I'm teaching through Revelation via Steve's book

 
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mattrose



Joined: 23 Oct 2004
Posts: 349
Location: Western NY

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:08 pm    Post subject: I'm teaching through Revelation via Steve's book Reply with quote

People in our church kept asking me to teach on Revelation so after a bunch of reading I finally started and it's been going well. Instead of teaching my own view (partial preterism) I decided it'd be better to describe the 4 views together. So basically, my handouts are like a VERY concise version of Steve's book. Here's the first few examples:

Chapter 4
What is chapter 4 about?
How is the invitation to John significant?
Why isn’t the term ‘church’ used from this point forward?
Who/what do the 24 elders represent?
Who/what do the 4 living creatures represent?

Futurist- Prophecy yet to be fulfilled
1. Chapter 4 begins section 3 and occurs ‘after’ the church age (1:19 & 4:1)
2. Some believe the invitation to John to ‘come up here’ represents the rapture
3. The word ‘church’ does not appear again until the final chapter of the Bible
4. The twenty four elders may represent angels or, more likely, raptured saints
5. The four living creatures represent qualities of Christ/nature or may be angels

Historicist- Prophecy fulfilled throughout the church age
1. Chapter 4 begins section 3 and gives a glimpse of Rome’s empire from 100-400
2. The invitation to John was unique, not symbolic of the church being raptured
3. This section deals with secular/political history, not the church
4. The twenty four elders may represent the church uniting with heaven in praise
5. The four living creatures represent the whole of creation or divine government

Preterist- Prophecy fulfilled in distant past
1. Chapter 4 is a heavenly courtroom scene, Jerusalem is about to be condemned
2. John was shown, in a vision, what was soon going to happen (A.D. 66-70)
3. No specific church is mentioned, but the ‘saints’ and ‘redeemed’ are
4. The twenty four elders may represent the church/angels or may be mere props
5. The four living creatures may be angels or similar to the cherubim of Ezekiel

Spiritualist- Prophecy fulfilled repeatedly throughout history
1. Chapter 4 begins a description of the entire church age from God’s view
2. John’s vision assured the 7 churches that God was still in control
3. Specific churches are mentioned because God views them as a unity
4. The twenty four elders are celestial representatives of the entirety of the redeemed
5. The four living creatures may symbolize all of nature or celestial beings praising

Chapter 5
What is the sealed scroll? (1-4)
Who is the lion/lamb? (5-6)
Who shall reign on the earth? When? (7-10)
Who is being worshiped? Who is worshiping? (11-14)

Futurist- Prophecy yet to be fulfilled
1. It is the ‘title deed’ to the earth…God is reclaiming control through Christ (11:15)
2. Jesus is the lion/lamb
3. Previously raptured saints will reign on the earth during the millennium
4. Christ is being worshiped by innumerable angels and all of creation

Historicist- Prophecy fulfilled throughout the church age
1. It is God’s plan for the future…but no one is able to unlock its mystery
2. Jesus is the lion/lamb…He has a dual nature as man and God
3. Christians will reign on earth prior to 2nd coming OR are reigning over sin now
4. Christ is being worshiped by all in anticipation of the opening of the scroll

Preterist- Prophecy fulfilled in distant past
1. It is the sentence against Jerusalem OR the official transition b/w covenants
2. Jesus is the lamb (sacrifice) ready to avenge the blood of the martyrs
3. The church is replacing Israel as kings/priests on earth under the new covenant
4. Christ is being praised for His worthiness/victory by all of creation

Spiritualist- Prophecy fulfilled repeatedly throughout history
1. It is the redemptive plan of God, the outline of all future events
2. Jesus. He is Messiah (Judah/David), all-knowing (eyes) and all-powerful (horns)
3. The church, represented by the elders, reign spiritually on the earth
4. Christ is being worshipped by all of creation (at least in the spiritual realm)

Chapter 6
Who is the rider of the white horse? (1-2)
What does the red horse represent? (3-4)
What does the black horse represent? (5-6)
What does the pale horse represent? (7-Cool
Who are those who had been slain? (9-11)
What do these disasters represent (12-17)

Futurist- Prophecy yet to be fulfilled
1. The rider may be the Antichrist, one who accepts what Jesus rejected (Luke 4:6). He will be a powerful leader in future government. (Some see Christ as the rider)
2. This represents war during the 7 year tribulation (probably war against Israel by Russia + her Middle Eastern allies. The great sword may be a nuclear bomb).
3. This represents famine resulting from the wars during the tribulation period.
4. A fourth of all humanity living at that time will be killed (See Matt. 24:21).
5. They are those who will be martyred during the tribulation
6. Actual cosmic events (or results of nuclear war) symbolize the final judgment

Historicist- Prophecy fulfilled throughout the church age
1. Refers to Roman imperialism from A.D. 96-180. This was the golden age of the Roman Empire. (Others see the spread of the Gospel from Jerusalem shown here)
2. Refers to Roman imperialism from A.D. 180-284. This was a period of civil war in the Roman Empire. (Others see the end of peace in Jerusalem here)
3. Refers to heavy taxation/famine during 3rd+4th centuries (others see this as food shortage in Jerusalem prior to its destruction).
4. Refers to the afflicted Roman Empire of A.D. 248-296. (Or Jerusalem)
5. Martyrs killed under Diocletian’s rule (Or the early church killed by Jew).
6. Political revolution associated with Constantine’s conversion OR the division of the empire in 395 leading to its fall in 476 (or the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70)

