In my first article in the series, I explained my concept of a ‘mathematical’ problem presented by the New Testament’s book of Revelation. In this sequel I am going to explain how we can solve the problem.
Let me recap the problem here for those who have by chance not read the prior article.
I used the analogy of a mathematical problem in the sense that, Revelation does not conform to the general pattern that the New Testament follows; most of its terminology, writing format or style, and concept seem strange to many readers and Christians of today. These strange concepts make it difficult to understand leading many Christians to avoid reading it or believing it is not intended for them. Many Christians believe (or been taught to believe without verifying) that the Church is going to be ‘raptured’ before the 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 plagues mentioned in the book of Revelation take place and therefore it is not intended for the Church but for those who will be ‘left behind’! Therefore in my first article in the series I made the argument that, if the book of Revelation, which is the culminating, final chapter and climax of the story of Christ and His church does not seem to make sense to many of us, then it presupposes that we have misunderstood, misinterpreted or misrepresented the meaning, significance or implications of the New Testament’s concept of Salvation by Grace through faith. That is If X+Y is not equal to Z, then it means there is a problem somewhere in calculating the values of x and y. Not a problem with the Z ! The Lord cannot be wrong. Therefore there is the need for believers to go back to re-examine the concepts of the New Testament to see where we might have gone wrong.
Let us consider Apostle Peter’s words and grave warning for those misinterpreting Paul’s Words and Writings. 2Pe 3:15,16 ‘And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest(pervert), as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.’
If Paul’s words were hard to understand in the 1st century AD, and some were even using his words to teach something different to its original meaning at that time, are we so sure that our current understanding is so accurate?
So how do we go about solving the problem and finding what Revelation means? The answer lies in the Old Testament of the Bible. According to Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, the book of Revelation contains over 500 references to the Old Testament! In his Article ‘Old Testament References in the Book of Revelation’, Dr. Fruchtenbaum lists chapter by chapter each old testament reference. Some of these references speak of the very same thing as Revelation while others borrow a phrase or motif for the purposes of developing a new area. This is the greatest number of Old Testament References that any book in the New Testament contains.
Many Christians have the mind that the Old Testament is past and gone and under the Gospel of Grace and Justification by Faith, we do not need to follow what the Old Testament is saying or pay attention to it much. That is the mindset most Christians of today have and hence our lack of understanding of the New Testament’s book of Revelation. God knows exactly what the end time generation will be thinking about the Old Testament so he has basically summarized the whole old testament in the Revelation and put it there to remind us that it is by the Old Testament that the New Testament has become relevant and the need to go back to the Old Testament implications at the end of the Age. God says he is the Alpha and the Omega, and that His thoughts are not our thoughts neither are His ways our ways just as the Heavens are higher than the earth (Isaiah 55:8&9). God has basically said “not so fast” and pulled a fast one on Christians before the end time. He wants those who really search for Him diligently. It is critical for all of us to go back to the Old Testament to understand the New Testament. Considering how dense the Old Testament is, we have got work to do and there’s not much time left.
Pastor Stephen Bohr of Secrets Unsealed Ministry has a production titled ‘Cracking The Genesis Code’ that shows that, one cannot understand the book of Revelation unless one understands the prophetic themes contained in the stories in Genesis, the first book of the bible. He argues that the stories in Genesis on the surface is world history but under closer examination is all prophecy about the end time. Beginning from Adam and Eve to Cain and Abel, the story of Noah and the Lord’s flood, Abraham and Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah, Isaac and Jacob and the sons of Israel etc. He proves without a doubt that understanding the prophetic themes in Genesis will lead to understanding the book of Revelation. I will entreat every sincere believer of the truth to endeavour to watch Pastor Stephen Bohr’s ‘Cracking the Genesis Code’ on YouTube.
Revelation does not only take from the book of Genesis but also the other book of the old testament: Exodus, Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Job, Psalms, Jeremiah e.t.c. God took messages from all these books to compose the book of Revelation! We serve an awesome God don’t we? He only can do this. So what are we going to do? We need to go back to Genesis to read and understand the prophetic meaning of all the old testament stories with the help of the Holy Spirit. By doing this, we will gain a deeper understanding of God’s plan of salvation and the need of a New Covenant/Testament and its implications of justification by Grace through Faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
That is how we can solve the ‘mathematical’ problem in the New Testament, the values of X and Y can be found with the help of the Old Testament. When we have got the actual values of these variables then we can see that the book of Revelation (the value of Z) fits perfectly where it is and its implication of us Christians living today at the end time. There is not much time left so I wish you God’s blessings as you go in search of the timeless truths and the mystery of the ages that God has revealed to His children in the book of Revelation. God bless you all. This is a Revelation by Grace. I love you all.