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Spirit and Covenant

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From the start, the promise of the Spirit has been integral to redemption and the Covenant of God with His people .  In  Galatians , Paul links the “ promise of the Spirit ” to the “ blessing of Abraham ,” the covenant promise that God would bless the Gentiles in the Patriarch. He is referring to the Spirit that the Galatians received “ through a hearing of faith .” Thus, the gift of the Spirit is part of the covenant made with Abraham, and with “ his seed ” - [ Photo by  David Brooke Martin  on Unsplash ].

Linear Chronological Sequence?

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Are Revelation’s visions presented in chronological sequence? If so, how do we explain the many parallel descriptions that link them?  Are Revelation’s visions presented in chronological sequence as they unfold? If we assume that to be the case, things quickly become untenable as key events are repeated in multiple visions. For example, the sixth seal culminated in the final day of wrath accompanied by celestial and terrestrial upheaval, yet the “ day of the Lord ” and the judgment of the wicked occur also when the seventh trumpet sounds - [ Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash ].

Provided Interpretations

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Revelation communicates symbolically, and it provides the reader with many of the most important interpretations of its images .  Revelation  provides several interpretations for its key images. For example, the first vision explains that the “ seven golden lampstands ” represent seven  churches . Moreover, the book is consistent in the application of its symbols. Thus, “ lampstands ” symbolize churches, “ stars ” represent angels, “ incense ” portrays the “ prayers of the saints ,” and so on - [ Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash ].

Common Errors Interpreting Revelation

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The relevance of Revelation for today is lost if we ignore its historical context and read it with incorrect presuppositions .  Revelation  provides a sweeping picture of the church age that highlights the real “wars” that are waged behind the scenes of history, “battles” that manifest in the daily struggles of the church. Its visions show God works through the “ Lamb ” to implement His kingdom and culminates in the arrival of “ New Jerusalem ,” but it begins in the first century with the “ seven churches of Asia ” - [ Photo by  Jan Kah├ínek  on Unsplash ].

Call to Action

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Through a series of seven “beatitudes,” Revelation summons believers to faithfulness despite hostility and persecution .  The  Book of Revelation  is not a tool of divination for peering into the future. Instead, it summons God’s people to vigilance, right living, and faithful witness,  all while living in a hostile society . It is not so much about  when  certain events will occur, but instead,  how  churches must “ overcome ” in their present situations and, thus, arrive at the city of “ New Jerusalem ” - [ Photo by sue hughes on Unsplash ].

Outline of the Second Division

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The  book of Revelation  is divided into four major literary units, each identifiable by the entry of John “ into the Spirit ” and his relocation to a new visionary vantage point (Patmos, the Throne, the wilderness, “ great high mountain ”). Each of the four divisions is easily subdivided into smaller units; for example, the series of “seven trumpets” - ( Revelation 1:9, 4:1-3, 17:3, 21:10 ). - [ Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash ].