THE APOCALYPSE AND FELLOWSHIP

 

    Interpretations of The Revelation (The Apocalypse) which do

    not identify the present apostacy are destructive of the Truth

               (link to 'the Lord's day' for a correct exposition)                        

  

   SOME  FACTS  CONCERNING  THESE  WRONG  IDEAS:

   1. These interpretations, though dressed up  in  a  "new" garb,

       are simply a re-hash of previously published material.

       Their  purpose  becomes  plain  when  we realise that an un-

       derstanding of the Apocalypse shows clearly the apostacy in

       all its iniquity.  Those who understand  cannot be deluded by 

       this abomination  as are those set forth in  Revelation  17v2-

       "the  inhabitants of  the earth  have  been  made  drunk with

       the wine of  her  fornication".   Interpretations  which  place

       most prophecies in the future(including all events after ch.6v

       8or10) do away with this identification. The blessing of ch.1v

       3 is lost-    "Blessed is he that readeth,      and they that hear the

       words of  this prophecy,    and  keep  those   things  which  are

       written therein : FOR THE TIME IS AT HAND".

 

       We are being told by Christ that the  blessing is  inextricably

       involved  and  is  dependent  upon  an  understanding  of  the

       prophecies  of  the Apocalypse, which were  TO  BEGIN  IN

       THE  DAYS WHEN IT  WAS  GIVEN  TO  JOHN,   AD96.

                   Such a correct understanding may be termed

                              'CONTINUOUS HISTORICAL'

               as opposed to erroneous interpretations known as

                                          'FUTURISTIC'

 

       'EUREKA', BY JOHN THOMAS, IS WITHOUT DOUBT,

       AN  INCOMPARABLE   'CONTINUOUS  HISTORICAL'

       EXPOSITION WHICH   SHOULD BE STUDIED BY ALL:

 

 Regarding the above, John Thomas wrote-  "The Apocalypse was

 given to the end  that   the servants of the Deity who are keeping

 their garments  might  be  able  to  discern   the signs of the times

 preceding the apocalypse  of Christ; and the real nature of things

 extant in their several generations.     No believer, understanding

 this prophecy,    could be seduced into fellowship   with the clerical

 institutions of the world;   because he would  see them  in all their

                                native deformity and sin".  

 It is therefore absolutely imperative that any interpretation null-

 ifying  such  true understanding  must  be  resisted  by all means,

                       including  withdrawal of fellowship -

 

       CONCERNING  'FUTURISTIC'  IDEAS  see below :

 

   2. It is no coincidence that  these  destructive  ideas  are  easily

       traced back to the apostacy itself.(What is more logical than

       an  attempt by those  in error  to  turn  attention  away  from

       their heinous acts,    so plainly recorded in  the  blood-soaked

       pages of history?)   Indeed, they can be  traced back approx.

       1500 years at least,   to a time when the early ecclesias (ass-

       emblies  of  called-out ones)       had  been  corrupted  from  the

       Faith, even as foretold by Christ and Paul- see Matthew 24v

       4-13;  Acts 20v26-32.  The  faithful  believers  fled  from  the

       persecution which  the new "church-state" meted out to any

       who dissented from apostate teaching.CpRev.11v1-10; 12v6,

       14-17. It later grew into a world-wide apostate "church"-

 

       'MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT,THE MOTHER OF

           HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH'

       Revelation 17v5. Also see links below to the following:

       'God', 'spirit', 'mortal', 'devil', 'satan', 'baptism'.

       For identification, we only have to turn to v9 and v18-

       "And here is the mind which hath wisdom.   The seven heads

       are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth".

       " And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which

       reignest over the kings of the earth".

       We only have to ask the questions:

       What city is notorious as being built upon"seven mountains"

       or "seven hills"? (a coin in the British Museum shows      

            'ROMA' as a woman sitting on 7 hills - cp v9)

       What city "reigne(d) over the kings of the earth" in the days

       when John was given the Apocalypse?(historical fact=Rome)

       THERE IS ONLY ONE ANSWER, AND THAT IS  ROME.

       Consistent with this indisputable  fact,      we  find  pagan     Rome

       changing to her 'Pagan-Christian' form,AD312-324onwards.

       Constantine assumed power, & Rome adopted 'futuristic' in-

       terpretations of the Apocalypse. She hoped, by this means, to

       turn attention away from herself as  the great   apostacy fore-

       told by Jesus Christ#.     Since "the reformation", two Jesuit

       priests have issued  'futuristic' interpretations,    one under an

       assumed name. We might ask, does it matter?

       Yes, it is vital to our salvation. Note carefully no.3 below..

