluous toadd another word; for the blessed Gregory, Cyril, and Theologus,and even some of still older date, Papias, Irenaeus, Methodiusand Hippolytus, bore entirely satisfactory testimony to it.”

    - Fragments of Papias VI11 Anti-Nicene Library, Vol. 1.

    Papias, a companion of Polycarp, died February 23, A.D.155. Polycarp declared at his martyrdom that he had served theLord Jesus eighty-six years. The account reads:

    “Then the proconsul urging him and saying, ‘Swear and I will set thee at liberty, reproach Christ; ’ Polycarp declared, ‘Eighty and six years have I served him, and he never did me an injury, how then can I blaspheme my King, and my Savior?’ ”

    -Martyrdom of Polycarp C. IX Anti-Nicene Library, Vol. 1.

    This dates his baptism as early as A. D. 70 the date of the destruction of Jerusalem. After his baptism he lived thirty yearscontemporary with the apostle John.

    And as John spent the later part of his life at Ephesus, only fifty miles from Smyrna, where Polycarp was appointed overseer of the church by the apostles (so declared by Irenaeus) he must have seen and heard John.

    Thus we see that Papias, being a companion of Polycarp, who wasinstructed by the apostle was in a position to know the facts when he declared the book of Revelation was written by inspiration by the Apostle, John.

    Irenaeus

    To Papias may be added Iranaeus born between A. D. 115 andA.D. 125, who tells us he was long a pupil of Polycarp. “ButPolycarp was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed withmany who had seen Christ,

    but was also by apostles in Asia appointed bishop of the church in Smyrna, whom I saw in my early youth, for he tarried a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having taught things which he had learned from the apostles, andwhich the church had handed down, and which alone are true.”-Irenaeus, against Heresies 262, 263.

    Of course, with such opportunities he certainly was not ignorantof what John had written, yet he declares explicitly that John is the author of the book of Revelation. He makes many quotations from the Apocalypse, He also states its approximate date, saying:

      “We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the names of the Anti-Christ; for if it were necessary that his name should be revealed at the present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision, For that was seen not very long since, but almost in our day, toward the end of Domitian’s reign.”

      - Against Heresies Vol. 30,3.


    Justin Martyr

    He was a native of the ancient city of Shechem in Palestine,which was called Flavia Neapolis by the Romans, and is now calledNablus by the Arabs. His name, and that of his father, Priscus, and his grandfather, Bacchius, are Roman, indicating possible Roman lineage.

    The exact date of his birth is unknown, but he wrote about 150 years after Christ. He wrote two apologies, in the first ofwhich he says, “Lest some should, without reason and for the perversion of what we teach, maintain that we say that Christ was born one-hundred and fifty years ago under Cyrenius, and subsequently, in the time of Pontius Pilate, taught what we say He taught;

    and should cry out against us as though all men who were born before him were irresponsible, let us anticipate and solve the difficulty.”-

    First apology C. 46.

    Justin Martyr quotes by name the apocalypse, or the book ofRevelation and cites the name of the author. “There was a certainman with us whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ,who prophesied by a revelation that was made to him that thosewho believed in our Christ should dwell a thousand years inJerusalem and that thereafter the general and in short the eternal revelation and judgment of all men would likewise take place.”-

    Dialogue 1 6.C.61.


    Tertullian

    The next witness is Tertullian, a famous Latin writer of Africawho was born in Carthage about A. D. 160 and died about A, D.240. His knowledge of the New Testament books extended throughthe last quarter of the second century. He frequently quotes fromRevelation, ascribing it to John.

    “John in his apocalypse is commanded to chastise those who eatthings sacrificed to idols and commit fornication.” (Rev. 2: 14)-

    Prescriptions against Heresies XXXIII 40.


    Eusebius

    Eusebius, called the father of Ecclesiastical History, because he wrote the first church history that has come down to our day, lived from A. D. 270 to A. D. 340.

    He was bishop of the church in Caesarea in Palestine.

