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Recap: Assumptions 1. We will not speculate on meanings based on modern-day equivalency metaphors 2. We will not speculate on dates or times (see Acts 1:7, Matt. 24:36) 3. Revelation was understood and relevant to its ﬁrst readers as evidenced by the bookʼs rapid growth. This precludes modern day interpretations and means that we can understand it without having to wait for something to happen. 4. Revelation is not a chronological breakdown of future events. Rather, it is a series of visions. a. “Prophetic perspective” - O.T. prophets blended the near and distant prospects to create a single canvas. The prophetʼs concern was not to give a program or chart to the future, but to bring to light the heavenly perspective on our lives. Ex. Isaiah 52:13-14, 53:1-4; Isaiah 13 (Babylon & End of days); Luke 21:20-28 b. Revelation is ﬁlled with powerful illustrations that have greater meaning that is inherent to the object of the illustration. Ex. Mark 14:22 passover/eucharist Also think about what these mean: shield, rock, fortress, builder, shepherd, door, vine Three Basic Principles of Interpretation: 1. How would the original hearers understand it? 2. What is the historical context? 3. What does this mean in light of other scripture? Scripture interprets scripture. Summary of our Study: Revelation 1-3 - Johnʼs vision of Jesus, the letters to the churches - “Revelation” - What is revealed about Jesus and His relationship to us? Revelation 4-5 - The vision of the throne room, the Lamb and the scroll - “Redemption” - What has God redeemed in my life? Revelation 6-7 - The six seals, the two multitudes - “Perseverance” - What do you hope for? Think about what things people turn to when they are hurting such as coping mechanisms, escapism, emotional outlets, etc. The prayers of the saints (Rev. 8:3-4): - Are the cause of judgement
- What is the prayer? - Rev. 6:9 “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Trumpets are heralds of judgement in O.T. - examples, of Jericho and Gideon First 4 Trumpets (Rev. 8) 1. vs. 7 - hail and ﬁre, mixed with blood, vegetation burned up - Land 2. vs. 8-9 - mountain burning with ﬁre cast into sea, turns it into blood - Sea 3. vs. 10-11 - star falls into water, poisons it all - Fresh water 4. vs. 12 - third of sun, moon, stars - Sky - note illogical nature of this particular judgement. ex. phases of the moon - point is not so much “how” but “what” is being judged Next two trumpets: The locusts (9:1-12) - Are clearly demonic in nature - Come from the “abyss”, known in the Bible as the home of the dead and of demons (see Luke 8:31, Rom. 10:7, Ps. 71:20) - Are associated with scorpions, a common byword for demons in Bible (see Luke 10:19, Ps. 91:13) - Locusts like no real locusts - led by a king “abaddon” “Destroyer” (see Exodus 12:13) when real locusts have no king (see Prov. 30:27) - are told to not touch vegetation when thatʼs all that locusts do - power to torment for 5 months… the same period of the warm dry season in Palestine during which locust swarms normally came - Physical Description - “Teeth of lions” from Joel 1:6 - “appearance… like horses” “sound like… chariots” from Joel 2:4-5 - Arab proverb: “locusts have head like a horse, a breast like a lion, feet like a camel, a body like a serpent, and antenna like the hair of a maiden”. The horses (9:13-19) - Again, have demonic traits - red, yellow, blue breastplates represent ﬁre, sulfur, and smoke (see Rev. 14:10, 19:20, 21:8) - “tails like serpents” in vs. 19 links the horses to the locusts - Also, serpents have a typically demonic association (see Gen 3:1, 2 Cor. 11:3) - Come from the East
- Euphrates typically associated with invading forces to Israelites (see Isaiah 7:20, 8:7, Jer. 46:10). An invasion was associated to the overﬂowing of the banks of the Euphrates (see Isaiah 8:7) - Parthian empire was located in the East. The parthians were known for their horse riding skills, especially for their ability to shoot bows forward and backward as they retreated (see 9:19 “the power of the horses was in their mouths and their tails). How are we to understand these judgments? Read 9:20 - These judgements are about idolatry - Exodus plagues are the key Similarities to Exodus - The Exodus plagues were in response to the cries of Israel (see Exodus 3:7 “I... have given heed to their cry”) just as these judgements are a response to the prayers of the saints - God judges the gods of the Egyptians directly in each plague (see Exodus 12:12 “Against all the gods of Egypt, I will execute judgement”). The Romans worshipped individual gods who had control over nature Roman Gods: - Apollo, God of light, brought sun across the sky in chariot - Ceres, God of nature, agriculture “Eternal Mother” - Neptune, God of the sea - Volturnus, God of the waters - The similarities of the plagues themselves - Hail and ﬁre from 7th plague (Exodus 9:18) - Blood from 1st plague (Exodus 7:14) - “Wormwood” from Jer. 23:15, a judgement on priests for leading people to idolatry - Darkness from 9th plague (Exodus 10:21) - Locusts from 8th plague (Exodus 10:12) What makes something idolatrous? What things on the list we made would you consider idols, and why? What things would God destroy and what would He replace them with? Themes: - God hears our cries of “How long?” and answers them within his time (see 9:13-15) - The church will be safe in times of judgement (see 9:4) - The judgement of God is intended to lead to repentance (see 9:20) - The powerlessness of idols Read Psalms 115:2-8 - The demonic nature of idols Read 1 Cor. 8: 4 and 10:20 What do you worship?