Intro to Revelation Pt. 4

Introduction to the Book of Revelation, Part 4


Pt 1 — Prologue, vision of Jesus, 7 churches (Rev 1-3)

Pt 2 — “Before the Wrath” Docudrama 

Pt 3 — Rapture (1 Thes 4), Heaven’s Throne (Rev 4)

Pt 4 — The simultaneous events occurring in heaven and on earth after the rapture of the church.  


      1. Judgement seat of Christ (believers standing before the bema)
      2. The Marriage super of the Lamb


Rise of the Antichrist, Great Tribulation 

A. Judgment seat of Christ

Once the rapture of the occurs, the next major event for the church is the judgment seat of Christ or the bema seat judgment, in heaven.  

Those raptured saints, dead or alive from the church age will stand individually before God to receive their rewards — tangible rewards doled out by Jesus based on a faithful life and service, and ministry for the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:10 (NIV)

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

It’s called the judgment seat “of Christ” because Jesus will be the judge. 

John 5:22 (NIV)

Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son…

The judgment seat of Christ will occur in heaven immediately after the church is raptured to heaven.

1 Corinthians 4:5

Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

Each person work for the Lord will be tested and tried.  

1 Corinthians 3:12-15

12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

Those good deeds done with right motives will survive the fire but the same good deeds done with impure motive will burn like wood, hay and straw.  God knows not only what we do, but why we do it. Examining our motives is the most searching aspect of this test.

Matthew 6:1-4

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

The Bema seat is not about salvation but stewardship.  It is not for sinners but the saints.  

The prize will be in the form of a crown crown.  There are 5 types of crowns mentioned 

1. The incorruptible crown (1 Cor 9:24-27)


1 Corinthians 9:24-27

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

2. The crown of righteousness

2 Timothy 4:8

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

3. The crown of life 

James 1:12

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Revelation 2:10

10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

4. The crown of rejoicing

1 Thessalonians 2:19

19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?

5. The crown of glory 

1 Peter 5:1-4

To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

The Bema seat judgment is different than the The Great White Throne judgement.  The judgment of unrighteous people will occur at the end of the Millennium. They will be judged according to their works and cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:11-15

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

B. Marriage supper of the lamb 

Revelation 19:6-9

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

    For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

7 Let us rejoice and be glad
    and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
    and his bride has made herself ready.

8 Fine linen, bright and clean,
    was given her to wear.”

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

Earth: Rise of the Antichrist

Before the antichrist is revealed, the church must be gathered to the Lord in the rapture  The main purpose of the Rapture is to end the church age.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-7 NIV

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.

v. 3 apostasia means 

1. physical departure (pre king James, 1599)

2. spiritual departure (King James bible and modern translations)

2 Thessalonians 2:3-5 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Let no man deceive you by any means: [a]for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and that [b]that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition.

The Bible speaks of an evil personage who will come on the scene of history at the time of the end. This individual will be like no one else who has ever lived. 

He is known in Scripture by many names, 

—the man of rebellion, 

—the ”lawless one,” 

—the anti anti christ

—the “Beast,” 

—Little horn and the final Gentile world ruler.

He will in actuality attempt to counterfeit Messiah and King, Jesus.

—he will deceive and lead the whole world astray 

—global leader possession great power

—force a mark on the world

Antichrist is currently a spirit that will grow in influence and culminate in a person

1 John 2:18 

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come.

The spirit of antichrist is the embodiment of all this is 

—other than Christ 

—in place of Christ 

—anything seeks to replace Christ

Personification of all who hate Christ 

—false teachers

—false prophets 

—pseudo Christs 

Daniel gives a good picture of this person in chapters 7-11


—oppress God’s holy people, the Jews 

—change times and laws

—devour the whole earth 

—Make false peace with the world and with the Jews

and he will exert oppressive power over God’s people for 3.5 yrs

9:27 desecrate the Jewish temple (abomination causes desolation)

11:35 will speak against the Most High

11:36 exalt himself above every God and speak against God

11:36 experience great international success 

11:37 no desire for women 

11:41 he will invade countries like a flood

Revelation 13 fills in the picture started by Daniel 

—like a beast arising out of the sea 

—global leader possession great power

—fatal wound that will be miraculously healed 

—force a mark on the world, unable to buy or sell without it 

***Ultimately Jesus will destroy the antichrist with the breath of his mouth at the second coming.  

Book of Daniel tells us that a some point, the antichrist will take an existing covenant and turn up the volume on it 

Daniel 9:27 (NIV)

He (antichrist) will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’[a

The seven-year covenant brokered by the Antichrist will usher in a temporary peace for the Middle East, and one that will briefly encompass the entire world.

