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This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ (1:1) Four is, after seven, the symbolic number most commonly and consistently used in Revelation. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Revelation

  • This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ (11)

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Martin Luther (1522)
My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this
book. For me this is reason enough not to
think highly of it Christ is neither taught nor
known in it.
  • A hideous version of Christianitya repulsive
    work. D.H. Lawrence, Apocalypse
  • Resentment and not love is the teachinga book
    without wisdom, goodness, kindness, or affection
    of any kind. Harold Bloom, The Revelation of
    St. John the Divine, 1988
  • We are bound to judge that in its conception of
    the character of God and its attitude to man the
    book falls below the level, not only of the
    teaching of Jesus, but of the best parts of the
    Old Testament. C.H. Dodd, The Apostolic
    Preaching and Its Development, 1963

  • The Apocalypse of John is a work of immense
    learning, astonishingly meticulous literary
    artistry, remarkable creative imagination,
    radical political critique, and profound
    theology. - Richard Bauckham, The Climax of
    Prophecy Studies on the Book of Revelation

  • The message of Revelation is best represented as
    a message of healing and not as a message of
    destruction. - Sigve Tonstad

What is the purpose of this book?
  • We have been alerting you.that the next and
    last Pope will be a Devil Impersonating John Paul
    II. Through the study of Revelation chapter 17,
    God has led us to a most startling truth,
    confirming that we are nearer to the end of all
    things than ever imagined. We are prompted by our
    loving God to share this prophecy, that none
    need be ensnared by the global events soon to
    transpire which will engulf the world in the
    grandest deception yet contrived by Satan.
  • We dare to declare this interpretation to the
    world because we adhere only to sound Biblical
    interpretation. This means we unlock Bible
    prophecy by using the Bible as its own
    interpreter. By doing so we are certain of the
    correctness of the revelation.

Revelation and Time
  • Preterism John saw past events/events in his own
  • Futurism John saw distant future events
  • Dispensationalism an evangelical interpretation
    that understands God to have revealed himself in
    a series of dispensations or periods of
  • Historicism John saw future events but is
    concerned with historical continuity

  • Cosmic Conflict Interpretation
  • Revelation is concerned with past, present and
  • Then war broke out in heaven. (Revelation 127)
  • Write, then, the things you see, both the things
    that are now and the things that will happen
    afterward. (Revelation 119)
  • Revelation is concerned with human reality in
    all of history Sigve Tonstad

  • Prologue 11-6
  • 7 Churches 17-321
  • 7 Seals 41-81
  • 7 Trumpets 82-1119
  • The Cosmic Conflict 12-14
  • 7 bowls of Gods wrath 151-225
  • Epilogue 226-21

The Cosmic Conflict (Rev. 12-14)
  • The likelihood that Revelation has a chiastic
    structure that puts the war of the ages at the
    center of the chiasm sets this section apart as
    the one that gives perspective to the entire
    narrative.(1) This section of the book stands
    out as a fresh beginning(2) , an
    uncharacteristically abrupt fresh start (3),
    the pinnacle of the apocalyptic prophecy (4)
  • 1.  Tonstad, Saving Gods Reputation, 56 2.
    Rologg, Revelation, 1393. Bauckham, Climax of
    Prophecy, 1
  • 4. Bousset, Offenbarung, 335

Cosmic Conflict theme (Rev. 12-14)
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  • The seventh seal ends with a scene at the golden
    altar of incense (Revelation 83) and with
    rumblings and peals of thunder, flashes of
    lightning, and an earthquake. (Revelation 85)
  • The seventh trumpet ends with a scene at the
    Covenant Box and with flashes of lightning,
    rumblings and peals of thunder, an earthquake,
    and heavy hail. (Revelation 1119)
  • The seventh plague ends with A loud voice from
    the throne in the temple and with flashes of
    lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder, and a
    terrible earthquake.(Revelation 1617-18)

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  • 1st four trumpets are poured out on the
  • 1. earth 2. sea 3. rivers and springs 4.
    sun, moon and stars
  • 1st four bowls are poured out on the 1. earth
    2. sea 3. rivers and springs 4. sun, moon
    and stars