Preterist- Prophecy fulfilled in distant past
1. This begins a progression of events leading up to A.D. 70. Rome advances toward Jerusalem (Others see Christ coming in judgment through the Roman army).
2. Civil war among the Jews prior to A.D. 70 (see Luke 19:42-44, Zech. 11:10-14)
3. Refers to the terrible food shortages during the Roman siege of Jerusalem.
4. Describes the conditions in Jerusalem prior to fall (see Ezekiel 14:12-23)
5. God’s people; those killed by Jewish leadership (Matt. 23:35-36)
6. The end of the Jewish state and the fall of its leaders using apocalyptic language.

Spiritualist- Prophecy fulfilled repeatedly throughout history
1. The rider is Christ, spreading the Gospel through His people. (Others see this as God’s judgment via human government)
2. This horse is physical persecution that follows those who follow Christ in spreading the Gospel (See Matt. 10:34).
3. This horse is fiscal persecution which follows those who follow Christ
4. A summary of persecution OR the state of the fallen world in general
5. Christian martyrs of all ages (or specifically those slain by Domitian)
6. Represents the climax of all persecution, this time by God against mankind

Chapter 7

1. Why is there a delay before the 7th seal is broken?
2. Who are the 144,000?
3. Who makes up the great multitude?
4. What does the silence in heaven represent?

Futurist-Prophecy yet to be fulfilled
1. Those saved after the rapture must be sealed to avoid the coming judgment
2. They are Jews that are saved during the tribulation fulfilling passages like Romans 11:25-32. These converts will be great evangelists during the tribulation
3. These are Gentiles that are saved during the tribulation (due to the preaching of the 144,000). Many of them are martyred for their new faith. They are clearly distinct from the previously raptured ‘church’ and will always have an inferior status to that of the church (as will the 144,000)
4. This is a silence of expectancy. Contained in the 7th seal are the 7 trumpets and the 7 bowls. The silence may be compared to the silence before the foreman of a jury reports a verdict

Historicist-Prophecy fulfilled throughout the church age
1. The invaders of Rome were delayed so that the ‘church’ could be sealed
2. The number is symbolic for the entire church, the ‘Israel’ of God. They were sealed to protect them from barbarian invasions before the fall of Rome.
3. This group is either an extension of the 144,000 OR this shows that more gentiles would receive the Gospel than Jews historically (Isaiah 54:1)
4. Some say it represents a 70 year period after Constantine while others say it simply marks the solemnity of the events

Preterist-Prophecy fulfilled in distant past
1. Chapter 6 ended with a question, the delay is the answer. God had protected the faithful remnant the 1st time Jerusalem was destroyed (Ezekiel 9). Here, He is doing the same thing prior to the 2nd destruction of the city.
2. These were those Jews who believed Jesus was the Messiah at the time of Jerusalem’s destruction and thus escaped (Luke 21:20-21). They were the ‘firstfruits’ of the New Covenant
3. These are Gentiles saved after the ‘Great Tribulation’ of A.D. 70 as the Gospel was spread all over the world (Matthew 22:7-9). Others believe they are the early Christian martyrs of the Roman Empire.
4. The silence may occur because the cries of the martyrs were now answered

Spiritualist-Prophecy fulfilled repeatedly throughout history
1. Whenever God sends judgment on societies or civilizations, He is mindful of those who are His own and who bear His seal
2. The number represents the church as the true/spiritual Israel. In any age, it is the true church that is preserved from God’s judgments.
3. While the 144,000 represented those preserved on earth, this group represents the church glorified in heaven.
4. This represents the calm that so often precedes a storm of judgment (Joshua 6)

Chapter 8


1. What does the 1st trumpet represent?
2. What does the 2nd trumpet represent?
3. What does the 3rd trumpet represent?
4. What does the 4th trumpet represent

Futurist-Prophecy yet to be fulfilled
1. Most view the hail, fire & blood as literal, perhaps resulting from nuclear war. Others view this symbolically as judgment of the future restored Roman Empire.
2. The great mountain, perhaps, will be an asteroid/meteor or an H-bomb. Those viewing it less-literally see an antichrist led coalition destroying non-adherents.
3. Literalists picture an actual cosmic event here. Others see this as a thermo-nuclear exchange. Still others view the star as a fallen leader (perhaps the Pope) whose demise destroys a third of his followers.
4. A 33% reduction in light caused by air pollution after the nuclear exchange. Non-literalists see this as the darkening of spiritual perception at the end of time.

