My neighbor always lets his weeds get 2-3 feet high. Sometimes as I am navigating down the footpath, a weed will rub against my leg and I jump in the air and quickly look down to make sure I’m safe. In my mind, I know that he never addresses the weeds. But even still, I look down because there is a small chance that a mosquito or spider or something else is crawling on my leg. I hate bugs.
When I was a pastor, I always encouraged people to look in the Bible to see the verses I was referencing in a sermon. It was important for me to point people to the actual scripture so that everyone could see what God says. Even though most of the time it is only weeds rubbing against your legs, every so often there is a mosquito or spider crawling on your leg. If you are looking in your Bible to see what God says, you can check for yourself. You aren’t trusting it’s a simple grazing of a weed. You’re able to know it is just a weed. This is important for your walk with Jesus—to know for yourself what God says. Yes, you won’t know it all. Yes, you won’t understand it all. But open up His Word and seek Him.
There are a lot of commentators of the Bible. There are thousands of pastors and theologians. Interpretations vary at times because people allow their own misconceptions and traditions to speak into the Word. People read what they want to read. People cherry pick. People have agendas. People are broken. I’m not suggesting that the last sermon you heard was wrong or that commentaries are bad. My pastor shared a great message from God this past Sunday, and my bookshelf is lined with commentaries. My suggestion, my desire for you is to always seek Him and His Word for yourself. Independent Bible reading and study should be a regular occurrence. What is God saying to you today?
“Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” – Psalm 25:5 [ESV]
On a Saturday morning, I find myself sleeping in and spending more time in the Word. It is certainly a time of refreshment for me—the sleep and the time with God. We need rest. We need God.
Today’s verse speaks about how God restores and revives. The actual word translates to mean restore, refresh, renew, or revive. When you take a closer look, the Hebrew word “shub” means to turn back or return. This return is to a state you were once in, and this return is not from an occasional nap or reading the daily verse of the day. Shub points to a revival of your life, your strength, your energy. This is something God offers you daily, but it cannot happen if we are not staying connected and being mindful of His presence every day as we go through our day.
If you are feeling tired or drained or if you would like to sleep the next week of your life away, perhaps it is a good time to for shub, to turn back to Him and allow Him to pour into you. What is needed for shub? You simply return. Be intentional about prayer and reading your Bible. As you lean into Him in prayer, as you dig deeper into His Word, you will be restored and revived. Remember this shub isn’t a cat nap that gets you to finish your day with no major issues—there’s so much more! I pray this return to your first love will restore and revive you. The fruit of this revival points to the fullness of God.
“That’s where he restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to his name. – Psalm 23:3 [TPT]
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
- Love is Patient… fill in gaps with GRACE
- Love is Kind… do GOOD & be GENEROUS to all
- Love Rejoices with Truth… DELIGHT in truth
- Love Always
“Love Always”… used to use this as my signature for cards and letters
Realized that I do not “Love Always.”
Always means ALL THE TIME
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:7 Living Bible (TLB)
7 If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.
1 Corinthians 13:7 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
7 Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.
1 Corinthians 13:7 The Passion Translation (TPT)
7 Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.
Love BEARS all things – Love BEARS always
YOU WILL BE LOYAL TO HIM NO MATTER WHAT THE COST
YOU WILL NEVER STOP BEING PATIENT
LOVE COVERS… PROTECTS
1 Peter 4:8 (NASB)
8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
Charles Spurgeon noted that… “This love both covers and bears all things. It never proclaims the errors of others. It refuses to see faults unless it may kindly help in their removal. It stands in the presence of a fault with a finger on its lips.”
Love BELIEVES all things – Love BELIEVES always
YOU WILL ALWAYS BELIEVE IN HIM
Expect the best of others (of what’s in them now)
You recognize they are made in the image of God — you see the very best in them now
You believe in someone until you are shown otherwise – give benefit of the doubt
Romans 12:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Faith in what God has made available now
Love HOPES all things – Love HOPES always
YOU WILL ALWAYS EXPECT THE BEST OF HIM
Expect the best of others (of what is to come)
You recognize that God has a greater purpose in a person’s life, a plan & purpose of His design — you see what God wants to do in a person’s life.
Love looks forward with confidence & grace
Trust that expects fulfillment of the future promises of God
1 Timothy 4:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
Romans 8:24 The Passion Translation (TPT)
24 For this is the hope of our salvation.
But hope means that we must trust and wait for what is still unseen. For why would we need to hope for something we already have?
Love ENDURES all things – Love ENDURES always
YOU WILL ALWAYS STAND YOUR GROUND IN DEFENDING HIM
YOU WILL NEVER GIVES UP
To endure – To remain under
Perseveres despite situations / circumstances
No matter what!
1 Corinthians 9:12 (NASB)
12 If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ.
In Closing, look to God to understand what it means to LOVE ALWAYS…
Love Bears… God bears… He pours out grace & mercy despite your sins and shortcomings. Your sins cannot stand up to His grace.
Love Believes… God believes the best in you – God designed you for His good purpose & God sees you as His Son.
