10 Week Bible Podcasts Revelation

Revelation Week 2

To gain a perspective on where these churches were geographically, look up a map on Google. They’re pretty easy to come by if you search for 7 churches of revelation maps

For each church, we’ll look at some background information, Jesus’ greeting to them, the positives Jesus has to say about each place, the negatives, and then we’ll look at the promises He makes to each church.

  1. Ephesus
    1. Background
      • Ancient Greek city in Western Turkey where the Temple of Artemis was – one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Many ancient writers who came up with their lists of 7 wonders called the Temple of Artemis the greatest of all the wonders in its scale and grandeur.
      • Paul spent over two years here evangelizing an extended region surrounding Ephesus, but he didn’t found it.
    2. Greeting
      • The one who holds the seven stars – Jesus is telling the church He is the one over the angelic hosts that fight for each church.
    3. Positives
      • Hard work, laboring through hardships for His name.
      • Won’t tolerate false apostles – men who claimed spiritual authority over churches but preached a “different gospel” than that of Jesus saves – not just bad teachers or teachers who teach error.
      • They hated the “Nicolaitans”, which Jesus hated.
        • They were possibly a group that preached lascivious living
        • Greek literally means “destroyer of men.”
        • Not entirely certain what they stood for
        • Ephesus stood against heresy
    4. Negatives
      • Lost their first love – why? We’re not told. He speaks to them as if they know exactly what He’s talking about. He tells them to return to their “first works.” We can understand the same for our lives. When Jesus rebukes us, we seldom need extended clarification.
      • Chillingly, Jesus tells them that if they don’t repent, he will take away their lampstand – what we learned in chapter one stood for the church itself. Jesus is telling them He will remove their church if they don’t change.
    5. Promises
      • Eat of the tree of life – one of the restorative aspects of Revelation
  2. Smyrna
    1. Background
      • Modern city of Izmir, Turkey
      • Prosperous city at this time
      • Christians suffered financially amidst a prosperous city
    2. Greeting
      • The beginning and end and the one who rose again – Jesus alludes to himself as He is sung about in chapter 4 – the one who is worthy because of His suffering. Jesus is telling the Smyrnians their suffering is worth it because He is worthy.
    3. Positives
      • They are poor and have suffered, but Jesus tells them they are rich – they have traded earthly wealth for eternal riches
      • Jesus prophesies to them that those who persecute them will do so for a little while longer, but encourages them to stand strong as they already have
    4. Negatives
      • Smyrna is one of two churches to have no negatives
    5. Promises
      • Jesus tells them to be faithful unto death and He will give them the crown of life. This is much like the paradox of their poverty but promised riches
      • Won’t be hurt by the second death – eternity in hell
  3. Pergamum
    1. Background
      • Pagan center of worship
      • Temple of Asclepius – god of health who was a snake on a pole – much like Moses’ during the Exodus. This is where we get our medical symbols today of one or two snakes around a staff
      • Temple of Zeus (which still exists today in Berlin)
      • Imperial cult was strong here – worship of Caesar
    2. Greeting
      • Sharp, two edged sword – we will see later this is the Jesus who will judge – His word will cut and divide those who do not follow Him
    3. Positives
      • Have stayed faithful in a city where Satan lives, even in the midst of martyrdom.
    4. Negatives
      • People participating in sexual immorality like Balaam (this story is referencing mostly extra-biblical background information about the story of Balaam and Balak from Deuteronomy)
      • People holding to the teaching of the Nicolaitans
    5. Promises
      • Hidden manna – the bread of God
      • A white stone with a new name on it: This is a reference to innocence as white stones were often used by juries to give their verdicts of innocence. God is proclaiming us innocent and gives us an intimate name that only He knows.
  4. Thyatira
    1. Background
      • Had a very openly sexual temple culture. Ancient Roman culture often had mass orgies and in Thyatira there is evidence this took place on a regular basis as part of pagan worship
    2. Greeting
      • Eyes like fire and bronze feet – possibly referencing Jesus’ passion and His strength.
    3. Positives
      • They have labored patiently for Jesus
    4. Negatives
      • A woman named Jezebel led them into sexual immorality. May be a reference to Ahab’s wife, but the only similarity is their name.
      • Jesus will judge she and her family (maybe physical family or figuratively those who follow her) and show that He sees and judges all
    5. Promise
      • Jesus tells those in this sinful culture to simply hold on to what they have until He returns
      • Rule with a rod of iron – Jesus will give to us the same authority and rulership over heaven that God has promised to Him
      • The Morning Star – Again, this is another promise of Jesus that He will share with we who overcome
  5. Sardis
    1. Background
      • Wealthy ancient city
    2. Greeting
      • Holds the seven spirits and stars: Jesus is the one who rules all of heaven
    3. Positives
      • Jesus has nothing positive to say to Sardis
    4. Negatives
      • Reputation for being alive, but they are dead – Jesus sees what is on the inside
      • Tells them if they don’t repent, He will come as a thief, the language Jesus uses for unbelievers in 1 Thessalonians 5
    5. Promises
      • White robes – they stand for the righteous acts of the saints as we will find out later
      • Name will be in the book of life – the highest honor given to saints; eternal life
  6. Philadelphia
    1. Greeting
      • The Key of David – this references 2 Kings 19 when Hezekiah sent servants to Isaiah to find out if Assyria would destroy him. Isaiah told Hezekiah he wouldn’t even have to fight, but to one servant he promised death and disgrace and the other was promised David’s Key, a reference to access to God by way of the Temple.
    2. Positives
      • He knows their works
      • Will make their accusers (they synagogue of Satan) bow at their feet – Jesus will vindicate these saints
    3. Negatives
      • None
    4. Promises
      • Jesus will keep them from the hour of trial because they patiently endured trials
      • He will make them a pillar in the eternal temple – like His greeting, they will have the Key of David – eternal access to God
      • He will write on us new names – the intimacy and inheritance that we don’t deserve but that He gives freely
  7. Laodicea
    1. Background – this was one of the smallest and most obscure cities of the 7
    2. Greeting
      • Faithful and True witness, the Creator – He is worthy and has authority to make any and all claims that He does
    3. Positives
      • None
    4. Negatives
      • Lukewarm – their works are neither hot or cold and they are blind to see it.
    5. Promises
      • Sit on Jesus’ throne – Jesus is again offering us the very thing that God offered exclusively to Him

