Bible Study


The Book of Revelation is an amazing book.  It is also a very complex book.  There are many twists, turns and rapid plot developments in its pages.  This book contains all the elements of a great thriller.  In its pages you will find action, suspense, mystery, wonder, fear, drama, horror, and much excitement.  While it takes a full 22 chapters for all the action to completely develop; John gives us A Sneak Preview Of Coming Attractions here at the very beginning.  He whets our appetites for that which is coming our way in the remainder of the book.

      The verses we have read today are an introduction into the material that will be developed as we move through the verses of Revelation.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at this Sneak Preview Of Coming Attractions.



A.  The Destination Of The Letter – “to the seven churches which are in Asia” – This letter was to be sent to seven specific churches in Asia Minor.  These churches are mentioned by name in verse 11 and they are dealt with in detail in chapters two and three.  We will consider each of these congregations when we get to those verses.

For the time being, what we need to remember about these churches is this:

First, they were real, literal congregations that existed at the time John penned this book.  Jesus spoke to them about real saints, real sinners, real situations and real solutions.

Second, these churches are representative of every Christian church that has ever existed.  Every church contains some of the characteristics that marked these early churches.  So, while this letter was not addressed to Victory Baptist Church; this book has as much to say to us as if it was addressed to us.

This letter was sent to “the seven churches”.  This is the first use of the number seven in Revelation.  This is a number that will show up time and time again as we study the book.  Seven is a number that suggests “perfect, completion, and fullness”. So, when the Bible mentions seven churches, it is referring to the church in its fullness.  That is why I said that even though this book was not specifically written to us, it still speaks to us as though it were.

      Seven is a prominent number in our world. There are seven colors that make up the light spectrum.  There are seven notes in the musical scale (a-g).  There are seven days in one week.

      Seven appears frequently in the Bible.  God commanded seven feats in the Law.  There are seven secret, or mysteries, in the Christ’s parables of the kingdom.  There were seven sayings of Jesus on the cross.  At Jericho seven priests carrying seven trumpets marched around the city for seven days.  On the seventh day they marched around the city seven times. In this book, the number seven is used forty-nine times, which is seven times seven.       

B.  The Desire Of The Letter – “grace unto you and peace” – This is the classic New Testament dedication. John greets them with the prayer that they will continue to enjoy the all-sufficient grace of God and the peace of God which passes all understanding.  While the book of Revelation is a difficult book filled with scenes of judgment and condemnation; it is a book of joy.  It reveals God’s grace in the lives of His people and it points to a coming world where grace and peace will reign forever.  This is a fitting way to introduce the book.

C.  The Deity Of The Letter – This great promise of grace and peace comes to us from the Holy Trinity.  Notice the word “from” in verses 4-5.  This word is used three times.  Each time it appears, it introduces another member of the Godhead.  God is the source of all grace and peace. 

These two verses remind us that this book was not the creation of a man.  It is the Words of God to man!  Therefore, it carries with it awesome power and ultimate divine authority.  Let’s examine the Deity behind this letter.

1.  The Sovereign Father – This identifies the God Who is “the self-existent One”.  The God Who called Himself “I AM” in Ex. 3:14.  The God Who has always existed in the source of grace and peace.  The God Who is the eternal One; Who lives in three-dimensions, past, present and future, all at the same time.  He is the source of grade and peace.  This God, the One Who has always existed; Who exists; and Who will always exist, is the source of this grace and peace.  This God Who never changes, Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8; James 1:17; He is our source!

2.  The Sufficient Spirit – The phrase “the seven spirits which are before His throne” speaks of the “fullness, the perfection, the completeness” of the Spirit of God.  It refers to His ministry in our lives.  He is able to give us His grace and peace because He is so perfect and so complete.  He is all we need as we pass through this life.  He is sufficient!  This phrase may also have reference to Isa. 11:2, where the Bible says, “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD”.

