Revelation - Lesson 13

The Roots of the Cross

A vision of how the death of Jesus on the cross has made it possible for us to be in relationship to God.

Lesson 13
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The Roots of the Cross

  • There is a wide range of interpretation of the book of Revelation because of the nature of visions. When John writes Revelation, he uses a pool of images that are familiar to him and his readers and we need to take into account what the images meant to people at the time.
  • Apocalyptic literature is based on the idea that the natural order is set within a larger content of a spiritual reality and that the dynamics of the spiritual realm play themselves out in the physical realm.  Apocalypse is a message from God regarding what God is about and what he is going to do.

  • The occasion for writing Revelation was the vision John had and the situation of the seven churches. John is trying to describe a scene in which various scenes are being played out simultaneously. John emphasizes the importance of living out your theology, as opposed to only being doctrinally correct.

  • John had a vision of the Son of Man. He had a message for the church at Ephesus.

  • Messages for the churches at Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum.

  • Messages to the churches in Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis and Philadelphia.

  • A message to the church at Laodicea and a vision of Jesus as a Lamb who shares the throne with God.

  • A vision of God the creator and the redeemer Lamb.

  • A vision of the seven seals.

  • A vision of the seven trumpets.

  • This lesson dives into the idea of encountering God in the world, warns about the destructiveness of sin, and presents a powerful angelic figure symbolizing God and Jesus as triumphant over fallen Babylon, with a mysterious aspect of the vision.
  • A vision of the seven trumpets. Chronology of the origin and development of the teaching of the rapture and dispensationalism.

  • A vision of how the death of Jesus on the cross has made it possible for us to be in relationship to God.

  • The description of the nature of Satan's war against God's children and in contrast to a description of God's redeemed.

  • A vision of the seven bowls.

  • A vision of fallen Babylon.

  • In this lesson, you gain insights into the concept of Fallen Babylon and the transformative power of the cross. It emphasizes that accepting the cross liberates you from the world's illusions, allowing you to accept your own falsity as healed and yielding to the Holy Spirit's action. The lesson challenges the idea of choosing between the world and Christ, proposing that you can choose both simultaneously, seeking unity, wholeness, and love at the deepest level of your being.
  • Dr. Mulholland answering questions from the students.

  • A vision of the victory of the Lamb and discussion of the wrath of God.

  • A vision of the New Jerusalem.

  • Dr. Mulholland's lesson delves into God's love as the core of self-discovery. False self obstructs the truth. True self blooms in faith, openness, trust, and yielding to God, shifting focus from ego to divine presence. Embrace this shift, become citizens of a new Jerusalem in a fallen world.
  • A vision of the people of the New Jerusalem.

  • John wrote the book of Revelation as a call to radical discipleship as faithful citizens of God’s new Jerusalem in the midst of a fallen Babylon world. There is no video for this lecture.

Revelation is a vision of Jesus the Messiah. John focuses on the profound depths of what God has done, is doing, and will ultimately consummate in and through Jesus. A second central theme in Revelation is the role of the cross in what God has done and will accomplish. The contrast and interaction of the "New Jerusalem" and "fallen Babylon" is also a significant theme in Revelation. Videos for lectures 7, 8 and 9 are not avialable yet. Lecture 23 was recorded in audio only. 

We think that the title of the devotional book that Dr. Mulholland reads from at the beginning of some of the lectures might be Merton's Palace of Nowhere by James Finley. Unfortunately, Dr. Mulholland is deceased so we can't confirm this. 



Dr. Robert Mulholland


The Roots of the Cross

Lesson Transcript


Attempt to check out. Yeah, well, I don't know how I would. Guys in the class. Hey. Hey. You know, you didn't have to, You know, early suicide, In other words, you know, deserve to be pretty. Yeah. Oh, my God. Oh, they get. We got that. I think my brother is 100 right now. You know that. You know, we got. We got in about 12 right now. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. That's where he's picking up the energy. But then he's, you know, he's totally helpless. Oh, yeah, Yeah, you're right. Yeah. He's never plummeting back to the monastery where they have, like, you know, I mean, that's a good way to start. Good morning. You had a good weekend. Yeah. Yeah, but we take a giant step closer to understanding the place of the world in Merton's spirituality. When we begin to appreciate what it means to say that we and the world enter. Penetrate that we are in the world. Like salt in the ocean. Somebody uses that image, doesn't it? You're the salt of the earth. Merton writes. The way to find the real world is not merely to measure and observe what is outside us, but to discover our own inner ground. For that is where the world is. First of all, in my deepest self, this ground, this world where I am mysteriously present at once to my own self and to the freedoms of all other persons, is not a visible, objective and determined structure with fixed laws and demands. It is a living and self creating mystery of which I am myself a part and to which I am myself. My own unique door. End of quote. In other words, the world is not out there to be accepted or rejected.


This entire interpenetration of ourselves and the world is itself inter penetrated by God. The false self. Encased in the hard shell of egocentric awareness rejects all such interpenetration with God with whom our true self is bound in a union which is our own ultimate identity, and with others with whom our true self is bound in a union of perfect charity. That's the false self is found in a fragmented state, which it seeks to overcome by adherence to the chimera of social myth. My way of social needs. The false self is projected into the communal life of the communal lie of the world, understood in a negative sense as that place which fosters our own deepest lie about ourselves. Mrs. Merton again, the mother of all lies, is the lie we persist in telling ourselves about ourselves. And since we are not brazen enough liars to make ourselves believe our own lie individually, we pool all our lives together and believe them because they have become the big lie uttered by the vox populi. And this kind of lie we accept as ultimate truth. Pray with me. Lord, we give you thanks and praise. For your unfathomable love. We pray that in these words. We may hear your voice. Calling us out of our false identities. Into that life of loving union with you. And with others. In your name, We pray. I'm in. Okay, Let me do some more checking here. Jonathan Hunt right now. Jonathan joining right now. Brandon Lewis, random. All right, Craig. Hmm? Oh, okay. Let's see. Tab Miller. Robert annually. Okay Ryan Sutter in the back and Brandon Ogden in the back. Okay. I'm going to try some more Randy race. Right. Okay. And David Shoemaker. We once going twice. Jeremy been our.


