Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Repentance Is Hard

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
Revelation 9:20-21

Sunday, March 29, 2009

To Us Who Believe In Him

But the words "it was counted to him" were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Romans 4:23-25

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What would you give to hear this today?

'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'
Matthew 25:21

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Be Strong and Courageous

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

Monday, March 23, 2009

Some Trust In Things

May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions! Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.
Psalm 20:5-8

Friday, March 20, 2009

Trust In The Lord

Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.
Ecclesiastes 7:13-14

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

You Become Like Those You Hang With

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Proverbs 13:20

People, TV, Internet, Literature, Time, etc.

Monday, March 16, 2009

In You Do I Take Refuge

In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God. I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the LORD.
Psalm 31:1-6

Saturday, March 14, 2009

As He Is In The Light

If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7

Law vs. Grace

Jim had been coming to the pastor for counseling for several months. Though he had been doing all the home work the Pastor asked him to do, nothing seemed to help. Finally, Jim became frustrated with his situation. “I read my Bible every day for one solid hour, and nothing has changed.” Jim said. “You told me that if I read my Bible every day for an hour, my life would change and I would stop doing all these sinful things. You said that I would love my wife, my job, and my children and they would love and respect me in return.”

“That’s close to what I said, but not exactly,” said the pastor, “You’re still missing the most important point.” "You’re still doing what you do in order to get something for yourself. You are still at the center of all your dreams and aspirations. You are still the focus of your life and the idol of your heart."

What you have done is set up a series of hoops that you think you need to jump through so God will bless you. But it isn’t God’s blessing that you are after, it is you being blessed. You are trying to manipulate God, trying to get him to do what you want by doing what you think will make him happy, to placate him.

"What you still don’t understand is that this is exactly what every religious group and philosophical system in the world does. They avoid submitting to God by setting up a system of works through which they try to manipulate the god they serve. When Christians to this we call it pietism, and legalism."

"The Gospel shines on us when we realize there isn’t anything we can to do make God happy. We are abject failures. There isn’t anything, zilch, nadda, nothing we can to do manipulate God into liking us or blessing us. God made provision for this in the death of his dear Son, Jesus. Nothing we could ever do could out placate God’s wrath against us than Jesus' death on the cross."

"The Gospel shines in us when we stop trying to impress God and simply live with him, in his presence every day, all day. The Apostle said bad company corrupts good morals, and Jesus said we become like our teachers. What this, among a million other verses, says to us is that we naturally become like those we hang around with. So, if you want to treat others like God tells you to treat them, watch how God treats other people. If you want to be treated like God, act like God. If you want to watch and act like God, spend time with God. It’s pretty simple really."

“That all sounds pretty good,” Jim responded, “But what can I do to change my life?” “Well, for starters, read your Bible for an hour every day.” This reminds us to confess our sins.

Friday, March 13, 2009

He Rejoices Over You With Joy

The LORD has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: "Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:15-17

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Enjoy God's Gift

I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Sea Does Not Fill Up

All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again. All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:7-9

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Deny Himself

And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?”
Luke 9:23

Monday, March 09, 2009

Should Be Proclaimed

“Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
Luke 24:46-47

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Context, Context, Context

“For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?"
Luke 23:31 ESV (Eze. 20:47)

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Greatest is Servant of All

But I am among you as the one who serves.
Luke 22:27

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Like a Man

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
Job 38:2-4

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Impossible with Men

Those who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?" But he said, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." And Peter said, "See, we have left our homes and followed you." And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life." Luke 18:26-30

Monday, March 02, 2009

Revelation 8

Context? What’s going on?
How many seals have been opened?
How many seals were there on the scroll?
What happened each time a seal was opened?

Vss. 1-5
v. 1—What/who opened the next seal?
Which seal was it?
How many seals were there?
What does it mean that this is the last one?
What happened when the seventh seal was opened?
How long did the silence last?
What significance is there in the silence? Hab. 2:20; Zeph. 1:7; Zech. 2:13

v. 2—What did John see next?
Where have we seen these angels before? Rev. 2-3;
Things on earth are often related to things in heaven:
1. Kingdom on earth come as it is in heaven—Mt. 6:10
2. Pattern of worship—Heb 8:5; 9:23-24
3. Government of the church—Matt. 16:19; 18:18
4. Worship and demons—1 Cor. 10:20
5. Angels are present in worship services—1 Cor. 11:10; Eph. 3:10
Therefore the angels in heaven before the throne of God may correspond to the angels of the seven churches. This would mean that thing that happen on earth happen in heaven and vise versa.
How many were there?
What was given to them?
What is the significance of trumpets?
A. Trumpets in the Scriptures are used for a number of purposes: 1) to call the congregation together for an assembly, 2) in ceremonial procession (as an escort for the Ark of the covenant), 3) to announce the rule of a new king (1 Kings 1:34), 4) to call Israel to covenant meetings and worship, 5) the Temple liturgy involved the use of seven trumpets (1 Chronicles 15:24; Neh. 12:21), 6) to announce the coming of judgment and to call to repentance.
B. The trumpets here announce the coming of God’s judgment upon the land and herald’s the ascension of the new King. This is the way the Day of the Lord is described in the O.T. (Zeph. 1:14-18; Josh. 6:2-5). Jerusalem, once the holy city has now become like the pagan Canaanite city of Jericho.

v. 3—Then what happened?
Where did the next angel stand?
Which altar was it?
How many altars were there?
What was this eighth angel given?
What did the incense signify? Rev. 5:8
Now the prayers and the incense are separated from 5:8?
What was he to do with the incense?
What prayers are they talking about?
Where was he to use the incense?
So there are at least 2 altars?
Where was this golden altar?

v. 4—What did the incense produce?
What happened to all the smoke?
What was the relationship between the smoke and the prayers?
What prayers are we talking about?
Where did the smoke and prayers go?
What did he mean by “from the hand of the angel”?
It gives us some new things to think about when the minister offers up the prayers of the saints to heavenly throne.

v. 5—What happened after the prayer meeting?
What is a censor?
What did he do with the censor?
What did he fill it with?
Where did he get the fire?
Which altar are we talking about now?
What did he do with the fire in the censor?
What happened when he threw the fire on the earth? Ex. 19:16, 18
What does all this mean?
It is interesting that originally the fire came from heaven to the tabernacle of God from God (Lev. 9:24; 2 Chron. 7:1) and was kept perpetually burning by the priests of God (Lev. 16:12-13). Then the fire went out when the temple was taken and God’s glory left the building. Now the fire is coming back in judgment against the same people he originally blessed with the fire.

A very interesting event occurred at the end of Leviticus 9 and the beginning of Leviticus 10. God sent fire to burn up the sacrifices in 9 and sent the same fire to burn up Nadab and Abihu for using “strange fire.” Not doing what God had commanded. Now in Revelation 8 God is sending fire to the earth to burn up Israel for offering strange fire on the earth, by breaking covenant with God.

When God told Israel to destroy cities they were told to do it in a certain way (Deut. 13:16). They were to burn it as a sacrifice to God so that God’s wrath would cease and blessing would come on the land again. This is part of God’s judgment against a nation and a land. This same judgment was about to come on the nation of Israel for the same sins that caused God to cast out the people from before them after they came out of Egypt. And according to Revelation 8 it is all part of worship, just as it was in Deuteronomy.

