In a previous article I wrote a few months ago (I forget exactly which one), I made a brief observation that the Book of Revelation is the Deuteronomy of the Christian church. This observation has struck me more and more as I’ve studied the two books and noted the parallel themes which run throughout them both. In going through some of my notes this evening, I was reminded of how strongly the Apocalypse addresses the church in a manner similar to how Israel is addressed in the last book of the Pentateuch. In this connection, allow me to make a few remarks.
1. Deuteronomy contains the last words of the Old Covenant, given by Moses to the nation of Israel. Whereas Revelation contains the last words of the New Covenant given by Christ (the antitypical Moses) to His church. Both books are the last of their respective canons.
2. When Deuteronomy was first given, the nation of Israel was about to enter the land of promise. They were at the end of their wanderings, and ready to take possession of their inheritance. On the other hand, the Book of Revelation speaks to a church yet in the wilderness, but upon whom the ends of the ages have come (1 Cor. 10: 11). Because we are a new creation (2 Cor. 5: 17), Christians have attained unto the ends of the ages in spirit; as for us the “elements of the world” have passed away (Col. 2: 20; Gal. 4: 3). True, our bodies remain on earth, which is like a wilderness in which we yet journey. But spiritually we sit with Christ in heavenly places (Eph. 1: 3; 2: 6). Our seat of government is in heaven, from whence (note that clause) we look for Christ to return (Phil. 3: 20). So as the church waits for Christ, Christians sit on the very edge of the land of promise, about to take their inheritance, but not knowing the day or the hour. But like the wicked generation that perished in the wilderness, some professing Christians will be barred from entering the kingdom (see Matt. 7: 21-23; Phil. 3: 11; cf. 1 Cor. 10: 1-10; Jude 5, etc.).
3. Both Deuteronomy and Revelation contain solemn anathemas not to add to or subtract from the Word of God (see Deut. 4: 2; cf. 29: 20; Rev. 22: 19). Just like the Scribes and Pharisees of old, who sat in Moses’ seat but contradicted his doctrine at every turn, many within the church are now adding to God’s New Testament message; teaching doctrines which are not contained therein (q.v. Proverbs 30: 6), as well as subtracting from the inspired message, and refusing to teach truths which Christ and His apostles expressly taught, acting as if they are “difficulties” to be explained away.
Of course, that’s only a few parallels for the reader’s consideration. However, I’m hoping they prove helpful to those who wish to follow this thread further. Next time I read Deuteronomy, I’ll have to approach it with this theme in mind, and jot down any relevant observations. Ok, now I’ll just quickly publish this post, and get back to my studies in the Book of Ezekiel. Ciao.