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Showing posts from May, 2010

Revelation - God's Victory

I guess I had plans to complete this study in time for Pentecost, but I don't suppose it will hurt to continue a little bit longer... Still to come:

Rejoicing and scenes of victory,
Different views of the Millennium,
The City of God,and
the Conclusion

12: Revelation 19:11-20:15 - Rejoicing, Scenes of Victory

In chapters 19 and 20 of Revelation, parallel set of images describe the same events described in 17 and 18. The judgment and fall of Satan are seen this time from the point of view of God and his followers – scenes of victory instead of defeat.

List of 7 Victory Scenes:
1. The White Horse and Rider contrast with the Whore of Babylon riding the Beast.
2. The Great Supper parallels the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, but is seen here right at the start.
3. Defeat of the Beast and Prophet parallels the Fall of Babylon
4. Satan is Bound, just as the parallel scene showed the Escape of the Saints
5. The Saints Rule, where before we saw the lost lamenting over the City
6. Satan is Destroyed, where …

Revelation - God's Response

11: Revelation 17:1-19:1: Responses, Scenes of Judgment
After burning incense in the Temple, a priest would intone God’s verdict in the responses. Again, the complete response is seven-fold, repeating the pattern of earlier parts of Revelation.
List of 7 Judgment Scenes:
1. The Whore of Babylon
2. The angel’s explanation
3. The Fall of Babylon
4. The Escape of the Saints
5. The Lament over the City
6. The Fate of the City
7. The Wedding Feast of the Lamb

1. The Whore of Babylon - Revelation 17:1-6

John is shown a vision of the antichrist, Satan’s power in the world, and the spirit that lies behind all false governments. The images would have had very powerful symbolic meanings.

Woman/Whore: A woman is often used to represent worldly powers, that of nations other than Israel, or that of Israel when she turns from the Lord. Isaiah 23 refers to Tyre as a prostitute 15…it will happen to Tyre as in the song about the prostitute: Wilderness: a place that is in the world but not of the world, somewhere…

Revelation. The Incense Offering

10: Revelation 15:5-16:21: Burning of the Seven Bowls of Incense

In the Temple, incense is burned after the readings have been heard. The imagery fits well with this next part of the book of Revelation, and the specific plagues recall passages from the Old and New Testament.

The plagues are sent out from the Temple, from the place where the law is kept (and incense burned), implying a connection between their effect and disobedience to law. The angels are dressed as priests, symbols of holiness. And the four creatures offering the bowls have been seen earlier in Revelation, representing the created world—seven bowls and seven angels representing God’s complete plan. The rising smoke reminds readers of God’s glory, as when law was given on Sinai.

The increasing numbers of people affected by the plagues leads readers to imagine God’s increasing urgency as He calls us to Himself, and the inevitability of consequences when God stops holding back His wrath.

List of Plagues
1. 1st plague: The 6t…

Revelation: 6 more signs

9: Revelation 13:1 – 15:8: Reading from the Scroll – 6 more signs

Imagine the story of heaven and earth being read, but the truth is beyond human words and we struggle to understand. Now imagine the words read so beautifully, so powerfully, that we can see the images—the signs—in our minds. But the truth is beyond human images too; the picture is filled with symbols and we struggle to comprehend.

2. Deception of False Government:
Revelation 12:18-13:10 brings back memories of the beasts Daniel 7.

Daniel’s beasts
• A Lion/eagle/human
• A tusked Bear
• A Leopard with 4 wings and 4 heads and
• A Ten horned monster with iron teeth and bronze claws.
Revelation 13:2: 2And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth.

Daniel’s prophesies: The beasts in Daniel represented governments of the world…
• 4 kingdoms (beasts) lead up to final war against God’s people.
• A little horn on last beast boasts,
• oppresses God’s people for “a time, times…

Revelation: The first sign

8: Revelation 12: Reading from the Scroll – The First Sign

At this point in Revelation’s heavenly worship service, the readings from the scroll begin. The messages are told through pictures of the history of creation and salvation. Old Testament images, contemporary “apocalyptic” images, numerical symbols and Christian symbols all intertwine to create a fascinating story. But if we try to read it as “reality” we end up struggling to give rational meaning to pictorial symbolism, and risk missing the message—just like an alien trying to understand why Batman’s fist should create star-shaped patterns in the air with “BAM” and “POW” written across them.

List of Signs
1. A History of Salvation. The dragon and the child. 12:1-17
2. The Deception of False Government. The beast from the sea. 13:1-10
3. The Consequences of False Religion. The beast from the earth 13:11-13:18
4. The Union of Heaven and Earth. The 144,000. 14:1-5
5. God’s answer. 3 angels. 14:6-13
6. God’s Harvest. 14:14-20
7. Sabbath Re…

Revelation - Before the Final Trumpet Blast

7: Revelation 10:1-11:14 Fate of God’s People

The seals and the trumpets both follow a 4,2,1 format—4 depictions of the world, 2 of God’s people/God’s response, a digression, and 1 depiction of the final days/end of the earth.

Just as the recital of seals being opened was halted for a look at God’s people, so the sounding of trumpets stops before the seventh. John has heard how the world’s disasters function as warnings to all the people opposed to God; he knows they don’t heed the warning; he sees the angels begin to pronounce the woes.

God’s protection, which kept the disasters so limited, is removed in the first woe, and the evils familiar from Joel’s prophesy rise up from hell (but only for a while). The angels—the same ones who previously held back the penalty for disobedience in Eden—now come to punish the earth. And John asks, “What about us?”

The Angel with the Little Scroll

The imagery again would remind the readers of Old Testament (and sometimes New Testament) references and sym…