How should we then live in front of God? What should we spend our time doing? What should we love, serve, revere, pay homage to? Kind of makes you think doesn’t it?

Summary: From Chilton quoting from J. Massyngberde Ford
1. From the throne and altar, the “mercy seat,” comes wrath;
2. Incense, the “soothing aroma to the Lord” (Lev. 1:13), becomes an agent of death (cf. 2 Cor. 2:14-16);
3. The trumpets, which called Israel to worship, now become heralds of her destruction;
4. The heavenly liturgy itself, appointed for Israel’s sanctification, becomes the means of her overthrow and dissolution.


Vss. 6-12

v. 6—What is about to happen now?
What seven angels is he talking about? (if you weren’t here last week this is a context sort of question.) What did the 7 trumpets remind us of last week? Jericho

v. 7—What happened when the first angel blew his trumpet?
What does the green grass refer to? 7:3; 9:4

v. 8, 9—What happened when the second angel blew his trumpet? Ex. 7:17-21
Israel is God’s Holy Mountain, the mountain of God’s inheritance Ex. 15:17
By falling away from the Lord Israel had become apostate and thus they were a mountain that devoured those around them instead of feeding them. Jer. 51:25, 42; Mt. 21:21-22 (see the context) Rev. 6:9-11; 1:3 heed these things. What does heed mean?.

v. 10, 11—What happened when the third angel blew his trumpet?
What was the star’s name?
How can a star have a name?
Wormwood is the term used to describe bitterness and apostasy (Deut. 29:18; Jer. 9:15; 23:15; Lam. 3:15, 19; Amos 5:7; Prov. 5:4).
This event parallels Isa 14:12-15
What happened as a result of Wormwood falling into the waters? Ex. 7:21

v. 12—What happened when the fourth angel blew his trumpet?
The results of this angel’s blowing is thick darkness Ex. 10:21-23
This imagery describes the destruction of nations and ruler of nations Isa 13:9-11;, 19; 24:19-23; 34:4-5; Ez. 32:7-8, 11-12; Joel 2:10, 28-32; Acts 2:16-21

What things are in common in the first 4 trumpet blasts?
1. Some form of fire comes from heaven (7) fire in the hail, (8) Mountain burning, (10) blazing star fell, (12) 1/3 sun put out. God’s wrath being poured out against the ungodly.
2. They remind us of God’s judgment on Egypt: Ex. 9:22-24; Ex. 7:17-21; Ex. 10:21-23. Israel will be judged like God’s enemies who have gone before: Matt. 23:29-36.

Note all the parts of creation that will be struck.
Note the use of the word “Mountain” in the Bible—Dan. 2:35; 44-45; Jer. 51:25, 42; Ex. 15:17; Mat. 21:21-22.

Notice that this destruction was not total, but it is significant and pervasive.

v. 13—What happened before the fifth angel blew his trumpet?
Where have we seen this eagle character before? Hos. 8:1
Sometimes the eagle (4:7) in scripture is good (Deut. 32:9-11) and sometimes it isn’t (Deut. 28:49; Lam. 4:19; Job 39:30).
Warnings of Israel’s destruction are often associated with eagles and birds of prey: Deut 28:49; Jer. 4:13; Lam. 4:19; Hos 8:1; Hab. 1:8; Matt 24:28.
An aspect of covenantal cursing is that birds will eat the covenant breakers: Gen. 15:9-12; Deut. 28:26, 49; Prov. 30:17; Jer. 7:33-34; 16:3-4; 19:7; 34:18-20; Ez. 39:17-20; Rev. 19:17-18

Who is the eagle addressing his comments to? Those who dwell on the land: 14:6
Note that the woes are not simple words. They represent future events (see 9:12).

Notice too that the curses are becoming more and more terrible, just like in Egypt. The woes correspond to the 5th, 6th, and 7th trumpet blasts.

Revelation 7

Context? 6:18 Who can stand? 1 Thess. 5:9.
Still part of the events of the sixth seal.

Vss. 1-8
v. 1—Then what happened?
What is the “this” that happened after?
What did John see?
Who were the four angels?
What angels were they?
What were they doing?
Where were they standing?

What does the “four corners of the earth” represent? Job 1:19; Isa. 11:12; Ezek. 7:2; Acts 10:11; Acts 11:5; Rev. 20:8
Where have we seen that term before?
What were they doing while they stood there?
What were they holding back?
What does the four winds represent? Jer. 49:36; Ezek. 37:9; Dan. 7:2; 8:8; 11:4; Matt. 24:31; Mk. 13:27 – Jer. 49:35-38
How does one hold the wind back?
What does the wind represent in Scripture? Gen. 8:1; 41:27; Ex. 10:13, 19; 14:21; 15:10; Num. 11:31; Ps. 18:10; 104:3-4; 107:25; 135:7; 147:18; Jn. 3:8; Acts 2:2
Where was the wind kept from blowing? Hos. 13:15-16
Notice that the events in nature are not without God’s hand and intervention. God did not just wind it up and let it go. He is in it and his angels control the weather.

Also, representation does not mean “not there.” Nor does spiritual mean “not there.” In both cases though it is not exactly what we expect when we look at nature, it is actually larger than nature because it is nature and then some. Not to sound Greek but it is the reality behind what we see. But it is not independent of what we see, it is that and then some.

v. 2—What did he see next?
Where was this angel?
Where was he ascending from? Blessing often comes from the east Gen. 2:8; Eze. 43:1-5; Mal. 4:1-2
How do you go up from the sun? Isa 41:1-4, 25; 46:11; Ezek. 43:1-3
What did he have with him? Luke 1:78; Mal. 4:2
What is the seal of God? A symbol of authority and power.
What was he saying?
How was he saying it?
Who was he talking to?
What had they been given power to do?
Is this the same set of angels we saw in verse 1?
What affect did holding back the wind have on the earth?

v. 3—What was he saying to the four angels?
What was the condition?
What were they to wait for before they harmed the earth?
Who were they waiting to seal? Doulas- slave.
Where were they going seal them? Eph. 1:13; 4:30
What would this look like? 2 Cor. 1:21; 2 Tim. 2:19
On the forehead? Ex. 28:36-28; Deut. 6:6-8
This appears to be reflective of Eze. 9:1-7

The early church thought that the mark was the sign of the put on the forehead of folks who were baptized. The word for “mark” in Ez. 9 was one letter in Hebrew and it was shaped like an X or like a + and was a symbol for the way people would sign their name, or make their mark, in a business deal. As you notice it also looked very much like a Cross and the early church thought it was a sign of the mark that every Christian took on himself when he was baptized. Thus was a fulfillment of both Ez. 9 and Revelation 7.

No matter what is going on in the earth, God is in control and will care for his people (2 Pet. 2:9; Isa. 12:2)
Those who walk with God are those who will walk with God. The seal is the gift of the Holy Spirit, given to those who God has chosen to live and walk with him. God has changed their hearts and thus they should live like their hearts have been changed (Ez. 36:26-27; 2 Tim. 2:19).

v. 4-8—What did John hear?
How do you hear a number?
Who was sealed? 1,000 means a whole lot, many, mucho, bunches (Deut 1:11; 7:9; Psa 50:10; 68:17; 84:10; 90:4) Mic. 5:1-15
The 144,000 represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Two tribes are not listed; Dan and Ephraim. And two tribes that aren’t supposed to receive rewards are listed; Levi and Joseph. I don’t know why.
Throughout the N.T. the Church is described as the true Israel of God (Romans 2:28-29; Galatians 3:7,29; 6:15-16; Philippians 3:3; James 1:1; 1 Peter 2:9).

