Monday, February 7, 2011

Smith's View of Revelation

I have read F.G. Smith's view of prophecy in What The Bible Teaches.  Smith's view represents the view of the Christian movement of which I am affiliated with. How much of it it is still adhered to today I am not sure.  I don't identify that affiliation simply because I have made it a policy not to do so. There has been at least one attempt to ascertain my location because of what I have written, so I try to make it as difficult as I can to be traced. This view of prophecy is certainly not what I have been taught in the past, but I find it intriguing, especially the representation of the Protestant religious system, as opposed to the Reformation itself.

Old Testament references to pristine, early Christianity: Dan. 2: 34,44, Is. 60:2-3, Mal. 4:2. This light will be ushered into by John the Baptist: Jn. 1:7.

The woman in Rev. 12: 1-2 stands for the pure Church. War on the pure Church is made by the dragon and she flees. Rev. 12: 3-6.  Symbols drawn from human life refer to ecclesiastical affairs, those drawn from nature refer to civil or political affairs.  The dragon. The dragon in Rev. 12 and the beast of Rev. 13 and 17 refer to the Roman empire, first under the pagan form and the second under the papal form.  The 7 heads stand for the 7 distinct forms of government that ruled sucesively in the empire. 5 had already fallen when John wrote: the regal, the consular, the decemvirate, the military tribunes and the triumvirate. The 6th is imperial. The 7th will be identified later. The 10 horns, or kingdoms, which had not yet arisen were the 10 minor kingdoms that grew out of the western Roman empire during its decline and fall: the Ostrogoths, Visogoths, Surevi, Vandals, Franks, Burgundians, Heruli, Anglo-Saxons, Huns and Lombards. The tail of the dragon "drew the 3rd part of the stars of heaven and did cast them to earth." Not symbolic. The stars- Christian ministers refered to in Rev. 1:20. 

The child born of the woman in Rev. 12 is not Christ but the Church as there is still a remnant of the woman's seed is left on the earth.  The woman is not Mary, but the Church; the woman and the child of the same substance. The child perpetuates the race.  The woman brought forth "children" (Is.66: 7-8). 

The Holy War- Rev. 12: 7-11- not a literal conflict fought in heaven, but symbolic of persecution of early Church by paganism.  They overcame by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony. Christians lost their lives, Rev. 12:11.  The dragon employed civil power to persecute Church. 

Apostasy in early Church prophesied: 2Pet. 2: 1-2, Mt. 24: 4-5, 11-12, 2Thess. 2:3-4. Apostasy mentioned as already occurred: Rev. 2:4, 14-15, 20-23, 3:1,15-16. The man of sin in 2Thess. 3-4,7- the papacy. Woman in Rev 12 flees during period of apostasy.  The papacy as the beast arising, the papacy taking power of the Roman empire, persecute the Church- Rev. 13: 1-8.  The 7th fallen head- Holy Roman Empire.  The healed head was the tranformation of Civil power into papal.  Rev 17:3-6. The beast represents civil power, the woman riding the beast is ecclesiastical power which makes war on the saints. The civil-ecclesiastical power is worshipped as God-Rev 13: 3-4.  The "blasphemies" and "great things" in Rev. 13:5- perogatives and rights belonging to God alone claimed by the apostate church.  Old Testament prophecy- Dan. 7:7-8, 19-25.  The time of the papal apostacy: Dan. 4:25, Rev. 12: 14.  1,260 days, each day a year.  Latter part of 3rd century till 1530, 1st Protestant creed- The Augsburg Confession.   

Protestantism in prophesy- organized sectarianism, a political and religious system.  It is the beast of Rev. 13: 11-18, 16:14. Rev 17:16- the 10 horns, civil power, persecuting power (persecuting the saints) which rebels and overcomes the papacy.  The false prophet- the beast- a religious system- Rev. 16:13, 19:20, 20:10. Human organizations with human doctrines worshipped instead of God.  The mark of the beast- religious worship of these organizations.  Those that refuse are persecuted. 

The two witnesses: the Word and the Spirit.  Rev. 11:1-4.  Refer to Zech. 4:6. See Jn. 5:49, Mt. 24:14, Heb. 10:15, Rom. 8:16, 1Jn. 5:6.

This of course is not a full restatement of the nearly 100 page treatment Smith gives.  This is posting is mainly for my own reference.  I have never been a student of prophecy.  After my ordination readings are over, I will make a deeper study of all the major views of the book of Revelation.      

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