Revelation Week 5

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Week 5 of Survey of Revelation Class

Week 5 of Survey of Revelation Class

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  • 1. Survey of Revelation Part V (7:1 – 9:21) December 30, 2007
  • 2. Review - Assumptions
    • We must interpret the book within the context of Scripture
    • The symbols in one part of Scripture, particularly the OT, give us clues as to how to interpret symbols in the Book of Revelation
    • The WCF limits our understanding of eschatology
    • The Book of Revelation is structured by the covenants God has made with man
  • 3. Review - Goals
    • Gain an understanding of the overall structure of Revelation
    • Understand the purpose of Revelation within the canon
    • Become comfortable with the Book of Revelation as devotional literature
    • Gain a basic understanding of the different eschatological schools of thought
    • Learn to work with the symbols of the book
  • 4. Symbols are Important
  • 5. Symbols in Revelation
  • 6. Symbols in Revelation
  • 7. Review – Structure of the Book
    • Vision 1 The Church in Asia Minor (ch. 1-3)
    • Vision 2 Seven Seals (ch. 4-7 )
    • Vision 3 Seven Trumpets (ch. 8-11)
    • Vision 4 The Battle against Satan (ch. 12-14)
    • Vision 5 Seven Bowls (ch. 15-16)
    • Vision 6 The Downfall of Babylon (ch. 17-19)
    • Vision 7 The New Heavens and New Earth (20-22)
  • 8. Review - Rev. 6: The First Six Seals
    • In Rev. 6 the scene changes from the throne room of God to the world where we see Him executing judgment on the world
    • The four horsemen (6:1-8) represent conquest, war, famine, and death
    • We then hear (6:9-11) from the martyrs who cry out for judgment on the wicked and we are reminded of many of the Psalms of David
    • Then (6:12-17) we read of the judgments against all of creation and against all men and are reminded of another OT theme where the creation responds to God’s wrath
  • 9. God Protects Israel: 7:1-8
    • Before the judgments of the previous passage are visited on the world God seals and protects His church
      • 144,000 (12 X 12,000) are sealed
      • All believers are sealed, not just Jewish ones
    • List is interesting since Dan is excluded and Manasseh is included
  • 10. The Great Multitude (7:9-17)
    • This multitude came from every “nation, tribe, people, and language” fulfilling the prophesy to Abraham that all nations would be blessed through him (Gen 12:3)
      • The 144,000 are the remnant of Israel but the bringing of the Gentiles into the Church was always in Gods plan (Gal. 3:26-29)
    • The people are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation (v.14) – this fact is meant to comfort Christians of all ages
    • The picture here anticipates the final reward given to God’s people but there is still much more of the story left to tell
    • We have a model here for what our worship ought to look like
  • 11. The Seventh Seal (8:1-5)
    • We expect the opening of the seventh seal to be dramatic but instead there is silence
      • Perhaps this emphasizes the kind of silence that often occurs when people are in God’s presence (Hab. 2:20, Zeph 1:7)
    • It is the prayers of the saints symbolized in the incense that breaks the silence and begins again the cycle of judgments on the enemies of the Lamb
      • God pours out judgment in response to the worship of His people before His throne
      • Ps. 18:6-15
  • 12. The Seven Trumpets (8:6-9:21)
    • While the seven seals announce that calamity is about to fall, the trumpets contain descriptions of the calamities themselves
    • The seven angels in Heaven and the seven angels of the churches of Asia are most likely one and the same indicating a connection between earthly and heavenly events
    • Trumpets are used:
      • In ceremonies as in the march around Jericho (Josh 6)
      • To proclaim the rule of a new king (I Kings 1:34, 39; Ps. 47:5)
      • As a warning sign of approaching judgment (Is. 58:1, Jer. 4:5-8; 6:1, Ez. 33:1-6)
      • In preparation for war (Num. 10:1-9)
      • To commemorate feast days (Lev. 34:24-25; Num. 29:1-6)
  • 13. The First Four Trumpets (8:7-13)
    • The first trumpet (8:7) talks of hail and fire which brings back memories of God’s judgment on the Egyptians (Ex. 9:23-24)
    • The second trumpet brings another calamity using a mountain as a metaphor that brings to mind thoughts of Matt. 21:21-22)
    • The third trumpet perhaps alludes to the bitter waters of Egypt in Ex. 7:21 and the fall of Babylon in Is. 14:12-15
    • The darkness of the fourth trumpet again reminds us of Egypt and is further underscored by an eagle who in the OT is used as a symbol of both God’s protection (Deut. 32:9-11 and judgment (Deut. 28:48; Jer. 4:13)
  • 14. The Fifth Trumpet (9:1-12)
    • We immediately think here of the eighth plague on the Egyptians (Ex. 10:13-15) although this calamity is worse
    • The Abyss (bottomless pit) is the farthest extreme from Heaven in the Scriptures and is Satan’s domain (Rev. 20:1-3, Luke 8:31)
      • So Hell is about to break loose on God’s enemies
    • God’s judgment falls on those who have not been sealed (7:3-8)
    • These hordes of Satanic fighters were meant to strike fear into the enemy as was their leader, Apollyon (the destroyer)
  • 15. The Sixth Trumpet (9:13-21)
    • The horns of the altar here refer to the purification of the sins of God’s people in Lev. 4:13-21 assuring the people that God would hear their prayers
    • The Euphrates is that river which separates Israel from her northern pagan enemies (see Gen. 15:18-20)
    • The precise timing of this event (v.15) perhaps indicates that this is a specific event in history but likely it looks towards future judgments
    • The magnitude and ferocity (v. 16-19) of the carnage can be compared to God’s judgments on Israel recorded in Joel 1-2
      • Sulfur and snakes indicate the demonic nature of this force
    • Despite all of the death and suffering the men who survive still do not repent thus setting the stage for future judgments
  • 16. Summary – What We Know So Far
    • Revelation written to the churches of Asia which are representative of God’s people throughout the world
    • Christ judges these churches praising them for faithfulness and reprimanding them for disobedience
    • In Rev. 4,5 we are given a glimpse into the throne room of God where the Lamb is given the power to proclaim judgment and God’s people praise Him for His great works
      • All in Heaven: 24 elders
      • All on Earth: 4 creatures
    • In Rev. 6 the Lamb visits the earth with judgment
  • 17. Summary (Cont.)
    • Also in Rev. 6 the martyrs cry out for justice
    • In Rev. 7 God’s people are “sealed” and protected against the judgment which is being visited on the earth
    • The righteous again praise the Lamb for his salvation
    • In Rev. 8 the final seal is broken and God’s people stand in silence
    • The trumpets In Rev. 8-9 which represent the execution of God’s judgment are now blown and God’s wrath is visited on the nations who have disobeyed Him