Summary: Be alert! Keep your eyes and ears open. The world wants to tear you down. It seeks to destroy tour faith. Face all of life with this in mind.
“See Evil Clearly”
We’re moving forward this morning in our study of the book of Revelation. As we get started, take your Bibles and turn to Revelation 12-14.
What is the scariest thing that you can think of? For some Christians, that question might be answered by saying: “Trying to read and understand the book of ‘Revelation.” And for some people, the book of Revelation is something to avoid read or studying if there’s any way not to do so.
Today, we’re still in our study of this very same book of the Bile – the book of Revelation. The passages we’re going to look at today have been some of the most misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misapplied sections of Scripture - especially over the last 100-150 years. So before we move forward, let’s review some of our guidelines for interpreting this book.
The first thing we have to consider is the setting into which the book was written. Remember, if it didn’t mean anything important to its original audience, it can’t mean anything to us today. The book of Revelation was originally written to Christians in seven churches in the Roman province of Asia at the end of the first century AD who were undergoing severe persecution and pressure to conform to the ways of the world.
Second, we have to consider the style of writing used in this book. The book of Revelation was written according to a specific style of writing in the ancient world known as the apocalyptic style. – hence in some translations you will see this book called the Apocalypse of John. The word “apocalyptic” is used in our language today to refer to something catastrophic or what might be termed “end of the world” stuff. The word as originally used meant “an uncovering; a revealing.” It meant to pull back the curtain and look behind the scenes. 1ohn does that by pulling back the curtain and lets those of us on the earthly side of things see more clearly into the heavenly side of things.
Third, we have to keep in mind the symbols of this book. The book of Revelation uses word pictures and numbers to communicate its message instead of the normal narrative style to which we are accustomed. Therefore, we can’t try to put the events described in the book of Revelation in chronological order. It paints sweeping pictures that portray not just what is going to happen but in many cases what always happens.
So we move forward this morning in our study. Chapter 11 of Revelation concludes with references to judging the dead, rewarding the servants of God, and the opening of the temple of God in heaven. It could have been a fitting end to this book but John has much more to show us.
Rev. 11:15 – The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”