BSF Study Questions John Lesson 9, Day 5: John 6:34-40

Summary of passage:  Jesus declares he’s the bread of life and whoever believes in him will never be hungry nor thirsty.  He has come to do God’s will which is to raise up God’s people at the last day in eternal life.

Questions:

11)  Material.  No because once again Jesus chastises them with “You have seen me but still you do not believe.”

12a)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  That God shall raise up believers at the last day.  Asking God into your heart and receiving the Holy Spirit ensures you’ll be among the last.  (Similar question on Lesson 4 Day 2)

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  With Jesus my every need will be satisfied.  It frees me from fear to do His will even when I don’t understand it.  (Similar question Lesson 4 Day 4)

13)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus has come to give eternal life (life with the Father) to all who believe.  That is his fulfillment of God’s desire.  As I do His work, I am assured and content. (Similar question Lesson 8 Day 5)

Conclusions:  We’ve had many of these questions before.  Expect more repetitiveness in the weeks ahead.

End Notes:  This is the fourth question Jesus answers from the people in this scene recorded by John.  In some translations it says “always” instead of “from now on.”  The people still want material bread and they want it forever.

This is the first of the “I am” (ego eimi) in the Gospel of John and one of the most important.  There are 7 “I am ” statements (the number of completeness and perfection).  These echo the seven “I am” statements God says in Isaiah.

The bread of life may mean “the bread that is living” or “the bread that gives life”.  Jesus expands on verse 33 here by explaining what he means by the bread of God.  This is repeated in verses 41, 48 & 51.

Come to Christ out of your heart and desire.  That is all that is required to come.  It’s very simple like when someone asks you “to come here.”  That is what Jesus is doing here.

Coming to Jesus begins with God and all who come get God.  To do God’s will.  Mentioned by Jesus before in John 4:34.

This is an invitation to all believers and all in general.  Whoever comes willingly, gets God. Period.

True believers persevere because Christ holds onto them.

Fun Fact:  “The last day” expression is found only in John in the New Testament.  This probably refers to the day of resurrection followed by the day of judgment at the End Times.

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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 9, Day 4: John 6:30-33

Summary of passage:  The people ask Jesus for a miraculous sign so they can believe he is the son of God (verse 29).  Jesus says he is the bread of God who comes from heaven to give life to the world.

Questions:

8 )  The Israelites received manna from God every day for 40 years in the desert for food.  They received it because they grumbled against God for bringing them to a desert with nothing to eat.

9a)  “the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I live my life for Him now.  Follow His calling.  Obey.  Pray.  Listen.  And love like Jesus.  Try to walk in his ways and shine his light to the world.

10)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  “miraculous”  I haven’t demanded a miraculous sign from Jesus and it’s inappropriate to gossip about others.  That is between that person and God.  (Very similar question from Lesson 3 Day 4 when the people asked for a miraculous sign as well).

Conclusions:  I thought there was a lot here that got lost in the personal questions.  Very simply:  Jesus is our daily bread.  Feast on him!

End Notes:  So these people have just experienced the miracle of the feeding of the 5000.  However, the Jewish leaders have arrived (Matthew 15:1, John 6:41; Mark 7:1) and they want to see another miracle.  The people who got the free food are in it as well for free stuff!

The people brought up manna and Moses in hopes Jesus would do the same thing:  free bread for life!

Jesus corrects them by pointing out that the manna in the wilderness did not come from Moses but from God and that the Father still gives (present tense) the true bead from heaven (life through the Son).

Jesus replies with:  Yes, indeed, God gave you bread.  And here is the True Bread from God–me!  And then you’ll have eternal life.  Let’s move on from the physical to the spiritual.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 9, Day 2: John 6:22-27

Summary of passage:  The crowd, realizing Jesus and the disciples had departed, followed to Capernaum.  When the found Jesus, asked when he got there.  Jesus answered they are looking for the wrong reasons:  he is the food that endures to internal life.

Questions:

3)  “Rabbi, when did you get here?”  “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, no because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.  Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.  On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”  “I tell you the truth.”

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  The people are following Jesus because he fulfills their immediate and physical needs.  They need to know he fulfills their eternal and spiritual needs.  Reverent.

