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TALK ON THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Part 2 

22nd NOVEMBER 2012

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Last week we began a series of talks on the Book of Revelation. Last week was the introduction where I explained that the book is a prophecy, but does not confine itself to only the future, but also to the past and the present. The Book of Revelation contains the entire mystery of the Divine Economy, in the form of a summary - from the Incarnation of the Word of God up to the Second Coming of Christ, the Judgment Day and the appearance of the Kingdom of God.
Last weeks talk ended with a quick look at the first few lines of the first chapter which gives us the information on who is doing the revealing, to whom he is revealing and why. Today we will again see these lines and see what else they are telling us. The very first words say: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto him."
The first thing we must keep in mind is that Jesus Christ is speaking. He is revealing to John the Evangelist and the Book of Revelation is the recorded account written by John of the things he heard and saw from Jesus Christ. Therefore, this revelation is about Jesus Christ and is presented by Jesus Christ. So, the source of this revelation is God Himself. What is significant here is that the Script does not say “revelation of the Son of God” because the Son of God is of equal value with the Father. One Person of the Trinity cannot reveal things to another Person of the Holy Trinity; the Persons of the Trinity are one in essence. There are no secrets between the Persons of the Triune God. All three Persons are infinite, all knowing, and all wise. Jesus Christ refers to the human nature of Christ and the human nature of Christ is not infinite. However through the hypostatic or personal union with the Word of God, the human nature of Christ now can be considered omnipresent, present everywhere, not by its own merit but by the hypostatic union with God the Word. So, God gives this revelation to Jesus Christ Who will in turn give it to John, and St. John will pass it down to the Church. Now, how did the human nature of Christ receive the revelation from God? We are given the answer in chapter five.
"In the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne." (5:6-7)
John says he saw a slain lamb but standing up! Slain but standing! This is the very thing that Christ will tell St. John in a direct revelation, "I am the one who died and behold I live again." The Son of God cannot become dead! The divine nature obviously cannot die so the human body died because of the crucifixion and the burial in the tomb. The ancient Church had this as the most precious symbol, the most beloved symbol of the original Church. The standing slain lamb!
Then he came and took something out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne. He took a book. He does not specify who was sitting out of great respect. God was sitting, as we will see later. So, this is how Jesus Christ the man received the revelation from God, the One Who sits on the throne. Now who is going to open this book? The angel will say in the fifth chapter: "Who is worthy to open the scroll, and to loose its seals?" No one was found! No one was worthy to open this book and John was weeping, he was crying. But one of the elders said to him, weep not for someone was found, the slain lamb can open the book. He will open the book. In other words, He will reveal. This is why the book is the revelation of Jesus Christ; meaning that it reveals and manifests Christ and consequently the revelation takes place through Jesus Christ. This is the meaning of the words the revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto Him.
He gave unto Him to show His servants. Whose servants? The servants of Jesus Christ; and to show what? To show those things which will define the contents of the book. It also expresses the purpose or why this book was given. What will it show? Things that must shortly take place. Those things that must take place quickly; which MUST take place! This “must” has great theological dimension in Holy Scripture.
In Matthew we read that Christ began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. He must! Its a necessity, it must happen that way for man's salvation.
We could simply ask, "Why was it necessary for these things to take place?" These things which are not at all pleasant, like the cross for example, or the persecution of the Church and the faithful until the Second Coming of Christ. The Church needed to set out on a specialized type of journey through history which would be full of temptation and persecution from the world. However, we see that this “must”, this necessity of the Church, to undertake a journey full of tribulation and persecution comes to parallel the “must” of the journey of Christ. It could not happen any differently. Why? Because the Church is the very Body of Christ. So, when Christ says that, I must be killed, I must be crucified. then the Church must also say that, I must be killed, I must be crucified. This is something that all Christians must understand. Christ was crucified. We must also be crucified. Christ was persecuted. We will most likely be persecuted as well!
Christ said: "If they persecuted me they will also persecute you." If they persecuted me, this is the must of Christ; they will also persecute you, this is the must of the Church.
"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."
