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Revelation Introduction and Prologue (1:1-8) I. Introduction: The purpose for studying Revelation a. Gods prophetic Word b.

Gods last Word c. Gods timely Word d. Gods blessed Word Rules for Interpreting visions and symbols a. As a prophetic vision, there is a necessity to guard against unwarranted spiritualism b. Four basic approaches to the book of Revelation rely on certain interpretive assumptions: the preterists, the historists, the idealists, the futurists c. What are the rules of interpretation? i. Grammatical-historical ii. Beware of over-generalizing: All is symbolic? iii. Pay attention to the text: symbolic language includes clues to the interpretation (see the rules for studying Bible on the back) iv. Scripture interprets Scripture v. Context is king The prologue (1: 1-8) a. The books title: the revelation of Jesus Christ b. The information about that revelation, the channels for its communication, its time of fulfillment, and the method for communicating it. c. Observation and interpretation of the prologue: 1. What is the significance of the phrase, the things that must happen? 2. How can the time of fulfillment be soon? The coming of Christ to deliver His church and inflict wrath upon the world was at Johns writing, and continues to be today, imminent 3. What is the significance of the method of communication? dramatic representations, using many symbolic pictures; John received these visions and recorded them so that readers could interpret them using the usual grammatical-historical rules of interpretation: (vs. 3) 4. What is the significance of an epistolary address to seven churches located in the first-century Roman province of Asia in vs. 4? 5. From whom does this revelation come in vs. 4 and 5? Vs. 8? 6. What is the significance of the threefold title for Jesus Christ in

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vs. 5 and what aspect of His glory is revealed in this doxology to Him? 7. What is the theme of the book based on vs. 7? What is emphasized? Hermeneutical guidelines for studying a passage or book of the Bible
i. Staying on the Line 1. Definition: The task of reading Gods word is to discover what God has actually said in His Word and to preach or teach nothing MORE or nothing LESS 2. Application: Draw a line; to go above the line, means to add something that is not really there, to add something that God did not say. To fall below means to leave something out that is there to not be wholly true and faithful to what Gods Word is saying ii. Text and Framework 1. Definition: We must let the Bible shape our frameworks rather than letting our frameworks shape our interpretation of the Bible. 2. Application: The text is to rule over and shape our framework; when there is a difference between the text and our framework, we should recognize it and allow the text to control and shape our understanding (exegesis) iii. Asking Good Questions 1. Definition: Asking questions is a skill that helps us to observe what the text is actually saying. 2. Application: Ask questions about a. Historical context: the original life situation of the author and the historical audience; b. Literary context: what is the purpose for this portion and type of text; c.Key words: what are the important or repeated words, ideas, people, places d. Difficulties: what is surprising or difficult to understand? e. Intent: Why did the author write what he did f. Central Point: The main point or big idea of the passage g. Christ: How does this passage speak or point to Christ? iv. The Egg illustration: 1. Definition: Understand the biblical context means seeing overall plan of Gods progressive revelation, and how this book or passage fits in. 2. Application: First, see how this book or passage fits into the rest of the Bible; Secondly, look for major themes or ideas in the book or passages that connect with themes emphasized in the rest of Scriptures; Third, consider how this book or passage points to Christ. v. Traveling Instructions 1. Definition: The importance of understanding a passage in its context helps us to understand what the text means for our situation and time. You are asking the question, How can I bring the truth of these prophetic words from another time to the people where I live? The answer is always, There is no direct route. You must always travel through the context in which the Bible was written 2. Application: Before making immediate application (what does this mean to me?); take the time to ask, What did these words mean to the original audience? Interpretation must precede proper application. vi. Finding the Structure of the Book 1. Definition: The structure of the book or passage involves identifying sections or major ideas. 2. Application: Look for shifts in thought or transitions; Divide the passage into sections; Look for patterns, especially repetitions or progressions and key summary statements or climax statements; Describe the major ideas, and finally, identify the connections between the major ideas. vii. Getting the Big Idea 1. Definition: Finding the main point or main idea of a passage begins by identifying

