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New Testament BCM 103Dr. Dave MathewsonGordon College/Denver Seminary
Intro. To Revelation • Written primarily W. Asia Minor • Persecution was a problem but a larger problem was accommodation to the Roman empire, emperor worship. • Problem was more at a local level • Expose the true nature of Rome so Christians won’t give in to it • John shows where history is going so they can see Rome for what it really is
Political cartoon—refers to political events but describes them in symbolic language • Graphic, exaggerated symbolism often coming out of the OT
The Plagues of Revelation • 3 sets of 7 plagues: seals, trumpets, bowls Trumpets and bowls: water becomes blood; sores; darkness; locusts; frogs • Where have you heard this before? • The Exodus: water becomes blood; sores; darkness; locusts; frogs • Point of plagues that you will recall just as God judged in the exodus he will judge an evil empire now--Rome
Numbers in Revelation Numbers in Revelation: 3, 4, 7, 12, 1000 symbolically understood Why 7 plagues?—7=completion or perfection 12 may go back to 12 tribes/apostles (144 too) symbolic of people of God 666: correspond of 1 short of 777; probably also had reference to Nero many years before as true color of Roman rule, opposition to God’s people by human power
Revelation 12-13 Story of a Dragon about to devour a child and gets two friends to help, get world to worship them Gen 3.14-16 her offspring crush your head • Serpent (12.3, 9) • Woman and seed (12.1, 5-6, 14-17) • Pain in childbirth (12.2, 5) • Crush serpent’s head (13.3) • John had Gen. 3 in mind; what you face is age old conflict going back to Gen. 3->Rome
Revelation 21-22 Prostitute, Babylon Bride, NewJerusalem What are you going to identify Babylon with in first century? As God judged evil empires in the past he would judge Rome
New Jerusalem • 1) New Jerusalem imagery is symbolic of the people themselves—the perfected people of God, all multiples of 12—people of God • It portrays our final destiny as a very physical one, not disembodied gnostic one not floating around with harps on clouds • That’s a hope worth sacrificing for—sin, war etc. stripped away, garden of Eden
The Message of Revelation • Revelation is more than just about the end times. • Revelation is a call to worship God and the Lamb no matter what the cost!—resist compromise with proud/arrogant powers • Revelation is a call to endure – God will vindicate his suffering people!