And Aaron, Tiger was. There you are, Aaron. Okay. And Melanie. Okay. Thank you. We're getting there. We're getting there. Okay. I want to I want to come back to where we left off. Last Thursday on Chapter 12 for the good of the woman. And I want to I want to try to amplify this some more because there were a lot of questions about this. The these what I'm reading from here are my responses to my editor on my commentary and revelation, which will be forthcoming sometime if the Lord doesn't get here first. They've had they've had the manuscript since 1996, but it is ten. Their house is printing it, you see. And so my manuscript came out about the same time as the Left Behind series began, which they published. But they didn't want to. They didn't want to shoot the goose that was laying their golden eggs. So but they've told me it will be out by 2011. So you know that song from that come along and a long, long expected commentary about how the image of the woman clothed with the sun in the Jewish. And if anyone wants a copy of this, I can get it for you. These these pages, it's a lot more than I'm going to read and I'm going to read in a Jewish pool of images. God is a pillar of fire and exodus. I just like whole series of those, especially 100, some hundred and four two where God is dressed in a robe of life. And then, of course, a number of New Testament passages where this is played out, where where God is claimed. God is like God as far as brightness. But here, here's an interesting passage from First Enoch. One of the injured has some mental writings and I beheld a vision and lo, there was a second house greater than the former, and the entire portal stood open before me.


And it was built of flames of fire. And this floor was of fire. And above it were lightnings and the path of the stars. And a ceiling also was a flaming fire. And I looked and I saw there in a lofty throne. Its appearance was as crystal and the wheels thereof as the shining sun. And from underneath the throne came streams of flaming fire. So that I could not look thereon. And the great glory sat thereon. And his raiment shown more brightly than the sun, and was whiter than any snow. The flaming fire was round about him. And a great fire stood before him. So here you have in the international period that the further development of this idea of of God as fire, as light, as brightness. And and so I think that and especially with 104 psalm you know you've clothed yourself with life as with a garment that it seems pretty certain that the imagery that John is using is pointing to to the woman as God, then standing on the moon. As I mentioned, we're Israel's worship is a lunar based cycle of worship, and there's a whole series of numbers. First Chronicle. Second Chronicles has here Nehemiah Isaiah, a song young Josiah. And apparently the lunar dynamic was such a significant part of their worship of God that they are warned not to worship the moon itself as though it were a God. And that's in Deuteronomy and second Kings. Now, one of the expressions of Israel's worship is, is that they worship at God's footstool. Psalm 99 five and 132 seven, suggesting their position in worship is at God's feet. The temple where Jewish worship took place was God's footstool. First Chronicles 28 to fourth, Ezra 64. And perhaps Israel itself is God's footstool.


Lamentations two one Although this could be the temple that Jeremiah's. Speaking of. And also falling at someone's feet to worship is a well-established image for worship. We see it even through the New Testament. So it seems clear that one image of worship is falling before God's feet. Another is worshiping at God's footstool, the Temple. So when you put these two images together with the lunar dynamic of of Israel's worship of the lunar based cycle of worship. Then and also the idea of worship as falling in God's feet. Here with God's. The woman standing with the moon, with the moon under her feet. You put all of these images together again, makes it a pretty strong case. I think that that the woman is God, then the crown of 12 stars. I mentioned Isaiah depicts Israel as a crown in God's hand. Zachariah depicts Israel as jewels in a crown. And Bill, if you read the section of Bill 646 2526 provides a more extensive evidence for understanding the stars as Israel. Now, if the stars are Israel, as these images suggest, and of course Bill does much more with this, then the woman cannot be Israel. Israel may be a reflection of the one, but if the stars are Israel, then the woman cannot be Israel. And if the crown is Israel, as in Isaiah and Zachariah, the one wearing the crown cannot be Israel. So it would seem that, again, the imagery here is pointing to God as the woman. Now I go through all of the arguments for the other IDs, you know, of Israel, Mary, and of the church. One of the interesting features here and let me jump ahead. Now, there's not one commentator which suggests that the woman is gone, although some of the early church fathers point us in that direction or a few minutes comes close.


It was a quote, however, that the vision might show that the Lord was being carried in the womb was the shelter of his own mother and of the whole creation. It says he was in clothing. The woman. So and this is his commentary on this passage of revelation. And then he macias. Also hints that this idea, it is frequently said that a genus is divided into many species, which are the same thing for what was heaven itself. God is now a temple in heaven and now is the woman clothed with the sun and having the moon under her feet. And now is really both of these to God, but rather rather obliquely. I think those are the two you know, those are the two problems that at least point in that direction. Although you do have a number of of writers like Teresa of Avila, Julio Norris, John on the cross, who consistently use female images for God. So, you know, this is not something brand new that I'm springing on you. Then another dimension of this. I may pick up on some of this if you have questions. Yeah, the. Later on, we're going to see that this woman has the wings of the eagle. Which is an image I forgot as well in Exodus. And God says to Moses, You have seen right into the Egyptians and how I bore you on eagle's wings and brought you to myself. And then in in Deuteronomy 3211. As an eagle stirs up. It's next and hovers over its young. As it spreads its wings, takes them up and bares them aloft. On his opinion. The Lord alone guided him. Jacob, That is Israel. For that, says the Lord. Look, he. God, this is Jeremiah 4843, 35 to 39 is the introduction will swoop down like an eagle and spread his wings against Moab.