Homework: read Revelation 5-8 and download Free Digital Book : Stewart, Don. Look Up!: A Timeline of 50 Last Days Events–a-timeline-of-50-last-days-events.pdf


Intro to Revelation Pt. 3

Introduction to the Book of Revelation

Part 2, Chapter 4

Review of chapters 1-3

Chapter 1 prologue and John’s vision of Jesus

Chapters 2-3 description of 7 churches, age of the church

Overview of Chapters 4-5 (see handout) 

John’s vision of heaven

Prior to the return of Jesus, there will be 2 types of church, __________ or __________.

Revelation 3:7-10

7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

Revelation 3:14-18

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

The church at Philadelphia was promised and ____________, “see I have opened a door no man can shut” as well as reprieve from the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world.

Revelation 4:1-2

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this. 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.

In Revelation 1-3 the church is mentioned 19 times then in Revelation 4, the church disappears and is not mentioned again until chapter 19. Where is the church at that time? It is not found in chapters 4-18. The church doesn’t get mentioned until chapter 19 where she is with the Jesus and returning to earth for the millennium. Those same chapters 7-18 describe the great tribulation period. The church plays no role on earth at that time. Why? The church is taken away, to be with her groom. This is the blessed hope, the great rapture of the church.


  1. Whats the difference between the rapture and the tribulation?
  2. What is that going to be like when Christ comes back?
  3. What about loved ones who died before Christ’s return?
  4. What happens the moment after a “believers” last breath?

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Caught up, come from the greek word Harpazo which means to take by force, catch up, to seize or snatch away suddenly and vehemently.

R – _______ (a believers death is like a siesta)

A – __________ (allows for a different kind of grief)

P – __________ (of a dramatic return)

John 14:1-2

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

I Thessalonians 4:14-15

14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

T – ___________ (of the living/dead)

Romans 15:51-55

51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

U – ___________ (a forever element)

R – ___________ (characterized by joy)

E – ___________ (source of comfort)

Titus 2:11-14

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

3 Views on the Timing of the Rapture

1. Pretribulationist—often abbreviated “pre-Trib”—teaches that the church will be raptured before the seven-year Tribulation period begins (i.e., the seventieth week of Daniel). The Tribulation will begin at some point after the Rapture, marked by the Antichrist’s seven-year treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27).

2. Mid-Tribulationist—this view holds that Christ will rapture His church midway through the seven-year Tribulation. Thus, believers will endure the first half of the seven-year Tribulation. Midtribulationists maintain that God’s wrath will be restricted to the latter half of the Tribulation, but believers will be raptured to heaven before this.

3. Posttribulationists— believe the Rapture and the Second Coming are considered one event separated by a few moments. The Rapture will occur at the end of the Tribulation concurrent with the second coming of Christ. Believers will meet Christ in the air, make a quick U-turn, and accompany Him back to the earth.

Hitchcock, Mark. The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days (p. 138). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

The doctrine of Imminency. When it comes to imminency, there are three main ideas in mind: it could happen at any moment; it could happen without warning; and it will certainly happen, even if it doesn’t happen soon.

1 Corinthians 1:7 (NASB)—“Awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ”

1 Corinthians 16:22 (NASB)—“Maranatha” (This word means “our Lord, come.”)

Philippians 3:20 (NASB)—“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 1:10 (NASB)—“to wait for His Son from heaven” (The word for wait in Greek is in the present tense, which means they were to wait continuously and literally means to “wait up for” like a parent waiting up for and looking for a child that he or she expects to be home at any moment.)

Titus 2:13 (NASB)—“looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Why be constantly looking for Christ if He can’t come at any moment?)

Hebrews 9:28 (NASB)—“So Christ . . . will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” (Why eagerly await His coming if it’s a long way off?)

