Here is a set of videos on the book of Revelation. They are around 15 minutes long and are ideal as discussion starters for small group study, or of course can be used for private study. It is an introduction but pays attention to the language and imagery issue as well as the structure of the book. With the approach I suggest it is not to be read predictively concerning the future but as a critique of Imperial power. As such it stands in contrast to the power of the Lamb, and thus issues a call to be a follower of the Lamb ‘wherever he goes’.
An introduction to what we are looking at in the book of Revelation, why there is a danger with Bibles with notes in them, and how novels can replace reality.
A second introductory look at Revelation: type of language used. How it develops from ‘normal’ to even ‘mythical’ language.
This picks up on the very important four markers in the book when John is specifically ‘in the spirit’.
Revelation, though not a neat chronological ‘prophecy’ has a forward momentum to it. There is a pace that picks up. In this video I look at the throne room scenes and how they show an increase in intensity.
Here I seek to show the highly structured shape of the book shown through highlighting the deep numeric nature.
An overview of structure and a look at the Prologue and first three chapters.
In this video I look at the Prologue through to the Seven Churches. How the battle that is cosmic and eternal becomes temporal and place-specific.
Chapters 4 & 5 are pivotal to the book. Chapter 4 is the throne room vision – it answers the question as to who reigns? Chapter 5 is the vision of the slain Lamb. It is the answer to the question of how will human destiny / God’s creation project be fulfilled.
How the end is coming yet does not come with the set of sevens: seals, trumpets and bowls. It fits with life: will this end? Why are there setbacks? Yet by faith we rise to ask the end to come.
In this video I seek to tie the 7 seals to the succession of emperors from the time of Christ through to 70AD. This is a very key time in the history of the prophetic unfolding that took place in a generation.
I begin to look at the 7 Trumpets: they sound a warning and there is a relentlessness with the early effects effecting 1/3 of what they touch.
In this video I take the latter part of the series on the 7 trumpets, looking in particular at the interlude concerning the 2 witnesses.
This is on the three visions of Revelation 12. It opens up the whole approach on the Messianic warfare. All warfare has to be interpreted through this grid of non-violence.
In this video I look at the two beasts, one from the sea and one from the land. The dragon is there to resist new creation…
In this video I focus on Chapter 14. It ends with a two-fold victorious harvest; it begins with an unfolding of the process through 144,000 followers of the Lamb.
This is a short interlude in the sense that I take a look at a passage within Rev. 14, that on the surface supports eternal punishment. I put forward two issues: the passage uses the genitive for the phrase ‘night and day’: the genitive of time being related to the kind of time (relentless) rather than length of time.
Then I look at the parallel in Isaiah 34, suggesting it is underlying the passage in Revelation, which then has a structure known as a chiasmus.
We are now in chapters 15 and 16 with the final bowls poured out. This is the chapter that mentions ‘Armageddon’, however John is very explicit that it is a Hebrew name: ‘Harmagedon’ – the Mount of Magedon. It does not exist!! This is no earthly warfare, but the cosmic judgement of heaven against everything that resists the coming of the New Creation.
We also have the second announcement of the fall of Babylon: preparing the way for a fourfold telling of its fall.
I highlight the contrasts between the two cities: Babylon and the New Jerusalem. I list some 26 contrasts.
In this video I focus on the four descriptions for the fall of Babylon. The abused woman, the abandoned city, the burning city and the millstone cast into the sea. Also there is a key part relating to the sequence of seven kings, five have been, one is, one is to come.
This is a slightly technical look at the structures we are encountering. To try to make Revelation fit a nice pattern chronologically is problematic. The issue of the battles – in Rev. 19 where there is total destruction only to be followed by post-millennial Gog and Magog is somewhat difficult to perceive. Where do they come from??? The nature of the book is that it is symbolic and highly structured. Many times we encounter the common shape of the chiasmus (X shape: points to a mid point and then reversed), and I look at this within Chapter 18, where there is a chaismus within a chiasmus. I also take from Chapter 17 with the judgement on Babylon through to Chapter 22 and the vindication of the New Jerusalem and seek to show how it is a chiasmus with the Millennium right at the centre. If so we should not be looking to over-interpret what that is / will be. It is an image.
A wrap up with a look at the New Jerusalem that comes down: the renewal of all creation.