Posted by: watchmancurtis | November 3, 2009

Revelation Study Week 2

Today was the second meeting in our church’s (www.efcsweetwater.com) lunchtime study of the book of Revelation.  We increased from 9 last week to 11 members this week.  I am really blessed to be a part of the group.  We have a varied background which makes for interesting discussions and questions along the way.  If you missed last weeks study it can be found here: https://watchmancurtis.wordpress.com/2009/10/27/revelation-study/  Feel free to add comments or questions here as you study along with us.

We picked up our study in Verse 7:  This is the first actual prophecy in the book of Revelation.  Here we are told that Jesus is coming and will return with the clouds and that every eye will see him and all the tribes of the earth will mourn him.  Here are several references to Jesus coming in the clouds found in other parts of the Bible:

  • Acts 1:9-11  Here Jesus ascends up and is received by a cloud.  We are then told that He will return the same way that He was taken up.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:17  This is a picture of the rapture where we are caught up in the clouds to meet Jesus.
  • Matthew 24:30-31  This verse is very similiar to verse 7 in Revelation.  Jesus will appear in the sky coming on the clouds with power and great glory.  It even mentions the tribes of the earth mourning.
  • Daniel 7:13-14  A very early reference to the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven.

The phrase every eye will see Him is very close to the verse in Philippians 2:10 where we are told that every knee will bow before Him.  The question was asked why were they mourning His coming?  I think there are several reasons.  The first is found in Zechariah 12:10 where we are told that because of the spirit of grace and supplication the inhabitants of Jerusalem will mourn for Him.  I think the Jewish people will realize that they should have been ready for His first coming and will grieve that fact.  The second reason is that all those who pierced Him will see Him.  I think this is a broader brush that encompasses everyone.  We all crucified Jesus.  He came to willingly offer His life because of our sin..therefore we all pierced Him.   Finally, and this is one point I failed to mention in our study, and that is that I think the wicked will mourn because of the wrath that accompanies His coming.  It is kind of like the kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  He isn’t sorry he did it, but he is sorry he got caught.  Revelation paints a very clear picture about people who fall into that category.

Verse 8  Jesus is the Alpha and Omega.  I love that description.  He is the beginning and the End.  I think of John 1 where we are told that “In the Beginning was the Word.”  I also think about Hebrews 13:8 where “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  There was one member of our group who is currently in a study of this very thing.  She is looking at how Jesus actually is the Alpha and Omega and used the example that Jesus began his ministry with a wedding and when we are gathered together with him at the end of the age He will have a wedding feast for us.  Very cool indeed!  She encouraged us all to study that topic and I’ll pass that along to anyone reading here.

Verse 9  John is a fellow partaker of three things which are IN Jesus.

  • Tribulation-  This is not talking about the Great Tribulation.  This is the every day struggles and persecution a Christian goes through.  Living in the time that he did certainly gave him an understanding of tribulation.  2 Timothy 3:12 says, “In fact everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
  • Kingdom- As Christians we are all part of the Kingdom.  The Kingdom is a now but not yet truth.  There are aspects of it that are in effect now, but it will not be fully realized until Christ returns.
  • Perseverance- In going through tribulation and waiting on the revealing of the full Kingdom of God, perseverance is a necessity.  In your daily struggles look to Jesus for help for perseverance is found in Him and He will reward those who overcome.

Verse 10 tells us that the voice of the Lord is like the sound of the shofar…a mighty description indeed!  The phrase “In the spirit” is used 4 times in the book of Revelation:  Rev.1:10, 4:2, 17:3, 21:10.  The phrase “In a loud voice” occurs 22 times in the book.  Something to think about.

Verse 11 tells us that John is writing to the 7 churches in Asia.  Many people believe that these churches represent the church through history…church ages perhaps.  We all agreed that the things written to the church are necessary for every generation.  I personally believe that the churches were not only literal churches back in the time of John, but also represent the types of churches that will be in existence right before the return of Christ.  I’ll explain that more as we look at each church in the coming weeks.  It is also possible that the churches in Revelation were literal churches, have practical warnings and teachings for all generations,  show the church ages, and point to the churches in existence right before the return of Christ.

Verses 12-18 describe Jesus in a very powerful way.  Wow is the only word that comes to mind!  A similiar description can be found in Daniel 10:5-6.  One specific description (the two-edged sword) was highlighted and we looked at Psalm 149: “Let the godly ones exult in glory; Let them sing for joy on their beds.  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples…”  It is interesting that the two-edged sword is in our hands and in His mouth.  In Hebrews 4:12 the Word of God is described as “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Verse 17-18  caused us to look at the mention of Death and Hades.  It seems, as we will see later on in Revelation and in a few other places, that these are actual beings.  We also took a rabbit trail of sorts, led by yours truly, and looked at  the concept of where do we go when we die?    We looked at the Hebrew word “Sheol” which is the greek word Hades.  Sheol was the abode of the dead.  Gehenna which was an actual dump ground south of Jerusalem that was set on fire frequently is the actual place of hell…or the Lake of Fire.  We looked at Abraham’s Bosom and the concept of Paradise and had a good discussion along those lines.

Verse 19 is an important verse.  John is to write the things which he has seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.  This is not a definitive outline, but I would break it up like this:

  • Things which he has seen (Chapter 1)
  • Things which are (chapters 2 & 3)
  • Things which will take place after these things (Chapters 4-22)

Verse 20 explains that the 7 stars are the angels of the churches and the 7 lampstands are the 7 churches.  We talked about how the number 7 is the number of completion and the repetition of the number throughout the book shows us that it is not used at random.  Verse 20 is also a good example of why the Book of Revelation should be taken literally.  If there is anything symoblic or allegorical we are told the meaning of it.  It was also mentioned that the 7 angels could be angelic beings or perhaps the pastors of the churches since the greek word for angel simply means messenger.

We had a great study and I pray that Holy Spirit will continue to teach us and you as we go.  Please feel free to comment and ask question here.  May you be blessed today in a mighty way!

Curtis

Advertisements

Responses

  1. I love the recap. It helps me process everything we covered — and we sure covered a lot today. You’ve got me chewing on “when we die.”

    • I enjoy blogging the recap as well…probably for the same reason. Yes we did cover a lot today. It did help that we didn’t have to go over the introduction type stuff like we did last week. I’m definitely going to be looking over the “when we die” conversation some more as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the study though and think it will only get better.

  2. This is great. Rather than repeat a comment I left Eric on MMR, I’ll just include it here, too:

    …I was discussing the issue with Lori after the study, and I think I can best sum up my position by saying I’m ambivalent about each position, but less so about the paradise-as-holding-tank idea. Otherwise, where are the dead in Christ raised from – is that when we get our new, immortal body? Interesting stuff.

  3. The verses that you cited and studied in this particular session are important for the following reasons:

    1. We see Christ in His Kingly Character.

    2. We get a view of the different church ages from Pentecost to the Rapture. The churches are in fact literal, some existed in sequence while there contemporaries.

    3. Verse 19 is what I believe to be the ‘contents’ page for Revelations.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Wesley! Your comments are appreciated and I look forward to hearing what you have say.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: