The Jewish roots of Christianity

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Episode: “Message to the Churches”
The Book of Revelation brings its readers a promise of blessing. In the first two chapters, Jesus appears to John as the great Judge and addresses the churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, and Thyatira.
Series: “Revelation: Unveiling the Visions”
The last book of the Bible is filled with veiled visions that look toward the ragged edge of human history. Dr. Jeffrey Seif walks us through each of the 22 chapters which include glorious visions and angelic visitations along with darkness and judgment. Amidst the turbulence of trying times, this series encourages you to release your fear of the future and focus on God’s plan of salvation and ultimate restoration. These eight programs also include insights from David and Kirsten Hart and music by Zola Levitt.

Caption transcript for Revelation: Unveiling the Visions — “Message to the Churches” (1/8)

  • 00:03 male announcer: Welcome to "Our Jewish Roots"
  • 00:06 with insightful Bible teaching by Dr. Jeffrey Seif.
  • 00:09 ♪♪♪
  • 00:19 ♪♪♪
  • 00:28 David Hart: Thank you so much for joining us today,
  • 00:30 I'm David Hart.
  • 00:31 Kirsten Hart: I'm Kirsten Hart.
  • 00:32 Jeffrey Seif: And I am Jeffrey Seif.
  • 00:34 And we are in a really tough world today, aren't we, like
  • 00:40 century one, and Revelation gives voice to that world.
  • 00:45 David: I think a lot of ups and downs in this series, yes?
  • 00:48 Jeffrey: Yes, the book of Revelation is a rollercoaster.
  • 00:50 It seems like it's going more down than up, but it ends good.
  • 00:53 Kirsten: And it's interesting because right now,
  • 00:54 we're in a topsy turvy time in our whole world.
  • 00:59 We've walked through a virus, things are different.
  • 01:01 They look different, but they looked different back then for
  • 01:03 John too, didn't they?
  • 01:04 Jeffrey: Yes, they did. And life can be very cloudy.
  • 01:07 And the question is, can rays of hope shine through?
  • 01:11 And I think this author is speaking to them about that,
  • 01:15 and we want to talk to you about that as well.
  • 01:18 David: Right now, let's go to Dr. Seif's introduction
  • 01:20 on Revelation.
  • 01:21 ♪♪♪
  • 01:26 Jeffrey: Since the dawn of recorded time, people of faith
  • 01:30 have been thrown up against turbulence of trying times.
  • 01:34 They found themselves vexed, overwhelmed
  • 01:37 by various circumstances.
  • 01:39 And they wonder, "God, where are you?
  • 01:42 Is it possible that you can show up in my world?
  • 01:44 And for that matter, is it possible that the world itself,
  • 01:48 even with all of these circumstance, is following some
  • 01:52 kind of preordained trajectory?"
  • 01:56 The book of Revelation has been a go-to source for a long, long
  • 02:01 time, individuals trying to look at what's happening in the news
  • 02:04 on the one hand, and to look at what's happening in the good
  • 02:07 news on the other to see if there's a correlation.
  • 02:11 Well, here we want to peek behind the veil and look at the
  • 02:14 visions noted in the apocalypse.
  • 02:19 On the front end, that is at this introductory segment, I'd
  • 02:22 like to share with you some of the values, some of the ways
  • 02:27 that I approach the literature, so that way as you go with me on
  • 02:31 the journey, you'll have some sense of the way that I'm going.
  • 02:36 With that said, to my way of thinking, we do well to look at
  • 02:40 the Bible from the perspective of the first experiencers of it.
  • 02:46 By that, I mean when the Revelation was written, and
  • 02:49 we're looking at around 95 AD give or take a year, it
  • 02:53 circulates among certain people at certain times.
  • 02:56 In as much as moderns are concerned what it was all about,
  • 03:00 for me the starting place has less to do with the modern
  • 03:04 moment as it does to do with trying to climb into the world
  • 03:08 of the original recipients of the vision, to wrestle with the
  • 03:11 question, what would it mean to them?
  • 03:14 How might they have understood it?
  • 03:17 With that attended to, we'll look and see
  • 03:19 how we might understand it.
  • 03:21 Is the Word that was written yesterday speaking for us today?
  • 03:28 I think the answer to that question is yes in so many ways.
