Apocalypse in the Book of Revelation


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Apocalypse: The Story of the Book of Revelation

1. The word "Apocalypse" means revelation
2. The popular idea attached to the word "apocalypse", however, is one of a cataclysmic end of all things
3. Few have actually read the Book of Revelation, but everyone is familiar with the idea of Armageddon
4. Some symbols and ideas correlated to the Book of Revelation include the four horsemen, the number 666, stars falling to earth from the Heavens, seas turning to blood, and images to tell of a future war between good and evil
5. The Final evil ruler is known as the antichrist
6. There is a notion of a great final battle
a. Nation against nation
b. Supernatural terrors
c. Total devastation
7. Christ's victory at the battle of Armageddon will prepare his was for this second coming, when the last judgment will take place
8. Jerusalem
a. is permanently tied to the story of good triumphing over evil
b. Is the focus of intense anxiety
c. Is home to a temple that must be restored in order for Christ to return
9. Holy Shrine
a. The apparent place where Mohammed ascended into Heaven
b. This is built where the first and second temples were built, and where the third should be built if this shrine weren't in the way
c. Many would like to see the shrine destroyed
10. The political history of the Jews is important to the apocalyptic prophecies.
11. In the year 586, the famous King of Babylon burned the temple and destroyed the city.
a. On July 22nd there are now commemorative services held in an ancient fortress to mourn the destruction of the first temple and the exile of Babylon
b. Babylon shook peoples faith
i. They began thinking that maybe it is not God's fault, but their own.
c. After this a long line of apocalyptic literature began
i. Prophets predict future Jews will return, build the temple, and the Messiah will come
12. Motif of New Jerusalem
13. Book of Ezekiel
a. Showed a resurrection of bones to living things
b. Symbolizes the resurrection of the nation of Israel itself
14. In the year 538 BCE Cyrus, who conquered Babylon, allowed the Jews to return home and build the temple
a. Cyrus was thereafter called the "Lord's Messiah"
15. Dualism
a. Concept of "light and dark" and "good and evil"
b. World is the battle ground for these two forces
16. In 333 BCE, Alexander the Great crushed the Persian Empire
a. This was the next great influence on apocalyptic prophecy
b. It caused cultural intermingling
c. Brought a reversal of values
i. Values of purity and modesty where opposed by the Greeks, who built sculptures of naked people
d. Greek leader put his own features on sculpture of Zeus
i. Was not tolerated
ii. Temple was recaptured and purified
1. This is celebrated by Hanukkah