Who are these folks? Rev. 14:1ff the redeemed of the Lord. We’ve already seen in Revelation that not all Jews are Jews (2:9; 3:9), so the only ones left are either all the saved Jews or those who are true Jews (Rom. 2:28-29; Gal. 3:7,29; 6:15-16; Phil 3:3; James 1:1; 1 Peter 2:9), or both.

So put it all together you have a vast host, or army of the redeemed, created to fill the earth and subdue it, disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, poured out to serve him and to give him allegiance and to worship him forever.

Even though the center of worshipping the true God is going to be destroyed, God will not abandon his people to destruction. He will save them and not just a few. He will save the world (John 2:16).

Vss. 9-12
v. 9—What did John do after hearing the 144,000 (v. 4)? 1:10-13; 5:5-6; 6:1-8, hears and sees
What did he see when he turned?
What does his turning and his hearing in the previous verse have to do with one another?
How many people did he see?
Who does this mean the 144,000 were?
Which nations did these folks come from? Who were all these people?
What were all these people doing?
Standing is something only people who have been cleansed of their sin are privileged to do in the throne room. Which is why Isaiah fell on his face and why everyone else falls on their face before God, unless they are cleansed (Is. 6; Heb. 10:14ff).
What were they wearing?
Have we seen white robes anywhere before? 19:8
What did they have in their hands?
Where in the Bible do palm branches appear? Lev. 23:39-43; Neh. 8:15; John 12:13—Mt. 21:8, 19 Leaves with no fruit

v. 10—what were they doing besides standing and holding palm branches?
What kind of volume were they using?
What were they saying?
What does salvation mean?
Where does salvation come from?
Who does it belong to? And who?
Who benefits from it?

v. 11—Who was standing around the throne?
What were they doing?
Do you think physical positioning has anything to do with worship? Or is it all about, or only about, attitude?

v. 12—What were they saying when they were worshipping?
What does Amen! Mean?
What belongs to God?
Whose God is he?
For how long do all these things belong to God?

Vss. 13-17
v. 13—Who talked to John next?
What did he say?
Why should John know who all these people are?

v. 14—What did John say in response?
How did John address the fellow? Gk. “My Lord”
What did the elder say in response?
Who are these folks?
What great tribulation? Matt. 24:21; Mark 13:19—Matt. 24:34; Mark 13:30; Lk. 21:32
What did they wash their robes in?
How did washing the cloths in blood make them white? Heb. 9:22, 14
What does this mean about persecution for the Christians of the first century? What about subsequent Christians in history? Should Christians today expect to not suffer for their faith?

v. 15—What does therefore mean?
Where are they?
What are they doing there?
How long or often do they worship? Psa 134:1
What is the one on the throne doing for them?
The one sitting on the throne shall spread a tent (dwell) on among them. Deut 32:10-11; Lev. 23:33-43; 25:4; 2 Sam. 22:12; Hag. 2:4-9; Jn. 7:37-39

v. 16—How much hunger will they experience? Is. 49:10
How much thirst?
Will they get sunburned any more?
Will they overheat? Rev. 16:8-9; Isa. 4:4-5
Isa. 48:21

v. 17—Why won’t they suffer anymore?
Who is the lamb?
Is it strange that the lamb will be a shepherd?
What will he do for them as their shepherd? The shepherd does not necessarily take away the problems, he simply protects his sheep in the midst of their problems.
Where will he lead them? Isa 55:1; Jer. 2:13; 17:13; Eze 47:1-9; Zech 13:1; Jn. 4:10-11; 7:38 (the feast of booths, Lev. 23:36; Num. 29:35)
What will God do for them?
What tears are in need of wiping away? Isa. 25:8; 49:8-13
See Carson’s commentary on John 7:37-44, pp. 321-323

Revelation 6

Context: What is going on in the text?
Who was writing the book? Where is John? What is he doing there? What is the story about? What is the goal of the book?

This is reminiscent of Habakkuk’s description of the coming destruction of unfaithful Israel by the Chaldeans which God is going to bring about (Hab. 3:3-12).

Vss. 1-2
v. 1—What is John watching?
Who was the lamb?
What was he opening?
What is a seal?
What happened when the Lamb opened the seal?
Who was speaking?
What was his voice like?
What did he say?
Who did he say it to? 1 Cor. 16:22

v. 2—What did John do in response to the Angel’s command?
Why if the angel said come, did John look? The angel was talking to the horse and rider.
What did John see?
What kind of horse was it?
What was on the horse? Zech. 1:8; 6:1-7
What was riding on the horse?
What did he have?
What is the significance of the bow and crown? Rev. 14:14; 19:11-13
What was he doing on the horse?
What does it mean that came out conquering and to conquer? Revelation 3:21; 5:5; 19:11; Psalm 45:1-5
Who is this rider?

Vss. 3-4
v. 3—What did he do next?
Who was he?
Which living creature spoke next?
What did the living creature say when the second seal was opened?

v. 4—What came out next?
Came out of what?
What color was this horse?
What did its rider do?
What does it mean to take peace from the earth? God removes his hand of peace.
What happened when peace came from the earth?
What was this rider given?
What was he given the sword to do? The fiery red horse is the symbol of war and bloodshed. Those who refuse to submit to the sword of the Spirit are forced to submit to the sword of warfare. God often warned that if His people rebelled against His rule, He would give them over to war (Leviticus 26:25,33; Isaiah 1:19-20). Apart from God’s active restraint upon the sinful natures of men, there would be constant warfare. When God removes the restraints on man’s degeneracy war is inevitable.

Vss. 5-6
v. 5—What happened when the third seal was opened?
Which living creature spoke now?
What did he say?
What did John do?
What came out of that seal?
What color was the horse? the color of mourning and sorrow
What did that rider have in his hands?
What did what he had in his hands signify? Ez. 4:10 scales to weigh out their food when trading, buying and selling.
What explanation did John hear with regards to this rider?
Whose voice was it that spoke?
What is in the midst of the four creatures? The throne.
What did he say?
What does it mean? signifies economic hardships and scarcity which would befall the enemies of God (Ezekiel 4:16-17). God had promised this would be the case if the people rebelled (Leviticus 26:23-26). Grain will sell at 10 times its normal price and consume an entire day’s wages to pay for it. Scarcity is among the chastisements God sends (Deuteronomy 28:17-18,23-24,48).
How can you harm oil and wine? Oil and wine are used in celebration and healing Psa. 104:15; James 5:14-15; 1 Cor. 11:25.

Vss. 7-8
v. 7—What happened when the fourth seal was broken?
Which creature spoke this time?
What did he say?

v. 8—What did John see after the fourth seal was broken?
What color was this horse? Rev. 8:7; 9:4; Mk. 6:39 Green is the color of a corpse
What was the rider’s name?
Why don’t we know what the other riders’ names were?
What followed this rider?
What is Hades?
What does it mean that Hades followed him?
Where did they come from? Rev. 1:18
What were they given?
How were they able to kill?
How were they to kill? Lev. 26: Deut. 28; Ez. 14:21; Ez. 5:17
How might this come about?

Psalm 46:8-11—calamity and disaster also serve to glorify God; Psalm 90:3-12—unbelievers have nothing to rejoice in; Matthew 12:20, 21—Christians have nothing to despair of.

