BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 3, Day 5: Revelation 1:9-20

Summary of passage: John was exiled to the island of Patmos because of his beliefs in Jesus. He heard a voice tell him to write down and send to the seven churches a message. The 7 churches were: Ephesus Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

John saw 7 golden lamp stands and Jesus dressed in a robe and a golden sash. He held 7 stars in his right hand and a sword came out of his mouth. Jesus put his hand on John and told him he is God and he holds the keys of death and Hades. He commands John to write what he has seen, including how the 7 stars represent the angels of the 7 churches and the 7 lamp stands are the 7 churches.


12)  Verse 20 tells us:  “The seven lamp stands are the seven churches” previously mentioned:  Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.

13)  Jesus is the Son of Man.  He is dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.  His head and hair were white like wool and snow and his eyes were like blazing fire.  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  In his right hand he held seven stars and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword.  His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

[Side Note:  The “Ancient of Days” in Daniel is God, harking back to God at the beginning, the Alpha.  In Daniel 7:22, the “Ancient of Days” is Jesus.  All are one as the Triune God.]

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  [BSF is assuming John is the Apostle John.  Seems to be BSF’s belief here.  The question is referring to John the Apostle.  John of Revelation or John of Patmos NEVER states he knew Jesus personally or was a “close friend”.]  John was overwhelmed seeing Jesus in his heavenly glory.  This teaches me not to judge others as they may cloak their true personas.  In worship, Jesus deserves all the glory for who he is.  Falling at someone’s feet is a sign of great respect and awe in the Bible.  I would imagine he was dumbfounded and speechless as I would be!

Conclusions:  I am a bit bothered that BSF doesn’t even mention that John of Revelation may not be John the Apostle.  I believe if we are to study the Word then we cannot ignore some facts (like John of Revelation may not be John the Apostle because in the Word John never identifies himself as such).  That needs to be made clear.  It’s fine if BSF wants to assume this is John the Apostle as most scholars agree with this.  However, it needs to be stated up front that this is their assumption for the rest of the study.  It is presented here as fact when doubt exists.

More and more scholars merely refer to John here as John of Patmos.  All we know for sure is he was a prophet (being given a vision by God/Jesus) and he was known to the churches he was writing to.  He was on the Island of Patmos (which the reasons exactly why are unclear besides “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus”).  And the text probably dates between 90-100 AD although some scholars say earlier in the 60’s AD.  See more thorough discussion HERE

There is a TON here and BSF has barely touched on this passage as it deserves to be studied. Please see End Notes below for a more thorough analysis.

End Notes:  This is an analysis of verses 12-20 only.  See Previous Post for an analysis of verses 9-11.

Verse 12:  We see the 7 lamp stands 7 times in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 1:12, 13, 20; 2:1, 5; and 11:4).

Jesus is still speaking here.  Note John saw the lamp stands first then Jesus.  These are not menorahs or candles stands.  These are free-standing and held the lamps on top.

THIS IS IMPORTANT AND CRUCIAL:  In the Old Testament in the Tabernacle, there was one lamp stand with 7 candles (Exodus 25:31-37).  Here there is 7 lamp stands.  As BSF asked us, the lamp stands represent the church.  In the Old Covenant, there was ONE church–the Jews.  In the New Covenant there are many churches (here 7)–signifying the Gentiles.  God’s people are now one.  Awesome!!

Light does not come from the lamp stands–it comes from the lamp on the lamp stand.  The church does not create the light (God does as the Light); the church merely displays it for all to see.

Verses 13-16:  The Son of Man is standing in his glory amongst all the lamp stands–Jesus is standing amongst all the churches.  This is a title all readers and listeners of these words would have understood.  Jesus used the title “Son of Man” about 90 times in the Gospels.  It was first used by Daniel in 7:13 to introduce the Messiah.  Remember, ancient Christians had much more of the Bible committed to memory than we do today merely because they couldn’t read and had to have it memorized.

His clothes are significant; they signify authority and royalty.  Only those who didn’t perform manual labor could wear long robes that would have hindered work to others.  The golden sash is something only the rich could afford.  The priests in the temple wore a sash with gold threads (Exodus 39:1-5).  Jesus’ is pure gold!