  • 03:32 Though personally more professor than a prophet, mindful of the
  • 03:36 fact, as I said at the very outset of this introductory
  • 03:39 segment, that people of faith have been thrown up against it
  • 03:43 for the longest.
  • 03:44 And indeed, when Revelation was written, those believers found
  • 03:48 themselves pressed amidst the turbulence of trying times.
  • 03:52 But it wasn't just then, it was believers from all times going
  • 03:55 back to Abraham, who's on a precarious journey, experiencing
  • 04:00 turbulence and disorientation.
  • 04:03 Isaac, Jacob, they all did.
  • 04:05 David thrown up against wars, the precariousness
  • 04:09 of human experience.
  • 04:11 Not just men for that matter.
  • 04:13 Oh goodness, women, I mentioned Esther to speak of her.
  • 04:17 There she was for such a time as that, when the world
  • 04:22 for the Jews was about to become unglued.
  • 04:26 But there she was.
  • 04:28 Oh, God has his people in different places, not just
  • 04:32 Esther for such a time as this or for such a time as that, but
  • 04:36 similarly prophets like Daniel, who envisioned wars, and beasts,
  • 04:43 and the destruction of a temple, and global upheaval.
  • 04:47 Ezekiel experienced that and gave voiced to that as well, but
  • 04:51 he envisioned a world over the horizon, a new temple built.
  • 04:57 He sees God making his entrance afresh on the stage of the human
  • 05:01 drama to sort things out at the ragged edge of time.
  • 05:07 I mention these prophets, Ezekiel, Daniel.
  • 05:10 I should throw Zechariah into the pot as well because Daniel
  • 05:15 himself makes use of those prophets.
  • 05:19 In fact, you might find this interesting, I know that I did.
  • 05:24 What's that?
  • 05:26 Well, I remember once searching through Jewish religious
  • 05:30 literature working with the question, how do religious Jews
  • 05:34 that look at Zechariah, Daniel, and Ezekiel, how do they look
  • 05:38 at the prophetic Word?
  • 05:39 To me, it was strikingly unexpected, I should say, that
  • 05:44 when you look at traditional Jewish exegetes, they're minded
  • 05:48 to interpret the literature just like conservative
  • 05:51 evangelicals are.
  • 05:53 By that, I mean conservative Jewish theologs understand that
  • 05:58 the ragged edge of time, there is going to be
  • 06:01 a heinous world ruler.
  • 06:03 There's going to be global upheaval.
  • 06:05 There's going to be the righteous that are repressed,
  • 06:08 and depressed, and so pressed, and oppressed under the thumb
  • 06:12 of all this pressure.
  • 06:14 And when it looks just like it's about to come unglued, then
  • 06:17 finally the Messiah comes and makes his entrance onto
  • 06:21 the stage of the human drama.
  • 06:23 It's glorious, it's fascinating by the way.
  • 06:26 And there's a certain congruence between the way Jews see it and
  • 06:30 the way evangelical Christians see it.
  • 06:32 Well, we want to climb back into the literature, Revelation
  • 06:36 chapter 1, and work through it step by step by step as we go on
  • 06:41 a journey into the book of Revelation and we look at
  • 06:46 unveiling the visions that are noted therein.
  • 06:50 Oh, what a story.
  • 06:52 I hope you're excited, I hope you're ready to go.
  • 06:55 Go with me on a journey not into my word, but this Word.
  • 06:59 Not into my world, but the biblical world.
  • 07:03 And together, let's explore whether there might be something
  • 07:06 in that world that can speak to us today.
  • 07:10 ♪♪♪
  • 07:20 ♪♪♪
  • 07:21 Jeffrey: I want to begin this segment by asking you to grab
  • 07:24 ahold of your Bible.
  • 07:26 I mention that because I have mine in my lap, and I don't plan
  • 07:30 on closing it through the whole series.
  • 07:33 What I'm interested in is walking through the literature,
  • 07:36 making observations, making interpretations,
  • 07:39 and then applications.
  • 07:41 But I want you to have the book in hand.
  • 07:43 It's a pet peeve of mine as a professor.
  • 07:46 A lot of times in church, people talk about the Bible,
  • 07:48 but they don't have it open.
  • 07:50 But I really am interested in taking my lead
  • 07:53 from the literature.
