A BIBLICAL APPROACH TO A BLESSED BOOK WITH A BLESSED PURPOSE
Join us on Wednesday nights at 7 PM as we go through the book of Revelation verse by verse. Of all the books in the Bible, none has caused as much distress, confusion1, and awe as this blessed book. It is often misquoted, misinterpreted, and misapplied. Many peruse its sacred pages out of sheer curiosity and wonder, while the unlearned and unstable wrest the Scriptures to fit their denomination's creed.
Many, following the heretical teachings of Origen, take the book of Revelation to be allegorical and symbolic, spiritualizing the text and twisting it to mean what they want. The Russelites take this approach with the 144,000, and many of the Protestants (Reformers) handle the doctrine of the Millennial reign of Christ in the same way.
God had other plans for this blessed book. Revelation 1:3 states this clearly:
- "Blessed is he that readeth" ~ Showing that the book is intended to be read, not to be feared by God's people nor to be relegated to the intellectual class who know schoolmen's Greek.
- Blessed are "they that hear" ~ Showing that it is a book that should be taught and preached from.
- Blessed are those who "keep those things which are written therein" ~ Showing clearly that the text is not to be altered to suit someone's denominational creed.
This in-depth, verse by verse study takes into consideration a number of things. The following must be considered before one studies the book in earnest:
1) The hermeneutic used.
Many churches do not discuss this very critical element concerning the study of Scripture. Charles Ryrie, in his work Dispensationalism (pg. 89), has this to say about hermeneutics: "Hermeneutics is the science that furnishes the principles of interpretation. These principles guide and govern anybody's system of theology. They ought to be determined before one's theology is systemized..."
2) The date of authorship.
Some try to date the book before 70 A.D., thus confining the events in Revelation to the year in which Jerusalem was destroyed (70 A.D.). This, when viewed in light of Scripture, is untenable.
3) The various schools of thought.
The Bible teaches a Pre-Millennial view, while other, non-biblical views would include the A-Millennial and Post-Millennial positions. These positions are covered throughout this study.
4) The basic outline.
The outline of the book, as found in 1:19, determines a sound dispensational breakdown of prophetic events. ("Write the things which thou hast seen," [chap 1], "...the things which are," [chap 2-3], "... and the things which shall be hereafter;" [chap 4-22])
The prophetic events in this book will be handled rationally, not with the fanaticism and strangeness with which some approach the book today.
1Revelation is one of the few books that Calvin did not write a commentary on, claiming that he did not understand it.