The Book of Revelation is at once frightening, as it speaks of the rise of the evil one, the Great Tribulation, and the end of the age; dramatic as it describes the final battle of good and evil; and, above all, optimistic, as it points to the triumph of Jesus Christ over evil and the dawn of a New Creation. Revelation sets three time periods to the book - what you have seen, what is now, and what will happen afterwards.
The first time period records the vision of the Son of Man Revelation , which refers to his Resurrection. The third time period comprises the future , which presents a split-stage effect, offering scenes of both heaven and earth. Chapter 4 begins scenes of heavenly worship, which are interspersed throughout and provide continuity to this intriguing text but also offer contrast to the terrifying images during the Tribulation on earth Hope is offered to those who are faithful to the Lord and his Commandments.
Those who endure for Christ will be kept from the hour of trial that will fall on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth Revelation Angels are instructed not to harm the earth until the servants of God are sealed on their foreheads Spirits from the abyss are to torment only those who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads For example, the Son of Man in Daniel is referenced in Revelation and The number seven resounds throughout Revelation and often serves as a key to important events.
There are the seven Churches, and the seven seals, trumpets, and bowls. There are the seven angels who stand before the Lord Angels appear over 70 times in Revelation and play an instrumental role in this prophetic text.
He reaps from the earth what is his. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Book: Book of Revelation. Knowing this, we can see the importance of our personal testimony of Jesus Christ and of participating fully in His work in the latter days. In contrast, Tina Pippin states that John writes " horror literature " and "the misogyny which underlies the narrative is extreme. Revelation promises a world where pain and tears and death pass away. Tradition ascribes the authorship to John the Apostle , but it seems unlikely that the apostle could have lived into the most likely time for the book's composition, the reign of Domitian, and the author never states that he knew Jesus.
Revelation describes the Book of Life and gives a warning about the Day of Judgement. The only ones to enter the New Jerusalem will be those written in the Book of Life of the Lamb The New Covenant binds together the following four levels of interpretation: There is the Preterist view, which emphasizes a first-century fulfillment of Revelation's prophecies; a Futurist view, which sees Revelation as a timetable for future events on earth, a view which lately has been prominent in the media; an Idealist view, which considers Revelation an allegory of spiritual warfare that every believer must fight; and the Historical view, which takes the vantage point of the Apocalypse laying out God's master plan for history, from beginning to end; one sees the consistent pattern of covenant, fall, judgement and redemption.
King James I commissioned a group of Biblical scholars in to establish an authoritative translation of the Bible from the ancient languages and other translations at the time, and the work was completed in The original King James Bible included the Apocrypha but in a separate section.
A literary masterpiece of the English language, the original King James Bible is still in use today! John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.
Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.
Even so, Amen. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in 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. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda h , the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. This was blasphemy to Jews and the early Christians, who believed there was only one God and saw worship of other gods as idolatry. Academics believe that the development of this Imperial Cult made John angry and the Book of Revelation is a polemic against it and a warning to the Christians not to engage with it. The imagery shows that good triumphs over evil, that faithfulness will be rewarded and justice will be done.
The infamous seven-headed Beast that rises from the sea demanding to be worshipped symbolises Rome. By John's time seven emperors had ruled over Rome and Rome was known as the city of seven hills. The number of the Beast - - has always puzzled Christians and led to many speculations about who this could be. Scholars now believe that this was a matter of numerology, a popular puzzle in ancient times.
The letters of a name were ascribed numerical value and added up to give a number. Historians believe that Nero's persecution of Christians in Rome may have entered the consciousness of early Christians, making him a hate figure. However, evidence from ancient manuscripts indicates that may not have been the number of the Beast.
In the late 19th century, British archaeologists working at the site of the Egyptian city Oxyrhynchus discovered a cache of papyri that were brought to Oxford, where academics have been working their way through them ever since. One of these papyrus fragments is of the Book of Revelation and gives the number of the Beast as Working on the same principle of numerology, academics work out to indicate the Emperor Caligula.
Caligula had had a statue of himself erected in the temple in Jerusalem, greatly offending Jews. If John indeed was a Jew from Palestine he would have known this. The image of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse is borrowed and updated from the Hebrew Prophet, Zachariah. The red horse symbolises war and destruction; the black horse symbolises famine; the pale horse symbolises death; the white horse symbolises vengeance and salvation.
By John's time many famous battles had been fought there and in the first century it was the site of the camp of the brutal Roman Ironsides. To John's mind this would have been the perfect place for the final battle between good and evil. So it seems that the Book of Revelation is not prophesising the end of the world but is a polemic against the Roman Empire.
John frames his attack in a way that parallels other religious writings of the time and which would have made sense to early Christians. John was telling first century Christians to galvanise themselves against compromising with Rome, and that their faithfulness would be rewarded. Search term:. Read more. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets CSS enabled.
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