LESSON 3 REVELATION CHAPTERS 4-22
Blessing Chapter 1:3
Main Goal: Transform Lives—NOT predict the future.
Calls for perserverance in Discipliship and Godly living worked out in the midst of pagan Imperial Roman Rule.
Resistance literature in a crisis.
Central Question: Who is in control of all things?
Who is worthy of Worship and Allegiance?
God and the Lamb are on the throne—NOT Rome and Caesar.
Chapters 4-22: Expansion of the Lord’s Prayer—Hallowed be your name, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Chapters 4 & 5: God’s will is done in Heaven.
Chapters 6-22 – Story of how God’s Kingdom and Will become a reality on Earth.
Chapters 6-20 – Story of how that happens ”on Earth as it is in Heaven”
Book does not record a sequential series of events—more cyclical. Same time period, over and over from different perspective and different images.
JOHN is not giving the reader a precise timeline for how history and end times unfold.
Chapters 4-22 Doesn’t describe events AFTER Chapters 2 and 3 it covers the same ground, refers to the same time, the same events, the same persons and places BUT from the perspective of an apocalyptic vision.
Chapters 4 and 5 are Foundational for the entire book. The scene shifts from Earth (chapters 2-3) to Heaven (starting with Chapter 4:1)
Chapters 4 and 5
Main Point—Who is in control? Who is worthy of worship and allegiance?
God and the Lamb are on the throne (throne is mentioned 40 times in the book and 14 times in chapter 4.)
Throne is a political image or sovereignty and kingship COUNTER to Caesar on his throne in Rome, a cheap copy. Caesar is not sovereign—he is NOT the center of the universe.
Vs. 3—Jasper & Ruby—First and last stones in High Priest Breastplate signifying the 12 tribes of Israel—First and Last, Alpha and Omega.
Vs.5—Lightning and Thunder—Mount Sinai and Moses. Rainbow—Covenant sign of Noah.
Vs. 7—Ezekiel and Isaiah
Think Hallelujah Chorus.
If suffering persecution, this vision of God on His Throne—Encouragement—Judgement and Salvation.
This would be disturbing to the churches that were compromising or complacent.
Chapter 4 is the setting for the main events in Chapter 5.
Scroll –sealed with 7 seals (Romans used 7 seals, Jews used 3)—Who is Worthy to open the seals?
John Hear/See—He HEARS the Lion of Judah, he SEES the slain Lamb—same person—Jesus
John redefines power—through Jesus’ death he defeats evil and purchases people for the Kingdom of Priests. “Victory thru Sacrifice”
Vs. 7—Slaughtered Lamb approaches the throne and takes the scroll (God’s plan for Judgement and Salvation).
Hymns—“Worthy is the Lamb”
Stage is set—God’s on His throne, the plan for Judgement and Redemption to bring God’s Kingdom to Earth. Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death makes Him worthy to open the scroll.
Jesus shares the Praise and the Worship with God the Creator.
EVERYTHING FOLLOWS FROM THIS MOMENT!
7 Seals—Completeness of God’s Judgement
4 Seals=4 Horsemen
- White Horse—Rider with Bow—Conquering Kings of the Earth
- Red Horse—War—opposite of Pax Romana Peace thru War
- Black Horse—Pair of Scales—Economic hardship/disparity
- Pale Horse– Death—Result of War: famine, unjust economy
These give meaning to the 1st Seal—this is what man does to man
Seal 5: Back to Heaven. Martyrs’ souls under the alter—“How long O Lord?” Cry of vindication.
REST OF REVELATION IS THEIR ANSWER!
Seal 6: Great Earthquake, sun black, moon red, stars falling—What Nature does to man.
(12x12x1,000) = 144,000 HEARS 144,000 but SEES Uncountable Multitude.
God’s people have a protective seal on their foreheads—spiritual protection.
People of god stand victorious.
7 TRUMPETS—NOT AFTER THE 7 SEALS—AT THE SAME TIME
1st Trumpet—Hail mixed with Blood
2nd————–Fiery Mountain into the Sea
4th————–1/3 Sun, 1/3 Moon, 1/3 Light
Plagues of Exodus—MORE INTENSE THAN 7 SEALS
5th Trumpet—–Locusts Breastplates of Iron, Sound of wings like wind
6th Trumpet—Horses Smoke and Sulphur
Vs. 20—Horrific nature of God’s Judgement—call to the churches to Repent like John told them to
Chapters 10 & 11
7th Trumpet—Dominance of the World—Jesus
REST OF REVELATIONTELLS HOW GOD WILL JUDGE THE WICKED AND REWARD THE FAITHFUL
“other Christmas story” Introduces the Red Dragon—Satan persecutes the Church
Does not follow chronologically from Chapter 12.
2 Beasts: 1 from the sea—Roman Empire
2 from the land—local authorities in Asia Minor
2 Beasts and Satan is the Unholy Trinity
Mark on the forehead or hand—allegiance to Rome CONTRASTS with mark Saints received for their allegiance to God and the Lamb (Jesus).
The mark of the beast is 666—could be Nero
BUT WHAT IS IMPORTANT 666 WILL NEVER BE 777!!
Chapters 15 and 16
7 Bowls of Wrath
4-Scorched From the Sun
Exodus Plagues Exodus chapters 7-11
Kings prep for Battle of Armageddon
Chapters 17 and 18
Harlot of Babylon—Goddess Roma
Babylon the Great—Rome
Vs. 9—7 hills—Rome
Backdrop to her destruction in Chapter 18, Rome appears Glamorous and Invincible
John reveals she is corrupt, Godless and Evil
God’s victory—Wedding supper of the Lamb
Battle—Judgement of the 2 Beasts—Lake of Fire
Two more judgements to come
Judgement of the Red Dragon (Satan)
Great White Throne Judgement
What happens coming of Christ—together with Chapter 19 not in sequence.
Thousand years—millenium—3 interpretations:
Post Millenium—Golden Age then Christ Returns
Pre Millenium—Christ Returns millinial reign on Earth
A millenism—Not a future time—the church between the first and second comings of Christ. Jesus is already reigning.
First Death—Physical Death
Second Death—“Lake of Fire” separation from God
Those who sided with the Dragon do not appear in the Book of Life.
Judgement scenes end—Everything that opposes the full realization of God’s Kingdom is cleared away!
Vs. 1-5 New Creation, New Heaven, New Earth joined together forever—utter transformation—1,500 square miles same size as Roman Empire
Creation is not abolished but fulfilled, not thrown away but renewed.
What is NOT in the new creation:
Death, tears, pain
Sun or moon—no need
No curse—like in Genesis
Don’t seal the book!
Jesus is coming!
Seven Things I learned from Revelation:
- Suffering and persecution is a part of the Christian life
- God is sovereign and Christ is King!
- All things culminate in Jesus—God will accomplish His purpose.
- Satan is formidable but a DEFEATED FOE!
- Christians will be preserved by God sealed by the Holy Spirit
- Justice will be served, Truth will be vindicated and Evil will be dealt with.
- Christ is coming Soon! His Kingdom will come, His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven!