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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator
 



       
 

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 1-1000

070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

075: Barnabus: Epistle of Barnabus

090: Esdras 2 / 4 Ezra

100: Odes of Solomon

150: Justin: Dialogue with Trypho

150: Melito: Homily of the Pascha

175: Irenaeus: Against Heresies

175: Clement of Alexandria: Stromata

198: Tertullian: Answer to the Jews

230: Origen: The Principles | Commentary on Matthew | Commentary on John | Against Celsus

248: Cyprian: Against the Jews

260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

310: Peter of Alexandria

310: Eusebius: Divine Manifestation of our Lord

312: Eusebius: Proof of the Gospel

319: Athanasius: On the Incarnation

320: Eusebius: History of the Martyrs

325: Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

345: Aphrahat: Demonstrations

367: Athanasius: The Festal Letters

370: Hegesippus: The Ruin of Jerusalem

386: Chrysostom: Matthew and Mark

387: Chrysostom: Against the Jews

408: Jerome: Commentary on Daniel

417: Augustine: On Pelagius

426: Augustine: The City of God

428: Augustine: Harmony

420: Cassian: Conferences

600: Veronica Legend

800: Aquinas: Eternity of the World

 


1000-2006

FUTURIST
HISTORICAL
MODERN

1265: Aquinas: Catena Aurea

1543: Luther: On the Jews

1555: Calvin: Harmony on Evangelists

1556: Jewel: Scripture

1586: Douay-Rheims Bible

1598: Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian

1603: Nero : A New Tragedy

1613: Carey: The Fair Queen of Jewry

1614: Alcasar: Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi

1654: Ussher: The Annals of the World

1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

1764: Lardner: Fulfilment of our Saviour's Predictions

1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

1802: Nisbett: The Coming of the Messiah

1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

1842: Stuart: Interpretation of Prophecy

1843: Lee: Dissertations on Eusebius

1845: Stuart: Commentary on Apocalypse

1849: Lee: Inquiry into Prophecy

1851: Lee: Visions of Daniel and St. John

1853: Newcombe: Observations on our Lord's Conduct as Divine Instructor

1854: Chamberlain: Restoration of Israel

1854: Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture

1859: "Lee of Boston": Eschatology

1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

1863: Thomas Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem

1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

1985: Lee: Jerusalem; Rome; Revelation (PDF)

1987: Chilton: The Days of Vengeance

2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

2006: M. Gwyn Morgan - AD69 - The Year of Four Emperors

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Free Online Books

Free Online Books



Apocalyptic | Apocryphal | Archeology | Lectures | Biographies | Dead Sea Scrolls | First Century History | Foreign | Jewish Sources | Josephus

Click For Site Updates Page

Free Online Books Page

Historical Preterism Main

Modern Preterism Main

Hyper Preterism Main

Preterist Idealism Main

Critical Article Archive Main

Church History's Preteristic Presupposition

Study Archive Main

Dispensationalist dEmEnTiA  Main

Josephus' Wars of the Jews Main

Online Study Bible Main

 1-1000

070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

075: Barnabus: Epistle of Barnabus

090: Esdras 2 / 4 Ezra

100: Odes of Solomon

150: Justin: Dialogue with Trypho

150: Melito: Homily of the Pascha

175: Irenaeus: Against Heresies

175: Clement of Alexandria: Stromata

198: Tertullian: Answer to the Jews

230: Origen: The Principles | Commentary on Matthew | Commentary on John | Against Celsus

248: Cyprian: Against the Jews

260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

310: Peter of Alexandria

310: Eusebius: Divine Manifestation of our Lord

312: Eusebius: Proof of the Gospel

319: Athanasius: On the Incarnation

320: Eusebius: History of the Martyrs

325: Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

345: Aphrahat: Demonstrations

367: Athanasius: The Festal Letters

370: Hegesippus: The Ruin of Jerusalem

386: Chrysostom: Matthew and Mark

387: Chrysostom: Against the Jews

408: Jerome: Commentary on Daniel

417: Augustine: On Pelagius

426: Augustine: The City of God

428: Augustine: Harmony

420: Cassian: Conferences

600: Veronica Legend

800: Aquinas: Eternity of the World

 


