Archives For Christopher L. Scott

Today I continue my summer summary series. In this blog post I look at the doctrine of the Bible (also known as “bibliology”) using the Evangelical Free Church of America’s statement of faith as a guide.

The EFCA statement of faith on the Bible reads:

The Bible. Article #2. We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.

I. KEY TERMS 

A. General Revelation and Special Revelation

God has shown himself and his truth by both general revelation and special revelation.

1. General Revelation Continue Reading…

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons

B. Text of Revelation 14:14-20

“14Then I looked and behold! A white cloud. The one sitting on the cloud was like the Son of Man. He had a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15Then another angel come out of the temple calling out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud. ‘Send your sickle and harvest because the hour to harvest has arrived with the harvest of the earth dry and ready.’ 16So the one sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth and the earth was harvested. 17Another angel went out from the temple in heaven holding a sharp sickle. 18Then another angel came out from the altar who had power over fire. He called out in a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle saying, ‘Send your sharp sickle and harvest the grapes of the earth because the grapes are ready.’ 19The angel swung his sickle on the earth and harvested the grapes of the earth and threw them into the wine press of God’s great wrath. 20The wine-press was trampled outside of the city and the blood went out from the wine press as high as a horse’s bridle for 184 miles.” (Rev 14:20) 1

The Earth Is Harvested (Rev 14.:14 -20)

Photo Credit: “The Harvest of the World” in the Phillip Medhurst Collection

You can get a PDF version of this blog post, a handout for small group study, & access my translation notes by becoming a patron of my blog.

C. General Remarks

“The whole passage is designed to convey a powerful message which we need today as much as ever. God’s time will come; God will bring his people safely home; God will take even the wickedness and rebellion of the world and make it turn to his praise and to the salvation of his people. In the meantime his people are to be encouraged in their suffering. Martyrdom itself will be part of God’s purpose to bring his wise, healing order – to bear upon the world.” (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 135).

“The implications of the message for today are only too plain. Today is a day of grace; but what is true of the tribulation is also true today, that God will ultimately judge all people. Today, however, the invitation is still open to those who will receive the grace of God by trusting in Christ and being saved from entering this awful period that may be impending for this present generation.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 230)

“There should be no doubt that this passage, describing the harvest and the vintage, is meant to be an occasion of great, uninhibited joy. We need a huge amount of evidence to force us to say anything else.” (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 133)

QUESTION: IF SOMEONE KNEW THAT YOU WERE STUDYING THE BOOK OF REVELATION AND ASKED, “WHERE IN REVELATION DOES JESUS RETURN?” WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

II. THE SON OF MAN (Rev 14:14)

Καὶ εἶδον, καὶ ἰδοὺ νεφέλη λευκή, καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν νεφέλην καθήμενον ὅμοιον υἱὸν ἀνθρώπου, ἔχων ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ στέφανον χρυσοῦν καὶ ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ δρέπανον ὀξύ.

“Then I looked and behold! A white cloud. The one sitting on the cloud was like the Son of Man. He had a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.” (Rev 14:14)

QUESTION: WHERE ELSE IN THE BIBLE IS THE PHRASE “SON OF MAN” USED?

QUESTION: WHAT IS A “SICKLE?”

A. The Son of Man

The phrase, “Son of Man” is first used in Dan 7:13 and then in the Gospels, most notably in the Gospel of Luke as Jesus’s favorite way to describe himself. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament (called the Septuagint or LXX) the phrase is very similar to this passage here in Rev 14:14: Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own based on the Nestle-Aland 28 Greek text

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons

B. Text of Rev 14:6-13

“6Then I looked and I saw another angel flying in the sky. He was holding the eternal good news in order to share the Gospel with those who live on the earth which are from every ethnicity, nation, language, and people. 7He spoke in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory because the time of his judgment has arrived, so worship the one who made heaven, earth, sea, and fountain waters.’ 8Then a second angel followed saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is the great Babylon which led the nations to drink of her wine, wrath, and adultery.’ 9Then a third angel followed saying in a loud voice, ‘If someone worships the beast and his statue and takes the mark on his forehead or his hand 10he will drink from the wine of God’s anger which has been mixed in the unmixed cup of his wrath. He will be tormented in fire and sulfur before the holy angels and before the Lamb. 11The smoke of his torment will rise forever and ever. That torment will never cease day or night for the ones who worship the beast and his statue, as well as anyone who receives the mark of his name. 12Under these circumstances the steadfastness of the saints is clear. They are the ones who keep the commandment of God and faith in Jesus.’ 13Then I heard a noise from heaven saying, ‘Write this down. “Blessed are the dead in the Lord who die from now on.’” ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘so they will rest from their toil, for their work follows them.’” (Rev 14:13) 1

