Revelation's Ultimate Purpose
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5. Revelation's Ultimate Purpose
Revelation 1.1

"The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John." (Revelation 1.1)✞

Through Angels

Blue AngelIn the Old Testament in Exodus 19 and 20, Moses received the Law directly from God's hands. However, twice in the New Testament, it is said that angels gave the Law. In Acts 7.53, we read, "you who have received the law that was given through angels but has not obeyed it." Again in Galatians 3.19b, "The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator." God entrusted the vision of Revelation's ultimate purpose to John the Apostle, sometimes called John of Patmos. Like angels, humans played an essential role in the revelation of Jesus Christ, his coming, and God's ultimate purpose. Similarly, God seeks today to find a person to whom he can entrust his truth and whom he can use as his mouthpiece.

Color My World

Roman BannerRevelation is the "unveiling" of "that which must soon take place." History is not haphazard; it has a purpose. It is entirely wrong to use the Book of Revelation as a theological timetable for what will happen in the future, maybe thousands of years from now or even next week. As John of Patmos sees it, the of the second-century Roman Empire cultural events color his world and work themselves out immediately.✞

The Apocalyptic Lord

Finger of GodThe message of the Biblical Book of Revelation is that Jesus is full of both love and justice. The Revelation apocalyptic vision of John of Patmos is, in many respects, fantastic and indescribable; therefore, John presents them in terms and picture language that the people of his day can understand. "Apocalypse" means "unveiling" or "disclosing," and the future Jesus is therefore unveiled here. We see him not as Galilee's preacher or even as the Savior on the Cross, but as the Universal Lord, the great "I am." When imagining these scenes in our minds, we don't have to understand every detail; we only need to allow the Revelation word pictures to flow over us. Everything points us to Christ, the Apocalyptic Lord. He was and is the glorious, victorious Lord of all and full of love and justice.

Love and Justice

Jesus Face At the appointed time, the risen and ascended Lord will burst on to the world stage. The message of "Revelation" is of Jesus' tremendous love, power, and justice. Everyone will then know that he is the Lord of the Universe! Those who love him will greet him with songs of praise. Those who don't would rather not be there!

Apocalyptic Writing

Revelation's apocalypse vision to the Apostle John travels through the unseen spiritual realm. An apocalypse is a unique name given to a particular type of literature. It was popular in the Apostle John's day and interestingly enough, in our own time in literary works such as Margaret Atwood's book called "Oryx and Crake." Many apocalyptic documents were circulating when Revelation was written, such as "the Apocalypse of Baruch." Other apocalypse books are attributed to famous people like the "Gospel of Abraham," "the Gospel of Daniel," the "Gospel of Elijah," even the "Apocalypse of Peter," and the "Apocalypse of Thomas." All of these were rejected by Christian leaders of the Early Church as not being genuine and are not therefore included in the Biblical Canon.

Questionable Writings

It was quite clear to the Apostolic Fathers as it is to us today, that these books are not of the same quality or authenticity as the Biblical books. On the few occasions when an apocalyptic book is read in a service today, it often to substantiates a questionable theological point. God's inspired Word has unquestionably the distinctive mark of authenticity, which these other secondary readings do not have. Genuine apocalyptic literature unveils details of the unseen spiritual realm and its impact on history. The term "apocalyptic literature" refers to the end of the world. The Greek phrase "apokalupsis eschaton" means "the revelation at the end of the age."

Unveiling God's Will

HorsemenRevelation's apocalypse vision is the unveiling of God's will for us. Saint Paul used this phrase differently and explained that he traveled to Jerusalem by "apokalupsis." That is, he went because God revealed to him that he wanted him to go there. Similarly, Saint Paul received his gospel not from human lips, according to Galatians 1.11-12, where he writes, "I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ." Saint Paul received the Gospel of Jesus Christ by "apocalyptic revelation."

The Preacher's Message

Apostle JohnThe message of the preacher today is also an "apocalypse" in one sense. God reveals to human beings his mysteries, especially the incarnation of Jesus Christ. "Apokalupsis" is mainly used in "The revelation of Jesus Christ" of the power and the holiness of God, which is to come in these last days. For some, that will mean judgment and justice, but it will be an unveiling of praise, glory, grace, and joy for Christians.✞

"Revelation's Ultimate Purpose"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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