Over thirty years ago I got off track! How so you might ask. Well as a newly minted Christian I had a fascination with the “last days” and anything that had to do with the “end times”. One of the first books that I purchased, besides the Bible, was Hal Lindsey’s book, The Late Great Planet Earth. That book had a profound effect on the way that I interpreted Bible passages that I assumed dealt with the “end time”. The book was published in 1970 by Zondervan Publishing House. I picked up my copy in 1983, thirteen years after its original publication date. 28 million copies had sold by 1990. Did I bother to check the claims made in this book against the scriptures? Nope! Sure didn’t. That is until a few short years ago!
Although Lindsey did not claim to know the dates of future events with any certainty, he suggested that Matthew 24:32-34 indicated that Jesus’ return might be within “one generation” of the rebirth of the state of Israel, and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. Lindsey asserted that “in the Bible” one generation is forty years. (...)
I’ve always had a fascination with the last book of the Bible, Revelation. Fascination mixed with a certain amount of fear and curiosity. My mind raced ahead to thoughts of therm-nuclear war, computer chips and the end of the world as we know it.
The book of Revelation, more than any other New Testament book, has been used to support any number of “end of the world” scenarios. Many view Revelation chapters 4 thru 20 as unfulfilled. Revelation is used to support beliefs found nowhere else in Scripture. For example, the one thousand years or millennium reign of Christ is mentioned only in Revelation 20:1-6. Also, those who hold the belief in separate resurrections turn to Revelation 20:1-6 as their proof texts.
The Nature of the Book
Revelation is undoubtedly a unique book. While considered part of the New Testament, it is different from other books of the New Testament. More importantly it is different from styles of writing used today. Revelation is apocalyptic. The word ‘revelation’ in Greek is apokalupsis, which means ‘an uncovering’ or ‘unveiling’. Thus, Revelation is a book that was intended to reveal, not conceal! The book is an example (...)