Revelation Bible Study | Week 7

Our Bible Cafe™ Revelation study is finished. Congratulations on completing this wonderful study. May you be forever blessed. This is a book you should read more than once. The second time you go through the study, invite a friend. You can find the study online at Bible Cafe™ University.

Congratulations on finishing your Revelation study! I have studied Revelation in Bible college and what I liked about this study is the slower pace. I did not feel rushed and I did a deep, deep dive into each chapter. Using five commentaries, I have underlined, circled, and written notes for my understanding. It was a beautiful experience and with certainty, the words BE BLESSED have great meaning. I enjoyed this summer study.

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. Revelation 19:7 NKJV

The Bride is you! The way you prepare is to put on the character of Christ, the Fruit of the Spirit, and sow seeds as you witness His love.

Daymond Duck reminds us, “When Jesus walked the earth, He did everything God asked of Him, down to the smallest detail.”  I found the descriptions, symbols, and numbers to be fascinating in the Book of Revelation. These details foretell the future…and the prophet John was describing things his generation had not seen. His word usage and details – such as the 12 foundation stones- help his original audience understand the revelations.

Remember, when John wrote down the visions and revelations, the original audience did not have written books as we do today. So his writing is crafted to help them visualize something that was originally spoken (not read).

In Heaven, we will worship, learn, fellowship, serve Jesus, and judge angels.  I am not interested in being a judge of angels (or anyone). On this side of eternity, I am saturated 60+ hours a week in learning, fellowship, and serving Jesus. So for me as a ministry leader, I would want to worship nonstop and celebrate His love and goodness. I’d like to rest at His feet.

Daymond Duck writes, “God knows how to make Satan look like a pauper.” For the original audience, it was common in their literature to compare good and evil, rich and poor. So the prophet John uses this common imagery, to describe the new world and eternal living. His words help the original audience “visualize” something in the future. In our modern audience, the imagery would be similar yet different. The Holy City is beautiful like a Bride on her wedding banquet.

God is my Judge. Jesus is my Redeemer. And so, the list of the ungodly is a resource too for righteous living. No matter how many times each generation tries to rewrite God’s Word, His original Bible stands the test of time. If you want to enter Heaven as His Bride, then you willingly choose to live a godly life. Period.

Revelation is an unsealed prophecy in the Bible. Why do you think this book was included for future generations to read? This was a risky book for the prophet John to write, from prison. When I think about his physical position, age, and Patmos where he was placed, John probably thought he was near the end of his life. So this prophecy was unsealed because it was most likely safer for him than a future prophet.

My understanding is that John was one of the last of the 12 apostles when he wrote Revelation. This was his eyewitness account. He walked with Jesus, knew Jesus, and was a beloved disciple of Jesus. The credibility of the Book of Revelation has been stamped by God!

After finishing your study of Revelation, I recommend the book “Share Jesus Without Fear” by William Fay and also the book “Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage” by Lee Strobel (good for witnessing to adult kids too)

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.

 

 

Revelation Bible Study | Week 6

Welcome back to the Bible Cafe™ Revelation study. We are on week six as we continue learning about future events from the Bible. Are you feeling more comfortable with the Book of Revelation since we started this study? The study book we have selected simplifies the end times. Let’s keep learning and not grow weary.

What should be our response to “prophecy experts” that seem to know the end time dates?  I find prophecy experts nauseating. They are usually pride-filled and profit-driven. And so my response is to give ZERO attention or time to their marketplace. Knowing the Bible helps me understand the end times without these deceitful “experts”

According to Revelation 16:11, during the Tribulation period, people will not repent. What is true repentance? Has our practice of repentance changed over the past 20 years?

Revelation 16:11 NKJV= They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores and did not repent of their deeds.

In this verse, the GREEK word means ” to think differently or afterward, i.e. reconsider (morally, feel compunction):—repent.” Saying I am sorry, is not the same as repenting. You need to think differently… a change of heart AND behavior.

As a child, I would repent by going into a confessional booth and telling the priest about my sins. But my heart did not change I just became more and more afraid of being damned to hell. As an adult, I have a personal relationship with Jesus and WANT to repent and change because of my love for Him. When I grieve Him, that is the opportunity to change so my relationship is loving.

Today many people blame God for their afflictions or suffering. We can be blinded if we are under the influence of Satan. When we do not know Jesus or have a relationship with Him, we project our miseries and surrender to the antichrist spirit. This is why we need to be reading our Bible daily… so we are not influenced by other daily things- like television, books, social news, family, coworkers, etc. Who is your Anchor???