1000-2006

FUTURIST
HISTORICAL
MODERN

1265: Aquinas: Catena Aurea

1543: Luther: On the Jews

1555: Calvin: Harmony on Evangelists

1556: Jewel: Scripture

1586: Douay-Rheims Bible

1598: Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian

1603: Nero : A New Tragedy

1613: Carey: The Fair Queen of Jewry

1614: Alcasar: Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi

1654: Ussher: The Annals of the World

1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

1764: Lardner: Fulfilment of our Saviour's Predictions

1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

1802: Nisbett: The Coming of the Messiah

1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

1842: Stuart: Interpretation of Prophecy

1843: Lee: Dissertations on Eusebius

1845: Stuart: Commentary on Apocalypse

1849: Lee: Inquiry into Prophecy

1851: Lee: Visions of Daniel and St. John

1853: Newcombe: Observations on our Lord's Conduct as Divine Instructor

1854: Chamberlain: Restoration of Israel

1854: Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture

1859: "Lee of Boston": Eschatology

1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

1863: Thomas Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem

1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

1985: Lee: Jerusalem; Rome; Revelation (PDF)

1987: Chilton: The Days of Vengeance

2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

2006: M. Gwyn Morgan - AD69 - The Year of Four Emperors

Print and Use For Personal Bookmark or Placement in Bookstores


THE CRY OF CHRISTENDOM
for a divine eirenikon:

A plea with all the churches for


THE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE;  CHRISTIANITY AND PEACE.

WITH NOTES AND QUERIES, ON APOSTOLIC AND PATRISTIC

TESTIMONY, CONCERNING CHRISTIAN PRIESTHOOD

AND SACRAMENTS; CATHOLIC UNITY, ETC.


ALEXANDER KING

1889

"As previously, in the days of His flesh, He explicitly gave the signs of His coming, that the disciples might know when to flee from Jerusalem, before its fall; so here again, by the ministry of the disciple whom He loved, and whom He permitted to tarry till His coming, He emphatically warned the Churches, of the impending overthrow."


CLICK HERE FOR PDF FILE OF ENTIRE BOOK

 

NOTE L.

Jerusalem and Rome are as plainly indicated, as if they were named ; and both are alike implied to be then standing. The sixth of the "Kings " (Emperors) is represented, as in existence (reigning) when John wrote. He was above all others distinguished as "the tyrant"; the well-known terrible persecutor of the Christians; and their condition of danger, suffering and persecution,—as indicated all through,—most fully corresponds with the acts of ruthless cruelty, which marked the tyrant's reign.

Jerusalem and Rome,—as representing the two great opposing Powers, then harassing and corrupting the Church of Christ; and the acts and methods of hostility, then proceeding from Judaism and heathenism—are the underlying and ever-present themes, in the direct references to the sufferings of the Churches.

Upon these two hostile Powers, the Divine judgments are represented as shortly to fall. On the former a signal, speedy, and complete overthrow, is soon to be effected; while the latter is reserved to a more protracted, and varied series of judgments; like those of ancient Babylon, with which it is compared.

These impending judgments, are sometimes symbolized, in connection with prophetic glances forward, to the future and final judgment of the Redeemers enemies; as in the 24th chapter of Matthew; and as type and analogy suggest. But the direct and appropriate significance of the Revelation, to and for the Churches to whom it was addressed, is distinctly and variously indicated; and we can best understand its primary object, by trying to put ourselves in company with its first readers.

Great difference of opinion has prevailed, regarding the precise time of John's exile to Patmos.

Many critics have held that his banishment occurred during the reign of Domitian ; and several authorities are quoted, in support of that view.

But most, if not all, the earlier of these, derived their notions from a recorded statement of Irenaeus ; and it has been shown that the words of Irenaeus have been misapprehended. Rightly rendered, his remarks refer to the appearance of John himself among the Churches, during the reign of Domitian, (that is, to his having lived on till then), and not to his vision or revelation, as having then •occurred.

The early Syriac inscription (as we are informed) distinctly ^states that John was banished to Patmos by Nero; and a vast amount of collateral and incidental evidence, goes to  establish this representation. It was in reference to the number of the name of "the beast," (Rev. xiii. 18) that Irenteus used the words already referred to. The most obvious and probable solution of that number, gives the name of " Nero," (Neron Cesar, according to the Hebrew numerals), and an early and widespread tradition, quoted from Suetonius and Tacitus, gives the opinions of both Christians and heathens, to the same effect. Many of the early Christian writers, maintained that Nero was " the man of sin," and " the lawless one," described by Paul; and that "the Antichrist will be Nero, raised up from hell."

Some of our most recent interpreters of the Apocalypse— as if to keep up with the ancients,—allege several considerations, in support of this view; and divide the claim, between Nero and Napoleon !

Our notice of these conjectures, is only for the purpose of illustrating the well-earned reputation of " the tyrant," as the first and most terrible of the Imperial persecutors of the Christians.

The general issue, confirms the belief, that John was banished to Patmos, and the book of the Revelation was written, in the time of the persecution under Nero.