5a)  Work for food that endures to eternal life.  Helping others.  Worshipping God.  Doing God’s work for you here on earth.  Evangelizing.  Do not work for food that spoils.  Work with no purpose.  Work that leads to sin.  Everyday food.  Earthly treasures and power.

b)  God the Father, by the miracles which had been performed by Jesus (water into wine, healing the official’s son and the paralyzed man, feeding the 5000, walking on water), had shown that he had sent him, that he approved his doctrines, and ratified his works.  The miracles were to his doctrine what a seal is to a written instrument.  We learned last year that those who are saved through faith in Jesus receive God’s seal (Revelation 7:2-3; Revelation 13:16-17).  It is God’s mark of approval.

Conclusions:  Thought the personal side of question 4 was out of place.  Not sure how studying the Bible correlates to Jesus telling the people to do heavenly works.  Question 3 was straight copying.  I love how people think they know what to ask Jesus and what’s important in their lives and Jesus just completely ignores them and points out what actually matters:  him and nothing else.  Awesome!

End Notes:  This is the day after the feeding of the 5000 and the walking on water.  This is the same crowd who were there and the same crowd who wanted to crown Jesus as king.  Some people got into boats.  Others had to have walked.

Jesus, again, does not answer their question.  It would have been:  Well, I walked across the Sea of Galilee.  Not exactly something Jesus wants to promote.

Later in this chapter, John tells us that this took place at the synagogue in Capernaum at a Sabbath service (John 6:59). Also, according to Matthew 15, Jewish leaders from Jerusalem came to Capernaum to question Jesus. They were also part of this crowd.

Instead, Jesus tells the people why they themselves came.  This is a lesson to us: ask ourselves why are we asking God for something.

This is classic:  material needs versus spiritual needs.  Which one do we work for?

Jesus uses the title “Son of Man” because it was unknown at the time.  It wasn’t “Messiah” which would convey to the people he was here to conquer Rome.  He wanted to emphasize why he was here:  for their soul not their country.

A seal was a mark of ownership and a guarantee of contents.  God the Father has sealed Jesus for us–by his testimony, his baptism, his miracles.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 9, Day 5: Revelation 4:9-11

Summary of passage: John sees four living creatures honoring and thanking God and when they do, the 24 elders fall down as well and worship him forever and ever, saying God is worthy of worship as the Creator of all things.

Questions:

10)  They are falling down before God, laying their crowns at God’s feet, and worshiping Him, giving Him all the glory, because He is the Creator of all things and it is by His will they even exist.  It’s important to note the elders are following the creatures lead.

11)  Part personal question.  My answer:  Worship.  We were created to worship and that’s what we will do non-stop in heaven.  It’s what we should do here.  Everything we do should be worshipful in some way to God.  I will try to be more cognizant of this and ask myself if what I’m doing is worshipful or not.  If not, then I will not do it.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Needs to be more about Him and not me or others around me.  At church it’s easy to look around and see what others are doing.  I need to focus more on God.  Focus more at home on God.  Analyze if what I am doing is worshipful or not.  Strive to put more worship in my daily life.

Conclusions:  Great application to the passage here.  Worship is central to God, who He is, and why we were created.  It can get lost in all of our busy-ness.  God’s will needs to be done on earth.  We each were given a job by God to accomplish here on earth and that needs to be central to our lives.  Discovering it and fulfilling it.  Along the way, we need to acknowledge it’s Him and praise Him for that.  That is our purpose.  Period.

End Notes: Four living creatures full of eyes are cherubim (Ezekiel 1:4-14; 10:20-22). The eyes show their intelligence all their job is to worship the Lord. Satan used to be one of these (Ezekiel 28:14).

The 24 elders are either human or angels. Either way they represent man (12 tribes and 12 apostles–all of Israel and all of the Church) or divisions of the priests (1 Chronicles 24). Most scholars think they are human in glory (the white). Believers will be crowned (1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4). Saints have white robes (Revelation 6:11, 7:9, 13-14). Thus, man is joint heirs with Christ, sitting on lesser thrones in heaven (Romans 8:17, 2 Timothy 2:12).

We see the Lord WORTHY. The 24 elders all wearing crowns symbolizing their authority lay down their crowns, giving God all authority under heaven.

