Summary: The Revelation of Jesus Christ is one of the most enigmatic books of the Bible. This Bible Study will give you some of the keys to unlocking the mysteries of Revelation.
SESSION #1 - UNLOCKING THE MYSTERIES OF REVELATION
A Verse-by-verse Study of Revelation Chapter One:
It is true that the Book of Revelation is one of the most mysterious books of the Bible.
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But 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 2:7-10).
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!
“Revelation” = the Greek word apokalypsis = an uncovering of a truth, revealing Jesus!
BACKGROUND INFO: (From “The Spirit Filled Life Bible”)
1. Author: Revelation was written by the Apostle John on the Island of Patmos
“The "beloved disciple" John was brother to James the Great. The churches of Smyrna, Pergamos, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Thyatira, were founded by him. From Ephesus he was ordered to be sent to Rome, where it is affirmed he was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. He escaped by miracle, without injury. Domitian afterwards banished him to the Isle of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. Nerva, the successor of Domitian, recalled him. He was the only apostle who escaped a violent death.” (Foxe’s Book of Martyrs).
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 Theme of the Book of Revelation:
• 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.
• God is the Sovereign Lord of the Universe (in control of everything)
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.
• Revelation contains a lot of Biblical symbolism – it cannot all be taken literally.
• It contains three distinct types of literature: apocalypse, prophecy, and letter.
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!
FOUR DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIVE VIEWS OF REVELATION:
VIEW, TIME PERIOD, DESCRIPTION:
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”. Deals with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.
From the time of the Roman Empire until the end of the age.
An overview of church history from the first coming to the second coming of Jesus. 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, TIME NOT APPLICABLE:
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
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. 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.
• The first five words of the first verse tell us who Revelation is all about: JESUS.
o It’s not about the devil, the beast, or the antichrist.