The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” – Revelation 1:17-18

Fear not! Those words have not ceased in their power and impact. The risen Lord Jesus speaks words of encouragement to the church, “Don’t be afraid, I hold the power over everything that scares you most. I have plans for you, there is a future and a hope and I am in control“, when we are surrounded by all types of evil and destruction it is out of the pages of Revelation that Jesus calls us to look to Him for our comfort and security.

The opening words in the final book of the bible tell us that it is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ…..”, do not doubt, do not second guess. As Leader of Everyday Church London, Phil Moore recently put it “we need a fresh Revelation of Jesus Christ”, if we are going to stand firm and trust in Him even in the midst of recent atrocities we need to see Him as He is. Revelation reveals Jesus in all His risen glory and what an image it is! A voice like a the rushing of many waters, a sword for a tongue, feet of bronze and eyes like fire! What a formidable and awesome God and a God who loves and cares for us.

I am sure you won’t be surprised to read that one of my favourite books of the bible is undoubtedly the book of Revelation. With its opening image of Jesus, encouragement to the church and the certainty of our real and future hope, I cannot help but be captivated by God’s sovereign plans for the restoration of His glorious creation. Although Revelation is encouraging and inspiring it is also full of strange images, violence, beasts rising from the sea and even a dragon. Its because of these images that I, like so many others have held back from this book. I am however, incredibly thankful that through the support of great teachers, books and personal study I have been able to enjoy Revelation as God’s word for me and the church. If we throw off our preconceived ideas as to what we think this books says and take a dive in to Revelation, it will certainly embolden and strengthen us. It is with pleasure that I write this post as a way of introduction to our four session study series on the book of Revelation.

The book of itself was written by the Apostle John during his exile on the Island of Patmos, a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea in or around A.D 95. The style of the book is known as Apocalyptic. This type of literature contains visions or revelations (the Greek word for “apocalyptic,” literally translates as “a revelation”). The title of Apocalyptic is also applied to other parts of the Old and New Testaments such as Zechariah and Daniel. Typical features of this type of writing include a cosmic battle, God’s plan throughout history; bodily resurrection of the righteous and the appearance of a divine figure who we identify as our saviour Jesus.

When reading through this style of literature and particularly throughout Revelation you will notice that it is full of symbolic pictures,  so much so that you would certainly be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed by it! It is important for us to remember that as we read through Revelation, it is a word from God to us; hidden meanings, secrets to the exact date of the second coming and mysterious codes are not the way God speaks to us so I encourage you to put aside these thoughts as you start to study this book.

Revelation is a relatively long book and even with this post, study guide and four sessions we will only begin to scratch the surface so we encourage you to take time to read through the relevant chapters prior to each session and of course spend time meditating on the book for a long time to come; the dates and chapters for these sessions are as follows:

Session 1 – 7th June, 8pm: ‘Jesus Loves His Church’ Chapter 2 – 7
Session 2 – 21st June, 8pm: ‘The Kingdom of Our God’ Chapter 8 – 11 
Session 3 – 5th July, 8pm: ‘Victory & Resurrection’ Chapter 12 – 18 
Session 4 – 19th July, 8pm: ‘Our Glorious Hope’ Chapter 19 – 22 

Although we would certainly encourage everyone to be with us we will broadcast live online during each session to enable everyone to join and will send the link out 10 minutes prior to the start of each session.

We will also be sharing the accompanying ‘Revelation and Apocalyptic Literature Study Guide’ via email to support you throughout the series. We would love you to make as much use of it as you can as it will enable you to get the most out of this great book.

I hope that join us in looking in to Revelation and it is my prayer that we all receive our own fresh revelation of Jesus and are inspired for our next adventure with Him!

I look forward to seeing you all Wednesday.

God bless,

James

James Duncan

5 June 2017

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