Love Hopes… God has your future beautifully orchestrated & God sees who you will be – the beautiful masterpiece
Love Endures… God loves NO MATTER WHAT… He truly LOVES ALWAYS!
This morning in my pre-coffee daze, I neglected to grab my dual leash for my dogs. Instead, I grabbed them each their separate personal leashes and got them ready for their morning walk. I always use the dual leash for walks; if you ever tried to walk two dogs without one, you’d easily figure out why it is nice to have a dual leash. No tangles. No tripping. Smooth sailing with the canines and God.
As I walked to the next block, I realized that I had forgotten the dual leash, but I also realized that the dogs were still walking as if they were using the dual leash. In using the dual leash for years, they developed a habit. They were trained. The dogs knew the path to walk. They knew their limitations. They knew the distances they needed to be located. They had it all memorized. It became a way of life.
In this same way, as we continue to drown ourselves in the Word of God and aim to live it out, we find ourselves not having to think so much on some things. It becomes second nature. Spending time daily in the Word helps us navigate our day better understanding true obedience and better discerning the will of God.
Continue to add more time with God and His Word as you go through the week. Start a YouVersion reading plan. Pick up a daily devotion book. Download the Dwell app. Do whatever works for you to hear and read more of God’s Word. Take small bites. Enjoy big feasts. Remember, God’s Word always produces fruit.
“It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” – Isaiah 55:11 [NLT]
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
2 Timothy 3:1-4 English Standard Version (ESV)
3 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,
4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
chrésteuomai: to be kind
Phonetic Spelling: (khraste-yoo’-om-ahee)
Definition: to be kind
Usage: I am kind (full of service to others), gentle.
Kindness is an inner quality (ATTITUDE) of compassion, being gentle… caring
Kindness results in goodness (ACTIONS)… serving one another, being generous… doing something because you care
chréstotés: goodness, excellence, uprightness
Phonetic Spelling: (khray-stot’-ace)
Definition: goodness, excellence, uprightness
Usage: goodness, uprightness, kindness, gentleness.
Colossians 3:12 (ESV)
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)
32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Luke 6:35-36 English Standard Version (ESV)
35 But love your enemies,
and do good,
To do that which is good
To do something which profits others
To do someone a favor
To do what is right
To be generous
expecting nothing in return,
and your reward will be great,
and you will be sons of the Most High,
for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Make Room for the King
“Joy to the World”
Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
OUR HEART NATURALLY DOESN’T WANT TO PREPARE ROOM
WE ARE ALL SINNERS… WE ARE ALL IN NEED OF JESUS
Ezekiel 11:19 English Standard Version (ESV)
19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.
WHEN JESUS WAS BORN, THERE WASN’T ANY ROOM
Luke 2:7 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
7 She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there wasn’t any room for them in the inn.
THE SHUNAMMITE WHO MADE ROOM
2 Kings 4:8-9 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 One day Elisha went on to Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to eat some food. So whenever he passed that way, he would turn in there to eat food. 9 And she said to her husband, “Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of God who is continually passing our way. 10 Let us make a small room on the roof with walls and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there.”
THE GREAT PROMISE OF GOD
Jeremiah 24:7 English Standard Version (ESV)
7 I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.
How can we prepare Him room?
#1 Accept the love God offers
John 3:16 English Standard Version (ESV)
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 5:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
#2 Draw near to Jesus through prayer and reading of God’s Word
James 4:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
#3 Honor Jesus with obedience
2 John 6 English Standard Version (ESV)
6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.
2 John 6 The Message (MSG)
4-6 I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn that many members of your congregation are diligent in living out the Truth, exactly as commanded by the Father. But permit me a reminder, friends, and this is not a new commandment but simply a repetition of our original and basic charter: that we love each other. Love means following his commandments, and his unifying commandment is that you conduct your lives in love. This is the first thing you heard, and nothing has changed.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
Worship the King
Matthew 2:1-12 English Standard Version (ESV)
2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
O Holy Night
O holy night the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels’ voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine o night
O night divine
barak: to kneel, bless
Phonetic Spelling: (baw-rak’)
Definition: to kneel, bless
Showing respect, give something of value to another
Psalm 103:1-5 English Standard Version (ESV)
103 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:11-14 English Standard Version (ESV)
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
Psalm 29:2 English Standard Version (ESV)
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.
Revelation: Coming Soon Series
Week 1 – Revelation of Jesus Christ
Revelation – apokalupsis ((p-ok-al’-oop-sis) means “Unveiling,” “Uncovering,” or “Revealing.”
All about revealing the majesty of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is coming soon.
Mentions events that will take place to purify His Church
The focus when reading must be JESUS, not to grasp the end time – remember, yes the end-time battle plan for the Church is revealed, but this is first and foremost the REVELATION OF JESUS
We have hope in Him alone.
