Rev 2:1-7 Grappling Questions

NOTE: Before we jump into teaching this passage, here are some questions that have to be answered in order to correctly interpret the passage?
Revelation 2:1-7
1) 2:1 – Who is the “angel of the church”?
2) 2:4 – Who is/are the “you” and “your”?
3) 2:5 – If the subject of, who has/have “fallen, repent, and do” is doing good works in 2:2-3, how or in what way has/have  he/they actually fallen?
4) 2:5 – In what way would the Lord “remove your lampstand from its place”? What does that look like?
5) 2:7 – Who is the “He who has an ear”? Does he only listen to the guidance of what is said to Ephesus? What is the significance of this verse?
Okay, remember this is for fun and not an exercise of futility.  Your time grappling with these questions will have eternal benefits, compared to being glued to the news today.

Revelation 1:9-20

This second message is focused on the incredible description of the Lord Jesus Christ and how we should respond to Him. This picture is almost unknown in Scripture.

 

The Revelation of His Coming

The revelation of Jesus to John writing to seven churches of His coming Rev 1

1.The circumstances of His coming 1:9-11

  1. 1:9 John, 90 years-young
    • Brother and companion
    • Circumstances –
  2. 1:10 In the Spirit on the Lord’s day 1 Thes. 5:2; Rom. 14: Col. 2.
  3. 1:11 The seven churches

What are your circumstances?

2. The characterization of His coming 1:12-16

  1. 1:12 Seven golden lampstands –
  2. 1:13-16 John saw one like the Son of Man – Ten characteristics of Christ
  • 1:13 One like the Son of Man – Rev 14:14; Ez 1:26-28; Dan. 7:13; 10:4-6; Phil. 2:7-8; Heb 2:14-17
  • 1:13 Clothed with a garment to feet – 20:26. Dan 10:5
  • 1:13 Girded about the Chest – Rev 15:6; Ex 28:6-8; 39:5; Lev 8:7; Is 11:5
  • 1:14 Head and hair like white wool – 7:9-13
  • 1:14 His eyes like a flame of fire – Rev 2:18; 19:12; Dan. 10:6-12; Zech 4:10
  • 1:15 His feet were like fine brass – Rev 2:18; Ez 1:7; 40:3; Dan 10:6
  • 1:15 His voice as the sound of many waters – Rev 14:2; 19:6; Ps 93:4; Ez 43:2
  • 1:16 He had in His right hand seven stars – Rev 1:20. Dan 8:10
  • 1:16 Out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword – 6:17; Heb. 4:12; Rev. 19:15
  • 1:16 His countenance – 17:2; Rev 10:1; Is 60:19-20; Mal 4:2; Act 26:13

3. The consequences of His coming 1:17-20

  1. 1:17 -18 John’s response and Jesus’ action John 13:23; 21:7; 14:1; 2 Tim 1:7
  2. 1:19 Chronological outline of Revelation
  3. 1:20 The interpretation of the mystery of the lampstands and stars

SO WHAT?

  •  God has a message to the churches today.
  • The Lord Jesus is coming back in judgment on the world.
  • God wants us to trust Him, not the world.

NOW WHAT?

  •  Seek to please Him is all that you think, say and do. 2 Cor 5:9
  • Learn contentment with His presence. He is peace to the believer Eph 2:12-14; Rom 5:1: 8:1
  • Use those days you have remaining to tell others about your awesome Lord!

Questions

  • Why is the picture of Jesus here different than in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?
  • What aspect of Jesus stands out to you?
  • How does this picture help us in the circumstances we find ourselves?
  • How should we respond to Jesus? Do we respond like John did? How did He feel? What was He thinking?

 

Upcoming Chapter Summary Statements

  • The revelation of Jesus to John writing to seven churches of His coming           Rev 1
  • Jesus’ letters to loveless Ephesus, persecuted Smyrna, compromising Pergamos and corrupt Thyatira                                                                                                               Rev 2
  • Jesus’ letters to spiritually dead Sardis, faithful Philadelphia and lukewarm Laodicea                                                                                                                             Rev 3

 

Revelation 1:1-9

Revelation of Jesus Christ

This opening passage introduces us to the author, audience and what the book is about – the Revelation of Jesus Christ. While a small portion (Revelation 2-3)  describes the audience – the church – the majority (Revelation 4-19) is about how God will complete His Covenants to Israel and the Second Coming of Jesus. It closes with the new heavens to come.