Revelation refers to garments as symbols of repentance (sackcloth) or righteousness (white garments). What I like is how the Bible gives the meaning of clothing…so we will not presume its purpose. Handkerchief of healing, the hem of Jesus’ robe, the garments of praise…. such a beautiful story.

This week we are warned about apostasy. Blue Letter Bible defines it as this: “One of the terms often used of believers who have fallen away from Christ is a backslider. Though the word backslider is not found in the New Testament, the concept is still taught. A backslider is a Christian, who has fallen into sin and out of fellowship with God. It is important to note that the backslider is still a Christian. It is not a believer who has lost his salvation. Salvation is a gift from God and cannot be lost once the gift has been received.” Keep in mind that different denominations may have different interpretations.

FRAME this in terms of Revelation. Tribulation Period. In THAT time, the apostate will be confronted with life or death. He cannot eat, sell goods, or get a job…unless he has the mark of the beast. He may still be Christian yet his very survival requires a falling away from an active and professing faith.

Revelation 17:13 NKJV= These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.

Here we see a universal mindset, no indecision or division. Did you catch that? There is only one option. Not polarized and not free thinking.

In the OT and NT, God intends for affluence to help make the world better. We help widows and orphans. We sow into the needs and watch the harvest for ALL. But affluence can become stingy and selfish, as we see in our modern society.

Treasures on earth can be measured, compared, and valued (or devalued). Treasures in heaven are God-centered, limitless, and timeless!

Daymond Duck writes, “Only those who are called, chosen, and faithful will be with Jesus.”

In the end times, we can act like Christ. Love like Christ. Live like Christ. Forgive like Christ. By doing these things…we are His witness. To those who are chosen, they will see Christ in us and desire a relationship with Him too.

To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. (2 Cor 2:16)

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.

Revelation Bible Study | Week 5

Welcome back to the Bible Cafe™ Revelation study. We are on week five as we continue learning about future events from the Bible. This book is so fascinating I find myself reading it again and again. Rich with wisdom about our future as both Believers and non-believers- grab your Bible and start reading Revelation.

What motivates you to completely read the Book of Revelation? I have a desire for wisdom and so I am interested in understanding- not just reading- the Scriptures. Because Revelation is considered confusing, I am not rushing through this and I’m digging as deep as I can. I know from experience, that it might be many YEARS before I dig this deep into the Book, so I want to enjoy every moment of Today!

In our study book, Mark Hitchcock identifies eight characteristics of the Antichrist: intellectual genius, oratorical genius, political genius, commercial genius, military genius, religious genius, and Gentile, from a reunited Roman Empire.

Many people past/present have some of these characteristics. But not ALL of them combined. The fact that we are given ALL characteristics helps us check the boxes. I read on one commentary this week, that there will be MANY antichrists throughout history because satan is planting his seeds. But only one will have the power of the satanic trinity.

Daymond Duck writes, “Everything the Antichrist does is given or granted to him.”  And so it’s comforting to remember the antichrist is a created being, just as angels and demons are created. He’s not God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit. All created beings- us included- have limited power and authority. The Book of Job is a good character study for satans power/or lack of power.

David Jeremiah believes it is comparatively easy to be a Christian now, versus in the future. Today is much easier than the Tribulation Period, Why choose conflict and pain when you can choose LOVE today??? God has given us free will to make a choice. He does not force us into faith. He does not manipulate us into love. He is God…and we KNOW Him as we study, worship, and pray!!

For those who perished…that is a CHOICE.

For those who loved…that is a CHOICE.

The Holy Gospel is an eyewitness account of the faith. The false gospel is a fabricated opinion based on worldviews. The false gospel attaches itself to the True Gospel, so those weaker in faith cannot discern fact from fiction.

Do you believe there will be an absence of churches in the future? Perhaps more home churches or tent churches. Watching the generation coming up behind me, I see fewer and fewer young people attending a local church. Churches depend on donations to keep the lights on, run the programs, and pay the preachers. If nobody attends, the model of the church as we know it today might change in 20-50 years.

People will be performing miracles. Included in this category are astrologers, mediums, tarot readers, fortune tellers, etc. They might be accurate but they are gathering their intel from demons, not God. These are the false prophets.

“Maintain a close personal relationship with Jesus, and you will never be deceived by those who are cheap imitations of Him.” (Holman Commentary)

“False signs include …psychic healers and modern mind-science techniques. ” (NIV Commentary)

As my faith has matured, I have benefited from different churches. This allows me to sit under the preaching and leadership of different teachers. If there is one world church, the dangers exist for Pharisees to resume religious domination.

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.

 

Revelation Bible Study| Week 4

This week for the Revelation online Bible study we are discussing chapters 10, 11, and 12. Grab your Bible and let’s review Revelation. As we learned from Daymond Duck, “serving God requires doing, not just hearing.”  We enjoyed talking about this in our Bible Cafe™ community.

