This study of the Revelation (commonly called The Book of Revelation) examines the prophecy in the context of a first century, contemporary fulfillment as opposed to a futuristic interpretation that sees the events prophesied as being fulfilled in the twenty first century.
Perhaps the most important book in the New Testament Canon, The Revelation is a prophecy given by Jesus to the Apostle John about imminent events that were about to break loose on the world of the first century. It constantly warns that, “the time is near!” Without considering this fact the Revelation will not be properly understood. Like all prophecy the Revelation was written to encourage, exhort, and comfort first century Christians in the Roman Empire, when persecution and the very real threat of martyrdom were presenting them with a severe temptation to apostatize from the faith.
The final dissolution of the obsolete Old Covenant age was about to take place with the judgment of God upon Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, which happened in 70 A.D. and was the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matt. 24. The New Covenant age of Messiah’s reign was being inaugurated and fully revealed.
John received the Revelation in symbolic form. However, we are not left to highly “fertile imaginations” to interpret the symbols. All of the symbols of Revelation come from the Old Testament Scriptures. Therefore, we do not need twenty-first century news magazines to interpret Revelation. The rule of interpreting Revelation is that, “Scripture interprets Scripture.”
Whilst the book of Revelation was fulfilled in the first century (except for the last three chapters) it does not therefore mean that it has no relevance to us today. As the prophecy imparted strength and encouragement to the early Church, it also still speaks to us in the 21st century, encouraging us to also live an overcoming life.
Although there exists enormous controversy surrounding the interpretation of this highly symbolic book, it nevertheless has a clear message regarding the present administration of the Kingdom of God and Christ's rule over the nations today.
At the conclusion of this study you will have a clear understanding:
Of the Revelation as a prophecy about the end of the Old Covenant age, culminating in the wrath of the Lamb being poured out upon apostate Israel, and the dawning of the New Covenant age as opposed to it being a prophecy about the end of history, centuries into the future.
That the Lord’s Jesus Christ’s judgment on the apostate Jewish nation is the pattern of how He will judge the nations on the basis of their response to the Gospel of the Kingdom, and on the basis of the governmental prayers and worship of the Church.
Of the hermeneutical principle established by Jesus and the apostles regarding the fulfilment of Old Testament prophesies.
Of the reformation that must take place in the work of the Church of the 21st century in order for the Church to fulfil its mandate.
Of the practical principles that are applicable to us, as twenty first century Christians, in the trials and tribulations that the Church faces today. The, “to him who overcomes,” is still a clarion call to us today.
Of your whole Bible and the unity of its message. John quotes hundreds of passages from the Old Testament, and all of the symbols of his message are found in the Old Testament. Therefore we do not need contemporary news magazines to interpret the Revelation. You will actually see how “Scripture interprets Scripture.”
Of the Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of His Church, and as God’s anointed King, presently ruling and reigning at the right of God, until He has subdued all of His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be subdued is death ... at His final appearing!
Ultimately, the Revelation is about the, Victory of Christ, and how we are to walk in it!
Apostle Rod Seago
**Artwork: By David Roberts - net, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10987959