Monday, February 18, 2013


Here is a list of the main sources and reference materials used during our study of Revelation.

Epilogue–The End

Outline: Epilogue
Passage: Revelation 22:6b-21
Discussion audio (1h12m)

With the 40th session we arrive at the end of Revelation. John wraps up and reiterates his main themes in this Epilogue section. He does this by echoing words and phrases from the Prologue at the very beginning. What we learn is that everything between the Prologue and Epilogue is explanations and descriptions of themes that were first introduced in the Prologue.

In summary here are the main themes that we discovered during our journey through Revelation.

  1. Jesus is God
  2. Israel is the Church (not ethnic or national)
  3. The Church is the New Jerusalem
  4. The description of the New Jerusalem is not heaven, but the Church
  5. The New Jerusalem is the Holy of Holies, where God dwells, and where his people now dwell
  6. Blessings are given to those who keep the words of Revelation (i.e., keep the commandments) and hold on (remain faithful) to the testimony given by Jesus in the book (the two phrases, “keep the commandments” and “hold to the testimony” are really the same thing)
  7. Revelation compares and contrasts two opposing systems – one based on coercion and force, the other based on love and liberty
  8. Revelation warns Christians against accommodating and approving the use of coercion and force, even for ends that may be good
  9. Babylon and New Jerusalem are two counterpart cities that respectively embody the principles of their masters
  10. Babylon will be destroyed; New Jerusalem will last forever
  11. Jesus’ coming is already here, in part; the rest of the story is just as certain
  12. Revelation is not so much about the future as it is about how Christians are to engage the world while awaiting the full arrival of God’s kingdom

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The New Jerusalem

Outline: The New Jerusalem
Passage: Revelation 21:9-22:6a
Discussion audio (39m)

The Bride of the Lamb is finally revealed! It turns out to be the New Jerusalem. This passage is often read as a description of “heaven” but that turns out to be the least likely application. The New Jerusalem is a description of the Church, of which aspects already exist today and have since Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to his disciples after his resurrection.

The descriptive texts of New Jerusalem are highly suffused with symbolic metaphors from the Old Testament writings as well as other Jewish writings known during the era of Revelation’s writing. The New Jerusalem is the culmination of all that Judaism was looking towards as the climax of history, but is now described in terms of Jesus Christ and the Church.

The New Jerusalem represents the Holy of Holies in Judaism, the place where God himself is said to have dwelt. In Revelation John describes the saints in the Holy of Holies with God himself. It will remain forever, and the saints will dwell in the safety and security of God’s presence. There will be nothing to fear, ever again.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A New Creation

Outline: A New Creation
Passage: Revelation 21:1-8
Discussion audio (1h11m)

Revelation is quickly drawing to a close. The last enemies Рthe dragon, Death, and Hades Рhave been destroyed. The audience must be allowed to experience catharsis during the last Act, the d̩nouement, of this drama. John describes how the historical longing for shalom will finally be fulfilled when both heaven and earth experience a re-creation. The promise to the conquerors is that evil, oppression, and chaos will never rise again to destroy the world.