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Revelations
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Paul
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:15 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

david_geoffrey wrote:
Hi Paul

I'm not sure if I have time to listen to those, but I would be interested in more thoughts on that theme. It is not something that I have even heard expressed before so thanks for that anyway

DG



If you look at the Apocalypse it's full of liturgical references. It starts by saying that St. John was in the spirit on the Lord's day. Then there are the seven golden lampstands, the seven letters to the seven churches of Asia minor, the lamb of God who appears to be slain (I think lamb of God is mentioned about twenty times in the Apocalypse), the altar, the seven vials which when poured out its contents turn into blood, the incense, the holy holy holy etc.. What we see is an unveiling of the heavenly liturgy. The Tenple in Jerusalem was a figure of this, and so is the Mass. When we go to Mass we go to heaven.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From a commentary on the book of Revelation found in the Orthodox Study Bible, which draws upon patristic understanding of the Book of Revelation, particularly its relation to the Liturgy (as Paul mentions above).

Introduction and Benediction

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

1:1 Revelation or "Apocalypse" (Gr. apokalypsis) literally means to unconceal, unveil or reveal. It was used anciently to refer to a coded message which must get through without getting into the wrong hands. God Himself is the ultimate source of all revelation (Dan. 2:28, 29, 45), but it is the Son, Jesus Christ - Who revealed Himself to the prophets of the OT before He became flesh, and now is made flesh - who mediates this unveiling (John 1:18; 8:26,40; 15:15; 17:8). This revelation is not only of the age to come, but of certain things from the past and of the present age as well. Things which must tell us this is not a haphazard presentation. Shortly take place describes God's time, which is always imminent.

1:2 The word of God refers to the Son of God. Testimony of Jesus means John's testimony concerning Jesus (John 21:24), not Jesus testifying of Himself. Bore witness (Gr. martyreo, a verb) and testimony (Gr. martyria, a noun) are forms of the word from which we obtain the word "martyr". Persecution is the consequence of witnessing. The martyrs (Heb. 12:1) are those who testify or bear witness, sealing their testimony with their blood in death.

1:3 A blessing is promised to those who read and hear this prophecy (Luke 11:28). This is the first of seven beatitudes of the Revelation. Blessed hear are both the reader and the hearers (the assembled faithful). provided they head what is said - for faith and works are inseparable. Time (Gr. kairos) here means an eschatalogical "decisive moment", a time of judgment, the time when all is fulfilled.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greeting to the Seven Churches
 
4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.




1:4-6 Historical records maintain that St. John dwelt in Ephesus and was bishop there. The Seven Churches were located near Ephesus along a major roadway. The number seven signifies fullness, suggesting the entire Church is also in view.

The doxology in these three verses is trinitarian, involving the Father (vv. 4-6), the Spirit (v. 4), and the Son (vv.5, 6). This initial greeting (lit. "the Existing, the Was, and the Coming") may express the Father, the one who is (Ex.3:14); the Son, who was (John 1:1); and the Holy Spirit who is to come (Acts 2) at Pentecost and shall always be present. Or it may simply denote the character of God, who is eternally present and exercises lordship throughout history (Heb 13:8). God reveals the meaning of the present in light of the past and of the age to come. This title may be a paraphrase of the OT name for God, I AM (Ex. 3:14)

The seven spirits of God most likely refers to the Holy Spirit, and His several gifts (seven being a number of fullness), as this phrase is included in the blessing with the Father and the Son (Re. 3:1). Alternately the term could refer to the seven archangels who, according to Jewish tradition, stand before the throne of God (Ezek. 9:2; Tob. 12:15).


1:5 Jesus Christ is presented as the Risen Saviour, Lord of all (Zech. 12:10), giving hope to the early Christians that the Church will not always be dominated by a cruel state. Instead of washed (v.5) many Greek texts read "freed". The term witness, used only twice in the entire NT (also Rev. 3:14), refers to Christ, the authentic witness of all divine revelation; all that God has revealed is summed up in His life, witness, Passion ,Resurrection, and exaltation. He has inaugurated the new age, for He is firstborn from the dead in His humanity, and has achieved a universal sovereignty by His death, Resurrection, and revelation of His kingdom for the world's salvation.

