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Revelation

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The significance of the Apocalypse
The circumstances surrounding its writing
Who wrote it? To Whom? Where? Why?
Its structure and Content
Aids to interpretation
How can we benefit from it?

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Revelation

  1. 1. Intro toIntro to the Bookthe Book ofof RevelationRevelation Ehab RoufailEhab Roufail
  2. 2. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 2 OutlineOutline • The significance of theThe significance of the ApocalypseApocalypse • The circumstances surroundingThe circumstances surrounding its writingits writing – Who wrote it? To Whom? Where?Who wrote it? To Whom? Where? Why?Why? • Its structure and ContentIts structure and Content • Aids to interpretationAids to interpretation • How can we benefit from it?How can we benefit from it?
  3. 3. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 3 The significance of the ApocalypseThe significance of the Apocalypse The Title of the BookThe Title of the Book • The inspired title of the book is “TheThe inspired title of the book is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” Or as it was moreRevelation of Jesus Christ.” Or as it was more commonly called: “Apocalpyses” from thecommonly called: “Apocalpyses” from the Greek “apokalupto”, which means to reveal.Greek “apokalupto”, which means to reveal. • In some ways the revelation of John is veryIn some ways the revelation of John is very similar to O.T. apocalyptic writings (e.g. Dan. 7-similar to O.T. apocalyptic writings (e.g. Dan. 7- 10; Ez. 37-47; Is. 66 etc..).10; Ez. 37-47; Is. 66 etc..).
  4. 4. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 4 The significance of the ApocalypseThe significance of the Apocalypse Pope Dionysius of Alexandria says “Although itPope Dionysius of Alexandria says “Although it carries thoughts that surpass my perception Icarries thoughts that surpass my perception I find it contains strong secret concepts in manyfind it contains strong secret concepts in many matters… And in spite of my inability tomatters… And in spite of my inability to understand it, I still believe that there are deapunderstand it, I still believe that there are deap meanings behind its words. I don’t measure itsmeanings behind its words. I don’t measure its sentences or judge it according to my power ofsentences or judge it according to my power of perception but I accept it with faith andperception but I accept it with faith and simplicity. I see it nice and delicious to mysimplicity. I see it nice and delicious to my comprehension, so I never refuse what I don’tcomprehension, so I never refuse what I don’t understand but instead I stand amazed beforeunderstand but instead I stand amazed before it…”it…”
  5. 5. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 5 The significance of the ApocalypseThe significance of the Apocalypse • The Bible from beginning to endThe Bible from beginning to end has one Author of authors, thehas one Author of authors, the Holy Spirit, whose inspiration fromHoly Spirit, whose inspiration from the first book to the last is clearlythe first book to the last is clearly seen in a masterly plan.seen in a masterly plan. • The Bible starts off with man inThe Bible starts off with man in paradise along with the tree of lifeparadise along with the tree of life and ends with man in Theand ends with man in The Paradise of Heaven with the treeParadise of Heaven with the tree of life.of life.
  6. 6. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 6 The significance of the ApocalypseThe significance of the Apocalypse • In Genesis, the sun and moon wereIn Genesis, the sun and moon were created to enlighten us (1:14). Increated to enlighten us (1:14). In Revelation, we are not in need of aRevelation, we are not in need of a sun or a moon (21:23). For Christ issun or a moon (21:23). For Christ is the Light of the new heaven, whothe Light of the new heaven, who shines on our inner man andshines on our inner man and illuminates our souls with His Holyilluminates our souls with His Holy Spirit.Spirit. • Genesis shows us the marriageGenesis shows us the marriage between our first parents, inbetween our first parents, in Revelation; there is the joyfulRevelation; there is the joyful marriage supper of the secondmarriage supper of the second Adam.Adam.
  7. 7. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 7 The significance of the ApocalypseThe significance of the Apocalypse • In Genesis we see the entry of sin and deathIn Genesis we see the entry of sin and death into the world in Revelation we see theminto the world in Revelation we see them condemned and defeated.condemned and defeated. • Genesis tells of paradise lost, revelation ofGenesis tells of paradise lost, revelation of paradise found on a greater heavenly scale,.paradise found on a greater heavenly scale,.