Vss. 9-11
v. 9—What happened after the fifth seal was opened?
Did an angel say anything?
Where did John look to see his next sight?
What was under the altar?
Why under there? They have been "slain." The imagery here is taken from the O.T. sacrificial system. There were two altars in the temple and tabernacle: Inside the holy place there was the "golden altar" or the "altar of incense" which represented the prayers of God’s people ascending up to God. In the outer court of the temple and the tabernacle, there was the altar of burnt offering. When sacrifices were made, the blood of the animal was sprinkled or poured around the base of the altar (Ex. 29:12; Lev. 1:5; 4:7).
Who were these people?
How had they died?
Was that a good way to die? The Christian is one who willingly gives up his life in the service of Christ (2 Timothy 4:6-7; Philippians 2:17). Mt. 10:38; 16:24; Lu. 9:23—Take up cross and follow Christ 1 Pet. 4:12-17
How could someone be slain for the word of God?
What witness had they borne? Notice translations.

v. 10—What were these folks doing?
How loudly were they crying out?
What were they saying? How long-- Zechariah 1:12;
What are they asking God to do? This may be an allusion of the blood of the innocent "crying out" from the ground for vindication (Genesis 4:10; Numbers 35:33; Deuteronomy 21:9; Hebrews 12:24). Blood has a voice and cries out for vengeance.
What titles are they using of God? Sovereign Lord here is not the normal word used for God it is despotes the normal word for an owner who owns slaves. Acts 4:24; 29-30
What do they mean? God vindicates is people by destroying his enemies
Who were “those who dwell on the earth”? Where have we seen this title before? Rev. 3:10
Who dwell on the earth? 3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14, 14:6; 17:2, 8
Idolatrous Israel to be driven from the land Jer. 1:14; 10:18; Ezek. 7:7; 36:17; Hos. 4:1, 3; Joel 1:2, 14; 2:1; Zeph. 1:18
Idolatrous nations being driven out of the land Num. 32:17; 33:52, 55; Josh. 7:9; 9:24; Judg. 1:32; 2 Sam. 5:6; 1 Chron. 11:4; 22:18; Neh. 9:24
Israel has joined the nations of pagans and will be driven from the land in the same way those pagan nations were way back when. Remember that God told Abraham that the pagans’ sin hadn’t reached its point of no return (Gen. 15:16), but when it did they would be driven from the land. Israel went over the Jordan and began driving those nations out. Now God is chasing 1st century Israel out for the same reasons.
What does it mean to avenge blood?
Whose blood were they asking him to avenge?
Who were they asking God to kill? Psalm 79:5-6,9-10; 9:8-10,16,19-20
What do you think about men asking God to kill other men? Deut. 32:43; Ps. 47:3, 8-9; Lk. 18:7-8
What about judging men? Matthew 23:34-38; Acts 7:51-52; Luke 21:22; John 15:18-25
If the Bible models it, what should your attitude be?
Was what they prayed in or out of the Will of God? Mat. 23:34-38; Acts 7:51-52; Lu. 21:22; Jn. 15:18-25
What was their desire in this prayer? For personal revenge? God’s glory? Psa. 79:5-10; 9:8-20

v. 11—What were they given?
Why were they given these robes?
Where have we seen this white robe thing before?
What were they told to do?
For how long?
What does complete or fulfilled mean? The Jews had not yet filled up their cup of wrath Matt. 23:32; 1 Thess. 2:14-16.

Vss. 12-17
v.12-14—What happened when he opened the sixth seal?
Where in the Bible is this imagery used?
Earthquake—Ez. 38:19; Joel 3:16; Hag. 2:6-7; Heb. 12:26-29
Sun became black—Ecc. 12:1-2
Moon becomes like blood—Joel 2:31
Stars fell from the sky—Dan. 8:10; Eze. 32:7
Like a Fig tree—
Sky rolled up—Is. 13:10; 14:12; 34:4
Mountain and Island will be moved—Jeremiah 4:20-24; Isaiah 49:1; Daniel 2:35
What did it mean there? de-creation
What does it mean here? Mt 24:29-31
How can we say that?
Judgment prophesied against a rebellious nation is couched in the terms of de-creation. Just as the salvation of the Lord is described in terms of creation (2 Cor. 5:17) so the covenant judgments of God are described in terms of the destruction of all things (Joel 2:10,28-32; Acts 2:16-21)
1. The destruction of Israel stands as a warning to all nations (Prov. 14:34).
2. What is true of nations is also true of individuals. If you reject the Savior, you too shall perish.

v. 15—What happened when the sixth seal was broken?
Where did all the leaders go?
Where did all the normal people go? Isaiah 13:7-8
Where did all the slaves go? Seven classes of men are mentioned. The whole land is being excommunicated. Everyone who opposes the kingdom of Christ, will be utterly confounded when His day and the judgment arrives (Isa. 2:10-21). As they had forced God’s people to hide in caves from their wrath (Heb. 11:38), so now God causes them to hide in caves from His wrath (Wilkins).
What hills and caves and mountains did they hide themselves in?

v. 16—What were they saying to the rocks as they hid in them?
Why did they want the mountains to fall on them?
What didn’t they want to see?
What did they not want to experience?
What other way could they have avoided this fate?

v. 17—What did they think was happening?
What do they mean by the great day of his wrath? Isaiah 13:9-13; 34:2-4; Ezekiel 32:7-8; Amos 8:7-9; Ezekiel 30:3-4; Joel 2:1-2; Zephaniah 1:12-15; Matthew 24:21
Where would they have heard about this day?
Who can stand? Luke 21:34-36; Isaiah 54:10; 63:4

The four horsemen should not be taken individually; rather as a group. They are God’s agents for controlling the kingdoms of the earth. They raise up nations and they bring down nations. They represent the same four sorrows that Jesus mentions in Mt. 24:6-7; Lk. 21:10-11, 20. The point is to impress on the reader how terrible and awful the day of the Lord is and how important God’s people are to God (Mt. 23:35-37; 24:21). They are like the events in Joel 1:4; Zech. 1:8, 18; 6:1-8; and Mt. 23:33, 36.

Notice the similarity between the events in this chapter as those in Matthew 24:
International strife (vv. 3-4; Matthew 24:7).
Famine and pestilence (vv. 5-8; Matthew 24:7).
Persecution (vv. 9-11; Matthew 24:9-14).
Earthquakes and de-creation (vv. 12-17; Matthew 24:7,15-31).
This is reminiscent of Habakkuk’s description of the coming destruction of unfaithful Israel by the Chaldeans which God is going to bring about (Hab. 3:3-12).

Revelation 5

Vss 1-5

v. 1—What did John notice after watching the doing in the throne room?
What was the one sitting on the throne holding in his hand?
Where was the writing on the scroll?
Is that unusual to be written on both sides at the same time? Ex. 32:15; Deut. 31:26; Psa. 78:5-8 also similar to the rainbow in Gen. 9:13-16. Men would use it to remember what they are doing and why. God would see it and remember.

