Just what did early followers of Yeshua believe? The answer may actually be dependent on the audience! Really? Yes. If one is a"Christian", it is quite obvious that early followers of Yeshua were also "Christians"; If one is a Jew, it is clear that they were misled gentiles; etc.
But, what is the truth? Is it, as so many purport, somewhere in the middle?
A follow up question should be asked: To have early followers, just what did Yeshua teach that was compelling enough that some would give their lives for?
Odd to the many may be that Yeshua did exactly as he was supposed to do, and that was to turn the hearts of the children of Israel back to
On the following website is a quote from a modern day rabbi, which may help to bring this idea forward (http://www.hope-of-israel.org/jesnochr.htm):
A modern Jew, Rabbi Roland B. Gittlesohn of the Temple Israel in Boston, Massachusetts, writes of the true, historical Yeshua:
"I can certainly accept Jesus as a fellow-Jew...Jesus was not a Christian; he was a Jew. He did not preach a new faith, but taught men to do the will of God; and in his opinion, as also in that of the Jews, the will of God was to be found in the law of Moses and in the other books of Scripture. Here we must make a clear distinction between the religion of Jesus and the religion about Jesus. The religion of Jesus was Judaism; there can be no doubt of that. Christianity is the religion about Jesus. When Jesus was asked, 'What is the first of all the commandments/' -- he answered by reciting the Shema which is the great statement of Monotheistic Judaic faith: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul...this is the first commandment'....Even though these words are often quoted -- even at times by ignorant or self-denying Jews -- in the name of Jesus, he himself was surely aware of the fact that they come from the Hebrew Torah...which antedates him by many centuries. Jesus was consciously citing and reiterating Judaism. This Jesus, Jesus the Jew, I can with clear conscience accept. I can and do also accept him as a superb teacher, as a restless rebel against hypocrisy, as a compassionate counselor, as one who stressed the spirit over the letter of faith, though he knew the letter to be important too. Jesus [was] an extraordinarily beautiful and noble spirit, aglow with love and pity for men, especially for the unfortunate and lost, deep in piety, of keen insight into human nature, endowed with a brilliant gift of parable and epigram, an ardent Jew, moreover, a firm believer in the faith of his people; in all, a dedicated teacher of the principles, religious and ethical, of Judaism. As a Jew and rabbi, then, I can accept Jesus...He held the basic beliefs and practices of the Jewish heritage to be precious, but strove to refurbish and refine them, to adapt them to the needs of his time. This, however, is not the Jesus of [Catholic and Protestant] Christianity, nor of Jews for Jesus..." (Smashing the Idols: A Jewish Inquiry into the Cult Phenomenon, Gary D. Eisenberg, pp. 165-166).
Concerning biblical interpretation, it should be understood
that much of prophetic material is written in what is known as “Apocalyptic" and/or "Prophetic"
Language, where the language is symbolic and conveys a meaning different than what is
literally stated. Phrases like, “...that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years...”(2 Peter 3:8) should not be interpreted literally (i.e. that one day with
[Elohim] is equal to one thousand years for man), but in apocalyptic/prophetic language
simply means "just a long time"; "For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills" (Psalms 50:10) does not mean that He only owns a thousand hills (and everything on them), but rather that His resources are limitless, without number.
Also, it should be understood that not all prophetic material
is written in apocalyptic language. When the Revelation of Yeshua states
precisely that it is written to the seven congregations of Asia, that is its
unambiguous and intended audience.
Would You Say That Yeshua Was A Liar?
If you are among those who believe that the book of the Revelation of Yeshua Ha Mashiach
was NOT written PARTICULARLY to the seven congregations of Asia, and rather attribute that message as applying to a future time and people, then ordinary rules of "logic" would deem such a belief as tantamount to declaring that Yeshua is a liar!
Yeshua stated very clearly who His audience was — it was not directed other than to "the seven congregations of Asia" at the time when Yohanan was on the "Isle of Patmos" (Revelation 1:4, 1:11, 1:20).
The Leading of the רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ [Ruach Ha Kodesh]
Note: Bible study (and interpretation) requires maturity,
discernment and a leading by the Ruach Ha Kodesh (not necessarily in that
order). Where context and history come together, the “Plain Meaning Rule”, or
what is otherwise known as “Rules of Legal Construction” should apply: “Ambiguities are construed against the maker of the document and words are to be given their plain meaning.”
The following is what I consider to be a reasonable
assumption concerning authentic followers of Yeshua ha Mashiach at the time following
the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 A.D.