Historicist-Prophecy fulfilled throughout the church age
1. Goths and Vandals attacked the Western Roman Empire in the early 400’s. God sent these attackers in judgment. Both land and leaders were destroyed.
2. The great mountain represents the Vandals from 428-468 under Genseric (the ‘Tyrant of the Sea) eliminating Roman control of charted waters.
3. The great star was the sudden appearance of Attila & the Huns. Some, however, view this as heresy in the 5th century church.
4. This was the end of the day for the Western Roman Empire (476)

Preterist-Prophecy fulfilled in distant past
1. Egypt had been destroyed by plague prior to the birth of the Hebrew Nation, now Jerusalem would be destroyed prior to the birth of the Kingdom of God.
2. Israel had been God’s holy mountain (Exodus 15:17), but now it was burning at the hands of the Romans (and ultimately, at the hands of an angry God). The destruction of Jerusalem sent surviving Jews into the sea (the gentile world).
3. Israel had been blessed with sweet water (Exodus 15:22-27), but had since broken the conditions necessary for blessing. Further, they would now taste the bitter judgment that Egypt had faced.
4. This is the familiar language of judgment Israel had heard so many times regarding their enemies. The heavenly bodies represent their fallen leaders.

Spiritualist-Prophecy fulfilled repeatedly throughout history
1. Natural disasters that occur throughout history as part of God’s judgment on the nations. They also serve to gain the attention of mankind.
2. The burning mountain represents the fall of great political powers throughout history and reminds mankind of the frailty of man-made kingdoms.
3. When men prefer the bitter waters of idolatry to the fountain of the living water, they will receive these bitter waters with the fatal consequences that follow.
4. God uses all components of the universe to call those who disobey and/or persecute His children. Even eclipses are brought about by God to cause people to look up toward Him.

CHAPTER 9

1. Why is there a break before the final 3 trumpets?
2. What does the 5th trumpet represent?
3. What does the 6th trumpet represent?
4. What does the massive army represent?
5. How could no one repent after such things?

Futurist-Prophecy yet to be fulfilled
1. The first four trumpet judgments were physical in nature, these are spiritual
2. Satan is given permission to unleash hell on earth. The locusts are demons tormenting the unbelieving world. Some, however, view this as the military power of the antichrist and the locusts, specifically, as cobra helicopters spraying nerve gas from its tail.
3. Four evil angels pave the way for demon-possessed invaders from the orient to attack Palestine and its now God-fearing inhabitants
4. The army is either made of demons, men, or both. Some believe it is Islam attacking the revived Roman empire, others believe China is the aggressor. The description of the army projects the image of military apparatus (tanks/bombs/etc)
5. Punishment does not, in itself, lead men to repentance. The very sins mentioned as dominant in the Tribulation are those we see on the rise in our world.

Historicist-Prophecy fulfilled throughout the church age
1. Trumpets 5-6 describe the destruction of the Eastern Roman Empire.
2. The locusts represent the Saracens (Muslim Arabs) attacking the Eastern Roman Empire from 612-763 under Mohammed (their King). The 5 months represents the 150 years of Mohammad’s ‘conversion by sword’ policy.
3. The third of mankind destroyed here is the eastern third of the Roman Empire (Byzantine). The Turks (later known as the Ottoman Empire) conquered Constantinople in 1453. Verse 15 describes the length of this event as just over 396 years starting in 1055 when the Turks gained power.
4. The size of the army represents an indefinite number. The colorful description fits well with the Turks. The fire, smoke & brimstone refers to the heavy use of artillery, for great guns were first used by the Turks at Constantinople.
5. This speaks of the impenitence of the apostate Eastern Church.

Preterist-Prophecy fulfilled in distant past
1. The final three woes refer specifically to the destruction of Jerusalem in 3 stages
2. Prior to its destruction, Israel, and Jerusalem in particular, had become a moral wasteland. The cities inhabitants became demon-possessed in their final years. Both the New Testament (Matt. 12:43-45) and Josephus record their horrifying state. The king is Satan himself (John 8:44)
3. The Roman armies, some of them stationed at the Euphrates, invaded Israel at the time specifically determined by God (Daniel 9:24-26, Luke 21:20+32).
4. This was fulfillment of the promised curse on Covenant-breakers in Deuteronomy 28:49-68 carried out by the Roman army (not literally 200 million men).
5. God had given them over to a debased mind (Romans 1:2Cool, so repentance was no longer an option.

Spiritualist-Prophecy fulfilled repeatedly throughout history
1. History will become more intense as the end approaches
2. Satan unleashes his demonic forces upon the earth clouding the minds of men. These demons are powerful, intelligent, seductive, fierce, and malicious. They have authority, appear invulnerable, and (unlike real locusts) are ruled by a king
3. The prayers of the saints unleash further warnings/judgment on mankind
4. War is one of those recurring phenomena God uses to punish civilizations. The number 200 million is not to be understood literally
5. The judgments are intended to produce repentance, but man does not respond in kind.

Chapter 10
1. Why was John commanded to seal up that which the seven thunders uttered?
2. What is the mystery of God?
3. What is the little book and why was John told to eat it?

Futurist-Prophecy yet to be fulfilled
1. The message of the seven thunders may have been of intense judgment, too devastating for John’s readers to read. On the other hand, there are some issues that God has simply chosen not to reveal to mankind at this time so there is no point trying to make an argument from silence.
2. Most futurist writers view the mystery of God as synonymous with the problem of pain. Why has God allowed Satan to have his own way (and humans for that matter) for so long? The mystery of God will reveal His reasons.
3. It seems every futurist writer has a different view of this little book. John is told to eat it because he was to live by its words. It tasted sweet in hope, but bitter in judgment.

