When the third angel sounded its trumpet, a great star fell from heaven (Revelation 8:10), but what does this mean? First of all, a star represents kings, especially the Messiah (Numbers 27:17), but they can also represent leaders of the church (Revelation 1:16, 20), or even the nation of Israel, itself (Revelation 12:1; cf. Genesis 37:9-12). Secondly, if we consider the veil of the Temple, the significance of the star falling from heaven might impact the reader in a very unexpected manner. 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.
I wonder how one would explain the fact that, if Jesus’ crucifixion took place at either of the two most popular locations, how any of the Gospel writers could know that the veil of the Temple was torn from the top to the bottom. If the writers of the Gospel wrote only what they witnessed or what other disciples witnessed (cf. Luke 1:1-3), how was it known how the veil of the Temple was torn or even when it occurred on that day? After all, both popular crucifixion sites are found on the other side of the city and behind the Temple. The only possible location for the crucifixion to have taken place, and for the disciples to actually see what occurred in the Temple was east of the city on the top of Mount Olivet! Read the rest of this entry »
In the ancient Jewish Temple, which was burned up and destroyed in 70 AD, there was a veil that hung between the Holy Place, which was the place where the priests ministered, and the Most Holy Place, which was understood to be the dwelling place of God or the place of his Presence. Josephus describes the Temple, its stones, its room, its furniture etc in his two great histories of the Jews. In his first work, Wars of the Jews, he described the temple that Herod built, and he tells us that the things found in the Temple, the altar of incense, the lampstand, and the table of shewbread, all had mystical or religious significance. Even the veil separating the two holy rooms of the building had a mystical significance—its colors, its embroidery, and its composition, all had a religious meaning. Read the rest of this entry »