Thursday, January 31, 2013

Revelation Chapter 1, Part 1 - The Time is Near | Steve Gregg



During the 2012 session of the New Great Commission School, Steve Gregg presented a series of lectures on the book of Revelation. This is the 1st half of the lecture on chapter one.
Filmed by http://youtube.com/user/BIBLEGATE

You may listen to these classes on Revelation on MP3. Click here for the lecture on Revelation 1.

Revelation 1 

 

New King James Version (NKJV)

Introduction and Benediction

 

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Greeting the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed[a] us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings[b] and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,”[c] says the Lord,[d] “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Vision of the Son of Man

 

I, John, both[e] your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and,[f] “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia:[g] to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me,[h] “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write[i] the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw[j] are the seven churches.

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 1:5 NU-Text reads loves us and freed; M-Text reads loves us and washed.
  2. Revelation 1:6 NU-Text and M-Text read a kingdom.
  3. Revelation 1:8 NU-Text and M-Text omit the Beginning and the End.
  4. Revelation 1:8 NU-Text and M-Text add God.
  5. Revelation 1:9 NU-Text and M-Text omit both.
  6. Revelation 1:11 NU-Text and M-Text omit I am through third and.
  7. Revelation 1:11 NU-Text and M-Text omit which are in Asia.
  8. Revelation 1:17 NU-Text and M-Text omit to me.
  9. Revelation 1:19 NU-Text and M-Text read Therefore, write.
  10. Revelation 1:20 NU-Text and M-Text omit which you saw )


    If interested in the study Biblical prophecy/the end times/last things (Eschatology), you may also be interested in Steve's other studies:

Also very important to understanding the Bible and the issues of dispensationalism vs non-dispensationalism is:

What are We to Make of Israel? (Does God have two peoples or one?)


Steve Gregg's book on Revelation

Revelation - Four Views: A Parallel Commentary by Steve Gregg
Available at Amazon.com
Revelation:  Four Views: A Parallel Commentary

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Revelation Intro - Lecture 3, Part 2 - Outline of the Book | Steve Gregg





This is the 1st half of the 3rd lecture of Steve Gregg's intro on Revelation. This is the 2012 module of The New Great Commission School in Monroe, WA. Steve takes a fair look at all the major views of Revelation.

The entire 3rd lecture is on MP3 and available for download free here.

You may download Steve's notes for the 3 introductory lectures here. I've pasted the a portion below.




INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF REVELATION
by Steve Gregg

VII. Outline of the Book:

Prologue: (1:1-8)

Section One: Christ Among the Seven Churches (1:9 - 3:22)
   A. Opening Vision: Christ among the Seven Lampstands (1:9-20)
   B. Seven letters to the seven churches (chapters 2 and 3)
      1. To Ephesus (2:1-7)
      2. To Smyrna (2:8-11)
      3. To Pergamum (2:12-17)
      4. To Thyatira (2:18-29)
      5. To Sardis  (3:1-6)
      6. To Philadelphia (3:7-13)
      7. To Laodicea (3:14-22)

Section Two: The Lamb and the Seven-Sealed Scroll (4:1 - 8:1)
    A. Opening vision: The heavenly court and the scroll given to the Lamb (ch. 4 - 5)
    B. The breaking of the seven seals (6:1 -8:1)
       1. White horse (6:1-2)
       2. Red horse  (6:3-4)
       3. Black horse (6:5-6)
       4. Pale horse (6:7-8)
       5. Souls of martyrs cry for vindication (6:9-11)
       6. The wrath of the Lamb (6:12-17)
           [interlude: the safety of the redeemed (chapter 7)
       7. Silence in heaven for half an hour

Section Three: The First Six Trumpets (chapters 8-9)
     A. Opening vision: Fire from the altar in heaven cast upon earth (8:2-6)
     B. The sounding of the seven trumpets (8:7- 11:18)
       1. One-third of plants destroyed (8:7)
       2. One-third of sea turns to blood (8:8-9)
       3. One-third of rivers made bitter (8:10-11)
       4. One-third of sun, moon, etc. smitten (8:12)
          [announcement of three "woes" to come  (8:13) ]
       5. First woe: locusts from the pit (9:1-12)
       6. Second woe: 200 million "horsemen" (9:13-21)

Section Four:  The Forty-Two Months (chapters 10-13)
      A. Opening vision: The Messenger with the "little book" (chapter 10)
      B. The Contents
         1. The measuring of the temple (11:1-2)
         2. The two witnesses (11:3-13)
 3. The Last Trumpet (11:14-19)
         4. The woman, the child, and the dragon (chapter 12)
         5. The two beasts (chapter 13)
        
Section Five: The Last Plagues (chapters 14-16)
      A. Opening visions (chapters 14-15)
1. The 144,000 (14:1-5)
2. The preaching of the Gospel (14:6-7)
3. The announcement of Babylon's fall (14:8)
4. The doom of the beast's worshippers (14:9-11)
5. Beatitude for the dead (14:12-13)
6. The harvest (14:14-20)
7. Heavenly vision of triumph and impending judgment (chapter 15)