The author of the book of the Revelation is the holy Apostle and Evangelist John, as we see his name recorded, which insures that this book is not fraudulent or forged, but a genuine work of St. John the Evangelist. The Apostles commonly use the word “servant” as they wrote their epistles. However, here we have the simple recording of the name of John, simply John, without a title such as ‘the disciple of Christ’ or ‘the apostle of Christ’. The absence of these titles shows that John knew very well the receivers and the readers of his book. They were very close to him. It is also obvious that the book of the Revelation is given to the Church from God the Father, through Jesus Christ, through the angel, through John, to the Church.
What we have here is a living chain of paradosis, or teaching tradition. Paradosis in Greek means “tradition.” It literally means to pass down, to have one person deliver and another person receive. So God the Father gives to the Incarnate Son Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ gives to the angel; the angel gives to John; and John passes it to the Church. So, what we have here is the wonder of the living Tradition, or paradosis. This is precisely why this living Tradition, along with Holy Scripture makes up the basis or the foundation of the Church. As we know, it is Holy Tradition that preserved the authenticity and validity of the Holy Scriptures. Holy Tradition told us which book is genuine or which is fraudulent. This must be understood by those who discard and disregard the Tradition of the Church, whether Protestant or Orthodox, who have been heavily influenced by the non-Orthodox. They disregard the Tradition of the Church. The key to the Orthodox interpretation of the book of Revelation is to be found in the treasure chest of Holy Tradition. If we do not take a hold of this key that Holy Tradition has given us, then we will never interpret and see the true meaning of Scripture. This is why the Protestants interpret Scripture every which way, with the result being the deterioration of their faith into thousands of pieces. They have no idea what they believe today, what they believed yesterday, and what they will believe tomorrow.
The Introduction continues: "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." This introductory outline, which we spoke about last week, closes with this beatitude, this blessing, heaped upon those who study, hear, and apply the words of this book and generally the Word of God. This beatitude is the first of seven specific beatitudes in the book of the Revelation.
After this introductory outline, what follows next is the preface of the entire book, which takes place between verses four and seven. These verses are:
"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; 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, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."
This is the preface of the book of Revelation. Up to this point, we had the introductory outline. The first thing we see is that the Book is in a form of a letter. It says: "John to the seven churches which are in Asia." John is the author; the receivers are the seven churches of Asia Minor; and we have the greeting, Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come" etc. Which are the seven churches mentioned in the book of the Revelation which the Lord asks that a special letter be sent to each one of them? These are historical Churches, real churches, not noetic or symbolic. They are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamon, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. These are all cities of Asia Minor, old ancient cities, lively cities with strong Christian populations. They became episcopates, which shows a strong Church presence. And to these seven churches now Christ speaks through the book of the Revelation with a special message for each one of these churches.
We may ask, "Why is Christ addressing only these seven churches?" Why these churches and not to the church of Jerusalem, or Corinth, or Rome, or Alexandria, or Antioch? These were bigger and more important churches. Only Ephesus could compare with the grandeur and the title of Rome, or Jerusalem or Antioch, because the other six cities of these seven churches were minor. They were very small cities of Asia Minor. So why are the epistles directed to and addressing these particular seven churches, and not the other bigger and more seasoned churches? It is simply because the number seven is allegorical. It expresses variety along with fullness. In other words, it represents a complete picture of the entire Church from back in those days up until the end of the age, and the fullness of the Church is represented by these seven representative types of these churches. In other words, these seven churches are seven different folds, seven different realities of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
So, we have here two intertwined circumstances. One is that each epistle is sent to each specific historical church. For example, when He says, you are neither cold nor hot, you are lukewarm, you have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen, this is a specific flaw or weakness of the church A or B. Therefore these epistles, at the first level, have a historical character. They aim to cure the flaws of those individual churches, two thousand years ago. However, on a second level, these elements aim to serve as a warning for the entire Church all through the ages. So we have here two intertwined dimensions: the historical one which is limited to the topographies of the seven city churches, and then we have the other dimension which refers to the entire history of the Church or the Church through the ages. So, when we read what Christ says for the church of the Ephesians, or to that of the Philadelphians, this means that all these points are elements that are brought up and exist through the ages in the Catholic Church of Christ.
