Tap Out?

If you have ever wrestled with Romans or grappled with Galatians and felt like tapping out from time to time, I suggest reading Steven Coxhead's Blog. He has some really helpful tips for understanding Paul, his opponents, and the basic relationship of the Old and New Testament. Here are links to several of his posts from last November and December.

1) http://berithroad.blogspot.com/2010/11/jewish-context-of-pauls-theology.html
2) http://berithroad.blogspot.com/2010/11/old-testament-view-of-law.html
3) http://berithroad.blogspot.com/2010/12/old-testament-view-of-gospel.html
4) http://berithroad.blogspot.com/2010/12/identity-of-pauls-jewish-opponents.html
5) http://berithroad.blogspot.com/2010/12/gospel-fulfillment-of-old-testament.html
6) http://berithroad.blogspot.com/2010/12/apostle-pauls-teaching-on-law.html
7) http://berithroad.blogspot.com/2010/12/balanced-law-gospel-hermeneutic.html
8) http://berithroad.blogspot.com/2010/12/summary-of-new-covenant-paradigm.html


A Revelation for Christians in Temporary Tribulation

It takes a bit of work to re-read Revelation with an eye for how it was intended to encourage regular Christians from the first century to the last century of our present era. For most of them, loyalty to Jesus Christ has meant tribulation now.   Tribulation is not something confined to a 7 year period at the end of this era. The passages used to support a confined 7 year period of Tribulation don't seem to lock the idea down on their own.  Whatever time table is most satisfying, I think we, along with regular Christians throughout the age will be exhorted in this book. "Endure in loyalty(faith) to Jesus Christ, through temporary tribulation, and receive the eternal reward that is ours in Him."

Consider how John must have thought about "tribulation":
(John 16:33)
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." -Jesus
 (Rev 1:9)
I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

(Rev 2:9)
"I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan." -Jesus

(Rev 2:10)
"Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." -Jesus

(Rev 2:22)
"Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds." -Jesus

(Rev 7:14)
I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Here is a blog post from Denny Burk which tells the story of a brother in Christ suffering tribulation now.  You may also be interested in some links he offers in that post.  Remember to pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ.


Thoughts on the Book of Revelation

Think of "Revelation" as "a book of 7 visisons" instead of "a book of 22 chapters". It may be more helpful and it is more natural to how the book was written (the chapter divisions were added much later).

The Vision of the Glorified Christ among His Churches.
The Vision of God the presiding Almighty and the Lamb opening the Seven Sealed Book of God's Decrees
The Vision of the prayers of the Saints and the 7 Trumpets
The Vision of the People of God as a Woman and her Conflict with Satan
The Vision of the Judgments of God in 7 Bowls
The Vision of the Harlot City and the Victory of Christ over Her
The Vision of the Bride of Christ or The New Jerusalem

Here are 3 observations from the first Vision:

1) The people of the churches stand in a personal relationship to Jesus Christ.
2) The people of the churches must discriminate against false teachers who claim to be sent by God.
3) The people of the churches must persevere in fidelity to Jesus Christ.

What would you add to this list?

What other types of observations come to your mind as you read this section (Revelation Chapters 1-3)?