Beyond Sunday

Revealing the Old Testament Connections in Revelation with Dr. Mark Brighton

November 13, 2023 King of Kings Church
Revealing the Old Testament Connections in Revelation with Dr. Mark Brighton
Beyond Sunday
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Beyond Sunday
Revealing the Old Testament Connections in Revelation with Dr. Mark Brighton
Nov 13, 2023
King of Kings Church

Listen as Pastor Greg discusses the purpose of Revelation and its Old Testament connections with Dr. Mark Brighton, Professor of Biblical Languages/Theology at Concordia University Irvine. 

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Thanks for listening!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Listen as Pastor Greg discusses the purpose of Revelation and its Old Testament connections with Dr. Mark Brighton, Professor of Biblical Languages/Theology at Concordia University Irvine. 

Stay up to date by following us on your favorite social networks.

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Have questions or comments? Email us at contact@kingofkings.org.

Thanks for listening!

Speaker 1:

Well, hey, king of Kings, it is so great to be with you today. I am very honored and very excited for you to get an introduction to a man who was my first professor in religion as far as Greek, and also a man who I had the honor and the privilege of just learning under in college at Concordia University, irvine, and this is Dr Mark Brighton, who is one of our church bodies, just renowned experts on the book of Revelation, and he's going to be sharing with us a little bit deeper from what we've heard on Sundays, into this wonderful, wonderful book that, as John writes it, we are blessed to read as readers of this great Word of God. So, dr Mark Brighton, thank you so much for being here with us at King of Kings and on our podcast.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's my pleasure to be here. The family of God, we are a large family. We stretch not only across the United States but across the world, and anytime the family of God can gather around the Word of God, I think it's just a great thing, because that's where we find Jesus, especially in the book of Revelation.

Speaker 1:

Amen, amen. And you know, I think the thing that is so important for me about the book of Revelation is the fact that most Christians are fascinated by it and heavily intimidated by it. As a matter of fact, as our teaching team was talking about doing this series, none of us had ever preached on Revelation, and I've been in ministry for 20, almost 20 years, and Zach Zender on our staff as well, has been in ministry for over 12 years, and so so this is this is something we're excited about, and we kind of realized, oh gosh, it is part of the Council of God. We should definitely be sharing the Word of God from this. So I'm excited to dive deeper for for this as well. So let's just start with like, what's the purpose and overall idea behind the book of Revelation? So, as Christians, when we're starting to read it, like, is this really about? Like, waiting for the end times? What's the purpose of it?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, that's a great question, because what you are looking for in the book of Revelation might determine what you're going to find in the book of Revelation. The Revelation is a book which has lots of imagery, and many times we will interpret the imagery according to our own presuppositions and and unfortunately, revelation has been misused by a lot of people in the family of God, unfortunately. So what's the overall purpose? I think we can see it in the title. The title is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and I know it sounds kind of obvious, but the purpose of the book is for us to meet Christ, and that's its purpose. It's notice that it's title in the Greek it's a singular. It's not Revelation's, it's the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Now, why do I make that point?

Speaker 2:

Many people look at Revelation to find out events of the future. We want to know, you know, who the Antichrist is. We want to know about warfare in Europe. We want to know whatever it is that's going on our day, and we try to match it up with what's going on in the book of Revelation, and and and. So we think that the book of Revelation can show us future events, as if that's its primary purpose, and so many people call it the book of Revelation's because we'll see things there, but but that's missing the mark. It's designed to show us Jesus. And so if we come away here just trying to find out who the Antichrist is or who the Four Horsemen are or what the Millennium means, maybe we're kind of off-center, we are missing what the point is.

Speaker 2:

And so, okay, the revelation of Jesus Christ. You and I saw Jesus in the gospels, right? So what does revelation bring that we didn't see there? Well, in the book, in the gospels, you see revelation. You see Jesus who laid aside the full use of his divine power and majesty and glory. Theologians call that Jesus Christ in his state of humiliation. But in the book of revelation you see how Jesus makes full use of his divine power and glory to bring to completion God's plan of salvation from the day of Pentecost and tell the fulfillment of all things, which is the new creation.

