NOW WE get to the prophetic stuff! The Book of Revelation was written by John, either in the mid-60s A.D. or around 95 A.D. Most scholars believe it was the later date, during the reign of Domitian, although some believe it was thirty years earlier, during the reign of Nero.
Either way, Revelation is a deep and fascinating prophecy given to John by Jesus himself. This week, we discuss the introduction to the book and the messages from Jesus to the seven churches of Asia. All seven are in modern-day Turkey, which may have significance for the last days. We briefly explain how the seven churches represent the ages of church history (see the chart below) and various heresies that had entered the church before the end of the first century A.D.
Possible route of Paul’s 4th missionary journey (map by Galyn Wiemers, www.generationword.com). Click for larger version
CHURCH LEADERSHIP and proper behavior for Christians is the focus of Paul’s letters that we study this week. Timothy had been left in charge of the church Ephesus, while Titus had been left on the island of Crete to shepherd the new church there.
LETTERS FROM Paul in Rome are the focus of this week’s New Testament study, and there is a lot of meat here. Paul addressed errant teachings that threatened to undermine the gospel of salvation by grace through faith at Colossae and Ephesus.
It appears some teachers had arrived preaching that Gentiles needed to follow the Law of Moses to be saved. Paul was very direct about that:
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Colossians 2:16-17 (ESV)
PAUL RETURNS to Jerusalem in this week’s study, as we return to Luke’s historical account of Paul’s journey, in spite of warnings from believers from Asia to Judea that he would be arrested and possibly killed. But Paul already knew that, since he’d been warned by the Holy Spirit that this is what God had in store for him.