       #other interpretations  known   as   'preterist'   apply the same

       prophecies  to AD66-73  in an    endeavour     to     show that they

       were fulfilled in the Jewish revolt against Rome.     However,

       Rome favors the   'futurist' ideas  because     with   these  she can

       then  promulgate "the lie" foretold in 2nd Thessalonians 2-

           link to 'the Lord's day'-5th Vision for an explanation.

         

   3. The blessings promised to those who "read"-  i.e. to learn, &

       "hear"- i.e. accept and believe, & "keep"-  i.e. put into prac-

       tice what they have learned and believed (the messages of the

       Apocalypse) can only be fulfilled  when  individuals  associate

       themselves with "the testimony of Jesus",   for  this is termed

            ''THE SPIRIT OF THE PROPHECY"   in   ch.19v10..

       the definite article appears before "prophecy" in the original...

            ..cp ch.1v3-we must "read..hear..keep this prophecy". 

       The 'spirit' is the 'life'( 'power') of the prophecy   - cp ch.13v15

       where 'pneuma' is translated "life" - and link to 'spirit'  (or go

       via 'Index') where  the  meaning  of  'spirit'  is discussed.  We

       are told that the origin of  the  life-giving power      of the proph-

       ecy is "the testimony of Jesus".  It is necessary to look at the

       meaning of  the  Greek word  'marturia' translated   "testimo-

       ny". This is shown to mean- 'evidence  given',  and it is trans-

       lated as 'record,  report,  testimony,  witness'-  Strong's   Con-

       cordance'.   It   is derived  from    'martus', meaning 'witness',

       from which we get the  Anglicized  word   'martyr' -   signifying

       one who is put to death for their faith and witness.

 

       It is highly significant that "Jesus" gave this "testimony".

       And those who wish to be with Him also give  this  "testimony"-

       in fact it must become an essential part of their being:

       ch.1v2,5,9; 3v14; 6v9;11v3,7; 12v11,17; 15v5; 19v10;20v4;   John

       15v17-27;  1 Timothy 6v13; Hebrews 12v1;  1st John 5v5-10 etc.

       All  the words used translated  "testimony",  "witness" etc.  are

       related in the   original Greek, showing  a  continuity throughout.

       Note the words  of the Lord in  Matt. 23v34-36,  John 15v18-27.

       All this  centres  our  minds  on    what Jesus accomplished whilst

       He was  on the earth,  during the  days of  His  mortality.  When

       we examine what His "testimony" was, we see that it was

       AGAINST THE APOSTACY OF HIS DAY  1st Timothy 6v13.

       If we desire to gain the promised blessings we must also witness

       AGAINST THE APOSTACY OF OUR DAY. And although

       we live nearly 2000 years later,  the indisputable fact is that

       THESE TWO APOSTACIES ARE LINKED TOGETHER!

 

       The  first  recorded  organized  opposition  to  the  Truth  came

       from  the  same  influences  which  Jesus had opposed-Acts 15v

       1-5.  Paul  later  prophesied  that  this  opposition  would      grow-

       to include  not only  those from within, but   those  from without-

       Acts 20v28-30.      He  taught  that "the  word  of..God"  was   the

       only thing which could  withstand  these evils- v30,31.    We have

       traced the growth of the apostacy into a  world-wide  "church"-

                   'God' - 'spirit' - 'Bible'- 'mortal' - 'devil' - 'satan'

                                                                   'baptism' - 'departure'

       And under No.2 above we have shown that Rome is called-

       'MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT'- Revelation 17v5.

      

       The important question to ask is-

       UNLESS WE CAN CLEARLY IDENTIFY & NAME THE

       APOSTACY  HOW  CAN  WE  WITNESS AGAINST IT?

       And further, if we do not witness against it-

       HOW CAN WE  GAIN  THE  BLESSINGS  WHICH ARE

       PROMISED ONLY TO THOSE WHO BEAR WITNESS?

       We can now clearly see why the Jesuit-inspired   'futuristic'

       interpretations of  the Apocalypse  are designed to do away

       with this vital identification. This is why we must oppose them

       and not allow their currency within our fellowship.

       There are more reasons for this action– see nos. 4 & 5 below:

 

  4.  An extremely insidious error is that  the return of Christ is put

       a long way off.    For if everything after ch.6v8 or 10 is placed

       in the future,  the Lord's imminent return (ch.16v15)      is put far

       off -  & "the testimony"(ch.6v9 onwards)  cannot be identified       

       as being against the Roman apostacy,       which by such teaching

       cannot be the evil system against which we must now witness.

       It is no wonder that  Jesus Christ  warned  us   in Mark 13v35,

       36 - "Watch thee therefore:  for ye know not when the master

       of the house cometh..Lest coming suddenly  he  find you sleep-

       ing".   These words carry a very dire warning - see below.

