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STUDY IN REVELATION

By Pastor Herb Hatfield


THE APOCALYPSE OF JESUS CHRIST LESSON 1

INTRODUCTION

“Just as Genesis is the book of beginnings, Revelation is the book of consummation. In it, the divine program of redemption is brought to fruition, and the holy name of God is vindicated before all creation. Although there are numerous prophecies in the Gospels and Epistles, Revelation is the only New Testament book that focuses primarily on prophetic events. Its title means ‘unveiling’ or ‘disclosure.’ Thus, the book is an unveiling of the character and program of God. Penned by John during his exile on the island of Patmos, Revelation centers around visions and symbols of the resurrected Christ, who alone has authority to judge the earth, to make it, and to rule it in righteousness.”

“The title of this book in the Greek text is ‘apokalupsis Ioannou,’ ‘Revelation of John.’ It is also known as the Apocalypse, as transliteration of the word ‘apokalupsis,’ meaning ’unveiling.’… A better title comes from the first verse: Apokalypsis Iesou Christou, ‘Revelation of Jesus Christ.’…Because of the unified contents of this book, it should not be called Revelations.” Taken from the introduction to the Book of Revelation in the 1989 edition of the Thomas Nelson Reference Bible.

AUTHOR- JOHN, THE BELOVED APOSTLE

“Four times the author identifies himself as John (1:1,4,9; 22:8). Early tradition unanimously identified him as John the apostle, author of the fourth Gospel and three Epistles.” REVELATION, John MacArthur. John was one of the three apostles with the most intimate association with Christ. John and James, his older brother, were the sons of Zebedee and were called the “Sons of Thunder.” (Matt.10:2-4).

After Christ’s ascension, John became one of the pillars in the church at Jerusalem. He ministered with Peter until he went to Ephesus sometime before the destruction of Jerusalem. He was exiled to the small penal island of Patmos by the Romans, but was released after the death of Domitian. He returned to Ephesus where he pastored until his natural death. It is believed it was while at Ephesus that he wrote the Gospel of John, as well as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John.

DATE WRITTEN

“Revelation was written in the last decade of the first century (about AD 94-96), near the end of Emperor Domitian’s reign (AD 91-96). Although some date it during Nero’s reign (AD54-68), their arguments are unconvincing and conflict with the view of the early church. Writing in the second century, Irenaeus declared that Revelation had been written toward the end of Domitian’s reign. Later writers, such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Victorinus (who wrote one of the earliest commentaries on Revelation), Eusebius, and Jerome affirm the Domitian date.” REVELATION, John MacArthur.

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