Letter To The Seven Churches
The book identifies itself as the “revelation of Jesus Christ” given to “his servant John,” who bestows a blessing on those who read, hear, and take to heart its prophecy, because “the time is near.” It then takes the form of an epistle from John to the seven churches of the Roman territory of Asia. John states that he was on the island of Patmos when he heard a voice commanding him to deliver this message to the churches at the following cities: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. The speaker is “one like the son of man,” a magnificent spiritual being who is described in impressive detail. Before him stand seven golden lampstands, representing the angels of the seven churches. “In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”
Each of the churches receives a promise of a reward for those who persevere, relating either to participating in the blessings or avoiding the “woes” described in the succeeding chapters.
Who Wrote The Book Of Revelation In The Bible
The Book of Revelation was written sometime around 96 CE in Asia Minor. The author was probably a Christian from Ephesus known as John the Elder. According to the Book, this John was on the island of Patmos, not far from the coast of Asia Minor, because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus .
Satan Is Bound For A Thousand Years
Interpretation: This thousand year period is known as the “millennium,”and it has been interpreted many different ways. One common interpretation is that the millennium is the present age – the binding of Satan has already been accomplished by Christ, and His work is carried on by the faithful within the Church. There are also two other common interpretations:
- Postmillennialism views the millennium as a future period during which the gospel message will eliminate evil from the world and Christ will rule spiritually for a thousand years before the Second Coming.
- Premillennialism views the millennium as a thousand year period between the Second Coming and the final judgment.
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The Origin And Influence Of Revelation
Martin Palmer, theologian and Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education and Culture Marina Benjamin, journalist and author of Living at the End of the World and Justin Champion, Reader in the History of Early Modern Ideas at Royal Holloway College, University of London, discuss the place of this narrative of judgement and retribution in our morality and history.
Why Study This Book
As âthe Revelation of Jesus Christâ , this book is sometimes called the Apocalypse, which in Greek means a revelation, uncovering, or unveiling of that which is hidden . This book is an unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ and a revelation of His authority, power, and preeminent role in the Fatherâs plan of salvation. The book also reveals much important information about the events leading up to the Second Coming and the Millennium.
Studying the book of Revelation can help you gain a deeper understanding of the resurrected and glorified Son of God and His dealings with Godâs children throughout the ages of earthâs history, particularly in the last days. This book extends a message of hope to the righteous and can encourage you to remain faithful to your testimony of the Savior in the midst of persecution and trials.
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We Shouldnt Make Hasty Connections Between Revelation And Current Events
Its to be expected that, when the world is in chaos, people wonder if were in the last days described in the book of Revelation.
However, Jesus told his disciples not to be troubled when they hear of wars and rumors of warsall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows .
Although all creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now , the increasing effects of the curse on creation that we see all around us today will be nothing compared to the divine judgment God unleashes on the wickedness of mankind.
I personally believe that the church will be raptured to heaven prior to the events described in Revelation, but even if the church remained, the divine judgment would be unmistakable.
God did not give us the book of Revelation to make us overanalyze every current event, wringing our hands and worrying if the end is nigh. On the contrary, Revelation is meant to give us certainty and peace, knowing that the end of the story has already been written. And God wins.
The Book Of Revelations Origins
The Book of Revelations writer and time of writing, like much of the Bible, is sometimes debated. Its believed that the book was written in 96 A.D. While the books author is also up for debate, the narrator of the book is John, and many believe that this is the Apostle John from the Gospel of John. Others believe that the book is narrated by a different prophet who also happened to be named John. There are multiple Johns in the Bible, so this isnt too much of a leap.
The year 96 A.D. would mean that Domitian was the Emperor of Rome during the time of its release. Domitian was not a Christian himself and is said to have persecuted Christians and Jewish people during his reign. This too is heavily debated. The Book of Revelation was officially added to the Bible in the 4th century according to Princeton Professor, Elaine Pagels.
The Book of Revelation is rejected by several sects of Christianity, including the Church of the East and Eastern Orthodox Christians. Martin Luther and John Calvin, two prominent figures in Protestantism, both rejected it or refused to acknowledge it.
Some people believe that the Book of Revelation was meant to be taken as an allegory for what Christians were going through at the time. The book was initially sent to seven churches that werent operating the way they were supposed to, so the Book of Revelation may have been meant as a bit of a warning to them.