  8. 8. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 8 SummarySummary The significance of the ApocalypseThe significance of the Apocalypse
  9. 9. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 9 The circumstances surrounding its writingThe circumstances surrounding its writing The AuthorThe Author • Traditionally this wasTraditionally this was considered as beingconsidered as being written by the Apostlewritten by the Apostle John during a forcedJohn during a forced exile on the Isle ofexile on the Isle of Patmos during thePatmos during the reign of Emperorreign of Emperor Domitian in aroundDomitian in around 95 AD.95 AD.
  10. 10. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 10 The circumstances surrounding its writingThe circumstances surrounding its writing To Whom?To Whom? • The Revelation wasThe Revelation was addressed to theaddressed to the seven Asianseven Asian churches, there is achurches, there is a special message forspecial message for each churcheach church • But the book undoubtedly carries aBut the book undoubtedly carries a communal message concerning the life of thecommunal message concerning the life of the Church in the whole world in all ages.Church in the whole world in all ages.
  11. 11. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 11 The circumstances surrounding its writingThe circumstances surrounding its writing The MessageThe Message • God himself encourages His people in theirGod himself encourages His people in their suffering and trials throughout the book, andsuffering and trials throughout the book, and contains many references to perseverance andcontains many references to perseverance and courage (Chap. 2-3).courage (Chap. 2-3). • The anthem “to him who conquers…” runsThe anthem “to him who conquers…” runs through the book.through the book.
  12. 12. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 12 The circumstances surrounding its writingThe circumstances surrounding its writing The MessageThe Message • The basicThe basic revelation is thatrevelation is that God is on HisGod is on His throne and inthrone and in charge. Althoughcharge. Although everythingeverything around you canaround you can seem terribleseem terrible and destructive,and destructive, God is in controlGod is in control and those whoand those who remain faithful toremain faithful to Christ will inheritChrist will inherit eternal life.eternal life.
  13. 13. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 13 SummarySummary The significance of the ApocalypseThe significance of the Apocalypse The circumstances surrounding its writingThe circumstances surrounding its writing
  14. 14. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 14 Its Structure and ContentIts Structure and Content The book divides into 4 sections:The book divides into 4 sections: • The introduction of the book. [1]The introduction of the book. [1] • TheThe SevenSeven churches (churches (the present).the present). [2-3][2-3] • TheThe SevenSeven visions (visions (the futurethe future). [4-19]). [4-19] – TheThe SevenSeven seals. [6 & 7]seals. [6 & 7] – TheThe SevenSeven trumpets. [8,9,10 & 11]trumpets. [8,9,10 & 11] – TheThe SevenSeven angels withangels with sevenseven plagues from theplagues from the sevenseven cups. [15]cups. [15] • The Heavenly Jerusalem (The Heavenly Jerusalem (beyond timebeyond time). [20-22]). [20-22]
  15. 15. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 15 Schools of Interpretation ofSchools of Interpretation of RevelationRevelation There are four main schools of interpretation of the book:There are four main schools of interpretation of the book: • The Preterists:The Preterists: Who believe that the book was chiefly meant for the people of St.Who believe that the book was chiefly meant for the people of St. John’s days and that it was fulfilled during their time. They ignored the interpretiveJohn’s days and that it was fulfilled during their time. They ignored the interpretive key to the book: 1:19 (NKJV) "Write the things which you have seen, and the thingskey to the book: 1:19 (NKJV) "Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.”which are, and the things which will take place after this.” • The Historicists:The Historicists: That think it as describing the long chain of events from St. John’sThat think it as describing the long chain of events from St. John’s time to the end of history.time to the end of history. • The Futurists:The Futurists: Who think that the bulk of the book refers to the ‘end times’.Who think that the bulk of the book refers to the ‘end times’. • The Idealists:The Idealists: Who view it as symbolic pictures of such timeless truths as the victoryWho view it as symbolic pictures of such timeless truths as the victory of good over evil.of good over evil. The best way is to think that each interpretation completes the other ones and that itThe best way is to think that each interpretation completes the other ones and that it would be wrong to adopt one interpretation whilst neglecting the otherswould be wrong to adopt one interpretation whilst neglecting the others The book is not chronological (see chap. 10-14).The book is not chronological (see chap. 10-14).
