What Are the Interpretive Keys to Unlock the Apocalypse?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by TCGreek, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    Frankly speaking, I've stayed away from the book of Revelation for several reasons in my teaching and preaching:

    1. I didn't know where to start with all the symbolisms.

    2. I didn't know what was the best date on the book.

    3. I didn't know what to take as literal and what to take as figurative.

    What are the interpretive keys to unlocking this blessed book?
     
  2. thomas15

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    I'm sure there will be lots of advice from folks that know much more than I but I would start by a study of the Book of Daniel and Matthew chapter 24.

    Another book to have on hand is Things to Come by J. Dwight Pentecost. Pentecost details most of the popular positions.

    Beyond that I would say plan on spending a lot of time on this study. Try to take as much literally as possible.

    I'm getting ready to do an in-debth study of this book also. I have a commentary which is A-mil (the NICNT), I'm in the process of selecting a companion volume that is pre-mil. I just finished reading Revelation through 2 times and now I'm going back to Daniel before I start my study of this book. I wish you well with your study.

    Tom
     
  3. npetreley

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    Took the words right out of my mouth!

    Also, consider these factoids while doing your study:

    1. The Day of the Lord is the Day of the Lord's wrath
    2. Wrath is not the same thing as tribulation
    3. The great tribulation is cut short

    While you can't find out WHEN all the end time things will begin, you can learn a lot about the chronology of events by starting with the Day of the Lord and the signs that accompany it (sun turns black, moon turns to blood), and then working your way backward and forward from that point. You won't need a decoder ring for this. The text plainly says things like, "Immediately after..." For example:

    There you have it. Immediately after the distress of those days (the great tribulation, from context), comes the Day of the Lord.

    Finally, I suggest you resist all of the symbolizing people do to the text. Don't telescope the Day of the Lord into seven years, for example, as some people do. There's no reason to do that, except to "fix" the Bible to make it say what you want.
     
  4. TCGreek

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    Thanks guys, very helpful.

    What do I do with the Horse-Riders in Ch.6?
     
  5. Allan

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    I'd say start with John MacAurthor :)
     
  6. TCGreek

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    That Macarthur book, is it the "Time is Near" you're talking about?
     
  7. skypair

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    A few helps from my experience -- Chapters 1-6, 8-9, 13, 16, 19-22 make up the chronology into which certain events in 7, 10-12, and 14-18 must inserted chronologically.

    The horses and riders are man on man judgment -- the trumpets are Satan on man -- the bowls are God on man. The riders are false Christianity ridden by the Pope, Islam ridden by their Mahdi or an imam, Russia ridden by their dictator (Putin?) and Israel ridden by "Death and hell" covenant with AC. They all come against Israel beginning about midtrib (Dan 11:40, re: "prince, KoS, KoN;" Zech 6, re: 4 chariots of horses; and 12-14).

    Realize that the 7th judgments are initiated where they appear but are not performed until Rev 16:17-21 and in reverse order since the 7th judgments each include or encompass the subsequent 7.

    The white horse rider's trib career is seen in Rev 17 -- his GT career in Rev 13 -- his economic career in Rev 18 (although economic Babylon is not controlled by him until midtrib.

    Is "horses" where you are starting?

    skypair
     
  8. skypair

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    Btw

    Day of the Lord refers to God's dealing with Israel again. There are no DOtL's in the church era because this is the Spirit's era of dealing with believers. Thus, DOtL starts after the unexpected rapture and ends at the end of the MK.

    skypair
     
  9. TCGreek

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    Some good pointers, but don't you think that in the naming of some nations that this is an example of anachronism?
     
  10. skypair

    skypair
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    Newspaper prophecy, you mean? Some believers think we are close enough to the last days to actually see the horses. We can see Israel revived (Mt 24:32) for sure and Israel is the key to what transpires in the tribulation. Luke even would have us look at "all the trees," not just the fig tree as we see the end coming.

