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Finding Life in the Word

-Keep a journal of things God speaks to you in the Word

-Paper and pencil

-I keep a running note in my phone that I date and keep everything current on top.

-Study WITH others.

-If you want to do this for DECADES then do it WITH SOMEONE ELSE.  We are created to walk TOGETHER.

-Have a designated time to engage God in the Word.

-Make an appointment and show up.

-Make it reasonable for where you are at.  Don’t start with an hour.  Start with 15 minutes before bed.  Set your phone to “do not disturb” and dig in!!

-Have a Proper Perspective of the Word

-Zoomed out perspective of the Bible:  The Word is a book of remembrance and testimonies of His interactions with His family, the Family that is destined to lead the world to salvation and redemption!!  

-OT – Follows the story of ONE family, Israel, who is chosen for the Seed, God’s promise for revelation, salvation, and deliverance to come through!!  

Genesis 3:15 – And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”

-NT – Follows the story of The Seed and the fruit of The Seed!!  Still going on right now!!

-Types of Bible Study:

1. Bible Reading – reading for VOLUME.  You just want to plow through it and get the general feel of the particular book or Old Testament/New Testament.

2. Expository Bible Study – you pick a particular book of the Bible to study and dive into it.  You need to find answers to questions like:  What did the author intend this to mean to the original reader?  What did it mean to the people originally reading it?  

             Need to know a few things:

             -Who wrote it?

             -Why did the author write it?

             -Who did he write it to?  

             -When was it written?  What are the main cultural and historical factors we need to take into                      consideration to understand the author’s original meaning?

             -If there is a problem, what was the problem present in that particular

              book?  

             Expository Studying Process:

                  a. Read it by yourself first.  If it is short, do it in one sitting, so you can get a good feel of the                          book.

                  b. Prayerfully re-read it, making notes as you go, jotting down questions that you have, writing                   down thoughts that you have.

                  c. Begin to look up different resources to reference.  Remember, first, the Holy Spirit is your                         Teacher though.  But we also need to honor the fact that He has spoken to others and we can                       glean from them too!

3. Topical Bible Study – you pick a particular topic (grace, wealth, healing, etc.) and see what all the verses in Scripture have to say about that particular subject.  Good idea to use Nave’s Topical Bible for this type of study:  http://www.naves-topical-bible.com/

4.  Bible Meditation – This is the real deal.  GOD created meditation, which is basically focusing and filling your mind and spirit with thoughts of HIM and HIS WORD.  

List of Additional Resources:

-Find answers to your questions with the following resources!!

Biblical encyclopedias – Want to know the Biblical/historical significance of a lamp, lampstand, locusts, or some guy named Lo-Ammi in Scripture?  Use an online Biblical encyclopedia!  http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/isbe/

Lexicons for word studies – Want to study a particular word in Scripture and maybe explore what it meant in the original language or how it is used in other places in the Bible?!  Then you want a Lexicon!!  http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/

Commentaries – Still stumped?  Look at this amazing, very reputable New Testament commentary called the IVP New Testament Commentary series which is free!!  It gives reputable scholars’ thoughts on all New Testament passages  https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/ivp-nt/toc/   Old Testament passages:  http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/jamieson-fausset-brown/

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (of the whole Bible; great commentary!!)  :  http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/teb

Link to Meditation Journal Page:  

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ls7MwAyhn6COi5D1L7H8Czs-V0ey4i2nrLu0OULFBy8/edit?usp=sharing

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Revelation Session 1: Overview of the book of Revelation

 Four parts of the book of Revelation

  1. John’s call to prophecy. Revelation 1
  2. Letters to the 7 churches. Revelation 2-3
  3. Jesus receives the scroll. Revelation 4-22
  4. The battle plan to cleanse the earth (5 chronological sections)

Part 1. John’s call to prophecy. Revelation 1

This is the most detailed chapter in the Bible about how Jesus thinks and feels. This information about Jesus equips the church to be confident in Him and His instruction, as His tenderness and leadership are revealed through 30 detailed descriptions.

Each of the 3o descriptions is like the title of a book in the library of Heaven. Each description of Jesus in Revelation 1-3 is a dynamic door to seeing into His heart and leadership. It is important to know these 30 descriptions and ask Jesus about them. He chose to reveal himself in this way for a reason; ask Him about it and thank Him for it.

In your prayers, thank Jesus for being the firstborn from the dead. Thank him for being the faithful witness and ask Him what it means. These descriptions change the way we relate to Jesus.

The 30 descriptions prepare our hearts to receive the encouragement and weighty correction in the letters to the seven churches.

30 descriptions »

Part 2. Jesus’ letters to the seven churches

How to apply the Seven Letters

  • Individually – they inspire wholehearted love in our personal lives.
  • Historically – these letters were for the seven historical churches. Just as Paul wrote letters to the churches, these are Jesus’ letters to the primary churches at that time.
  • Universally – these letters are beneficial to the whole body of Christ throughout history.
  • Eschatalogically – the letters are beneficial to the end time church; the final generation of the church in this age.