By the time of the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, most, if not all,
of the original Apostles had died; it is the belief of this author
that all of the canonical books of the Brit ha Hadashah had been written prior
to that time (including the Revelation of Yeshua Ha Mashiach (as given to the Disciple
whom He loved)).
I believe that those persons who may have been privileged to
be witnesses to the actual life of Yeshua of Nazareth or who had known any of the
twelve Apostles — who were singularly lead by the Ruach ha Kodesh (and therefore
known by Him) would necessarily have believed it their duty to carry forth the
Good News of Yeshua and the knowledge of the Truth to subsequent generations (of
other authentic believers), and particularly to pass along the expectation of things to come. In
the least, I am convinced that if this Knowledge of Truth was not passed on by
individuals, that the Ruach ha Kodesh did so Himself!
I am fully convinced that the Revelation of Yeshua ha
Mashiach, as told to the disciple whom He loved [the Apostle Yohanan —John], reached
its intended audience precisely at the time it was to be delivered. Although
I find that book important, I believe its time sensitive message reached its intended audience at
the precise time when it was needed. That time is in the distant past, not
to be repeated, nor to be reinterpreted to apply to a different audience or a
Moreover, I do not hold to a belief of multiple fulfillments
of prophetic revelation, which I believe is used by many contemporary "experts" to interpret scriptural
fulfillment of “End Time" prophecies (particularly the Revelation of
Yeshua) within one’s own time period and context of understanding.
especially do not believe in two “first comings” of the Messiah, which is how Biblical interpretation is portrayed
by many of these present day "scholars" as well as that found in the popular “Left Behind” book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, and "The Late Great Planet Earth", by Hal Lindsey.
Nevertheless, I am convinced that Yeshua is RETURNING
to the last generation to bring the FINAL JUDGMENT of יהוה[YHVH].
Yeshua is the one who
fulfilled the Messianic prophecies showing that He alone IS the One and Only Anointed Son of יהוה [YHVH]
(the True Messiah /Anointed of YHVH); it is He Who Is Coming To Judge The
The Jewish Scriptures Foretold When The Messiah Would Arrive In History!
The historical time for the coming of Yeshua was foretold by
Daniel over 500 years prior to its occurrence! That timeframe was to occur only
once in all of history — it was not to be split up with one part fulfilled at a
certain time and other parts of that prophecy to be fulfilled thousands of
years later — especially when that questionable exegesis requires “playing fast
and loose” not only with Scripture, but it requires multiple occurrences of
The Jewish people were expecting the Messiah at the time Yeshua was born!
It is clear from the book of Luke (in the Brit haHadashah),
that there was an expectation of Messiah at the time that Yeshua was born.
There was an old man, by the name of Shimon, who had been told by the Ruach ha
Kodesh that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. When Yeshua
was brought to be circumcised in the Temple, Shimon was there and he immediately
knew that the child was the Messiah that was promised; he took Yeshua in his
arms and praised God in the presence of all (see Luke 2).
At that same time, an old woman by
the name of Hannah, who was known to be a prophetess, came up to them and also
praised יהוה [YHVH],
speaking about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
These were not isolated nor random occurrences. Rather,
the Jewish people were well aware of their Scriptures, including the Messianic
prophecies of Daniel concerning the expected time for the coming of the Messiah.
Moreover, these Israelites were familiar with the book of Daniel, and consequently were looking
for the Messiah because they knew the time given by Daniel was at hand!
Yeshua, Himself, gave prophetic/interpretive utterances relating to Daniel's timeline, especially where it concerned the
destruction of the Temple, which occurred in 70 A.D., 40 years after He
ascended to return to the Father (see Daniel 9:24ff). When the signs that Yeshua spoke of appeared,
the Believers were all aware of what was going to happen and acted accordingly.
Who Was The Intended Audience Of The Book Of Revelation?"
The book of the Revelation of Yeshua was directly
given to the seven congregations of Asia (see Revelation, Chapters 2 & 3).
That revelation was given to those congregations
near the end of the life of Yohanan [John] while he was exiled on the island called Patmos.
The book (of the Revelation of Yeshua Ha Mashiach) was given to them specifically, and it should be
expected that since they were Yeshua’s intended audience that He did not make a
mistake and really intend to fool them into thinking it was for them when it
was actually for another time and another generation of people far removed from the time when
the Apostles delivered the first hand message of the Good News of Yeshua.
Could it be that those who claim that the Book of the
Revelation of Yeshua Ha Mashiach is for this present generation are in danger of calling Yeshua a liar?
