Summary: background of Revelations

Welcome & Prayer

What basically do you know and have you been taught about Revelation?

-special blessing for reading (1:3)

-Span of Bible: Where does Revelation fall?

*gospels: ministry of Christ

acts: founding of the church

epistles: principles for the church

Revelation: future of the world

-Background information

major message: victory of Christ over his enemies

“revelation” = uncover, reveal, make manifest, unveiling, disclosing

this is an open book where God reveals his plans for the end of the age

#overhead of views of Revelation -

Preterist - “past” - 1st century - 5-11 Judaism, 12-19 Rome, 20-22 glory over these victories

Idealist - [symbolic] ideal symbols of constant struggle - allegory of all of existence

Historist - sees history of church - all individual interpretations

Futurist - plain interpretation - most of book deals with time to come in future

John - 95AD - [15-20 yrs after others] during the reign of the Roman emperor Titus Flavius Domitian

Emperor demanded to be worshiped as God

Isle of Patmos - tradition: boiled in oil

##overhead - Asia minor

recipients - 7 churches - distribution centers - to whole world

Last of the disciples to die

##overhead - time of writing

Apocalyptic literature: eschatological, written during persecution, visions,

symbols - 300+ OT references in Revelation

*7 seals, trumpets, vials, stars, lampstands

Purpose: encouragement in suffering

Our focus: how do we respond to what the book says


## overhead - circles of interpretation

plain sense maked common sense, seek no other sense

avoid extremes: no meaning of symbols, seek to explain every point

##overhead - timeline - will fill in with coming weeks

*assuming pre-trib rapture for now - Rev 3:10, 1 Thess 4 - will get into that more in future

##overhead - chapter titles - homework sheets for coming week

##overhead - full timeline - emphasize three main breaks in the book

--breakdown of book: 1:19 - which was, and which is, and which is to come

Page through book

Read the chapter

*Have you ever dreamt about something, and it came true?

*What type of movies do you like to watch?

Do you like horror movies? Movies about the end of the world?

**Do you ever think about how everything is going to end?

*How were you raised to think about Revelation? What do you think about when we talk about Revelation? Have you ever read the book?

Basis for Study:

What does the passage say?

What does the passage mean?

How does this truth affect me?

Setting of the Book

Jesus has been resurrected for about 65 years (AD 95). There is now a generation of Christians who never met Christ. The gospels assert Jesus’ coming to rule & reign; but it has not happened yet. The Roman government is in control. The Emperor, Domitian, wants to be worshipped as a God, and brings persecution to the church. Christians are asking, "Is God really in control? When is he returning?"

Purpose of the Book

-not to be confusing, or a riddle.

-given to believers under a lot of pressure from the state

-some things are meant to be understood by believers, but not by the Roman authorities who might intercept them

**e.g. - writing to Galen & Marie**

1:3 - a blessing is given to those who read it

22:7 - a blessing is given to those who act on it

*God expects believers to read and act on this book

-rather than focus on figuring out every symbol, focus on applying meaning for your own life.

**example: road over cliff - people sit and talk about what kind of warning sign to post and where to post it. Important thing is to stop people from going over cliff.

*The book uses much imagery, and often we fail to see the imagery.

**political cartoons: donkey and elephant

The book is an Apocalypse. literally means unveiling/disclosure

Jewish literature type prevalent in the 1st century

uses symbols

shows God transcended into history

struggle of God vs. Satan

But John is writning inspired prophecy

**The book uses much foreshadowing. {double fulfillment}

#look out window, two mountains look like one

*Daniel’s abomination of desolation -Antiochus Epiphanes- Antichrist

-at times it may be hard to tell if John is talking about Rome or final evil empire. Rome embodied the spirit of the evil end empire.

Four Interpretive Views:

Preterist - views everything as happening in the first century

Historicists - views a historical account up to twentieth century

Futurists - see main part of book as what happens at end of ages

Idealists - sees all as symbolical of timeless truths


The Apostle John - a Jewish Christian leader highly respected by the churches of Asia Minor. John was on the island of Patmos because of the persecution. Patmos held a Roman penal colony, and John was either imprisoned or ministering to prisoners. Tradition says John was boiled in oil and lived out his life there.

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