SYNOPSIS – Only in his sacrificial death can the identity of Jesus and the nature of his messiahship be understood – Mark 15:29-39.
Threaded through the gospel of Mark is an ironic storyline – Until his crucifixion, no one recognized who Jesus was or acknowledged him as the “Son of God” – Except the demons that he exorcised. In Mark, the only man or woman who acknowledged Jesus as the “Son of God” was the Roman centurion in command of the execution squad at Calvary.
Continue reading IDENTITY OF JESUS – CALVARY
SYNOPSIS – Does Revelation portray several final “battles of Armageddon,” or the same battle seen from different perspectives?
The book of Revelation presents three “final battles” with each based in part on the prophecy by the prophet Ezekiel about an invasion by “Gog and Magog.” Specifically, the three “wars” pictured in the “sixth bowl of wrath,” the victory of the “Rider on a White Horse,” and the attack against the “camp of the saints” after Satan is released from the “Abyss.” Does Revelation describe multiple battles, or is the same “war” in view each time, only perhaps from different perspectives?
Continue reading MULTIPLE ARMAGEDDONS?
Synopsis: The fourth trumpet causes a partial darkening of the sun, moon, and the stars – Revelation 8:12.
The image of the darkening of a third of the light emitted by the sun, moon, and the stars is based on the ninth plague of Egypt when the darkness endured for three days: “Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven, and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days; but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings” (Exodus 10:21-23).
Continue reading The Fourth Trumpet
SYNOPSIS: John now sees an innumerable multitude from all nations standing before the Lamb and the Throne. – Revelation 7:9-12.
In Chapter 7, the same group of saints is portrayed with two different images – The tribes of Israel assembled for travel, and an Innumerable multitude standing before the Lamb and the One Who Sits on the Throne. In this next vision, the imagery continues to be drawn from the story of ancient Israel in the Wilderness during its sojourn from Egypt to the Promised Land.
Continue reading Innumerable Multitude – Vision
SYNOPSIS: The messenger of the assembly at Ephesus is commended for rejecting false apostles but chastised for losing his “first love” – Revelation 2:1-7.
The first three letters to the churches of Asia form a distinct literary unit. This is indicated by the order of the concluding exhortation and the promise at the end of each message to the one who “overcomes” (i.e., the letters to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum). Each letter ends with the exhortation – “Hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches,” which is followed by a promise to the “one who overcomes.” This sequence is reversed in the final four letters addressed to Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Continue reading Church at Ephesus
SYNOPSIS: Just as sinners await the future judgment of God, so believers are waiting to receive their full salvation at the resurrection.
In his epistle to the Romans, Paul introduced his ministry and the “gospel” he proclaimed to Christians residing in the city of Rome. This “gospel” or “glad message” had been promised centuries earlier in the Hebrew scriptures, a message concerning the Son of God. And the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the irrefutable proof of his messiahship and the validity of his message for all nations. Continue reading Righteousness and Wrath – Present and Future