Serving God is motivated by love, not paychecks or pride. We serve Him by making disciples and sharing our testimony of His goodness. We serve Him by putting on the character of Christ. As we learned this week too, serving Him is an act of obedience and love.

Here in our study about Revelation, we saw John serving God in many ways. He wrote down words when permitted. He ate the words when commanded. He risked his reputation and relationships by writing the words of Revelation. Perhaps a good prayer for each day is asking God how we may serve His kingdom. For today.

“Spiritual food comes from hearing, believing, and abiding by the Word of God.” We keep our spiritual plate full as we pray, worship, read Scripture, and fellowship with believers. The Bible Cafe™ encourages these opportunities.

John is a New Testament prophet, who wrote about the destruction of Satan. Can you imagine the risks of such a task? The old man was already banished to an island, yet willing to risk pain and death. In historical context, this first-century man was a troublemaker for the religious and political systems. Unafraid, John speaks the truth.

The benefits of his obedience impact Christians for more than 2,000 years. His timeless message is passed from generation to generation. His warnings about the false trinity are easily accessible in our modern world. I’d imagine that when the Antichrist takes up his authority, he would censor these prophetic words. Today, we have wisdom without censorship.

And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Revelation 11:4b-5 NKJV

Let’s wrap up our week with a closer look at Revelation 12:5. In this passage, the woman figure symbolizes the mother and not the bride. Let’s look at the different roles.

A mother and a bride give and receive love, A mother nurtures a child, carries a child, protects her child, provides for her child, and educates her child. In contrast, a bride leaves her home to start a new family. She is romanced, intentional, and committed to her decision. She has matured.

Later in our study, we will encounter the Bride of Christ. Here in Revelation 12, we encounter the mother figure, Israel.

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.

 

 

 

Revelation Bible Study | Week 3

We are studying the Book of Revelation at the Bible Cafe™ with people around the world. This week we gathered in small groups to discuss this important prophecy. Many of you have shared how much you enjoy the study book and your discussion groups. We are very grateful to our volunteer team for facilitating conversations that help you grow in wisdom.

After reading the first nine chapters of Revelation, what did you find most interesting? I find the similarities with the Old Testament very interesting. It’s a theme of judgment, First Coming grace, rapture, and Second Coming judgment called the Tribulation Period. Beautifully written with love

Before Bible college, I used to fear Revelation, but now I feel empowered by it and I am looking forward to reading this “guidebook” for spiritual survival.

In Revelation 7:1, four angels hold back the judgments. This reminds me of God’s heart in the Old Testament, before the destruction of S. and Gomorrah, where Lot was spared. After the plagues of Egypt, the Passover. New Testament, many times grace is offered rather than judgment (woman at the well, Mary of Bethany, etc).

Before Bible college, I thought angels were fantasies and church icons. I saw people worship them and it made me uncomfortable. After Bible college, I researched the subject called “angelology” and studied the angels in Scripture. Now I believe they are real because the Bible tells me so. The study of demons is called “demonology” and yes, they are real too. Look at the New Testament when Mary was delivered from seven demons.

If a person says “This is Real” you need to check that. Look in your Bibles, find your evidence, and read those eyewitness historical accounts. If we do not align our thoughts with Scripture, we can be misled by what the world believes (such as tarot readers, astrology, fortune tellers, and mediums). People today believe these false prophets more than they will believe the Holy Bible.

According to Daymond Duck, “Judgment is not God’s first choice, but patience is.” This is the same heart of God we see in the Old Testament at Passover. The judgments snowball, and each one is harsher than the last one. But God has marked those who believe…and the Tribulation judgments will pass over those new converts. God is patient. Rather than destroy everyone and everything like the flood of Noah, God now waits for people to hear the voice of Christ and follow Him.

What is your understanding of the phrase “woe, woe, woe” from Revelation 8:13?  If the Bible repeats a word twice, this means very important. If the word is repeated three times, it’s Hugely important. Woe appears 106 times in the KJV, but this is the only time it’s repeated three times. It means “a primary exclamation of grief”

Why would unbelievers in the Tribulation Period cling to idols and demon worship, rather than repent? In my opinion, people do not want to stand out from a crowd, and so in these Revelation end times, the Bible tells us that idol worship and satanism are “common.”

Think about the foods that we know are bad for us. Do we still eat them? Yes. And so, even though people know idols and satanism are not healthy, it will be as enticing.

Despite God’s judgments during the Tribulation Period, His glorious grace will still emerge. Let’s anchor to faith, not fear.

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.