BioMember of FIEC churches since 1957 - the year of my conversion & baptism.
Married to Ann.
FIEC is the UK equivalent of IFB, with a doctrinal basis that insists onfundamentals, but allows divergence on other matters.
As the seals are opened, we need to note that the Lamb has "prevailed" Rev. 5:5 The same Greek word is use in Rev. 6:2 "nike" which is of course are familiar sports brand. We see the white horseman: in 6:2 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, G3528 and to conquer. G3528 Who is the white horseman? Is the victorious, prevailing, conquering Lamb suddenly telling us all about the futile future activities of antichrist? Or is the Lamb revealing the extent of his victories. We need to remember Jesus' prophecies concerning those who rejected him. The vineyard - Mark 12:1-12 The fig tree - Mark 11:13-14 The wedding feast - Mat. 22:1-15 All warn the Jewish leaders of the consequences of rejecting their Messiah. Jesus gained the victory of Satan, death & hell by his glorious resurrection. Now his plans for the days of vengeance are revealed. Luke 21:20-24 Clearly Jesus is at this point dealing with the rebellious Israelites, who have persistently rejected every call to repent, & viciously persecuted his followers. We need to note that "earth" & "land" are translations of the same Greek word. Whether the reference is to the whole planet, or the land of Israel, or the soil is determined by the context. Before we look at the seals, there are OT references: Mal. 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. Here "earth" is "eretz" & clearly refers to a warning of a curse on the land of Israel - Israel's rejection of John & the Messiah resulted in blessing for the whole earth, not a curse. Zec. 1:8-10 & Zec. 6:1-8 are visions of horsemen & chariots which are angelic servants of God. Ezekiel 14 particularly Eze. 14:19-23 prophesies 4 judgements on Jerusalem, & the deliverance of a remnant. Note: For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast? Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth .....
When we understand Revelation as written before AD 70, as a final warning, we can see the judgment on the land of Israel & its rebellious leaders & people. The white horseman is Christ himself, & the other horsemen are his agents carrying out his judgement. Note & compare with Ezekiel 14: Rev. 6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. Killing 1/4 of the Jerusalem defenders is well within the possibilities during that dreadful war. When the 5th seal is opened, we see the martyrs calling for vengeance on their oppressors. A vengeance that Jesus is revealing as he opens the seals. In a little season the judgement will fall. The 40 year/generation was being used to Fill [ye] up then the measure of your fathers. Mat. 23:32 rather than to seek repentance. Another post will look at the remaining seals.
From another thread ... That means that the church is absent from the earth throughout Rev. 4 - 18. That need to be proved, or questioned. It also raises the question of the purpose of Jesus giving his Revelation. How do folk in the tribulation period study & apply the teaching in those chapters? A specific reaction must, as ever, be to repent. Rev. 14 speaks of angels preaching the everlasting Gospel. Are these the angels to whom John wrote in Rev. 2 & 3? Can these chapters be understood in terms of Jesus' coming in AD 70, & the "millennium" between his first & final coming? That is the line I am taking. Rev. 4 is an overwhelmingly glorious vision of heaven, which I cannot interpret. I can only join in the worship: 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. In Rev. 5, John sees a sealed book in the hands of God, & Jesus, the Lion-Lamb in the midst of the throne. He is the only one who can open the seals & read the book. The Lamb has prevailed by his death & resurrection. Again the praises of heaven & all the redeemed ring out. Notice the status of th redeemed in heaven: Thou ... hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. What does the book contain, & what do the seals reveal as they are opened? The plans God has for the vindication & glorification of his Son? Or the activities of sinful men? -------------------------- Edited to add: 5: 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. "Every kindred" uses the same Greek word usually translated "tribes" meaning tribes of Israel. Redeemed Jews are of course present in glory, praising their Saviour Jesus Christ. John sees the church in heavenly glory. Presumably these have already died.
Thanks Scott, for that carefully studied counter to my understanding of Revelation. Obviously I must reconsider what I believe & teach with that in view. The big problem with the concept of a "tribulation temple" & all that goes with it is that it removes the practical application of Revelation away from the church to a time when the church is absent. I won't comment further, as I haven't got there yet. Rev. 4 next ....
I understanding that when Mussolini in the 30s wanted Papal approval, the Pope enquired of the phial of Jesus' blood - which would give approval if it liquefied. It didn't. Mussolini then said, probably with menace - "try again!" It liquefied.