3.  The Splendid Son – Now, John tells us that there is a third source of grace and peace.  He tells us that these things come from “Jesus Christ”.  When John mentioned the Father and the Spirit, he spoke of them in symbolic language.  When he speaks of Jesus, he uses straightforward language and sets Jesus on center stage.  Why?  Well, the purpose of this book is to reveal, to unveil Jesus.

 So, right here in the beginning, John tells us exactly Who Jesus is.  He does not want there to be any confusion about Jesus, Who He is, or what He is about.  John knows that believing right about Jesus absolutely critical to getting everything else right.  If you get your beliefs about Jesus messed up, you are going to be off base in everything you believe.  John gives us a three-fold description of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(a.)  His Revelation – Jesus is called “the faithful witness”.  This little phrase calls to mind His coming to the world the first time.  Jesus came to reveal the Father, John 14:7-9; John 12:45; Col. 1:15; Hebrews 1:3.  

You see, in the Old Testament, Israel was God’s witness to the world, Isa. 43:10.  In this age, the church is His witness to the world, Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8.  However, neither the church nor Israel is a faithful witness.  In fact, the best we can be is a mere reflection of God and His grace.  Jesus Christ was and is God in human flesh.  He is more than a reflection, He is God!  Therefore, He was able to give a “faithful witness” to the Person and work of the Father, John 18:37; 1 Tim. 6:13.

(b.)  His Resurrection – Jesus is called “the first begotten of the dead”.  Now, Jesus was not the first one to get up from the dead.  There were some in the Old Testament and several in the Gospels.  But, Jesus was the first one to get up and stay up.  The rest died again!

      The word translated “first begotten” comes from the word that gives us the word “prototype”.  Jesus sets the standard that the rest will eventually follow.  When the Bible says that Jesus is the “first begotten of the dead”, it does not mean that He is the first One to get up.  It means that He is first in preeminence. In other words, He set the standard!  He is the prototype.  He is the example of what will happen to all those who believe in Him.  Just as He got up to stay up from the grave forever, so those who trust in Him will also experience a resurrection one day.  Because He lives, those who have their faith in Him have “passed from death unto life”, John 5:24, and they “will never die”, John 11:25-26.

(c.)  His Royalty – The third title given to Jesus in this verse is “the prince of the kings of the earth”.  This establishes Jesus to be the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”.  This phrase pictures Him as the One Who is in absolute control.  We will see Satan sent his king, the Antichrist, into the world.  He will rampage and exalt himself above “all that is called God.”  But, even he will have a Master, and His name is Jesus.  One day, every ruler, every tyrant, every dictator, every king, potentate, etc who has ever lived will bow before the nail-pierced feet of the Lord Jesus Christ and will call Him “Lord, to the glory of God the Father”, Phil. 2:9-10.  He is the ultimate Ruler!



Having told us about the Godhead, the source of grace and peace, John gets so caught up in Who Jesus is that he offers us a hymn of praise to the Lamb of God.  Let’s take a minute to listen to John’s song of praise.

A.  He Is Praised For His Loving Ministry – “Unto Him Who loved us” – Don’t let that past tense verb throw you.  John is merely reminding us that Jesus loved us in spite of what we were and still are.  His love is unceasing, unfailing and unconditional.  He loves us and that is cause enough for loud and long praise to be offered to Him.  It was His love for us that brought Him to the world, John 3:16.  It was His love for us that bound Him to the cross, Rom 5:8.  His love for us is a guarantee that can never fail, Rom. 8:38-39.

B.  He Is Praised For His Loosing Ministry – “and washed us from our sins in His Own blood” – The word translated “wash” means to “cleanse!  Jesus shed His blood on the cross and when we trust Him; His blood washes us whiter than snow and cleanses us from every stain of sin, 1 John 1:7.

            By the way, did you know what each of us brings to this thing called salvation?  The text says, “our sins” and “His Own blood”.  All we had to contribute to our salvation was sin.  He contributed His blood. And, His blood washes away all of our sins, Eph. 1:7!

C.  He Is Praised For His Lifting Ministry – “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father” – This phrase tells us that Jesus is to be praised because He refused to leave us like He found us.  He found us in sin; He love us; He washed us in His blood and saved us; then He lifts us out of that condition and changes us for the glory of God, 2 Cor. 5:17.  He takes old hell-bound sinners and makes them “kings and priests”.

