It has been a long time since I picked up the pen due to things life has dealt. But now the Lord is prompting me to write about the book of Revelation. As we are living now in the year 2021 we are seeing prophesy come true before our eyes. Can it be much longer? Many things are still to happen but we are definitely experiencing the birth pangs of Armageddon. Hearts are waxing cold and evil is ever-present. It is time to look into the future. I believe this project will enhance my understanding of Revelation and hopefully enhance yours too. My attempt will be to provide it as clear as I can in a simple way that is easy to understand. So let us begin with the end in mind as Stephen Covey put it.
The New Testament has guided us Christians for well over a couple thousand years and it clearly shows Christ’s birth and resurrection. At the end of the New Testament is the book of Revelation that shows us a wonderful picture of the return of our savior the Lord Jesus Christ. The message of the Bible would be very incomplete without the New Testament.
The Old Testament shows us the message of the coming Messiah. All through the Old Testament we see evidence of the one that will come to be the King of Israel and savior to all mankind, the savior of the world. When the old testament ends, the coming of the Messiah is an event still not fulfilled. We await the arrival of “The Lamb of God,” to come to us and take away the sins of the world. (John 1:29)
Revelation is the most significant book as it relates to prophesy, in the New Testament. It is the finale, the grand and spectacular conclusion to God’s written word and the event we all await. All of us believers have cherished the book of Revelation, regardless of whether we completely and fully understand it. Why do we cherish it so, because it gives us hope? It gives us hope of the future time when God will make “all things new.” (Revelation 21:5) And God said right in the verse to, “write these things because what He is saying is faithful and true.” So even though in our frail human understanding and difficulty to believe such a dream can come true, He is saying believe it and trust it.
The book of Revelation is pretty fascinating and I am sure this will take me some time. I do not know how long. I do not know how many posts it will take. I am sure it’s a big project for me. I am excited to be getting started. Revelation is a look at the end of the world. It is God’s revelation of the end-times. These posts and threads will lead us to Armageddon and beyond. Are you curious? Do you want to know what happens next? Follow along with me in the coming weeks and months.
God is revealing for us, the future before it actually happens. Revelation is a prophesy of future events. Hopefully I can keep it simple enough for you all to understand the messages God wants us all the hear. I will focus on the “big picture” and I will strive to not get bogged down in all the details. Lots of people get drawn in and side-tracked by all the minute details. In my posts I will stay focused on the main message of the book.
There are Seven major points to consider:
- The letters to the seven churches.
- The seven seals.
- The Seven trumpets
- The seven bowls
- The seven symbolic figures
- The seven judgements
- The seven triumphs
When we look into the book of Revelation the curtain gets raised and the future is there for us all to view. Through seven visions and a lot of symbolic word and number illustrations, the entire climax of human history gets told in lucid detail.
The term, “Revelation,” means “uncover” or “unveil” or “reveal” everything that was hidden so we can now see it. The Greek term, apokalupsis is translated for us. And this is why the book is often referred to as the Apocalypse. It is both apocalyptic and prophetic. The very last of the sixty-six books of the Bible bringing it all to a conclusion. The Apocalypse calls itself a “prophecy” of future events. (Revelation 1:3; 22:7, 10,18,19) It is a final book of New Testament prophesy. Prophetic visions of the future!
Bruce Metzger, a New Testament Scholar, tells us, “In order to become oriented with the book of Revelation one must take seriously what the author says happened. John tells us that he had a series of visions. He says he ‘heard’ certain words and he ‘saw’ certain visions.” Metzger adds, “Such accounts combine cognitive insight with emotional response. They invite the reader or listener to enter into the experience being recounted and to participate in it, triggering mental images of that which is described.” We have the temptation to read about the future through our eyes of the present. Let’s not do that. There is no guarantee the end will come in our lifetime. What glory that would be though.
