Characteristics of Apocalyptic Literature
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Revelation through Literature
- 1.1 The Inspired Word
- - is 'inspired' in its day / revelation of God's WILL not WORD.
- 1.2 A Revealing of Teaching of what will be
- - things once hidden are now discloser.
- - the disclosure of secrets indicates the coming of God's activity
- - available only to those who are in the Christian faith, the chosen inner circle of people.
- 1.3 Pseudonymous authorship
- - they did not claim direct authority like the prophets before them; authority is in the tradition in which they stand.
The Messenger of the Revealed Truth
- 2.1 The Messenger
- - preparations for the message
- - ecstatic state... frantic to tell the message.
- 2.2 The Medium of the Message
- - often received as a dream or vision
- - interpreted by an angel or other heavenly intermediary
- 2.3 The esoteric nature of the message
- - Intended for the 'wise' or chosen group
- - the point is that only the people meant to hear it, will understand it without interpretation.
The Eschatology of Apocalypse
- 3.1 Deterministic
- - world history pre-ordained or pre-ordered
- - the coming act of God is inevitable
- - teleological view of history = heading towards something, straight line rather than a circle.
- 3.2 Predictive
- - the signs of the coming end can be seen by interpreting the events of the current day.
- - the pattern of the past if the pattern of the future.
- - the act of God will break into the present.
- 3.3 Dispensational view of History
- - a dispensation is a period of time in human history when God deals in a special way with human kind.
- - a systemized pattern of history is built up which 'determines' that history as a whole and its various parts had been predetermined by the sovereign will of God.
- 3.4 Cosmic in scope
- - it encompasses all of the known created order... stars, planets, the earth, ect.
The Eschatology of the Apocalypse cont.
- 3.5 Triumphant in Theology
- - victory of God and his people
- - Prophetic hopes become apocalyptic assurances
- 3.6 Hope for the Righteous
- - kingdom of God ushered in
- - personal and national survival for the saved
- -wicked are punished and the righteous are saved
The Symbolism of Apocalyptic Literature
- 4.1 Angels and Demons
- - represents the cosmic struggle
- - battle of good and evil exists beyond earthly boundaries
- - is it real, imagined, or a metaphor?
- 4.2 Numbers and Numerology
- - 3 - Numbers of Planes (Hell, Earth, Heaven)
- - 4 - Earth (elements, directions, ect)
- - 12 - tribes, months, ect
- - 6 - number of incompletion
- - 7 - number of completion, holy number (occurs 54 times in Revelation)
- - 10, 12, 3.5 - multiples of the other numbers
- 4.3 Beasts and Animals
- - representations of nations and empires or powers
- 4.4 Word Plays and codes
- - Magog = Babylon (Ezekiel)
- - The enigma of 666 = the beast (Revelation)
- - Gematria: Assigning a letter value to a number, or vice versa, to create word codes and numeric codes with literal meanings
- 4. 5 Other Symbols
- - Colours : Red, white, black, ect
- - crowns : of power, of victory
Apocalypse and the Changing World Order
- 5.1 Catastrophic Events
- - times of tribulation lead to a renewal
- 5.2 Pessimistic Outlook
- - hope in times of tribulation
- - the world is hopeless until God acts
- - there is no solution by human endeavor, only prolonging the inevitable
- 5.3 The Triumph of God
- - he will come to reign either directly or through a messianic agent.
Dualistic Worldview of the Apocalypse
- 6.1 Two Ages
- - a present age is followed by a new age in the future
- - the hopes and expectations are located in the age to come
- 6.2 Two forces or powers
- - God is opposed by an alternate force
- The conflict is often fought between the agents of good and evil, or of God and the adversary, often construed of angels and demons
- 6.3 Two Verdicts on Life
- - God vindicates the righteous and punishes the wicked
- - Eternal life or eternal damnation
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