Each promise to each church is universal for all believers, and we can learn from each church and apply the negatives, positives and promises to each of our lives.

10 Week Bible Podcasts Podcasts Revelation

Revelation Week 1

  1. Introduction – we should study Revelation, and every book of Scripture, not to gain more information, but to know God more. We should read and study and engage so that we will grow closer to God. In the process, we’ll gain knowledge, but that should never be our primary aim in studying the Bible. No matter how you choose to interpret Revelation, even if it is different from me, you should grow in your love for God. You should feel your heart moved and warmed by His great love for you.
  2. Who Wrote Revelation?
    1. John the Apostle or someone else
    2. John the apostle of the lamb is held by most
  3. When was it written?
    1. Around 90 AD. Fewer people agree on this, but many who believe John didn’t just make this up put the dating later rather than earlier
  4. Why was it written?
    1. If you don’t believe the Bible, speculation runs wild.
    2. If you believe the Bible, John makes it very clear–God told him to write every bit of this down. John had no motivations of his own to write this book.
  5. Read it
    1. This is the only book in the Bible where we are so specifically told we will be blessed just for reading it. The implication is to read it out loud. We are also commanded to keep the words in the book–we must actually take the words in Revelation and make them meaningful in our lives. We can’t just study this at a distance, we must engage the Holy Spirit in prayer and study about how this affects our lives, regardless of whether we believe we will live through these events or not.
  6. Greeting
    1. John was on the island of Patmos – the tradition goes that John had been sentenced to death by being submerged in molten tar, but that when he was submerged, he was completely unharmed. Some say that John’s exile to Patmos was because they couldn’t kill him, so the Romans just wanted him out of the way. John seems to allude to this when he speaks of himself in John 21:22-23.
  7. The Vision of Jesus
    1. John jumps right into the vision. Right away we find the answer to the question of why John wrote Revelation. John didn’t make this up, he was told by Jesus to write all this down.
    2. Symbols
      1. If you are intimidated by symbols in Revelation, fear not! The first chapter only has a few and they are almost all interpreted for us.
      2. Seven lampstands – the seven churches in Revelation
      3. Son of man dressed in a robe with a golden sash – we will see this clothing later in Revelation again, but we are told plainly that it is Jesus (First and Last, living one who was dead but is alive)
      4. Hair like snow – purity
      5. Eyes like fire – passion
      6. Feet like glowing bronze – power
      7. Voice like rushing waters – thunderous
      8. Sharp sword – we’ll see this again as well, but it stands for the Word of God (which we’ll see later)
      9. Shining like the sun – Jesus, we’ll find, will literally be the shining sun in eternity.
      10. Seven stars – the seven angels (messengers) to the seven churches
      11. Seven lampstands – the seven churches of Revelation.
  8. Questions
    1. Why is this book Jesus’ Revelation?
    2. Why was this book written specifically to seven churches in Asia? What part of Asia is this referring to?
    3. Is Revelation meaningful to us today? What if we are not living in the end times described in Revelation–is it still meaningful?
    4. Why should we study Revelation?
10 Week Bible Podcasts Revelation