Jesus here is the high priest, our intercessor! (Exodus 28:2-4; Hebrews 4:14-16)

The high priest tended the lamp stands in the temple; so Jesus tends us.

White hair spoke of age; age spoke of wisdom in ancient times.  Also, snow is pure (Isaiah 1:18).  Also, Daniel 7:9 has the Ancient of Days with “clothing as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool.”  The Ancient of Days (God) is Jesus as well.

Fire represents judgment (Matthew 5:22, 2 Peter 3:7).

Bronze is a very strong metal and is what the sacrificial altar was made of (Exodus 27:1-6).

Verse 16:  The 7 stars represent the leaders of the 7 churches here.  7 is the number of completion; therefore, Jesus is holding the entire church in his hands.  Cool!

The double-edged sword coming out of Jesus’ mouth is the Word–Jesus’ weapon. The Greek word for sword here is a heavy, battle sword used to kill and destroy.

Jesus had the same glory as in the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:2).  Here is the real Jesus.

Fun Fact:  This is the only physical description given of Jesus in the Bible.  Isaiah 53:2 is vague in comparison.

Verses 17-18:  This is the first time John sees Jesus in all his glory.  Jesus’ touches him and comforts him.  He identifies himself 3 times–He is Lord of time–past, present and future.  Lord over resurrection.  Lord over death.  Only God and Jesus can determine life and death.  The devil has no power here.

Verse 17:  The First and the Last is God (Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, and 48:12).  This is one of the few places in the Bible where Jesus identifies himself as God himself.

Verses 19-20:  Second time John is commanded to write (Revelation 1:11 is the first) what he sees in the past, present, and future.

Revelation 1:  Past

Revelation 2-3:  Present

Revelation 4-22:  Future

Jesus tells us the 7 stars are angels.  Some scholars say the 7 stars are the pastors of the 7 churches.  The Greek word used here means “messenger”.  Some take it literally and say they are 7 guardian angels of the churches.  Some take it figuratively and say the 7 angels are the spirit of each church. What’s important here is they are representatives of the body of Christ.

Note Location:  Right Hand of Jesus.  We will see this in the next chapter as well.  In Jesus’ right hand, rests safety and strength–exactly where we want to be.

Remember–John is on the island of Patmos–maybe a prisoner.  Jesus is there in our sufferings and trials and we can know him and see him and trust him right where we are.

Conclusions to Lesson 3:  We learned the book of Revelation is all about Jesus and God’s plan for the future of His people–all peoples with the 7 churches.  There is so much here in Revelation that BSF does a good job of focusing the most important pieces and I hope the lectures will bring out more we don’t discuss.

I would encourage all of you to read my End Notes as they will bring out more BSF just can’t do in such a limited amount of time as well as do your own extra reading and analysis of Revelation. Commentaries will be most beneficial.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 3, Day 5: Exodus 4:18-31

Summary of passage:  Moses returned home and told his father-in-law he was going to return to Egypt to check on his people.  He left with his wife and sons with the assurance from God that those who wanted him dead are now dead themselves.  He took the staff of God with him.

God told Moses to go before Pharaoh and perform all the wonders God gave him the ability to perform but Pharaoh will have a hard heart.  Therefore, Moses must tell Pharaoh God will kill his first-born son since he won’t let Israel go free.

On the journey, God was about to kill Moses’ son but his mother, Zipporah, circumcised him so the Lord let him alone.  God told Aaron to meet Moses in the desert.  Together they gathered the elders of the Israelites and revealed God’s words to them and the signs from God.  They believed and bowed and worshiped the Lord.


8 )  He asked permission from his father-in-law first.  He put his wife and sons on a donkey and started back to Egypt.

9)  “Israel is my firstborn son and I told you, ‘Let my son go, so he may worship me.’  But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.”

10a)  He didn’t circumcise son.

b)  His wife, Zipporah

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not sure.  Nothing that I know of.

11)  Aaron is a Levite who can speak well.  He will be glad to see Moses.  He will speak to the people for Moses.  He is obedient to God.  He helps Moses by bringing together  the elders and speaking to them.

