Series: The Radical Call of Jesus
Message: Radical Choice
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Daily Walk: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 100.
Read: Revelation 4:1–8:1 (ESV). As you read, note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: William Johnsson, in his book Where Are We Headed: Adventism after San Antonio, argues that there are two main approaches to the Bible:
There is a sense in which every reader’s hermeneutic is private to themselves, because each of us brings to the text our individuality and life experience. That said, I think we can divide Adventist interpretation into two broad and contrasting camps— the “flat,” literalistic approach, and the nuanced approach. The former tends to deny the need to interpret, to go beyond the literal meaning of the text. The nuanced approach, on the other hand, comes to the text aware of the challenges to understanding caused by time, culture, type of literature, and so on (p. 30).
Through this Daily Walk and sermon series, we are following the nuanced approach. There are many challenges in the book of Revelation. The deeper we get into the study of this book, the more complex it becomes, in part because it is a “live” book. By “live," I mean that there is so much yet to be understood, so much yet to be fulfilled. The purpose of prophetic literature is not to tell us the future but to let us know— once it is fulfilled—that God already knew what was going to happen before it happened. The purpose of prophecy is to raise our levels of trust in God. Amos, the minor prophet, wrote, "For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7).
To that end, I will avoid speculation and guess work about the elements within the book of Revelation that are still in the future.
Respond: Pray for truth.
Research: What hermeneutic principles do you use for understanding the Bible? The Biblical Research Institute has some great suggestions.