RETHINKING PROPHECY IN LIGHT
OF JESUS' REVELATION
Michael F. Blume
2003 Michael F. Blume
Paul represented the entire concept of the Old Testament using the
picture of the veiled face of Moses, from the days when God first gave
the Old Covenant to Israel while atop Mt. Sinai. Paul said
that the people of the Old Covenant could never look to the final
conclusion and goal of the Old Covenant, as represented by
Moses’ veiled face. Contrasting that with the New
Testament, he said that "we", the apostles, use great plainness of
speech. And he then signified the entire concept of the New
Testament as the unveiled face of Jesus Christ, into which we fully
gaze, and are changed into the same image (2 Cor. 3:18, 4:6).
But even the temporal glory that shone on Moses’ face was too
much for the Israelites. The New Testament, on the other
hand, will never fade away. The ultimate work of God in this world is
the New Testament church of the living God, comprised of both Jews and
Kingdom Eschatology proposes the entire book of Revelation to be the
account of the changeover from Law to grace -- the transition from, and
the passing away of, the Old Testament, for the inception of the ever
glorious New Testament. The first verse of this precious book
reads that it was a “Revelation of Jesus Christ", and not the
popular notion today of it being a revelation of nuclear holocaust and
Chinese armies and computer chips. The Revelation was written
in “signifying" terms (Rev. 1:1). Visionary
symbolism, in other words. John was inspired to use the same
picture Paul used in writing 2 Corinthians chapter 3. Jesus
unveiled! The inspired Apostle Paul used the picture of an unveiled
face of Jesus Christ as the representation of the entire New Covenant
ministry. He said our hearts receive the glory of the
knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6).
And with the revelation of Jesus Christ, came many
implications. Along with the multiplied thousands who gained
salvation through the cross, the unbelieving element of Israel rejected
Him, having perpetrated the very cross that is such a blessing to us
today. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not
(John 1:11)! He found her in the arms of Rome, ultimately
calling for Caesar to be her king instead, while they forced Pilate to
do away with Him! She was the great harlot (read
all of Ezekiel 16). Those who should have accepted
Him, cried for His blood to be upon them and their children -- that
That generation was so wicked that Jesus said they were similar to the
man set free of demons. After his deliverance, this man
experienced a seven-fold worse possession. So it would be
with that wicked generation (Matt. 12:43-45). Since they did
not fill their hearts with the Lord after His ministry cleared the way
of all satanic blinders from their eyes, they became what Revelation
calls the habitation of every unclean spirit (Rev. 18:2). They beheld
God's glory and rejected it!
In Matthew 21, upon His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the religious
leaders stopped the mouths of His worshippers, and demanded that Christ
forbid them. Jesus rebuked them, and began a series of
stunning and judgmental parables that spanned from chapter 21 through
chapter 24! Never once did Jesus change subjects, as though
He spoke of a 2000-year future stretch of time. He was
totally immersed in the issue of Jerusalem's rejection of Him, and even
issued warning to the church to remain faithful, lest they, too, perish
in the judgment to come.
The parable of the two brothers (Matt. 21:28-31) contrasted the people
outside the Kingdom at that time with the people of Jerusalem in that
generation. One brother refused to work for his father, but
later did indeed work. He spoke of the people who would
comprise the church. The brother who initially agreed to
work, but never did, spoke of Jerusalem and her religious leaders of
The parable of the vineyard (Matt. 21:33-45) showed how the religious
leaders of Israel were as trusted husbandmen, who rebelliously beat and
smote the messengers of the Vineyard owner, the prophets.
These came to gather the fruit of holy lives and dedication to God from
the people of Israel. Finally, the slaying of the Son
depicted the crucifixion of Jesus, who came, Himself. The
Pharisees correctly presumed Christ referred to them when He concurred
with their assessment of the guilty husbandmen in the parable, saying
they should be slain and bereft of the Kingdom, losing it to another
nation bringing forth the fruits.
Matthew 22 parallels Revelation chapters 17-19 in showing a people
invited to a wedding supper, who refuse to comply. "But when the king
heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and
destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city (Matt.
22:7)." Revelation 17 shows the harlot "city" burned with
After the city was destroyed in the parable, we read, "Then saith he to
his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not
worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall
find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the
highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and
good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. (Matt. 22:8-10)"
Revelation concurs, and shows the wedding feast after the Harlot city
is burned with fire. Coincidence?
In Matthew 23, Jesus openly speaks about rebelling Jerusalem of His day
as the theme of his parables, telling them they filled the cup of the
transgressions in all the righteous blood being shed since the death of
Abel. Never before had such a condemnation been laid upon a
single generation, in contrast to the times their fathers committed
sins. Christ accused one generation of possessing the guilt of all shed
blood on the entire earth! But to slay Christ, who would die
for all mankind, was certainly worthy of the accusation of having shed
all righteous blood in the world up to that time.
