Welcome to Episode #105 of Way of the Bible podcast. This is our first of eight episodes in our fourteenth mini-series entitled, Book That Blesses | Revelation. On this episode, Jesus’ Prologue to Things Coming, we’re going to overview the first five Chapters of the book of Revelation. An impossible task to do in any depth on one episode. So if you want to be blessed yourself, as we’ll see in a moment, you’ll read it on your own after you listen.
Revelation is a book of eschatology. Eschatology is a part of theology concerned with the final events of history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity. This concept is commonly referred to as "the end of the world" or "end times".
There are Four Main Approaches When Studying Eschatology:
Preterism, Historicism , Idealism, and Futurism
Futurism contends that New Testament prophecies (including those in Revelation) refer to real people and events yet to appear on the world stage. Early church futurists were Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, and Victorinus. The futurist approach is the best approach for following the principles of literal interpretation of the Scriptures.
In this overview of Revelation, I’ll be using the Futurism approach, as I am convinced by scripture it refers to real people and events that may soon come to fruition in human history.
The book of Revelation was written by the Apostle John in approximately 95 AD while imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos. It is the only prophetic book in the New Testament as compared to 17 prophetic books in the Old Testament. John is the only writer in scripture to reveal God’s presence in the farthest spectrums of Eternity past (Jn 1-3) and Eternity future (Rev 21-22).
As we’ll see, Revelation is the end point of all prophetic scriptures. If you read the Old Testament prophetic writings, you’ll likely be scratching your head wondering if and when the prophecy was fulfilled. If it hasn’t been fulfilled yet, it will be. In Revelation, all hanging prophecies are resolved and all promises of God are fulfilled. Jesus ends all rebellion in heaven and on earth, and reconciles all things to God. God then gives all things back to Jesus and God’s children who are co-heirs into eternity with Christ.
Revelation draws more on the Old Testament text than any other book of the Bible. Direct references in Revelation come from Isaiah-49; Daniel-34; Ezekiel-31; Psalms-23; Exodus-21; Jeremiah-16; Zechariah-10 (that's 184 text quotations!). Revelation also draws from Genesis, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Kings, Proverbs, Hosea, Joel, Malachi, Amos, Job, Maccabees, and Micah. Counts of direct references and allusions to OT passages range from 400 to 500+.