  16. 16. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 16
  17. 17. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 17
  18. 18. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 18
  19. 19. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 19
  20. 20. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 20 Schools of InterpretationSchools of Interpretation Again the different schools of interpretation have differing viewsAgain the different schools of interpretation have differing views on how to interpret the message to the seven churches.on how to interpret the message to the seven churches. • They were actual churches that existed in the Roman provinceThey were actual churches that existed in the Roman province of Asia.of Asia. • They represent the whole of the Christian people in all areas atThey represent the whole of the Christian people in all areas at all times symbolised by the number seven’s completeness.all times symbolised by the number seven’s completeness. • An indication of seven periods of time in the life of the wholeAn indication of seven periods of time in the life of the whole Church from the time of the apostles to the second coming ofChurch from the time of the apostles to the second coming of our Lord.our Lord. • Symbolic to the life of individual’s and their states of being inSymbolic to the life of individual’s and their states of being in God.God.
  21. 21. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 21 Format of the messagesFormat of the messages Each of the messages to the seven churches follows the same format of fiveEach of the messages to the seven churches follows the same format of five sections:sections: • The message starts by addressing the angel of the church. The ‘angel’ ofThe message starts by addressing the angel of the church. The ‘angel’ of the church can be taken to have several meanings as The English wordthe church can be taken to have several meanings as The English word angelangel comes from the greekcomes from the greek angelosangelos, whose translation is similar to the, whose translation is similar to the Hebrew: “messenger” or “angel.” And so the ‘angel’ could be taken literallyHebrew: “messenger” or “angel.” And so the ‘angel’ could be taken literally to denote a guardian angel of the church or, as is more traditional, to denoteto denote a guardian angel of the church or, as is more traditional, to denote the Bishop of the church.the Bishop of the church. • A description of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ taken from chapter 1:12-18.A description of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ taken from chapter 1:12-18. He appears in forms that suit the need of each church so that she can findHe appears in forms that suit the need of each church so that she can find her satisfaction and solution to her problems in Him.her satisfaction and solution to her problems in Him. • Our Lord begins the messages by saying: “I know,…” As He alone whoOur Lord begins the messages by saying: “I know,…” As He alone who walks in the midst of His church knows her innermost depths and is able towalks in the midst of His church knows her innermost depths and is able to support, instruct and encourage her.support, instruct and encourage her. • Those whose spiritual ears are attuned to their Bridegrooms voice areThose whose spiritual ears are attuned to their Bridegrooms voice are reminded to listen and obey; “He who has an ear, let him hear what thereminded to listen and obey; “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”Spirit says to the churches.” • For those that are faithful to this message they are offered a reward.For those that are faithful to this message they are offered a reward.
  22. 22. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 22 The Seven ChurchesThe Seven Churches • EphesusEphesus – The church of Ephesus was commended for theirThe church of Ephesus was commended for their hard work, perseverance and commitment tohard work, perseverance and commitment to holiness. But the church had a fault of which manyholiness. But the church had a fault of which many of us are guilty. We keep on serving, butof us are guilty. We keep on serving, but somehow in the struggle we lose the glowing lovesomehow in the struggle we lose the glowing love for the Lord Jesus that motivated us at first. It’sfor the Lord Jesus that motivated us at first. It’s good to be faithful but faithfulness is no substitutegood to be faithful but faithfulness is no substitute for passionate love.for passionate love. – What can we do when we lose our first love? TheWhat can we do when we lose our first love? The scripture says, repent and recapture it, “do thescripture says, repent and recapture it, “do the things you did at first” (Rev. 2:5). Let’s do thethings you did at first” (Rev. 2:5). Let’s do the things we used to do before when we were aflamethings we used to do before when we were aflame with love and lets watch those feelings follow.with love and lets watch those feelings follow.
  23. 23. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 23 The Seven ChurchesThe Seven Churches • SmyrnaSmyrna 1.1. In Smyrna Christians held on to their faith throughIn Smyrna Christians held on to their faith through persecution, imprisonment and death. But persecution onlypersecution, imprisonment and death. But persecution only strengthened their resolve and from the Lord they and westrengthened their resolve and from the Lord they and we hear words of encouragement. We may suffer loss ofhear words of encouragement. We may suffer loss of wealth but we are rich in Christ. We may suffer death butwealth but we are rich in Christ. We may suffer death but we will receive a crown of everlasting life.we will receive a crown of everlasting life. • PergamosPergamos 1.1. We like Pergamum are affected by our surroundings andWe like Pergamum are affected by our surroundings and sometimes relax our moral standards according to thesometimes relax our moral standards according to the society we live in. It is all too easy for us, bombarded associety we live in. It is all too easy for us, bombarded as we are by the attitudes of the world, to relax our standards.we are by the attitudes of the world, to relax our standards. Our Lord sternly warned Pergamum and us against thisOur Lord sternly warned Pergamum and us against this course giving a promise that if we refuse the ‘sweets’ andcourse giving a promise that if we refuse the ‘sweets’ and amoral ‘junk food’ of the world we will be given the ‘hiddenamoral ‘junk food’ of the world we will be given the ‘hidden manna’ the ‘bread of life’ to sustain our life forever withmanna’ the ‘bread of life’ to sustain our life forever with God.God.
