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Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Thu, 8th Jan '09 7:24 PM


This is just a discussion forum for those who are interested in reading the book of revelation and discussing it as we go (see the thread titled Discussion!!). I think the plan is to read a chapter a week, am I right about this?

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 10th Jan '09 1:30 AM

*Spoiler Alert- Chapter 1*

Well, the first chapter was short, must've taken me about ten minutes, lol. Interesting beginning, grabs your attention immediately. I'm always curious about how books of the Bible were written....this one says an angel was sent to John.

Later, it says, "I was in the spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, 'Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches'". The intro in my Bible to this book says John was given this book in a "vision", I guess referring to this verse. Can anyone tell me what this means specifically, that John was "in the spirit"? I'm not sure I really understand "exactly" what this means....

The image of the resurrected Christ was very powerful John fell over as if dead!! I haven't read this book in so long......

Just out of curiosity, I was wondering what version of the Bible you are all using.....there are so many different versions out there. I'm using the Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible, which uses the New Revised Standard Version. It will be interesting to hear different interpretations of the same passages.

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Sat, 10th Jan '09 8:25 AM

LOL. "Spoiler alert" Never heard that in reference to reading a Bible chapter.

I think someone suggested starting a discussion on Monday and going through Friday. I like that idea. At least we can all have a start and end date on the discussion. I'm looking forward to hearing everyone's views.

I usually read the New King James, but I also like the International Version.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 10th Jan '09 11:22 AM

The Monday through Friday suggestion sounds great, and hopefully that will work for most people, it's just that I typically have the most amount of free time on the weekend, so I will probably put up my main post on the weekend (a little early) and shorter ones during the week. But I expect that the main discussion will happen during the week.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 10th Jan '09 5:06 PM

You know what would be an interesting discussion in regards revelation would be how it is that we all view the book....I consider myself something of a preterist at this time.....I think the events in the book have already been fulfilled and I don't really look forward to a coming "rapture". If you hold some other view, I'm really accepting of different viewpoints and we can just agree to disagree on the matter. If you want to look up just what a preterist is, I guess the Wiki article is as good as any. . Not to argue or to get you to change your mind, but it would be helpful to find out at the outset where we all stand and "differ" on the issue.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 10th Jan '09 5:26 PM

Well, re-reading my post before I have anyone jumping on me I should say I'm a partial preterist, and that on a "practical" level I don't really anticipate a rapture, even though it could occur.

Oldschoolgal  (Level: 166.3 - Posts: 45)
Sat, 10th Jan '09 9:01 PM

I always thought when John was in the spirit, that he was passed out or in a trance, although Bible commentaries don't necessary say this. My commentary says John entered into a new kind of experience relative to the Holy Spirit's control over him. By the way, I am reading the KJV.

I can't imagine not believing in the rapture. I so look forward to getting out of this world soon, and not by death!

How do you account for I Thessalonians 4:13-18? I'm not trying to argue, just curious.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sat, 10th Jan '09 10:20 PM

I double check everything in King James version. But I LOVE the Amplified Bible, as by now I'm sure you know why - it reads the way I write and talk (extended!). The Amplified Bible lists if there is more than one way to translate a word.

I too have always believed that as it was the "Lord's Day," John was praying, totally focused on God and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit came over him and started revealing the words to John, to be written down for the 7 churches, thus "In the Spirit." (I kind of compare that loosely to Luke 35 when the angel told Mary, "...The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee...")

When I pray in the Spirit, it's probably a more pure relationship than when I'm praying for what I want to happen or even when I'm being thankful. For me, it's allowing God to lay on my heart what I should pray about, or praying in tongues because I just don't know what to pray.

I don't know if that's what it means about John, but that's the closest my understanding can get.

The word "rapture" is not used in Revelation. But I sure am faithful (and fearful) to believe in that day of rapture. I guess as we get further into Revelation, those areas will be discussed in more detail. I don't believe the prophesies were fulfilled already. I believe a lot of the scenes described later in Revelation are things that haven't existed before, and the world/nation scenarios seem to me to be setting up in today's world for modern reasons.

I guess we each feel compelled to end our comments with "I could be wrong" or "that's just my opinion." haha

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 11th Jan '09 4:32 PM

Actually Oldschoolgal, I came up with that opinion so long ago, you'll have to give me a chance to get my brain working on the issue again. For more details about that, I guess you could read the member background thread. Hopefully I will have something better and more substantial for you before we are done reading revelation.... Thanks for asking.