The Alpha and Omega – Rev 1:1-8

Genesis

Revelation

New Earth Gen. 1 New Heavens Rev. 21
Begins in Paradise  Gen. 2 Paradise to come  Rev. 21-22
Devil introduced Gen. 3:1-2 Devil doomed Rev. 20:10
God’s word questioned Gen 3:1-2 Word of God upheld Rev. 22:19
Man’s first rebellion  Gen. 3:1-6 Man’s last rebellion  Rev. 20:11-15
Satan’s head crushed promised 3:15 Satan’s head bruised and crushed Rev 20:2,10
Curse imposed Gen. 3:15-18 Curse removed Rev. 22:3
Tree of Life removed Gen. 3:24 Tree of Life awaits Rev. 22:2
Human Life murdered  Gen. 4:8 Human life in Book of Life 21:27
Sorrow from sin begins Gen. 3,4 Sorrow removed  Rev. 21:4
First death Gen. 4:8 No more death Rev. 21:4

            Why study Revelation? 

  • To reveal who Jesus Christ is 1:1
  • To reveal the course of future history 1:1; 22:6
  • To complete the testimony of John 1:2
  • To receive God’s blessing 1:3; Rev. 22:7
  • To warn believers to alertness   1:3; 2 Pet. 3:14-15; 1 Thes. 4:13-18

Three cautions

  • Do not say it cannot be understood.
  • Do not be overly dogmatic on the details.
  • Do not major only on Revelation.

1. The revelation of Jesus to John 1:1-3

  • 1:1 Subject –
  • 1:1 Source –
  • 1:1 Scribe –
  • 1:1 Speed –
  • 1:2 Sight –
  • 1:3 Spiritual Blessing –

2. John writing to the seven churches 1:4-9

  • 1:4 Seven Churches
  • 1:4 Salutation
  • 1:4 Son – Who was, is, is to come
  • 1:4 Seven Spirits –
  • 1:5 Savior –
    • His character 1:5
    • His ministry 1:5-8
      • His present ministry –
      • His present work –
      • His future work –
      • His title –

SO WHAT?

  •  God wants you to know what is ahead in the future.
  • God wants you to know what is ahead in your future.
  • He wants you to know that Jesus Christ is the future.

NOW WHAT?

  •  I need to trust Him for my future.
  • I need to be content with His presence, not His presents, rewards, or blessings.
  • I need to build bridges to others to help them be content with His presence.
  • I need to share this material with two other people.

 Questions

  •  How is Revelation the capstone of the Bible?
  • Does God look at time the way we do? Why? and How so?
  • In what is the blessing found in this book?
  • Do people live for the present or the future? How so?
  • Why did/does God bless America?
  • What do I need to consider for my personal life related to the challenges in this passage?

Revelation – How to Approach It

Revelation (Part 3) – Jesus Revealed

How do you approach Revelation?  In order to understand why someone teaches Revelation the way he/she does, it is important to understand the four main ways people approach it. Here is a synopsis of the “Four approaches to Revelation.”

  1. The Spiritual approach – The prophecies of Revelation portray the ongoing cosmic conflict and the central theme of the triumph of good over evil.
  •  Strengths
    • There is a cosmic struggle – Rev 12 woman giving birth and a dragon wants to consume.
    • There is cleansing going on in the world, in which most are punished.
  • Weaknesses
    • It doesn’t hold to a natural reading of the text
    • It misses the point of God’s faithful promises to Israel
    • It misses the role of the church today and in the future Rev 2-3; 19-20

2. The Preterist approach – Revelation was fulfilled during the time of the Roman Empire, some specifically hold to completion by AD 70, or mainly in the first or first few centuries and not prophecy about the end of time.

