Especially since World War I, great strides have been made in this field. New light has fallen upon this phase of Scripture. All of this attention has focused the light of deeper study on the Book of Revelation. In the notes which I have made on this book, I have attempted to avoid the pitfall of presenting something new and novel just for the sake of being different. Likewise, I have steered clear of repeating threadbare cliches. Many works on Revelation are merely carbon copies of other works. In my own library I have more commentaries on the Revelation than on any other book of the Bible, and most of them are almost copies of those that have preceded them.
Another danger we need to avoid is that of thinking that the Book of Revelation can be put on a chart. Although I myself have a chart and have used it in teaching, I will not be using it in this study. The reason is that if it includes all it should, it is so complicated that nobody will understand it.
I have several charts sent to me by different men in whom I have great confidence. One of them is so complicated that I need a chart to understand his chart! As you can see, it begins with the cross of Christ and His ascension. In chapter 1, we see the glorified Christ. In chapters 2—3 we see the church. In chapters 4—5 we see that the church is in heaven. Then on earth the Great Tribulation takes place, chapters 6— In chapter 19 we see that Christ returns to the earth and establishes His Kingdom, and chapter 20 gives us the thousand—year reign of Christ.
Then the Great White Throne is set up, the place where the lost are judged, and in chapters 21—22 eternity begins. That is the Book of Revelation. Nero had Paul and Peter destroyed, but he looked upon them as seditious Jews. Domitian was the first emperor to understand that behind the Christian movement there stood an enigmatic figure who threatened the glory of the emperors.
He was the first to declare war on this figure, and the first also to lose the war—a foretaste of things to come. The subject of this book is very important to see. In the Gospels you see Him in the days of His flesh, but they do not give the full revelation of Jesus Christ. There you see Him in humiliation. Here in Revelation you see Him in glory. You see Him in charge of everything that takes place.
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He is in full command. This is the unveiling of Jesus Christ. In the Revelation the Lamb is the center around which all else is clustered, the foundation upon which everything lasting is built, the nail on which all hangs, the object to which all points, and the spring from which all blessing proceeds. 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. To that grand statement I say hallelujah! For the Lamb is going to reign upon this earth. As I have said, the Book of Revelation is not really a difficult book. It divides itself very easily. John does it all for us according to the instructions given to him. I was dead. I am alive for evermore.
And I have the keys of hell [the grave] and of death. In fact, there is nothing quite like it. We are going to see that the living Christ is very busy doing things today. Do you realize that He is the Head of the church? Do you know the reason the contemporary church is in such a mess? The reason is that the church is like a body that has been decapitated.
It is no longer in touch with the Head of the church. After what things?leondumoulin.nl/language/essay/sunshine-of-your-love.php
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After the church things. So in chapters 4—22 he is dealing with things that are going to take place after the church leaves the earth. The fallacy of the hour is reaching into this third section and trying to pull those events up to the present. This gives rise to the wild and weird interpretations we hear in our day.
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He gives us the past, present, and future of the Book of Revelation. As you will see by the outline that follows, I have used the divisions which John has given to us:. The Possession of Jesus Christ—the church in the world is His, chapters 2—3.
The Program of Jesus Christ—as seen in heaven, chapters 4— The last section deals with the consummation of all things on this earth. This is what makes Revelation such a glorious and wonderful book. In the first division of the Book of Revelation we will see the person of Christ in His position and glory as the Great High Priest who is in charge of His church. We will see that He is in absolute control.
In the Gospels we find Him to be meek, lowly, and humble.
He made Himself subject to His enemies on earth and died upon a cross! We find a completely different picture of Him in the Book of the Revelation. Here He is in absolute control. Although He is still the Lamb of God, it is His wrath that is revealed, the wrath of the Lamb, and it terrifies the earth. When He speaks in wrath, His judgment begins upon the earth.
What Does Revelation Say Will Happen?
The person of Jesus Christ is the theme of this book. When the scene moves to heaven, we see Him there, too, controlling everything. Not only in Revelation but in the entire Bible Jesus Christ is the major theme. The Scriptures are both theocentric and Christocentric, God—centered and Christ—centered. This needs to be kept in mind in a special way as we study the Book of Revelation—even more than in the Gospels. The Bible as a whole tells us what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do.
The Book of Revelation emphasizes both what He is doing and what He will do.
Why is it important to understand the historical setting of the book of Revelation?
The last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, closes with the mention of the Son of Righteousness which is yet to rise. It holds out a hope for a cursed earth, and that hope is the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Book of Revelation closes with the Bright and Morning Star, which is a figure of Christ at His coming to take the church out of the world. And the Book of Revelation will complete the revelation of Christ.
Notice also that there is a tie between Genesis and Revelation, the first and last books of the Bible. Genesis presents the beginning, and Revelation presents the end. Note the contrasts between the two books:. In Genesis the earth was created; in Revelation the earth passes away. In Genesis the sun was to govern the day; in Revelation there is no need of the sun. In Genesis the waters were called seas; in Revelation there is no more sea.