12)  They followed all of God’s instructions.  They called together the elders, performed the signs, and spoke with them about what the Lord had told them.  The Israelites believed in the Lord again and that He had seen their misery and they bowed down and worshiped God.

Conclusions:  My favorite part was how Moses didn’t circumcise his son.  It makes sense cause his son was born in a foreign land so Moses probably thought “I don’t need to do this”.  Yet following God’s laws was so important that Moses’ indifference almost cost him his son’s life or his own.  Great example for us.  Just because we think it’s not important God may think otherwise.  I also like how his wife took up Moses’ slack.  Perfect picture of marriage!

End Notes:  Moses asked his employer as well for permission to leave.  He just didn’t shout out “I saw God!  Gotta go!!”  He followed the custom of the land as well as God.

Pharaoh could have had a soft heart if he had so desired.  But Pharaoh was given over to sin.  God withheld his mercy.

God exchanged the life of his firstborn (the nation of Israel) for the life of Pharaoh’s firstborn.

God is threatening to kill Moses (or some translations say his son) because he didn’t circumcise him.  Before Moses can return to the land of God’s people, all must be right with all members of the family.  Some scholars suggest his son was not circumcised because Zipporah was not a Hebrew and objected to the custom.  Perhaps this is why she herself had to perform the circumcision and not Moses.  Of course, this is all speculation since we are not told.  What is clear is that Zipporah is not happy afterwards, calling Moses a “bridegroom of blood”.  Whoever was at fault, it had to be put right before Moses could continue with his calling.  This shows the importance of following God’s laws–even ones that we may consider trite.

Everything happens as God promised Moses–Aaron helping him and the elders accepting him. God keeps his promises.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 3, Day 5: Matthew 3:13-17

Summary of passage:  Jesus went to John the Baptist on the Jordan River and asked to be baptized.  John protested but in the end consented.  As soon as Jesus was baptized, heaven opened up and the Spirit of God descended and said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”


12a)  “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.”

b)  The Spirit came down from heaven as a dove.

c)  “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

13a)  Confess their sins

b)  Jesus never sinned.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  As an example to us humans what we are to do.  Jesus came to earth to not only save us from our sins and grant us eternal life with the Father but to show us how to live by his example.  We are to be baptized as an outward sign of our belief in Jesus; thus, he did it as well.

Jesus was identifying with us.

Only in Matthew is it recorded why Jesus said he needed to be baptized “It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”

You could also say this was a symbolic end to Jesus’ old life and the beginning or birth of his new life because he began his ministry after being baptized.

Conclusions:  Wish this was a bit more challenging but maybe it’s supposed to be a simple passage.  Did enjoy the different versions and it was interesting how God’s words are recorded the exact same in each passage.  Shows the importance of what God says.

Note also this is one place we see the Trinity all together:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 3, Day 5: Acts 7

Summary of passage:  Stephen begins his defense by citing history.  He reminds the Sanhedrin that God appeared to Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia and told him to go to Haran.  So he did.  Then God told him to go to Canaan and he did.  God promised him he and his descendants would possess that land even though at the time Abraham didn’t.  They would be enslaved for 400 years but afterward they would worship Him.

He gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision.  Isaac was born.  Isaac had Jacob who became the father of the twelve patriarchs.

He retells the story of Joseph, how these same patriarchs (Joseph’s brothers) sold him into slavery into Egypt.  But God was with him and Joseph became Pharaoh’s right-hand man.  Famine struck Canaan so Jacob and his whole family went to Egypt to survive and live with Joseph.

Their ancestors grew over this time but became oppressed by a different ruler of Egypt.  Around this time, Moses was born and he was brought up by Pharaoh’s daughter and educated in the Egyptian ways.

When Moses was 40 he visited his fellow Israelites and interceded when one was being mistreated by an Egyptian and killed the Egyptian.  However, the Israelites did not trust Moses so he fled to Midian.

Another 40 years passed when an angel appeared to Moses in the burning bush where God then spoke to him.  God told him he was sending him back to Egypt to rescue his people, the same people who had rejected Moses before.

He led them out of Egypt and wandered for 40 years.  During this time, the people still questioned Moses leadership and decided to make a golden calf to follow instead.  God got mad at this and told them they would be punished by exile in Babylon (much later on in history).

