Summary: Introduction into a study of the book of Revelation
I go into this study with much anxiety. As I said last week I do not intend to debate this study. I will try to give as much information and background as I can as we go through this wonderful book.
The theme of the Book of Revelation is not the seven churches, not the seven bowls, the seven trumpets, the Beast, the Anti-Christ or the symbolism. The theme is Jesus Christ victorious!!!!
The title is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”. It is not the revelation of John… or Revelations… It’s one revelation and it’s about Jesus…
If you’re Bible says the Revelation of St. John the divine … IT’S WRONG
Revelation- “apokalupsis” is the Greek word meaning, “an uncovering”, “an unveiling” or “a disclosure”. This is the same word translated in …
Romans 16:25 “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began,”
Galatians 1:12 “ For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Ephesians 1:17 “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him”
** What the rest of the Bible alludes to Revelation makes clear or visible.
Author and Date
Even thought the author identifies himself as John, (1:1,4,9; 22:8) there has been much discussion about which John.
Early church tradition unanimously has credited this writing to the Apostle John the same writer of the forth gospel and the three epistles. Some say there is a different style of Greek used in Revelation verses these other books, but the similarities are too noticeable.
Rev. 19:13 & John 1:1 refer to Jesus as “The Word”
Rev. 5:6,8 & John 1:29 refer to Jesus as the “Lamb”
Rev. 1:5 & John 5:31,32 refer to Jesus as a “Witness”
We believe this to be the son of Zeebeedee, the brother of James. He is often referred to as the “One Jesus loved”.
The apostle John being the last of the disciples would mean Revelation was written in the last decade of the 1st century (A.D. 94-96)
Background & Setting
Revelation begins with John, by now an old man, in exile on the small, barren island of Patmos, located in the Aegean Sea southeast of Ephesus.
**Remember John had once been the pastor of the church at Ephesus.
The Roman Emperor, Domitian, had banished him for preaching the gospel. Domitian was the Caesar of his day, a ruler who saw himself as deity, as a god (little g). He would sign his letters as the lord god, Domitian. No wander he would greatly persecute the early church and those who boldly proclaimed Jesus is the Way, the Truth & the Life.
* The apostle Paul was imprisoned punished & persecuted under the reign of Nero, possibly some 30-40 years earlier.
The book of Revelation is primarilary a book of prophecy; it seems to begin as an epistle or a letter. It addresses seven different churches with seven different problems or challenges. It fore tells things that are to come.
**But I want to mention again it is a revelation about Jesus Christ.
This book depicts Him as:
“The risen glorified Son of God ministering to the churches”;
“The faithful witness”;
“The firstborn from the dead”,
“The ruler over the kings of the world”;
“The Alpha & Omega the Beginning & the End”;
“The one who is and was and is to come, the Almighty”;
“The one who is holy and true”;
“The beginning of all creation”;
“The Lion of the Tribe of Judah”;
“The Lamb on the throne”;
“The Messiah who will reign forever”;
“The king of kings & lord of lords”; and
“The bright and morning star”.
Also in Revelation; the church is warned of sin & exhorted to holiness; we see vivid pictures of worship; the ministry of angels; eschatology = the doctrine of last days; the final political setup of the world; the career and ultimate defeat of the Antichrist; Christ’s 1000 year earthly reign; and the final state of the wicked and the righteous.
As we go through this study I will try to point out ties between Old Testament and New Testament. For example…
In Genesis the earth was created; in Revelation it will pass away.
In Genesis was Satan’s first rebellion; Revelation Satan’s last rebellion.
In Genesis the sun, moon & stars were meant for the earth’s government; in Revelation these same heavenly bodies are for the earth’s judgment.
In Genesis the sun was to govern the day; in Revelation there is no need for the sun.