James 5:7-9 (NASB)—“Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. . . . For the coming of the Lord is near. . . . Behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.”

1 Peter 1:13 (NASB)—“Fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Jude 1:21 (NASB)—“waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life”

Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20 (NASB)—“I am coming quickly.”


Revelation 4:2-11

2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. 4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits[a] of God. 6 Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.

In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

“‘Holy, holy, holy

is the Lord God Almighty,’[b]

who was, and is, and is to come.”

9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:


“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”

Symbols and Images in chapter 4

Throne in heaven! What do we find around the throne?

  • 24 Elders
  • Thunder & lightning
  • 7 Lamps
  • Sea of Glass
  • 4 Living Creatures

Homework for next week”: Read Chapters 5-8


Intro To Revelation Pt. 2

This week Pastor Paul showed the video “Before the Wrath” you can download the video and watch for yourself, or we have copies available for checkout at the Main Office.


Link to purchase video:



Study Questions


Before the Wrath Qs for discussion



Intro to the Book of Revelation Pt. 1

Introduction to the Book of Revelation

Part 1, Chapters 1-3



Revelation 1:1-3 (NIV)

The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

Revelation means “to reveal.”  The name of the book contains the meaning within plain sight, REVEL ation.  A revelation of what?  That which will soon take place.  Simply put, Revelation is the book that uncovers the future events.


Stay At Home Study Guide- Psalm 5

This is a Psalm of David

Passage Summary:

  • Psalms 5:1-2: Here we find a plea for God’s presence and activity in the midst of affliction, a plea that appeals to the care, compassion, and love of God

  • Psalm 5:3: 5:3a This is a personal affirmation that God does indeed hear David // 5:3b – “prepare a sacrifice” and “watch”: The faithful and expectant prayer is a “sacrifice” of worship to God; The one who has faith in the faithfulness of God waits and watches with expectancy for her deliverance

  • Psalms 5:4-6: These verses describe the righteousness of God, and they appeal to the justice of God in the face of evil

  • Psalms 5:7-8: These Psalms display the confidence of the righteous before God, a confidence which is always predicated on the “steadfast love” of God // In contrast to the wicked who persecute him, David prays that God would lead him down the path of righteousness

  • Psalms 5:9-10: This is a prayer for retributive justice

  • Psalms 5:11-12: 5:11 David hopes and prays that those who seek the Lord would

    experience his joy, care, and protection // The Psalm ends with an affirmation that God does indeed bless those who seek after his righteousness

    Discussion Questions:

    1. How important do you think it is to recognize the care and compassion of God when you pray? 2. What is the basis of our “expectancy” when we pray? What do you think is the difference between a healthy and unhealthy expectancy in prayer? 3. As Christians who are centered on the cross of Christ, how do you think we should balance justice and mercy in our prayer lives? 4. Based on the full witness of Scripture, do you think God hates evil people or evil habits, characteristics, and actions? 5. When you pray in the midst of difficulty, are you able to find confidence in God that is rooted in his love for you? 6. How can focusing on doing what is right in God’s eyes help us in times of persecution and hostility? 7. Do you believe that God is on your sidewhen you face different afflictions from unrighteous people? Do you believe that, at the end of the day, your righteousness (though not without sin) will be blessed by God?

    Cheat Sheet:

    (1) subjective answer // (2) the faithfulness of God and his provisions throughout our lives; healthy expectancy: believing that God will ultimately provide for you in his timing and his way; unhealthy expectancy: believing that God will provide for you in your timing and your way // (3) we pray for both—not just for justice or vengeance [Jesus commanded us to “love our enemies” and to “pray for those who persecute us”]; there is a time for justice and there is a time for mercy, but James declares that “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13) // (4) Jesus

commands his followers to love their enemies because God loves his enemies; God hates ungodly character not ungodly people // (5) subjective answer // (6) It centers us on what God thinks about us rather than what others think about us, and it gives us confidence that we are in the righteousness of God even when others might hate us // (7) subjective answers


Stay At Home Study Guide- Heavenly Calling

Stay-At-Home Study Guide: Hebrews 3:1

Background Information:

  • The author of Hebrews is writing to a church community that had endured great persecution

  • The author is writing in order to encourage this community to persevere in the faith

  • More specificallyin the midst of their many trials and tribulations, in the midst of

    intense confusion and chaosthe author of Hebrews is calling his audience to focus on Christ, “the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2).

