Monday, January 21, 2013

Revelation Introduction, Lecture 1, Part 1 | Steve Gregg - 2012 Great Commission School | This is the 1st part of Steve Gregg's introductory lecture on the book of Revelation. Steve gives background information that is vital to understanding Revelation and prophecy. He takes a fair look at all the major views of Revelation. The second half of the lecture will be in the next post or you can view it here.

This is the 2012 module of The New Great Commission School in Monroe, WA.

Filmed by BIBLEGATE who asked me to upload to:

Listen to the Revelation 2012 lectures on MP3 here.

You may download Steve's notes for the 3 introductory lectures here. I've pasted the first portion below.

by Steve Gregg

I. Paradoxical

  A. The most difficult book of the Bible. Presents difficulties regarding authorship, date, historical setting, relation to other books attributed to John, acceptance into the canon of scripture, and - of course - interpretation of its symbols.

 B. The only book promising a blessing to those who read it and keep its words (1:3). A genuine prophecy in the sense of I Corinthians 14:3  - "He who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men." A valuable model of heavenly (and, therefore, perfect) worship.

II. Unique: The only book that is at once a prophecy (1:3), an epistle (1:4), & an apocalypse (1:1)

A.  A Prophecy.

1.  It foretells future events (1:1).

2. It "forthtells" Christ's message to the churches (chs. 2-3).

B. An Epistle to the Seven Churches of Asia

1. The form of an epistle (1:4, 11; 22:21)

2. The only epistle dictated directly by Jesus

3. Primarily relevant to original readers in their life setting

4. Abiding relevance, secondarily, to all readers in like circumstances

C. An Apocalypse. The "unveiling" of Jesus Christ (1:1)

Between 200 BC and 100 AD, the Jews produced a large number of uninspired books which, because of their similar style to this book, have been called apocalyptic.  (e.g. The Book of Enoch, The Apocalypse of Baruch, The Book of Jubilees, The Assumption of Moses, The Psalms of Solomon, Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, The Sibylline Oracles, Etc. ) The book of Revelation has both similarities and dissimilarities to other books of that genre:

1. In the following respects, Revelation is like other apocalyptic books:

a. It arose during a time of great persecution.

b. It portrays the conflict between good and evil using vivid images and symbols (monsters and dragons, symbolic numbers and names, etc.).
c. The writer is guided by and receives interpretations from angels.

d. An example of apocalyptic style:

In the Apocrypha, there is a book of additions to the book of Esther, written and appended at a much later date than that of the original book. These additions, written in the apocalyptic style of the period, are particularly instructive to us since we know the story of Esther and can see how the symbols correspond to actual events.

Mordecai's dream: "Behold, noise and confusion, thunders and earthquake, tumult upon the earth! And behold, two great dragons came forward, both ready to fight, and they roared terribly. And at their roaring every nation prepared for war, to fight against the nation of the righteous. And behold, a day of darkness and gloom, tribulation and distress, affliction and great tumult upon the earth! And the whole righteous nation was troubled, they feared the evils that threatened them, and were ready to perish. Then they cried to God and from their cry, as though from a tiny spring, there came a great river, with abundant water, light came, and the sun rose, and the lowly were exalted and consumed those held in honor (A:3-10)."

[Then follows the book of Esther, after which Mordecai sums up as follows:]

"I remember the dream that I had concerning these matters, and none of them    ohas failed to be fulfilled. The tiny stream which became a river, and there was light and the sun and abundant water - the river is Esther, whom the king married and made queen. The two dragons are Haman and myself. The nations are those gathered to destroy the name of the Jews. And my nation, this is Israel, who cried out to God and were saved (F:2-6)."  

e. Apocalyptic language is also used in some canonical books of the Old Testament (e.g. Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah) and in Jesus' Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24/Mark 13/Luke 21).

2. In the following respects, Revelation is unlike other apocalyptic books:

a. It claims inspiration as a prophecy.

b. It identifies by name its true author, rather than adopting a pseudonym.

c. It makes a moral appeal and calls for repentance. 

Old old notes on Steve Gregg's lectures on Revelation are here.

If interested in the study Biblical prophecy/the end times/last things (Eschatology), you may also be interested in Steve's other studies:

Also very important to understanding the Bible and the issues of dispensationalism vs non-dispensationalism is:

What are We to Make of Israel? (Does God have two peoples or one?)

Steve Gregg's book on Revelation

Revelation - Four Views: A Parallel Commentary by Steve Gregg
Available at
Revelation:  Four Views: A Parallel Commentary