Lettermanfan1  (Level: 88.3 - Posts: 486)
Mon, 12th Jan '09 7:16 PM

My understanding of the rapture is, it will happen very suddenly, with no fanfare. To me, I Thess. 4:13-18 is Paul assuring them that those who have already died (asleep in the arms of Jesus is how I like to think of it) will be gathered first, then those still alive will be gathered in the sky and meet the Lord in the air. There will be a loud command from the archangel, with the trumpet call of God. We will be taken up to live with him forever. I don't see anywhere that those "Left Behind" will have a second chance.
I absolutely admit that alot of the prophecy of Revelation is beyond me. But I do believe that many people have taken these prophecies and interpreted them for personal gain, whether it be power, wealth or vanity of knowledge. As I said in my faithwalk story, I don't know what will happen in the end, except that if I am walking with Him, or have "fallen asleep" in Him, I will live with Him forever. That is good enough for me.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Mon, 12th Jan '09 9:49 PM

Leah, when we get into the 7 year tribulation, there will probably be some discussion about the 2nd chance thing.

Therein lies the rub about the rapture - or no rapture. The way I've understood it is that rapture means Jesus takes us up before the anti-christ goes into power for 7 years - but that first taking up of the Christians before the 7-year reign of the anti-christ is NOT called the 2nd coming.

In the way I've been taught or have learned, at the end of the 7 years of tribulation and reign of the anti-christ, THEN is the 2nd coming of Christ begins, when Jesus actually sets foot on earth.

Then there are the "dispensation" teachings (the 1st dispensation being before Jesus died and rose again, man was saved by the shed blood of animals to cover their sin; the 2nd dispensation being since Jesus's resurrection and up till the 7-year tribulation which is solely based on grace; the 3rd dispensation being during the 7-year tribulation where you still can be saved, but grace is not the basis of that salvation, but rather is believing in Jesus but not taking the mark of the beast - so a salvation based on grace and works...The 4th dispensation would actually be during the 1,000 year reign of Jesus when there would actually be humans who survived the tribulation but did not become Christians during that time and were not killed in war. Satan is chained so sin is not instigated by him, but rather sin is just plain old humanness.)

I know compared to the way scholars explain dispensations, my explanation is very simplistic and minus scripture reference, may just read as foolish.

But I figure you guys will have much more discussion when we get there. As we've seen and read, the greatest Biblical scholars disagree on all those details, so I'm just throwing out what I just wrote as a differing option on the 2nd chance idea - just a little Biblical bubblegum to chew on????

But that's going to be some fun discussions and sharing when we get to that part of Revelation.....

Oldschoolgal  (Level: 166.3 - Posts: 45)
Tue, 13th Jan '09 11:23 AM

Well, you guys have done a good job of summarizing things.....As a retired teacher, I would give you all an A. One thing I learned from reading some explanations of Rev. 1:

In Vs. 7, where it says He comes with clouds, that doesn't mean clouds in the sky, but large numbers of saints. I don't know whether this is at the rapture (the word is never mentioned in the Bible, but is described) or at the 2nd coming. Come to think of it, It's probably the 2nd Coming, because the rapture will be as a thief in the night.

Every eye shall see Him may mean over TV. What do you think, guys?

All kindreds of the earth shall wail probably means because if the punishment they who rejected Jesus will receive.

Historians say that John was the oldest living disciple and the only one who was not put to death. The story goes that he was even boiled in oil but didn't die (much like the men in the fiery furnace). But there was much persecution of the Christians, as mentioned in Vs. 9.

Of course, the 7 golden candlesticks represented the 7 churches of Asia to whom the book was written. However, these are just representatives of all the church age believers. One time when I authored a quiz, the editor didn't understand when I had a question in which I referred to the church (referring to all believers). He didn't understand what that meant.

The depiction of Christ as the center of the church shows His glory and Majesty by His appearance and attire . The 7 stars in His Right Hand represent the Pastors of these churches, who are called angels in vs. 20. (I've know some pastors who were far from being angels!)

Comments, please! As mentioned by others, we're all trying to learn and gain insight through others. This first chapter is going to be the easiest to discuss, I'm sure. The others will get deeper and deeper!