Shouldn’t be afraid of Revelation
The words of Revelation are passed along from Father God to Son Jesus Christ to the Angel to John (1:1-2)
Those who read the words of Revelation, listen and obey are BLESSED (1:3)
John has a calling to prophesy about the end times
John sends the letter to seven churches to equip the Church:
Engage in partnership with Jesus Christ
Partner together with Jesus to govern earth
Revelation 1:5-6 – Love us and made us priests and kings
Loves us (freed us from our sins)
Washes us (cleansing blood of Jesus)
Exalts us (made us a Kingdom of priests for God the Father)
EVERYONE WILL SEE HIM (1:8)
He’s coming on a cloud to earth to be received as King
He will prepare the earth for God to dwell with the people again.
“Who is to come” (1:8)
Revelation 21:3 – “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” [ESV]
Revelation 1 includes the most descriptions of Jesus
Son of Man (1:13)
Merciful Priest (1:13)
Sovereign King (1:17)
Faithful Witness (1:5) – speaks truth
Firstborn among the dead (1:5) – 1st resurrected
Ruler of all kings of the earth (1:5) – authority over all
Alpha and Omega – beginning and the end (1:8)
The One Who is, Who Always Was, Who is Still to Come (1:8)
Almighty One (1:8)
The First and the Last (1:17)
The Living One (1:18)
Holder of the keys of death and hades (1:18)
Symbolism in chapter
7 Stars = angels of seven churches
7 Lampstands = seven churches
IT IS A SYMBOL WHEN ITS MEANING IS REVEALED
ONLY TAKE THE WORD AS WHAT IT SAYS.
IF IT DOESN’T SAY THAT THERE’S A MEANING, TAKE IT LITERAL.
REMEMBER, WE ARE DIGGING DEEPER TO KNOW HIM MORE!
Philippians 3:8 – What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ
Read Revelation 1:12. What does the title Son of Man mean?
Read Revelation 1:12-16. John describes Jesus in this passage. What does John say to describe these parts of Jesus and what does this mean? (How does John describe Jesus & what does it mean to you and your knowledge of Jesus)
Jesus’ right hand
Week 2 – The 7 Churches
Jesus spoke prophetically to 7 churches, calling them to be overcomers. He identified the issues that will most challenge the end-time church. He gives instructions on how to be prepared for His coming. These letters were written to the churches in John’s generation but we can glean a lot from them individually and as a church.
Each letter provides:
Revelation of Jesus
Affirmation for faithfulness (if faithful)
Correction for compromise (if required)
Promise of reward for overcoming
“The Angel of the Church” is the leader over the church. They guard the message and make sure it is not distorted.
Church in Ephesus [2:1-7] RETURN TO 1ST LOVE
Jesus revealed as the one who walks among the seven lampstands – remember these are the seven churches (2:1)
Affirmed for their diligent work & perseverance in standing for the truth (2:6)
Corrected for lacking love for Jesus & others while ministering – neglected to cultivate their 1st Love (2:4-7)
Overcomer promised fruit from tree of life in the paradise of God (2:7)
Church in Smyrna [2:8-11] – FAITHFULNESS IN SUFFERING
Jesus revealed as First & Last, dead but now alive (2:8)
Affirmed their love & perseverance in persecution (2:9)
Overcomer promised not to be hurt by the second death (2:11)
Church in Pergamos (Pergamum) [2:12-17] – CHURCH OF COMPROMISE
Jesus revealed as one with sharp two-edged sword (2:12)
Affirmed for faithfulness in not yielding to fear in persecution (2:13)
Corrected their compromise in tolerating immorality & idolatry (2:14)
Overcomer promised to eat hidden manna and receive a white stone (2:17)
Church in Thyatira [2:18-29] – COMMITTED YET TOLERATING IMMORALITY
Jesus revealed as Son of God, eyes like flames of fire, feet like polished bronze (2:18)
Affirmed their love, their faith, their ministry service, their patient endurance (2:19)
Corrected their tolerance of immorality (2:20)
Overcomer promised to have power over the nations and to receive the morning star (2:26, 28) – Jesus is “Morning Star” in Revelation 22:16
Church in Sardis [3:1-6] – REPUTATION WITHOUT SUBSTANCE
Jesus revealed as one who has sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars (3:1)
Corrected their spiritual passivity – reputation of being alive but actually dead (3:1)
Overcomer promised to receive white garments and to not have name blotted out of the Book of Life and for Jesus to confess name before Father (3:5)
Church in Philadelphia [3:7-13] – FAITHFULNESS WITH ETERNAL REWARDS
Jesus revealed as one who is holy and true, has the key of David, He opens and no one can close—He closes and no one can open (3:7)
Affirmed for their faithfulness to Jesus – obeyed word & didn’t deny (3:8)
Overcomer promised to be made a pillar in God’s temple, and to have God’s name and Jesus’ new name written on them (3:12)
Church in Laodicea [3:14-22] – SPIRITUAL PRIDE AND LUKEWARMNESS
Jesus revealed as the one who is the Amen – the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation
Corrected for lukewarmness & spiritual pride (3:15-17)
Overcomer promised to sit on His throne with Him (3:21)
1) Read Revelation 2:4-5 What does it mean to abandon your first love? What causes you to abandon your first love for God?
