[The book of Revelation is one of the most amazing
books of the Bible.
Many pastors and teachers view this book as mystic and difficult to
understand and as a result avoid its study altogether.
Yet, it is a book of the Bible that nearly all biblical
students desire to study and know.
The fascination with the book of Revelation is based in its
prophetic content, which mixes subterfuge with victory and triumph.
Most people desire to know what the future has in store and
the book of Revelation offers both hope and despair for the future.]
[While many love to study Bible prophecy and the
book of revelation, there are others who hate this revealing text.
Adrian Rogers once stated,]
[“. . . There is someone who hates the
books. His name is
Satan. In fact, there
are two books in the Bible Satan especially hates—Genesis and
Revelation, the first and last books of God’s Word.]
[Why does Satan hate these two books?
In the Book of Genesis, Satan’s doom is prophesied.
In the Book or Revelation, Satan’s doom is realized.
There is no devil in the first two chapters of God’s Word or
in the last two chapters of God’s Word. For every child of God,
these are books that tie the gospel message together.]
[In Genesis we see the creation of the
heavens and the earth.
In Revelation we see the creation of the new heavens and new earth.
In Genesis we see the first Adam reigning on earth.
In Revelation we see Jesus, the last Adam, reigning in glory.
In Genesis we see an earthly bride brought to the first Adam.
In Revelation we see a heavenly bride brought to the Lord
Jesus Christ, the last Adam.]
[In Genesis we see the Beginning of death
and the curse. In
Revelation the Savior brings us to a state where there is no more
death and no more curse.
In the Book of Genesis man is driven from God’s face in sin.
In the Book of revelation we see God’s face in glory.
In Genesis, Satan appears for the first time.
In Revelation he appears on earth for the last time.
The Book of Revelation is the golden clasp that seals God’s
Word in holy, divine perfection.”]
words are insightful and revealing.
It seems to me that many who despise this book of the Bible
hate it for the same reasons that Satan hates this text.
If the prophecies in the Revelation are true, then it will
scare the rebellion out of the lost and will provide an immovable
foundation for the redeemed.
These will be the results that we hope to discover as a
result of this study; that the lost might be saved, and the saved
might be secured with an undeniable assurance for the future.]
[Without any doubt, for the Prophetic School,
in the study of Bible prophecy there is a security, purity, and
liberty. Security is
found through the inevitable conclusion discovered at the end of the
study, our Lord Jesus Christ wins over every evil foe and this
corrupt creation and all those who choose to side with and serve Him
are guaranteed the benefits of His glorious victory.
Our purity results from the anticipation and immanency of our
Lord’s rapture of His Church to begin the fulfillment of each of the
end time events revealed through our Lord’s prophetic Word (1 John
3.1-3). Our liberty
endures through the certain knowledge that though the enemies of our
Lord may take our
mortal lives through persecution our eternal souls are secure and
our physical resurrection is promised, we are truly free from the
wickedness that surrounds us and the death that pursues us.
Eternity is ours and our hope is lively and sure.]
[As I write this study I will format its text in
an outline format to make it easier for a preacher or Bible teacher
to develop an organize study from this content.
I will offer major point with underlined words, sub points
with underlined words, and bracketed text.
This format is unconventional in a formal writing style but
will be used with intention in this text.
It’s purpose will be as follows:]
[Your preaching and teaching outline is the text
as printed on the page.
Use this outline to prepare for your class session.
Print it out to provide the notes you will need to lead your
class or preach your sermon.]
[To quickly develop a Power Point out line, delete
all text in brackets within the text.
This provides an outline that can be easily copied and pasted
into a Power Point presentation.
I find it most effective to format the Power Point so that
each point appears on command at the appropriate time in the class.
It has been said that student retention increases
exponentially if the can see as well as hear a class presentation.]
[To quickly develop a student handout with blanks
to be filled in by the student.
