Podcast: Sermon Notes On Easter


If you are still looking for insights on the Easter narrative, this episode is well worth the time. Brian and Ryan are talking with Dr. Jon Weatherly of Johnson University. Jon was a guest on the podcast back in Season 1 and discussed the narratives of Luke and Acts. In this episode, Jon is walking through the Passion narratives in the Gospels. By looking at these narratives, Jon gives us a clearer picture of the character and nature of Jesus.

Give a listen and watch our website for more recommendations from this site!

Links:
Intro to the Gospel of Luke with Jon Weatherly: https://thebiblebistro.com/podcast/e019/
The Songs of Ascent: https://thebiblebistro.com/podcast/e032/
Atonement and the Limits of Metaphor: https://thebiblebistro.com/podcast/e044/

Notes on Revelation

In less than a decade mankind has witnessed a global pandemic, stagnating economic conditions, and the instigation of wars and rumors of war by despotic tyrants. Weeks ago social-media savvy terrorists posted shocking images of the depredations committed against innocent civilians living in Israel. Many have interpreted these events as the fulfillment of End Times prophecy played out before our very eyes.  Indeed, it would be – for Christians at least – unnatural for our minds not to conjure up thoughts of Christ’s return in light of these happenings. And yet, Jesus cautions us not to believe everything we hear. Consider the admonition given to His followers as a preface to the Last Days discourse found in Matthew 24:4 “See to it that no one misleads you.” 

With that in mind, below is a sort of Cliff Notes summary of the book of Revelation. In it you will find the events listed in sequential order, and how they are correlated to each of the three visions. 

What is the structure of John’s Vision?

I. Prologue (1:1-20)
II. The Revelation of “What Is Now” (2:1-3:22)
III. The Revelation of “What Will Take Place Later” (4:1-22:6)
a. Introduction: Johns heavenly Vantage Point (4:1-5:14)
b. Vision 1 The Seals (6:1-8:1)
c. Vision 2 The Trumpets (8:2-11:19)
d. Vision 3 The War (12:1-22:6)
IV. Epilogue (22:7-21)

What are the Common Symbols in Revelation and what do they mean?


First it must be understood that symbols represent reality, they are not reality.

Common Symbols
Lion – power
Lamb – innocence
Locusts – limited famine
Dragon, Serpent – evil, Satan
Thrones – authority
Lamps, lampstands – witness, angelic presence
Stars – angel
Falling Stars, mountain of fire – demons
Horns – Political powers
White – purity (although the white horse in the Seals vision represents earthly political
powers fighting for dominance)
Black – judgment, distress, disaster

Red – violence, doom, blood
Green or pale – death
Purple and Scarlet – associated with the splendor of evil in all its debauchery.
Symbolic Numbers
2 – witness
3 – spiritual source behind something, sometimes associated with the Trinity,
sometimes unholy forces of Dragon and two beasts
4 – creation, possibly derived from the four points of a compass {e.g. “every (1) tribe, (2)
language, (3) people, and (4) nation.”}
5 – a handful, few
6 – a contrast to the number 7 (being one short of completeness) the repetition in the
number “666” symbolizing just how evil the beast is because he is trying to give the
appearance of a seven. Also, the number of man (a common practice in the first century
was to assign numbers to the letters in a person’s name then add them up and refer to
a person by the number rather than the name. If you take the greek word for man and
do this, it adds up to 666)
7 – Completeness, totality
12 and its multiples – the people of God, the new and old Israel, the righteous
1260 days = 42 months = 3 ½ years = “time, times and half a time” – all of these
numbers are references to the same period of history known also as the “end times”
(i.e. the time between John writing the book of Revelation and the second coming of
Christ).


What are the key components of the prophecy?


The three visions describe the same events in the future. It is a threefold repetition of:


(a) The Tribulation (also known as Last Days or End Times) These events began in 70
AD at the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by Titus. Jesus described this
event in Matthew 24:15-28. The writer of Hebrews confirms that the Last Days
started in the first Century in Hebrews 1:2. It is a time of testing and refining the
Church writ large. A time we are still living in today until Christs glorious return.


(b) The Return of Jesus Matthew 24:29-31. This event can come at anytime. There is
no way to predict the generation, the year, the hour or the minute. Anyone who
claims to have special knowledge about this event is a false prophet. Matthew
24:23-26.

(c) Immediate Judgment and Reward This happens as soon as Jesus returns. The
rapture, the judgement, the reign of Christ on New Earth, all of these things happen
in quick succession. No one will be given a second chance, the nation of Israel will
not be given special last minute accommodation. (Israel is a metaphor for all of
Gods people) Matthew 24:42-51;


(d) The Establishment of a New Eternal Creation of God’s Kingdom on the Earth. This
is the final event.


What are the visions about?


The first vision of the Seals is a macro view of these events. The seals tell us about the
four components about from the perspective of earth.


The second vision of the Trumpets is a more detailed vision of these
events. The trumpets tell us about the four components from the view of heaven.

The third and final vision is of War, it gives a micro view of these events with lots of
detail. This vision is written in chiastic form (which saturates Old Testament writing). It
offers us a granular description of the principalities involved, how they work, how they
interact with one another, their limitations, and their ultimate end.


The visions are not a series of events (as popularized by the “Left Behind” series and
other Christian literature) a series of events. Which is to say, we will not experience the
Seals, followed by the Trumpets, followed by the War.


These visions are three symbolic descriptions of the same events.


How do the metaphors correlate to the events?


VISION 1 CORRELATIONS


Seal 1-5 Tribulation of Last Days
Seal 6 Second Coming of Christ/
Judgment of Wicked
Interlude Reward of Righteous
Seal 7 New Heaven & Earth


VISION 2 CORRELATIONS

Trumpet 1-6 Tribulation of Last Days
Interlude Second Coming of Christ/
Judgment of Wicked/ Reward of Righteous
Trumpet 7 New Heaven & Earth


VISION 3 CORRELATIONS

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