The Key to Revelation (Week 52)
The New Testament comes to an end with quite a bang in the book of Revelation. This rather hard-to-understand book is written in a popular first-century Jewish writing style and is full of Old Testament imagery and thought. In fact, the key to understanding the sequence of events in Revelation seems to be the Old Testament event of the Exodus or Passover.
The title of Revelation in Greek is Apocalypsis, and it simply means “something revealed.” It does not mean an ominous event or the end of the world. The “apocalyptic” style of writing was well-known amongst first-century Jews living under the oppressive Roman Empire. They had to use symbols and write in code so that the Jewish readers would understand what was being conveyed, but an outsider would not. For example, they could speak against the Emperor by using the number of his name in Hebrew, and that way, authorities reading it would not understand—and the writer would not be put to death!
The introduction to the book explains that John is to write down what he saw in a vision about things happening at the time and things to happen in the future. This apocalyptic book is also a letter and a prophecy. So determining what is symbolic and what is literal, or what was about the first century and what is about the future, is the puzzle to be worked out in the book. And there are many opinions and different interpretations!
But understanding one story in the life of the ancient Israelites—the Exodus or Passover—holds the key to understanding the pattern of end-time events depicted in Revelation. This sequence of events is how God set His people free and brought them into the promised land, and it will be the same when He sets His people free from the evil antichrist and ushers in a new promised land—a new heaven and earth with a beautiful new Jerusalem in its midst.
If you want to understand more about these events in Revelation, join me for this Out of Zion podcast, “The Key to Revelation.” Walk Thru the New Testament with me each week by downloading our New Testament reading plan, and get started reading right away!
Invite your friends and family to join us! I can’t wait to Walk Thru the New Testament with you!
About this episode:
We close out the New Testament with books written from a Hebraic world view. The books of James and Hebrews were written to Jewish members of the early church and written about subjects of great concern to them. The last book—Revelation—was not only written in a very popular Jewish writing style of the day but is full of Old Testament symbolism. One ancient story in particular provides the key to unlocking the highly symbolic and prophetic book. This episode complements the daily readings from our Walk Thru the Bible reading plan for January 24-30, covering James, Hebrews, Revelation 1-18.