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Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 2 - CHRIST HOLDS THE KEYS (REVELATION 1:9-20)

Intro: LAST WEEK WE LOOKED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK OF REV. SORT OF
THE BEGINNING OF A LETTER TO YOUR FAMILY.  "DEAR ____, HOW ARE YOU?  WE
ARE ALL FINE."  THIS WEEK WE GET INTO THE STORY IN THE LETTER FROM JOHN. 
SORT OF "LET ME TELL YOU WHAT HAPPENED THE OTHER DAY ON MY WAY TO THE
STORE."  SO LETS FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED.  OPEN BIBLES TO REV. 1:9

I. BACKGROUND
      A. READ V.9.
      B. WAS JOHN ON HIS WAY TO THE STORE?  WHAT ARE THE CIRCUMSTANCES
UNDER WHICH HE WROTE THE LETTER? (TWO THINGS: FIRST, HE WAS SUFFERING
JUST LIKE THEM.)
            1. DO YOU THINK THAT IS GOOD OR BAD?
            2. DO YOU LIKE THE ONE WHO IS ADVISING YOU TO SAY THAT THEY
HAVE BEEN THERE TOO?  OR DOES SOMEONE WHO HAS AVOIDED THE PROBLEM
GIVE BETTER ADVICE, BECAUSE THEY HAVE NEVER FELL INTO THE PROBLEM?
(HERE THE IDEA IS THAT THEY ALL WERE IN THE MIDST OF TERRIBLE EVENTS
WHICH PRECEDED THE END OF THE WORLD.)
      (SECOND: JOHN WAS ON THE ISLE OF PATMOS.)
            3. IS PATMOS LIKE THE BAHAMAS OR JAMAICA? A PICTURE POSTCARD
PLACE FOR THE PEOPLE BACK HOME? (NO.  HE HAD BEEN BANISHED THERE.  THE
ISLAND WAS SMALL AND ROCKY.  JOHN PROBABLY WAS FORCED TO WORK IN THE
QUARRIES, PROBABLY IN CHAINS.(BARCLAY)

