Mike Blume
February 2008

There is a lack of appreciation in most prophetic interpretations of Revelation prophecy for the importance of the role Israel and Jerusalem played in God's works in the earth, requiring a very great amount of judgment for her rejection of her Husband and her adultery with Rome. The nature of the judgments and the manner in which God speaks of them indicates a first century fulfillment for the most part.

A debate has ensued for centuries as to when Revelation was written.  If it was written before AD70, then a strong argument can be given for a first century fulfillment.  If it was written after AD70, then the contrary is possible.  The overall spiritual message of the issues raised in Revelation is the greater aspect of what determines the date of the writing or not. Internal evidence is always the greater evidence.

In that internal evidence, we read of four sets of sevenfold judgments. 7 Seals, trumpets, thunders and vials. Interestingly enough, Leviticus lists four sets of sevenfold judgments upon Israel should they violate Law and receive God's cursings from law. Lev 26.

Law is written to them who are under the law. Israel, alone.

The many repetitions mentioned of thunders, lightnings, earthquake and voices in Revelation span back to the giving of Law when these things occurred, showing another tie to Law and its cursings to those under law. Israel, alone.

Not only that, but all the temple imagery in Revelation... the atonement pictures of Christ seizing the sealed book, etc., all point to Law. Law was a schoolmaster to bring Israel to Christ. Should Israel reject Christ -- the entire purpose of Law -- what could be a worse violation of Law? No other people can experience such a position of being recipient to these curses from law, because no other people were under law.

Old Jerusalem goes down and we read of a New Jerusalem. Old temple is replaced by a New one. Jerusalem, formerly persecuted by Babylon, becomes new Babylon instead. The Great City was where our Lord was crucified, and is identified as the harlot woman.

We could go on and on about Old Testament LAW-parallels with Revelation. A pattern is there.

Exodus shows a pattern with Revelation's image of the beast and mark, and those on Mount Zion with Christ and the Father's name in their foreheads. Moses had the law etched by God into stone. the mark is an engraving. Moses saw them worshiping the image of the beast, the golden calf, when he had a law they were to love with their hearts, souls (forehead) and might (hand). The mark was satan's answer to the Law of God. Moses told those on God's side to come to Him and stand on the mount. Levites, like the 144,000, stood with Moses, like standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion. 3,000 idolators were fallen just as Babylon is fallen is fallen. Israel had strayed so far from God's law, that they not only violated it in the worst way by rejecting Christ to whom the Law led them, but they actually had Satan's answer to Law on their foreheads (Law as frontlets between their eyes) and hands. It's all a contrast with how the cursings of Law came upon Israel who violated Law, making them a New Babylon.

Jesus came as Jerusalem's king in Matt 21. She rejected Him. When He was standing before them in custody by Pilate, Jerusalem cried "We have no king but Caesar!" Rome was the fourth beast. This was no casual statement. It is then that they cried for His blood to be upon them and their children (that generation).

Jerusalem and Rome continued their "affair" after they crucified the Lord in their union, by persecuting the church in Acts. Acts 4 actually uses the same terms Rev 17 used in saying "the kings of the earth" joined together with Israel. Who were those kings? Acts 4 says Herod, Pontius Pilate and the gentiles. Rome was the world power. Hence, her leaders were the kings of the earth.

The harlot rode the back of the beast and crucified her Groom. They rejected the government of God and appealed to Caesar as her king. Despite her abhorrence with Rome, Jerusalem claimed Caesar over Jesus... no small thing.

The overall message of Old Testament imagery under Law, when law is only written to those under Law -- Israel alone -- shows Israel to be the recipients of Law's curses listed in Revelation. Revelation cannot take curses of the law and infer these curses fall on those outside Israel, when Law is only written to those under law, Israel.

The issue of the changeover from Old Covenant to New, and from Old Israel to New, and Old Jerusalem to New is a huge issue that makes far more sense to be the relevance of Revelation, than a didactic idea, although I see didactic points in the book as well.

Revelation is about the great changeover of covenants and of God's dealings with Israel to fullness of Church existence, and all the judgment and mopping up that occurred as a result of the rejection of Chirst by Israel. The rejection of Jesus by Israel, and their judgment, cannot be so easily overlooked. It may be a small matter to us, but it was monstrous in God's eyes. It is, in fact, a major emphasis in all the epistles! Why would Revelation be any different? Yes, there is a didactic message in Revelation. But in every historical record in the Bible can we find didactic lessons to be learned. God deals with anybody in the general way he deals with the rest of us.