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iii. The book of Daniel interprets this statue.
1. There are 4 metals, each representing a different empire that will fall
a. Gold – Babylonia
b. Silver – Persia
c. Bronze – Greek
d. Clay – Rome
17. Rome
a. Was at first a friend to the Jews
b. Jerusalem then fell into Rome's power
c. This brought about another wave of apocalyptic prophecy
18. Baptism is repentance before judgment before God
19. Dead Sea Scrolls
a. Found off the coast of the Dead Sea in 1947
b. Declare that there will be a final judgment
c. A script was found for the final battle
i. A heavenly army is thought to appear and bring victory
20. Story of the Jewish Revolt
a. Rebels threw out the High Priest
b. The Romans broke through the walls of the city and destroyed the city and temple again
c. The destruction of the 2nd temple was seen as a sign that apocalyptic time is nearing
d. Also caused another wave of apocalyptic prophecies
21. Author of the Book of Revelation was exiled to a remote Greek island because he opposed Roman Authority
a. There in a cave he had a vision
i. This was a revelation of the future of the world
b. Today biblical scholars hold a different view
i. It is not clear whether he was exiled or just traveling and preaching
c. Today there is a monastery on that island dedicated to John the Theologian
d. John refused to make sacrifices for the Imperial Cult for those rulers who had crucified Jesus and ruined the temple
e. He predicts the date of destruction of Roman Empire, which did not come true
f. The Book of Revelation was ignored for nearly 100 years
i. Many rejected its ideas
g. Presented the idea that Rome will be another Babylon
22. In the year 313, Constantine declared Christianity a legitimate religion
a. this presented a problem because the Empire is now Christian, so Rome can't be the new Babylon
23. In 394, Augustan said that Revelations should be included in the New Testament
a. in 410, Rome fell
b. many believe that if Rome fell, that meant that the Church had also fallen
c. Augustan said that Empires may come and go without the collapse of the Church
d. He also said that things weren't always to be taken literally
24. The approaching millennium brought about many pilgrimages, and it was thought that Jesus would emerge from Heaven for his second coming then
25. A New Pope, Sylvester II, came into power the year before the millennium.
a. He wanted to take back the temple in Jerusalem, which was then in Islamic hands
b. This began 300 years of fighting
26. The Crusades
a. a Holy war
b. Crusaders killed many Jews
i. They believed that Jews should all be converted before the second coming
27. Hildegard had apocalyptic visions, and visions of the birth of the antichrist, born from the Church
a. Said that Jews were the enemy of the Church
28. One monk, an apocalyptic thinker, said that the Book of Revelation was much too difficult for him to understand.
a. Then one morning he awoke as a new person
i. He then understood the meaning of the Book of Revelation
ii. Tied the meaning of history to the holy trinity (father, son, spirit)
b. In the midst of the Crusades he predicted that Armageddon was near
c. He developed a calculation from the birth of Christ to the end of time, 1260 years
d. This day came and went, but there was still a growing sense that the end of the world was imminent
29. Cathedral Artwork
a. The antichrist resembles Christ himself
b. To pay for the art, the Church sold indulgences
i. Promised a better after-life
ii. Martin Luther opposed the selling of indulgences
30. Martin Luther
a. Used the printing press to convey his message
b. Made a pamphlet that identified the antichrist as the Pope himself
c. He also translated the Bible into German
i. This way, individuals could read the Bible for themselves, rather than having to rely on the Church
ii. The Book of Revelation was the only portion of Luther's translated Bible that had illustrations, showing the papacy as the antichrist
31. A disciple of Martin Luther, Thomas Munser, made his own prophecy for the apocalypse
a. Applied it to peasantry of Europe
b. It was a class revolution (economic)
c. Peasants revolted against Phillip, and lost terribly
d. Munser was beheaded
e. Even though it was a great loss, he is still seen as a hero (in Marxism, in particular)
32. The New World
a. Christians fleeing Protestantism
b. In 1630 the Governor of Massachusetts wanted to build the equivalent of Jerusalem in their own land
i. A Holy City in America
ii. Believed that Christ would return when they built a truly righteous city
c. The fight for independence from Britain
i. Saw King George as enemy
ii. In revelation there is reference to a mark of the beast, and applied to this time it was the stamp in the Stamp Act that King George enacted
33. William Miller
a. Seventh Day Adventist
b. Predicted Christ would reappear between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844
c. When this didn't happen, followers refused to accept failure
i. They recalculated and realized that they missed one year, and then settled on a new date of October 22 1844
ii. This date was also an incredible let down, known as "the great disappointment"
iii. Still faith despite the letdown
34. John Nelson Darby
a. Believes in a great pause in the divine clock called "the rapture"
b. The clock would start again when the 2nd coming is near
c. This theory avoided the problem of date-setting
i. However, it means that believes must be ready at any minute
35. Hal Lindsey
a. Theologically has found nothing new, but he links the end time events to current events
36. Five signs of the nearing of the end
a. Israel reborn (recapture of Jerusalem)
b. Increase in earthquakes or plague (AIDS)
c. Knowledge Explosion (internet, knowledge at our fingertips)
d. 2 witnesses killed by antichrist would be seen worldwide (only now in our world's history is this capable of being fulfilled)
e. Tribulation – a seven year period before the battle of Armageddon
37. Dooms Day Cults
a. Heaven's Gate
i. Castrated and then killed themselves
b. Show the uneasiness and apprehension in today's culture
38. Combined with the fear of the Apocalypse is a sense of meaning
a. history will culminate
39. There will always be new interpretations of the Book of Revelation and prophecies based on current events.


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