Take the Power Point outline and empty the blanks leaving an
empty line. Printing
this outline with blanks to your students will encourage them to go
ahead and take notes.
As a matter of fact it says to your students that you expect them to
take notes. Expectation
is a catalyst for learning.
Taking notes during a class will further enhance your
student’s retention of the lesson. ]
[For far too long we have taught our students to
approach the Bible with a light heartedness.
We teach for life change and to reach a lost and dying world.
The world is best evangelized by the members of the Church.
How can our fellow Christians reach the world for Christ if
they cannot remember the things they have studied beyond the door of
the worship center or class room.
It is time to expect far more from our fellow Christians.
A lost world demands it.]
[Now let us discover the mysteries and wonder
revealed in the Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ as given to the
[As we embark upon the study
of this book of the Bible there are some basic things the we must
initially consider. These
include the points of views from which biblical prophecy is approached,
the authorship of the text, and the date that the epistle was written.]
Four Common Views [- There are various points of view when it
comes to the study of the book of Revelation.
Before we consider the various points of view there are some
terms that need to be defined.]
Important Terms [- These important terms include,]
The Tribulation Period [– A period of time, lasting
seven years, unlike any other period of time in human history where in
the creation is redeemed by God through justice and judgment and wherein
the anti-christ, Satan’s superman, is given unfettered authority over
this corrupt world.]
Rapture [– The taking out of God’s elect and
spiritually redeemed, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ.]
Post Tribulation [– A position that teaches that the
rapture occurs after the seven year tribulation period.]
Mid Tribulation or Pre Wrath [– A position that
teaches that the rapture occurs in the midst of the tribulation period.
There are various views about when the rapture actually occurs.]
Pre Tribulation [– A position that teaches that the
rapture occurs prior to the tribulation period.
This view is consider correct by this author and will be the
position held throughout this study.]
Millennium [– A Period of one thousand (1000) years
following the tribulation period and the second advent of Christ where
in our Lord Jesus Christ will reign supreme on this earth.]
Post Millennial [– A position teaching that Christ
actually returns at the end of the millennium and that the work of the
Church on earth will grow and improve our world’s conditions until the
world is prepared for our Lord’s return.]
AMillennial [– A position holding that there is no
literal millennium and that the millennium represents the whole period
of the Churches movement on earth, however long that might be and
culminates with the return of Christ.]
Pre Millennial [– Teaches that Christ returns at His
second advent and reigns on earth for a literal thousand year period.
This is viewed as the correct view by this author and will be
taught throughout this study.]
Common Views [- Having considered the important terms we will
now consider the carious points of view employed when studying The
Revelation or Bible Prophecy.
Understanding each of these viewpoints will help a student of
biblical prophecy to understand what a preacher, teacher, or fellow
Christian mean when they talk and debate about various Bible prophecies.
Altogether there are,]
Preterist School [- The Preterist believes that
the prophecies contained within Revelation have already been fulfilled.
These commonly teach that everything contained in the book of Revelation
found fulfillment when Israel was conquered by Titus in 70
A.D. Some might push the
date of Israel’s
destruction back to 313 A.D., but the argument is essentially the same.
The preterist teaches that we are not looking for a rapture, tribulation
period, the millennial reign of Christ, and for some the second advent
of Christ. Some preterist
will go as far as to imply that we are currently living on the New
Heaven and New Earth. In
considering the pretenses of preterism it seems reasonable to imply that
preterism in a form of Amillenialism which literally mean “no
[- Some refer to this as the Idealist or Allegorical View.
"A Presentist is one who views the events in Revelation, not as
actual events ‘per se’, but rather as an expression of those principles
and forces active in any age"
For instance, a presentist would imply that the book of
revelation portrays the struggle between good and evil in our lives.
To hold this position one would have to hold that the message in
Revelation is allegorical in nature and is not intended to be understood
in any literal sense.]
c. The Progressive School
[– Also referred to by some as The Historical View.