1:6 Those joined to the body of Christ comprise the messianic royal priesthood promised of old (Ex. 19:5,6; Is.61:5; 1 Pet.2:9). This priestly ministry is to offer the world back to God in sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, as in the Eucharist (lit. 'thanksgiving') of the Church. The universe thus becomes hallowed, transfigured, and sacramental. Amen is a Semitic word. It signifies ratification: an acknowledgement of something trustworthy.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."


1:8 Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, along with Beginning and End, testify to the eternalness of God, who is the origin and destiny of all things. Its attribution to the Son proves His divinity. History - and all of creation - begins and is completed in the Creator (Is. 44:6). Almighty (Gr. Pantokrator) is used throughout the OT (LXX translation), and is found ten times in the New Testament - nine of which are in Revelation.
The inscription which adorns the central dome of a properly adorned Orthodox temple bears the words of this verse; the fresco depicts the Lord Jesus, since He is the One who shows us the Father, and since He has used the title "Alpha and Omega" for Himslef (also Rev. 22:13)
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bnabernard
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That all sounds very much like Davids son Absolam.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vision and Commission of Christ
 
9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia:  to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,


1:9 Patmos was a small rocky island 40 miles off the west coast of modern Turkey, 50 miles south of Ephesus, to which the Romans exiled criminals. John's teaching must have been considered a seditious threat to the public interest for him to have been sent there.

1:10 In the Spirit may mean John received the revelation in a visionary ecstasy (Ezek 3:12), but could also mean that he was in worship ("in Spirit and in truth") of the Lord. The Lord's Day here is the one of the earliest references to the Christian day for Sunday. The Didache (c. 80[size=85]A.D.[/size]) and St. Ignatius of Antioch (d. 108[size=85]A.D.[/size]) show this name was used very early for the day when Christians gathered to celebrate the Resurrection in the Eucharist. As a fulfillment of the first day of the week of old creation, Sunday becomes the "eight day", the "first day of the new creation". The loud voice, as of a trumpet is a traditional, eschatalogical, apocalyptic introduction describing an appearance of the Lord (Ex. 19:16, 19; Matt 24:31; 1 Thess 4:16)

1:11-12 The glorified Christ introduces himself as the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, thus identifying Himself with God the Father. His position amidst the seven lampstands signifies His presence in the Church. The seven golden lampstands -- a fusion of the great Menorah of the temple, with its seven lamps (Ex. 25:31-37; Zech 4:2; Heb 9:2) and the golden candlesticks of Solomon's temple (1 Kin 7:49) -- represent the fullness of God's presence. Also symbolized are the seven Asian churches which receive the letters of Ch. 2 and 3. The reference to the lampstands offers further evidence (see also "in the Spirit") that John was in the church in a liturgical setting.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So now Jesus is not God he is like a lampstand?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

13 ...and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.

1:13-16 One like the Son of Man (v.13) recalls Daniel's messianic figure (Dan 7:13, repeated by Stephen at his martyrdom, Acts 7:56). Christ called Himself Son of Man (Mat 24:30-44) for He is the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy. Additional parallels to this description may be seen in both the Old and New Testaments (Ezk 43:2; Dan 10:6; Mat 17:2;Heb 4:12). We also see Christ vested in high-priestly garments (Ex 28:4; 29:5; Lev 16:4).
Further, Christ is here described as God, His hair being like that of Daniel's vision of God as the "Ancient of Days" (Dan 7:9; also Enoch 46:1). His eyes signify knowledge; His feet, permanence and stability; His voice, authority or teaching; His right hand power; His two-edged sword, complete discernment. This imagery continues throughout Revelation to affirm the preexistence and eternal divinity of the Son of Man. Thus, in Christ man (v.14) and God (vv.15,16) are united.

1:15 Daniel 2:31-45 indicates this mysterious metal foundation not only provides stability but has the ability to crush all opposition as well. These images are contrasted with the feet of clay found in Dan 2:33,44: The kingdoms of this world are not permanent, nor ultimately triumphant.

