Posted by: watchmancurtis | October 27, 2009

Revelation Study Week 1

Today at our church (Emmanuel Fellowship in Sweetwater, TX) we started a lunchtime study of the book of Revelation.  We are going to meet every Tuesday and dig into the Word to see if we can unveil some of the mystery behind the most intimidating, mysterious, confusing and ignored book of the Bible.  I’ve been jokingly encouraged to blog about the experience so I decided to give it a whirl.  I do not claim to be an expert on End Times or Revelation, but I have spent a good deal of time studying these topics.   Today we only examined the first 6 verses of Chapter 1, but before we did that we went over a few of the main views of Revelation as well as some definitions.  Here is a list of the definitions and the views.

Eschatology- The study of End times or Last things.

Apocalypse- An unveiling or revealing.

70th Week of Daniel- A period of 7 years taken from a prophecy in the 9th chapter of Daniel involving 70 sets of 7  years.  Many people believe that 69 of those sets of 7 years have already been fulfilled leaving 7 years still to be fulfilled at a later time.  The term “week” is taken from the Jewish people and in the context of Daniel 9 refers to a 7 year period.  There are 70 sets of 7 years so the entire prophecy encompasses 490 years in total.

Tribulation- A time referred to in the Bible as “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”.  It is described as a time of distress the likes of which have never occurred before.  Many people refer to the last 7 years before the return of Christ as the tribulation, while others say that the Great tribulation is not the full 7 years, but happens sometime within those 7 years.

The Day of the Lord- An appointed time where the Lord pours out His wrath on the rebellious unbelievers of this world which is preceded by signs in the heavens.

Rapture- The word rapture is not found in the Bible, but it refers to the gathering of Christians into the clouds to meet Jesus.  There are several places that refer to this event.  Two such places are 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1.

Antichrist- A man who will come onto the world scene claiming to bring peace, but who will ultimately be possessed by Satan and demand to be worshipped as God.  He will perform many false signs and wonders in his attempts to lure people away from Christ.  The Greek word for Antichrist is “antichristos” which can mean against Christ or in place of Christ.  “Anti” means against, false or in place of and “Christos” means anointed one.

Main Views of Revelation:

Pre-Tribulation (Pre-Trib)- A view that takes Revelation literally and sees the church being raptured away before a 7 year period they call the Tribulation.  This is the most popular of all the views in terms of the number of people who hold it.

Mid-Tribulation (Mid-Trib)- A view that takes Revelation literally and sees the church raptured away during the middle of the 70th week of Daniel which some refer to as the tribulation.

Pre-Wrath- This is the view that I hold.  It is a view that takes Revelation literally and makes a distinction between the Tribulation and the 70th week of Daniel.  They believe that that Great Tribulation does not begin until the mid-point of the 7 years and that the rapture will occur sometime toward the end of the 7 years right before the wrath of God is poured out on the rebellious unbelivers.

Post-Tribulation (Post-Trib)- A view that takes Revelation literally and sees the church going through the entire 7 year tribulation.

Historical- A view that sees the book of Revelation being fulfilled throughout history and not pointing to one specific time of the End.

Symbolic/Allegorical- A view that sees Revelation as largely symbolic and spiritual.  They reject the views of the 70th week of Daniel, Antichrist and Rapture saying those are not literal events or people, but point to spiritual and symbolic truths.

Preterist- A view that sees Revelation as already being completed and fulfilled.  They believe that this was written concerning events of A.D. 70 and the destruction of Jerusalem.  Some go so far as to say that Christ returned at that time and there will not be a future coming.  Others in that group say that everything has been fulfilled except for the return of Christ.  They are known as partial preterists.  Partial Preterists do not believe in a yet to be fulfilled 70th week of Daniel and some believe the world will get better and better until Christians take the nations for Christ and then Jesus can return.