These cities where the seven churches were located were Greek cities. The entire Asia Minor was Greek and these are historical churches, and historical epistles, with a historical base. When Christ says, I will remove your lamp stand, every church is represented by a lamp stand or a candle stand, so I will remove your lamp stand means I will move you around. He took all these seven churches and moved them. And, none of these historical churches exist today in Asia Minor! The lamp stands were removed permanently in 1922, during the infamous Asia Minor destruction and expulsion of the Greek people.
"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."
Here we have a very wrong translation from the Greek into English. The Greek says "χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ Θεοῦ, ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος." Properly translated it says "grace unto you from God, the existing, and the existed and who is coming." It can also be translated as: "grace unto you from God, the I Am, the I Was and who is continually coming. The I Am is a special name of God. If you remember the story of Moses and the burning bush; Moses asked God what shall he tell the people if they inquire after his God’s name, “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM; and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the people of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you”. God gave his name as I Am which means that He is the ‘Absolute Being’ that has no beginning or end, or I AM from the very beginning and ever shall be. If you look at Icons of Christ you will see inscribed in the cruciform halo this name of God ‘O WN’ being the Greek words for "I Am."
Thus here in the Book of Revelation we have a wonderful reference to the Holy Triune God. The I Am refers to the Father, the I Was refers to the Son for as in the Gospel of St. John it says: "In the beginning was the Word" and the One Who is coming refers to the Paraklete or the Holy Spirit Who comes and stays in the Church and sanctifies the children of God through Holy Baptism.
But we can also say that all three references refer to the Son. Grace unto you from God, the Son, who always exists, who always was from the beginning and who is always coming. Immediately after it says: "and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 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." The seven Spirits refers to the Holy Spirit. The throne of God obviously refers to God the Father while the number seven reveals the fullness and the perfection of the Holy Spirit. This is beautifully expressed by the Prophet Isaiah in his sevenfold declaration of the attributes or the gifts or the energies of the One Holy Spirit. In his eleventh chapter he writes, "Spirit of wisdom, spirit of understanding, spirit of council, spirit of might, spirit of knowledge, spirit of piety, and spirit of fear of God."
Also, in the book of Revelation, we read as Christ tells John" "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God… (3:1) Elsewhere John writes: "And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth." (5:6) These are great and awesome images which serve to show how the Spirit of God is sent out full of its gifts because the number seven again is symbolic. It shows the multitude of gifts and that the Spirit of God comes laden with gifts for the world.
"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."
After the greeting from the Holy Trinity, we now have a greeting from Jesus Christ, but is not Christ also a Person of the Holy Trinity? The faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the prince of the kings of the earth all refer to the human nature of Christ and not to his divine nature. Here Saint John wants to present to us Jesus Christ who is the centre of history and the central figure of all the events he's about to describe in his vision. And these are the events that form the book of the Revelation along with all the events that make up the human history. The first name describes Jesus Christ as the Faithful Witness. Now, why the Faithful Witness? This is simply because a faithful witness can only tell the truth. Everything He says is true. But also, Faithful Witness is the name of God in the Old Testament. In the 88th Psalm of the Septuagint we read; "His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me, and as the moon that is established for ever, and as a faithful witness in heaven." The faithful witness here in the book of Revelation is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is Yahweh or Jehovah. This is the same faithful witness as referred to in the Psalm: Yahweh, whom the Jehovah’s Witnesses call Jehovah. Jesus Christ is Yahweh, or Jehovah, the Lord. When are the blind Jehovah's Witnesses, or more correctly, the false witnesses, when are they going to see this? They blaspheme and believe Christ to be a creation.

