The Book of Revelation 4

We come now to the actual letters addressed to the seven identified Churches of Asia. As mentioned these were real churches. We know quite a lot about Ephesus from various references in Acts and from the letter written to them by Paul. For the others we can construct some of their history from other early church writings. But not much. From early Church writings we gather that John was the apostolic leader of the Churches in the area and that following his release from exile by the Roman Emperor he returned to his ministry there. For me the point is that JOHN LOVED THEM ALL. Even more important JESUS LOVED THEM ALL. Probably even more important JESUS LOVES US ALL!

Question: Why am I stressing this point?


The Book of Revelation 3


Here are some more things to think about before we start!!

  1. Revelation should be interpreted in the light of the rest of the Bible. Reading the Book of Revelation in isolation can teach us a lot, but if we want to really understand its message we need to place it in context as part of God’s total revelation through the Bible. This is true for most of the Bible but even more true for this Book. I have already drawn attention to how Revelation shows us the end result of the processes started in Genesis, but there’s much more!
  2. As you begin to read the Book you will find that your attention is drawn almost immediately to Old Testament symbolism. The first three Chapters are built on an analogy with the seven branched candlestick that stood in the Tabernacle of Israel as described in the Book of Exodus. Jesus stands in their midst as the Priest ready to tend to those lamps – as He does in the next two chapters. (Please note that John has not yet been taken up to heaven – this is happening on earth. The lamps are seen in Patmos.) The thought is continued and developed in Revelation 11 where there are two witnesses described as “olive trees” and “candlesticks”. This would be the relevant portion of the Church plus its supply of oil (The Holy Spirit and the Word of God).
  3. Moving on from the three chapters dealing specifically with the church we are taken up to heaven – there (in chapter 4) we find a scene reminding us of Israel in the wilderness. Chapter 5 introduces the scroll of future history reminding us of Zech.5. Later in Revelation 6 John sees in vision the stars falling and the sky being “rolled up like a scroll”. This reminds of prophecies concerning the downfall of ancient Babylon in Isaiah 13:6, 10; 34:4 and helps us to understand that these descriptions are symbolic of the collapse of nations and empires not the literal disintegration of our physical universe (Note that in Isaiah 13:17 it is the Medes that do the job!) This goes on throughout the Book.
  4. A very important link to the Old Testament is the connection with the Book of Daniel. The “Beasts” of the second half of Revelation cannot be understood without reference to the Beasts of Daniel. If we only paid attention to the fact that these are not individuals but national entities, what a difference that could make to our understanding of what God is telling us!

The Book of Revelation 2

In this short study I want to share some thoughts about the origin of the Book of Revelation. 
The Book begins with the words: “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw--that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” 
This passage is clear. The message of Revelation was transmitted to the Apostle John from the Risen Lord Jesus Christ Himself and it was written down by John so that the Church would know what was coming on the earth.

The Book of Revelation

I have been challenged with the idea of writing a series of short thoughts about the Book of Revelation and, if sufficient interest is shown in this first posting, I will go ahead and do a series dealing with the main concepts and revelations of the Book. Here goes!

I love the Book of Revelation!

I love its rhythms and patterns. I love its complexity and yet the basic simplicity of its main theme. I love the fact that anybody who approaches the Book with an open and honest heart will find something in it that will be transformative in his life.

I love the way that the Book of Revelation “rounds off” and completes the message of the whole Bible. For example what begins in Genesis is completed in Revelation. Man fell and was expelled from Eden – what was the final result? Satan entered the world and Babylon was built. How does this end? God made a covenant with Abraham and another with Israel through Moses, but Israel failed. What happens about that? Jesus came as the Messiah of Israel and Saviour of the world. What is the final outcome? Only the Book of Revelation gives the answers!

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