In this second episode of Exhale Bible Discovery, Dr. Paula walks us through a brief outline of the 22 chapters of the book of Revelation, laying the foundation for the lessons ahead. Be sure to visit drpaulamcdonald.com for the lesson plan corresponding with this episode!
Welcome to Exhale Bible Discovery. Each week, we'll take a deep dive into the Bible, going line by line and chapter by chapter to discover the truths that God has for us in his word.
Hello, everyone. This is the Exhale Bible Discovery with Dr. Paula McDonald. And tonight we are going over our second lesson of Revelation, which is the outline, the history, and the prophecy. And so now that we've reconvened with our Bible study, it's very important that we continue to lay the foundations that are needed before we even jump into chapter one of Revelation. It's like I said last week, it's important that each of these foundational stones that we're learning about will build a strong support system for the book that we're about to embark upon. And these stones will reinforce the entire foundation that the book of Revelation has been written upon. As our nation's history continues to be under attack, we need to hold firm to the foundations that history provides for us. The Bible gives us a wonderful, deep knowledge of history in order to keep us from making mistakes that were made in the past and to acknowledge those who have gone before us and to keep from making the same mistakes that our ancestors have made. And we have as well. So it's really important that we maintain our history. So I've got some great quotes I wanted to share with you about history. This is from Marcus Garvey, a people without the knowledge of their past. History, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. The next one is from James Lowen. History is important more than any other topic. It is about us. Whether one deems our present society wondrous or awful or perhaps both. History reveals how we got to this point. Then Edmund Burke says, those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. And boy, isn't that the truth. Finally, from beloved C. S. Lewis, history is a story written by the finger of God. I love that. And as we prepare for this study, understand the history we find in the pages of the Bible that were written by men who were inspired and instructed by God will ensure that we gain a greater knowledge of God and his plan for mankind. And so from a prophetic standpoint, you went through nine different books of the Bible this week. I know I had you going all over the place, and you dug into over 34 verses about the topic of prophecy. And hopefully this foundation provides you with greater insight about the importance of understanding prophecy as we explore the book of Revelation. So I have these notes outlined into three main parts, the outline of Revelation, the history of Revelation, and the prophecy of Revelation. We will systematically go through 22 chapters. And tonight, for the sake of time, I'm just going to go through this outline and give you a brief overview of the entire book. So we start out with the introduction, the seven churches, seven letters, throne, scroll and the Lamb, the seven seals, seven trumpets, various people and events, the seven bowls, Babylon, the wedding, return of Christ, 1000 years, Satan's doom, the Great throne, the new Heaven. Conclusion and so the truth bomb for this little section is God lays out his plans for mankind in an orderly and logical manner. You too have an outline of your own life, from physical birth to spiritual birth, sanctification and to final glorification. Where are you on your spiritual timeline of your life? Are you where you want to be? Or is there much more work that he is asking of you? Okay, let's move on into the second part of the notes. The history of Revelation and there is no mystery of the history. Don't you love that little play on words of how the book of Revelation was given to John and when and where he wrote what he saw? John writes in Revelation, I was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. So why was John on Papmos? Well, he States that he was there because of the word of God and he had been censored, much like we are experiencing censoring today. Atmos is a small barren island off the coast of Asia Minor which is now modern day Turkey. The seven churches that he wrote to were all located right there in Asia Minor. Domitian was the Roman Emperor from 81 to 96 and this date lines up with the date of authorship of Revelation which shows to be around the year 95 to 96 with the reference to the destruction of Babylon which refers to Rome. Also lines up with this timeline for when the book was written. In Revelation 14 eight it says Babylon the Great, the mother of all prostitutes and all filthy practices on the Earth. And Interestingly, the United States has been aligned and compared to Rome and now we can certainly see a lot of filthy practices in our country. Just a little side note there then in Revelation 17 nine, the seven heads of the beasts are explained as seven Hills and the city that sits upon the seven Hills. And this verse clearly identifies the city of Rome as it was known to be called the City of seven Hills. Back in those days, Domician is said to have not begun his reign in an evil manner as he became more and more suspicious and paranoid about those who were