  • 6th trumpet Release the four angels who are
    bound at the great Euphrates River! (Revelation
  • 6th bowl the angel pours out his bowl on the
    great Euphrates River. (Revelation 1612)

Repetition and Progression
  • Seals Rider on a pale-colored horse. They were
    given authority over one fourth of the earth, to
    kill by means of war, famine, disease, and wild
    animals. (Revelation 68)
  • Trumpets one third of the earth, sea, rivers,
    sun, moon and stars...
  • Bowls Every living creature in the sea died.
    (Revelation 163)

  • Seals holding back the four winds because the
    people are not yet sealed. (Revelation 71-3)
  • Trumpets They have the mark of Gods seal on
    their foreheads (Revelation 94) and the winds
    are no longer held back release the four
    angels (Revelation 914)
  • Bowls with them the wrath of God is ended
    (Revelation 151).

  • War in heaventhe ancient serpent of oldthrown
    down to the earth (Rev. 12)
  • The third trumpet A large star, burning like a
    torch, which fell from heaven (Revelation
  • The fifth trumpet, I saw a star which had fallen
    down to earth, and it was given the key to the
  • His name in Hebrew is Abaddon in Greek the name
    is Apollyon meaning the Destroyer
    (Revelation 911).
  • Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven,
    holding in his hand the key of the abyss and a
    heavy chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient
    serpent that is, the Devil, or Satan and
    chained him upthe angel threw in into the abyss,
    locked it and sealed it (Revelation 201-3, see
    also Isaiah 1415).

  • Johns vision creates a single symbolic universe
    in which its readers may live for the time it
    takes to read (or hear) the bookThe power, the
    profusion and the consistency of the symbols have
    a literary-theological purpose. They create a
    symbolic world which readers can enter so fully
    that it affects them and changes their perception
    of the world. Most readers were originally, of
    course, hearers. Revelation was designed for oral
    enactment in Christian worship services. Its
    effect would therefore be somewhat comparable to
    a dramatic performance, in which the audience
    enters the world of the drama for its duration
    and can have the perception of the world outside
    the drama powerfully shifted by their experience
    of the world of the drama. - Richard Bauckham

Principles of Interpretation
  • 1. Become a re-reader 
  • The book of Revelation is not composed in a neat
    chronological manner. The seven seals, trumpets
    and bowls of wrath retell the same story but from
    different perspectives and with a different

Principles of Interpretation
  •  2. Recognize Old Testament (OT) allusions. 
  • The book of Revelation makes extensive use of the
    OT. These specific and brief allusions invite us
    to consider the full context of the OT passage.
  • The wrath of the Lamb
  • Silence in heaven

Principles of Interpretation
  • 3. There is more than one acting subject at
    work. Revelation not only tells the story of the
    Slaughtered Lamb, it also tells the Dragons

Symbols and metaphors
  • Horses
  • Olive trees
  • Trumpets
  • Hailstones
  • Locusts
  • 3 Frogs
  • Sanctuary
  • Dragons and other beasts
  • Sharp sickle
  • Bowls of Gods anger
  • Prostitute
  • Harps

  • Revelation has suffered from interpretation
    which takes its images too literally. Even the
    most sophisticated interpreters all too easily
    slip into treating the images as codes which need
    only to be decoded to yield literal predictions.
    But this fails to take the images seriously as
    images. John depicts the future in images in
    order to be able to do both more and less than a
    literal prediction could. Less, because
    Revelation does not offer a literal outline of
    the course of future events as though prophecy
    were merely history written in advance. But more,
    because what it does provide is insight into the
    nature of Gods purpose for the future, and does
    so in a way that shapes the readers attitudes to
    the future and invites their active participation
    in the divine purpose. Richard Bauckham

Meticulous attention to detail
  • Revelation has been composed with such
    meticulous attention to detail of language and
    structure that scarcely a word can have been
    chosen without deliberate reflection on its
    relationship to the work as an integrated,
    interconnected whole. - Richard Bauckham The
    Climax of Prophecy Studies on the Book of