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The Harvest Of The Earth And The Vintage Of The Earth
Two images at the end of this chapter are two different forms /Joel#3:13″ rel=”nofollow”> Joel 3:13) of ‘the traditional eschatological image of harvest’: the “grain harvest” and the “vintage” , to follow the messages that the angels have given for the nations of the opportunity to respond to the witness of the martyrs in repentance or to face the judgement of God .
The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter
Elders are male members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have the Melchizedek Priesthood and have been ordained to the office of elder, typically at the age of 18. Male missionaries of the Church, General Authorities and Area Authority Seventies are honorarily titled “Elder” unless they are instead referred to by the title of President.
The duties of the ordained elders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are defined in the book of Doctrine and Covenants. Elder is the proper title given to all holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Thus an apostle is an elder in this sense, and it is proper to speak of members of the Quorum of the Twelve or the First Quorum of the Seventy by this title.
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Alphabetical List Of New Testament Authors
- James: The book of James
- John: Gospel of John, 1st John, 2nd John, 3rd John, Revelation
- Jude: Book of Jude
- Luke: Gospel of Luke, Acts of the Apostles
- : Gospel of Mark
- Matthew: Gospel of Matthew
- Paul: Romans, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus, Philemon
- Peter: 1st and 2nd Peter
Arguments Against Apostolic Authorship
Most who reject the traditional authorship of Revelation fall into the same reasoning as Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria in the mid-third century, who felt that the author was a John other than the apostle. First, there is the lack of overt apostolic claims. The author, it is reasoned, could not be an apostle given that he never claims to be such, never alludes to gospel events, and never claims a special relationship with Christ. Much is also made of the seemingly separate but significant role the author places on the apostles, not numbering himself among them .
In response to the first objection regarding the lack of apostolic claims, the identification of John as author without an apostolic qualifier has led to centuries of disagreement on the part of scholars. It is true that he never identifies himself as the apostle, but simply calls himself slave , prophet , and one amongst his brothers the prophets .
That being said, of the books believed to be authored by the apostle, Revelation is the only text among them that carries an explicit declaration of authorship. While he may not reveal more, the author identifies himself as John the slave of , exiled on the island of Patmos , and for this reason it is largely accepted that the book is written by a particular John rather than a pseudonymous author in the way it is suggested of several Pauline Letters.
Given this information there are only a few potential possibilities:
John the apostle
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You Can Visit The Cave It Was Written In
If you ever wanted to visit a holy place and get a nice Mediterranean vacation out of it as well, the cave of the apocalypse should be on your list. John wrote in Revelation 1:9 that he was on the Greek island of Patmos when he received his vision and dictated it to his disciple Prochoros. However, the claim that we’ve found the exact cave he did this in is just based on legend. Still, it’s important enough historically that both the cave and the monastery built around it in the Middle Ages were granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1999.
Despite the lack of proof, the cave of the apocalypse, now usually called the Holy Grotto, has been a popular pilgrimage destination for hundreds of years. Visitors still show up by the thousands. The entrance is now surrounded by the monastery, but you are allowed to go in the cave itself. There’s a mosaic showing John getting his visions and the cleft in the rock where the voice of Christ supposedly came from. A fenced-off area is alleged to be where John slept every night , and there’s even the rock he used as a pillow. The indentation his head made from repeated use is outlined in silver. To add to the realism, a monk sits on the rock and tells visitors how the book was written. Once you get your spiritual fill, it’s time for ouzo.
Who Is The John Of Revelation
Writers of commentaries and New Testament introductions uniformly report that the authorship of Revelation is a controversial issue. Although the authorship of John the apostle is still defended in conservative circles, scholars outside of these circles commonly reject it and reject the idea that one author is responsible for the Gospel of John, the three Johannine Epistles, and Revelation. These scholars sometimes see Revelation as a product of a Johannine school, but they do not agree on how closely its author might be related to that school.
A survey of the external evidence from the Church Fathers reveals strong support for the authorship of John the apostle. Issues related to Greek style provide the most difficult internal evidence against Johns authorship of the five books traditionally attributed to him. The style of Revelation is distinct in many ways from the style of Johns other writings, but is it impossible for the same author to have written Revelation? A brief review of external and internal evidence will demonstrate that it is possible to make a plausible case for John the apostle as the author of Revelation.
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Can The Differences Between Johns Gospel And Revelation Be Reconciled
A second objection raised is that the level of differences between the fourth Gospel and the book of Revelation are alleged to be insurmountably substantial. The Greek differs greatly. In fact, even R.H. Charles has commented that it is unlike any Greek that was ever penned by mortal man.
