Category Archives: Revelation

Revelation, Seven Churches and Teasing Out the Parts from the Whole

To Ephesus:

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary…Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.

To Pergamum:

I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives...Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam,

To Thyatira:

I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first…Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

To Sardis:

I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead...Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.

In all seven cases, Jesus still views these churches as his possession. On the macro/communal level Jesus has general statements for the church at large either positive or negative. At the same time, Jesus also recognizes that in each of these churches there are positive and negative exceptions to the rule…those who are going against the grain or against the trajectory of the church body at large.

I think this is a healthy distinction and one that we see is missed in statements or beliefs like attending a certain denomination is a guarantee of eternal salvation or damnation. Nuance is important and so is getting to know people on an individual basis for their individual values, behaviors and beliefs. None of us fill the role of Jesus. None of us truly and fully know the beliefs and deeds of another. We leave the rule of judge, jury and executioner to Jesus Christ. To usurp that role, wrenching it from His hands, is an act of arrogant aggression. Instead, let us be humble and patient and realize that Jesus has more candlesticks (churches) than many would like to recognize…and yet, there they stand and there He is addressing them as His own. Maybe Jesus has more hope for his churches than we do.

My Favorite Verse

If left to pick from all the verses of the Bible and I had to boil it all down to one verse I would pick Revelation 21:5, “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” That verseContinue Reading

Logos Review: The Book of Revelation (NIGTC) By G.K. Beale

Beale’s Revelation Commentary in the New International Greek Testament Commentary series is excellent. It is listed as one of the top commentaries on Revelation by Scot McKnight and, although as McKnight notes slightly dated (1999), it is extremely thorough. Beale goes to great lengths to give you the major interpretations of the most important aspectsContinue Reading

Richard Oster Has a New Commentary On Revelation Coming Out!

Great news from Richard Oster’s blog! Dr. Oster has completed and is about to have published his commentary on Revelation 1-3 entitled, “Seven Congregations in a Roman Crucible.  A Commentary on Revelation 1-3” This is going to be great and I recommend you guys get a copy of this book when it is available. AsContinue Reading

Richard Oster Has a Blog on Revelation

FYI, Harding Grad professor Richard Oster has a blog on his work on the book of Revelation. He is a man I greatly respect and I look forward to reading his thoughts. 7 Subversive letters

More Resources Uploaded – How to Study the Bible and Revelation

I uploaded two more resources to the Bible Class Archive. I had been hesitant to post these because they both relied heavily on the work of others. After reviewing it and adding some citations, I feel more comfortable that due credit has been given where necessary. Revelation (63 pages of fun!) How to Study theContinue Reading

Randy Harris on Persecution in Revelation

Often we hear the message of Revelation is, “We win!” That is the end game but it is not where the letter starts. Of the seven churches in chapters 2-3 only two don’t have judgments against them (Smyrna and Philadelphia). The rest are so culturally accommodated that you can’t tell the difference between who isContinue Reading

Ten Challenges in Teaching Revelation

Tomorrow night we finish Revelation in our Men’s class. This is the first time I have ever taught a class on Revelation and it was about as difficult as I thought it would be. There are several challenges to tackling this book in a Bible class: Dealing with disagreement – people have strong and variedContinue Reading

What is the Most Culturally Relevant Book of the Bible?

While all of scripture is inspired by God and relevant today, there are verses and books of the Bible that are so parallel with our modern culture that they stand out in their relevance to us today. What would you say is the most culturally relevant book of the Bible? Acts is increasing in popularityContinue Reading

Revelation – Even Though Good Wins, Evil Can Still Bite

In a book that tells us we win there sure are a lot of bumps and bruises along the way. That tells us Satan won’t go down without a fight and that this world is still a brutal place. Here are the verses in Revelation that tell us life here on earth won’t always beContinue Reading


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