Historicist-Prophecy fulfilled throughout the church age
1. The seven thunders are interpreted in many ways, all having to do with the period of the reformation and the evil Papal system. It may be the 7 thunders are Papal Anathemas denouncing Luther and therefore unworthy of record.
2. The mystery of God is the timing of God’s judgment on the Papal system. Their final chance to repent was via the Reformation. Israel had been given 1,500 years to repent before AD70, now the Papal church had been given 1,500 years to repent before the reformation.
3. The little book is the Bible, now open to the common people through the events surrounding the reformation. Around this time the printing press was invented and the new translations of the Bible emerged (Greek 1516, Swiss 15:18, German 1522, English & Swedish 1526, Danish 1537, KJV 1611). John eats it to symbolize the reformation church feeding on God’s Word.

Preterist-Prophecy fulfilled in distant past
1. The sayings of the seven thunders were too terrible to write. We are told they exist because God wants us to know He has not revealed all things to us.
2. The mystery is the end of ‘Jewish’ Christianity. The temple will be destroyed along with its rituals and Jewish and Gentile Christians will forever be united.
3. The little book is, essentially, the book of Revelation (same book as in chapter 5). Eating the book was an imitation of Ezekiel 3. His prophecy was about the destruction of Jerusalem in 586BC, now John ate a book prior to its destruction in AD70.
*At this point (v. 11) Preterists split into two camps. One continues to view Revelation as a description of AD70, others see a transition to a description of the eventual fall of Rome.

Spiritualist-Prophecy fulfilled repeatedly throughout history
1. The seven thunders represent the voice of the Lord (John 12:27-31, Psalm 29). The fact that we are not given the content simply shows us that all has not been revealed to us.
2. The mystery of God is the union of Jew and Gentile into one body of believers inhabited by Christ.
3. The book contains God’s message for the whole world. God’s Word is sweet, but proclaiming it leads to persecution (bitter aftertaste).

Revelation 11

1. What does the measuring of the temple symbolize?
2. Who are the two witnesses?
3. What should we make of the time stamps in this chapter?
4. Who is the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit?
5. What about the death/resurrection of the two witnesses?
6. What does the 7th trumpet represent?

Futurist-Prophecy yet to be fulfilled
1. This is the rebuilt temple (for the re-institution of the sacrificial system) of the end times. The temple and alter are measured because they represent the faithful remnant of Israel whom God will protect. The outer courts are excluded because they represent apostate Israel.
2. Two actual men who will arise during the tribulation. Theory A says they are Moses and Elijah representing the law and the prophets. Theory B says they are Elijah and Enoch representing the two men who never tasted death. Theory C says they are two contemporary men preaching in the spirit of Moses/Elijah.
3. There is uncertainty as to whether this represents the 1st or 2nd half of the future seven year tribulation. Most seem to choose the latter.
4. Some believe this beast to be Satan himself. Others see it as the revived Roman Empire or its individual ruler.
5. When their testimony finally ends, the witnesses are killed and worldwide celebration begins. Technology makes their death and resurrection observable to the entire world. As a result, many (Jews) will be converted.
6. This is the 2nd coming of Christ prior to His millennial reign.

Historicist-Prophecy fulfilled throughout the church age
1. This refers to the radical reassessment of true Christianity at the time of the reformation with God’s Word as the standard.
2. These are the faithful remnant during the 1260 years of the papacy prior to the reformation.
3. This is a period of 1260 years of persecuting popes.
4. This beast is the office of the pope, persecuting the faithful remnant
5. On May 5th, 1514 a Catholic council declared: ‘There is an end of resistance to the Papal rule and religion; opposers there exist no more!’ On October 31, 1517 Luther nailed the 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg church.
6. This is the beginning of a new age for the church and the beginning of the end for the Papal system. It blasts till the end of the world.

Preterist-Prophecy fulfilled in distant past
1. Once again echoing Ezekiel (40-47), John is dividing the sacred from the secular; those to be protected from those to be rejected. This is a clear reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 (Luke 21:24).
2. The identity of the two witnesses is one of the greatest difficulties from the preterist perspective. Theory A sees them as the religious and civil heads of that time (borrowing from Zechariah 4:11-14). Theory B sees them as representing the witness of the Old Testament against 1st century Judaism. Theory C says they are James and Peter both dying just prior to AD70.
3. It may be referring to the length of the Jewish War or Nero’s persecution. This duration has precedent for being symbolic of oppression.
4. The term ‘beast’ is a common description of the enemies of God and His church (Psalm 87:4; 89:10, Isaiah 51:9, Daniel 7:3-8+16-25). Here, the ‘beast’ is Rome and Apostate Judaism as will become clearer in chapter 13.
5. This could represent the removal and return of law and order during the Jewish War. At least one scholar sees this as symbolic of the death/resurrection of Christ Himself. It is also noteworthy that Josephus records similar sounding events (13) at the end of the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70.
6. For Christ’s kingdom to be uniquely established two events needed to happen after His ascension. One was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The second was the destruction of Judaism. After AD70, Christianity truly became an enduring kingdom on earth (Daniel’s 5th Kingdom). Now that the temple on the earth is destroyed, the temple in heaven is made available.