2) Read Revelation 2:9-10 & James 1:12. What is the crown of life? Is it salvation or a reward? How does this encourage us during persecution?
3) Read Revelation 2:14-16. Though Pergamos remained loyal in Satan’s city, the church allows teaching like that of Balaam within its doors. What does this mean? How can this hurt the church?
4) Read Revelation 2:28, Revelation 22:16, and 2 Peter 1:19. What is the morning star we are given?
5) Read Revelation 3:1-2. Why is there no affirmation for the church of Sardis, and what does this mean?
6) Read Revelation 3:12, 1 Peter 2:5, and Isaiah 22:23. What do these verses say about being pillars in the Temple of God? What does this mean?
7) Read Revelation 3:17-18. What does it mean to buy gold refined by fire from Jesus? Why is this “purchase” important?
Week 3 – Beauty of God & Exaltation of Jesus
Revelation 4 – most detailed description in Scripture of God’s beauty
Revelation 5 – gives insight into God’s plan to exalt Jesus as human King over earth.
God’s vast majestic resources (Revelation 4) are committed to establishing God’s plan for Jesus (Revelation 5).
Revelation 4 – BEAUTY OF GOD
Beauty of God’s PERSON (4:3)
Beauty of God’s PARTNERS (4:4)
24 thrones of 24 elders
Clothed in white, Gold crowns
Lay down their crowns before throne & worship (4:10-11)
Beauty of God’s POWER (4:5a)
Beauty of God’s PRESENCE (4:5b-7)
Revelation 4:8-11 – Government leaders in heaven worship God and declare His transcendent beauty. They glory or boast with delight in God as they honor and thank Him.
There are 14 Hymns in Revelation
4:8; 4:11; 5:9-10; 5:12; 5:13; 7:10; 7:12; 11:17-18; 15:3-4; 16:5-6; 19:1-2; 19:3; 19:5; 19:6-8
Their foundational hymn forever magnifies God’s holiness (4:8)
Holy – Set Apart
God is separated from everything sinful, thus He is pure.
God is separated from everything He created, thus transcendent or infinitely superior to all that exists. God’s holiness points to His transcendent beauty.
Revelation 5 describes the destiny of Jesus on the earth as a Man – fully God, fully Man.
Jesus has fierceness and fearlessness of a Lion (v. 5) and tenderness and humility of a Lamb (v. 6). He will forever be a Jewish man from the Tribe of Judah (v. 5)
Because of His obedience to death, God highly exalted Jesus in heaven and on earth
Philippians 2:8-10 – And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [NIV]
Daniel prophesied Israel’s Messiah would receive the leadership of the Earth forever (Psalm 2:8, Daniel 7:13-14).
Colossians 1:18 – He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. [NASB]
Scroll is the action plan
Scroll is an Action Plan to judge, cleanse, and prepare the nations for Jesus’ rule over Earth, while bringing the Church to maturity and into unity with redeemed Israel.
Scroll is the Title Deed to the Earth
By taking the scroll, He accepted responsibility to cleanse and rule Earth.
Jesus is the only Man found worthy, deserving, and capable to take scroll from Father.
7 horns = all power; 7 eyes = all wisdom
Because He possesses all power and wisdom, He is qualified to open scroll.
Who is worthy? No one.
John wept bitterly.
He hears – Lion of Tribe of Judah.
He sees – Lamb Slain
Bowls of Incense – prayers of God’s people
Redeemer related to us, willing to do it, able to pay the price.
Jesus alone can open the scroll and read it:
Deserving – Redeemer, Creator, Proven Himself by making choice for Love and Righteousness
Capable – Able to open seals and administrate God’s judgments and rule forever. No one else has wisdom, humility, and power to lead.
Worthy – Worthy of our wholehearted love, our continual praise of His beauty, our confident trust in His leadership, and sacrificial obedience to His will.
Highest government council around throne. (Living angels – angelic, elders – human)
They fell awestruck before the worthy Man and boldly proclaimed their agreement with the Father’s decree to make Jesus supreme leader of whole Earth forever.
Sang new song – prophetic song indicating changing of season in God’s purpose.
Jesus inheritance includes full authority over 7 spheres of life – power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, blessing.
Power – Political
Riches – Financial
Wisdom – Intellectual
Strength – Physical/emotional
Glory – Spiritual
Honor – Relational
Blessing – Social
1) When Jesus finishes the letters to the 7 churches, what is the 1st thing John sees (4:1)?
2) As we consider Revelation 4-5, what part of heaven is the focus?
3) As we consider Revelation 4-5, what is the main activity occurring in heaven?
4) Read Revelation 4:8. What does this hymn state about God?
5) Read Revelation 4:11. What does this hymn state about God?
6) Read Revelation 5:9-10. What does this hymn state about God?
7) Read Revelation 5:7. What does Jesus do here? What does it symbolize? Why is it important?