            As kings, the saints will reign with Jesus one day, 2 Tim. 2:12.  As priests, we are given direct access to the throne of God, Heb. 4:16; 10:19.  He deserves to be praised for caring for us; cleansing us and changing us for His glory!


These last two verses give us a little glimpse of what we can expect as this book unfolds.  They offer a bit of a promise to us that some exciting things are going to be happening in this book.  Let’s examine the promise of the revelation.

A.  v. 7  The Promise Of A Coming One – The world has waited in anticipation for 6,000 years for the Redeemer to come.  He came the first time, was born of a virgin and died on the cross to purchase the redemption.  He is returning in the clouds above this earth to catch away His Bride in the Rapture.  Then, one day, Jesus will return to this earth in power and glory.  He will defeat the enemies of God and He will establish His kingdom here and He will reign here for 1,000 years.  This verse is about that event.  This does not speak about the Rapture, but of His Revelation.

(1.)  The Method Of His Coming – “He cometh with clouds” – This is not the first time that Jesus clothed Himself with clouds.  He led Israel through the wilderness in a pillar of cloud, Ex. 13:21-22.  He ascended back into Heaven riding a chariot of clouds, Acts 1:9-11.  When He comes back, He will again surround Himself with clouds and will appear in glory and power.  He is coming!

(2.)  The Manifestation Of His Coming – “every eye shall see Him” – The thought of everyone being able to see the same thing and the same time all over the world was considered impossible just a few decades ago.  But, with the advent of satellite technology, people around the world witness the same event simultaneously. But, when Jesus comes, He will not need Fox News or CNN to broadcast His coming.  He will appear in the clouds and the while world will be able to see Him at the same time.  This tells us that His presence and glory will be undeniable in that day.

(3.)  The Misery Of His Coming – The Bible makes it clear that the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus will not be a pleasant event for the people of the world. Jew and Gentile alike will wail when they see Him coming.  The Jews will weep because their fathers rejected Him and their people paid a high price for their rebellion.  The Gentiles will wail because He comes to judge sin and sinner alike.  When Jesus comes there will be horrible judgment as He treads the “winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God”.

 B.  v. 8  The Promise Of A Concluding One – Yes, Jesus is coming and it will signal awful judgment for this wicked world.  But, it will also signal the culmination of all things.  What the Lord began in the Genesis, He will conclude in the Revelation.

(1.)  The Lord’s Announcement – “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord”.  As “Alpha and Omega” Jesus is the One Who knows all things.  Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last.  Those letters and the others in between can be used to express all the idea and knowledge of mankind.  Jesus lets us know that He is the Omniscient One.  He sees all and He knows all.

            The phrase “beginning and ending” reminds us that He is the One Who started this universe on its present course and He is the One Who pilots it to its proper conclusion.  In other words, He declares Himself to be the One Who is on control!  He is the “Lord”!

(2.)  The Lord’s Authority – Jesus also calls Himself “which is, and which was, and which is to come”.  With this phrase, He proclaims His deity!  After all, this is the title used to describe the Father in verse 4.  As God, Jesus is the all-present, all-knowing, all-powerful Being Who transcends time and space.  He has the authority to do all the things He says will come to pass in this book.  In other words, He will see to it that all things go as He has planned them and that everything foretold in this book will come to pass just as He has said!  So, don’t worry saint of God, our Savior is in control!  But, if you are not saved, you need to be!  After all, just as surely as there is a Heaven for the redeemed ones, there is a Hell for the lost ones.

(3.)  The Lord’s Ability – Jesus declares Himself to be “the Almighty”.  This word means, “the one who holds sway over all things”.  It proclaims Him to be the sovereign Lord of the universe.  He is the One Who is able to bring everything He has planned and promised to pass.  He will do it and no one will be able to stop it!



