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Discussion

The Book of Revelation is considered to be offering a clearest as well as complete expression regarding the apocalyptic expectations of the initial Christian community. The Apocalypticism was not supposed to be a new phenomenon among the Christians as it was a well constituted belief among the Jews. This was considered to be held because of the coming of the Kingdom of God as such would not be brought through plodding transformation but it would be brought through a sudden and abrupt intervention. Therefore, when God would think of ending the current age and create or constitute the kingdom the world would be made in a new way. This particular beginning or the commencment was supposed to be acting as a coming of events as it was associated with the belief of the future time.

The paper discusses the Book of Revelation and it demonstrates such through the reading in Poythress and elaborates on how the book of Revelation provided comfort as well as hope for the Christians who experienced suffering and persecution. In conclusion, it summarizes the points that have been discussed and deliberated upon throughout the paper.

It was stated that before the conception of the events regarding the belief of the future time, the scuffle between certain forces of good as well as evil was considered to become penetrating as such would give rise to the evil powers and make them stronger as they would be inflicting persecution that would lead to death upon the individuals who followed the course of righteousness. Therefore, the struggle was something that would eventually reach a climax and during that time the God was said to intervene as he would destroy all the forces of evil by setting up a new order in which the path of righteousness would develop for the future. Thus, the appearance of a Messiah was supposed to coincide with the coming of these events. 

However, it has also been stated that the members of the Christian community were considered to affirm the belief that tormented and crucified Jesus was supposed to be the long-awaited Messiah as they were supposed to necessarily revise the comprehension that concerned the work of Jesus with the work that would be completed. Therefore, due to such, it had been a convincing theory of the Christian community that the work of Messiah was supposed to end in triumph and glory. They were also of the perception that this end would be established and accomplished through the return of Jesus as the time for connecting those events with the apocalyptic programs would take place. Thus, when the members of the Christian community established their belief the inauguration of the new age would take place as the final destruction for the forces of the evil would be constituted. Nevertheless, it was observed that through the passing of the years several Christians especially the individuals who were suffering from persecution from the indicators of the Roman administration became extremely anxious about the time before which the events took place. Towards the termination of the first century of the Christian era the emperor worship was supposed to be fairly established not through the city of Rome but through the out-of-the-way regions that shaped a part of the Empire. The Christians repudiated worshipping the emperor as they were suspected of all kinds of criminal activities that were subjected to severe penalties. Due to such, there were individuals who suffered martyrdom rather than any kind of denial in faith as it was supposed to be a crucial time for the Christian movement. This kind of suffering made the Christian community wonder about the end of persecution. On the other hand, the others were perplexed about the course that needed to be followed. Certain individuals were being tempted to abandon the faith in order to make concessions to Rome as these were considered to be sufficient in order to enable the individuals as such could save their lives. Therefore, the conditions were supposed to create abandonment of faith among the community as they had to make concessions to Rome for saving their life.

The Apocalypticism Belief

The Book of Revelation was supposed to act as a New Testament which offered the writings to be included through the gospel as such attributed towards the writings. However, this particular book was always observed and looked upon as an enigmatic book as it was quite beyond the grasp of the regular and typical lay reader as it offered several references to the angelic beings. The sumptuous and intricate description of Christ was supposed to appear through the heavenly courts as it was used through the mystic numbers as well as symbolic names. Thus, suggested somewhat hidden and esoteric meaning as it could be detected through an expert. However, there were others who had taken an opposite attitude as they found the book to offer certain predictions of the whole series of events. Therefore, it was strange as well as fantastic as the readers found an elaborate symbolism. The usage of the symbols was also considered to create a significant place in the religious literature as there were no other ways in which an individual could talk or think about the realm of a finite human experience. Nevertheless, it can be understood that the book also depicts dangers as the symbols might be interpreted in a manner which was not interpreted by the author as the content of the symbols needed to determine what the author meant. Nonetheless, there have been a source of confusion that created a failure in distinguishing between the prophetic writing and along with such the apocalyptic writing as the prophets were supposed to use a certain literary form to express the messages but the apocalyptic writers used certain distinct literary form which was considered to be better suited for the purpose that was engraved in their mind. Due to this reason, the characteristics of apocalyptic writing and the literary writing were distinct from each other. Moreover, the book also focused on careful study of the Christian community suffering and persecution and such described and demonstrated the conflict in a detailed manner through the forces of good and evil. It also promised a reward in the messianic kingdom as such was supposed to be established and the messages created a scope of benefit for the persecuted as such communicated the symbols to the faithful ones.