Can you see it? The living creatures are crying out God’s holiness and in response the 24 elders fall down before God and proclaim His infinite glory and worthiness and power. This scene never stops repeating itself.

In days of old, lesser personages would lay down their crowns at the feet of rulers as a sign of submission. In Roman times, the emperor would then give the crowns back to these lesser rulers most likely ones the Romans had conquered as a symbol that their authority comes from Rome. Same symbolism here.

The crowns are the crowns of victory and rewards for deeds (Greek stephanos) like those given at Olympic games, not royalty. The elders are giving their achievements over to God.

Smyrna was promised a crown of life for faithfulness (Revelation 2:10) and Philadelphia was told to hold onto their crown so no one will take it from them (Revelation 3:11).

Spurgeon points out the 24 elders acted as one and says how we all should be unified in our desire for God.

God is worthy because He is the creator of all things and He allows us to exist. King James Version says “for thy pleasure they are and were created.” We were created to please God and for nothing else. We don’t fulfill our purpose here on Earth until we do.

The elders represent us. God is waiting for us. We each have a crown in heaven and a throne in heaven and a song in heaven and a part in giving God all the glory He deserves.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 9, Day 4: Revelation 4:8-11

Summary of passage:  John sees four living creatures with 6 wings and eyes all around.  They never stopped praising God.  The 24 elders fall down as well and worship him forever and ever, saying God is worthy of worship as the Creator of all things.

Questions:

8a)  Holy, holy, holy means God is infinitely holy.

b)  Lord God Almighty–in Greek it means “one who has his hand on everything” (Revelation 1:8). Yahweh is “who was and is and is to come.” (Revelation 1:8) Almighty refers to God’s wholeness as the Triune God and how he is fully God always.

c)  Who was, and is, and is to come means God has always existed and will always exist.

9)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Giving glory to God means worshiping Him as the Creator, acknowledging that He is the source of everything you do and everything you are humbly, and being grateful for it.  Paul says in Romans to do God’s will and remember we are His and are created for worship.  Ephesians reminds us to live with a grateful heart as we praise God through singing hymns and doing everything in His name with thanks.

I am giving God the glory for all.  I am powerless on my own.  I pray for God’s will to be done in my life.  I listen and respond.  I worship and express gratitude at my complete inability to do anything without Him.

Note:  1 Chronicles 29:11-13 is David’s famous prayer of humility and giving God all the glory for everything.

Conclusions:  Would still like to explore the living creatures more.  Awesome passage in the Bible.  One of my favorites.  We see we were created by God for God to worship Him and we see in heaven complete and total worship of Him.

End Notes:  Four living creatures full of eyes are cherubim (Ezekiel 1:4-14; 10:20-22). The eyes show their intelligence all their job is to worship the Lord. Satan used to be one of these (Ezekiel 28:14).

The cherubim each had 4 faces (Ezekiel 1:6-10). The four faces have dozens of interpretations such as the elements, the cardinal virtues, the faculties and powers of the human soul, the patriarchal churches, the great apostles, the orders of churchmen, the principle angels, etc.

Some say they represent Jesus. Some say they represent the 4 gospels and Jesus’ characteristics. Some harken back to the tribes of Israel as they encamped around the tabernacle. All 4 represent the pinnacle of their world–lion king of wild animals, eagle king of birds, ox strongest of domesticated animals, and man king of intelligence and animals.

The triple repetition of “holy” is rare in Hebrew and meant to call attention to God’s holiness. It is the only characteristic of God repeated 3 times.  Never do we see in the bible “love, love, love” or “anger, anger, anger”.  God wants us to know above all else He is HOLY.  It’s His authority and power emphasized here.

Isaiah 6:2-3 repeats these words but the creatures are called seraphs.  Psalm 99:1-9 also says God’s holiness above all else.

The 24 elders are either human or angels. Either way they represent man (12 tribes and 12 apostles–all of Israel and all of the Church) or divisions of the priests (1 Chronicles 24). Most scholars think they are human in glory (the white). Believers will be crowned (1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4). Saints have white robes (Revelation 6:11, 7:9, 13-14). Thus, man is joint heirs with Christ, sitting on lesser thrones in heaven (Romans 8:17, 2 Timothy 2:12).

Next, we see the Lord WORTHY.  The 24 elders all wearing crowns symbolizing their authority lay down their crowns, giving God all authority under heaven.

