Revelation Series 2020
To listen to the talk series from the book of Revelation by Dave Ward and Pete Gray, click the chapter you want and enjoy!
An Introduction to REVELATION:
The book of Revelation to many people is very difficult to understand and so not too much of a revelation at all! And sadly, when people do not have a grasp of the theme and pattern, they fill in their own blanks. As a result, much of the book of Revelation has some very wacky interpretations.
We hope that this chapter-by-chapter series which we worked through in King's Church from February - August of 2020 is very helpful and enjoyable for you as you listen.
It is important to acknowledge that Pete Gray and I who did the majority of the preaches leaned heavily on the wonderful commentaries by G K Beale, P J Leithart and R H Mounce.
Something of the culture and background set alongside O/T books like Ezekiel and Daniel is very important for the context of John’s vision. The book was written to seven churches which were based in the geographical area of what we now know as Western Turkey, Biblically as the province of Asia.
Revelation is set against circumstances where there was an expectation of widening, intensifying persecution of God's people. The book presupposes that Christians were being increasingly required to participate in Emperor worship, hence the references to the Book of Daniel.
The major theological theme of the book is the glory due to God because He has accomplished full salvation and final judgement. As in John’s gospel, so in the apocalypse, the death and (seeming) defeat of Christ are in reality His victory over Satan. Christ’s followers are to model His victory in their lives by enduring through tribulation. Christians are called to be conquerors by emulating in their lives the triumph of Jesus.
The focus of the book is exhortation to the church community to witness to Christ in the midst of a compromising, idolatrous church and world.
Symbolism is widely used in Revelation through both visions and numbers. John seeks to motivate his readers not to compromise with the world but to align themselves to the God centered standards of the new creation. They are to see their own situation in this world in the light of the new world which is now their home. The literary form of symbols appears whenever ordinary warnings are no longer heeded, in a similar way to parables. They are meant as they are with Old Testament Prophets and also with Jesus to shock the remnant of genuine saints back to their proper spiritual senses. In Revelation it has the same function.
Revelations most significant expression of worship occur where God’s glory is highlighted as Chpt 4-5, 7:9-12, 11: 15-19, 15: 2-8, 19: 1-8. Idolatry is regarded not merely as worshipping other god’s but as a failure to worship the one who is Lord of all. One of the purposes of the church gathering every week is to be reminded of it’s heavenly identity by modelling its worship on the heavenly churches worship of the ‘exalted lamb’.
John’s use of ‘the one having ears to hear let him hear’ is not new rather it is in line with both Old and New Testament that communication of truth is intended to both open the eyes of the true remnant and to blind counterfeit members of the church community. It reveals truth to some but conceals it from others. The warning comes because the church, like Israel before it, has become spiritually dull and has begun to compromise by associating with idolatry.
We hope you enjoy listening, as much as we did to share it with you, every blessing,
Sonia Hampshire, 06/09/2020