God’s final Word – a continued introduction


God’s final Word

The following is a lesson presented by Mark Ramsey along with some of the responding comments from the class.

  1. Key terms
    • ΑΠΟΚΑΛΥΨΙΣ (Apokalypsis) — “Unveiling, disclosure, revelation”

      Although the word appears only once in the book (1:1), the Greek term (αποκάλυψίς) functions as the title of the entire book. The word simply means uncovering of something that had been hidden. The book of Revelations sheds light on Old Testament prophecies, reveals spiritual truths, and ultimate revelation of God through Jesus Christ at the end of time.

    • ἐν τάχει (en tachei) — “soon” or ἐγγύς (engys) — “near”

      When Revelation says Christ will come “soon” or that His return is “near,” the terms express Christ’s return as impending, not immediate. The terms reflect the suddenness of Christ’s coming, not a short lapse of time before His coming. If Scripture meant to indicate that Christ’s coming would be in a short amount of time after His ascension, it would likely have used “oligos” to indicate a short span of time. The terms ἐν τάχει and ἐγγύς support the doctrine of imminence — Christ could return at any moment.

    • ὁμοίας (homoios) — “like, resembling, similar to”

      This term is used 21 times, especially in passages using highly symbolic language (e.g., Revelation 9:10; 13:2). We must keep in mind that in many cases, John saw symbolic representations of future events and tried to put into words things which were essentially indescribable.

      They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. (Revelation 9:10 NASB)

      καὶ ἔχουσιν οὐρὰς ὁμοίας σκορπίοις καὶ κέντρα, καὶ ἐν ταῖς οὐραῖς αὐτῶν ἡ ἐξουσία αὐτῶν ἀδικῆσαι τοὺς ἀνθρώπους μῆνας πέντε.(Revelation 9:10 Nestle Greek)

      And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. (Revelation 13:2 NASB)

    • προσκυνήσουσιν (proskyneosee) — “bow down before, show reverence to, worship”

      This term is used 24 times. Those in heaven worship God, but the wicked worship demons, Satan, the Antichrist, or idols. The clear question is simple: to whom will you bow down and worship?

  2. Practical lessons
    • God’s inerrant Word is a reliable map

      No matter how difficult it may seem to comprehend the visions of Revelation, we have the confidence that God’s Word will accomplish its purpose in our lives. Isaiah 55:10-11.

      For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10‭-‬11 NASB)

    • God’s sovereign plan replaces fear with hope

      The book of Revelation demonstrates that no matter how bad things appear to be, God is working out His sovereign plan. This book assures us that in the end, the Lord God Almighty wins!

    • God’s glorious Son is worthy of worship

      The book of Revelation consistently and repeatedly points us to Jesus Christ as the center of prophecy. We praise Christ for what He has done for us on the cross by taking away our sins. We praise Him for what He is doing for us by interceding for us in heaven. This book gives us reason to praise Him for what He will do for us in the future. As such, Christ remains the center of our worship now and forever.

  3. Interpretation

    Prior to going into these interpretations of Revelation, Mark Ramsey explained that he does not hold to the first three interpretations.

    • Preterist — is a person who views Revelation as a historical record of events in the first century Roman Empire. Problem: This ignores the book as prophecy and all the events predicted in Revelation were not fulfilled in the first century.
    • Historist — is a person who views Revelation from a historical view from apostolic times until the present. Problem: This ignores the book as prophecy. Resorts to allegorizing the text to support historical events (the fall of the Roman Empire, the rise of the Catholic Church, the French Revolution, the advent of Islam).
    • Idealist — is a person who views the book as a struggle between good and evil that is played out in every age. Problem: Revelation is neither a historical record or a predictive prophecy.
    • Futurist — is a person who views chapters 4-22 as predictions of people and events yet to come in the future. This view gives full justice to Revelation’s claim to be prophecy. Anything other than the futurist approach leaves the meaning to human ingenuity and opinion. We will study this book based on the futurist approach accepting what the text says.
  4. Messages of the Majestic Savior

    If Jesus Christ were to show up in our church unannounced and evaluates our worship and carefully investigated our interpersonal relationships in our class and congregation, how would He react?

    It is a frightening prospect to be evaluated directly by the One Who knows everything. Yet this is exactly what Christ did, according to the first three chapters of the book of Revelation. Christ holds back neither encouragement nor rebuke. He called all the believers in the seven churches to examine their lives and ministries.

  5. The Author of the book

    Revelation 1:1 states that this book is “the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him” and which Jesus in turn made known to John, using His angel as an intermediary. The author of Revelation is God the Father, Himself. No other book in the Bible has been given to us in this manner. John’s role in the writing of this book is virtually that of a secretary taking dictation.

  6. The main message

    Jesus Christ is the conqueror and all believers share in His great victory!

 

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