Can you see it?  The living creatures are crying out God’s holiness and in response the 24 elders fall down before God and proclaim His infinite glory and worthiness and power.  This scene never stops repeating itself.

In days of old, lesser personages would lay down their crowns at the feet of rulers as a sign of submission.  In Roman times, the emperor would then give the crowns back to these lesser rulers most likely ones the Romans had conquered as a symbol that their authority comes from Rome.  Same symbolism here.

The crowns are the crowns of victory and rewards for deeds (Greek stephanos) like those given at Olympic games, not royalty.  The elders are giving their achievements over to God.

Smyrna was promised a crown of life for faithfulness (Revelation 2:10) and Philadelphia was told to hold onto their crown so no one will take it from them (Revelation 3:11).

Spurgeon points out the 24 elders acted as one and says how we all should be unified in our desire for God.

God is worthy because He is the creator of all things and He allows us to exist.  King James Version says “for thy pleasure they are and were created.”  We were created to please God and for nothing else.  We don’t fulfill our purpose here on Earth until we do.

The elders represent us.  God is waiting for us.  We each have a crown in heaven and a throne in heaven and a song in heaven and a part in giving God all the glory He deserves.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 9, Day 3: Revelation 4:1-8

Summary of passage: John was invited into heaven for a glimpse. He was in the Spirit. Before him was a throne. Sitting on the throne was one who appeared jasper and carnelian and a rainbow and 24 other thrones with elders surrounded the main throne. Seven lamps or spirits of God shone before the throne. Thunder came from the throne. Four creatures surrounded the throne: a lion, ox, one like a man, and an eagle. Each creature had 6 wings with eyes everywhere and were singing God’s praises constantly.

Questions:

5)  Colors–jasper (white or “diamond”) and carnelian (red). Colors could be blood of Christ or refer to the priests breastplate (Exodus 39:8-13) or God’s glory (white). Note the rainbow which is God’s covenant with man. God is sovereign but He himself limits what He shall do with covenants and promises to us.  Flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder is God’s presence and fear of Him.  In Revelation, thunder and lightning will always mark and important event connected with the heavenly temple (Revelation 8:5; 11:19, 16:18).

6)  In Exodus, Moses and others saw a pavement made of sapphire (colors again).  Isaiah sees the same seraphs singing the same song to the Lord.  They also had 6 wings.  The temple shook and smoke filled it.  Isaiah was cleansed before the Lord.  Ezekiel sees the same living creatures John saw.  He sees lightning and light and fire.  He sees a throne of sapphire as well.  He sees glowing metal, fire, and brilliant light and a rainbow.

Micaiah (2 Chronicles 18:18), Ezekiel, Daniel, and John saw God on a throne.  Stephen saw the glory of God and Jesus at his right hand (Acts 7:55).  Jacob saw the Lord in heaven (Genesis 28:12-13).  Paul was caught up to the third heaven and heard inexpressible things (2 Corinthians 12:2-6).

7a)  Verse 5 says God is on the throne with the seven lamps (Jesus) burning and seven spirits of God (Holy Spirit).

b)  Being God is the Triune God, if you have a relationship with God then you have a relationship with all three.  The Holy Spirit lives inside all of us and “teaches us all things and reminds us of everything”  (John 14:26) and “guides us into all truth, speaking only what he hears and telling you what is to come” and “making it known to you” (John 16:7-15).  The Spirit “intercedes for us” and helps us pray (Romans 8:26-7).  The Spirit marks us as His (Ephesians 1:13).  We believe in the saving grace of Jesus as our Savior, which makes us righteous before God who is Lord over all, the Creator of the universe, the Alpha and the Omega.

Conclusions:  Had to dig for number 6.  Very interesting.  In Revelation we see the Triune God as in no other book and their interlinkedness.  All three are integral to God and who He is and we need all three.  All passages in 7b refer to the Holy Spirit.

I love the study of colors.  For all those opthamologists out there, this is fascinating.  All color is white and color changes based on its reflection and absorption when it hits other materials.  And it’s our brain and eyes which tell us which color is which.  Something that is black absorbs all colors.  Amazing how God has designed us to see color and how He has color in heaven.

