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11 Issues per annum 2020 subject  REVELATION—THE VICTORY BOOK Chapters 1–11

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11 issues per annum

SYLLABUS 2020

REVELATION—THE VICTORY BOOK Chapters 1–11

We take a deep breath, and trust you’re sitting down, as we invite you to join us in entering the mysteries of Revelation. The loved apostle beckons us to experience his amazement when that wonderful Lord’s day, in his lonely exile, he was visited by the Ruler of kings, and given his greatest challenge as an author. We will learn much for our times from the plight of churches of God assailed by corruption and persecution outside, and sadly within, as described in those letters. Who would then want to miss the glories of the visions of heaven’s throne room, and the vistas of God’s future purposes? We should also be prepared to dip into relevant parts of the Old Testament prophets. Meanwhile we lay hold on the assurance that He who loosed us from our sins by His blood loves us—present tense as the best manuscripts show! He calls us to get into the race, with mind and heart set on the goal: to learn more of Him, in His Victory Book, while we grapple with the world trend that opposes all He loves.

Especially necessary in a Book so variously interpreted are the trusty guides—

(1) What did the text mean to those who wrote and read it first, in the political conditions of their day?

(2) Where does other Scripture shed light on its themes?

(3) Are we observing consistency in distinguishing symbolic or pictorial from literal description, and the time-sequence of the series of visions John receives, as we must in e.g. Matthew 24-25?

(4) What light do the chapters before us shed on our daily walk with the Lord?

‘”Everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.’ (Luke 24:44-45)

January  Blessed is the one who reads aloud … this prophecy, and … those who hear’ (ESV). Chapter 1

  • The purposes of prophecy                            Cp. 1 Cor. 14:3-5; Rom.16:25-26.
  • What is implied in ‘a kingdom and priests to his God and Father’? Cp. 5:10.
  • Which coming of Christ is described in 1:7?
  • Comment on the vision of the person called ‘the first and the last’.
  • Elaborate on the picture of each church as a lampstand.

February  The Lord & His churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, & Thyatira Ch. 2

(a) The credits each church has, and external difficulties they face

(b) Any debits in the account and how they can be remedied

(c) The significance of the description of Christ given to each church

(d) The significance of the prize awarded to the overcomer in each case

March              The Lord & His churches in Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea             Ch. 3

(a) The credits each church has, and external difficulties they face, if any

(b) Any debits in the account and how they can be remedied

(c) The significance of the description of Christ given to each church

(d) The significance of the prize awarded to the overcomer in each case

  • The Lord Jesus as the Overcomer

April            The throne of heaven   Ch. 4

  • Comment on the centre-piece of the vision
  • Interpret the seven lamps; and the crystal sea (cp. 21:2;22:1-2).
  • What are the functions of the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders?

May            The Lion and the Lamb    Ch. 5

  • How may disciples today be instructed and encouraged by this scene?
  • Draw out the significance of the Lion and the Lamb.
  • Comment on bowls full of incense and those holding them. Cp. 8:3-4.
  • From 5:13 some think that animals may have a place in the world to come. Is there any case for this?

June              The four horsemen, slain witnesses, and cosmic upheaval                Ch. 6

  • Comment on each of the horsemen and what they caused.
  • The slain witnesses revealed and now robed
  • The upheaval of earth, displacement of stars, and reaction on earth.

July            The 144,000 sealed and the great multitude      Ch. 7

  • Those sealed and their origin
  • Who are the great multitude in white robes?
  • The blessings declared upon those delivered from the great tribulation
  • The poetry of the heavenly hymns

August              The seventh seal and the golden censer         Ch. 8

  • Suggest a reason for the half hour of silence.
  • How might the prayers (v.3) be related to the events of the 7th seal?
  • Comment on the judgements signalled by the four angels’ trumpets.
  • Why should the eagle give warning of the imminent woes? Cp. 14:6-7.

October   The fifth and sixth trumpets of the seventh seal       Ch. 9

  • The locusts from the abyss, their work and its purpose
  • How do we explain this judgement from a God of love?
  • The significance of the appearance of the locusts
  • The judgements from the four angels on horseback
  • Why are the four angels bound until this point?

November   The angel and the little scroll       Ch. 10

  • The purpose of this interlude (to 11:14) in the series of seven trumpets
  • Why might the message of the seven thunders be withheld?
  • What is ‘the mystery of God … announced to his servants the prophets’?
  • Comment on the effect of eating the scroll, and its significance for John as prophet.

December   The two witnesses and the seventh trumpet          Ch. 11

  • What is the importance of these measurements?  Cp. Ps. 48:12-13.
  • Comment on the service of the two witnesses. Cp. Zech. 4:3,11-14.
  • Why are the witnesses killed? Comment on their return to heaven.
  • Comment on the declaration at the 7th trumpet, and the revealing at this point of the ark in God’s temple. Who will see it?

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