Knowing the Bible for Yourself (Pt. 14)
When one holds the Bible in their hand, one ought to have an immediate sense of feel for what he/she is reading. The Book of Proverbs for instance, is immediately recognisable as being literature of wisdom. The Book of Psalms as poetry. The Gospels as historical and biographical; the epistles as written letters. The thundering “Thus saith the LORD’s” mark out the books of prophecy and the “Thou shalt not’s”, the books of Law. Just as these books have distinguishing factors that serve to identify their type, so it is also when it comes to the Apocalyptic Books - they are instantly recognisable. Both the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation carry the hallmarks of apocalyptic literature. Imagery and symbolism pervade the books and the visions and dreams found within, concern themselves with the rise of fall of future empires, not least penultimately, the coming kingdom of the antichrist and the overthrow of this kingdom in the final coming kingdom of Messiah.
In this teaching, we endeavour to equip the student of Scripture with some helpful hints and tips that we trust will enable them to begin the process of interpreting the books of Daniel and Revelation. If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying and by the grace of God, light shall be shone into obscurity.
Download teaching notes (pdf)
Here before us in the third chapter of the Book of Revelation, is a Church, to whom our Lord had nothing by way of rebuke to bring. That was of course, not the case for the vast majority of the Churches that He addressed in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. In my reckoning, there were only two out of the seven Churches addressed, for which our Lord had nothing bad to say and both these Churches shared something precious in common that I believe was key in contributing to this. You say, Brother, what was it? Both found themselves in the midst of persecution and tribulation, amidst great difficulty and affliction for representing the name of Jesus Christ. Both were WEAK in their own natural strength. Whatever we may think of persecution, and whatever discomfort we may feel at the thought of having to go through afflictions and trials —one thing is for sure...IT DOES US GOOD!!
Maybe you’re going through a particular trial of incredible difficulty and you feel as though you can’t go on. Be encouraged dear soul, the God we serve is the God of the little strength Christian. There is grace in abundance to help you through if you will but call upon the Lord.
Every book has a start and a finish; a beginning and an ending. The Book of Revelation is no exception to this rule and as we begin part 32 of our studies, we cross yet another milestone in our journey through this book. No longer are we going up the mountain...having reached the peak, we’re now descending on the other side of the Jordan, heading towards the finish line. With the New Jerusalem firmly in our sights, we can pick up the pace and encourage ourselves that it was all worth it! The cross, the battle, the war, the struggle; captivities and martyrdoms...all that is now behind us and eternities glories have opened up their arms to receive us in the Lord!
In this teaching, we gain an insight into what is in store for believers in the new heavens and new earth along with the new Jerusalem.
Upon the return of Jesus, His glorious appearing shall bring to an end this current Church age which has spanned the last two millennia, and a new age will begin, lasting for half that time. The question that we want to answer in part 31 is this; what happens after once the thousand years have come to their end? What we have recorded in the pages of Scripture is very brief, to say the least—much of it remains a mystery yet to be revealed at the Coming of our Lord. That said, a large portion of the little that we have been given is found in what now remains of the last three closing chapters of Revelation (ch. 20-22).
In this teaching, we explore two main themes, the Gog and Magog war followed by the great white throne judgment.
When the disciples asked Jesus; “...Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6), what did they mean? If one was to ask such a question today in the vast majority of the theological colleges across the Western world, one would receive an answer that would be far from adequate in explaining the true nature of the disciple’s inquiry. You see, for many today, the concept of a millennial kingdom does not even figure into their eschatological thinking. For the amillennialist, the future kingdom of God is the present kingdom of God, and any hope of a golden age of righteousness and peace upon the earth is certainly not realised in some distant event, but in the last 2000 years of Church history as the gospel has been being preached in all the world. For the postmillennialist, they would acknowledge a coming golden era of some arbitrary length, but they would argue that this “millennium” of triumphalism will be ushered in by the Church and not the Lord Jesus at His Coming! Both groups would undoubtedly, deny that God has any future purposes for Israel during this time, which runs totally contrary to what the disciples thought when putting the question to Jesus, “...Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”
In this teaching, we examine the position of premillennialism in light of Revelation 20:1-6, and try to understand the role of the Church and the place of Israel in this coming future kingdom, over which shall rule Messiah at His Second Coming.
All that has gone before us in past chapters, is preparing us for the one pinnacle, supreme event that is to appear in this chapter, namely the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The single greatest event in history without exception, to which the prophets of old bore witness, was Messiah’s first coming. The single greatest event to take place after this, to which again, the prophets of old bore witness, is Messiah’s Second Coming! It is for this momentous event, that all of nature and history awaits, not least those of us called and chosen in Him!
In this twenty-ninth teaching part, we look at this fascinating topic and its timing. Come, Lord Jesus, Maranatha!
“Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen”. The thought of it!! The unthinkable has taken place!! In one hour, her judgment has come and the great city which once ruled over nations has fallen from her height of prominence and now has become the habitation of devils and every foul spirit.
In this eighteenth chapter, we explore the fall of this great city and reflect upon its sudden ruin.
We have mention made for the first time in Revelation, of a great whore who sits upon many waters. Arrayed in purple and scarlet, decked with gold, precious stones and pearls, she is being carried along by the beast of Revelation 13. Written upon her forehead is a number of names and John saw the woman drunk with the blood of the Saints. Who is this woman and why is she depicted in this way? What is her relationship to the beast and why is she counted as a harlot? All of these questions and others besides, we endeavour to answer in this teaching part as we look at the imagery of the woman and the beast she is sat upon.
I believe that key to rightly dividing the book of Revelation, is to recognise that the events recorded in this book can be broadly divided into two parallel blocks — chapters 4 through to 11 forming the first block, and chapters 12 through to 20 forming the second block. When one understands that these two blocks of Scripture are complementary in nature—that is, they run parallel to one another covering the same period of time in the Tribulation—one is then able to rightly divide the book of Revelation making sense of its chronology and the events that happen within it.
In this teaching, we endeavour to compare side-by-side, the trumpet judgments of Revelation 8, 9 and 11, with the vial judgments of chapter 16. In doing this, we discover that whilst there are slight discrepancies between the two accounts, the overwhelming similarities between the two necessitate that they are referring to the same event. Take a listen and decide for yourself.
John sees in vision, a sign in heaven, great and marvellous. Seven angels coming out of the temple in heaven having the seven last plagues. To these seven are given seven golden vials full of the wrath of Almighty God. This chapter serves as an introduction to what will take place in chapter 16 as the seven bowls of God’s wrath are poured out upon the earth.