  • 07:54 In the Revelation, called Revelations by many with an S
  • 07:59 at the end, apocalypses, it's Revelation.
  • 08:03 But there, to be sure, are a number of revelations therein.
  • 08:07 We'll get to those fantastic visions in reasonably short
  • 08:10 order, but here the literature starts in verse 1,
  • 08:13 "The revelation of Yeshua the Messiah," the revealing.
  • 08:18 And he speaks here to his servants about things that are
  • 08:22 going to take place.
  • 08:24 So, he's giving a vision of a moment and of things to come
  • 08:28 according to the literature.
  • 08:30 You'll see and is a standard introduction here, "Grace to
  • 08:33 you," in verse 4, "and shalom," the Hebrew word for peace,
  • 08:39 "from him who is and who was and who is to come."
  • 08:43 He just transcends and traverses time.
  • 08:46 And that's good to know, by the way, because he's the same
  • 08:49 yesterday, today, and forever.
  • 08:51 He'll be noted in the literature as the Alpha and the Omega.
  • 08:55 That sense of omnipresence through the passage of time
  • 09:00 I think can give us a kind of strength as we make
  • 09:03 our journey through time.
  • 09:05 Here, this is from in verse 5 Messiah Yeshua, referenced here
  • 09:10 as a faithful witness and the firstborn of the dead.
  • 09:14 Jesus was crucified and he rose again, noted in the literature
  • 09:18 here and elsewhere as the firstborn, which implies there's
  • 09:21 a second born, a third born, a tenth born, a millionth born.
  • 09:25 He's the first of many.
  • 09:26 And by the way, followers of him are included in that list,
  • 09:30 come hell or high water.
  • 09:32 He's noted here as faithful witness, not just witness.
  • 09:36 And by the way, interestingly, the word that's employed for
  • 09:39 witness in the Revelation, the Greek word is
  • 09:42 we get the word "martyr."
  • 09:44 Interestingly, they give it up to the point of putting their
  • 09:47 own person in the equation, to the point of death if needed.
  • 09:51 "He's the firstborn and the ruler of kings of the earth."
  • 09:56 I think there's something prophetic there, that is to say
  • 09:58 there will come a point in time when he will rule over.
  • 10:02 He's the King of kings and Lord of lords to be sure,
  • 10:05 and that's noted subsequently in the literature.
  • 10:08 But evil reigns at the moment because he stays his hand,
  • 10:13 he has his purposes.
  • 10:14 And as Revelation unfolds, we'll be seeing how the prince of
  • 10:18 darkness raises his hoary head and is finally, eventually
  • 10:23 displaced, and a new kingdom comes.
  • 10:25 And this king who is being revealed here incrementally
  • 10:30 emerges in the passage of time.
  • 10:32 "To him," we're told, "who loves us and has freed us from our
  • 10:37 sins by his blood."
  • 10:40 I think that's very important, by the way, for all times, not
  • 10:44 just end times.
  • 10:45 That is to say we all experience the stain of sins in response to
  • 10:51 our own foibles and our own base nature.
  • 10:54 Isn't it great to know that we've been set free
  • 10:57 from the penalty?
  • 10:59 We're told here in the literature in verse 7,
  • 11:02 "Look, he is coming with the clouds.
  • 11:04 Every eye will see him, even those who pierced him."
  • 11:07 And here, we're harking back to a text in Zachariah, Zechariah,
  • 11:12 where the author, the prophet gives voice to the fact that
  • 11:16 there'll come a point in time when people will turn to him
  • 11:19 whom they have pierced and mourn.
  • 11:21 It says as much in the literature.
  • 11:24 John in verse 9 is represented as a fellow partaker in the
  • 11:28 tribulation and kingdom and patient endurance that is part
  • 11:33 and parcel to walking with the Lord.
  • 11:37 The word "tribulation" is a fascinating word from
  • 11:39 the Latin tribulum.
  • 11:41 It's the pitchfork that was used by ancient agrarians,
  • 11:45 by farmers.
  • 11:46 They would put the fork in the hay and throw it up in the air,
  • 11:49 and the wind would separate the wheat from the chaff.
  • 11:51 The understanding is that tribulation has that effect of
  • 11:55 sifting, and purifying, and making ready
  • 11:58 for the final product.