the Big Idea of the book. This is the theme that runs through the book and unites all the thoughts together as a whole. 2. Application: Read through the book several times, ask lots of questions, noticing the way the book begins and ends; break the book into smaller sections and summarize what those sections are about; Ask these simple questions: 1. What is the book talking about? 2. What is it saying about what it is talking about? viii. ChristThe Focus and Fulfillment of Scripture 1. Definition: The redemptive thread in history is clearly stated by Christ in Luke 24:44, Everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. 2. Application: How does this passage or book fit into redemptive history? If not explicitly, how does the passage prepare the way for Christ?

Introduction: The purpose for studying Revelation THEME: CHRIST Gods testimony of the ascended Christ This book gives a clear view of the Lord Jesus Christ in His present ascended glory as the enthroned king in heaven who will bring the kingdom of God to earth and thereby fulfill all the promises of Gods revelation Here we behold Him in His glory as our Prophet, Priest and King, administering the government of the age, representing His people at Gods right hand and preparing for His coming. Jesus, Gods enthroned Lamb, the Lion of Juday WE see Him making all His enemies His footstool and coming in glory soon to reign Vs. 5-6: To Him who loves us and has freed s from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Fatherto him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen In the Revelation, the Lamb is the center around which all else is clustered, the foundation on which everything lasting is built, the nail on which all hangs, the object to which all points, and the spring from which all blessing process. The Lamb is the light, the glory, the life, the Lord of Heaven and earth, from whose face all defilement must flee away, and in whose presence fullness of joy is known. Hence, we cannot go far in the study of the Revelation, without seeing the Lamb, like direction-posts along the road, to remind us that He who did by Himself purge our sins is now highly exalted, and that to Him every knee must bow, and every tongue confess (Snell) a. Gods prophetic Word Revelation : Intro Title: pokalu/ptw; apokaluyi, ew f: (figurative extensions of meaning of apokalu/ptw and apokaluyi to uncover, to take out of hiding, not occurring in the NT) to cause something to be fully known to reveal, to disclose, to make fully known, revelation. apokalu/ptw opw an apokalufqwsin ek pollwn kardiwn dialogismoi and so the thoughts of many will be fully known Lk 2:35; to/te

apokalufqh/setai oJ anomo then the Wicked One will be revealed 2Th 2:8. apokaluyi kata apokaluyin musthriou cro/noi aiwnioi sesighmenou according to the disclosure of the secret truth which was hidden for long ages in the past Ro 16:25; hJ gar apokaradokia thv ktisew th\n apokaluyin twn uiwn touv qeouv apekdecetai all of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his sons Ro 8:19. Unveiling make fully known b. Gods last Word Gods last word this is the final portion of the prophetic revelation By one count 404 verses in Revelation divulge some 500 allusions to OT; nearly every book in the OT canon c. Gods timely Word Gods timely word The time is near time of peculiar privilege, opportunity (same expression of redeem the time or buy up opportunity it is a word calling for careful attention and obedient action: A message that God designed for His church to heed for encouragement and perspective d. Gods blessed Word The third verse is an invitation that presents this book as a prophetic blessing to all His people: Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it. Some put up obstacles that it is too mysterious for the ordinary mind to understand It is reserved for the skilled scholars only It is not a book for the only the elite it is designed to be read and with the Holy Spirits help, the meaning will be made plain to those who read it rightly. This book is designed to be read as a prophecy and deserves a literal interpretation. GUIDELINES FOR INTERPRETATION Some would claim that we can spiritualize meanings, (numbers, etc) based on the fact that is an apocalyptic genre Some would claim that the preponderance of symbols justifies a spiritualizing approach: 1. Preterist approach: (all was fulfilled before AD 70) would thus claim that the language only faintly and indirectly reflects actual events. They thus take an extreme allegorical interpretation which allows for finding fulfillments in 1st century Roman empire. Most preterism dates the books writing in the 60s, thirty years earlier than the generally accepted date when John was exiled at Patmos island.

