Summary: Revelation focus’ our attention on Jesus Christ and what he has done, how he is currently at work in the world and what he will do in the near future!
The Blessing of Revelation
Thesis: Revelation focus’ our attention on Jesus Christ and what he has done, how he is currently at work in the world and what he will do in the near future!
Revelation 1:1, 2 "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw-that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Revelation 1:3 "Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near."
Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation—Means to be able to see something clearly which once was hidden from sight.
ILLUSTRATION: SOMETHING IS HIDDEN UNDER THIS VEIL AND WE CANNOT CLEARLY SEE IT!
- I can tell you about it:
* for instance it gives a sweet taste to the mouth when you follow directions.
* it’s friendly
* it likes music
* it’s cool
* it is in the form of a oval
* it is famous
* it has a letter tattooed on its chest
- We can guess what it is but until I unveil it completely you cannot understand everything about it.
- TAKE OFF THE VEIL it’s my MM figure playing the sax.
This is what the book of Revelation does for us. It takes off the veil and reveals more than any other book in the Bible -- JESUS CHRIST. It reveals to a suffering persecuted church a victorious Jesus Christ. It’s the climax to the entire Bible fueling HOPE AND FAITH for those who are going through trials and tribulations.
Revelation is also full of visions, illusions, symbolism and the like and it’s important to make sure you interpret the text according to sound hermenutical principle’s.
This book is full of surprises and hard to understand terminology. You find sections that are full of all sorts of things that aren’t what they seem. Sometimes you will read a passage and see multiple meanings and images for example it’s like these illusions:
a. Is this and oval or a circle?
b. Is the word sunshine written here? How about the bird is it drawn in?
c. What do you see when you look at this picture?
· Two men looking at each other – yes but also a vase as well.
d. How about the next picture what do you see?
· A beautiful women – yes but also and old women.
e. In this next picture are the lines absolutely straight and vertical.
· The picture says no by looking at it but the truth s they are.
f. Our last picture will boggle your mind stare at it for a while then look at a white wall what do you see?
T.S.-This little perception lesson is important to remember when you study the book of Revelation because you can see one at a certain angle and another at another angle. So before we dive into this book lets look at the historical setting of the book to help us interpret it correctly for us today.
I. Historical Background of Revelation:
A. The Roman emperors Nero and Domitian are persecuting Christians.
1. Nero - blamed the Christians for the great fire of Rome in 64. He was
responsible for martyring Peter and Paul.
*He is noted for illuminating his gardens at night with Christians burning on poles.
* The Roman historian Tacitus says that Nero not just put Christians to death he also used Christians as amusement in the circus. The Christians were clad in hides of beasts and torn to death by dogs, lions, and other beasts. Many were crucified and burned alive. He openly enjoyed his cruelty to Christians. He eventually committed suicide from political turmoil and his last words were, "What a showman the world is losing in me!"
· The worst emperor was Domitian who was a paranoid savage killer.
o He was the first emperor to have himself officially entitled "God the Lord!" He insisted that other people hail his greatness with acclamations like "Lord of the earth," "Invincible," "Glory," "Holy," and "Thou alone."
· Many believe that John’s hideous beast as described in Revelation is pointing to Domitian’s blood thirsty reign and blasphemy.
o Domitian definitely had the spirit of the evil beast in him.
B. The historical setting for Christians is not one filled with hope because of the Roman emperor’s demand to be worshiped as God.
1. A great multitude is being persecuted for refusal to worship the antichristian emperor.