  • 12:00 This author, who is a partaker in tribulation of Yeshua, we're
  • 12:04 told in verse 10 was in the spirit in the day of the Lord.
  • 12:09 And he says in verse 12, he sees golden candelabras, menorahs.
  • 12:14 It's interesting, at 95 AD when the book was written, the temple
  • 12:18 had long since been destroyed.
  • 12:20 And in the temple, there were variety of menorot,
  • 12:24 of candelabras.
  • 12:25 But here, even though there is no temple, there is a spiritual
  • 12:30 heavenly temple.
  • 12:31 And the Lord is there, and he represents himself amidst
  • 12:34 those light fixtures like the Son of Man.
  • 12:38 This harks to a figure in Daniel.
  • 12:41 Oh goodness, he harks back to this imagery, a very fascinating
  • 12:46 story here of appearing with bright eyes, and hair,
  • 12:48 and beard, et cetera.
  • 12:50 Very interesting, very apocalyptic.
  • 12:52 And we have here, as we get out of this chapter, we have in
  • 12:55 verse 17 again reminding, "I am the first and the last,
  • 13:00 the one who lives.
  • 13:02 I was dead, but look, I'm alive forevermore, and I hold the keys
  • 13:06 of death and Sheol."
  • 13:08 They're amidst the turbulence of trying times.
  • 13:11 And at the time of the writing of the literature, the original
  • 13:14 hearers were pressed up against trials and tribulations
  • 13:17 and persecutions.
  • 13:19 But the Lord is there amidst it all.
  • 13:22 Fascinating he is, colorful, present, available, the first
  • 13:27 and the last, holding the keys to the future for them
  • 13:31 and for us.
  • 13:33 We'll continue our journey into Revelation as we consider
  • 13:36 the Revelation, and we look at unveiling
  • 13:39 these fascinating visions.
  • 13:42 ♪♪♪
  • 13:49 announcer: Our resource this week, the series
  • 13:50 "Kings and Kingdoms."
  • 13:52 These eight programs examine the rulers of ancient Israel and
  • 13:55 Judah because within their stories, we find lessons of
  • 13:58 godly leadership and principles we can observe today even
  • 14:02 in our political leaders.
  • 14:04 Get this series for yourself or to share with friends by
  • 14:07 contacting us and asking for the DVD series "Kings and Kingdoms."
  • 14:15 announcer: If you only watch us on television, you're missing
  • 14:17 additional content available only on our social media sites,
  • 14:21 Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
  • 14:23 You can always visit our website, which is home base for
  • 14:27 all of our ministry activities and information.
  • 14:30 There you can sign up for our free monthly newsletter,
  • 14:33 watch the TV program, or visit the online store.
  • 14:37 You can sign up for a tour of Israel and Petra, or a cruise to
  • 14:41 Greece and Ephesus.
  • 14:43 Please contact us for more information.
  • 14:45 ♪♪♪
  • 14:50 Kirsten: Find us on our social media sites.
  • 14:52 We would love to connect with you there.
  • 14:54 David: Yes, one of the places that we will take you, if you
  • 14:56 join us on a tour to Israel, Greece, Petra, one of our
  • 15:00 favorite places is Ephesus, where we walk streets of marble.
  • 15:04 It's fascinating, we would love for you to join us.
  • 15:06 Kirsten: It's beautiful.
  • 15:08 Dr. Seif will be actually talking about Ephesus as he
  • 15:10 teaches on the book of Revelations, one of the seven
  • 15:12 churches mentioned in that book.
  • 15:15 And we are so thankful that you, throughout all of the crisis
  • 15:19 going on in the world, have kept us on the air.
  • 15:23 You know that it's vitally important to study
  • 15:26 the Scriptures with Jewish eyes, and we thank you
  • 15:29 for keeping this ministry alive.
  • 15:32 Keep on keeping us on here, thank you.
  • 15:34 David: Thank you.
  • 15:35 Right now, let's go to Revelation 2 for our study on
  • 15:37 today's program.
  • 15:44 Jeffrey: For a book that starts off noting it being the
  • 15:46 revelation of Jesus, I'm surprised by how few speaking
  • 15:50 parts Jesus actually gets.
  • 15:53 That's not a problem in the second and third chapter because
  • 15:56 there he speaks a lot, but after that, he barely shows up until
  • 16:00 the end of the story.