      B. The seven bowls of wrath (chapter 16)
          1. Earth smitten (16:1-2)
          2. Sea smitten  (16:3)
          3. Rivers smitten (16:4-7)
          4. Sun smitten (16:8-9)
          5. Throne of the beast smitten (16:10-11)
          6. Armageddon (16:12-14, 16)
             [ interlude: beatitude for the prepared (16:15) ]
          7. "It is done" (16:17-21)

Section Six: Seven Proclamations of Triumph (chapters 17-19)
        A. Opening vision: The death of the harlot city (chapter 17)
        B. Seven voices (chapters 18 - 19)
           1. "Babylon is fallen" (18:1-3)
           2. "Reward her double for her sins" (18:4-20)
           3. "Thus with violence she is thrown down" (18:21-24)
           4. "Alleluia! God is just!" (19:1-4)
           5. "Praise God, all his servants" (19:5)
           6. "The marriage of the Lamb has come!" (19:6-10)
             [ interlude: the conquering Word of God (19:11-16) ]
           7. Invitation to the feast of the fowls (19:17-21)

Section Seven: The New Creation (chapters 20 - 22)
         A. Opening vision: The judgment of the dragon (chapter 20)
         B. The New Creation (21:9 - 22:19) [outlined in 21:1-8]
            1. The heavenly Jerusalem (21:9-21)
            2. The habitation of God (21:22-27)
            3. Renewal of the world (22:1-5)
            4. Affirmation of God's word (22:6-10)
            5. God's work completed (22:11-15)
            6. Final blessing (22:16-17)
            7. Final curse (22:18-19)

Epilogue: (22:20-21)



If interested in the study Biblical prophecy/the end times/last things (Eschatology), you may also be interested in Steve's other studies:

Also very important to understanding the Bible and the issues of dispensationalism vs non-dispensationalism is:

What are We to Make of Israel? (Does God have two peoples or one?)


Steve Gregg's book on Revelation

Revelation - Four Views: A Parallel Commentary by Steve Gregg
Available at Amazon.com
Revelation:  Four Views: A Parallel Commentary

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Revelation Intro - Lecture 3, Part 1 | Steve Gregg



This is the 1st half of the 3rd lecture of Steve Gregg's intro on Revelation. This is the 2012 module of The New Great Commission School in Monroe, WA. Steve takes a fair look at all the major views of Revelation.

Steve will discuss the 4 main interpretive approaches. You may be surprised to  the pre-trib, mid-trib and post-trib views all fall under one main interpretation of call the futurist view. There are 3 other interpretive approaches to Revelation that have been followed by large segments of the Christian population throughout history. If you are unaware of these other views, you will be surprised to see how much scriptural support there is for some of them.

Listen to this lecture at http://theos.org/media/category/141/  as an MP3.

You may download Steve's notes for the 3 introductory lectures here. I've pasted the a portion below.




INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF REVELATION
by Steve Gregg

VI. Interpretive Approaches


  A. Historicist: A running account of  the whole of church history written in advance
  
1. According to this view, the breaking of the seven seals is the breaking-up of the Roman Empire, locust plague is Mohammeddan invasion, the Beast is the papacy, etc.  Follows the day-for-a-year interpretation of the prophecies.

2. Advantages to this view: It was the view of all the Reformers and some leading evangelicals.  Can point to striking historical parallels to the prophecies in Revelation.

3. Disadvantages to this view: Those who hold it do not agree on the interpretation of many details.

  B. Preterist:   Fulfillment in the past : fall of Jerusalem and, possibly, of  Rome

1. One school sees the entire prophecy as being fulfilled in 70 AD with the fall of Jerusalem  [the view of J.S. Russell and David Chilton, et al.]. Another sees the second half (chapters13 through 19) as being fulfilled in the fall of the Roman Empire [Jay Adams' view]. The message of the book is the vindication of Christ and the martyrs upon their persecutors.

2. Advantages of this view:

a. Makes the most sense if passages like 1:1, 3, 19 (Gr.) and 22:10 are taken literally

b. Makes the book relevant to the original readers (like most epistles)

c. Agrees with the Olivet discourse [Luke 21], and the biblical stress on the importance of 70 AD

d. Agrees impressively with the history of the Jewish War recorded by Josephus

e. Renders the emperor passages like 13:18 and 17:10 intelligible.

3. Disadvantages of the position:

a.  Requires a date of writing prior to AD 70, which is defensible but debated (see  discussion of date and historical setting, below).

b.  Claimed (by critics) to have originated with the Jesuit,  Luis de Alcazar (1554-1613) to refute the reformers. However, the preterist approach to both Revelation and the Olivet Discourse were held by some much earlier than this time. Eusebius, early in the fourth century, after reviewing Josephus' description of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, writes:

It is fitting to add to these accounts the true prediction of our Saviour in which he foretold these very events. His words are as follows: 'Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day. For there shall be great tribulation, such was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.' [Matthew 24:19-21]             Ecclesiastical History, Book III, Chapter VII.