    He lived through the persecution under the Emperor Diocletian which continued from A. D. 303 to 313 A. D. which he describes.

    He lived to see Christianity established by lawthroughout the Roman Empire.

    He was commissioned by Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, to have transcribed fifty copies of the Bible for the use of the churches in Constantinople. He declares that John wrote the Apocalypse.

    “What shall we say of Him who reclined upon the breast of Jesus? I mean John, who has left one gospel, in which he confesses that he could write so many that the whole world could not contain them. He also wrote the apocalypse, commanded as he was to conceal and not write the voices of the seven thunders.”

    - Eccles. Hist. VI, XXV, P. 246.


    Muratorian Canon

    We turn now from the evidence of the authorship of Revelationas given by the early church fathers, to the catalogues of the New Testament books.

    The earliest formal catalogue of the New Testament books nowextant, is a document called the Muratorian Canon. The manuscriptof this document was found in 1740 A. D. in an old libraryin Milan, by an Italian named Muratori, whence the title Muratorian Canon.

    The manuscript belongs to the seventh or eighth centuryand is a Latin translation from a Greek original.

    It claims to have been composed by a contempory of Pius, bishopof Rome, who died in the year 157. It could not be of a later date than A. D. 170. The existing manuscript is fragmentary having lost some lines from both the beginning and the end. It contains in the canon the book of Revelation.

    Catalogue of Council of Carthage

    Some of these catalogues are lound in the acts of various ecclesiastical assemblies, which set forth the boolrs of the Old and New Testaments, The catalogue of the Council of Carthage names all of the canonical boolrs of the Old Testament, included in our present Bible and then gives the New Testament boolrs in the following order:

    "Four books of the gospels, one book of the acts of theapostles, thirteen of the Epistles of the Apostle Paul, one of the same to the Hebrews, two Epistles of the apostle Peter, three of John, one of James, one of Judas, one book of the apocalypse of John.”

    It concludes: ‘We have received from our fathers thatthese are to be read in the churches.”

    This will conclude the evidence on the authorship of the apocalypse, or the book of Revelation.

    THE PLACEThe place where John received the apocalypse of future eventsis declared by the author himself. It is the universal testimony ofthe early church that John survived the destruction of Jerusalem,that when the holocaust of war fell upon that city, John in obedienceto the Lord’s warning (Matthew 24:16) fled from the approachingdesolation and took up his residence in Ephesus. Therehe labored among the churches established by the apostle Paul.This region was known as Asia. This constituted the peninsulalying between the Mediterranean and the Black Seas and boundedon the west by the Aegean.In the latter part of the reign of Domitian he was banished to arocky isle, about 20 miles from the coast of Asia. In the southernpart of the Greek Archipelago is a tiny island called Patmo, orPatmos. John declares he was banished to this small island “forthe Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” It is onlyabout a mile in diameter, by six or seven miles long.CIRCUMSTANCESA period of about sixty years had passed since the first churchwas founded in Jerusalem. All the other apostles had passed totheir reward, receiving the crown of martyrdom, except John,concerning whom the Master had said, “If I will that he tarry till Icome, what is that to thee?” (John 2 1 : 15-24),Churches had been established in the principle cities of Asiaand Europe, so much so that it aroused the fears and hatred ofpaganism.Beginning with Nero, the church had undergone one persecutionafter another. The present persecution was that of Domitian. Atthis period, and for many generations after this, when the churchis persecuted, the persecutor is always pagan Rome.With this understanding, we need not wonder that the last ofthe apostles, fore-casting the future fortunes of the church shouldrecord the fortunes and misfortunes of the last great world empire,persecutor both of the Jews and the Church of Christ.8

