Lighting Up the Apocalypse 22: D-Day in Heaven

Rev 12:7-12; Wisdom 2:24; Job 1; Luke 10:18-22 In our last study, we saw that chapter 12 comes at the very center of the Apocalypse, surrounded by the sequences of the seal, trumpets, and bowls, which themselves are sandwiched within the promises of the 7 letters, and the grand fulfillment of these promises at the end of John’s vision.  Verses 7-12 of chapter 12, which we will read this week, are embedded…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 21: The Woman, the Dragon, and the Child

Rev 12:1-6, Deut 1:29-33; Ps 2:7-9, Dan 7:13-14 As we approach chapter 12, which could be called the “inner shrine” of the Apocalypse, it is helpful to remember that our chapter divisions are not part of the originally signaled structure of the biblical books:  the chapters were added in about the thirteenth century, and the verses later, in the sixteenth.  Though this is convenient for those who want to easily confer on…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 20: The Seventh Trumpet and the Unending Reign

Rev 11:15-19; Psalm 2, 2 Sam 6, Luke 1:42-45.  Our last two sessions on the Apocalypse presented a new story embedded within and placed around the sounding of the last three trumpets.  Up until chapter 10, we had been watching in sequence as the sounding of the trumpets heralds tribulation cast on earth—hail, a mountain, an evil figure being cast to earth, and other disasters. The seven trumpets themselves were enfolded within…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 19: On Measuring, Not Measuring, Witnessing, and Woes

Revelation 11:1-14; Ezekiel 40; Zechariah 4 We finished the last session by hearing that the scroll eaten by St. John would be digested, so that he would prophesy concerning many things—including concerning the fate of the nations.  Chapter 11 begins those prophecies catalyzed by the eating of this little scroll, a scroll described by the angel as “bitter-sweet.”  And the next few chapters will indeed be both bitter, and sweet. John is…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 18: The Bitter-Sweet Scroll

Revelation 10; Ezekiel 3:1-3; Daniel 9-12 We have come in chapter 10 to the point in John’s vision when we expect that we will finally hear the seventh trumpet sounded, and reach a conclusion of sorts.  Instead, for the next few chapters John will tell us about important signs, keeping us in suspense for that final trumpet call.  The voice of the angel in this chapter says that “there will be no…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 17: Fallen Star, Bound Angels, and Hardened Hearts

Revelation 9, Job, Ezekiel 9:3-8, Luke 21:18 The second part of the seven-trumpet series does not make for pleasant reading.   Chapter 9 is prefaced with the cry of “Woe! Woe! Woe!”  As trumpets five and six are blown, we infer from the commentary that these  trumpets comprise two of these three woes (9:12).  The first of the woes, heralded by the fifth trumpet, features a fallen “star” who is allowed to unlock…

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 16: Silence, Trumpets, and Suspense

Lighting Up the Apocalypse 16:  Silence, Trumpets, and Suspense Revelation 8;  Exodus 7-12; Ex 19; Ezekiel 33; Isaiah 19; Zech 9; Zech 13:8-9; Eccl 3:7 In Revelation 7, we witnessed the opening of the first six seals, beginning with the White Rider, and capped by a twin vision of the people of God, first numbered particularly, and then depicted as an innumerable host, clad in white, and made clean by the “blood…