8 Read Revelation 5:4. John weeps bitterly. Did he not know that Jesus was worthy to take the scroll and open it?
Week 4 – Seals of Judgment
(Revelation 6 – Chronological)
The Seal of Judgments against the kingdom of darkness
The 7 seals are literal, future, and sequential
1) White Horse (6:1-2) – Antichrist
Makes peace with many nations
Daniel 9:26-27 – And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.
2) Red Horse (6:3-4) – Bloodshed / world war
3) Black Horse (6:5-6) – Famine / economic crisis
4) Pale Horse (6:7-8) – Death and Hades – Disease / death to ¼ of the world
Hades is prison where unbelievers go before going to the Lake of Fire after Millennium
5) Prayer Movement (6:9-11) – souls of all martyred under the altar
Saints ask God to avenge their blood on those who dwell on the earth
6) Cosmic Disturbances (6:12-17) – earthquake, dark sun, red moon, stars fall, sky rolled up, mountains move
7) NEXT WEEK
(Revelation 7 – Angelic Explanation)
The 144,000 – Jewish believers
God puts protective seal on His people before He strikes the earth (see Exodus 11:4-12:30)
Vast Crowd Too Great to Count – Gentile believers
John hears 144,000 – sees people from all nations
Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?
These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.
SOME BELIEVE DURING THE TRIBULATION
Just like Moses participated in prayer regarding God’s judgments on Pharaoh (Exodus 7-12) so the end time church will participate in prayer under Jesus leadership as He releases the great tribulation judgments on the Antichrist (Revelation 6-19).
1) What is accomplished through the Tribulation?
2) Read Revelation 6:9-11.
What is different about the fifth seal compared to the first four seals?
Why does it say that they are under the altar?
3) Read Revelation 6:15-17.
This passage notes that the people hid themselves in caves. They cried out to the mountains asking that they fall on them and hide them from the One who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. Why do the people want to hide? Why do they fear the presence of the Lord?
The question is asked – “Who is able to survive?” Or “Who is able to stand?” What is the answer to this question?
4) Read Revelation 7:15-17. What are the ten eternal blessings mentioned?
Week 5 – The Trumpet Judgments
The 7th Seal includes releasing of the Trumpet Judgments on Antichrist Empire. This is in conjunction with the prayer of all the Saints (8:1-6).
Silence in heaven – ½ hour in anticipation of God’s judgments. (8:1)
Angel will be given heavenly incense to offer with the prayer of the Saints (8:3). This will provide a supernatural strengthening. Like Romans 8:26 notes, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
Destroy Antichrist’s resources – hinder Antichrist’s empire’s spread of evil and persecution by destroying natural resources
Are supernatural acts of God that warn non-believers of increased judgment by God and rage from Satan. Provides opportunity to be saved.
Encourages the Saints to pray with unity as they see the trumpets unfold.
These trumpets are literal, future, progressive (grow in intensity), and sequential
1) Food Supply (8:7) – 1/3 earth vegetation
2) Food Supply (8:8-9) – 1/3 earth’s seas
3) Water Supply (8:10-11) – 1/3 earth’s fresh water rivers & springs
4) Light / Energy Supply (8:12) – 1/3 of earth darkens
5) Torment (9:1-12) – demonic locusts released to torment for 5 months, people will seek to die (9:6)
6) Death (9:13-21) – 1/3 people on earth killed by demonic horsemen, response to request of people begging to die, this trumpet was commissioned by angel who serves at Golden Altar of Prayer to release 4 angels of death in answer to end-time prayer movement (8:3-5, 9:13)
They still refused to repent & turn to God. (9:20)
They worshipped demons and idols.
4 Demonic Strongholds in Society (9:21)
Witchcraft / Sorcery
7) NEXT WEEK
10 Plagues of Egypt (Ex 7-12)
Prophetic types of foreshadowing of end-time plagues of trumpets and bowls of wrath
Remember what the plagues showed Pharaoh
Exodus 14:17-18 – My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops… When My glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see My glory and know that I AM THE LORD!
1) Read Revelation 9:1, 11; Luke 8:31; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6.
What does it mean in Revelation 9:1 that the fallen star was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit? Who is the fallen star?
2) Read Revelation 8:3-5, 9:13-14.
Where was the angel?
What does the angel do at the Altar?
What is the result of the angel’s action?
3) As we read through Revelation, there are many parallels from Exodus. Consider these first five Trumpet Judgments. How do they parallel to the plagues of Egypt?
Week 6 – Two Witnesses
Revelation 10 – God promises to reveal new prophetic understanding (which comes through the 7 Thunders Prophetic Messages and the Two Witnesses)
Revelation 11 – The Two Witnesses will preach with great power and release God’s judgments against the Antichrist during the final 3 ½ years of Tribulation
Revelation 10 – Mighty Angel from heaven
Clothed by a cloud = glory in OT, judgment in NT
Rainbow over angel’s head = faithfulness
Face shown like sun = glory
Feet like pillars of fire = judgment
Small Scroll, Opened – perhaps the scroll Jesus opened
Stood with right foot on sea / left foot on land
Authority, sovereignty – claiming world for Jesus
Gave roar like a lion
Vengeance, lion ready to devour
Revelation 10:4 – Prophetic messengers to carry the 7 Thunders Prophetic Messages.