    Then take Zech 10 and see that Israel is "set up" for the end times with the Zech 11:1-3 war coming soon.

    Course I realize Revelations is a hard study for Reform types seeing as Israel is "out of God's picture" for good. But there is no mistaking the 144,000 sealed Jews in Rev 12.

    LaHaye comes closest to my own eschatology. His book "Charting the End Times" is good.

    skypair
     
    #10 skypair, Sep 15, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2007
  11. Brandon C. Jones

    Brandon C. Jones
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    TC

    I've found a wholistic approach to the book that does not sever chapters 1-3 from 4-22 to be helpful. Instead of being caught up in correlating events in the book with news from around the globe, it is better to stand in awe in God's holiness and His promise to set the world aright. This book was written to strengthen churches in their faith and has something to say to us today beyond figuring out which symbols mean which things.

    BJ

    PS-Beale's commentary is helpful as well as Osborne's.
     
  12. TCGreek

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    What date do you assign to the book?
     
  13. TCGreek

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    1. Not all Reformed guys. Macarthur is a premillennialist and Piper is somewhat hybrid, but is open to Israel at the end times.

    2. Are you familar with the work of Grant Jeffrey in respect to Newspaper prophecy?
     
  14. skypair

    skypair
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    Yeah -- a little bit scarey, eh? I think I saw him and Bob Church discussing how Passover 2007 might be rapture day. Well -- it's come and gone and I couldn't detect their foundation for it anyway.

    skypair
     
  15. TCGreek

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    1. I don't know why these guys are compelled from time to time to make these blunders.

    2. What is their interpretive flaw in your opinion?
     
  16. TCGreek

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    SP,

    Would you sign off on the following?

    "Ladd talks at some length about the two fold nature of prophecy which has an immediate fulfilment as well as a distant fulfilment, an example of this being the Olivet discourse which concerned the historical judgement of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans in AD 70 (Luke 21:20 ff.) and the eschatological appearance of the antichrist (Mat 24:15 ff.). In the same way Revelation had its immediate fulfilment with the series of Roman persecutions on the Christians until Constantine in AD 313 as well as the appearance of the antichrist in the distant future. Therefore the correct interpretation is a blend of both the preterist and futurist views and including any tribulation that the church experiences between these two periods."

    I picked it up on the net.
     
  17. TCGreek

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    1. Grant R. Osborne, Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament). Hardcover: 869 pages, published in Dec 2002.

    2. R. H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, New international Commentary on the New Testament, Eerdmans, 1997 (426 pp, 2nd ed).

    3. Alan F Johnson, Revelation, The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol. 12, Zondervan.

    4. Craig S. Keener, Revelation, The NIV Application Commentary, Zondervan, 2000, 576 pp.

    5. John F. MacArthur, Revelation 1 - 11 (MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series).

    Did you guys find any of these commentaries useful?
     
  18. Bob Alkire

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    Books that have been helpful to me on the book of the Revelation are as follows;

    The Book of The Revelation by William R. Newell
    Exploring Revelation by John Phillips
    The Revelation of Jesus Christ by John Walvoord
    The Revelation Record by Henry M. Morris
    Expository Sermons on Revelation by W.A. Criswell
    The Revelation by A.G. Gaebelein
    The Revelation by F.W. Grant
    Lectures on the Book of Revelation by H. A. Ironside
    And about anything by Renald Showers
     
  19. rjprince

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    Good advice. His two volumes on the Rev are excellent. I also like Walvoord, of course that tells you my position on Rev. I used to tell people to study Daniel first, now I tell them to study Gen 12, 15, 17 as well as the Land and Davidic Covenants. Any interpretive scheme that sees the church as the new Israel will fail to take literally the many things in Rev that can be taken literally.
     
  20. rjprince

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    Re Renald Showers, his easy read "There Really is a Difference" on the future of a literal Israel is very good. Not technical by any means and readily understandable by the average student.
     

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