Morning Bible Study
Israel Trip –
two weeks to sign up.
Are we near to
the end of the world?
Our own strange
weather events – flooding
rivers, raging fires
around the world
Look at the movies that have been coming out:
trailer. A couple of thoughts
Why is it that
we as a society are willing to look at the predictions of the Mayans (a dead
are unwilling to look at the predictions of the Bible?
We are not
going to focus on the “end of the world”, but on the “The Coming King”.
The Book of Revelation
is the preeminent book about the End Times.
Even though the theme of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is found
throughout the entire book, no other book goes so much in depth into this event
that we know as the “Blessed Hope”.
1:1-3 The Blessing
:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His
servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by
His angel to His servant John,
– apokalupsis (“apocalypse”) – laying
bear; a disclosure of truth concerning things before unknown
This book is an unveiling of truth about the end times.
– tachos – quickness, speed
This word doesn’t mean that
things will happen in a few minutes from John’s day, but that when they do
happen, they will happen quickly.
(Play Honda – The Cog video
clip) Like one of those big Rube Goldberg devices where you start one piece moving
and one thing happens after another … a great picture … when it starts to
– semaino – to give a sign, to
signify; related to semeion – a sign,
English word would be “symbol”
We saw John use this word in his gospel.
that John focused on were called “signs”, meant to show us something deeper about who Jesus was.
The book of Revelation is going to have another level of “signs.
The word semeion is used seven times in the book.
You’re going to see lots of symbolic language used in the book of
Revelation, and for the most part, it’s not hard to tell when you are reading
language that is meant to be symbolic.
(Re 12:1 NKJV) Now a great sign appeared in
heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her
head a garland of twelve stars.
When you study the book of Revelation, you have to work at navigating through
the text and try to figure out when the language is literal and when its
Usually it’s not as hard as it looks.
Many of the symbolic language used by John is easily explained from
other parts of the Bible and sometimes it’s even explained in the book itself.
:1 His servant John
– this is our old friend who wrote the gospel of John.
We think that
John wrote his gospel around AD 90.
We think that
the book of Revelation was written down somewhere around AD 95.
:2 who bore
witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things
that he saw.
:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy,
and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
:3 who reads
– anaginosko – to distinguish
between, to recognize, to know accurately, to acknowledge; to read
I find it interesting that the word for “reading” implies that you
understand what you are reading.
– makarios – blessed, happy
There are seven
“blessings” scattered throughout the book of Revelation.
We’re all going to get blessed as we work our way through this book.
he who reads
– that’s mostly going to be me as I’m reading it to you, though you can
certainly “read” it on your own!
those who hear
– that’s all of us
keep those things
– the blessing isn’t just in reading or hearing the book, but letting it affect
your life, changing your life in response to the things in this book.
Some people are a bit afraid of the book of Revelation.
To be honest,
sometimes the only people you hear quoting from the book of Revelation are
people who aren’t exactly playing with a full deck of cards.
described in Revelation can be a bit difficult and confusing.
But don’t forget the promised blessing.
This is just like the blessing from all of God’s Word:
(Ps 1:1–3 NKJV) —1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in
the law of the Lord, And in His
law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That
brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And
whatever he does shall prosper.
Pay attention to this book.
:3 for the time is
near – eggus – of times
imminent and soon to come to pass
Ready to go
Some might be tempted to say, “Hey, didn’t John write this 2,000 years ago?
Maybe he got it wrong? Maybe Jesus isn’t
coming any moment?”
(Mt 24:44–51 NKJV) —44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at
an hour you do not expect. 45
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler
over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master,
when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all
his goods. 48 But if that
evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ 49 and begins to beat his
fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that
servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that
he is not aware of, 51 and
will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There
shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
As much as you want to tell me that I might be self-deceived, I have found
over the years that it is a very healthy attitude to believe that Jesus is
I remember how strongly some of us felt in the early seventies with the
wars happening in Israel. We thought it
was any moment.
I have found that the thought of Jesus returning has kept me from doing
some pretty stupid stuff. I don’t want
to be doing something stupid when He returns.
I want to be ready.
A young lady busied herself getting ready for a blind date. This was not just dinner
and a movie; her date had planned dinner at an exclusive downtown restaurant
with live music and dancing. Wanting to make a good first impression she had
taken the day off work. She cleaned
her apartment; she went out that afternoon to have her hair done and get a manicure. When she got home she did
her makeup, put on her best dress and was ready for her date’s arrival. His
expected arrival came and went, but she continued to wait patiently.
Finally after waiting over an hour she decided she had been stood up, so she took off
her dress, let down her hair, put on her pajamas, gathered all her favorite junk food and sat
down to watch TV with her dog. Sometime later there was a knock at the door; it was her date. He
looked at her surprised and said, “What? I gave you an extra two hours and
you’re still not ready to go!”
1:4-8 Greeting the
:4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace
from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who
are before His throne,
:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the
dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
:4 the seven
churches which are in Asia
We’ll talk about these folks in detail in the coming weeks.
NOTE: Because we will see throughout this book
that the number “seven” speaks of completion or perfection, there is a sense in
which this book is written to the entire, complete church of Jesus Christ.
:4 Him who is and
who was and who is to come
This is talking about God
the Father and speaks of His timelessness – He exists outside of our
:4 the seven
Spirits who are before His throne
I think this is referring to the “perfect” or “complete” Spirit – the Holy Spirit.
In context we have the Father (who is and was …) and Jesus Christ. It would make sense that John is referring
here to the Holy Spirit.
