Revelation1: What is Revelation All About?
Hope after Hope Before Hope / Revelation 1
• We are entering into strange territory for the next few months. It will likely be exciting, a little shocking, fearful, worshipful. It will stretch and hopefully break any faith in anything less than Christ. And it will do it through some very strange images.
• Revelation will make us uncomfortable but only so that we see where faith belongs.
“Revelation” by Flanders O Connor. This is a writeup I did on the distortion that Mrs. Turpin goes through if interested in reading further. https://medium.com/@jmceger/an-old-warthog-from-hell-and-the-augustinian-concept-of-evil-using-flannery-oconnor-s-language-93fdba226e21
The goal of Revelation is “uncivil worship and witness” in following Jesus into His new creation
• The book of Revelation is really a letter written by the apostle John while he was being held prisoner for his faith on the island of Patmos.
• He is writing this letter to 7 churches that we will soon meet and he is doing so to communicate all that is happening in their world and the world to come.
• apocalyptic imagery is larger than life images that the Bible is giving us to help us understand spiritual realities.
• As we jump into the book, we enter through the deep end. In fact, there is no shallow end of the pool in Revelation. We are thrown into a heavenly reality right away.
• We interact with God who is not simply meeting us where we are at. In revelation we see that God is not just coming to comfort the hurting or console us. He is giving us something much more than that. He is offering Himself to us in a way that a new way to think and believe and act. Revelation is not just wild imagery and a cosmic battle, we are shown an entirely new life possible in Christ. That Christ has come not to just comfort but to recreate all things.
• By the time we get to Revelation 1 we aren’t just starting the discussion about final things. We realize that we are entering into the reality of God’s intent for creation all along. That all of creation, being sustained by Him, would be reconciled by Him.
Revelation shows that Christ stands even after everything else falls
Revelation 1:4–7 ESV
John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
Revelation shows the beginning and the end in Christ
Revelation 1:8 ESV
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 22:13 ESV
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Revelation shows us that Every human future stands or falls on Christ
Revelation 1:17–18 ESV
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
• The book of Revelation shows us the spiritual reality of things. That God is first and last. We are told that and we will be shown that throughout.
Revelation 1:12–16 ESV
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
• Most of the book will be a battle between God and Babylon, which is a city who is firmly set against God. Babylon resists God. God fights Babylon. And in it’s place we get a picture of a new Jerusalem. Cities represent ways in which humanity has chosen to live completely independently of God. Jerusalem will be God’s work to recreate the city with Him as dependent.
• Babylon is everything that humanity has done to restart creation on it’s own. Who has tried and tried and tried to live life independently of God.
• Because it takes the perspective that Babylon has been shouting it’s divorce from God. Babylon shouts that it can take things from here, trying to live independent from God Himself.
Revelation 21:22–24 ESV
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,
“God does not raise up citadels of stone and marble for us; outside of this world he raises up citadels of the Holy Spirit for us, citadels of love which could never collapse, which will for ever stand in glory when this world has been reduced to ashes. … Rome has collapsed and your hearts are outraged by this. Rome was built by men like yourself. Since when did you believe that men had the power to build things that are eternal? Your souls, filled with the light of the Holy Spirit, will not perish.”” – Augustine