  • Strengths
    • The judgment on Israel in AD 70 is very significant.
    • There were many challenges the early church had with Rome.
  • Weaknesses
    • It doesn’t hold to a natural reading of the events in the text.
    • It has no prophetic message to the church in the last 2000 years.
    • It misses the point of God’s faithful promises to Israel.
    • It misses the descriptions of Israel’s repentance, cleansing and regeneration during the Tribulation. Rev 6-18

3. The Historicist approach – Revelation is a survey of church history fulfilled in time and approaching the Second Coming of Christ. The churches of Revelation 2-3 describe the synopsis of all church history. 

  • Strengths
    • It declares God’s control of history. The emphasis is on God’s sovereignty.
    • It declares that Jesus is coming back in the future.
  • Weaknesses
    • It forgets the significant promises (covenants) God made to Israel, which will yet be fulfilled.
    • It forgets to let Daniel 2 and Ezekiel provide interpretation to Revelation.
    • It doesn’t recognize Daniel’s 70th week as the Tribulation period, yet to be fulfilled.
    • It declares the Catholic Church as the antichrist, which is erroneous.
    • It forces history as one thread (through Israel, to the Church, to Christ’s rule), but misses the big picture of separate phases of history and why they are unique.
    • It assumes interpretation, without letting Scripture interpret Scripture

4. The Futurist approach – Revelation 2-3 describe trends in the church age and Revelation 4 to the end describe literal events in the future.

  • Strengths
    • It looks at coming future events. This was promoted by the “Left Behind” series.
    • It promotes God is in control of events and is victorious in the end.
  • Weaknesses
    • Too many focus on a Eurocentric interpretation and make Romanism the antichrist. Although some believe this was written to get attention off of Romanism.
    • It leaves the church out of the book of Revelation, because Rev 2-3 ascribes what John saw in the first century, not succeeding centuries.

 

*   The Literal Historico-Grammatical approach to interpreting Scripture 

  • A Literal approach according to the type of writing
  • Historico– according to the history, background and culture in which it is found
  • Grammatical according to the word and verb meanings in their context

You must maintain “Authorial intent

 SO WHAT?

  • God is in control of history. We see struggle, but God is not struggling. He is sovereign. He is not struggling with how people interpret Scripture. Interpretation is part of growth.
  • Your method of Interpretation is everything in understanding Scripture. Everyone needs to learn what their approach is. If you want to grow and influence others, you will need to know how you approach Scripture and HOW YOU EXPECT YOUR BIBLE TEACHER TO APPROACH Scripture.

NOW WHAT?

  • Review your notes and ask, “How is my Bible leader approaching Scripture?”
  • Be a Berean. God knows the outcome.

Questions

  • What are reasons people plunge into the different approaches to Revelation?
  • Are there any dangers in choosing the wrong approach?
  • How would you define or describe what the “Literal Historico-grammatical” approach is?
  • The Literal HIstorico-grammatical approach is often considered difficult. Why?

Messianic Miracle 1

The Revelation of Jesus – 1st Advent

The First Deed of the Messiah – Healing of a Leper  Matt 8:2-3; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16

  1. Mosaic Law provided rules for many life and worship issues
    1. No cure for lepers in rabbinic writings.
    2. No record of any Israelite ever cured of leprosy after the Mosaic Law.
    3. Leprosy was left out of the Rabbinic cures. Why? Lev 13-14
      1. Report to priesthood, “I was a leper, but now I have been healed.”
      2. Priesthood to give two bird initial offering
      3. 7 day investigation to determine –
        • Was the person really a leper?
        • Was the person really healed of leprosy?
        • What were the circumstances of his healing?
    •     4. If the leper is healed, the priest shall go out of the camp on the 8th day, then four offerings

2. The Messianic cure of a leper Matt 8:2-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16

  1. 5:12 What was the circumstance?
  2. 5:13 What did Jesus do?
  3. 5:14 What did Jesus tell the one healed?
  4. 5:15 What happened next?
  5. 5:16 How did Jesus respond?

3. The Jewish leadership response M 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26

  • Luke 5:17 some of the Jewish leaders –
    • Observation –
    • Investigation –
    • Power of the Lord, present to heal him – Why?
  • Mark 2:1-12 Four friends brought a paralytic, but Jewish leaders blocked the way.

SO WHAT?