Interesting and judicious remarks on this subject, may be found in the Introduction to " Notes on the Revelation of John," by Professor Cowles, of Oberlin, Ohio, TJ.S.A.; and, in duty to all readers, who may desire to pursue the study, it is here recorded, that this concise treatise, by the venerable Oberlin Professor, is incomparably the most consistent, luminous, and satisfying, exposition of the Apocalypse, with which the present writer is acquainted.

The results of ripe scholarship, and acute analysis, are presented in the simplest form ; while the method of proof conducts the reader,—clear of all fogs and fancies,—along the line of sober and intelligible exegesis, to the solid ground of intelligent conviction; by finding, in the book, the true key to its interpretation.
 

THE BOOK OF THE APOCALYPSE.

This is the more interesting, because, in discovering what relates to our present subject, we obtain the key, to a just interpretation of that wonderful book.

Adverse critics, and commentators, of different schools, have expended much learning and ingenuity, on this theme, and provided us with abundant material, for the formation of a sound judgment, on various questions involved. We can only indicate a few principal points. It is much to be regretted, that perversity and extravagant fancy have variously explained away this Divine revelation; or tortured it, into imaginary synopses of universal history; to the utter disparagement of its true character ; and ignoring of its real function, in the early life of Christianity.1

It was, in various ways, as the sound of a trumpet,

1 Appendix, Note K.
arousing the energies, and inspiring the courage of the noble army of martyrs, whose blood was the seed of the Church.

The same process, by which it is proved that John wrote his " Gospel," toward the close of his life, with equal clearness, indicates, that the " Revelation" was the earliest of his writings which we possess.

It is believed to have been written, about A.D. 64-5 ; perhaps twenty years, or more, before the Gospel } and the dissimilarity of style, and other peculiarities, noted by critics, afford striking elucidation of the authenticity and the Divine testimony of both.

We have no Scripture history of John's movements, after his last recorded appearance in Jerusalem; (comp. Gal. ii. 9, with Acts xv.); but there is no reason to doubt the general tradition, of his long residence and his death, at Ephesus; which is corroborated, by his relation to the Churches of that region, indicated in the Apocalypse.

He probably arrived in Asia Minor, soon after Paul went Westward ; perhaps when that Apostle was in Rome; and several of his allusions, to historic personages and events, would seem to synchronize with the eventful period, which culminated in Paul's triumphant martyrdom.1

1 Some expositors, in attempting to uphold the opposite view, are driven to assume that the Apocalypse was written in the Apostle's extreme old age, when he had lost command of his matured attainments, and had to fall back on the use of the provincial dialect, remembered from his youth.

It certainly requires peculiar ingenuity, to discover indications of mental decay, in this vigorous and thrilling composition.

PECULIARITIES OF STYLE, ETC.

As a native of Palestine, John would, of course, not write in such pure Greek, soon after his arrival in Asia Minor, as he could use, say, twenty years later, after long intercourse with philosophic Grecians, of the Alexandrian school; and this coincides remarkably, witli the criticisms of many objectors, who have not recognized the force of an obvious fact.

ALLUSIONS TO EVENTS OF DIFFERENT DATES.

It may be noted further, that the perils and sufferings, as well as the errors and corruptions, described in the letters to the Seven Churches, correspond more with those mentioned in the book of Acts, and the earlier Epistles ; while in his Gospel and first Epistle, John is evidently in antagonism with those anti Christianisms, which arose later, out of oppositions of science falsely so called.

It is important to take into account, the prevalent notions, in religion and philosophy, of any people, to whom the word of inspiration was primarily addressed.

The Gnosticism and Platonic philosophy of Alexandria, had been propagated in Asia Minor; and Ephesus derived from Alexandria, as Alexandria, had virtually taken the place of Athens.

1 Note L.

PRIMARY DESIGN OF APOCALYPSE. 137

These well-known facts, with the attested long residence of St. John in Ephesus, afford striking confirmation of our argument.

Moreover, as John employs the very distinctive terms of the Gnostic Platonists, in his sublime doctrine concerning " the Word (Logos) " that " was God " ; and in refutation of their errors, we have a cumulative proof, amounting to demonstration, of the chronological relation of the Gospel to the Apocalypse. The former is adapted to the later time, to which the latter did not apply.

These few shadowy sketches of a grand theme, may help us to appreciate a study, on which we cannot now fully enter.

Sufficient for our present purpose, lies on the surface, inviting the attention of every reader. The primary object of the Revelation, and the persons to whom it was addressed, with the most vivid description of their condition, and of the Divine regard for their present encouragement, instruction and warning, are all plainly stated and emphatically reiterated. It is marvellous, and much to be deplored, that these aids to the right interpretation of the book, have been so generally overlooked.

