BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 30: All Days

Since the last lesson of BSF is always personal questions, I just sum up my answers.

I’ve learned a lot about the End Times, who’s going to heaven and who’s not, Satan and his methods to deceive the saved, God’s faithfulness, timing, and goodness, and the importance of Jesus.  Jesus is paramount in God’s plan for this world.  He’s the linchpin.

Overall, the study was great.  Great discussions in my small group.  Great questions.  Great material.  Great God who showed up in the midst of it.

Some repetition that some liked and others didn’t.  Could have delved deeper into the differing End Times eschatological views.  Could have gone deeper into the possible meanings of symbols and passages.

My love for God has deepened as I’ve learned just how much God loves us by sending His son to die for us and planning a home for us in the future.  He is good despite what society says.

Not for sure if I see yet how this study has impacted me and God’s will for my life.  Some changes don’t show up immediately and because we are so close to ourselves often we don’t see it.

It has been a blessing to study alongside you all and listen to your thoughts on the material.  I hope I have broadened the base of discussion just a tiny bit.  I will miss you all and be praying for you during the summer.

God bless you all on your summer break and we’ll see you all in the Fall for the study of John!

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 29, Day 5: Revelation 22:6-21

Summary of passage:  Jesus is coming and John falls at the feet of the angel to worship it (he did this in Revelation 19:10). The angel told John to tell others of what he has seen and heard and to let them continue to do wrong or good as they are doing.  Jesus is coming to reward those according to what they’ve done. He’s the Alpha, Omega, First and Last, Beginning, End. Blessed are the righteous who have the tree of life. Outside the gates of the city are the dogs who are immoral and practice falsehoods. Jesus is the Root, Offspring of David, the Morning Star.  Let all come for the gift of the water of life say the Spirit and the bride. A warning to not change the prophecy in the book of Revelation. Jesus is coming soon. Grace be with God’s people.

Questions:

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It really doesn’t.  I plan to do what I normally do:  tell others as God leads me.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I don’t know.  Too soon to tell.

Conclusions:  Filler.

End Notes:  See previous days.

Conclusions to Lesson 29:  What words of hope and encouragement.  Jesus is coming.  All should be ready.  Hold fast.  Reflective lesson leading up to Lesson 30, our last lesson where we’ll be asked what has changed within us.  This is always hard to answers for little changes we don’t see but others do.  I’d wait 6 months and then ask someone close to you if something has changed.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 29, Day 4: Revelation 22:17-21

Summary of passage:  Let all come for the gift of the water of life say the Spirit and the bride.  A warning to not change the prophecy in the book of Revelation.  Jesus is coming soon.  Grace be with God’s people.

Questions:

9a)  The invitation is to all to accept Jesus as Savior.  It is open to all.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I am thirsting for Him more.  For His world here.  For His presence more in my life.

10)  So nothing is twisted to mean something else.  God wants all to know the promises for the believers and the consequences for the nonbelievers.  No sugar-coating going on here.  All need to know the Truth.  Whoever changes it, corrupts His word and leads others astray.

Conclusions:  I love the ending!  A final invitation to God’s world and eternal life with Him.  A reminder Jesus is coming soon.  And a prayer for us!  His grace be with us!  Awesome!

End Notes:   Is this an invitation to Jesus, asking Him to return? Or is it an invitation to those with a spiritual thirst to come to Jesus? Either sense is certainly true.  Isaiah 55:1 echoes this invitation.

All you need is the desire to have Jesus in your heart.  Come and God will do the rest.  There is no bringing anything to God or giving.  It’s HIM doing the giving.  All you have to do is accept.  This is the greatest invitation you’ll ever receive.

The warning is either Jesus, the angel, or John.  It is not clear who is speaking here.

God’s word is holy and must not be altered. 2 Peter 3:16 says those who do face destruction.

“Come, Lord Jesus” in verse 20 is a common Aramaic expression that was well known in the ancient church: Maranatha!  Should be our cry today!

Will the End Times be in our times?  Only God knows.  It is our job to be ready.  God has the rest.

Note:  it’s a cry for Jesus to fix the world.  Man cannot fix it.  It’s man’s fault the world is full of sin.  Despite our noble efforts, we are Fallen.  Only God can catch us and make us whole again.

The word of grace was used by Paul as well to sign off on his letters (1 Corinthians 16:23, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:28, 2 Thessalonians 3:18).  In 2 Thessalonians 3:17-18, Paul indicated that this signature – no doubt written with his own hand – was a mark that the letter was genuinely from him.  John is greeting those who will soon be reading his testimony and praying for them as well.

The last verse of the Old Testament contains a curse by the Lord: “Else I will come and strike the land with a  curse. (Malachi 4:6).  The last words of the New Testament speak of grace–the saving grace of Jesus that saves and redeems.  The fading of the Old Covenant with the New Covenant.  A curse but a promise fulfilled at the end.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 29, Day 3: Revelation 22:12-16

Summary of passage:  Jesus is coming to reward those according to what they’ve done.  He’s the Alpha, Omega, First and Last, Beginning, End.  Blessed are the righteous who have the tree of life.  Outside the gates of the city are the dogs who are immoral and practice falsehoods.  Jesus is the Root, Offspring of David, the Morning Star.