What is the scroll? The New Covenant. The whole language so far and the imagery reminds us of things we saw in the dessert with Moses and the people. They followed the cloud and the pillar of fire, then Moses went on the mountain and got the 10 commandments on tablets written on both sides, which represented the covenant with God. They put the tablets inside the ark so that every one would remember who God was and what God had promised his people. And now we see the same things again, only they are a little bit different because someone else is worthy to open this scroll and different things are going to take place to bring it all about. Ez. 2:3-10
Was the scroll sealed?
What is a seal?
How many seals were on the scroll?
Is that unusual for that many seals to be on a scroll? In the ancient near east a scroll with 7 seals meant that it was a will. It was not to be opened unless or until someone died. Then it was brought out and the one worthy or ordained, opened the scroll and would reveal the contents to those gathered there. Besides revealing the contexts the ordained one would execute the will, doing whatever the dead person wanted done in the will.

v. 2—what did he see next?
What kind of angel was it?
What was this strong angel doing?
What kind of voice was he using?
What was he saying?
What does ‘worthy’ mean?
How could someone be worthy? Rom. 3:23; Heb. 10:4; 5:1-3; 7:23, 27
Would they be worthy if they thought they were worthy?
Can you open a scroll before you break the seals?
Why do you suppose it is in the wrong order?
How tight do you think we should be about something like this?

v. 3—Who jumped right up and said they were worthy?
How many people present thought they were worthy?
How wide was the search conducted?
What couldn’t they find someone to do?
Open the scroll and/or look into it?

v. 4—What did John do when he realized that there was no one to open the scroll or to look into it?
Why was he so distraught?
Have you ever seen a man weep loudly?

v. 5—Who spoke to John?
Why did he talk to John?
What did he say to John?
If John feels this loss so strongly, how could he simply just stop weeping?
Can anyone control their emotions simply by deciding to change them?
Why was John to stop weeping?
Why was he able to stop weeping?
Who is able to open the scroll?
Why these titles?
What does it mean that he is the lion of the tribe of Judah? Gen. 49:9-10
Where does the Bible call him the root of Jesse? Shoot—Isa 11:1; branch—Jer. 23:5; Zech. 3:8 The root comes because of the way history works. God creates history with a view to the results, not from something working itself out as it comes to him. It is not free lance, it is precise, based on a prior plan. If you decide to go to France, you will have in mind the outcome as you plan for the trip, so the things you do now come after the goal is set. But it appears that the packing and trip planning come before the actual trip, but in reality they came after the real event. So it is with history. God causes things to happen now, based on what he’s already established would happen. So Jesus is the root of because in God’s mind he came first and David was imitating him, not the other way around.
God gives David the Kingdom 2 Sam. 7:18ff; 23:2-5; Psa 16; 110; Acts 2:25-36
Where have we seen those titles before?
Why did the angel use these particular titles?
What has he done?
What did he Conquer?
How did the fact that he conquered make him qualified to open the scroll, to look in it and to open the seven seals?
Who was this that was the lion of the tribe of Judah and the root of Jesse?

Vss. 6-14
v. 6—What did John see between the throne and the four living creatures?
What does this have to do with what John just heard about? The root and lion?
The lion is the lamb.
Where was he in relation to the elders?
What was this lamb doing?
How was it standing?
How does a lamb stand that has just been slain?
How many horns did it have?
What is the significance of horns in the Bible? Deut. 33:17; 2 Chron. 18:10; Psa 75:10 strength Josh. 6:2-5; Mt. 28:18-20
How many eyes? Pro. 15:3
What are the horns and eyes?
Or is it just eyes?
Whose spirits are they?
What is their function?
If they were sent out into the world, how can they be eyes in the lamb?
What is going on here?
How literally can we take this image?
What does literal mean in a context like this?

v. 7—What did the lamb do?
How could a lamb take anything? Lambs don’t have thumbs, or even fingers?
The lamb that was slain has now by His work been made the Governor and Ruler over all things. Because of His sacrifice He has been exalted to the supreme place of rule and authority (Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:19-22; Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 2:10). By His saving work He has utterly defeated all who opposed the purposes of God thus insuring world-wide victory for His kingdom. Satan has been bound (Matthew 12:28-29; John 12:31; Colossians 2:15).
The emphasis of the Scriptures is not upon the victory Christ will accomplish at His second coming, but rather the victory that He has accomplished by His first coming (Acts 3:18-21).

v. 8—What happened after he had taken the scroll?
Why did everyone fall down before the lamb?
What were they doing by falling down before him?
What were they all holding in their hands?
This is where the idea of harps in heaven come from. Ps. 98:4-5
Besides harps what are they holding?
What are the bowls full of?
What is incense? Is incense a good thing?
What is the incense in these bowls? Psa 141:2; Luke 1:10
What is the connection between incense and prayers?
Whose prayers are they?

v. 9—Besides falling down, what are all these folks doing?
What kind of song was it? Was it a psalm? Ps. 33:3; 40:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1; Isa 42:10
What was wrong with the old songs? Couldn’t they find one that would be suitable for the occasion? New songs come with new revelations and actions of God. When God acts, people sing. When God acts in new and spectacular ways, people burst out in new songs. The Old Songs are good, but new songs present new expressions.
What are they saying?
Who have they found to be worthy to open the scroll?
Why is he worthy?
How is being slain something that would make him worthy to open what no one else in heaven or earth could open?
How did Jesus’ blood ransom a people for God? John 1:29
Who were they ransomed from?
Who demanded the ransom?
Where are all these people from?
Is there a lot of people?
Does this mean that there will be a few people from each tribe and language? So overall there will be only a few folks in heaven?

v. 10—What did the lamb do with these people?
What does it mean that they are a kingdom?
How can people be a kingdom?
Besides being a kingdom, what else did he make them?
Who made these people a kingdom and priests?
What are the duties of a priest?
Where are all these folks to reign?
When is this to be?
What happened to the lion of Judah and the Root of Jesse?

v. 11—What happened next?
What is going on? How many angels were there? Where did they come from?

v. 12—What were they saying? 1 Chron. 29:10-13
How loudly were they saying it?
How much power is his? Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:20-23; Philippians 2:8-11
How much wealth is his? Hebrews 1:2
How much wisdom is his? Col. 2:3
What are they saying that is different from what the elders were saying?
Besides being worthy to open the scroll and break the seals, what is he worthy to do?
Is receiving acclaim, a kind of doing?

v. 13—What happened next?
Who joined the chorus?
Why are they saying it all over again?
What were they all saying?
Who is added to the praise in this verse?

v. 14—and the angels said what?
The elders did what?
What is the difference between what the elders were doing and what they fell down and began doing?
What an incredible scene.

