Book of Revelation

Three of the most perplexing questions with which we have wrestled for many years in the theological area known as eschatology (the study of last things) have been these:

  1. Why don’t most Christians know the pertinent truths and empowering realities the book of Revelation teaches?
  2. Why is there so much confusion, controversy, and conflict among Christians and churches over this book—which reveals Jesus Christ as He is today?
  3. Why can’t a typical, ordinary layperson study this prophecy and trust the Holy Spirit to guide him or her into its truths?

Theological Problem:

Real estate agents have a comical but serious saying. They insist that the three most important factors in selling a property are: “Location! Location! Location!” In a similar fashion, what do you think are the three most important factors or rules for properly understanding the meaning of any piece of literature, including the Bible? The answer is: “Context! Context! Context!”

Yet the #1 reason why most people, and for centuries and today as well, have misread, misunderstood, and mis-taught the prophecy of the book of Revelation is because they have failed to place it in its divinely determined context before they try to interpret and understand it. Consequently, they lift it out of its context, stretch it like a rubber band—1900 years and counting—plop it down out in the future, and create a pretext. A pretext allows the reader to make a text mean almost anything he or she desires. As a result the intended and true meaning is distorted and missed. Conflict and confusion then prevail between different views. And readers don’t receive this book’s wisdom nor promised blessings.

What Scripture Says:

The book of Revelation contextualizes itself. Therefore, by recognizing and honoring the divinely determined time and nature context this book of prophecy places upon itself, we can be better assured of grasping its true message and meaning and unlocking its wisdom and promised blessings, here and now. To do this, we must arrive at a proper understanding of these five foundational questions:

Elaborations:

  • How do we handle its strange imagery?
  • When was it most likely written?
  • How do we handle its time statements?
  • When was or will it be fulfilled?
  • What is its relevance for us today?

Sources:

1 The Greater Jesus by John Noe

2 The Scene Behind the Seen (future book – est. 2017) by John Noe

3 “An Exegetical Basis for a Preterist-Idealist Understanding of the Book of Revelation,” article in Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Vol. 49, No. 4 (Dec. 2006) by John Noe

4 The Days of Vengeance by David Chilton

5 The Book of Revelation by Foy E. Wallace

6 More Than Conquerors by William Hendriksen