Did Christ receive the kingdom of the world in 33 CE?

Did Christ receive the kingdom of the world in 33 CE?

Postby Rotherham » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:18 pm

Did Christ receive the kingdom of the world in 33 CE?

Revelation is a book which is regarded by most as having been written toward the very end of the first century. Some regard it as having been written around 66 CE, but there is no real tangible evidence to establish that date. The tangible evidence suggests the later date. But regardless, it was written far after the date of 33 CE which is what is important for this particular venture.

The symbols presented in the book are said to be of things which must shortly take place. (1:1)There are also clues that can be derived from other portions of the Bible that can identify the time period being focused upon in relation to the fulfillment of the prophecies.

For instance, John states that he came to be in the Lord’s day by inspiration. The Lord’s day is not Sunday nor is it Saturday as if the “Lord’s day” referred to the weekly Sabbath, for Christians are no longer under the weekly Sabbath observance. The Lord’s Day, via the surrounding context, is identified with the coming of the Lord with the clouds when every eye will see him. (1:7) This is an explicit parallel to the closing events associated with the parousia of Christ as mentioned in the Olivet Sermon. The important thing to remember as we proceed is that the book of Revelation opens with the timing of the parousia, whether it be seen as the “advent” or the “presence” of Christ. The timing of the parousia, which includes the revelation of Jesus Christ, is also referred to as the Lord’s Day elsewhere in the Bible.

(1 Corinthians 1:6-8) . . ., 7 so that YOU do not fall short in any gift at all, while YOU are eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will also make YOU firm to the end, that YOU may be open to no accusation in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Here the revelation of Jesus Christ and the Lord’s day are clearly connected. So we have a reference from the opening verses of the book that tells us that, in effect, John came to be in the “parousia” via inspiration.

Another important point to remember is that we are told by the Apostle Paul that the holy ones do not receive their resurrection to heaven until the parousia of Christ.

(1 Corinthians 15:22-23) 22 For just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each one in his own rank: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who belong to the Christ during his presence.

Or as some would render “at his coming”. Regardless, the holy ones do not take their thrones, nor do they ascend to heaven before the parousia of Christ but AT or DURING that parousia. Therefore, their heavenly presence or receiving their thrones, likewise, occurs with the parousia, not before.

Allusions are made to the effect of the holy ones being in heaven or on their thrones during some of the visions that follow which naturally tells us, based upon the same criteria as before, that these visions are in the timing of the parousia and revelation of Christ, or what some would refer to as the “end times”.

Of particular interest is the 12th chapter in helping us to determine when Christ would take his throne and receive the kingdom of the world. While it is apparent that in 33 CE, Christ began to reign at least in some fashion, we find evidence that suggests “another” reign that would have to be established at a later time, which is the purpose of considering chapter 12.

Of particular note, is this verse:

(Revelation 12:5-6) 5 And she gave birth to a son, a male, who is to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod. And her child was caught away to God and to his throne. 6 . . .

Some have applied this solely to the birth of Christ, but this simply will not work in harmony with the rest of the vision, since this “child” is referred to as more than one individual, a class of individuals, those who have been assigned the witnessing work to Jesus.

(Revelation 12:17) 17 And the dragon grew wrathful at the woman, and went off to wage war with the remaining ones of her seed, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness to Jesus.

So we have the REMAINING ones of the male child identified as those who will shepherd the nations with an iron rod and as the ones assigned to bearing witness about Jesus. This would be the church, the holy ones, that are included in this male child, because they are promised upon their conquering that they will shepherd the nations with an iron rod.

(Psalm 2:9) 9 You will break them with an iron scepter, As though a potter’s vessel you will dash them to pieces.”

Whereas this a clear prophecy about Jesus, it is also directly applied to those who conquer, the holy ones.

(Revelation 2:26-27) 26 And to him that conquers and observes my deeds down to the end I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he shall shepherd the people with an iron rod so that they will be broken to pieces like clay vessels, the same as I have received from my Father,

Therefore this male child is a reference to Jesus Christ and also the holy ones who constitute the heavenly government, being kings, priests and judges who do not get caught away to God and their throne until the parousia of Christ occurs according to Paul. So the holy ones can not be caught away to heaven until their resurrection, for it would only be by that means that they could be caught away to God and to their throne.