1:16 The Lord holds the stars which represent the angels of the seven churches (1:20), and hence the whole Church. For Christ is Lord of the Church. In His just judgment, the sword he wields is the word of God, which cuts effortlessly to the very marrow and heart of humanity (2:16; Is 11:4; Eph 6:17). The brilliance of His face recalls the Uncreated Light seen by St. John radiating from the Saviour at the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. 20As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

In verse 18 Jesus presented Himself as the resurrected One and the One with authority over the state of death and the place of the dead (cf. Ps. 9:13; 107:13; Isa. 38:10; Matt. 16:18; John 5:28).

v 19 provides an inspired outline of the Book of Revelation. Some of what John was to record he had already seen, namely, the Man standing among the seven golden lampstands with the seven stars in His hand (vv. 12-16). Some had to do with present conditions in the churches as exemplified by the seven churches (chs. 2—3). Some had to do with revelations about the times after conditions represented by the seven churches ended (chs. 4—22).63

In v 20, Jesus interpreted the meaning of some of the symbolic things John had seen. They were mysteries, revelations previously unclear until the Lord interpreted them. The seven stars represented the messengers of the seven churches, perhaps their angelic guardians or the pastors of these churches, or elders who may have come to Patmos to visit John and carried Revelation back with them to their respective congregations. The Greek word angeloi (“angels”) frequently refers to human messengers (e.g., Matt. 11:10; Luke 7:24; 9:52; 2 Cor. 8:23; James 2:25).[17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. 20As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

In verse 18 Jesus presented Himself as the resurrected One and the One with authority over the state of death and the place of the dead (cf. Ps. 9:13; 107:13; Isa. 38:10; Matt. 16:18; John 5:28).

v 19 provides an inspired outline of the Book of Revelation. Some of what John was to record he had already seen, namely, the Man standing among the seven golden lampstands with the seven stars in His hand (vv. 12-16). Some had to do with present conditions in the churches as exemplified by the seven churches (chs. 2—3). Some had to do with revelations about the times after conditions represented by the seven churches ended (chs. 4—22).63

In v 20, Jesus interpreted the meaning of some of the symbolic things John had seen. They were mysteries, revelations previously unclear until the Lord interpreted them. The seven stars represented the messengers of the seven churches, perhaps their angelic guardians or the pastors of these churches, or elders who may have come to Patmos to visit John and carried Revelation back with them to their respective congregations. The Greek word angeloi (“angels”) frequently refers to human messengers (e.g., Matt. 11:10; Luke 7:24; 9:52; 2 Cor. 8:23; James 2:25).
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 2

The Loveless Church
1 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. 6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’


2:1 The letters to the seven churches all follow a standard format: (1) John is commanded to write to the angel of the church (2) A short introduction of Christ with a descriptive title follows. (3) The status of the church is summarized, beginning with Jesus saying "I know," with praise or rebuke. (4) Exhortations are given. (5) The message concludes with "He who has ears, let him hear..." and a special promise to him who "overcomes"
Ephesus, the provincial capital (Gr. Metropolis) for Asia Minor, was a populous, prosperous city located on important trade routes. Besides the official cults of Artemis (Diana) and the emperor, various occult practices flourished there (Acts 19). The church had been founded by Paul about 53-56A.D, and according to tradition, both the Apostle John and the Virgin Mary (whom Christ had committed to John's care) lived in Ephesus.


2:2-5 The Ephesian church had preserved in orthodox faith and moral uprightness, but had left her first love, meaning love for God and each other. False Apostles were a serious problem in the early Church (Cor. 11:13-23), and Paul warned they would ravage the church of Ephesus (Acts 20:29). However, in the early 2nd century St. Ignatius of Antioch praised the Ephesians for their continuing resistance to heresy (Ign. Eph. 6:2; 9:1). The lampstand is probably the Ephesian church's honour as the metropolitan church of Asia.

2:6 The Nicolations were an early gnostic sect that tolerated idolatory and encouraged fornication. Some of the Church Fathers held the sect's founder to be an apostate Nicolas, one of the original seven deacons (Acts 6:5)

2:7 The message of the Spirit to the churches is explicitly a message to all Christians. In Hebrew, "conquering" and "saving" are synonymous: salvation is victory. He who overcomes does to by participating in Christ's victory over death, which is salvation. In contrast to members of the false Nicolation sect, "overcomers" remain faithful to Christ until the end, in spite of all obstacles. Further, they fulfill the original destiny of man by partaking of the tree of life (Gen 2:9). To eat of this tree is to receive eternal life (see Rev 2: 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7; 2 Cor 4:7-18). The fruit of the tree is the spiritual fruit of 1 Cor 10:3, the "medicine of immortality". Tree of life is also an allusion to the Cross, upon which all Christians must be co-crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20), partaking in the death of Christ in order to participate in His resurrection. The paradise of God is Heaven (Luk 23:43; 2Cor 12:2-4), the city of God, the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:1-22:5), contrasted to the original earthly paradise.


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