A Beginner's Guide
To The Apocalypse
The Book of Revelation is one of the most misunderstood books in the Bible. For this reason, many have feared reading its pages and relegated it to academics or eccentrics. And yet this was a gift God gave to the author, John the Apostle, to help serve, comfort, challenge, and bring hope to Christians in peril. In the upheaval, confusion and fear of the days in which we live, this gift must be discovered and received again for us today.
To understand the book, it is vital to remember that this is not 'Revelations'. There is no plural! This is not a series of different predictions for us to supernaturally foretell the future. This is a singular revelation. The revelation of Jesus as He stands in glory. Whatever else you deduce and learn from its pages, the primary purpose is to leave the book having discovered the person of Jesus anew. For this reason, the series will be built upon the revealed Jesus through the book and our response to it. Only through genuinely seeing Jesus may we have the confidence and commitment to stand up against the tyranny of the enemy and seduction of the empire.
The Revelation Of Jesus — Rich Wilson
It’s the end of the world! As a modern audience, we understand this as the meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’. Instead, we must understand this word as ‘uncover’ or ‘reveal’. The Bible Project define the apocalypse as “where you see the true nature of something you couldn’t see before”. An apocalypse is a revelation. But what is this revelation? In this session, we set out a roadmap for the series ahead. As New Testament scholar Dean Flemming writes, “Revelation’s poetic visions are less about describing end-times events than calling Christian communities to reimagine their world.”
Seeing Jesus — Luc Sadler
Revelation 1: 9-20
Revelation 1: 9-20
Where has our view of Jesus diminished? Through the Book of Revelation, what new aspects do we discover about who Jesus is? As we pull back the curtain on this pastoral letter written by Apostle John, we unveil a dramatic vision given by God. John exhorts the Church to see and hear the ‘Voice’ at the centre of everything, and that Voice is a person - Jesus Christ. To listen to this Voice above all the world’s many voices is to hear and see Jesus and to become oriented to the great unseen reality of His rule and reign. In looking to Christ, we experience a true apocalypse - the revelation that we do not need to fear the future or the turmoil of our present circumstances.
Known By Jesus — Rich Wilson
In the Book of Revelation, Jesus transforms our view of Himself and the church. For the first time, the church gathering is described as ‘ecclesia’, a word reserved for when the King or Emperor summoned people to gather about the city's business. As we understand Jesus as portrayed in Revelation, we turn our attention to our loving response. How are we, despite the turmoil of the times, to keep our love for Christ and the church from going cold?
Surrendered to Jesus — Ness Wilson
Who has your allegiance? Who and what are the idols of our day? Revelation uses poetic writing to convey central truths, adopting symbolic imagery and numbers drawn from Old Testament prophecies - dragons, beasts and lambs. The author builds images rich with metaphor and allusion to talk about cosmic and earthly superpowers. As it reveals Jesus, so does it reveal the corruption of the Roman empire. It calls every Christian in every era to pull their allegiance to Christ and his Kingdom and be guarded against the allure of the world. At its impressive height, no one could have imagined the fall of the Roman Empire, and yet it is not the beast or the dragon that lasts but the eternal lamb.
Built on Jesus — John Houghton
Will we trust in human structures and powers, or will we worship Jesus? At first glance, Revelation is a truly terrifying text. And yet it inspires us with a first-hand look at the future work of Christ. John, the author, is revealing a drama, a tale of destruction. When you build a city on weak, human foundations, it will always fall to the ground. The historical empire of Babylon fell, and now Jesus reveals to John the unthinkable fall of Rome. In combining metaphors and prophecies from the Old Testament, John creates an archetype of military and economic power, a nation which rebels against God. “This isn’t something limited to the past or the future,” the Bible Project suggests, “it’s a portrait of the human condition.”
New Creation With Jesus — Amy Myatt
What do you imagine when you think of the future? The Book of Revelation is not an ending but a beginning. In the final act of Revelation, a cosmic wedding occurs, symbolising the promised relationship between God and His people. As illustrated in the Gospels, God has come to live amongst us. All things are made new. The old passes away, and a new heaven and a new earth emerge. Humanity and all its diversity work in harmony in the presence of God, which fills the earth.
The Coming Jesus (Pt.1) — Rich Cave
One day, Jesus will return and set everything right forever. On that day, every tear will be wiped away. The final pages of the Bible echo its first chapters in the Book of Genesis. The story ends in a garden city, a restored and expanded Eden.
The Coming Jesus (Pt.2) — Rachel Sadler
The Book of Revelation presents a heavenly perspective of history, the climax of Old Testament prophecy and expectation. It’s a symbolic vision that brings hope, reveals historical patterns of empire and celebrates God’s ultimate promises. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that God has set ‘eternity in the hearts of men’. The Book of Revelation teaches us to live hope-filled with what is inevitable in the light of eternity.
Love Letters: Ephesus — Rich Wilson
You walked away from your first love—why? In the second half of our series on the Book of Revelation, we’ll be doing a deeper dive into the second and third chapters of the book, also known as the Letters to the Seven Churches. In these seven letters, Jesus gives his specific perspective from Heaven, transforming our view of Himself and the church. In this symbolic book, the number seven is a sign of completeness. As Jesus speaks to the seven churches of Asia, he is, in turn, speaking to the whole church in every place and every age. As we understand Jesus as portrayed in Revelation, we turn our attention to our loving response.
Love Letters: Smyrna — Rich Cave
‘This is the message from the one who is the First and the Last, who was dead but is now alive: “I know about your suffering and your poverty—but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they are not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan.’ (Revelation 2:8b-9). In the second half of our series on the Book of Revelation, we’ll be doing a deeper dive into the second and third chapters of the book, also known as the Letters to the Seven Churches.
Love Letters: Thyatira — Ness Wilson
‘Here’s the reward I have for every conqueror, everyone who keeps at it, refusing to give up: You’ll rule the nations, your Shepherd-King rule as firm as an iron staff, their resistance fragile as clay pots. This was the gift my Father gave me; I pass it along to you—and with it, the Morning Star!’ (Revelation 2:26-28). In the second half of our series on the Book of Revelation, we’ll be doing a deeper dive into the second and third chapters of the book, also known as the Letters to the Seven Churches.