End Times: Back to the Future
Lesson 7 w/AnswersRevelation Chapters 1 – 3
As we continue our look at End Time Prophecy, we begin our study of the book of Revelation. Revelation represents the capstone of the Bible. It is where all of the unfilled prophecy of the Bible finds fulfillment. It is the revealing of God’s plan and the central role of Christ in everything. As we begin our studies in Revelation, it will soon become evident that our previous study of Old Testament Prophecy and Christ’s teaching in Matthew Chapters 24 and 25 has established a good foundation. We are now ready to see Christ revealed in all of His glory and the unfolding of God’s eternal plan for all mankind.
In Revelation Chapter 1, John writes, led by the Holy Spirit, of Christ who has made himself visible to John in a new and dramatic way. We also observe prophetic symbols used by Christ, and then the meaning of them is revealed to us.
Read Revelation Chapter 1 and answer the following:
- Who is quoted in Rev. 1:8, and who is quoted in Rev. 1:17? What can we learn from these two verses regarding God and Christ?
- ANSWER: We learn that they are one and the same, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.
- In Rev. 1:20, Christ reveals a mystery. A mystery is something that is not known. Thus, Christ reveals to us something that was previously not known. What is it?
- ANSWER 1: First, we are told that the seven stars represent seven angels representing the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands are the seven churches.
- ANSWER 2: This also reveals to us that "stars" can represent heavenly beings — something we will have the opportunity to apply in our later readings in Revelation.
- Having read John’s description of his vision of Christ, what is one central truth that we can deduce from this vision as it relates to Christ’s Bride, the Church?
- ANSWER: The truth is that He stands in the center of the Church, holding the seven angels of the seven churches. Christ is, has been, and always will be, the center of the Church, His Bride.
Now, read Revelation Chapters 2 and 3, which includes the seven letters Christ sends to each of the churches. Also, consult this Seven Churches Summary and note the following for each church: strengths, faults, instruction, and promise.
- What are some possible conclusions that we can draw from a study of these seven letters?
- ANSWER 1: Many believe that these passages represent the Church, from the time of Christ to His Second Coming, with the Laodicean Church being the church in existence during the Tribulation Period.
- ANSWER 2: Others believe that the letters represent a cross-sectional look at the Church during any period of time in history. That is, you can find aspects of each of the seven churches evident in the Church throughout its history; and even more specifically, you can find examples of each of the seven churches at any given time in history, including today.
- ANSWER 3: Hard work, endurance, loyalty to Christ and the Gospel, and keeping the faith all seem to be common traits that Christ points to as strengths.
- ANSWER 4: Forsaking the gospel, allowing the world to compromise the message or your faith, tolerating cults, idols, and immorality are all faults that He finds — and in this example, he is not referring to finding them in the world, but rather in the church.
- ANSWER 5: All seven churches also receive promises if they honor his instruction. When they are read as a single passage, the promises would apply to the Church as a group of promises, as well as to the individual churches. He promises that the church will eat from the tree of life, get a crown of life, not be hurt by the second death, receive hidden manna and a stone with a new name, gain authority over the nations, get the gift of the Morning Star, walk with Jesus, and not have their names blotted out of the Book of Life, and will become a pillar in the temple of God. Furthermore, those who overcome will be invited to sit with Christ on his throne.
The first three chapters of Revelation have provided us a depiction of the Church and an excellent portrait of Christ as its central figure. These scriptures also described the Church’s responsibilities and what Christ expects of us as its members. Finally, they revealed the promises that Christ has given us, if we will only follow Him.
In our next lesson, John will paint a picture of Christ taking us up to heaven and revealing an even greater mystery: God’s plan for Judgment and the redemption of man through the Tribulation Period; followed by a look at our new heavenly home and life with Christ.
I pray you will continue to be faithful in your study, and that through it, your faith and walk with Christ will be strengthened.
Have a great week everyone!