    Key Verses:

  • Heb 10:32-34: Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.

  • Hebrews 3:1: Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.

    Discussion Questions:

    1. What do you think it means to ground your identity in Christ? What does this entail? 2. How do you think focusing on Christ and grounding your identity in Christ help in times of crises and confusion? 3. How would you define our general heavenly calling? 4. How do we begin to put these things into practice right now?

    Cheat Sheet:

    (1) example: I am forgiven, reconciled to God, loved unconditionally, the apple of “God’s eye,” redeemed, adopted into the family of God, an inheritor of the everlasting, eternal gifts and benefits of God’s family, hidden in Christ, united with Christ, dead [to sin] and alive [to newness of life] in Christ, risen and exalted and glorified in Christ // (2) in the midst of temporal and fleeting trials and difficulties, it grounds us in something objective, absolute, unchanging, eternal, everlasting // (3) our calling is to be like Christ to endure suffering patiently, to carry our crosses, to persevere in faith and hope, to love people and love God, to forgive others in the same way that we have received forgiveness, to do the will of our Father in heaven and work for his pleasure alone, to promote justice, mercy, faithfulness, peace, and love in the midst of hostility, to preach the gospel, to make disciples, etc. // (4) subjective answer


Stay At Home Study Guide- Feast of Tabernacles

Historical Background:

  • During the existence of the Jerusalem Temple, Sukkot” (the Feast of Tabernacles) was one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals on which the Israelites were commanded to perform a pilgrimage to the Temple.

  • A “sukkah” (a tabernacle) is the name of the temporary dwelling in which farmers would live during harvesting, a fact connected to the agricultural significance of the holiday. It is also intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus, when God provided for and protected his people. Throughout the holiday, meals are eaten inside the sukkah and many people sleep there as well.

  • The holiday lasts seven days in Israel. The first day is a Sabbath-like
    holiday when work is forbidden. This is followed by intermediate days when certain work is permitted. The festival is closed with another Sabbath-like holiday
    “Shemini Atzeret.”

  • During Sukkot, two important ceremonies took place: (1) The Hebrew people carried torches around the temple, illuminating bright candelabrum along the walls of the temple to demonstrate that the Messiah would be a light to the Gentiles. (2) The priest would draw water from the pool of Siloam and carry it to the temple where it was poured into a silver basin beside the altar. The priest would call upon the Lord to provide heavenly water in the form of rain for their supply. During this ceremony, the people looked forward to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Some records reference the day spoken of by the prophet Joel.

  • In the New Testament, Jesus attended the Feast of Tabernacles and spoke these words on the last and greatest day of the Feast: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him(John 7:37-38). The next morning, while the torches were still burning, Jesus said: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12 NIV).

    Discussion Questions:

    1. Based on this information, how would you describe what this Feast represents? 2. Why do you think taking time to reflect on the meaning of this Feast is important? 3. How do you experience some of the values of this Feast in your own life? 4. Specifically, how do you experience rest and peace in your personal life, and how do you help to bring these values into the lives of others around you? 5. In a time of much hostility and division, what word/words can the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles speak to our society today? 6. What kind of rest do you ultimately hope for in the life to come? And how does this hope impact your life in the here and now?

    Scriptural Meditation:

Hebrews 4

Cheat Sheet:

(1) God’s deliverance, protection, provision, faithfulness, rest, peace; the promise of the fullness of the Holy Spirit and the promise of the fulfillment of the Christian hope // (2) subjective answer // (3) subjective answer // (4) subjective answer // (5) each of the values listed from question #1 are applicable // (6) our eternal hope should give us peace and assurance in the here and now, but it should also motivate us to participate with the missional impulse of the Spirit of God in order to promote all of these beautiful values in our world today


Stay At Home Study Guide- Pentecost

  • The term “Pentecost” comes from the Greek Πεντηκοστή (Pentēkostē) meaning “fiftieth,” as it occurs 50 days after the Passover Festival

  • The Feast of Pentecost has many names in the Bible: “The Feast of Weeks,” “the Feast of Harvest,” and the “Latter Firstfruits”