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Tue, 13th Jan '09 8:18 PM

(Now - before I write this - it is long - I wrote it in a document because I knew as I studied around, I would time out. Would you guys please tell me if this is TMI? I will not be offended, and in the future I'll not write so much if it drives you crazy or bores you or just wastes space! Wish I knew how to add color - I could make all my questions to you in a different color so if this is too long, you could skim the questions and help me learn! )

Linda - I'm clapping my hands and smiling!

I had never heard anyone say that the clouds could be large numbers of saints, but that makes sense as thanks to you, I finally notice both KJV and Amplified say he is coming "WITH" the clouds, not "IN" the clouds. I thought we were just being told to look in the general vicinity of UP! I like that!

I absolutely agree that only since TV was invented and only since the use of satellite systems now orbiting the entire planet enabling all around the world (who have a screen of some kind) to see what is happening anywhere in real time, could we imagine every eye at the same time seeing him return. That is so exciting!

I remember when I was in about 5th grade and I rode the city bus to and from school a few times. I used to wait at the bus stop and look at the clouds, watching for Jesus.

Then one night I dreamed that I was standing there looking, and the clouds began burning away (as they used to burn edges of paper back then in crafting to age the look of the paper), except this fire started in the center and burned outward - and there came Jesus through the smoke in the center on his flying white horse. I'll never forget that dream as long as I live - or how in the dream my heart beat so fast and I gasped for air because I was so excited and happy! (I was sad to wake up and realize it hadn't really happened yet.)

As Rev. 1-7 says "all the tribes of the earth shall gaze upon Him and beat their breasts and mourn and lament over Him," so are some of the same words used for the reaction of the people in Luke 23:48 at the death of Jesus on the cross:

"And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned."

Wailing and beating of the breast is custom of the Jewish priests mourning and praying at the Western Wailing wall, also.

I had not studied to know John had ever been boiled in oil. I'll read up on that.

I've always wondered ----John was told to write the Revelation and have it delivered to the 7 churches. Has anyone ever heard how that would happen?

I guess I'm very immature in my knowledge of the Isle of Patmos. I had always just guessed it was a deserted island where John was sent to be totally alone.

But I just read this at:

"The Isle of Patmos was a small, rocky, volcanic island off the coast of Turkey. It was an island about 10 miles long and 6 miles wide. The Romans used the island for the banishment of political prisoners and criminals."

I wasn't sure what kind of exile John lived in. Guess I've watched "Lost" and "Gilligan's Island" too much! ha I just wonder if there was frequent travel to the isle for communication or delivery of food or anything???

I love how Jesus was described as a sheep to slaughter, the lamb of God as both human and God up to the ascension. But Revelation 1:14-16 describes him now VERY differently - very powerful, strong, with a powerful and beautiful voice. The sacrifice and flesh of humanity are no longer the overriding image of Jesus.

Rev. 1:17 "When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if dead." That is kind of like being slain in the spirit - someone so overcome by the weight of the presence of God and the filling of the Holy Spirit that you literally have no choice but to fall to your knees and then to your face.

When I did a search for "filled with the Holy Spirit" at, I found several instances of people filled with the Holy Spirit - some in the womb, some later. It doesn't specifically seem to always have to do with the moment of salvation, as John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit in his mother's womb (Luke 1:15). (Passages like this, and the "fearfully, wonderfully made" verses are why I personally have to be 100% pro-life and anti-abortion. That's just me.)

Then in Acts 2, on the Day of Pentecost, as believers grouped together (in fear of persecution after the crucifixion of Jesus), they were already believers, but only on that day were they finally filled with the Holy Spirit and went out now emboldened and filled with joy, teaching in every language (in tongues) the gospel of Jesus.

Well - and even when Jesus is ready to start his ministry, Matthew 3:16 says:

"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him."

Is that the same as being filled with the Holy Spirit (since it doesn't use those exact words as the other passages do)?

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Wed, 14th Jan '09 1:01 AM

Linda: Some pastors are far from being angels? Really? lol. I didn't even pick up on that....The television perspective was very interesting, along with the other points Janice commented on.

Janice: Your long post didn't bother me in the least, but I did have some trouble following you my first time through as you jumped topics a little. I too think some background information about Patmos would be a nice addition. I also thought your comment that "The sacrifice and flesh of humanity are no longer the overriding image of Jesus" was a nice addition. I'll have to admit, I don't really know much about the Holy Spirit, other than what I've read.....and even that I can hardly remember.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Thu, 15th Jan '09 6:35 PM

So, now I have a longer post to make.