Common Elements in the letters

The letters to the 7 churches are the information that the saints need to overcome persecution and temptation. Jesus is telling us in plain and clear language how he wants us to operate as a body.

Jesus’ letters to the seven churches are to encourage the church not to quit or leave the faith, specifically in the face of persecution. Jesus speaks into the virtues of each of the churches and encourages them in their good works but also sternly warns them in their areas of weakness.

I believe these areas of weakness are the primary issues the church has dealt with through history and the primary issues the church will deal with at the end of the age. Jesus’ primary message is “don’t be deceived.”

  1. Jesus reveals something about himself in each letter. These revelations equip us to deal with persecution. In the western world the primary facet of persecution is reproach; being mocked or laughed at. If you preach the seven letters you will bear reproach in the church. There is a struggle to accept how straightforward Jesus is in these letters and how he wants his Church to respond to him.
  2. Jesus affirms each church’s area of faithfulness. These statements give us insight into what is important to Jesus and what he finds valuable in the church’s actions.
  3. Five out of seven churches get a correction. What is interesting is that the areas Jesus corrects are still relevant to the church today. Jesus highlights six specific temptations to “overcome”…
    1. Immorality & Idolatry
    2. Doctrine of the Nicolaitans
    3. Leaving our First Love
    4. Having a name that we are spiritually alive but are actually spiritually dead
    5. Lukewarmness – Of the six temptations highlighted there are three primary compromises that Jesus addresses
      1. Immorality
      2. Idolatry – Covetousness
      3. Spiritual Passivity – Spiritual Passivity is the compromise that is addressed most frequently in the seven letters, a total of three times.

The #1 warning in the seven letters is “do not fear.”

  1. Promise to the overcomers
    Jesus describes specific rewards to the churches for overcoming these areas of temptation. In total, there are 18 rewards that Jesus describes. It’s important for believers to have an introductory understanding of each reward because they motivate us to obey Jesus in a wholehearted way.  Many scholars and commentaries surmise that these rewards are something every believer receives. I believe Jesus coupled these rewards with the specific areas of compromise so, if we overcome those areas, we get those specific rewards.  “I am the first”. The 30 descriptions prepare our hearts to be confident in His leadership in the face of persecution. He is the first, He is the source of everything good we have; and when they take it away, they are first taking it from Him.  If we claim that we are building a church after God’s own heart, Revelation 1-3 should be our central point of emphasis on what a church after God’s own heart looks like.

Part 3. Jesus receives the scroll (title deed) of the earth.

A. The interesting thing about the earth is that it has been given to men and will always be ruled by men. Men have sinned against it and a Man also redeemed it. Jesus, in His purity and complete innocence is the only man worthy of taking the scroll and receiving the earth as His inheritance as King. The earth was originally given to Adam.

B. Genesis 1. Adam gave his authority to Satan. Satan has used corrupt men to rule the earth for a time. Revelation 4 is the title deed of the earth being given to Jesus. The title deed contains the battle plan for Jesus to take back His inheritance and be placed as King of Kings with full power, authority and dominion over the earth.

Jesus to receive the nations as King of Kings.

I saw in the right hand of Him [the Father] who sat on the throne a scroll…sealed with seven seals. 2 I saw a strong angel proclaiming… “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?”…5 One of the elders said, “…the Lion of the tribe of Judah…has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals”… 6 in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God…7 He took the scroll out of the right hand of Him…on the throne.

Daniel 7:13–14,

13 “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.

Jesus referred to himself as the “Son of Man” 85 times total in the four gospels. He was referring to this ONE verse in the Old Testament. This is the only “Son of Man” prophecy.

Psalm 2:8
Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

Part 4. Jesus’ battle plan in action against the antichrist army. (Chronological Section)

The 4th part has five sections. We strongly the believe the sections are intended to be presented in chronological order, making the storyline easy to understand.

One of the most offensive, yet true, doctrines to the Church today is that Jesus himself will judge the nations. Jesus does not have a mean or bad streak. The way we think of Jesus is deficient if we limit Him to our own personal definition of “good.” We must be committed to defining love on His terms and not our own. When we lean on our own understanding, we have difficulty seeing Jesus as the judge.