Thunder warns of impending judgment
Revelation 10:8-11 – Digest Word of God / Declare Word of God
John was commanded to take the open scroll
John requested it and was told to eat it
Revelation 11:1-2 – Tribulation Temple? – Antichrist will use it.
“Measure” means to evaluate carefully.
“1260 days” = 3 ½ years timeframe
The Two Witnesses are powerful prophets who will release God’s judgments on the Antichrist (like Moses did on Pharaoh’s empire).
Revelation 11:5-6 – Miraculous Powers of Two Witnesses
Calling fire down – protection
Withhold rain for 3 and ½ years
Turn water into blood
Bring plagues upon the earth
Holy City – city Lord placed His name & glory (11:1)
Great City – great in importance and prominence in God’s plan (11:8)
Sodom – perversion (11:8)
Egypt – oppression (11:8)
Revelation 11:7-10 – Killed and raised from the dead before all the nations
Nations will rejoice at their death because they see the Two Witnesses as those who torment them.
After raised from dead, called up to heaven as everyone watched
10th of the city destroyed, 7k people died, remaining people gave glory to God in heaven
Revelation 11:15 – The world has now become the Kingdom of Jesus Christ – Thanksgiving
Some scholars believe this is where Rapture occurs) – see 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.
11:17 – God’s power is being proclaimed
11:18 – God’s plan is being accomplished
11:18 – God’s promise is being fulfilled
11:18 – God’s punishment is being declared
1) Read Revelation 10:9-11 and Ezekiel 3:1-3, 14.
What happened for John & Ezekiel in these passages?
Why is the message described as sweet yet bitter?
2) Read Revelation 11:1-2, Matthew 24:15, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, and Revelation 21:22.
What was John measuring?
Is this Temple in heaven or on earth?
3) Read Revelation 11:3-6 and Zechariah 4:2-7. The Two Witnesses are known as the two olive trees and the two lampstands. What could this possibly mean?
4) Remembering the first three trumpets (Revelation 8:7-11), what is the similarity we see with the power of the Two Witnesses?
Week 7 – War & Victory
Revelation 12 – War in heavens between Satan and Michael the archangel
Revelation 13 – War on earth between Antichrist and the saints
Revelation 14 – Jesus intervenes to empower church to victory
Revelation 12 – The Woman and the Dragon
The Woman – Faithful remnant of Israel (v. 6)
The Child – Jesus Christ (v. 5)
The Dragon – Satan (v.9)
WAR BREAKS OUT IN HEAVEN (v. 7-12)
Between Satan and Michael
Dragon (Satan) thrown down the earth (v. 10)
Remember, Satan has access to heaven until this point.
Ephesians 6:12 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
END TIME PERSECUTION OF SATAN AGAINST GOD’S PEOPLE (v. 13-17)
Dragon tossed to earth results in him pursuing the Woman (Israel) even more (v. 13)
Deuteronomy 32:11-12 – Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, the LORD alone guided him, no foreign god was with him.
v. 14 – Israel flees into wilderness to the place where she is nourished and protected from presence of Satan for 3 ½ years.
Revelation 13 – The Beast out of the Sea
1st Beast is the ANTICHRIST (v. 1)
Another Beast is the FALSE PROPHET (v. 11)
Unholy Trinity – Satan, Antichrist, & False Prophet
SATAN WORKS THROUGH ANTICHRIST AND FALSE PROPHET
Satan gives throne to the Antichrist who is a world leader (v. 2)
He has political, military, economic alliance with the ten nations
This gives the Antichrist the largest empire & most powerful army in history
The Antichrist is fully human, but fully demonized. He will claim to be God and will demand the whole earth worship him.
He will have authority but not total domination. Some will resist.
Daniel 12:1 – At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.
False Prophet is leader of future worldwide religious network to worship Antichrist.
1. Demon empowered public speeches will be backed up by miracles that will cause people to be deceived. (v. 12-13)
2. He will establish a worship system related to abomination of desolation. (v. 14-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
3. He will establish a worldwide economic system that forces nations to worship the Antichrist by the mark of the Beast on their hand or forehead to declare loyalty to the Antichrist. If mark is refused, cannot buy or sell. (v. 16-18).
Revelation 14 – Jesus intervenes
Jesus will supernaturally help the Church to come to victory.
1. 144,000 will be a model of victory for others. (v. 1-5)
John saw Jesus standing on Mt. Zion with the singers.
2. Eternal Gospel – 4 Proclamations Spirit will anoint (v. 6-13)
Glory to God (v. 7)
Judgment of the Harlot Babylon (v. 8)
Eternal Judgment (v. 9-11)
Eternal Rewards for faithfulness (v. 13)
3. 2-Fold Harvest – Salvation and Judgment (v. 14-20)
Swing the sickle, for the time of harvest has come; the crop on earth is ripe (v. 15)
1. Souls (v. 14-16)
2. Judgment (v. 17-20)
Grapes loaded into great winepress of God’s wrath (v. 19-20)
All kings on earth gathered in one area. Jesus will kill them in the winepress (Revelation 19:19-21)
Judgment = river of blood runs 180 miles
1) Read Revelation 12:10-11.