And Jeremiah 49 4922. Look, God shall mount up and swoop down like an eagle and spread his wings against Basra in the heart of the Warriors of Eden. So you've got you've got these images of God as an eagle or God as the wings or God having the wings of an eagle. I bore you here on eagle's wings, he says to Moses. So. So again, that image that we'll come to a little bit later, we haven't gotten to it yet but later in chapter 12 is would seem to indicate the woman is gone. Ben. Now, we can't we can't be sure whether anything from the Dead Sea Scrolls would have been knowledgeable to John. Nor can we know whether there was something behind this passage in the Dead Sea Scrolls that may have been common awareness in the first century period. But this is from one Q page three versus 7 to 12. Her terrors and fearful pains have unfurled on a swell of waves that she capitalists who is with child might bring into the world her first born. The children have reached as far as the swelling waves of death. And she who is being with the man messiah is in travail in her pains because she should give birth to a male child in the swelling eves of death and in the bonds of shall there shall spring from the crucible of the pregnant one. A marvelous counselor, of course, has a messianic image, is matched with his might, and he shall deliver everyone from the swelling waves because of her who is big with him, and at the time of the bearing of her firstborn, every tear unfurls over the crucible of her who is with child. And let me sort of rephrase this in terms of John's vision.


She was with child. God might bring into the world her firstborn Messiah. For the children humankind have reached as far as the swelling waves of death and bondage to the dragon shi God who is big with the man. The Messiah is in travail in her pains. God's cruciform love for humanity, for she God shall give birth to a male child, the Messiah in the swelling waves of death into the mouth of the dragon, and in the bonds of Shaolin into the mouth of the dragon. There's a spring from the crucible, Cruciform love of the pregnant one A marvelous counselor, a messiah with his might rule the nations with the rod of iron, and he shall deliver everyone from the swelling waves. Satan's rebellion because of her God who is big with him? The Messiah. At the time of the bearing of her first born, every tear unfurls over the crucible of her who was with child dragon waiting to devour the child when it is born. So and again, like I say that we cannot say with any degree of certainty that John would have been aware of this passage from the Dead Sea Scrolls. But. The Dead Sea Scrolls may be reflecting a common imagery of that period that John simply has has adopted, although not necessarily so. I think we can see from the imagery, from the biblical imagery itself, as well as from some of the intricacies of mental imagery that the John is playing out of a pool of images here that would have been very familiar to his readers, steeped in that image world, in that pool of images. So. I think, at least in my mind, John is indicating that the woman is God. Then the dragon, which is identified a little bit later, this great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven diamonds on his head.


Now hear some translations say seven crowns. That is a very, very faulty translation. If your translation has seven crowns, drop a big black line through it and write diagrams. But look at the Greek. Amani, his head and horns, and upon the heads he has had seven. They are dame on par. Not Stephanie's. Stephan asked. The Stefanos Crown in John's vision is reserved for heavenly beings. And the crown in the on her head. She has a crown of 12 stars. It's a Stefano's crown. And the believers have crowns. Remember the 24 elders who represent us? They cast their crowns before the throne. Stefanos Crowns. The idea Amateur hour associated with the Dragon and the Beast, as we shall see. Now. Seven heads and ten horns, and the diamonds are on his heads. Well, we got to got to sort of keep that in mind, because later on when we get over to Chapter 13, we're going to see that the beast has seven heads in. But the diagrams are on the horns. And not on the heads. Something has happened between verse three of 12 and chapter 13, and what has happened is the Dragon's rebellion. Now what what has taken place? Well, head is representative of of being. And so here seven heads would be the totality of being and the diagrams on his head would indicate that his his rule or his control or his power is in his very being. Horns are representative of of power. So that when you come over to the Beast in chapter 13 and the nine items have shifted from the head to the horns, you see. Then the the control is no longer in his being, but in his power sort of might makes right kind of idea.


Now, here is one of the problems stuck in my mind. Oh, when we get to the beast, we'll see that instead of diamonds on his heads, he has a blasphemous name. Of course, name has to do with the nature. So it's another indicator John is giving us that there's been a radical change in the very nature of this being, whatever it is. And of course, here we are identified as Satan. In his tail, sweeps down a third of the stars of heaven, throws them into the earth. Into the earth. I think I mentioned that. And here here is sort of a prelude of Satan's rebellion, which we'll see in chat in verse seven. In the drawing. He stands before the woman who was about to bear the child so that he might devour the child as soon as it was born. We saw that. And of course, that is you might say that is the seed of Satan's rebellion. In that Satan wants to be God. He wants to usurp God's place. He wants to take God. He wants to be in control of God. Which is the essence of Satan's rebellion. And of course, the essence of the temptation. What does Satan want to Satan say to Eve? You will be like, God. And of course, this is exactly what fallen humanity has consistently done. We have taken the fact that we are created the image of God and we have grasped it to play God for ourselves. That's part of the significance In what? Paul says in Philippians, who being in the form of God, do not call inequality, we got something to be grasped. Yes, that's exactly what we do. We grasp that. By the way, another thing that's here I wanted to share with you.


The idea. I think I mentioned last week that Paul is wrestling with the same reality. What John is seeing is, is the cross being a revelation of who God is rather than something God did. And I mentioned Tom Wright's article on in his book, The Climax of the Covenant. Here's what he says. The real humiliation of the incarnation in the cross is that one who was himself God, and who never during the whole process stopped being God could embrace such a vocation. The real theological emphasis of the hymn, therefore, is not simply a new view of Jesus. It is a new understanding of God. Calvary reveals the truth about what it meant to be God. Incarnation and even crucifixion are to be seen as appropriate vehicles for the dynamic self-revelation of God. So what do you see Paul doing there? And I think he's right is that Paul is wrestling with what John is seeing his vision. At The very essence of God's nature is cruciform love that is manifested fully for us in the cross. But that is the revelation of who God is. And I think we've we talked about four five. The messianic imagery there, of course. Snatched away as you. Resurrection, ascension. Then the woman fled into the wilderness where? Where she has a place prepared by God. And of course, that raise it. Well, if the woman's God, what's going on here? Well, certainly God can prepare a place for God. No problem. Interesting thing about place. And again, I'm not going to read the whole thing to you, but when you. When you look at the the role of place. Now, Bill notes that in the rest of the New Testament, it's a synonym for the temple. In the Septuagint.