    I N T R O D U C T I O NSYSTEMS OF INTERPRETATIONBefore we begin the actual study of this wonderful book, itwould be profitable lo consider some of the systems of interpretationfollowed by men.There is probably no other portion of the Scriptures concerningthe meaning of which the interpreters have so widely differed. Thedifferences are due to the different systems of interpretation employed.Of these are three principle ones, all containing some truth,Shall we consider the three principle systems.The Preterist: According to the interpreters following this system,the apocalyptic visions of the boolr apply to events, chiefly in thehistory of the Jewish nation and of pagan Rome. They hold thatthese events have already occurred. They declare that the eventstook place before the visions were given and that there is no suchthing as prediction in the boolr. Hence these interpreters are calledPreterists. Most Catholic commentators hold this view.The Futudsts: Those who take this view hold that the predictionsin the book apply to events still in the future and will be fulfilledin the future history of literal Israel. They assert that Israelwill again occupy Palestine, that the temple will actually be rebuiltand that the Holy City will be trodden down for 1260 daysby the Gentiles.The Historical: This system holds that a succession of historicalevents, future when John penned of them, but now in part in thepast, are portrayed by a series of visions. This system seems morenearly correct, BUT THE ERROR MUST BE AVOIDED ofsupposing that the book is continuously historical from beginningto end.It must be born in mind that there is more than one series ofvisions; that when one series ends another follows which is synchronous,at least in part. By this we mean both series maydescribe events happening at the same time. These events havecoincident periods.It must ever be kept in mind that this book is definitely a boolrof prophecy. In the Old Testament we have a succession ofprophets appearing and making their predictions. In Revelation,we have one prophet, John, proclaiming a succession of prophecies,9

    I N T R O D U C T I O NHe was “shown the things which were shortly to come to pass.”John recorded what he saw. The future was revealed to him in aseries of visions. The pictures that appeared, in panoramic formbefore his eyes represents future events.Thus we see that each is a symbolical representation of what wasthen future, but now may be past history. Symbolical pictures followeach other in rapid succession as the seals are opened and thetrumpets sounded. A careful study of the scriptural meaning ofthese symbols is a necessary exercise to the proper interpretationof this mysterious book.DivisionsWe must ever keep in mind that there is more than one series ofvisions, and that these overlap each other, revealing different aspectsand features of the same period.There are two major divisions of the book.First: The first division covers the first eleven chapters and isdivided in turn into three parts.1. The first covers chapters one through the third. This part dealswith the introduction, the vision of the Son of Man and theletters to the seven churches.2.The second part covers chapters four through the eleventhchapter and the eighteenth verse. This part opens with a visionof the throne, followed by a vision of a book sealed withseven seals in the hand of Him who sits on the throne and continuesthrough the seals and trumpets.The lamb of God prevails to open the seals. As each seal isopened a vision appears which presents a symbol representing aperiod of human history.Six seals are opened in succession, followed by a pause beforethe opening of the seventh seal. When the seventh seal is openedit is discovered to embrace seven thunders and seven trumpets.The trumpets are blown in succession, each followed by great stirringevents. When the last trumpet is blown the end comes whenChrist is triumphant.10

    I N T R O D U C T I O NThe seven seals, with the seven trumpets contained under the lastSecond: The second division covers the last eleven chapters of1. The first part chapters 12 to 18 opens with the vision of awoman, a symbol of the church, confronted by an enemywhich appears as a sevenheaded and ten-horned beast, Latera false church, in contradistinction to the first woman-thetrue church, appears sitting on the seven-headed Beast. Theseopposing powers, under the symbolism of Babylon, are finallyoverthrown.seal, reach to the end of time,the book, and is divided in turn into three parts.2. The second part, chapters 19 and 20, describe the great victoryover the Devil and his secular and religious organizations, theMillennia1 period and the final uprising and defeat of Satan.3. The third part, chapters 21 and 22 describe the heavenly homeof the Redeemed saints and ends with closing exhortations.THE SCOPE OF REVELATIONThe scope of Revelation is limited. It does not attempt to revealall the everchanging history of all nations, races and kingdomsthroughout the Gospel age. The question then arises: To what countriesand accompaning events do the predictions and symbols apply?If we turn to God’s dealings with the Israel of God in the OldTestament as he spoke through a succession of prophets we willfind a correct answer. There, we find, the central thought in alltheir predictions is the future history of the Old Testament Peopleof God.With this great divine purpose in mind, they predict the fate ofthe great gentile nations with whom the Jews come in contact, whoaffected their fortunes by aiding them or by becoming their conquerors.Hence Assyria, Babylon, Tyre, Egypt, Rome and Greeceare made burdens of their prophecy.Exactly, and by the same token, the same is true of the NewTestament prophecies contained in the Book of Revelation. Theprophecies deal with the future of the New Testament Israel ofGod, the church, and of necessity reveal much concerning the opposingpowers and persecuting nations.11