As per Poythress, the revelation was considered to create a basis for unveiling the message that was supposed to e concealed. The revelation was supposed to show the servants about the prophecy. The third stanza stated, “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who heart it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” It demonstrated the fact that God knew that some of the servants would hesitate over the book and due to such gave an extra encouragement or motivation by pronouncing the explicit and expressed blessing. The Revelation was supposed to act as the only book that stated that a reading should not be empty as the continuation is something that makes the reading clear. It was stated that, “take to heart what is written in it.” It was noted that the revelation was not supposed to fit through the brain but it needed to lead to vain speculations which would create a better aspect for formulating a practical response as these would make the individuals think about obeying the commandments.

The Struggle between Good and Evil Forces

It can be understood that, the Congregation in the book seemed to have the experience of a lifetime as the pastor was supposed to dutifully read the paragraphs and after such would listen to the responses and the prayers. Thus, the book offered a spontaneous exhortation and this created a repentance for the compromises within the world. The God’s imitation was used in a positive way as the image of God by a Man reflected the character of God and due to such the divine Son even before the Creation was considered to be the image of God. He was the image of the invisible God as he was the firstborn over all the creation. Satan was supposed to be the counterfeiter as he counterfeited God by producing a son which was the Beast and thus was considered to be the Counterfeit of Christ the Son as Satan aspired to control everything for himself in order to be God. Therefore, this was supposed to be his plan which was analogous to the father’s plan. Thus, the counterfeiting was supposed to be demonstrated or depicted through the Beast as it had ten crowns on the horns as the Beast was supposed to be blasphemous and Christ had worthy names. The difference or the distinction that was portrayed through the book regarding Christ and Beast was regarding the fact that the Beast had great power and the Christ was supposed to have divine power as well as authority. Nevertheless, the Beast was supposed to experience a counterfeit resurrection as it had a fatal wound where the wound was supposed to be healed due to the counterfeit character as this was considered to be a clear feature. Therefore, he did not experience the actual resurrection as the wound should have led to his death. The recovery however, was supposed to be astonishing as it was a big factor that led the individuals to follow him. Hence, as a result, it can be stated that the counterfeit miracle as well as counterfeit resurrection was supposed to lead to the primary elaborations in the book.

Thus, interpreted in the light of such characteristics, the Book of Revelation was considered to create an original and New Testament writings as the style as well as the number of symbols were followed by a precedent that had been established in the older apocalyptic writing. However, the unique and distinct feature of the Revelation was regarding the Christian era as the attitude of the Roman government was supposed to be extremely hostile towards Christianity and due to such the Christian community suffered as they were falsely accused of burning Rome. This led to a lot of hatred and suspicion towards the Christian community as they were condemned. Thus, the Book of Revelation tried to communicate the experience of the Christian Community’s suffering as the evil powers of the earth were set in destroying them and the triumph of righteousness needed to be established in those circumstances.

Conclusion

Therefore, in conclusion, it can be stated that, the messages in the Book of Revelation were considered to be addressed to seven angels and the good works of Christ needed to be performed for the Christian community to prevent suffering and persecution. The struggles and the challenges faced by them during that time helped the author write the Book as part of a New Testament as they desperately needed to believe that God would protect them from this suffering as it was time to intervene.

References

Allen, Garrick V. Manuscripts of the Book of Revelation: New Philology, Paratexts, Reception. Oxford University Press, 2020.

Allen, Ronald J. I Will Tell You the Mystery: A Commentary for Preaching from the Book of Revelation. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2019.

Beal, Timothy. "The Book of Revelation." In The Book of Revelation. Princeton University Press, 2018.

Borgen, Peder. "Polemic in the Book of Revelation." In Illuminations by Philo of Alexandria: Selected Studies on Interpretation in Philo, Paul and the Revelation of John, pp. 261-276. Brill, 2021.

Ellul, Jacques. Apocalypse: the book of Revelation. Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2020.

Ezez. 2022. "The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation". Frame-Poythress.org. https://frame-poythress.org/ebooks/the-returning-king/.

Gulaker, Cato. Satan, the heavenly adversary of man: a narrative analysis of the function of Satan in the book of Revelation. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.

Koester, Craig, ed. The Oxford Handbook of the Book of Revelation. Oxford University Press, 2020.

Menéndez-Antuña, Luis. Thinking Sex with the Great Whore: Deviant Sexualities and Empire in the Book of Revelation. Routledge, 2018.

Poythress, Vern S., (2000). The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2000.

Pruszinski, Jolyon GR. "The Cognitive Phenomenology of Doors in the Book of Revelation: A Spatial Analysis." Religions 10, no. 3 (2019): 194.

Ureña, Lourdes García. Narrative and drama in the Book of Revelation: a literary approach. Vol. 175. Cambridge University Press, 2019.

van Rensburg, Hanré Janse. "The revelations of Revelation: The book that fits, even when it does not." HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies 77, no. 4 (2021).

Waddell, Robby. The Spirit in the Book of Revelation. Brill, 2019.

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