I guess the conversation is a little slow regarding chapter one, so I thought as someone who is "newer" to Church I would interject something into the conversation that I was wondering about. In order for major parts of the Bible to have been written at all, somebody had to "hear" from God in some particular way. This is a part of Christianity I do not yet understand. I believe, and correct me if I am wrong on this, that some people don't think God speaks to people anymore, and perhaps this is the case. I can say that if God speaks to me I don't know how he is doing it, as to my knowledge he has pretty much never spoken to me. I have read a few books on the topic, including a couple of authors who believe that God still speaks to people today, but like I said I pretty much have no first hand experience to speak of.

This perspective honestly confuses me. If God still speaks to people today...I don't entirely understand why the Christians aren't writing their own "Bible" so to speak...I'm not trying to be a heretic, I really just don't understand.

Anyway, on to this discussion as it relates to revelation. One author lists the "Biblical" ways that God speaks as:

-A phenomenon plus a voice. This would be like Moses hearing God speak from the Burning Bush.
Examples of this given are Gen. 15:17-18, Ex 3:3-6, Duet 5:23, Ezek 1-2, Mt 3:17, Acts 9:3-8

-A supernatural messenger or an angel, this one should be pretty obvious.

-Dreams and visions, again, fairly obvious.

-An audible voice, perhaps not so obvious. Look up 1 Sam 3 for an example of this if you are curious.

-The human voice- This is just what it sounds like, a human who is speaking, but is being spoken through. The author labels this as the primary external way that God speaks to people, through others. Perhaps Jesus addressing the masses would be an obvious example of this to Christians anyways.

Last, the still small voice, also labeled as the human spirit in this book, aka "our own thoughts and feelings toward ourselves as well as towards events and people around us." The author also says in his opinion this is the primary internal way in which God addresses us.

Those last two means are things that probably every human experiences. I've heard people talking before. I've had thoughts and feelings before. The other kinds of ways of God talking are not ones that I've really experienced before that I know of.

The author later states that it his opinion of course that visions, dreams, and angels continue to play a part in the life of the believer today, but that where these phenomena are the main as opposed to the occasional means of interaction with the Church, that it indicates a less developed spiritual life both in the individual and in the church group. Then he goes on to back this statement up, which I will skip due to time constraints.

Now, I haven't read alot of material on this topic, and was wondering if anybody had anything to add? Any opinions or perspectives on whether God "speaks" to people today at all, or if so, how? Like I said, I have nothing to add to this discussion, because as far as I know God doesn't speak to far as I know. Perhaps I haven't learned to recognize it yet, who knows.

Still, my main question is the things that author says are less mature ways of hearing from God are scattered throughout the Bible, the way John heard from God on this occasion being one of those instances. This author thinks that when you are hearing from God in ways where his message is not clear, as in the case of dreams for example, you have probably not yet achieved a mature relationship with God then. I'm wondering if this author (or anyone else in the audience) would take John's reception of revelation as a "less mature" way of hearing from God then, because it can be interpreted in so many ways and represents more of a puzzle than a straightforward statement about how things are (or are going to be or whatever). Any opinions?? I'm not positive I represented his view well, or that he would take revelation as an example of this....and I'm still creating my own opinions, but just wondering. Thanks.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Thu, 15th Jan '09 6:58 PM

Hopefully no one will ignore my earlier questions in the paragraph, but my main question regarding that last part is if anyone has ever heard this perspective before, and what your thoughts possible misinterpretation aside.

Oldschoolgal  (Level: 166.3 - Posts: 45)
Thu, 15th Jan '09 8:11 PM

Stoutyounglad: I had a pastor once who ran off with his secretary. He was far from being an "angel."

Oldschoolgal  (Level: 166.3 - Posts: 45)
Thu, 15th Jan '09 8:43 PM

I recently skimmed through a novel written by the authors of the Left Behind Series, entitled John's Story, The Last Witness, which is evidently part of the Jesus Chronicles. It starts out with the experience of John being boiled in oil and being exiled to the Isle of Pathmos when the boiling doesn't work. That's when I looked up the boiling in oil and found that historians wrote that this actually happened to John.

In the book, of course, much of which is the author's imagination, John wrote the book on scrolls, and upon his release from the Isle traveled to the churches with his friend Polycarp, who read aloud from the scrolls, while John stood by to explain and interpret anything the people didn't understand. It only told about them reading to the Ephesian church, but then he sent Polycarp to Smyrna and the others. Who knows? It might have happened that way.