  • 16:01 And there it is, at the end he shows.
  • 16:05 And this book tells the story of his revealing through time
  • 16:09 and circumstance.
  • 16:11 There will seem a point in time when hope has gone away,
  • 16:14 but the biblical testimony gives voice to the fact
  • 16:17 that he's still present.
  • 16:19 Well, we start off in the second and third chapter with a lot of
  • 16:21 speaking parts, him speaking through messengers or an angel,
  • 16:26 same word in Hebrew and Greek.
  • 16:28 We're told in verse 1 of chapter 2, "The angel of Messiah's
  • 16:32 community," that is to the church in Ephesus, he writes.
  • 16:36 And then he has a word to them to not forget their first love.
  • 16:42 That can happen through time and circumstance.
  • 16:44 He says in verses 1 through 3 they're doing well, save the
  • 16:47 fact in verse 4 they've gotten a little bit too casual.
  • 16:51 He says, "You've forsaken your first love."
  • 16:53 And he beckons them, "Remember then from where
  • 16:57 you have fallen."
  • 16:59 Oh goodness, it can happen.
  • 17:01 People forget the initial enthusiams, whether it's on our
  • 17:05 walk with the Lord or whether our walk with our spouses.
  • 17:09 Best we be diligent to cultivate that.
  • 17:12 And you have him saying as much in the second chapter,
  • 17:16 verses 1 through 7.
  • 17:18 In verse 8, there's a message to another church,
  • 17:21 in this case Smyrna.
  • 17:22 He says, "I know your tribulation and your poverty."
  • 17:27 Interestingly, to walk with the Lord, it's not always, you know,
  • 17:30 a cruise ship experience, where everything's brought to you as
  • 17:34 much as you can eat, just have a blast.
  • 17:36 Sometimes, it's a battlecruiser or things don't seem to be going
  • 17:39 that well.
  • 17:40 We take shots.
  • 17:42 And it's not always easy, but he's there with us.
  • 17:45 And he gives voice to the fact here there's some that claim to
  • 17:48 be Jewish and are not.
  • 17:49 I would imagine that they're claiming
  • 17:51 to be authentic believers.
  • 17:53 There are individuals who are disingenuous among us.
  • 17:56 And the disappointment associated
  • 17:58 with that can be striking.
  • 18:00 If you've ever been in webs of relationships and someone's
  • 18:02 turned out to not be what they presented themselves to be,
  • 18:06 that can be really troubling.
  • 18:07 And it is here, people claiming to walk with the Lord, but
  • 18:10 they're not with him at all.
  • 18:11 In verse 10, he tells them to be faithful unto death.
  • 18:16 And he says, "I will give you the crown of life."
  • 18:20 Again, here individuals are beckoned to carry on,
  • 18:23 to tarry on, difficulties notwithstanding.
  • 18:27 The Lord encourages the next church, Pergamum.
  • 18:30 And by the way, I have some maps behind me.
  • 18:33 When we look at these various churches, these congregations
  • 18:37 were here at the western edge of what would be Turkey today.
  • 18:43 People always ask the question, "How does this relate to me
  • 18:45 today here in America or wherever we are?"
  • 18:48 It's worth noting that the story takes place
  • 18:50 in the ancient world, in the Mediterranean world.
  • 18:52 And I have these maps behind me, Ephesus was a major city
  • 18:57 in that world.
  • 18:58 You've sent me there, viewers.
  • 19:00 We filmed there on a number of occasions, a fascinating world
  • 19:04 city in its day, one of the most significant ones
  • 19:06 in the Roman world.
  • 19:08 But there are outlier cities as well, fascinating in their own
  • 19:11 right, and congregations were established there.
  • 19:15 Here in Pergamum, not far off, he says in verse 13 that they're
  • 19:18 doing okay, they're holding firm, but there's some problems.
  • 19:22 They hold to the teaching of Balaam.
  • 19:25 And here, we're looking at a story in Numbers of Balaam
  • 19:28 and Balak if you can recall the story.
  • 19:31 And there's a story here of a prophet who suggested, who told
  • 19:35 a king, Balak, he said, "Listen, I cannot get God to turn away
  • 19:40 from these people, but I can get these people
  • 19:42 to turn away from God."