2. Idealist approach: The Apocalypse speaks of the eternal conflict between good and evil and expresses basic principles that God follows throughout history. The over application in which the interpreter applies theses principles to any period of history, usually his own, thereby denies the prophetic self-testimony of the book; it also generalizes the specifics to that it leaves no room for particular points in history that mark the fulfillment of specific prophecies. Typical phrases: not particular incidents; resist the temptation to link each trumpet eith particular date or person; unnecessary to dwell on particulars; reframe from a detailed dissection of the vision In contrast to over-spiritualizing, we read the prophecy as with any prophecy with rules of interpretation, or hermeneutics. We adhere to grammatical-historical principles or what some call a literal interpretation Beware of that false exegesis that says, If any part of Scripture is symbolical, ALL is symbolical; if any part if literal, ALL is literal. EXAMPLE : notice the first vision guards against any sweeping assumption one like unto the Son of Man Clothed with a garment down to the foot Girded about the bosom with a golden girdle His head and hair as white wool, as snow His eyes were as a flame of fire. He feet likened to burnished brass His voice as the sound of many waters He had in His right hand seven stars Out of His mouth a sharp two-edged sword His countenance as the sun shineth Is there symbolism? For what? Dignity, power, office, character But although much is symbolic, NOT ALL IS SO. It was in all reality the Lord Himself whom John saw not just a symbolic representation of Him (hologram image or cartoon?) Symbolism grouped around literal realities require careful attention to the way language can be figurative for the purpose of clarifying literal realities! A grammatical-historical interpretation provides for figurative language when a writer intended something to be a symbol. Contextual features will signal a need to interpret non-literally if the writer intended his words to be understood non-literally. If the writer gives no indication of such, he intends them to be taken literally (see Rev. 12:1) Symbols and visions were the means for communicating the message; as such the symbols often have a meaning that is quite literal and historical; literal interpretation is the assumption unless something in the text indicates otherwise. The general rule should be followed to interpret numbers literally unless there is clear evidence to the contrary (Walvoord). (contrast the 144,000 in Rev. 7:4 with the reference to spiritual Sodom and Egypt in 11:8). The wide use of symbols is attended by frequent interpretation in the book of

Revelation by itself or often by usage elsewhere in Scripture (see 1:20). Hermeneutical guidelines and their application to this book Staying on the Line Definition: The task of reading Gods word is to discover what God has actually said in His Word and to preach or teach nothing MORE or nothing LESS Application: Draw a line; to go above the line, means to add something that is not really there, to add something that God did not say. To fall below means to leave something out that is there to not be wholly true and faithful to what Gods Word is saying Text and Framework Definition: We must let the Bible shape our frameworks rather than letting our frameworks shape our interpretation of the Bible. Application: The text is to rule over and shape our framework; when there is a difference between the text and our framework, we should recognize it and allow the text to control and shape our understanding (exegesis) Asking Good Questions Definition: Asking questions is a skill that helps us to observe what the text is actually saying. Application: Ask questions about Historical context: the original life situation of the author and the historical audience; Literary context: what is the purpose for this portion and type of text; Key words: what are the important or repeated words, ideas, people, places Difficulties: what is surprising or difficult to understand? Intent: Why did the author write what he did Central Point: The main point or big idea of the passage Christ: How does this passage speak or point to Christ? The Egg illustration Definition: Understand the biblical context means seeing overall plan of Gods progressive revelation, and how this book or passage fits in. Application: First, see how this book or passage fits into the rest of the Bible; Secondly, look for major themes or ideas in the book or passages that connect with themes emphasized in the rest of Scriptures; Third, consider how this book or passage points to Christ. Traveling Instructions Definition: The importance of understanding a passage in its context helps us to understand what the text means for our situation and time. Application: Before making immediate application (what