Others have stated that the differences suggest biblical Hebrew or Aramaic that influenced the author while writing in Greek, which proves that it was not a translation of an original Hebrew work. This is in contrast to the Greek of the fourth gospel, whose Greek is accurate and clear.
In response to this objection, many scholars have sought to clarify these differences without being disingenuous to the reality of their existence. As with differences found in the writings of Paul, the use of, or lack of, an amanuensis is thought to contribute greatly. If the apostle had used a scribe for his earlier writings, but penned the apocalypse in his own hand , the difference in style and grammar would be noticeable. Others have argued on the basis of the nature of the text itself.
A final objection, and easily the more important, is that there are theological differences. The tone of the two books seems radically different, with the God of John a God of love who seeks the conversion of the world , while the God of Revelation is a God of wrath and judgment. A similar divergence is claimed to exist in the Christology of the two writings.
The Book Of Revelation Explained: An Overview Of The End Of The World
For years, thousands of people were convinced that the world was going to end on December 21, 2012, all because of how folks interpreted a Mayan calendar. There were movies about impending catastrophes, and many doomsdayers became obsessed. The date turned out to be uneventful, but that doesnt mean the end of days arent forecasted by other sources. According to the Bibles Book of Revelation, they may be happening now.
The end of the world is something that has always been fascinating to societies throughout history. Christianity takes the subject head-on in the final book of the New Testament. The Book of Revelation takes place after The Epistles of St. Paul and the Gospels. As the final book in the Bible, it fittingly tells the story of the final prophecy of mans time on Earth.
Based on this story, there are some who think that the signs of the apocalypse have already happened or are happening now. Read on to learn more about the Book of Revelation and youll see just how people are coming to these conclusions.
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It Has Influenced America’s Israel Policy
Evangelicals have an inordinate amount of influence on America’s Middle East policy, specifically when it comes to Israel. If a politician isn’t evangelical themselves, they still want that large voting bloc to support them, which sometimes means supporting a foreign policy based on Revelation.
One former Liberty University student wrote in America Magazine that in college he was taught the establishment of the nation of Israel in 1948 was proof the end times were nigh. According to evangelical interpretation of Revelation, before Jesus can come back, Jewish people have to return to Israel, rebuild the temple, and accept Christ as their savior. This will trigger the end times. So the establishment of Israel was evidence it’s the beginning of the end, and protecting Israel’s existence is vital for the fulfillment of Revelation events. In fact, a 2015 survey found 73 percent of evangelicals believe “events in Israel are part of the prophecies in the Book of the Revelation.”
CNN says this was why it was such a big deal for evangelicals when President Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in May 2018. They saw it as another “fulfilled prophecy.”
Revelation Is The Culmination And Closing Of Gods Written Word
In his grace, God has seen fit to reveal to us his sovereign purpose and plan for all creation. From the opening pages of Genesis to the final verse of Revelation 22, God has given us his revealed word in entirety.
The collection of 66 books, referred to as the canon of Scripture, is now closed. No more Scripture will be written.
In fact, Revelation ends with a sober warning to anyone who seeks to add this final chapter of divine revelation:
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. Rev. 22:18-19
We should never expect to find Gods revealed word in any place other than the pages between Genesis 1 and Revelation 22.
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Opening Of The Seven Seals
- First seal : A white horse. Its rider has a bow and a crown and comes to conquer.
- Second seal : A red horse. Its rider has a sword and takes peace away from the earth.
- Third seal : A black horse. Its rider holds scales to weigh out grain.
- Fourth seal : A pale green horse. Its rider is Death, and Hades follows with him.
Interpretation: These are known as “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” The white horse represents nationalistic pride and the urge to conquer. The red horse is the bloodshed of war. The black horse is famine, which often follows war. The pale green horse is death, which follows famine. This tragic cycle has plagued mankind throughout history.
- Fifth seal : The souls of Christian martyrs crying out
- Sixth seal : Destruction in the heavens and on earth
- Interlude : 144,000 faithful sealed by an angel
Interpretation: There is a lot of uncertainty about the meaning of this. Most agree that 144,000 is symbolic for a “perfect”large number. The Bible mentions 12,000 sealed from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. However, one common opinion is that, taken in the context of the whole book, “Israel” is a symbol for the Church, and the 144,000 represent all the faithful Christians who will be martyred for their faith . The seal protects them from the tribulations that will beset nonbelievers, but not from death.
- Seventh seal : Seven angels are given seven trumpets.