That term may not mean what you think it means?

If you really loved the Lord, and you love real Truth, and took to heart God’s Word the Bible, then you will do your best due diligence to find out what our Lord is really saying. Never seeking your way or pride or to force your assumption into God’s most precious Word! Right? Yet many do!

We have the “popular problem,” with exegetical and or biblical Eschatology, as most people do not go to and take from the Bible; rather, they read into the Bible. Or what many people today seek-to just relate it to their personal traditions or trends or theological ideas or worse feelings.

Yet, the Bible means what it means, says what it says! It real true Truth. “True-Truth” is mathematical and has a definitive answer; Scripture indeed has the definitive answers too-If we are willing to look. Most of the time they are in plain sight, because the Bible says what it says and means what it means.
But sometimes we get to a term such as “beast” and wonder what that is. So we must ask, what is that, and don’t assume. A little careful research in quality sources will reveal it and its real truth. The real truth is not always what my denomination or theological framework or my favorite preacher or author has to say, or some comparison of it. Nor is it my truth or what is relative to my feelings, personal thoughts, or ideas predicated by my hurts or outlook or worldview.

Real “Exegetical Eschatology” simply means we go to God’s Word and take from it and not read into it.

With “our” truth, we go to God’s Word and read in our will and ideas, what is in it for us, and respond to how we felt at that time with a caring attitude to what the real truth is. In true-Truth we go to the Bible as surrendered beings, seeking to know and glorify Christ because He is Truth as is His Word. This is the science of Inductive and Exegetical Methodology. We get to the real Truth as revealed in God’s Word versus what we want to or feel may be true. After all, we are removed two thousand years from these times not to mention the language and cultural barriers from the original writings of the Bible from which we glean.

Our goal in our postings is: What did these words from Scripture mean to the human authors used by the Holy Spirit as well as the hearers at the time, not from a newspaper today that is at a different time, culture, and language.

This is what real effectual factual truth is in action and in application, asking the question what the bible clearly says in its actual meaning and context not what we think it should say.

 

Do you read from the Bible or read into the Bible? Do you know the difference?

 

What is Biblical Eschatology?

 

It is the study of our Christian beliefs concerning the End Times and the Second Coming of Christ as taught by an rightful, truthful and logical exegetical analysis of Scripture.

For us, this means when we go to the Bible, we realize it is a book written in a different time and language and to a different culture using images, symbols, and metaphors that we may not know as well as we think today.

Thus, we are to assume a passage is literal until we get to a term that does not make sense or fit.

Like, saying to a non-English speaker, it is raining cats and dogs, this statement will not make sense to them, just as beast will not make sense to an American Christian two thousand years removed. Thus, we will assume and may get it wrong; yet, with some due diligence of investigating, of what did that mean to the original hearers; like, what did John thought it meant. And, we can find that out very easily.

So what do we do? We seek to do our very best to actually read the Bible right and seek its truth, in context, actual word meanings, while leaving our assumptions aside. This is the art and science of the logic of ‘induction,’ Inductive Bible study!

Our other main goal is the application of what Francis Schaeffer said as “true-Truth!” What does the Bible really say?

Not what I think the truth is, but willing to lay one’s truth aside for an honest investigation should not be feared; if you are right, Scripture will pan you out. If you are wrong, wouldn’t you rather be right on the side of the Bible, regardless of what others may think, or your own pride that may need to be swallowed?

Then if you still feel your truth is correct and you did your homework, you are better off. But what usually happens is that we push our truth forward, ignoring logic, sound reasoning, and biblical exegesis such as, what did these terms and ideas mean in their original languages, set in their contexts, genre, and cultural meanings?

So when we read the Bile, especially areas that may not make sense to us, or what we just always assumed it meant, or what the popular books and so called Bible teachers say, we are to investigate. What did these words from Scripture mean to the human authors used by the Holy Spirit as well as the hearers at the time, not from a newspaper today that is at a different time, culture, and language. This is what real effectual factual truth is in action and in application, asking the question what the bible clearly says in its actual meaning and context not what we think it should say.

 

Do you read from the Bible or read into the Bible? Do you know the difference?

 

What Does Revelation have to do with Church Now?

Why are some Christians so greatly interested in chasing fads and so little interested in effectual truth?

Revelation, as most evangelicals understand it, is about the last days and the judgment of evil, and, for the most part it is. “However,” (a BIG “however,” and a “however” most of us do not like to hear and will rarely study or teach on is this. We rather desire to read into the Bible what we want it to say instead of doing an honest, carful, biblical eschatological study or the simple approach of exegetical eschatology. Then we camp on our hill and tend to die on it in our pride, bringing foolishness to ourselves and the Kingdom of God. Let’s not do that.  

