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Revelation chapters 7-8 (Questions, now with answers). July 13, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Day of the Lord, Eschatology, Judgment, Persecution, Praise, Prayer, Revelation of Jesus Christ, Suffering, Throne of God.
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Revelation 7-8

  1. What theme carries over into 7:1-3 from chapter 6? The events and situations in these two chapters are global in effect and not limited to the Middle East.

  2. What arguments are there in the text for the 144,000 being Jews (verses 4-8)? Other than the fact that it says they are Jews is the fact that they are from twelve specific and named tribes of Israel, Dan is replaced by one of the tribes of Joseph.

  3. To what event in the gospels does the worship around the throne allude (verses 9-12)? Palm Sunday

  4. We have seen earlier that white robes indicate a saved person. What else is indicated in this passage by white robes (verses 13-14)? Those in white robes have been persecuted for their faith.

  5. What in the future do verses 15-17 refer? The believer’s eternal state with God. Although it is speaking specifically about those who came through great tribulation, the implications are there for all believers.

  6. Compare 8:1-6 with 5:8 and 6:9-11. What does this tell us about the seven trumpet judgments? The trumpet judgments are in answer to the prayers of the saints for God to avenge them on the evil world which persecuted them.

  7. The first four seals had the common thread of the horsemen. What is the common thread in the first four trumpets (8:7-12)? One-third of various things are affected.  These angels’ trumpets correspond to the task given to the four angels in 7:1-3.

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Revelation 6 (Questions concerning the first six seals) July 5, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Antichrist, Day of the Lord, Eschatology, Famine, Hades, Hell, Judgment, Persecution, Repentance, Revelation of Jesus Christ, Spiritual Warfare, Suffering, War, Zechariah.
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Update:  answers are in italics 

Revelation 6 (compare the four horsemen with Zechariah 6:1-6)

The four horsemen are an allusion to Zechariah 6:1-6 and 1:7-17. What is the main purpose of using the symbol of four horses of varying colors?  It seems to correspond with the emphasis of Zechariah 6 that is also made in other ways in Revelation 6. This emphasis is that the things that coming by way of these horsemen will affect the whole world and not just certain regions.

There are generally two popular interpretations of the first rider on the white horse:  that it is the antichrist and that it is Jesus Christ. What are the arguments for one or the other interpretation? Which of these interpretations is easiest to support from the book of Revelation itself? Depending on your interpretation of the first rider, what purpose does this horse serve internationally?  There are a lot of different arguments put forth but I will mention the two that seem to me to carry the most weight because they arise more from the text and are less determined by the system of interpretation one may already have. 1) The white horse rider being Christ is best supported by the fact that Jesus is pictured in Revelation 19 as coming in victory on a white horse. If this horse is Christ, then it is consistent with the theme presented often in the Revelation, i.e., that Jesus will overcome the forces of Satan. In fact, the sixth seal seems to tell about that event. 2) The white horse rider being anti-Christ is best supported by the fact that the other three horses have a negative impact on the world. If this rider is the anti-Christ it gives credence to a one world government or the domination of the world by the beast. 

If the red horse is war, where will this war take place?  No place on the earth will be untouched.

What conditions in the world are described by the third horse and the voice from the midst of the four living creatures?  Inflation and famine for the poor but the rich may not be affected.

We are told directly who the fourth rider is. What will happen during the time of his working on the earth? Has there ever been a time when one fourth of the people on the earth were destroyed?  The day of the Lord, which seems to be what this chapter is beginning to describe will be a time of much death by all sorts of means.

What prophetic events are the fifth seal looking forward to (7:9-14; 13:14; 14:13; and 17:6 with contexts)?  Revenge on the persecutors of God’s people including but not limited to “the beast” and “Mystery Babylon”.

What prophetic events are the sixth seal looking forward to (Isaiah 13:9-10; Joel 2; Matthew 24:7; Hosea 10:8; Luke 23:30 with contexts)?  The day of the LORD.