It's a it's a common synonym for the sanctuary. And. And he says in the Greek Old Testament by itself. It's often used on the temple. And of course, in the Jewish quarter of images, the temple is the drawing place of God or even God himself. Yeah. The wilderness represents no place. Papa's place. Okay. Place. Yeah. Where she has a place prepared. So. So it may be that what John is doing here when he talks about a place, a place prepared that that this is the representation of God's presence with humanity, with fallen humanity, you just as a temple, you see, is God's place, literally a geographical place in the Jewish understanding. You know, if you were to ask where is God's presence with humanity in the first century, the Jews would say the temple in Jerusalem. Oh, and I think I mentioned last week that that they would get a very interesting confluence of imagery here, because in a Jewish pool of images, the desert wilderness is at the same time the place of the demonic and the place of God. And I think what John is trying to portray for us here. Is that God is present with us in the midst of all Babylon. God is not off there. Up there. Out there somewhere. But if God is present with us in the midst of fall in Babylon. And notice that where she can be nourished for 1260 days, there's that same 42 month, three and a half year period where lots faithful people experience tribulation at the hands of all of Babylon. We've seen this back in Chapter 11. We're going to see it again in chapter 13. I think what John is portraying here, you see, is that in God's cruciform love, God is present with us in the midst of our tribulations at the hands of all of Babylon.


So. I think I think there's more of a connection with Jesus temptation in the wilderness where at the same time angels minister to him. You see Moses in the wilderness. I guess you could probably work this out this way, because certainly God is with the people as they marched through the wilderness, the pillar of fire and the pillar of smoke. At the same time, there are all sorts of of, you might say, demonic attacks, temptations and yielding to the temptation. You know, the golden. Figuring that Aaron makes. So you probably could do something with it that way as well. I'm not sure. I'm not trying to work that one through. It seems to be I mean, someone being persecuted, fleeing into the wilderness, a place prepared and being nourished for three and a half years seems to be a pretty ringing allusion to Elijah. To Elijah. Elijah. And with with the Elijah and Moses allusion being right there beforehand. I don't know if that brings anything to this, but it seems to be thinking that I'm what I'm wrestling with in the Elijah image is that Elijah was fed after the fact. Meredith after he fled, after he won the contest with the promise of mail, you know, and the rain came and everything. And then Jezebel sends word to him, you've had it, you know, And that's when, you know, that's when he flees. And there is where he is provisioned. You know, the Ravens bring the food to him. Every time I see wilderness, some prone to think of the wilderness experience of Israel. And even after the exile, Israel looked at the wilderness imagery as that was the time that we got to know God. And that was the time that we were closest to him.


Every time we've been in the land, we went after other gods. But they always looked back at that wilderness experiences that time that they were nurtured and grown in God. Exactly. And if you if you look at the New Testament period. There are a whole series of messianic pretenders who take their followers out into the wilderness. You see, the wilderness is the staging area for the restoration of the kingdom. And you and John the Baptist appears in the wilderness preaching the baptism, repentance for the forgiveness of sins, which of course is the prelude for the restoration. When Paul is arrested and the Roman Tribune saves him from being mauled by the Jews in the temple. And Paul asks the Tribune, Can I speak to the people? And the Tribune is amazed that Paul knows Greek obviously has spoken to the Tribune, and the Tribune said, Are you not? Then the Egyptian who led the 4000 men of the Saqqara e out into the wilderness. This is another pseudo messianic revolution. So so this is the wilderness imagery is a very vital and vibrant imagery for the Jewish people on both sides of the street, so to speak, the demonic and the divine. Jonathan This the verse six seems to be where I, I keep tripping on identifying the woman. This God is that you seem to have God nursing God in a place prepared. And I don't see how that communicates hope to the church that does not seem to be in the picture. If if the woman isn't the church or Israel and I'm still I guess have you formulated any arguments to help make that fit? Well, only only that. See, if. If God's essential nature is cruciform love. Then the idea of God being intimately.


Involved with. Is, people in their tribulation, you know, makes perfect sense. And then, of course, God who sustains God, but God himself. Okay. You know, my my lectionary reading for this week is the is the 50th Psalm or God says, do I need food from you? You know, my whole universe is mine. That's very in keeping with the imagery of the woman, as God could just be kind of an indicator of the Messiah, the incarnation on earth. You know, as. As you know, this this time on earth, being a wilderness kind of experience, you know, where where Satan. You know, going back to the temptation of Christ in the wilderness, you know, that, you know, Satan Christ was now on Satan's territory, so to speak. And we're going to see here at the end, you see we're going to see Satan's response to this reality. And there's nothing he can do about it. Let's move on and pick up, perhaps answer some of these questions one more fully when we get toward toward the end. It might be just quibbling a little bit too much over one word, but I would if the woman is God, why would God have to flee of Satan fleet? I mean, God is God. So I would. Yeah, You have to send every gospel. Under the Trinitarian understanding. We've seen this before. The in the in the wilderness. God was tempted. I say, Yeah, but he doesn't. He doesn't try to get away. I mean, he. He's tempted. Any overcome? Yeah. The word flee is an interesting one here. But again, let's. Let's go to the end and see how it plays out. So then you get Satan's rebellion. Then you get the war breaking out in heaven. And Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon.


The dragon and his angels fight back. But they were defeated. And there was no longer any place for them in heaven. There's no place for Satan's rebellion in God's realm. You know, a place for one who wants to be God in God's realm. And the great dragon was thrown down that ancient serpent. Now, here's where we get to. Here's where we find out who the dragon is with thrown down the ancient serpent who was called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world was thrown down into the earth. There's another one of these into the earth, by the way, which is one of the places where we. We see the definition of earth. The earth is, you might say, Satan's realm. It is where Satan is thrown down into the earth and his angels were thrown down with him. That goes back to traverse three or four that a third of the stars that were swept down into the earth and the tail of the dragon. This picking up in another modulating that image somewhat. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven proclaiming Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Messiah. The accuser of our comrades has been thrown down who accuses him day and night before our God. But they've conquered him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony, for they did not cling to life even in the face of death. Now, that is that is almost a reprise of what we saw with the seventh trumpet. The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our God and of His Messiah, etc. etc., etc.. See what John is seeing here. He sort of his vision is moving him from seeing that the cross is the confirmation of the old covenant in Chapter 11.


