Summary: The Revelation of Jesus Christ is one of the most exciting and interesting books of the Bible. This message will give you some of the keys to unlocking the mysteries of Revelation.
UNLOCKING THE MYSTERIES OF REVELATION #1 – AN INTRODUCTION:
The Book of Revelation is one of the most mysterious & confusing books of the Bible.
“When turning to the book of Revelation from the rest of the New Testament, one feels as if he or she were entering a foreign country. Instead of narratives and letters containing plain statements of fact and imperatives, one comes to a book full of angels, trumpets, earthquakes, beasts, dragons, and bottomless pits.” (How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart)
“...as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him… BUT God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
It is God‘s desire for us to read and understand the Book of Revelation.
Note: It is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, not the Riddle of Jesus Christ!
BACKGROUND INFO: (From “The Spirit Filled Life Bible”)
1. Author: Revelation was written by the Apostle John on the Island of Patmos
2. Background: Written during a period of extreme persecution of Christians
3. Date: Written before the destruction of Jerusalem in September of AD 70 and is an authentic prophecy concerning the continuing suffering and persecution of Christians.
4. The Purpose (Theme) of Revelation:
a. To encourage believers to be faithful to Jesus (even in the midst of suffering), and to give them hope that they will ultimately be victorious.
b. God is the Sovereign Lord of the Universe (in control of everything)
TIPS TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND REVELATION:
1. It is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, not the devil, beast or antichrist.
2. Revelation contains a lot of Biblical symbolism – it cannot all be taken literally. It contains three distinct types of literature: apocalypse, prophecy, and letter.
3. “Revelation” = the Greek word apokalypsis = an uncovering of a truth
4. Read through the entire book of Revelation in one sitting to get the big picture. Do not try to figure out everything, at least until you have a feel for the book.
FOUR DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIVE VIEWS TO REVELATION:
PRETERIST: THE PAST
Took place in first century A.D. during Roman persecution.
Prophecy concerned with the persecutions of Christians instituted by the “beast” - Nero or Domitian, continued under Roman empire, called “Babylon”. Specifically deals with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.
From the time of the Roman Empire until the end of the age. Seen in the symbolism are such events as the barbarian invasions of Rome, the rise of the Roman Catholic Church, Islam, etc. Some see the Pope as being the “beast” or “antichrist”
The future end times. The Modern “Left Behind” Type Interpretation
Chapters 6-22 are yet future, and describe literally and symbolically actual people and events yet to appear on the world scene.
SPIRITUAL OR IDEALIST: NOT APPLICABLE
Timeless. Revelation is a description of the cosmic struggle between the forces of good and evil. The book has no historical references or predictive prophecy. Stories to teach spiritual truth.
You don‘t have to adopt one particular view to benefit from studying Revelation.
A blessing is available to anyone who will read it for its message of victory
THE BLESSING IN REVELATION:
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy,
and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (1:3)
When you read Revelation, and obey the things written in it, you will be blessed!
There are several points though that would favour the preterist or historicist interpretation, placing its primary significance on the first-century church persecuted by Rome:
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ...which must shortly take place.” (1:1)
“...the time is near…” (1:3)
“John, to the seven churches which are in Asia…” (1:4)
WHAT IS THE BOOK OF REVELATION ABOUT?
“The revelation of Jesus Christ…” The first verse of Revelation clearly identifies Jesus as the central figure in the book. He is the Lamb of God who has provided salvation, and will execute judgment and ultimately overcome all enemies.
REVELATION CHAPTER ONE:
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants--things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.
WHO IS THE REVELATION ABOUT? JESUS CHRIST
3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
WHO IS THE BLESSING OF REVELATION FOR?