  • 19:44 And you know how you can get men to turn away from God?
  • 19:46 Women.
  • 19:47 And lo and behold, they were beckoned
  • 19:49 through sexual immorality.
  • 19:52 It's noted explicitly.
  • 19:54 It's one of the more famous tools in the devil's toolbox to,
  • 19:59 you know, dislodge people from faith and virtue.
  • 20:02 Moving on in verse 18, there's another message to the Messiah's
  • 20:07 community in Thyatira, "Thus says the Son of God."
  • 20:11 It's an interesting term that's used, Jesus,
  • 20:14 Yeshua being the Son of God.
  • 20:17 He says that, "You tolerate the woman Jezebel."
  • 20:22 We're speaking figuratively here, and it presupposes
  • 20:25 some understanding of the older testament.
  • 20:28 You might recall Jezebel is bad to the bone.
  • 20:33 Bad girls of the Bible, she's one of the worst kitties
  • 20:35 in the litter.
  • 20:37 She married a rather sheepish, docile, acquiescing king.
  • 20:41 And she was just out of control.
  • 20:43 We're told here that those that mess with her and with all that,
  • 20:47 with sexual immorality, will be thrown into a sickbed,
  • 20:50 and those who commit adultery in great tribulation.
  • 20:53 Well, sexual impropriety, those who get engaged in it,
  • 20:56 it does have a deleterious effect on them to be sure.
  • 21:00 We're told here as we read on in verse 23 that everyone will be
  • 21:04 given according to their works.
  • 21:08 What are we looking at here in the literature?
  • 21:10 Now, there's aspects of Revelation
  • 21:13 that are hard to understand.
  • 21:15 This isn't one of them.
  • 21:16 If you look at the red letter edition of the newer testament,
  • 21:20 where Jesus, where Yeshua's letters are in red, he gets a
  • 21:23 lot of speaking parts here at the beginning of revelation, not
  • 21:26 so much in things to come.
  • 21:28 In the third chapter, we'll be hearing from him directly, but
  • 21:31 then we hear from other ways as we make our way
  • 21:35 through the literature.
  • 21:36 But here very explicit, very direct, not hard to understand.
  • 21:39 Believers are beckoned to be faithful.
  • 21:43 When things get bad, people get discouraged, they want to drink,
  • 21:46 they want something to take their mind off their mind.
  • 21:49 Here believers are beckoned, "Be faithful to the Lord
  • 21:52 even amidst the difficulties, even amidst trying times.
  • 21:57 Walk with him."
  • 21:59 This is one of the key messages in the Revelation.
  • 22:02 And we'll be looking more at the messages therein as we look at
  • 22:05 Revelation, looking at unveiling the visions.
  • 22:09 ♪♪♪
  • 22:19 ♪♪♪
  • 22:30 ♪ Lord, I hear you weeping, ♪
  • 22:34 ♪ sorrow for what might have been. ♪
  • 22:38 ♪ Your hand outstretched upon the cross, ♪
  • 22:42 ♪ reaching for the souls of man. ♪
  • 22:46 ♪ Lord, I hear you praying for those who are so lost. ♪
  • 22:54 ♪ To simply ask forgive me, ♪
  • 22:58 ♪ Lord, I understand the cost. ♪
  • 23:05 ♪ Lord, I hear you praying for those who are so lost. ♪
  • 23:13 ♪ To simply ask forgive me, Lord, ♪
  • 23:20 ♪ I understand the cost. ♪
  • 23:30 ♪♪♪
  • 23:40 ♪♪♪
  • 23:48 David: And that was a song from our founder, Zola Levitt.
  • 23:51 We love bringing you his music.
  • 23:53 Really there's a theme to this whole series, and I think a lot
  • 23:56 of people need to hear about it to not give up in the good
  • 24:00 times, in the bad times.
  • 24:01 So, there's a--there's a prize at the end of our life, right?
  • 24:04 Jeffrey: There is.
  • 24:05 I like to refer to the triumph of God in human history.
  • 24:09 And that's not just true historically generally, but an
  • 24:12 eventual triumph for us as individuals as well.
  • 24:15 Kirsten: And we need that because what the world has
  • 24:18 walked through with the whole Coronavirus, there've been some
  • 24:21 difficult times.