Three Angels Fly Through the Air in Rev (Rev 14:6-13)

Photo Credit: Phillip Medhurst Collection

You can get a PDF version of this blog post, a handout for small group study, & access my translation notes by becoming a patron of my blog.

II. THE FIRST ANGEL (14:6-7)

A. The Eternal Good News (v. 6)

Καὶ εἶδον ἄλλον ἄγγελον πετόμενον ἐν μεσουρανήματι, ἔχοντα εὐαγγέλιον αἰώνιον εὐαγγελίσαι ἐπὶ τοὺς καθημένους ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶν ἔθνος καὶ φυλὴν καὶ γλῶσσαν καὶ λαόν,

“Then I looked and I saw another angel flying in the sky. He was holding the eternal good news in order to share the Gospel with those who live on the earth which are from every ethnicity, nation, language, and people.” (Rev 14:6)

1. Another Angel

In this instance, the longer reading is harder. The word was probably intentionally omitted in order to resolve the tension: Less likely, it might have been accidentally omitted since its spelling is similar to “angel” (ἄγγελος, angelos). If this is “another” angel, it is difficult to know who the first angel might have been since the last angel mentioned in the book of Revelation was in Rev 11:15. Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own based on the Nestle-Aland 28 Greek text

I’m taking a break from my summer summary series because there are some changes I need to make to my doctrinal thesis. In a couple weeks I will re-start the series on theology, so for now here are some more posts working through the book of Revelation. 

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons

B. Text of Rev 14:1-5

“1Then I looked and behold. The Lamb was standing on Mount Zion and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his father’s name written on their foreheads. 2I heard a noise from heaven like the sound of lots of water and the sound of mighty thunder. 3They sang a new song in front of the throne, in front of the four living beings and elders. No one was able to learn the song except the 144,000 who had been purchased from the earth. 4These are the ones who have not defiled themselves with women, these are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes, and these are the ones who were purchased from the people of the earth. They are the first fruits of God and the Lamb. 5From their mouths no lie came. They were faultless.” (Rev 14:1-5) 1

 

Altar Piece at St Baron at Ghent on Rev 14:1

Altar Piece at St Baron at Ghent on Rev 14:1

C. General Remarks

“Chapter 14 brings to a conclusion the material found in chapters 12 through 14. Chapter 12 deals with the important characters of the period, chapter 13 with the evil rulers of the period, and chapter 14 with the ultimate triumph of Christ. This material is not chronological, but prepares the way for the climax that begins in chapter 15. Chapter 14 is a series of pronouncements and visions assuring the reader of Christ’s ultimate triumph and the judgment of evil. Much of the chapter is prophetic of events that have not yet taken place, but that in the context are now impending.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 219)

“The whole of chapter 14 is proleptic. A summary of the Millennium (20:4-6), the first five verses feature the Lamb in place of the beast, the Lamb’s followers with His and the Father’s seal in place of the beast’s followers with the mark of the beast, and the divinely controlled Mount Zion in place of the pagan-controlled earth. The remainder of the chapter furnishes a proleptic outline of the catastrophes and the bliss that receives a chronological and more detailed treatment of 16:17-22:5. In this fashion, the chapter is a sort of intermezzo to provide encouragement by telling the ultimate triumph for those who refuse the beast’s mark and to predict the doom of those who do receive it.” (Thomas, Revelation 8-22, 189)

Part of my weaknesses with the book of Revelation is that I want to see everything as chronological and in order. Walvoord’s comments above help to assure me that I don’t have to assume that what happens in chapter fourteen comes after chapter thirteen. While the flow of the book [link to chart] does have a loose chronological aspect, there are chapters that go back in time or even prophesy things that are to come.

You can get a PDF version of this blog post, a handout for small group study, & access my translation notes by becoming a patron of my blog.