Was hoping to discuss the living creatures more.  These are fascinating to me.  But maybe because they have so many interpretations BSF did not want to open that can of worms.  See End Notes for a discussion of possible meanings to the living creatures and comparisons to those Ezekiel saw.

End Notes:  These are the same from yesterday’s lesson.  Nothing has changed.

We are beginning a new division in Revelation (where one breaks it up is different) with the words “After this”. We are going to study Revelation 4-5 and then take another break and jump to Joel. These are a heavenly perspective and deals with God’s judgment on earth and its people. This is the beginning of the description of the Tribulation and introduce the rest of Revelation. The number 7 will be prominent here.

After Jesus finishes speaking to the 7 churches, John is called up to heaven to see events that will take place –leading up to Jesus’ return to earth. This echoes Moses’ call up to Mount Sinai in Exodus 19. Many see this as symbolic of the rapture as John is taken to heaven before the judgement. Chapter 6 will describe the wrath. As noted before, the word “church” is not used from Revelation 4-19. This will bring in the debate about the Tribulation but we’ll save that for later on.

John immediately sees a throne in heaven whereupon sits God. Note he doesn’t describe God as a figure but as emanations–colors–jasper (white or “diamond”) and carnelian (red). Colors could be blood of Christ or refer to the priests breastplate (Exodus 39:8-13). Note the rainbow which is God’s covenant with man (Genesis 9:13-16). God is sovereign but He himself limits what He shall do with covenants and promises to us. This is a reminder of God’s love and mercy and grace for us.

The 24 elders are either human or angels. Either way they represent man (12 tribes and 12 apostles–all of Israel and all of the Church) or divisions of the priests (1 Chronicles 24). Most scholars think they are human in glory (the white). Believers will be crowned (1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4). Saints have white robes (Revelation 6:11, 7:9, 13-14). Thus, man is joint heirs with Christ, sitting on lesser thrones in heaven (Romans 8:17, 2 Timothy 2:12).

Lightning, rumblings, thunder is God’s presence and fear of Him. In Revelation, thunder and lightning will always mark and important event connected with the heavenly temple (Revelation 8:5; 11:19, 16:18).

7 lamps are the Holy Spirit. 7 Spirits of God are completeness again (Revelation 1:4).

Sea of glass–scholars are divided whether it is literal or figurative. The “Sea” in the Old Testament is the basin of water priests would wash in before administering in the temple (1 Kings 7:23-26). See also Exodus 30:17-21. This was before we were made clean with the blood of Jesus (Revelation 1:5). Hence, it may symbolize our righteousness before God.

Four living creatures full of eyes are cherubim (Ezekiel 1:4-14; 10:20-22). The eyes show their intelligence all their job is to worship the Lord. Satan used to be one of these (Ezekiel 28:14).

The cherubim each had 4 faces (Ezekiel 1:6-10). The four faces have dozens of interpretations such as the elements, the cardinal virtues, the faculties and powers of the human soul, the patriarchal churches, the great apostles, the orders of churchmen, the principle angels, etc.

Some say they represent Jesus. Some say they represent the 4 gospels and Jesus’ characteristics. Some harken back to the tribes of Israel as they encamped around the tabernacle. All 4 represent the pinnacle of their world–lion king of wild animals, eagle king of birds, ox strongest of domesticated animals, and man king of intelligence and animals.

The triple repetition of “holy” is rare in Hebrew and meant to call attention to God’s holiness.

Lord God Almighty–in Greek it means “one who has his hand on everything” (Revelation 1:8). Yahweh is “who was and is and is to come.” (Revelation 1:8)  Almighty refers to God’s wholeness as the Triune God and how he is fully God always.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 9, Day 2: Revelation 4:1-8

Summary of passage:  John was invited into heaven for a glimpse.  He was in the Spirit.  Before him was a throne.  Sitting on the throne was one who appeared jasper and carnelian and a rainbow and 24 other thrones with elders surrounded the main throne.  Seven lamps or spirits of God shone before the throne.  Thunder came from the throne. Four creatures surrounded the throne:  a lion, ox, one like a man, and an eagle.  Each creature had 6 wings with eyes everywhere and were singing God’s praises constantly.

Questions:

3)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God.  Appeared like jasper and carnelian.  God is to be worshipped constantly.

