Pastor Miles recently saw the movie Inception with his wife. As with other fantasy or science fiction movies, it was filled with confusing twists and turns, making it difficult to follow. However, if you understand the basic components of movie plots, you can still understand that there is a hero who desires to get or accomplish something and that s/he will be overcoming obstacles, learning lessons, changing, and sacrificing to accomplish his/her goal in the end.
Similarly, apocalyptic writing contains unfamiliar or confusing images (such as a creature with lions teeth, a horses body, and a scorpions tail). We may never really understand these images until they come to pass, but we can know for sure certain truths of the story: the Savior comes back to redeem his people, judge unrighteousness, and condemn Satan and his followers. Dont get lost in the details of the book. Instead, know that the book of Revelation is the revealing of when Jesus comes back to win the final battle.
Genre Apocalyptic Language (read it like fantasy)
Follow these reading rules:
1. Read the entire book or chapter 2 or 3 times and look for Gods story of judgment on evil and His restoration of good.
As you read Gods Word multiple times, He will reveal new things to you that you didnt understand the first time. If there are parts of the Bible that you dont understand, read them again! Study and look for answers.
2. Who is the vision being given to and on whose behalf is the vision being given?Answer: The vision is given to John on behalf of the 7 churches. Revelation 1:4-11
On the Lords Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. (v. 10-11)
This book may seem mysterious to you, but its not simply nonsense about a mystical dream that someone had. Its actually a vision sent by God to John to write down and share as a message to Gods people.
3. Determine whether the images and/or characters are acting on behalf of God or Satan.Answer: Jesus is acting on behalf of the Father. Revelation 1:7, Philippians 2:5-8
I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. (v. 8)
Jesus and God the Father are called Alpha and Omega; First and the Last. (Isaiah 44:6, Revelation 1:8, 1:11, 22:12-16) This means that God always has existed and always will. He existed before the world, and even through all the trials and battles of this earth, He will persist and prevail. He has the last word!
Also note in verse 7 that every eye will see Him. Tabloid magazines often claim thatsomeone has seen Jesus again, walking through the desert or some other nonsense. We can know for certain that these claims are untrue; Revelation tells us that when Jesus returns, everybody will see him. This will not be an event that we can possibly miss.
4. Describe (in your own words and without making comparisons to contemporary events or objects) what the images and/or characters are doing or accomplishing.Answer: A powerful and glorious Savior is standing amidst His churches. Revelation 1:12-16
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. (v. 17)
This is and incredible image of Jesus, represented in all His majesty. If a person sees God, s/he is never full of pride and attitude. Gods power and glory are far too much for us to comprehend. Imagine, then, what this glorious image of the Savior must have looked like to bring John to the ground.
Especially in this book of Revelation, many times people speculate as to what biblical images represent. They may say that the images in Revelation represent helicopters, nuclear war, computer chips under the skin, etc., but the truth is that we dont know what these images represent. Therefore, as you read, dont get too caught up in what these events will actually look like when they happen; instead focus on the words of the Bible and what it does say.
5. How does this passage or scene fit Gods overall story of eternal judgment and restoration?Answer: Jesus will be sent to judge the world. Revelation 1:7, Psalm 2, John 5:22
Each one of our lives is a story full of ups and downs. But whether you are experiencing joyous success or deep oppression, the end result is the same. Jesus returns with the final authority to judge and to win over evil as the devil is cast into the lake of fire. Remember to keep pressing on regardless of your present circumstances. God is with us, He never leaves us, and ultimately He is the victor.
6. How does the revelation impact your faithfulness to God?Answer: Since in the end Jesus wins, bow your knee to Him today. Revelation 22:12-16, Philippians 2:5-8
If you already knew who would win the Superbowl, would you bet on the losing team?
We already know that Jesus wins. If you go to Jerusalem and look for his grave; you wont find it! He rose from the dead and is the living God. Knowing the truth of Revelation that Jesus is victorious in the final battle, it makes sense to follow Him now and always.
- Part 1, The Journey
- Part 2, Foundations
- Part 3, Preparations
- Book One: Warriors (Week 1)
- Book One: Warriors (Week 2)
- Book One: Warriors (Week 3)
- Book One: Warriors (Week 4)
- Book Two: Loyalty (Week 1)
- Book Two: Loyalty (Week 2)
- Book Two: Loyalty (Week 3)
- Book Three: Soul Food (Week 1)
- Book Three: Soul Food (Week 2)
- Book Three: Soul Food (Week 3)
- Book Four: Law Enforcement (Week 1)
- Book Four: Law Enforcement (Week 2)
- Book Four: Law Enforcement (Week 3)
- Book Five: Twists and Turns (Week 1)
- Book Five: Twists and Turns (Week 2)
- Book Five: Twists and Turns (Week 3)
- Book Six: Letters (Week 1)
- Book Six: Letters (Week 2)
- Book Six: Letters (Week 3)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 1)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 2)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 3)
- Book Seven: Vision (Week 4)