II. JOHN SEES AND HEARS (REV 14:1-2)

A. The Lamb and 144,000 (v. 1)

Καὶ εἶδον, καὶ ἰδοὺ τὸ ἀρνίον ἑστὸς ἐπὶ τὸ ὄρος Σιὼν καὶ μετʼ αὐτοῦ ἑκατὸν τεσσεράκοντα τέσσαρες χιλιάδες ἔχουσαι τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ γεγραμμένον ἐπὶ τῶν μετώπων αὐτῶν.

“Then I looked and behold. The Lamb was standing on Mount Zion and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his father’s name written on their foreheads.” (Rev 14:1)

1. A Review of the 144,000

These 144,000 people are the same people mentioned in Rev 7:1-8. They consist of 12,000 people from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. In chapter 7 of Revelation there are four angels that are told to not harm the earth, sea, or tree (Rev 7:1) until the seal of the living God could be placed on the 144,000 (Rev 7:3). These 144,000 were marked with the seal of God (Rev 7:4). A further explanation of these 144,000 and the views on who they are listed below.

2. What Is Mount Zion? Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own based on the NA28 text

This blog post is the first of my Summer Summary Series. In these blog posts I am providing an examination of the ten articles of the statement of faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America (the organization which I hope to receive my ministry license through).

The EFCA statement of faith on God reads:

We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.

A Summary of the Doctrine of God

“The Adoration of the Holy Trinity” by Johann Heinrich Schonfeld (1609-1684)

I. GOD IS CREATOR

The Bible is absolutely and solemnly clear that God is the one who created the world and the universe (Gen 1:1; 14:19, 22; Exod 20:11; Neh 9:6; Pss 146:6; Acts 4:24; Heb 11:3; Rev 4:11; 14:7). God created this world out of nothing—ex nihiloin seven literal days with the appearance of age. Before the world was created only God existed with himself (John 1:1-3; Rom 4:17). Therefore, the world and universe which we live in should not be worshipped; God should be the only object of our worship. God also created heaven and those who live there (Neh 9:6; Pss 103:21; 148:2-5; Acts 4:24; Col 1:16; Rev 10:6).

II. BROAD EXPLANATION OF GOD Continue Reading…

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Review

B. Text of Rev 13:11-18

11Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth: He had two horns like a Lamb, but was speaking like a dragon.
12And with all of the authority of the first beast, the beast of the earth worked on behalf of the beast of the sea. That beast of the earth made the earth and those who live in it in order that they would worship the first beast which had been healed of the plague of death. 13He was doing great signs, even so that he made fire come down from heaven to earth before the people. 14He deceived the people living on the earth by the signs which were given to him to do in the presence of the beast. He told the people living on the earth to make a statue of the beast who had a wound of the sword, but lived. 15The beast of the earth was given power to breathe life into the image of the beast of the sea. This was done so the statue of the beast would speak and make whoever refused to worship the statue of the beast to be killed.
16The beast of the earth made everyone—the young, the elderly, the rich, the poor, the free, and the slaves—be given a stamp on their right hand and on their forehead. 17This made it so that no one was able to buy or sell anything, except for the people who have the mark of the beast or his number. 18Wisdom is needed here. The one who has understanding must interpret the number of the beast, for it is the number of humankind and his number is 666. (Rev 13:11-18) 1

You can get a PDF version of this blog post, a handout for small group study, & access my translation notes by becoming a patron of my blog.

 

The Beast of the Earth (Rev 13:11-18)

Photo Credit: Bamberg Apocalypse

C. General Remarks about Rev 13:11-18

One of the first experiences that I remember of the number “666” was when I was in college at California State University, Stanislaus. There was a newspaper selling box near our mailbox and I remember walking buy and purchasing a copy. When opening it the feature on the front cover above the fold was the chronology of a bunch of different couples that wanted to get married on that day: June 6, 2006. In effect, it was 666 (06/06/2006). In my mind, the day was far from the number, 666, but it did highlight people’s infatuation with the number that started with this passage in Revelation 13: the mark of the beast of the earth which is the mark of mankind.