As I mentioned above, I believe that early believers — True
Disciples/Followers of Yeshua — would have passed the knowledge of the Truth to subsequent
generations, especially preparing them for expectations which would take place
as fulfillment of Scripture.
No doubt, as time passed, wolves, as it were, came in, just
as Saul [Paul] also had predicted (Acts 20:29).
Several hundred years after the passing of the
Apostles, many people were still coming to faith in Yeshua. They were persecuted by the
unbelievers. Especially well known were
the persecutions of the Roman Empire, where the emperor himself was considered
Many believers died horrendous deaths for NOT worshipping the Roman
The Bifurcation Of The Roman Empire Into The Kingdom Of Iron And Clay
Because the prophet Daniel had such an impact on prophetic
material centered around the Messiah and the Messianic age, I am convinced that
True Disciples would have been expecting the bifurcation of the Roman Empire when
it did occur. That bifurcation of the Roman Empire was to reveal the kingdom of
“Iron and Clay” as recorded in the second chapter of the book of Daniel through
the interpretation of the dream of the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar [see Daniel 2].
The Ecumenical Movement
In our current time (in the year 5770 by Jewish reckoning,
2010 in the Gregorian calendar) ecumenism is rampant throughout the world, and
its influence is rarely disassociated from and within what is taken as “Christianity”.
However, I do believe that there are a small number of faithful and authentic followers of Yeshua
who eschew any form of ecumenism; but sadly, I don’t think there are very many.
I do believe that some "evangelicals" in the United States do not side with the
ecumenical movement of the World Council of Churches, but I’m not convinced
that its influence is still not pervasive.
Moreover, it is quite clear that much of modern
“Christendom” is enthralled with the pagan trappings passed on to them by the
Roman Catholic Church. "Judeo-Christians" of most of the
western world celebrate “The Mass of Christ”, aka Christmas, the "Feast of
Ishtar", aka Easter, calling one the “birth of Christ” and the other the
“resurrection” of the same.
Few ever consider that Yeshua was killed on Pesach (Passover) and
rose on Yom Ha Bikkurim, a day of “First Fruits”.
Who Changed The Sabbath From The Seventh Day To The First?
Along the same lines, modern “Christianity”
has followed the Roman Catholic lead to interpret Scripture to say that the
Sabbath has been changed from the Seventh Day to the First Day, that
essentially if you don’t eat swine [pork] you can’t be a “Christian”, and many other
such abominations, all of which came out of the pit of hell and the Roman
It is my contention that although True Followers of Yeshua may be momentarily sidetracked at any
given time, they will NOT ultimately follow another shepherd aside from the one who died and rose
for them (for those who don’t know whom I am referring to: this “shepherd” I am referring to is
NOT “A Messiah/Christ”, but rather Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth – The One and Only
Messiah EVER, who lived and then was “cut off” (i.e. died) at the time
prophesied by Daniel, and who was raised from death by YHVH (the SUPREME
EL/God), and is now seated at the Right Hand of YHVH; this same “Shepherd”,
Yeshua, as He said He would do, sent His Ruach ha Kodesh to help HIS AUTHENTIC
FOLLOWERS, THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN HIM.
I am hoping that is clear enough. Yeshua
is the ONLY MESSIAH there will ever be or ever was, … and His Judgment Is
I am of the opinion that True Followers of Yeshua, alone, have always
been lead by יהוה (YHVH)’s Ruach ha Kodesh [Holy/Separated Spirit]. Thus, in the early
days of “The Faith”, I think it reasonable to assume that authentic Believers
were unsurprised when they saw the signs before the coming of the kingdom of
“Iron and Clay”.
The book of Daniel gave prophetic timelines for the
rebuilding of Jerusalem, the coming of the True and Only Messiah, Yeshua; it
also told Authentic Followers to expect a bifurcated kingdom to come out of the
4th World Dominating Kingdom (the 4th kingdom as
referenced from the time of the captivity of the Israelite nation of Judah in
Babylon which is the backdrop for the book of Daniel).
At The Iconoclast,
we absolutely believe that extended 4th kingdom is none other than the continued Roman Empire,
aka the Roman Catholic “Church”.
It is quite evident from early "Christian" writings that ecumenism crept
into the “faith” that was known as “Christianity”. To wit, much of “early, organized
Christianity” took part in the Council of Nicea. Interestingly, the Council of
Nicea was convened and presided over by the self declared “Bishop” who just
happened to hold the title of Emperor of the Roman Empire at that time! That emperor's name was Constantine.