Numerical Patterns with theological significance
  • Seven beatitudes scattered throughout the book of
  • Happy is the one who reads this book... (Rev
  • Since seven is the number of completeness in the
    Bible, this specific number of blessings is
    included to indicate the fullness of blessing to
    be bestowed on the reader or hearer who
    faithfully obeys the message of Revelation

  • Seven times the word prophecy is mentioned
  • Seven times Christ reassures us that I am
  • 144,000
  • The New Jerusalem that has 12 gates and the
    dimensions of a perfect cube
  • Time periods of 1,260 days, 42 months, 3 and ½
    days and times, time and half a time.

  • Seven times, The LORD God Almighty
  • Seven times, The One who sits on the throne
  • Seven times in total three phrases are used to
    describe God that are each considered to be
  • the Alpha and the Omega
  • the beginning and the end
  • the first and the last

A B B¹ A¹
18 117 216 2213
end of prologue beginning of vision end of vision beginning of epilogue
God Christ God Christ
Alpha and Omega   Alpha and Omega Alpha and Omega
  first and last   first and last
    beginning and end beginning and end
The structure of the chiasm has the climax in
2213, where only Christ contains all three
  • As a way of stating unambiguously that Jesus
    Christ belongs to the fullness of the eternal
    being of God, this surpasses anything in the New
    TestamentThis pattern underlines the
    identification of Christ with God which the use
    of the titles themselves expressesIt shows that
    the identification of Christ with God implied by
    the titles is not the result of an adoptionist
    Christology, in which the mere man Jesus is
    exalted at his resurrection to divine status.
    Important as the resurrection is for Christs
    participation in Gods lordship, these titles he
    shares with God indicate that he shared the
    eternal being of God from before creationIt does
    not designate him a second god, but includes him
    in the eternal being of the one God of IsraelThe
    importance of Johns extraordinarily high
    Christology for the message of Revelation is that
    it makes it absolutely clear that what Christ
    does, God doesRevelations Christology must be
    incorporated in our account of its understanding
    of GodGod is related to the world not only as
    the transcendent holy One, but also as the
    slaughtered Lamb Richard Bauckham

  • Seven times the word Christ (or Messiah)
  • 28 times the word Lamb occurs 28 (7 x 4)
  • Seven of these are coupled with the phrase God
    and the Lamb.

  • Four is, after seven, the symbolic number most
    commonly and consistently used in Revelation. As
    seven is the number of completeness, four is the
    number of the world (with its four corners (71
    208) or four divisions (513 147)). The first
    four judgments in each of the series of seven
    affect the world. The 7 x 4 occurrences of the
    Lamb therefore indicate the worldwide scope of
    his complete victory. This corresponds to the
    fact that the phrase by which John designates all
    the nations of the world is fourfold (peoples
    and tribes and languages and nations the phrase
    varies each time it occurs, but is always
    fourfold) and occurs seven times (59 79
    1011 119 137 146 1715). Its first
    occurrence establishes its connection with the
    Lambs victory (59). 

  • Four references to the seven Spirits. The
    seven Spirits are the fullness of Gods power
    sent out into all the earth (56). The four
    references to the sevenfold Spirit correspond to
    the seven occurrences of the fourfold phrase
    which designates all the peoples of the earth.
    They also correspond to the 28 (7 x 4) references
    to the Lamb whichindicate the worldwide scope of
    the Lambs complete victory. The seven Spirits
    are closely associated with the victorious Lamb
    the four references to them indicate that the
    Lambs victory is implemented throughout the
    world by the fullness of divine power Richard

  • Seven times, the witness of Jesus
  • Seven times, the witnesses of Jesus
  • What matters most about the humanity of Jesus in
    Revelation is the witness which he bore and which
    his followers continueif God is not present in
    the world as the One who sits on the throne, he
    is present as the Lamb who conquers by suffering.
    Christs suffering witness and sacrificial death
    are, in factthe key event in Gods conquest of
    evil and establishment of his kingdom on earth. 
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