Sunday, December 03, 2006

Revelation Seals - Gospel Comparisons

Revelation Seals Gospel Comparison

I told Hank I was going to put up a short comparison of the seals of Revelation with birth pangs spoken of by Christ in the Gospels. This comparison is taken from the book by David Chilton titled, Days of Vengeance. I would love to have some interaction with this chart if there is disagreement.

Revelation 6
1. War (v. 1-2)
2. International strife (v. 3-4)
3. Famine (v. 5-6)
4. Pestilence (v. 7-8)
5. Persecution (v. 9-11)
6. Earthquake; De-creation (v. 12-17)

Matthew 24
1. Wars (v. 6)
2. International strife (v. 7a)
3. Famines (v. 7b)
4. Earthquakes (v. 7c)
5. Persecutions (v. 9-13)
6. De-creation (v. 15-31)

Mark 13
1. Wars (v. 7)
2. International strife (v. 8a)
3. Earthquakes (v. 8b)
4. Famines (v. 8c)
5. Persecutions (v. 9-13)
6. De-creation (v. 14-27)

Luke 21
1. Wars (v. 9)
2. International strife (v. 10)
3. Earthquakes (v. ha)
4. Plagues and famines (v. llb)
5. Persecution (v. 12-19)
6. De-creation (v. 20-27)

Along these lines, my friend Gordan has posted his perspective in regards to the first four seals of Revelation from the historicist position.


Gordan said...


Well, you asked for interaction, so here goes! (I don't think I disagree with you too much...)

1. The three gospel accounts are all speaking of the same historical event, so we ought not be surprised at great similarity.

2. The Old Testament prophets used all of the same language and elements to prophecy other judgments (like the going into captivity of Israel and Judah; and the fall of Gentile nations.) There is a prophetic "jargon" that is fairly uniform throughout Scripture, so that similarity of language and even pattern does not imply that the same event is in question.

3. I think my only point of disagreement with you (if I'm guessing right) is in your summary of what is intended by the vision of the four horsemen. I think a close examination of the text may argue just a bit with a couple of your labels there. I have been intending to blog on the topic of this vision for some time. I think you have now forced my hand! :)

(Don't want to leave a Comment here that is nine times the size of the original post...I'll let you know when I get something up at the Incrediblog.)

Have a great Lord's Day,

Tim said...

I'm looking forward to your post.

Hank said...

Tim, Tim, how many bundles can the beast of the field burden?

It would seem his back is starting to sway!


Your points as laid out:

1) The synoptic Gospels are in accord with one another. As is John's elaborated version of the same event. Would you not agree that this subject is saturated within the NT writings? Since Jesus is the quintessential Prophet, and he addressed this event with such magnitude, we should not be surprised that John is as well. The similarities reach further than the table of comparisons listed by Chilton.
The book was to be kept open as the time was 'at hand'. The time texts in the Gospels as well as Rev should be taken literal to place these events in the same era. John uses them as book ends, as well does the Gospels with the same theme, the people of that time, seeing the judgment as proof that the Messiah is on His throne. Jesus spoke of the judgment to come (not limited to the passages in the table)in the near future. Daniel spoke of judgment far into the future (sealed up), whereas John speaks of its nearness. Why would we not expect the similar language, and the SAME time frame are not describing the same event? Is Irenaeus the answer?
I discount the 'prophetic telescoping' in favor for a literal understanding of the covenant and its specified time of completion.
The covenant is the mainstay of Scripture and simply put, to have a New, the Old must be cast out.

2) You are right; the same type of language does not necessitate the same event. But the theme is judgment, as we all agree. The 5 point model of the covenant should help us see this theme throughout the Old and New Testaments, the breaking off of the Harlot. Yahweh's marriage to covenantally bound Jews requires a writ of divorce. This theme is basically summed up in Rev as the New Bride 'of the better covenant' came to fruitation as the harlot was to be judged for her iniquities. The Kingdom Christ so often spoke of was at hand, and this Kingdom was made known to all in AD 70. The curses promised for unfaithfulness in Deuteronomy had reached their full measure with the killing of Messiah. If the same language is spoken with the same time frame of fulfillment and the rehashing of the same theme of the entire New Testament, we should take note and concur that indeed Messiah is sovereign and ruling upon His Throne and this is documented for us in John’s vision. Agreed also is that this language is used for both pagan and Jew. How much more the judgment for those bound by the covenant? Do we just assume that the Jews ‘are free to go’?

This is a Theme that reoccurs in the Scripture with many terms and types, but the bottom line is that; as comes the bride, so goes the harlot.

If the Church of Rome is a harlot, how is the New Covenant, a better Covenant?

3) As with Tim, I will await your posts.


-Vassal of the Great King-

Gordan said...


We have interacted on some of your points here before, and it is a little disheartening to me to see you raise the same points as if you do not know what my answer to them is. Specifically, the bit about the "shortly" and the time is at hand, and the unsealed Revelation vs. the sealed book of Daniel. I understand that you don't find my answer persuasive on this point, but it seems here that you've raised it as if for the first time, curious as to how I might possibly respond...?

Disheartening as well to have you ask me if I think it would've been right to just let the Jews "go free." I had thought you understood me better than that.

For the record, again:

- I think the time references in the Revelation "at hand," "shortly," etc. are legitimate and literal because the fulfillments of the vision began to happen almost immediately upon their reception by John.

- I do agree that the AD 70 judgment upon the apostates of Jerusalem was righteous, just, and frankly demanded by God's covenant faithfulness. I also agree that this event is predicted repeatedly in the New Testament.

- Daniel, however, also predicts the victory of Christ's mediatorial kingdom over all the Gentile world dominions. This conquest by Jesus over all the kings of the earth is just as much a part of the covenant as are the threatened judgments upon unbelievers. Therefore, I don't see how an explanation of the latter is somehow more covenantally consistent than would be an explanation of the former (which I think Revelation is.)

I humbly believe that I have a fairly comprehensive understanding, Hank, of what you believe in this area, and why (having held to something very similar, if not identical myself.) But your comments above make me think that your understanding of my own beliefs is somewhat less comprehensive. I do not consider this a fault on your part, but a challenge on mine. I look forward to trying to explain the classical Reformed view, though I am quite certain of my lack of fitness for the job.

However, Hank and Tim, as my brothers whom I love in Christ, I would not have you hold your breaths while waiting on my explanation of the Four Horsemen. :)

But I will do my best to put something up this week.


Hank said...

Sorry, life is stressful and I dont have a grasp on what I say and where, much less anyone else.

I will keep my circular (as in the same things, rehashed) arguments to myself.

I will do more listening than speaking.

Gordan said...

Okay, you preterist partisans :)

I stayed up late tonight and have a post about the horsies at my blog.

Hank, no problem. I don't desire that you stop speaking.

Tim said...


Thanks so much for the demonstration of Christian charity here. It is a testimony in how we deal with one another in love. Gordan, I will try to read and post on your blog tonight. Thanks for taking the time to explain your position. Hank, I feel the stress too bro:)