Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Revelation Simplified Chapters 1-3

ACT 1: Christ in the Midst of the Seven Lampstands – Revelation 1-3

Scene 1: The Vision of Christ and the Lampstands – Rev. 1

Scene 2: The Letters from Christ to the 7 Churches of Asia – Rev. 2-3

1. 1. Introduction – 1:1-3

a. Blessing for those who

i. Read

ii. Hear

iii. Keep

b. Timing

i. Must Soon Take Place

ii. For the Time is Near

22. Source / Authorship – 1:4-8

a. God

i. Who Is

ii. Who Was

iii. Who Is to Come

b. Spirit

i. Seven Spirits

ii. Before His Throne

c. Jesus Christ

i. Faithful Witness

ii. Firstborn of the Dead

iii. Ruler of the Kings on Earth

iv. Loves Us

v. Freed Us From our Sins by His Blood

vi. Made us a Kingdom, [of] Priests

vii. He Is Coming

3. The Writer – John
Brother and Partner

i. In the Tribulation

ii. In the Kingdom

b. Exiles on Patmos

i. On Account of the Word of God

ii. On Account of the Testimony of Jesus

c. In the Spirit on the Lords’ Day

4. The Vision
The Seven Golden Lampstands

b. The Son of Man

i. Long robe with a golden sash around his chest

ii. Hair, white like wool

iii. Eyes like a flame of fire

iv. Feet like burnished bronze

v. Voice like the roar of many waters

vi. Held Seven Stars in Right Hand

vii. Sharp two-edges sword from mouth - (Isaiah 11:4 - but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.)

viii. Face like the Sun

5. The Vision Explained

a. The Son of Man is Jesus

i. Raised from the Dead

ii. Having the Keys of Death & Hades

b. The Seven Stars are the angels (messengers) of the seven churches

c. The Seven Lampstands are the seven Churches

Outline of the letters:

I. The Author – An aspect of the vision of Jesus that John had just seen

II. I Know

III. Commendation

IV. Condemnation

V. Warning

VI. Promise

1. Ephesus: The Church Which Left its First Love

a. The Author – Holds the Seven Stars & Walks Among the Lampstands

b. Commendation

i. I know your works, toil, and patience

ii. I know you cannot tolerate false teaching

iii. I know you have not grown weary

c. Condemnation – You have left your first love

d. Warning – Repent and do the works you did at first

e. Promise – Eat of the Tree of Life in Paradise

2. Smyrna: The Church that was Faithful Unto Death

a. The Author – the First & the Last, who Died and Came to Life again

b. Commendation –

i. I know your tribulation

ii. I know your poverty – but you’re really rich

c. Condemnation – NONE

d. Warning – Only of full suffering

e. Promise – Crown of Life and not hurt by second death

3. Pergamos: The Church in Hell’s Headquarters

a. The Author – has the sharp two edged sword

b. Commendation

i. I know you dwell where Satan dwells

ii. I know you hold fast my name

iii. I know you did not deny my faith

c. Condemnation

i. Some hold to the teaching of Balaam

ii. Some hold to the teaching of the Niolatians

d. Warning – Repent or else

e. Promise

i. Eat of the Hidden Manna

ii. Whit stone with a new name on it.

4. Thyatira: The Church Threatened from Within

a. The Author – Eyes like Fire and feet like bronze

b. Commendation

i. I know your works, love, ministry, patience

ii. I know your works have increased

c. Condemnation – You tolerate the woman Jezebel to seduce my servants

d. Warning – Repent or join Jezebel’s destruction

e. Promise – authority over the nations and the morning star

5. Sardis: The Church of the Living Dead

a. The Author – has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars

b. Commendation – NONE

c. Condemnation – You’re dead

d. Warning – I’m coming like a thief in the night

e. Promise – Will walk with me in white and I’ll confess their name before God

6. Philadelphia: The Church with the Open Door

a. The Author – The Holy One who has the keys of David

b. Commendation

i. I know your works

ii. I know you have but little power

iii. I know you have kept my word and not denied my name

c. Condemnation – NONE

d. Warning – Hold fast what you have

e. Promise

i. The Jews will know that I have loved you

ii. Protection during time of trial about to come

iii. Make a pillar in the temple of my God

7. Laodicea: The Church that Makes Jesus Sick

a. The Author – The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of God’s Creation

b. Commendation – NONE

c. Condemnation

i. Because you’re lukewarm, I will vomit you out of my mouth

ii. You are wretched, poor, blind, and naked

d. Warning – Be Zealous and Repent

e. Promise – Will sit with Jesus on his throne

Monday, March 7, 2011

Revelation Simplified Introduction

These notes go with the lesson I taught Wednesday PM, Feb. 23 at the University Church of Christ. You can find the audio at



1. Why Study Revelation?

a. It’s Part of the Bible

b. It’s Unique

c. It’s Relevant

d. It Strengthens our Faith

2. Why is Revelation so Difficult?

a. Acts? = History

b. Galatians? = Letter

c. James? = Sermon

d. Revelation? = Weird!

i. We Don’t Understand Apocalyptic Literature

ii. We Don’t Understand the History

3. Why Was Revelation Written?

a. Because of the Needs of the Hour

i. The Church was Suffering Tremendously

ii. The Church needed Strength, Encouragement, & Hope

Revelation 2:10 ( ESV ) Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.