“Who is the satanic beast, symbolized by the number 666? Over the centuries a very great deal of ingenuity has been expended in attempting to answer this question.” Bruce Metzger, Breaking the Code, 76

“Chapter 13 is one of the great prophetic chapters of Scripture and is the only passage that presents in any detail the two principal evil characters of the end of the age who form with Satan an unholy trinity.” John Walvoord, Revelation, 215

“Using stunning miracles, signs, and wonders, the false prophet will convince the world that the Antichrist is the leader they’ve been looking for—the man with a plan—the man who can solve the world’s problems.” (Hitchcock, The End, 269)

QUESTION: WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN OR HEARD ABOUT THIS BEAST OF THE EARTH? WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN OR HEARD ABOUT THIS NUMBER, 666?

QUESTION: AS WE HAVE READ THROUGH THIS SECTION OF REVELATION 13, WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE BEAST OF THE SEA AND THE FALSE PROPHET? IN WHAT ARENAS DOES THEIR WORK OCCUR?

II. THE APPEARANCE OF THE BEAST OF THE EARTH (Rev 13:11)

Καὶ εἶδον ἄλλο θηρίον ἀναβαῖνον ἐκ τῆς γῆς, καὶ εἶχεν κέρατα δύο ὅμοια ἀρνίῳ καὶ ἐλάλει ὡς δράκων.

“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth: He had two horns like a Lamb, but was speaking like a dragon.” (Rev 13:11)

The Greek word, αλλος, is used here. It can mean, “other, another, different.” The idea conveyed here is that this is another beast that is distinct from the first beast, but it can also be similar in appearance or form. However, some scholars say not to make too much of the distinction between αλλος and ἑτερος because “it is very difficult to make a clear distinction” (Buchsel, “ἄλλος” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 1, 264).

The true “Lamb” described in Rev 5:6 refers to Jesus and that Lamb has seven horns. The counterfeit lamb here in Rev 13:11 only has two horns, which I believe refers to its limited power and authority (Thomas, Revelation 8-22, 173) Continue Reading…

Notes:

    I. INTRODUCTION

    A. Summary of Past Lessons

    B. Text of Rev 13:1-10

    1Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads. On its ten horns were ten crowns and on its heads was a blasphemous name. 2The beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like a bear, his mouth was like the mouth of a lion. Then the dragon gave the beast his power, seat, and great authority.                     3One of its heads was slaughtered unto death, but the wound of death was healed. The whole earth was amazed after this happened to the beast. 4They worshipped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they worshipped the beast saying: Who is like the beast and who has power to wage war against him?                   5The beast was given proud words and blasphemies. Authority was given to him to work for forty-two months. 6He opened his mouth for blasphemies against God, to blasphemy God’s name and tent, namely those who dwell in heaven. 7The beast was given authority to make war against the saints and to overcome them. He was given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. 8Everyone who lives on the earth will worship the beast. These are the people whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, which is where the Lamb was slaughtered.
    9If anyone has an ear: listen!
    10If anyone is on his way to captivity, to captivity he will go.
    If anyone is to be killed by the sword, in the sword he will be killed.
    On this occasion there is patience and faith from the saints. (Rev 13:1-10) 1

    You can get a PDF version of this blog post, a handout for small group study, & access my translation notes by becoming a patron of my blog.

    The Beast of the Sea (Rev 13:1-10)

    Photo Credit: Bamberg Apocalypse

    C. General Remarks about Rev 13:1-10

    “Revelation 13:1-10 predicates a future world government that from God’s point of view will be a continuation of the ancient Roman Empire, expanded to cover not only the area of the ancient empire, but the entire world. This government will be empowered by Satan, and its primary objective will be forcing the whole world to worship Satan and his human representative, the world dictator.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 210-211)

    “The evil trinity. This trio is made up of Satan, the first beast (the Antichrist), and the second beast (a false prophet), and is a counterfeit of God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Satan is the key figure here. He empowers the other two (who are apparently human beings) to deceive and coerce the world into a willing worship of Satan. This is a trinity dedicated to destruction, not redemption. They do not serve men, but instead demand that men serve them. They do not die for humanity, but rather take lives when people will not obey their unholy commands.” (Larry Richards and Lawrence O. Richards, The Teacher’s Commentary, 1083)

    “Some estimate that, since the days of Adam, approximately one hundred billion human beings have been born. Over seven billion are alive today. However, the greatest human, apart from Jesus Himself, has yet to make his appearance upon our plant. The Bible predicts this satanic superman will splash onto the world scene and rule the world for the final 3 ½ years before the return of Christ. He plays a central role in the events of end times prophecy. More than one hundred passages of Scripture describe the origin, nationality, character, career, conquest, and doom of the final world ruler known as the Antichrist. Clearly God wants His people to know something about the coming price of darkness.” (Hitchcock, The End, 253)

    II. THE BEAST OUT OF THE SEA (13:1-2)

    A. The Head of the Beast of the Sea (v. 1)

    Καὶ εἶδον ἐκ τῆς θαλάσσης θηρίον ἀναβαῖνον, ἔχον κέρατα δέκα καὶ κεφαλὰς ἑπτὰ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν κεράτων αὐτοῦ δέκα διαδήματα καὶ ἐπὶ τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτοῦ ὀνόμα[τα] βλασφημίας.

    Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads. On its ten horns were ten crowns and on its heads was a blasphemous name. (Rev 13:1)

    1. Symbolic or Literal Sea?

    Continue Reading…

    Notes:

    1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own based on the NA28 text

    When I moved to Texas I had to learn all about the “big three” schools. Places such as “Lubbock” and “College Station” and “Austin” were legendary cities because of the large schools located there. These were the cities of the “big three” colleges in Texas: Texas A&M (College Station), University of Texas (Austin), and Texas Tech (Lubbock). While Texas might have it’s “big three,” Paul writes about the “big three” in the lives of believers in Philippians 3:9-11.

    First is justification. This is the teaching that we have righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. He writes, “and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith” (Phil 3:9, NLT). The basis and grounds for Christians be counted as righteousness depends on faith.

    Second is sanctification. Once a person has placed his faith in Jesus Christ and committed to follow Him, the next step is sanctification. Sanctification is the daily act of becoming more like Jesus. “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death,” (Phil 3:10, NLT). The Christian life is not always warm and happy. Here Paul reminds his readers that if they are to become more like Jesus, then they are going to suffer along the way. This suffering was predicted in the book of Acts, “And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake” (Acts 9:16, NLT). That suffering was lived out as Paul has shared, “For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him” (Phil 1:29, NLT) and “through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” (2 Cor 4:10, NLT). Sanctification includes joy as well, but suffering seems to be a big theme of sanctification for Paul. 

    Third is glorification. After a person has experienced justification and participated in sanctification, there will be a glorification for all believers at the end of their lives in heaven. “So that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!” (Phil 3:11, NLT).

    While it is easy to get caught up into the worldly view of things (as I learned about the big three in Texas), we should be reminded of the “big three” that Paul describes for believers: (1) justification, (2) sanctification, and (3) glorification.

    I. INTRODUCTION

    A. Past Lessons

    B. Text of Rev 12:13-18

    “13But when the dragon realized he had been thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14So the woman was given two wings like a great eagle so that she could fly into the wilderness to the place for her. That’s where she was taken care of for a time, times, and half a time away from the presence of the serpent. 15The serpent threw water from his mouth after the woman like a river in order that she might be swept away by a river. 16But, the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth. It swallowed up the river which the dragon sent from his mouth. 17The dragon became angry at the woman and went to make war against the rest of her descendants who were keeping the commandments of God and witness of Jesus. 18Then he stood on the sand next to the sea.” (Rev 12:13-18) 1

    You can get a PDF version of this blog post, a handout for small group study,   and access my translation notes by becoming a patron of my blog.

    The Dragon and His Pursuit (Rev 12:13-18)

    Photo Credit: Bamberg Apocalypse

    C. General Remarks

    “Taken as a whole, chapter 12 is a fitting introduction to the important revelations given in chapter 13. Here are the principal actors of the great tribulation with the historic background that provides so much essential information. Israel, Satan, Christ, the archangel, and the godly remnant figure largely in the closing scenes of the age. Next, the two principal human actors are introduced: the beast out of the sea and the beast out of the earth, the human instruments that Satan will use to direct his program during the great tribulation.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 202).

    “Don’t be surprised that the dragon is out to get you, with more of his foul but powerful accusations, spat out like a flood.” (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 113)

    “Revelation 12 describes the attempts by Satan to destroy Christ at His first coming, and his persecution of Isarel (the woman) in the final days before the second coming (cf. Gen 3:15). The point seems to be that Satan’s plan A was to destroy Christ so he couldn’t rule as king. When he failed in that, he embarked on plan B which was to destroy the people over whom Christ is to reign – the Jewish people. However, God supernaturally protects Israel from Satan during the final 3 ½ years of the tribulation.” (Mark Hitchock, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” class notes at Dallas Theological Seminary)

    As we finish the study of Revelation 12 it becomes clear that this chapter is about the Dragon—Satan—and his fight against those who are loyal to God. The word “dragon” (in Greek) is used eight times in this chapter in only eighteen verses. Clearly, the focus of this chapter is Satan and his work to kill others.