And that and that there is where the victory is won now. Now God has taken his great power and begun to reign, you see. And that in reality, this goes all the way back to who God is in the very nature of God's being. And even before, you know, the foundation of the world. God. The nature of God's being is He has overcome Satan's rebellion so that it goes all the way back there. Although John then links it out, you say to God's faithful who did not cling to life even in the face of death. Remember, John Scott is writing to people who are facing the possibility of martyrdom, who are experiencing tribulation at the hands of their fallen Babylon world. And of course, the blood of the lamb comes in at this point as well. You say here, here you get Jesus clearly linked with God in this whole process. Rejoice their new heavens and those who dwell in that low to the earth in the sea. The devil is due with great wrath because he knows it. His time is short. And notice the word for time here is Kairos, not Chronos. So that Satan's. How do you say the extent of Satan's around the duration of Satan's realm? Very nature of Satan's realm is very proscribed. Here's another statement of God's sovereignty. Satan does not have free reign. So when a dragon saw that he'd been thrown down to the earth, into the earth, into the earth again. He pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child, but the woman was given the two wings of the great Eagle so that she could fly from the serpent into the wilderness to her place. I see we're coming back and picking up the same imagery again to the place where she is nursed for a time.


Times and half a time. Three and a half years. Then. From his mouth. The serpent poured water like a river after the woman to sweep her away with the flood. And by the way, in the Jewish pool of images, we've already mentioned that the sea is representative of the demonic and. Uncontrolled water. You see that the reason the sea is an image for the demonic is because the sea is uncontrollable, at least in human terms. And so here's a flood to another another destructive image. So the serpent is using, you know, you might say, the material of his realm, water, the sea to to try to flush God out of of his territory. But the earth came to the help of the woman. The even Satan's realm militates against him. The Earth came to the help of the woman and opened his mouth, swallowed the river. The dragon had his mouth. And I think one of the significant things here is, is coming back to the term place. There was no place for the dragon and his angels in heaven. God has a place in the wilderness in the dragon's realm, and the dragon cannot get God out. So Dragon was angry with the woman. And went off to make war on the rest of her offspring. Those who keep the commandments of God and those who have the testimony of Jesus. Now here, John, is using a very different terminology. We've seen that Christians are spoken of as those who have the word of God in the witness of Jesus. But now it's those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony or the witness of Jesus. And I suspect that what may be happening here is that John is bringing together the old covenant community, those who keep the commandments of God and the New Covenant community, those who have the testimony of Jesus.


So that in a sense, you see we're we're now coming out of this, you know, part of the vision where John and seeing the dynamics that took place before the beginning, so to speak, and now he's saying in history this is what is behind the historical experience of God's faithful people. Well, we're in John's day for the last 1400 years. And for us in the last 20 last 3400 years, you see. That that what has been behind the tribulation or the persecution of God's faithful people, both Jews, Covenant and Christians, and the New Covenant is the Dragons War that the Dragon is trying to to eradicate God's people. Hmm. Yes. Then the dragon took his stand on the sand of the seashore. Now, here you can. There's two different ways to translate this. You can say. It can be traveled either. I stood on the sand of the Sea Corps. He stood on the sands of the sea. But it really doesn't make any difference which one it is because we're we're not going to see in chapter 13 a beast come from the sea and a beast coming from the land. Where is the best vantage point to observe both of those? We're seeing land come together. We're also going to see that both of these beasts are an incarnation of Satan's rebellion. So what better place for Satan to do that for the one that comes from the sea longer than standing where the sea and the land meet. So either way, John's imagery is sort of pointing ahead to coming attractions The Beast from the Sea and the Beast from the land. And we've got to remember here that back in chapter ten, we saw Jesus, this mighty angel standing with his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land.


Three times John said that, remember, he repeated three times for emphasis. Now, as we get into Chapter 13 and see a beast from the sea. A beast from the land. You see, if you go back, read in your memory. Oh, yeah. Jesus is already the victor over this. And now that'll play. And as we'll see. Okay. Before we move into 13, any questions on 12? Now, you see how John weaves us together here. Yeah, I, I agree with I mean, the imagery that he uses is clearly got imagery. It's just strange for me to think of God having to flee away from Satan. I mean, like in the wilderness, in the in the gospels, Jesus says, Get away from me. Satan seems like, okay, you know, Jesus doesn't flee away from Satan. Hmm. No, I that's that's only right. I, I hear what we're saying about fleeing. I don't see any note of causality. I don't see anything that says God had to flee just before he did. And I wanted to bring that up to you, see if one would be inherent in the other. Yeah, that's a good insight. And, you know, one aspect of this could simply be a way of trying to to portray that. Satan's realm. Is it? There's no connection. Between Satan realm and God's realm, that that that that which is holy, you see, is totally other than than this rebellious realm. So it's sort of like, well, if you think of take two powerful magnets, the positive pulls of two powerful magnets, and what happens if you try to put them together? Yeah, they repel one another. Yeah, this this may be an aspect, but I think another aspect of it that may be part of it.


