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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS – STUDY 11
Please look at the questions and discuss the answers. The case histories are designed to let you apply what theoretical knowledge you have gleaned from the study. There are intentionally many more questions and case histories than you can manage in one session but this is designed to cover the many and varied needs of the individuals in the church hence please pick and choose which ones to discuss as long as it gets people sharing and applying the Word to real life situations. Never feel obligated to finish all the questions The answers will be posted on the web the next day.
There is a declaration from heaven that the kingdom of man is no more and is taken over by the kingdom of the Lord and this is an everlasting kingdom.
There is judgement of man.
There is thunder lightning earthquake and hail which are prophetic cosmic signs of judgement
This is the final judgment because
A. There is declaration of the end of mans kingdom and the beginning of the eternal kingdom of God in vv 15b.
B. There is judgment and reward of mankind vv 18
The vision of the ark in heaven signals not only judgment but also God’s gracious presence with his redeemed community and his provision of grace by atonement. On the OT Day of Atonement the sacrificial blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat of the ark as a covering for the nation’s sins. This ensured God’s continued presence with his people. This was the significance of the ark residing in Israel’s tabernacle and temple. Though the ark disappeared during the Babylonian captivity, some Jews expected its return at the end of time, when God would graciously restore Israel, dwell in the midst of its people. So this serves as the most important expectation for God’s people as not only judgement but there will be mercy because of the atonement of the blood of Jesus of which the ark is the image that prepared people for Jesus
The pregnant woman is the symbol of God’s people both in the Old Testament and the New Testament as she has 12 stars representing the 12 tribes of Israel.
The appearance of the sun and moon which Joseph describes Jacob and his wife.
The woman gives birth to the child who will rule the nations with an iron rod. This is referenced in the Messianic psalms 2.
When the woman gives birth then Satan makes war on her off spring in vv 17
Gen 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.
Right after the fall of man, God foretells that the woman will give birth to an offspring who will defeat Satan (bruise his head =fatal blow) and Satan will bruise his heel which means cause temporary injury a lesser injury. This is a metaphorical way of indicating the defeat of Satan by a means that will be costly too for the off spring of the woman who is Jesus
The colour red is based on the blood of the saints in which Satan becomes drink on which indicates the grotesque blood thirsty zeal with which Satan hates and kills the saints.
The event that casts Satan out of heaven is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Our entire debate of sin and slavery to it is paid entirely by Jesus hence Satan no longer has any place to stand in front of God to accuse us of sin and our need to pay for it with death nor accuse God of being corrupt because He did not judge all the saints in the OT with death. His fall out of heaven means he has no status no place no power of the people of God.
The ferocity of Satan is the sign of his defeat hence he has to do as much damage as possible because his time is limited because of his defeat. So when we undergo fierce persecution it is a sign of his defeat not his victory hence we must bear heart and take courage. Satan’s time is limited.
The way to overcome Satan is by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their courageous testimony in the face of persecution. The victory of the saints is patterned after their Saviour. In practical terms we need to constantly depend on and rely on the sacrifice of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. We must not substitute this with our own adherence to the law or even obedience to the Law or performing rituals to gain merit before God.
Paul faced this in the letter to the Galatians when Jewish believers led by Peter behaved in such a way as to include Jewish rites and circumcision in addition to Jesus as the way to salvation. Paul re-emphasised that it is in Christ and Christ alone that we are saved and we have to hold on to this as our only source of salvation. Good works are all evidence of our truth faith in the blood of the Lamb not the means by which we are saved.
We need to be constantly sharing the gospel with our community no matter what the price as it is only in this that we overcome Satan.
The outpouring of water is basically the use of deception and persecution to overwhelm the church. The earth opens up and swallows up the flood and this is symbolic of God’s intervention on behalf of the church not unlike the waters swallowing up the army of Egypt as they catch up with the fleeing Israelites over the Red Sea. We overcome using God’s truth ..His Word
What are the common ways in which Satan attacks the church in this vision? How can we counter this?