Walking Thru The Bible

New Testament -- Revelation

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               Walking Thru The Bible



          Author: We understand the Apostle John to be the author of the last book in

          the New Testament (1:1, 4, 9; 21:2; 22:8).  He is "a brother, and a

          companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ"


               Evidence from within the book indicate that it was written by the same

          author as that of the Gospel and Epistles which bear John's name.  From the

          nature of the book no other John can measure up to what is demanded by the

          essence of the book.


          Date:  The book of Revelation is unique in that the date of its composition

          affects the interpretation placed upon its message.  There are two general

          views, called "The Late Date" (c. AD 96) and "The Early Date" (c. AD 64-68).

               Some think the book was written about AD 96 during the reign of

          Domitian (AD 81-96) and that he had banished John to Patmos.  The tradition

          for this however is unreliable and there is no internal support.  Those who take

          the Late Date hold to various views of its interpretation.

               For those who understand the book is dealing with the destruction of the

          Temple, Jerusalem, and Judaism, a date before AD 70 is essential, and

          therefore a date from the time of about AD 65-68 seems valid.


          Reasons for Holding to the Early Date: 


               1.   The parallel between passages in the Gospels and in Revelation that

          deal with the destruction of Jerusalem would call for a date for the book before

          AD 70.

               2.   Allusions to other apostles still alive besides John.

               3.   The state of Israel and the temple still existed.

               4.   The fact of Jewish persecution of Christians in foreign cities.

               5.   In the most ancient version or translation made of the Bible into

          another language (The Syriac version in the second century) the

          superinscription says the letter was written by the Apostle John during the

          reign of Nero.

               6.   John expected to leave Patmos (in ch.1) and go and preach among the

          churches to whom he addressed this letter.  That could be expected of a man

          who was 60 years old, but it could hardly be expected of a man who was 96

          years old.

               7.   John says that the visions occurred in the reign of the sixth Roman

          Emperor. That within itself nails down the date without any doubt.  The six

          emperors were:  Julius, August, Tiberius, Caliguia, Claudius, and Nero.  Nero

          reigned from AD 54 to 68.  (Rev.17:10)


          Overview:  There are four important things to remember: --


               1.   It is a  revelation, that is, "an uncovering, or unveiling."  People who

          think that the book cannot be understood need to look at its title, it is not 'a

          concealment' or 'a hiding' but an uncovering and an unveiling.  It is a book

          about something that is being made known.

               2.   It is addressed to the seven churches of Asia. (1:11)  We need to

          realize that first and foremost it was a message for them and it had

          significance for them.

               3.   It is a revelation in signs.  The things revealed were "signified" (1:1),

          thus these things are not "literal" but revealed in symbolic language.  (We

          should not expect the devil to look like a real dragon.) The signs and symbols

          are drawn primarily from the Old Testament.

               4.   The revelation concerns "things which must shortly come to pass"

          (1); and the things it talks about "were at hand" (v.3).  The time element is

          emphasized at the beginning of the book, and lest the reader has forgotten

          during the course of the book, it is emphasized again at the end of the book,

          as well as several reminders along the way, i.e. 6:10 "a little season," or "a

          little while."  (Rev. 1:1; 1:3; 22:6; 22:10).  

               Any interpretation of Revelation that ignores these vital points is a

          wrong interpretation.


          What Revelation Is About: 


               Revelation is NOT primarily about the "last days" before Christ's second

          coming, but about the "last days" of Judaism, and the fall of the nation and

          the destruction of their capital city Jerusalem, the temple, and the Jewish

          hierarchial system.

               It is a parallel to the subject the Lord dealt with in Matthew 23, Mark 13,

          and Luke 21.  It concerns the vengeance and judgment of God upon the Jewish

          nations for their rejection of the Son of God and their persecution of Him and

          the church (Luke 11:47-51; 21:20-22; Rev. 18:20-24).

                    		The Message From the Book:


               1.   It is a message to the saints concerning the tribulation they were

          suffering.  It helped them to understand what the outcome of such suffering

          was going to be.  It helped them to pinpoint the source, the cause, and the

          eventual outcome of the persecution being inflicted upon the saints.

               2.   It was particularly a message to the seven churches of Asia to remain

          steadfast in the faith and to a warning to them to correct the deficiencies in

          their faith.

               3.   It was a warning to those saints who needed to repent and get right

          with God.

               4.   It was a message that those afflicting the saints would have to face the

          judgment and wrath of God for their evil deeds.

               5.   It was a message of hope and comfort to the saints indicating that God

          had not forgotten them and that the ultimate victory would be theirs.

               6.   The message of God's judgment upon Judaism stands as a reminder

          (and a 'type') of the final great judgment upon every individual at the second

          coming of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10; 1 These. 4:13-18.).


          The "Coming" of the Lord:


               1.   Revelation is speaking about the Lord coming soon in a judgment

          upon the persecutors of His people as vengeance is meted out.  (Rev. 6:9-10;

          18:20-24; 22:20).

                 a. This was a coming in judgment like the judgment upon the world

          at the time of Noah; and like His judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah, and

          His judgment upon Jerusalem in the time of Nebuchadnezzar.

                 b. It was a time of vengenance for how the unfaithful Jews had

          treated the prophets and apostles God sent to them (Matthew 23:34-36; Luke

          18:7-8; Luke 11:47-51; Rev. 18:20-24).

               2.   We are waiting His visible return when he comes in a final judgment

          upon all the world (2 Cor. 5:10).

                 a. This will be the time of the resurrection of the bodies of those

          who have died (1 These. 4:13-18).

                 b. It will be the rewarding of the saints (John 14:1-3) and the

          ushering in of eternity with God or separation from Him (Matthew 25:41-46).

- - - SERMON - - - 

                                Ten Surprised Men

             			        Revelation 20:11-15


               1.   What a day of surprises the judgment will be!  A day of surprises for

                              men but not for God. Eccl.12:14; Job 42:2; Heb. 4:13.

               2.   Notice how Jesus depicted the surprise of some, Matthew 7:22,23.

               3.   Will you be among the surprised that day!?

          1.     It will be a Day of Surprise for:


                 Psalms 14:1;  Heb. 10:31; 2 Cor. 5:10


          2.     It will be a Day of Surprise for:


                 Philippians 2:10,11


          3.     It will be a Day of Surprise for:


                 Heb. 9:27; Acts 17:30-31


          4.     It will be a Day of Surprise for:


                 Job 14:14; John 5:28,29


          5.     It will be a Day of Surprise for:


                 Isa. 55:8; Matt. 25; 2 Thess. 1:7-9.


          6.     It will be a Day of Surprise for:


                 Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18; John 6:68


          7.     It will be a Day of Surprise for:


                 Heb. 6:10; Psa. 69:5; 139;12; 94:1,11; 2 Tim. 2:19; Num. 32:23


          8.     It will be a Day of Surprise for:


                 Acts 17:30; 2 Tim. 2:15; John 8:32


          9.     It will be a Day of Surprise for:


                 Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18; Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:21


          10.    It will be a Day of Surprise for:


                 Matthew 25:1-13; 2 Cor. 13:5

          Conclusion:   Would not be better to be "surprised" now!?

-- Windell Gann -- Walking Thru the Bible -- http://home.hiwaay.net/~wgann/walk.htm

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