  • God came to man, spoke in man’s language, and acted to reveal credibility. Why? Because God loves man!
  • God functioned under His own Word, because He wrote it.
  • The leper did nothing to deserve the leprosy and God healed him.
  • God wants us challenged, will we believe Him? Will we balance our time to reach others for Christ and disciple them?

Now What?

  • God has already done everything,… Does that produce a passion to study, to pray, to sing, to witness His life?
  • Your greatest deliverance is from the power of sin.
  • You have the opportunity to learn the Word…. Will you do the Word? Trust the Word? Live out the power of the Word? Reach others for Christ and disciple them?

 Questions

  • What were the two kinds of miracles the religious leadership believed existed?
  • Why is there so much in Leviticus 13-14 about examination and cleansing of lepers if there was never one that was healed?
  • If Jesus touched the leper, why didn’t He become unclean?
  • Why did Jesus choose to heal this leper?
  • Did Jesus want the religious leadership to accept Him as Messiah? What did Jesus do?
  • What prevents you from continually believing that Jesus is the Messiah? What commands do we obey and what commands do we not obey?
  • What do we need to do?

The Beginning of the Revelation of Jesus

It all begins in Genesis with the Abrahamic Covenant

1.The Outline of Revelation : Revelation 1:19

i)Things which you have seen (chp 1)

ii) Things which are (chp 2-3)

iii) Things which will take place (chp 4-22)

2. Revelation’s main human element focus is on whom?

3. Why would God make such a focus?

a. God promised Israel a land, a seed and a blessing Gen 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:1-7, 18, 17:1-8

i. Land covenant Deut 30:1-10; Ezek 37:21-28

ii. Seed Covenant (Davidic) 2 Sam 7:12-16; Is. 59:20-21; Hos. 3:4-5; Zech 12:10

iii. Blessing (New) Covenant Jer 31:31-34

b. When? Dan 9:24-27

c. How?

d. Why?

4. Why such a focus on Israel?

a. God chose Israel – not because they were great Deut 7:7-8

i. He gave them a Law – distinct from all other nations

ii. He gave them a tribe of priests, in which their sole responsibility was to guide Israel to the Lord through worship and help them be a light to the nations

iii. He gave them a royal line through which would come the Savior

iv. He gave them prophets to teach and warn

b. God promised Israel. He made Covenants. He hasn’t fulfilled the Covenants yet.

c. God will be faithful to Israel Ezek 37: 21-28; 40-48

i. He will protect Israel from surrounding nations Zech 12:3; Ps. 2:1-6; Ob 1:15-17

ii. He will defend Israel Zech 9:14-16

iii. He will make the nations look foolish in their attack Zech 14:1-9

d.Israel will return to the Lord Zech 8:3-8

5. What about me?

a.You are a part of the Church Rev 2-3

b.You are not family of God, but royal family of God 1 Pet 2:9

c.You can be an overcomer just like Jesus 1 John 5:4-5

So What?

  • God said it; He will be faithful to what He said. He promised Israel and by faith, the greats believed Him.
  • Israel has been and will be the target of Satan’s destructive arrows.
  • God’s promises to Israel are a physical picture of God’s promises to you.

Now What?

  • Accept God’s promise for you. John 3:16 God is not unaware of your circumstances.
  • Believe God’s Word for daily decisions.
  • Clench His truth and His power for His will for you.

Questions

  • What is the outline of Revelation?
  • Why did God choose Israel and not the Chinese, or Italians, or Moroccans?
  • What are the promises (covenants) that God made to Israel and are they fulfilled?
  • What special things has God done for Israel that He didn’t do for other nations?
  • Why are you even more blessed than Israel?
  • How will you live based on the fact that you are more blessed?

Discipling Marriages to Christ

Ephesians 5:15-21

 1. Wives are to reveal the church submitted to Christ 5:22-24

  1. Submit in a similar way you submit to the Lord 5:22
  2. Submit for one reason – God gave the role of leadership to the man 5:23
  3. Thus, like the church is submitted to Christ 5:24
  4. Application

  2. Husbands are to die for their wives to reveal Christ dying for the church 5:25-29

  1. Love – die for – your wife  how? 5:25
  2. Christ is working to sanctify and to cleanse with the washing of the Word 5:26
  3. Christ is preparing the church for himself – a glorious church 5:27
  4. Love your wife, like you already love yourself.5:28-29

3. Marriage reveals Christ’s relationship with the Church 5:30-33

  1. Members of the Body look out for each other and take care of each other 5:30
  2. As “one flesh” in picture, marriage is one flesh in all aspects 5:31
  3. Marriage is to reveal Christ and the church 5:32
  4. Admonition of love and respect 5:33

SO WHAT?

