GCI’s J. Tkach on the Book of Revelation

Orthodox Rendering of the Apocalypse


Former WCG minister and current head of Grace Communion International, Joseph Tkach just put out the following:

The name of the book of Revelation is taken from its first verse which reads: “The revelation of Jesus Christ.” The word revelation here is translated from the Greek word apokalypsos, which means “unveiling” or “revealing.”

John wrote Revelation in a special literary style well known to Jews and early Christians called “apocalyptic.” Apocalyptic uses fantastic images and symbols to describe God’s judgment and victory over the oppressors of his people and all evil. It was popular during the last two centuries B.C. and the first century A.D. The symbols and figures in apocalyptic writing were not to be taken literally, but were to be understood in the context of the apocalyptic style, similar to the way we might understand the symbolism of a political cartoon today.

The symbols found in Revelation might appear strange to Christians of later centuries, and they have certainly been the subject of great debate and mystery. But John used them because they were understood by the Christians of his day. Revelation was not a secret code book to enable Christians of future generations to decipher when Jesus would return. It was a book of hope and encouragement to Christians of the first century, written to assure them that in spite of all evidence to the contrary, Jesus Christ had already won the final victory over all tyrants and tyranny.

While there is no doubt that the Book of Revelation was written to help those in the first century, to suggest that was perhaps its primary purpose as opposed to being a prophetic and instructional book for use throughout the church era is improper.  The Book of Revelation was only penned a relatively few years before the first century ended.  This book has much greater use than providing hope and encouragement in the sense that J. Tkach’s article implies.

Notice a fuller, less truncated first verse, with the next two verse, from the Book of Revelation than Joseph Tkach Jr. quoted:

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants — things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. (Revelation 1:1-3)

The Book of Revelation REVEALS things that will come to pass.  It has both historical and prophetic ramifications.  It is a prophetic book which also has instructions that are to be obeyed.

Some articles of related interest may include the following:

Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2012, 2013, or 2014? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?  What does the Book of Revelation teach?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present: information on all of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3.
Why Prophecy? Because the World Will Not End Next Week Some question or downplay the role of prophecy. This article gives some of the biblical reasons what it is important and explains why the world cannot end for at least 3 1/2 years from now.
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.

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