BibleProject New Testament Series - Lesson 32

Revelation (Part 2) - BibleProject

This lesson focuses on the second part of the series on the book of Revelation. It starts with an overview of the book and its literary structure, followed by a discussion of its content, including the seven churches, the heavenly throne room, the seven seals, the seven trumpets, the woman, the dragon, and the beast, and the seven bowls. The lesson then explores the symbolism of the book before moving on to different interpretive approaches, such as the historical, idealist, futurist, preterist, and eclectic approaches. The message of the book is then discussed in terms of the nature of God, the victory of Christ, the nature of evil, the role of the church, and the end of history. The lesson concludes by examining the relevance of the book today and its practical applications.

Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
BibleProject New Testament Series
Lesson 32
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Revelation (Part 2) - BibleProject

I. The Structure and Content of Revelation

A. Overview of Revelation

B. The Literary Structure of Revelation

C. The Content of Revelation

1. The Seven Churches

2. The Heavenly Throne Room

3. The Seven Seals

4. The Seven Trumpets

5. The Woman, the Dragon, and the Beast

6. The Seven Bowls

D. The Symbolism of Revelation

II. The Interpretation of Revelation

A. The Historical Approach

B. The Idealist Approach

C. The Futurist Approach

D. The Preterist Approach

E. The Eclectic Approach

III. The Message of Revelation

A. The Nature of God

B. The Victory of Christ

C. The Nature of Evil

D. The Role of the Church

E. The End of History

IV. The Relevance of Revelation Today

A. The Importance of Understanding Revelation

B. The Practical Applications of Revelation

  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the literary design, purpose, themes, and messages of each book in the New Testament, including the four Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, epistles of Paul, general epistles, and the book of Revelation.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Matthew 1-13 through this lesson, including the literary design of the book, the flow of thought in each chapter, and the key themes and events. The lesson highlights the importance of Jesus' role in bringing God's kingdom to earth and inviting his disciples into a new way of life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the Gospel book of Matthew through an overview of the first 13 chapters. You will learn how Matthew presents Jesus as the king who brings God's kingdom to earth, and how his disciples are invited to participate in this new way of life through his death and resurrection. You will also discover the central theme of the kingdom of God in Matthew, its relationship with the Church, and the call to discipleship and obedience.
  • Gain insight into the book of Mark's literary design and flow of thought, as well as Jesus' role as Israel's Messiah, inaugurating God's kingdom through his suffering, death, and resurrection.
  • By studying the Gospel of Luke, you will gain knowledge of the authorship, purpose, themes, and literary features of the Gospel, as well as a deep understanding of Luke 1-2, which narrates the miraculous births of John the Baptist and Jesus and provides models of faith and obedience. You will discover how Luke emphasizes the universality of God's love and the role of the Holy Spirit in empowering Jesus and his followers.
  • Luke's Gospel portrays Jesus as the fulfillment of God's promises told in the Old Testament, bringing the good news of God's kingdom to the poor, teaching his disciples about prayer, trust, and generosity, continuing his mission to the poor and social outsiders, celebrating God's mercy for the lost and the tragic resistance of Israel's leaders, and ultimately dying on the cross as an embodiment of God's love and mercy.
  • In the Gospel of John, the first half of the book tells stories of Jesus performing miraculous signs that lead to controversy, culminating in the raising of Lazarus and his rejection by Israel's leaders, all of which prepare us to understand Jesus as the Messiah, teacher of Israel, and Son of God who offers a new quality of life through belief in Him.
  • You will gain insights into Jesus' ministry and teachings, including the seven signs of Jesus' public ministry and his private ministry, which include the washing of the disciples' feet, farewell discourse, and high priestly prayer.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insight into the introduction and context of the book of Acts, the early church in Jerusalem, and the gospel going to the Gentiles.
  • You will learn about the book of Acts, covering chapters 13-28, which includes Paul's missionary journeys, the Jerusalem Council, and his journey to Rome, and learn about the debates and decisions made by the apostles and elders, as well as gain insights into Paul's ministry and travels.
  • In Paul's Letter to the Romans, he explains how the gospel reveals God's righteousness, creates a new humanity fulfilling God's promise to Israel, and unifies the church, with chapters one through four laying the foundation for understanding the rest of the letter, which emphasizes that all humanity is hopelessly trapped in sin and needs to be rescued through faith in Jesus.
  • In Paul's letter to the Romans, he explores the idea that all humanity is trapped in sin and needs to be rescued through Jesus' death and resurrection, and that being in the family of Abraham means being a part of a new humanity that God is creating through Jesus and the Spirit, with the purpose of rescuing and renewing all of creation.