4a)  24 elders.  Elders could be angels or man–most likely man. White represents righteousness and glory.  Angels are sometimes presented in white robes or garments (Mark 16:5; John 20:12; Acts 1:10), but saints also have white robes (Revelation 6:11, 7:9, 13-14) for righteousness (Isaiah 61:10, Revelation 3:5-18). We never see angels crowned but believers will be (1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4).  This shows man as heirs with Christ and reigning with Him (Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:12). (See End Notes for full explanation and interpretations).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Eternal.  Crown of life (James).  Crown of glory that will never fade  away (Peter).  Crown of righteousness (Timothy).  Crown that will last forever (Corinthians).  To be honest, on this day, a Saturday at 6:25 am, it doesn’t encourage me.  Not one bit.

Conclusions:  Being far from encouraged today and being tired of being asked about how I am encouraged in this study when truthfully I’m pretty down-in-the-dumps, I decided to count how many times we are asked this (so far).

Lesson 1:  We are asked what hope, comfort, and/or confidence we receive 3 times

Lesson 2:  We are asked what gives us alarm, hope, and/or help 3 times

Lesson 3:  We are asked what helps, strengthens, and comforts 2 times and encourages 2 times.

Lesson 4:  Hope 1 time.

Lesson 5:  Encouragement 2 times, comfort 1 time

Lesson 6:  Confidence 1 time

Lesson 7:  None.  Mainly factual lesson.

Lesson 8:  Encourage 2 times.  Hope and confidence 2 times.

Totals:  Encourage 6 times.  Hope, help, comfort, confidence 13 times.

Being that the definition of encourage is “to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope; hearten; to spur on, stimulate, to give help or patronage to; foster.” (we talked about it in Lesson 8 Day 5) has the words “hope” and “help” and “hearten” which means confidence, we can probably add all of these together for a grand total of 19 times.

Maybe I’m being petty or cynical or what-have-you (and I’m sure you all will let me know if I am).

The book of Revelation does not intimidate me.  It does not scare me (check out my poll in the sidebar.  Half of you aren’t scared by the End Times either).  It is like any other book of the Bible–given by God for us to discover a bit more about Him and His desires for us.  It is no harder than say Matthew to study or any other book.  I don’t understand why Christians shy away from it (my church included. In the 11 years I have been attending it has NEVER done a series on Revelation which is a travesty in my opinion).

I think this is why people are intimidated–no one talks about it.  Plus, with all the doomsayers out there, putting out movies (which are fiction) and writing novels (fiction as well) about Revelation, people can’t separate fact from fiction.  It’s simple:  Bible is fact.  Everything else fiction.  Believers have nothing to worry about.  Nonbelievers do.

Point of my rant:  Knowing I have an eternal future doesn’t encourage me when the bank is calling and I’m late on my mortgage and it doesn’t encourage me the day I file for bankruptcy, hold my baby close, and cry, knowing I’m leaving the house all my children were born in.  Daniel’s story doesn’t encourage me when my husband loses his job.  It doesn’t encourage me when my husband is passed over for promotions because he lives out God’s words in his deeds.  Knowing there is a kingdom awaiting me doesn’t give me hope in my daily life at times when loved ones are in car accidents, my dogs die in my arms, or cancer strikes friends and relatives.

(Note to prevent emails:  All of this stuff has happened to me, some of which I have written about here.  I’m actually in a really good place right now.  Just goes to show you whether your down in life or up hope and encouragement can still be far away.  The main thing weighing on my heart right now and is probably the root cause in all of my down-in-the-dumps attitude is my inability to get a book published–my life long dream and God’s will for my life I believe.  When doing God’s will for your life ends up perpetually at a dead-end road, discouragement, disappointment, and heartache reign and skew your vision of life–be it daily life and eternal life.  I’m working to pull myself up but am not there yet).

At the end of the day, God does give me encouragement when I pause to listen and pray.  But every day?  No.  It just doesn’t.

I mentioned in Lesson 8 Day 5 I have become numb to most of the world’s happenings in order to maintain my sanity.  I think the same is try for God’s encouragement and hope.  Yes, I should be encouraged and filled with joy that there is more for me besides the daily grind.  But do I believe it and live it out every single second of the day?  No.  Will I?  Perhaps.  Am I getting closer each day?  I’d like to think so.  I recognize it though.  That’s the first step to changing it.