Pastor asked me (alone) how we got on on Sunday. I said I would never want to hear a sermon like that again - & a few more comments, including his presentation which was with a flat voice so I had to turn the amp up full. Then elderly ladies came in & he asked them he asked them. - "It was good." What did he preach about? - Don't know - he was reading like reading a letter - from an encyclopedia; he went on for an hour, & half the congregation was asleep. [I took pages of notes - not including the gory details.] Gives a novel meaning to "good." We agreed that the children's talk - by another guy - was good & it would have been better to expand that into a sermon. Scripture alone, Christ alone, by faith alone, grace alone, for the sole glory of God.
Thanks Jim for shift/enter - that was annoying me. And I still haven't got "indent" which I like to use e.g. to separate Scripture quotes from comment. I have seen it & it disappeared again. I've got 16 format options up to"Size"
When Jesus declared: I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. These are the words by which the LORD Jesus was condemned - they have very special significance. He was immediately accused of blasphemy. The chief priests knew he was claiming to be the one prophesied in Daniel 7:13 . And of course his declaration I AM was indeed a claim to deity. He is declaring that he will be vindicated in their sight. But seeing often means understanding not just the eyes. Isaiah 6:9-13 quote in John 12:35-41 The allusion to Jer. 4:13 is also significant. Jerusalem was about to be destroyed by the Babylonians. The Jerusalem leaders had shown themselves to be uncircumcised. Jer. 4:1-4 Just as they did in the judgement of Stephen. Acts 7:51 Jesus' hearers would know all this. He used the same words, also referring to Daniel's prophecy in Dan. 7:13 in his Olivet prophecy of the destruction. The words are quoted again in Rev. 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. That brings in another prophecy & fulfilment: Zec. 12:10 & John 19:37 That piercing had a reverse effect a few weeks later when the risen Lord Jesus was preached. Acts 2:37 Their hearts were pricked, & thousands were moved to repent. The saw, and believed, while others refused to see. But they would see Jesus vindicated by his coming to judgement them according to his vineyard prophecy - a prophecy they KNEW applied to themselves. Mark 12:1-12 Now we accept that Jesus will be coming in glory at the end of time, & the words of Rev. 1:7 are normally taken as referring to that glorious appearing, BUT Jesus used them when referring to the destruction that took place before the generation that rejected him had passed. We can therefore understand those words as referring to his vineyard coming - the AD 70 destruction. they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth can be understood as referring to those who pierced him at Calvary, & the tribes of the land of Israel. "Tribe" & "kindred" are the same Greek word, normally translated "tribes." The word for earth is "ge" used for earth, land & soil. [The reference to the Greek is to aid understanding, not to correct Scripture.] Jesus warned the Jews of the consequences of their rejection of the Son of God: What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. That "coming" took place in AD 70. The Jewish leaders understood: And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them We need to note that "scoffers" were self-justifying by asking about Jesus' promised coming. 2 Pet. 3:3-4 Peter answers them in terms of the flood, & of the final coming of Jesus. The delay was not failure to keep his promise, but longsuffering, allowing time for repentance. But the day of the Lord will come ... We need to understand these Scriptures for ourselves, & apply them to ourselves. We are not to hide behind past fulfilled prophecy, nor the hope of delay to the distant future after the "rapture." The Gospel message is always NOW! 1 Cor. 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
I'll put this in smallest print so it cannot be casually read. Add to naked, loss of bodily functions, destruction of internal organs by scourging, low enough to be spat & urinated on .... for 15 minutes. But with no mention of the spiritual suffering - "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" And why should a sponge be on a reed, to reach his mouth, if he were at normal standing height? No! Keep to the Scripture account.
I do not propose to limit the study to the fulfilment of Jesus' destruction prophecies, but we need to start there. We can't say, "the beast & false prophet are in lake of fire" & breath a sigh of relief. We too are companions in tribulation, & beasts & false prophets abound.
Just found it! Where do we start? All those denominations have a degree of common doctrine - the Trinity, Deity & incarnation of Christ, Christ's death for sinners & resurrection, The Scriptures as the Word of God, the practice of baptism & communion, the return of Christ for resurrection & judgement. That is enough for personal salvation by repentance & faith in Christ. The great difference is authority, Scripture or Church or church leaders. Or, of course, those seeking a personal following or (perish the thought) seeking money. When we meet a genuine believer from another denomination, should we be concerned at underlying differences of belief, or underlying unity in Christ? I hope we find real unity on a personal basis that makes denominational disunity largely irrelevant. BUT as we learn from each other, we may find one of us is in error on doctrine, & we can discuss it from a loving relationship.
Over on Trail of Blood, Sam is disagreeing with me on "Calvinism"
Sam was thrown of the same KJ forum who excluded us. He said they told him they didn't exclude anone from their site. At about the same time, sam was made a moderator on TOB.