A comparative look at John’s Revelation of Jesus Christ and the Prophet Ezekiel to demonstrate the broken time loop “the church” has used to imprison the world.
The Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, has been the source of much fascination and debate since its introduction. It is filled with prophecies of the end of times, and the mysterious figure of the Whore of Babylon. But what if we look at the Book of Revelation from the perspective of the first century church? What would they make of John's vision?
The answer lies in the comparison of the parallel prophecies of the books of Revelation and Ezekiel. Automatically at hearing/reading John’s words it brings us back to Ezekiel's prophecies for God’s people and to know that John, like Ezekiel is speaking of Jerusalem. By looking at the similarities between these two books, we can gain a better understanding of the vision of the Ends of the Ages and Mystery Babylon.
The allusive lady of the night that appears in the Book of Revelation. She is described as a great harlot, who is arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones. She is said to be the mother of harlots and idolatries, and to be drunk with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus.
This figure of Mystery Babylon is commonly thought to represent the Roman Empire, which is alleged to have been an oppressive force that persecuted early Christians and was seen as a great evil. But what if we look at Mystery Babylon through the eyes of the first hearers of these words? What if the figure of Mystery Babylon is a representation of Jerusalem - the city of God and the center of Jewish life? Matthew 23:30-37 “So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You snakes, you offspring of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will flog in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you will fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who have been sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ””
Revelation 18:24 “And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slaughtered on the earth.””
The parallels between the Book of Revelation and the Book of Ezekiel are striking. For the churches receiving the Revelation from John, the knowledge of Ezekiel’s writings lays the backdrop for what the Apostle is transmitting to the churches. Both books contain visions of the ends of the ages, and both contain references to the same characters, events, and symbolism.
- The Throne Room
Revelation chapter 4 and Ezekiel chapter 1 are two important passages in the Bible, with both depicting similar yet distinct ideas of God’s majesty and power. Both passages provide a vivid description of God's throne room, a place of grandeur and awe.
The passage in Revelation chapter 4 begins with a description of the vision that John receives of God’s throne in heaven. It is a grand and mighty throne, encircled by a rainbow and surrounded by a rainbow-like halo. The description is one of beauty and splendor, emphasizing the divine nature of God.
In contrast, the description of God’s throne in Ezekiel chapter 1 is much more solemn and somber. The throne room is filled with fire and smoke, and the throne itself is constructed of a sapphire stone. There are also cherubim, four giant winged creatures that guard the throne. This imagery is much more awe-inspiring than the description in Revelation, emphasizing God’s power and holiness.
The two passages also differ in their approach to describing God Himself. In Revelation, God is described as having a human-like form and face, unlike the mysterious form described in Ezekiel. This is likely to emphasize the idea that God is accessible and close to mankind, rather than a far and distant figure.
In conclusion, Revelation chapter 4 and Ezekiel chapter 1 both provide unique yet complementary descriptions of God’s throne room and divinity. While Revelation emphasizes the beauty and closeness of God, Ezekiel emphasizes the power and majesty of God. Both passages are essential to understanding God’s character, and should be studied together to gain a full understanding of His glory.
- The Scroll and the Lamb
In Revelation Chapter 5, we see the Lamb of God take the scroll from the right hand of God. In Ezekiel Chapters 2 and 3, we find a similar vision of the Lamb of God taking a scroll from the right hand of God. In Revelation 5, the Lamb of God is described as having "seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth" (Revelation 5:6). In Ezekiel 2 and 3, we see a similar vision of the Lamb of God taking a scroll from the right hand of God (Ezekiel 2:9-10; 3:1-2). The symbolism of the Lamb of God taking a scroll from the right hand of God stands for God's authority and power over the whole world, and it serves as an assurance of God's faithfulness in fulfilling His promises. This symbolism is also echoed in other Bible passages, such as John 1:29-30, where John the Baptist identifies Jesus as the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world," implying that through His death on the cross, Jesus has secured God's victory over sin and death. Furthermore, we can also look to the book of Revelation, where the Lamb of God is seen seated on the throne of God in heaven, signifying his ultimate reign over all creation (Revelation 5:13-14).
- Eat It!
In Revelation Chapter 10, we see the angel command John to eat the scroll. In Ezekiel Chapter 2, we find a similar command for Ezekiel to eat a scroll. In Revelation 10, the angel commands John to "eat the scroll," which could be a symbol of God's word being internalized by John and becoming part of him. Eating the scroll could be interpreted symbolically as John's acceptance of God's will and his willingness to follow it. Likewise, in Ezekiel 2, the Lord commands Ezekiel to "eat the scroll," which is likely a sign of Ezekiel's obedience to God's commands and his willingness to follow them. This symbolism can also be found in other passages, such as Isaiah 55:1-3, where God offers living words of comfort, healing, and hope to those who are obedient to Him. We can also look to Jesus's words in Matthew 4:4, where He says “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Here, Jesus emphasizes the importance of obedience to God's will in order to gain true spiritual nourishment.