Speaker 2:

And the book of revelation is designed to show us that and the reason why it wants us to see that is so that in this time of suffering and loss, we can always stand in the game plan, that the victory has been won and that Jesus is the Lord of these latter days. It's important for me and for all of us. When we go through loss, when a loved one gets cancer, when we lose jobs, when we see the shenanigans going on in civil government, when we would tend to be cynical about things, it's good for us to know that Jesus is the Lord of creation and even if we lose all things here, we still emerge victorious if we stand in his victory. That's the purpose of the book of revelation.

Speaker 1:

That's really, really helpful. One of the questions I would follow up with is so in in in the revelation, when John wrote this right in the, what may you know scholars say in the 90s of AD?

Speaker 2:

right somewhere in that timeframe.

Speaker 1:

The persecution and the suffering and the loss that they were experiencing is markedly different than what we're experiencing today. So like how is a Christian, how do we marry that? You know what I mean.

Speaker 2:

What do you mean, Mary? How do we match or make equivalencies or?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, how do we make equivalences in a right way? To look at this as a book of hope right. Not not like to find out who the four horsemen are or anything like that, but if it's, if it's really of that, jesus is Lord of all in the midst of all of our sufferings, as Christians, right. The suffering John was experiencing and that Christians in that day were experiencing is is radically different than the suffering I experienced.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I guess hurt probably has no competitiveness. Hurt is hurt, but just how do we, how, how? How would one as a reader be able to look and say historically what John's experiencing? This still applies to me today.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, that's good. Yeah, I suppose what's behind that question is when John sees these visions are these visions something that only apply to one particular time period?

Speaker 1:

And yes, correct.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and so is it that John is just writing about his day, or is he writing more generally about things which will continue to happen during the end times? Or, as some brothers and sisters in the church body not the necessary to loosen church body, but the larger body of Christ would say, is he writing only about the events in the distant future? Yeah, and most people, most commentaries and experts today, think that John is writing about things that repeatedly happens through the end times. Jesus himself describes the end times in Matthew. There he talks about wars and rumors of wars, and persecutions and sufferings and the increase of lawlessness and all those things, and it doesn't take an expert to understand that these have been going on for the last two millennia.

Speaker 2:

So when John writes about, let's say, the opposition to Christ and his work, he can certainly see how that works in his day, but it's not something that's unique to his day. We can see how that would also work in our day as well. So I suppose there would be a connection if you think about it in those ways. In other words, maybe the prophecies in the book of Revelation are not necessarily filled at only one time. They are repeated views of the end times until Christ returns. And as we read it, we can see yeah, that goes on in my day, it did in the Middle Ages and it also did in John's day and it will continue to go on until Christ returns and recreates all things. So maybe that's the connection.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, that's really good. I can see that connection, you know, I think. The other question I'd like to because use you state in your notes there in a document that you've done in a video series, that you had done that also in kind of the introduction in the beginning of chapter one, that John has a commissioning vision.

Speaker 1:

And you say John is commissioned there as a prophet. Yes, right, and then and then. One thing I think that might Surprise those who have not yet necessarily maybe read through Revelation is how deeply connected the book of Revelation is To the Old Testament.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 1:

Isaiah to Ezekiel I've. I've discovered more in in recent times of just also Exodus, that that revelation, exodus really overlay well with one another in their deep connections. Can you just say more about like what does this mean that John, that John is commissioned as a prophet, and yet he's looking back and and and and connecting back to the Old Testament for the people? Can you just dive us a little deeper into that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so typically, when a prophet is commissioned, god himself appears to that prophet, very often with symbolic imagery or in symbolic ways, and in a theophany, as theologians would would describe, to impress upon the person commissioned, the prophet, that this is God in His Majesty and authority. And so in Ezekiel, you see, you see four creatures and and you see wheels filled with eyes and a glassy expanse and then a fiery fire over it giving way to a, to a person. And in this theophany is God and thrown over all creation coming to Commission Ezekiel. In Isaiah, isaiah is caught up in the heaven and he sees the, the seraphs with wings, and he hears the voice of Lord crying who will go for us and who? Who will I, who I send? And Jeremiah says send me. And then he's commissioned with his message. It's a little different with revelation, and revelation it is the exalted Son of man who comes and and and, and Jesus, authority and glory is exited in his appearance, for example, some of this, in the way he appears. It's it's the way you would describe the ancient of days, or God in the Old Testament. His hair was white, white like wool, his eyes were like flames of fire, and those are things that John's readers would say, yeah, that's how you would describe God, but it's a little different, though as well. I mean, he has a sword coming out of his mouth and, and, john, well, we understand what that is. That's, that's the word of God, and, and, and, and God's word like a sword, as we read in the New Testament, is like a sharp sword which divides between the joints and and convicts us. And so in that way, john, yes, it's very similar to what's going on in the Old Testament times. This, this dependence upon the Old Testament, also goes forward.

Speaker 2:

I sort of think that a large part of the imagery and I use that word intentionally that we see in revelation, most of it, is found in the Old Testament, and so if you know your Old Testament really well, the imagery that you read in revelation will sound familiar, it will make sense. If I speak by the way of metaphor or images, we need to make sure that we all understand it correctly. For example, if I told you a story about a dragon, if I tell that story in Europe, the dragon represents primeval destruction, but if I tell a story about a Dragon in China, the dragon represents fortune completely opposite meanings. So when John tells us a story about 144,000 who have a seal on their forehead. We need to understand how to John's readers understand it, because we can invent all sorts of things, but we might come up with the wrong idea unless we know how John's readers understood it.

Speaker 2:

John, like his readers, had their roots in the Bible, and If you have your roots in the Bible and you hear about 144,000 who are sealed, that's gonna sound a lot like other parts of the Bible that you've already read and it will make sense. A Lot of times I think people miss and understand revelation because they really don't know their Old Testament too well, and so they pull out meanings that sound plausible but may not be the things that John's readers were thinking. So I agree with you entirely Whenever you read revelation, you are looking a lot in the Old Testament.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think this is such a great reminder for us and for all who are reading revelation is that scripture Fits together in a cohesive narrative from Genesis to revelation, and so the reader is not gonna be shocked by anything in revelation and be like I've never heard that before. Even even Christ is a son of man. Being the ancient of days Is a clear connection to saying Jesus is God. There's no question about it. This, this book, says he is Lord. He is God, the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah the God of all.

Speaker 2:

And it's interesting you mentioned son of man, because the first time you see Jesus he's described as one like the son of man. Okay, jesus called himself that in the Gospels, but what does that mean? In the Old Testament, john's readers would understand that's Daniel 7. That's how Jesus to find it when he was funny in front of the Sanhedrin. One who comes before the ancients of the days and he is given the never-lasting Kingdom and all people worship and serve him. His kingdom will never end. So a direct connection is rated, made right off the bat with Daniel 7 and the establishment of God's Eternal Kingdom, with this son of man and what we are now going to see in the book of Revelation. What is briefly talked about in Daniel 7, that he has given a kingdom, is going to be expanded in 20 chapters. We're gonna see how the son of man does that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So we're going to see some really great stuff over these next few weeks, and this is our time for today. So I want to invite you to come back and watch for when week two of our podcast drops on this, and here's what we're going to start to discover next week. We're going to discover what are these seven churches and why is that important and what sticks out to us, and then where are we going to find comfort and hope, especially as we're just beginning to dive into Revelation.

Speaker 1:

So Dr Brighton is going to be back with us next week. And continue to dive deep into the book of Revelation. Continue to read your word and connect it to Jesus and see that whatever is going on in your life, whether it's good or bad, jesus is Lord of all and he's with you and he's walking with you today, Dr Brighton. Thank you. And I can't wait for us to get into number two.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, thank you.

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