The other aspect of it, again I think, is that God is cruciform love, that God is a God who wins by losing, who lives by dying. Who conquers by being defeated. And so the flight word may be portraying something of that reality as well. Now. Yeah, that seems to be an indication of the reality, as it appears in John's day that God is not indeed sovereign. It looks like God has fled with the church in the wilderness. It is holding that up, but he's no way stomping around in Rome, crushing the pantheon. Hmm. Hmm. And so it seems to be, I guess, a good place in the midst of all of this demonic to remind people God is there with you when look, he is going to stamp out this rebellion eventually. Yeah. Let's say, Tommy, I've been. And yet I'm still not exactly sold on the whole woman being God yet until the period until looking at verse 17. And I have one question. Maybe one maybe possibly two questions for you. Based off of 17, I'm looking at this a positive year to make war on the rest of your children. Well, who are the women's children? Those who hold the commandments of God and those who hold the testimony of Jesus. Okay. That also suggests they see that the woman has to be something other than Israel or the church. Exactly. Exactly. So it begs that question. So I guess my one question is, if this could this be Israel, if this is maybe referencing back to Abraham, the father of many nations. Because I am a I'm gentile, but I'm a father. But I'm still a child of Abraham because of God's promise that he gave to Abraham. So I guess my question is.


Is that a bad assertion? Well, that's not a bad assertion. I'm not sure that that's what John is intending. Okay. See, I think here, particularly in the fact that he has used the phrase I have the word of God in the witness of Jesus very consistently to describe Christians himself and his fellow Christians. Right. And here is the one place where he switches it to those who keep the commandments of God. I mean that in a Jewish pool of images that clearly is a covenant on the standing, you see. Yeah, you can get past it. Yes, Terry. Okay. I do not have a problem with the word flood because I'm thinking right after that, immediately following it goes back in, I guess. God's time to the war and heaven. The war was already fought. Satan's least assured Satan. This is already do. And when God invades his territory, He chooses to engage Satan on his grounds. And and so that that fleeing war, you know, may be the perception there. But immediately following this, you know, is is Satan getting ready to you know, I know my time is up, you know, and he's getting his stuff together because because God is here now. Right. I'm just trying to sort out I've got a lot of background with those who dispense sectionalism and so forth. And ironically, the very ones who think of all this part of revelation as that's going to logical, also use all this battle imagery and the polling and the thermal of the angels and all as a defense for the Gap theory in Genesis 1111112. Where does all this? Where does John get all this imagery, theologically speaking, Old Testament or so forth? How does it fit temporally? How does it work in all these or against all his arguments? Well, I think it works against these arguments simply in that what John you see here is I mean, you might say you've come to the the depths of his vision at this point because he he has seen who God is, that God is cruciform love.


And if God is cruciform love and that says a whole lot about the way in which God engages the rebellious heart of God does not engage him as the warrior, you know, with an army fighting a battle against. The opposing forces. But the God God's victory is the slain lamb because victory is the cross. And here you see, I think and we've already seen John linking the two covenant community, the old covenant community and the New Covenant community in chapter seven, 144,000, the great numberless multitude of Gentiles. In chapter 14, we're going to see them combined old and new into the New Covenant community. We see it in chapter 21, where we're the new Jerusalem, which is, you know who God is and who we are in. God has the 12 tribes of the 12 gates and the foundation walls of the 12 apostles. And so John is constantly melding together the old Covenant and the New Covenant community. But here, I think what John is doing here, he is showing not only who God is, he's showing the origins of Satan's rebellion and the consequences of Satan's rebellion. Is it presumed that all that happens before creation? Well, every everything up to it means everything through Satan's rebellion. And, you know, his throw at being thrown into the Earth certainly is before creation. Well, how getting thrown to Earth before. Well, if you don't think of Earth as a created realm, it's the third rock from the sun. But as you know, Satan's order, it seems to me that this is I mean, that's what I'm struggling to because I've heard so much against the gap there, and yet this seems to be their primary argument. Hmm. So I'm just trying to figure out where this fits.


Yeah, it's not there. I think what John is doing here is that he is he is bringing, as you might say, and he's bringing us back up out of the depths into history, you know, into the history of God's people and in the history of God's redemptive work through that history. And so we have the old Covenant and the New Covenant community who are the objects of Satan's wrath. You see who Satan warring against. You can't get rid of God. So try to get rid of God's people. Okay. And then, of course, as we're going to see in chapter 13, he really sees how Satan is incarnate in human history. So let's let's see. I think we probably have time to get started with the first beast anyway. John sees a beast rising out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads on his horns with ten diamonds on his head. Four blasphemous names. So we've already. I've already dealt with that. The Beast. When you look down at the end of verse two of the Dragon gave it his power, his throne, his great authority. The Beast is an incarnation of the dragon. So we see that something is taking place between oh three where the dragon is simply waiting there to swallow up. The traveler is born. And this point we've seen the dragon's rebellion, we've seen Satan's fall, and that has resulted in a change of his nature. The diamonds are no longer in the head. Last time his name is on it. His nature is blasphemy. And a little bit, we'll see what that blasphemy is. And John says, The beast that I saw was like a leopard. Its feet were like a bear's. Its mouth was like a lion's mouth.


Now, if you know Daniel's for beasts, they come up from the sea. John is melding these together, you see, into a single beast, taking attributes of Daniel's piece and putting them into a single beast. And I think what John and Grant and Daniel and Daniel gets an interpretation of what these four be, sir. You know, they they are the the Persian Kingdom, the Hellenistic kingdom, the successors to to Alexander and the Romans. So. Here. I think what John is doing by melding these all together into one is indicating that what he is experiencing in his vision, what he's seeing, his vision is the reality that was incarnate in each of John's are each of Daniel's for. But now he's melding them all into one. His readers would understand living in the Roman Empire that they were living in the time of Daniel's fourth beast. But see, John is is modulating that imagery to indicate that even behind Rome, you see is this reality of Satan's rebellion that that fall in Babylon for John of Rome, that fall in Babylon is simply one historical manifestation of falling in Babylon. The the saluted and Ptolemaic dynasty that succeeded Alexander were another incarnation of Fallen in Babylon. Alexander's realm was another incarnation of Fallen Babylon. The Persian Realm was another incarnation of Fall in Babylon. And of course, it goes without saying Babylon was an incarnation of Babylon because that's where the term comes from in the first place. So. So here, me here. You see, John, by shifting this imagery, forces his readers to to wrestle with what's going on here. Y y y y. I'm Daniel's for four B's become one. And if they think it through, I think they'll realize that, well, each of those four kingdoms, each of those four realms were also manifestations of fall in Babylon, as is Rome in the present.