This view holds that Revelation presents the historic struggle of
the Church as it has occurred throughout this current Church age.
This point of view gained popularity during the beginning of the
reformation but faded into oblivion when the 1260 day-year time period,
essential to its understanding, expired without the anticipated
fulfillment of its prophecies.
Beliefs that poured out of this system that are still encountered
today include the belief that the Catholic Pope is the Anti-Christ and
the Catholic Church is the Great Whore.]
[- Often called the ‘Futurist
The Futurist believes that the majority of Revelation in
prophetic, and is yet to be fulfilled. This is the view point of this
author and of this study.
The futurist looks for the Rapture of the Church, the Bema of Christ,
the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, The Great Tribulation Period, the
Second Advent of Christ, the Millennial Reign of Christ, the great White
Throne Judgment, and the New Heaven and New Earth all yet to come.
All of these will be address as this study proceeds through the
Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.]
[-Thus the question arises,
“Does ones point of view really matter?
Without any doubt ones point of view makes all the difference in
the world. One’s
point of view will change the way they approach every other passage in
the Word of God. Biblically
and theologically ones point of view when it comes to Bible prophecy
will change their whole understanding of the Bible.
Your point of view will
Hermeneutics [- You point of view determines whether your normal
approach to scripture is allegorical or literal in nature which in turn
will dictate your understanding of every other passage of scripture.
The pre-millennial, pre-tribulation, literal approach to the
Bible will lead one to understand the Bible in its grammatical and
contextual senses and will lead one to understand the remnant of the
redeemed. The post or
amillennial, mid or post tribulation approach largely allegorizes and
manipulates various texts, often encouraging the understanding of texts
outside of their context, especially in the parables and will lead one
to be ecumenical in their understanding of the redeemed.]
Immanency [- The pre-tribulationist and literalist will hold a sense
of immanency concerning the near rapture of the Church which will compel
them to live in continuous preparation and purity (1
John 3.1-3). The
post-millennialist or amillennialist will likely sense that, considering
the world’s current condition, that there is much time remaining and no
need to be overly zealous about the Lord’s return.]
Purpose [-The pre-tribulationist will understand that lost
souls have only a short time to respond to the gospel and will work
diligently to win the lost to Christ.
The post or amillennialist will likely feel that their task is to
help improve upon our political, cultural, and social conditions and
their purpose will be more humanitarian than evangelical in nature.]
[These are but a few of the areas affected by
ones point of view concerning bible prophecy which in reality reflects
ones point of view concerning Scripture all together.
It is important to note that it is doctrinally impossible to be
all things to all people when it comes to these points of view.
Any curriculum that strives to be all of these points of view to
their readers will be none of these points of view.
Many Church curriculums have become much of nothing when it comes
to doctrine, the primary content of the Bible, because they try to be
all things to all people and as a result teach no doctrines at all for
fear of offending somebody.
You must study to rightly divide the Word of God which requires that you
know who you are and lift your banner high.]
The Cooperation In
[– The cooperation
in view within the Revelation deals with the books authorship.
The epistle begins, “The
Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his
servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and
signified it by his
angel unto his servant John:” (Revelation
We notice immediately that this is not the Revelation of the
apostle John, it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ as given to the
apostle John. Hence, John
is the penman that wrote the epistle, but our Lord Jesus Christ is the
author of the book in that the text reveals Him in all His glory and the
text was given through inspiration as is all scripture (2 Tim 3.16-17).]
[The apostle John
is traditionally attributed as the penman (author) of The Revelation.
Some claim that a different John had to have written Revelation due to a
difference in style between Revelation and the other works of the
Circumstances that could have affected
John’s style include:]
[The Nature of Prophetic Literature –
The Revelation is the only New
Testament book whose subject almost wholly predicts future events.
While our Lord, in the gospels, provided prophetic discourses and
word pictures the major theme of this epistle is to coming revelation of
the King of kings yet to come.
