Thursday, August 27, 2020

Revelation...or is it?

Revelation is one of the most challenging books for modern Westerners. Almost everyone over-reads it; attempting to correlate every item and movement of the book with historical events.

But that's not what Revelation is about. It is not a timetable, but a dramatic picture of history in its totality. It is about the triumph of Christ over death consummated and the people of God taken into the New Creation.

It is almost operatic in concept.

The Bible Project has a page on it, a helpful video and even a graphic chart.

Vern Poythress has a short book on it too, available on the Internet.

Bible Project's summary is here:

Seven Letters
John wrote the book of Revelations to encourage believers in seven churches to resist sin, remain faithful although persecuted, and anticipate Jesus's return as King.

The Sacrificed Lamb
The Old Testament's promise of God's future victorious kingdom was inaugurated through Jesus, the crucified Passover Lamb and Messiah who alone opened the sealed scroll.

Seven Judgments
Three sets of seven divine judgments do not generate repentance in the nations. Instead, only God's mercy shown through Jesus and believers who die for enemies does.

Final Battle
Several symbols signify spiritual and earthly battles. The church can choose to resist Babylon and follow the Lamb or follow the beast and suffer defeat.

God's Kingdom
After the rebellion against God and the final battle, King Jesus returns to punish evil, vindicate His followers, and reign forever in the New Jerusalem.

That's the outline. Poythress also has a course on Revelation.

Not to be outdone, the great Revelation scholar, G. K. Beale, also has audio on the book.

A helpful brief commentary (unless you want Beale's vast works), is by Leon Morris in the Tyndale series. I like Leon because of his humble and (then) inconspicuous early service in the Bush Church Aid Society.

Morris' old book Apocalyptic is on line, and a new study book on Revelation is available.

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