And what is so revealing in all of this, is that Revelation claims the
harlot was filled with the blood of all that was ever shed on the
earth, just as Jesus accused Jerusalem (Compare Matt. 23:23-35 with
In Matthew 24, Jesus is still speaking of the demise of Jerusalem as He
points out that the buildings of the temple would not have one stone
left standing. The disciples respond to him with
questions. "When will the stones be thrown down, what will be
the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matt.
At first glance, the picture is not so clear as to why Jesus would
respond to those questions in the manner He did. They would
personally hear of wars and rumours of wars, and so forth, in reference
to the time of “the end of the world". However, He
did not say the church of two thousand years later would see these
things. He said they, the disciples standing right there,
would not only see and hear those things, but would, themselves, be
afflicted and persecuted. And a cursory reading of the Book
of Acts reveals that to have indeed occurred!
Was the sign of the coming of the Son of man to occur in the end of our
civilization? When we read the same accounts of this
discussion in both Luke and Mark, we see that these disciples asked the
same questions. But their questions are phrased
differently. “The sign of the coming of
the Son of man, and of the end of the world" was actually the events to
transpire when the temple would be destroyed, which occurred in 70 AD!
Mark 13:2-4 And Jesus answering said
unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one
stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon
the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John
and Andrew asked him privately, Tell us, when shall
these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall
Luke 21:6-7 As for these things
which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be
left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And they
asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these
things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to
Mark and Luke proceed to give the same general list of events as
Matthew 24 did, touted by many to yet be unfulfilled. But the
context of Mark and Luke's questions to Jesus undoubtedly regard the
same timeframe when the temple would be destroyed in 70 AD!
The Greek term translated as "world" in Matthew 24:3 is "aion", meaning
"age". An age actually ended in 70 AD.
That does not mean the New Testament did not begin until 70
AD! But it does mean that an age did indeed end. Howso?
In Matthew 23, Jesus contrasted the Jews of His day, that generation,
with the entire race of Jews who persecuted the prophets throughout the
centuries. Although their fathers had committed such heinous
crimes, that specific generation would fill the cup (Matt. 23:32), or
pass the line of God's forbearance. Never before was one
generation accused of the guilt for all shed blood upon the
earth! Their fathers were never accused of such guilt, though
they persecuted many great men of God. But in crucifying and
scourging Jesus, and the disciples, the Jews of that day would receive
the wrath worthy for the entire world's shed blood. Surely an
age was ending!
There was nothing in all of Jesus Christ's words to inspire the
disciples to ask about events 2,000 years into their future.
Jesus did not proceed to speak about our day in
2003. All that He spoke about in Matthew chapter 21
through Chapter 24 was the implications of Jerusalem's rejection of His
triumphal entry, and how the kingdom would go to another nation, while
Jerusalem would be judged.
When He walked into the temple the day they rejected Him, and looked,
only to find no welcome of praise for Him, He left and cursed a fig
tree for having many leaves, but no fruit to receive (Mark
11:11-14). That fig tree was Israel. And she had
all the trappings, like leaves, of religious activity, without the
actual fruit of praise and godly servitude to the Lord.
Israel was cursed by Jesus Christ. Their house would soon be
left desolate, as a result.
He looked back to women "of Jerusalem", weeping for Him as He carried
His cross up Calvary's hill (Luke 23:28-30). And He told them
to weep for themselves and for their children -- that
generation. He said the days would come when they would call
for the rocks and mountains to cover them. This was the very
picture noted in the sixth seal of Revelation 6:16!
Why does the Book of Revelation speak so much about the judgment upon
Israel for rejecting Him in the days of His revelation?
Simply realize that the Lord spent many parables and discussions
concerning that very issue in the Gospels! He is simply being
consistent in both the Gospels and the Revelation.
Revelation shows two contrasting groups of people who accepted Him and
were blessed, or rejected Him and were cursed.
Christ brought a New Jerusalem into existence. A New
Israel. A New Temple, called the Church, comprised of both
Jews and Gentiles born again, losing their Gentile and Jewish states,
and made a new nation altogether! He even told the resisting
Pharisees that if the people praising Him during His triumphal entry
should cease, the stones would cry out. He meant that there
would be a new temple comprised of lively stones, from amongst the
quarries of the good and the bad, and the halt and the lame, who would
accept Him (1 Pet. 2:5, 9). And this new temple's stones of
the souls of precious people born-again, would become a house of God
built up and inhabited by Jesus, Himself, showing forth His praises!