INTRODUCTION TO          REVELATION

                                                                                           REVELATION STUDY 2020

                                                                                       ON THE WAY HOME Ministries

 

Hi Friends and welcome to OTWHministries’ first bible study together.  I’m glad you joined us.

 

For those of you who do not know me, I have been teaching Bible studies for about 50 years, and I have taught Revelation studies, perhaps as many as 10-15 times throughout the years.  I am most excited about this particular study, because it is different from others that I have done.  This one will concentrate on the events in our world today as they relate to the events in the book. I WILL NOT be relating the events of today to any fulfilment of prophesy but will be showing you how events follow a pattern in prophesy.  I will explain as we come to specific events. With that being said, let’s get to our introduction of the book.

 

                                                                              REVELATION – AN INTRODUCTION

Peter gives us a wonderful rule for understanding prophecy in

II Peter 1:20: “Knowing this first, no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation”.  This means that you do not interpret any text by itself; you look at it with the entire Word of God in mind. With this practical approach you can begin to see a link between world events and those prophesied in Revelation.

 

Remember that Revelation is singular.  There is only one Revelation and it isn’t about John he just wrote down what he saw.  It is a revelation of the end of time as we know it and reveals what is beyond.  The main theme is the Glorified Jesus. 

 

Many people think it is just a book of symbols and can’t be understood.  They are wrong.  Well, it is full of symbols, but yes you can understand it.  The symbols you see in the book have meanings and every symbol is of a reality; of something real. Every symbol has a meaning. And every symbol has a reality.  Most of the symbols are either explained in Revelation itself or is some other book of the Bible.  Almost every symbol used is also used somewhere else in the Bible.

 

Example:  The first chapter speaks of candlesticks and stars, then in Revelation 1:20 we see the explanation.  This sets a pattern for interpreting symbols.  Every symbol has a meaning.

 

Remember this:  Revelation is the 66th book in the Bible.  There are 65 other books that come before it.  We must know the others as well.  All this is not new but has already been told in bits and pieces in the other 65 books, Revelation just puts it all together. Our English word Revelation is taken from the Greek apokalypsis which means an unveiling or uncovering of something previously hidden.  Example:  A basket with a lid, containing an unknown item.  Take the lid off, and you let the item be seen.

 

The book is divided into three sections:

          Things that we have seen – things past. A Vision of the Glorified Jesus is part of it.

          Things which are: the present being from the time John was writing to the end of the church age. (How do we know this? Revelation 4:1 tells us so)

          Things which are hereafter or are to come.  The future, from the Rapture to the millennium.  We are living in the close of things which are.  Each section is then divided into more sections to give chronological order.

          Things which are hereafter or are to come.  The future, from the Rapture to the millennium.  We are living in the close of things which are.  Each section is then divided into more sections to give chronological order.

 

You must allow for flashbacks.  Have you ever told a story, or heard one that says, “meanwhile back at the ranch”? Several things are going on at the same time.  John summarizes, then goes into detail. Sometimes you might think an event has already happened, but it turns out that it is the same event told two different times.

 

Chapter 1 tells who wrote it, why, and what he is going to write about.  Chapters 2 and 3 are letters to 7 churches which are not chosen at random.  They parallel the history of the church age (that is, the years between the first and second comings of Christ) The order in which they are given is also important.

 

Chapter 4 starts things which are to come. End times, including events when Christ returns.  The Rapture takes place approximately between chapters 3 and 4.  Now it does not say that in the Bible, so how do we know that?  We will explain when we get to it.

 

Details are not always important to God so He doesn’t always give them to us so don’t let lack of details bother you.  If you don’t understand something, skip over it and come back to it later.  It may make more sense later.  Or, if it is important right now, ask and we will discuss it.  Sometimes, the things God leaves out are simply just not important.

 

Language and historical settings are important.  It has a lot to do with the way it is written.  The writer, John, was looking 2000 years into the future and seeing things that he had no words to describe.  Think of it as 1st century vocabulary describing 20th century technology.  Try it.  Words like atomic fallout were never even known to John.  But suppose he tried to describe it as best he could by saying it looked like it was raining fire and brimstone.

 

Think also about the Indians and the railroad.  They called the locomotive an Iron Horse.  Now it didn’t look like a horse at all, but it was strong and fast and that was the only way they knew to describe it.  Picture what John was trying to describe.  Don’t try to force Revelation into an outline or system.  It doesn’t always fit.  It can be taken out of context at time; OK, put it aside and see what happens eventually it fits.

 

John had a mountain top perspective.  There were valleys that John could not see and didn’t understand, but God said it wasn’t for John to understand, just write what you see.  This book was written through John but not for John.  He would never live to see these things he was told to write about.  They were written for us, not for him. 

 

Never before has Revelation been so believable.  Until now, these things were physically and humanly impossible, but through advanced technology, now is possible.  The in last days, people will understand even more.

 

Think about prophecy for a moment.  There are over 200 prophecies about Jesus’ birth and over 300 concerning His second coming. Those of His first coming were all fulfilled.  When will He return? Nobody knows not even Jesus, Himself, not the angels either.  But we have a road map of the time period in which he is coming.  Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation are our road maps, and all roads are leading to today.

 

One very important spot on our road map is happening even as we study this book.  For a long time now, Iran has threatened to “wipe Israel off the map”.  If you want excitement, just keep reading for some really exciting events which will happen concerning this threat.

 

Signs to watch for are in Matthew, Mark, Luke, Romans, Daniel chapters 11 and 12, Ezekiel 38-39.  They read like todays headlines.  These prophecies are unfolding in your newspapers and on the internet daily. What are these signs?

 

  1.  The push for European Unification, of the last days.  A lot of infighting will cause some to drop out and others to join.  This seems to have already started as the USA and England pulled out a year or so ago.  Watch for there to be the union of only 10 nations. Already most of Europe has a common monetary system called the EURO, as well as common borders, which started in January 1999.

Look for this union on European countries to become the world peacekeepers, after the fall from power of America.

 

  1.  Rebirth of Israel.  We have already seen this take place.  See Ezekiel 38-39.

  2. Rise of Russia against the Middle east.  This has already happened and is happening even today.  In Prophecy, Russia is known as the King of the North.  Look on a map

         Russia is directly north of Israel

     4 Rise of Red China, one of the Kings of the East (well, how much more up to date is this one!!!)

 

Some events that must occur before the end.

Religious deception, false messiahs, Matthew 24:4-5

International Revolutions, civil wars in many countries

Wars, famine, population explosions, pollution, changing weather patterns.  All affects our food supply

Earthquakes and natural disasters – Matt 24

Plagues -did anyone say Covid-18??

Strange events in the skies Luke 21(who saw the Christmas star?)

 

Now, if we are all ready and studied up, we will begin next week with Revelation, Chapter 1.  Watch for me.  See you there!!