Revelation 4


Vss. 1-6a
v. 1—When did John look up?
After what?
Where did he look?
What did he see?
Where did the door lead?
What does it mean that a door was standing open in Heaven? Eze. 1:1; Mk. 1:10; Jn. 1:51; Acts 7:56; 10:11
What did John hear?
Who spoke to him?
What did the voice sound like? Rev. 1:10
What did the voice say?
Where was here?
How was he to get there?
Why was he to go up there?
What was the voice going to show John?

v. 2—What happened next?
How long did it take?
What does it mean that he was in the Spirit? He uses the phrase which signifies receiving direct revelation from the Spirit (note Matthew 22:43-44). John experiences what all biblical prophets experience. By the Spirit they are brought into the presence of God to receive His Word. Hebrews 12:22-23
What did he see?
What is a throne? Psalm 45:6; 47:7-8; 103:19; Eph. 1:11
Where did the throne sit?
What or who was sitting on the throne?

v. 3—What did he look like?
Was it a he or a she or an it?
What is jasper? Carnelian?
What was around the throne?
What does a rainbow look like? Ez. 1:28; Gen 9:12-13
What did this rainbow look like?
How can a rainbow look like an emerald? Ex. 24:9-10; Ez. 1:26-27; 1 Tim. 6:16

v. 4—What was else was around the throne?
What were sitting on the thrones?
What do thrones signify?
Who were these guys? Rev. 7:4-8; 21:12-14; 1 Chron. 24, 25 Leaders of the people of God. What they do, we all do Heb 12:22-23
How can you have 25 kings?
Where was Jesus sitting?
What were the 24 elders wearing?
What were they wearing on their heads?

v. 5—What was coming from the throne?
Where in the Bible have we heard of lightening and thunder? Ex. 19:16-19. In this book lightening and thunder are connected to judgment Rev. 8:5; 11:19; 16:18; see also Psa. 18:6-15
What was before the throne?
What does it mean that it was before the throne?
What are the 7 torches?
Does it mean they represent the 7 spirits of God?
What are the seven spirits of God?
Where have we seen this before?

v. 6a—What else was there before the throne?
What is a sea? Ez. 1:4-5, 22, 26; 1 Kngs. 7:23-26
What does it mean that it was glass, like crystal sea?

Vss. 6b-11
v. 6b—What was around the throne on each side?
How many creatures were there?
Notice in the Bible the kinds of things that there are 4 of: corners of the earth (Isa. 11:12; Eze. 7:2; Rev. 7:1; 20:8), winds (Jer. 49:36; Eze. 37:9; Dan. 7:2; 8:8; 11:4; Zech. 2:6; 6:5; Matt. 24:31; Mark 13:27; Rev. 7:1), directions rivers from Eden that watered the whole earth (Gen 2:10) , etc.
What does it mean that there were living creatures?
What were they full of?
What does this mean?
Where else in the Bible have we seen this kind of description? Ez. 1:5, 6, 10; 10:20-22; Psa. 18:10; Rev. 6:1-7; 15:7
Where were all the eyes?

Michael Wilcock explains: “The cherubs of the Bible are very far from being chubby infants with wings and dimples. They are awesome creatures, visible indications of the presence of God. So when we are told (Ps. 18:10) that the Lord travels both on a cherub and on the wings of the wind, we may begin to see a link between the four living creatures of 4:6 and the four winds of 7:1. We might call these cherub—creatures ‘nature,’ so long as we remember what nature really is—an immense construction throbbing with the ceaseless activity of God…Perhaps their faces (4:7; Ezek. 1:10) represent his majesty, his strength, his wisdom, and h is loftiness, and their numberless eyes his ceaseless watchfulness over every part of his creation. It is appropriate then that there should be four of them, corresponding to the points of the compass and the corners of the earth, and standing for God’s world, as the twenty-four elders and stand for the church.”

Calvin—By these heads all living creatures were represented to us…These animals comprehend within themselves all parts of the universe by that figure of speech by which a part represents the whole. Meanwhile since angels are living creatures we must observe in what sense God attributes to angels themselves the head of a lion, an eagle, and a man: for his seems but little in accord with their nature. But he could not better express the inseparable connection which exists in the motion of angels and all creatures…We are to understand, therefore, that while men move about and discharge their duties, they apply themselves in different directions to the object of their pursuit, and so also do wild beasts; yet there are angelic motions underneath, so that neither men nor animals move themselves, but their whole vigor depends on a secret inspiration.”

Further he says, “all creatures are animated by angelic motion.”

Scripture teaches that God sustains life directly, not indirectly. There is no such thing as Nature.

The Zodiac: Constellations Ps 19:1-6; Job 9:7-9; 26:13; Amos 5:8; Num. 2 the arrangement of the tribes lines up with the Zodiac (which means ‘circle’); God’s heavenly host Deut. 4:19; armies are his earthly hosts Josh. 5:14. Stars fortold the birth of the Messiah Mat. 2:2; Num. 24:17; Isa. 60:1-3

v.7—what did the first living creature look like?
The second?
The third?
The fourth?
How do you imagine these creatures to be with their eyes all around?

v. 8—How many wings did each creature have? Isa. 6). The wings of the cherubim came to represent the shelter and protection God gives to His people. Ruth 2:12; Psalm 36:7; 57:1; 61:4
Where were their eyes? Ez. 1:18; 10:12
What did they do?
How often?

What were the living creatures saying night and day?
What is the Lord God almighty? Isa 6:3
What does the designation Lord mean?
All of them together? Psa 47:8
When did he exist?
When will he exist?
For how long will he exist?
How is the universe, all creation to be living if this short hymn is true?
1. Because God is holy He cannot tolerate sin.
2. Because He is holy He cannot but hate sin with all His holy being (Psalm 5:4-6; 7:11).
3. Because God is holy He must punish sin fully. The wicked shall surely be destroyed.

v.9-10—What were the four creatures doing when they said this?
What happened when they gave glory and honor to the one seated on the throne?
What is glory, honor, glory and honor?
What does it mean that they fall down before him?
1. It implies their free submission to His rule over all.
2. It shows their complete indebtedness to Him. (Ephesians 2:8-9).
3. This indicates their whole-hearted devotion to Him and to His glory.
Why do the elders fall down before him?
Who are these guys?
What do they do while they are falling down, or when they fall down?
Is falling part of the worshipping?
Who are they worshipping?
What is the difference between this description of the one on the throne and what the four creatures say over and over again?
What else do they do as part of their worship?
Don’t their crowns get dents in them?
How do they continually fall and continually throw their crowns down?

v. 11—What do they say as they are falling and casting?
What does worthy mean?
Who is worthy?
Who is sitting on the throne?
What is he worthy to do?
What is glory, honor, power?
How does one give God glory, honor, power?
Why is he worthy to receive these things?
How did he create things?
What does it mean that by his will they existed and were created?

Revelation 3

Revelation 3:1-6

Background and setting of Sardis
Sardis was a has-been city. At one point in their history they had been a glorious city, a center of political life and society during the Persian dynasty. But now they had fallen into poverty and almost complete ruin. “No city in Asia presented a more deplorable contrast of past splendor and present unresting decline.” Like most folks who don’t have anything real to boast about or take pride in the Sardis folks claimed to have a great art, wool and dye industry, but their glory was clearly past.

Because of their glorious past, however, the people had become known for their laxity and promiscuous lifestyles. Looseness and luxury and apathy became what they were known for. They just didn’t care and they were free and easy about that.

Sardis was built on a mountain. On a spur of this mountain sat an impregnable acropolis, but twice in their recent history this hill had been taken by enemies because the soldiers had drifted off in their assumption that they were unbeatable.

Vs. 1—To whom is the next letter going to?
Who is speaking?
What do the stars and spirits represent?
What does the number 7 represent?