Therefore, the timing of verse 5 of chapter 12 must at least in part refer to the parousia of Christ. This is in total harmony with John’s words that he came to be in the Lord’s day via inspiration. And that also fits with the words that the signs are said to “shortly” take place, which would tell us that the visions had not yet transpired at the writing of the book.

So then, in relation to this male child being caught away to God and to his throne, we have the Devil being ousted from heaven, we have at least SOME of the male child caught away to heaven. I say SOME, because it is apparent that there is a REMAINDER of her seed who are still on earth and bearing witness to Jesus and being harassed by the Devil who was cast down to the earth to wreak havoc for a short time.

The question is, can this vision be applied to the events of 33 CE?

It could be claimed that the kingdom is first born in 33 CE via the woman, later, it is caught away to God via resurrection, first of all Christ, and then the holy ones when the parousia occurs, and then they are given their thrones once the remaining ones of her seed, being persecuted by the Devil, have joined the initial ones who were resurrected to heaven, as is also indicated by Revelation 6: 11:

And a white robe was given to each of them; and they were told to rest a little while longer, until the number was filled also of their fellow slaves and their brothers who were about to be killed as they also had been.

Therefore, the interpretation might be attempted that in 33 CE the kingdom was born first with Christ, later to be joined by the holy ones when the parousia occurs. Also that the Devil was ousted from heaven at 33 CE and went off to wage war with the holy ones, the remaining ones, minus Jesus, who was now caught away to God and to his throne as the primary seed, during his short period of time, which would now have lasted over 2000 years.

One objection to this interpretation is the fact that the visions are said to be future from the time of the writing the book. Therefore, if the features of the visions are yet future, then one could conclude that the actual birth of that kingdom seed by the woman was yet future, especially since we know that the church’s being caught away to God could not happen until the parousia.

This is in harmony with the fact that John received these inspired visions after he came to be in the Lord’s Day, the parousia and the revelation of Christ. That would make the timing of the visions entirely within the parousia, not before.

In response to this objection it could stated that there are clear references to past events or personages within the visions, and this is true, at least on occasion. However, to apply the events of chapter 12 to 33 CE in the manner presented, it places nearly the entire vision in the past, which stands in contrast to the opening words of the book and the time period in which John found himself under inspiration, that being when “every eye” would see the Son, also referred to as the ‘revelation” of Jesus Christ.

Further, it must also harmonize with what happens when we plug this vision in with the vision mentioned in Daniel chapter 7? Does the situation change as to the timing of this received kingship by Christ, as to the birth or initiation of this kingdom? Does it confirm or deny the 33 CE application?

Let’s take a look and see.

In chapter seven, verses 7-13 establish for us that the son of man did not receive his kingdom until after the actions described the conspicuous horn, and in fact, this same horn is prominent clear up to the time of the parousia because verses 21 and 25-27 clearly show his persecution of the holy ones right up until the time that they take possession of the kingdom, which as we have learned, does not happen until the parousia.

This horn best answers to an outgrowth of the Roman empire, which is represented by the fourth beast in the vision. In fact, it is difficult and a severely strained interpretation to make it apply otherwise. Regardless of the other details of the prophecy, the important feature that we need to take from this, for this particular venture, is the TIMING of the event of the son of man receiving his kingdom, which clearly had to take place after the outgrowth of the Roman kingdom, an outgrowth which lasts clear down until the parousia.

Daniel the 7th chapter, taken in harmonious fashion with Revelation chapter 12, tells us that regardless of when one would think that Christ received the kingdom of the world, it could not have been established before the events of the conspicuous horn, which would have been far into the future approaching the time of the parousia.

With this established, all other statements concerning rulership and/or authority must remain harmonious. The treatment of those passages is forthcoming.

In the end of the matter, knowledge is based upon acknowledgement.
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