Arguing that the orientation of Revelation is present, not future -- a perspective that brings balance to much current writing on the topic -- Walhout explains John's enigmatic visions in Revelation in pastoral, down-to-earth terms. He carefully describes for readers what the apostle John saw, and he relates these compelling visions to Jesus, the gospel, and the church today.
According to Walhout, John was deeply concerned for the churches under his care, even though he was writing to them in exile, and he transcribed his visions in order to encourage them in their current persecution and trials. Through these strange yet powerful symbolic images, the churches were meant to grasp how God was working through Jesus, by means of the gospel and the power of Christ's Spirit, and how they in turn might cope in troubled times.
From this perspective, the challenging visions of Revelation, discussed here as septets (the "Seven Churches", the "Seven Seals", the "Seven Trumpets", the "Seven Bowls") take on fresh and highly relevant meaning. The implications of Revelation for the future can be seen, but only as the result of what is happening in the present -- John's first-century "present" and also our own. Walhout's study shows the book of Revelation to contain a magnificent theology of history, with Jesus Christ directing humanity irresistibly toward its ultimate goal -- the new Jerusalem, where sin is no more.
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