Victory Baptist Church 27 February 2019 victory

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour

IMG_1121Darkness Isn’t Good

Darkness isn’t good, whenever it takes place,

It causes men to panic in every type of way;

But when light shines, however small it may be,

It helps our vision and ability to see!

Darkness isn’t good, it makes the heart beat fast,

Causing us to wonder how long it’s going to last;

We see when the Son Light comes shining through,

Then He gives peace & comfort everything we do!

Darkness isn’t good, our world is filled to the brim,

The Light of the world needs to shine brightly by Him;

He fills us with Himself the minute we get saved,

It’s up to us to show others the Godly way!

Darkness isn’t good, it’s when the devil does his work,

Trying in so many ways to bring us defeat & hurt;

But the Son Light from Heaven is so sweet indeed,

Bringing comfort, love & joy, He meets our every need!

Helping Hand

Once years ago there was a little girl in an institution who was almost like a wild beast. The workers at the institution had written her off as hopeless. An elderly nurse believed there was hope for the child, however. She felt she could communicate love and hope to this wild little creature. The nurse daily visited the child whom they called Little Annie, but for a long time Little Annie gave no indication she was aware of her presence.

The elderly nurse persisted and repeatedly brought some cookies and left them in her room. Soon the doctors in the institution noticed a change. After a period of time, they moved Little Annie upstairs. Finally the day came when this seemingly “hopeless case” was released. Filled with compassion for others because of her institution experience, Little Annie, Anne Sullivan, wanted to help others.

It was Anne Sullivan who, in turn, played the crucial role in the life of Helen Keller. It was she who saw the great potential in this little blind, deaf and rebellious child. She loved her, disciplined her, played, prayed, pushed, and worked with her until Helen Keller became an inspiration to the entire world. It began with the elderly nurse, then Anne Sullivan, then Helen Keller, and finally every person who has ever been influenced by the example of Helen Keller.

That chain of love goes on forever. Before it began with that elderly nurse, though, we have to go all the way back to the beginning when God first loved God’s creation.


thanks ODB

Frank, Ted, and I were fishing for bluegill on Rice Lake in Ontario, Canada. We were on a pontoon boat, and the fish were really biting. Busy baiting and hooking, we slowly became aware that the action had slacked off. Then we realized why: The boat was no longer sitting where we had put it. A strong wind had come up and pushed it across the water. The anchor could not hold us and was sliding across the lake bottom. We hauled it up, returned to our hot spot, and re-anchored. We were moved away again. After a third try, we went back to shore. We could not get our anchor to grab and stick.

When it comes to our salvation, our hope is anchored in the promise of God and the work of Jesus Christ. The winds and waves of doubt, discouragement, and spiritual attack by the evil one can cause us to think that we are adrift and salvation from God is not secure. Not so! God has given His promise that our salvation is sure, and He cannot lie (Heb. 6:18-19). Our hope is securely fastened in Jesus Christ who redeemed us once and for all when He died, rose again, and ascended to heaven.

Our anchor is the Rock unmovable—Jesus Christ. His limitless love holds us sure and steadfast.

I have journeyed through the long dark night
Out on the open sea, by faith alone
Sight unknown; and yet His eyes were watching me
The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas
The anchor holds in spite of the storm
I’ve had visions, I’ve had dreams
I’ve even held them in my hand
But I never knew they would slip right through
Like they were only grains of sand
The anchor holds

God’s Idea

By David Jeremiah

 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Genesis 2:18

The family is God’s idea. In fact, it’s His primary idea. Civil government and the church also came from the mind of God; but long before He created those institutions, God thought of the family. In the very beginning, He looked at Adam and said, “It is not good for him to be alone.” He brought a woman to him and family life began.

Since the family is God’s idea, it operates best when it follows His patterns and operates under His lordship. Until Christ is the center of our homes, all our attempts to improve our families will end in frustration. Unless the Lord builds the home, we labor in vain in building it.

Even in the easiest of times and best of circumstances, it’s hard to build a Christian home; but any attempt apart from the lordship of Christ is doomed to failure. God loves you and wants to be the Lord of all your moments, days, attitudes, and habits. When He is Lord, it changes the atmospherics of the family. Problems may not disappear overnight; but when Christ dwells under your roof, He brings hope to the home and healing to the heart.