So, Jesus Christ is the faithful witness or the faithful martyr for two more reasons. The first one is because He gave witness to the Truth, remember for example when Pilate asked Him, "Who are you?" and He answered: "For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice." (John: 18:37). Poor Pilate asks, "What is truth?" (18:38) and Christ does not answer. Some have ventured to say that Pilate should have asked, Who is the truth? and that he would have probably received a response. Pilate had the entire Truth in front of him. The Truth is not some abstract idea or thought. The Truth is a Person. I am the Truth, Christ announced. He didn't say, "I came to tell you a few nice things about the truth to help you along.” I am the Truth and the life!I Am the Truth Christ says, which means, everything He says, everything, will always be true. The truth about God, the truth about man, the truth about the world and the true worship and love of the True God can only be found through Christ! Outside of Christ, there is deep darkness. Philosophers are struggling. They not only contradict each other but they often contradict themselves. They go around in circles, full of uncertainty. If we do not know Christ, we are living in deep darkness. We should feel very privileged; we should feel ecstatic, because we know how to get to know Christ or at least we know the way to get to know Christ in His fullness. So, he is a Faithful Witness for everything He will say. This applies whether written or unwritten and of course, everything that is written in the book of the Revelation is trustworthy and true.
The other reason why Christ is a faithful witness is because in Greek the word witness also means martyr, thus Christ is the faithful martyr or true martyr because he was martyred on the Cross. He was raised upon the Cross for the sake of the true witness. Since the martyria or witness of the truth is indispensably connected to sufferings and to fierce attacks of the devil, the word martyrdom in Greek means both witness and suffering.
A true witness will keep witnessing during peaceful times and during polemic times. So, a faithful witness or martyr, not only tells the truth but dies for this truth. When the truth is offered to the world, it is offered with martyrdom. Truth and persecution, truth and suffering are very closely connected, so closely that the same word martyria expresses both. This is why the Evangelist will write; "When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for their martyria" (6:9) or testimony that they gave. They were slain of course, for the Word of God. They gave the martyria or the true witness, the true testimony of the Word of God, and the world, ruled by the devil, killed them. Above all of them, we have the Absolute Martyr, the Absolute Witness, Jesus Christ Himself, because He brought to us the entire Truth. Moreover, for the sake of this truth, He became the first martyr with the martyrdom of the Cross.

The second name of Christ is the First Born from the dead. So, Jesus Christ who was the Faithful Witness, was also the First Born from the dead. Here, a great testimony is given. The identity of the One witnessing to John is fully certified here, and it is none other than Jesus Christ. Now it may not be very clear here, but towards the end of this chapter, Christ will say, I became dead and behold I'm alive again. He is alive again, through His holy Resurrection. All this refers to the human nature and more specifically to the body because the soul does not die. So the First Born from the dead is the pre-eternal God who became man, died on the cross, resurrected and now lives as God-man forever and ever. We also read, I am the First and the Last , (18) another name of Christ and the Living One. But when he says I am the First and the Last, He speaks as God because no human being can be the first and the last, the alpha and the omega. The alpha and the omega does not exist in any creation, in any human being; it is an attribute only of God. And the Living One, does not apply to a human being. The Living One refers to God. So, Christ can say, I became dead, as a human being and behold I am living; I'm alive; I live.” In other words, He resurrected and lives forever and ever as God-man, not as God and not as a human being but as God-man forever and ever.
And finally we come to the third name of Christ in this verse, and from Jesus Christ who is the faithful witness, the first-born from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth. This title serves as an echo of the meeting with Pilate, where Christ offers His great martyria or testimony, that yes, He is truly King. Saint John the Evangelist records, "my kingdom is not of this world." (John 18:1) Pilate asks, "So are you a king?" Christ answers, "You say that I am." This means simply that yes you are correct; I am a king. Therefore, Christ is King, a ruler, and the ruler of history. He is the universal judge. He is victorious. This last name of Christ makes up the subject of the book of the Revelation being the central theme of the book. We read, they will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings. (Revelation 17:14)
These three epithets for Jesus Christ seem to form a natural sequence between them. He who came to bear witness to the truth; and He died for the sake of this truth. He resurrected, gaining victory over death, not only for himself but for all mankind for whom He will finally be victorious as God-man, King and Lord of all the kings and all the rulers of the earth. These three names of Jesus Christ—the Faithful Witness, the First Born from the dead and the Ruler of the kings of the earth - these three names serve as the diagram of the entire journey of God the Logos throughout history. He comes. He gives the martyria or the testimony. He suffers a martyr’s death and exits human history. He actually takes human history along with Him by His Resurrection and Ascension and He transforms it to the kingdom of God.