Spiritualist-Prophecy fulfilled repeatedly throughout history
1. In the same way the 144,000 were specifically numbered, the faithful church is here identified. God knows His own. He can separate the visible church from the invisible church.
2. They represent the ministers and missionaries of all ages.
3. The time frame is limited rather than literal
4. The beast is the anti-Christian force in the world
5. The 3.5 days of death may symbolize the time Christ spent in the tomb, during which the ‘beast’ appeared to have won…but it is also true that at many times in history the church has seemed to be defeated only to revive once again.
6. This is the final consummation of the reign of God.

Revelation 12

1. Who is this woman?
2. Who is this child?
3. Who is this dragon?
4. When was/is the war in heaven?
5. What persecution does this refer to?

*The Catholic Church views the woman as literal Mary, mother of Jesus
*The Christian Science Church views the woman as literal Mary Baker Eddy

Futurist-Prophecy yet to be fulfilled
1. The woman represents Israel (Gen. 37:9). Out of Israel came the Messiah.
2. The child is Jesus (Psalm 2:9, Revelation 19:15)
3. The dragon is Satan (12:9) who has, throughout history, made it his purpose to attack the ‘holy line’ (Gen. 3:15). He did this in the O.T. (Egypt/Babylon/etc). He did it at the birth of Christ (Herod). He continues to punish the woman throughout history (anti-Semitism) and will unleash his fury during the tribulation (greater anti-Semitism).
4. It is difficult to equate this ‘fall’ with the supposed original fall of Satan and a third of the angels b/c the timing seems off. Instead, most futurists see this as the middle of the 7year tribulation. Satan is once and for all defeated in the spiritual realm, but it takes 3.5 more years for God’s victory to be felt on Earth.
5. During the 2nd half of the tribulation, Satan (through the anti-christ) will make war with Israel. Israel will, however be protected by God (possibly via American airlifts).


Historicist-Prophecy fulfilled throughout the church age
*Chapters 4-11 covered secular developments that affected the church. Chapters 12-19 cover the same time period, but prophecy the internal affairs of the church.
1. The woman represents the true church in all her potential (300’s)
2. The child represents the fruit of the church through evangelism
3. The dragon is Satan working through imperial Rome. In 313 Maximim persecuted a third of the empire’s Christians while the rest enjoyed peace under Constantine.
4. This ‘war in heaven’ was actually a time of conflict with heathenism in the 360’s.
5. This may refer to a decline in true piety once Christianity became ‘safe.’ True Christianity was forced to hide under the leadership of the papacy for 1,260 years.

Preterist-Prophecy fulfilled in distant past
*At this point, Preterists split into two camps. Camp 1 says 12-19 continues to discuss the 1st Century fall of Jerusalem, only from a different perspective. Camp 2 says 12-19 transition to a description of the fall of Rome.
1. The woman is the faithful remnant of Old Testament Israel.
2. The male child is Christ. This passage skips His ministry and jumps to His ascension because its goal is to tell what happened after-word.
3. The dragon is Satan (a combination of the 4 beasts in Daniel 7). After being unable to destroy Christ, he desired to destroy Christians (via the destruction of Jerusalem), but they were warned to flee and protected by God for. 3.5 years.
4. The war in heaven is not told in chronological sequence, but as an explanation for why Christians had to flee. Satan had been defeated at the cross once and for all (John 12:31). The cross, therefore, ended Satan’s career as the accuser (Romans 8:33-34).
5. After the cross Satan could no longer accuse, so he made his mission one of stamping out the church via persecution before it could reach the world with the Gospel. But Satan failed here as well (Colossians 1:23, Romans 16:25-26). The devil has become a crawling serpent again, while the church is described as soaring on wings (14). After failing to destroy those sealed in AD70, Satan continued his attacks against the woman’s other offspring (gentile believers) through the Roman persecutions that followed.

Spiritualist-Prophecy fulfilled repeatedly throughout history
1. The woman is the faithful remnant of Israel, God’s true people who had endured affliction while awaiting the birth of the Messiah.
2. The child is Christ. We are told of His birth and ascension, skipping over His ministry because it is not the key to this passage.
3. The dragon is Satan seeking to devour the Messiah through political and military strength (12:3), but he fails as Jesus is born and later ascends to heaven fall.
4. The war in heaven mirrors verses 1-6, but from the perspective of heaven. Satan was defeated by the life, death & resurrection of Christ.
5. Satan is now left to accuse men’s consciences against themselves in order to bring condemnation. Our troubles/persecution are not because Satan is strong, but because he is beaten and knows his time is short.

Revelation 13

1. What does the beast coming out of the sea represent?
2. What does the fatal (but healed) wound mean?
3. When was/is this 42 month period and what are its characteristics?
4. What does the beast coming out of the earth represent?
5. What is meant by the powers he possesses (13-15)
7. What is the mark of the beast?