Oh, let me tell you something, friends. God has a good plan for building good homes. He tells us that if we put Him at the center of our home, that’s the first thing.

Tuesday With Karen

From Karen’s daughter:  Keep my momma in your prayers Tomorrow as she goes for her 5th and next to last chemo treatment. I know you are tired and it’s wearing on your body , you are very strong and almost at the end of them. Lord please touch her body to handle the treatment and her mind for peace. Touch the medical staff that will be with her tomorrow too. We love you and are praying with you and for you Mama . by Karen Icenhour

What A Saviour

What a Saviour is mine, so righteous to adore,

What a blessing I have to know Him as Lord;

He gave His life & shed His blood for my sin,

Providing the pathway of salvation to Him!

What a Saviour, to know Him as Overseer,

To know He really cares, & is always near;

He keeps every promise His word proclaimed,

For that’s how it is with His glorious name!

What a Saviour, who hung upon Calvary’s cross,

So I might know salvation & never be lost;

He paid the price of every sin or need,

When He shed His blood on the rugged tree!

What a Saviour, who gives us His mercy & grace,

God uses Him to put all good things in place;

It won’t be long before He splits the Eastern sky,

Then we can say, “Oh, what a Saviour is mine!”



From Lynn Cowell: (proverbs 31 ministries)
My daughter reclined in the hammock, face in a book. She chooses to read stories based in history, where the author’s words transport her to another setting when life seemed grander.
She often says, “Mom, I wish I was born in a different time and place.”
As a mom, it’s easy for me to slip into similar thoughts too. To look around, observe the not-so-positive changes in our culture and wish for the seemingly tranquil world of generations past. To lament over how easy it must have been to raise kids, take care of your family, and share your faith then.
These thoughts have discouraged me and sometimes left me wondering, “Why keep trying? It’s hopeless.”
Yet, when I read of Esther in the Bible, I am reminded that God has a purpose for placing me exactly where I am right now-in this time and place-just like He did for Esther.
When Esther was a young woman, she was taken from her Jewish family and brought to Susa, the Persian King Xerxes’ fortress, for twelve months of beauty treatments. This was done to her and other women in preparation to meet the king so he could choose a new queen.
Esther found great favor with the king and he appointed her the new queen. Despite her good standing with King Xerxes, Esther hid the fact she was Jewish. But when a plot to destroy the Jewish people was revealed, Esther’s family member, Mordecai, asked her to intervene and request help from the king to save them.
By law, no one was to approach the king without being asked. Doing so would risk being put to death. Plus, the king hadn’t summoned Esther in 30 days, an indication he was losing interest in her. But Mordecai reminded her, if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?
Esther understood the greater good and risked her life on behalf of the Jews. God appointed Esther to be in Susa at that specific time to rescue her people from the potential destruction. A bold girl in the right place at the right time saved an entire nation from annihilation.
Like Esther, we can trust that God has placed us where we are “for such a time as this,” for His purposes. Our assignment is important too. We are surrounded by people, that God loves and wants to rescue. Sharing Jesus with family, at our job, with our neighbors, and in our community could lead them to accepting God’s love.
Jesus willingly gave His life so we could approach our King for eternal life. He asks us to share this new life with those around us. Today, let’s boldly step out and make ourselves available to God just as Esther did. God surely can use us to free someone from despair as we share the hope of eternal life!
Although it’s enjoyable to daydream about times past, the most important work we can do is today.


Thanks Dean Robertson for this article.

C.H. Spurgeon once made the statement: “Brethren, we shall not adjust our Bible to the age, but the age to the Bible.”