             

       Let us carefully note the following -  Mark 13v35 refers

       to the Roman practice of  four watches during the night*-   the

       Jewish watches were three - cp Luke 12v37,38; Judges 7v19.

       *cp Proverbs 7v9,10 - link here to 'proverbs' - page 2.

       *link also to 'signs' - the 5th - 'the calming of the storm'.

       That "sleeping" is associated with a   time of     Romish  custom

       demonstrates a connection with what has been stated -

       i.e.  our watching and witnessing is  against the apostacy   cen-

       tred in Rome. And we can only do this by identifying it.

 

  5.  The 'futuristic' interpretations involve wrong doctrine.   Some

                                         of these errors are:

       (a) doubt is cast upon a literal judgment seat.

       (b) the  return  of  Christ  is consequently made as a universal

             appearance to all- thus encouraging  "universalism". 

       (c) the believers are resurrected twice-after the first time they

            are killed by their enemies,   and must be raised again to be

            judged.

       (d) It is claimed that  "heaven" is only used literally so the re-

             deemed must go there to be with Christ.

       (e) the rebellion after the end of the 1000 year reign is denied.

 

  FOR ALL THE ABOVE REASONS, IT IS ESSENTIAL TO

  DENY AN ENTRANCE INTO OUR MIDST  OF   ANY        HE-

  RETICAL INTERPRETATIONS    OF THE APOCALYPSE

 

 

  We now reproduce some comments of Robert Roberts, who also

  took the same view.   His words should be noted and acted upon.

 

 

   'Revelation All Future' a heresy

   'Men who teach that the Revelation of John has a wholly future

   application, do not   'hear what the Spirit saith to the ecclesias',

   and therefore  cut themselves off  from those   who desire to be in

   harmony with the Truth'- 'The Christadelphian' 1897.

 

   The Apocalypse and Fellowship

   'This question is raised by dissensions in some quarters leading

   to division.  An ecclesia tolerates wrong teaching: a few men of

   understanding  cannot  bear  it, and retire.     Those who remain

   think the matters unimportant,  and  are  inclined  to  find  fault

   with the others as sticklers. How stands the matter?

 

   When a professed brother avows the belief that the visions of the

   Apocalypse have no application to  the  accomplished history of

   Europe but are of  a future significance, he raises a question of

   more serious moment than may at first sight be apparent.

   A man confessing ignorance of the meaning of the Apocalypse

   is a man who might grow in knowledge,   and therefore a man

   to be borne with and helped;   but a man denying its meaning is

   a man to be antagonized on the following serious grounds:

 

   Over a dozen times, it is written in the Apocalypse-

   "He that hath ears,  let  him  hear  what  the spirit saith unto the

   ecclesias". Jesus says- "My sheep hear my voice". He identifies

   his voice in saying in it- "I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify

   these things in the ecclesias (22:16).       Thus the Apocalypse is an

   important part of  the  Shepherd's  voice  which  Jesus  says the

   sheep will hear. He goes further than this. He says (22:19)-

   "If any man shall  take away from the words of the book of this

   prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life".

   On the other hand, he says(1:3)-        "Blessed is he that readeth,

   and they that  hear the words of this prophecy,   and keep those

   things that are written therein".   Among the "words of the book

   of this prophecy" is    a  heavy  warning against participation with

   a system described under  the symbol of  a  beast and  his image

   (14:9-10)- "If any man worship the beast and his image, and re-

   ceive  his  mark on  his forehead or on his hand,  the same shall

   drink of the wrath of God,  which is poured out without mixture

   into the cup of his indignation".

 

   Now, if these things relate  to  institutions  now  current  among

   men, (which they undoubtedly do,  as can be and has been many

   times shown),  how serious is the doctrine which would say they

   do not relate to  anything  now  upon  earth, but to something in

   some future age with which we have nothing to do.  Such a doc-

   trine,  where received,  would  prevent  a  man  from  -  "hearing

   what the spirit saith unto the ecclesias".     It would prevent him

   from "keeping those things which are written in this book".

 

   And worse than all, it would practically cause him to-  "take

   away from the words of the book of this prophecy"- since to

   take away the meaning is to take away the words     in making

                                    them of none effect.

   It is  impossible, therefore, to agree with those who would make

   light of the subject,  and it is impossible not  to  sympathize with

   faithful men who  cannot  remain in any community   where such

   nullifying doctrines are tolerated'-  'The Christadelphian' 1897.

    return to fellowship   return to home page-index  

                   go to departure   go to foundation

                            go to seven ecclesias

                          go to 'the Lord's day'  go to messages