An Explanatory Rendering Of The Revelation: Chapter Seven
Covenant Law Adjudicated And Announced
Section three in the covenant sequence covers the ethical demands of the sovereign. It enumerates the conditions of the relation-ship and provides case law to explain the practical application of the covenant commands.
The law word of the Bible is always accompanied by case law. For instance, in the ten commandments it says, thou shalt not kill (Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17). Case law is provided explaining that premeditated murder must be punished with death while accidental slaying of another is treated differently (Numbers 35:6-34). Likewise, when Jesus examines the covenant document in The Revelation, he determines the law and then charges the Church to announce it with appropriate case law explaining its application.
Thus, in chapters six through fourteen of The Revelation, we find Jesus, the representative of humanity, discerning the covenant standards and arraigning for their proclamation along with appropriate case law. Having met the requirements of representation, Jesus affirms the righteousness of God's covenant and commissions the Church to issue a warning; this is what God says and this is what it looks like when what God says is ignored!
The Revelation, Chapter Seven
1. The power of heaven is holding back judgment until Israel's cup of iniquity is full. The time is not yet ripe for God to act and the land of Israel, the Gentile world and the Church of Jesus Christ, are spared until now.
2. Then Jesus as the Sun of Righteousness who seals people as his own, determines that the time has come for judgment to begin - but only after he has placed his hand of protection on his people.
3. The land of Israel, the Gentile world, and the followers of Jesus are spared until Jesus converts the appropriate number of Jews.
4. A massive number of Jews who are chosen, a "gross" of them, are kept safe in the coming upheaval; safe even if they lose their lives.
5. Thousands of the children of Israel accept Jesus - the Lion of Judah - as the Christ.
6. A remnant considered perfect by God, the ideal Israel.
7. Confirming the covenant made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
8. Not eliminating Israel but taking hold of it, tearing it apart and making it fit for the new covenant age of the Son of Man.
9. The "gross" is a remnant, it is true Israel. But Israel is even more than these. This is so because the fulfillment of the promises made to the patriarchs is fulfilled in the salvation of the world. Jew and Gentile alike, people from every place, every walk of life are welcome in the kingdom of God in Christ. They are all given salvation and all give praise to Jesus by living lives of obedience to him.
10. On earth and when they arrive in heaven, these myriads of people acknowledge that salvation comes from God, from Jesus the Christ the crucified and risen one.
11. The heavenly powers, the old covenant authorities and the old covenant powers likewise acknowledge the majesty of God.
12. They acknowledge the righteousness and the wisdom in concluding the old age and declare it is right to praise God for his actions.
13. Then, one of the old covenant authorities asks me, John, "Who are all these people, the 'gross' of Israel and the myriads of other people?"
14. I, John, do not know. But it is made known to me that the tribulation attending the conclusion of the old covenant age produces thousands of martyrs. These are people who do not deny Jesus as the Christ even to the point of death.
15. Thus, those who die in Christ during the turmoil at the end of the old age may rest assured they will be with him upon death. There is no need to fear death because those who have faith in Jesus the Christ are protected by him.
16. Things are different in eternity than in the old age. The worries of the former life are gone; no one can deny them immediate relation-ship with God and they are free from oppressive civil power.
17. In the new covenant era, both on earth and in eternity, Jesus will Shepherd his people causing them to grow ever more like him. He will comfort them in all their sorrows.
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