We need to see that Revelation is also about how we are called to lead and manage HIS CHURCH! It really is not just about end times, it is so much more. End Times is an aspect, but not the focus. We forget it is a letter to seven churches who were struggling, dealing with disloyalty from within and persecution from without and End Times was the “hook” to get them to refocus at the big picture to look too God and church right.

For example in Revelation 17, the question we need to ask is, are we being a “harlot” with His Church? Not, who could be the harlot that may come? Consider that prostitution is a form of adultery—not just in the sexual sense, but being disloyal to God so we are committing adultery to Him. It is unfaithfulness, and thus corruption and disintegration of our life, faith, and then the family because of the breakdown of the Church resulting in the breakdown of society (Is. 57:3; Jer. 3:8-9; Hos. 2:4). This is about who you pledge your life to. Is it to your own pride? Or, is it to His Church and the glorification of Christ? Or, do you chase bad trends, sins, and the ways of the world? Are you so concerned with your way of doing things that His Way is pushed aside or skewed? If so, perhaps you are the “harlot,” or at least acting like it. Consider the struggles of these seven churches and the struggles in your life and church. You may have some prayer and repenting to do! I know I have had to do so!

Did the early Church Fathers teach a rapture or a particular position of it?

 

This has been a common source to prove one’s position regarding end-time scenarios. See what the early church taught and assume it must be fact since they were closer to the original source, Christ, and were not convoluted by centuries of theology. This is actually a good way to see what a theological position is and how it can be measured. The problem is, many do not actually read the early writings, and when one does, he/she does not always understand the language and word meanings and thus may make assumptions that are not there.

Concerning articles and pre-tribulation-ism claiming proof from early church sources. My goal is not to mock these ministry, but to point out a common error. I assume their hearts are in the right place, but may be misguided by faulty thinking and unsound research. This is the typical, sloppy scholarship that has penetrated the Church at large and deceived (or better put, “distracted”) and preoccupied many people with the wrong things.

This is what is called EisegesisIsogesis, which means “to lead in” or “reading into” the sentence; in the Scriptures, it is inserting an opinion that is not there. An example would be to introduce into the text one’s own presuppositions, ideas, and thoughts…where the reader or Bible teacher seeks an answer to his opinion or position to be varied. Thus he/she looks for verification and finds a vague reference, then does not bother to do his/her homework to truly determine what is actually being said…

The question is, did the early Church Fathers teach rapture? The answer is a clear no! I diligently studied their writings trying to prove a rapture theory and I never found it. Did they teach that all Christians will escape the Tribulation through a gathering to the Lord, or that they would go through it? Either position is possible, but highly unlikely, as the context and subject of these quotes and others is off issue or on a different subject than the position being inserted into the text. Also, the terms used then are not the same as what we use today and thus we make assumptions that are not based on fact. In other words, we assume and do not check out the facts, and thus make a dogma out of speculations and nonsense; in so doing, we miss the main point of it all.

This is the classic quote that is often used for both positions:

The Shepherd of Hermas.

You have escaped from great tribulation on account of your faith, and because you did not doubt in the presence of such a beast. Go, therefore, and tell the elect of the Lord His mighty deeds, and say to them that this beast is a type of the great tribulation that is coming. If then ye prepare yourselves, and repent with all your heart, and turn to the Lord, it will be possible for you to escape it, if your heart be pure and spotless, and ye spend the rest of the days of your life in serving the Lord blamelessly.

Is this evidence of pre-tribulation-ism and/or a rapture, or is it a pre-tribulation escape from the Tribulation? First, one needs to learn how to read, not a quip, but when we read, ask the question, what is it? What did that term or name mean then to the original author and audience, not what does it mean to me nearly two thousand years later, filtered with preconceived theological bias or a desire to prove some theory. We also need to look at the context and word usages. The same is with the other quotes like Brother Dolcino and the Apostolic Brethren statements. They are not saying a rapture, but speculating what might happen with a view that is not in Scripture, but may have some distant semblance to modern speculations that are also not based on Scripture. And, if one did some basic research, they would find that Brother Dolcino and the Apostolic Brethren were quickly refuted by scholars who did their homework. (By the way, these issues are so minor it is absurd we argue about them. By doing so, we disservice our Lord and take the attention off what He has for us.)

The real issue in Revelation and what this quote in Hermas alludes to is all about loyalty. The author tells us what is important, to not doubt in the presence of such a beast (meaning to not lose faith or doubt because one’s circumstances are tough. Beast refers to your opposition by political force or personal sin or persecution). Then, he states: prepare yourselves (meaning grow in faith), and repent (escape false thinking and embrace Christ as LORD) with all your heart, (make Christ first and foremost in one’s life) and turn to the Lord (lead your life as what Christ would have me do). This is about the continuing theme of our faith and allegiance, and about the contest and contrast of the mark of loyalty versus disloyalty. It refers to the loyalty of the faithful contrasting with the disloyalty of those who desire evil over the Way of God. If we try to read into this an end-time scenario, we miss the main point and delude ourselves. Further, if we teach this nonsense, we distract people from what is really important. We become the false teacher so refuted by 2 Peter. Read Matthew 24 and see what our Lord said about this. The point here is that God sees and protects those who are His (Rev. 3:12; 7:3-8; 13:16; 14:1-1; 22:4).