  • The purpose of marriage is to reveal the relationship between Christ at the church. The Lord Jesus has and does reveal His love, provision and protection for the church. The picture is how the church is to respond to Him.
  • The priority is not getting wives to submit to their husbands, but for husbands to love their wives, SO THAT wives will have a reason to submit to their husbands. But, as husbands are learning to do the command to love their wife, wives are commanded by God to submit to their own husband. The key is that they are one flesh, so when one misses the mark, the other is graciously believing the best and humbling self to Christ’s command.
  • Both parties must continue to learn their role throughout life, because as we change, we are tempted to become independent from each other and violate the “one flesh” picture. Better to honor God and fulfill your role, than throw off that role because of your partner’s failure. That doesn’t mean you become a rug, but you consider your spouse as a brother or sister in Christ and get church leadership involved to pray, counsel and nurture back to oneness.

NOW WHAT?

  • Teach your daughters to marry a noble man, who is going to be able to lead them spiritually, in grace, tenderness and with servant leadership. Marriage is not about me (self), but about Christ Jesus, the Lord.
  • Teach your sons self-control and godliness, so that they will be able to model Christ’s work of sanctifying the marriage in holiness to God’s picture of Christ and the church.
  • Teach both the principles of humility, orientation to authority and obedience to God’s will, walking in love, light and wisdom.

Five Cycles of Divine Discipline

Ephesians 4/Leviticus 26

  1. The cycles of discipline are based on the principle that Jesus Christ controls history directly, indirectly, and permissively. 

    a. He controls history directly through the function of His own divine essence. He created, He caused plagues, He moved a star into position, etc.
    b. He controls history indirectly through the function of the laws of divine establishment. Beginning in Gen. 9:6, man was responsible for laws of divine establishment
    c. He controls history permissively through permitting nations to use their own volition to destroy themselves. He permissively allows us to make decisions, some empowered by the Holy Spirit and some done in the flesh based on our own wants and desires.

  2. History Administered by God – Dispensations
    a. Israel was an agricultural economy – long before industrialization
    b. This applies directly to Israel – not to other nations. Trends should be warnings.
  3. The Five Cycles of Discipline for Israel Lev 26
    a. The first cycle of discipline, Lev 26:14-17
    i. The Law is composed of three parts
    ii. Description of the first cycleb. The second cycle of discipline, Lev 26:18-20

    c. Third cycle of discipline Lev 26:21-22

    d. Fourth cycle of discipline Lev 26:23-26

    e. Fifth cycle of discipline Lev 26:27-39 amplified in Deut 28:49-67

  4. God warned a specific generation? Hebrews: 5 warning judgments

Hebrews 2:1-4
Hebrews 3:7-4:13
Hebrews 5:11-6:12
Hebrews 10:19-39
Hebrews 12:14-29

5. God declares to us what the end times will be like in our dispensation 2 Tim. 3:1-5

SO WHAT?

  • God was clear, because He wanted Israel to understand there were consequences to choices. God would bless their socks off or provide divine discipline to restore them to His love.
  • God loved Israel because of His choice, but the experience of that love was dependent on their response to Him.
  • God will re-gather Israel to wait for the coming triumphant Messiah – the Lord Jesus Christ.

NOW WHAT?

  • What has God made clear to you? Are you responding well to Him? How are/is your devotions, prayer, fellowship, raising godly children, helping to raise godly grandchildren?
  • Leave the world behind you. There is NOTHING in the world that even remotely compares to what you will see or experience in heaven. All that matters now is reaching people for Christ and multiplying disciple-makers to the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • God is giving you options of choosing to bond to this world or helping people look forward potentially to their home in heaven.

