Continuing with my Bahnsen Revelation study, he was discussing the Church at Pergamos. He noted that the book of Revelation is not apolitical nor are Christ’s words.
Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. Rev 1:5
Bahnsen noted that while kings may exercise rule and sovereignity - Jesus is the ruler of them all. All things are subject to Christ - claiming that laws and morality and yes politics have nothing to do with faith or the sphere of Christian belief is not the image presented of Christ. Also it was noted that John was exiled to Patmos… a place where political prisoners were sent. In John’s descriptions of Christ very real challenges are made to the claims of the rights of rulers and the powers and sphere of rulers, and they are all given to Christ.
‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is.
Pergamos was a seat of political influence and power and was the first bastion of Emperor worship. Yet Jesus called that power, the throne of satan - political commentary. Christ does condemn evil governments, and He does not do so within our modern politically correct pluralistic mumbo jumbo. He does so on God’s values, He rules through the Word of God. Notice the image of the sword…. the sword is an image of sovereign power. It is the governments who are intended by God to “not bear the sword in vain” - yet it is Christ who ultimately has the Sword, coming out of His mouth - the Word.
to be continued
Continuing on my Bahnsen Revelation study:
“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.’”
The Ephesians were highly praised for testing false teachers and doctrines and having zero tolerance for such. Yet, they had doctrinal purity without the love that they had at the first. Jesus exhorts them to hold on to their hatred of deceitful doctrine, for Jesus Himself hates such, but to regain their first love. Their first love will include the hatred of evil. Notice though that Christ does not hate the Nicolatian persons, but the Nicolatian doctrines. Is that where the Ephesians went wrong? We don’t know. But hating false doctrine is not unloving.
Yes it is that bad on the Scale of Cheese. There has never been another production worse, nor shall ever be. Of what do I rant? The NBC mini-series Revelations. It would not be so bad I suppose if one were utterly ignorant of the Bible and just watched as a corny “spiritual thriller.” I could not do that. My husband got up and decided going to bed at 9:10pm was much more entertaining than watching this. So I sat alone and watched. And watched. And was embarassed for the creators.
So here are some disjointed rantings on some things that were so bad.
The “satanist” was straight out of a bad early 80s black metal band or a character from Michelle Remembers or The Satan Sellers. Cornball. But then again, that was good as well for I am sure it royally mortified the vanity of satan to be represented by such a character.
Next… the miracle baby that was found afloat the flotsam and jetsam of the ferry tragedy. Up close the baby was adorable and real. The shots from the rescue barge though were so obviously computer-generated it looked like that dancing baby from Ally McBeal.
Next…. that nun has a habit of misquoting Scripture. Get it?? Habit!! Ow, I kill me. Anyways, this young lady Olivia was hit by lightning several times, and was alleging in a persistant vegetative state (starting to look more and more like a carrot - I HATE that term “vegetative,” but it is easier to starve/dehydrate a vegetable than a human being… but I digress) yet was quoting apocolyptic Scriptures in Latin which we find out later is likely from the murdered daughter of Dr. Massey who is using Olivia as, well frankly, a medium. Anyways, the sceptical Dr. Massey, the obligatory “I’m hostile to religion” guy, explains that Olivia had her fillings shot up into her brain from the lightning and the continuing electrial storm was stimulating these filings and causing these manifestations - which explains why Olivia only performs when there is lightning. The fiesty heroine, Sister I Can’t Remember Her Name, shoots back, “As lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also is the Word of God.”
I am listening through Greg Bahnsen’s study on Revelation and will periodically post some thoughts. The series is excellent. He gave me some insight on Revelation 1:7 which confirmed my thesis I have been working on for the past two years, turning it around in my head. That was awesome because it is always great to get confirmation on things one has thought of but has not heard anyone else teach on up to that point. First, it shows the common Spirit uniting us, but second, and note this carefully….
THEOLOGICAL NOVELTY IS NOT A GOOD THING
Usually, not always, especially in an atmosphere of free study and no government coercion of theology or other unnatural influences, if one is the only one or part of a radical fringe (cough - hyperpreterism) there is a very good chance one has over-estimated one’s abilities. Bahsen referred to an early respected commentator that had a similar conclusion, so I am trying to obtain that work, well a translation of that work since it is in German.