Questions:

6)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  He’s the Alpha, Omega, First and Last, Beginning, End, the Root, Offspring of David, the Morning Star.  The first and the last or alpha and omega because everything starts, ends, and everything in between is his.  He is the beginning, the middle, and the end for every Christian.

7a)  Blessed are those who accept Jesus as their Savior and not blessed are those who don’t.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Those who accept Jesus because he lives inside of me via the Holy Spirit.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Pray to be more like Jesus.

Conclusions:  All personal.  No meat.  I love how Jesus uses all his titles here.  We see most of them in Revelation and throughout the Bible.  It’s a culmination of who he is.

End Notes:  Be ready.  This is stated 3 times in this chapter (verses 7, 12, 20).  It’s meaning is not soon but when they come it will be in rapid succession.  The church and us are meant to be ready always.

“And My reward is with Me.”  The word for “reward” means to “pay for service—good or bad” (more literally, as a “wage”).  Jesus will compensate the saints (Revelation 11:18) as well as the unrighteous (2 Peter 2:12-13).  A believer shall be given the gift of life and rewarded for good works, whereas the unbeliever shall be given the wages of death (Romans 6:23).  There is no partiality with God.  He “will render to each one according to his deeds” (Romans 2:5-16).

What you do here matters.

Jesus uses titles normally associated with God.  Alpha and Omega is in Revelation 1:8; 21:6.  The First and the Last is in Isaiah 41:4.  Jesus wants to leave no doubt he is a Triune God.

There is debate about who speaks this last beatitude in Revelation:  John, an angel, or Jesus.

Some versions say blessed are those who do his commandments instead of who wash their robes. The difference stems from a Greek word:  HOIPLUNONTESTASSTOLAS (washed their robes) or
HOIPOIOUNTESTASENTOLAS (do His commandments).  This would be a copyist’s error.  Still, the meaning is clear.  This is the desire of our hearts.  Obviously, we all fail.  But our desire is to keep his commandments and wash our robes.  That is what matters.  The unbeliever has no such desire.

We saw washing of robes in Revelation 7:14 or washing in Jesus’s blood.  It means fully committing to the Lord Jesus Christ, our lives.

Being on the outside is not literal here.  There are not throngs of unbelievers standing outside the New Jerusalem.  It means they are not in the eternal city.  Jesus is making clear one last time who will stand with him and who will stand against him.

Dogs here is a derogatory term for the morally impure or unbelievers (Matthew 7:6; Philippians 3:2).  Dogs were considered unclean and despised.

Jesus assures us here the Book of Revelation is his word to us, the churches, to be known.

The Root is a Messianic title (Isaiah 11:1).  It shows that Jesus is both the Creator of King David and His descendent.  Jesus spoke this same idea in Matthew 22:41-46.

The Morning Star is another Messianic title from the Old Testament (Numbers 24:17) and the New Testament (Revelation 2:28).  Just as the Morning Star (generally held to be the planet Venus) shines and welcomes the new day, so does Jesus.

Fun Fact:  This is the first reference to the church since the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 29, Day 2: Revelation 22:6-11

Summary of passage:  Jesus is coming and John falls at the feet of the angel to worship it (he did this in Revelation 19:10).  The angel told John to tell others of what he has seen and heard and to let them continue to do wrong or good as they are doing.

Questions:

3a)  God/Jesus/Holy Spirit says it’s true.  Furthermore, there are 3 witnesses to John’s testimony:  the angel, John himself, and Jesus, which was the legal requirement in ancient times for a trial (Deuteronomy 17:6; John 5:31-32).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  All Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), given to man through prophets or people as a gift from God.

4)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Prophecy gives us a word to keep, not merely material for interesting discussions and debates. The main purpose of prophecy is to lead us to trust and obey God, and apply His truth to the way we live.  Obviously, if we trust and obey God more, we live God’s life more, and we are further blessed.  As my faith grows, my life is better.  I was asked over the the weekend at church to name a time when I’ve been completely blessed in my life and one of my answers was now.  I am feeling truly happy, content, and blessed with God and my life.  And I think it’s because of my strengthened faith in Him.

5a)  He said to worship God alone not fellow servants or prophets.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not for sure if I worship anything other than God.  I am prideful sometimes and put credence in things I shouldn’t but worship (definition: to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power) is a strong word.  God is at my center.  He gets all the credit.  Pray all the time.  Stay in His word as much as possible.  Do His will in my life.

Conclusions:  Saw 3b before.  Good lesson on the truth of the Bible and how we are blessed by knowing prophecy and we grow in trust in Him.  The more we know, the more we grow!

End Notes:  Revelation opens with an angel and ends with one.

“Soon” in the Greek connotes suddenly to us.  Jesus will come suddenly and in his time.  We are to ready always.

No created being is ever to be worshiped.  Angels are servants of God who minister to us (Hebrews 1:13-14).

Revelation is in contrast to Daniel 8:26; 12:4 where Daniel is told to seal up his visions about the future.  Now is the time, the angel says.  Daniel was hundreds of years before Revelation.

