Studies in Revelation
You are in a huge media room. The walls are lined with numerous screens receiving live video feeds from multiple cameras filming an event so massive that no single camera could capture all the actions that are occurring simultaneously.
To look at only one screen is to miss most of what is going on, and also to misinterpret what you are seeing. No one screen tells the whole story. But each screen provides answers to questions provoked by other screens. Some cameras zero in on specific detail or specific characters. Others give broader focus. Some are distance shots. Others are close-ups. Zooming in, zooming out. Looking down. Looking up. And each of them is, from its own particular perspective, recording the event from its beginning to its end.
Such is the book of Revelation … read , learn and rejoice in the unfolding drama of Christ and his Church.
These studies follow the understanding taught by some scholars [for example, AA Hoekema, William Hendriksen and Leon Morris], that the book of Revelation is not a linear account of consecutive events described in the order in which they will occur, but rather contains seven parallel accounts of the one extended period of time. While there is a small degree of disagreement as to which verses in Revelation start or finish these parallel accounts, there is overall agreement within this viewpoint that each of these seven parallel accounts spans the time between the first coming to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Each account has its own specific emphasis or dominant focus, but each also covers the entire church age. Each is about the inauguration and the consummation of the Kingdom, and the time in between.
In these studies, the seven parallel accounts follow the Chapter divisions suggested by Hendriksen, with my summary title of their key focus:
Revelation 1:9 – 3:22 - Jesus Christ in the Midst of his Church
Revelation 4 – 7 - Jesus Christ – the Focus of Universal Praise
Revelation 8 – 11 - The Church of Jesus Christ in the World
Revelation 12 – 14 – The Enemies of Jesus Christ and his Church
Revelation 15 – 16 – The Wrath of God and of the Lamb
Revelation 17 – 19 - Jesus Christ – King of kings, Lord of lords
Revelation 20 – 22:6 - Jesus Christ and his ‘Bride’.
© Rosemary Bardsley 2015