ADDRESSED TO CONTEMPORARIES.

As their exiled teacher, their " brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ," John wrote " to the Seven Churches," this Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show unto His servants things which must " shortly come to pass."

Could they, on reading these words, imagine that the chief burden of the prophecy was for future ages, of which they knew absolutely nothing ? If so, how could it have been a Revelation to and for them ? A present state of things is described, in which the}' were most seriously involved. Present sufferings, recent and future martyrdoms of their own contemporaries, are alluded to. Their own religious condition and affairs, are described, as by Him " that walketh in the midst of" the Churches, and " searcheth the reins and hearts."

Their distinctive circumstances are minutely analysed. The lukewarm and corrupt are warned and threatened. The faithful and devoted, are comforted and assured; and all are alike admonished of an impending crisis, of overwhelming judgments, and destruction of Christ's enemies, near at hand. As if to guard against such misapprehensions, as have formed the staple of modern theories of exposition, these first readers of the book, were explicitly assured, that it was written for them.

Over and over, the Lord addresses them directly, saying, " Behold, I come quickly "; " The time is at hand " ; " Hold fast till I come." And at the close of the grand series of visions and interpretations, the review and application, are equally explicit. " The Lord God of the holy prophets, hath sent His angel, to show unto His servants, the things which must shortly be done "; " Behold, I come quickly " ; " Seal not up the sayings of the prophecy of this book ; for the time is at hand"; "Behold, I come quickly." (ch. xxii, 6-12.)

Surely, the loving Lord, " the faithful and true witness," did not mock His suffering servants, by presenting them with a gorgeous panorama, of dissolving views, of the mysteries of historical development of the world's future ; while professing to be about to come quickly, for their deliverance, and the chastisement of their persecutors.

As previously, in the days of His flesh, He explicitly gave the signs of His coming, that the disciples might know when to flee from Jerusalem, before its fall; so here again, by the ministry of the disciple whom He loved, and whom He permitted to tarry till His coming, He emphatically warned the Churches, of the impending overthrow.

THE CROWNING PROOF.

As John had this ministry of prediction and preparation assigned to him, and as he had so often announced this coming of the Lord, before it happened, —when, in after years, he wrote his Gospel, he could not, of course, forget the grand event which he had survived.

Hence it is, that in this crowning glory, of the Apostolic record of the Gospel of the Son of God, "specially designed" (as has been well remarked) " for the perfecting of the saiuts," tb.3 temporary con
tinuance of " the feast of the Passover," or its substitute, is not even mentioned !

The marked omission of the Lord's Supper, from the last written Gospel, may therefore be regarded as the crowning negative proof that it was not ordained, for perpetual observance, in the Christian Church.1

1 Of the early age of Catholicity, a recent writer has well remarked,—" The simplicity of the Christian worship, so remarkable at this period, when it had cast off the Jewish ritual, and had not, as yet, sought any new ceremonial; the adoration of the invisible, wit/tout symbolic aid; .... the bold spirituality, which grasped the idea of worship, ' IN Spisit And In Thuth,' as so grand a reality ; all these characteristics of the new religion, were of a nature to scandalize and irritate, by the force of contrast, a world, given to idolatry."

" To the votaries of a materialistic religion, spirituality is Atheism ; .... it was natural, then, that Christians should be classed among the impious, by the worshippers of Jupiter and Venus." (" Early Years of Christianity " (de Pressense'), vol. ii. p. 5.)

The same author, in describing the Christian missions of the second and third centuries, quotes the famous foe of the Church, Celsus, as testifying to the heroic zeal of the Christians; and points out that " the Church was the city of refuge, built upon a hill, with gates open to all in whom there had arisen a thirst for the Divine."

" There was no distinction then, between home and foreign missions. Every Church was a missionary centre, radiating Gospel light far and near. Missionaries were not subjected—any more than pastors or bishops—to any course of special training. Their aptitude for the work was tested; and they were chosen, when

they gave clear evidence of their vocation Everything was

free and spontaneous, in the great chain of Christian victories, which, after two centuries, enclosed the empire, as in a vast network."

" The most humble, were often the most powerful. It was an obscure old man who gave Justin Martyr to the Church " ; and so of other noble Apologists and defenders of the faith, whose heroic zeal and eloquent pleadings, marked an era in the life and literature of the world, while they convinced, rebuked, or exasperated, Imperial and philosophic adversaries. (Ibid. pp. 10, 19, 21.)
 

 

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