Without any doubt the student of Biblical prophecy will quickly
realize that the language, types, and symbols that permeate those things
yet to come thrust upon us a style that can only be attribute to our God
Therefore, the very nature of the prophetic literature being penned by
the apostle John and the lofty, nearly indescribable things he was
trying to describe thrust upon him a style that may have seemed beyond
[Its Visionary Deliverance
– The visionary deliverance seen by
the apostle John must have seemed beyond the penman’s capacity to
describe. At least twenty
times the apostle used the word like throughout this epistle.
In chapter one alone John writes, ]
the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto
the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about
the paps with a golden girdle. 14
His head and his hairs were white like wool,
as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15 And his feet like
unto fine brass, as if they burned
in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.”
The apostle John received The
Revelation while exiled to the
of Patmos (Rev 1.9).
He was sent to this barren Island
in persecution to fill the Churches that the Apostle shepherded with
fear and to destroy their ministry and testimony.
The apostles circumstances may have led him to change his writing
style to help preserve its message in difficult times.
David Jeremiah explains it as follows,]
The early Christians were looking eagerly for
the return of their Master, but sixty years after his death this hope
was still unfulfilled. John
wanted to encourage those believers, so he wrote letters to the
churches, urging them to stand firm, not to waver in their faith.
However, he had to disguise this message in such a way that the
Roman authorities would not understand it.
The Christian could decipher this secret code, but Domitian and
his henchmen would be puzzled by it. It would be similar to POWs in our
country tapping out codes on cell walls to encourage their fellow
[That the apostle John is the penman of The
Revelation goes without doubt.
Grant R. Jeffery points out that the writings of the early Church
fathers attested clearly to the authorship of the apostle John.
Jeffery wrote, “Virtually every major Christian writer in the
first two and a half centuries accepted Revelation as the inspired work
of the disciple John.
Tertullian, Papias, Clemens, Alexandrinus, Origen, Jerome and Augustine
together with the vast majority of orthodox believers accepted John as
the inspired author of these unique visions.”
Therefore, it is safe for us to know and say that the apostle
John penned this prophetic book of the Bible.]
The Confirmation In
The Date of the books authorship is an undeniable confirmation of the
prophetic and futuristic nature of the epistle.
There are two general views about the date of the Authorship of
- Some maintain that 68 A.D. is a likely date for the authorship of the
book due to the severe persecution the church endured under Nero.
However, history reveals that Nero’s persecution normally
resulted in execution and death and rarely in exile.
Jeffrey notes, “There is no historical record of banishment of
exiles under Nero.”
Those who hold to this early date for the epistle are normally
preterist and must insist upon a date that precedes the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D or their whole theology
falls apart. If the apostle
John wrote after the fall of
then they cannot claim that the prophecies contained within the book
were all fulfilled in that event.
It seems clear that the prophecies of Revelation were not
fulfilled in 70 A.D. because many of the essential elements within the
text have gone unfulfilled.
The primary prophecy left unfulfilled being the failure of our Lord to
physically return to this earth as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev
– A more widely accepted view held by modern scholars and the works of
the church fathers, such as Irenaeus is that The Revelation was written
very close to 96 A.D. This
position is supported by the unimaginable persecutions of emperor
Domitian. History records that emperor Domitian’s persecution was
permeated with exiles of the type noted in this text.
The conditions of the Churches described in Revelation 2 and 3
also support the conditions described under the reign of Domitian.
Jeffrey notes that men like Irenaeus, Jerome, and Eusebius all
clearly confirmed this later date for the authorship to the text.]
[The date of the authorship of the text is a
confirmation of the futuristic prophetic position of the book.
Since the book was written after the fall of
in 70 A.D. the prophecies contained within the epistle could not have
been fulfilled in that event.
Therefore, we must look forward to a future fulfillment of the
Bible Study September 14, 2009