References to: Revelation

Jesus and the Church in Revelation 12

In the beginning of Revelation 12, John records his vision of a pregnant woman about to give birth. He sees her in brilliant radiance — clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet. On her head is a wreath or crown of 12 stars. To whom does the woman and child refer?

In Genesis, we have the story of the biblical patriarch Joseph who had a dream in which a similar scene manifested itself to him. He later told his brothers that he had seen the sun, the moon and 11 stars bowing down to him (Genesis 37:9).

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The Two Witnesses

Many Christians through the ages have wondered who the "two witnesses" of Revelation 11 happen to be. The two witnesses are among the most dramatic characters of Scripture. They prophesy before the world for three and a half years (1,260 days) (11:3). During this time, they can strike the earth with whatever plague they desire, and cannot be harmed by their enemies (11:5-6). Ultimately, they are killed by the beast (11:7) but they rise to life in three and a half days (11:11). How are we to understand the two witnesses and the unusual happenings surrounding their lives?

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Who Are the 144,000?

The 144,000 martyrs are described in the first vision John sees in book of Revelation, chapter 7. Later, he will see a vision of the great multitudes in white robes. Both groups appear to represent the full number and universal nature of the company of God’s people as Revelation presents them. Let’s look at the details of John’s visions of the 144,000.

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The Six Seals of Revelation 6

Chapter six of Revelation continues John's vision in the throne room of heaven. His eyes fix on the Lamb (Jesus Christ) as he opens the first of the seven seals that had sealed the scroll with writing on both sides (5:1 with 6:1). John then says, "I saw, and behold. . ." (6:2, Revised Standard Version). This expression, variously translated in English versions, is frequently used by John to introduce new visions (4:1; 6:5, 8; 7:9; 14:1; 19:11).

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Laodicea: The Complacent Church (Revelation 3:14-22)

Christ introduced himself to the church at Laodicea as “the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation” (3:14). These titles were not taken from the description of Christ in chapter 1. Neither do they have any parallels in the final chapters. However, the ideas in the names are implicit to the book of Revelation as a whole.

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Sardis: The "Dead" Church (Revelation 3:1-6)

The "dead" church

sardis

The church at Sardis was described as being “dead” (3:1). It appeared to be alive – had “a reputation of being alive” – looked spiritually vibrant on the outside – but was spiritually lifeless. The church was Christian in name only. This recalls Christ’s scathing rebuke of the Pharisees who “look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean” (Matthew 23:27).

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Seven Letters to Seven Churches

mapRevelation’s seven letters to seven congregations in the Roman province of Asia provide us with a glimpse into the spiritual condition of the apostolic and post-apostolic church in a major crossroads area of the Roman world. It has generally been thought that Revelation was written around A.D. 100, though some scholars believe the book may have been written much earlier, in the mid-60s of the first century A.D.

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A Vision of Victory

In a time of declining faith, we need the Revelation message

Living faith in God is one of the burning issues of our time. That's because for all practical purposes God is dead to many Christians. They may profess to believe in God, but they think and live as if he did not exist.

By: 

Paul Kroll
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