And as we saw, the dragon gave his power, his throne, and his great authority to the beast. Well, if you give someone your power, your throne and your authority may become you. Right. What do you got left? The Beast is an incarnation of Satan is an incarnation of Satan's rebellion. Then in verse three. One of its head seemed to have received a death blow, but its mortal wound had been healed. Now there's an oxymoron for you. By definition, a mortal wound cannot be healed. That's why it's mortal. And by definition, a healed wound is not mortal. But the beast has a mortal wound that is healed. What's going on here? What is the moral wound of the beast? I would suggest to you that it's across. It's what we've already seen in Chapter 11. The cross is the mortal wound. And it is a mortal wound. It is God's victory. But. Satan goes on as though nothing has happened. For me, an image me that helps me with this. How many of you are chess players? I mean, chess players here. I've got a few wrestling. You know a little bit about chess, maybe. You know, the purpose of a chess game is to checkmate your opponent. That means to put your opponent's king in a position where on the next move, you will capture it and your opponent can do nothing about it. You can't take the piece that is threatening. You can't block the piece that is threatening. He can't move his game. So that's checkmate. But. Often in chess games, there comes a point in the game at which one player makes a crucial move. That looks to the other player as though it's a mistake. And so the other player jumps on the opportunity to capture that piece.


Maybe it's the queen. You know, the most important piece and what powerful piece on the board, or maybe it's the piece that seemed to be the whole linchpin to the defense. And so the opponent jumps at the opportunity. But when they take that piece, the meeting that is set. From that point. The game is over right there. Now there may be five, six, seven, eight, ten more moves left. But from that moment on, the game has been lost or won, whichever side of the board you're on. Okay. So you could think and don't push this imagery too far that that the cross is God's sacrificial move in the chess game. Satan jumped at the opportunity to see to take God's most important player. But he's caught in the meeting that. Now, if you were to come into a chess game after the meeting that had been sat and watched the two players, of course, you know, with top ranked chess players, when that happens, they resign, they acknowledge defeat. You don't waste their time. You're trying to play the rest of the game. And, you know, you may have seen when some of the world chess champion should be in play, they have little things in the papers. So until resigned after the 25th move and you might say to yourself, what is he a quitter? You know, why do you look at the board? And he may have more pieces. And the other guy, why did he quit? Because he knew it was over. He knew he'd already lost. Say, he's not that smart, but he keeps on going, you see, in the hopes that perhaps, you know, God might make a mistake in the in the endgame and he might be able to win.


So he keeps on playing. So it's a mortal wound. But Satan keeps acting as though it hasn't happened. It is healed. Yeah. How do we deal with. I've got a lot of commentaries that have talked about this being a Nero type figure. That Nero died of a head wound and he was going to come back. I never committed suicide. Which. And there was and there are rumors that he didn't really die, but he was coming back. Oh, yeah. You get this development of. Well, not not that he didn't. They know he died, that his body was right there, you know. But yeah, there was this Roman Escapology that, you know, at the end of the Roman Empire, Nero would come with the forces on the other side of the Euphrates and wipe out the empire. I don't see Jon playing off of that at all in any way. No, he's. He's focusing on what the cross is all about, and it is the mortal wound. And we'll see more about how he shows that when we get over chapter 23. So also thinking how this is in Satan's rebellious nature. He he is mocking whatever this incarnation of Satan is. He is mocking the incarnation of God here, you know, by ignoring the mortal world, you know, and pretending it didn't happen then. And in keeping on keeping on going just with his body, I want to call it mocking necessarily. Well, blasphemy, you know. Yeah, Well, let's see what Tim, what's going on with that? In a moment here, then notice in amazement the whole earth followed the beast. See, here's the definition of Earth again. The earth is that realm of being that follows the beast. They worship the dragon. He had given his authority to the beast and they worship the beast, saying Who is like the beast and who can fight against it? Well, of course, we already know who can fight against it because the battle has already been won.


Right. You said this is this is the worldview of fallen humanity. You know, they look at the world around them. With its falseness, which they label reality. And this is the way things are. Who can go against the way things are? You know you can't fight city hall. You explain the Dragon and the Beast again. Both are existing at the same time, or both. Satan or the Beast is an incarnation. What John is seeing here is how Satan's rebellion becomes incarnate in human history. Just hold your question for at the end of the chapter, I think you'll see how it all comes together. Now defeat The beast was given a mouth, uttering haughty and blasphemous words. And we know it has a blasphemous nature. You see, now its nature is being expressed to remember a blasphemous name on his head. That's his nature. Now we're seeing it being expressed and and it was allowed to exercise authority for 42 months. Here's that period of when God's faithful people experience tribulation of hands of in Babylon. All the way through history. It opened his mouth and we see that. See now we see what's behind that. Very clearly, it is the dragon and his incarnation in the Beast. It opened his mouth to utter blasphemies. The Greek says the translation sort of leads us astray here. And he opened his mouth for blasphemy. But in order to blaspheme God the blasphemed God's name in his name and to blaspheme his dwelling, those who dwelt in heaven. So there are three foci of the beast. Blasphemy. Blasphemy. First, he blasphemed God. Second he blasphemed God's name. And third, he blasphemed God's dwelling. That is, those who do well and have. Now, do you remember back to the 24 elders? There were three actions.