The Book of Revelation continues: "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
He shed His blood to wash our sins only because He loved us. There was no other reason God did this. God does not have any other motive outside of His love. God, desiring to express this love to us, gave His only Son to die on the Cross. But He did not only wash our sins. God proceeded to go beyond this washing. He makes us members of the royal priesthood: vasilion ieratevma, and thereby makes us a kingdom of priests to his God and Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Christ has made us a kingdom of priests to the Father, or to serve the Father. What becomes very clear and very evident in this verse, is the substance and the purpose of Christianity. We see here that Christianity is not simply a religion, but a kingdom. This is the substance of Christianity. Christians are kings and priests. This describes the content of Christianity. If someone would ask you, "What is Christianity anyway?" You should answer, "It is a kingdom." And if someone would ask you, "What is the purpose of the Christian community?" You should answer, "It is to make its citizens kings and priests." This is a very high calling, indeed, as high as the heavens.
Now once we come to the realization that being a Christian means that I am a citizen of a kingdom, that I am a king and priest, then how can we ever say again that Christianity is one of the religions? How can we compare it to the man-made religions? Christianity is not a religion dreamed by men. It is a revelation, and therefore a kingdom. As a Christian, my purpose is not to use my faith to make my life easier and more pleasant here on earth. A Christian is not the person who pays his taxes, obeys the laws of the country, and raises a good and a nice family. It seems that this is how we have been taught to size up today’s good Christian: “a good and honest member of society.” There is no question that this is a consequence of the Christian life. It is clear that a Christian will be a good person in society. But did Christ just come into the world to make us good and honest people? If this was the purpose of Christ’s coming, then He did not have to come into this world. The ancient Greeks could have helped us to accomplish these objectives – just to become good people. We have, and have had many good people, even before Christ. The mission of Christianity is not to make me a good and honest citizen, but to make me a king and priest of God, something that escapes the thoughts of all those outside of Christianity. Christians are super-privileged to have God establish a kingdom for them on earth. When we pray, we say, "Thy kingdom come." This kingdom is not of this world.
The Christians reign together with Christ. They become priests who offer their worship to the Holy Triune God. Now, Who is the source of these great privileges? Initially, the source of this privilege is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. While coming into the world as a human being, Christ was anointed by the Father with this triple office: the office of the Prophet, the Archpriest, and King. The Old Testament and especially the New Testament profess this triple office of Our Lord.
The Faithful Witness, refers to the prophetic office of Christ, because He came to profess the truth and to talk about the truth, to prophesy. A prophet is not always someone who sees or foretells the future. This is only true in the narrow sense. In the broad sense, a prophet is he who talks about God. A prophet can also talk about the future, but the greater challenge of a prophet was not to foretell the future but to interpret the present. So, Christ is the Faithful Witness who came to bear witness to the truth, and He is the Teacher par excellence of heavenly things. Second, He is the Firstborn from the dead. This is characteristic of the Arch-priestly office of our Lord, combining in His person the One who offers the sacrifice and the sacrificial Lamb, all in the same Person of Christ. We say this in the Divine Liturgy, "The One who offers and the One being offered." Third, the Ruler of the Kings of the Earth is characteristic of His royal office.
These three offices – the prophetic, the archpriestly, and the royal –aid our salvation. With the first office, the prophetic, the true God is revealed. The second, the priestly office, is what lifts humanity to God – the oblation, or the anaphora. The priest during the prayer of oblation, or anaphora, lifts the Holy Gifts to God. He offers the Gifts to God saying: "Thine own of Thine own we offer unto Thee…" But here we have the lifting, the raising - the anaphora- of the entire humanity. This anaphora was offered by Christ on the Cross. He offered this oblation by His Archpriestly office. He exercised His priestly office on the Cross. He lifted, raised, offered the human nature to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. With the third office, the royal office, nature becomes a true kingdom of God and ruled by God. The Holy Baptism and Holy Chrism that each faithful receives incorporate him in the Body of Christ, that is, the Church. The baptized becomes one body with Christ. In this manner, each faithful participates or takes on these three offices of Christ to a certain degree. Christ is a prophet, so the faithful becomes a prophet, Christ is the Archpriest, and the faithful becomes a priest, Christ is the king, so the faithful becomes a king. Therefore, this means that the Christian receives these offices from Christ, which Christ receives from the Father. Christ was anointed with the three offices, the triple office, and now we can see that St. John talks about this type of thing in Revelation, that Christ has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father.
