Sabbath School

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Is there a discrepancy between the text of Revelation and some historicist interpretations, another discrepancy between historicism and actual history, and yet another discrepancy between historicism and the audience — you and me?

Sabbath School commentary for discussion on Sabbath, January 19, 2019.

Genuine mission is a ground operation, and it happens in local communities. The health and vitality of the local community is thus an indispensable element in heaven’s strategy for disseminating light into the world.

This week’s lesson is brought to us by GoodWord from Walla Walla. To listen to the audio conversation, please visit the GoodWord website.

Host: Brant Berglin

Apokalypsis introduces a book that opens things because of the kind of person God is (1:1-3). To open things is precisely what this book does....‘Open’ is the opposite of ‘closed,’ and it is the counterpoint to concealment. With the open door comes an invitation to come up at the beginning (4:1) and a second invitation to come home at the end (22:17). This is yet another reason why we might choose to rename Revelation as The Book of Transparency.

In visual terms, the book is panoramic. In musical terms, it is a symphony. It takes practice to hear the melody and master the theme. Thus this word of caution: “Blessed is the one who reads—and reads again.”

“Are you a preterist, futurist or historicist? Here’s a list of these three ways of interpreting the last book of the Bible. Check the one which is yours, sign it and we’ll get back to you. Or maybe not.”

Although I’ve taught for more than four decades on Adventist campuses, once during the 1969–1970 school year at Andrews University for undergraduates when I was a student at the Seminary, and since 1974 at what we now call Loma Linda University Health, I’ve never been asked such a question and I doubt that I ever will be.

The concept of heaven as some sort of an otherworldly paradise, better than anything our mundane existence on planet Earth has to offer, is embraced by nearly all religions. Billions of believers yearn to be there. But if heaven really exists, what is it like? Is it a literal three-dimensional place or is it merely a metaphorical mental state? Is it located on the surface of a cosmic sphere somewhere in outer space or is sequestered in a secret spot here on planet Earth? Is there only one heaven or are there multiple heavens?

Sabbath school commentary for discussion on Sabbath, December 22, 2018.

Sabbath School commentary for discussion on Sabbath, December 15, 2018.