Futurist-Prophecy yet to be fulfilled
1. The beast resembles the 4th beast in Daniel (Rome) and is said to come out of the sea (gentiles). Generally, it represents secular power. More specifically it represents the coming revived Roman Empire. Most specifically it represents the future (and satanic) dictator of that coming empire. The 10 horns are 10 kingdoms that will be under his authority. The 7 heads represent types of government.
2. The majority view of futurists is that this coming dictator will be assassinated, but will come back to life. This will make him the admiration of the world. The minority view, however, holds this to be a reference to the fact that the Roman Empire seemed to be dead, but will be revived during the tribulation.
3. The 42 months mentioned here is the 2nd half of the 7-year tribulation. During this period, the antichrist will increase in power (becoming a world dictator), be worshipped (voluntarily and/or involuntarily), and make war with believers. But God will not allow this to continue forever. Justice will prevail (v. 10)
4. This beast looks more peaceful (less horns), but is still evil (speaks like a dragon). Most futurists believe this will be a ‘spiritual’ leader (false prophet) of a coming 1 world religion (perhaps the last Pope).
5. The fire from heaven shows the world that he can match the now departed witnesses. The image is seemingly brought to life either by miracle (satanic) or by slight of hand/technology. Eventually (so say many futurists) this image will be set up in the rebuilt temple, constituting the abomination of desolation.
6. Many see this as an implanted computer chip or a laser tattoo used for commerce in, what will basically be, the antichrist’s labor union. But the majority of futurists don’t view this as a literal mark, but the acceptance of the beast’s leadership. The number 666 has been said to represent Rome, specific individuals, or simply the number of ‘mankind’ (humanism)

Historicist-Prophecy fulfilled throughout the church age
1. The beast is clearly Rome. It’s description matches up with Daniel’s 4th beast (Daniel 7). The 7 heads are symbolic for the ‘city upon seven hills’ (Rome) and the 7 forms of Roman government (king, consul, dictator, decemvirs, tribune, imperial…the 7th being Diocletian).
2. The last heathen emperor fell and the evil of Rome was thought to be finished, but its evil was brought back to life through the papacy.
3. This is the 1260 years in which the Papacy battled true Christianity. In the NT, blasphemy was making oneself equal to God (John 10:33) and claiming to be able to forgive sin (Luke 5:21). Historicists believe the Pope’s have done just this.
4. The majority views the second beast with the priesthood of the R.C. Church. Bishops actually wore lamb’s wool and abbots wore a headdress with 2 points.
5. The Catholic church, of course, has claimed many signs and miracles…many of which include statues acting ‘alive’
6. This is the numerical value of the Greek word for Latin, which is the mark of Catholic church and, to the historicist, the mark of allegiance to satan. The Latin title for the Pope’s (Vicar of the Son of God) also has a value of 666.

Preterist-Prophecy fulfilled in distant past
1. Satan could not defeat the seed of the woman, so he waits for opportunity to use the sea (gentile world) in order to pursue her offspring (Christ’s followers). In the broadest sense the beast that responds is the Roman Empire as described in Daniel 7. More specifically, however, it represents Emperor Nero (whom Paul once described in terms of a lion – 2 Tim. 4:17).
2. After Nero’s death in AD68 the Roman Empire was thrown into chaos (3 emperors in 1 year), but eventually regained it’s stability under Vespasian.
3. Nero persecuted the church from AD64-68, but the 42 months is more symbolic of a (relatively) brief period of persecution in general. All the Roman Emperor’s blasphemed because they encouraged and enforced emperor worship.
4. There are 3 leading theories as to the identity of the 2nd beast. 1. This beast represents the religious beliefs of the Roman Empire that Caesar was equal to God. 2. This beast represents the Roman Governor of Judea under Nero (Gessius Florus). 3. This beast represents the false prophets of Judaism who united in purpose with the Roman Empire to destroy Christ’s followers.
5. These are simply symbolic of Israel’s rejection of Christ and ‘teaming’ with Rome in persecution.
6. The numerical value of Nero’s name is 666 in Hebrew. This code, then, was decipherable to Jewish converts, but not to Roman authorities. Both Jewish and Roman leaders organized economic boycotts of Christians.

Spiritualist-Prophecy provides principles applicable many times
1. Satan calls for assistance from the sea (world). The beast out of the sea represents any government that opposes God. Satan works through government and religion. The first beast is his use of government. For John, the Roman Empire
2. The 7 heads represent Old Babylon, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. In John’s day, Rome would recover from the death of Nero. The world is always amazed by the power of government. You can’t fight city hall (v. 4).
3. 42 months is a symbol for a specified period based on past events like the drought in Elijah’s day, persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes, persecution under Nero, and the duration of Jesus’ ministry. There were about 42 months b/w Jesus baptism and ascension, many spiritualists compare the 42 months, then, to the period of time b/w the beginning of the church and the return of Christ. The entire church age will be marked by persecution.
4. The second beast is the false prophet. It symbolizes false religion/philosophy which government (the first beast) has used throughout history. In John’s day this was emperor worship.
5. False religions have always been able to come up with ‘signs and wonders’ whether by trickery or by satanic power. False religions are almost always intolerant of Christianity, to the point of death.
6. Receiving the mark is synonymous with worshipping the beast. It is not a literal mark. Any who do not align with their nations government and popular religious beliefs can expect persecution to follow. The number 666 probably alluded to Nero in John’s day. But it generally represents man’s imperfection, evil government, and false religion.