We find this position in the Old Testament as well. God Himself says through Moses, "and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel." (Exodus 19:6) The Prophet Isaiah also says: "You shall be called the priests of the Lord,…ministers of God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their riches you shall glory." (61:6) But what does it mean when it says "you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in this wealth you will be glorified?" The Jews totally misinterpreted this verse, they thought it meant that they were to dominate and extract all the wealth from the world and keep it in some banks. The true meaning is that you will become kings and priests, and the true meaning of the king and the priest will only be given to us in Christ Jesus.
John then tells us: "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."
These two verses serve as the conclusion of the preface of this book, but they also include the central theme of the entire book of the Revelation, which is not the rapture, nor the millennium, nor the taking up of the Church nor the Antichrist, but the Second Coming of Christ. Everything that this book will tell us will revolve around this theme – the second presence of Christ.
These verses contain two Christological prophecies from the Old Testament, one belonging to the Prophet Daniel and a second one to the Prophet Zachariah. Daniel says: "I saw in the night vision, and, behold, One like the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven, and He came to the Ancient of days, and was brought near to Him. And there was given Him the dominion, and the honour, and the kingdom; and all nations, tribes, and languages, shall serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14)
Daniel's vision is almost identical to John's in the Book of Revelation. The Ancient of days and the Son of Man are the same person - Jesus Christ the Son of God, but one refers to his divine nature and the other to his human nature. This is clear in a later verse where he says: "until the Ancient of days came, and gave judgment to the saints of the Most High; and the time came on, and the saints possessed the kingdom." (Daniel 7:22) From this verse it is obvious that Daniel’s apocalyptic vision refers to the second coming of Christ, and that the Ancient of Days is Christ for it is Christ that will come at the end of time.
There is also a striking parallel text from the Gospels. Christ said that "they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matth. 24:30) Is this not a quote from Daniel where Jesus identifies himself as the Son of Man who comes as the Ancient of Days in judgment? The Jews understood this figure as representing a Divine being in the apocalyptic imagery, thus when Caiaphas charged Jesus to tell him if he was the Christ the Son of God, Jesus said: "Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." (Matth. 26:64) This was a direct reference to Daniel’s Ancient of days; Christ had identified himself as the Divine being and was, according to the high priest, guilty of blasphemy and punishable by death on the Cross.
Thus, the first verse refers to the prophecy of Daniel while the second refers to the prophecy of Zachariah. Zachariah writes: "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and compassion: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, And the land shall mourn." (Zechariah 12: 10-12)
This prophecy refers to the First Coming of Christ, but it is also a preview or foretaste of the Second Coming. The first coming is indicated by the pouring out of the spirit of Grace and compassion signifying that the purpose of Christ's first coming was to save. And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced of course refers to Christ's crucifixion when the people looked upon him mockingly. But after the signs on the Cross, (the darkness, the earthquake) many like the centurion believed that Christ was indeed the Son of God and returned to their homes beating their chests saying: What did we do? Who did we crucify? There was great mourning in Jerusalem and many mourned bitterly as thou they had lost their firstborn son.
But now in the Book of Revelation John says that when Christ comes again He will be coming with the clouds and every eye shall see Him, everyone, even those who pierced Him. They will wail because of Him. They will be beating their chests—all the tribes of earth, meaning the entire humanity. In the fulfilment of the first coming we have only the wailing of Jerusalem, but now with the Second coming we have the entire world. What is significant is the fact that they will see the One that they pierced, but historically one man, a Roman soldier pierced Him. This was his duty to verify the death of the executed. It was sort of a practical death certificate that needed to be given. What does this mean? Every eye shall see Him, everyone who pierced Him, means all those from the entire earth who denied Jesus Christ. The person who denies Christ spears Christ.