1. The Date – About 95 A.D.

a. Domitian (81-96) is the Emperor of Rome. He is remembered in history as the one who bathed the Roman Empire in the blood of Christians.

b. Under Domitian, Emperor Worship was demanded of all citizens of the Empire.

c. Under Domitian, the major portion of persecution fell in Asia Minor, the stronghold of Christianity.

d. Rome was, at the end of the 1st Century and into the 2nd

i. Politically Powerful

ii. Morally Bankrupt

iii. Practiced Emperor Worship

iv. After that – one could worship anything & everything – and they did.

2. The Author – John, the Apostle, son of Zebedee

a. Exiled on the Isle of Patmos for being a Christian

Forms of Persecution:

1. Kicked out of ‘Trade Guilds”

2. Had Citizenship Rights Stripped

3. Had Property Confiscated

4. Thrown into Prison or Exiled

5. Executed

3. Recipients – The Book was immediately intended for believers in John’s day & age, who were suffering persecution; primarily those residing in Asia Minor. (See Rev. 1:1-3)

4. Purpose – To Comfort the militant church in her struggle against the forces of evil, and to assure the Church’s Victory in Christ.

5. Theme - Revelation 17:14 ( NIV ) They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”


1. The Purpose of Apocalyptic Literature

a. To Assure that Suffering WILL Come to an End

b. To Assure that God is in Control

c. To Encourage Endurance in View of a Brighter Future

d. To Encourage Loyalty to Truth & Right Even in Extreme Difficulties

2. The Character of Apocalyptic Literature

a. Always has a Historical Context

b. Generally is of Pseudonymous Authorship

i. To Protect the True Identity of the Author

ii. To Lend Greater Authority to the Message

c. Told through Visions – Visions are the literary vehicle used to present the message

i. What did John see?

ii. What does that picture mean?

d. Predictive Element – More General than Specific

e. Dramatic Element

i. Actors Represent Something Else

ii. Action

iii. Suspense – Dramatic Problem & Divine Solution

f. Symbolic Element

i. Something Symbolizes or represents something else

1. “The Statue of Liberty was shaking her fist

ii. Especially the Symbolism of NUMBERS

1. #1 – Represents Unity

2. #2 – Represents Confirmation/Strength

3. #3 – Represents God/Divine

4. #4 – Represents The World

5. #7 – Represents The Sacred

6. #10 – Represents Completeness

7. #12 – Represents Organized Religion

8. #3 ½ - Represents Incomplete

9. #6 – Represents Evil

10. #144,000 – Represents The Sum Total of the Righteous


A Drama in 7 Acts

ACT 1: Christ in the Midst of the Seven Lampstands – Revelation 1-3

Scene 1: The Vision of Christ and the Lampstands – Rev. 1

Scene 2: The Letters from Christ to the 7 Churches of Asia – Rev. 2-3

ACT 2: The Book with the Seven Seals – Revelation 4-7

Scene 1: The Throne of God in Heaven – Rev. 4

Scene 2: The Lamb found Worthy to Open the Seals – Rev. 5

Scene 3: The Opening of the Seals – Rev. 6

1st Seal – The White Horse

2nd Seal – The Red Horse

3rd Seal – The Black Horse

4th Seal – The Pale Horse

5th Seal – The Souls of the Martyrs Praying for Vengeance

6th Seal – The Wrath of the Lamb unleashed on the Earth

7th Seal – Introduction to


Scene 4: The Sealing of 144,000 – Rev. 7

ACT 3: The Seven Trumpets – Revelation 8-11

Scene 1: The Blowing of the First 6 Trumpets – Rev. 8-9

1st Trumpet – Destruction of 1/3 of Plant Life

2nd Trumpet – Destruction of 1/3 of the Sea

3rd Trumpet – Destruction of 1/3 of the Rivers

4th Trumpet – Destruction of 1/3 of the Universe

5th Trumpet – The Cloud of Locust from the Bottomless Pit

6th Trumpet – Destruction of 1/3 of Humanity

Scene 2: The Vision of the Great Angel with the Little Book – Rev. 10

Scene 3: The Vision of the Two Witnesses – Rev. 11

Scene 4: The Blowing of the 7th Trumpet – Announcing that God has Conquered – Rev. 11

ACT 4: The Woman & the Child Persecuted by the Dragon & his angels – Rev. 12-14

Scene 1: The Dragon waits to Destroy the Child – Rev. 12

Scene 2: The Beast Out of the Sea –The Dragon’s 1st Helper – Rev. 13

Scene 3: The Beast Out of the Earth – The Dragon’s 2nd Helper – Rev. 13

Scene 4: The Lamb and the 144,00 – Rev. 14

Scene 5: The Three Angels - Rev. 14

Scene 6: The Harvest of the Earth – Rev. 14

ACT 5: The Seven Bowls of Wrath – Revelation 15-16

Scene 1: Pouring Out the Bowls – Rev. 15-16

1st Bowl – Disease on Man

2nd Bowl – Seas turn to Blood

3rd Bowl – Rivers turn to Blood

4th Bowl – Sun Scorches the Earth

5th Bowl – The Kingdom of the Beast was plunged into Darkness

6th Bowl – Preparation for the Great Battle (Armageddon)

7th Bowl – The Destruction of the Earth

ACT 6: The Fall of Babylon; the Great Harlot, & the Dragons’ helpers – Revelation 17-19

Scene 1: The Destruction of the People who Worship the Beast – Rev. 17

Scene 2: The Destruction of Babylon; the Great Harlot – Rev. 18

Scene 3: The Rider on the White Horse Defeats the 2 Beasts – Rev. 19

ACT 7: The Judgment of the Dragon, followed by A New Heaven & Earth – Revelation 20-22

Scene 1: The Judgment and Destruction of the Dragon – Rev. 20

Scene 2: The Glory & Victory of the Bride of Christ – Rev. 21-22