How does this passage describe the devil?
How does the devil accuse you?
Does God ever accuse you? If so, how do you react?
How does this passage say we overcome?
2) Read Revelation 13:5-6.
What does it mean to blasphemy against God?
How do we blasphemy God?
How should we respond when someone blasphemies God? (Read Mathew 12:22-37 for a hint.)
3) Read Revelation 14:1.
Where is the Lamb standing? Why is this important?
What is written on the foreheads of the 144,000? What does this mean?
Week 8 – 7 Bowls of Wrath
7 angels Last 7 plagues to bring God’s wrath to completion
The End Time believers are victorious over Antichrist and seen standing on sea of glass in heaven, singing about the greatness of the Lord. The Temple opens in heaven and the 7 angels receive 7 bowls.
Singing Song of Moses and Song of the Lamb
Great & marvelous works
Just & true ways
Temple filled with smoke from God’s glory & power. No one could enter Temple until all 7 angels finished pouring the bowls of wrath.
Revelation 16 – 7 Bowls of Wrath
Poured out over a 30-day period as Jesus marches up through Jordan (Edom) to fight the final battle of the Armageddon campaign in Jerusalem and to rescue the unsaved remnant of Israel (Zechariah 12:1-9)
Daniel 12:11 – 1,290 days (43 months) – Daniel prophesied that the abomination of desolation would last 1,290 days. The Antichrist activity continues 43 months from beginning of abomination to the time Antichrist killed.
John noted 42 months – 1,260 days. The Antichrist will persecute for 42 months, but will function for 43 months. The last month is a rally time to gather the nations to make war against Jesus. (Revelation 17:14, 19:11,19). Bowls poured out in the 43rd month.
Provision – God will provide supernaturally for Israel 1,260 days.
Prophesy – 2 Witnesses prophesy 1,260 days
Persecution – The Antichrist will persecute saints and oppress Jerusalem 1,260 days.
Sores – painful sores on those who worship the Antichrist (v. 1-2)
Food supply – destroys sea with blood & kills all within (v. 3)
Water supply – poisons earth’s fresh water with blood (v. 4-7)
Torment – sun produces scorching heat (v. 8-9)
Darkness – kingdom of the Antichrist in darkness (v. 10-11)
Euphrates dried up so kings would be gathered by demonic spirits for battle against the Lord (v. 12-16)
Demons will lure nations to gather to fight Jesus (Isaiah 24)
Annihilation – “It is Finished” – thunder, earthquake, hailstones (v. 17-21)
Islands feel (sink in ocean) & mountains fall (v. 20)
100lb hailstones – stoning for idol worship (Deuteronomy 17:2-5, Leviticus 24:16)
After 7 bowls Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Psalm 24:7-8)
Greater Moses – Releases Judgment on Antichrist
Greater Joshua – Leads liberated ones to the Promised Land
Greater Daniel – Wins back Jerusalem, establishes Throne and Temple
Greater Elijah – Confronts Antichrist, cleanses earth of idolatry
1) Read Exodus 15:1-6 and Revelation 15:3-4.
What are these songs called?
What was the purpose of these songs?
2) Read Revelation 15:8. Why did the smoke fill the Temple? Why could no one enter?
3) What happens or doesn’t happen in Revelation 16:11? How will this be different one day (see Philippians 2:6-11)?
4) Read Revelation 16:17-19. What happens in this passage? Where in the Bible are similarities to these happenings? What does this statement mean?
Week 9 – Judgment
Genesis 11 – Babylon – Tower of Babel. Progression in evil.
Lord scattered language which slowed down the escalation of sin until the end times.
Time before Jesus’ 2nd coming is compared to the days of Noah in Genesis 6 (Evil Continually)
Matthew 24:37 – As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Revelation 17 – Judgment of the Great Prostitute (Harlot) / The Prostitute and Beast
Most symbolic passage in Revelation
Scarlet Beast Antichrist
Voluntary Harlot Babylon religion will be replaced by a mandatory Antichrist religion. (Revelation 13:4, 15; Revelation 17)
Revelation 17:1, 15 – “Rules over many waters.” The harlot will sit on many nations, or will have authority over the nations by seducing and controlling the world’s most powerful leaders, the kings and the merchants.
Revelation 17:3 – “Sitting on the Scarlet Beast.” The Harlot will sit on or depend on the Antichrist who will carry her or will provide significant resources, validation, and protection for her.
Revelation 17:4 – “Arrayed in purple” – to be arrayed in purple speaks of her royal status or prominence. The Harlot religion will have great prominence and will be embraced by the elite financial leaders of the earth. “Adorned with Gold “– will be the wealthiest religious network in all of history. “Golden Cup” – Harlot will have a golden cup from which she serves the nations. She will provide unprecedented humanitarian service and her service will appear golden- valuable and good. War will disappear. There will be world peace and unity (1 Thessalonians 5:3 When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.).