Events predicted in the Revelation come in symbolic language. Many of the symbolic things come from the Old Testament passages. Such as tree of life, Lion of Judah, etc… Some are also drawn from New Testament passages. Some symbols have no biblical parallel and are left unexplained and still others are specifically explained and identified. There is a lot to consider. We should move forward with a guarded caution and keen insight.
We are looking at the “book of the unveiling,” God meant for us to understand it. He gave us the promise, “Blessed is he who reads, and those who hear the words of the prophesy, and heed the things which are written in it.” (Revelation 1:3)
Revelation is very Unique.
The book is based around a series of threes and sevens. The over-reaching three is Past, Present and Future.
- Past: “the things which you have seen” (Chapter 1)
- Present: “the things which are” (Chapter 2)
- Future: “the things which shall take place after these things” (Chapters 4-22)
And the seven visions I mentioned earlier:
- Seven churches (1:9-3:22)
- Seven seals (4:1-8:1)
- Seven trumpets (8:2-11:19)
- Seven symbolic figures (12:1-14:20)
- Seven bowls (15:1-16:21)
- Seven judgments (17:1-19:10)
- Seven triumphs (19:11-22:5)
The use of symbolic numbers is found throughout the book. The most significant numbers found in the Apocalypse are:
Three- as in the number of the Trinity. Lots of threes and triplets in the book.
Four- this number is generally related to earth as in four seasons.
Six- this is the number of man, later the number of Anti-Christ 666.
Seven- this is the most significant number, many, many sevens we will see. Seven churches, seven spirits, seven lampstands, seven stars, seven lamps of fire, seven seals, seven horns, seven eyes, seven angels, seven trumpets, seven peals of thunder, seven thousand people, seven heads, seven diadems, seven angels, seven plagues, seven bowls, seven mountains, seven kings, seven beatitudes and seven “I ams” of Christ. Twelve- this is the number of completeness, i.e.- the twelve tribes.
So, what is Revelation all about?
It is in the title. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ, the things which must take place. Jesus Christ is the central theme of it all. He is the key to understanding the book. He is both the author and the subject of the book. The purpose is to reveal the future. From David Jeremiah we get, “The word ‘revelation’ means the disclosure of that which was previously hidden or unknown. The book of Revelation tells us that Jesus is coming again, how He is coming, and what the condition of the world will be when He comes.”
The return of Christ, the risen savior.
Critics of prophecy have often referred to this as a book of doom and gloom. But it is not. It has both negative and positive implications. For the unbeliever its negative. Sorry but – if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and savoir then you lose. For the believer its good news- our Savior is coming and we win!
The book of Revelation shows us a series of wide views which are then followed by more concise snapshots. First, we get the big picture and then we get the details. The pattern is generally, bad news-details to follow, or good news-details to follow. With that said, things will not come to us in direct sequential order.
The basic Big Picture.
- The church will continue to grow.
- Satanic oppression will intensify.
- Israel will return to the Promised Land.
- The church will be raptured to heaven.
- The tribulation period and its judgements will follow.
- The marriage of Christ and the church will occur.
- The triumphal return of Jesus Christ.
- The Millennial Kingdom when Jesus will reign on earth for 1000 years.
- The final triumph and Satan cast into the lake of fire.
- The Eternal State- a new heaven and a new earth.
As we begin the journey through Revelation several things are very clear:
- John is looking into the future.
- He sees a pattern of events happening in heaven and on earth.
- The events he sees will involve some catastrophic judgments on earth.
- The judgments will result in the final triumph and the return of Christ with the establishment of His Kingdom. And the millennium.
- Then there is the Eternal State- a new heaven and a new earth.
Well friends, humanity began in the garden and will end in the Eternal City.
Beginning in tragedy we will end in triumph. In the beginning was man’s failure but, in the end, there will be exaltation. Between all this there stood a cross. And on that cross Jesus Christ changed our course and the course of humanity forever. Amen! Hallelujah! What a Savior we have!
Praise the Lord.
Follow along with me and we will have a look to the glorious finish.
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