Introduction To Revelation

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  1. Purpose of Studying Revelation
    Read Revelation 1:1-3 – we are blessed by simply reading the words in this book. No other book in the Bible offers such a direct command.We want to study Revelation right. The “right” way to study it isn’t to gain a great depth of knowledge or to have thoughtful theological insights. We study rightly when we choose to engage the God of eternity with His own scriptures and come to know Him better, to experience Him more, and to love Him more deeply.
  2. Difficulties Studying Revelation
    1. Fear of the unknown
      1. Many people choose not to study Revelation because they fear they’ll get into all sorts of weirdness from various teachings–God is coming back on November 15, 2017
        –The 144,000 are the ones that God really likes and you have to work hard to make it into that group
      2. Others choose not to study it because they’re intimidated by all they symbolism and figurative language–The dragon
        –The harlot Babylon
        –7 thunders
        –7 lampstands
      3. Others are fearful of thinking about all the destruction and death that will occur–1/4 of the earth dies
        –1/3 of the earth dies
        –Everyone else dies
        –Pretty much, almost everyone in Revelation dies in the endThe newsflash here is that everyone dies. It is the reason for the death and destruction that we must understand. We study Revelation to understand the reason for all the destruction.
      4. Some are intimidated by the God they meet for the first time in Revelation. He seems more like the “vengeful, wrathful” God of the Old Testament, not the one they feel have been taught about from the New Testament.
        1. Most people today have been sold a Jesus and a God that historical Christianity has not believed in.
          1. God has always been our judge. This isn’t a bad thing—it is a very good thing. Revelation is mostly about God judging the world for its treatment of His Son and its treatment of His people, we the believers.
          2. In Revelation, God will once and for all make good on His word, “Vengeance is Mine,” He will enact vengeance upon the world on our behalf. His wrath will be poured out for us, not against us.
          3. We must not think of God as two beings: the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New. He is the same throughout both, and we will see how that comes together in the book of Revelation
  3. Overview of Revelation
    1. We will study the book for 10 weeks, broken down by the sections listed in your books
    2. The major sections we will see are:
      1. The purpose for writing (1)
      2. The letters to the 7 churches (2-3)
      3. The heavenly throne room (4-5)
      4. The seal judgments (6)
      5. The trumpet judgments (8)
      6. The bowl judgments (15-16)
      7. The parentheticals of power, protection and triumph (7, 9, 10-14)
      8. Babylon’s centrality (17-19:10)
      9. Eternity (19:11-22)
    3. The major themes we will discuss:
      1. The churches
      2. The heavenly world
      3. The judgment of God
      4. Babylon
      5. God’s Divine Protection
      6. God’s Divine Provision
      7. Heaven on earth