  • Explore 1 Corinthians to gain insights into complex problems faced by the church and how Paul responds through the gospel. Learn about unity, sexual integrity, love, worship order, and the resurrection as the foundation of hope in the future. Understand the gospel's application to all aspects of life.
  • In 2 Corinthians, you will learn about Paul's efforts to reconcile with the Corinthians, address their forgotten generosity, and confront the "super apostles" who undermine his authority, revealing the paradox of the cross and its implications for a transformed life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the background, context, and content of Galatians, including the false teaching that prompted Paul's letter, his defense of his gospel and authority, the role of the law in God's promise to Abraham, and the importance of living by the Spirit and bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Gain insights into the book of Ephesians, which emphasizes the creation of unified, ethnically diverse communities through devotion to Jesus and each other.
  • This lesson on Philippians will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of its background, authorship, themes, literary features, detailed analysis of each chapter, and significance in Christian theology and impact on the church.
  • By studying Colossians, you will gain understanding of the book's authorship, background, and theological themes such as Christology, spiritual maturity, and the new humanity in Christ and how to practically apply the teachings of Colossians to the church and daily life.
  • By studying this lesson on the book of 1 Thessalonians, you will gain understanding of its background, themes, purpose, literary features, and application. You will learn about the historical and cultural relevance of the book and its personal and spiritual significance for us today.
  • You will gain an understanding of the background, purpose, and themes of 2 Thessalonians, as well as an in-depth exegesis of the text. The application of the book to historical and cultural contexts, as well as its relevance for today, is also explored.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insights into the book of 1 Timothy, including its background, themes, and significance in the New Testament, such as its contribution to understanding church leadership and worship, the historical context of the early church, and its application for modern church life.
  • In 2 Timothy, Paul writes to Timothy from prison, urging him to stay strong in the face of persecution and to confront corrupt teachers who are causing problems in the church in Ephesus.
  • This lesson on the book of Titus provides a comprehensive understanding of its background, authorship, purpose, structure, themes, and significance, enabling you to appreciate its contributions to the New Testament, its impact on the original audience, and its relevance to the Church today.
  • Gain insights into Paul's letter to Philemon about forgiveness and reconciliation with his runaway slave, challenging assumptions about social justice and inequality, and highlighting Paul's commitment to pastoral care and reconciliation.
  • This lesson on Hebrews covers the authorship, purpose, literary genre, Christology, eschatology, and theology of the book, providing insights into Jesus as the Son of God, High Priest, and Perfect Sacrifice, the concept of Rest, Warning Passages, and the Superiority of Christ and the New Covenant, the Importance of Faith and Obedience, and the Perseverance of the Saints.
  • In the Book of James, you will explore the wisdom of Jesus' teachings and the Book of Proverbs, examining themes such as faith and works, the power of words, wealth, poverty, and wisdom, ultimately learning to live according to the "Perfect Torah of Freedom."
  • Through participating in this lesson, you will learn about 1 Peter, including information on its authorship and date, recipients and purpose, theological themes, literary features, and application. The lesson covers the book's historical and cultural context, as well as its contemporary relevance, and provides insights into how it speaks to topics such as suffering and glory, holiness and ethics, and Christology and salvation.
  • You will gain understanding of the book of 2 Peter, including its authorship, date, and literary context, as well as its theological themes, interpretation, and application. By studying 2 Peter, you will learn about false teachers and their destruction, the day of the Lord, the second coming of Christ, the certainty of God's promises, and the importance of godly living in contemporary Christian life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the letters of John, including their historical and cultural context, authorship, purpose, literary features, themes, and messages, as well as their significance in the New Testament.
  • The book of Jude emphasizes the importance of contending for the Christian faith and exposes corrupt teachers, using both biblical and non-biblical Jewish texts as examples, ultimately highlighting that obedience to Jesus is the true indicator of genuine belief.
  • You will gain a deeper understanding of the book of Revelation, including its historical and literary context, authorship, purpose, and genre, as well as its structure, themes, and images. Additionally, you will be introduced to different interpretive approaches and learn how to apply the book to your personal life, the church, and culture.
  • This lesson provides an understanding of the book of Revelation, including its structure, content, symbolism, interpretive approaches, message, and relevance, helping you to gain insight into the nature of God, the victory of Christ, the role of the church, and the end of history.

