Posted by The Latest From Pastor Dave | Posted on 09-12-2011| Posted in
Revelation, Fo Such A Time As This: Introduction
I believe the Book of Revelation to be the most incredible book ever written! We find ourselves in the company of the sole surviving disciple “whom Jesus loved”. After a failed attempt to, according to tradition, boil John alive, the Emperor Domitian, a crazed madman who has now launched a second wave of persecution against Christians for refusing to acknowledge him as a god, has banished John to the island of Patmos. Now, a prisoner on this God-forsaken rock off the coast of Asia Minor, John is treated to the most incredible season of his distinguished career as a humble servant of his Lord and King, Jesus Christ! John is given the Revelation of Jesus Christ! He is not simply handed a manuscript and told to distribute it to the entire known world. No! John is taken on a journey so incredible that he can scarcely put it into words! He is shown some things so horrific that he is not allowed to write them down! He is not only given the growth and condition of the entire church age to write down in the form of seven letters to the churches of Asia Minor, but he is taken into heaven to witness first hand, God’s plan for the future of the entire human race as it unfolds in brilliant, dazzling works of art that only God Himself could create and put into motion! He is dazzled by imagery so wonderful, so awesome, that mere words cannot describe in full glorious detail all that his eyes will see, but his mind will not begin to comprehend!
We are so privileged, so incredibly blessed to be loved so deeply, so completely, so unconditionally by a God, by the God who created each of us in His glorious image! Who breathed life into our very nostrils and placed eternity in our hearts! Not only does God tell us the rest of the story, but it comes with a blessing as well! Yes! A blessing!
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
Certainly we are blessed whenever we read the Word of God, but Revelation comes with its own very special blessing! I personally believe the blessing I received was clear understanding of this wonderful Book! I suppose that some may disagree with my understanding, and that’s okay, it makes for lively discussion!
There are many opinions as to the meaning of this prophetic writing, but I will briefly explain the four most popular views. Many articles can be easily found online that go into much greater detail then I will in this introduction of the Book of Revelation.
1. The Preterits’ Interpretation of Revelation
The term preterism comes from the Latin praeter, which denotes that something is “past” or “beyond.” The Preterist believes that most of the prophecies in the Book of Revelation have already come to pass. They are somewhat split in their interpretation however. Some believe that the prophecies were fulfilled shortly after John first penned them on the island of Patmos. Still others hold that the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD marked the fulfillment of most of the prophecies found in Revelation. The timing is close in either case.
2. Historicist Interpretation of Revelation
The Historicist’s interpretation of Revelation believes that Revelation prophecy events that transpire over the entire course of the church age. Although the Historicist view from our vantage point would still see some prophecies as future events which will continue to be fulfilled until the end of the age.
3. Spiritual Interpretation of Revelation
The Spiritual interpretation does not look for specific fulfillment of prophecy, but that the Book of Revelation is a series of spiritual teachings that occur and reoccur in history. A major theme of this interpretation is that spiritual warfare is always being waged in the believer’s life.
4. Futurist Interpretation of Revelation
The Futurists believe that the Book of Revelation is prophesying future events to all but those who are living in the tribulation period immediately preceding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is from this perspective of Revelation that I will teach. I believe that the church age will culminate at the Rapture of the Church, bringing about the Resurrection of all believers in Jesus Christ. It is then that the world will enter into Tribulation for a period of seven years at which point Jesus Christ will return to establish His Millennial Kingdom. There is disagreement within this interpretation in regards to when Jesus will bring about the rapture of His church. Some believe, as I do that He will rapture His church just prior to the seven year tribulation. Others believe that the rapture will occur halfway through Tribulation, and still others say the rapture will occur at the end of tribulation, just prior to His Second Coming. Also, there are those who deny that the rapture will occur at all.
No matter what our understanding of this incredible book may be, there is one single truth that we must not disagree on!
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
May God richly bless you as we journey together through this amazing book of God’s most wonderful prophecy of all….The rest of His incredible story!