wishing him dead. He then became more and more tyrannical and eventually he was murdered by a stabbing. During his rule, the Apostle John lived and preached the Gospel in Ephesus. Domitian, who was accused of taking it easy on the Jews, did not like what John was doing actually had begun referring to himself as God and a temple was built in Ephesus for him. The people who lived there were forced to worship and sacrifice to him. So yeah, John would have been in complete opposition to this practice which didn't sit well with Domitian. From the writings of Tertullian, there is a story that Domission had John placed in a boiling VAT of oil. John however, never cried out but continued to preach the gospel. And we can only surmise that God intervened between John and Domitian as John was not killed, but rather than sent to the island of Papmos, I am sure that Domician thought, well, that's the last we'll see or hear of him and little did he know what an amazing revelation was soon to take place on that island. So even when we cannot see the reason behind something, God does indeed have a plan. God had John removed and isolated in order to reveal to him the amazing vision that we have the privilege of reading today. The world in those days was upside down as Jesus had been martyred on the cross, his disciples had all been killed except for John, and Christians all over the world were experiencing horrific persecution. So as we continue on the history timeline today, while we are experiencing varying degrees of persecution for our beliefs, in no way are we anywhere near what our fellow believers who have gone before us went through. So therefore, you guys, it is imperative that we understand the history before us in order to make sure it isn't repeated. So the truth bomb historical lessons are essential to us as we study the Bible and live our lives today. And your call to action is what is your role in helping to preserve biblical history? Our third section, The Prophecy of Revelation. And of course this is where we spent the most time in your questions for this lesson. Last week we went over what prophecy is and this week we really Dove into many verses throughout the scriptures about prophets and prophecy and we know prophecy is a very important message that we find throughout the Bible. The Latin word prophetea, which is actually derived from propheme, means to speak before or for someone. A person who foretells something from God is known as a Prophet. The Hebrew N-A-B-H-I nabbai sounds like Rabbi and has three main requirements. The person must be from God and they cannot be prophesying on their own. Two, the message is directly from God. Three, the message will always reveal who God is, his sovereignty, his character and his truth. The Book of Revelation is a prophetic book that is a bookend to Genesis. Revelation shares with mankind the end of the story regarding this period of time on Earth. And there are three main purposes to the Book of Revelation. One, to tell us that this world does have an ending. Two, that this world does have a new beginning, and three to four, tell us what is going to happen. And as we saw in our lesson today with two Peter 1921, we also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable and you will do well to pay attention to it as to a light shining in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the Prophet's own interpretation or of things, for prophecy never had its origin in the human. But prophets through humans spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. And I'd like to break this first down just a little bit because there's so much packed into it. First of all, the Bible is completely reliable and reliability means trustworthy. And here are some scriptures to confirm this truth. From Two Timothy 316 17. All scriptures God breathes and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. And then in John 1613. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own. He will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. And then in Psalm twelve, six through seven, and the words of the Lord are flawless like silver, purified and accrucible like gold, refined seven times. That's interesting. You, Lord, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked. So back to our main verse that we're really dissecting the second Peter verse. So we talked about reliability. The next big thing is he says, pay attention. And here it is clear that believers are being called to wake up. The third is a reference to light and dark which clearly points to good versus evil. And then you must understand. And to have understanding, one must have knowledge. And to gain knowledge of the Bible means you have to invest in time, study, and prayer. Finally, that verse speaks about prophecy never coming from a human. Rather, humans are the conduit to share God's message of future events. And this is accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit. And if mankind strives on their own to seek and know the future, they will resort to self seeking methods. And Additionally, those who do not serve God serve the darkness and use their methods to recruit, ensnare, and trick people. And the Bible is very clear of how we are. To measure the validity of a Prophet. Five main things must be an Israelite. And today an Israelite is a follower of Jesus. Deuteronomy 1818 