BP150-32 - Revelation (Part 2)

The revelation of Jesus given to John the Prophet. In the first video, we explored how John composed this apocalyptic prophecy as a circular letter to seven churches in Asia minor to challenge and comfort these Christians who were suffering from apathy and persecution under the Roman Empire. We also encounter John's main symbol for Jesus, the slain lamb who conquered his enemies by dying for them. He is the one who opens up the scroll containing God's purposes to bring His kingdom on Earth as in heaven. The scrolls opening brought warning judgments like the plagues of Egypt and like Pharaoh, the nations do not repent. And then John introduced the multiethnic army of the lamb, and the open scroll revealed their strange mission. It's to follow the lamb by bearing witness to God's justice and mercy before the beastly nations, even if it kills them. And they will conquer the beast by laying down their lives just like the lamb. And this will move the nations to repentance. In the remainder of the book, John will fill out his portrayal of this beast and his war on God's people and how the whole story ends. After the seven trumpets, John stops the drumbeat of sevens with a series of visions that he calls signs. The word literally means symbols, and these chapters are full of them. These visions explore the message of the open scroll in greater depth. The first one reveals the cosmic spiritual battles that lay behind the suffering of the seven churches under Roman persecution. It's a manifestation of that ancient conflict that began in Genesis Chapter three. The serpent who represents the source of all evil, is depicted here as a dragon. It attacks a woman and her seed. They represent the Messiah and his people. Then the Messiah defeats the Dragon through His death and resurrection. And it's cast to earth. There the dragon inspires hatred and persecution of the Messiah's people. But they will conquer the dragon by resisting his influence, even if it kills them. John's trying to show the churches that neither Rome nor any other nation or human is the real enemy. There are dark spiritual powers at work and Jesus. His followers will announce Jesus's victory by remaining faithful and loving their enemies just like the slain lamb. John's next vision retells the story of the same conflict, but this time in the earthly symbolism of Daniel's animal visions, John sees to be empowered by the dragon. One of them represents national military power that conquers through violence. The other beast symbolizes the economic propaganda machine that exalts this power as divine. And these beasts demand full allegiance from the nations. And that symbolized by taking the mark of the beast and his number six, six, six on the forehead or hand. Now, this is an infamous image, and you won't discover its meaning by reading news headlines. John's making a clear Hebrew Old Testament reference here. First of all, this Mark is the Antichrist shaman, the writing on the forehead in hand. It's a clear reference to the Schama in ancient Jewish prayer of allegiance to God that's found in the Book of Deuteronomy. This prayer also was written on the forehead and hand as a symbol of devoting all your thoughts and actions to the one true God. But now the rebellious nations demand their own allegiance, and they force everyone to decide who they will follow. Then there's the number of the beast which has fascinated readers for thousands of years. But this was not a mystery to John. He spoke Hebrew and Greek and Hebrew letters were also numbers. If you spell the Greek words Nero, Caesar and the word beast in Hebrew, each one amounts to six, six, six. Now, John isn't saying that Nero was the only fulfillment of this vision. Nero's just a recent example of the ancient pattern set out by Daniel that the nations become beasts when they exalt their own power and economic security as a false god and then demand total allegiance. So Babylon was the beast in Daniel's day, but that was followed by Persia, followed by Greece and now Rome in John's day. And so it goes for any later nation that acts in the same way, standing opposed to the beastly nations. And the dragon is another king. It's the slain. LAMB He's with his army who have given their lives to follow him. And from the New Jerusalem, their song of victory goes out to the nations and what John calls the eternal gospel. And they call everyone to repent and to worship God and to come out of Babylon that will fall. Its days are numbered. Then John sees the vision of final judgment. It's symbolized by two harvests. One is a good harvest of grain. As King Jesus comes to gather up his faithful people to himself. The other is a harvest of wine grapes. It represents humanity's intoxication with evil. They're taken to the wine press and trampled. Now, throughout all these sign visions, John is placing a stark choice before the seven churches. Will they resist the lure of Babylon and follow the lamb? Or will they follow the beast and suffer its defeat? Now that the choice is clear, John replays a final sight. All of seven divine judgments symbolized as pouring out seven bowls. Now, we know from the Lamb's Scroll and from the signed visions that many among the nations do repent. But as the exodus plagues are repeated and poured out through the bowls, there are many people who do not repent. They resist and curse God, just like Pharaoh. And so it all leads up to the sixth bowl as the Dragon and the Beast. They gather the nations together to make war against God's people in a place called Armageddon. This refers to a plain in northern Israel, where many battles were fought by Israel against invading nations. And some people think that the sixth Bowl refers to an actual future battle. Other people think that it's a metaphor for God's final justice on evil. Either way, Jon's clearly taken images from the Book of Ezekiel about God's battle with Gog. Gog with Ezekiel, a symbol of the rebellious nations