II. MESSAGE
      A. READ V.10. COMPARE JOHN'S PHYSICAL CONDITION OF BONDAGE WITH HIS
MENTAL CONDITION.
      B. IF YOU ARE CONFINED, WHAT IS IT THAT YOU WANT MOST?
      C. JOHN WAS IN BONDAGE PHYSICALLY, BUT LIBERATED BY THE SPIRIT.
            1. DO YOU SEE IN THIS SOME HOPE FOR US TODAY IF WE FACE
DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES?
            2. OBVIOUSLY GOD USED JOHN IN A GREAT WAY WHEN HE WAS UNDER
TERRIBLE STRESS.  DO YOU THINK THAT WE HAVE GREATER OPPORTUNITIES TO DO
GREAT THINGS FOR GOD WHEN WE ARE UNDER DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES?
            3. LATELY I'VE BEEN UNDER SOME STRESS. SOMETIMES I FEEL THAT I
HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THIS PROBLEM BEFORE I CAN TAKE TIME OR MONEY FOR
OTHER THINGS: IE., THE CHURCH.
      D. READ V. 11. THESE 7 CHURCHES ARE IN WHAT TODAY IS TURKEY. THE
INTERESTING THING IS THAT IF YOU START OUT WITH THE ISLE OF PATMOS, THAT
THESE CHURCHES ARE IN A CIRCLE RUNNING CLOCKWISE
      E. LETS READ V.12&13.
            1. THE VOICE IS AMONG THE 7 LAMPSTANDS.  WHAT ARE THE 7
LAMPSTANDS? (SEE V.20) (THE 7 CHURCHES.)
            2. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHY THE CHURCHES ARE NOT REFERRED
TO AS LAMPS INSTEAD OF "LAMPSTANDS?"
            3. ARE WE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE LIGHT TO OTHERS (MATT.5:14)?
            4. IS THIS AN IMPORTANT PIECE OF THEOLOGY HERE? (THE GIVER OF
LIGHT IS JESUS.  THE CHURCHES ARE NOT LIGHT THEMSELVES, BUT THE
LAMPSTAND UPON WHICH THE LIGHT OF JESUS IS SET.  OUR LIGHT IS ALWAYS A
BORROWED LIGHT.)
      F. THESE SEVEN CHURCHES WERE ACTUAL CHURCHES.  IF JOHN WAS
WRITING A MESSAGE TO THEM, WHY DO WE GET SO CONCERNED ABOUT IT TODAY?
(OUR LESSON SUGGESTS THAT THE PROPHECY HAS 3 APPLICATIONS: THE LOCAL
APPLICATION; THE HISTORICAL APPLICATION--THAT THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IS
GOING THROUGH (GONE THROUGHT) DISTINCT PERIODS OF TIME THAT
CORESSPOND TO THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THESE CHURCHES; THE SPIRITUAL
APPLICATION--THAT CHURCHES AT ANY TIME MAY SHOW SOME OF THE
CHARACTERISTICS OF ONE OF THESE 7 CHURCHES. PROOF OF FUTURE APPLICATION
IS IN 1:19. PART IS FUTURE APPLICATION)
      G.  JOHN TELLS US ABOUT THE MESSENGER AND HE SAYS THAT HE IS "LIKE
THE SON OF MAN." WHO DOES THAT DESCRIBE? (THIS WAS JESUS FAVORITE TERM
FOR HIMSELF. LUKE 7:34)
      H. LETS READ V. 14-16. 
            1.WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO JESUS APPEARENCE?
            2.WHY DOES JESUS APPEAR LIKE THIS? THEY WRITE BOOKS ON HOW
YOU SHOULD DRESS TO MAKE THE RIGHT IMPRESSION.  "POWER DRESSING." THIS
IS NOT AN ACCIDENT--THAT JESUS JUST HAPPENED TO BE WEARING THIS WHEN
THE VISION CAME.(THE PHYSICAL HAS SPRITUAL MEANING.)
            3. LETS LOOK AT HIS CLOTHES-V.13&14. WHY THOSE? (THIS WORD FOR
THE ROBE IS THE SAME AS THAT USED FOR THE HIGH PRIEST IN THE SANCTUARY
SERVICE. EX.28:4.  THIS IS THE SAME TYPE OF DRESS AS THE HIGH PRIEST.)
                  a. MESSAGE? (JESUS IS WORKING AS OUR MEDIATOR.)
            4. WHAT ABOUT WHITE HEAD AND HAIR? WHAT MESSAGE? (THIS IS THE
SAME WAY THAT GOD IS DESCRIBED BY DAN. IN DAN.7:9. SHOWS AGE (ETERNAL)
AND PURITY)
            5. EYES? BLAZING FIRE? (ONCE AGAIN LIKE DAN.'S DESCRIPTION IN
DAN.10:6. PENETRATE AND POWER)
            6. FEET? GLOWING BRONZE? (ONCE AGAIN LIKE DAN'S DESCRIPTION IN
DAN. 10:6. BRASS MEAN STRENGTH AND THE GLOW MEAN SPEED.)
            7. VOICE LIKE MANY WATERS? (SAME DESCRIPTION AS EZEKIAL IN EZK.
43:2 CAN WATER SOOTH? CAN IT ROAR?)
            8. FINALLY, THE TONGUE LIKE A SHARP 2-EDGED SWORD? (THE WORD
OF GOD PENETRATES. IT STRIPS AWAY OUR SELF-DELUDING, LAYS BARE OUR SINE
AND LEADS TO PARDON.)
            9. FACE SHINING LIKE THE SUN? (GLORY.)

III.NEXT WEEK: FIRST 4 OF THE 7 CHURCHES.