Monday, 22 December 2014

Hendriksen on Revelation

I am not yet at the stage where it may be said that I have A-Millennial convictions. More A-Mill views. If when the Lord comes, I am wrong then I will quite happily fall into with that which He has deemed best. I think every serious Bible student must confess that. For example, should it be the will of God that those of blood washed church (still on earth at that time) should go through the Tribulation prophesied in Matthew 24:29-30 (as I believe they will) then there will not be much that the Pre Trib men, charts and all, can do about it. I suggest that they arm themselves with the same verses that I often think about  e.g. that even all these things will be work together for our good. I develope these thoughts a bit more at length here

I bought William Hendriksen's More Than Conquerors abut 20 years ago. I have read it completely through twice in that time, and I am about to start it again over the Christmas period. (We have been reading the Book of Revelation together in our family devotions.) Without necessarily endorsing each and every interpretation, I think Hendriksen gives us a most sober look at this book that draws the written word of God to a conclusion. Hendriksen's commentary is (IMO) well thought out and well written. The introduction was especially encouraging as he set forth the hermeneutic that he would be employing. It is as follows: 

PROPOSITION 1: The book of Revelation consists of seven sections. They are parallel and each spans the entire new dispensation, from the first to the second coming of Christ.

a) Christ among the candlesticks/lampstands (1:1-3:22)
b) Vision of Heaven and the seals (4:1-7:17)
c) The seven trumpets (8:1-11:19)
d) The persecuting Dragon (12:1-14:20) 
e) The seven Bowls (15:1-16:21)
f) The fall of babylon (17:1-19:21)
g) The Final Consummation (20:1-22:21) 

PROPOSITION 2: The Book maybe divided into two major divisions:

a) Chs 1-11 Indwelt Church persecuted by world but is avenged, protected and victorious.
b) Ch 12-22 reveals spiritual background to struggle. Conflict between Christ and Satan where Christ, and therefore,  the Church is victorious.

PROPOSITION 3: The book is one. The principles of human conduct and divine moral government are progressively revealed; the lampstands give rise to the seals, the seals to the trumpets, etc. 

PROPOSITION 4: The seven sections are arranged in ascending, climatic order with progress in eschatological emphasis. The final judgement is first announced, then introduced and finally described. Similarly, the new Heaven and Earth are described more fully in final section then those which precede it.

PROPOSITION 5: The fabric of the book consists of moving pictures. The details that pertain to the picture should be interpreted in harmony with its central thought. We should ask two questions: 

a) What is the entire picture?
b) What is the predominant idea?

PROPOSITION 6: The seals, trumpets, vials and similar symbols do not refer to specific or  historical events or details of history, but to principles of human conduct and divine moral government which are operating throughout the world, especially throughout the new dispensation.

PROPOSITION 7: The Book is rooted in contemporaneous events and circumstances. Its symbols should be interpreted in the light of conditions which prevailed when the book was written.  

PROPOSITION 8: The Apocalypse is rooted in the sacred Scriptures. It should be interpreted in harmony with the teachings of the entire Bible.

PROPOSITION 9: The Apocalypse is rooted in the mind and revelation of God. God in Christ is the real Author, and this book contains the purpose of God concerning the history of the church.

I have most of Hendriksen's other commentaries which I find useful in sermon preparation. You can read more about him here.

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