Sorry for the information dump.  Sometimes when BSF asks questions about hope and encouragement and comfort and I don’t feel any it can be depressing.  (I have mentioned this before in other studies).  But I shouldn’t feel guilty about it (and neither should you if you are in my boat).  Because God will comfort and encourage and give us hope when we need it.  Not necessarily when we are asked the question.  Not everything has to encourage.  In fact, it can be the opposite.

Note:  We were asked about the crown as well with the exact same reference Bible passages in Lesson 6 Day 3 for Revelation 3.

End Notes:  We are beginning a new division in Revelation (where scholars break it up) with the words “After this”.  We are going to study Revelation 4-5 which begins John’s visions when he was taken up to heaven and then take another break and jump to Joel who prophesied about the Day of the Lord.  Here we’ll see a heavenly perspective and how God metes out judgment on earth and its people.  This is the beginning of the description of the Tribulation and introduces the rest of Revelation.  The number 7 will be prominent here.  A separate post on the significance of numbers in the book of Revelation will follow this lesson.

After Jesus finishes speaking to the 7 churches, John is called up to heaven to see events that will take place –leading up to Jesus’ return to earth.  This echoes Moses’ call up to Mount Sinai in Exodus 19.  Many see this as symbolic of the rapture as John is taken to heaven before the judgement.  Chapter 6 will describe the wrath.  As noted before, the word “church” is not used from Revelation 4-19.  This will bring in the debate about the Tribulation but we’ll save that for later on.

John immediately sees a throne in heaven whereupon sits God.  Note he doesn’t describe God as a figure but as emanations–colors–jasper (white or “diamond”) and carnelian (red).  Colors could be blood of Christ or refer to the priests breastplate (Exodus 39:8-13).  Note the rainbow which is God’s covenant with man (Genesis 9:13-16).  God is sovereign but He himself limits what He shall do with covenants and promises to us.  This is a reminder of God’s love and mercy and grace for us.

The 24 elders are either human or angels.  Either way they represent man (12 tribes and 12 apostles–all of Israel and all of the Church) or divisions of the priests (1 Chronicles 24).  Most think they are human in glory (the white).  Believers will be crowned (1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4).  Saints have white robes (Revelation 6:11, 7:9, 13-14).  Thus, man is joint heirs with Christ, sitting on lesser thrones in heaven (Romans 8:17, 2 Timothy 2:12).

Lightning, rumblings, thunder is God’s presence and fear of Him.  In Revelation, thunder and lightning will always mark and important event connected with the heavenly temple (Revelation 8:5; 11:19, 16:18).

7 lamps are the Holy Spirit.  7 Spirits of God are completeness again (Revelation 1:4).

Sea of glass–scholars are divided whether it is literal or figurative.  The “Sea” in the Old Testament is the basin of water priests would wash in before administering in the temple (1 Kings 7:23-26).  See also Exodus 30:17-21.  This was before we were made clean with the blood of Jesus (Revelation 1:5).  Hence, it may symbolize our righteousness before God.

Four living creatures full of eyes are cherubim (Ezekiel 1:4-14; 10:20-22).  The eyes show their intelligence all their job is to worship the Lord.  Satan used to be one of these (Ezekiel 28:14).

The cherubim each had 4 faces (Ezekiel 1:6-10).  The four faces have dozens of interpretations such as the elements, the cardinal virtues, the faculties and powers of the human soul, the patriarchal churches, the great apostles, the orders of churchmen, the principle angels, etc.

Some say they represent Jesus.  Some say they represent the 4 gospels and Jesus’ characteristics.  Some harken back to the tribes of Israel as they encamped around the tabernacle.  All 4 represent the pinnacle of their world–lion king of wild animals, eagle king of birds, ox strongest of domesticated animals, and man king of intelligence and animals.

The triple repetition of “holy” is rare in Hebrew and meant to call attention to God’s holiness.

Lord God Almighty–in Greek it means “one who has his hand on everything” (Revelation 1:8).  Yahweh is “who was and is and is to come.” (Revelation 1:8)  Almighty refers to God’s wholeness as the Triune God and how He is fully God always.