    II. THE CHASE (12:13-14)

    A. The Dragon’s Pursuit (v. 13)

    Καὶ ὅτε εἶδεν ὁ δράκων ὅτι ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν γῆν, ἐδίωξεν τὴν γυναῖκα ἥτις ἔτεκεν τὸν ἄρσενα.

    “But when the dragon realized he had been thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who had given birth to the male child.” (Rev 12:13)

    1. Pursued or Persecuted?

    Translations are split on the verb used to describe what the dragon does to the woman. Some translations use “pursued” (NLT, LEB, ESV, NIV, NRSV) and some use “persecuted” (NASB95, KJV1900, NKJV, AV 1873). Either seems like a good option because both reflect the dragon’s desire to kill the woman.

    QUESTION: WHO IS THE DRAGON? WHO IS THE WOMAN?

    2. Satan’s Anger Continue Reading…

    Notes:

    1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own based on the NA28 Greek New Testament

    I. INTRODUCTION

    QUESTION: HOW ARE WE DOING WITH OUR STUDY IN REVELATION? DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS? ANYTHING FROM LAST WEEK THAT DID NOT SIT WELL WITH YOU?

    A. Past Lessons

    B. Text of Rev 12:7-12

    7Then there was a war in heaven. Michael and his angels waged war against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war back. 8But, the dragon was not strong enough to find a place for himself and his angels in heaven. 9Next, the great dragon, the ancient serpent, the one called the Devil and Satan—he is the one who deceives the whole world—was thrown down to earth with his angels. 10Then I heard a loud noise in heaven saying, ‘Just now the salvation, power, kingdom of our God, and authority of his Christ has come. This is because the accuser of our brothers—the one who brings charges before God day and night—has been thrown down to earth. 11But, they overcame [conquered] him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. They did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. 12For this reason, o heavens and all who live there rejoice. Woe to the earth and to the sea because the Devil has come down for you with tremendous anger because he knows he has a short time left.’” (Rev 12:7-12)

     

    Michael vs. Dragon (Rev 12:7-12)C. General Remarks

    “The basic message of the Apocalypse is that Satan has already been defeated at the cross, and the victory of the saints is assured.” (Osborne, Revelation, 476)

    “John sees here the mother of all wars. It is a vision of Satan’s rebellion against God. The vision gives us no idea of how Satan’s rebellion relates chronologically to the creation.” (Mulholland, “Revelation” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, vol. 18, 514)

    II. SATAN LOSES (Rev 12:7-9)

    A. Michael and His Army Versus Satan and His Army (v. 7)

    Καὶ ἐγένετο πόλεμος ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, ὁ Μιχαὴλ καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ τοῦ πολεμῆσαι μετὰ τοῦ δράκοντος. καὶ ὁ δράκων ἐπολέμησεν καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ,

    “Then there was a war in heaven. Michael and his angels waged war against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war back.” (Rev 12:7)

    QUESTION: WHO IS THIS “MICHAEL?” IS HE MENTIONED ELSEWARE IN THE BIBLE? OLD TESTAMENT? NEW TESTAMENT?

    1. Michael the Archangel

    Michael the archangel held a special role in protecting Israel in the Old Testament. The angel sent to the prophet Daniel was held up by the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia, so Michael went and did battle against the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia so that the original angel could go to Daniel (Dan 10:13). That same angel later says that the only person who helps him battle the spirit princes is the archangel Michael (Dan 10:20). When describing the end times Daniel says that Michael stands guard over the nation of Israel (Dan 12:1). In the New Testament, the only reference to Michael is when Jude says that Michael argued with the Devil about Moses’s body (Jude 9).
    I do not often point to extra biblical writings when studying the Bible, but there are numerous other references to the archangel Michael in extra biblical writings. See 1 Enoch 20:5; 24:6; Testament of Levi 5:6; Testament of Dan 6:2; b. Hagigah 12b; 3 Barauch 11:4; and The Assumption of Moses. Continue Reading…