To address how God speaks to man, most people in my church feel this no longer happens because He speaks to us through his word instead. However, have you ever lost something and while searching frantically pray for God to help you find the item and then it suddenly appears? To me this is God speaking by answering your prayer.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Thu, 15th Jan '09 9:10 PM

My 2 cents worth (though don't take it to the bank yet! ha)

I have no solid information on your question. There have been a few times when I "felt" God talking to me. I told of my tirade, and what I "felt" or was impressed that God said when I was through. (Once I "felt" God tell me to back off my speed in the left lane while passing a truck that was in the right lane. I wasn't speeding, but I "felt" God tell me the truck was going to pull into the left lane and hit me. As soon as I took my foot off the accelerator, the truck pulled left over toward me. I had time to slam on my brake because I had slowed down - I guess the guy never saw me. But God did.)

I'm thinking that people these days have so many audial and visual stimulations that we couldn't hear God speaking to us over all that if he were shouting our names. We're very seldom still and quiet. (that's just my observation and opinion).

I've heard the idea that God gives signs to people who are not of great faith and therefore God speaks to them because of their need for Him to be a bit more obvious to nudge them along in God's will.

Sure enough, as I recall times in the Bible when God spoke to men, often it was during times of waivering faith or running from God's will.

Jonah refusing to go preach in Nineveh; Saul persecuting believers until God got his attention and his conversion to become Paul. God spoke with Adam and Eve a lot, which I'm guessing were training sessions filled with a lot of loving them as children. There are several others.

And the Bible says for us.....

Matthew 12:39:
"But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it..."

And John 20:29:

"Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."

God seems to truly want us to love Him and have FAITH in Him by choice, not because he hit us over the head and MADE us believe. God truly gave us free will. He easily could use us as chess pieces and move us as He wills. But instead, He WANTS us to use that will to choose to have faith in Him, with the Word of the Bible - not an additional word to us personally.

On the other hand, Acts 2:17 says:

"And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams"

In the Acts passage, I see nothing there or in the verses around it contextually that seems to indicate those visions and dreams will come because the ones given the dreams and visions are not mature in their faith.

Maybe they see visions and dreams to use in teaching those who ARE weak in faith so their faith will be strengthened.

One thing I think is that sometimes we may judge in hindsight differently from the people of the time. The Bible is full of God speaking to man. But we sometimes forget that those times of God audibly speaking to man were few and very far between. They just seem numerous and more frequent because we're reading them between the covers of the Book.

In thinking about your question of why if God is speaking to Christians today, why are they not writing their own "Bible" today...

We are strongly warned in Revelation: 22:19:

"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

I think Christians have extrapolated that passage to mean - don't add anything to anything ever. Does anyone else know a better passage like that which would warn humans not to add any more to the Bible, rather than just to Revelation?

But mostly, I think the visions and dreams and words we "hear" or "feel" or are "impressed" by come from instructions that are already in the Bible. I believe when God speaks to us, He uses words that are already in the Bible and bear witness of instructions already there that we may not be applying to our lives as we should.

I don't think true Christians are being given THE word of God in a way that is new or different from the Bible as it already exists, and that's why they are not writing their own Bible - what they are being told is just bearing witness to what is already written there.

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Thu, 15th Jan '09 10:51 PM

I believe God can speak in many ways. Sometimes in prayer, I sense a "still small voice." When I feel a "leading" of the Holy Spirit to do something, it never contradicts the Word of God. I think that's how you test what you hear. Plus, the fruit of an action is another test. (But that's after the fact.)

I'm a little rusty on the words, but I believe "logos" is the Word as you read it and "Rhema" is the Word spoken to you.
For example, you can read the same passage many times and get meaning out of it or understanding. But there are times when the Word is "Rhema" and you sense in your spirit something like "Bingo!" It's a Word that meets you right where you are just when you need it.

One more side note on Revelation in general (anybody ever hear Hilton Sutton?), even though Revelation is loaded with symbols and prophecy the title "Revelation" means it should be a Word revealed to us, and by the end of the book you should feel great hope and comfort. (Of course, that's after a lot of internal examination for the admonitions that lead up to it.)

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Fri, 16th Jan '09 1:03 AM

So much good material in the latest posts to discuss, but it's late, so I'll just discuss what first comes to mind.

