Crave the bible is the best. A relief from the quite turmoil among everyone. Attempts to carry on regardless are part-admirable although the pretending is fraying at the edges.
Revelation 1 and first three lines (not that the original had punctuation) is enough to stir me out the blues and rise in faith and love. As for hope? Depends on how we read and understand the news i.e. the truer stories behind the fake broadcast. For anyone into-Jesus, the Book of Revelation is a barometer in what it proports to be communicating.
There are various aspects that cover the time and place of writing; how it relates to 2023, and the life after our physical deaths. Am confident the perspective due to share in an April post will challenge a universalist position -and- unsettle evangelicals in the main. This over-bearing reality, sits behind a whole lot of fears and uncertainty. Nothing I write isn't found in some combination of established broad-evangelical theology.
As for now-a-day: more background on the book (of Revelation).
There are curious verses in the bible. Full of the humanity and person writing it and contained with enough in God-influence to be the intended 'word of God'.
That word is the language documented -and- a person/God, and Jesus.
Matthew Ch. 24 and interpretations that set the book (of Revelation) in having been written pre-AD 70 is a companion set of passages. Jesus asks the audience who are facing his coming predicted destruction of the temple and their world was built around it and because of it to: 'Pray, that your flight will not happen in winter or on the Sabbath'. Something there, about the predictive and prophetic claims by God (through people) in the bible.
There are instances where things-said are not fulfilled, including some that never can be. Then there's talk of it 'will happen' and nothing else can be done. While almost all of the God-says's carry implications, or explicit, conditional options.
The engagement with those addressed is toward changes in action to bring about different outcomes. God's concerned conversation and range of emotional-like expression is in a redemptive love. Of course, reading the bible as it come-across takes a view that we have genuine free-will. This accepts there's chance and, necessity. Randomness isn't denied yet there are notions of oversight with a degree of meticulous involvement from God. The one who is ...present.
Yep, am with this particular theological camp that's convicted and convinced through experience and biblical reading: We are free to choose between more than one course of action.
With respect (and do, as and when), those with a deterministic theology can attempt a position and be in both camps but conceding any rational explanation is beyond our understanding. Arguments end up how we can reconcile a circle that fits in a square. Begs material illustrations and examples, that display no logic and/or are incoherent?
Not everything of course, ends up is in this category, such as the dates and when Revelation is authored and the dreams and visions occur?
About evidence and bias in probability from as comprehensive a consideration as is reasonable:
The earlier-dated view places it during the emerging cult of emperor. As best we can surmise from the first accounts looking back at AD 1-100 is Caligula started it in AD 40. Began with a statue and a temple as he elevated himself above humanity.
The public's response was voluntary until Nero, who by AD 60, mandated everyone had to offer public sacrifices i.e. bow down and offer a prescribed symbolic item. It was the start of the dilemma and on to the persecution for Christians. Nothing at this stage had to do with their specific held-beliefs and ways but about obedience to state-run deceptions. Hold on... that was/is part of their/the beliefs and fidelity to God.
No need to go where we-know-where, except to reiterate the contention; humanity and God's unseen enemies - who more or less manifest in/around individuals - are into re-doing 'Revelation' in their darkness. Their goal is a not-intended interpretation and by trying to defeat humanity, further attack God in blinded by hate and desperate ways.
How/ what/ do/ ...?
Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of the prophecy and keep the things which are written in it; for the time is near.
Keeping in, takes time-on.
While read (and talk to God/ pray) out-and-loud is a way to drink deeper and grow-bigger in the signs, symbols and words.
The smallest section and Rev. 1:1-3 isn't about hearing what someone else writes or says about it unless and because, it encourages our repeated-reading. Taking it to heart isn't a quick dip and oh yeah, um and ah. Having the bible words in us is claimed to be of a different order to any other word from anywhere and by anyone. It's not that they are unique and a rational comparison but the formation - haphazard as it was - is God touched by the God in the room with us or inside us. Our approach and sincerity is the determinant.
The idea the bible is an information carrier and not the signpost and means to meet God is reductionist and lack a belief in the miraculous. Christianity is not about a book and 66 books of the bible but the conduit and mechanism, the means and enabler to interact with the living and alive responsive and real ...God.
The Holy Spirit.
The one, and of three-and-One (God) who's wanting access to communicate with (somehow and in general, imperceptive and subtle) to transform; pull-up and press forward; help forget and/or remember; and do... DO remarkable miracles in the material world...stuff.
Dependant on us, stuff.
So why is the world in a time and increase in beyond natural human-irresponsible and tragic happenings?
From the enemy. Who blames way-more than accurate, that comes down to a creation-caused/-ing, to get reckoned on as 'acts of God' as the time (now) intentional maker. That God isn't here for good is the lie and the deception of deceptions.
( Tagged 'conspiracies/ a theory(?) is where there's plausible evidence. The reveal-er, for the hear-er, who's open and bold enough to discover?)
So why the world ...?
We and the cumulative levels, allow the deceptions and demonic -and, on top of that..- the saints face a war, they're less and not-so engaging in. The backdrop of battles raging and bringing suffering -or- is dampened and healing? Comes through prayer, love, and resistance to evil.
Can't say would subscribe to any one author and so not sure/ can't recall, where Jessie Penn-Lewis was at but, as for the title of her book: Sums up what 'Revelation' is on and has spoken into and was apparent in many times, and different geographical places in the past. While some are more pertinent examples than not?
Last post on Rev. tomorrow on When He Returns. Back Tue. for new direction and to mind-able and exercise for 'two opposing/s' and gaining of 'a first-class intelligence'. That, and more-than.