Revelation 21-22

While these chapters are glorious in their own right, their splendor is magnified as the conclusion of the Revelation and the drama of redemption.  To the exiled people of God, the prophet Isaiah wrote that God would make new heavens and a new earth to endure before Him forever (Isa … Continue reading

Revelation 20

This chapter of the New Testament brings together themes that form the schematic of the storyline of Scripture, especially prophecies from Ezekiel 38-39, and Daniel 7.  While the motif of good triumphing over evil has begun in Christ’s resurrection (cf. 1 Corinthians 15), in Revelation 20 John witnessed “The Millennial … Continue reading

Revelation 17-19

It may be that the apocalyptic visions of the Revelation initially present the form of God’s judgment and then later fill that form so that the whole is “completed” (15.1).  The sixth and seventh bowl judgments sketch the rise of a world system that is empowered by the devil and … Continue reading

Revelation 15-16

While there are some differences in the scope and effect of the trumpet (8.1-9.21, 11.15-19) and bowl judgments (16.1-21)—the latter being depicted in generally more severe and ‘complete’ terms—the number of parallels may indicate that the visions were of the same events but written from different points of view.  That … Continue reading

Revelation 12-14

Revelation 12 begins a new sequence of visions.  It may be that the first eleven chapters of the Revelation provide the ‘form’ and the remainder of the book ‘the filling.’  While the seal and trumpet judgments were released by angelic beings who willingly submitted to God’s commands, in these chapters … Continue reading

Revelation 8.6-11.19

When the risen Lord Jesus appeared to John on the island of Patmos, He commissioned John to write prophetic visions to the churches (chs 1-3).  The message of the visions is clear: the faithful should remain steadfast, uncompromising, and endure their Christian difficulties so that they could partake in the … Continue reading

Revelation 4-5

The scenes of Revelation 4-5 are some of the most glorious in the Canon of Scripture.  The imagery of worship—including John’s descriptions of sight, sound and smell—prompt human intrigue.  Theologically, these chapters are often cited as evidence of the holiness of God (cf. Isaiah 6; Daniel 7).  On a practical … Continue reading

Revelation 1-3

The Revelation of John is a prophetic book with several distinct apocalyptic features.  It may be that his visions helped to explain the apparent delay in Christ’s return (cf. Jas 5.7-8; 1 Pet 1.13; 2 Pet 3.13-14), and why the church was suffering so.  John’s answer was that God was … Continue reading

2 & 3 John

The Epistles of 2 and 3 John were most likely written by John the apostle after he had written his Gospel and his first letter to the churches.  In each of these, John was concerned for his readers to grasp the significance of Jesus’ coming in the flesh, the necessity … Continue reading

1 John 3-5

Of the New Testament writers, it may be that the apostle John would have the greatest claim to intimacy with Jesus (cf. John 13.23; 21.20).  He was an eyewitness of the events of Jesus life—including His Transfiguration, death and resurrection (John 19.25-27; 20.3-10; 21.20-23). Pastoral remorse may have filled John’s … Continue reading

1 John 1-2

With the passing of time, doctrinal error increased in the church (cf. 1 Tim 4.1-5; 2 Pet 2.1-3).  It may be that the apostle John was part of a community of churches centered around the city of Ephesus.  It may be that these believers used the Gospel of John as … Continue reading

2 Peter & Jude

Even a brief reading of 1 Peter reveals that the author’s concerns for the audience in view were related to the death and resurrection of Christ, and the expectation of His soon return.  In 2 Peter the author expounded these themes further still.  The epistle is addressed to Gentiles—“those who … Continue reading

1 Peter 3-5

In the final three chapters of 1 Peter the author continued to urge his audience to fully embrace the alien status that had been forced on them.  As those scattered from their homeland, they were to be mindful that nowhere on earth was home; in consequence they ought to alienate … Continue reading

1 Peter 1-2

The Epistle of First Peter was written to a group of believers who had been removed from their homeland because of persecution (1.1).  They were thus aliens, temporary residents in a foreign place.  While many would have considered this a disadvantaged position, Peter proposed that their current situation actually mirrored … Continue reading