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Revelation Review

I. Introduction:

 I want to spend some time over the next few weeks on Sunday night reviewing what we have been discussing on Sunday mornings concerning the book of Revelation.  A couple of our Sunday School classes are doing similar things, so this may involve introducing some new ideas as well as looking at other end-time passages in the New Testament.  Also, I would like to have a different person share their testimony each night so that we can hear how the Lord has brought us to trust in Christ.  Tonight, I simply want to review my approach the three cycles of seven (seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls of wrath).

II.  Three Cycles of Seven:

 A.  The question that we all want to ask in studying the book of Revelation is ‘when.’  We want to know when everything is going to happen.  So we ask: when will the four horsemen come?  Or: when will the first woe pass?  Yet, the ‘when’ question is not really the point of the book.  So then, what can we say about these three cycles?

 B.  The three cycles are three different perspectives on the end times.  There is overlap, it seems some events are being described in multiple places (different aspects of the destruction of nature takes place in each cycle).  It seems that each of the cycles end at the Final Judgment.  Thus, we are given repeated ideas about what will happen leading up to the final judgment.

 C.  Interludes: The cycles contain sections that most refer to as interludes.  Chapter 7 is an interlude in the opening of the seals.  10:1-11:14 is an interlude in the blowing of the trumpets.  And 12-14 is an extended interlude before the seven bowls.  Each of these interludes involve different perspectives on various end-time events.

 D.  Themes: As we have seen in the passages that we have looked at so far and as we will continue to see, the two main themes of these cycles is that God will judge the wicked and the righteous will be protected/blessed.  The judgment that is described seems to get worse and worse with each cycle.  John wants to make it very clear to the seven Churches (and to us) that being God’s enemy will not result in anything less than severe judgment.  Likewise, he writes to encourage us that even if we face suffering in this life, our reward will be found in the life to come.  Also, we should add the theme of God’s sovereignty which runs throughout the book and gives a solid foundation for our belief that what God says will come to pass will indeed come to pass.  He is in control of all of these events.  No king or emperor or ruler or judge has authority over Him.  He is sovereign and He is good to His people.

III.  Conclusion:

 A large part of the book of Revelation is made up of these three cycles and the interludes.  Hopefully, with the Spirit’s power, our discussion will help you understand these passages better.

Last Updated ( Friday, 25 May 2012 )

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