Let Us Not Forget — Rome DEMANDED that all subjects of her empire WORSHIP THE EMPEROR OF ROME as god. Is it no wonder that the Roman Catholic Abomination, which IS the continued Roman Empire, DEMANDS its people to acknowledge its head, the POPE, as the "Vicar of Christ"! The word "Vicar" comes from the latin word "vicarius", which means "instead of".
It is my contention that authentic Followers of Yeshua would have stayed away
from any and all "ecumenical" activity like the Council of Nicea! Again, remember that the Roman Empire demanded
worship of their Emperor!
Constantine, a self–proclaimed "Bishop" and also the reigning Roman Emperor, not only convened but presided over the Council of Nicea!
contend that association in the world of ecumenism, which allows Roman
Catholics and “Protestants” to share in activities of “worship”, is utter blasphemy
against the Ruach ha Kodesh.
Authentic Followers of Yeshua throughout all ages are, and have been,
lead by the Ruach ha Kodesh, and as such cannot participate with the world's ‘Beast’ system.
The question I have for you is, if you participate in the world's ‘Beast’ system and its influential trappings,
do you think that Yeshua will judge you to be a sheep or a goat (Matthew 25:31-34)?
by Robert Pill
(last month of Hebrew Calendar. Precedes Nisan (Abib), typically Feb-Mar).
 יֵשׁוּעַ הַמָשִׁיחַ [Yeshua Ha Mashiach]
The Hebrew name for Jesus, The Messiah; best known from the Greek language as "Jesus the Christ". Mashiach in Hebrew means "Anointed".
Yeshua of Nazareth is the Messiah; He is the True Anointed
of YHVH (aka Elohim). He came and lived among His people, He was “cut off”
according to prophecy (particularly Daniel 9), and He was Raised from the Dead
on the third day. Having been raised from death; He is alive (and well!) and He is seated on
His Heavenly Throne at YHVH’s Right Hand. With YHVH, Yeshua IS AN ETERNAL BEING,
and with YHVH and the Ruach ha Kodesh, Yeshua IS none other than ELOHIM.
Apocalyptic Literature (reference: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Apocalyptic_literature):
Apocalyptic literature is a genre of prophetical writing that developed in post-exile Jewish culture and was popular among early Christians. The term "Apocalypse" is from the Greek word for "revelation" which means "an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known."
The apocalyptic literature of Judaism and Christianity embraces a considerable period, from the centuries following the Exile in Babylon down to the close of the Middle Ages. The best known literature of this type was created in Judaism from 200 B.C.E. to 100 C.E., and in Christianity from 50 to approximately 350 C.E. Much apocalyptic literature was produced in this period, but only a small portion of it was included in either the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament.
Apocalyptic literature is written in symbolism, poetry, and imageries, as well as in an Old Testament prophetic style (See Matt. 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21; Rev. 1:2-4; 19:9; 22:7-19). In larger works, such forms are woven as a tapestry to describe events in cataclysmic terms, such as in the Book of Daniel and most of all the Revelation.
The following is an excerpt from a PDF file at http://charlescoty.com that shows the use of apocalyptic language in scripture:
In 539 BC, King Darius, son of Ahasuerus the Mede and Cyrus the Great King of Persia, attacked Babylon. King Belshazzar was killed and Babylon was divided between the Medes and the Persians. There is prophetic scripture of this event in the Bible.
"The Burden of Baby Ion... For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine... Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger...Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them..." - (lsa.13:1,10,13,17).
Although history records the conquering of Babylon as prophesied above, there are no historical or scientific records that record any of the cataclysmic events that appear in these scriptures!
Reference (and rest of article): http://charlescoty.com/user/Apocalyptic Language - Disc 05.pdf
Some additional principles on interpreting apocalyptic language:
a. Numbers and periods of time often have symbolic meanings that must be deduced from the evidence.
b. Apocalyptic language always has historical significance.
c. Apocalyptic language should be understood figuratively unless we are forced to do otherwise. This principle reverses the usual rule of interpretation in which we understand language literally unless we are forced to do otherwise.
d. Similarity of language does not prove identity of subjects (sometimes the same symbol is used to describe two different things.).
e. Dissimilarity of language does not prove distinctness of subjects (sometimes different symbols are used to describe the same thing.).
f. Easy to understand scripture passages should be used to understand more difficult passages.
