As we strive to Know His Word more deeply in 2018, we’ll be reading the Bible together in sections. Our hope is that together we will see how each book of the Bible fits into the overarching story of Scripture. On the first day of each month, we’ll walk through a new biblical genre together. This month, we’ll be looking at Revelation.
We’ve made it. Revelation is the last book of the Bible, and this month we’ll be reading it through. It’s gonna get a little weird.
Revelation contains three main genres of text—letters, prophecy, and apocalyptic. The book opens and closes like a typical letter from the New Testament. The Book of Revelation was written to be passed around to seven churches you’ll read about in its pages. Real churches and real people read this letter. It was almost like an ancient group text—specific parts of it are for specific churches, but they all read it. And we get to read it, too.
You’ll also read prophecy in the Book of Revelation—a look at what God will do in the future and a proclamation of what is true about Him always. In Read the Bible for Life, J. Scott Duvall phrases it this way: “[prophecy] involves the delivering of a message from God for people at a particular time, who are dealing with a particular situation. Although we might want to focus on prediction because it’s fascinating, most biblical prophecy actually emphasizes proclamation of a message. In the places where Revelation is described as a prophecy, the readers are exhorted to ‘keep’ it (1:3; 22:7). It’s hard to ‘keep’ a prediction but perfectly natural to think of keeping or obeying a message. This means that Revelation is not just about the future, although it does point to events that will take place at the end of time, when Christ returns to Earth. It’s primarily about how God wants His people to live right now in the present.”
Finally, Revelation is apocalyptic. Before you panic, know that we have read apocalyptic literature before this year. Daniel, Ezekiel, and Zechariah all contain apocalyptic writing. To quote Duvall again, “This type of writing includes God’s revelation to a well-known person (like John or Daniel) in which God promises to intervene in the course of history and to overthrow evil empires, setting up His kingdom. So apocalyptic literature has to do with heaven breaking into Earth in some significant way.”
Once again, we turn to the CSB Study Bible to see how Revelation fits in with the rest of Scripture:
The Book of Revelation provides an almost complete overview of theology. There is much in this book about Christ, mankind and sin, the people of God (both the church and Israel), holy angels, and Satan and the demons. There is important material on God’s power and tri-unity, plus aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit and the nature of Scripture.
When we read the Book of Revelation, we learn about God. We learn He is in control, from “in the beginning” to the final “amen.” We learn He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We learn He loves His children and always works to bring them to Himself. In reading the final book of the Bible, we are challenged to persevere, keep His commands, share the love of Christ, and remain faithful to Him. We glimpse the world made right again, every tear wiped away, every nation, tribe, and tongue singing praises to the One who created us all. And like John, we pray, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (22:20).
Click below to download a PDF version of the November reading plan:
We’d also love to hear what you’re learning as we read through His Word together. Share on social media with the hashtag #KnowHisWord18, so we can learn together! We’ve also included an image below, featuring a verse we’ll read this month, perfect for Instagram.