Individual lessons & Bible Study Guide
God uncovers His plan for the future, but just because God intends to reveal something does not necessarily mean that we will find it easy to understand! The book of Revelation is made up of 404 verses, and 278 of those verses refer to things mentioned in the Old Testament! It’s also filled with symbolism which we will need to interpret if we are to understand it! However, Revelation is the only book of Scripture in which God promises a blessing just for reading it and putting it into practice!
As we cover the first two of the seven churches Christ addressed in Revelation we learn that He is indeed the God who sees. He is with us, He loves us and He understands all that we face! But He wants us to trust Him and hold to the promises in His Word even unto death, if need be, for in Him we have strength for the present and the assurance of a future where we will see Him face to face!
In this lesson Jesus speaks to the churches in Pergamum, Thyatira and Sardis. Two were struggling with false teachers and compromise, but Sardis suffered from none of these things! They had no accusers, no struggles, no persecution, no false apostles! This was not because they were doing everything right! Far from it! Satan didn't have to bother with them because the church in Sardis was fast asleep! Jesus urged them to wake up!
As we study the last two churches of Revelation we see that there was such a contrast between the Faithful Church in Philadelphia and the Lukewarm Church of Laodicea. Those who were faithful had "little strength" of their own, whereas those of Laodicea were so self-sufficient they didn't even know how much they needed Jesus!
John wept at the thought that there was no one in heaven to open the scroll - God's final will for the earth. The glimpse of heaven had changed his heart from one filled with fear to one overflowing with eager expectation! He was told that the Lion of Judah was able to open the scroll and to look inside but when he turned John didn't see a lion, but rather a lamb looking as though violently slain. As the Lion of Judah, Christ the Messiah is ruler of all! But He is also the Lamb of God, who was slain so that we could be freed from the power of sin to stand clothed in purity before the throne of God in Heaven.
As Jesus opened the scroll in heaven different events happened upon the earth. One of the truths made plain to us from the text is that God often holds back His full judgement, thus proving His great mercy. He does not want any to perish but all to come to repentance. Sadly, at the breaking of the sixth seal the people of the earth (those who reject God) hid from Him and rather than call out for mercy, they hoped for death!
Prior to the judgements of Revelation all those who belong to God, both Jew and Gentile alike, are marked as His servants with the seal of the Living God, helping us to realize that even in the midst of terrible calamity God knows who are His!
In the first two woes of the Tribulation God shows John all of Hell let loose on the earth. Though the suffering is great He reveals that the opportunity to repent and be saved still exists, even then. However, the people of the earth choose not to take hold of the forgiveness that could so easily be theirs and so finally God declares: "There shall be no delay!" Grace will no longer be extended and judgment is about to begin!
God uncovers His plan for the future, but just because God intends to reveal something does not necessarily mean that we will find it easy to understand! The book of Revelation is made up of 404 verses, and 278 of those verses refer to things mentioned in the Old Testament! It’s also filled with symbolism which we will need to interpret if we are to understand it! However, Revelation is the only book of Scripture in which God promises a blessing just for reading it and putting it in to practice!
As we study Revelation 12:1-17 we learn that from the beginning Satan’s mission has always been to destroy the Anointed One, the Christ of God, in order to prevent the Redemption of mankind and consequently he has tried on numerous occasions to destroy the Jewish people from whom the Messiah would come.
Having been cast out of heaven, Satan knows that his time is short; and so, determined to do as much damage as he can he delegates his power to the two beasts who are the main figures in chapter 13. The Beast from the Sea represents the Antichrist — the political leader through whom Satan works during that time, while the Beast from the Earth represents “the False Prophet” who will work alongside the Antichrist, not only promoting him but also heading up the world’s false religion of the time and causing those who follow the Antichrist to take the Mark of the Beast upon them.
As we cover Revelation 14 and 15, John sees the holy ones of God standing in heaven praising the Lamb as they sing their song of deliverance just before the bowls of God's wrath are poured out on those who have rejected Him. The wicked vine of Babylon that intoxicates and poisons the people of the earth will be cut down and the so-called “fruit” associated with it will be thrown into the wine press of God’s wrath to be crushed.
The bowls of God's wrath are quickly poured out upon the Beast's Empire and upon those who follow him. We noticed these are much like God's Judgements that fell upon the Egyptians just before the Exodus of His people from bondage! As bowl after bowl falls, Heaven confirms that God is just in these judgments for all He does is to avenge the deaths of His holy people! We also meet the woman that belongs to the Antichrist and to the Dragon and though we still have many questions about her one thing is sure - she will be judged most severely!
Revelation 18:1-. With Mystery Babylon and all she stood for destroyed those who dwell on the earth express their woe - not for her destruction as much as what that will mean for their lives and their businesses! The picture in Heaven is much different as praises ring out and the long-anticipated wedding supper of the Lamb begins! Not only is the Bride (the Church) in attendance, but at the banquet table are seated all of those who have trusted God and looked forward to His provision over the ages!
As we study Revelation- we realize the first time Christ came to earth He arrived riding a donkey, which in those days was a sign of a king who came in peace. This time it is very different as He arrives riding a white horse as a picture of a conquering King coming in victory. John notices the blood on Christ’s robe; and though we normally associate Jesus with the blood of His redemptive sacrifice, this time, the blood on His garments is the blood of His enemies as well! For He has come to make war with justice and righteousness against all that is evil.
Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 2:9 “No eye has seen, no ear has heard,No mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” and here in Revelation 21:1-27 we see John attempt to describe that which is indescribable! No words can do Heaven justice!
Revelation 22:1-21. As this beautiful book of Revelation concludes John speaks of this glorious city of God where the River of the Water of Life, clear as crystal, flows from God's throne and where mankind is able to eat of the Tree of Life once more. A place where we will see Him face to face and enjoy Him forever!
Final thoughts on our study. Revelation has taught us that we can have confidence in Jesus Christ for He is utterly trustworthy! We can face all kinds of trials with courage knowing that He shall have complete victory! Until He returns, we are called to stand with courage in the face of evil. We are to obey Christ until the very end, resisting social pressure to turn away from Him.