Principles in Interpreting Apocalyptic Language
 אֲלהִים [Elohim]
אֲלהִים[Elohim] is a Hebrew word which expresses concepts of divinity or deity, notably used as a name of God in Judaism. It is apparently related to the Northwest Semitic word ʾēl (אֱל) "god". Within Hebrew, it is morphologically a plural, in use both as a true plural with the meaning "angels, gods, rulers" and as a "plural intensive" with singular meaning, referring to a god or goddess, and especially to the single God of Israel. The associated singular Eloah (אלוה) occurs only in poetry and in late Biblical Hebrew, in imitation of Aramaic usage.
The term is clearly related to Northwest Semitic ʾēl "god", but it contains the addition of the heh as third radical to the biconsonantal root. Discussions of the etymology of elohim essentially concern this expansion. An exact cognate outside of Hebrew is found in Ugaritic ʾlhm, the family of El, the creator god and chief deity of the Canaanite pantheon, and in Arabic ʾilāh "god, deity". Eloah (the extended root ʾlh) does not have any clear etymology. The word ʾel itself is usually derived from a root meaning "to be strong". Joel Hoffman derives it from the common Canaanite word elim, with the mater lectionis heh inserted to distinguish the Israelite God from other gods. He argues that elohim thus patterns with Abram/Abraham and Sarai/Sarah.
Book of the Revelation of Yeshua
The New Testament book of Revelation (note: First two verses declare source (Yeshua) and the person documenting (Yohanan).
Rev. 1:1-2 (KJV):
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:"
"Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw."
Information from Wikipedia.com on the Book Of The Revelation:
The Book of the Revelation of John, usually referred to simply as Revelation or the Book of Revelation, is the last book of the New Testament. It is also called the Apocalypse of John. Apocalypse, from the Greek, is a synonym for "Revelation", but also from it comes the name for the type of literature; an "apocalypse" is a work of apocalyptic literature. John's is the only book in the Canon that is wholly composed of apocalyptic literature.
Revelation is a cryptic document which has been interpreted in many ways. Most of the interpretations fall into one or more of the following categories: the Historicist, which sees in Revelation a broad view of history; the Preterist, in which Revelation mostly refers to the events of the apostolic era (first century); the Futurist, which believes that Revelation describes future events; and the Idealist, or Symbolic, which holds that Revelation is purely symbolic, an allegory of the spiritual path and the ongoing struggle between good and evil. These approaches are by no means mutually exclusive, and can be (and usually are) used in combination with each other.
Revelation has been included in the canon of the New Testament since the earliest times. Nevertheless, due to its cryptic nature, it has always been a subject of debate. The fourth century church historian, Eusebius, placed it in a list of questionable New Testament documents, and more recently, such luminaries as Martin Luther have questioned its usefulness. Nevertheless, it has not only endured, but captured the imagination of generations of Bible students, both professionals and laypeople alike. This section will discuss its history, authorship, and some of the controversies surrounding it.
The last document of the New Testament is commonly known today as the Book of Revelation, or simply, Revelation. The title found on some of the earliest manuscripts is "The Revelation of John" (Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰωάννου), and the most common title found on later manuscripts is "The Revelation of the Theologian" (Ἀποκάλυψις τοῦ Θεολόγου.) From this latter noun comes the title in the Authorized King James Version, the Revelation of Saint John the Divine, divine being a seventeenth century word for theologian.
The Greek word, ἀποκάλυψις (apokalypsis), sometimes rendered directly from the Greek as apocalypse, is usually translated in English as revelation, since the literal meaning of the Greek word is "the act of revealing or unveiling". Some later manuscripts add Evangelist or Apostle to the title. The opening words are: "The revelation (Ἀποκάλυψις) of Jesus Christ". The title, therefore, is also the first word of the book.
Revelation’s introduction and conclusion contain epistolary elements which are similar to those found in the letters of Paul.[cf. 1:4-8; 22:21] Broadly speaking, the introduction takes up the whole of chapter 1, though within it, there is a briefer, less detailed introductory passage (verses 1-3) -- an introduction to the introduction, as it were -- in which both the source of the vision and the person who received it are identified: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants -- things which must shortly take place. And he sent and signified it by his angel to his servant John.”[1:1] Thus, in the opening sentence, we are informed that we are about to hear a message which was given: a) from God, b) to Jesus, c) to an angel, d) to John, e) to the servants of God. We also see that the document was intended to be read to the congregations: “Blessed is the one who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it.”[1:3]
The second and larger part of the introduction (verses 4-20) begins by identifying the addressees: “John, to the seven churches which are in Asia"[1:4] ("Asia" was a Roman province in what is now western Turkey). It describes in greater detail the circumstances in which the prophecy was received: “I, John, both your brother and companion in tribulation... was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”[1:9] Adela Collins, a theologian at the University of Notre Dame, writes:
- Early tradition says that John was banished to Patmos by the Roman authorities. This tradition is credible because banishment was a common punishment used during the Imperial period for a number of offenses. Among such offenses were the practices of magic and astrology. Prophecy was viewed by the Romans as belonging to the same category, whether Pagan, Jewish, or Christian. Prophecy with political implications, like that expressed by John in the book of Revelation, would have been perceived as a threat to Roman political power and order. Three of the islands in the Sporades were places where political offenders were banished (Pliny Natural History 4.69-70; Tacitus Annals 4.30).