    A U T H O R ’ S F O R E W O R DIt was not Christ’s purpose to give in Revelation the outline of allhistory, hence many nations are not mentioned, but to outline thefortunes, tribulations and triumphs of the church.The church was, in the earlier centuries, almost wholly withinthe confines of the vast, persecuting empire of Pagan Rome, hencethis opposing power presents itself often in the prophetic visions ofPatmos.Since later the mantle of the pagan empire, fell upon PapalRome, we find that this new religious power plays a prominent partin the unfolding symbolic visions of Revelation. So we shall see thatRevelation primarily outlines the history of the church, and insubordination of this primary purpose, it portrays the history oftwo great persecuting powers, Pagan and Papal Rome. Finally, itportrays the triumphant church and the glories of the New Jerusalemto be enjoyed by the overcoming saints.Author’s Foreword to the ReaderTo write a book upon any subject is a task that calls forth thebest that in a man lieth. To write a compendium on the Book ofRevelation is the challenge supreme.The writing of any book necessarily must be predicated uponsome sound reason for such an engagement. The primus mobile ofwriting a dissertation upon the Apocalypse must be nothing shortof a burning desire to magnify the sacredness, the authenticityand the inerrant accuracy of Divine prophecy.To pen a text-book upon a secular subject enjoins a comprehensiveknowledge of the best authorities on that subject, besides addedindividual research. To write a commentary on Revelation requiresno less than the blessed guidance of the Holy Spirit whom Christcommissioned to show the things to come.One must be impelled by the loftiest motivation in order to evenbegin such an effort so confronted with mountainous difficulties.The interpretation of any book of the Bible is a challenging endeavor.To unfold the mysteries of a book written entirely in signsand symbols, such as characterize the Apocalypse, is an Herculeantask to be assumed only under the directive of the inspired Wordof God.In the anticipation of such a project, the author must confessthat he found himself in “a strait betwixt two”. There was a greathesitancy to take up the pen to write when remembrance called to12

    A u T IT o R ’ s B o R E w o R Dmind the fearful plagues promised as a wrathful visitation fromGod upon those who became guilty of adding to the things containedwith:n the Apocalypse.Again, the prospect of having his part in the book of life and ofthe holy city, talcen away by laking from the words of the book ofprophecy, also served as a strong deterrent for many years.After a quarter of a century and more of contemplation of such alabor, the writer, by the grace of God, the love of Christ and theenergizing of the Holy Spirit, began this worlr. 1 say began. Such aworlr can never be said to be finished,The first determination to be made was, on the very face ofthings, that of method of interpretation. Three systems presentedthemselves.First, there was the futuristic system. The proponents of thismethod of interpretation hold that everything described in thevisions of this book is yet future to be fulfilled after the raptureof the saints. Obviously, the very first verse of this book ofRevelation eliminates such a system. It reads :“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave untoHim to show unto His servants things which must shortlycome to pass.”Second, there was the system, which for lack of better designation,I call the Spiritualistic, This is that method of interpretationwhich spiritualizes every thing away to where every symboltakes the meaning of each individual interpreter.One verse of the Sacred Scriptures annihilates such an approachto the study of this great book:“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture isof any private interpretation” (1 I Peter 1 : 20)With the elimination of these two systems only one remainedtheHistorical. This system is based upon the primal declaration ofthe book itself, namely, that John was to “write the things whichthou hast seen and the things which are, and the things which shallbe hereafter.” (Rev. 1:19)But not only is the Historical view harmonious with the book’sown declaration of its purpose, but history amply substantiates thisviewpoint in that the events symbolized therein have either happenedor are now coming to pass, So closely have the happeningsof history paralleled the prophetic pronouncements of the Apocalypsethat they cannot honestly be dismissed and rejected on theground of coincidences.13

