Agape Bible Study


Comparison of the Judgements of John's Apocalypse Versus Matthew's Mini Apocalypse

In the Covenant Lawsuit
Identifies the lordship of the Great King stressing his greatness, power and his nearness and presence
Chapter 1: history of the Covenant
  Four sets of 7 judgements Matthew Chapter 24
Surveying the king's previous relationship of the vassal, especially emphasizing the blessings bestowed
Chapters 2-3: Specific stipulations dealing with false prophets, persecution, lawlessness, love grown cold, duty of perseverance
24:3-5, 9-13: "Tell us when is this going to happen and what sign will be of your coming and of the end of the world? ...Take care that no one deceives you because many will come using my name...Then you will be handed over to be tortured and put to death...and many will fall in most people will grow cold but anyone who stands firm will be saved!"
Expounding the vassal's obligations, his "guide to citizenship" in the covenant
Chapters 4-7: Concerned with wars, famine and earthquakes
24:6-8: "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed, for this is something that must happen, but the end will not be yet for nation will fight against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places"
Outlining the Blessings for obedience and Curses for disobedience
Chapters 8-14 tell of the Church's witness to the world, her flight into the wilderness, the great Tribulation and The False Prophet
24:11-27: "Many false prophets will arise ... The good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed to the whole those in Judea must escape to the mountains ... Alas for those with child, or babies at the breast when those days come! ... For then there will be great distress, unparalleled since the world began ... for false christs and false prophets will arise..."
Dealing with the continuity of the covenant relationship over future generations
Chapters 15-22 describe the darkening of the Beast's kingdom, the destruction of the Harlot, gathering of eagles over Jerusalem's corpse & gathering of the Church into the kingdom
24:28-31: "Wherever the corpse is, that is where the vultures will gather. Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened...and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send his angels with a loud trumpet to gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

In the Ancient Near East treaties between nations and between kings and their vassals were typically expressed in a 5-part format as was the legal document which pronounced the violation of the treaty-the Covenant Lawsuit. This format is found in both the Covenant treaty between Yahweh and His Covenant people in the Book of Deuteronomy and in the Covenant Lawsuits Yahweh's prophets bring against an apostate people [see Hosea]. The Covenant Lawsuit is structured in terms of the penalty of 5 fold restitution, since those who have rebelled against the covenant are revolting against their divinely ordained authority. In the Book of Revelation St. John, as God's prophet and chief prosecutor, brings the lawsuit against Judea (Israel) for the rejection of Jesus Christ. Judgement is called down in four sets of 7s: 7 letters, 7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 chalices. In the Sinai Covenant, the Blessings and Curses are given in Leviticus chapte  26 and are repeated in Deuteronomy chapter 28 (to the new generation). There is a an interesting connection between the four sets of 7s in Revelation and the four sets of 7s in Leviticus chapter 26 where Yahweh says "I will punish you 7 times" four different times: v. 18, 21, 24, and 28. There is also a link between John's visions in Revelation and the great covenant lawsuit expressed in Ezekiel's visions. Ezekiel 17:18 "He (Israel/ Judah) has disregarded the oath by breaking the treaty to which he had pledged himself and, having done all this, will not go unpunished." The Prophet Ezekiel is given a series of visions by God that follow almost the same chronological order as those in Revelation. One significant difference is Ezekiel's lament over Tyre which becomes John's lament over Jerusalem and her magnificent Temple. For more information see the chart that compares the visions in Ezekiel with the visions of St. John in the Book of Revelation: "The Comparison Between the Visions of St. John in the Book of Revelation and the Visions of the Prophets Ezekiel and Daniel in the Old Testament" in Charts/ The Old and New Testaments Compared, and also see "The Covenant Treaty Format in Sacred Scripture" in Charts/Covenants.