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brothers. So we know when Jesus came and we became his followers, we were drafted in as fellow Israelites. Number two, the Prophet must announce in the name of the Lord. Deuteronomy 1819 Says my words, that the Prophet speaks in my name. Number three, what the Prophet predicts must come to pass. Deuteronomy 1822 if what a Prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. And four signs and wonders are from God alone. Deuteronomy 13 Two, if the signs and wonders which he has spoken comes and takes place, and he says, to follow other gods, you must not listen to them. And then finally, number five, the message must line up with God's character. Deuteronomy 13 four says, if it is the Lord your God, you must follow and Revere. So following false prophets and false prophecy is not what we're ever asked to do. And so we're warned about these false prophets, and there are many out there today, and there have been throughout history, and there will be more. And it is imperative then to be able to identify false prophets. Here are four ways that Scripture warns us of false prophets. One, they're not of good moral character. Jeremiah 20 313 through 14 says, they prophesied by bail and led my people Israel, astray they commit adultery and they live a life, they strengthen the hands of evil doers so that not one of them turns from their wickedness. The second thing is, they're selfseeking. Jeremiah 20 316, they will fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. And three, they take credit away from God Almighty. Jeremiah 23 25 says, I have heard what the prophets say who prophecy and lie in my name. They say, I had a dream, I had a dream, but they're not saying it, you guys in God's name. And then four, they steal and plagiarize God's word. Jeremiah 23 30 says, Therefore declares the Lord, I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. So the more entrenched and familiar you are with God's Word, the easier it will be for you to recognize false teachings and false teachers. We are required to know God's Word when we become believers. Matthew 22 37 says, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all of your mind. So we've got to use and engage our minds. Prophets throughout the Bible and in history have been willing to speak up for God, endure persecution, spoke God's truth, and loved and served God. Are you willing to do the same? Warnings received from prophets are for the judgment against those who go against God and who deny Christ. The promises, on the other hand, are for redemption, blessings, and obedience and help us to live according to God's will. The many prophecies of the Bible provide us with hope, truth and to encourage us in our faith. Jesus was foretold 700 years prior to his birth in Isaiah 714, his death in Isaiah 50 312, and his resurrection in Isaiah 53 nine, and also in 50 311. What beautiful truths we have been given that happened when God ordained them to happen exactly as he said. And as we complete this important foundation of history and the purpose of prophecy next week we are going to lay the final foundation stone as we uncover the promises that God has given to us, his believers. This final message of a building block will give us great hope as we dive then into chapter one of revelation. So your truth bomb for this section is God has provided us with prophets throughout history to show us the way. Your call to action. What is God showing you right now as you navigate your own life? And what work does he have specifically for you? And so our summary is I love the way the Bible is laid out and organized. There is logic in order to every scripture verse in every chapter because they're from God. We can trust the words of the Bible and should aim to carry them deeply in our hearts from the history and prophecy. Each book of the Bible teaches us a different aspect of God and the book of revelation reveals the culmination of all of history. And so my one summary sentence, God outlines his history and his prophecy for his people. So your challenge questions today and I hope that you'll Journal these. I hope these will take you a bit deeper. Number one, why is it critical that we preserve and protect our history? Number two, write out your own earthly and spiritual timeline and note your spiritual milestones. What a beautiful thing this could be to pass along to your children and grandchildren. Number three, how does the history lessons in the Bible equip you in your own spiritual journey? Four, how must you arm and protect yourself from false teachers or prophets? Five, have you ever been led astray by a false biblical teacher or leader? And what woke you up? Number six, why is having good moral character important not only for teachers and pastors of God, but for you as well? Is there anything that is not pleasing to God, that he is convicting you that you need to stop doing right now? Well, you guys, we're continuing on this amazing journey. I'm loving studying this book of revelation with you and I can't wait to really dig in to the promises of God next week as we lay our final stone before we begin chapter one, I hope you have a wonderful and beautiful week ahead. Be sure to visit my website, Dr. Paula mcdonald.com, click on podcast and then exhale Bible discovery for self study guides and resources to support you with each episode.