An Explanatory Rendering Of The Revelation: Chapter Eight
Covenant Law Adjudicated And Announced
Section three in the covenant sequence covers the ethical demands of the sovereign. It enumerates the conditions of the relationship 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 Eight
1. The seventh old covenant requirement of the law resolved by Jesus requires a final offer to the Jews as the special people of God. Hence, prior to the closure of the old age there is a strong evangelistic effort to the Jews. Followers of Jesus Christ take advantage of the calm before the storm to go first to the Jew and then to the Gentile with the doctrine of the Gospel of the kingdom. Something new is beginning and quiet contemplation of the new covenant reality is in order.
2. Even then the leaders of the church are in prayer asking for God to conclude the old age so that the new might flourish. And they are commissioned to preach the full Gospel, including the judgment declared in the Gospel.
3. Christ himself mediates for his church,
4. and the prayers of his people are presented to God through him.
5. As a response to the prayers of his followers, Jesus Christ pours out his Holy Spirit upon them. It is like the fiery presence of God in his glory cloud; it is fire in the hearts of men to do the work of the kingdom, declaring judgment and salvation at the end of the old covenant age, preaching the full Gospel even in the face of turmoil and deadly persecution.
6. The mediator having resolved the requirements of the old covenant law, and in light of the presence of the Holy Spirit, the authorities of the new covenant age are commissioned to proclaim the Gospel, both the blessing and the cursing. In their preaching they call on God in wisdom, asking for the old age to end.
7. The leaders and preachers of the new covenant proclaim judgment against the land of Israel. Yet, even though it is the land of the circumcision that is judged, the followers of Jesus the Christ are not exempt from physical suffering and death as God‘s wrath falls upon the wicked.
8. Judgment is proclaimed on the Gentile world as well (diffused by Judaism as it is),
9. and the Roman Empire is thrown into turmoil, which disrupts the proselytizing activities of Judaism.
10. A judgment of hardened hearts is proclaimed against the apostates. Jews who reject Jesus are given over to Satan and his false doctrine that brings death, not life.
11. Indeed, Satan took his seat in the Temple of Jerusalem and all Jews who reject Jesus as the Christ die in their sins, following the false doctrine.
12. Judgment against the sociopolitical and religious leadership of old Israel is proclaimed because all are to bow the knee to Christ. Many kings and leaders are to rise and fall in the land and the house of Rome as the conclusion of the old age unfolds.
13. But worse is yet to come. Up until now I, John, have seen with spiritual eyes, a measured outpouring of judgment. Now I am made to understand that even greater judgment is reserved for the land of Israel.
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