NextLevel Online: Revelation

Session 4: The People of the Revelation (Historical Background)

In session 4, we examine the conflict in the historical background of Revelation and its impact on real people, in real time, going through real struggles.



Classroom

Classroom Instructions

Lesson
Materials: Lesson Guide
Leader
  1. The Importance of Understanding the Historical Background

    • It is easy to forget, but Revelation was written to:

      • Real people at a Real time going through Real issues.
  2. The Historical Setting of Revelation Can Be Summarized With One Word: CONFLICT

    • DEFINITION: Conflict – when two people or two kingdoms try to occupy the exact same space at the exact same time.

    • How do we know there is conflict in Revelation?

      • There are over 95 passages that refer to conflicts and/or oppositions.

        • Rev. 1:9; 2:2, 3, 4, 5b, 6, 7b, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17b, 19b, 20-23, 26; 3:3, 9, 12, 16; 5:6, 9, 12; 6:2, 4, 6, 8b, 9, 11, 12-17; 7:2b, 14b; 8:5, 7, 8-9, 10-11, 12; 9:3-11, 15-19; 11:2b, 5, 7, 10b, 13, 18; 12:4, 7, 8-9, 12b, 13, 15-16, 17; 13:6, 7, 10b, 15, 16-17; 14:8, 9b-11, 12, 13a, 19-20; 16:1, 2, 3, 4, 5b, 6a, 6b, 8-9, 10-11, 14b, 19b; 17:6, 14, 16; 18:8b, 20b, 21, 24; 19:2, 15, 17b-18, 19, 20b-21; 20:2-3, 4a, 7-8, 9b, 10, 15; 22:18, 22.19.
    • TWO GROUPS AND TWO METHODS

      • Christians and…

        • Jews in the Roman Empire (cf. Matt. 12:14; 21:33-46; 26:4; Mark 11:18; 12:1-12; 14:1; Luke 19:47; 20:9-19; John 5:18; 7:19, 25; 8:37, 40; Acts 7:54-60; 8:1-3; 9:1-6; 17:5-9, 13-15; 18:6; 21:27-36; 23:1-11, 12-22; Rev 2:9, 14, 20-24; 3:9).

        • Roman Society

          • The Christian message was political (cf. Matthew 6:9; Revelation 1:5)
      • What does the Conflict Look Like?

        • Physical Persecution

          • Examples

            • Pliny the Younger’s (A.D. 111-112) Letter to Emperor Trajan (A.D. 98-117)—Epistles 10.96-97

            • Polycarp (A.D. 69-155)

            • Biblical Texts

              • Rev. 1:9
              • Rev. 2:10
              • Rev. 2:13
          • CONCLUSION: Does this mean that Christians were being killed en mass by an edict from Rome at the time of Revelation?

            • No…but the threat of violence was real.
            • The loss of wealth was real.
            • The loss of dignity was real.
            • And the loss of life was real.
        • Non-Physical Persecution

          • Slander (Rev 2:9)

            • Cannibals
            • Incest
            • Threat to National Security
          • Social Seduction (Rev 3:14-22)

  3. Conclusion

    • If our interpretations of Revelation do not take this struggle seriously, we rob the first century Christians of a Revelation that truly impacts their lives—for these are real people, at a real time, going through real struggles.

About NextLevel Online

The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.