Moses had the tabernacle and it remained in the land until the time of David and Solomon built a dwelling place for it and the Lord.  But Stephen says God does not live in houses built by men.

Now Stephen attacks the Sanhedrin, accusing them of resisting the Holy Spirit and persecuting prophets and ultimately killing Jesus.

Of course, the Sanhedrin weren’t happy with this attack.  But Stephen looked up and saw the glory of God and Jesus at His right hand.  Appalled the Sanhedrin attacked Stephen and stoned him to death.  Stephen prayed for the Lord to forgive his attackers, while Saul looked on–something of profound significance coming up.


13a)  Stephen is being charged with blasphemous words against Moses, the law, customs, the temple, and God.  He is laying out the history of Abraham and Moses, careful to mention how the people had rejected Moses and to highlight how God was behind both of them.

b)  But the people rejected God’s chosen men time and time again, citing examples of the golden calf and angering God, including rejecting Moses even with the presence of the Tabernacle.

c)  Even today,  you (the Sanhedrin) resist the Holy Spirit, persecute and murder prophets (Jesus), and disobey God’s laws just like  your ancestors of the past.

14a)  Accused of blasphemy against God, Stephen used God’s words and God’s history to show how it was they who were not obeying God, not him.  Ever since Abraham, the people have resisted God’s chosen people (here I am assuming Stephen is counting himself as a chosen person of God) and continue to do so.  Basically, they are hypocrites.

b)  Stephen was calm and angelic.  The Sanhedrin were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.  Stephen used words as his weapon. The Sanhedrin used stone.

15)  Stephen looked up to Heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

16a)  Yes.  Death by stoning is a horrible way to go.  Jesus suffered in death and so did Stephen but Jesus was with him so I’m sure the pain was dulled by this knowledge.

b)  Saul

c)  Lord Jesus

Conclusions:  I can’t support my answer to 16a but it seems at least by the Notes from Lesson 1 and the little circle, BSF is implying suffering is a part of victory so since Jesus suffered, so did Stephen.  Plus, I can’t imagine being hit by one stone, let alone enough to kill you.

I love Stephen.  He’s one of my favorites in the Bible.  Here’s a guy who loves the Lord, does the Lord’s work, and is blessed by the Lord to do so and yet he’s picked on for doing so and ultimately killed because of it.  And he didn’t really do anything when compared to Jesus.  I would wager someone or some people just didn’t like him and wanted him gone.

Yet the Lord is with him to the very end.  Awesome!

I loved the synopsis of the history of Genesis and Exodus as well as we see how people resisted God’s word throughout the ages.  It seems like the people were just dumb back then (I mean who makes a golden calf when Moses is up talking to God face to face, right?) but you see the same kind of thing today.  People rejecting God’s word over and over again.  Ironic, isn’t it, how we still haven’t learned from the past.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 3, Day 5: Isaiah 5:26-30

Summary of passage:  Isaiah describes how God will bring forth distant nations to conquer Israel and enact His justice for their sins.


11a) God will allow distant nations to overtake Israel’s land and people.

b) Personal Question.  My answer:  Personally, no.  I wouldn’t want to be conquered.  Yet, for Israel, in this time, I would say yes since their sins are great and they heed no warnings to repent.  Punishment is inevitable.  [This question is hard since we do not live in their time.]

12a) Personal Question.  My answer:  That God uses war (something He despises) to enact justice.  Because in war people are killed, women are raped, families are separated, etc.  War is the worst instrument of justice in my opinion.

b) Personal Question.  My anwer:  Personally, I wouldn’t want to be.  One always appreciates something more when it’s gone.  When I lived in a camper, my next house was a mansion!  God is teaching His people to appreciate Him through bereavement so I believe being forced from the Promised Land ultimately was a good thing for the people of Israel.

Conclusion:  Most of these questions were personal in nature.  However, I hope by providing my answers, it helps you as you answer your questions.  I know sometimes I’m  think, “What are they getting at here?” so you can see at least what I think they are looking for.  I will try to do this as often as possible as long as I am comfortable with the question.

Easy passage.  Not so easy to think about how you view God’s justice.  Interesting day.