Route 66 / Stop 66: Revelation

Audio File: 
Speaker: 
Dr. Rich McCarrell
Date: 
Sunday, March 24, 2019

 “Gk – apokalupsis – apocalypse (English) – unveiling of that which was previously hidden - ”

 

Author:         

The author of this monumental work is the apostle John. Four times in the book (1:1, 4, 9; 22:8) it is stated that John is the one chosen by God to pen this fascinating and factual book that focuses on Jesus Christ and those things which shall shortly come to pass. John was a man greatly loved by Christ (John 13:23). He wrote this book while he was in exile on the isle of Patmos (1:9). This was a rough, barren island 8 miles long, 1 mile wide, located in the Aegean Sea between what is now Greece and Turkey. There were mines and caves where some of the worst criminals of the day were sent to endure hard labor. John was sent there as punishment for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. The authorities moved against John and attempted to boil him in oil, but he survived, and therefore they simply banished him to the isle of Patmos, thinking that would quiet him. It is truly God’s grace that anointed this faithful servant of God to write this book.

 

Date:   Probably around A.D. 96.

 

Recipients:    

There are basically 3 groups of recipients who are instructed to read and respond to this    book. First, the 7 churches of Asia (1:4, 11; chapters 2 & 3), second, all servants of Jesus Christ (1:1, 22:6), third, any person, saved or unsaved, who will read, heed, and therefore receive the special blessing. (1:3, 3:20, 22:7, 22:17-19).

 

Schools of Interpretation:

Many Christians refuse to read this book because they feel they cannot understand it. The problem most have is how much to read literally and how much to         take figuratively. Remember the four basic schools of interpretation.

*   Preterist – which says that the events are already past and were fulfilled in John’s lifetime.

Historical – which states that this book contains details of church history from John’s time to the end of the age.

Spiritual – which states that this book is symbolic of the age-long struggle between good and evil and the events are spiritualized.

*  Futurist – this is the view that we hold, and it states that this book refers to these events (chs. 4-22) yet future which will be fulfilled just prior to and at the time of Christ’s second advent

Therefore, things that are stated here, should be taken literally, unless the rest of the Bible speaks against it, or unless the particular context is such as to show that it is meant only to be a symbol (“like” “as” “as unto” “as it were”). So without the presence of symbolic language, we accept this book literally as the unveiling of God’s future program and plan.

 

Special Blessing

The lack of the reading of this book may very well rob many of God’s people from a promised special blessing (1:3). Yes, all of the books in the Bible are given by God and are profitable for us, but this book carries a special promise to those who read and heed.

 

Theme:           The revelation of Jesus Christ (1:1).

 

Purpose:         There is a twofold purpose in the presentation of this book.

First, to give the final truth about Jesus Christ – the unveiling. This book contains an unveiling of the person, power and purpose of Jesus Christ. This book is called The  Revelation, not The Hiding. Therefore, it is a book that we need to love, and we should view it as an opportunity to see what God has chosen to unveil and reveal to us. Those  who view this book as too difficult to read and understand miss this very obvious point.

Secondly, to give instruction, encouragement and rebuke to professing believers.

 

Outline:         

There are two verses we focus on when putting together our outline (1:1 and 1:19). We see in this  “unveiling of Jesus Christ” that God, in giving this vision to John, divided this book into 3 sections. John was to write of his vision concerning those things which he had seen, those things which were presently happening, and those things which shall be in the future. Therefore, the outline looks like this:

Christ in the Ages

  1. Introduction (1:1-8)   
  2. Christ in Glory (1:9-20) “Thou hast seen” (1:19a)
  3. Christ in the Church Age (chs. 2-3) “Things which are” (1:19b) – Unknown Duration
  4. Christ in the Judgment Age (chs. 4-19) “Things which shall be” (1:19c) – Seven Years (chs. 4-5. The crucified and risen Lamb to whom all worship is due. –chs. 6-19, a display of the wrath of the Crucified/Risen/Glorified Lamb (6:16-17).)
  5. Christ in the Kingdom Age (ch. 20) – One Thousand Years
  6. Christ in the Eternal Age (21:1-22:5) – Endless Years
  7. Conclusion (22:6-21)

           

In conclusion, let me share a revealing paragraph written by Dr. John Cawood.

“The title of this book is The Revelation of Jesus Christ. This makes the last book in the Bible focus on Jesus Christ, just as the whole Bible has been pointing to Him. It is almost as if the whole Bible is like a giant funnel, with its large opening at the top and then narrowing down to a small opening at the bottom. The Bible started out in broad language, speaking of the coming Redeemer and God’s plan for the world. By the last book, this has been narrowed down to the person of Jesus, His death on the cross, and His return to the earth to rule in the kingdoms of men. The book of the Revelation is usually considered a book of prophecy, and so it is; but it can be studied for what it says about Christ, His names, His titles, His attributes, and His works. This book is about Him.”

 

 

 

 

Helpful Hints for Understanding The Revelation

 

  1. Claim the special blessing (1:3)
  2. Notice how this book completes the circle of biblical truth.

Two books to acquire: “The Genesis Record” and “The Revelation Record” both authored by Dr. Henry Morris and can be acquired either through Amazon or the Institute of Creation Research.

  1. Keep in mind the golden rule of interpretation.

“When the plain sense makes common sense seek no other sense less you end up with nonsense.” Dr. David Cooper

  1. Locate the place and time of the event that is taking place.

The events recorded in this book jump from heaven to earth, back to heaven, to earth, etc. so before you investigate what it is, find where it’s occurring. (Ill.) Chs.  4 and 5 are a shift to heaven, but ch. 6 is a shift back to earth.

  1. Locate the chronological backbone

This book is written at times in the style of Genesis chapters 1 and 2, overview then detail. But we do have a chronological backbone. “Church – Rapture – Tribulation – Kingdom - Eternity”. Now, during the tribulation period which is the bulk of this book (chs. 6-19) we have three sets of seven  judgments that give us this chronological backbone.

            7 Seal Judgments then the 7th Seal opens and contains the 7 Trumpet Judgments and the

             7th Trumpet announces the 7 Bowl Judgments. Keep this chronological backbone in place.

  1. The first outline has to do with the unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ. This second outline (with appreciation to C.I. Scofield) is focused on the unveiling of the prophetic events.

Introduction, 1:1-3

  1. The Messages of the Ascended Lord to the Seven Churches, 1:4-3:22.
  2. The Opening of the Seven-sealed Scroll, 4-6; 8:1.
  3. Parenthetic Jews and Gentiles Saved during the Tribulation, 7.
  4. The Seven Trumpet Judgments, 8:2-9:21; 11:15-19.
  5. Parenthetic, 10:1-11:14.
  6. Prominent Personages, 12.
  7. The Rise and Reign of the Beast and False Prophet, 13.
  8. Parenthetic, 14.
  9. The Seven Bowl Judgments, 15-16.
  10. The Doom of Babylon, 17-18.
  11. The Battle of Armageddon and the Millennium that Follows, 19:1-20:6.
  12. The Final Judgment and the Holy City, 20:7-22:5.
  13. The Last Message of the Bible 22:6-19.

Conclusion, 22:20-21.