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The Scriptorium

Look Up, Look Ahead, Press On Revelation: Introduction

Revelation 19.6-8
And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

The narrative of the book of Revelation hurtles toward the great climactic events of chapters 19-22: The Day of Judgment, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and the New Heaven and New Earth. These unprecedented events are not simply the end of the book of Revelation; they are its focus and objective, from John’s first words and throughout. Christ the King has finished the work of redemption; He is ascended to the right hand of God; and He is preparing His Bride – the Church – for the glorious new Genesis which He is even now preparing.

The book of Revelation is the Lord’s pledge to His Church. It is like an engagement ring, placed on the finger of the betrothed, a promise of glory and devotion and pleasure and abundant life together yet to come. Many who read the book of Revelation find it to be dark and frightening, filled with portents of persecution, setback, and the ineluctable growth of wickedness and sin.

While such a scenario is certainly part of the narrative of John’s book, it’s neither the whole of it nor Revelation’s primary focus.

Revelation is a book of promise, a pledge of faithfulness, a down payment of theological, spiritual, and cosmic riches portending even greater boon and blessing to come. It is a gift of hope, a testament of faithfulness, and a summons to steadfastness for all who claim this engagement ring as their own. Reading revelation should direct our minds heavenward, our hopes toward unseen promises and coming places, and our feet in the path of steadfast obedience, following and proclaiming the Lord and His Kingdom.

The message of Revelation is a simple one, whatever we may be forced to endure in this life: Look up, look ahead, and press on. This will be the perspective we take on the book of Revelation, the final, enigmatic chapter in the divine revelation which is the Word of God.

Read Revelation 1-3

Read these three chapters in a single sitting. Make notes in your Bible, by underlining or writing in the margin, of insights you want to explore more fully, ideas that seem to be important to the theme of Revelation, or questions you hope to have answered during our study. If you’re doing this study in a group, be prepared to share from your observations.

Glory to Glory
What can you take away from this reading to remember your encounter with the Lord and to live that encounter into your Personal Mission Field today?

Closing Prayer
Based on Psalm 2.10-12:
Therefore, let the kings and nations of the earth be wise;
Let all judges and authorities be instructed by God:
Let them serve You, Lord, with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Let all men embrace Your Son and King, Jesus Christ, lest He be angry,
And they perish inthe way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Let all be blessed who put their trust in Him.

Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Revelation: Introduction and Overview,” simply click here.

T. M. Moore

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
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