:5 Jesus Christ
Jesus is the third person from whom this document is originating (Father,
Spirit, Son). The phrases that follow
are all descriptions of Jesus Christ.
:5 the faithful
It seems a lot of people have been caught up in the Casey Anthony murder trial on TV. There have been a lot of witnesses. The question is: Do you believe the testimony of each of the
Jesus is a witness that you can count on.
He will always tell you the truth.
:5 the firstborn
from the dead
He is the most important person of all those who have been raised from the
:5 the ruler over
the kings of the earth
When He returns:
(Re 19:16 NKJV)
And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD
:5 To Him who
loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
:6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory
and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
We have more descriptions of Jesus as John gives Him praise.
:5 who loved us
We know from our studies in the Gospel of John how John liked to refer to
himself as “the disciple
whom Jesus loved”. This was a very real concept
for John. He saw up close just what
Jesus was like. Jesus Himself had said
on the night He was betrayed,
(Jn 15:13 NKJV)
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
And then He
willingly gave Himself up for us.
(1 Jn 3:16a
NKJV) By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.
Sometimes we don’t understand the difficulties we are going through. But we never need to question God’s love for
us. We can be sure of His love.
:5 washed us from
our sins in His own blood
As we saw through our study in the Gospel of John, this is the reason why
Jesus came to earth and took on human flesh.
He came to be a
sacrifice for our sins.
God gave a strange commandment to His people that they were not to ever eat
blood. There was a reason:
(Le 17:11 NKJV) For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to
you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that
makes atonement for the soul.’
When we talk about Jesus washing us with His blood, we are talking about
the fact that He laid down His life for us, dying in our place, paying the
penalty for our sins.
When we choose to put our faith in Jesus Christ, we find forgiveness and
are “washed” from our sins.
Have you been washed from your sins?
Have you put your life into Jesus’ hands? Have you asked Him to forgive you?
:5 made us kings
I’d love to talk more about this, but let me simply say that the Bible
teaches that ALL believers
are “priests”. You don’t need a man in a
long black robe to help you get close to God.
Jesus is the only “go-between” you need.
Now YOU are the “go-between” between you and your friends who don’t know
:6 to Him be glory
Jesus is deserving of our praise and adoration.
:7 Behold, He is
coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And
all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
:7 coming with
(Mt 24:30 NKJV) Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then
all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming
on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
:7 every eye will
It won’t be some sort of “secret” that only a few people will be aware of. Everybody on the planet will be aware of when
:7 they who pierced
This is one of the ancient prophecies:
(Zec 12:10 NKJV) “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of
Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom
they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and
grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
:7 all the tribes
of the earth will mourn
Something along the lines of, “Oh my, Jesus really is the King of Kings”
:8 “I am the Alpha
and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was
and who is to come, the Almighty.”
:8 the Alpha and
The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. God is the beginning and
1:9-20 The Glorified
Son of Man
:9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom
and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the
word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Play “Asia and
Patmos” map clip. Patmos is a small Greek island located 30 miles west of the
coast of modern Turkey. Today is has a
population of around 3,000 people living on an island that has an area of 13
John had been the pastor at the church of Ephesus in Asia Minor, where he
was arrested and exiled to the island of Patmos at the orders of Emperor
first commentator on the book of Revelation, said that John worked as a prisoner in the mines on
this small island. Tradition has it that he received this revelation in a cave
on the island.
After Domitian died in AD 96, John was released where he went back to the
city of Ephesus.
:10 I was in
the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a
:10 in the Spirit
on the Lord’s Day
This could mean several things:
1) John was filled with the Spirit on
2) John was somehow transported in his
own “spirit” to the time of the end, the “Lord’s Day” or the “Day of the Lord”
(called this in the OT).
:11 saying, “I am the
Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a
book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to
Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”
God is speaking to John and tells him to write down what he’s about to see
and send it all to the seven churches in Asia.
:9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom
and patience of Jesus Christ…
– sugkoinonos (“with” + “share”) – participant
with others in anything, joint partner
John then gives three things that he shares with his readers, things that
we all have in common.
– thlipsis – pressing together,
pressure; oppression, affliction, distress
Sometimes this word is used to describe that specific period of time when
the antichrist rules the world.
Here, it is simply speaking about the tough things we all go through. Jesus
(Jn 16:33 NKJV) These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation;
but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
There is a sense
in which those of us who are believers actually carry the kingdom of God inside
of us. We have been made citizens of
heaven itself, and because of the Holy Spirit inside of us, we have a bit of
heaven we carry with us.
There is also a sense
in which our “kingdom” is not of this world.
We are looking for a day when Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom on
– hupomone (“under” + “remain”) – steadfastness,
This is the trait of a person who is not moved from his faith and love for
God despite the greatest trials and difficulties.
We are all like John. He is our
“brother” and “companion”. We have
things in common with him – like trouble and “tribulation”
We all go through difficulties – some more, some less, but we all go
If we’re not careful,
we can develop a shallow
relationship with the Lord and instead of enduring difficult times, we are
blown away by them.
NKJV) —20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who
hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but
endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately
God wants us to
We all go through “tribulation”,
but as we keep our eyes on the “kingdom”, we will develop “patience”.
If we’re not careful, we can get extremely paranoid by looking at the
things that are happening around us.
But they shouldn’t be cause for alarm, but cause for rejoicing.
(Lk 21:25–28 NKJV) —25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the
stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the
waves roaring; 26 men’s
hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which
are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the
Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things
begin to happen, look up
and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
We don’t have the fear of a “2012” movie. We look beyond the end of civilization. We look to our coming King.
Look toward the Kingdom.
Keep looking up.