Back to Basics:
THE BOOK OF REVELATION - VICTORY!
INTRODUCTION: In the midst of the blitz, few people in the world believed
that England would be able to hold out against the seemingly irresistible
mass of the German armed forces. But Winston Churchill was certain of eventual
victory. The last book in the Bible, the book of Revelation, has the same
message. God's people are going to be victorious!
I. THE BACKGROUND OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION.
A. Who wrote the book?
II. WHAT IS THE PROPER INTERPRETATION OF REVELATION?
1. John, the Apostle who wrote three epistles and a gospel
account. The ancient Christian writers (Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement,
Tertullian, Origen, etc.) are all agreed on the conviction that John the
Apostle is the writer.
B. To whom was it written?
2. He had be exiled to the island of Patmos for his loyalty to Christ.
a. Revelation 1:4, 9 _ "John, to the seven churches which are
in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is
to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 9_ I, John,
both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience
of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of
God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."
1. Written to the seven churches of Asia Minor, present day
C. What was the circumstance of the writing of the book?
2. Revelation 1:4,11- John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come,
and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne.... saying, "I am
the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write
in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in
Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to
Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
1. The church was under pressure from extreme persecution from
the Roman government.
a. Revelation 2:12_13 "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos
write, 'These things says He who has the sharp two_edged sword: 13_ "I
know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you
hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which
Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
2. There was another threat, from internal forces, that was threatening
the church as much as the outside pressure.
b. As has already been stated, John was being imprisoned by the Roman
authorities for his loyalty to Christ.
a. Revelation 2:14_15 "But I have a few things against you,
because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught
Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things
sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. "15" "Thus you also
have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
A. Four different ways of interpreting of Revelation traditionally.
III. GREAT THEMES FOUND IN REVELATION
1. Preterist - Most if not all of the book was fulfilled in
B. What is the proper method?
2. Futurist - The things in the book are to be fulfilled sometime in
3. Historical - The things in the book have been fulfilled in the life
of the church in great events throughout history.
4. Spiritual - The things found are not literal but symbolize the struggle
between the forces of good and evil throughout the centuries.
1. The key is found in the first few verses of the book.
C. Two great aids in understanding Revelation.
a. Revelation 1:3 -Blessed is he who reads and those who hear
the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in
it; for the time is near.
2. The futurist interpretation is built on the false premise that all the
things in the book were to be fulfilled in the far future.
b. The things that would happen in the book of Revelation would be unfolded
in the near time in the first century.
a. How could the time be near in the first century and really
be intended for the 21st century?
3. The historical interpretation has the same problems.
b. How could something that would be fulfilled two millennia later have
any comfort for those seven churches in Asia?
c. The futurist also tends to make literal those things obviously meant
to be held figurative and makes figurative those things intended to be
a. It has little comfort or relevance for the very ones to
whom it was written.
4. The spiritual interpretation has the advantage of finding the great
eternal lessons that Revelation teaches and does not engage in wild attempts
b. Interpreters have to constantly revise the event which are applied
to any historical view toward Revelation.
a. But again it goes too far in not leaving literal those any
message of comfort for those brethren to whom John was writing.
5. The preterist view seems to be the most satisfying interpretation.
a. It gives comfort and encouragement to those to whom it is
written, the Christians of the first century.
6. Good brethren disagree on the interpretation of Revelation. Brethren
in the last century largely held to the historical interpretation. There
is disagreement between the spiritual and preterist views today. Even among
the preterists there is disagreement as to when the fulfillment took place,
in the destruction of Jerusalem or the fall of the Roman Empire.
b. It avoids wild speculation that accompanies the futurist view.
c. Most who hold to this position are convinced that the events, or
at least the events leading up to Revelation 21, began to be fulfilled
in John's time.
1. An understanding of Old Testament figures and prophecy.
Since Christians, both and Jew and Gentile, had a great deal of knowledge
of the Old Testament it is logical that John would use many of the prophetic
figures used in the Old Testament.
2. An understand of culture of the first century and the nature of apocalyptic
literature that was prevalent in John's day.
A. Christ is vitally concerned about the congregations of his
CONCLUSION: Never forget, if we remain faithful we shall overcome! And
I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have
the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the
number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.
"3" They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the
Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just
and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! "4" Who shall not fear You,
O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations
shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."
1. Revelation 1:11-13
B. God's people must be willing to suffer, and even die, for the faith
of Jesus Christ.
2. Revelation 2:29 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
says to the churches."'
3. Revelation 3:8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an
open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have
kept My word, and have not denied My name.
4. This illustrates clearly what Jesus said about being with his people
a. Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together
in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
b. Matthew 28:20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded
you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
1. Revelation is about a great titanic struggle between forces
of Satan and the people of God.
C. Not all the enemies of God's people are outside the wall of Fortress
Zion, they are also within the walls!
a. Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman,
and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments
of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
2. Revelation 2:10, 13 - "Do not fear any of those things which you are
about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison,
that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful
until death, and I will give you the crown of life....I know your works,
and where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. And you hold fast to My name,
and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful
martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
3. Revelation 6:9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar
the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony
which they held.
1. God's people face the challenge of false doctrine, immorality
among brethren, and lukewarmness.
D. God's people are going to win!
2. Jesus' counsel to his erring people.
a. Revelation 2:5 "Remember therefore from where you have fallen;
repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove
your lampstand from its place; unless you repent.
b. Revelation 2:16 'Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will
fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
c. Revelation 2:21_22 "And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality,
and she did not repent. "22" "Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and
those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they
repent of their deeds.
d. Revelation 3:3 "Remember therefore how you have received and heard;
hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon
you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
e. Revelation 3:19 "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore
be zealous and repent.
1. Revelation 17:14 "These will make war with the Lamb, and
the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings;
and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."
2. Revelation 20:11_12 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat
on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was
found no place for them. "12" And I saw the dead, small and great, standing
before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is
the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by
the things which were written in the books.
3. No matter how bad the world seems, no matter how much pressure we
may face, we can have confidence that God's people will be victorious in
STUDIES OF BASICS:
Existence of God
Creation of Mankind
Epistles- Christ's Messages to the Church
Book of Acts
The Inspiration of The Bible
The Inspiration of The Bible (Part 2)
The Life & Mission of Christ
The New Testament
The Book of Revelation -- Victory
Copyright 2000 by Grady
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