  24. 24. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 24 The Seven ChurchesThe Seven Churches • ThyatiraThyatira 1.1. As with Thyatira Jezebel still stalks our heartsAs with Thyatira Jezebel still stalks our hearts inviting us to make our bed with the world andinviting us to make our bed with the world and God. To compromise Truth in order to moveGod. To compromise Truth in order to move forward in our social standing, or to partake of theforward in our social standing, or to partake of the delights of the worlds growing hedonism whiledelights of the worlds growing hedonism while taking part in the Lord’s supper.taking part in the Lord’s supper. • SardisSardis 1.1. Sardis, with a reputation for vitality was asSardis, with a reputation for vitality was as spiritually dead as the nearby “city of the dead”.spiritually dead as the nearby “city of the dead”. The challenge for us today is that it’s not enoughThe challenge for us today is that it’s not enough to be doctrinally correct and going ‘through theto be doctrinally correct and going ‘through the motions’ of religiosity, we must be spiritually alivemotions’ of religiosity, we must be spiritually alive having a daily walk with our Lord to renew thehaving a daily walk with our Lord to renew the garment of our new man.garment of our new man.
  25. 25. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 25 The Seven ChurchesThe Seven Churches • PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia 1.1. Like with Philadelphia our Loving LordLike with Philadelphia our Loving Lord is never contemptuous of ouris never contemptuous of our weaknesses. He remembers all theweaknesses. He remembers all the good that we do under the rightgood that we do under the right motivation and desires for us to bemotivation and desires for us to be stronger and more faithful. Hestronger and more faithful. He encourages us with the vision ofencourages us with the vision of heavens doors opened by His keyheavens doors opened by His key ready for us to enter.ready for us to enter.
  26. 26. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 26 The Seven ChurchesThe Seven Churches • LaodiceaLaodicea 1.1. When we like Laodicea fail toWhen we like Laodicea fail to stand up to immorality we findstand up to immorality we find that gradually we are affectedthat gradually we are affected by it. Our material prosperityby it. Our material prosperity and perhaps growing socialand perhaps growing social acceptability mean that weacceptability mean that we begin to forget our reliance onbegin to forget our reliance on God to provide our deepestGod to provide our deepest needs. Instead of feeding withneeds. Instead of feeding with the world and its offerings thethe world and its offerings the Lord stands at the door of ourLord stands at the door of our rusty hinged, weed infectedrusty hinged, weed infected heart and knocks, waiting for usheart and knocks, waiting for us to open the door to eat withto open the door to eat with Him His heavenly banquet.Him His heavenly banquet.
  27. 27. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 27 The Throne In HeavenThe Throne In Heaven
  28. 28. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 28 The Scroll and the LambThe Scroll and the Lamb
  29. 29. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 29 The Scroll and the LambThe Scroll and the Lamb • The scrollThe scroll – Sealed and written on bothSealed and written on both sides – because its meaning issides – because its meaning is hidden. (Isa 29:9-11)hidden. (Isa 29:9-11) – So many today think they haveSo many today think they have knowledge, yet for them theknowledge, yet for them the Holy Book is sealed and canHoly Book is sealed and can only be open through Him whoonly be open through Him who has the key to David.has the key to David. – The qualities of the opener:The qualities of the opener: • LionLion • Of the tribe of Judah and root ofOf the tribe of Judah and root of DavidDavid • A lamb as though slainA lamb as though slain • Having seven hornsHaving seven horns • Having seven eyesHaving seven eyes
  30. 30. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 30 The Four HorsemanThe Four Horseman
  31. 31. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 31 The Four HorsemanThe Four Horseman
  32. 32. 22nd January 2010 Intro to Revelation 32

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