John's exile to Patmos, together with the phrase, "your brother and companion in tribulation," implies a time of persecution. This is further indicated by the mention of a martyrdom in Pergamos[2:13] and other passages in the messages to the churches.[cf. 2:3; 2:9-10]
The introduction also describes the one from whom the prophecy was received:
- I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.[1:12-16 niv]
This person identifies himself to John with these words: “I am he who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”[1:18] After reassuring John that he need not be afraid, he gives John his commission: “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.”[1:19] In the New Bible Commentary, G.R. Beasley-Murray writes:
- "What you have seen" is the vision just given; "what is now" relates to the existing state of the churches and the letters about to be given; "what will be hereafter" is the subsequent visions of the book. This should not be pressed to imply that everything without exception in chs. 4-22 refers to the time future to John, let alone to the time of the end of all things.
The author of Revelation identifies himself several times as "John". The author also states that he was on Patmos when he received his first vision. As a result, the author of Revelation is referred to as John of Patmos. John explicitly addresses Revelation to seven churches of Asia Minor: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.
The traditional view holds that John the Apostle—considered to have written the Gospel and the epistles of John—was exiled on Patmos in the Aegean archipelago during the reign of Domitian, and there wrote Revelation. Those in favour of a single common author point to similarities between the Gospel and Revelation. For example, both works are soteriological and possess a high Christology, stressing Jesus' divine side as opposed to the human side stressed by the Synoptic Gospels. In the Gospel of John and in Revelation, Jesus is referred to as "the Word of God" (Ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ), although the context in Revelation is very different from John. The Word in Rev 19:13 is involved in judgement but in John 1:1, the image is used to speak of a role in creation and redemption. Explanations of the differences between John's works by proponents of the single-author view include factoring in underlying motifs and purposes, authorial target audience, the author's collaboration with or utilization of different scribes and the advanced age of John the Apostle when he wrote Revelation.
A natural reading of the text would indicate that, while many of the elements in the book are clearly symbolic, John is writing literally as he sees the vision. An angel warns John that neither he nor others should alter the document, so as to maintain the textual integrity of the book. [Rev 22:18-19]
A number of Church Fathers weighed in on the authorship of Revelation. Justin Martyr (100-165 AD) avows his belief in its apostolic origin. Irenaeus (c. 115-202) assumes it as a conceded point. At the end of the second century, it is accepted at Antioch by Theophilus (died c. 183), and in Africa by Tertullian (c. 160-220). At the beginning of the third century, it is adopted by Clement of Alexandria and by Origen of Alexandria, later by Methodius, Cyprian, Lactantius, and Dionysius of Alexandria. Eusebius (ca. 263–339) was inclined to class the Apocalypse with the accepted books. Jerome (347-420) relegated it to second class. Most canons included it, but some, especially in the Eastern Church, rejected it. It is not included in the Peshitta (an early New Testament in Aramaic).
- ^ Other apocalypses popular in the early Christian era did not achieve canonical status, except for 2 Esdras (Apocalypse of Ezra), which is canonical in the Ethiopian Orthodox Churches.
- ^ This title was taken directly from William Tyndale's 1526 New Testament where it is rendered as 'The revelacion of sanct Jhon the devine'. The word divine may better be understood as 'theologian'
- ^ The former is found in Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus, among other manuscripts, while the latter is found in the Majority Text and others; however, a number of other variations of the title do exist. Nestle-Aland. Novum Testamentum Graece. 27th ed. Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Druck: 1996, p. 632.
- ^ a b c "Apocalypse", Encyclopedia Biblica
- ^ Adela Collins. "Patmos." Harper's Bible Dictionary. Paul J. Achtemeier, gen. ed. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985. p755.
- ^ D.Guthrie, J.A.Motyer, A.M.Stibbs, D.J.Wiseman, eds. New Bible Commentary. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman's, 1970. p.1282.