does this mean to me?), take the time to ask, What did these words mean to the original audience? Interpretation must precede proper application. Finding the Structure of the Book Definition: The structure of the book or passage involves identifying sections or major ideas. Application: Look for shifts in thought or transitions; Divide the passage into sections; Look for patterns, especially repetitions or progressions and key summary statements or climax statements; Describe the major ideas, and finally, identify the connections between the major ideas. Getting the Big Idea Definition: Finding the main point or main idea of a passage begins by identifying the Big Idea of the book. This is the theme that runs through the book and unites all the thoughts together as a whole. Application: Read through the book several times, ask lots of questions, noticing the way the book begins and ends; break the book into smaller sections and summarize what those sections are about; Ask these simple questions: 1. What is the book talking about? 2. What is it saying about what it is talking about? ChristThe Focus and Fulfillment of Scripture Definition: The redemptive thread in history is clearly stated by Christ in Luke 24:44, Everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. Application: How does this passage or book fit into redemptive history? If not explicitly, how does the passage prepare the way for Christ?

An Overview of Revelation The Vision from Christ The prologue (1-8) The books title: the revelation of Jesus Christ Chain of communication: God, who gave the revelation to Jesus Christ to show Gods servants, at times using an angel to interpret for John The information about that revelation, the channels for its communication, its time of fulfillment, and the method for communicating it. 1. What is the significance of the phrase, the things that must happen? Which must soon take place of things that must happen/ bridge this phrase with the long anticipation of these events

Vs. 3 Things that must happen Continuity with Prophetic Revelation By one count 404 verses in Revelation divulge some 500 allusions to OT; nearly every book in the OT canon Words Ha dei genesthai that which must come to be /happen Daniel 2:28, 29, also vs. 45 Context is interpreting Nebuchadnezzars dream of a statue: four successive world empires; climax: a stone cut without hands from a mountaindestroys the statue, in other words, an everlasting kingdom is promised that will supercede the earlier four empires: PREDICTION? Here we see a biblical highway or repeated theme of the establishment of Gods kingdom on earth Christ is the end and fulfillment of this dream as revealed in the gospels and in revelation; Notice how Jesus draws upon this same excerpt of Daniel 2:28 with the repeated words They must happen matt. 24:6; mark 13:7; Luke 21:9); Notice that the predicted things were still future at the end of his first advent Thus, Johns statement of the things that must happen are not in isolation from the rest of Scripture, but point to a filling out of these long-awaited series of events; The phrase brackets the section that begins Johns actual vision in 4:1 (the head) and is concluded or repeated in 22:6. Conclusion: This is further reinforced by explicit instructions to write down the things that will happen in 1:19, thus providing a helpful framework for understanding the purpose of the book: The prophetic vision declares a series of events leading to Christs establishment of Gods kingdom on the earth. The time of fulfillment is soon; The coming of Christ to deliver His church and inflict wrath upon the world was at Johns writing, and continues to be today, imminent The method of communication: dramatic representations, using many symbolic pictures; John received these visions and recorded them so that readers could interpret them using the usual grammatical-historical rules of interpretation: (vs.3) d. What is the significance of an epistolary address to seven churches located in the first-century Roman province of Asia in vs. 4? Includes an epistolary address to seven churches

located in the first-century Roman province of Asia in vs. 4; Chapters two and three communicate seven messages to seven actual churches where Christ urges the faithful to persevere in the face of opposition; to the disobedient he threatens imminent punishment Christ did not return during the lives of the generation to whom John wrote, but the nature of the seven churches makes them representative not only of the rest of the churches in their time, but to the entire age until Christ comes These churches do not represent successive periods of church history; rather, they represent conditions existing simultaneously in various churches throughout the world at any given time. Context: 7 representative churches are preceded by n a vision of the Son of Man amid the lampstands: What is the central truth in relation to Christs coming enthronement? Certainly we are given a vivid and moving sense of Christ in heaven operating through the Church on earth the Head who can take away the light from the lampstands The vision of the Son of Man amid the lampstands and the letters to the seven churches are the converse sides of the one truth related to Christ as head over His church: From heavens vantage point, the Lord in heaven is sovereignly walking among the lampstands, works through the Church on earth; The church, conversely, is on earth functioning for the Christ in heaven (vs. 5 and 6) Christ is seen risen, living, ascended, robed in awful holiness and overwhelmingly heavenly splendor, and although invisible to the earth now, He is more active on earth than ever: He is MOVING amid the lampstands; He is operating through the church on earth; The Church (singular) on earth is functioning for Him through the churches (plural): Last word to the Church: To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father on His throne (3:21) . Joint-occupance of the Fathers throne leads to the vision of that throne in ch. 4 and 5.