We are strongly warned in Revelation: 22:19:

"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

No, I can't think of any other verses than this one that say don't add, but I always understood this passage to merely talking about,"the book of this prophecy", in other words referring to just not adding to Revelation. When revelation was written it was just a seperate book, not part of a "Bible", so this would make more sense to me as to it's original meaning, but perhaps not.

Actually, strangely enough, in the same book I was quoting from earlier about "hearing from God" it had a passage which seemed to explain why Christians don't have a Bible written by unforeseen answer to my question in a book where I wouldn't expect it, but I'd have to find it again and I don't have time. Thanks for the great responses. G'night!

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Fri, 16th Jan '09 7:13 PM

Linda: interesting possibilities you brought up regarding Revelation………thank you for that. I also thought your Churchs' perspective was interesting as well, as I thought there were groups of Christians or denominations who thought God no longer speaks, I just wasn’t sure about it. That helps.

Janice: Your perspective on the audio/visual stimulations is a perspective I’ve heard among some of my favorite authors who do feel God still speaks to people…I’ve always been interested in learning more about it. For today, I suppose we would have to agree to disagree regarding Acts 2:17, as I imagine someone who holds a preterist position would merely assume such events have already occurred, but the possibilities you brought up regarding how they might be used, again helpful to me. I agree with your perspective regarding how often God speaks, if he still does so at all. It does seem frequent in those narratives, doesn’t it? Last, your final conclusion about why modern Christians don’t write a Bible of their own was among the best I’ve heard. Thank you for that.

Pepper: I don’t know if God still speaks to people or not, but I certainly would hope so! It would make much more logical sense to me than thinking that God somehow came down with a case of laryngitis after all these years. Is Rhema similar to what philosophers might call “intuition”? Your description sounded similar….as in a Eureka experience? No, I’ve never heard of Dr. Sutton, but I looked him up. Who is he?

Oldschoolgal  (Level: 166.3 - Posts: 45)
Fri, 16th Jan '09 9:57 PM

Are we about ready for Chapter 2? I'm already confused and need to look it up because it seems that some of the things John writes to the churches are warnings about their future conduct since Revelation was written around A.D. 96. My commentary says Ephesus was A.D. 96; Smyrna was A.D. 100 to about A.D. 300; Pergamos was A.D. 300 to A.D. 500; Thyatira was A.D. 500 to this day. Evidently, these "churches" are representatives of future actions or beliefs.

Thyatira was said to be the beginning of Catholicism about A.D. 500 until present times.

Anyone have any ideas or do any research? I'm starting early because I will be out of state at my sister-in-law's funeral the last part of next week. They are bringing her in from Canada, so it's taking awhile. She was such a lovely woman (age 56) and a great companion to my brother who is a minister/missionary in Calgary. She had cancer for 2 1/2 years but lost that battle. She was willing to accept the Lord's will for her life and was able to die in relative comfort and not the extreme pain that many who have ovarian cancer suffer. I'm sad tonight for my brother, their five adult children and their spouses and their 8 little grandchildren. It does seem that "only the good die young" sometimes.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Fri, 16th Jan '09 10:59 PM

Linda: I would like to offer your family my condolences and want you to know I have prayed for the strengthening of your family and their emotional comfort during this time of loss. I'm so sorry to hear that.

Yes, I'm ready for chapter two. I would like to apologize if it is me who has caused any confusion regarding my own position, and any errors I may have introduced, even regards my own view, as it has been a long time since I've thought about it. As to your question whether anyone has done any research, I have tracked down the book that originally changed me from a futurist to a preterist, and hopefully that will remind me of what I was thinking at the time and clear up any confusion I may have introduced.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Fri, 16th Jan '09 11:01 PM

I would also like to say that I don't hold to this position firmly, and reserve the right to change my opinions at any I said, the alternate views could very well be the best position......

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Fri, 16th Jan '09 11:18 PM

Linda, I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Jeremy, I found this on a website called (I don't know the source, but the definition is what I'm familiar with).

"The revealed Word of God is the rhema word. Rhema is the personal word, spoken to your spirit. The Rhema word NEVER contradicts the Logos word."

"Many times we receive the rhema word when reading, studying, our meditating on the logos word. God reveals something to us. We receive understanding of the word. We know how it applies to our life. We realize that it is true."

That's why I call it a "Bingo" moment. You identify inside with what you're reading in a very real way.

