Wk4 Rev Theology 1

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Week 4 slides for AC Revelation Class S2010.

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Wk4 Rev Theology 1

  1. 1. “ Theology”
  2. 2. Suffering and Victory <ul><li>The Death and defeat of Christ in the Gospels and in the Apocalypse is in reality a victory over Satan. </li></ul><ul><li>This victory is an ironic victory or paradoxical victory that Christians are to imitate as they go through the present tribulation as members of the Kingdom of the Messiah. </li></ul><ul><li>Physical suffering must be endured in the present world; however, just as Christ was raised from the dead, so also his church will be raised. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Suffering and Victory <ul><li>“ The call to Revelation’s readers to ‘conquer’ is fundamental to the structure and theme of the book. It demands the readers’ active participation in the divine war against evil” (Bauckham, Theology , 88). </li></ul><ul><li>When the church’s opponents persecute God’s people, they spiritually defeat themselves in the same manner that Satan was defeated at the cross, though it appeared that he had won a physical victory over Christ (cf. Col. 2:14-15). </li></ul>
  4. 4. Suffering and Victory <ul><li>The penultimate goal of John’s vision is to exhort or build up the people of God to remain faithful to the call of following the Lamb’s ironic victory. In so doing, they will inherit final salvation. It is tempting to see this theme as the main point of Revelation; however, in so doing we would be focusing on man instead of focusing on God. Revelation like the whole of the Bible is first God centered. </li></ul><ul><li>Revelation picks up the OT theme of the messianic divine warrior that would set the world in order throughout history and especially at the end of the age. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Titles for God and Jesus <ul><ul><li>The Divine Trinity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>John depicts the divine in threefold terms: Look at 1:4b-5a </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Alpha and the Omega </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Look at 1:8. “This strategically placed verse incorporates three of the four most important designations for God in Revelation: ‘the Alpha and the Omega’, ‘the Lord God Almighty’ and ‘the One who is and who was and who is to come’” (Bauckham, Theology , 25). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>God: I am the Alpha and the Omega.(1:8) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Christ: I am the first and the last. (1:17) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>God: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. (21:6) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Christ: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. (22:13) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Background of the phrases: “I am the first and the last” is a reference to Isaiah 44:6 note also 48:12 and 41:4. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beginning and End: was used in Greek philosophical traditions to represent the eternity of the supreme God. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Titles for God and Jesus <ul><li>The One who is and Who was and Who is to come </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(1:4) the One who is and who was and who is to come (God) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(1:8) the One who is and who was and who is to come (God) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(4:8) the One who was and who is and who is to come (God) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(11:17) the One who is and who was (God) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(16:5) the One who is and who was (God) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>An interpretation of the Divine name in Ex 3:14. </li></ul><ul><li>God is self-existent and covenantly bound to the fate of his people. </li></ul><ul><li>The phrase “who is to come” is associated with the announcement of God in the OT that He will “come” to save and to judge (e.g. Ps 96:13; 98:9; Isa 40:10; 66:15; Zech 14:5); moreover, early Christians understood God’s coming as related to the end times when Christ would come to fulfill his final purpose for the world. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Titles for God and Jesus <ul><li>The Lord God The Almighty </li></ul><ul><li>This title for God occurs 7xs in Revelation: (1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7; 19:6; 21:22) and a shorter form “God the Almighty” is used twice (16:14; 19:15). </li></ul><ul><li>This is the Greek Translation of Adoni Sebaot (cf. 2 Sam 5:10; Jer 5:14; Hos 12:5; Amos 3:13; 4:13). The phrase “Lord of Hosts” is used often in the OT prophets because it indicates Yahweh’s unrivalled power over all things and therefore his supremacy over the course of historical events. </li></ul><ul><li>The Greek phrase pantakorator (Almighty) indicates not so much God’s abstract omnipotence as his actual control over all things. One should also note the OT references in which this is used to illustrate God as the Divine warrior who cannot be thwarted by the kingdoms of the earth. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Titles for God and Jesus <ul><li>The One who Sits on the Throne </li></ul><ul><li>“ true knowledge of who God is inseparable from worship of God. The song of the four living creatures and the hymn of the twenty-four elders express the two most primary forms of awareness of God: the awed perception of his numinous holiness (4:8; cf. Isa. 6:3), and the consciousness of utter dependence on God for existence itself that is the nature of all created things (4:11). These most elemental forms of perception of God not only require expression in worship: they cannot be truly experienced except as worship” (Bauckham, Theology , 33). </li></ul>