We are living in a day and age where man is taught to think good thoughts, high thoughts, wonderful thoughts about himself. Within the last 20 years or so there has been a covert invasion in Christianity in America without hardly a whimper of protest. This invasion can best be described as “Christian” psychology, which is nothing more than watered-down humanism. While there are millions of people searching for answers to their complicated problems created by their increasingly complex lives, psychology comes along and attempts to answer and solve man’s sin problems and its consequences through the building up and restoration of man’s self-esteem and self-image. We are told today to get in touch with our inner self and ask the question: “How do you feel about yourself?” The bottom line is, it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans what we think or feel about ourselves, but what does the Bible say and teach.

This matrimony between psychology and Christianity has created an unholy alliance which is producing some strange children that are permitting, promoting, and preaching deceiving, dangerous, and damnable false doctrines. This diabolical psychobabble of self-love is sweeping through churches today among self-seeking men in a self-centered society whose greatest problem is a desire to worship at the altar of self. The apostle Paul warned us that one of the characteristics of the last days would be that “men shall be lovers of their own selves” (2 Tim. 3:2).

I’m afraid many so-called fundamental/evangelical churches and preachers have fallen into the trap of teaching this mushy self-worth propaganda that seeks to camouflage itself in robes of charity and tolerance. Churches and preachers alike are abandoning their God-called purpose of holding up the mirror of God’s Word and graphically revealing to man what he really looks like in the sight of a holy God. The missing message in modern-day preaching is the Biblical doctrine of repentance, where a sinner is convinced and convicted of his exceeding sinfulness and lost condition.

Christ Preached Repentance

“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15).

When the very Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, appeared upon the scene in His public ministry, He came preaching the narrow and exclusive doctrines of repentance and faith. If Jesus felt compelled to preach such a message before a lost and dying world, so should we. Galatians 1:6-9 teaches that there is only one gospel, and if any gospel message leaves out the doctrine of repentance or faith or both, you can be assured it is a false gospel.

Meaning of Repentance

The words “repent,” “repentance,” and “repented” are mentioned over 100 times in the Bible. There has been a lot of misunderstanding and confusion over what the word repentance means. When the word “repent” is used in the Word of God in the context of Biblical salvation, it is referring to a truly God-given, Spirit-led change of heart and mind toward God about sin.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out …” (Acts 3:19).

God’s Attention

A week after C. S. Lewis died in 1963, colleagues and friends gathered in the chapel of Magdalen College, Oxford, England, to pay tribute to the man whose writings had fanned the flames of faith and imagination in children and scholars alike.
During the memorial service, Lewis’ close friend Austin Farrer noted that Lewis always sent a handwritten personal reply to every letter he received from readers all over the world. “His characteristic attitude to people in general was one of consideration and respect,” Farrer said. “He paid you the compliment of attending to your words.”
In that way, Lewis mirrored God’s remarkable attention to what we say to Him in prayer. During a time of great difficulty, the writer of Psalm 66 cried out to God (vv.10-14). Later, he praised the Lord for His help, saying, “verliy God hath heard me; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer” (v.19).
When we pray, the Lord hears our words and knows our hearts. Truly we can say with the psalmist, “Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me!” (v.20). Our prayers become the avenue to a deeper relationship with Him. At all times, even in our hours of deepest need, He attends to our words.
My Savior hears me when I pray,
Upon His Word I calmly rest;
In His own time, in His own way,
I know He’ll give me what is best. —Hewitt
We always have God’s attention.

Tuesday With Karen

IMG_0931Trinity Church Wall St. NY. Built 1846; they kept the doors open so people could come in, say a little prayer or just cool off.

by Karen Icenhour

Walking In His Steps

Walking in His steps, our steps will be defined

He will lead us in our heart, soul, and mind;

Giving us direction with every step we take,

His love & care on us, He will never forsake.

Walking in His steps, we’ll see which way to go,

Answers to our questions, we will quickly know;

God says for us to ask, trust, and believe,

Then the blessing to that prayer we’ll receive.

Walking in His steps, life will be blessed with grace,

Things that come along are much easier to face;

Keeping our eyes on Him, our hand in His hand,

Makes life better to live and understand.

Walking in His steps will keep us close to His heart,

In sweet fellowship, He comes where we are;

When in His steps, we choose to live and walk,

It makes such a difference in how we act & talk!