Oldschoolgal  (Level: 166.3 - Posts: 45)
Sat, 17th Jan '09 11:34 PM

Back to Chapter two: I asked my pastor about the churches and he said they were all in existence at the time but that the same elements mentioned are still present in many churches today. That's how they can be applied to modern times. He also said he thought John died on Pathmos. He said the ruins of some of these churches have been found.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sun, 18th Jan '09 11:02 AM

Linda - my heart aches for your family. Your family has been through a lot, and I know your sister-in-law will be missed by all of you very much. I pray God's peace that passes all understanding to comfort all of you.

My dad died 5 years ago this morning from cancer. Though it just never gets easier to handle (I couldn't sleep around that 4:30am time), that unbearable sharp edge of pain does become more bearable as God and passing time work their miracles.

Still, I am so sorry for your pain.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 18th Jan '09 1:41 PM

I liked Revelation 2:1 that has Christ even though dead "walking" among the seven churches, in our/their midst so to speak. The Nicolaitians seem to be pretty prominent in this chapter....I looked them up, but not much seems to be known about them with certainty. Not the best source, but here's the wikipedia article:, although there seem to be a variety of opinions about it.

The reference to Balaam was interesting, I remembered the story about him and the donkey but there is so much more about him in the Wikipedia article that I did not know. I think I remembered that story because the donkey talked and, apparently it was the only other instance outside of the serpent talking in the garden of eden. I remembering being completely bewildered by portions of that story. The idea that Balaam was actually able to hear from God but was motivated by the wrong things struck a chord with me. I always assumed the Isrealites thought others than themselves could hear from God, but wasn't so sure.....apparently Balaam has a rich tradition built up around him in rabbinic literature.

Pepper: Thanks for clearing that up. Your explanation does seem to distinguish it from the concept of intuition, I think, I'm still a little muddled there, but give me time. I had to do some thinking about it which is why it took me so long to respond. Here's a discussion of the issue, randomly pulled from the internet, that keeps me puzzling over the issue:

On a side note, curious, does the modern belief among some that God no longer speaks is that an instance of dispensationalism? I've never heard from him, maybe he doesn't, not trying to judge or anything....trying to get some of these bigger words under my belt.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 18th Jan '09 1:56 PM

BTW Pepper, if you are going to click on the link, there's probably no reason to read the whole thread, the intro is probably enough to get what I'm talking about.....

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 18th Jan '09 5:37 PM

Linda, thanks for clearing up the Church issue, I was a bit confused for a minute.....I agree that the principles regarding the Churches can and should be applied to today's churches. Nice post.

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 6:58 AM

Jeremy: Thanks for the link. (I've been interested in seeing "Doubt.")

I'm not a scholar, but in my mind I separate intuition (my own personal common sense) from the "still small voice." I can give you a small example.

One time I had lost an engraved pen that had a very significant meaning to me. I was heartsick about it. I prayed about it and asked God to help me find it. I was inside my apartment at the time, and something inside me "nudged" me to go outside. When I opened the front door, I saw something shiny reflected in the grass. Yup, it was my lost pen.

Let me add: I had been outside looking for it before and came up empty.

I call that being "led" to open the door and look. Others may call it intuition. Don't want to get into semantics, but I definitely felt I was "led" to do that. For me, that is God "speaking" to me without an audible voice.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 7:46 PM

Thanks for further clarification, I suppose I don't want to get into a semantics debate either, for you they are seperate, for the other Christian they are not, good enough for me. I'll figure out where I stand in time...perhaps after I have some practical experience of what either of you are talking about, lol. Thanks Pepper.

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Wed, 21st Jan '09 10:52 PM

It occured to me that I wasn't very clear in that last post, what I meant was once I have some first hand experience with which to think about things with. I really do appreciate your help Pepper.

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Thu, 22nd Jan '09 6:20 AM

You're welcome. I like it that everyone's personal experiences are different. It adds to my understanding, also.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sat, 24th Jan '09 2:19 PM

Jeremy - when I suddenly have a thought come over my brain that is entirely not related to anything I would think about or want or is diametrically opposed to what I'm thinking, I try to figure out if that is God speaking.

"after my 3-hour angry rant to God, my brain would think God, if He were going to speak to me, would say "REPENT YOU HEATHEN!" or something condemning trying to get me to feel ashamed and sorrowful and want to beg God for forgiveness.