They bowed. They worshiped. And they cast the crown. Boeing is acknowledging God as God. The beast blasphemed God. The Beast does not acknowledge God as God. They worship, the elders worship. They acknowledge God as God. I mean, they allowed God to be gone. Worship has something to do with the nature of God. You see, the beast blasphemed God's name and is God's nature. And then thirdly, they cast the crown at is they yield at the control of their relationship with God to God. The beast blasphemed God's dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Who are those Those who allow God to be God on God's terms. So what John is seeing here is the corollary of the worship of the 24 elders is that it is the negative worship of God by falling in Babylon. It is a worship that rejects God, rejects God's nature, and rejects God being God in its life in any way, any way, shape or form. What's the reaction of the others again? Casting the crown. Okay. Yeah. Relinquishment of the control of the relationship to God. So. So here we see the the antithetical nature of the rebellious realm, a fallen Babylon. If the citizens of Fall in Babylon, you see their worldview is shaped by the blasphemy of the beast. Now it's also allowed notice the sovereignty of God here, the mystery of evil. If The Odyssey. It was also allowed to make war on the Saints and to conquer them. Now, that's this is the second. Remember I told you that the word conquering appears in John's vision, with two exceptions, always for Jesus or the Saints. This is the second. The first is. The first one is when the Beast conquered the two witnesses. But we now see that that conquering was really the ultimate defeat.


What appeared to be the conquering was the ultimate defeat. Just as in, you know, The Chronicles of Narnia and Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the conquering of Aslan The Lion seemed to be a victory, and it turned out to be the ultimate defeat. Same thing here. Lewis knew his Bible pretty well. I wasn't sure. So it's allowed to make war on the Saints and to conquer them. Here's martyrdom. Persecution. Tribulation. It was given authority over every tribe and people and language and nation and all those who brought upon the Earth all inhabited the earth will worship it. Here, you see, you get both terms for Fall in Babylon, brought together in one place. And here's where we see why we can define them as I have. Now, these are the two phrases that John uses for the citizens of Babylon. You see. Yeah, it's given authority. The board has authority of every tribe, people, language of nation, and all the inhabitants of the earth worship it. And then notice also you get a fuller definition of those who work, those who live on the earth. All they worship it. Everyone whose name has not been written in the from the foundation of the world. Oh, that's horrible. Forget that. Scratch it out. You're one of the great or. And they worship him. All those plural. Who? Well upon the earth. Soon. All those upon the earth. Plural. Of whom? And notice that's a singular and this is plural, of whom is not written by name, singular objects. Of it. You see singular again in the book? What book? The book of the life. Of what life? The life of the lamb. What lamb? The lamb. Who was slain before the foundation of the world.


The translation has radically altered the meaning of that verse, and there's no textual variant there. I think there there are two possible causes for this horrible mistranslation. One is that it was originally translated by predestination and reformers. Who saw this as a wonderful place to prove predestination. The other. And I think more likely is they didn't understand the woman in chapter 12. So you kind of, well, how can the lamb be slain before the foundation of world that doesn't work? The land of slain 38 and across outside Jerusalem. So John must have meant something else here. No, no. This is exactly what John meant. God is cruciform love. The lamb was slain before the foundation of the world because the slain lamb. The crucifixion was certainly the revelation in history of the very nature of God's being, which is cruciform love. Now, the other puzzle here is the switch from plural all those involved on the earth to all of these singular. Grown out. And John knows language better than that. I think he does. I think what John is saying here is that. Fallen human nature. Remember, name has to do with the nature that the nature of those who died upon the earth. The falling nature of those who document is not written in the Book of the life of the land that was slain from before the foundation of the world. Anyone has an ear. Listen. If you to be taken captive in poverty, you'll go. If you kill with the sword. With the sword, you will be killed. Must be killed. Here's a call for the endurance and faith of the saints. This is a very much misunderstood. Because it's it's understood as though John is saying this to the Saints.


If you look, this is one of the places where John has almost a word of verbatim quotation, and it's from Jeremiah and Jeremiah 15, and I think it's again in 40. Forget 42. I got it here. Jeremiah uses almost this exact same phraseology. Mm hmm. Uh huh. Yeah. Jeremiah 52 and Jeremiah 4311. But to whom is Jeremiah addressing this? Go look. He's addressing it to a state, Israel. It's a he's addressing it to those that are turning away from God, that are rejecting God. And relying upon alliances with other powers to fight against Babylon. And so what John is saying here in using this in this way, you see you have in here, listen now listen to this. He's saying. John is saying Fall in Babylon is going to experience this. Therefore, hang in there. Fall in Babylon is going to be taken off into captivity. Following Babylon, it's going to be found in Babylon. Who kills with the sword is going to be killed with the sword. So therefore, hang in there. Endure. Keep the faith. Don't succumb. Okay, Nick, is this what Paul is talking about in Philippians one where he he says this is this is their destruction, that's for sure. Salvation. But the destruction. Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Yeah. And Paul's using very political imagery there and his apology is not worthy of the gospel of Christ by to us, that meant to live your life in perfect harmony with the whole political, economic, social, religious structure of the polis. And Bernie says to politicians, they're worthy of the Gospel of Christ in the Roman colony. Philip II. Paul has put Christ where Caesar belongs. And then he talks about how, you know, you are you are you're engaged in warfare, he says.


And to, you know, to to be faithful and use John's terms. Paul is saying to the Philippines, be faithful citizens of New Jerusalem because this is a sign to them of their destruction. But of your salvation, would you say being taken captive into captivity is. Is that more of a present term of privilege, of being taken captive by sin in Satan's realm, or is that more of a future tense, referring to God's judgment or something? That's you know, what? What are you saying? I mean, playing on what the Jeremiah thing is saying is that he's saying to the Jews that if you continue to reject God, then you're destined for captivity. You're destined to be slain with the sorry, the speaking to apostate Jews. You're not speaking to the faithful, you say. Yeah. And that's why I think we need to make a distinction here. You see, here, here are the faithful. And why is this a call for the endurance and faith of the saints? Because Fall in Babylon is going to be out of here sooner or later. I was just thinking about Fall in Babylon. If they were in captivity and. Yeah. Oh, to be sure, no form of Babylon certainly is kind of captive to seeing. That's the essence of. Okay, That's a good place to stop. We'll pick up here Thursday with the second beast and move on. Before you close your notes, can I get the number of the Dead Sea Scrolls texts that you read and the evening text if you have it. You know what you know.