851Re: [revelation-list] Re: Rev 2:9; 3:9
- Oct 12, 2006In a message dated 10/12/2006 9:20:29 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> My question is are these groups divided primarily by ethnicity orI, too, believe the Jews in 2:9 and 3:9 are ethnic Jews.
> covenant? That is, are the "144,000" comprised only of Jews "saved" in
> the OT and the "great multitude" composed of everyone saved under the
> new covenant [including Jews]? Or are the 144,000, all Jews,
> irregardless of covenant, and the great multitude all Gentiles, again
> irregardless of whether they were "saved" in the OT [like Naaman,
> Rahab, etc.] or the NT?
My understanding of Revelation is that it is something of an expansion of the
Olivet Discourse which was sparked by Christ's rejection of the temple (Mt
23:38-24:1-2) and his promise to judge it in "this generation" (Mt 24:34).
I understand its theme verse (1:7) as pointing to the (first century) Jews as
responsible for the "piercing" of Christ (see: Lk 24:20; Acts 2:22-23, 36;
3:13-15a; 4:10; 5:28, 30; 7:52; 10:39; 13:28-29; 1 Thess. 2:14-15). As a
consequence of their covenantal guilt, he "comes" in judgment against them as "the
tribes" in "the Land" (tes ges). The theme verse (which points to AD 70) occurs
in the very context where John emphasizes that the events must "shortly take
place" (1:1) because "the time is at hand" (1:3). (I have a brief paper on 1:7
from this perspective that I could post on revelation-list if anyone would
like for me to.)
The 144,000 represent Jewish converts to Christ in Israel (especially
Jerusalem) who are protected by escaping to Pella before the Jewish War with Rome
destroys the city. (The great multitude represent the church outside of Israel,
with special reference to its multi-racial composition.) The 144,000 correspond
to the naos and those who worship at the altar in 11:1. They are the ones who
are to "come out" of Babylon/Jerusalem (18:4) (ther are undergoing an exodus
from Israel which has become a new Egypt [11:8]). They are those in Judea who
heed Christ's charge to "flee" (Mt 24:16ff). They are the ones who are to
expect that he will "come" (spiritually in judgment) against Israel before they
"finish going through the cities of Israel" (Mt 10:23). They are the "remnant
according to God's gracious choice" (Ro 11:5).
I am currently writing a commentary on Revelation titled The Divorce of
Israel: A Redemptive-Historical Interpretation (I am in Rev 16 currently). I
understand references to the "earth dwellers" as meaning "those who dwell in the
Land (of Israel)." They are the apostate Jewish system of the first century whom
John calls "the synagogue of Satan" (2:9; 3:9) and Jesus charges with being
"of your father the devil."
Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.M., Th.D.
"Serious Studies for Serious Christians"
Revelation Commentary Project
If you would like to give toward funding my research on
Revelation please go to <A HREF="www.KennethGentry.Com">KennethGentry.Com</A> then click
on "Revelation Commentary Project."
Gentry, Covenantal Theonomy: A Response to T. David
Gordon and Klinean Covenantalism (241 pp; paperback)
Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology
(reprint of Second Edition) (600+ pp; paperback)
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