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The Essence of Revelation Prophecy

The events of Revelation are for our future or the future of our children. The book essentially explains the end of the Christian age when Christ brings all the struggles of life, the suffering from sin, and the ravages of time to an end and He restores to us His intended purpose of man dwelling with God in a created world designed to display his greatness. The hope is in the Resurrection where the body is redeemed from its broken state and made like new. No more sickness, disease, those who lived in a broken body of Autism, scarred, maimed, or deficient in any way is completely restored to full health. This the hope of the Believer and why we place your faith in Christ so that we might live with him for all eternity.

The Essentials

Revelation describes these 5 events as the essence of the Last Days or "End of Days". In a Pre-Mill / Post Trib position there is a list of "presuppositions" made in opposition to other "Eschatologies."

-Revelation was written about AD 68-100, during the reign of Emperor Trajan of Rome.

--Revelation being written after AD 70, has nothing to do with the events of AD 70.

-The Olivet Discourse (Math 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) was all fulfilled in AD 70.

--The Olivet does not contain a promise for a Second Coming.

Historical Facts

The Early Church Fathers were essentially "Chiliasts", most believed in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ.

-The Early Church Father were men who lived from AD 70-325, Before Rome became "Christianized" under Emperor Constantine.

They all believed in bodily Resurrection of the Dead in Christ

They all believed in a future coming of Christ in which he would appear a second time.

The Writing of the ECF tells us what they believed and relate testimony as eyewitnesses to historical events.

Second Coming

The angel in Acts 1:11 promised that Jesus would come again one day and this is taught by Paul in 16 verses that speak of his "coming" (GR: Parousia) and that he would "appear" (GR: Epiphaneia which is used 6x) at his coming (2 Thess 2:8) In Hebrews 9:28, Paul said he would appear a second time, and John stated that he would see him when he came (I John 3:2). His coming would be to the Mount of Olives from which he had ascended into heaven in Acts 1:11. (Zech 14:4) I Thess 2:8 states that his purpose is to come and kill the beast (666) and his armies that have gathered against him. Revelation 19 gives us a spiritualized version of this literal coming to earth, followed by an army of his saints.

Resurrection of the Dead

Paul teaches in I Thess 4 and I Cor 15 that "the dead in Christ" will rise first. Isa 19:6 teaches that the literal body that has turned dust will rise from out of the graves. Daniel repeats this in Daniel 12:2 and John again quotes this passage in his gospel 5:29. Luke uses the phrase in Acts 24:15 to speak of the resurrection that happens at his coming. In Mathew 27:53 we have an example of a literal corporate resurrection that took place of the graves of Jerusalem after Jesus was raised. The terms "resurrection of the dead" in Greek is "Anastasis Nekron" which literally means, "the standing of a corpse" and was a technical word used of an eyewitness who saw a dead body that came back to life. Revelation never describes a resurrection event that happens at his coming but Rev 20 describes that those who were killed by beheading in the Great Tribulation are resurrected to be his army and then to rule and reign with him over the nations that survive (Zech 14:16) during the 1000 years. The rest of the dead, which are the unjust or "unsaved" are resurrected at the end of the Millennium for judgment.

Rapture

While much controversy surrounds the idea of the rapture, the essential idea is that when the dead in Christ are raised at his coming, along with those who are alive, both groups meet the Lord in the air as he is coming to earth to rule and destroy the beast. The Greek word "apantesis" is used to describe the meeting in the air in which the one party is on his way to a location and the inhabitant of that city come out to meet him as he is coming in. These events are described in the Palm Sunday scenario in which word was sent to the people in Jerusalem that he was coming and they met him on the road as he came into Jerusalem. Historical when the Roman army returned to Rome after gaining victories, the word would be sent ahead and the people of Rome would empty out of the city and meet them on the road coming in. In the "catching up" of the saints we are meeting the Lord in the air as He returns to Jerusalem.

Millennium

The Millennium reign of Christ begins when Christ returns to earth and sets up an earthly kingdom. Revelation describes satan being thrown into a prison and locked up so that he can no longer wander the earth and deceive people. Christ rules over the nations with his resurrected saints. At the end of this time period satan is released and again deceives the nations. Once again an army is created and marches against Jerusalem, the city he loves and is now the camp of the saints. Christ calls down fire from heaven and it consumes the ungodly of the earth in the same way water killed all of the ungodly in Noah's day. This times is marked by peace and prosperity. Isa 60-65 describes this time of blessing and peace in which it is described as a new heaven and earth, as in the way of life under Christ rule has become "new".

Great White Throne

When fire comes down to destroy the ungodly there is no one left on the Earth to repopulate the earth. All men now stand before the judgment seat of Christ. (Rev 20:11-15) Hades gives up the souls in them and the graves and the sea give up the bodies that are in them for a resurrection of of the unjust for a judgment. All men are judged. The righteous are judged righteous and declared righteous and justified by their lives and deeds done in Christ. Their names are listed in the book of Life that was written before the foundation of the world based on Gods divine foreknowledge. The unjust must give an account of their lives and rejection of him and then are sent to the Lake of Fire where they are tormented forever and ever. This is not torment inflicted on them but torment over their eternal condition of being separated from God and life.

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A New Heaven and Earth

At the conclusion of the Judgment, God presents a "New Heaven and Earth. The word "new" (GR: kainos) means to be made like new,-Not found like this before. The earth and the heavens are remade for the purpose of man and God to dwell on the earth together. In the new heaven and earth there is no more keeping of time, days come to an end. There is no sickness, disease, or death. The only inhabitant are the righteous and they begin their eternal existence with God face to face.

The Structure of Revelation

Chp 1 - Introduction

Chp 2,3 - Seven letters to the Churches of Asia

Chp 4-18 - Tribulation Judgments

Chp 19 - The Return of Christ

Chp 20 - Millennial Kingdom / Great White Throne Judgment

Chp 21,22 - The New Heaven and Earth

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Interpreting the Book

The Book is filled with imagery borrowed from the Old Testament Prophets and is used to describe the spiritual nature of the literal events. For example in Rev 6:2 The first horse of the Apocalypse is white, this passage comes from Zech 1:8 that describe the four horseman that run to and fro upon the earth. Then in Rev 19:11 we again see the white horse imagery being used of Christ return, he comes to make war. A king riding on a white horse symbolized a king who comes in war. A king who comes in peace would ride on a donkey as Jesus did when he came to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Again metaphorical language is being used to describe literal events. The goal of the reader is to understand the imagery in its real sense of literal fulfillment.

The Golden Rule of Hermeneutics

“When the plain sense of the scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense.” Therefore, take every word at its primary, usual, meaning, unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and fundamental truths, clearly indicate otherwise”

Hermeneutics is the rules used to interpret what is being said or written so that communication takes place. The majority of the Bible was written in literal terms, using forms of speech to help the readers understanding. Apocalyptic language found in prophecies is "flowery speech" used to get a point across in the strongest of terms.

Many people approach the bible with the preconceived notion that in most places the words in the bible have a spiritual meaning, therefore what it says literally is not the intended message. This approach is rejected because it allows the reader to apply any meaning it wishes to the words, usually subject to the readers prejudices and presuppositions.

Exegesis

Is the process of understanding the words meanings in the original language (not English words) and then to understand each passage in the light of the meaning of the words as they are put together in a sentence and form the basis of an argument or teaching, or narrative, so by understanding the rules of grammar being used and identifying the parts of speech being used and by following the rules in the majority of cases people come to the same understanding. Differences arises when we read into a text what we think it says based on our belief system.