Chapter 14

Four Views
1. How does chapter 14 fit?
2. Are these the same 144,000 as Chapter 7? Where are they?
3. What does the 1st angel represent?
4. What about the 2nd angel? What does Babylon symbolize?
5. What about the 3rd angel and its message of judgment?
6. Why this special blessing for the dead from this point on?
7. What does the reaping represent?

Futurist-Prophecy yet to be fulfilled
1. Chapter 14 is a distinct section (not chronological) having to do with the closing of the Great Tribulation and beginning of the millennial kingdom
2. Yes, most feel they are here meeting the returned Messiah on a literal Mount Zion to establish the millennial reign. Others feel that Zion represents Heaven
3. The first angel represents mankind (gentiles) sharing the everlasting Gospel (there is much debate as to the content of that Gospel) with the world
4. The second angel represents future judgment against ‘Babylon’ which either represents the apostate church, Rome, or the actual (albeit rebuilt) city of Babylon
5. This is simply a warning to the future world not to worship the beast
6. God has a special blessing for tribulation saints turned martyrs
7. The 2nd sickle is certainly judgment on the wicked. Opinion is mixed as to whether, with the 1st sickle, Christ gathers the righteous or destroys the wicked. The chapter ends with the first insights into the final battle of Armageddon.


Historicist-Prophecy fulfilled throughout the church age
1. Chapter 14 is encouraging news for the faithful after all the bad news in 13
2. Yes, the 144,000 are heavenly representatives of the faithful and true church
3. This represents the missionary era & Great Awakening (Wesley, Edwards, etc)
4. This represents judgment (French Revolution) on the Papal system
5. All those loyal to the R.C. Church instead of God will be judged
6. Martyrs always receive a special blessing from God
7. The end of the world where the righteous and wicked will finally be separated

Preterist-Prophecy fulfilled in distant past
1. Chapter 14 culminates the previous section and introduces the next
2. Yes, these are the Jewish Converts (first-fruits) in the 1st century. This is an echo of chapter 7 to encourage the readers of Revelation
3. This represents the preaching of the Gospel prior to God’s judgment
4. This is God’s judgment on Babylon. Some preterists see this as His judgment on Jerusalem in AD70. Others see it as judgment on Rome in AD476
5. This is the permanent destruction of all ‘Babylonians’ of that time
6. Those preterists that see 4-19 as judgment on Jerusalem see this as representing the covenantal change (based on the cross & the end of Judaism at the destruction of the temple) in what happens to people when they die. Those preterists that see the 2nd half of Revelation as regarding the fall of Rome say martyrs have nothing but good to look forward from the point of death onward.
7. Christ is here seated (He’s not coming bodily), ready to judge (either Jerusalem or Rome). The 1st sickle may represent the gathering of the 144,000 prior to Jerusalem’s destruction OR both sickles may represent judgment on the wicked. The imagery is reminiscent of Jerusalem’s destruction in 586BC (Lamentations 1:15). Preterists see the events of the cross (outside the city) forever linked to the events of AD70…Jerusalem’s fate was sealed during the Passion Week.

Spiritualist-Prophecy provides principles applicable many times
1. It continues to give spiritual principles that will apply to history
2. Yes, this is the same group (notice that not one was lost). This is probably a picture of Christians in heaven.
3. This ‘Gospel’ is the announcement that God’s judgment has come
4. Babylon is a symbol for anti-God society on the earth
5. All who never repent will, one day, taste the full wrath of God in hell
6. Martyrs since the cross go directly to heaven OR after death only good awaits
7. This is the final judgment at Christ’s future coming. The church is gathered and the wicked are judged

Chapter 15

Four Views
1. What do the 7 last plagues represent?
2. Who is singing and where are they?
3. What do the songs represent?
4. Why was the temple in heaven opened, but none allowed in?

Futurist-Prophecy yet to be fulfilled
1. These are literal descriptions of God’s final outpouring of wrath on mankind
2. These are tribulation martyrs in heaven
3. Some say the song of Moses speaks to physical deliverance while the song of the Lamb speaks of spiritual deliverance. Others say the former speaks to ‘Jewish’ martyrs while the latter speaks of ‘Gentile’ martyrs of the tribulation period
4. This is a very ‘Jewish’ reminder that God will be faithful to His covenant people at the end of time by judging their enemies. There is no turning back at this point

Historicist-Prophecy fulfilled throughout the church age
1. God’s final triumph over the papal system extending toward the end of time
2. These are representatives of all who have been oppressed by the papacy
3. The songs represent deliverance. Moses led the people through the Red Sea in the past, the Lord would lead His people out of persecution in the future
4. To let out His wrath on papal Rome. There is no turning back at this point

Preterist-Prophecy fulfilled in distant past
1. These are the final outpouring of God’s wrath against apostate Jerusalem
2. These are martyred Christians of the 1st century singing from heaven
3. The songs represent their victory over death through Christ who, even more-so than Moses, delivered Israel from their enemies
4. The heavenly temple is opened to release God’s wrath upon the earthly temple. There is no turning back at this point