The angel says there will be no more time to change when Jesus comes.  The wicked will still be wicked, the good still good.  Second (and third and fourth, etc) chances are over.  Furthermore, those doing wrong will have hardened hearts and will not heed the book of Revelation (Daniel 12:10).  Those with God’s heart will be affected and shall continue to do good.

This is encouragement to us who pray for the lost and the lost loved ones we know.  There is nothing we can do but share with an open and loving heart.  God will do the rest.  And if they don’t convert, that is no fault of ours.  It is their responsibility to let God into their hearts, not ours.

Here we see the 6th Beatitude of Revelation.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 28, Day 5: Various Passages for the Day

Summary of passages:  Various passages for the day.

Questions:

10)  Matthew 28:19-20:  “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

(We had this EXACT SAME passage and question in Lesson 19 Day 3.  My answer hasn’t changed and neither has the passage.)

It challenges me to spread the word.  Duh.

John 13:31-36:  “Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you much love one another.”

It challenges me to love others.  Duh.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22:  “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt.  Test everything.  Hold on to the good.  Avoid every kind of evil.”

This challenges me to remember my blessings, be grateful for all I have, to pray more, to be happy, to remember this is the life God has granted me, to challenge what I hear as Truth and see if it lines up with the Word, to hold onto God (the good), and to avoid evil.

Hebrews 12:28:  “Let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”

This challenges me to be more worshipful.  I’m wondering what acceptably means here.  I don’t like it for it’s too subjective.  Your acceptable might not be my acceptable.

1 Peter 1:13-16; 2 Peter 3:10-14:  “Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  Do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  Be holy in all you do.”  “You ought to live holy and godly lives and look forward to a new heaven and a new earth.”

This challenges me to be more like Jesus and be holy and not be like the world around me.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Be more like Jesus.  Every day.  Love others.  Do His will more.

Similar question:  Lesson 24 Day 5

Conclusions:  We’ve had question 10 before.  My attitude is so poor as you can tell.  I hope yours isn’t as bad as mine.

Conclusions to Lesson 28:  Complete and total filler lesson.  All were personal questions except for question 8 on day 4 (the only good question in my opinion).  All were ones we’ve had before on topics beaten to death.  Weak.  Can we just finish Revelation please?

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 28, Day 4: Various Passages for the Day

Summary of passages:  Various passages for the day.

Questions:

7)  Part Personal Question.  My answer: 1 Corinthians 15:42-44: Our bodies will be raised imperishable, in glory, in power, and spiritual.

1 John 3:2:  We shall be like God.

Revelation 22:1-5:  There will no longer be a curse.  God and Jesus will dwell in the city and we will serve Him.  We will see God’s face and His name will be on our forehead.  There will always be light, never darkness.  We will reign forever.

It doesn’t give me hope and I’m tired of being asked this.

8 )  Luke says “in paradise”.  Philippians says “with Christ.”  All of these passages are vague at best.  See End Notes for a thorough analysis.  The results may surprise you.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That it is eternal.  That it is paradise.  That Christ is the only way.  Relatives.

Asked same question:  Lesson 26 Day 2 & 3, Lesson 23 Day 5, Lesson 19 Day 3Lesson 7 Day 2, Lesson 13 Day 5, and Lesson 15 Day 4

Conclusions:  Hope again.  It’s as if I don’t have any hope so I have to be asked about it REPEATEDLY to find it.  I have hope.  Lots of it.  Can we move on now?  Again, sharing the gospel.  This lesson could be used in that seminar.

Question 8 was actually good and it’s obvious where BSF lands on this one.  Both sides have merit and I’m not a scholar so I go with my gut here:  our souls go to heaven first while our bodies sleep.  Unbelievers await judgment in a temporary location to await the Great White Throne room.

End Notes:  So I decided to find out for myself where people go who have died.   HERE is a great piece that actually dismisses BSF’s Luke 23 and why it’s not saying we go to heaven (which it doesn’t).  This SITE has so many bible passages it’s ridiculous, but the conclusions are the same:  when we die, we lie asleep in our grave until Christ comes again.

This SITE supports BSF’s assertion that we immediately go with Jesus/God, using the EXACT SAME passages BSF does to support this conclusion.  This one says the same thing HERE.  We go to heaven but await our physical bodies after the Second Coming.

So here we have two different beliefs.  1) Our body and soul lie in the ground, “asleep”, until Jesus’ Second Coming where both will be raised.  2)  Our soul immediately goes to be with Jesus while our body slummers and rises again at the Second Coming, where body and soul shall be reunited.

So which is true?  Both have biblical support.  Obviously, the latter is more comforting and is commonly taught at churches.  Here’s my view:  does it matter when?  I’m not going to worry about it.  For one, I’ll be dead and I have no control over it anyways.  And two, all that matters is at some point I shall dwell forever with God.

I have never heard of belief #1 before until just now.  It totally changes what I would think of death if I believed it.  Not sure if I do.  To me, it makes sense that God loves us so much He wants us with Him immediately.  So I think we all go to heaven and await for our physical bodies for the Second Coming.  Other thoughts?