Osborne, Grant R. Revelation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002. Location: Ellis BS 2825.53.O73 2002
Osborne observes that God’s sovereignty is a central theme in “virtually all Jewish and Christian apocalypses” (Osborne 2002, 31). That is also the case with Revelation. God is sovereign over both the earthly realm, where there is tribulation, and he heavenly realm, where all is joy and peace (Osborne 2002, 32). The image of God on his throne ruling over heaven and earth ties the entire book together. Regardless of human political might, God rules all (Osborne 2002, 33). Revelation describes Satan as God’s enemy. However, though portrayed as a dragon, he is a powerless enemy. His only means of harm to God’s kingdom is by deceiving the people. Osborne describes numerous ways in which Satan is described as the opposite of God (Osborne 2002, 34).
The work of Christ is central to Revelation. He is the faithful one, born from the dead, who fulfills the will of God. Jesus is seen as the one risen from the dead, the ruler, and the perfect lamb of God (Osborne 2002, 35). The Holy Spirit is also featured, normally identified as a sevenfold spirit, showing his perfect power by the number seven (Osborne 2002, 36).
Revelation portrays a war of cosmic proportions. The Messianic warrior king brings resurrection for martyred saints, who cry out for justice. He then strikes down all his enemies (Osborne 2002, 38). In this judgment, Osborne says, God reveals his righteousness, he responds to those who have rejected Him, and he shows justice (Osborne 2002, 39). The way he shows justice is primarily through allowing sin to be used against itself (Osborne 2002, 40). The righteous then live forever in God’s presence.
Apocalyptic literature frequently has little interest in an overall mission of salvation, tending rather to focus on matters of a divine final judgment. Revelation, in contrast, has an emphasis on redemption, with many scenes of God’s people being purchased from sin, repenting, and standing before God (Osborne 2002, 41). On the other hand, those who have rejected God are described in detail and go to their destruction in the final judgment. The text of Revelation calls God’s people o remain faithful. Osborne finds these calls anchored by concepts of “enduring faithfulness, witness, conquering, and obedience” (Osborne 2002, 42). Osborne goes on to describe those five concepts in brief.
Worship of God is a major theme of Revelation. Osborne finds the scenes of worship as a force to unify the text as a whole (Osborne 2002, 46). The deity of Christ is made plain in the scenes of worship, as he and the Father are equally exalted. The same words for worship are used in reference to both the right worship addressed to God and the wrong worship given to rulers and authorities other than God (Osborne 2002, 47). Even in the midst of judgment there are elements of worship, as God is recognized as the one who judges rightly (Osborne 2002, 48). Osborne concludes his introduction with an explanation of the right judgment of God (Osborne 2002, 49).