Revelation and the Beast
Once again John Alley brings a message about “end times”, beginning with an examination of the meaning of the “coming” of Christ and then giving an overview of the book of Revelation. Revelation, John explains, is the most Jewish of all the books of the New Testament, drawing greatly on Jewish symbols, history, concepts and nuances of language. The book was written to the seven churches of Asia, at a time when there was a larger percentage of Jewish Christians in the Asian region, and there was a huge emphasis on Emperor worship. John examines events from history which all point to the book of Revelation being written in about 64 or 65 AD. With this understanding, then, it is very easy to see that most of the prophecy of the book of Revelation has been fulfilled in the great tribulation and suffering inflicted on the Church by the Emperor Nero. Therefore, the Beast referred to in the book would seem to most likely have been Nero himself. John explains many fascinating facts including the source of the number 666 and then goes on to say that as for the future, we have hope, a great calling, a great many promises and a Messiah King ruling in Heaven. We should be encouraged, says John, that although difficult times will come for some people, the Gospel triumphs over them all and we need to pour ourselves out in service to God for the furtherance of the Kingdom.
A Better View Of The World
Continuing his series of teaching on eschatology, or the end times, John Alley begins with the statement that there is a great deal of scholarship examining the Scriptures and arriving at satisfying conclusions regarding end times rather than alarmist ones.
John goes on to explain how what we believe very much affects our behaviour and the choices we make in life as well as how we plan our lives. While we are free to hold to any of the varying views of how the last days will unfold, says John, we should adopt a position that allows us to plan for the future and to build great works in preparation for the coming of Christ. In other words, we should live as though we will live our entire lives for Christ and sharing Christ. John gives examples from history of people who lived that way and as a result, accomplished great things for the Kingdom.
John then begins an examination of Matthew 24:29 – 31, a passage often misinterpreted by readers. John goes on to explain how the original Greek language used indicates that there are figures of speech used, bringing a clearer interpretation of the passage. This is an encouraging message which will bring liberty and hope to the hearer.
Put Your Thinking Cap On – Figurative Speech in Life and the Bible
We are all used to figures of speech, we use them everyday. You've no doubt heard about it "raining cats and dogs" and you didn't get confused about what that actually meant. God uses figures of speech a great deal in scripture too. However strangely we do get confused by the meanings. There is a lot of figurative language in the Bible that we just take literally, and hence are confused and robbed of power.
This great message by John Alley will help you to see and understand how figures of speech are used right through the entire Bible, with many examples and explanations. Once you start to get a hold of this, the scriptures really open up to the seeking heart.