Friday, July 31, 2015

Interpreting The Four Visions Of John's Revelation

As noted above, we've completed the first of the four visions of Revelation. They are as follows:

Introduction: Rev. 1:1-8 - John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ who is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him.

  1. Jesus and his people between his first and second comings (Rev. 1:9-3:22). John introduces the next section with the phrase "after this." 
  2. Jesus and events surrounding his return (Rev. 4:1-16:21). 
  3. Jesus and the two rival cities (Rev. 17:1-21:8): Babylon and Jerusalem
  4. Jesus and his bride throughout eternity (Rev. 21:9-22:5)
Conclusion: Rev. 22:6-21 - Blessed are those who wash their robes so they may have the right to the tree of life and enter the New Jerusalem. No additions or subtractions to the words of this prophecy are allowed. 

As we move into a discussion of these visions it is helpful to realize that there are a number of approaches to interpreting them. These include: 
  1. Amillennialism - held by most Christians up to the 1500s. Unites and equates OT Israel and NT Christians as one group. 
  2. Postmillennialism - held by many N American Christians during the 1800s. Resurgence today. 
  3. Historic Premillennialism - held by many during the first four centuries of the Christian era. Held by many today. Takes Rev. 20 (and even the entire book) literally.
  4. Dispensational Premillennialism - divides history into either seven or three dispensations. Promises that most Christians will be raptured before the Great Tribulation. 
My own response to these various views will become clear as we move further into our study of the upcoming chapters. In his Pentecost sermon the Apostle Peter pointed out that we have entered the last days promised through the Prophet Joel 2:28-32.  
"'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.' - Acts 2:17-21 ESV
In these last days God has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. - Heb 1:2-4 ESV
The Kingdom of God is at hand

So the Kingdom of God has drawn near, is at hand (Matt 4:17) now that Jesus has completed the work of the Messiah. Demons are being cast out by the Spirit of God and the kingdom of God has come upon all believing children of God (Matt 12:28; 19:14). We await the imminent return of the King. Soon now he will return in glory (Matt 25:31-32). When he returns he will sit on his glorious throne and all the nations of the world will be gathered before him.

1 comment:

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So what do you think? I would love to see a few words from you.