Revelation

Last night’s sermon was an introduction to the book of Revelation. It was part two in a two part series on Revelation I guess, because I didn’t go to Bayside last week, I went to Bayside Life.

Since it was an introduction to the entire book, I don’t have an exposition of my own.

But here are three noteworthy interactions with Pastor Ray’s sermon from last night.

(1) Revelation is all about God winning. (2) Revelation is apocalyptic literature, not prophecy as a genre. (3) Revelation is filled with symbols that can only be understood in light of the Hebrew Bible.

The main point of Revelation is that God wins. No matter how tough things get for Christians, the end result is that God wins. God is ultimately in control despite our circumstances no matter how good or bad they might be.

Revelation is not a roadmap towards the end of the world. It is apocalyptic literature. Indeed, the title of the book is ἈΠΟΚΑΛΥΠΣΙΣ (“apokalypsis”), meaning, “revelation.” It is like Daniel, the Book of Enoch, the Book of Baruch, and others. A prophet sees a vision by way of an angel or Jesus, and the vision is explained. The rest of the apocalyptic literature from around the time of Revelation had the fortunate position of 20/20 hindsight, so that, when they would write from the perspective of the past, they could “predict” with excellent accuracy what would occur. Apocalyptic literature has been said by some to be for the First Century AD what science fiction is for us today. Yet, in many ways Revelation contains things that simply have never happened, and, therefore, there are things that are expected to happen in the future. See especially Rev 20-22 as an example.

Revelation is filled with symbols. These symbols follow standard apocalyptic literature. They cannot be understood without a strong familiarity with the Hebrew Bible. One needs to come to terms with Daniel, Ezekiel, and more, if one is to come to terms with Revelation and its symbols.

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