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Walking Thru The Bible REVELATION Introduction 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" (1:9). 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 Introduction: 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!?
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