Introduction to Revelation
• it was written by the apostle John. He was the last of the disciples to die.
• this is the 5th book of the N.T. that he wrote. Can anybody name the other 4?
• the date written is mainly accepted as around 95 AD.
• he was banished to the prison isle of Patmos by the emperor Titus Domitian. Domitian was persecuting the church because he demanded that he be worshiped as Lord and God and when Christians refused he had them killed or in prision.
• some people date it around 65 AD when Nero started to persecute the church blaming them for a fire that burned Rome when actually he was the cause of it. This is not a widely popular belief mainly because in the book the temple is destroyed and this happened in 70 AD so that is why people date it here.
• even now they are trying to rebuild the temple.
• Revelation means unveiling, or disclosure. Basically to make known you revel something that is not known. That is what this book does it makes things known.
• slide 3 things to know before we go too far
• many people have studied this book and disagree sharply on what it says. The things in this book can be hard to understand any many scholars have had a hard time with the meanings.
• Tommy has told me that some ministers have left the ministry after studying this book.
• seek God in your own time about the understanding of what is being said here. I encourage you to read it and be in prayer about it, along with what we talk about in class.
• even after studying this book you likely will not understand everything that is talked about in this book. We are just going to try and understand all that we can, and allow God to revel things to us.
• We will also be spending quite a bit of time in the last few chapters of Daniel. Daniel had some visions in that book that relate to some of what John is telling us here in this book.
• slide 4 the main point
• the church was suffering persecution so this is meant to be encouraging for them.
• People disagree about a bunch of things about this book, and its meaning.
• the things that we know for sure are
• Christ wins in the end and those who believe and follow Him will spend eternity with Him.
• we are not sure when this will all happen so BE READY.
• SLIDE 5
• there is a couple of different views about this book and what should be done with it.
• Some people say that it is too confusing or causes too many divisions so we should not study it at all. These people think that it should not be included in the Bible. One person who believed this was Martin Luther. He felt that nobody could understand it so it should not be in the Bible.
• others spend so much time studying it that they get consumed by it and want to figure out things that God Himself has said that nobody would know until it happens. They want to come up with a date for the events to take place and they try to convince others about it. They end up looking foolish for their efforts when the time they picked does not come true.
• many will study it so that they know of nothing else. They will be trying so hard to figure it out that they make more out of it then it should be. Like we discussed last week about keeping things in perspective we need to not be so consumed that we lose track of life around us and the work that God has called for them to do in life.
• We need to be somewhere in between we need to study it and to be aware of the things that are described in it and the signs of the times to come. We are to seek God to understand it and apply it as needed. We are to not allow it to be a distraction to us in keeping us from the work that He has given to us to do.
• slide 6
• 4 viewpoints about what the book is.
• Pure fiction- some think that John has lost full control of his mind and created this as some sort of reaction to the effects of the exile that he was experiencing on the island. Bad mushrooms
• being that they think it is pure fiction they feel that this is good reading but should not be given any merit or believed at all.
• the next one is historical which has 2 part to it.
• 1. Past history in that all the events happened in the first century and that these things are over and done with.
• 2. Continuous history which is a history of the the church age from John’s time to modern day and beyond. This view holds that the book is in the process of being fulfilled throughout the whole Christian era. Wilmington says that this view sees in symbols the rise of papacy, corruption of the church, and various wars in church history as the events described in the book.
• Next we have prophetical which sees the events from chapter 4 and on as yet to be fulfilled and wants to interpret the book as plainly as possible.
• then we have allegoriacal which takes no part of the book as being literial and is a symbolic account of the struggle between good and evil which has gone on throughout the ages and will go on until the time of the final judgment.
• we will look at some of the things that each viewpoint sees in some of the things that we will talk about. I believe that it should be more of a prophetical view overall in that the events have not happened yet. That and the continous historical view are the most understandable but I encourage you to seek your own direction from God about it.
• slide 6 symbolism
• There is a large amount of symbolism in this book and these are the main resons why he uses symbolism.
• 1. Spiritual code that Roman officials who were looking to persecute the church would not understand and would find the letter to be usless in building a case against Christians.
• 2. Symbolism is not weakened by time. It is something that all people could understand throughout the ages. Like the parables in that they were using things that the Jews knew and could relate to that we can still understand today even though our times are different the principle remains the same.
• 3. Symbols provide info and values but also will stir up the emotions of the reader. We said that this book is meant to be encouraging to the people that read it. Even though there will be a time of trouble but we can know that the victory is assured and that we are on the right side if we believe. This should give us great strength in the everyday battle of our lives.
• slide 8 the first 3 verses
• this revelation is not from John, but is the Revelation of Jesus from God the Father. Most people think of it as John’s vision for the future but that is a major miscalculation. Some people even call him John the divine. This did not originate from him. He is only the messenger that brings it to the churches and the people of God.
• it comes from God and is given to Jesus from The Father and then is passed to an angel who brings the message to John who is told to write it down and deliver it to the believers.
• Verse 3 is a promise of blessing for those who hear the words and follow the instruction that is received. Notice that there is more than just hearing what is said in
this book. We; like our faith overall have to put action with it. Putting action with our belief is what is required to receive the blessing from God in many areas of life. We can
not simply just say that we believe. Remember that faith without action is dead. Faith should be a moving growing example of what we believe. So the blessing comes to those who hear
and act apon what is in the pages of this book in accordance with what God has called of them to do.
• Lastly there is 7 Beatitudes that are outlined in the book of Revelation and this is the first one. We will look at all of them as we go through the book.
• so this wraps up the introduction to the book of Revelation and should give us some things to remember in studying this book. I know that we will all learn a great deal
and we will all grow closer to God in our understanding and following of the book. I encourage you to seek God for things He will show you as we go through this book.
• As we go through the book any questions that come up I will take down and do all I can to provide answers for them while we study through.
• Thank You for joining me on this journey.