The Word for today:
Typically, Stand in the Rain will plunge into the pool headfirst before looking back to measure how high the diving board.
We knew that before long we'd have to regroup for a little bit of a chalk-talk, but we thought we'd get immersed in the Spirit of Revelation before taking this brief academic time-out.
Over the next couple days, we will provide you with some materials which will impart a sense of structure to the book of Revelation as a whole. Then, we promise, we'll dive right back into the Spirit of things.
The Bible is meant to be clearly understood. And so is the book of Revelation. But many have said that Revelation is inscrutable, obscure, incomprehensible.
To which Stand in the Rain politely replies, "Balderdash!" -- because the Word of God itself says that the meaning of Revelation is not sealed:
And he said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book…" (Revelation 22:10)
Whereas the full meaning of the book of Daniel is sealed until the time of the end (1), the meaning of Revelation is not closed to us.
As for Revelation's figurative language, the whole-Bible student will "figure out" Revelation's figurative language if he'll read the first 65 books of the Bible before peeking at the end! In the words of the late, great Bible teacher J. Vernon McGee:
Revelation is like a great union station where the great trunk lines of prophecy come in from other portions of scripture. Revelation does not originate but consummates. It is imperative to a right understanding of the book to be able to trace each great subject of prophecy from the first reference to the terminal.
Revelation is very neatly and systematically laid out. The verse which serves as an outline for the entire book is 1:19:
· Write the things which you have seen—chapter 1
(referring to the vision John had just seen and recorded in 1:10-16)
· and the things which are—chapters 2 and 3
(referring to the letters to the seven churches in chapters 2 and 3)
· and the things which shall be hereafter—chapters 4 to 22
(referring to the prophecies of future events unfolded in chapters 4 to 22)
The basics of Revelation, charted:
* It begins with the cross of Christ and His ascension. In chapter 1, we see the glorified Christ.
* In chapters 2-3 we see the church.
* In chapters 4-5 we see that the church is in heaven.
* Then on earth the Great Tribulation takes place, chapters 6-18.
* In chapter 19, Christ returns to earth and establishes His kingdom.
* Chapter 20 gives us the thousand-year reign of Christ.
* Then the Great White Throne is set up (the place where the lost are judged).
* In chapters 21-22 eternity begins.
The basics of Revelation, outlined:
I. A vision of Christ’s glory, wisdom, and power (chapter 1).
II. Christ’s authority over the entire church (Chapters 2, 3).
III. Christ the Lamb Who was slain and declared worthy to open the book of judgment (ch.5).
IV. Christ’s righteous wrath is poured out upon the whole earth (chapters 6-18).
V. Christ returns in power to judge his enemies and to reign as the Lord over all (ch. 19, 20).
VI. Christ rules forever over the heavenly city in the presence of all who know Him (ch. 21, 22).
We hope that these materials will leave you with a sense that Revelation is written to make perfect sense. Now let's go see what sense it makes.
(1) Daniel 12:9