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Introduction to Revelation with Review Questions and Quiz

A Timeline of Judgements and Interludes in Revelation

This blog post is a duplication (as much as possible) of the workbook materials for the first session in Dr. Mark Hitchcock’s course on Revelation. Each Credo Course has a workbook to accompany it. The workbook we’ve created for Revelation is our most exhaustive and thorough ever. Each session (as you’ll see in the blog post below) also has a series of questions at the end. These are especially helpful for use in small groups and classroom type settings.

This blog post is the contents of the workbook for the first session of the Credo Course on Revelation. You can purchase the entire course as a digital download, on DVD, etc.

Two Caveats

  • Dimensions: The workbook (both print and pdf) has been designed for a 6×9 page spread. This means that the content in this blog post is more spread out than it is in the workbook.
  • Use Cases: The workbook is designed to be used in conjunction with the lecture for each respective session. But it is not a transcript. Therefore, you’ll be more benefited by using the two of them together.

Introduction to Revelation

Broad Course Outline

  • Introduction
  • Main issues
  • Problem passages

Test: Are You Obsessed with Bible Prophecy?

  1. You always leave the top down in your convertible in case the rapture happens.
  2. You never buy green bananas.
  3. You talked your church into adopting the 60’s pop song “Up, Up, and Away” as a Christian hymn.
  4. Barcode scanners make you nervous.
  5. You refuse a tax refund check because the total comes to $666.
  6. You can name more signs of the times than you can commandments.
  7. You believe there’s an original Greek and Hebrew text with Scofield’s notes.
  8. You believe the term “church fathers” refers to Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye.
  9. You get goosebumps when you hear a trumpet.
  10. You use the Left Behind books as devotional reading.

Importance of Studying Revelation

We study prophecy because we love the Bible and want to understand it. Almost 30% of the Bible was prophetic at the time it was written, so if we love the Bible, we love prophecy.

The book of Revelation, as the capstone of God’s message to us, really helps us to put the Bible together.

Title

Revelation 1:1a

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants

The proper title for this book is The Revelation of Jesus Christ. This could mean one of two things:

Is Revelation "From" or "About" Jesus Christ?
Is Revelation “From” or “About” Jesus Christ?

 

Revelation is certainly about Jesus; there are at least thirty-five names and titles of Jesus in Revelation. However, the rest of the verse would seem to indicate that the correct meaning is “The Revelation from Jesus Christ.” The emphasis is on Jesus as the Revealer more than on Jesus the Revealed One.

Three Ways the Title Is Misunderstood

  • Revelations (the plural form of Revelation)
  • The Revelation of St. John
  • The Revelation of St. John the Divine

Revelation’s Place in History

  • It looks ahead.
  • It looks behind.

First of all, I believe that the Book of Revelation is a “Grand Central Station” into which all future Bible Prophecy flows.[1]

–Dr. Thomas Ice

Highlights

  • There are 278 allusions to the OT in the 404 verses of Revelation.
  • There are no direct quotes from the OT in Revelation.
  • Revelation is the only prophetic book in the NT.
  • It gives the proper view, God’s view, of history.
  • It has the highest Christology in the NT.
  • It has an elaborate doctrine of Satan, demons, and the Antichrist.
  • It predicts a final, totalitarian, global, one-world, urban empire.

Definition

Revelation ἀποκάλυψις [ap·ok·al·oop·sis]

To cause something to be fully known—‘to reveal, to disclose, to make fully known, revelation.’[2]

Form

The book of Revelation is a prophecy in the form of an epistle that contains apocalyptic imagery.

  • An apocalypse (1:1)
  • A prophecy (1:3, 22:10)
  • A letter or epistle (2, 3)

Keywords

The word “and” takes us breathlessly through the book.

  • And = 1,200
  • Great = 82
  • Seven = 54
  • Throne = 46
High-Level Outline of Revelation
High-Level Outline of Revelation

 

Key Verse

Revelation 1:7

Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

Theme

The ultimate triumph of Jesus Christ

Historical Background of Revelation

Revelation is written to seven literal churches in Asia Minor (the western part of modern day Turkey).

Map of the Seven Churches from Revelation
Map of the Seven Churches from Revelation

 

External

Domitian (51–96 A.D.) was the Roman ruler (or Caesar) when John wrote Revelation. He wanted to be worshiped as God.

Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus Augustus was Roman emperor from 81 to 96 A.D.

Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.

There was local, intermittent persecution of believers.

Domitian Colossus
Domitian Colossus

 

Internal

Apathy was developing inside the churches; some of them had left their first love or were lukewarm.

Apostasy had also begun to creep in, as was the case with the church at Pergamum and Thyatira.

The Historical Background Inside and Outside the Churches in Revelation
The Historical Background Inside and Outside the Churches in Revelation

 

Argument of Revelation

We should develop the argument, flow, or purpose of a book, then trace that throughout the entire book. We can then trace the other elements within the book, and relate them back to the purpose.