The true question to us all is not what esoteric theory best suits us; rather, will our loyalty and faith be to ourselves and/or evil, being easily led by manipulations, or will our allegiance be to the Lord and marked by Christ? Will our faith be about Christ as LORD or will our time and energies be spent on gibberish, distracting us and others away from faith, obedience, spiritual maturity, character, and Fruit?

Our trust in Christ (salvation) is what delivers us and daily life with the choices we make. This is not about esoteric whims; rather, it is about the practice of faith and trust and obedience in harsh times while still being loyal to Christ. This is what the Revelation was telling those seven churches and what it is telling us now.

How would you contrast loyalty versus disloyalty in your faith? What about how your church is run? How do you display loyalty to God and others?

These are the real issues; when we make up these foolish inconsequential theories, we take our eyes off Christ and place them on ourselves or something worse….we end up serving Satan or becoming a false teacher and flutter for our redactors and opponents while we forget about our Living LORD!

The Four Main Views of Revelation 1: 9-20

What does this passage mean to me?

In the Upper Room, John reclined with Jesus for His last Supper and leaned on Him to show his devotion and love (John 13:32). Now, he falls at his feet. Jesus shows John His love by helping him stand. The lesson for us is we must understand the importance of reverence. We come before a holy God. He is not just a pal or friend or guide -He is our Savior and our Lord (2 Cor. 5:16). He has the keys in His hand; we have no need to fear our future when He is our Light, Guide, and Lord!

The views simplified, as we go into the text more, additional information on these views will be drawn out.

The Preterist view sees this passage as meaning what will come about soon in their generation (as by 70AD) and has been fulfilled by the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple, or the fall of Domitian, or the Roman Empire. They believe Christ has already come back in vengeance by destroying the Temple through the Romans. Partial Preterits believe He is still to come.

The Futurist view believes that John was literally carried into the future to see these events. They see this passage as being fulfilled at the end of the age, in the future just before the Second Coming.

The Idealist view sees this passage as symbolic with no specific reference to place or time, rather giving hope to the suffering and portraying that God is sovereign. They believe Christ is coming back continually and figuratively in judgment over history.

The Historicist view sees this passage as an enfolding fulfillment, as a template to the entire church age and many events to come that will be repeated until the Second Coming.

Questions to Ponder:

1. At this point, what would you say is the purpose of Revelation? Of the four main views on how to interpret Revelation, does any one of them appeal to you more than another?

2. How would you react if Christ appeared to you as He did with John in this passage? What can this attitude do to help you be more reverent to Christ in your daily life?

3. What is the image of Christ to you in this passage? How does this give you more information so you can have a better, healthier concept of who God is? How can this translate into your daily life?

4. What is your understanding of verse 19? Do you think it may set a tone for the meaning of Revelation? If so, how so?

5. What is the condition of your church? Does Jesus control your church or do you or others think they do? How is your light shining before others? Our Light is Christ and we are called to show Him in our lives and in our Church! How can you do this better?

© 1992-2009, R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.intothyword.org

Exegetical look into Revelation 1: 17-20

· Fell at his feet is an attitude and posture of great respect and awe. This can also mean the terror that was felt until the Angel touched and relieved them (Gen. 15:12; Deut. 3:2; Josh. 8:1; Jer. 1:8; Ezek. 1:28; 11:13; Dan. 8:18; 10:10; John 6:35; Rev. 4:10; 5:8; 7:11; 19:10; 22:8).

· I am the First and the Last is the same as the Alpha and Omega in verse eight. Christ is eternal and fully God in all areas, attributes, power, character, and sovereignty (Isa. 44:6; 48:12; Rev. 2:8; 22:13¾see last study).

· Living One refers to the resurrection and the triumphant Christ as the living God who gives us life, and then new life, renewal, and reason, and how He will renew the entire world. This is a contrast to paganism and the “gods” of wood and metal who are lifeless, careless, petty, and meaningless; our God is living and involved (Jos. 3:10; Psalm 42:2; 84:2; Isa. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12; Rev. 2:8; 5:9; 20:4-5; 22:1-2).

