Nazarene Apocalypse ©2000

CHAPTER ONE:
“One of the Days of the Son of Man”227

227 DAYS OF. From Luke 17:22.

#104. There are some particulars in the first chapter you may find interesting:

a) God is identified as “The One Who Is,” “Father,” “the Alpha and the Omega,” and, “Lord God” (or, Jehovah, YHWH, God; note Genesis 2:4), the source of the apocalypsis.

b) Jesus is the second to possess the knowledge in this apocalypsis. The Nazarene is called: “Jesus Christ,” “the Faithful Witness” (or, Martyr), “the First-born from the dead,” “the Ruler of the kings of the earth,”228 “Lord,” “Son of Man,”229 and, “the First and the Last.” Importantly, Jesus Christ is honored as the one who is the Agent of Redemption and ‘liberated us from our sins by his blood.’ (Revelation 1:5)
228 RULER. This title makes it clear that the glorified Jesus Christ was recognized as “ruler” not of just the Church but also earth’s kings in harmony with the fulfillment of Psalm 2.6, 7 in the year 33 AD. (Acts 4:24; 13:33) Compare 1 Corinthians 15:24; Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 10:12, 13; Ephesians 1:20-23.
229 SON OF MAN. From Daniel 7:13. Note also Revelation 14:14.

#105. There is a hymnal praise in Revelation 1:7 which may be viewed as the theme verse for the Apocalypse: ‘Look! He is arriving with the clouds, and every eye will look to him, even those who pierced him. And all earth’s tribes will lament in grief. Yes. Amen!’ This verse is a compound of two Hebrew Bible verses: Daniel 7:13 and Zechariah 12:10 (possibly from Theodotion’s LXX version; compare John 19:37). Verse 7 closes with an “Amen!” which draws particular attention to it, much as the Nazarene said, ‘Amen, amen,’ when introducing an important truth. We view 1:7 as a praise-hymn, not of the future, but the past, as it highlights the death and enthronement of Messiah. It may also serve as a prophetic reference to the parousia or Second Coming of Christ who returns as redeemer to deliver his own.

#106. There are several verses in the first chapter which we wish to note.

Revelation 1:3 -- WHY READ THE APOCALYPSE?

‘Blessed are they who read, hear, and obey these prophetic words, for the Appointed Time is near.’

#107. Like the Nazarene’s “Sermon on the Mount,” the Apocalypse has its own Beatitudes. They are 7 in number: Revelation 1:3, 14:13, 16:15, 19:9, 20:6, 22:7, and 22:14. This First Apocalyptic Beatitude encourages the reading of the book despite any misgivings about its complexity. In addition to reading, there is the encouragement to “keep” or obey those matters in the book which pertain to the Christian life. We will highlight these as we proceed through the Apocalypse.

Revelation 1:4, 5 -- DOES THE APOCALYPSE TEACH THE TRINITY?

‘Grace and peace to you from The One Who Is, and from the Seven Spirits which are in sight of the Throne, and from Jesus Christ.’

#108. This salutation is extremely rare for there is no other case where the word “spirit(s)” is used in a salutation. Rather, in Paul’s example over a dozen times, the salutation omits any mention of “spirit” in the formula: ‘Grace and peace from the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Ephesians 1:3) This appears to be a triune formula upon which some would argue the Trinity is present in the Apocalypse. We have stated above that the Holy Spirit is rare if not absent from Revelation. The Holy Spirit is mysteriously missing in places one might expect it from a Trinitarian perspective. For these reasons we could not view Revelation 1:4, 5 as proof of the Trinity. First, “seven spirits” are mentioned when opportunity is present to say “the Holy Ghost.” The most likely association of the phrase “seven spirits” is found in Isaiah 11:1-4 in the LXX (See NJB footnote “d”) where exactly seven attributes of the Messiah are listed.

Revelation 1:7 -- WHEN DOES THE “SON OF MAN” COME ON CLOUDS?

‘Look! He is coming with the clouds! And every eye will see him even those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in lamentation.’