  • 24:22 Not necessarily as difficult as it was in the Mediterranean
  • 24:25 world back when the Revelation was given, correct?
  • 24:29 I mean, that was--that was some hard times.
  • 24:31 Jeffrey: Tough times there.
  • 24:32 They had plague in the ancient world,
  • 24:34 there was political upheaval.
  • 24:36 Today, there's political upheaval, there's--but
  • 24:38 it's not like it was back then.
  • 24:41 You know, there's--it was a changing world back then,
  • 24:44 and it's a changing world today.
  • 24:46 David: I think a lot of takeaway for us to study this
  • 24:48 series, what happened back then, a lot of things happen today.
  • 24:52 Jeffrey: Yeah.
  • 24:53 I mean, it's just good to get into the book, to the Bible,
  • 24:56 and to just ask the Lord, "How might this apply?"
  • 24:59 And you know, I and we serve as tour guides in effect.
  • 25:03 And you know, you take people to Israel, you take people to the
  • 25:05 sites, you talk about it, but they derive their inspiration
  • 25:08 from the site more so from than your explanation.
  • 25:11 Similarly, people just go to the literature itself
  • 25:13 and ask the Lord.
  • 25:15 They might be helped along by people that have some
  • 25:17 flashlights to shine on it, but the end of the day, it's going
  • 25:19 to the literature to get the help and the hope.
  • 25:21 Kirsten: Well, that's what you do so well, and that's what
  • 25:23 has been characteristic of this program from the beginnings of
  • 25:26 time is to look to the Bible, look through the Bible
  • 25:30 with Jewish eyes.
  • 25:31 But I don't think we'll understand the book of
  • 25:33 Revelation, everything you've taught, if we don't look through
  • 25:36 the eyes of the Jewish world in the first century.
  • 25:39 Jeffrey: Well, flattery will get you everywhere,
  • 25:40 let's renew that contract.
  • 25:42 It's true that we want to look at the literature the way
  • 25:47 the first recipients did.
  • 25:48 And that's what's been lost through time and circumstance,
  • 25:52 that it's important to understand the first
  • 25:54 interpretation of a text belongs to the original readers.
  • 25:57 We want to climb into their world, and it necessitates
  • 26:01 climbing into a Jewish world.
  • 26:02 David: And it wasn't all good news.
  • 26:04 It was kind of a rollercoaster ride, I think,
  • 26:06 throughout Revelation.
  • 26:07 Jeffrey: Yes.
  • 26:09 To the point made earlier, what makes the good news so good is
  • 26:10 the bad news is so bad.
  • 26:12 There can be trying times, but God's got it all.
  • 26:15 Kirsten: Right, and the writer was very specific to some
  • 26:17 of the first churches you mentioned today about,
  • 26:20 "Here's your message, here's your message."
  • 26:22 Does that relate at all to our modern world, or was that
  • 26:25 specific to that time period?
  • 26:27 Jeffrey: Well, there's different approaches
  • 26:29 to the literature itself.
  • 26:30 I think that it relates to all people in all times.
  • 26:33 And you can look at what he says to those congregations, those
  • 26:36 communities of faith, those Jewish believers, and derive
  • 26:40 applications certainly 'cause it talks about the temptations,
  • 26:43 immorality, disengagement, losing the first love, things
  • 26:47 that are a problem in modernity much as in antiquity.
  • 26:51 Kirsten: Well, we're excited for the whole series.
  • 26:52 David: Yeah, it really is like a college--a free college
  • 26:55 course for all of us.
  • 26:57 You're going to love this series.
  • 26:58 Jeffrey: Oh, you're kind.
  • 26:59 David: I can't believe we're out of time already.
  • 27:01 Lots more to come on Revelation.
  • 27:03 Jeffrey: There's more to come, we're just starting.
  • 27:06 It's a great book. A tough book, but a great book.
  • 27:08 But time to go now.
  • 27:10 As you go, sha'alu shalom Yerushalayim.
  • 27:13 David: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
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  • 28:25 announcer: This has been a paid program brought to you
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Episodes in this series

  1. Message to the Churches
  2. Vision of Heaven
  3. The Six Seals
  4. Impending Judgments
  5. Two Witnesses
  6. 144,000 Jewish Believers
  7. The Greater They Fall
  8. Ultimate Triumph

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