For the past few studies I’ve been looking at what John saw in chapter four of the Apocalypse. In Revelation 4:3 John saw someone sitting on the throne, and that One had a likeness of “a jasper and a sardine stone”. These two stones were the first and last stones that were on the Breastplate of Judgment (cf. Exodus 28:15-20), which seems to point to the One on the throne in the context of his being the Judge. It also may be equivalent to the words: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). In such a case, the One seated on the throne would be Almighty God, and, as we shall see in the next series of studies in Revelation 5, this is exactly who this is. The phrase alpha and omega represents the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet, so this would be similar to jasper and sardine stones being the first and last stones on the Breastplate of Judgment. Read the rest of this entry »
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The Apocalypse never directly quotes a passage from the Old Covenant. However, according to several scholars the book’s 404 verses contain from nearly 300 to nearly 600 allusions and echoes of Old Covenant passages. For example, we are told in Revelation 1:1 that God revealed a secret that would shortly come to pass to Jesus who in turn gave it to his angel who then gave it to Jesus’ disciple, John to disclose to the Church. Under the Old Covenant, we are told that it is God who reveals secrets that would come to pass (Daniel 2:28-29), but the Lord wouldn’t do anything before he revealed his secret to his servants, the prophets (Amos 3:7). So, in the very first verse of the Apocalypse we have an allusion to at least two Old Covenant passages.