#109. You will also recognize Daniel 7:13 in this first phrase. The next phrase may be a compound paraphrase of the Nazarene’s own words at Matthew 24:30, and Zechariah 12:10. The final phrase is a combination of Matthew 24:30 and Zechariah 12:14. We present two ways to view this verse:

#110. a) a praise-hymn known in the early Church dealing with the First Coming, including Messiah’s ascension, after his execution and Arrival in the Throne-Room of God Almighty. (Revelation chs 4, 5) Since Zecariah 12:10 is applied by John to the execution of the Nazarene. However, John quotes from a rare translation by Theodotion rather than the traditional LXX Greek text. “Those who pierced him” would include more than that Roman soldier. A reading of Acts chapters 1 to 5 would establish that the blame for Christ’s execution was laid at the feet of the Jews. It is possible that the word normally translated “they will see,” opsontai, could be rendered “they will look to,” and thus Revelation 1:7 may refer more to the first coming of the Lord.

#111. b) A second possibility is a prophetic praise-hymn looking forward to the Second Parousia at the Return of Christ. “Those who pierced him” would include the Jews as a race who will still be on hand to witness the glorious Return of the Messiah.

Revelation 1:10 -- WHAT IS THE LORD’S DAY?

‘I came to be in spirit (or, inspired)230 in the day belonging to the Lord. ‘
230 INSPIRED. In Greek this is en pneumati and is literally, “in spirit,” or “in a spirit.” Various renderings are: I fell into a trance (TCNT); I was inspired (WMS); I became Spirit-possessed (BER)

#112. Most render this “in the day of the Lord.” Some make it say it was on Sunday this inspiring trance took place. Others would say John was transported into the future “day of the Lord.” Strong’s # 2960 gives two possibilities for “Lord”: Jehovah or Jesus. In the Hebrew Bible the expression “Day of Jehovah” occurs very often. (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Zephaniah, Zechariah) In the Christian Bible “day of Jehovah” would be inferred on a few occasions. However, more often it is “day of the Lord” Jesus. (1 Corinthians 1:8; 5:5; 2 Corinthians1:14; Philippians 1:6, 10; 2 Peter 3:12) The bias would seem to favor “the day of (Jesus) our Lord,” that is, at his Arrival or Parousia. (Luke 17:20-37, “days of the Son of Man”) It may be a general term including those few years prior to the Great Oppression and the Arrival of the King and those momentous events which follow, culminating with the 1,000-Years.

Revelation 1:13 -- WHO IS THE “SON OF MAN”?

‘and among the lampstands one like a son of man…’

#113. A comparison of Revelation 1:13-15 might arouse memories of Daniel 7:9, where the Ancient of Days, or the Most High is described in words similar to Revelation1:13-15. Jesus is described in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible as the “son of the Most High,” as are the Saints in Daniel 7:22, 27. He cannot also be Jehovah. Yet, Daniel 7:22 has the Most High “coming” or “arriving” to deliver the Saints. The answer may lie in the fact that Jesus Christ is “the Image of God,” and “the exact reflection of His glory,” and therefore would also appear like Him. (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:2, 3) Jesus Christ is “the Word of God” (Re 19:13), and thus speaks for Him and His mouthpiece, Spokesman, or representative. Note that in the Books of Moses “the Angel of Jehovah”231 is sometimes almost indiscernible from Jehovah Himself.
231 ANGEL OF JEHOVAH. Compare Exodus 3:2; 33:21; 34:10.

Revelation 1:19 -- WHAT “THINGS” ARE RECORDED IN THE APOCALYPSE?

Write the things you saw, the things about to occur, and the things after these.

#114. We may assume the things John saw are those verses we have already considered. “The things about to occur” are those verses which are immediately next in chapters two and three. We believe chapters four to six belong to the past for reasons given in our consideration of them. Finally, “the things after these” are those verses which deal specifically with “the Day of the Lord Jesus Christ” beginning with chapter 6, verse 12 and the Sixth Seal.

Nazarene Commentary 2000

Mark Heber Miller

2000 All Rights Reserved