- A Plague Upon Your House
In Revelation Chapter 6, we see the seven seals opened, bringing with them seven plagues. In Ezekiel Chapter 5, we find a similar plague brought upon the house of Israel. In Revelation, chapters 6-7, we see the Lord's destruction of Israel in the first century. The first five seals reveal five successive judgments that are brought upon Israel: the first seal causes terrible natural disasters; the second seal causes widespread famine; the third seal brings death from the sea; the fourth seal causes locusts; and the fifth seal causes terrible hailstones. The sixth seal (Revelation 6) reveals the Son of Man coming with His mighty angels to fight against the enemies of God, and the seventh seal (Revelation 7) reveals the final judgment, in which the enemies of God are destroyed and Israel is covered in fire. In Ezekiel, chapters 5-6, we see a similar plague brought upon the people of Israel, which is likely a symbol of God's judgment on the nation of Israel. This symbolism is echoed in other Bible passages, such as Isaiah 37:36-38, where the Lord warns the nation of Israel about their impending judgment. Furthermore, this stays in theme the words of Jesus from Luke 21:32, Matthew 24:34, Matthew 10:23 etc.
- The Wrath and Seals
Revelation Chapters 6-7, shows the seven seals being opened and the seven trumpets being blown. In Ezekiel Chapters 7 and 9, we find a similar wrath and seals being released.
- The Coals on the Altar
In Revelation Chapter 8, we see the seven angels pour out their bowls of wrath onto the earth. In Ezekiel Chapter 10, we find a similar coals being placed on the altar.
- Do NOT Delay
In Revelation Chapter 10, we see the angel command John to prophesy again and to not delay. In Ezekiel Chapter 12, we find a similar command for Ezekiel not to delay in delivering his message.
- 4th and Inches (Time to Measure)
In Revelation Chapter 11, we see the angel measure the temple and the altar. In Ezekiel Chapters 40-43, we find a similar measuring of the temple and the altar. This 11th chapter of Revelation also provides us with a time stamp of the dating of the book itself. The fact that the temple was still standing for John to get up and measure it, tells us that this was written before the Jerusalem siege.
- Wrath and the Vine
In Revelation Chapter 14, we see the wrath of God being poured out on the vine. In Ezekiel Chapters 23 and 15, we find a similar wrath and vine being destroyed.
- The Whore
In Revelation Chapters 17-18, we see the great whore Babylon being destroyed. In Ezekiel Chapters 16 and 23, we find a similar destruction of the whoredom of Jerusalem. We receive another time stamp here in chapter 17 of Revelation, “Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains upon which the woman sits, and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.”Revelation 17:9-10
This is a reference to Romes Caesars from Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero (He reigned until 68 AD placing John’s revelation again before the destruction of the temple. Then Galba who “was not yet come” and would remain “a little while” reigned for only 6 months after the death of Nero.
- Lamentation and Scavengers
In Revelation Chapters 18-19, we see the lamentation of the city and the scavengers coming to devour its remains. In Ezekiel Chapters 27 and 39, we find a similar lamentation of the city and the scavengers coming to devour its remains.
- IT’S ALIVE, IT’S ALIVE! (Resurrection)
In Revelation Chapter 20, we see the dead rising from the grave. In Ezekiel Chapter 37, we find a similar vision of the resurrection of the dead.
- Osh Kosh b’Gosh (Gog and Magog)
In Revelation Chapter 20, we see Gog and Magog coming against the camp of the saints. In Ezekiel Chapters 36-39, we find a similar attack by Gog and Magog.
- That Heavenly City, who’s builder and maker is God
In Revelation Chapter 21, we see the vision of the heavenly city coming down from heaven. In Ezekiel Chapters 40-48, we find a similar vision of the heavenly city.
- Let’s Go Down to the River
In Revelation Chapter 22, we see the river of life flowing from the throne of God. In Ezekiel Chapter 47, we find a similar river of life flowing from the temple of God.
The parallels between the books of Revelation and Ezekiel are striking. They paint a vivid picture of the ends of the ages, from the throne room of God to the destruction of Mystery Babylon. By looking at these two books from the perspective of the first century Church, we can gain a greater understanding of John's vision and of Mystery Babylon.
From the plagues upon the house to the wrath and seals, from the coals on the altar to the resurrection, the parallels between the books of Revelation and Ezekiel are undeniable. By looking at these two books together, we can gain a better understanding of the vision of the ends of the ages and destruction of Mystery Babylon in the first century.
We can also see how the figure of Mystery Babylon is a representation of Jerusalem, the city of God and the center of Jewish life. From the perspective of a first century Jew, John's prophecy of the end of times would have brought them back to Ezekiel's prophecies of Jerusalem, and they would have known without a doubt that John was talking about the destruction of Jerusalem at the soon coming return of Christ.
From the throne room of God to the destruction of the great harlot, these two books provide us with a crystal clear picture of the end of all things pertaining to prophecy and demonstrate that Christ’s work on the earth was short and completed within his own generation. There is no longer an authoritative religious body (i.e. church, temple etc) that has any determining power on the condition or destination of the soul of any man, woman, boy or girl. The overarching theme of scattering and regathering of Israel is laid out on full display as Ezekiel offers redemption for the Holy City. Whereas in John’s Revelation there is a cutting away and grafting in through the disobedience of Abrahams seed God blessed all nations.
“For God has shut up all in disobedience, so that He may show mercy to all. Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him, that it would be paid back to him? For from Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”
THE GOOD NEWS
The Kingdom of Heaven is in YOU! You are Heaven and Earth
Stop looking to the sky for answers and go within
Go to the Father alone in absolute truth and honesty about self, realize in spite of flesh God has made you both king and priest of your life.
Extend the same unconditional love the Father has bestowed upon you to your fellow man.
Live free of condemnation, oppression and strife.
photo credit: Francesco Hayez 1867/ Back to the future TM