Wanted: Book of Revelation Study Guide

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by allenm, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. allenm

    allenm
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    I have a one-on-one bible study/fellowship on we would like to start studying Revelation. Is there a "cliff notes" type study guide for Revelation?

    Sorry if this has been asked before, I search the forum for "revelation AND study" and returned a multitude of results not relating to what I was looking for.

    Thanks,

    Oh!.. And by the way.. may God be with you today =:)

    -Allen
     
  2. Goldie

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  3. ReformedBaptist

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  4. David Lamb

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    I haven't heard of "cliff notes", so this may not be at all what you are looking for, but Revelation Spiritually Understood by Charles D. Alexander is available, free, online at: http://www.allbygrace.com/alexrevelationmainpage.html
     
  5. Tom Bryant

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    Allen,
    Not sure about cliff notes for revelation (they got me thru English Lit), I don't know even about "Idiots Guide to Revelation" :saint:

    What you choose to help or guide you will depend on how you interpret Revelation. You've got some good suggestions so far.
     
  6. Grasshopper

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  7. Marcia

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    There's also: Revelation: Four Views, A Parallel Commentary, ed. by Steve Gregg. I have this and it's helpful. It is the book of Revelation with the comments on it from the 4 views.

     
  8. Pilgrimer

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    Allen, if I may suggest two absolutely infallible sources of study and commentary on the Revelation of Jesus Christ. . . The Old Testament and the New Testament. I say that will all sincerity.

    I don't agree that all the suggestions you have received here are good ones. Among other problems I saw on one of the suggested websites was the notion that Jesus is the archangel Michael, a doctrine which the Baptist churches (myself included) do not agree with.

    The best suggestion was the one previous which gave you the option of learning a little about all four commonly held views of the Revelation for you to consider before becoming indoctrinated in any one particular view.

    Please tread very carefully here. There are so many books out there that attempt to interpret the Revelation of Jesus Christ without having a good and true understanding first of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and are therefore misled into sometimes grievous error that even shapes their view on matters such as salvation itself. My suggestion would be to take any and every interpretation you hear of this book and diligently compare it to what the Gospel teaches about Jesus. That's the best way to understand rightly what "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" reveals about Him.

    May the Spirit of God in Christ guide you and your fellow students in your studies so that you will come to see and understand the power and the glory of the Risen Christ which is the message of His Revelation.

    In Christ,
    Pilgrimer
     
  9. David Lamb

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    I think statements like that need slight moderation. There is no "Baptist Pope" or "Baptist Archbishop" :) who lays down what every baptist must believe. Each local baptist church is autonomous. So even if it were true that some/many/most baptist churches do not believe that the archangel Michael is another name for Jesus, I doubt it is true of every baptist church in the world. It is misleading to say that this is "a doctrine which the Baptist churches do not agree with." Charles D. Alexander, the author I mentioned, believed that Michael was Jesus. He wrote:
    There is only One who has ever been able in heaven or earth to overcome the Dragon - the mystic Michael, the one and only archangel, the Son of God, He whose name (Michael) signifies, HE WHO BEARS THE LIKENESS AND IMAGE OF GOD.


    Yet Charles Alexander was a baptist pastor. So was John Gill, who also believed this. See what I mean?
     
    #9 David Lamb, Jul 29, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2008
  10. Marcia

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    But the fact that they believed this means that they departed from the traditional and historic Baptist view of Jesus. This view is an aberration (if not worse). This is a cultic view held by the SDA church and by JWs.
     
  11. Pilgrimer

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    David, I'm afraid I have to agree with Marcia. The view is a departure from orthodox Baptist doctrine. As Marcia pointed out, it is a doctrine that is commonly held by groups that are generally considered outside mainstream Evangelical Christianity.

    Which only goes to show how important my counsel to Allen was, that there are so many interpretations of the Revelation that rest on questionable Christological and Soteriological views that one should be very careful in their studies to not unwittingly become subject to doctrines that contradict and confound the Gospel.

    In Christ,
    Pilgrimer
     
  12. David Lamb

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    I think we are confusing two different things here, Marcia. As I understand it, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus Christ is not God the Son, but a created angelic being. For instance, the site http://www.macgregorministries.org/jehovahs_witnesses/michael_archangel2.html says:
    They deny that Jesus Christ was God, but instead, believe he was a created angel. In fact, the Watchtower says that in Jesus' pre-existence, he was Michael the Archangel. The Watchtower teaches that Michael the Archangel was the first and highest of all the beings that God created, and that once God created him, Michael the archangel created everything else.

    Then, according to the Jehovah's Witnesses, Michael the Archangel gave up his existence as an angel, and God transferred Michael's Spirit (life-force) down to earth where he became Jesus Christ. While on earth, Jesus was a man and a man only.


    I imagine SDA beliefs on this matter are similar.

    But when John Gill, Charles Alexander, and others say that Michael is Jesus, they are definitely not denying the Saviour's deity, or lowering His status to that of a created being. Gill wrote:


    It seems best to interpret it (the term "the Archangel Michael) of Jesus Christ, who is equal with God, is his fellow, is one with the Father, and in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwells bodily: he is the Archangel, the first of the chief princes, the head of all principality and power, who is on the side of the Lord’s people, pleads their cause, defends their persons, and saves them.

