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Season is at Hand

According to the first verse of  Revelation , the book is the “ revelation of Jesus Christ ” for his “ servants ,” who are identified as the “ seven churches of Asia .” Its contents concern “ what things must come to pass soon .” The unveiling of this information is vital because the “ season is at hand ”; therefore, “ blessed is he who reads, and they who heed the words of the prophecy. ” With the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, the season of the end has commenced  - [ Photo by  LuAnn Hunt  on Unsplash ].

Redeemed People of the Earth

The book of Revelation uses a variety of terms and symbols for the church that is under assault, both from within and without. The men and women who are redeemed from the earth form a company that transcends all national, social, and cultural boundaries. Tribulation is not an aberration, but integral to what it means to follow the “ Lamb wherever he goes .” - [ Photo by Paz Arando on Unsplash ].

Arrogant King of the North

Beginning with the fourfold division of the Greek kingdom, the interpreting angel outlined the coming conflicts between two of the subsequent realms that culminated in the rise of a “ contemptible ” ruler. Previously, the rise and division of the Greek empire was portrayed in the vision of the “Ram and the Goat,” representing the kingdoms of the “ Medes and Persians ” and of “ Greece ” - [Photo by FERNANDO TRIVIÑO on Unsplash].

Literal and Nonliteral Language

OVERVIEW - The book of Revelation informs the reader from the start that it communicates symbolically - [ Photo by  Paul Skorupskas  on Unsplash ].  Must prophecy be interpreted only or even primarily in a “literal” fashion unless a passage specifically indicates otherwise? Often in our minds, there is an unstated assumption that literal language is more reliable than nonliteral, an assumption that becomes especially problematic when interpreting Revelation .

Persecution, Suffering, Discipleship

To follow Jesus means self-denial and a willingness to suffer for him. Persecution is the highest honor for his disciple – ( Matthew 5:10-12 ).  Contrary to the “ wisdom of this age ,” rage, belligerence, and especially violence are NOT appropriate reactions by disciples of Jesus when they suffer persecution, perceived or real.   Angry reactions by Christians to any threat to their inherent “rights” demonstrate how far many of us have assimilated to the values of the surrounding pagan society; beliefs and practices contrary to the teachings of Jesus, and especially to the paradigm of Christ crucified . [ Image -  Betrayed by Judas - ].

Ezekiel's Temple

The book of Revelation places Ezekiel’s vision of the ideal Temple in the middle of the city of New Jerusalem, the prophet's comprehensive vision of the ideal Temple centered in a perfectly squared city of Jerusalem. Language from this prophecy is applied by the New Testament in Revelation to paint a portrait of the glorious city of “ New Jerusalem ,” which will encompass the entire New Creation – ( Ezekiel 40:1-48:35 ). - [ Photo by Mike Swigunski on Unsplash ].