Notice the prophecy comes from all three members of the Trinity: the Father, the Holy Spirit, 5. What is the significance of the threefold title for Jesus Christ in vs. 5 and what aspect of His glory is revealed in this doxology to Him? and Jesus Christ, the last of whom receives a special description using three titles from Psalm 89.

2 Samuel 7:8-17: The fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant Three titles for Christ in 1:5 are taken from Psalm 89, an inspired exposition of the Davidic Covenant. Davids descendant would be given the throne of an everlasting kingdom, and this throne is explicitly revealed to be on the earth (Notice 11:15; 20:4 and tie this to the reference to Ps. 89:27) Christs throne is distinguished from the Fathers throne in 3:21 The Fathers throne in heaven is 4:2; Notice the enthronement of the Lamb in heaven is not something yet to happen. He is there now. Notice Rev. 3:21. He has sat down with My Father (compare Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33; Rom. 8:34; Eph. 1:20, 21; Heb. 1:13 eith 2:9; 10:12-13) (The Heavenly throne is the place of supreme authority and in ch. 5, we see Christ, the Lamb, in supreme control We see the enthronement of Christ on earth in His ascended glory revealed as given the place of Supreme Control (notice 11:15-17 and 20); The climax of the final unveiling is in chapters 21 and 22 where we see the enthronement of the Lamb in the new heaven and new earth forevermore; After mentioning the Lamb seven times, and we read the 7th mention of the Lamb in 22:3 There will no longer be any curse and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it (from vs. 1) and His bond-servants will serve Him Other reminders of the continuity with Gods promise to David are found in 5:5 and 22:16; Jesus Christ is the promised descendant of David who would sit on his throne on earth forever, and it is Him who takes center stage throughout the book, not only as the principal revealer to John, but also as the ultimate fulfiller of Gods eternal Word. 7. What is the theme of the book based on vs. 7? What is emphasized? the theme verse of the book: vs. 1:7. This verse incorporates two OT references: Daniel 7:13 and Zechariah 12:10.

Behold he comes with the clouds draws from Daniels vision in which he saw the future coming of the Son of Man to rule the world in an unending kingdom (read Dan. 7:14, 27) Every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the families of the earth will mourn draws from Zechariah 12:10, 12,14. Zechariah context describes the future repentance of Israel in the day when the Lord restores Jerusalem and the nation to its promised supremacy. Notice how Jesus use of the same text in Matthew 24:30 to describe his 2nd coming; thus the book of Revelation uses this reference in anticipation of the details surrounding his future return to earth to establish his kingdom. This is a future coming . Is this intending for us to understand a personal coming of Christ .. some preterists associate clouds with judgment of God and conclude that this not a personal coming of Christ but rather a nonpersonal coming of God in judgment (specifically in AD 70) Nonsense. The whole theme emphasizes a personal return even the prayers at the end: ch. 22 The theme of the book: Behold, He is coming The glorious coming and enthronement of Christ upon the earth Johns commission to write (1:19-20) The commission begins with Christs appearance to John in His glorified ascended glory Christ tells him to write what he sees (vs. 11); A threefold Division from 1:19 provides a helpful framework for reading Revelation The things you have seen: The Vision of the glorified Christ in Ch. 1 The Thing which are: The conditions of 7 historical churches that typify the churches throughout the ages until His coming The Things that will happen after these things: The future events on earth connected with Christs establishment of His kingdom (4-22)