In a commentary on Revelation written in the sixth century by Arethas says of Revelation 6:12: "Some refer this to the seige of Jerusalem by Vespasian."    On Revelation 7:1, Arethas writes: "Here then, were manifestly shown to the Evangelist what things were to befall the Jews in their war against the Romans, in the way of avenging the sufferings inflicted upon Christ."  At 7:4: "When the Evangelist received these oracles, the destruction in which the Jews were involved was not yet inflicted by the Romans."


C. Futurist :   Everything after chapter three awaits fulfillment in the future

1. Revelation divides into three sections, defined in 1:19. Rapture of the church is seen at 4:1, followed by seven-year tribulation. It is assumed that events are recorded in proper chronological order, though some would see two parallel sections (chapters 4-11 and 12-19). Of the alternative approaches, the futurist takes the most literal interpretation to the visions, since it alone can do so.

2. Advantages to this view:

a. Widely held and taught. The most "popular" view among Christians;

b. Appeals to our tendency to take things literally (minimizes duty of interpretation);

c. Harmonization with current events (some have been doing this for the past 150 years).

 3. Disadvantages to this view:

a. All of the above (see points a, b and c above)

b. Renders the book 90% irrelevant to Christians (since we leave at 4:1)

c. Fails to recognize the symbolic character of apocalyptic literature

d. Struggles to explain the book's own expectation of near fulfillment (1:1, 3; 22:10)

e. Lack of chronological sequence is frequently evident:
 1) End of the world (11:18) precedes other events [e.g. the birth of Christ (12:1-5)]
 2) Beast persecutes witnesses (11:7) before he rises to power (13:1)
 3) Babylon is fallen (14:8), but later not fallen (17:1-5; 18:21)

f. Origin of futurist view: First created by Spanish Jesuit priest, Francisco Ribera, in 1585, for the purpose of refuting the historicist view and the Reformers' insistence that the "beast" was the papacy.

D. Spiritual/Idealist: No single historical fulfillment is intended-only grand spiritual principles

1. According to this view, the great themes of the triumph of good over evil, of Christ over Satan, of the vindication of the martyrs and the sovereignty of God are played out  throughout Revelation without specific reference to historical events.

2. The advantage of this view is that it avoids the difficulty of harmonizing specific passages with specific fulfillments which has plagued the historicist, futurist and preterist views.

3. The disadvantage of the idealist position is that the book of Revelation itself claims to be predicting events that must shortly come to pass (1:1).

E. Eclecticism: Various methods of combining the presuppositions of two or more of the above approaches.

 Alternative #1:  If the basic premise of the Idealist approach were to be accepted, it would be possible still to identify the fall of Jerusalem and Rome, the rise and fall of the papacy, and certain future political developments as all being notable examples of the pertinent themes, thus accommodating the evidence for the preterist, the historicist and the futurist approaches.

Alternative #2:  Accepting the preterist interpretation of chapters 4-9 (the seven seals and the first six trumpets)  and, possibly, chapters 14-19 (the seven bowls and the fall of Babylon) would satisfy the explicit predictions of a near fulfillment  (1:1, 3, 19 [Gr.]; 22:10).  The Idealist  approach, however, may justly be applied to chapters 10-13 (as well as chapters 20-22). Reasons for applying chapters 10-13 in this way would include:

a.      A new prophecy in the form of a "little book" is introduced in chapter 10.

b.     This second prophecy is international in scope (implied in 10:2; stated in 10:11). This would imply, by contrast, that the previous prophecy had concerned a limited area (i.e. Israel).

c.      In contrast to the book of Revelation in general, some aspects of this second prophecy are to be sealed up (contr.10:4/22:10), suggesting that their contents will not reach complete fulfillment in the near future (cf.Daniel 12:4, 9).

d.     Since the book of the second prophecy is "little" one might expect it to occupy only a few chapters.

e.      Chapters 11-13 comprise a discreet section, concerning a period referred to as 31/2 years. Perhaps this section is identified with the "little book."

f.      There are reasons to believe that the "3 1/2 years" may be a symbolic designation for the "times of the Gentiles" (i.e. the age of the Church since the fall of Jerusalem til the end of the world-compare 11:2 with Luke 21:24).

g.      Further evidence that the second prophecy applies to the whole age of the Church is found in the reference to the "mystery of God" in Rev.10:7 (cf.Eph.3:4-6/Col.1:27/Rom.11:25).

h. If this thesis is true, then the careers of the two witnesses (11:3), the woman in the wilderness(12:6), and the Beast (13:5) must continue throughout the age of the Church, a conclusion that fits other evidence in the related passages. 


If interested in the study Biblical prophecy/the end times/last things (Eschatology), you may also be interested in Steve's other studies:

Also very important to understanding the Bible and the issues of dispensationalism vs non-dispensationalism is:

What are We to Make of Israel? (Does God have two peoples or one?)


Steve Gregg's book on Revelation

Revelation - Four Views: A Parallel Commentary by Steve Gregg
Available at Amazon.com
Revelation:  Four Views: A Parallel Commentary