She will offer a cup full of abomination and filth. Abomination refers to idolatry. Filthiness points to moral perversion / fornication.
Revelation 17:6 – Many saints who resist Harlot will be killed
Revelation 17:10 – They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while.
Revelation 17:16 – They will burn the Harlot at the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
The Harlot religion is the forerunner to prepare the nations for Antichrist worship.
Revelation 18 – Fall of Babylon
The seduction of Babylon’s evil religion will permeate and infiltrate all structures of society requiring that Babylon be totally destroyed.
Revelation 18:8 – Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
Kings, Merchants, Captains watch her burn from a distance.
The Harlot Babylon system is the context in which the nations will reach fullness in sin
Daniel 8:23 – “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise.). Then a king – the Antichrist – will appear on the world stage.
The Harlot religion will be hated and destroyed by the jealousy of 10 kings who serve close to the Antichrist
Daniel 7:7 – After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast–terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
Daniel 7:24 – The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings.
Revelation 18:19 – In a single moment it is all gone.
They will say “Where is another city as great as this?”
Revelation 18:21 – Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a millstone and threw it into the ocean. THE GREAT STONING PUNISHMENT FOR IDOLATRY
1) Read Revelation 17:6-8. What made John stare in complete amazement at the sight of the woman?
2) Read Revelation 17:14. This verse discusses those who go to war against the Lamb.
Who is going with the Lamb (on his side)?
Does this refer to only a select group or the entire group?
3) Read 18:21. What does it mean that Babylon will never be found again?
4) Read Revelation 17:6 and Revelation 18:24. Why does this last verse in Revelation 18 again mention the martyrdom?
5) We read that the kings, the merchants, and the captains all stood at a distance to watch the smoke rising from the burning of the remains of the Great Prostitute. What is so ironic about these people watching judgment poured out upon her?
Week 10 – Jesus Makes All Things New
Events in this time are the short period of time called “Day of the Lord.”
Gives more detail about beauty of Jesus as Bridegroom, King, and Judge.
Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem is as King
Destroying of the armies of the Antichrist.
Jesus will sit on an earthly throne as King over all kings. He will cast the Antichrist and False Prophet into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20).
Eyes of fire – Zealous love and perfect knowledge
Many crowns – Past and future victories
Name no one knows/understood
Revelation 19:14 – Jesus will desire partnership with His people even as He takes over nations.
Jesus will cast Satan into prison (Revelation 20:1-3) and establish the Millennium
Millennium – 1,000-year period in which Jesus will rule the whole world from Jerusalem in righteousness and peace. Millennium is from Latin “mille” which means a thousand.
1,000 year period of unprecedented blessing for the whole earth as Jesus establishes righteousness and prosperity. He restores agriculture, atmosphere, and animal life as originally intended in the Garden.
Revelation 20:5 – The First Resurrection – Believers
We won’t be judged at Great White Throne – we stand before Judgment Seat of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Revelation 20:11-15 – Great White Throne Judgment – after millennium, all non-believers will be judged.
The earth will be cleansed by fire (2 Peter 3:10-13) but will continue forever. Psalm 37:29 – The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.
Jesus will use the keys of the Kingdom to cast Satan into prison and call forth New Jerusalem to descend to the earth (Revelation 21:2, 10). Satan’s agenda is to stay out of prison.
Gog & Magog – Prophetic titles like Pharaoh and Caesar
Satan must be released at end of Millennium to show the depth of human sin and Satan’s being incurably evil – not rehabilitated or changed. Conclusion: men love sin.
Revelation 21 – NEW HEAVEN & NEW EARTH
Jesus will establish throne in Jerusalem, give thrones to the saints, and drive Satan’s throne off the earth (Revelation 20:3). This will prepare the nations for the Father’s throne to come to earth (Revelation 21:3).
Revelation 21:10 – The New Jerusalem descends during the millennium revealing heaven coming down to earth. New Jerusalem is where saints will live. New Jerusalem will descend with Father’s throne (Revelation 21:1-8).
Leaves healing of nations (22:2)
No curse (22:3)
Saints will be administering His government with authority (22: 3,5)
Isaiah 62 – Isaiah 66 (recommended reading)
1) Read Revelation 19:10.
Why do you think John attempted to worship the angel?
How does the angel respond?
What does this phrase mean: “For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus”?
2) Read Revelation 19:9, 17; and Luke 14:16-24.
What is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?
What is the Great Supper of God?
Who is invited to these meals?
3) Read Revelation 19:19-21.
What happens to the Beast and the False Prophet?
Who did God originally prepare this place for? (See Matthew 25:41)
4) Read Revelation 20:5-6. There are two resurrections. What are the differences between the first and second resurrections? (See John 5:28-29)
5) Read Revelation 1:3, 22:7. How is the beginning and ending of Revelation similar? What is the motivation and warning of these passages?