If we don’t have a purpose in mind when studying the Bible, we can easily get lost.

Purpose Statement

To give believers the advanced history of how Jesus Christ, through judgment, becomes King, with a view towards calling them to faithfulness and to godliness.

Judgment Whereby Jesus Becomes King

  • Seal judgments (6)
  • Trumpet judgments (8–9)
  • Bowl judgments (16)

Two Patterns to Aid Understanding

  1. Alternating perspectives: between heaven and earth
  2. Alternating pacing: between action and interludes (The chronology of Revelation flows in the seals, trumpets, and bowls with interludes that fill in additional details.)
Two Patterns that Aid Understanding Revelation
Two Patterns that Aid Understanding Revelation

 

This could be likened to a telephone conversation. Revelation chapter 6 starts telling the story, but there is an interruption to fill in some details in chapter 7. The order then resumes in chapters 8–9, followed by more fill in, in chapters 10–15. The progression returns in chapter 16 with more fill in, in chapter 17–18, followed by the second coming in chapter 19.

Sometimes the interludes run ahead (chapter 14) and give information about what is to come, but most of the time they back up and emphasize what has been happening while the judgments are being poured out.

A Timeline of Judgments and Interludes in Revelation
A Timeline of Judgments and Interludes in Revelation

 

My Beliefs

As you begin your journey through this course, take some time to record your current beliefs/questions about eschatology. This is a helpful way to track your growth.

  1. My beliefs about the millennium (Amillennial, Postmillennial, Premillennial, Other)
  2. My beliefs about timing of overall fulfillment (Preterist, Historicist, Idealist, Futurist, Eclectic, Other)
  3. My beliefs about the rapture (Pre-trib, Post-trib, Mid-trib, Other)
  4. My additional thoughts about Revelation

My Questions

Throughout this course, we encourage you to make full use of the mar- gins and blank pages to ask yourself questions, and make notes of things that are meaningful to you.

  1. My questions about the millennium (Amillennial, Postmillennial, Premillennial, Other)
  2. My questions about timing of overall fulfillment (Preterist, Historicist, Idealist, Futurist, Eclectic, Other)
  3. My questions about the rapture (Pre-trib, Post-trib, Mid-trib, Other)
  4. My additional questions about Revelation

Questions

  1. What is your goal in this study?
  2. How should we approach any study of God’s Word?
  3. Why should we study Revelation?
  4. Why do you believe Revelation was written? Write your own purpose statement for Revelation.
  5. Who was the Roman emperor when John wrote Revelation?
  6. What is the correct title of Revelation?
    1. Revelations
    2. The Revelation of St. John
    3. The Revelation of Jesus Christ
  7. What is the form of Revelation?
  8. What is the theme of Revelation?
  9. Copy and memorize the key verse of Revelation.
  10. Number these judgments in the order in which they occur.
    1. _____ Trumpets
    2. _____ Bowls
    3. _____ Seals
  11. Which chapter(s) fit into which categories?
    1. _____ Past
    2. _____ Present
    3. _____ Prophetic

  1. Thomas Ice. “Babylon In Bible Prophecy” Pre-Trib Research Center. http://www.pre-trib.org/data/pdf/Ice-BabylonInBibleProphec.pdf Web 27 September, 2014  ↩
  2. Johannes P. Louw, and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains 1996 : 338. Print.  ↩
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6 Ways NOT to Lose Your Christianity in the University Classroom (Video)

6 Ways NOT to Lose Your Christianity in the University Classroom

When you (or a son or daughter) go to college, will you lose your Christianity? The percentage of young people who abandon their faith while at college is debated. The numbers can be high depending on what research you look at. Ed Stetzer has written about this topic for Christianity Today. His work belies some of the hyperbole in this discussion[1]. I thank him for that.

While the numbers may not be as high as some have reported, Christians do face challenges to their faith at university. Parents don’t want their children to lose their Christianity, but they may not know what to do to prevent it.

6 Ways NOT to Lose Your Christianity in the University Classroom
Copyright: Frannyanne

Christians trying to remain faithful while at school may feel like they’re fighting uphill. In some respects this is just reflective of our culture, but I think there’s more to it. These battles are taking place during a liminal stage for the student. Merriam-Webster defines the word liminal this way: of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition[2]. From a psychological perspective, a liminal stage is one full of uncertainty and ambiguity. What better way to describe college? Can you imagine a more difficult time to try to answer life’s hardest questions?

Prepare to Lose Your Christianity

We’re concerned with how to prepare young people to handle objections to their faith. In 2009 Jim Warner Wallace (a former cold case detective) was interviewed by Lee Michaels and Jeff Shell. He said that we should present evidence to young people in much the same way you would to a jury[3]. These are young people who don’t accept the authority or credibility of the Bible. We’ve boiled down six specific steps students can take to prepare for college.