  9. 9. Titles for God and Jesus <ul><li>In this form it occurs 7xs in Revelation (4:9; 5:1, 7, 13; 6:16; 7:15; 21:5). </li></ul><ul><li>Throne is used frequently in Revelation and it is one of the books central themes. This necessitates the theological perspective of Revelation to be tempered by a faith rooted in God’s sovereignty over all things. </li></ul><ul><li>Note especially how similar John’s throne vision is to Isaiah 6 and Ezekiel 1. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Throne <ul><li>Rev 4-5 picture a heavenly world with God and the Lamb’s throne as its center, and everything else surrounds it. (1) a rainbow aura, (2) living creatures who guard the throne, (3) twenty-four elders sitting on thrones in an outer circle, and (4) finally all other creatures in the universe. </li></ul><ul><li>It is worth noticing how far from anthropocentric is this vision of worship. Humanity is radically displaced from the centre of things where human beings naturally tend to place themselves. At its heart and in its eschatological goal the creation is theocentric, orientated in worship towards its Creator” (Bauckham, Theology , 33). </li></ul><ul><li>Chapters 4-5 serve as the introductory vision for 6:1-22:5 </li></ul><ul><li>The throne-room vision is both cultic and political. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Throne <ul><li>“ The throne-room is the place from which God exercises his rule over the world. The twenty-four ‘elders’—a political, rather than cultic term—are the angelic beings who compose the divine council (cf. Isa. 24:23; Dan 7:9; 2 Enoch 4:1; T. Levi 3:8)” (Bauckham, Theology , 34). </li></ul><ul><li>Question: If Christ and God are the ultimate cause behind all the judgments and the demonic agents who carry out many of the destructive judgments under divine control, is there then a problem of theodicy? </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Throne <ul><li>“ Not only does the Apocalypse see the divine throne as ultimately behind the trials of believers and woes of unbelievers, but the major OT passages formative for the seals, trumpets, and bowls, without exception, have God as the ultimate cause of the ordeals (so Zech 6:1-8; Ezek 14:21; Lev. 26:18-28 and their use in Rev. 6:2-8)” (Beale, Revelation , 172). </li></ul><ul><li>The purpose of suffering and the “Woe” sections in Revelation are to purify the faith of believers and to judge the unbelievers. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Divine Holiness in Judgment: <ul><li>Revelation could be described as the completion of the Lord’s prayer (Rev 6:9-10). &quot;'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The holiness and righteousness of God require the condemnation of unrighteousness on earth and the destruction of the powers of evil that contest God’s rule on earth, so that their rule may give place to the coming of God’s kingdom on earth” (Bauckham, Theology , 40). </li></ul>
  14. 14. Divine Holiness in Judgment: <ul><ul><ul><li>Each series of judgments is connected with the throne-room scene. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The four living creatures summon the four riders of the first four seal openings. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The seven trumpets are blown by the seven angels who stand before God in heaven (8:2, 6). </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The seven last plagues are brought forth as the temple is opened (15:5). The angels who are to pour out the bowls of wrath on earth come out of the temple, and one of the living creatures gives them the bowls of wrath. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Divine Sovereignty and Transcendence <ul><li>“ Absolute power, by definition, belongs only to God, and it is precisely the recognition of God’s absolute power that relativizes all human power” (Bauckham, Theology , 44). </li></ul>
  16. 16. God the Creator <ul><li>Notice the hymn of the 24 elders in Rev 4:11. </li></ul><ul><li>Resurrection was understood in light of God’s creative power. </li></ul><ul><li>God’s sovereignty is the foundation from which Christians build their hope in the goal and certainty of new creation. </li></ul><ul><li>“ A God who is not the transcendent origin of all things but a way of speaking of the immanent creative possibilities of the universe itself cannot be the ground of ultimate hope for the future of creation. Where faith in God in the creator wanes, so inevitably does hope for resurrection, let alone the new creation of all things. It is God who is the Alpha who will also be the Omega” (Bauckham, Theology , 51). </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Creator’s Faithfulness to Creation <ul><li>“ The eschatological hope of Revelation actually has its basis, not only in the understanding of God as Creator, but also in the belief in the Creator’s faithfulness to his creation” (Bauckham, Theology , 51). </li></ul><ul><li>God is faithful to his creation in Gen 6-9 by recreating through the act of the flood. </li></ul><ul><li>In Jewish thought the waters of the primeval abyss represent the source of destructive evil, the possibility of the reversion of creation to chaos. In Rev 21:1 we see that the sea is no more. Thus the last of the destructive forces is subdued and defeated. </li></ul><ul><li>In the new creation God makes his creation eternally secure from any threat of destructive evil. </li></ul>
  18. 18. New Creation <ul><li>The new covenant, new temple, new Israel, and new Jerusalem affirm the fulfillment of the prophetic images of the OT and NT, and all of these themes find their climax in the New creation. </li></ul><ul><li>In relation to the New Creation, the major themes in Revelation expound the belief that God is the sovereign designer of history in its entirety and that his glory is the ultimate result. </li></ul>
  19. 19. New Creation <ul><li>“ All five of these central biblical ideas—new covenant, new temple, new Israel, new Jersualem, and new creation—are metaphors for the one reality of God’s intimate, glorious presence with his people ” (Beale, Revelation, 173). </li></ul><ul><li>“ The vision of the future perfected people of God in unending fellowship with his glorious presence is intended to encourage and motivate the readers to persevere through temptations that would lead them into compromise. The prospect of final victory should provide impetus to win partial victory now by not compromising” (Beale, Revelation , 174). </li></ul>

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