Summary: A Bible study on Revelation Let's talk about God's world, God's Word and God's workers (Material adapted from Alger Fitch's book, Revelation, Chapter 1 The Perspective of Preaching, pg. 25-37)
Many get caught up in the details of Revelation and ask questions like:
Who are the Nicolaitans mentioned in Revelation 2:6, 14-15? Who are the four living creatures in Revelation? What is the sea of glass mentioned in Revelation 4:6 and 15:2? Who are the twenty-four (24) elders in Revelation? Who or what is Abaddon/Apollyon? What is the prophecy of 1,260 days in Revelation?
What about the rapture? What is the Great Tribulation? What is the meaning of wormwood in Revelation? What is the mark of the beast (666)? Who are the two witnesses in the book of Revelation? Who are the 144,000? What is the whore of Babylon / mystery Babylon? What is the abomination of desolation? What is the battle of Armageddon? What are Gog and Magog? Did Jesus have a tattoo (Revelation 19:16)? Why is God going to release Satan after the 1000 years? Will there literally be streets of gold in heaven?
So many questions that we miss the main message of Revelation. Many books of the Bible contain a verse(s) that help us unlock the main meaning of the book. Revelation does not disappoint in this regard. Read Revelation 1:9-10
We find here 5 key ideas being developed by John in the Revelation.
Suffering 2) Kingdom 3) Patient endurance 4) Word of God and the testimony of Jesus 5) The Lord’s, specifically the Lord’s Day, the Lord’s Spirit, and the Lord’s Voice
We have 5 Wednesday nights until Dr. Cottrell comes and is with us. Cover these 5 themes, one each night. In April going to try something different and get more involvement, discussion.
Who wrote this? John the apostle. Some debate about this a few hundred years after the writing of Revelation and this debate goes through today. However, 2,000 year old tradition that John the apostle gave us Revelation should not be abandoned until evidence is found to the contrary.
Where was this written? Island of Patmos, only thing there was a penal colony.
When was this written? Most likely date is 96 AD. This explains why John is there on Patmos. The Emperor Domitian insisted that everyone in the empire address his as “Lord and God.” Those who spoke these words about Domitian were free, those who said that Jesus is Lord and God were punished. 40,000 Christians were martyred during Domitian s reign and many more were exiled to places like Patmos.
The style is symbolic apocalypse. This is a symbolic form of literature depicting the struggle between good and evil, with a climactic victory for the good.
Why is this written? To trace the progress of the church from the beginning of the mission to the end of time. The Lord will be with his church throughout the struggles and opposition. I’ve read the back of the book and we win.
Tonight we talk about the word of God and the testimony of Jesus
Thesis: More specifically we talk about God’s world, God’s word and God’s workers
God’s world- have someone read Revelation 7:9
Tribe is found 31 times in NT, 21 in Revelation. This refers to family or blood relatedness.
Read Revelation 7:4. This number- 144,000- is obtained by squaring the number 12 and multiplying by the cube of 10. This number, said to be “sealed” in chapter 7 are shown to be “redeemed from the earth” in chapter 14. Have someone read Revelation 14:3-4. Also termed as firstfruits.
The Jewish farmer in OT would begin his harvest with a swath from some corner of his field. This he would bind together and wave the sheaf before the Lord as the offering of firstfruits. That cutting from the field was not the total harvest, but only the first swath. What is being said is that already the world harvest of souls has begun and the 144,000 are the first swath.
Nations is the world that is the source of our own word ethnic. It is also used in the Great Commission. The “ethnics” are to be discipled. People who live together sharing common customs, who constitute a unity through massing together.
Revelation 21:24- Christ’s coming not only made possible the blotting out of sin, it made necessary the blotting out of tribal and national pride. God’s gift of salvation is open for all nationalities.
We find at Pentecost the barrier of languages was overcome. The apostles were proclaiming the wonders of God in every ones own language, tongue.
Modern missionaries find it essential to study to acquire the language and dialect of the people to whom they go. Since people congregate in common language groups, God’s Word must be translated from the Hebrew and Greek into words humans can understand.