The purpose of judgment is to remove everything that hinders love being expressed in the nations.  Jesus does not lose His love because He judges; He judges because He loves. John 5, Romans 2:4-16, Matthew 25:31-45,

  • Chronological Section #1 – The seal judgment
    Revelation 6

    • The first four seals stem from the wickedness of man. The Lord will pull back some of his protection and favor and will allow men to wallow in their foolishness. They will suffer the consequences of their sin.
    • The fifth, sixth, and seventh seals involve supernatural activity from Heaven.  Each seal naturally leads to the release of the next seal.
    • The first seal Revelation 6:2 the release of the Antichrist, naturally leads to seal #2 war, which causes seal #3 famine, naturally followed by seal #4 death and disease. Angelic Explanation #1 – Revelation 7
  • Chronological Section #2 – The trumpet judgments
    Revelation 8-9
    The Trumpet Judgments serve a three-fold purpose

    1. To hinder the antichrist’s spread of evil and persecution
    2. To warn unbelievers
    3. To rally to war and rally the saints to prayer
    • Trumpet Judgments begin at the end of the seal judgments. The trumpet judgments are progressively more severe than the seal judgments.  Trumpet judgments are not symbolic.
    • Joshua 6
      The familiar story of Jericho plays out again, but on a global level. Joshua has the priests blow seven trumpets seven times, and on the seventh time Jericho supernaturally is destroyed and Israel has a sure victory. In Revelation the seven trumpets will blow, and with each trumpet the antichrist’s empire and resources will be destroyed. On the seventh trumpet Jesus returns.The trumpet judgements also begin similarly to the plagues of Egypt. It is a retelling of the story of Exodus but on a global level.
    • Angelic Explanation #2 – Revelation 10-11
  • Chronological Section #3 The second coming of Jesus
    Revelation 11:15-19
    The replacement of world governments. – Revelation 1515The seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” This makes the nations angry!Revelation 15:18, Psalm 2

    • Four primary things that happen when Jesus Returns
      1. Jesus inherits the earth and replaces world governments.
        Psalm 2
      2. The dead are sentenced.
        The dead are judged and sentenced to hell until after the millennium. Then they are thrown in the lake of fire.
      3. The saints are rewarded.
        The saints are rewarded according to their works. The works are the saints’ expressions of love in the context of the great commission. The rewards are outlined in Revelation 2-3
      4. Jesus will destroy those who destroy the earth. Jesus will destroy those who have put wicked policies into place. He will rule them with an iron rod and dash them to pieces. Psalm 2, Isaiah 63,
    • Angelic Explanation #3 – Revelation 12-14
  • Chronological Section #4 The bowl judgments
    Revelation 15-16
    It’s important to note that the plagues of Egypt and the bowls of wrath mirror each other. This gives us confidence as believers for interpreting Bible prophecy. This has already happened once the past; therefore, it will happen as described in the future. No mystery; it means what it says and says what it means.

    • Micah’s prayer for revival and deliverance will be answered in fullness at the end of the age.Micah 7:15
      “As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt, I will show them wonders.” We would not say the plagues of Egypt were symbolism or a fable. The trumpets and bowls mirror the plagues of Egypt and not by accident; it’s plain and clear that this is the Exodus story retold.  Moses split the Red Sea – the people had their backs to the water with no hope of escape, but God through Moses supernaturally splits the sea and makes a way for the people through a valley of water, leading them to safety and ultimately the promised land.
      Exodus 14:21 Jesus will split the Mount of Olives – the people will once again be cornered with no hope of escape. Jesus himself will split the Mount of Olives and create a valley through which Israel can escape to safety and ultimately to the New Jerusalem (Millennium)
      Zechariah 14, Revelation 15:3-4 The Israelites will once again sing the “Song of Moses”.  The song of Moses Deuteronomy32 was to serve as a reminder to the Israelites of God’s faithfulness.  When they would commit apostasy (turn their backs on God), the song would remind them of their deliverance from Egypt.  Angelic Explanation #4 – Revelation 17-18
  • Chronological Section #5 Jesus enters Jerusalem
    • Seven Scenes of Revelation 19-20
      1. Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem (19:11-16). Isaiah 63, Zechariah 14
      2. Jesus defeats the Antichrist at the Battle of Jerusalem (19:17-21).
      3. Satan will be cast into prison for 1,000 years (20:1-3).
      4. Saints will be given governmental leadership over the earth (20:4-6).
      5. Satan is released after 1,000 years (20:7-10).
      6. God’s great white throne judgment of all His enemies (20:11-15).
      7. The Father will establish His throne with His people on the new earth (21:1-8).
    • Angelic Explanation #5 – Revelation 21-22

Seven main symbols in the book of revelation

The primary symbols in the book of revelation are given to us to create clarity for what John is describing. The symbols are not meant to generate unknowable information regarding the end times. The symbols are used to describe key parts of the book so we will know what the key players in the storyline are like.

  1. Dragon – Satan
    Revelation 20:2, Revelation 20:2
  2. The Beast – the Antichrist
    Revelation 19:19-21, Revelation 20:10
  3. Another Beast – the false prophet
    Revelation 13:11
  4. Ten Horns – Ten nation confederation that serves the Antichrist
    Daniel 2:41-42, Daniel 7:7, Revelation 17:3-16, Revelation 13:1Revelation 12:3
  5. Harlot Babylon – A demonically inspired worldwide economic and religious system.
    Revelation 17-18
  6. Woman with a male child – Faithful remnant of Israel through history.
    Revelation 12