- ^ Rev. 1:1, 4, 9; 22:8
- ^ Rev 1:9; 4:1-2
- ^ Rev. 1:4, 11
- ^ Revelation By Ben Witherington III, p. 32
- ^ Guthrie, D: "New Testament Introduction - Hebrews to Revelation", page 260ff. The Tyndale Press: London, 1966
- ^ St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Typhro Chapter lxxxi.
- ^ Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History Book vii. Chapter xxv.
- ^ Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History Book iii. Chapter xxv.
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 The Seven Congregations of Asia were the audience stated by the Book fo the Revelation of Yeshua Ha Mashiach:
References to the Book of the Revelation of Yeshua clearly show the intended audience
(Rev 1:1-6 (KJV)):
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Rev. 1:11 (KJV):
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
Rev. 1:20 (KJV):
20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Equivalent in value, significance, or effect
 רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ [Ruach Ha Kodesh]
The Holy/Separated Spirit of YHVH, aka as The Holy Spirit
 Canonical Books of the New Testament Were Written Prior to 70 AD
For this belief, we defer to the scholar Alfred Edersheim (March 7, 1825-March 16, 1889). Edersheim is a noted Messianic Jewish scholar and has written many books. The quote below is from his book, "The Temple, Its Ministry and Services As They Were at the Time of Jesus Christ", Chapter 7 At Night In the Temple:
'Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments.'— 16:15
Allusions to the Temple in New Testament
There is a marked peculiarity and also a special charm about the allusions of the 'beloved disciple' to the 'Temple and its services.' The other New Testament writers refer to them in their narratives, or else explain their types, in such language as any well-informed worshipper at Jerusalem might have employed. But John writes not like an ordinary Israelite. He has eyes and ears for details which others would have left unnoticed. As, according to a Jewish tradition, the high-priest read the Divine answer of the Urim and Thummim by a heavenly light cast upon special letters in the names of the tribes grave upon his breast-plate, so to John the presence and the words of Jesus seem to render luminous the well-remembered services of the Temple. This, as we shall have frequent occasion to show, appears in his Gospel, but much more in the Book of Revelation. Indeed, the Apocalypse, as a whole, may be likened to the Temple services in its mingling of prophetic symbols with worship and praise. But it is specially remarkable, that the Temple-references with which the Book of Revelation abounds are generally to minutiae, which a writer who had not been as familiar with such details, as only personal contact and engagement with them could have rendered him, would scarcely have even noticed, certainly not employed as part of his imagery. They come in naturally, spontaneously, and so unexpectedly, that the reader is occasionally in danger of overlooking them altogether; and in language such as a professional man would employ, which would come to him from the previous exercise of his calling. Indeed, some of the most striking of these references could not have been understood at all without the professional treatises of the Rabbis on the Temple and its services. Only the studied minuteness of Rabbinical descriptions, derived from the tradition of eye-witnesses, does not leave the same impression as the unstudied illustrations of St. John.
Fourth Gospel and Apocalypse Written Before Temple Services Ceased
These naturally suggest the twofold inference that the Book of Revelation and the Fourth Gospel must have been written before the Temple services had actually ceased, and by one who had not merely been intimately acquainted with, but probably at one time an actor in them. *
* This is not the place for further critical discussions. Though the arguments in support of our view are only inferential, they seem to us none the less conclusive. It is not only that the name of John (given also to the son of the priest Zacharias) reappears among the kindred of the high-priest (Acts 4:6), nor that his priestly descent would account for that acquaintance with the high-priest (John 18:15,16) which gave him access apparently into the council-chamber itself, while Peter, for whom he had gained admittance to the palace, was in 'the porch'; nor yet that, though residing in Galilee, the house of 'his own' to which he took the mother of Jesus (John 19:27) was probably at Jerusalem, like that of other priests— of the Levite family of Barnabas (Acts 12:12)— supposition confirmed by his apparent entertainment of Peter, when Mary Magdalene found them together on the morning of the resurrection (John 20:2). But it seems highly improbable that a book so full of liturgical allusions as the Book of Revelation— these, many of them, not to great or important points, but to minutia— have been written by any other than a priest, and one who had at one time been in actual service in the Temple itself, and thus become so intimately conversant with its details, that they came to him naturally, as part of the imagery he employed.
