TUESDAY, August 31
Revelation contains a preparational blueprint necessary for these days and we need to be clear in our faith based on this book! The internal witness comes from within the work. Which era does it fit, Nero or Domitian? An abundance of internal evidence drawn from the book itself clearly assures us that it could not have been written until the end of the first century. It was not until this period that the first day of the week began to be called, ‘The Lord’s Day’. (Revelation 1:10) It was not until the end of the first century that there was a presiding elder or angel in each of the churches. In volume 2 of the Theological Word Book of the New Testament on page 617 we are told concerning the early church, “There is no reference to monarchical episkopate.” It also states “…that originally several episkopoi took charge of the communities in brotherly comity.” The emergence of single leaders are what we would know today as the pastor/elder. The pastor/presiding elder did not emerge until the end of the first century. The Gnostic errors arise during the time of Paul but did not become organized into groups like the Nicolaitans (which was a sect of the Gnostics) until the end of the first century. Finally the seven churches appear to be in a very vibrant condition toward the end of Paul’s ministry but that does not fit the condition of the church described by John in Revelation. After the death of Paul, John was probably at this point summoned to Ephesus where he spent much of his remaining time and built a relationship with the churches that Paul founded. 30 years after Paul died it is possible to see how these churches deteriorated to the point where they lost their first love, they were infiltrated by Nicolaitans and Baalamites, which they allowed. They had grown passive toward evil and tolerant of the evil around them. The rebukes to the churches do not fit their season of founding and development during Paul’s life and ministry. But after 30 years, it is much easier to see how they could have slipped into that condition. The internal keys to the dating of Revelation clearly place it at the end of the first century and therefore it is very important for our days. We can trust Revelation to be preparational for the days ahead! Jesus is victorious through His church!