1. Study Worldviews

Life is lived in terms of “worldviews.” Ideas aren’t orphans and don’t exist in isolation. Worldview evaluation helps bring to light any internal inconsistencies one might have. First, believers should understand the Christian worldview. If they don’t understand what they believe, how can they truly have faith? Second, they should study the various non-christian worldviews. This may seem overwhelming, but it can be done. Worldviews can be grouped into categories and dealt with in bulk.

[Tweet “Life is lived in terms of “worldviews.” Ideas aren’t orphans and don’t exist in isolation. “]

2. Get Perspective

College lasts for a short time. It’s busy and often confusing. It may feel like you have to come to definite conclusions, but you don’t. Christianity has a historical pedigree that cannot be destroyed by a few college credits. College is not a panacea of truth. Once it’s over, life’s toughest questions will remain. You’ll have to answer them over and over again, even if only in your own thoughts.

[Tweet “Christianity has a historical pedigree that cannot be destroyed by a few college credits.”]

3. Pursue Truth

There is no dichotomy between education and Christianity. Christianity is the only worldview that can sustain a positive outlook on knowledge. Don’t fear truth. Truth will always lead to a deeper and more accurate faith. Believers may feel a tension between following the truth and what their faith tells them. However, the Christian worldview is lead by one who identified himself as “truth” itself. It is impossible that truth (properly understood) will lead away from God. So, pursue truth with courage in your heart and Christ in your sights.

[Tweet “There is no dichotomy between education and Christianity. Christianity is the only worldview that can sustain a positive outlook on knowledge.”]

4. Take a Stand

When I taught computer networking, I enjoyed when students asked questions or challenged me. It showed me that they were thinking. I don’t doubt some professors are authoritarian. Some may brook no dissension. That’s when courage is needed. Taking a stand for what you believe is one of the quickest ways to mature.

Rows of Chairs in a Laboratory Classroom
Harris and Ewing Collection in the Library of Congress

[Tweet “Taking a stand for what you believe is one of the quickest ways to mature.”]

5. Join a Church

Being a “lone wolf” may work in your favorite action movie, but as a strategy for life, it’s a bad bet. Christianity should be practiced in community. The members of the body of Christ help to balance each other out. Even students at a religious university can benefit from local church membership. Churches in a college town know to expect a flood of new and returning students each year. They may even have classes and programs designed around students’ busy schedules.

[Tweet “Being a “lone wolf” may work in your favorite action movie, but as a strategy for life, it’s a bad bet.”]

6. Be Humble

Humility is necessary in the pursuit of truth. This isn’t in contradiction to the fourth point above (Take a Stand). It’s the flip side of the coin. Humility and courage go hand in hand. Your beliefs and convictions may be challenged. Fellow students, professors, even the curriculum itself may make you uncomfortable. You won’t always be right. Pick your battles. Be willing to admit if you’re wrong. Refusing to give up faulty ground only makes you king of an imaginary hill.

[Tweet “Refusing to give up faulty ground only makes you king of an imaginary hill.”]

A Professor’s Perspective

Dr. Groothuis has worked for years in campus ministry. Now he’s the professor at Denver Seminary. I asked Dr. Douglas Groothuis, “How should we prepare young people for challenges to their faith in college?” This is what he said.

Video Transcript

Apologetics and Christian worldview and knowledge of the Bible should be taught in the home; and it should be taught rigorously in the church; and students going to college should be involved in classroom activity/classroom instruction to prepare them for the kind of onslaught that they’ll have to deal with, prepare them for the atheism, prepare them for the relativism, and so on.

This is very exigent because the statistics I’ve seen are pretty frightening and disheartening. So many Christians go to college and either deny their faith or put their faith on hold, and they don’t act like consistent Christians. Maybe ten years later when they have children they’ll go back to the church and get more serious. But the university and college shapes an individual decisively for life.

So Christians need to know what they believe and why as they go into these settings. So the church should have courses, study opportunities to prepare for college, parents should know what sorts of things their children should read and what kinds of seminars they should go to. And this needs to be very intentional, very serious because, otherwise, the students will very likely drift away from Christianity or become fideists and say, “I believe Christianity but it is not supported by anything I study and there’s really no evidence for it but somehow I believe it.” We don’t want that.

free-28min-video-of-apologetics


  1. Stetzer, Ed. “Dropouts and Disciples: How Many Students Are Really Leaving the Church?” Christianity Today. May 14, 2014. Accessed March 5, 2015. http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/may/dropouts-and-disciples-how-many-students-are-really-leaving.html.  ↩
  2. Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 2003.  ↩
  3. Wallace, Jim W. “How to Help Young People Learn to Defend the Faith.” Interview by Lee Michaels and Jeff Shell. The Cold-Case Christianity Radio Interview Podcast (audio blog), September 14, 2009. Accessed March 6, 2015. http://thepleaseconvincemeradioshowpodcast.libsyn.com/how-to-help-young-people-learn-to-defend-the-faith.  ↩