What does Jesus know?
What works is he talking about?
What is the church’s reputation like?
What are they really like?
Wo is responsible for the health of the church? Heb. 13:17
What does alive and dead symbolize?
What kinds of things show that a church is alive or dead? Flourishing youth groups? Great Sunday School programs? Witnessing groups that go out every week? None of these things? Happy singing? Service? Compromise with the world around us? How would we know if we are compromising with the world around us? What would it look like? Suffering? People being saved? How would we know if we have become secularized? I believe the problem in Sardis was that they had become completely like the world around them. They had some glory, which they tenaciously clung to, but they were really dead. Eph. 2:3

v. 2—What are they supposed to do?
How can someone who is dead wake up?
Besides “wake up” what are they supposed to do?.
What does it mean to strengthen what remains?
What is what remains about to do, if they don’t do something about it?
Why should they strengthen what remains?
What does it mean that their works are not complete, or mature?
Why is Jesus yelling at them? They haven’t done anything wrong. They are just doing what everyone is doing. Just getting along. They had neither theological controversy, nor persecution. They were content with mediocrity. They didn’t have the umph to worry about unbelief nor did they have the inclination to fight with false teaching, or to face the possible persecution that would come if they stood up and because the light of the world or salt of the earth.

Satan may have been leaving them alone because he didn’t need to go after them. They were content to stand on the side lines and watch, hoping that nothing would touch them

v. 3—How are they to go about strengthening what remains?
What does it mean to remember?
What are they to remember?
What have they received and what have they heard? The Gospel in all its glory and ramifications. Also the privileges and responsibilities that come with being a church leader.
Besides remembering what are they to do?
What does it mean to keep it?
What does it mean to repent? Repent of their lazy attitude and behavior. Stop being proud of what you no longer have. Turn to what you don’t have. Desire maturity and wisdom and work toward that. Christ likeness.

What will happen if they don’t wake up and pay attention to what is going on around them?
What is going to happen if he comes?
What does it mean that he will come? Will it be pretty? Will it be a good thing? Lev. 26, Deut. 28.
How does a thief come?

v. 4—What remains in Sardis?
What characterizes them?
What will happen to them?
Why will it happen to them?
How did they get worthy?

v. 5—What will happen with the ones who conquer?
What’s with the white garments? Dan. 7:9; 4:4; 6:11; 7:9, 13; 19:14; Gal 3:27; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:4-17; Jude 24.
Why does he keep using words like conquer?
What will happen with regard to the book of life?
What is the book of life?
How might a person’s name be erased from the book of life? Mat. 7:15-23; 13:20-21; 24:10-12; Mark 4:5-17; Luke 8:13; John 15:1-10; 1 Cor. 9:27; 10:1-12; 2 Thes. 2:3, 11-12; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-9; 4:3-4; Heb. 2:1-3; 3:12-14; 6:4-6; 10:26-31, 35-39; 2 Pet 2:1-3, 2-22; 3:17—Warnings aginst falling away from the coventant.
What else will Jesus do for the person who conquers?
What does “confess” mean?
Where is Jesus going to confess their names? Matt. 10:32-33; Mark 8:38; Luke 12:8-9 Matt. 7:23.
Why will that be a good thing?
When will all of this happen?

v. 6—What if a person doesn’t have ears to hear, but he realizes that he is in trouble unless something changes?
How can someone without ears to hear get ears to hear?

Literary connection between Revelation and the Israel’s history: Pergamum
1. Ephesus appeared to fit with the pre fall section of church history.
2. Smyrna seemed to fit well with the period of the patriarchs
3. Pergamum seems to fit well with time period of “sojourn” of Israel.
4. Thyatira looks like it fits well into the period of the Israelite monarch and the Davidic covenant.
5. Sardis goes well with the later prophetic period which leads up to the end of the monarchy and the disobedient people are led away into captivity. The seven stars is the same kind of imagery that we see all through the book of Zechariah. The description of the church as appearing to be alive though dead fits exactly with the nation of Israel. They were both living in their glorious past without remembering how or why that past existed at the time. They both needed to be warned to wake up and repent. They were both in danger of becoming dead and indeed Israel did die. In both there remained a faithful remnant who stayed faithful to the Lord and were saved in the end (Is. 1:5-23; 6:9-13; 65:8-16; Jer. 7:1-7; 8:11-12; Ezek. 37:1-14). And they were both constantly warned of impending judgment (Isa. 1:24-31; 2:12-21; 26:20-21; Jer. 4:5-31; 7:12-15; 11:19-13; Mic. 1:2-7; Zeph. 1).

Revelation 3:7-13 The letter to the church at Philadelphia

Historical background:
Philadelphia was the youngest of the 7 churches. It was founded by a fellow named Attalus II, also called Philadelphos. The city had been destroyed by an earthquake in ad 17. The Romans had rebuilt it, but many people had lost confidence in the city and refused to move back. Even among those who stayed or came back there wasn’t a sense of permanence and thus v. 12 may be a response to this attitude and fear.

It had a very strong adherence to the god Dionysus, but that wasn’t their problem. Their problem was the Jews.

Context? Why is John writing to these churches?

v. 7—Which angel is John to write to next?
Who is dictating this part of the letter?
Why does he call himself the Holy One?
Where have we seen the appellation “Holy One” before? Isa 40:25
What besides the Holy One is he?
What does it mean that he is the “true one”? In contrast to the false Jews, who claim to know the truth.
How else does he describe himself?
What is the key of David?
Who is David?
What do keys do?
What does he do with the keys?
What affect does his opening have?
What effect does his closing have? Isa 22:15-25; Gen 3:22-24; 1 Sam. 13:13-14
Christ is casting out the false and apostate Israel and replacing them with holy Stewards 1 Pet. 2:25

v.8—What does Jesus know?
What works?
What are they to do?
What does behold mean?
What has he set before the angel?
Who can shut this door? Why not?
What else does Jesus know? Only Jesus can give comfort in these kinds of situations.
How much power does the church have?
What is power?
How much does on need? Jesus has all the power they need. Jesus gives them access to the holy of holies through is blood. He is the true lord of the covenant. He is the one who holds the keys which open doors and lock them.
Whey have they done despite the fact that they have very little power?
What does kept my word mean?
What does not deny my name mean? Luke 19:26

v. 9—There’s another ‘behold’? What did it mean?
Who is the synagogue of Satan? Where have we seen that title before? 2:9
How can someone think he is a Jew but not be? What kind of things characterized these false Jews? Lying. Jews who do not acknowledge Jesus as Christ are not true Jews. They are apostate and have created a religion of men and worship gods that God has not ordained should be worshiped. They worship their father the devil John 8:44
Did Jesus see this kind of person when he was living on earth?
What is Jesus going to do to this group of people? Isa. 60:14; Heb. 12:22;
What will they learn? How will they probably respond to this information? Romans 11:7-24; v. 12, 15, 23-32

v. 10—What have they been doing?
When a person need patient endurance?
What is the difference between patience and endurance?
What will the result of their faithfulness be?
What is the difference between being kept from the hour of trial and being removed from the hour of trial? What about the pre-tribulation rapture?
What is a trial? What trials are coming?
Where is the trial going to be coming? How great will be the trial?
Who will be affected by it?
Why will it be coming? To try those who dwell on the earth.
Does it make sense to comfort those in the first century about something that wouldn’t be coming for another 2,000 years?
Who dwell on the earth? 3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14, 14:6; 17:2, 8
Idolatrous Israel to be driven from the land Jer. 1:14; 10:18; Ezek. 7:7; 36:17; Hos. 4:1, 3; Joel 1:2, 14; 2:1; Zeph. 1:18
Idolatrous nations being driven out of the land Num. 32:17; 33:52, 55; Josh. 7:9; 9:24; Judg. 1:32; 2 Sam. 5:6; 1 Chron. 11:4; 22:18; Neh. 9:24
Israel has joined the nations of pagans and will be driven from the land in the same way those pagan nations were way back when. Remember that God told Abraham that the pagans’ sin hadn’t reached its point of no return (Gen. 15:16), but when it did they would be driven from the land. Israel went over the Jordan and began driving those nations out. Now od is chasing 1st century Israel out for the same reasons.
What will Jesus do for the folks even in the midst of the trial? Keep them.
What does “keep them” mean? Jude 24, 25

v. 11— Who is coming soon? What does coming soon mean? Is there some relationship between verse 9 and this verse?
When will this trial be coming? What does soon mean?
Do you think the original Philadelphians would have expected something explained in this letter to be coming to them soon, in their lifetimes?
What are they to do with what they already have?
What do they have?
What does “seize your crown” mean?
What is their crown? Gen. 35:11; 1 Cor. 4:8; 1 Pet. 2:9
How could someone seize it?