That's why when after all that, I heard "spoken" in my head, "Do you feel better now? Are we ok now?", I knew that was directly from God, because it was something I would NEVER have thought myself.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sat, 24th Jan '09 2:21 PM

I suggest we have a different thread for each chapter so the length doesn't bog down anyone's access speed.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sat, 24th Jan '09 4:02 PM

Now - on to my thoughts on Chapter 2...

My favorite line in Chapter is:
2:10: Fear nothing that you are about to suffer. The Amplified Bible translates it as: Dismiss your dread and your fears!

That was written to the Church at Smyrna. Easier said than done, but God certainly knew. We all fear the unknown future, and I think I probably fear the "known" future even more. (Wonder how we would feel and how we would live our days if we knew the exact day and time and under what circumstances our death will occur)?

I think God would want us to not be afraid of the book of Revelation. I think God gave us Revelation to be prepared, not fearful. But again, easier said than done. When I study Revelation, sometimes I actually shake while I read from fear, dread, and excitement. Will it be during my lifetime....during my grandson's lifetime?

I'm so sorry, and I think God is sorry but of course understanding, that anyone is afraid to study any part of his Word. I've been told by one of my Catholic friends that her church didn't want them to read and study Revelation because it is so hard to understand. I can certainly relate to that. In fact, my last Baptist pastor told me he stays away mostly from Revelation because it is so controversial. I'll just accept it and take it at face value, and what I don't understand is ok with me. I don't even understand how this computer I'm typing on works, or my car, or electricity - or a match! So certainly my entire life is surrounded by things I don't understand how they work or what they mean. I still use all those things every day, though! ha

I think an interesting note is that though God has many appreciative, loving statements for the 4 churches in this chapter, He also has deep concerns or downright negative to say.

For the Church in Ephesus, He has against them that they have turned away from their original love for God.

For the Church in Pergamum, He has against them their following of Balaam (living in sins)

For the Church in Thyatira, He has against them their following of Jezebel ("tolerating" those living in sins, though God exonerates those who are not experimenting in those sins).

How very much each of these examples could be said for the church today, of which we are members. Some days I'm the one, some days I'm the other. Thank God for his loving mercy.

Bookworm483554  (Level: 182.7 - Posts: 25)
Sun, 25th Jan '09 12:43 AM

How can you keep on reading revelation if you shake with fear? I feel so anxious that I don't even start it. I admire your courage for continuing if you feel that way. I just feel stumped before I even start because I know there are men of God who have dedicated months and years in all sincerity of heart, have studied the orginal language and prayed for understanding. In spite of that these men( and some women too I think )have widely diverse views. How can this be? somebody had to be hearing wrong.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sun, 25th Jan '09 11:12 AM

Well, I'd have to attribute that to something a friend once said:

"Wow, you have more guts than brains."

"Uh, thank you?" haha

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sun, 25th Jan '09 3:13 PM

Jank said, "When I suddenly have a thought come over my brain that is entirely not related to anything I would think about or want or is diametrically opposed to what I'm thinking, I try to figure out if that is God speaking." That's basically what the philosopher at USC was saying, that god speaks to us primarily through our thoughts if I understood him right, and that we learn to recognize which thoughts are ours and which are His/Hers through experience. Glad somebody knows what he's talking about...because so far it aint me on a "experiential" level. Though if God does speak to us through our thoughts, and "in time" we learn to recognize which are His/Hers and which are ours, of course it is entirely possible that I've had thoughts that were not my own that I claimed as my own without really recognizing the difference so far....hard to say.

I think seperate threads is a good idea for those with slower internets, perhaps two chapters per thread? Or just use our judgement? Good idea Janice.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sun, 25th Jan '09 3:34 PM

An addendum to my comment is - sometimes there comes a temptation the same way. Those are the EASY ones to identify! I believe there is the enemy, "seeking to devour," too.

Nanpaulhus  (Level: 144.7 - Posts: 354)
Mon, 27th Apr '09 8:24 PM

My dad says that since it says "Blessed is he that readeth" and "heareth" the words of the book of Revelation... that you will be BLESSED for reading. You will also be blessed for hearing. He actually (my dad) encourages us to read it aloud to ourselves or to one another for a double blessing. I could tell you stories... I think he might be onto something. God keeps HIS word, and if He says we will be blessed for reading and hearing, then we will!

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Mon, 27th Apr '09 9:38 PM

Please do tell us stories! I'd love to read what you learned.

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