    In Alexander's book on Revelation I linked to in my previous post, he writes:

    [FONT=Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]WHO IS MICHAEL?
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]But who is this great personality who in imperial conquest leads the armies of heaven against the armies of hell? Who indeed, but the Prince of heaven Himself, Jesus the Son of God, who appears again and again in the holy record by a variety of names which denote His true identity and destiny, and the infinite glories and prerogatives of His office in the history of creation and redemption.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]He is Emmanuel, God with us; He is the divine LOGOS or Wisdom, the expression of the Father's Being; His Name is WONDERFUL, the divine Enigma, in whom is manifest the Wisdom of God. He is the Second Adam, the Amen, the Ancient of Days, the Beloved, the Anointed, the Branch, the Corner-stone, the Light, the Life, and the Altogether Lovely. He is the Shiloh, the Seed, the Temple, the Sun of righteousness, the great Melchizedek - and much, much more that we have not space to record.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]We must not therefore be stumbled to find that He is the Arch-angel Michael, mentioned but five times in Holy Scripture, and of these, three times in the Book of Daniel, once in Jude, and here in Revelation. Michael appears however on numerous other occasions though not by His personal name but under the title “The Angel of the Lord”.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]There is only one ‘archangel’ mentioned in the Bible, and this is Christ. He is the archangel because it is given to Him, as the Eternal Son, the head of all creation, to be known to the angels as their king - Michael, ‘likeness of God’. In borrowed angelic form he makes Himself known to that bright and glorious company, for even the angels cannot see God except as He assumes a borrowed resemblance. The Incarnation is different. Christ never became an angel as such, but He truly became Man, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He will retain His visibility throughout all eternity as glorified Man, one in nature with us, in the same body which lay in the tomb, but a body glorified, even as ours shall be after the pattern of His own resurrection.[/FONT]

    And Spurgeon wrote, as part of the "morning" notes for 3rd October in "Morning and Evening":


    Let the Lord Jesus Christ be for ever endeared to us, for through him we are made to sit in heavenly places far above principalities and powers. He it is whose camp is round about them that fear him; he is the true Michael whose foot is upon the dragon. All hail, Jesus! thou Angel of Jehovah’s presence, to thee this family offers its morning vows.

    Certainly those three baptists (Alexander, Gill and Spurgeon) did identify the Archangel Michael as the Lord Jesus Christ, but they still believed fully in the deity and the eternal nature of the Saviour.

    There is a subtle but very important difference between saying, as some cults do, that Jesus is the Archangel Michael (with the implied word "only"), and some baptists identifying the Archangel Michael as the eternal Son of God.
     
  13. Pilgrimer

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    Hello David,
    I have a few other bones to pick with Spurgeon in particular, but the gentlemen you cited for your support, Baptists or not, are wrong. God is not an angel.

    In Christ,
    Pilgrimer
     
  14. Thinkingstuff

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    Was that because he was fat? I'm just curious. :laugh:
     
  15. Pilgrimer

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    :laugh:

    It's more a matter of my not agreeing with his eschatology. But then, Spurgeon himself admitted that prophecy was not his area of ministry and he had not spent any time studying it:

    "I am not now going into millennial theories, or into any speculation as to dates. I do not know anything at all about such things, and I am not sure that I am called to spend my time in such researches. I am rather called to minister the gospel than to open prophecy." (Spurgeon)

    By his own counsel Spurgeon should not be used as an authority on the interpretation of prophecy, that was not his area of ministry, he was an Evangelist, and a giftedly brilliant Evangelist to be sure, but not an interpreter of prophecy, including those contained in the most highly prophetic book of the entire Bible, the Revelation of Jesus.

    In Christ,
    Pilgrimer
     
    #15 Pilgrimer, Jul 30, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2008
  16. lbaker

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    I've never heard that idea before. May be worth thinking about though, as long as we're talking about elevating who Michael is/was and not lowering who Christ is.

    note to David - cliff notes are sort of abbreviated versions of a textbook or novel you might be assigned to read for a college class. The cliff notes supposedly hit the important points and allow you to pass the tests without actually reading the material.
     
  17. David Lamb

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    I think a misunderstanding has crept in between us, and if it is my fault, I apologise. In my first post on this thread, I was simply saying that (in my view) it is wrong to say, as you did, that this matter is "a doctrine which the Baptist churches ....do not agree with." I did not argue for or against the doctrine itself.

    Then in reply to Marcia's suggestion that people like Alexander and Gill's view was the same as the "...cultic view held by the SDA church and by JWs," I tried to show, by quoting those men, that they fully believed in Christ's deity, eternal nature, and everything about Him which makes Him God. Again, I did not argue for or against the doctrine itself.
     
  18. Pilgrimer

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    Understood. So please allow me to clarify my opening comment:

    ". . . a doctrine which the majority of the Baptist churches do not agree with."

    :laugh: Fair enough?

    In Christ,
    Pilgrimer
     
  19. webdog

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    John Macarthur has a good study on Revelation that I believe to be spot on. (see, us non-LS'ers can give John Macarthur a compliment :D)
     
  20. Marcia

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    I was not trying to imply that Alexander and Gill were cultic or heretical; I apologize if it sounded that way.

    I was trying to point out the view of Jesus as the Archangel Michael is like the JWs and SDAs, though you did point out how their views further depart from the Bible. I did not mean to impugn Alexander or Gill with views they did not hold.

    I think the view that the Angel of the Lord in the OT is thought by many to be the pre-incarnate Jesus is not at all like a belief that Jesus is the Archangel Michael. "Angel" just means "messenger" but "archangel" denotes a specific type of angel, I think.

    It is clear from scripture that Michael is Michael, not Jesus. It would be deceptive of God, imo, to portray Michael as an archangel - a specific type of creature - when it was really Jesus.
     

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