v. 12—Here comes conquer thing again.
What happens to the one who conquers?
What significance I being a pillar in the temple of God? 1 Kings. 7:21
What temple?
How long will the conqueror live in the temple of God? Jer. 1:18; 1 Tim. 3:15
What else will the overcomer receive? 22:4; Num. 6:25; Ex. 34:29-35; Num. 12:6-8; Ps. 80:3, 7, 19; 2 Cor. 3:7-18; 4:6; 1 John 3:2
Those living in the old Jerusalem have apostatized and thus the old Jerusalem is about to die Matt. 24:1-2. But there is a new Jerusalem being created Gal. 4:26; Rev. 21
v. 13—Who should listen?

Philadelphia in the scheme of OT history:
1. Ephesus appeared to fit with the pre fall section of church history.
2. Smyrna seemed to fit well with the period of the patriarchs
3. Pergamum seems to fit well with time period of “sojourn” of Israel.
4. Thyatira looks like it fits well into the period of the Israelite monarch and the Davidic covenant.
5. Sardis goes well with the later prophetic period which leads up to the end of the monarchy and the disobedient people are led away into captivity.
6. The church at Philadelphia reflects the period in Jewish history of the return from Exile during the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. “The Philadelphians, like the returning Jews, have “a little power.” The reference to “the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews, are not “ recalls the conflicts with the “false Jews “ in Ezra 4 and Nehemiah 4, 6, and 13. The warning of a coming “hour of testing…which is about to come on the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the land” reminds us of the tribulation suffered under Antiochus Epiphanes (cf. Dan. 8 and 11). But Christ promises the overcomer that he will be made “a pillar in the temple” and share in the blessings of the “New Jerusalem.”

Revelation 3:14-20

Historical Context:
Letters were sent to Laodicea through Colossians by Paul and this one from John. Laodicea was a city located at the confluence of 3 major trade roads in Asia Minor and a center for emperor worship. The city was very wealthy and was financially independent from Rome (they had recovered from a devastating earthquake in a.d. 60-61 without any imperial funds). They were an important banking center as well. They had a very famous textile industry, which produced very fine “glossy” black wool. They were also famous for their scientific community (they had a medical school) and they produced an ear ointment and an eye salve called “Phrygian powder.” Chilton says the eye salve was famous as far back as Aristotle’s day.

There is no mention of any persecution or suffering that the church in Laodicea might be undergoing. And there is no commendation for anything they are doing, only condemnation for what they aren’t doing.

v. 14—Who is this letter written to?
Where is Laodicea?
Who is John supposed to say this letter is coming from?
What does “Amen” mean? Isaiah 65:16 the word for truth in Hebrew is “amen.” Deut. 27:15-26; Neh. 5:12-13; 2 Co. 1:20;
What is a faithful witness? Heb. 7:22-28; 10:10-14
What is a true witness? John 14:6; Heb. 8
Should faithful and true be separated?
What does the phrase “the beginning of God’s creation” mean?
What is meant by “beginning”? Beginning here means head or origin, or ruler, what is elementary, authority. See Col. 1:15-18. This letter was sent to Laodicea. So they knew what John was talking about 4:16.
To whom do these titles refer? How do you know?

v. 15—What does Jesus know?
What are the works not?
Why would he rather they be hot or cold?
Centered between Colossae (natural springs of cool clear water) and Hieropolis (sulpher springs used for medicinal reasons and just to hang out and be pampered)
What does he wish they were? The Laodician church brings neither healing to the bones nor refreshment to dry parched lives.

v. 16—What are the works instead?
Why the shift from your works are not hot or cold to you are lukewarm?
What does he mean by lukewarm works?
What will he do because the angel is lukewarm? Lev. 18:24-28

v. 17—What does he say about himself?
What does he not realize about himself?

v. 18—What three things does Jesus tell him he ought to do?
Why gold?
Is He saying that Christians shouldn’t have wealth? Deut. 8:18; 1 Pet 1:7; 1 Co. 3:12-15
Why white garments?
Should Christians run around neked? Gen 3:7; Matt. 22:11; Rev. 19:8
Why salve? Lev. 21:18; Deut. 29:4; Matt 13:13-15; Luke 4:18; Acts 26:18; 1 Co. 2:14-15

v. 19—What does Jesus do with those he loves? Heb. 12:5-11; Prov 13:24;
What does someone have to do to be loved by Jesus?
What does Jesus do with those he loves?
What does reprove mean?
What does discipline mean? Psa 42:5; 51; 139; 1 John 1:9
How does he reprove and discipline those he loves?
Were the Laodiceans lost forever?
Is a sinner lost forever?
How should the angel react to all of this?
What does it mean to be zealous?

v. 20—What does “behold” mean?
What door is Jesus standing at? Is this an unbelievers heart?
What is he doing there?
What should someone who hears his call, not knock?, do?
What will Jesus do with the one who opens the door?
What does it mean to come in to him?
What will he do while he is there with you? John 6:53-57; 1 Cor. 10:16-17, 11:17-34 Mat. 22:11
What will you do with him?

v. 21—Here’s that conquer thing again?
How important is all of this to Jesus?
What will Jesus give the one who conquers? Col. 1 13; 2:15; Rev. 1:6; Acts 2:29-36; Eph. 1:20-22; 1 Cor. 15:25; Dan. 2:35, 45.
Where will you be sitting if you conquer?
When will it take place? Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10; Rom. 8:29-30, 32; 1 Cor. 3:21-22

v. 22—If it doesn’t make sense, ask God for help, for ears, hearing.

Literary connection between Revelation and the Israel’s history: Pergamum
7. Ephesus appeared to fit with the pre fall section of church history.
8. Smyrna seemed to fit well with the period of the patriarchs
9. Pergamum seems to fit well with time period of “sojourn” of Israel.
10. Thyatira looks like it fits well into the period of the Israelite monarch and the Davidic covenant.
11. Sardis goes well with the later prophetic period which leads up to the end of the monarchy and the disobedient people are led away into captivity.
12. The church at Philadelphia reflects the period in Jewish history of the return from Exile during the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.
13. Laodicea matches well with the OT period of the last days of the Israelite nation (AD 30-70). The lukewarm nation boasting of its wealth and ability to see, purchase, and understand great things, but really being impoverished, blind, and naked accurately reflects the situation of Israel during the period just before their destruction (cf. Luke 18:9-14. The same warning was given to Laodicea that had been given to Israel, but she ignored it and thus was destroyed (Lev. 18:24-28; Luke 21:24). The kingdom was taken from Israel and given to the Gentiles (Rom. 11).

The Heart In Turmoil

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Psalm 42:11