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Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Notes for Revelation

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REVELATION


WRITER: John the apostle

DATE: About A.D. 95

THEORIES OF INTERPRETATION: There have been many approaches to this book, but these can be divided into four major systems (Broadus lists seven theories of interpretation; Tragelles lists three):

1. Preterist theory: All of Revelation has been fulfilled in the past. It had to do with local references in John’s day. It had to do with the days of either Nero or Domitian. The view was held by Renan and most German scholars, also by Elliott.

2. Historical theory: Fulfillment of Revelation is going on in history, and Revelation is the prophetic history of the church, according to this theory.

3. Historical-spiritual theory: This theory is a refinement of the historical theory and was advanced by Sir William Ramsay. It states that the two beasts are Imperial and Provincial Rome. The point of the book is to encourage Christians. According to this theory, Revelation has been largely fulfilled and there are spiritual lessons for the church today. Amillennialism, for the most part, has adopted this view. It dissipates and defeats the purpose of the book.

4. Futurist theory: This theory holds that the Book of Revelation is primarily prophetic and yet future, especially from Revelation 4 on to the end of the book. This is the view of all premillennialists and is the view which we accept and present.

STRIKING FEATURES:

  • It is the only prophetic book in the New Testament (in contrast to seventeen prophetic books in the Old Testament).
  • John, the writer, reaches farther back into eternity past than any other writer in Scripture (John 1:1-3). He reaches farther on into eternity future in the Book of Revelation.
  • Special blessing is promised the readers of this book (Revelation 1:3). Likewise, a warning is issued to those who tamper with its contents (Revelation 22:18, 19).
  • Revelation is not a sealed book (Revelation 22:10). Contrast Daniel 12:9. It is a revelation (apocalypse), which is an unveiling.
  • It is a series of visions, expressed in symbols.
  • This book is like a great Union Station where the great trunk lines of prophecy come in from other portions of Scripture. Revelation does not originate but consummates. It is imperative to a right understanding of the book to be able to trace each great subject of prophecy from the first reference to the terminal. At least ten great subjects of prophecy find their consummation here:
  1. The Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 3:15)
  2. The church (Matthew 16:18)
  3. The resurrection and translation of saints (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52)
  4. The Great Tribulation (Deuteronomy 4:30, 31)
  5. Satan and evil (Ezekiel 28:11-18)
  6. The “man of sin” (Ezekiel 28:1-10)
  7. The course and end of apostate Christendom (Daniel 2:31-45; Matthew 13)
  8. The beginning, course, and end of the “times of the Gentiles” (Daniel 2:37; Luke 21:24)
  9. The second coming of Christ (Jude 14, 15)
  10. Israel’s covenants (Genesis 12:1-3), five things promised Israel

KEY VERSES: Revelation 1:18, 19

I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen, and have the keys of hades [hell] and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.

Outline for Jude ← Prior Section
Outline for Revelation Next Section →
Notes for Jude ← Prior Book
Introduction Next Book →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.