The argument may be illustrated by an analogous case. Quite lately, they who have dug under the ruins of the Temple have discovered one of those tablets in the Court of the Temple which warned Gentiles, on pain of death, not to advance farther into the sanctuary. The tablet answers exactly to the description of Josephus, and its inscription is almost literally as he gives it. This tablet seems like a witness suddenly appearing, after eighteen centuries, to bear testimony to the narrative of Josephus as that of a contemporary writer. Much the same instantaneous conviction, only greatly stronger, is carried to our minds, when, in the midst of some dry account of what went on in the Temple, we suddenly come upon the very words which St. John had employed to describe heavenly realities. Perhaps one of the most striking instances of this kind is afforded by the words quoted at the head of this chapter—'Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments.' They literally describe, as we learn from the Rabbis, the punishment awarded to the Temple-guards if found asleep at their posts; and the Rabbinical account of it is curiously confirmed by the somewhat naive confession of one of their number, * that on a certain occasion his own maternal uncle had actually undergone the punishment of having his clothes set on fire by the captain of the Temple as he went his rounds at night.
* Rabbi Elieser ben Jacob. See Middoth, i. 2
 Brit haHadashah
The New Testament
The New Testament (Greek: Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Kainē Diathēkē) is the name given to the second major division of the Christian Bible, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament. The New Testament is sometimes called the Greek New Testament, Greek Scriptures, the New Covenant, or the New Law.
The original texts were written by various authors sometime after c. A.D. 45, most likely in Koine Greek (according to Greek primacy), the lingua franca of the eastern part of the Roman Empire. Rylands Library Papyrus P52 is generally accepted as the earliest extant record of a canonical New Testament text, which dates somewhere between 117 A.D. and 138 A.D.
Its books were gradually collected into a single volume. Although the Roman Catholic church differs from Protestant denominations as to which works are included in the Old Testament, (see Antilegomena), Christianity has settled on the same twenty-seven book canon of the New Testament: it consists of the four narratives of the life and death of Jesus, called "gospels"; a narrative of the Apostles' ministries in the early church, probably by the same author as the Gospel of Luke, which it continues; twenty-one early letters, commonly called "epistles" in biblical context, written by various authors and consisting mostly of Christian counsel and instruction; and an Apocalyptic prophecy.
 The Twelve Apostles
The Greek word "apostolos" means one sent forth as a messenger
"And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." (Revelation 21:14).
The Names of the 12 Apostles:
- Shim'on = Simon
- Y'hochanan = John
- Matthiyahu = Matthew
- Ya'aqov = James (Hebrew orign meaning Jacob)
- Ya'aqov = James (Two Apostles were named Ya'aqov)
- Bar-Toimay = Bartholomew (Aramaic, which is related to Hebrew)
- Judah [Yehuda]= Jude / Saint Jude (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot, Hebrew origin).
- Yehuda = Judas Iscariot
- Shim'on = Simon (aka Cephas/Kephas - Hebrew/Aramaic origin meaning "Rock"; Peter in English)
- Tau'ma = Thomas (Aramaic origin).
- Andrew = Andrew (Greek origin. Is the brother of Cephas / Kephas).
- Phillip = Phillip (Greek origin).
Exposition, Explanation; especially: an explanation or critical interpretation of a text
Bifurcate: to cause to divide into two branches or parts
 The Ecumenical Movement (ecumenism)
Merriam-Webster.com defines it as:
Etymology: Late latin oecumenicus, from Late Greek oikoumenikos, from Greek oikoumene the inhabited world, from femine of oikoumenos, present passive participle of oikein to inhabit, from oikos house —
1. worldwide or general in extent, influence, or application
2 a: of, relating to, or representing the whole of a body of churches
b: promoting or tending toward worldwide Christian unity or cooperation.
 Yom ha Bikkurim
"ADONAI said to Moshe, "Tell the people of Isra’el: ‘The designated times of ADONAI which you are to proclaim as holy convocations are my designated times."
(Leviticus 23:1, Complete Jewish Bible translation by David Stern)
"Day of Firstfruits"
"ADONAI said to Moshe, "Tell the people of Isra'el, 'After you enter the land I am giving you and harvest its ripe crops, you are to bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the cohen. He is to wave the sheaf before ADONAI, so that you will be accepted; the cohen is to wave it on the day after the Shabbat. On the day that you wave the sheaf, you are to offer a male lamb without defect, in its first year, as a burnt offering for ADONAI." (Leviticus 23:9-12, Complete Jewish Bible)
Yom Ha Bikkurim, aka day of First Fruits, is to be celebrated on the first day after the Shabbat following Passover; i.e. it is the Sunday after Passover (Feast of Unleavened Bread). Please note that Yeshua Rose on the Sunday (first day of the week) following the Passover. Hence, Yeshua arose from His grave on Yom ha Bikkurim, First Fruits!
It should be noted that the Feast of Shavuot is also known as Yom Ha Bikkurim - feast of first fruits (aka Pentecost).