The Apocalypse in Space and Time:

1. Historical Setting of RevelationThe New Testament book of Revelation was likely written by the Apostle John early in the era of persecution of Christians under Nero. Across the vast empire, Christian people were being targeted for oppression, imprisonment, exile, and death. The church needed a strong message of encouragement, and the book of Revelation provided it. Chapter 17 of Revelation provides helpful time references that can guide our exploration of the precise timing of the book. This introductory lecture examines that chapter and the historical context suggested by its message.Play Audio Play Video
2. The Letters to the Seven ChurchesThe book of Revelation was originally addressed to seven churches in Asia Minor, today's western Turkey. Each of the churches represented a condition of Christian fellowship in crisis, as each faced the prospect of imperial oppression from Rome. At the same time, the churches give insight into the conditions of the church throughout her history, and for this reason it is useful to consider the counsel offered by Jesus, through the Apostle John, to each of them. Play Audio Play Video
3. Views of Revelation in the Third and Fourth CenturiesThe chiliasm (pre-millennialism) of the second century gradually gave way to a view of Revelation as describing events of the first century in apocalyptic terms. The greatest voice in this regard was St. Augustin, whose treatment of Revelation 20 established a perspective that would survive nearly unquestioned for a thousand years, and continues have have abiding influence to the present time. Play Audio Play Video
4. The Historicist approach to RevelationThe dominate view of the Book of Revelation during the Reformation period was the 'historicist,' largely because it provided a biblical framework by which to understand and interpret the evident corruption of the Roman Catholic church, and the bloodshed experienced by those aligned with the protestant cause.Play Audio Play Video
5. Jonathan Edwards and Post-MillennialismThe Puritans added a new aspect to the historicist view of Revelation with their post-millennial eschatology. The most thorough and formidable expression of this view came through the pen of the great Puritan divine, Jonathan Edwards, whose treatment of the subject would leave a lasting impression on generations to come.Play Audio Play Video
6. The 2nd Great Awakening and the Millerite MovementThe end of the Age of Reason and beginning of the Age of Anti-Reason in the early 19th century saw the introduction of a new variety of theories as to the meaning of the book of Revelation. The most important voice in this movement was that of William Miller, who used a historicist approach mixed with the emotionalism of the Second Great Awakening to produce a precise calculation as to the time of Christ's return. While Miller eventually died disappointed, his contribution spawned a number of related movements that shared his conception but reworked his timetable. This lecture surveys this extraordinary moment in Christian historyPlay Audio Play Video
7. Ellen G. White and Renewed Pre-MillennialismThe early nineteenth century witnessed the rise of a variety of religious perspectives, and included among them was a recovered vision of a pre-millennial eschatology from the book of Revelation. The movements varied in many ways, but the shared common denominator involved an expectation of the soon return of Christ and the establishment of a rule over the earth for a thousand years. Many of this millennial movements died out in subsequent decades, but a few persisted and remain important to the present day. One of those was the movement started by Ellen G. White and her husband, James White, and known to us as the Seventh Day Adventists. Play Audio Play Video
8. John Nelson Darby and DispensationalismDuring the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th Century, a parallel movement in England produced the innovative eschatological scheme known as Dispensationalism, the creation of John Nelson Darby. This movement was widely popularized in American through James Brooks and his most famous protege, C.I. Scofield. Play Audio Play Video
9. Dispensationalism in AmericaThe system of eschatology worked out by John N. Darby came to America largely through the influence and support of James H. Brookes, pastor of Walnut Street Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Missouri. A prolific author and effective speaker, Brookes gave the dispensational message a powerful voice that began to reach large numbers of evangelical Christians in America in the late 1800s. The influence was greatly expanded, however, by the young protege of Brookes, C.I. Scofield, who embraced the Darby/Brookes views and incorporated them into a publication that would become one of the most important in shaping the views of evangelical Christians in America, the Scofield Reference Bible. It would be impossible to overstate the sweeping impact of the Scofield notes in subsequent American Christian history, and to this day the Scofield Bible, along with its many editions, revisions, and republications, has remained a staple of conservative Christianity in America.Play Audio Play Video
10. The Preterist View of RevelationThoughout the history of the church, there have always been those who maintained that the colorful and powerful images of Revelation refer largely to events that took place in the first century, and are related generally to the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple, and the definitive end of the Old Covenant era. While this view has often not been the majority outlook, it has persisted, and continues to offer a compelling perspective for the thoughtful reader. This lecture offers a summary of the major aspects of the new usually called 'preterist.' Play Audio Play Video
11. Things that must soon take place (Rev.1:1-3)John begins his remarkable book by assuring his original hearers that the things described in the following pages would take place in their near future.Play Audio Play Video
12. A Benediction of Praise (Rev. 1:4-6)John's introduction to the Apocalypse includes a powerful, Trinitarian, benediction, celebrating the eternal and transcendent majesty of the Father, the individual and personal presence of the Spirit, and the truthfulness and authority of the Son.Play Audio Play Video
13. The Coming of the Son of Man (Rev. 1:7-11)John promises his hearers that in the tumultuous times awaiting them in the near future, they will not be left alone, but that the Son of Man would be coming to rescue, deliver, and protect them as he brought judgment on the unrepentent.Play Audio
4. A Vision of the Son of Man (Rev. 1:12-20)John turned to see the one speaking to him with a voice like a trumpet, and saw one 'like the Son of Man.' His riveting description includes elements that could only be applied to deity, and the impact on John that he reports represents the common experience of God's people throughout history when confronted with the glory of a holy God.Play Audio
15. The Loveless Church (Revelation 2:1-8, 10/13/2019)In the first of his seven letters, the church of Ephesus receives commendation for its faithfulness to the truth of Christ, but it also receives a critique for neglecting the heartfelt love that had once characterized the life of this community of faith.Play Audio Play Video