@tjzwemer, Thomas, thank you for your repeated “refocus” on the global message within Revelation, I find that the IJ restricts and tunnels (from the SDA viewpoint, to a doctrine/sect perspective which is not in the text. Something bothered me about this article and it took some time for me to think thru it.
Here are my thoughts:
One of the lessons or viewpoints I’ve picked up along the way is the valuation of things. Having been Adventist from age 12 onward, and was for about 40 years…, I discovered that self-worth (value) is not worth much value if it is not relation-ally tied to some faith relationship with God.
In 2009 I was on a long trip to the beach on vacation, my wife and I were listening to a cd and to a presentation/sermon/play entitled the Bema Judgment — (in SDA speak this would refer to the marriage supper of the LAMB (when the crowns are handed out)).
What I found most shocking in the presentation was not the theology of it, or whether or not the rapture happened … all that was in the past. It was the time when God wipes all tears from our eyes - INDIVIDUALLY
In this presentation, Jesus presented each with their “own crown”… some didn’t get a crown, some crowns shone brighter than others… then the presenter mentioned the “currency of heaven”… it is not money, it is not works… it is not obedience, it is not law keeping,… it is… when this person that is getting their crown stands up… were you an instrument that actively worked with heavenly agencies to spread the “good news” … in that what you did or didn’t do was in honor or connection with Jesus. Each person was totally OK with their reward, and the rewards of others - anything that is not of faith is sin.
It was kinda like a pyramid sales convention… how many people did Jesus influence through your connection with him? So – you get credit in your “so called” crown… based on your connection with God’s Spirit and Jesus leading in your life. No more, no less… period. (Said a different way, if your step/action/interaction with a person was a “moment of faith” and dependence in God’s grace - it’s part of your character/crown
Then the answer I always asked… how could there be no jealousy in heaven? The answer… we see the character of the individual when they receive their crowns and there are 5 possible in scripture.
Each person that receives a crown is totally OK with the number of gems in it… because it uniquely represents them - you can’t really disagree with the true character of someone… Why would you want to? Especially since you are happy with your crown !!!
God wants our love for him because of who HE is. And He alone is worthy of our worship. The book of Revelation is a global book, it’s audience is the entire world, it sets the stage and describes the necessity of God’s holiness, It reminds us that God’s provisions for our tribulation, journey, and walk are sufficient.
The audience to which the book speaks is the remnant (Those in the world at the end that choose “true worship”), in context, not a specific sect (SDA or otherwise).
One of the key points of article above is “faith in Jesus”, it reads in context, due to the active state of the book.
"This translation affirms one thing, not two; it speaks of the constancy of God that was demonstrated in Jesus" Sigve K. Tonstad
I am still reviewing Revelation from this POV. and I really makes sense to me that the Book of Life has our names written IN IT… we choose to NOT choose God and He blots them out.
God’s pen does the writing… think about it…
with kind regards,