· Keys of death and Hades indicates that Christ is in absolute control over all domains and also points to His future role. Hades is the general realm of the dead; thus, Christ’s power is all encompassing. Keys were a symbol of power and influence. The one who held the keys was the authority and the one in control. It is very encouraging to those who are facing death to know that Christ is there and in control, and can open those gates at any time, including at the last days (Psalm 9:13; Isa. 22:21-22; Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:27-31; Rev. 20:14).

· What is now and what will take place later indicates past, present, and future, and refers to what is in Revelation references. It is for the present and future as well as rooted in the past, but not completed as of this writing. This can also refer to Revelation being divided into three parts: past in chapter 1:12-16, present in chapters 2-3, and future in chapters 4-22. However, each section contains content of all three “then, now, and later,” and does not necessarily refer to the entire structure of the Revelation (John 19:35).

· The mystery does not mean something not understandable or hidden; rather, it is something known to God that He reveals to us in His good time. We cannot guess what we do not know; however, Christ does know. Here, John plainly tells us the meaning, just as Jesus did with the parable of the sower (1 Cor. 2:7; 2 Thess. 2:7).

· Angels, meaning “messengers,” can mean people used by God to convey His message, such as pastors, or heavenly beings who live and work in Heaven. The context seems to indicate the latter. Or, it can mean the significance of the churches in Heaven, that they are spiritual entities. This can also mean the prevailing characterization of the theme and “spirit” of each church or a “guardian angel.” In all practicality, it could refer to the seven different messengers John is sending with copies of his Epistle (Dan. 10:10-21; Matt. 18: 10; Luke 7:24; 9:52; Rev. 1:11; 10:1; 22:6).

Exegetical look into Revelation 1: 12-16

· Lampstands. The image that God is Light refers to the Church as the body of believers and whose duty it is to be a light as a witness for Christ. His character is the Light we follow and proclaim. Christ is the Priest, Head, Lord, and Prime Shepherd of the Church. He is the Object and Reason why we meet and function. This refers to the O.T. account of how God’s Glory descended into the Tabernacle. Now, our purpose is to point to His glory, as the Church is the light of the world. Christ is the destiny and pattern we follow and emulate. Proclaiming the Church as a lamp stand is saying the Church is significant as the true place of reverence to God, and Christianity is the true practice of Judaism (Gen. 1:3; Ex. 25:31-40; 1 Kings 7:49; Zech. 4:2; Matt. 5:14-16; 18:20; 28:20; John 1:4-5; 8:12; 14:18; Acts 26:13; Eph. 1:10; 5:8-13; Phil. 2:15; 1 John 1:4-5; Rev. 2:9; 3:9).

· Like a son of man refers to His supremacy and role as Lord Ruler and Love for the believer (Dan. 7:9-13; 10:5-6; Ezek. 1:25-28; Mark 8:31; Col. 1:16-17).

· Robe means distinction. Christ appears in overwhelming brilliance and glory that was extremely difficult to put into words, as the world cannot contain His essence. The high priest was dressed in expensive, decorative, full-length girdles and robes. This alludes to Ezekiel and Daniel and portrays Christ as Judge and Ruler over all, especially the Church in which we think we rule (Ex. 28:4; 29:5; Ezek. 1:13, 25-28; Dan. 7:9-10; 10:5-6; Rev. 2:27; 3:21).

· Golden sash was a woven sash worn by priests. It refers to His Glory, Deity, and the victory and conquest over sin, and His guarantee of the final victory in the last days. It also refers to Christ being our High Priest. In context, this is also powerful Trinitarian imagery (Ex, 29:29; Rev. 1:17-18; 15:6; 17:14; 19:11-16).

· Like wool refers to age, wisdom, honor, respect, and dignity (Lev. 19:32; Prov. 16:31; Dan 7:9; Isa. 1:18).

· Blazing fire means God’s penetrating insight and strength, His Sovereignty as Warrior, and His role as victor in the final battle to come. It also refers to the great victories of battle in the O.T. This points to the Transfiguration (Ex. 15:3; Duet. 32: 41-42; Judges 5:31; Isa. 59:17-18; Zech. 14:3; Dan. 10:6; Matt. 13:43; 17:2; Rev. 4:6; 19:11-21).

· Bronze…feet means bearers of God’s throne, and that God is irresistible and firm (Ezek. 1:7; Dan. 10:6)

· Seven stars. Jewish texts often display angels as stars. In contrast, pagans saw stars as the rulers of their destiny when, in fact, God, who is LORD is that ruler.

· Double-edged sword refers to the Roman “Thracian” sword that a small double edge dagger used as an offensive weapon, it is referring to the power of His Word and the testimony of our Lord. It symbolizes His divine judgment and decisive action (Isa. 4:12; 11:4; 49:2; Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12; Rev. 2:12, 16; 6:8; 19:15, 21)

· Sun. Angels are sometimes described as shining like the sun (Isa. 60:1-3, 19-20; Dan. 10:6; Rev. 21:22).