Revelation: Fall of Judea, Rise of the Church
Maurice A. Williams
Revelation: Fall of Judea, Rise of the Church is an interpretation of the last book in the Bible based on the preterist theory, which suggests that much of what is predicted by the visions recorded in the book of Revelations happened during the first century following the death of Christ. Williams offers Judean and Roman history to make his case against the futurist theory of revelation, the prediction that atrocities of the last days are yet to come.
“Preterists claim many of the predicted visions were meant for people who first heard them preached (1).” Williams begins his discussion with the assertion that chapters four through eleven of Revelations were founded in the preaching of John the Baptist and not John the Evangelist. If this is true, this would mean the visions of the four winds and the three woes occurred before Christianity developed. “If John the Baptist preached chapters 4 through 11, then these visions were meant for first-century Judeans, not for Gentiles living twenty centuries later (3).”
From here, the author weaves an intricate web through the history of Judea as it relates to the four winds and the three woes. Beginning with the dissention between Judeans who followed Christ and those who did not, the author guides the reader through the unfolding of Judea as infighting opened the doors to Roman infiltration by leaders such as Caligula. “The Judeans were supposed to recognize and accept the Messiah, but many did not. It seems logical that those who did not accept the Messiah would experience the disasters the Baptist predicted (49).” The author also ties the unleashing of Satan to the Reformation movement and the splintering of the Roman Catholic Church.
Williams invites the reader to experience the history of Judea as a witness to the undoing of its inhabitants by developing scenes in which the reader imagines him or herself a part of. He also suggests that the sin humans commit, although a result of the blessing of free will, is not possible without the cooperation of Jesus: “We have the guilt for all our sins because we willed to disobey, but Jesus in his divine nature is involved because we draw upon his power when we carry out our disobedience (15).” It is an interesting and controversial point as most Christians would place the blame of human sin on Satan.
Revelation: Fall of Judea, Rise of the Church will challenge the standard interpretations of the book of Revelations and open up discussions among Christians and non-Christians about the manifestation of the last days as recorded in the Bible.
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