    A U T H O R ’ S F O R E W O R DWhen throughout the book one beholds the events of historyfitting hand-in-glove with the succession of prophecies presentedtherein he must, like Thomas, come to believe with a likefirmness of conviction.This historical approach becomes all the more realistic when itis understood that the various visions given do not chronologicallyfollow one another in point of time, although the events predictedin the vision itself are chronologically arranged. This leads logicallyto the second determination to be made-the starting pointof each separate vision.Like a surveyor cannot run his line without beginning at theBench Mark, so each vision has an historical Bench Mark, or timeand place of beginning. Having scripturally determined the truebeginning the Spiritual surveyor is able to survey a true line ofprophetic interpretation.The visions may have the same starting point and take us overa segment of time already covered by a former vision, but this isin orler to present things from a different angle, or events of adifferent sphere, yet all related to the life of the church throughoutthe gospel dispensation.The third determination was an accurate interpretation of themeaning of the rich symbolism of the book. There has been agolden rule of interpretation, followed by lovers of God’s Word,which declares :“When the plain sense of the Scriptures makes commonsense, seek no other sense; therefore take every word atits primary, ordinary, literal meaning unless the facts ofthe context indicate clearly otherwise.”When one enters into the realm of Revelation, certainly the concludingclause of this Golden Rule of Interpretation becomes operative.“The facts of the context indicate clearly otherwise.”Revelation is pre-eminently a book of symbols, signs, wonders.The book is written not in common speech, like other books of theNew Testament, but in sign language. “He sent and sign-i-fied it byHis angel unto His servant John.The interpretation of these symbols has proved to be a pitfallto many readers of the Apocalypse, although it should never havebeen.If, as Peter says, “no prophecy of the Scripture is of any privateinterpretation,” neither are the prophetic symbols to be privatelyinterpreted.14

    A U T H O R ’ S F O R E W O R DTherefore, the author made, at the very outset, a fourth determination,namely, that every sign, symbol or figure is explainedsomewhere within the Bible itself. The Bible is its own, only andbest interpreter. One may have to run the gamut of the entireBible, but he will be richly repaid when in some “hidden corner”of God’s Divine Library he discovers the meaning of some bafflingsymbol.Added to the joy of a new discovery is the deep-down satisfactionof knowing God’s mind in the matter.The fifth and final determination was the naming of the book tobe penned. At first no name presented itself with sufficient forceto elicit lasting attention, but gradually and almost unconsciouslyan appropriate and scriptural title crossed and recrossed this stageof prophetic drama.Since it was “the Revelation of Jesus Christ”, it seemed altogetherapropos to incorporate the name “Revelation” in whatevertitle was finally settled upon.Again, since the Apocalypse was penned in a style nowhere universallycharacteristic of any other boob of the Sacred Volume,that fact demanded consideration. Written, as it was, in the languageof sign, symbol and wonder, why not call the book, “Revelation-the Wonder Book of the Bible”? And so the title waschosen.John said, ‘(Blessed ‘is he that readeth and they that hear thewords of this prophecy, and keep those things which are writtentherein, for the time is at hand.” (Rev. 1 :3)The author’s fervent prayer is that this book, launched upon avast sea of books, may have so carefully charted its course bythe Scriptural compass of Divine Interpretation, that its readersmay land safely on that enchanted Isle of the Treasure Trove ofTruth.

    If it shall have afforded safe passage to one soul in reachingHeaven’s Harbor of the Holy City, the labor shall not have beenin vain.Prayer

    Oh Master of Wind and Wave we thank Thee gratefullythat Thou hast enabled us to walk upon the waters ofsymbolic wonders.15



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