Putting Off

Ephesians 4:17-19

The Downward Spiral – NEBISCOS – Living in Impurity

  • Negative Volition Rom. 1:18-19 – The Gentile Walk
  • Emptiness of soul Rom. 1:20-21a – The Futile Mind
  • Blackout of soul Rom. 1:21b –         The Darkened Understanding
  • Induced Ignorance Rom. 1:22 – The Ignorance of God
  • Separation from God Rom. 1:23 – The Alienation from God
  • Calloused soul Rom. 1:24-27 – The Numb life
  • Occupied with evil Rom. 1:28-31 – The Unclean Licentious life
  • Sin Unto Death Rom. 1:32 – The Death March

SO WHAT?

  • God will permit people to go their own way. He is still sovereign, in control of history and life and the Holder of all good things, waiting to pour our blessings and rewards.
  • The unbeliever can be sovereign over his life now, but the ultimate destiny is still in God’s hands. The unbeliever can defy God now, but not eternity.
  • God wants you and me to understand that the way of man is the downward spiral.

 NOW WHAT?

  • If you trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, your destiny is heaven!!!
  • Be ready to give an account of the abundant blessings Jesus is and does in your life. You can be down in the mouth, down in the heart, down in actions, but why pull others down, when you have victory positionally in Christ and experientially can experience that victory. You are royalty.
  • Build a bridge to unbelievers, because their destiny is horrible. Be God’s instrument of blessing, because you will be blessed beyond what you can imagine.

 

Matt 5:13; Matt 26:69-74; Mar 9:50; John 6:66; Act 15:1-41; 2 Pet 2:20-21; Heb 10:26-29; Luke 9:62; 1 Cor. 5:1-8; 1 Cor 10:1-3; 1 Cor. 14:1-40; 2 Cor. 12:20-21; Gal 1:6; Gal. 3:1-3; Gal 4:9-11; Gal 5:7; Gal 6:1; Mal 3:7; 1 Tim. 1:19; 1 Tim 4:1; 1 Tim. 5:15; 2 Tim. 4:10; Heb 5:11; Heb 6:4-8; Jam 4:8, 17; Rev 2:4-5; Rev 3:2-3

Grow to Oneness

Grow to Oneness – Part 2

Ephesians 4:7-16

  1. Jesus has the right to establish growth in the church 4:7-10
    • Jesus gave us grace – according to His measure 4:7
    • He ascended on high with the spoils of victory 4:8
    • He first descended to Tartarus 4:9
    • He ascended above the heavens 4:10

2. Jesus sovereignly gives communication gifts to equip His church for ministry 4:11-13

 Those gifts are for teaching and for equipping saints for ministry 11-12

  • Some received communication gifts 4:11
  • Those gifts are for equipping and for edifying the body of Christ 4:12
  • Those gifts function until we come to the unity of faith 4:13
  • Unity of faith and knowledge of God
  • To a perfect man – 2 Tim. 3:17
  • To the measure of stature of the fullness of Christ Col. 2:9-10

    3. Jesus wants His church to grow up for the growth of the church 4:14-16

 Ephesians were spiritual children Eph. 4:14a  Four stages of spiritual growth

    • Spiritual infant – 1 Thes 2:6-8
    • Spiritual child – 1 Thes 2:9-12
    • Spiritual Youth -1 Jn 2:13-14
    • Spiritual Parent – 1 Jn 2:12-14
  • They were acting like children 4:14b
  • They were speaking like children 415-16
  • Speaking 1) the truth 2) in love 4:15; 4:29; 1 Cor. 13:4-7
  • They needed to be concerned about the body.
  • Each part does it share to causes growth 1 Pet 2:1-2; 2 Pet 3:18

SO WHAT?

  • Jesus wants us to grow up to His fullness for unity of faith and unity of service
  • Jesus wants us to grow up in His giving love Jn 13:34-35; 15:10; 1 Jn 2:6; 1 Jn 4:19

NOW WHAT?

  • Examine every room of your soul – the kitchen – where you eat manna; living room – where you fellowship with believers and reach out in discipleship to others; bedroom – as you rest in the Lord; bathroom – where you confess your sins and cleanse your life.
  • Learn what to tolerate and not to tolerate in holiness and truth for unity of faith and work of ministry.
  • Become a “joint” (discipler) that encourages, inspires and holds together the body of Christ.