  • It is one of Israel’s 3 major agricultural festivals and the 2nd great feast of the Jewish year

  • This was one of the three pilgrimage feasts, when all Jewish males were required to

    appear before the Lord in Jerusalem

  • Jews from all over the world came to the city to celebrate the festival

  • It was a joyous time of giving thanks and presenting offerings for the new grain and

    firstfruits of the summer wheat harvest in Israel

    • •

    Discussion Questions:

    1. In what ways do you think “new grain,” the Old Covenant, and baptism relate to the Christian understanding of the Day of Pentecost? 2. How would you describe the difference between the presence of the Spirit in the world before Pentecost and after? 3. What do you think was the significance of the utterances in other tongues during this event? And in what way does this remind you of the Spirit’s role in Jesus’ baptism? 4. What do you think were some of the main purposes of the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost? 5. In what ways does Peter’s sermon reflect and fulfill these purposes?

    Application Questions:

    1. How do you think these purposes are being fulfilled in our world today? 2. How do you personally experience the presence and activity of the Spirit? 3. In what ways are you participating with the Spirit in the mission of the church? 4. How do you think you can better cooperate with the Spirit in your personal life? 5. How do you think you can better participate in the mission of the church?

    Cheat Sheet: (1) a new community, a new covenant, and the fulfillment of baptism [the Spirit accomplishes the work that baptism symbolizes] // (2) in part vs. in full // (3) a miraculous sign demonstrating that the God of Israel was behind this “Jesus movement” and in this movement; the Spirit’s role at Jesus’ baptism: divine testification & approval of Jesus as Son of God, which commenced Jesus’ public ministry in the world // (4) to testify, to commission, to empower, to send out, to transform // (5) Peter, empowered by the Spirit and marked by the miraculous signs of the Spirit, preaches the gospel and calls people to discipleship through repentance & baptism


Good Friday- Conclusion

Good Friday Meditations: Conclusion & Summary

After meditating on individual dimensions of the atonement, it might be wise to try to take a quick glimpse at the picture as a whole—as blurry and imperfect as that picture may be for us in the scope of time. It is immensely valuable to come up close to the canvas of the cross and resurrection, taking the time to contemplate the meaning of the particular facets of the redemptive work of Christ. It is also important, however, that we don’t lose the forest for the trees. For the atonement is a great synthesis. It is a magnificent wonder that demands to be appreciated for all of its glory, even though we will never comprehend its full meaning in this life.    
Summary of Models

Suffering Love: 

The atonement as divine solidarity and participation in human pain and suffering. The

God of love and compassion is compelled to embrace our pain—suffering with us and for us.

Selfless Substitution: 

The passion of Christ as the act of God standing in our place, absorbing our guilt,

and taking the natural consequences of our sins upon himself as our selfless substitute. 

Loving Sacrifice: 

The cross as a divine sacrifice and payment for the sins of the world. 

Union & Participation:

The atonement as the inauguration of a grace-infused process by which we are given the strength—mediated by the Spirit of God—to overcome the power of sin and corruption, so that we may become renewed in the image of Christ Jesus. 

Christus Victor: 

The redemptive work of Christ as the historical inauguration of the divine, eternal, cosmic victory over the powers of darkness. It is the commencement of the renewal and redemption of all human institutions and of creation as a whole.

Moral Influence:

The atonement gives us both the motivation and the example that we need to follow God.


The atonement of Christ, in its vast beauty and richness, speaks to all human beings at all times. Here, an answer can be found to every human problem and every temporal concern. For this God in Christ is the God of all people and the redeemer of all people. As this Paschal season nears its end, let us imitate and reflect the gratitude of the Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Roman church, meditating on his most memorable doxology: 

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out!
‘“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”’
 ‘“Who has ever given to God,
    that God should repay them?“’
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever! Amen.” (Rom 11:33-36)


Good Friday Meditations- Moral Influence

Good Friday Meditations: Moral Influence

Our final contemplation on the atonement of Christ deals with the problem of our lack of love for God and our lack of motivation to follow him. This model is focused on human feelings, desires, and affections. Jesus Christ himself directly connected affection to obedience: “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). The model of Moral Influence is often credited to a somewhat wonky medieval theologian by the name of Peter Abelard, but the main gist of this view is found all throughout Scripture.