Spiritualist-Prophecy provides principles applicable many times
1. Most view this as God’s final judgment upon an unrepentant world at the end of time, but some see it as applying to His final judgment on individual sinners
2. These are the saints of the past singing from heaven
3. It is one song, not two, the deliverance God accomplished through Moses was a foreshadowing of Christ
4. God cannot be approached when His wrath is being dispensed, none could bare it
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Hemingway once said: 'The world is a fine place and worth fighting for'

I agree with the second part (se7en)


Last edited by mattrose on Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:38 am; edited 11 times in total
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Damon



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And then there are those of us who see it completely differently... Cool

Damon
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mattrose



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tell ya what....if you state your position for every one of these questions and get 1,000 signatures (to show it's a somewhat common view), I'll add 'Damonist' to the views we look at.
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I agree with the second part (se7en)
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Damon



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt, that's not what I meant. I didn't mean just me seeing it completely differently. I meant that I fall under the category of people who see Revelation completely differently.

Sheesh...

Damon
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mattrose



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know. I was joking.

Give me the concise version of your view of Revelation. Is it close to any of those 4?
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I agree with the second part (se7en)
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Damon



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, it's not really close to any of the above, although it bears a slight resemblance to all of them. It's based on examining Revelation from the perspective of Creation. Revelation is full of Creation symbolism.

Damon
PS. Wasn't sure if you were joking before. Sorry... Embarassed
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mattrose



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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we're about half way through.

Like I said...pretty much the whole congregation had only been exposed to the futurist perspective.

But it seems a high percentage have switched to some form of the spiritualist approach as we go on. They can see some truth in the other 3 views.

The general response to each view has been as follows:

1. Futurist- Seems kinda silly at points
2. Historicist- Some chapters match up well, others are a big reach
3. Preterist- Sounds good and makes sense, but Israel really did become a nation again in 48' and they can't get past that it seems
4. Spiritualist/idealist- Seems like a safe position, very applicable.
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Hemingway once said: 'The world is a fine place and worth fighting for'

I agree with the second part (se7en)
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Benjamin Ho



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Matt,

I was thinking of teaching Revelation in my church also. I thought the notes you posted were real useful. Could I make use of your summaries?

By the way, will you be posting the summaries for the remaining chapters?

Also, how long did it take to teach through Revelation using the 4 views?
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sinner



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:47 am    Post subject: Thank You. Reply with quote

Thank you for that summary. I will have to try to find Steves book. sinner.
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Allyn



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sinner (redeemed I hope), you can find Steve's book at his website at http://www.thenarrowpath.com
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mattrose



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Benjamin Ho wrote:
Hi Matt,

I was thinking of teaching Revelation in my church also. I thought the notes you posted were real useful. Could I make use of your summaries?

By the way, will you be posting the summaries for the remaining chapters?

Also, how long did it take to teach through Revelation using the 4 views?


Hey,

Sure, feel free to use them. It actually feels kinda funny to grant permission to use my notes on someone else's book Smile

I totally forgot, half way through, that I'd been posting the summeries on here. The remaining summaries can be found at my blog at the following link:

http://knewkingdom.blogspot.com/2005/05/revelation.html

We spent 25 weeks doing the series, 1 hour per week.

Of course, if you dont' have Steve's book yet, I'd recommend it highly as it is a fantastic resource.

God bless,
matthew
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Hemingway once said: 'The world is a fine place and worth fighting for'

I agree with the second part (se7en)
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Benjamin Ho



Joined: 13 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Matt. It's faster for me to work with your summaries than to make fresh ones on my own.

It was through his Revelation book that I found out about Steve's teaching ministry, rather than discovering the book through his ministry. I bought his Revelation book from a local bookshop a few years ago. I was intrigued by a blurb on the backflap of the dust cover about the Great Commission School. I thought it was something I might want to do.

I couldn't figure out Steve's view reading the book plus I was curious about the Great Commission School. So one day, I decided to google his name and found his Narrow Path website. Since then I have blessed by his teaching through the MP3 recordings, the radio show and also this forum.

By the way, his book is also available electonically as part of the Thomas Nelson eBible Deluxe and Platinum editions (which is compatible with Libronix/Logos Bible Software).

http://www.nelsonministryservices.com/nms/dept.asp?dept_id=5069
http://www.nelsonministryservices.com/nms/product_detail.asp?dept%5Fid=723&sku=1418502464
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sinner



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:00 am    Post subject: Fully Repentant. Reply with quote

This sinner is fully repentant and a 'new creature', (not that I had anything to do with 'that' though.) Sovern Grace Preterist, and still building the Preterist view more completely. Thanks for the link Allyn. sinner.
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livingink



Joined: 29 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:41 pm    Post subject: Teaching through Revelation Reply with quote

Hi Matt,

I'm not sure if you got into chapter 9 this deeply but I'm wondering if you needed to research Steve's info about the zealots further than his comments in the book. I am on page 200 and my work limits me to 3-4 pages per day so it is taking awhile. I am not very familiar with the history so I'm looking for a reference that may bring me up to speed in a reasonable amount of time relative to my work schedule. Like yourself, I believe the info fits best with a preterist position but I also know that I'll have to seek out the history of the events leading to the Jewish War to fully comprehend John's writing. Do you (or anyone else) have a suggestion for studying this time period?

Just curious. What was the result of the study?

livingink
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