As I mentioned earlier, we only covered the first 6 verses of Chapter 1, but we actually started in 1 Peter 1:10-13.  Here we learn that those who made careful inquiries, seeking to know when the prophecies of Christ’s first coming would be were actually not serving themselves but God’s people.  The same principle holds true today.  It is not wrong or a waste of time to look into the prophecies concerning the return of Jesus.  In fact it is a service to the body of Christ.  Yes there can be extremes and you shouldn’t focus only on that aspect of scripture and exclude the others.  Overall, however, we are encouraged to do so and even angels long to look into these thing.  Verse 13 tells us 3 things that we are to do in regard to the revelation (unveiling or revealing) or second coming  of Christ.  1.  We are to prepare our minds for action.  2. We are to keep sober in spirit.  3. We are to fix our hope completely on the grace to be brought to us at the second coming.

An interesting point was brought out about the communication lines of the Book of Revelation.  God gave it to Jesus.  Jesus gave it to an angel.  The angel then gave it to John.  John then gave it to the 7 churches and to us.  I had never really looked at that before, but it is an interesting point to ponder. 

Verse 1 lets us know that the book is written to the bond-servants of Jesus.  Yes there are 7 churches that were addressed, but it is to the bond-servants of Christ.  Did you know that Jesus became a bond servant?  What exactly does that mean?  I would encourage you to do some study regarding that.  We didn’t have time to chase that rabbit down the trail, but it is a good one to follow.

Verse 3 tells us that the one who reads, hears and heeds the words of the book will recieve a blessing.  Notice it is not just read or hear.  We have to heed them.  We also talked about how living with the idea that Jesus will return in our lifetime changes how we live.  We need to live with an urgency and passion. 

Verse 4 brought us into a discussion of the 7 spirits who are before the throne.  We looked at Isaiah 11: 1-2.  Are these the same 7 spirits?  Are there actually 7 listed in Isaiah?  Something to think about.

Verses 5 through 8 tells us that Jesus is the Faithful Witness…Firstborn of the Dead…Ruler of the kings of the earth…The Alpha and Omega…the One who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.  Quite a description!

We looked at verse 6 and asked the question if we are made to be kings and priests or just a kingdom of priests.  I think we all decided we needed to do a bit more study on that one. 

That’s our study for this week in a nutshell.  Let me know what you think and feel free to chime in.  While all views are welcome this is not a place for argument, but for discussion.  Treat everyone with gentleness and love.  I pray that Holy Spirit will open our eyes to His truths and that He will teach us all things in regards to the book of Revelation.

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Responses

  1. It was a great first week. I’m looking forward to the rest of the Bible study.

    • Yes we got off to a good start and I think it will only get better. Congrats on being the first to post here too. 🙂

  2. I am really glad we are doing this study, and excited to see you are blogging it. I think it will help as we study and ask questions through the week. This blog will be a treasure chest of resources by the time we get to Revelation 22.

    • Well I wouldn’t be doing this without you and Peter encouraging me. It’s going to be an interesting journey to be sure. Looking forward to where the road takes us.

  3. I plan to follow this while we are on the road. Glad you are doing it. Would like to know the conclousions your group reaches about some of the questions asked. If you could post what the next weeks scriptures will be would be helpful too. Thanks.

    • Thanks for stopping in and following our study. Next week we will be looking at verse 7 through the end of chapter 1. It is possible we will get into chapter 2, but that is hard to tell right now. Let me know what else I can do to help you follow our study. Be blessed.

  4. Sounds like an interesting study. If there is any interest, here is a link to some material by Greg Beale on Revelation. I have found it to be quite helpful.

    http://sententiaenil.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/greg-k-beale-on-the-book-of-revelation/

    • Thanks for stopping by and for the link. Be blessed.

  5. […] Revelation Study […]

  6. The previous comment was the handiwork of my 3year old daughter who was typing of her own. My apologies.

    I know your studies have been on-going for sometime now so I’ll try and catch up with my reading and comments.

    As mentioned in verse 3 the reader will receive a blessing, this unique to the Book of Revelations.


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