gathered before God to face justice. And that's what comes in the seventh Bowl. It's the fourth and final depiction of the day of the Lord when evil is defeated among the nations once and for all. Now, John has fully unpacked the Message of the Lambs unsealed scroll, and now he goes back to expand on three key themes that he's introduced earlier the fall of Babylon, the final battle to defeat evil, and the arrival of the New Jerusalem. And each one of these explores the final coming of God's kingdom from a different angle. So first, the Fall of Babylon. An Angel shows John a stunning woman who's dressed like a queen, but she's drunk with the blood of the martyrs and of all innocent people. She's riding the dragon beast from the signed Visions. It's a symbol of the rebellious nations. And she's called Babylon the prostitute. Now, the detailed symbols of this vision, they would be very clear to John's first readers. He's personifying the military and economic power of the Roman Empire. But he's also doing more. In this vision. John has blended together words and images from every single Old Testament passage about the downfall of ancient Babylon Tire and Edam. John showing how Rome is simply the newest version of the Old Testament archetype of humanity in rebellion against God. They come together and form nations that exalt their own economic and military security into a false god. This isn't something limited to the past or the future. It's a portrait of the human condition throughout history. And Babylon's will come and go leading up to the day when Jesus returns to replace Babylon with his kingdom. But how will Jesus His kingdom come up to this point? The day of the Lord has been depicted as a day of fire or earthquake or harvest, and now is depicted as a final battle. And it's told twice. It results in the vindication of the martyrs. Now, John takes us back to the sixth Bowl where the nations were gathered together to oppose God. And all of a sudden Jesus appears. He's the great hero. He's the word of God riding on a white horse, and he's ready to conquer the world's evil. But pay attention. He's covered with blood before the battle even begins. And that's because it's his own. And his only weapon is the sword of his mouth. It's an image adapted from Isaiah. John's telling us that Armageddon will not be a bloodbath. Rather the same Jesus who shed his own blood for his enemies now comes proclaiming justice He will hold accountable those who refuse to repent of the ways that they participate in the ruin of God's good world and the destructive hellfire that they've unleashed in God's world just becomes their own God appointed destiny. After this, John sees a vision of Jesus followers who have been murdered by Babylon, and they're brought back to life and they reign with the Messiah for 1000 years. Then after this, the Dragon who inspired humanity's rebellion against God rallies the nations of the world together to rebel against God's kingdom. But before God's throne of justice, they all face the consequences of eternal defeat. And so the forces of spiritual evil and everyone who doesn't want to participate in God's kingdom are destroyed. They're given what they want to exist by themselves and for themselves. And so the Dragon and Babylon and all who choose them are eternally quarantined, never again able to corrupt God's new creation. Now, there's a lot of debate about the relationship of the 1000 years to these two battles. There are some who think it refers to a literal chronological sequence Jesus's return, followed by a thousand year kingdom on Earth called the millennium, followed by God's final judgment. Other people think that the thousand years are a symbol of Jesus's and the martyrs present victory over spiritual evil, and that the two battles depict Jesus's future return from two different angles. Whichever view you take, the main point is clear. When Jesus returns as king, he will deal with evil forever and he'll vindicate those who have been faithful to him. The book concludes with a final vision of the marriage of Heaven and Earth. An angel shows John a stunning bride that symbolizes the new creation that has come forever to join God in his covenant people. God announces that he's come to live with humanity forever. And that he's making all things new. John's vision here is a kaleidoscope of Old Testament promises. This place is a new heavens and earth, a restored creation that's healed of the pain and evil of human history. It's also a new Garden of Eden, the paradise of eternal life with God. But it's not simply a return back to the garden. It's a step forward into a new Jerusalem, a great city where human cultures and all of their diversity work together in peace and harmony before God. And in the most surprising twist of all, there's no temple building in the new creation because the presence of God and the land that were once limited to the temple now permeate every square inch of the new world. And there's a new humanity there fulfilling the calling placed on them all the way back on page one of the Bible to rule as God's image, to partner together with God in taking this creation into new and uncharted territory. And so ends John's apocalypse and the epic storyline of the whole Bible. Jon did not write this book as a secret code for you to decipher the timetable of Jesus's return. It's a symbolic vision that brought hope and challenge to the seven first century churches and every generation of Christians since it reveals history's pattern and God's promise that every human kingdom eventually becomes Babylon and must be resisted in the power of the slain lamb. But there's a promise that Jesus, who loved and died for this world, will not let Babylon go unchecked. He will return one day to remove evil from his good world and make all things new. And that is a promise that should motivate faithfulness in every generation of God's people until the King returns. That's what the Book of Revelation is all about.