Links to Sermons based on 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (or its context) June 29, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Bible, George Whitefield, Inspiration, Jonathan Edwards, Links, Persecution, Preaching, Second Timothy, Sermons, Spiritual Leadership, Suffering.
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This Sunday begins a two month series on the Word of God. We will begin with the classic verse on inspiration in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. There is some variety in the sermons below but I found them all good.

http://www.biblebb.com/files/whitefield/gw055.htm George Whitefield (on persecution)

http://www.biblebb.com/files/edwards/scripture.htm Jonathan Edwards

http://www.biblebb.com/files/ryle/inspiration.htm J. C. Ryle

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/ByScripture/9/10_Building_Our_Lives_on_the_Bible/ John Piper

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/ByScripture/9/1029_The_Place_of_Preaching_in_Worship/ John Piper

http://www.keepbelieving.com/sermons/read_sermon.asp?id=142 Ray Pritchard

Links to Sermons on Abraham’s Sacrificing of Isaac June 15, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Abraham, Child Rearing, Faith, Father's Day, Genesis, Sermons, Suffering, Worship.
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http://www.biblebb.com/files/whitefield/gw003.htm George Whitefield

http://www.pbc.org/library/files/html/3671.html Ray Stedman

http://www.keepbelieving.com/sermons/read_sermon.asp?id=315 Ray Pritchard

The Church at Smyrna (answers) May 28, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Hell, Revelation of Jesus Christ, Seven Churches of Revelation, Spiritual Warfare, Suffering.
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We did not get to the church at Pergamos but I felt we really got a good picture of the suffering that the church of Smyrna endured, the reasons for that suffering, and the encouragement that John/Jesus gave them. 

The answers are in italics. There was some great discussion last night and  we spent a good bit of time discussing the second death which is not reflected in the notes below. We will be coming back to that when we look at Revelation 19 but the short answer is that the second death is the lake of fire and not Hades or Hell.

There were also a number of great insights made on the tree of life and how to interpret that phrase both literally and symbolically.

  1. In the message to Ephesus, Christ’s relationship to the local church is emphasized (see especially verses 1, 4-5). What is the emphasis of the message to the church at Smyrna (verses 8, 10c-11)? Victory over death (not just victory over persecution).
  2. Compare the Spirit’s message to Ephesus in verse 7 to that of Smyrna in verse 11. What is John/Jesus trying to do with these final words of encouragement to those who overcome? He is trying to encourage them in specific areas that are or should be of great concern to them. The tree of life in Paradise is the place where man can have unbroken fellowship with God. Escaping the second death is the fate of those in Christ who is the one who was dead and lives again. Is the tree of life a literal tree in Paradise or is this a symbol? I believe it is most likely literal based on other passages of Scripture. Can it be both? In this case, whether it is literal or not does not affect the meaning of the passage. If John/Jesus is using the literal tree of life in Genesis as a symbol or if there really is still a literal tree of life, the meaning of the passage is the same. See also Revelation 22:2,14 and Genesis 2:9; 3:22-24. What does this teach us about reading symbolism? Is it intended to hide a meaning that we are clever enough to understand or is it intended to be obvious and through its obviousness impact our understanding of the passage? Symbolism is normally intended to have an obvious meaning rather than a hidden meaning.
  3. Compare the situation in Smyrna described in verse 9 and the situation in Ephesus described in verses 3-4. How are their situations similar? Both are suffering persecution. How are their situations different? The persecution in Smyrna appears to be more intense or deadly than that in Ephesus. Whose physical condition is worse? Whose spiritual condition is worse? Smyrna had very poor physical circumstances but Ephesus which had comparatively better physical circumstances, had a very serious spiritual problem.
  4. Is it likely that the Jews described in verse 9 were ethnic Jews (Compare with John 8:38-45)? Yes. Some think this could be talking about false believers but it is likely that these are ethnic Jews who were involved in the persecution of the Christians.
  5. What is the near and eternal future of the church at Smyrna (verse 10)? A short period of imprisonment and death but they will come out victorious.
  6. The word “tested” in verses 2 and 10 are the same Greek word. How are they used differently? What is the result of the testing in both cases? In Ephesus the false prophets are being tested. In Smyrna the believers themselves are being tested. In both cases the test reveals whether they are genuine or not.
  7. What is the implication of the term “ten days”? It is a short time period (we do not know if it was a literal ten day period or not). This is meant to be a word of encouragement to the believers.
  8. There are two words for crown: one implies royal dignity or kingly authority while the other implies victory in a struggle. Which word would you guess John is using in verse 10 (see also James 1:12)? Victory in a struggle.